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his sport changes daily, his path is beset with danger, and instead of being, as he had always hitherto been, the aggressor, he has now to defend himself from the attacks of the fiercest and most unwieldy monsters of the creation. After recounting sundry charges from buffaloes and rhinoceroses, which, favoured by circumstances, he manages to evade, he gives an admirable description of an encounter with a Borelé, which had well nigh proved fatal to him. Having fired with effect into this crusty-looking old bull rhinoceros, he spurs his horse and dashes right across his path. “ Upon this," he tells us, “the hideous mon. ster instantly charged me in the most resolute manner, blowing loudly through his nostrils ; and although I quickly wheeled about to the left, he followed me at such a furious pace for several hundred yards, with his horrid horny snout within a few yards of my horse's tail, that my little Bushman, who was looking on in great alarm, thought his master's destruction inevitable. It was certainly a very near thing—my horse was extremely afraid, and exerted his utmost energies on the occasion. The rhinoceros, however, wheeled about and continued his former course ; and I, being perfectly satisfied with the interview which I had already enjoyed with him, had no desire to cultivate his acquaintance any farther, and accordingly made for camp." The hunter's discretion gets the better of his valour, and, if what Major Denham relates be true, he may thank his stars that he was not impaled, lorse and all, upon the long horn of the monster. " It was described to me,” says the Major, as having carried a man and horse, spiked on his horn, more than one hundred yards, when, frightened by the cries of the people, he dropped them, and made his escape ; the man was unhurt, but the horse died.”
The great authorities on African natural history are all but unani.. mous in supposing that the white rhinoceros is identical with the unicorn of the ancients. Barrow says that “the animal alluded to in the book of Job has been supposed, with great plausibility, to be the one-horned rhinoceros. Moses also very probably meant the rhinoceros when he mentions the unicorn as having the strength of God." Dr. Robinson, however, differs from his brother naturalists; he believes the buffalo to be the Scripture unicorn, and maintains that the actual existence of this animal in Palestine leaves little doubt that it is the Reem of the Hebrew scriptures, for which both ancient and modern versions have substituted the apparently fabulous unicorn—" Reem is the IIebrew name of the animal which is called in our version unicorn, and which is several times coupled with the ox, especially in Job.” The horn of the kobaoba, or white rhinoceros, Mr. Gordon Cumming tells us, often exceeds four feet in length; while the small or posterior horn seldom exceeds six or seven inches. This fact, coupled with the cnormous bulk and power of the animal, is quite sufficient to warrant the supposition of its identity with the unicorn.
Our hunter boards the giraffe after the fashion of Captain Cornwallis Ilarris : he fairly rides alongside the gigantic animals, and “heaves them to ” with many a heavy broadside. Still, he looks upon giraffe as inglorious game, and pants for a brush at the fiercer lions and nobler elephants as trophies more worthy of his rifle.
The man who could of his own free will, nay more, with all his heart. ensconce himself in a hole, and there, despite of the wild and ferocious beasts with which he was surrounded, could fall into a sound and refreshing slumber, must have had something more than a good conscience --he must have had the concentrated courage of ten lions. “ While peeping from my hole,” he says, “I beheld two enormous bull elephants, which looked like two great castles, standing before me. All night long herds of zebras and blue wildebeests capered around me, coming sometimes within a few yards : several parties of rhinoceroses also made their appearance. I felt a little apprehensive that lions might visit the fountain, and every time that hyænas or jackals lapped the water I looked forth, but no lions appeared. At length 1 fell into a sound sleep, nor did I again raise my head until the bright star of morn had shot far above the eastern horizon.".
It has been the fashion among a certain class of men, who would claim for themselves a more refined humanity than pertains to their fellow-creatures, to describe our luunter's sport as blood-thirsty and wan. tonly cruel : but he appears to have anticipated the charge, and offers an unanswerable reason for the destruction of animal life, to which he pleads guilty. He says, “ It was ever to me a source of great pleasure to reflect that, while enriching myself in following my favourite pursuit of elephant hunting, I was feeding and making happy the starving families of hundreds of the Bechuana and Bakalahari tribes, who invariably followed my waggons and assisted me in my hunting, in numbers varying from fifty to two hundred at a time. These men were often accompanied by their wives and families ; and when an elephant, hippopotamus, or other large animal was slain, all hands repaired to the spot, when every inch of the animal was reduced to biltongue, viz., cut into long narrow strips, and hung in festoons upon poles, and dried in the sun ; even the entrails were not left for the vultures and hyænas, and the very bones were chopped to pieces with their hatchets to obtain the marrow, with which they enriched their soup.
