manner. It hides itself tolerably near the fold, and then begins to growl in a low voice. The dogs think that they hear a Leopard at a distance, and dash towards the sound with furious barks and yells. In so doing, they are sure to pass by the hiding-place of the Leopard, which springs upon them unawares, knocks one of then over, and bounds away to its den in the woods. It does not content itself with taking sheep or goats from the fold, but is also a terrible despoiler of the henroosts, destroying great numbers in a single night when once it contrives to find its way into the house.

As an instance of the cunning which seems innate in the Leopard, I may mention that whenever it takes up its abode near a village, it does not meddle with the flocks and herds of its neighbours, but prefers to go to some other village at a distance for food, thus remaining unsuspected almost at the very doors of the houses.

In general, it does not willingly attack mankind, and at all events seems rather to fear the presence of a full-grown man, But, when wounded or irritated, all sense of fear is lost in an overpowering rush of fury, and it then becomes as terrible a foe as the lion himself. It is not so large nor so strong, but it is more agile and quicker in its movements; and when it is seized with one of these paroxysms of anger, the eye can scarcely follow it as it darts here and there, striking with lightning rapidity, and dashing at any foe within reach. Its whole shape seems to be transformed, and absolutely to swell with anger; its eyes flash with fiery lustre, its ears are thrown back on the head, and it continually utters alternate snarls and yells of rage. It is hardly possible to recognise the graceful, lithe glossy creature, whose walk is so noiseless, and whose every movement is so easy, in the furious passion-swollen animal that flies at every foe with blind fury, and pours out sounds so fierce and menacing that few men, however well armed, will care to face it.

As is the case with most of the cat tribe, the Leopard is an excellent climber, and can ascend trees and traverse their boughs without the least difficulty. It is so fond of trees, that it is seldom to be seen except in a well-wooded district. Its favourite residence is a forest where there is plenty of underwood, at least six or seven feet in height, among which trees are sparingly interspersed. When crouched in this cover it is prac


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tically invisible, even though its body may be within arm's length of a passenger. The spotted body harmonizes so perfectly with the broken lights and deep shadows of the foliage that even a practised hunter will not enter a covert in search of a Leopard unless he is accompanied by dogs. The instinct which teaches the Leopard to choose such localities is truly wonderful, and may be compared with that of the tiger, which cares little for underwood, but haunts the grass jungles, where the long, narrow blades harmonize with the stripes which decorate its body.

The skin of the Leopard has always been highly valued on account of its beauty, and in Africa, at the present day, a robe made of its spotted skin is as much an adjunct of royalty as is the ermine the emblem of judicial dignity in England. In more ancient times, a leopard skin was the official costume of a priest, the skin being sometimes shaped into a garment, and sometimes thrown over the shoulders and the paws crossed over the breast.

Such is a general history of the Leopard. We will now proceed to the various passages in which it is mentioned, beginning with its outward aspect.

In the first place, the Hebrew word Namer signifies "spotted," and is given to the animal in allusion to its colours. The reader will now see how forcible is the lament of Jeremiah, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the Leopard his spots ?” Literally, “ Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the spotted one his


spots ?

The agility and swiftness of the Leopard are alluded to in the prediction by the prophet Habakkuk of the vengeance that would come upon Israel through the Chaldeans. In chap. i. 5, we read : “I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling-places that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful; their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses aļso are swifter than the Leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves."

The craftiness of the Leopard, and the manner in which it lies in wait for its prey, are alluded to in more than one passage of Holy Writ. Hosea the prophet alludes to the Leopard, in a

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few simple words which display an intimate acquaintance with the habits of this formidable animal, and in this part of his prophecies he displays that peculiar local tone which distinguishes his writings. Speaking of the Israelites under the metaphor of a flock, or a herd, he proceeds to say: "According to their pasture so were they filled ; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion, as a Leopard by the way will I observe them.” The reader will note the peculiar force of this sentence, whereby God signifies that He will destroy them openly, as a lion rushes on its prey, and that he will chastise them unexpectedly, as if it were a Leopard crouching by the wayside, and watching for the flock to pass, that it may spring on its prey unexpectedly. The same habit of the Leopard is also alluded to by Jeremiah, who employs precisely the same imagery as is used by Habakkuk. See Jer. v. 5, 6, “ These have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds. Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities.” It is evident from the employment of this image by two prophets, the one being nearly a hundred years before the other, that the crafty, insidious habits of the Leopard were well known in Palestine, and that the metaphor would tell with full force among those to whom it was addressed.

