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tion ceased. I felt all the horrors of my situation; but I forgot my suffering, in order to seek succor for a man whom I saw dying. I called him, but he did not reply. His right eye was open and bright; it seemed to me as though a ray of intelligence beamed from it, and I hoped; but the left eye remained closed, and on raising the eyelid, I saw that it was dull. I supposed, however, that there was still sight remaining on the right side, for I endeavored to close the eye on that side; an attempt which I repeated three times. It opened again of itself, and seemed animated. I put my hand on his heart; it no longer beat. I pricked his limbs, body, and lips with a compass; all was immovable: it was death, and I could not believe it. Bodily pain at last drew me from this painful contemplation. My left leg was paralyzed; and I felt a shuddering, an extraordinary movement. I felt, besides, a general trembling and oppression and disordered beatings of the heart. The most sinister reflections took possession of me. Was I going to perish like my unfortunate companion? I thought so from my suffering; however, reason told me that the danger was passed. I gained with the greatest difficulty the village of Alt St. Johann. The instruments had been struck in like manner."
Nowhere are storms exhibited with such violence, or are they so frequent, as within the tropics in the wet season. They diminish in intensity and number, as a general law, with the increase of latitude, and chiefly occur in the summer months. But on passing from the shores of the Atlantic into the interior of the continent, a modification is found as to frequency, analogous to that of rain, except in mountainous countries. Thus, in the westqrn districts of Europe there is an average of about 20 storms in the year; at Moscow, 17; at Kasan, 9; and at Irkutsk about 8. M. Arago estimates the annual average of storms at the places mentioned as follows: Caleutta, 60; Rio Janeiro, 50; Guadaloupe, 37; Buenos Ayres, 20; Smyrna, 19; Berlin, 18; Strasburg, 17; Toulouse, 15; Utrecht, 15; Paris, 13; Athens, 11; Petersburg, 9; London, 8; Pekin, 5; Cairo, 3. When falling on the surface of the earth, lightning follows the best conductors, attaching itself principally to metals, though it may prefer a body which is not so good a conductor, if the latter conducts it more directly to the ground. Damp substances are preferred after metals—the reason why men and animals are struck, stunned, or killed, the dread element apparently proving fatal by the shock given to the nervous system. Kacmtz speaks of these melancholy events as not very common. He mentions that at Gottingen, in the space of a century, three persons only have been killed by lightning, and but two at Halle. But though the number of victims is very limited, if only a single locality or town is examined, it is frequently otherwise in the case of an entire country. In the United States, twenty-four persons have been struck in the course of a year, of whom seventeen were killed; and as many as twenty persons have perished in France in the same pe
BUT scanty favor has this ill-favored, unhappylooking quadruped met with hitherto in the eyes of zoologists; and, as a general rule, it will be found that the older the work on natural history in which he is mentioned, the more abundant are the hard epithets lavished upon his devoted head. His personal appearance is certainly any thing but prepossessing; but if his countenance is gloomy and malignant in captivity, we doubt whether it is more lowering than the physiognomy of many an F.Z.S. would speedily become if he were transported from his snug fireside— which, after all, is an ice-house compared to the torrid regions of Africa, whence cometh the hapless hysjna—to a crippled and narrow den, facing the north, and situate in a damp and foggy corner; or condemned to dine upon a leg-of-mutton bone, instead—as the hyena has been known to do in his native land—of discussing a repast of three courses, consisting of a young ass, a goat, and a fox, at one sitting. It is a well-known fact, that no animal has a greater aversion to close confinement than the hyena; little wonder is it, then, that under these circumstances he should seldom or ever appear to advantage; but, on the contrary, generally testify an impatient, irritable spirit, particularly when, to amuse the " gazing crowd," he is kept in suspense regarding the one creature comfort which he thoroughly enjoys, viz., his dinner. The hysterical laughter of the poor beast, which gives such intense satisfaction to the spectators who usually cluster about the dens at feeding-time, has to our cars a very pitiful sound. It has certainly a strange resemblance to, and, when heard at a distance, is a very close imitation of, the laughter of the human species; but it is any thing rather than an appreciation of a joke which calls forth the shrill and unearthly sounds uttered ky the hysena on these festive occasions. It is when agitated and irate that he thus lifts up his voice; and those who have watched him, with upraised bristles and exposed fangs, angrily and rapidly pacing up and down his cage, eying with malignant glances his keeper, who holds the tantalizing morsel of raw flesh which is his allotted portion suspended at the top of his iron staff far out of reach, will readily believe that these discordant peals have in them much more of rage and baffled desire than of joyous merriment or gleeful satisfaction.
