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THE CHAMOIS-KLIPSPRINGER-COATS AND SHEEP.
a view of every way of approach. When man adding a few details. Its time of feeding is mornor a beast of prey appears, he makes a loud ing and evening, when on the green slopes afar, hissing noise, as a warning of danger at hand ; the herd may be often seen with their young the herd then run towards him to ascertain its ones gamboling like playful kids. The hair of nature, and be certain that the alarm was not this animal is thick, long, and coarse, serving needless; they gaze a moment: is it a hunter, not only as a protection against cold, but as a and well they know their most formidable de- provision against the bruises to which we may stroyer, off they bound from ledge to ledge, conceive the creature to be perpetually liable. where the eye can mark no footing, from crag Its hoofs are admirably adapted for security, to crag, from point to point; they clear the heing so formed as to avail themselves of every chasm, they sweep over the glacier, they throw little roughness or projection, either of the naked themselves down the precipice, pitching as if by granite, or the icy glacier. The horns, rising miracle on the slightest projection. The foe just above the eyes, are black, smooth, and still follows. Away to the summits of the Alpine straight, for two-thirds of their length, when peaks, over snows and ice, by precipices of fear- they suddenly curve backwards in a hook. The ful depth, over fathomless abysses, up rocky bar- size of the Chamois is equal to that of a large riers, which rise like the walls of a citadel, on goat; its colour is dark chestnut brown, with the they bound, straining every nerve for safety. exception of the forehead, the sides of the lower But notwithstanding all their vigilance, all their jaw, and the muzzle, which are white. It can selspeed, all their artifices, and the rocky barriers dom be captured alive, and never thrives in captiof their mountain home, the hunter's rifle thinsvity. Like the Swiss, its congenial home is among their numbers, and the species has for some time its native mountains, and in its native liberty. been on the gradual decrease. We believe, however, that certain regulations are now adopted in The Chamois of Europe has a representaSwitzerland, by which the race will again multiply. tive in the KLIPSPRINGER, (Antilope oreotragus,
The hunting of the Chamois is one of the Forst.) of the rocky mountains of the Cape of most perilous of human undertakings: no Cha- | Good Hope. Its horns, however, are straight mois hunter ever dreams of any other death than throughout their whole length; but the manners that of falling from the brink of a precipice, or and habits of the two species are very similar. of being buried in some chasm beneath the treacherous snow; yet with a knowledge of From the chamois we pass, by a natural tran. every danger, and a conviction of the fatal end, sition, to the Goats and the Sheep; between which, no one who has ever embraced this desperate however the domesticated breeds of Europe may mode of life can give it up; it is, in fact, a kind differ, it is impossible to discriminate with any of infatuation, produced, like that of a gambler, thing like clearness when we leave the cultivated by alternate hopes and fears, disappointment and varieties, and refer to the species in their wild success, each felt in its most intense degree, and and unreclaimed condition. Here those charackeeping up in the mind an excitement to which ters on which most naturalists have founded two every other seems poor and insipid. Wherever distinct genera vanish. The woolly fleece, which the Chamois flees, there must the hunter follow, we are apt to fancy as peculiar to the sheep, along ledges of rock, by the brink of abysses, gives place in the wild races to long coarse hair. where the footing is barely sufficient for the hoof The direction of the horns, on which Cuvier of the animal he chases ; up the rugged sides of chiefly relies, together with the convexity of the precipices, where to slip is death inevitably, or line of the profile, is subject to infinite variety; from one point of rock to another by a leap the beard at most is but a trifling specific distincwhich madness would alone attempt: such is his tion, and by no means to be trusted ; and, be
