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But their natural instincts for their preservation are much more extraordinary than those artificial tricks that are taught them. They make themselves a form particularly in those places where the colour of the grass most resembles that of their skin; it is open to the south in winter, and to the north in summer. The hare, when it hears the hounds at a distance, flies for some time through a natural impulse, without managing its strength, or consulting any other means but speed for its safety. Having attained some bill or rising ground, and left the dogs so far behind, that it no longer hears their cries, it stops, rears on its hinder legs, and at length looks back to see if it has not lost its pursuers. But these, having once fallen upon the scent, pursue slowly, and with united skill; and the poor animal soon again hears the fatal tidings of their approach. Some. times, when sore hunted, it will start a fresh hare, and squat in the same form; sometimes it will creep under the door of a sheep-cot, and hide among the sheep; sometimes it will run among them, and no vigilance can drive it from the flock; some will enter holes like the rabbit, which the hunters call going to vault ; some will go up one side of the hedge, and come down the other; and it has been known, that a hare sorely hunted has got upon the top of a cut quick-set hedge, and run a good way thereon, by which it has effectually evaded the hounds. It is no unusual thing also for them to betake themselves to furze bushes, and to leap from one to another, by which the dogs are frequently misled. However, the first doubling a hare makes, is generally a key to all its future attempts of that kind, the latter being exactly like the former. The young hares tread heavier, and leave a stronger scent, than the old, because their limbs are weaker; and the more this forlorn creature tires, the heavier it treads, and the stronger is the scent it leaves. A buck, or male bare, is known by its choosing to run upon hard highways, feeding farther from the wood-sides, and making its doublings of a greater coinpass than the female. The male having made a turn or two about its form, frequently leads the hounds five or six miles on a stretch ; but the female keeps close by some covert side, turns, crosses, and winds among the bushes like a rabbit, and seldom runs directly forward. In general, however, both male and female regulate their conduct according to the weather. In a moist day they hold by the high-ways more than at any other time, because the scent is then strongest upon the grass. If they come to the side of a grove or spring, they forbear to enter, but squat down by the side thereof, until the hounds have overshot them; and then, turning along their former path, make to their old form, from which they vainly hope for protection. * of the person so treating it. It acquired an report ; and when it is considered that this excessive degree of fat; a common conse- was an affair of recurrence perhaps almost quence in common with these and many every half-hour, it can hardly be supposed other animals in a domesticated state. that the animal was taken by surprise, as to
As a further proof of the subserviency to the consequences of pulling the trigger. the powers of man of a most predominant There are few animals so completely stupid moral quality in this animal, its timidity, we as not to learn by reiterated practice the may refer to an exhibition which has been immediate consequences which invariably common about the streets of London, cer- follow from any particular act, nor did the tainly in one individual, and probably in animal in question, exhibit the least alarm or several, of a hare which moved fearlessly shock on making the report, which would, in about upon a table in the midst of the sur- all probability, at least without similar trainrounding multitude, the tones of a hand organ, ing, have the effect of turning a lion.and the mixed noise and confusion of a public GRIFFITH. street. The hare was taught, further to beat The intelligent reader will recur to the a tambourine, which it did with great rapi- interesting paper by the poet Cowper, on the dity, and in the manner of that described by habits of his little family of leverets.—ED. M. Desmarest, when soliciting a boon from * CUNNING OF THE HARE. - An old hare, its master; and as a still further proof how when hunted by a common hound, seems to completely its fears were neutralized, it was regulate her flight according to the speed of accustomed to pull the trigger and discharge the pursuer. She seems to know from expea pistol, rather large in dimensions and ca- rience, that very rapid flight would be less libre, and commensurate consequently in certain of carrying her out of the reach of
The soil and climate have their influence upon this animal, as well as on most others. In the countries bordering on the north pole, they become white in winter, and are often seen in great troops of four or five hundred running along the banks of the river Irtish, or the Jenisca, and as white as the snow they tread on. They are caught in toils for the sake of their skins, which on the spot are sold for less than seven shillings a hundred. Their fur is well known to form a considerable article in the hat manufacture; and we accordingly import vast quantities of it from those countries where the hare abounds in such plenty.* They are found also entirely black, but these in much less quantity than the former ;() and even some bave been seen with horns, though these but rarely. (8)
