Page images

9. The lion seldom attacks any animal openly, except:

6. The form of the lion is strikingly bold and majestic: His large and shaggy mane, which he can erect at pleasure, furrounding his awful front; his huge eyebrows ; his round and fiery eyeballs, 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..

7. The length of the largest lion is between eight and nine feet; the tail about four and its height about four. feet and a half,: The female is about one fourth part less, and without a mane....

8. As the lion advances in years its mane grows long. er and thicker. The hair on the rest of the body is short. and smooth, of a tawny color, but whitish on the belly.. Its roaring is loud and dreadful. When heard in the night it resembles distant thunder. Its cry of anger is much louder and shorter..

when impelled by extreme hunger ; in that cafe no danger deters hin. But, as most animals endeavour to avoid hin, he is obliged to have recourse to artifice, and take his prey by surprise.

IO. 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 er twenty feet, and generally feizes it at the first: bound.

11. If he miss his object, he gives up the pursuit ; and turning back towards the place of his ambulh, he measures the ground step by step, and again lies in wait for another, opportunity. The lurking places are generally chosen by him near a spring, or by the side of a river, where he has frequently an opportunity of catching such animals as come: to querch their thirt.

The lion is a long-lived animal, although paturalists differ greatly as to the precise period of its existence.. Of some that have been trained in the tower of London, one lived to the age of fixty-three years, and another exceeded seventy

13 The afpect of the lion corresponds with the noble and generous qualities of his mind ; his figure is respecta

I 2.

ble ; ;

ble ; his looks are determined ; his gait is stately, and his voice tremendous. In a word, the body of the lion appears to be the best model of strength joined to agility.

1.4. As a proof that he is capable of exercising å generous and friendly difpofition towards mankind, we have the following anecdote of one which was kept in the tow. er of London.

15. When this lion was confined in the den alone, an accident happened to the lower part of it, which fo impaired the wood-work, that he could not be kept with safety ; the carpenter was therefore called to repair it, who wisely stood at a distance, and would not approach the den for fear of the lion.

16. Upon this, one of the keepers stepped into the den, and engaged to keep the lion at the upper part of his house, while the carpenter was at work bencath. It happened, however, that the keeper, after playing some time with the lian, fell fast asleep.

17. The carpenter continued his work, without knowing the danger to which he was exposed ; and when he had finished his work, called to the keeper to come down and fasten the door, but received no answer.

18. He then ran out of the den, and was greatly surprised to see, through the grate, both the keeper and the lion stretched upon the floor, and sleeping together. He called to him again, but the keeper was too found alleep


answer. 19. The lion, however, reared up his frightful head and after looking some time at the carpenter, threw his huge paw over the keeper's breast, and laying his cose upon

his head, again composed himself to rest.

The carpenter, already terrified with his own situation, was still more alarmed when he saw the keeper thus encircled with the paws of the lion, and ran into the house for aid.

21. Some of the people came out, and having bolted the den door, which the carpenter had neglected in his precipitate retreat, they roured the keeper from his sleep, who, shaking the lion by the paw, took his leave ; but the lion was too well bred to suffer his friend to go without, some little ceremony or marks of esteem.

to return



He first rubbed his great nose against the keeper's knees, then held him by the coat, as if he would have said, Do stay a little longer ;” and when he found that no entreaties could prevail, he courteously waited on him to the: door.



It is too bruch to be lamented, that different nations frequently make bloody wars with each other ; and when they take any of their enemies prisoners, instead. of using them well, and restoring them to liberty, they confine them in prisons, or sell them as faves. The enmity that there has often been between many of the Italian states, particularly the Venetians, and the Turks, is sufficiently known.

It. once happened that a Venetian ship had takea. many of the Turks prifoners, and, according to the barbarous custom I have mentioned, these unhappy men had been sold to different persons in the city. By accident, one of the slaves lived opposite to the house of a rich Venetian, who had an only foil, of about the age of twelve years.

3. It happened that this little boy used frequently to stop as he paffed near Hamet, for that was the name of the flave, and gaze at him very attentively. Hamet,. who remarked in the face of the child the appearance of good-nature and compassion, used always to fakte him with the greatest courtesy, and testified the greatest pleasure in his company.

