Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

VIII.

“There at the foot of yonder nodidling beech,

That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would be stretch,

And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.

IX.

“ Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping woful, wan, like one forlorn,

Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.

X.

“One morn I missed him on the 'customed hill,

Along the heath, and near his favourite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor

up the lawn, nor at the wood was he.

XI.

• The next, with dirges due, in sad array,

Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne. Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay

Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”

EPITAPI.
HERE rests his head upon the lap of earth

A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown:
Fair science frowned not on his humble birth,

And melancholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty and his soul sincere;

Heaven did a recompense as largely send; He gave to misery all he had, a tear,

He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend. No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode (There they alike in trembling hope repose),

The bosom of his Father, and his God.

Gray.

[graphic][merged small]

THE Camel has been created with an especial fitness for the region, wherein it has contributed to the comfort, and even to the very existence, of man, from the earliest ages.

It is formed to endure the severest hardships with little bodily inconvenience. Its feet are formed to tread lightly upon a dry and shifting soil; its nostrils have the capacity of closing, so as to shut out the driving sand, when the whirlwind scatters it over the desert; it is provided with a peculiar apparatus for retaining water in its stomach, so that it can march from well to well without great inconvenience, although they be several hundred miles apart. And thus, when a company of Eastern merchants cross from Aleppo to Bussórah, over a plain of sand, which offers no refreshment to the exhausted senses, the whole journey being about 800 miles, the camel of the heavy caravan moves cheerfully along, with a burden of six or seven hundredweight, at the rate of twenty miles a day; while those of greater speed, that carry a man, without much other load, go forward at double that pace and daily distance. Patient

under his duties, he kneels down at the command of his driver, and rises up cheerfully with his load : he requires no whip or spur during his dreary march; but, like many other animals, he feels an evident pleasure in musical sounds; and, therefore, when fatigue comes upon him, the driver sings some cheering snatch of his Arabian melodies, and the delighted creature toils forward with a brisker step, till the hour of rest arrives, when he again kneels down to have his load removed for a little while; and, if the stock of food be not exhausted, he is further rewarded with á few mouthfuls of the cake of barley, which he carries for the support of his master and himself. Under a burning sun upon a parched soil, enduring great fatigue, sometimes entirely without food for days, and seldom completely slaking his thirst more than once during a progress of several hundred miles, the camel is patient, and apparently happy. He ordinarily lives to a great age, and is seldom visited by any disease.

The camel with one hump, which we ordinarily call the dromedary, has been reared at one place in Europe for centuries : this place is Pisa in Italy. His habits are there, to a certain extent, the same as in his native region ; but the soil and climate of Europe are ill adapted to his nature. The camels of Pisa have declined ; they are weaker than those of the East: and their lives are of shorter duration. This circumstance is a convincing proof that the natural locality of the camel is a dry and thirsty region, offering little vegetable food, and that of the coarsest kind. That region comprises Arabia, all the northern part of Africa, Egypt, Persia, Tartary, and parts of India. Over this extensive region is the camel spread, and here he has formed the best possession of the people from the time of the patriarchs.

The Bactrian camel, with two humps, is much more rare ; and this species is principally found in Túrkestan (which is the ancient Bactria), and in Thibét, as far as the frontiers of China.

The lean and almost fleshless body of the camel is covered with hair, which is very short on the forepart of the muzzle, but becomes longer on the top of the head, and almost tufty on the neck and parts of the forelegs, on the back, and particularly on the hump, which it covers all over. The tail is also thick with hair. The colour of the hair varies : it is either white (with a slight tint of rose-colour), gray, bay, or dark brown, approaching to black. The hair falls off, and is renewed every year about the end of spring and the commencement of summer.

The green and tender grass, which other cattle eat with such relish, is neglected by camels; but they greedily devour the leaves of the oak, of the cork-tree, and of the alder, and feed with manifest delight on every hard and dry substance which they can find—such as the thorn, the thistle, and the broom. They drink only once a day.

Of the mode of breaking and training the camel by the people of the East, we have no complete account, but the following is the method adopted in Tuscany :At the age of four years, a camel which is intended for labour is broken in. The trainers first double up one of his fore-legs, which they tie fast with a cord; they then pull the cord, and thus usually compel the animal to fall upon his bent knee.

If this does not succeed, they tie up both legs, and he falls upon both knees, and upon the fleshy pad which is upon his breast. They often accompany the operation with a particular cry, and with

, a slight blow of a whip. At this cry and blow, with the addition of a sudden jerk downwards of his halter, the camel gradually learns to lie down upon his belly, with his legs doubled under him, at the command of his driver. The trainers then accustom him to a packsaddle, and place on it a load (at first light, but increased by degrees as the animal increases in docility), tiil at last, when he readily lies down at the voice of his driver, and as readily rises up with his load, his education is so far complete. He is accustomed, in the same gradual manner, to allow his driver to mount and to obey all his orders, and even his motions, in the direction of his course.

The camel has seven humps of fatty matter, upon which he throws the weight of his body, both in kneel. ing down and rising up. These consist of one on the breast, two on each of the fore-legs, and one on each of the hind. He sleeps always with his knees bent under his body, and his breast upon the ground.

These seven humps, or cushions, enable the animal to receive its load in the only position in which man could put on that load), by preventing its skin being broken by the pressure, either when it rises up or kneels down; and the hump on the back is so far from being a hard lump produced by friction, that it is a soft, fatty substance, which is gradually sucked into the system when the animal is without food, and is renewed when he obtains pasturage—an evident proof that it is one of the several wonderful means, which he possesses, for his support in the desert.--"Saturday Magazine.'

THE MONKEY AND THE SACK OF NUTS.

I.
WITHIN a balcony of state,

At ease, and happy beyond measure,
A monkey sat, who had of late

Become the master of a treasure.

II.

Though not, indeed, of gems or gold,

(Mark ! I translate it to the letter,) But fresh, sweet nuts, which I'll be bold,

Friend Pug esteemed as something better.

« VorigeDoorgaan »