Page images

fcent, neither does it openly hunt the Hottentots had begun to carry other animals. At least, the only off the fem to the waggon, freinstance ever known of this, is that quently peeped out upon them, and which I have mentioned before, in probably with no little mortificavol.i. p. 307, in which it is spoken tion.” The lion's itrength, howof as having hunted an elk-anti- ever, is said not to be sufficient lope; though it might possibly be, alone to get the better of fo large that this wild beast was reduced by and strong an animal as the buffalo; extreme hunger to such an extra- but, in order to make it his prey, ordinary expedient. The lion, ne- this fierce creature is obliged to have vertheless, is swift of foot. Two recourse both to agility and stratahunters informed me, that an im- gem; infomuch, that stealing on prudent and fool-hardy companion the buffalo, it fastens with both its of theirs, was closely pursued by a paws upon the nostrils and mouth lion in their fight, and very nearly of the beast

, and keeps squeezing overtaken by it, though he was them close together, till at length mounted on an excellent hunter. the creature is strangled, wearied

- The lion's itrength is confi- out, and dies. A certain colonist, derable. This animal was once seen according to report, had had an opat the Cape to take an heifer in his portunity of seeing an attack of this mouth, and though the legs of this kind; and others had reason to conlatter dragged on the ground, yet clude, that something of this nafeemed to carry her off with the ture had passed, from feeing buffame ease as a cat does a rat. It faloes, which had escaped from the likewise leaped over a broad dike clutches of lions, and bore the marks with her, without the least diffi- of the claws of these animals about culty. A buffalo perhaps would their mouth and nose. They albe ioo cumbersome for this beast ferted, however, that the lion itof prey, notwithstanding his strength, self risqucd its life in such attempts, to seize and carry or with him in especially if any other butfalo was the manner above mentioned. Two at hand to rescue that which was yeomen, upon whose veracity I attacked. It was said, that a tracan place some confidence, gave me veller once had an opportunity of the following account relative to seeing a female buffalo with her this matter:

calf, defended by a river at her back, “ Being a-hunting near Boshies. keep for a long time at bay five man-rivier with several Hottentots, lions which had partly surrounded they perceived a lion dragging a her, but did not (at least as long as buffalo from the plain to a neigh, the traveller looked on) dare to atbouring woody hill. They, how• tack her. I have been informed, ever, foon forced it to quit its prey, from very good authority, that on in order to make a prize of it them- a plain to the east of Kromme-riselves; and found that this wild vier, a lion had been gored and beast had had the fagacity to take trampled to death by a herd of cat. out the buffalo's large and unweildytle ; having, urged probably by entrails, in order to be able the easier hunger, ventured to attack them in to make off with the fleshy and more broad day-light. eatable part of the carcasc. The wild 66 This the reader will, perhaps, beast, however, as soon as he saw, not so much wonder at, when he is from the skirts of the wood, that told, that in the day-time, and upon


an open plain, twelve or fixteen Our horses, the very same as bad dogs will eatily get the better of a several times, in the manner abore large lion. There is no neceffity mentioned, shewn their disquietude for the dogs, with which the lion when the lion happened to be in is to be hunted, to be very large the vicinity of them, and which and trained up to the sport, as were not in the least trained to the M. Buffon thinks they fhould be, chace, once exhibite i a spirit in the the butiness being perfectly well pursuit of two large lions, equal accompiilled with the common to that which they had shewn at farm-house dogs. When these have other times in chaling the tired got pretty near the lion, the latter, gazels. Though, in fact, hunting from a greatness of soul, does not horses seem to partake much more offer to fly, any farther, but fits of their master's pleasure in the himself down. The hounds then chace : I remember, in particular, furround him, and, rushing on him at Agter Brunties Hoogte, I rode all at once, are thus, with their a horse, which, by a tremulous united itrength, able to tear in found issuing from its cheit, cock. pieces, almost in an instant, the ing up its ears, and prancing and strongest of all wild beasts. It is capering, discovered, in an uncou said, that he has seldom time to vocal manner, its ardour for the give more than two or three flight chace, whenever it came in fight Irokes with his paws (each of of the larger kind of game. There which strokes is instant death) to have even been instances of hunt. an equal number of his assailants. ing horses, who, when the huc er M. de Buffon asserts also, that has jumped off their backs in order ta the lion may be hunted on horle- discharge his piece, but has mified back, but that the horses as well as his mark, have, in their eagernela the dogs must be trained to it: this for the chace, not allowed him time is probi:bly a mere conjecture of sufficient to mount again, but ful. that ingenious author, as he does lowed the game alone for hours tonot mention bis informers on this gether, close at its very heels, in point. In Africa the colonifts hunt all its turnings and windings. the lion with common hunting “ The chace of the lion on horses: indeed I do not know how horseback is, in fact, carried on in they could easily be able to get the same manner as that of the elehorses trained up only to the chace phant, which I have already deof the lion.