As for the ancients, they not only believed that the hyena could laugh, but that it could speak. "These hideous brutes," says Pliny in his " Historia Naturalis," " are wont to repair to the shepherds' huts and imitate the human voice, and even learn some person's name, who, when he answers to the call and comes out, is immediately torn to pieces." Even Aristotle, who may be looked upon as the father of naturalists, and who ought to have known better, has fallen into the popular error of his day; and, besides other apocryphal charges, has advanced the monstrous proposition, that the neck of the hysena consisted of but one jointless bone—an assertion which, it is almost needless to add, is to the full as groundless as that this peculiar bone proved of great efficacy in magical invocation; which belief is to this day current among the superstitious Arabs, who, when they slay one of these animals, carefully bury the head, lest it should operate as an avenging charm or spell.
There arc two varieties of this animal. The spotted kind is peculiar to the Cape of Good Hope and the southern division of Africa, where it is vulgarly known by the name of the tiger-wolf. It is an object of great fear and abhorrence in this region, though it rarely moves abroad during the day, but passes the hours of light and heat in slothful slumber, concealed in a hole or den of its own excavation, or else hidden from all prying eyes within the depths of some densely-covered bush. Till very lately bands of hyamas were in the habit of paying nightly visits to the streets of Cape Town, where they were tolerated as very useful in carrying away the animal refuse and offal; but, partly from better regulations now existing in the town, and partly from the number of these animals having decreased in the same ratio as the population has increased, this no longer occurs.
Sparrman, who is good authority, speaks of the hya?na as a cruel, mischievous, and formidable animal, living by depredation and rapine, daring and rapacious in its attacks upon the farmer's flocks and herds; and, in truth, the numbers, the nocturnal habits, and the mingled courage and obstinacy of these animals, render them in this respect even more destructive than the lion itself. The courage of the hyena, moreover, is equal to its voracity; man himself he seldom ventures to attack, save and except when driven to desperation and in self-defense, and then it will turn furiously even upon this all-powerful assailant, but it wages fierce war against much larger quadru
peds than itself. It fears neither the kingly lion, the wily panther, nor the fierce ounce, whom, cither by stealthy attacks, or by the combined power of numbers, it seldom fails to conquer.
Mr. Bruce, the persevering and entertaining Abyssinian traveler, says, "I do not think that there is any one who has hitherto written oi this animal who ever saw the thousandth part of them I have. They were a plague in Abyssinia in every situation, both in the city and in (he field, and, I think, surpassed the sheep in number. Gondar was full of them from the time it turned dark to the break of day, seeking the different pieces of slaughtered carcasses w hich this cruel and unclean people expose in the streets without burial, and w ho firmly believe that these animals arc Fa;., ha from the neighboring mountains, transformed by magie, and come down to cat human flesh in the daik for safety. One night in Maitsha, being very intent on observation, I heard something pass behind me toward the bed, but upon looking round could perceive nothing. Having finished what I was then about, I went out of my tent, intending directly to return, which I immediately did, when I perceived large blue eyes glaring at me in the dark. I called upon my servant with a light, and there was the hyama standing nigh the head of the bed, with two or three large bunches of candles in his mouth. To have fired, I was in danger of breaking my quadrant or other furniture, and he seemed, by keeping the candles steadily in his mouth, to wish for no other prey at that time. As his mouth was full, and he had no claws to tear with, I was not afraid of him, but with a pike struck him as near the heart as I could judge. It was not till then he showed any sign of fierceness; but upon feeling his wound, he let drop the candles and endeavored to run up the shaft of the spear to arrive at me, so that, in self-defense, I was obliged to draw a pistol from my girdle and shoot him, and nearly at the same time my servant cleft his skull with a battle-ax. In a word, the hyena was the plague of our lives, the terror of our night-walks, the destruction oi our mules and asses, which above all others are his favorite food."
