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term " thick jungle,” includes all cover, from close bush to forest trees. The former often form large bowers, assuming what we call a tigerish appearance, being connected together as well by their own spread, as by various kinds of parasitical plants. Their closeness and gloom has more than once (on mornings when I did not feel up to conclusions with any thing very formidable) infused into me something of that prudent piety so common to the Homeric heroes--when they feel that Jove commands their absence from a field in which some porter-like personage distributes his blows too indiscriminately. Where these bushes are intermixed with rocks, the jungle becomes picturesque, and one sometimes comes on dells choked up and matted over by the creepers. Beneath these the only passages are the bird and beast tracks, in which the smell of decayed vegetation and the closeness are abominable. I never saw these in such perfection as on the east side of the Naggery hills, amongst which I have descended more than once from the rocks upon the mat of entangled creepers that lay pressing down the bushes they had grown over.* These spots will never be forgotten by those who have perspired through them, but it is amid the endless and inimitable variety of the forests that we meet the scenes that we love to recollect. There Nature is before us in her grandest and most foreign garb. The awful stillness—the masses of foliage and of shade--the naked and fantastic crags that burst abruptly forth the luxuriant fertility of the mountain, seen through the transparent clouds that float along far below their forest-crested summit- the delicate proportions, and the marvellous immensity of individual objects, are pregnant with amazement and delight to us; even night, which in other lands spreads one blank shadow over all creation, is here spangled into loveliness by the twinkling flight and swarming clusters of the fire-flies. I have really looked and looked amid these wilds, while beauty after beauty bore in upon my eye and mind, till I have turned away with an almost painful fulness at my heart, as if my delight were more than was fit for the frame that felt it. I have really sometimes thought there must have been some deleterious power in the perfumed airt we breathed (for I am not the gentleman who indulged in half-and-half) in these scenes, until I remembered their palpable, their irrefutable beauty. The last I saw—though one of the least lovely, it was the last-is still before me, as when I rested on my fowling-piece, and looked as if I knew I should never look on them again. The red-capped mountains were towering above, the sea of forests spreading around me; far below, the beautiful lake rippled in the sun, and sent up the music of its plash. The small Hindoo temple, overshadowed by the banyan, which still held together a part of the ruin it had made, I crested the rocks on the opposite shore; whence streams spread through the bright green land they fertilized, to where
* This neighbourhood was a most « populous solitude” of monkeys. They come out of the jungle by hundreds, usually preceded by one or two long-legged éclaireurs to foray the mango topes. We never shot at them, but I have heard it is very pitiable to see them wounded.
+ Where the lemon-grass grows it is delightful.
# The seed of the banyan insinuates itself amongst buildings, and as the trees grow out it destroys them. Shoots from the trunk, however, often embrace and bold up large masses of masonry, which a touch of the finger will set in motion, and a single cut of a case-knife would let down.
Sept.--VOL. XXVI. NO. CV.
a bulwark of hills rose to the clouds beyond the picturesque pagodas and palmyra-trees of Narnaveram.
The jungle-fowl was heard on every side, while occasionally the shrill scream of a pea-fowl broke from the more retired heights, and seemed attuned by Nature to the wild and beauteous world about me. Sounds depend too much on locality and association for me to ask for sympathy with my fondness for the pea-fowl's note ; but I love to bear it, and as it broke upon me yesterday I really felt something like pain as I smiled, and muttered Buros's complaint, “ Ye break my heart, ye little birds!” There is a spot near Mulkapoor that I always see when I hear or think of them. Every cleft of a wall of rocks, that rose four hundred feet, seemed crushed full of the noblest trees, and from every crevice long pliant grass hung waving lazily in the air. We stood silently gazing on the calm yet savage sublimity of this scene, till some one said, “ How beautiful!" and at once the words were thrown back, with a startling harshness, from the masses before us, as if they mocked at the applauses of such atoms of humanity. At this moment a peafowl screamed, and launching itself into the air, floated forth in majestic buoyancy, hopelessly high above our heads; while a dozen echoes returned its cry from every side, filling the space through which it passed with their wild commingled peals. If my reader remembers why I quitted India, I can forgive him muttering, “ Voila un homélie qui sent furieusement la fievre;" and therefore to business. Touching peafowl-shooting--though I have seen seven on a table at once, I am convinced a man who does not find a repaying pleasure in merely following these birds, as they strut in all their splendour of plumage up their wildly picturesque haunts, ought to fix on some other sport; he will find this too tantalizing. Results may be much more surely calculated on amongst the jungle-fowl, by ascertaining from successive cries the way they walk, and hurrying through the cover by a circuitous route, so as to intercept them. But this requires a certain tact.* The slightest stir, and often the keenness of the bird's sight--for they come slowly, and look well around, as they strut and flap their wings, and challenge -are enough to discover the sportsman, wlien the crowing ceases, and they are off at a hopeless rate. These birds are the aboriginal cock and hen, but neither their cry nor their plumage is exactly that of domestic fowl. Whoever looks for them, will see black partridges and spurfowl running about the base of the rocks. The latter has double spurs, and is of a dusty brown plumage, brightening on the breast to amber, and prettily picked out with white and black spots. A sportsman, in thick jungle, should have one beater behind him, to strike a bush if necessary; but his plan is to walk on as quietly as possible, and keep ready to fire at the moment a turn or opening shows an object. This, and the poach
• I know not if this word has any right here ; but, as my uncle Toby says, “ a soldier is no more exempt from sayiog a foolish thing than a man of letters,” Perhaps the following instance may help to make me intelligible :-A beast is trotting on a path where another step puts him out of sight; before he makes that one, a person (who has but the second to see, think, and execute) utters so peculiar a cry, that the beast, rather surprised than alarmed, dwells on his step to turn and look, and as his head comes round the rifle-ball crashes through it. This person bas “a. fine tact” in sport. I take it to be an inexplicably rapid and correct perception of the relation of things."
