« ZurückWeiter »
pable of restraint, and consequently of being general color is a yellowish-white, or yellowisheducated to any extent. However, we are told brown and whitish, mixed with deep gray or that the Greeks in the island of Cyprus trained blackish stripes. These colors though they apthis animal to catch and devour serpents, with. pear at first sight confusedly blended together, which that island was greatly infested. He has yet on a close inspection are found to be disno delicacy of scent, like the dog; he hunts only posed like the streaks on the skin of the tiger, by the eye: peither does he properly pursue, but pointing from the back downwards, rising from rather lies in wait, and attacks animals by sur- a black list that runs from the head alo the prise; and, after he has caught them, sports with middle of the back to the tail, while those on and torments them a long time. The eye of the the sides are perpendicular or spiral. This cai differs greatly from that of most other ani- animal, with us, may be called the British tiger. mals: the pupil being capable of a great degree It is the fiercest and most destructive beast we of contraction and dilatation. It is narrow and have; making dreadful havoc among our poulcontracted like a line during the day, round and try, lambs, and kids. It inhabits the most mounwide in the dark. It is from this conformation tainous and woody parts of these islands, living of the eye that the cat sees best in the night, mostly in trees, and feeding only by night. They which gives him a great advantage in discovering are taken either in traps or by shooting : in the and seizing his prey. Cats have a natural an- latter case, it is very dangerous only to wound tipathy to cold and wetness. They likewise hate them, for they will attack the person who injured bad smells ; but they are fond of certain aro- them; and have strength enough be no desmatics, and particularly of catmint, and vale- picable enemy. Wild cats were formerly reckrian. Cats take about eighteen months be- oned among the beasts of chase, as appears by fore they come to full growth; but they are ca- the charter of Richard II. to the abbot of Peterpable of propagation in twelve months, and borough, giving him leave to hunt the hare, fox, retain this faculty all their life, which generally and wild cat. The fur was used for the lining extends to nine or ten years. They eat slowly, of robes; but it was esteemed not of the most and are peculiarly fond of fish. They drink luxurious kind; for it was ordained, that no frequently, their sleep is light. They walk abbess or nun should use more costly appare! softly, and without making any noise. As their than such as is made of lambs' or cats' skins.' hair is always dry, it easily gives out an electrical This animal is now become very scarce in Brifire, which becomes visible when rubbed in the tain; one was killed some years ago in Cumberdark. Their eyes likewise sparkle in the dark land, and another in Warwickshire. They are like diamonds. The cat, when pleased, purrs, more frequently found in the North of Scotland, and moves its tail: when angry, it spits, hisses, and are still common in the Hebrides. This and strikes with its foot. It washes its face with species is the stock or origin of the domestic its fore paws before rain, and stretches itself, &c., cat in all its varieties. It inhabits the woods of at the approach of a storm. These peculiarities most parts of Europe, but is not found in the are probably owing to its abounding with the vast woods of Russia or Siberia. It dwells electric Huid. It always lights on its feet, and with the common lynx in all the wooded parts is proverbially tenacious of life. Our ancestors of the mountains of Caucasus and their neighseem to have had a high sense of the utility of bourhood; and is most destructive to lambs, this animal. Hoel Dda, or Howel the Good, kids, fawns, and all sorts of feathered game. among his laws relating to the prices, &c., of F. concolor, the puma, the couguar of Buffon, animals, includes that of the cat; and describes has a very small head, ears a little pointed, and the qualities it ought to have. The price of a eyes large. According to some zoologists, the kitten before it could see was to be a penny; till back, neck, rump, and sides, are of a pale brownit caught a mouse, two-pence; when it com- ish red, mixed with dusky hairs; the breast, menced mouser, four-pence. It was required belly, and inside of the legs, cinereous: but besides, that it should be perfect in its senses of Gmelin and Kerr say, “the fur is of a uniform hearing and seeing, be a good mouser, have the lively red color, tinged with black, having no claws whole, and be a good nurse; but if it spots.' The tail is dusky and ferruginous, the failed in any of these qualities, the seller was tip black; and the teeth are of a vast size. It is to forfeit to the buyer the third part of its value. as big as a large wolf, being long bodied, and If any one stole or killed the cat that guarded high on its legs; the length from nose to tail the prince's granary, he was to forfeit à milch five feet three inches; that of the tail two feet Ewe, its fleece, and lamb; or as much wheat as, eight. This animal inhabits the continent of when poured on the cat suspended hy its tail, America, from Canada to Brasil: in South the head touching the floor, would form a heap America it is called Puma, and by Europeans is high enough tc cover the tip of the former.- mistaken for the lion. It is the scourge of the Lages Hallica, p. 247, 248.
