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ness of conception which the most refined philosophers of the north might envy; for example, it is they, and only they, who have had the boldness to convert a bird into a steed. It is quite a mistake to suppose, that the negroes have no brains in their woolly pates; were any libeller of these descendants of Ham to behold a couple of them astride upon an ostrich, while the animal was moving across the desert at the speed superior to that of the best patent steam-engine, he would probably learn to respect their genius. We can now only lament, that if the President of the Zoological Society were to take it, some fine morning, into his head to enjoy a canter round the gardens upon one of the ostriches of the society, for the amusement of the cockneys, he would only be imitating the woolly-headed professors of the interior of Africa. The chase of such a creature must be greatly calculated to improve one's wind. Just listen to Sir Cornwallis Harris while he describes a troop of them, putting their best foot foremost upon the desert.
They have already been peering over their shoulders at you considerable time past, and having apprehended your design, now raise their white-plumed wings above their backs, and working them like paddles, with a motion corresponding with that of the legs, are getting gently under weigh. No sooner do they perceive by your increased pace that you are really in earnest, than, letting on their steam, they begin to travel at a rate that beggars all description, moving their pillar-like legs with a rapidity that might make you believe they were skimming above the ground, did not their great heavy toes make the dust and pebbles fly behind them, and create as much clatter as a horse in trotting. With their long, straight, slender necks, reared high above the withered shrubs, like knobbed stakes in a hedge-row, and their delicate white plumes floating in the rude breeze of the desert-those snowy plumes which are destined perhaps some day to wave in regal palaces above the marble brow of beauty, with long, hasty strides, oars and paddles going, here come the running ostriches;' and in ten more seconds will cross the path from which, in another direction, you are urging your panting courser to meet them. A noble cock is leading, in stature some yard or so loftier than yourself, and clad in a suit of deep mourning, his sable shroud surmounted by three bunches of nodding plumes argent. Now you are nearly across his bows. Halt! as he luffs up in the wind to pass you-abandon your blowing steed, who, by the bye, is not very likely to run away from hold your you, breath tight as the gigantic bird thunders past, let drive at his swarthy ribs."
Every body has heard of the stupidity of the ostrich; but Sir Cornwallis Harris is disposed on this point to call in question the testimony of naturalists. He makes it a point of conscience to rescue from ridicule the victims of his rifle; neither will he admit the charge of want of affection so liberally preferred against the
giant bird. Beyond the tropics, at least, they perform like kind parents the task of incubation, both cocks and hens taking the duty in turns. No doubt their nests are not of the most elaborate construction, consisting only of a large hollow, like a bowl, scooped out in the sand, but furnished with an elevated rim to prevent the numerous eggs from rolling away. To capture these spoils was one of the chief amusements of our traveller's Hotentots. They never apparently inquired whether the shell contained young birds or not, but gobbled up its contents with indiscriminating relish. His account of the style in which the black-faces robbed the nests is singularly grotesque.
"We always," he says, "considered fresh eggs a prize worth ing away. The old birds are said to kick them to pieces, should even the print of a human foot be discovered; but our followers were so unable to endure the idea of leaving a single one behind, that they never failed to render this trouble superfluous. The number being often far greater than could be conveniently dealt with, the expedient by which the removal was effected proved highly diverting. Taking off their leathern inexpressibles, which, by the way, were more frequently carried on the muzzles of their guns than on their nether extremities, the Hotentots tied the lower ends, so as to form a double sack, and cramming them full, and placing them either across the saddle or their own backs. Few exhibitions can be conceived more grotesque and diverting than the appearance of the bandy-legged gentlemen en chemise, their baboonish physiognomies protruding betwixt the straddling legs of such a load, and each diligently smoking a clay-pipe as he advanced."