ing system of lying hid, are the only ways to secure game in thick jungle; and even with these he will often return empty-handed, and learn to consider a pea-fowl, or a brace of jungle-fowl, as a very satisfactory day's work. A man should make up his mind in the deep jungle whether he will fire ball or shot. Nothing is worse than the halfand-half system; it distracts the attention. Men leave the one object of their pursuit often at the very moment they are nearest success; and if surprised, hesitate which barrel they are to fire, and very generally whiz a ball at a hare, and distribute a charge of No. 6 among a whole sounder of bogs. A loose ball can be carried to drop on shot, for there is no doubt it is insufferably disgusting to hear a beast snarl and have no ball to fire at him. But to neutralize a barrel, as a security from danger, is quite wrong. If there is any peril a man will encounter in the jungle from which his own hand can guarantee him, it is the possible event of coming so hastily on a cobra de capello, or other deadly snake, that the reptile rises instinctively to face the danger it thinks inevitable; and in this case shot is safety. Unless it be the elephant or buffalo, (which I have not seen, and which are only in particular places,) or the tiger under peculiar circumstances, there is nothing in the jungle that will not willingly avoid collision with man, if he will let it. It is only when wounded that the other animals are dangerous, if even then. Panthers and cheetas I have often met, and have wounded the latter without irritating them into resistance. One of them was killed by a fine young fellow I knew, who went in upon him with shot in his fowling-piece, and a hog-spear. Their courage, like much in this world, depends greatly on that of their antagonist. Wolves and hyenas invariably retire as soon as the idea of danger strikes them; and bears (though I confess they growl crossly) have, in the few instances of our meeting, concealed themselves as soon as they could do so. Of tigers I speak conjecturally. I think this beast has an instinctive dread of the human form, and avoids as much as possible coming in contact with it, but if he be hemmed round or wounded, or if the necessities of hunger, or a sudden encounter, hurry him into a disregard of this feeling, and he finds how easy a prey man is, his idleness will make him prefer that to any other, and he becomes troublesome. In this case, the natives soon muster enterprise to kill or drive him away, or exhort others to do so; whereas the haunts of such as were not man-killers have been pointed out by them to me, and the tigers spoken of with almost as much consideration and respect as other powerful occupiers of the land. We one day fell in with a party of Mussulmauns beating for a man-killer, and took the liberty of joining the good company; but in a few minutes the tom-toms ceased, the matchlights were out, and the party walked away one by one, as they discovered that the meeting with Caffers the first thing in the morning, when about a service of danger, was too palpable an intimation of Heaven's disapproval of their proceedings to be disregarded. *
* How is prejudice of this sort accounted for in a predestinarian? “Il y a de quoi parler beaucoup." I wonder no one capable of the investigation has explained to us the cause of the very opposite and palpable effects of the doctrine of absolute predestination on the Christian and Moslem believers in it.