Though ready and willing to grapple with a living prey, the hyama is content to subsist principally on the putrescent remains of such animals as have been killed and only half devoured by the higher order of the camivora; and though not gregarious on any social principle, these animals assemble in troops and follow in the wake of the Caffrc and Hottentot armies of the present epoch, and gorge on the dead bodies of the slain, and too often it is to be feared ransack the hasty, ill-made graves that mark these battle-fields. It is said, too, that like other and nobler animals, the hyama which has tasted human flesh is but too prone to retain a dangerous liking for this fell banquet. Stcedman speaks of this in his "Wanderings and Adventures in the interior of Southern Africa," and alleges that the hya.na will pass through the * herds of calves, &c, which are always secured close around the Hottentot huts, and, stealing into the interior, "take the children from under
the mother's kaross, and this in such a gentle and cautious manner, that the poor parent has been unconscious of her loss until the cries of the little innocent have reached her from without, when a close prisoner in the jaws of the monster."
And yet, notwithstanding this ferocity, in the district of Scheuf berg, at the Cape, the spotted hyaena is sometimes domesticated in the houses of the peasantry, among whom, we are told, "he is preferred to the dog himself for attachment to his master, for general sagacity, and even, it is said, for his qualifications for the chase."
The striped hyena, of the north of Africa and of Asia, differs in no essential particular, save in the substitution of a barred for a spotted dress, from the above variety—the description of the one, with this single variation, will serve for that of the other. In many particulars the hyena resembles both the dog and the wolf, the latter especially in disposition and size, yet, in other respects, it is so singular in its conformation that it is impossible to confound this race with any other class of animals. The skull of the hyena is short, and remarkable for its solidity and thickness; the character of the mouth, too, is peculiar—the tuberculous, or small teeth, generally found behind the carnivorous, being utterly wanting, while these last progressively increase in size, as they are placed more and more backward. This formidable array of fangs adorns jaws which arc possessed of enormous strength, and adapted for crushing the hardest substances; the muscles which raise the lower jaw are in consequence unusually developed, and appear like enormous masses of flesh on either side of the head. The neck, chest, and shoulders of the hyena are extremely powerful, while the hind-quarters are disproportionably low, and the hind-legs bent, crouching, and knock-kneed, causing the pace even when rapid to be of a shuffling or dragging character. Indeed, it is a remarkable peculiarity about this animal, that when he is first obliged to run, he always appears lame for a considerable distance, so much so, as in some instances to have induced the belief that one of his legs was broken. After running some time, however, this halting disappears, and he proceeds on his course very swiftly. This is, perhaps, the only quadruped which possesses but four toes on either foot; the claws these are armed with are blunt, stout, and nonretractile, but the dew-claw in the dog and the innermost claw of the feline kind are, strange to say, utterly wanting. The coat is of two different materials, fur or wool in small quantities being intermixed with long, stiff, and silky-looking hair. The general color of the hide is a dirty yellow, or yellowish brown, the oblique stripes, and numerous spots of the respective varieties being of so dark a tint as almost to arrive at a perfect black. A coarse, bristly mane runs down the spine, and terminates in a short and bushy tail, while the ears, which give a good deal of character to the head and face, are nearly destitute of hair, a fact which is the more apparent, as they arc large, pointed, and very erect.
