« 이전계속 »
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 hyena 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 tiie 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 are 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 arc 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. TN the year 1065 of the Hegira, on the second 'i- 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 group was increased, as the Moslems issued from the temple, and as passers-by, prompted by curiosity, remained to see what was going on. Every eye was turned toward one point with a look of expectation; hut a cloud of bluish smoke slowly rising in the air proved that the gratification of their curiosity was not the only pleasuro 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 Stambout, 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 graco 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 the 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 the 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 thoul"
"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 the 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 you."
Mustapha applauded the knowledge of the zingaro. He hesitated, nevertheless, before ho 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 sabre 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 the game, however, the sultan, after a moment's reflection, said: "We are about to play; so far, good; but, shouldst thou lose, what shall I gain?"
"Since your highness does me tho honor of playing against me, I will stake all that I possess, this cimeter and my liberty. But what if I win!" added the zingaro, folding his arms.
"Shouldst thou win, I will give thee a slave."
"For a free man!—the stake is not equal."
"I will add to it my finest courser."
"I need it not; my feet are swifter than those of an Arab steed."
"What wilt thou then!"
"I have a fancy, sublime signior. Until this day I have been nothing but a poor wanderer, and have worn only the dress and the cap of a juggler. Were I to complain of this, I should be ungrateful, for this simple garb has ever seen me free and happy. I, however, renounce it; I become your slave; my mirth shall be for you alone; I will sing for you Indian songs, and, above all, I will divine for none but you. In return, I will ask but one thing; it is to allow me, if I win, to wear your royal mantle for ten minutes, to sit upon the divan surrounded by slaves, and to place upon my head that dreaded turban, whose lame has reached to the very ends of the earth."
The proposition of Mehalle was received with a burst of laughter from the sultan. Had Mustapha not laughed, the zingaro was a dead man.
"Thou wouldst sit upon the seat of the caliphs! Dost thou not fear the weight of this turban upon thy silly head! A fine figure thou wouldst make under the pelisse of Ottoman! I should like to see thee giving audience to the viziers and the pashas!"
"It is in your highness's power to afford yourself this pleasure."
"Well," exclaimed Mustapha, " I will agree to the stake. A juggler upon the throne! Such a sight was never seen in the East."
The game commenced; it was short. The sultan lost, but he was in a pleasant vein, and he prepared to fulfill his engagement.
Mustapha loosened his girdle, took off his pelisse, and laid down his turban, while a slave assisted to invest Mehalle in the royal garments. These preparations completed, the sultan, dressed only in loose silken trowsers and a richly embroidered vest, approached a clock, and placing his finger on the dial plate—" When the hand shall mark the hour of eight," said he, "I shall have paid my debt, and then, signior, you will become my astrologer."
The juggler ascended the divan, and having placed his faithful cimeter at his side, he ordered the doors to be thrown open for the numerous courtiers who had been long awaiting the good pleasure of his highness. The apartment, which the dim light of evening rendered rather obscure, was immediately filled with a large assembly, among which were mingled the mufti, and the ulemas, the aga of the janissaries, the pashas from their different provinces, and the great officers of the port e, the bostangi-bassa being of the number.
Seated apart mpon velvet cushions, Mustapha was laughing in his sleeve at the surprise which awaited the assembly, and at the embarrassment which would doubtless be exhibited by the zingaro.
At a sign from Mustapha, the flambeaux were lighted, and the room was brilliantly illuminated. Venetian mirrors reflected the jets d'eau which fell in dazzling showers into basins of green marble. This enchanting scene was unnoticed by the assembly; all were bending respectfully befors the sultan's divan, and Mustapha, whose eyes were fixed on the zingaro, began to look uneasy.
Mehalle stood with lofty bearing and majestic air With one hand he grasped his yataghan, while with the other he motioned the assembly to rise.
Murmurs of admiration passed through the apartment; the young man received them with a smile, and, fixing more firmly on his head the green turban, shaded by a plume of scarlet feathers, he cried in a commanding tone: "Let the standard of the prophet be raised on the grand mosque! the people will salute it from afar at the fires of Beirarn!" At these words an officer stepped forth to execute the order; but Mustapha rose to prevent him.
"Haggi Mohammed," continued tho zingaro, with an imperious gesture, "obey!"
The aga bowed and retired. Mehalle added: "Let the imauns repair to the temples, and offer up petitions for the new sultan! Cadilisquicr, have the tomb of Mustapha opened in Scutari, the city of the dead."
The sultan tried to smile. "Keepers of the treasury," continued the juggler, "distribute among the poor of Stamboul the accumulated hoardings of the late emperor."
"Enough, buffoon!" exclaimed Mustapha, in an agitated voice, on seeing how readily bis servants obeyed these strange orders. The plot became alarming.
"I still command," replied the zingaro, with calm self-possession; "the clock has not yet struck the hour of eight. Art thou then so impatient to know the fate that awaits thee V The courtiers were at a loss to understand this mysterious scene. They looked with terror on this bold young man, invested with the insignia of power, and the bostangi was astonished to see his sanguinary master tremble before a strolling juggler.
"Mustapha," continued the diviner, "thou wouldst know the time of thy death? I am about to tell thee, for the evening star has risen! I will tell thee even, in order to be generous, what death thou shalt die. Mufti, advance."