The hares of the hot countries, particularly in Italy, Spain and Barbary, are smaller than ours: those bred in the Milanese country are said to be the best in Europe. (8) There is scarce a country where this animal is not to be found, from the torrid zone to the neighbourhood of the polar circle. The natives of Guinea knock them on the head as they come down to the sides of the rivers to drink. They also surround the place where they are seen in numbers, and clattering a short stick, which every man carries, against that which the person next bim carries, they diminish their circle gradually, till the bares are cooped up in the midst. They then all together throw their sticks in among them, and with such deadly force, that they seldom fail of killing great numbers at a time. (g)
THE RABBIT. - The hare and the rabbit, though so very nearly resembling each other in form and disposition, are yet distinct kinds, as they refuse to mix with each other. Buffon bred up several of both kinds in the same place; but from being at first indifferent, they soon became enemies; and their combats were generally continued until one of them was disabled
(Rabbit.) danger than a more deliberate one, whereby it difficult for the hounds to recover the scent. the chase is protracted to a greater length of By this means the hounds are often put at time, and she can continue the exertion of fault, and the hare enabled to get considerher strength longer than if she exerted herably a-head of them. full speed at first. She seems to have ob- * Lepus VARIABILIS OR VARYING HARx. served, that in grounds where there are many –This species of hare occurs in the Alpine young shrubs, the contact of her body leaves districts of Scotland, seldom descends to the behind her a stronger scent, and one which low countries, and never intermixes with the makes the dogs pursue her with much greater common hare. In the north of Europe, there ardour and perseverance than in level plains, is a species said to be the same with our over which the wind skims lightly. She, varying hare, but it differs from it in being therefore, avoids all thickets, and keeps as larger, living in plains, and migrating in much as possible upon beaten roads; but troops. The varying hare becomes white in when she is pursued by greyhounds, she runs winter. This remarkable change takes place from them as fast as she is able, and seeks in the following manner :- About the middle for shelter in woods and thickets.
of September, the grey feet begin to be white, Knowing that harriers, even though they and before the month ends, all the four feet do not see her, can follow her track, she often are white, and the ears and muzzle are of a practises an admirable stratagem to deceive brighter colour. The white colour gradually them. When she has run on a considerable ascends the legs and thighs, and we observe way in a straight line, she returns a small under the grey hair whitish spots, which condistance upon she road she has coine, in order tinue to increase until the end of October, to render the scent very strong upon the space but still the back continues of a grey colour, of the ground : she then makes several long while the eye-brows and ears are nearly white. leaps in a side direction, and thereby renders From this period the change of colour ad(g) Klein Disp. Quadrup. p. 52.
(g) Johnston de Quad. lib. ii. cap. 2. (8) Dictionnaire Raisonée, Lievre. (8) Hist. Gen. des Voyages, tom. iv. p. 171.
or destroyed.* However, though these experiments were not attended with success, I am assured that nothing is more frequent than an aninial bred between these two, which like all other mules, is marked with sterility. Nay, it has been actually known that the rabbit couples with animals of a much more distant nature ; and there is at present in the Museum at Brussels, a creature covered with feathers and hair, and said to be bred between a rabbit and a hen..
The fecundity of the rabbit is still greater than that of the hare ; and if we should calculate the produce from a single pair, in one year, the number would be amazing. They breed seven times in a year, and bring eight young ones each time. On a supposition, therefore, that this happens regularly, at the end of four years, a couple of rabbits shall see a progeny of almost a million and a half. From hence we might justly apprehend being overstocked by their increase ; but, happily for mankind, their enemies are numerous, and their nature inoffensive; so that their destruction bears a near proportion to their fertility.
But although their numbers be diminished by every beast and bird of prey, and still more by man himself, yet there is no danger of their extirpation. The hare is a poor, defenceless animal, that has nothing but its swiftness to depend vances rapidly, and by the middle of Novem- portions is extremely assimilated to the hare. ber, the whole fur, with the exception of the The habits and instincts of the two form, tips of the ears, which remain black, is of a perhaps, their greatest differences. Although fine shining white. The back becomes white provided with similar organs, clothed in the within eight days. During the whole of this same dress, and inhabiting the same counremarkable change in the fur, no hair falls tries, they seem to have a natural aversion for from the animal; hence, it appears that the each other; a hatred observes M. F. Cuvier, hair actually changes its colour, and that which nothing can soften. Love, which there is no renewal of it. The fur retains its unites the dog and the wolf, the goat and the white colour until the month of March, or sheep, the horse and the zebra, cannot concieven later, depending on the temperature of liate the rabbit and the hare. However viothe atmosphere, and by the middle of May lent their sexual desires each for its own speit has again a grey colour. But the spring cies, and however nearly the two may be change is different from the winter, as the allied, they will under no circumstances aphair is completely shed. – EDINBURGH Phil. proach each other; or, if by chance they meet, JOURNAL.
a combat generally follows, which not unfre
quently terminates fatally to one; hence hares * The RABBIT AND THE HARE. — The are not found where rabbits are plentiful. rabbit in all its physicalities and relative pro- Griffith.