colonies of the hotter parts of America, being F. catus ferus, the wild cat, is three or four fierce and ravenous in the highest degree. It times as large as the house cat; the head larger, swims over the broad rivers ; attacks the cattle and the face fatter. The teeth and claws are in the very enclosures; and, when pressed with tremendous : its muscles very strong, as being hunger, spares not even mankind. In North formed for rapine : the tail is long and very Amer ca their fury seems to be subdued by the thick, marked with alternate bars of black or rigor of the climate; and the smallest cur, in brown, and white, the end always black; the company with its master, makes them seek for hips and hind part of the lower joints of the leg security, by running up trees. When they lie are black; the fur is very soft and fine. The in wait for the moose, or other deer, they lie close on the branch of some tree till the animal are not agreed as to the ordinary period of life passes beneath, when they drop down upon and in this animal which is variously stated. Buffon soon destroy them. They also make wolves concludes that it ought to be about twenty-five their prey. In the Museum of the Royal So years, or seven times the space of three or four ciety there is the skin of one which was killed years, as it has been asserted of the lion that he just as it had pulled down a wolf. When it has acquires maturity in three or four years after his satisfied itself with eating, it carefully conceals the birth. It is, however, ascertained, that in some rest of the carcase, covering it with leaves; if any instances, the lion lives much beyond that time. other touches the relics, it never comes near The great lion called Pompey, which died in them again. It sometimes purrs like a cat, and the Tower, is recorded to have lived in captivity at other times makes a great howling. The fur above seventy years; and one brought from the is soft, and of some value among the Indians, river Gambia died there a few years since at the who cover themselves with it during winter; and age of sixty-three. In warm countries, quadruwho also eat the flesh, which is said to be good peds in general are larger and stronger than in and as white as veal.
the cold or temperate climates. They are likeF. jubata, the hunting leopard, or Guepard of wise more fierce and hardy; all their natural Buffon, is of the size of a large greyhound, of a qualities seem to correspond with the ardor of long make, with a narrow chest and long legs. the climate. The lions nourished under the The color of the body is a light tawny-brown, scorching sun of Africa or the Indies, are the marked with numbers of small round black most strong, fierce, and terrible. Those of spots; the neck is shaggy, having a mane four mount Atlas, whose top is sometimes covered or five inches long; the hair on the belly is of with snow, are neither so strong nor so ferocious the same length, and the tail is longer than the as those of Biledulgerid or Zaara, whose plains body. It inhabits India; where it is tamed, are covered with burning sand. It is in these and trained for the chase of antelopes. For hot and barren deserts, that the lion is the dread this purpose it is carried in a small kind of of travellers, and the scourge of the neighbourwaggon, chained and hoodwinked, till it ap- ing provinces. But the species is not very nuproaches the herd; when first unchained, it does merous, and they even appear to diminish daily. not immediately make its attempt, but winds The Romans brought many more lions out of along the ground, stopping and concealing itself Libya for their public shows in one year, than till it gets a proper advantage, and then darts on are now to be found in the whole country. In the animals with surprising swiftness. It over- short, in those countries which lions chiefly intakes them by the rapidity of its bounds, but if habit, their numbers were infinitely greater in it does not succeed in its first efforts, consisting former times than they are at present. It is of five or six amazing leaps, it misses its prey : scarcely to be conceived how, otherwise, the losing its breath, and finding itself unequal in Romans were able to procure the prodigious speed, it stands still, gives up the point for that number of these animals, which, from time to time, and returns to its master. This species is time, they exhibited in their public shows. called in India, Chittah. It is used for the Pliny has supplied us with details on this subtaking of jackals, as well as other animals. ject, which almost surpass belief. “Quintus