It has been asserted that the striped hyena is
of a less ferocious temper than his spotted brother, and we can hardly think that this can really be a fact; we should rather imagine that the placability of either species depends more on the circumstances in which they have been respectively placed than upon natural temperament. "Every kind of beast is tamed and hath been tamed of mankind," and we believe the spotted hyena is to the full as susceptible of kindness, and amenable to education, as is the other variety.
A TURKISH REVOLUTION.
IN the year 1065 of the Hegira, on the second day of the feasts of Beiram, a large group of Mussulmans was assembled in a circle before the mosque of St. Sophia. Some were standing, and others were sitting cross-legged on mats or carpets spread upon the sand. By degrees the grOnp was increased, as the Moslems issued from the temple, and as passers-by, prompted by curiosity, remained to sec what was going on. Every eye was turned toward one point with a look of expectation , but a cloud of bluish smoke slowly rising in the air proved that the gratification of their curiosity was not the only pleasure which these Mussulmans enjoyed.
In the midst of this crowd of smokers, a young man of remarkably handsome features, though somewhat bronzed by an Asiatic sun. was seated before a small table, which was covered with swords and brass balls. He was dressed in a kind of close jacket of green silk, admirably adapted to set off his light and graceful figure; a girdle of antelope skin, on which some mysterious characters were inscribed in silver, confined a pair of loose trowsers, which were drawn in close at the ankle. This light and attractive dress was completed by a Phrygian cap, from the top of which hung a small musical bell. By this costume, at once graceful and fantastie, it was easy to recognize one of those jugglers whom the feasts of Beiram drew every year to Stamboul, and to whom was erroneously given the name of zingari.
The spectators soon became so numerous, that many found it difficult to get even a glimpse of the juggler's tricks. The brass balls, glittering in the sun, were flying round his head with amazing rapidity, and forming every variety of figure at his pleasure. The ease and grace with which the zingaro performed these wonders gave promise of still greater. At length, allowing the balls to drop one after the other into a resounding vase at his feet, he armed himself with a yataghan. Seizing the brilliant hilt, he drew the blade from its costly scabbard, and dexterously whirling it over his head, made as it were a thousand flashes of lightning sparkle around him. The Mussulmans slowly bowed their heads in token of approbation, much after the manner of those Chinese mandarins, carried about by the Italian boys, that make perpetual salutations to each other.
The zingaro continued his exploits without appearing to notice the admiration he excited. He next took a pigeon's egg from a small moss basket, and placing it upright on the table, he struck it with the edge of his sword, without injuring its fragile covering. An incredulous bystander took the egg to examine it, but the slight pressure of his fingers served to destroy the frail object which had resisted the blow of the cimeter. Then taking off his Phrygian cap the juggler disclosed a large clear forehead, shaded by locks of jetty blackness. Placing upon his bare head a pyramid of steel, which he had first submitted to the circle for inspection, he made the curved weapon fly around him with such fearful velocity, that he appeared for a moment to be enveloped within the luminous circles it described. Presently the sword appeared to deviate, and grazed the hair of the intrepid young man. Some Europeans present turned pale, and closed their eyes against the dreaded sight; but the juggler's hand was sure. The yataghan, which had spared the pigcon's egg, had severed in two the pyramid of steel.
This act of dexterity was followed by many others no less perilous. The boldness of the zingaro terrified the usually impassive Turks; and, what was yet more surprising, he even made them smile by the amusing stories he related. Persons of his profession in Asia were generally silent, and their only powers of amusement lay in their fingers' ends; but this man possessed the varied qualities of an Indian juggler and an Arabian storyteller. He paused between almost every trick to continuo a tale, again to be interrupted by fresh displays of his power; thus by turns delighting the eyes and the cars of his audience. During the more dangerous of his performances, even the smokers held their breath, and not a sound was to be heard but the quivering of the steel and the tinkling of the bell.
