페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

per part of the thumb, when the Kaffir's ing the cows in the kraal, and had used eyes suddenly became wild in appearance certain incantations to prevent an increase as he looked behind me, and he in another in the population, was banished from the instant started on his feet and shouted, village. The fact was announced to me, Inyoka !" (a snake !)

that the bad old man thirsted for revenge, This warning was not to be neglected, and changed himself into a black snake, for we were in a district which the old similar in all respects to that just slain. maps correctly describe as infested with He then glided around the kraal, watchserpents. For here the deadly cobra ing for victims, and at length succeeded might be seen extending his hood as he in biting the most ancient Kaffir in the threatened the approaching traveler. The kraal, who died soon after the sun had set. fat, brilliantly-marked puff-adder was by “ Chingarna yena!” (He was a rascal.) no means an unlikely object to attract the The fences made by the Kaffirs, and hunter's attention, as it lazily basked in consisting of small roughly-made wattled the sun, and seemed almost unwilling to hurdles, were favorite resorts for snakes ; move even to avoid being trodden upon. and once, while climbing over one of these, Endless varieties of smaller but most venom. I narrowly escaped the dart of a cobra. mous serpents were common in the neigh- The fence was about four feet in height, borhood, wbilst the Natal rock snake was and was so constructed that when any also an inhabitant of the locality, and person trod on the upper portion he unamight be seen of a size quite sufficient to voidably compressed the various branches induce caution in the visitor to his retreat, and sticks beneath him. It happened that eighteen to twenty-three feet being by no a cobra was either crawling through this means an unusual length. Thus the cry fence, or had located himself in it at the of “ Inyoka,” and the excited look of an time of my climbing to the summit, and experienced bush hunter, were sufficient thus my weight caused the sticks to caution to make me follow the Kaffir's ex- squeeze the body of the reptile. Fortuample, and to spring to my feet.

.

nately I was looking down, and just in My attention was then directed to a time I saw the head of the snake shoot small bare mound about seven feet from out from the hurdle. I sprang, as may be the spot on which I had been sitting, imagined, quickly and far, and was well where I immediately saw a large, venom- out of reach when the head of the monster ous-looking black snake. It had appar- was thrown over the top of the hurdle, ently just become aware of our intrusion, just at the spot where an instant before for although coiled up, it had raised its my feet had been placed. The cobra did head about two feet, and was examining us. not approve of having his body pinched, The Kaffir's gun was soon pointed at the but still less must be bave liked the penreptile, but I would not allow him to fire, etration of his head by a broad-bladed as we were in pursuit of large game, and Zulu assagy, a fate that quickly followed expected to meet some buffaloes in a few bis attempt upon my life. minutes. A stout stick was quickly cut Beneath the branches of a giant Euphorfrom a tree, and with it the black snake bia, sheltered by its shade, and almost was assaulted. The monster was very lulled to sleep by the monotonous sound of vicious; it langed forward at us, coiled a little bubbling mountain stream, I reand turned in every conceivable manner; clined one day, after a very successful but our agility was more than a match foray amongst the guinea - fowl wbich for all the serpent's cunning, and there in were occasionally found near the Bushthe wild wood the battle terminated in man's river, a locality situated about one favor of man. The snake was fully six hundred and twenty miles inland from feet long, and quite a foot in circumfer- Port Natal. A quantity of long grass, ence, whilst its deadly poisonous fangs which had been washed down quite flat, were three quarters of an inch in length. grew on each side of the little rivulet, and

After the snake had been killed, the on this several dead branches were scatKaffir cut off its head, which he then care- tered, and old trunks of trees grouped, fully buried, a precaution not unnecessary left in their places by the last periodical where men walk about with bare feet. flood. Over this grass I observed a large