scribed, in vol, i. p. 315; but as “ It is said, that horses in bat. various particulars, hitherto untle, or in other dangerous euter- known, concerning the lion's difprizes, fuffer themelves more wil- pofition, may be learned from it, a lingly to be caparitoned by their description of it here will perhaps riders than at other times ; a cir- not be fuperfluous; and, in cafe' I cumstance which I think I have should be too minute and circum. likewise remarked in these animals, ftantial, I Thall hope for the inon expeditions, where the danger dulgence of the candid reader; indeed was not so great as in hunt- particularly of such of them as are ing the buffalo and rhinoceros, sportsmen, and are conscious with when they have paflid rivers, and what high glee and satisfaction they gone up and down steep places and are wont to describe, with the utprecipices with tặe greateit alacrity, most minuteness and prolixits, eve


ty turning and winding of a poor and lungs, must be the first to jump timid hare.

off his horse, and, securing the “ It is only on the plains that bridle by putting it round his arm, the hunters venture to go out on discharge his piece; then in an inhorseback after the lion. If it ftant recovering his feat, must ride keeps in some coppice, or wood, obliquely athwart his companions ; on a rifing ground, they endeavour and, in fine, giving his horse the to reize it with dogs till it comes reins, muit trust entirely to the out; they likewise prefer going to- speed and fear of this latter, to congether two or more in number, in vey him out of the reach of the order to be able to atlist and rescue fury of the wild beast, in case he each other, in case the first shot has only wounded him, or has abshould not take place.

folutely missed him. In either of 66 When the lion fees the hun. these cases, a fair opportunity preters at a great distance, it is uni- sents itself for some of the other versally allowed that he takes to hunters to jump off their horses dihis heels as fast as ever he can, in, rectly, as they may then take their order to get out of their fight; aim and discharge their pieces with but if they chance to discover him greater coolness and certainty. at a small distance from them, he is Should this shot likewise miss, then faid to walk off in a furly (which, however, feldom happens) manner, but without putting him the third sportsman rides after the self in the least hurry, as though lion, which at that instant is in purhe was above thewing any fear, suit of the first or the second, and, when he finds himself discovered springing off his horse, fires his or hunted. He is therefore report. piece, as foon as he has got within a ed likewise, when he finds himself proper distance, and finds a fufficipursued with vigour, to be foon ently convenient part of the animal provoked to resistance, or at least present itself, especially obliquely he disdains any longer to fly, Con- from behind. If now the lion turns sequently he llackens his pace, and upon him too, the other hunters at length only lidles slowly off, ftep turn again, in order to come to his by step, all the while eying his rescue with the charge, which they pursuers alkaunt; and finally makes loaded with on horseback, while they a full stop, and turning round upon were flying from the wild beast. them, and at the same time giving “ No instance has ever been himself a shake, roars with a short known of any misfortune happenand sharp tone, in order to thew ing to the hunters in chasing the his indignation, being ready to lion on horseback. The African leize on them and tear them in colonists, who are born in, or have pieces. This is now precisely the had the courage to remove into the time for the hunters to be upon the more remote parts of Africa, which spot, or else to get as soon as pof- are exposed to the ravages of wild fible within a certain distance of beasts, are mostly good marksmen, him, yet so as at the same time to and are far from wanting courage. keep at a proper distance from each The lion, that has the boldness to other; and he that is nearest, or is seize on their cattle, which are the most advantageoutly posted, and has most valuable part of their properthe best mark of that part of the ty, sometimes at their very doors, lion's body which contains his heart is as odious to them as he is dangerous and noxious. They conse. lion, on the contrary, on being shot quently seek out these animals, and in this manner, will be thrown into hunt them with the greatest ardour a vomiting, and be disabled from and glee, with a view to extermi- running. But be that as it may, nate them. When the lion, there, it is natural to suppose, that a wellfore, comes upon their grounds, it directed shot that enters the heart or is much the same as if they were lungs, should suffice to kill the lion going to fight pro aris et focis; and as well as the elephant and every I have heard feveral yeomen at other creature : therefore, as M. de Agter Bruntjes Hoogte, when I was Buffon acknowledges that the lion's out a-hunting with them, merely hide cannot withitand either ball or express a will to meet with the dart, it is inconceivable how it lions, in case there were any in that should come into this author's head neighbourhood, without mention to assert, without having the leaft ing a word about shooting them; a authority for it, that this furious sign that, with regard to that part beast is hardly ever to be killed of the business, they were pre:ty with a single thot. sure of their hands.