One of the most enthusiastic admirers of the zingaro was a man apparently about forty years of age, whose carpet was placed in the first circle, and whose dress denoted him to be of superior rank. This was the bostangi-bassa, superintendent of the gardens, and keeper of the privy purse to the grand signior. The juggler having at length completed his tricks, the people remained to hear the conclusion of the story which had been so often interrupted. He then continued his narration, which was one of the wild fictions of the east, in pronouncing the last words of which, a melancholy expression passed over his countenance. He was aroused by the voice of the bostan gi.
"Since you are such a magician," said the bostangi-bassa, "will you tell me which is the sultan's favorite flower?"
"The poppy of Aleppo; it is red," replied the juggler, without a moment's hesitation.
"At what time docs the sultan sleep? " resumed the bostangi, after a few moments' reflection, expecting to puzzle him by this question.
"Never!" said the juggler.
The bassa started, and looked anxiously around him, fearing lest other ears than his own had heard this answer. He slowly arose and beckoned the zingaro to approach him; then lowering
his voice—" Can you tell me," said he, "the name of his favorite wife?"
"Yes," replied the diviner, in a satirical tone, "it is Assarach."
The bostangi put his finger on the juggler's lips.
''Follow me," said he; and, as he moved to depart, the crowd respectfully opened a passage before him.
The young man took up his yataghan, and leaving the remainder of his baggage »o be carried by a slave, he followed the steps of his guide toward the great door of the palace.
The history of the successors of Mohammed often present little beyond the melancholy spectacle of a throne at the mercy of a lawless soldiery. Mahmoud was not the first of his race who sought to free the seraglio from those formidable guardians. Soliman III. had formed this perilous design before him, but he was put to death by the janissaries, led by Mustapha, bis uncle, who came from the Morea for the ostensible purposs of defending the emperor, but in reality to seize upon his throne. The sultan Mustapha, who had commenced his reign in such a tragic manner, experienced all the anxiety and uneasiness which must ever attend the acts of a usurper and a tyrant. Sordid, suspicious, and perfidious, he broke through every promise he had made to the janissaries, whose creature nevertheless he was. Instead of doubling their pay, he diminished it; instead of lessening the taxes, he doubled them. He lived buried in the depths of his palace, the care of which he had confided to the Greek soldiery, notwithstanding the murmurs of the legitimate guards. The mutes, dwarfs, and buffoons at the palace could alone obtain access to his presence.
At the time the zingaro was amusing the gfave subjects of his highness, Mustapha was seated cross-legged on his divan in an inner apartment of the palace, seeking to drive away his ennui in watching the columns of fragrant smoke as they slowly rose from the long tube of his narghile. A slave stood beside him, holding a feathered fan of varied colors. The buffoons of the palace had vainly tried to extort one smile from their master. The impassibility of the grand signior gave them to understand that their time was ill chosen, and that mirth would be dangerous; they had, therefore, one after the other, quitted the apartment, waiting to re-enter at the good pleasure of the prince. One among them, however,—the favorite dwarf, and the most deformed of all the inmates of the palace—wished to make another attempt. He entered noiselessly, and, seating himself near the musing sultan, he took up one of the tubes of the narghile, and putting it to his lips, he imitated the looks and posture of his master. When the latter perceived that the intention of the buffoon was to parody his sacred person, he gave the unfortunate courtier a most violent push with his foot, and resumed his reverie. The head of the dwarf hit against the marble fountain, and blood flowed from the wound. The hapless jester, whose only fault lay in endeavoring to amuse his master, left the apartment with tears glistening in his eyes, and soon not a sound was to be heard throughout the immense palace but thevoicc of the muezzin summoning to the duties of the mosque.
Shortly afterward tho hangings opposite the divan were gently raised, and a man stood in a respectful attitude before Mustapha.
"What would'st thou!" said the sultan.
The bostangi-bassa, for it was he, replied briefly, according to tho custom of the seraglio: "A juggler stands without; he might perchance amuse your highness."
The sultan made a sign in the negative.
"This man," continued the bostangi, " knows strange things; he can read the future."
"Let him come in!"
The bostangi bowed profoundly and retired.