Tapeti OR BRAZILIAN Hare.—This is the smallest of the known species. Johnson and Gessner first refered the animal to the Guinea pig; and subsequent zoologists have treated it as a variety of the common American species: but D'Azara has more recently described and established it.
The general forn of the body is that of the hare or rabbit. From the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail, it measures about eighteen inches, and the tail itself with the hair upon it, which makes it round, does not exceed ten lines. The fur is varied, brown, black, and yellowish above, with the upper part of the head red brown, without any sprinkling of yellow; the cheeks are greyish;a lightish line passes round the eyes; the lower edge of the nose, the lips, and the under part of
(Tapeti Ilare.) the head ; the chest, and belly and insides of the legs, are white.
The Tapeti does not burrow in the earth, trees; or in the high grass. The flesh tastes but lives in woods and sits on the surface like that of the rabbit. The female is said like the common hare; when hunted, he en. to bring forth bat one litter of three or four deavours to hide himself under the trunks of in the year.-Ed.
on for safety ; its numbers are, therefore, every day decreasing; and in countries that are well peopled, the species are so much kept under, that laws are made for their preservation. Still, however, it is most likely that they will be at last totally destroyed; and, like the wolf or the elk in some countries be only kept in remembrance. But it is otherwise with the rabbit, its fecundity being greater, and its means of safety more certain. The hare seems to have more various arts and instincts to escape its pursuers, by doubling, squatting, and winding ; the rabbit has but one art of defence alone, but in that one finds safety ; by making itself a hole, where it continues a great part of the day, and breeds up its young; there it continues secure from the fox, the hound, the kite, and every other enemy.
Nevertheless, though this retreat be safe and convenient, the rabbit does not seem to be naturally fond of keeping there. It loves the sunny field and the open pasture; it seems to be a chilly animal, and dislikes the coldness of its under-ground habitation. It is, therefore, continually out, when it does not fear disturbance; and the female often brings forth her young, at a distance from the warren, in a bole, not above a foot deep at the most. There she suckles them for about a month; covering them over with moss and grass, whenever she goes to pasture, and scratching them up at ber return. It has been said, indeed, that this shallow hole without the warren, is made lest the male should attack and destroy her young; but I have seen the male himself attend the young there, lead them out to feed, and conduct them back upon the return of the dam. This external retreat seems a kind of country-house, at a distance from the general habitation ; it is usually made near some spot of excellent pasture, or in the midst of a field of sprouting corn. To this both male and female often retire from the warren; lead their young by night to the food which lies so convenient, and, if not disturbed, continue there till they are perfectly grown up. There they find a greater variety of pasture than near the warren, which is generally caten bare ; and enjoy a warmer sun, by covering themselves up in a shallower hole. Whenever they are disturbed, they then forsake their retreat of pleasure, for one of safety; they fly to the warren with their utmost speed; and, if the way be short, there is scarce any dog, how swift soever, that can overtake them.*
But it does not always happen that these animals are possessed of one of these external apartments; they most usually bring forth their young in the warren, but always in a bole, separate from the male. On these occasions, the female digs herself a hole, (8) different from the ordinary one, by being more intricate; at the bottom of which she makes a more ample apartment. This done, she pulls off from her belly a good quantity of her hair, with which she makes a kind of bed for her young. During the two first days she never leaves them; and does not stir ont but to procure nourishment, which she takes with the utmost dispatch ; in this manner suckling ber young, for near six weeks, until they are strong, and able to go abroad themselves. During all this time, the male seldom visits their separate apartment; but when they are grown up, so as to come to the mouth of the hole, he then seems to acknowledge them as his offspring,
* ECONOMY OF THE RABBIT.-The rabbit is generation to generation; it is never abansaid to be originally from Spain, but it has doned by the same family without necessity, been for ages common in the rest of Europe, but is enlarged as the number of the family and is now transported into Africa and Ame- increases by the addition of more galleries or rica.