I then listened a tale from my dark brownish-colored snake gliding towards companion, and heard how a certain old me. His large size, and the absence of Kaffir, who had been discovered bewitch- | the broad arrow form of head, showed me

a

a

that he was not venomous ; I therefore and so mysterious, that I could not have allowed him to approach me, whilst I re killed him. There was also something mained perfectly still. Although I did wild and interesting in thus alone making not alter my position in the least, he yet the acquaintance of a reptile in its native became aware of my presence by some wilderness, in observing some of its pecumeans, for he suddenly stopped when liarities, and in feeling slightly that singu. within twenty paces of me, then changed lar power by means of which there is no his direction, and took up a position under doubt many of the serpent race occasionan old stump, from which he eyed me ally obtain their prey. most suspiciously. His colors were very It is by no means pleasant, when seated beautiful, and there was a bloom upon his on the ground in localities where poisonous skin somewhat similar to that which we snakes abound, to place your hand unconsee on a ripe plum. He was evidently sciously on a cold, moist creature, which puzzled at my appearance, but seemed not immediately wriggles away from beneath in the least afraid ; whilst I, knowing it. I experienced this effect on the grassy that I could shoot him at any time if in- flat of Natal, when waiting for my horse clined to do so, had no hesitation in re to be caught by my second Kaffir, my maining within twenty paces of a snake head man being seated opposite to me. fully twelve feet in length.

Seeing my start and the alarm expressed After examining me for about two in my face, the wily black hunter merely minutes the snake gradually approached smiled, and said, “Not a snake; only a me, keeping its head slightly raised, and lizard." looking steadily at my eyes. Its approach “I don't know," I replied; “peither of

" was so slow, and there was no break in it, us has seen it,” the grass being too long such as that made by putting one foot to admit of our doing so at a glance. before the other, that I felt an almost ir- “Yes," replied the Kaffir, "but a snake resistible inclination to remain still and always glides over the grass, never through quiet, and allow the snake to glide on it near the roots; whilst a lizard glides towards me. Had the snake been forty between the roots, low down. Only a feet in length, or had I been no bigger lizard.” than a rabbit, I believe that, unless by a Having repeatedly heard of a very large considerable exertion of the will, I should snake, which was said to live on the not have felt disposed to move. If the banks of the Umganie river, I frequently snake had been compelled to advance by went in search of it. The Kaffirs who a series of steps, each one would then had seen the creature estimated its length have repeated the warning, and would to be about thirty or thirty-five feet, conhave intimated that it was dangerous to siderably above the average length of the stay; but the gliding, insidious approach Natal rock snake. Whilst searching for of the snake appeared to produce a wish this giant among his fellows, I had interto wait until some decided movement views at different times with three memshould be taken by the reptile.

bers of the same family, one of which was Shaking off this singular temporary sen- twentytwo feet in length. Powder and sation by a decided action of the will, I shot are far too much for these reptiles, raised myself on my elbow and stretched and on a case of emergency I am convinced out my hand for my gun. The snake ob- that an active man with a sharp knife serving the movement stopped, and ele- would prove too much for a Python of vated its head, which it waved slightly in twenty feet in length. a horizontal direction. It was now not One of the Pythons slain gave me great more than ten paces from me, and although trouble in skinning, as I was at the time tolerably certain that it was not a poison- unacquainted with the orthodox way of ous snake, yet, for fear of a mistake, I divesting a snake of his hide. My atdeemed it prudent to ward it off, and in- tempt consisted in passing a knife under a timated my idea by means of a broken portion of the skin, and ripping it up in branch which I threw at it.

the same manner that a rabbit's skin is The snake appeared disinclined to leave taken off. This was the wrong method me, but yet slowly glided away, stopping entirely. The correct plan is as follows: occasionally to look round, as though Get the skin cleared off the head and off desirous of further acquaintance. I let a few inches of the neck of the snake, him go; our interview had been so close and turn the skin thus separated inside

533

of

as it

out. Then fasten the snake's head firmly | hand on the very animal that I was tryup to a high branch, so that the snake is ing to avoid. Any doubts that I might hung clear of the ground. Either by the have had as regarded the cause of the aid of the branch, or of the snake, cling noise were set at rest by my feeling a cold to the animal in the same manner as sailors object just touch the top

my

head grasp by a rope. Keep the legs firmly glided past me, and seemed to halt by the hold of the snake's body, and grasp the side of my pillow. I was now perfectly separated skin with the hands; then by aware that if the snake were venomous I gradually allowing the hands to bear the was in extreme danger of being bitten; weight of the body, the skin is dragged for to move even might irritate the creaoff from the snake, and comes down in- ture which was now so close to me. To side out.

