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rage enough, with a knife or fome other weapon ftill more infignificant, to defend their master's cattle, which had been attacked in the dark by a lion.
alfo knew) and feveral other Chriftians, hunted him with great intrepidity, though without fuccefs. The converfation ran every where in this part of the country upon one Bota, a farmer and captain in the militia, who had lain for fome time under a lion, and had received feveral bruifes from the beast, having been at the fame time a good deal bitten by him in one arm, as a token to remember him by; but, upon the whole, had, in a manner, had his life given him by this noble animal. The man was faid then to be living in the district of Artaquas-kloof.
"I do not rightly know how to account for this merciful difpofition towards mankind. Does it proceed from the lion's greater refpect and veneration for man, as being equal to, or even a mightier tyrant than himself among the animal creation? or is it merely from the fame caprice, which has fometimes induced him not only to fpare the lives of men or brute creatures who have been given up to him for prey, but even to carefs them, and treat them with the greatest kindness? Whims and freaks of this kind, have, perhaps, in a great meafure, acquired the lion the reputation it has for generofity; but I cannot allow this fpecious name, facred only to virtue, to be lavished upon a wild beast. Slaves, indeed, and wretches of fervile minds, are wont with this attribute to flatter their greatest tyrants; but with what fhew of rea fon can this attribute be bestowed upon the most powerful tyrant among quadrupeds, because it does not exercife an equal degree of cru elty upon all occafions?
That the lion does not, like the wolf, tiger, and fome other beafls of prey, kill a great deal of game or cattle at one time, perhaps, proceeds from this, that while he is
"It is fingular, that the lion, which, according to many, always kills his prey immediately if it belongs to the brute creation, is reported frequently, although provoked, to content himself with merely wounding the human fpecies; or at least to wait fome time before he gives the fatal blow to the unhappy victim he has got under him. A farmer, who the year before had the misfortune to be a fpectator of a lion's feizing two of his oxen, at the very inftant he had taken them out of the waggon, told me, that they immediately fell down dead upon the fpot clofe to each other; though, upon examining the carcafes afterwards, it appeared that their backs only had been broken. In feveral places through which I paffed, they mentioned to me by name a father and his two fons, who were faid to be ftill living, and who being on foot near a river on their eftate in fearch of a lion, this latter had ruflied out upon them, and thrown one of them under his fect: the two others, however, had time enough to fhoot the lion dead upon the fpot, which had lain almoft across the youth fo nearly and dearly related to them, without having done him any particular
"I myself faw, near the upper part of Duyven-hoek-rivier, an elderly Hottentot, who at that time (his wounds being fill open) bore under one eye and underneath his cheek-bone the ghafly marks of the bite of a lion, which did not think it worth his while to give him any other chastisement for having, together with his mafter (whom I
employed in attacking one or two of them, the remainder fly farther than it accords with the natural indolence of this beaft to follow them. If this be called generofity, a cat may be ftyled generous with refpect to the rats; as I have feen this creature in the fields among a great number of the latter, where the could have made a great havock at once, feize on a fingle one only, and run,off with it. The lion and the cat, likewife, very much refemble each other, in partly fleeping out, and partly palling away in a quiet inactive tate a great part of their time, in which hunger does not urge them to go in queft of their prey.
"From what I have already related, and am farther about to men tion, we may conclude, that it is not in magnaninity, as many will have it to be, but in an infidious and cowardly difpofition, blended with a certain degree of pride, that the general character of the lion confifts: and that hunger muft naturally have the effect of now and then infpiring fo ftrong and nimble an animal with uncommon intrepidity and courage. Moreover, being accustomed always itfelf to kill its own food, and that with the greatest cafe, as meeting with no refiftance, and even frequently to devour it reeking and weltering in its blood, it cannot but be easily provoked, and acquire a greater turn for cruelty than for generofity: but, on the other hand, not being accustomed to meet with any refiftance, it is no wonder that when it does, it fhould fometimes be fainthearted and creft-fallen; and, as I have already faid, fuffer itself to be fcared away with a cudgel. Here follows another inftance of this fact.