All he carries besides his gun is a bag sides all this, the races produce a mixed breed, of provisions, an iron-shod staff to assist in from whence spring numerous descendants. In climbing or leaping, and an axe to cut steps in fact, it would appear that there are no solid the towering parapets of ice; his shoes are fur- grounds for separating the goats and the sheep nished with a number of iron points studded into distinct genera. In both, we find the orbitar over the soles, to lessen the danger of slipping : sinuses wanting; in both, the osseous core of the thus provided, he spends days and nights among horns is hollowed into cells or cavities communithe mountains in his dangerous enterprize. cating with the sinuses of the frontal bones; in
Some have looked upon such a picture as we both, the horny laminæ consist of a series of have sketched, with feelings of admiration and rings, added in succession as the animal increases enthusiasm; but more regard it with pity, al- in size and years. most bordering on contempt. We see in it a When we leave the consideration of genera, mere perversion of mental energies capable of and come to that of species, we find ourselves better things, and we lament the infatuation of even more at a loss than ever. Diffieult is it to the man who thus follows a pursuit as worthless discriminate between animals peculiarly subject as it is hazardous. But what shall we say of the to variety produced by food and climate, and exmen of the world who, ungifted with that cou-hibiting, at the most, but slight modifications of rage which the hunter of the Alps displays, seek character; but still more difficult, granting that with an equal infatuation after objects equally the species be clearly made out, to know to worthless, more intrinsically sinful, and calling which we are to look as the origin of our domesforth the exercise of no mental energies what- ticated breeds, which, like the dog, have been ever. They and their pursuits are alike despic- the property of the human race as far as the able.“ My soul, come not thou into their secret.” earliest records trace back the history of man ;
We conclude our account of the Chamois, by | indeed, as with the dog, the question forces
THE WILD AND DOMESTIC GOAT.
itself upon us, Have not these animals been al- their iniquities into a land not inhabited; and he ways domesticated-have they not, from man's shall let go the goat in the wilderness,” Lev. xvi. first days of toil, been given to him as essen- 20—22. tially necessary to his very existence? The shep- The Mosaic dispensation was a type of that herd condition of mankind is allowed to be that which was to come ; it sets forth a sacrifice of of primeval antiquity, as is proved by sacred infinite price to be offered once and for all; one writ, and supported by the many records and al- who should bear our sins to a land of oblivion, lusions of classic authors. " Abel was a keeper where they should be remembered no of sheep,” and he“ brought the firstlings of his against us. Christ is the Antitype of the sacri. flock” as an offering to God; and the golden fice and of the scapegoat; God “hath laid on him ages were those of a pastoral life, when men led the iniquity of us all.” Let our readers turn to their flocks and their herds over the plains and the ninth chapter of Paul to the Hebrews : “Christ mountains.
being come an High Priest of good things to However, as Cuvier, while acknowledging come,” “neither by the blood of goats and calves, how little the separation is warranted, has but by his own blood he entered in once into the thrown these races into two genera, we shall so holy place, having obtained eternal redemption far follow him as to take a glance, first, at the for us,” ver. 12. And again, chap. X.: “For the genus Capra, LINN. ; that, namely, of the Goats, law having a shadow of good things to come, and distinguished by the backward direction of the not the very image of the things, can never with horns, and the concave line of profile.
those sacrifices which they offered year by year
continually make the comers thereunto perfect," The Wild Goat (Capra ægagrus) is found ver. 1, ....." for it is not possible that the blood in herds in the great mountain chains of Asia, of bulls and of goats should take away sins," ver. where it bounds wild and free. Its size is supe- 4,.....” but this Man, (Jesus Christ,) after he rior to that of our domesticated breed ; and its had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat horns are usually larger, with sharp anterior down on the right hand of God,” ver. 12. edges. It is known by the name of Paseng, in To return. Several travellers have noticed a the mountain districts of Persia.