But if a man should come upon a hungry or enraged tiger, or intrude too abruptly even upon a well-disposed one, as Mr. Nym says, " things must be as they may,--there must be conclusions !" I look on their pat as I do on a flash of lightning-both as things that may kill accidentally, and that will kill effectually; but I never saw reason to expect that either would kill me. In the jungles I have frequented for years, tigers' foot-prints were visible at the tanks and along the sandy beds they choose as paths. We have traced them around the circuit of our tent pegs after a night's rain; have had cattle killed in open day within two hundred yards of our tent, and at night had sheep carried off from beside it. We have beaten for them through and through their haunts, have tumbled over the bones in their salles à manger, and slapped off a pistol into the bush through which they have vanished, but never have I had what I call a fair full view of one of them. Most of my friends were more fortunate, but in no one instance did the tiger show any wish to attack them. How many thousand British officers have shot through these jungles, and how small is the chapter of accidents occurring in them !* I should as soon think of arming myself against sharks and alligators when I bathe in the surf, or in a river, as of carrying a ball in my gun when I wished to fire shot in a jungle, under the idea of its diminishing my danger. If a man wants to kill the beasts, he should think of nothing else; if he does not go prepared to do so, he had better let them alone. A circumstance which was current conversation when I was in India will illustrate this, though I dare say it will be read with the same incredulity with which I listened to it. “An officer came suddenly upon a bear, and fired a charge of shot at him: this salute proving most unacceptable to Bruin, he turned outrageously upon the gentleman, who fled before him (in his haste throwing down his gun with its undischarged barrel, till a re-entering -angle of the rocks obliged him to face his pursuer. This he did in so energetic a manner, clenching his fists, grinning, and advancing towards him, threatening, cursing, swearing, and gesticulating so extra
scuttled away (as Mr. Addison expresses it) with a rapidity only exceeded by that with which his triumphant antagonist scudded in the opposite direction." I once heard of a doctor who met his death from being clawed by one of these animals he had wounded, but it was believed he died the victim of his own mal-treatment rather than the bear's. I think the story went that he applied precipitate to his head, and induced mortification. We were more lucky. I do not recollect when we could have thought ourselves in danger, unless we chose to do so once when, as we lay within a bush, a large snake dashed in, (I suppose pursuing or pursued,) and in a moment was erect between our three faces, which were not a yard apart. To spring to our arms, cock both barrels, and level at the spot, was the business of a moment, but in this moment the snake was gone. We laughed heartily at the wild looks of each other.
* I was once traversing a rock with some friends looking for two tigers, which one of them had seen there, when a poor old female devotee, who had fixed her dwelling in this perilous neighbourhood, came up and informed us they had gone into a jungle that was near, about an hour before. It is a devotional practice common in India, to fix on a habitation near the lairs of tigers, leaving to chance the time at which the victim may be carried off. This woman was a picture of squalid self-satistied wretchedness-ber bair was matted to her feet, and her baggard features seemed to speak of famine. I should have said she had weaped herself from all interest with the world, bad not ber errand, when we met her, showed the mother even in the superstitious enthusiast. She was looking for her truant boy, wbose shock head, popped up above a ledge of rock, had just been levelled at by one of us. A person who does not like to look along a barrel pointed at him should be careful how he breaks abruptly through a bush when he sports in company. In the jungle we level mechanically at every sound.
It flatters our self-love to see what we think a weakness in ourselves common to those we respect, and we respect them the more, (and par parenthèse ourselves,) that it does not make them dare the less. An odd coincidence connected with a snake occurred one day when a friend and myself were stretched on a boat-cloak under a mango tree. Amongst other abuse of India we remarked, “Why at this moment some brute of a snake may be close to us;" and on looking up we saw a long and beautiful green one gliding from branch to branch above our heads—a charge of shot whistled about him in one moment, and in the next a ball cut him in two, and the two divisions dropped upon the boat-cloak. Our most unquestionable dangers were from the night air. We often bivouacked under bushes, with one as sentry, to try for hogs and tigers, and not unfrequently sat up in trees, or among the rocks, to get a shot at them. But one gentleman proposed a flask of brandy; another, where there was cover, insisted on a segar ; and in fact our night-shooting degenerated into little less than drinking and smoking in solemn silence in a tree, instead of performing that ceremony noisily under canvass. These affairs ended one night, when a sheep was picketed where a cheeta was said to walk, and the two of us who were nearest were told he was there. The moon was rather clouded, and, as I looked, I whispered to my comrade, “Why I don't even see the sheep.”_" Hush !” he replied, hastily and emphatically : “ there, d n it! see the beast stalking along there."-" Where?" I asked, all anxiety.-" There-don't you see him just at the edge of the moonlight?" " I do, I do,” ( murmured, as I levelled -and pulling the trigger, fired.-“Why what the devil !" he roared out, “ you've shot the sheep!”—It was but too true; the poor old ram, of which I never thought he could have spoken with such mysterious solemnity, was shot through the heart. This put an end to our sociable lucubrations, but I persisted in this night-work, and to tell the truth I preferred to be alone.. I loved that loneliness of earth which at once overawes and elevates our minds; and a rock that looked upon some moon-lit lake, or that showed me a sunset casting the gorgeous glow of the Western heaven on the woods, the waters, and the craggy mountains, was to me as sure a spot for a preaching as a field of battle to Blackadder. I confess that on the battle-fields I have trod, I should have been glad to persuade myself that Heaven had thought as little of me as I had done of it during their procedures ; but in these sublime and beautiful scenes, where the weakness, deceit, and wickedness of the world are from before us, and we stand in singleness and nakedness of heart before the boundless and mysterious veil of God's eternal temple, it hardly requires enthusiasm to fancy one's-self nearer a communion with the Deity, and to conjure up