F. leo, the lion. The largest lions are from Scævola,' he says, was the first who exhibited eight to nine feet in length, and from four to six many of them at once, in the circus, during the feet high; those of a smaller size are generally, time he was ædile. Sylla, in his prætorship, about five feet and a half long, and about three had 100 lions, all males, to fight at the same and a half high. The head is very thick, and time.—Pompey afterwards 600 (of which 350 the face is beset on all sides with long bushy were males), and Cæsar 400. Seneca, it is true, yellowish hair; this shaggy hair extends from informs us, that those of Sylla had been sent to the top of the head to below the shoulders; the him by Bocchus, king of Mauritania; but, at belly and breast are likewise covered with long this day, the princes of that country consider hair. The rest of the body is covered with very one or two of these animals as a grand present. short hair, excepting a bush at the point of the The same abundance continued, during some tail. The ears are roundish, and almost entirely time, under the emperors; but, in the second concealed under the hair of his front. The tail age, it appears to have begun to diminish, since is long and very strong; the legs are thick and Eutropius then considered the appearance of fleshy; and the feet are short : the claws are 100 lions, in the triumph of Marcus Aurelius, about an inch and a quarter long, of a whitish as an exhibition of great magnificence. The color, very crooked, and can be extended or lions in Persia and the Indies are also said to retracted into the membranous sheath at plea- be less numerous than formerly. As this forsure: their points are seldom blunted, as they midable and courageous animal makes a prey are never extended but when he seizes his prey. of most other animals, and is himself a prey to The female, or lioness, has no mane about her none, this diminution in the number of the head or shoulders ; in her we see distinctly the species can be owing to nothing but an increase whole face, head, ears, neck, shoulders, breast, in the number of mankind; for the strength of &c.; all these parts being in some measure con- this king of beasts is not a match for the dextecealed under the long hair of the male, give a rity and address of a negro or Hottentot, who female a very different appearance; besides, she will often dare to attack him face to face, and is considerably less than the male. The hair of with very slight weapons. The ingenuity of both male and female is of a yellowish color, mankind augments with their number; that of and whitish on the sides and belly. Naturalists other animals continues always the same.
superiority in the numbers and industry of his head from his body. The terror and conmankind, at the same time that it has broken sternation of the gentleman may be easily conthe vigor of the lion, seems likewise to have ceived; he flew out of the room, obtained ederrated his courage. In the vast deserts of assistance, and secured the animal. For his Laara; in those which separate the negroes and ordinary subsistence, the lion requires about Noors, between Senegal and the boundaries of fifteen pounds of raw flesh each day. Mauritania; in those uninhabited regions above The body of the lion appears to be the best the country of the Hottentots; and, in general, model of strength joined with agility. The in all the meridional parts of Africa and Asia, force of his muscles is expressed by his prodiielare mankind have disdained to dwell, lions gious leaps and bounds, often twenty feet at are still as numerous and as ferocious as ever. once; by the brisk motion of his tail, a single Accustomed to measure their strength by that of sweep of which is sufficient to throw a man to in all other ammals which they encounter the the ground; by the ease with which he moves habit of conquering renders them haughty and the skin of his face, and particularly of his foreintrepid. Having never experienced the strength head; and by the faculty of erecting and agitaul man, or the power of his arms, instead of ting the hair of his mane when irritated. Lions discorering any signs of fear, they disdain and are very ardent in their amours; when the feset him at defiance. Wounds irritate, but do male is in season, she is often followed by eight pot terrify them : they are not even disconcerted or ten males, who roar incessantly, and enter at the sight of numbers. A single lion of the into furious engagements, till one of them