The desert and wilds of South Africa have, it appears, other charms for our adventurous hunter, besides those of sport. The canny Scot turns his labours to account by trading for ivory with the savage chief of Bamangwato ; but the dilatory mode of doing business adopted by Sicomy well nigh upsets the patience of the Highlander, interested though he was in the enormous profits which he expected to realize. “ The price," he says, " which I paid for the muskets was £16 for each case containing twenty muskets ; and the value of the ivory I required for each musket was upwards of £30, being about 3,000 per cent., which I am informed is reckoned among mercantile men to be a very fair profit. Athletic savages,” he continues, “were constantly coming and going throughout the day in three different directions, bearing on their shoulders the precious spoils of the elephants of the Kalahari : and when the sun went down all my muskets were disposed of, and I found myself in the possession of a very valuable lot of ivory."
With respect to the peculiarities of the African elephants we will refer to them in another paper, and compare Mr. Gordon Cumming's excellent description of them, with that of the Asiatic elephants, as recorded by other naturalists. But there is a small bird of the Buphaga genus, which, as a protector of the mighty rhinoceros, is worthy our immediate notice. From the information of a native our hunter is apprised of the whereabouts of a huge white rhinoceros lying asleep in a thick cover : but he says, “ Before I could reach the proper distance to fire, several
rhinoceros-birds, by which he was attended, warned him of his impending danger by sticking their bills into his ear, and uttering their harsh grating cry. Thus aroused, he suddenly sprang to his feet, and crashed away through the jungle at a rapid trot, and I saw no more of him." Then he adds, “ Many a time have these ever-watchful birds disappointed me in my stalk, and tempted me to invoke an anathema upon their heads. They are the best friends the rhinoceros has, and rarely fail to awaken him even in his soundest nap. Chukuroo perfectly understands their warning, and springing to his feet, he generally first looks about him in every direction, after which he invariably makes off. I have often hunted a rhinoceros on horseback, which led me a chase of many miles, and required a number of shots before he fell, during which chase several of these birds remained by the rhinoceros to the last. They reminded me of mariners on the deck of some bark sailing on the ocean, for they perched along his back and sides, and as cach of my bullets told on the shoulder of the rhinoceros, they ascended about six feet into the air, uttering their harsh cry of alarm, and then resumed their position. It sometimes happened that the lower branches of trees under which the rhinoceros passed swept them from their living deck, but they always recovered their former station. They also adhere to the rhinoceros during the night. I have often shot these animals at midnight when drinking at the fountains; and the birds, imagining they were asleep, remained with them till morning, and on my approaching, before taking flight, they exerted themselves to their utmost to awaken chukuroo from his deep sleep." The object of the bird, however, in cleaving to the beast is self-interest : fixed on the backs of the larger ruminants by his cramp-irons of claws, the beef-eater, as he has been called by the English, and pique-bæuf by the French, digs and squeezes out with his forceps of a beak the larvæ that are generated under the tough hide of the quadruped. The celebrated ornithologist Le Vaillant gires the following description of the ox-pecker, by which name Swainson designates the Buphaga Africana—"The bill of the pique-boeuf," he says, " is fashioned as a pair of solid pincers, to facilitate the raising up out of the hides of quadrupeds the larvæ of the gad-flies, which are there deposited and nourished : the species, therefore, anxiously seeks out the herds of oxen, of buffaloes, of antelopes, of all the quadrupeds, in short, upon which these gadflies deposit their eggs. The animals, accustomed to the treatment, bear with the birds complacently, and apparently perceive the service which they render to them in freeing them from these true parasites, which live at the expense of their proper substance." Besides the larvæ of the gad fly, these birds cat the ticks when they are full of blood, and all sorts of insects generally. It seems rather a flagrant omission on the part of both Le Vaillant and Mr. Gordon Cumming, that the former never mentions the rhinoceros as being the particular beast to which this bird attaches itself ; while the latter omits to mention other quadrupeds, and represents the bird as rendering the double services of scratch-back and sentinel to the rhinoceros alone. We are inclined to believe that the bird is particularly what our author calls it, a rhinoceros-bird ; because the animal, from his inert and sluggish habits, and deeply furrowed hide, would not only supply the bird with more food than thinner-skinned animals, but would submit to any amount of digging without feeling the smallest inconvenience from it.
Chap. VIII. Gentlemen sportsmen and sporting gentlemen of merrie England, I greet you. Put on your leathers, top-boots, and spurs, white, wellpolished, and bright as may be ; the coats belonging to your several hunts, if you do so belong to hunts--if not, the gallant scarlet, or, as may be, your dark Oxford grey ; on your heads well-brushed hats ; on your hands well-fitting and well-washed buckskin gloves. For the nonce, leave at home your chains and your studs, and your outlandishshaped hunting caps, like the head piece of the Sikh commander; doubtless very appropriate to prevent the burning suns of India from penetrating warriors' pates, and by no means inappropriate for huntsmen and whips, if only to distinguish them from the field, far more so to guard them from branches of trees, &c., they having continually to enter dense coverts. Leave also your waistcoats, with innumerable pockets, and your unsightly-looking knee-cords ; in fact, all those modern innovations of dress, which make men look like mountebanks instead of sportsmen. For my part, though perhaps I am wrong, I see no men who look so much like sportsmen and gentlemen as do the members of the Beaufort Hunt, and there are among them men who are mounted as well, and can ride side by side in any county with any hounds in England. Their costume is top boots and leathers, a blue coat, buckskin gloves, and a hat. What does a gentleman require more? The blue coats are distinguished in the field among the red, and generally speaking in the van. Eccentricity of costume, caps, cords, chains, and twenty-pocketed waistcoats, will not suffice to carry men over brooks, gates, and walls. So, for this day, leave them at home, and join the Westerns at the meet.