Black slaves, armed with drawn and glistening cimetcrs, surrounded the imperial sofa when the zingaro was introduced. After a slight salutation, the young man leaned gracefully upon his yataghan, awaiting the orders of the emperor.
"Thy name!" demanded Mustapha.
"Thy country V
"Jugglers have no country."
"I was five years old when you first girded on the sword of Ottoman."
"Whence comest thou?"
"From tho Morea, signior," replied the zingaro, pronouncing the words with emphasis.
The sultan remained silent for a moment, but soon added, gayly: "Since you can read the future, I will put your knowledge to the proof. When people know tho future, they ought to know the past!"
"You say right, signior; he who sees the evening star rise in the horizon has but to turn his head to view the last rays of the setting sun."
"Well! tell me how I made my ablutions yesterday."
"The first with Canary wine, the second with wine of Cyprus, and the third with that of Chios."
The " chief of the believers" smiled and stroked his beard; he was indeed in the habit of derogating in this respect, as in many others, from the prescriptions of the Koran.
"Knowest thou," replied the sultan, whom the zingaro's answer had put into a pleasant humor —" knowest thou that I could have thee beheaded?"
"Doubtless," said the juggler, undauntedly, "as you did the Spanish merchant, who watered his wine before he sold it to yon."
Mustapha applauded the knowledge of the zingaro. He hesitated, nevertheless, before he ventured to put the dreaded question that tyrants, who are ever superstitious, never fail to demand of astrologers—" How long have I to live!"
The grand signior assumed a persuasive tone, and even condescended to flatter the organ of destiny, in hopes of obtaining a favorable answer.
"Thou art a wonderful youth," said he; "thou knowest things of which,beside thyself, the mutes
only possess the secret; I have questioned many fakeers, marabouts, and celebrated dervises, who have three times visited the tomb of the prophet, but none of them were able to answer me as thou hast. I should wish to keep thee in my palace; I will make thee richer than all the merchants of Galata, if thou wilt tell me the year when I must die."
Mehalle then approached the emperor, and taking his hand, he appeared to study the lines of it with deep attention. Having finished his examination, he went to the window, and fixed his eyes for some time upon the heavens. "The fires of Beiram are lighting up the cupola of the grand mosque," said he, slowly; "night is at hand."
Mustapha anxiously awaited the answer of the astrologer. The latter continued in a mysterious manner: "The declining day still eclipses the light of the constellations. I will answer you, signior, when the evening star appears."
The sultan made a movement of impatience; anger was depicted in his countenance, and the look which he darted on the mutes showed the zingaro that he had incurred his highness's displeasure. Curiosity, however, doubtless prevailed over every other feeling of the prince's mind; for, turning to Mehalle, he said: "I am little accustomed to wait; I will do so, however, if thou canst amuse me until the propitious hour arrives."
"Would your highness like to see some feats of juggling?" said Mehalle, drawing his sabro from the scabbard.
"No! no !" exclaimed the sultan, making the circle of slaves close in about him. "Leave thine arms."
"Would you prefer a story, signior? "
"Stories that lull an Arab to sleep under his tent? No, I must have something new. Of all known games, there is but one I care for; I used to play it formerly; but now, there is not a single person within my empire who understands a chess-board."
The zingaro smiled, and taking an ebony box from a velvet bag, he presented it to the sultan, whose wish he understood.
The words of Mustapha will require some explanation for the reader. The sultan was passionately fond of the game of chess. At the commencement of his reign he easily found adversaries, and played for considerable sums. He possessed the secret of keeping fortune always at his side: when he lost, the happy conqueror was strangled. Those of his adherents whom he admitted to the honor of his imperial company, were compelled to submit either to their ruin, or, if they preferred it, to their death. In a short time, not a person could be found within the whole extent of the empire who knew any thing of the game of chess. Mehalle was not ignorant of these circumstances; nevertheless, it was a chess-board that he offered to the sultan. The stern countenance of the prince relaxed at the sight, and the board was immediately placed on the bowed back of a slave. Before commencing