4. At length the little boy took such a fancy to the Save, that he used to visit him feveral times in the day, and brought him such little prefents as he had it in his power to make, and which he thought would be of use to his friend.

5. But though Hamet feemed always to take the greatest delight in the innocent carefies of his little friend, yet the child could not help remarking that Hamet was frequently extremely sorrowful ; and he often flurprised him on a sudden, when tears were trickling down his face, although he did his utmost to conccal thera,

6. The

6. The little boy was at length so much affected with the repetition of this fight, that he spoke of it to his father, and begged him, if he had it in his power, to make poor Hamet happy. The father, 'who was extremely fond of

his son, and besides, had observed that he seldom requesti ed any thing which was not generous and humane, determined to see the Turk himself, and talk to him.

7. Accordingly he went to him the next day, and observing him for fome time in silence, was struck with the extraordinary appearance of mildness and honesty which his countenance discovered. At length he said to him, Are you that Hamet of whom my son

is fo fond, and of whose gentleness and courtesy I have so often heard him talk ?

8. Yes, said the Turk, I am that unfortunate Hamet, who have now been for three years a captive : during that space of time, your fon, if you are his father, is the only human being that seems to have felt any compassion for my fufferings; therefore, I must confess, he is the only object to which I am attached in this barbarous country ; and night and morning I pray that Power, who is equally the God of Turks and Christians, to grant


every blessing he deserves, and to preserve him from all the miseries I suffer.

9. Indeed, Hamet, said the merchant, he is much obliged to you, although from his present circumstances, he does not appear much exposed to danger. for I wish to do you good, in what can I affilt you

? for my son informs me that you are the prey of continual regret and sorrow.

10. Is it wonderful, answered the Turk, with a glow of generous indignation that suddenly animated his countenance, is it wonderful that I should pine in silence, and mourn my fate, who am bereft of the first and noblest prelcnt of nature, my liberty? And yet, answered the Venetian, how many thoufands of our nation do you retain in ferters ?

I am not answerable, said the Turk, for the cruelty of my countrymen, more than you are for the barbarity of yours. But as to myself, I have never practised the inhunan custom of enflaying my fellow.creatures ; I have never

But tell me,


spoiled Venetian merchants of their property to increase my riches ; I have always respected the rights of nature, and therefore it is the more fevere

12. Here a tear started from his eye, and wetted his manly cheek : instantly, however, he recollected himself, and folding his arms upon his bosom, and gently bowing his head, he added, God is good, and man must submit to his decrees. The Venetian was affected with this

appearance of manly fortitude, and said, Hamet, I pity your fufferings, and may perhaps be able to relieve them. What would you do to regain your liberty ?

13. What would I do? answered Hamet ; I would confront every pain and danger that can appal the heart of man. Nay, anfwered the merchant, you will not be expofed to such a trial. The means of your deliverance are cer. tain, provided your courage does not belie your appearance.

*14. Name them! name them ! cried the impatient Hamet; place death before me in every horrid shape, and if I shrink - Patience, answered the merchant, we shall be observed. But hear me attentively. I have in this city an inveterate foe, who has heaped upon me every injury which can most bitterly sting the heart of man.

15. This man is brave as he is haughty ; and I must confefs that the dread of his strength and valor has hitherto deterred me from resenting his insults as they deserve. Now, Hamet, your look, your form, your words, convince me that you are born for manly daring.

16. Take this dagger ; and as foon as the hades of night involve the city, I will myself conduct you to the place, where you may at once revenge your friend, and regain your freedom.

17. At this proposal, scorn and shame flashed from the kindling eye of Hamet, and paffion for a considerable time deprived him of the power of utterance ; at length he lifted his arms as high as his chains would permit, and cried with an indignant tone, Mighty Prophet! and are these the wretches to which you permit your faithful votaries to be enfiaved ?

18. Go, base Christian, and know that Haniet would not stoop to the vile trade of an assassin, for all the wealth of Venia no, not to purchase the freedom of all his race !


« PreviousContinue »