"A yeoman, a man of veracity (Jacob Kok, of Zeekoe-rivier), re
lated to me an adventure he had, in thefe words. One day walking over his lands with his loaded gun, be unexpectedly met with a lion. Being an excellent fhot, he thought himself pretty certain, in the pofition he was in, of killing it, and therefore fired his piece. Unfortu nately he did not recollect, that the charge had been in it for fome time, and confequently was damp; fo that his piece hung fire, and the ball falling fhort, entered the ground clofe to the lion. In confequence of this he was feized with a panic, and took directly to his feet; but being foon out of breath, and cloftly purfued by the lion, he jumped up on a little heap of ftones, and there made a ftand, prefenting the butt-end of his gun to his adveríary, fully refolved to defend his life as well as he could to the utmost. My friend did not take upon him to determine, whether this pofition and manner of his intimidated the lion or not: it had, however, fuch an effect upon the creature, that it likewife made a ftand; and what was ftill more fingular, laid itfelf down at the distance of a few paces from the heap of ftones feemingly quite unconcerned. The fportiman, in the mean while, did not dare to fir a ftep from the fpot: befides, in his flight, he had the misfortune to lofe his powder-horn. At length, after waiting a good half hour, the lion rofe up, and at first went very flow. ly, and ftep by step, as if it had a mind to fteal off; but as foon as it got to a greater diftance, it began to bound away at a great rate. It is very probable, that the lion, like the hyæna, does not eafily venture upon any creature that makes a fland against it, and puts itfelf in a pofture of defence. It is well known, that it does not, like the hound, find out its, prey by the
fcent, neither does it openly hunt other animals. At least, the only inftance ever known of this, is that which I have mentioned before, in vol. i. p. 307, in which it is spoken of as having hunted an elk-antilope; though it might poffibly be, that this wild beaft was reduced by extreme hunger to fuch an extraordinary expedient. The lion, nevertheless, is fwift of foot. Two hunters informed me, that an imprudent and fool-hardy companion of theirs, was closely pursued by a lion in their fight, and very nearly overtaken by it, though he was mounted on an excellent hunter.
"The lion's ftrength is confiderable. This animal was once feen at the Cape to take an heifer in his mouth, and though the legs of this latter dragged on the ground, yet feemed to carry her off with the fame eafe as a cat does a rat. It likewife leaped over a broad dike with her, without the leaft difficulty. A buffalo perhaps would be too cumbersome for this beaft of prey, notwithstanding his strength, to feize and carry off with him in the manner above mentioned. Two yeomen, upon whofe veracity I can place fome confidence, gave me the following account relative to
the Hottentots had begun to carry off the flesh to the waggon, frequently peeped out upon them, and probably with no little mortification." The lion's strength, however, is faid not to be fufficient alone to get the better of fo large and ftrong an animal as the buffalo but, in order to make it his prey, this fierce creature is obliged to have recourfe both to agility and stratagem; infomuch, that stealing on the buffalo, it faftens with both its paws upon the noftrils and mouth of the beaft, and keeps fqueezing them clofe together, till at length the creature is ftrangled, wearied out, and dies. A certain colonist, according to report, had had an opportunity of feeing an attack of this kind; and others had reafon to con clude, that fomething of this nature had paffed, from feeing buffaloes, which had efcaped from the clutches of lions, and bore the marks of the claws of these animals about their mouth and nose. They afferted, however, that the lion itfelf rifqued its life in fuch attempts, especially if any other buffalo was at hand to refcue that which was attacked. It was faid, that a traveller once had an opportunity of feeing a female buffalo with her calf, defended by a river at her back, keep for a long time at bay five lions which had partly furrounded her, but did not (at least as long as the traveller looked on) dare to attack her. I have been informed, from very good authority, that on a plain to the east of Kromme-rivier, a lion had been gored and trampled to death by a herd of cattle; having, urged probably by hunger, ventured to attack them in broad day-light.
"This the reader will, perhaps, not fo much wonder at, when he is told, that in the day-time, and upon
"Being a-hunting near Bofhiesman-rivier with feveral Hottentots, they perceived a lion dragging a buffalo from the plain to a neigh bouring woody hill. They, how ever, foon forced it to quit its prey, in order to make a prize of it themfelves; and found that this wild beaft had had the fagacity to take out the buffalo's large and unweildy entrails, in order to be able the easier to make off with the fleshy and more eatable part of the carcafe. The wild beaft, however, as foon as he faw, from the skirts of the wood, that
