« PreviousContinue »
is made in the place to which they are accustomed, and instantly apply their nose to the examination of a new object. A small hole being burnt in the carpet, it was mended with a patch, and that patch in a moment underwent the strictest scrutiny. They seem too to be very much directed by the smell in the choice of their favourites: to some persons, though they saw them daily, they could never be reconciled, and would even scream when they attempted to touch them; but a miller coming in engaged their affections at once; his powdered coat had charms that were irresistible. It is no wonder that my intimate acquaintance with these specimens of the kind has taught me to hold the sportsman's amusement in abhorrence; he little knows what amiable creatures he persecutes, of what gratitude they are capable, how cheerful they are in their spirits, what enjoyment they have of life, and that impressed as they seem with a peculiar dread of man, it is only because man gives them peculiar cause for it. : That I may not be tedious, I will just give a short summary of those articles of diet, that suit them best.
· I take it to be a general opinion that tliey grace, but it is an erroneous one, at least grass is not their staple; they seem rather to use it medicinally, soon quitting it for leaves of almost any kind. Sow-thistle, dent-de-lion, and lettuce, are their favourite vegetables, especially the last. I discovered by accident that fine white sand is in great estimation with them; I'suppose as a digestive. It happened that I was eleaning a bird-cage while the häres were with me; I placed a pot filled with such sand upon the floor, which, being at once directed to by a strong instinct, they devoured voraciously; since that time I have generally taken care to see them well supplied with it. They account green com a delicacy, both blade and stalk, but the ear they seldom eat : straw of any kind, especially wheat-straw, is another of their dainties; they will feed grtedily upon oats, but if furnished with clean straw never want them; it serves thetin also for a bett, and, if shaken up daily, will be kept sweet and dry for a considérable time. They do not indeed require aromatic herbs, but will eat a small quantity of them with great relish, and are particularly fond of the plant called musk : they seem to resemble sheep in this, that, if their pasture be too succulent, they are very subject to the rot; to prevent which, I always made bread their principal nourishment, and filling a pan with it cut into small squares, placed it every evening in their chambers, for they feed only at evening and in the night: during the winter, when vegetables were not losbe, got, I mingled this mess of bread with shreds of carrot, alding to it the rind of apples 'cut extremely thin'; for, though they are fond of the paring, the apple itself disgusts them. These howevei not being a sufficient substitute for the juice of suma Mer herbs, they must at this time be supplied with water; but so placed that they cannot overset it into their beds. I must not omit that occasionally they are much pleased with twigs of hawthorn, and of the common briar, eating even the very wood when it is of considerable thickness.
Bess, I have said, died young; Tiney, lived to be nine years Cold, and died at last, I have reason to think, of some hurt in his loins by a fall; Puss is still living, and has just completed his tenth year, discovering no signs of decay, nor even of age, except that he is grown more discreet and less frolicsome than he was I cannot conclude without observing, that I have lately introduced a dog to his acquaintance; a spaniel that had never seen a hare to a hare that had never seen a spaniel. I did it with great caution, but there was no real need of it. Puss discovered no token of fear, nor Marquis the least symptom of hostility. There is therefore, it should seem, no natural antipathy between dog and hare, but the pursuit of the one occasions the flight of the other, and the dog pure sues because he is trained to it: they eat bread at the same time out of the same 'hand, and are in all respects sociablo and friendly
I should not de complete justice to my subject did I not add, that they have no ill scene belonging to them; that they are indefatigably nice in keeping themselves clean, for which purpose nacure has furnished them with a brush under each foot; and that they are never infested by any vermin.
Max 98, 1784...
Mentrando fauxdamang Mr. Carigar's papers,
Tuesday, March 3, 1720. This day died poor Pust, aged clever yeurs eleven months. She died between twelve and one * convey of mere old age and apparently, without pain.
T. Bensley, Printer, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, London,