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STORY OF A LIONESS.
In the year 1816, the horses which were dragging the Exeter mail-coach, were attacked in the most furious manner by a lioness, which had escaped from a travellingmenagerie.
At the moment when the coachman pulled up, to deliver his bags at one of the stages a few miles from the town of Salisbury, one of the horses was suddenly seized by a ferocious animal. This, of course, produced great
, confusion and alarm. Two passengers got out, and ran into the house. The horse kicked and plunged violently, and it was with difficulty the driver could prevent the vehicle from being overturned. The light of the lamps soon enabled the guard to discover that the animal which had seized the horse was a huge lioness. A large mastiff came up, and attacked her fiercely, on which she quitted the horse and turned upon him. The dog fled, but was pursued and killed by the lioness before it had run forty yards from the place. It appeared that the ferocious animal had escaped from a menagerie, on its way to Salisbury fair. The alarm being given, the keepers pursued and hunted the lioness, carrying the dog in her teeth, into a hovel under a granary, which served for keeping agricultural implements. They soon secured her effectually, by barricading the place so as to prevent her escape. The horse, when first attacked, fought with great spirit; and if he had been at liberty, would probably have beaten down his antagonist with his fore-feet; but, in plunging, he entangled himself in the harness. The lioness, it appears, attacked him in front, and springing at his throat, had fastened the talons of
her fore-feet in each side of his gullet, close to the head, while those of her hind-feet were forced into his chest. In this situation she hung, when the blood streamed from the wound as if a vein had been opened by a lancet. The horse was so dreadfully torn, that he was not at first expected to survive. The expressions of agony in his tears and groans were most piteous and affecting. For a considerable time after the lioness had entered the hovel, she continued roaring in a dreadful manner; so loud, indeed, that she was distinctly heard at the distance of half a mile. She was eventually secured, and led back in triumph to her cell.
Yesterday morning, Captain George Downey, Lieutenant Pyefinch, poor Mr Munro, of the Honourable East Indian Company's service, and myself (Captain Consan), went on shore on Sangur Ísland, to shoot deer. innumerable tracks of tigers and deer; but still we
were induced to pursue our sport, and did so the whole day. About half-past three, we sat down on the edge of the jungle, to eat some cold meat sent to us from the ship, and had just commenced our meal, when Mr Pyefinch and a black servant told us there was a fine deer within six yards of us. Captain Downey and I immediately jumped up to take our guns; mine was nearest, and I had but just laid hold of it when I heard a roar like thunder, and saw an immense royal tiger spring on the unfortunate Munro, who was sitting down. In a moment his head was in the beast's mouth, and he rushed into the jungle with him, with as much ease as I could lift a kitten, tearing him through the thickest bushes and trees, everything yielding to his monstrous strength. The agonies of horror, regret, and I must say, fear, for there were two tigers, rushed on me at once ; the only effort I could make was to fire at him, though the poor youth was still in his mouth,
I relied partly on Providence, partly on my own aim, and fired a musket. The tiger staggered and seemed agitated, which I took notice of to my two companions. Captain Downey then fired two shots, and I one more. We retired from the jungle, and a few minutes after, Munro came up to us all over blood, and fell. We took him on our backs to the boat, and got every medical assistance for him from the Valentine Indiaman, which lay at anchor near the island, but in vain. He lived twenty-four hours in the utmost torture; his head and skull were all torn and broken to pieces, and he was also wounded by the animal's claws, all over his neck and shoulders; but it was better to take him away, though irrecoverable, than leave him to be mangled and devoured. We have just read the funeral-service over his and committed it to the deep. Mr Munro was an amiable and promising youth. I must observe, there was a large fire blazing close to us, composed of ten or a dozen whole trees. I made it myself, on purpose to keep the tigers off, as I had always heard it would. There were eight or ten of the natives about us; many shots had been fired at the place; there was much noise and laughing at the time; but this ferocious animal disregarded all. The human mind cannot form an idea of the scene; it turned my very soul within me. The beast was about four feet and a half high, and nine long. His head appeared as large as that of an ox; his eyes darting fire, and his roar, when he first seized his prey, will never be out of my recollection. We had scarcely pushed our boat from that accursed shore, when the tigress made her appearance, raging almost mad, and remained on the sand as long as the distance would allow me to see her.
POPE LEO X.
Panurge. I have the honour of informing your holiness, that I have discovered the secret of making gold.
Leo X. I am delighted to learn that a secret so important has been discovered by one of my subjects. I congratulate you with all my heart.
Panurge. I hope your holiness will grant me a reward worthy of the greatness of my discovery.
Leo X. You may depend on it, my friend, I shall grant any favour you can ask with the greatest pleasure.
[Eright days later.] Panurge. Your holiness, I now present myself before
you, to receive the promised reward for my great
Leo X. My friend, here is a purse, which I hope you will accept as a mark of my pleasure.
Panurge. But it is empty; what is the use of an empty purse?
Leo X. Did you not tell me that you could make gold?
Panurge. Undoubtedly, I can.
Leo X. Since you can make gold, then, you will be able to fill the purse for yourself.
THE OW L.
The spectral owl doth dwell;
But at dusk-he's abroad and well :
All mock him outright by day;
Oh, when the night falls, and roosts the fowl,
And loveth the wood's deep gloom ;
She awaiteth her ghastly groom !