comdesert has been known to attack a whole cara- pletely overcomes the rest, takes peaceable posvan; and il, after a violent and obstinate engage- session of the female, and carries her off to some ment, he finds himself weakened, he retreats secret recess. The length of time the lioness tighting, always keeping his face to the enemy. goes with young is variously stated by different On the other hand, the lions which live near the writers; Ælian says two months, Philostratus Filages or huts of the Indians or Africans, six; among the moderns the period of gestation being acquainted with man and the force of his is said to be five months; but it has been clearly arins, are so dastardly as to fly and leave their ascertained by La Cepede, that the lioness goes pref at the sight of women or children. A lion with young 108 days, or rather more than three taken young, and brought up among domestic months and a half. A lion and lioness of about animals, will easily be accustomed to his master the same age having arrived from Northern 81 keeper, and refrain from injuring them. Africa, at the menagerie of Paris, they were When led into captivity, he will discover symp- permitted to couple, which they did, five times in tras of uneasiness, without anger or peevish- the same day. The first time the lioness was with Ties; on the contrary, his natural temper softens, young, she miscarried at the end of about two ke obeys his master, caresses the hand that gives months, bringing forth two fetuses. The second him tood, and sometimes gives life to such ani- time she produced, at the end of about 108 days, mals as are thrown to him alive for prey; by three young ones. One of these, about five this act of generosity he seems to consider him- hours after it came into the world, had the folkell as for ever bound to protect them: he lives lowing measurements :peaceably with them; allows them a part, and Eighteen inches and a half from the fore part sametimes the whole, of his food; and will of the forehead to the origin of the tail ; four rater submit to the pangs of hunger, than de- inches and a quarter from the muzzle to the ocstroy the fruit of his beneficence. Ælian, ciput; three inches and a quarter from one ear quching Eudemus, speaks of the affection en to the other; four inches and three quarters from tertained by a lion for a dog. He informs us, the elbow to the end of the-toes of the fore feet; that a lion, a dog, and a bear
, lived together in three inches and three quarters from the knee 10 the most intimate friendship. The attachment the heel; three inches and a half from the heel between the two first was most tender. The to the extremity of the toes of the hind feet ; six des, in one of his frolics, having by accident inches and a quarter from the origin of the tail bited the bear, the natural ferocity of that animal to its extremity. Trumed, and he tore the offender to pieces, but These little animals were, at first, entirely the intated lion revenged the death of his com- destitute of hair; and we are informed that the panon, by iramediately destroying the bear. long hair or mane on the deck and round the Rekt 23 his passions are impetuous and vehement, face of one of the males, which survived the it is not to be expected, that the impressions of rest, did not begin to appear till he had attained Hucation will at all tiines be sufficient to balance the age of nearly three years and a half; and then; for this reason it is dangerous to let him that, from that time, this has been continually inserier hunger long, or to vex him by ill-timed creasing in quantity. He had no tuft at the end karings; bad treatment not only irritates him, of his tail till about the same period. The hair tri be remershers it long, and meditates revenge of all the young animals of this litter was at Tatat informs us of a gentleman, who kept a first woolly, and not of the same color as that of han in his chamber, and employed a servant to their parents, but a mixed gray and red, marked mend it, and who as usual mixed bis caresses by a great number of narrow brown stripes. with blows. One morning the gentleman was These were very distinct at the middle of the wakened by an unusual noise in his room, and back, and towards the origin of the tail; and fawing his curtains aside, he perceived the they were disposed transversely on each side of bare growling over the body of the unhappy a longitudinal stripe, of the same color, that extesin , khom it had just killet, and had separated tended from the back of the head to the end of