apartments. This succession of patrimony, We are assured on the authority of those this right of property among these animals, who have paid great attention to the subject, has been long observed, nor have the modern, that rabbits live in a social state, and take an investigations in zoology disproved its existinterest in each other, and even have some- ence. La Fontaine thus takes notice of it:thing like respect for the right of property. In their republic, as in that of Lacedæmon,
Jean Lapin allégua la coutume et l'usage,
Ce sont leur lois, dit-il, qui m'ont de ce logis, old age, parental affection, and hereditary Reudu maitre et seigneur, et qui de pere entils, rights are respected; the same burrow is said L'ait de Pierre à Timon, puis a moi, Jean, trausmis to pass from father to son, and lineally from
takes them between his paws, smooths their skin, and licks their eyes; all of them, one after the other, bave an equal share in his caresses.*
Rabbits of the domestic breed, like all other animals that are under the protection of man, are of various colours; white, brown, black, and mouse-colour, the black are the most scarce ; the brown, white, and mouse-colour, are in greater plenty. Most of the wild rabbits are of a brown, and it is the colour which prevails among the species; for, in every nest of rabbits, whether the parents be black or white, there are some brown ones found of the number.
The rabbit, (g) thongh less than the hare, generally lives longer. As these animals pass the greater part of their lives in their burrow, where they continue at ease and unmolested, they have nothing to prevent the regularity of their bealth, or the due course of their nourishment. They are, therefore, generally found fatter than the hare ; but their flesh is, notwithstanding, much less delicate. That of the old ones, in particular, is hard, tough and dry ; but it is said, that, in warmer countries, they are better tasted.
The tame rabbits are larger than the wild ones, from their taking more nourishment, and using less exercise; but their flesh is not so good, being more insipid and softer. The hair or fur is a very useful commodity, and is employed in England for several purposes, as well when the skin is dressed with it on, as when it is pulled off. The skins, especially the white, are used for lining cloaths, and are considered as a cheap imitation of ermine. The skin of the male is usually prefered, as being the most lasting, but it is coarser; that on the belly in either sex, is the best and finest. But the chief use made of rabbits' fur, is in the manufacture of bats; it is always mixed, in certain proportions, with the fur of the beaver; and it is said to give the latter more strength and consistence.
The Syrian rabbit, like all other animals bred in that country, is remarkable for the length of its hair; it falls along the sides in wavy wreaths, and is, in some places, curled at the end, like wool; it is shed once a year in large masses; and it often happens that the rabbit, dragging a part of its robe on the ground, appears as if it had got another leg, or a longer tail. There are no rabbits naturally in America : however, those that have been carrieu from Europe, are found to multiply in the West-India islands in great abundance. In other parts of that continent, they have animals that in some measure resemble the rabbits of Europe ; and which most European travellers have often called hares or rabbits, as they bappened to be large or small. Their giving them even the name will be a sufficient excuse for my placing them among animals of the bare kind; although they may differ in many of the most essential particulars. But before we go to the new continent, we will first examine such as bear even a distapt resemblance to the hare kind at home.
THE SQUIRREL.T-There are few readers that are not as well acquainted with the figure of a Squirrel as that of the rabbit; but supposing it unknown to
* HABITS OF THE RABBIT. - When a clination for digging, and probably other inwarren is established, so rapid is the increase, stincts. The females, nevertheless, in this that its continuance is only limited by a want state seem still more prolific than when wild; of food. Rabbits, when confined, lose some they will sometimes produce twenty-six young of their natural qualities, and acquire some in sixty days. It is said, however, that after others, nor are they so esteemed for the table. a particular race of rabbits has attained its It appears also, that races of these animals, maximum of developement in confinement, its which have been long domesticated, lose prolific powers altogether fail.—Griffitu. altogether the instinct for burrowing, nor do the sexes pair monogamiously as they are + THE SQUIRREL Family. This elegant presumed to do in their natural state; the tribe of quadrupeds have two front teeth in males in particular, in a domestic state, not each jaw; those in the upper jaw being unfrequently destroy their offspring, though wedge-shaped, those in the lower pointed: they do not eat them; whence it seems pro- on each side in the upper jaw there are five bable that domestication has the effect of grinders, and four in the lower; they have eradicating from their nature the instinct of perfect collar bones, and in most species the protection of the young, as well as the in- tail is shed on each side.
(g) Moutier as quoted by Buffon.