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dreary captivity, by taming some of the rats that at first were a sad nuisance to him. "Being forced to live in their society," says he, "I conceived the idea of forming a friendship with them." The dungeons of the Bastile were octagonal, and the one where he was confined had a loop-hole, two feet and a half above the floor. On the inside it was two feet long and about eighteen inches wide, but it gradually diminished towards the exterior, so that on the outside wall it scarcely exceeded three inches in size. From this loophole the poor prisoner derived the only light and air he was permitted to enjoy; the stone which formed the base of it served him also for chair and table. When tired of reclining on his wretched pallet, he used to drag himself to the loop-hole and lighten the weight of his chains by resting them on it. A large rat one day boldly approaching the other end of the loop-hole, he threw it a piece of bread, which the creature at first seized and carried off to eat, but in a few days, during which time it frequently returned, it became so tame as to take bread from the prisoners' hands. This rat at length brought his female, and in a little time other rats joined the party of pensioners, so that Monsieur la Tude had at last about ten of these animals, who would come at his call, and partake of his dinner. The first pair knew the names he gave them, and the female was especially sagacious. He amused himself with their gambols, of which he gives an interesting account, and even taught them to jump for pieces of bread or meat suspended in the air.
The brown rat so common in England was most probably brought here from a warmer country. It is called the Norway rat, though at the time it was first known in England it was unknown in that country. They are very bold and fierce, and have nearly destroyed the species called the black rat. Their habit of burrowing in the ground, particularly under houses, bridges, and in the sides of dikes and canals, causes infinite mischief. They are very destructive, too, to grain, young poultry, rabbits, and pigeons. Where they abound in large numbers they consume an incredible quantity of food. As a proof of this Mr. Jesse states, "that a proposition was made to the French Government for the removal of the horse slaughter-house at Montfaucon to a greater distance from Paris, when one of the chief obstacles against such a removal was the fear entertained of the dangerous consequences that might result to the neighbourhood from suddenly depriving these voracious vermin of their accustomed sustenance. The report stated that the carcasses of the horses killed in the course of the day (and sometimes these amounted to thirty-five) are found the next morning picked to the bone. The rats have made burrows like those of the rabbit in the adjoining fields, and hollowed out into catacombs all the eminences, and that to such an extent, that it is not unusual to see the latter crumble away at the base, and leave the subterraneous works exposed. So great is the number of these animals, that they have not been all able to lodge themselves close to the slaughter-house; for paths may be distinctly traced leading across the fields, from the enclosures where the horses are killed, to a burrow about five hundred paces distant." "The rat swims with great ease. The gardens of the Zoological Society in the Regent's Park are greatly infested by them; but as they are too cunning to risk the danger of being caught in the day-time, or alarmed perhaps at the concourse of people by whom the garden is frequented, they are often seen towards evening crossing the canal in a body from the opposite shore, in order to land in the gardens, and enjoy their night's depredations, returning in the morning in the same manner to their daily retreat."
The following anecdote, related by Mr. Jesse, will place the rat in a more amiable point of view than we have yet considered him, and is a proof of the kindness animals frequently show to each other.
"The Eev. Mr. Juryman, a clergyman residing in Sussex, and an accurate observer of nature, informed us that some fifty years ago, when the old English black rat was numerous, he resided at Quorn, in Leicestershire. Walking out in some meadows one evening, he observed a great number of rats in the act of migrating from one place to another, which it is known they are in the habit of doing occasionally. He stood perfectly still, and the whole assemblage passed close to him. His astonishment however was great, when he saw amongst the number an old blind rat, which held a piece of stick in its mouth, while another rat had the other end of it, and thus conducted its blind companion." Numberless anecdotes are related of the peculiar sagacity of the rat, and the following, wonderful as it may appear, may be fully relied on. "An open box containing some bottles of Florence oil, was placed in a storeroom which was seldom visited. On going into the room for one of the bottles it was perceived that the pieces of bladder and cotton which covered the mouth of each bottle had disappeared, and that a considerable quantity of the contents had been consumed. This circumstance having excited surprise, some of the bottles were filled with oil, and the mouths of them secured as before. The next morning the coverings of the bottles had been again removed, and part of the oil was gone. On watching the room through a small window, some rats were seen to get into the box, insert