wait, therefore, appeared most prudent, Snakes as a rule retire during the night although it was a severe trial to my to some secure retreat, but when the heat nerves; and when listening to the longis very intense, even at night they will drawn breaths of my companions, I could make a journey from their holes in search not but envy their safe and unconscious of food, or for some other reason. It is condition. then that they are particularly dangerous, It might have been one hour, it might for they can not be seen, in consequence have been ten minutes, that I lay almost of the darkness, and thus they may be fearing to breathe, when I heard one of my approached or trodden on unconsciously. companions cease to snore, and begin to They may also find themselves chilly, and turn onchis blanket. It required courage may endeavor to obtain warmth by nest- to break the silence, but I fancied there ling close to a sleeper, who upon waking was a chance of release. Scarcely moving may by accident squeeze the reptile, and my lips, I asked in a low tone if he were thus cause it to bite.

awake. My nerves were once somewhat severely “Yes; why ?” he answered, in the tried during the night; the circumstances quick yet perfectly awake manner that a were as follows. Having joined two light sleeper usually adopts when suddenfriends, who were combining eland shoot- ly aroused. ing and the examination of the supposed “Don't move much," I repeated, “but residence of a predatory tribe of Bush- strike a light if you can, for there is a men, we had encamped for the night, and snake close to my head, and I daren't retired to rest in a bell tent. My two move." companions were soon asleep, whilst I “Good God !” he exclaimed, and comcould only obtain a temporary doze, the menced with his box of lucifers to obtain a distant howl of a hyena, and some other light. They were damp, however, and it similar noises, being sufficient to prevent was some time before they would yield the me from sleeping soundly. More than longed-for light. once I fancied that there was a slight Before the full flame of the match ilrustling noise near my head, but upon lumined the interior of the tent, I heard listening intently I believed that the wind a slight noise on my pillow, so that when was sufficient to have caused it. After the candle was lighted, and I suddenly some time had elapsed, however, I be jumped up, I was not surprised when no came convinced that something was mov- signs even of a reptile could be discoving on the blanket which served me for a ered. pillow. My first intention was to put out “On with your boots” was, however, my hand to feel what was there, but re- a suggestion immediately acted upon, bemembering that snakes were common in fore we searched under some of the articles the neighborhood, I fortunately remained in the tent. With caution we raised the quiet.

various likely covers, and there, beneath Again and again the creeping noise was a fold of the oilskin on which I had lain, audible, and then all would be still and we discovered a snake, not very large, silent. I knew that, unless alarmed or in nor of the most venomous kind, he being self-defense, a poisonous snake would, in merely a Ringal hals, about three feet nearly every instance, rather avoid than long; still, his bite would have produced attack a person; and therefore as long as considerable pain, and was sufficiently I remained quiet, so long was I safe; poisonous to have destroyed a dog, so that whilst if I moved I might tread or put my his room was better than his company, as

we intimated to the" body," as we flung it pace in either instance, I am certain, from on the nearly extinct bivouac fire, where the manner of the snake, that I should the poison would be effectually burnt out, have been bitten. and all danger of treading on the head But there are, I believe, times when the avoided.

poisonous snakes are oppressed by a superThese are some few of the interviews abundance of poison, and then they are that I have had with snakes, but during impelled to bite any thing which their insome four years' residence in various thin- stinct tells them will enable them to get ly inhabited portions of South-eastern Af rid of their surplus stock of venom. rica, and when wandering day after day The poison of the snake appears to act in the bush, along the ravines or over the upon the circulation, and death seems to plains, serpents became quite familiar ob- be caused by the circulation becoming jects, and unless something unusual hap- more and more feeble, until the heart at pened were merely knocked on the head, length ceases to beat. Any thing, thereand no note made thereof in the memo fore, that would produce an increased randum-book. The interviews which I action of the heart ought to be a useful have had with various members of the remedy. Thus strong stimulants, or even serpent race induce me to adopt the fol- running about, has been found highly lowing opinions in connection with them. beneficial in cases of snake bites. To suck

