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Not so Tiney; upon him the kindest treatment had not the least effect. He too was sick, and in his sickness had an equal share of attention; but if, after his recovery, I took the liberty to stroke him, he would grunt, strike with his fore feet, spring forward, and bite. He was however very entertaining in his way; even his surliness was matter of mirth, and in his play he preserved such an air of gravity, and performed his feats with such a solemnity of manner, that in him too I had an agreeable companion.
Bess, who died soon after he was full grown and whose death was occasioned by his being turned into his box, which had been washed, while it was yet damp, was a hare of great humour and drollery. Puss was tamed by gentle usage; Tiney was not to be tamed at all; and Bess had a courage and confidence that made him tame from the beginning. I always admitted them into the parlour after supper, when, the carpet affording their feet a firm hold, they.would frisk, and bound, and play sa thousand gambols, in which Besse. ( being remarkably strong and fearless, was always superior to the rest, and proved himself the Vestris of the party. One evening the cat being in the room, had the bardiness
to pat Bess upon the cheek, an indignity which he resented by drumming upon her back with such violence, that the cat was happy to escape from under his
from under his paws, and hide herself.
I describe these animals as having each a character of his own. Such they were in fact, and their countenances were so expressive of that character, that, when I looked only on the face of either, I immediately knew which
It is said that a shepherd, however numerous his flock, soon becomes so familiar with their features,as know them all; and a common observer, the difference is hardly perceptible. I doubt not that the same disa crimination in the case of countenances would be discoverable in hares, and am persuaded that among a thousand of them no two could be found exactly similar; a circumstance little suspected by those who have not had
opportunity to observe it. These creatures have a singular sagacity in discovering the minutest alteration that is made in the place to which they are accustomed, and instantly apply their nose to the examination of a new object. A small hole being burnt in the carpet, it was mended with a patch, and that patch in a moment underwent the strictest scrutiny. They seem, too, to be very much
d rected by the smell in the choice of their favourites : to some persoms, though they saw them daily, they could never be reconciled, and would even scream when they attempted to touch them; but a millar coming in engaged their affections at once; his powdered coat had charms that were irresistible. It is no wonder that my intimate acquaintance with these specimens of the kind, has tauglit me to hold the sportsman's amusement in abhorrence: he little knows what amiable creatures he persecutes, of what gratitude they are capable, how cheerful they are in their spirits, what enjoyment they have of life, and that, impressed as they seem with a peculiar dread of man, it is only because man gives them peculiar cause for it.
Bess, I have said, died young; Tiney lived to be nine years old, and died at last, I have reason to think, of some hurt in his loins by a fall: Puss is still living, and has just completed his tenth year, discovering no signs of decay, nor even of age, except that he is grown more discreet, and less frolicsome than
I cannot conclude without observing, that I have lately introduced a dog to his acquaintance: a spaniel that had never seen a hare, to a hare that had never seen a spaniel. I did it with great caution, but there
was no real need of it. Puss discovered no token of fear, nor Marquis the least symptom of hostility. There is, therefore, it should seem, no natural antipathy between dog and hare, but the pursuit of the one occasions the flight of the other, and the dog pursues because he is trained to it; they eat bread at the same time out of the same hand, and are in all respects sociable and friendly.
May 28, 1784. That birds also, are not wholly guided by instinct, (as Lord Kames says,) but by reason, reflection, and experience, will appear from the following account of the migration of the swallow.
The mystery which attends the retreat of the swallows from our northern climes during winter, is one which promises little hope of ever being solved. To whatever clime or part of the world they proceed, their flight is at an elevation far beyond the reach of human optics. With the first ray of the morning they depart so directly upwards, as to elude all research; and with the first dawn of day they return, but whence no man can tell; they drop as from the clouds, and take up their abode in their former haunts, as if they had just left them an hour before.
The preparation for their annual flight is marked by some interesting circumstances. After the swallows have got their second brood, which is generally about the middle of September, they devote the whole of the remaining time to training the young for their ultimate Alight. The regularity and order with which this is done, is extraordinary, After the business of the food gathering is over, they assemble in multitudes from all quarters in one general convention, on the roof of some building, or on some large tree. While the assembly are seated together, one who seems commander-in-chief keeps aloft on the wing, flying round and round; at last darting upwards with great swiftness with a loud, sharp, and repeated call, he seems as if he
gave the word of command; instantly the whole flock are on the wing, rising upwards in the most beautiful spiral track, till they attain regions beyond the reach of human view. They remain in the upper regions of the stmosphere from a quarter to half-an-hour, when they all return by scores and dozens, to the place from which they took their flight. This manæuvre they will repeat twiceor three times in the evening, when the weather is fair ; and after ten or twelve days practicing, they take their final departure for the season.