ePub 版

mens themselves has been promoted, while, at the same time, the value of the menagerie has been enhanced. The number of deaths has been considerably reduced.

The Dromedary House, in warm weather, is an attractive point in the gardens; and therefore some account of the animal shall be now given. Zoologists distinguish the species of camel with one hump as the drome. dary, though the term can only be properly applied to a very swift species of camel. A dromedary is to a camel what a racer is to a draught-horse. There are one-humped and two-humped dromedaries, and one-humped and twohumped camels. In short, the proper difference of the species is, that the one is swift and the other slow; and that although the dromedary is used as a beast of burden, it is much more frequently employed as one of passage, on account of its great speed on errands requiring dispatch. It is said to be used in some parts of Asia for the purposes of cavalry warfare, instead of the horse.

The dromedary is spread over Arabia, the northern district of Africa, Egypt, Abyssinia, Persia, Southern Tartary, and parts of India; and here he has formed the best possession of the people from the patriarchal ages. This species has likewise been reared at Pisa, in Italy, for two centuries past, though the breed has degenerated, and the animals become much weaker than those of the East. The Bactrian camel, with two humps, is much more rare; and this species is principally met with in Turkistan, which is the ancient Bactria, and in Thibet, as far as the frontiers of China. Dromedaries are divided into a great number of breeds or varieties, all, nevertheless, dependent on trivial distinctions of colour, size, and form. In height they do not exceed seven feet. Those of Turkey are the strongest and best suited for burthen, and (those of Arabia and Barbary the lightest. Their bodies are usually very lean, and covered with hair, which is very short on the fore part of the muzzle, longer on the top of the head, and almost tufty on the neck and parts of the fore-legs, "on the back, and on the hump, which it entirely covers. The tail is thick with hair, and has a long tufty termination. The colour of the hair, as already intimated, varies, being either white, with a rosy tinge, grey, bay, or blackish dark brown. The hair is renewed yearly towards the commencement of summer; it is of two sorts, one fine, woolly and frizzled, the other long and straight; both are well known in manufactures by the names of Mohair and Camlet.


The structure of the camel's tooth indicates a predilection for food not obtained by grazing, but by browsing on shrubs, leaves, and branches, which it requires powerful means to tear down and masticate; and though

in Europe the camel will eat fodder, in his native regions he lives on bitter artemisia, thistles, mimosas, and other thorny substances, with his divided upper lip turning them into the mouth with great dexterity.

We are acquainted with the camel only in his domesticated condition. His services as a beast of burthen are coeval with his earliest mention. He is emphatically described by the Arabian epithet, the ship of the desert, and is in truth the link by which many nations separated by boundless wastes are connected. Major Smith observes: "To the wild Arab of the desert, the camel is all that his necessities require he feeds on the flesh, drinks the milk, makes clothes and tents of the hair; belts, sandals, saddles, and buckets of the hide; he conveys himself and his family on his back, makes his pillow of his side, and his shelter of him against the whirlwind of sand; couched in a circle around, his camels form a fence, and in battle an entrenchment behind which his family and property are defended." Again, it is interesting to observe how admirably the camel is, by his structure, fitted for long journies in desert regions; his nostrils are so formed that he can close them so as to shut out the driving sand; his feet are broad and cushion-shaped, so as to tread lightly upon the dry and shifting soil. And then how noiseless his step, from the spongy nature of his foot. Whatever be the character of the ground,-sand, rock, turf, or paved stones, you hear no foot-fall; you see an immense animal approaching you, stilly as a cloud floating on air, and unless he wear a bell, your sense of hearing, acute as it may be, will give you no intimation of his presence. He picks the thorny bushes as he passes along, without halting, and on which no other animal could exist; he resists the burning heat for ten or twelve days, by retaining water in little cells with which the sides of the paunch are furnished; and when his store of food is entirely exhausted, the fat which composes the whole, or nearly the whole, of the hunch or hunches on his back, serves as an extra supply of nutriment. He sees and hears well, but his smell is of all his senses the most acute. "When long deprived of water," says Major Smith, "he will snuff the air, and discover its presence at a distance of more than two miles, and, disregarding all opposition, hasten to obtain it. By this faculty of the camel whole caravans are sometimes saved from destruction, so that it is not only eminently useful to himself, but of vital importance to all who share his dangers and fatigues."

The Bactrian species is said to carry from one thousand to one thousand two hundred weight; the common load of the Arabian species across the desert is about six hundred weight, at the rate of three miles an hour. He has seven calosities, one on the breast, two on each of the fore-legs, and one on each of the hind, upon which he throws the weight of his body,

both in kneeling down and rising. By this provision, he is enabled to receive his load (in the only position in which man could put on that load) without danger of fracturing the skin. The camel is even reported to assist in loading himself; but should the burden exceed his strength, he will refuse to rise and become very obstinate. If offended, he is resentful; but having once gratified this feeling, all remembrance of the injury is past The camel-drivers, aware of this fact, when they apprchend the animal's anger, drop their clothes in his sight, and conceal themselves; the beast instantly rushes at the garments, tosses them about, and tramples upon them; when his driver re-appears, and the whole business is forgotten. Camels bite bitterly, by which means, as well as by kicking, they resent the illtreatment of man, or the aggressions of dogs and hyenas. The males also fight ferociously, endeavouring to bite, and press each other down with the weight of their shoulders; and in some countries, principally at Aleppo combats of camels are among the public amusements.