In the first place, nearly always a poison- the poison from out of the wound is also ous snake will, if possible, escape at once a remedy, whilst it is always a safe plan

a from a man, and will not attempt to bite to bind a ligature tightly round the limb him unless in self-defense. On two oc- and above the part bitten ; thus the poison casions I almost placed my foot upon a is as it were insulated, and prevented snake which was concealed in long grass. from acting on the whole body. The creatures were both poisonous, and The failure of chemical tests to discover each rose and drew back his head as any thing very peculiar in the venom of a though to strike; but fortunately I did serpent, as well as several other facts in not move a muscle, and the snake in a connection with the action of these subvery few seconds lowered his head and tile agencies on the human frame, remind glided away; one was a large cobra, and us that there is yet a large volume to be the other a smaller species, and very like read in explanation of the mysteries of the cobra. Had I advanced but half a human life.

[blocks in formation]

REMAINS IN VERSE AND PROSE OF ARTHUR HENRY & Fields have given to the public in their usual neat

HALLAM. With a Preface and a Memoir. Bos. and attractive dress, will stir the hearts of all whose ton : Ticknor & Fields. 1863.

heart-striogs and sympathies are in unison with the HENRY HALLAM, the historian, suffered a severe great and ever memorable struggle in which all true bereavement a number of years ago, in the early patriots are now engaged. The sentiments, the death of a most talented and promising son, who beaming historic thoughts and allusions which gen bid fair to become one of the most eminent writers these pages are expressed in great beauty and force in England. A second bereavement deprived him of diction. The poems are very timely and approof another son almost of equal promise. The rich

priate. volume which Messrs. Ticknor & Fields now give to the American public contains the fruits of the gifted After long trial and much experience of hair tonics

Wute's VEGETABLE EXTRACT FOR THE HAIR.pen of Arthur Hallam, which are of a high order, and preservatives, we volunteer an expression of and will be read with interest by all who appreciate entire preference of this extract and its good qualihis talents and beautiful thoughts.

ties for all purposes which the bair requires, over IN WAR TIME, AND OTHER POEMs. By JOHN GREEN and beyond any thing we have tried. This natural LEAF WHITTIER. Boston : Ticknor & Fields. and important to be trifled with or injured if it can

and ornamental covering of the head is too valuable 1864.

be prevented. We commend it for its usefulness THESE war songs, which Mr. Whittier has struck and its cheapness. Made by P. A. White, Chemist, from bis well-tuned harp, and the Messrs. Ticknor | New-York.

LIFE OF SIR WILLIAM JOHNSON.-All lovers of his- | THE ANABASIS OF XENOPHON; chiefly according to tory will be glad to know that the life and times of the text of L. DINDORF, with notes. For the use of Sir William Johnson, who was general superintend- Schools and Colleges. By John J. OWEN, D.D., ent of Indian affairs in this country, before the L.L.D., Professor of the Latin and Greek LanRevolution, is soon to be given to the public, by guages and Literature in the Free Academy in William L. Stone, Esq. The historic incidents of New.York city. Revised edition. New-York: those early days can not fail to be deeply interesting:

Leavitt & Allen. 12mo. Pp. 436. The materials for the work have been derived chief

PROF. OWEN has rendered an eminent service to ly from original papers furnished by the family of all lovers and students of classic Greek literature in Sir William, from his own diary, and other sources preparing this new and beautiful edition of the which have never before been consulted. The work Anabasis. The learning, talents, and long study of is highly commended by George Bancroft, Esq., and the Greek language render Prof. Owen amply and other eminent bistorians, who are amply qualified to judge of its merits and of the industry and ability of richly qualified for this work which he has so well

performed. We take pleasure in indicating the exthe biographer, Mr. William L. Stone. It will be a

cellences of the work. rich addition to the historic literature of our country.