breed of goats in Syria remarkable for the extent
and development of the ears, which hang down The DOMESTIC Goat (Capra hircus) offers, so as, in fact, to touch the ground: and it is not like all thoroughly reclaimed animals, over whom a little curious to reflect upon this circumstance, man has held a long continued influence, an al- trivial as it may seem in itself, inasmuch as it most endless number of varieties, as it respects throws a light upon the expression of Amos: size, colour, and the quality of the hair, nay, “ As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the even the magnitude and number of the horns. lion two legs, or a piece of an ear,” ch. iii. 12. The Goats of Angora and Cappadocia have long Several goats of this race have come under our been celebrated for their soft and silky hair, own observation: their hair is long and flowing; forming the staple of the cloth called camlet. their horns short, and curling close to the head;
In Thibet, there is a breed furnished with an the ears of amazing size and thickness. The undercoat of wool of exquisite fineness and deli- Engraving, No. 56, is a representation of the head cacy; it is from this that the so much valued of one of this celebrated breed, which, with trifling Cashmere shawls are fabricated. Upper Egypt variations in the length of the ears, appears to has a race, on the contrary, with close smooth be extensively spread throughout the western hair, a convex forehead, and a projecting lower countries of Asia and the northern line of Africa. jaw. The Goat is abundant in Syria, where the nature of the pasturage is such as peculiarly be- We shall here close our account of the goat. fits it, and where it was formerly, and is still, There is, however, one animal allied to it which kept in flocks, tended by keepers of the fold. requires a moment's notice; namely, the IbEx, Numerous are the allusions to it in the Holy (Capra ibex.) The Ibex is found occupying the Scriptures, from which we learn, that it consti- most elevated points of the higher ranges of the tuted no mean portion of the wealth of a pastoral mountains throughout Europe and Asia, but more people ; its flesh was used as food, and its hair especially of those of western Asia and the adja. wrought into cloth. It was among the animals cent countries of Europe. In these solitudes, it offered up in sacrifice under the Mosaic dispen- lives in small herds, under the guidance of an sation; and who does not recollect the scape-experienced leader. In its manners, it is much goat ?
“And he shall kill the goat of the sin-of-like the chamois, being vigilant, and surprisingly fering that is for the people, and bring his blood active. When hard pressed, it has been known within the vail, and do with that blood as he did to turn upon the hunter, and hurl him down the with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it precipice. The horns of the Ibex are of large upon the mercy-seat, and before the mercy-seat,” size, knotted with a series of elevated rings, and Lev. xvi. 15. ** And when he hath made an end arched gracefully backwards with a sweeping of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle curve. (See Engraving, No.57.) We have measured of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring some four feet in length; and, it is said, they a live goat; and Aaron shall lay both his hands have been found much larger. The colour of upon the head of the live goat, and confess over the animal is greyish yellow above, and dull him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, white on the under parts, with a brown band and all their transgressions in all their sins, put- along the flanks, and a black line down the spine. ting them upon the head of the goat, and shall In winter, there is an additional coat of long send him away by the hand of a fit man into the coarse hair, which is shed as summer comes on, wilderness; and the goat shall bear upon him all / leaving the undercoat short and fine. Varieties,
THE SHEEP-ARGALI-MOUFLON--THE OX.
if not distinct species, occur in Siberia, on the on his right hand,” saying, “ Come, ye blessed high mountains of Caucasus, and of Nubia. of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world.” Leaving the goats, we next notice the Sheep, To return. In a state of complete subserviency distinguished by the general want of a beard, a to man, the Sheep offers in every country peculiar convex line of profile, and by the tournure of the modifications of character, produced, no doubt, horns, which, at first sweeping backwards, gra- by a combination of circumstances. Among our dually return so as to point forwards, with a ten- European breeds, none are more celebrated than dency to a spiral curve. The name of the genus, the Merino sheep of Spain ; which have been or rather, as we esteem it, section of one great transferred to our country, to Germany, and natural family, is Ovis, LINN.