“ The hides of lions are looked “ The lion is by no means bard upon as being inferior to and more to kill. Those who have had occa- rotten than those of cows, and are fion to shoot several of these ani. seldom made use of at the Cape, mals, have affured me, that while excepting for the same purpose as buffaloes and the larger species of horses hides. I met with a farantelopes will now and then make mer, however, who used a lion's their escape, and run fairly off with hide for the upper leathers to his a ball in their bowels, or in the ca. shoes, and spoke highly of them, vity of their abdomen, of which I as being pliable and lasting.” myself have seen instances; the


[From the same Work.]


have faid above, at p. 149 district of Anamaquas ; in confe. of this volume, the tallest of all qua quence of which the public has drupeds when measured in front; been gratified with a very good and though it is found only in those drawing and description of it by parts of the Cape colonies that lie far- M, Allamand, in his edition of theft towards the north-wett, merits, M. de Buffon's History of Animals, however, an accurate description, Suppl. de la Giraffe, p. 46. Of especially in this place, along with this description I shall here present the other animals of Africa. The my reader with an abstract. latest and best accounts concerning " The height of this animal, the real form and other properties when it holds its neck strait and of this bealt have been given to the erect, is, from the crown of the public by the present commandant head to the ground, fifteen feet two at the Cape, major Gordon, who inches; the length of it, from the

· chest

[ocr errors]

chest to the anus, five feet leven of the scull itself. On the horns
inches; froin the top of the thould. of this beast, when aged, there have
ers to the ground, about ten feet; been observed finallirregular eleva-
but from the loins only eight feet ţions, which M. Allanand supposes
two inches; a difference which pro- to be the flioots of future branches.
ceeds partly from the length of the " The colour of this beast is a
Thoulder-blades, which are two feet white ground, with large reddish
long, and partly from a tharp pro- spots, itanding pretty clole to cach
cess of the firit vertebra of the back, other; which Ipots, in the more
which projects above a foot beyond aged animals, incline to a darka
the rest. From the breast to the brown or black, but in the others
ground it measures five fece and a border upon the yellow. The tail
half; che neck, which is decorated is small and blender, and is termia
with a mane like that of the zebra, nated by a large tuft of very coarse
is fix feet long, and confequently and moitly black setaccous hairs;
twice the length of the cainel's; the fore parts of the loofs are much
the head is above two feet in length, higher than the back parts. This
and somewhat resembles the head creature has no fetlocks, as all other
of a sheep; the upper lip is rather hoofed animals haves
larger and thicker than the under, " This animal when it goes

but both of them are covered with does not limp, as forne have imaa
Itiff hairs; the eyes of this crea- gined, but sometimes paces, and
ture, are large and beautiful; its sometimes gallops. Every tiine it
fore-teeth small, and eight in num« lifts up its fore feet it throws its
ber, and are only to be found in neck back, which on other occa-
the lower jaw, though the animal fions it holds erect: notwithstand-
has fix grinders on both sides of ing this, it is by no means flow
each jaw. Directly before the horns when pursued, as M. de Buffon
there is a knob, which proceeds fupposes it to be, but, on the con.
from an elevation of part of the trary, it requires a flect horse to
cranium, and projects two inches hunt ito
above the surface; and behind them, " In eating the grass from off
or in the crag of the neck, there are the ground, it sometimes bends one
two smaller ones, which are form of its knees, as horses do ; and in
ed by the subjacent glands. The plucking leaves and finall branches
horns are seven inches long, i.e. a from high trees, it brings its fore
little thorter than the ears; they feet about a foot and a half nearer
rather incline backwards, and are than common to the hind feet А
a little broader and rounded off at camelopardalis which major Gore
the ends, where they are encircled don wounded in the leg, so that it
with long hairs, which reach ber could not raise itself from the
yond the horny part, forming a ground, neverthcless did not them
tuft. In fine, the horns are cover- the least figns of anger or resent.
ed, like thofe of other animals, ment; but when its throat was cut,
with a cutaneous and hairy sub- spurned against the ground with a
stance; but the interior substance force far beyond that of any other
of them is said to relemble the heart animal. The vifcera refeinbled those
or bony part of the horns of ga- of gazels, but this animal had no
zels and oxen, and to be processes porus ceriferus. The fieth of the


« PreviousContinue »