The president of the oumela came forward. The zingaro proceeded: "You, who read each day the book of our prophet, and explain it to the people, sovereign judge of the empire, tell this man how avarice and usury ought to be punished; what penalty awaits him who shelters himself in retirement that he may break the laws, who intoxicates himself during the hours of purification, and who, stained with every crime, has never used his power but to oppress the weak. to spoil the rich, to ruin innocence, and to sacrifice virtue!"
Great excitement now prevailed, and Mustapha, pale, and deprived of all self-possession, sought the hilt of his dagger.
The mufti replied in a low and grave tons "The least of these crimes is deserving of death"
"Thou hearest, Mustapha, it is the prophet who condemns thee!" As he said this, he beckoned to the mutes; Mustapha tried to rush to the divan, but he was seized by the slaves, who passed the cord around his neck.
"Yes, thine hour is come," pursued the diviner; "the lives of so many victims must be paid for by thine own; I am at length come to avenge them."
"And who art thou?"
"It needs not I should tell thee, for thou knowest me! On this day fifteen years, a man fell, pierced with wounds by the hands of thy soldiers, on the very spot where within this hour thou shalt die. Thou didst seize on his possessions, thou didst invest thyself with his turban, but it wanted then those feathers dyed in his blood. That man was my father; he was the caliph. Yes! I am the son of Soliman. Thou hast massacred my family. Thou hast reckoned their heads also. Thou hast confounded the son of thy master with the child of the slave. I am the evening star—I am the sultan Amurath!"
As he thus spoke, the young prince made a step forward. His lofty brow, his features, his voice, the almost supernatural majesty of his countenance, inspired a deep emotion in the assembly. All the courtiers prostrated themselves upon the marble floor. They thought they saw again the young and glorious Soliman in one of those audiences when he made the rebellious pashas quail before him.
After a moment of respectful silence, the cry of " Long live Amurath!" shook the roof of the seraglio, and was echoed in the distance by the crowd who were thronging toward Saint Sophia. At the same moment the body of Mustapha fell lifeless to the ground. The time-piece slowly struck the hour, and the muezzin, in a solemn voice, repeated from the cupola, "It is eight o'clock!"
INCIDENTS OF JURY TRIALS.
OF all public duties there is none of such fearful responsibility, if we except the dissemination of divine truth, as that which devolves on the empanneled jury, who are to decide on facts on which human life depends. The unbiased judgment, notwithstanding appearances and circumstances—the undeviating attention to conflicting evidence, intricate details, and trifling incidents, which become important from their bearing, the charitable feeling which should keep alive all doubts of guilt till fully proved, are, indeed, mental exercises of the highest order. They may be tasked too much in decisions where all rests on circumstantial evidence—the fallibility of such evidence has not been rare, even in cases where
common sense could have no doubt. The consciousness that such has been tho case, and the conviction that such may often be the case, are strong arguments against the forfeiture of life on circumstantial evidence. Wherever there exists a moral possibility that the criminal act may not have been committed by the accused, the safer course the law could take would be not to demand the dreadful sacrifice—that should be for proof which could not be set aside—it is a contested point whether capital punishment should be altogether abolished, and much may be said on both sides.
It is essential to the well-being of society that the secrecy with which crimes are committed, is not sufficient to prevent their discovery. Crimes of great enormity seldom escape detection, and there are few aphorisms more true than that "murder will out." Some vestige is constantly left in the hurry and confusion attending an act of violence. Nay, the very means taken for concealment often lead to detection. It is justly remarked by Starkie, that the consideration of the nature of circumstantial evidence, and of the principles on which it is founded, merits the most profound attention. Scientific assistance has been eminently useful in saving the innocent and detecting tho guilty. In some remarkable trials for murder many offenders have been detected by the observation of medical men, who have traced the facts by slight and unexpected circumstances. Many cases mentioned in Taylor's Medical Jurisprudence, to whom we are indebted for most interesting information, illustrate this statement. He mentions that when Sir Astley Cooper was called to see Mr. Blight, of Deptford, who had been mortally wounded by a pistol shot, in tho year 1806, ho inferred from an examination of the localities, that tho shot must have been fired by a left-handed man. The only left-handed man near the premises at the time was a Mr. Patch, a particular friend of the deceased, who was not in the least suspected. The man was afterward tried and convicted of the crime, and he made a full confession of his guilt before execution. Yet medical evidence is not always bome out by the fact. A man was stabbed by another in the face. A knife, with the blade entire, was brought forward as evidence against the prisoner at the trial, the surgeon having declared that the wound must have been caused by this knife; tho wounded person recovered, but a year afterward a fistula formed in the face, and the broken point of the real weapon was discharged from the sinus; the wound could not, therefore, have been produced by the knife brought forward against tha prisoner at the trial.
We may reasonably conclude that marks, mistaken for blood-stains, found on the clothes of persons suspected of murder, have often been taken as conclusive evidence against them; but the noble science of chemistry can ascertain when the marks are vegetable stains, however closely resembling those of blood. By an ingenious process suggested by M. Taddie, of Florence, human blood can be distinguished from animal, and