New South Wales. In hotter countries, the To enumerate all the races or breeds of this fleece gives way to hair, and loses its form as animal in a state of domestication would be a wool. In Russia, there is a breed distinguished profitless undertaking. In every age, the Sheep by a long trailing tail; and in India and Guinea has been among the most valued of man's pos- a race which, to an elongated tail, add long pensessions, and its history is blended with that of dent ears, a marked convexity of forehead, and the laws and customs of nations. Writers, sa- long and slender limbs ; they are without horns, cred and profane, poets and historians of all and have hair short and smooth. In Persia, Tartimes, have abounded in allusions to it; and tary, and China, we find the Sheep with a tail what can be more beautiful or more interesting transformed into an enormous double globe of fat. than to behold hill and valley whitened with In Syria and Barbary, the Sheep have the tail flocks, feeding in peaceful security ? Such a of considerable length, and consisting of one scene may well remind us of the days of the pa- immense mass of fat, so that it is often necestriarchs, when the office of a shepherd was the sary to support it artificially. occupation of chiefs and princes, and a pastoral life the sole condition of mankind. Rachel, we Many wild races of sheep are found to inhabit are told, kept her father's sheep, Gen. xxix. 9 ; | the mountain regions of eastern Europe, of Asia, Joseph and his brethren were feeders of sheep; of Africa, and America. Of these, we may menand Moses “ kept the flock of Jethro, his father- tion the ARGALI of Siberia, (Ovis ammon, LINN.) in-law, the priest of Midian ; and he led the flock a native of the mountains of Asia, strong, musto the backside of the desert, and came to the cular, and active. Its size is that of a deer; the mountain of God, even to Horeb," Exod. iii. 1. horns are thick and roughly ringed; in summer, The firstlings of the flock were offered in sacri- the hair is smooth, and yellowish grey; in winfice, according to the Jewish ritual : “ Now this ter, it becomes thick, harsh, and reddish; the is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; muzzle, the throat, and under parts remaining two lambs of the first year day by day continu- always whitish. ally. The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morn- A curious modification occasioned by cultivaing, and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even,' tion, is the possession of four horns, a lusus freExod. xxix. 38, 39. Hence, as the Antitype of quent among the races of Asia, and the peculiathese sacrifices, Christ is expressly called “ the rity of a breed common in the north of Europe, Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the said to have been originally derived from Iceland world ;" a Lamb without blemish and spot.” | and the Feroe Islands. Of the head of one of In the Revelation, ch. V., the same figure is car- this remarkable variety, we present a characterried on: see verse 6;“ And lo, in the midst of the istic sketch. (See Engraving, No. 58.)
stood a Lamb as it had been slain." And again : “ After this I beheld, and, lo, a Allied to the argali is the MOUFLON of Sardigreat multitude, which no man could number, of nia, (Ovis musimon, PALL.) differing from it only all nations and kindreds, and people and tongues, in being somewhat less in size, and in the horns stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, being either very small or altogether absent in clothed with white robes, and palms in their the fernale ; it is found among the mountains of hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Sal- | Crete, Sardinia, and Corsica. vation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb,” ch. vii. 9, 10. The people We must now pass from the sheep to the last of God are also often described under the simili- genus of the order Ruminantia, a genus equally tude of sheep, Christ being the Shepherd : “ I am interesting to man, and equally connected with the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am his history. It is the genus Bos, embracing the known of mine, .... and I lay down my life for various races of oxen distributed over the face of the sheep,” John x. 14, 15.
the globe. Their distinguishing characters, as a We need not, however, dilate upon this part genus, consist in the horns being smooth, except of our subject; every reader is doubtless familiar at the base, where they are ringed, simple, with those interesting passages—passages of vital curved outwards at the base and upwards at the import, in which the sheep is alluded to; nor, point, the osseous core within having cavities indeed, will our limits allow us more than just to communicating with the frontal sinuses, in the drop a few hints by way of improvement. Though muzzle being large, the skin of the neck forming “all we, like sheep, have gone astray,” yet if, a pendulous dewlap, and in general robustness by grace, through faith, we have returned to and the massive construction of the body. Rethe “ great Shepherd and Bishop of souls,” if we claimed as the Ox has been from the earliest can say, “We are the sheep of thy pasture,” | ages, we are here also involved in a labyrinth of happy shall we be at that hour when he divideth difficulties when we attempt to search out the the sheep from the goats, and “shall set the sheep | origin of our domesticated varieties, presenting an