Let us now return to the quadrupeds, and join our Indian Nimrod in the chase of the gnoo. Field sports in these northern latitudes are, it must be owned, very tame amusements compared with those which may be enjoyed along the northern frontier of our Cape colony. There, all the courage and mental resources of the hunter are constantly called forth. In order properly to follow the game, he must adopt for a time all the habits of nomadic life: must live for months together in his waggon, and consort the whole time with savages. But then, what wild pleasures does he enjoy! By what vast varieties and multitudes of game is he surrounded! At one season of the year the springboks issue from the desert-where, Heaven knows on what they feedin countless myriads, and spread themselves over the cultivated country like prodigious locust swarms, stripping the whole earth of every vestige of vegetation. Various other animals are sometimes, also, beheld in almost equal numbers: what a picture of the superabundance of animal life does the following passage present to us!
"It would be difficult for those who have never visited the interior of Southern Africa, to form even a remote conception of the countless herds of this ungainly quadruped, which are occasionally to be met with on the bosom of her broad plains. Lack of water, the curse, and the prevailing feature of these savage regions, frequently compels the fera naturæ to assemble in countless companies, around the last dregs of expiring moisture, without reference either to caste or hereditary animosities; and on such occasions the picture they present to the eye of the sportsman is one of no common enchantment. Delighting in shade, the brindled gnoo especially resorts to level tracts, thinly sprinkled with the picturesque and feathery mimosa, reclining beneath spreading clumps, of which, or scattered over the boundless landscape, like cattle grazing upon a thousand hills,' they impart to the sylvan scene a truly pastoral effect. At a single coup d'œil may be seen mixed multitudes of those inseparable friends, the kokoon and Burchell's zebra. The Damon and Pythias of the brute creation, interspersed with gaily-painted groups of the hartebeest and sassaybe, both seeming to have just escaped from the hands of the sign dauber. Some are quietly cropping the short grass, and others are huddled together beneath the shadow, cast by some tall, umbrella-shaped mokaala, the tree that forms the favourite food of the stately giraffe. From the spreading boughs of this magnificent species of acacia, the only approach to a tree which may be seen in these regions, dangle clusters of evergreen mistleto, sparkling with scarlet berries. And under the deep shadow cast on the sunny landscape by yonder clump, the twisted branches of which literally groan under the huge, haystack-looking nests of the republican bird, stand the sombre and massive figures of two elands, indolently defending their sleek, pursy sides from the buzzing persecutions of a host of yellow-bodied cattle flies, or leisurely chewing the cud in the midst of a knot of recumbent gnoos, whose high humps peer above their elliptical horns. Mixed squads of kokoons and zebras are practising their wild gambols over the level plain, kicking, frolicking, butting, and pursuing each other with untiring perseverence. Here a pair of exasperated combatants are engaged in a deadly joust, in the presence of a group of dames, who, as of old, will bestow their favours on the most valiant. Battering their hard fronts against each other, tossing their curled manes aloft, and lashing their swarthy sides with their streaming tails, their fierce little round eyes glisten the while, like sparks of fire, beneath their shaggy forelocks. Umpire-like, on one side of the scene of this gentle passage of arms, behold a few solitary bulls at gaze, posted, apparently, as sentinels, and standing full to the front, their dark eyes glancing wildly from the duellists to the enemy, and a deep hollow moan occasionally escaping from their innermost recesses. The human foe still approaches, and is observed to be armed with weapons of offence: up go their taper heels with a sideling flourish, the signal for the cessation of intestine hostilities, and for an indiscriminate retreat. With their high Roman noses, almost raking the earth, sauve qui peut, away they scour in headlong haste, turning up the sand by bushelfuls. Now the sleek variegated coats of a
Countless Multitudes of Game.
