their seas ? What are the occupations of the inhabitants? How is the seal taken? On what subjeås is their conversation at their feasts?&c. &c.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][graphic][subsumed]

The Rein-Deer.


F all animals of the deer kind, the Rein-deer,

rein deer is the most extraordinary and the most useful. It is a native of the native ? icy regions of the north ;, and though many attempts have been made to accustom it to a more southern climate, it shortly feels the declines ? influence of the change, and, in a few months, declines and dies.

2. Nature seems to have fitted it entirely pole ? to answer the necessities of that hardy race of mankind that live near the pole. As these fubfix ? would find it impof&ble to sublift among their barren, snowy mountains, without its aid, fo barren, this animal can live only there, where its af. listance is most absolutely necessary.

3. From it alone the natives of Lapland answers, and Greenland supply most of their wants ; it answers the purposes of a horse, to convey them and their scanty furniture from one furnishing ? mountain to another; it answers the purposes of a cow, in giving milk; and it answers, the homely. purposes of the sheep, in furnithing them with a warm tho with a homely kind of clothing,

4. From this quadruped alone, therefore, quadruped ? they receive as many advantages as we derive from three of our most useful creatures; deftitute ? fo that Providence does not leave these poor outcasts entirely destitute, but gives them a patient. faithful dornestic, more patient and fervicea. ble than any other in nature.

5. The rein-deer resembles the American hoofs. elk in the fashion of its horns; its ears are much larger; its pace is rather a trot than a bounding, and this it can continue for a cloven ? whole day; its hoofs are cloven and moveable, so that it spreads them abroad as it goes, to prevent its sinking in the snow.


Journey. 6. When it proceeds on a journey, it lays

its great horns on its back, while there are two branches which always hang over its

forehead, and almost cover its face. One forehead. thing seems peculiar to this animal and the

elk; which is, that as they move along, their feculiar. hoofs are heard to crack with a pretty loud

noise. Jeparate. 7. This arises from their manner of tread.

ing; for as they reft upon their cloven hoof, it spreads upon the ground, and the two di. vilions separate from each other; but when

they lift it, the divisions close again, and Species. strike against each other with a crack. The

female also of the rein-deer has horns as well as the male, by which the species is dil. tinguished from all other animals of the deer

kind whatsoever. coat.

8. When the rein-deer first shed their coat

of hair, they are brown; but in proportion as approaches ? fummer approaches, their hair begins to grow

whitish ; until, at last, they are nearly grey.. grey. They are, however, always black about the

eyes. coarser.. 9. The neck has long hair, hanging down,

and coarser than upon any other part of the

body. The feet, just at the infertion of the infertion ?. hoof, are surrounded with a ring of white.

10. The hair in general stands so thick over thick,

the whole body, that if one fhould attempt to separate it, the tkin will no where appear uncon ered: whenever it falls also, it is not feen: to drop from the root, as in other quadrupeds, , but feems broken short near the bottom; so

that the lower part of their hair is seen growattempt? ing while the



The horns of the female are made like those of the male,exa cept that they are smaller and less branching.

1. The rein-deer Thed their horns at the end of November; and they are not complete

[ocr errors]

ly furnished again till towards autumn. As Autumn, in the rest of the deer kind, they sprout from the points; and also in the beginning, are furnished with a hairy crust, which supports exquisite?' the blood vessels, of moft .exquisite sensibili..:ty,

12. Lapland is divided into two districts, mountains. the mountainous and the woody. The moun. tainous part of the country is at best barren bleak ? and bleak, excellively cold, and uninhabitable during the winter ; still, however, it is excesively? the most desirable part of this frightful re, gion, and is most thickly peopled during the summer.

13. The natives generally refide on the de- declivity? clivity of the mountains, three or four cot, tages together, and lead a cheerful and fociat life. Upon the approach of winter, they are migrate ? obliged to migrate into the plains below, cach bringing down his whole herd, which often amounts to more than a thousand, and bera? :leading them where the pasture is in greatest plenty.

14. The woody part of the country is much." desolate ? : more defolate and hideous. The whole face of nature there presents a frightful scene of hideous ? trees without fruit, and plains without verdure. As far as the eye can reach, nothing verdure ? is to be seen, even in the midst of summer, but barren fields, covered only with a mossă almost confagras as: white cas.snow; no grass, no flowery land tions ? scapes, only here and there a pine-tree, which may have escaped the frequent conflagrations. by which the natives burn down their forests..

15. But, what is very extraordinary, as the clothed. whole surface of the country, is clothed. in white , fo, on the contrary, the forests seem to : the last degree dark and gloomy... While gloomy.' . one kind of moss makes the fields look as if they were covered with snow, another kind


« ElőzőTovább »