On a fine open knoll or common land, looking south-west, behold the assembled pack, and a field of more than one hundred horsemen, I was about to say--but no, it was the Christmas holidays, and many ponies had gathered there also, some of which, with their young riders, greatly distinguished themselves, and, if I fail not in memory, there were several asses also. Behind this knoll ran a somewhat long belt of fir trees--protecting, as it were, the hill side from the keen north and north-easterly blasts ; while in front, some two or three hundred yards from the spot where the hounds were placed, a large thick covert of gorse covered the whole side of the slope. It generally held two or three foxes, and was reckoned a sure find. On this gorse the sun shone brightly, and in fact it was a well chosen snug retreat for master reynard, the more so as immediately below it a rich luxuriant vale extended for mile on mile towards the Severn, dotted over with numerous farm houses, to whose poultry yards and pigeon houses they paid alternately their devoirs. On the left, also, about three miles distant, stood the handsome residence of Lord Delamere, a millionaire and a game preserver of the common order; for all that, be was rather a friend than an enemy to fox hunters, for no doubt the varmints found the flavour of his pheasants vastly agrecable, and his rabbits were abundant; moreover, whether his kocpers attended to his instructions or not, imperative orders were given not to destroy foxes, and one was generally found in his coverts. So much for the battle field, as far as it goes ; now for the army, and then the charge. The Earl rode up to our party on a good powerful bay hunter, one of his own stamp, and there are few better, and thus accosted us—“ lIow are you, Western ? and Miss Bessy ? Charmed to see you in the hunting field ! 'Pon my word, Corbeau and Brilliant look as well as their riders. And the boys home from Eton? Glad to see you, lads! But, halloa ! Fred, where did you pick up that piece of blood ? It's not the Brookland stamp, I fancy." * No, no!” said the governor, “no horse of mine. Farmer Barleycorn very kindly lent the nag for Fred to try him, though I fancy he is not precisely fitted to join my stud. However, we shall see if he can go, for I imagine you interd to give us a run.” “And if you do, my Lud," chimed in Barleycorn, who came forward, “and Master Fred lets un go, there's not a harse in the field can beat him.” “Ah, Barleycorn !" added the Earl, “ glad to see you in the field, and with such a good stud. You must be doing well, notwithstanding free trade ; and your looks by no means belie my words.” “Why, thank'ee, my Lud, we do manage to jog on; and if corn is low, horses' feed is low also.” “Well, I always like to see the yeomen of England in the hunting field. So now, gentlemen,” he added, taking out his watch,“ time's up, and we shall soon see if the gorse holds a fox." Then, turning to Bessy, he pointed out, about two miles distant below us, a winding brook which crossed the vale, and recommended her to ride quietly up and down the line of plantation. « If the fox breaks across the vale, you will see the heat of the run, dear lady; at all events none of the mishaps at the brook, and there will be many, will escape you. Probably, Master Fred, or Arty, may number among the unlucky; for Jumper, as he terms that huge-legged chesnut, in my opinion is a questionable brook jumper. If we break to the east, towards Delamere Woods, then ride to the east end of the covert, and tell Thomas to skirt the hills, and you may possibly see the end of it.” “ Papa insists on my not following the hounds," said Bessy. “Not necessary to follow them if you do as I tell you. Never mind papa in the hunting field ; he is as keen as his own boys. So, good bye, Bessy. Your horse is perfection. Now then, Phillips ! yoiks into tlie gorse!” Phillips touched his cap, and rode forward with the gallant pack at his heels, their coats actually shining in the morning sun, and their condition admirable ; and in two minutes every hound, at the sound of his voice, dashed into the gorse like a charge of cavalry. Now turn for a moment, and contemplate the field, recollecting the period was a few days before Christmas. All the boys in England were at home for the holidays, save those poor fellows who had no homes to go home to; all the boys in England, with few exceptions, are fond of fox-hunting. Therefore might be seen many lads on various ponies, good, bad, and indifferent. Then, be it recollected, that it was a season when all the clerks of counting houses and all sorts of houses, and others, become insuperably idle, and desire to have what is termed a