well-drilled troop of Burchell's zebras glisten in the rays of the sun as they charge furiously past in close squadron; at one moment, obscured under the gloom of an avenue of spreading mokaala trees-at the next emerging in unbroken files, followed by a smoke-like pillar of dust, which traces their serpentine course long after they have disappeared over the brow of yon gentle eminence. Crack goes the rifle, and the leading gnoo of the next sable section, arrested in full career, cuts three or four perfect somersets, measures his shaggy length upon the ground, and is trampled under foot of his thronging companions. Troop upon troop pour in from every quarter, and continue to join each other, until the whole plain seems alive, and thousands still bearing down from every point of the compass, a vast extent of country, which presently becomes chequered white and black with their congregated masses, at length presents the appearance of a moving mass, of a tremendous charge of cavalry, or the rushing of a mighty tempest. Their incredible numbers so impede their onward progress that the horseman experiences no difficulty in closing with the motley band. As the panic caused by the repeated reports of his rifle increases, the rear ranks pressing tumultuously upon the heels of the leaders of the retreating phalanx, cause indescribable confusion, dense clouds of dust hover over them, and the long necks of troops of ostriches are to be seen towering above the heads of their less gigantic neighbours, and sailing past with astonishing rapidity. Groups of purple sassaybes and brilliant red and yellow hartebeests, charging down from every direction, likewise lend their aid whilst a host of hungry vultures, which, wheeling in airy circlets, like small specks in the firmament, have been gradually descending, and now stoop with the velocity of lightning, as each succeeding flash of the deadly tube gives token of prey-serve to complete a picture which must be seen to be understood, and which beggars all attempt at description.
'Rolling and blackening, swarms succeeding swarms,
Notwithstanding what has been said, we feel that we have not done justice to this superb work, which, in all respects, is one of the most beautiful that have ever issued from the press. The illustrations are worthy of the letter-press, which the reader, we feel assured, will agree with us, is the highest praise we could bestow on them. Taken together they may be said to transport Southern Africa, with its landscapes, its animals, and its skies, into our drawing-rooms and libraries; and if the author's former volume entitled 'Wild Sports' be got up on a smaller scale, it yet deserves to keep company with its more colossal companion.
ART. X.-1. The Chinese Repository. Vols. VII.—-XII. Canton. 1839-1843.
2. Lecture on the War with China, delivered before the Massachusetts Historical Society, December, 1841. By the Hon. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS of Massachusetts, United States of America.
3. An Aide-de-Camp's Recollections of Service in China. By Captain ARTHUR CUNYNGHAME. 2 vols. London: Saunders and OTLEY. 1844.
4. Narrative of the Voyages and Services of the Nemesis; from the Notes of Commodore W. H. HALL, R.N., with personal Observations by W. D. BERNARD Esq., A.M. Oxon. Second Edition. London: Colburn. 1844.
5. Fifth Annual Report of the Morrison Education Society, for the Year ending September 28, 1843. Macao: S. Wells Williams.
6. Notices of China, &c. By the Rev. W. C. MILNE. (Manuscript.)
It is important to consider at the present moment the state of our relations, commercial, political, and religious, with the Celestial Empire. The subject may be said to be almost new; for though China, within a few years, has attracted a great, though not a disproportionate share of public attention, more has been said of the brilliant achievements of the late war-so calculated to strike the imagination; more of the history-so uncertain,—of the antiquities-so little understood,-of the manners-so quaint and apparently barbarous-of the people;-far more has been said of all these, than of the hopes that may be legitimately entertained, of profitable intercourse with our new allies. Absolute silence, it is true, has not been maintained on this branch of the question. But the speculations indulged in have generally been so vague and indeterminate as to fly the grasp of criticism, and dissolve if subjected to the operation of analysis. When reduced to any tangible form, they invariably present themselves in some such shape as this, that wonderful things are to be expected. On what ground, few give themselves the trouble to inquire.
Political writers in England are, indeed, compelled to base their conclusions respecting China upon a scanty foundation. There are a great many notions floating up and down in society that are useful to awaken curiosity and promote inquiry, but will not bear the weight of the least systematical superstructure. A steady gaze disperses these shadowy materials, and reveals the extent of our poverty. It is not the object of the present article to explain,