1. Its clear and beautiful Porsonian type, and the

valuable and accurate map which accompanies it. GEOGRAPHICAL STUDIES. By the late Professor CARL 2. The potes have all been re-written in the re

RITTER, of Berlin. Translated from the original vised edition, and the latest and best results of philoGerman by WILLIAM LEONHARD Gage, trans- logical learning applied to the elucidation of the lator and editor of Professor Heinrich Steffen's text. Story of My Career, etc. Boston: Gould & Lin- 8. Abundant references to the grammars of Sophocolo. New-York : Sheldon & Co. Cincinnati: cles, Crosby, and Hadly. Prof. W. W. Goodwin, of George G. Blanchard. 1863. For sale by Blake. Havard University, has contributed a table of referman & Mason, New York. $1.25.

ences to his moods and tenses of the Greek verb,

thus rendering the book a most complete apparatus We are glad to announce the publication in this for the study of the Greek language. Prof. Owen form of this work of the great Carl Ritter, whose has availed himself of all means within his reach to fame as the most eminent geographer of his age is render perfect in all respects this beautiful volume. world-wide. His great thoughts — his beautiful We commend it to the attention of scholars and stuthoughts, so admirably expressed on the great theme dents of the Greek language, both in schools and of the physical geography of our globe, with all the

colleges. interesting and most important facts which the vol. ume embodies, impart a sterling value to the work which ought to give it a wide and continued circu- advertisement on another page of a valuable and beau.

SIGNING THE COMPACT.-We invite attention to an lation for long years to come.

tiful historic print-engraving entitled the Signing of

the Compact in the Cabin of the Mayflower, by that STORIES OF OLD; OR, BIBLE NarrativES Suited to noble band of Puritans near the close of their ever

THE CAPACITY OF Young CHILDREN. By CaroLINE memorable voyage to this western world, and just HADLY. Illustrated by Six Engravings. First before their landing on Plymouth Rock. An attenseries-Old Testament. New-York: Sheldon & tive perusal of the description of the engraving in Co. 1863.

the advertisement will impart an impression of its The number of stories in this volume is fifty ; ex

interesting historic value. The character of the tending from the Creation, as given in Genesis, to subject; the historic event which it preserves; the the story of Daniel in the den of lions. We wel the perils of old ocean in their stormy passage to

noble band of devoted men and women who braved come and commend all well-told stories which have for their

foundation the facts or historic incidents Plymouth; their appearance as represented in the of the Bible. They are always instructive and al cabin of the Mayflower; the twenty portraits which ways interesting, as few other narratives are to an

are there preserved, and the artistic beauty of the equal degree. But it requires a peculiar talent and large engraving, make it well deserving a place, rare acquirement to embody the Bible narratives in neatly framed, on the parlor walls of any dwelling new and fresh language in that pure and attractive dress which the case requires. We believe the au

THE MOORISH OLDEN TIME.- An epic poem en thores3 has performed her part well in this attempt titled Pelayo, rich in the gathered charms and roat Scripture narrative, and we trust both the authoress mances of the old chivalrous age of Spanish history, and the publishers will find an ample reward for from the graphic and gifted pen of a lady of this their labors.

city, is now passing through the press of the Apple

tong. The authoress,a niece of Ex-Gov. Throop of the Stories of OLD; OR, Bible NarraTIVES. By the Empire State, has gemmed her book with poetic beausame authoress and publisherz, Second series

ties, gathered with admirable taste, talent, and judg.

ment from the wide fields and martial scenes of New Testament. With the same number of illustrations, and also fifty stories to the Ascension of our Spanish history in the olden time of the Moors. The Saviour to heaven.

subject, the scenes, the historic allusions, the graphic

delineations, the almost word paintings, clothed in These two series, making a hundred stories, we rich poetic drapery and singularly felicitous rhythm hope will be read with interest and profit by those so difficult of execution in such a theme, indicate for whom they are designed. On one word we offer rare poetic talent. “Pelayo" is the hero of the ro a criticism. În writing of Moses in the bulrushes, mantic story, admirably told in song. The heroine and the holy child Jesus, the authoress uses the word and numerous attendants all appear and act well the baby. We submit that this is not a Bible word. parts assigned them in the various panoramic scenes. Babe is the preferable word.

Bryant, Bancroft, and Willis, full competent judges

« 이전계속 »