The havoc which the Leopard makes among the sheep and goats is alluded to by the prophet Isaiah, chap. xi. 6: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion together, and a little child shall lead them.” Here again we find the same image employed, the people being signified under the metaphor of flocks and herds, and their enemies symbolised by lions, wolves, and Leopards. And herein the Prophet speaks as from accurate knowledge of the habits of the three predaceous animals. The wolf, as a rule, devastates the sheepfolds; the Leopard will steal upon and carry off the straggling goat or kid, because it can follow them upon the precipices where no wolf would dare to tread; while the lion, being the strongest and more daring of the three, attacks the herds, and carries away to its lair the oxen which neither Leopard nor wolf could move. There is of course a deeper meaning than has been mentioned : but any commentary on that subject would be out of place in a work like the present, and, however tempting the subject may be to the writer, it is better that the reader should be left to investigate it for himself.

Lastly, the peculiar localities which the Leopard loves are mentioned in the Song of Solomon, chap. iv. 8: "Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon : look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” Formerly, large forests of pine, oak, and cedar covered Lebanon, and in those days the wild beasts of the forest would be extremely plentiful. Even at the present day they are not extinct, and a recent traveller, the Rev. J. L. Porter, states that considerable numbers of wild beasts still inhabit the retired glens of the range of Lebanon, and that he himself has seen jackals, hyænas, wolves, bears, and Leopards.

The remaining passages, in which a beast formed like a Leopard was seen in a vision by the prophet Daniel and St. John the Evangelist, are purely allegorical, and have nothing to do with the actual animal.


The Cat never mentioned by name in the canonical Scriptures, and only once in

the Apocrypha—The Cat domesticated among the Egyptians, and trained in bird-catching, Neglected capabilities of the Cat-Anecdote of an English Cat that caught fish for her master-Presumed reason why the Scriptures are silent about the Cat—The Cat mentioned by Baruch.

It is a very remarkable circumstance that the word Cat is not once mentioned in the whole of the canonical Scriptures, and only once in the Apocrypha.

The Egyptians, as is well known, kept Cats domesticated in their houses, a fact which is mentioned by Herodotus, in his second book, and the 66th and 67th chapters. After describing the various animals which were kept and fed by this nation, he


proceeds to narrate the habits of the Cat, and writes as follows: “When a fire takes place, a supernatural impulse seizes the cats. For the Egyptians, standing at a distance, take care of the cats and neglect to quench the fire; but the cats make their escape, and leaping over the men, cast themselves into the fire, and when this occurs, great lamentations are made among the Egyptians. In whatever house a cat dies of a natural death, all the family shave their eyebrows. All cats that die are carried to certain sacred houses, where, after being embalmed, they are buried in the city of Bubastis.”

Now, as many of those cat-mummies have been discovered in good preservation, the species has been identified with the Egytian Cat of the present day, which is scientifically termed Felis maniculatus. Not only did the Egyptians keep Cats at their houses, but, as is shown by certain sculptures, took the animals with them when they went bird-catching, and employed them in securing their prey. Some persons have doubted this statement, saying, that in the first place, the Cat is not possessed of sufficient intelligence for the purpose; and that in the second place, as the hunter is represented as catching wild fowl, the Cat would not be able to assist him, because it would not enter the water. Neither objection is valid, nor would have been made by a naturalist.

There are no grounds whatever for assuming that the Cat has not sufficient intelligence to aid its master in hunting. On the contrary, there are many familiar instances where the animal has been trained, even in this country, to catch birds and other game, and bring its prey home. By nature the Cat is an accomplished hunter, and, like other animals of the same disposition, can be taught to use its powers for mankind. We all know that the chetah, a member of the same tribe, is in constant use at the present day, and we learn from ancient sculptures that the lion was employed for the same purpose. Passing from land to water, mankind has succeeded in teaching the seal and the otter to plunge into the water, catch their finny prey, and deliver it to their owners.

Among predaceous birds, we have trained the eagle, the falcon, and various hawks, to assist us in hunting the finned and feathered tribes, while we have succeeded in teaching the cormorant to catch fish for its master, and not for itself. Why, then, should the Cat be excepted from a rule so general ?

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