Optical Appearances. "From this theoretical view of the heavens, which has been taken, as we obferved, from a point not lefs diftant in time than in fpace, we will now retreat to our own retired ftation in one of the planets, attending a ftar in its great combination with numberless others; and, in order to invefligate what will be the appearances from this contracted fituation, let us begin with the naked eye. The stars of the first magnitude being in all probability the nearest, will furnish us with a step to begin our fcale; fetting off, therefore, with the diftance of Sirius or Arcturus, for inftance, as unity, we will at prefent fuppofe, that thofe of the fecond magnitude are at double, and thofe of the third at treble the di ́ftance, and fo forth. It is not neceflary critically to examine what quantity of light or magnitude of a ftar intitles it to be cftimated of fuch or fuch a proportional distance, as the common coarfe eftimation will anfwer our prefent purpose as well; taking it then for granted, that a ftar of the feventh magni. tude is about feven times as far as one of the first, it follows, that an obferver, who is inclofed in a globular cluster of stars, and not far from the centre, will never be able, with the naked eye, to fee to the end of it; for, fince, according to the above eftimations, he can only extend his view to about feven times the diftance of Sirius, it cannot be expected that his eyes fhould reach the borders of a clutter which has perhaps not lefs than fifty ftars In depth every where around him. The whole univerfe, therefore, to him will be comprifed in a fet of conftellations, richly ornamented with fcattered ftars of all fizes. Or
if the united brightness of a neighbouring cluster of stars fhould, in a remarkable clear night, reach his fight, it will put on the of a small, faint,, whitish, nebulous cloud, not to be perceived without the greatest attention. To pafs by other fituations, let him be placed in a much extended ftratum, or branching cluster of millions of ftars, fuch as may fall under the third form of nebulae confidered in a foregoing paragraph. Here also the heavens will not only be richly. fcattered over with brilliant conftellations, but a fhining zone or milky way will be perceived to furround the whole fphere of the heavens, owing to the combined light of thofe ftars which are too fmall, that is, too remote to be feen. Our obferver's fight will be fo confined, that he will imagine this fingle collection of ftars, of which he does not even perceive the thoufandth part, to be the whole contents of the heavens. Allowing him now the ufe of a common telefcope, he begins to fufpect that all the milkineis of the bright path which furrounds the fphere may be owing to ftars. He perceives a few clusters of them in various parts of the heavens, and finds alfo that there are a kind of nebulous patches ; but still his views are not extended fo far as to reach to the end of the ftratum in which he is fituated, fo that he looks upon thefe patches as belonging to that fyftem which to him feems to comprehend every celestial object. He now increa es his power of vifion, and, applying himfelf to a close obfervation, finds that the milky way is indeed no other than a collection of very fmall ftars. He perceives that thofe objects which are called nebula' are evidently nothing but clusters of ftars.
ry turning and winding of a poor timid hare.
"It is only on the plains that the hunters venture to go out on horfeback after the lion. If it keeps in fome coppice, or wood, on a rifing ground, they endeavour to teize it with dogs till it comes out; they likewife prefer going together two or more in number, in order to be able to affift and rescue each other, in cafe the first shot fhould not take place.
"When the lion fees the hunters at a great diftance, it is univerfally allowed that he takes to his heels as fast as ever he can, in, order to get out of their fight; but if they chance to difcover him at a small distance from them, he is then faid to walk off in a furly manner, but without putting himfelf in the leaft hurry, as though he was above fhewing any fear, when he finds himself difcovered or hunted. He is therefore reported likewife, when he finds himself purfued with vigour, to be foon provoked to refiitance, or at leaft he difdains any longer to fly. Confequently he flackens his pace, and at length only fidles flowly off, ftep by ftep, all the while eying his purfuers afkaunt; and finally makes a full stop, and turning round upon them, and at the fame time giving himself a fhake, roars with a fhort and fharp tone, in order to fhew his indignation, being ready to feize on them and tear them in pieces. This is now precifely the time for the hunters to be upon the fpot, or elfe to get as foon as poffible within a certain distance of him, yet fo as at the fame time to keep at a proper distance from each other; and he that is nearest, or is moft advantageoutly pofted, and has the best mark of that part of the lion's body which contains his heart
and lungs, must be the first to jump off his horfe, and, fecuring the bridle by putting it round his arm, difcharge his piece; then in an inftant recovering his feat, must ride obliquely athwart his companions; and, in fine, giving his horse the reins, must truft entirely to the fpeed and fear of this latter, to convey him out of the reach of the fury of the wild beast, in cafe he has only wounded him, or has abfolutely miffed him. In either of thefe cafes, a fair opportunity prefents itself for fome of the other hunters to jump off their horfes directly, as they may then take their aim and difcharge their pieces with greater coolnefs and certainty. Should this fhot likewife mifs, (which, however, feldom happens) the third fportfman rides after the lion, which at that inftant is in purfuit of the first or the second, and, fpringing off his horfe, fires his piece, as foon as he has got within a proper diftance, and finds a fufficiently convenient part of the animal prefent itself, especially obliquely from behind. If now the lion turns upon him too, the other hunters turn again, in order to come to his refcue with the charge, which they loaded with on horseback, while they were flying from the wild beast.
"No inftance has ever been known of any misfortune happening to the hunters in chafing the lion on horfeback. The African colonists, who are born in, or have had the courage to remove into the more remote parts of Africa, which are expofed to the ravages of wild beafts, are mostly good marksmen, and are far from wanting courage. The lion, that has the boldness to feize on their cattle, which are the most valuable part of their property, fometimes at their very doors, is as odious to them as he is dan