[ocr errors]

The speed of the dromedary as mentioned above, is very great compared with the species or varieties employed in the caravan. He is stated by Burckhardt to perform a journey in eight days that would occupy a caravan twenty-two; and the fastest breed of the dromedary will perform a journey of thirty-five days' caravan travelling in five days. Captain Lyon states that the Maherry, or Dromedary of the North African Arabs, will continue at a long trot of nine miles an hour for hours together; and it has been asserted that a Bedouin carried a letter upon a Maherry in four days from Cairo to Mecca, a distance of at least six hundred miles.



SWEET stream that winds through yonder glade,

Apt emblem of a virtuous maid

Silent and chaste she steals along,

Far from the world's gay busy throng,

With gentle yet prevailing force

Intent upon her destined course,
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes,
Pure-bosom'd as that watery glass,
And heaven reflected in her face.

AUGUST, 1845.



OUR article still keeps its title, and with truth; for although the fashions we present to our fair readers are worn at all the fashionable watering places and other resorts of the beau monde both at home and abroad, they are still executed by our most approved London milliners and dressmakers.

Walking costume offers us this month little room for either observation or description. Bonnets have undergone no alteration. Shawls, mantelets, and robes, generally speaking,' have varied in material only; for since the weather has increased in warmth, half transparent shawls and muslin mantelets seem in a great degree to have superseded cashmere and silk ones. We see also a number of muslin robes, both white and coloured, and several of those nearly as light of a half transparent kind, composed of fine wool. Generally speaking, walking dress is of that quiet kind, which in our opinion is at once most be coming and appropriate.

The novelties in carriage and public promenade dress are distinguished by elegant simplicity. Chapeaux and capotes of lace, crape, &c., &c., are decidedly predominant. Those of silk and Italian straw are, comparatively speaking, but little seen ; but rice-straw still retains all its vogue, and a new description of fancy straw of the openwork kind has just made its appearance; the half-gipsy form has lost nothing of the vogue. We may cite among the prettiest of those that have recently appeared, some of rice-straw, the exterior trimmed with sprigs of white moss roses, and the interior of the brim with mancinis, formed of tufts of buds of the same flowers. Those of openworked straw also of the half-gipsy form, are lined with white crape; the interior trimmed with coques of white ribbon, figured with pea-green; the exterior with ribbon to correspond, and a half wreath of wild flowers. We must not forget the capotes of tulle bouillonné, the exterior trimmed with rosettes of the same material, the interior with a small tuft of wild flowers on each side. Lace shawls increase in favour, so also do lace and muslin mantelets, but not to the exclusion of silk ones; those of taffetas of light colours, particularly those of pink, blue, or green, glaçed with white, are very much in vogue. One of the most in request is made with the scarf front drawn in full at the waist, so that its apparent junctions with the hind part has something of the effect of a half sleeve. We have seen the same form in organdy, trimmed with volants of the same, the garniture worked at the border in a light morning pattern, in different shades of the same colour; green, blue, and pink, are the favourite hues.

Scarfs and mantelets, even of the lightest kind, are no longer indispensable

[ocr errors]

for out-door dress; pelissc robes being nearly, if not quite as much seen. A good many are composed of taffetas, of which we have several new patterns, some striped, others shaded. The majority of these dresses are made with the corsages partially high on the back, but opening en V on the bosom; some moderately, others nearly to the waist. We observe that lappels do not seem to be so generally adopted as they were a few months ago; a fall of lace, a row of éfilé, or some other fancy ribbon very often supplies the place of a lappel, or if none of these are employed, a light embroidery in braiding or seutache is substituted. The front of the skirt is usually trimmed en suite; tight sleeves are still those most frequently adopted for silk dresses. The chemisette worn with a robe of this kind should be of cambric, beautifully embroidered; the collar deep, square, sustained round the throat by a neck-knot, and edged with Valenciennes lace. The chemisette amazone, so called because its form is the same as was fashionable with riding habits, is also a good deal in request; it is composed of fine clear cambric, small plaited, and either frilled with cambric, also small plaited, or Valenciennes lace; the collar is similarly bordered. A great many of these robes have the corsage made quite high and close; these have the front of the corsage and skirt decorated with a ruche or a garniture à la vielle.

Where the pelisse robe is composed of muslin, which is frequently the case, it is lined with coloured silk, and the sleeves are almost invariably demilarge. The majority of those adopted in public promenade dress have the corsages made high, and are trimmed down the front, from the top of the corsage to the bottom of the skirt, with butterfly bows of ribbon, small on the corsage and on the upper part of the skirt, but increasing in size as they descend. Others are decorated with a very deep fold on each side of the front; the fold is edged with lace, and the centre ornamented with small rosettes of ribbon.

Robes peignores of organdy or tarlatane are very much adopted in evening négligé. We see also several robes composed of both these materials, made with corsages à la vierge, and demi-long sleeves. These dresses, excessively simple in appearance, are, nevertheless, very expensive, being generally trimmed with lace. Another style of evening négligé, and one that seems likely to be much in request during the remainder of the season, is a robe composed of organdy or tarlatanes; the corsage half-high at the back, but opening en V on the bosom, is full behind, and arranged en gerbe in front; the sleeves are long and demi-large; the fulness is confined by gagings at the upper part, and equally so at the wrist. We have every reason to believe that this kind of sleeve, so well adapted to the present season from its coolness, will resume its former vogue, or at least will divide it with tight sleeves. The demi-large sleeve, in its present dimensions, is equally graceful and convenient ;

« 上一頁繼續 »