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they often build a new houfe upon, or clofe adjoining to an old one, making the two tops into one, and cut a communication between the lodgings: hence, I prefume, arofe the idea of their having feveral apartments. When the pond is not deep enough for them, they will throw a dam across the mouth of of the brook, by which it difcharges its water, to raise it to a futncient height; making ufe of fticks, ftones, mud, and fand for this purpose. Some of thefe I have feen of great length and strength, infomuch that I have walked over them with the greatett fafety, though not quite dry fhod, if they be new, as the water always fheds over them, being on an exact level from end to end. But if, notwithstanding the ftint, they cannatraife the water to a proper depth, near the bank, they build their houfe in the pond, at a few yards diftance from the fhore, beginning at the bottom and hollowing it out as they go on, for they must have about three feet depth over the end of the angle, or the water would freeze in it, and they could go neither in nor out. If there be an inland in the pond, they generally make their houfe on that, being the fafeft place; and by far the the greateft number of houfes are on the north fhore, for the advantage of the fun. They have no opening from their houfe on the land fide, and for thefe reafons; because the frofty air would enter at that hole and freeze up the water in the angle, whereby they would be cut off from their magazine: the wolves likewife and other enemies might enter thereat and kill them; and the cold would be greater than they could bear. For, although they are provided with a thick fkin, covered with plenty of long, warm fur, they cannot endure fevere froft, it being well known

that they die if exposed to it for a fhort time. By what I have faid, the reader will fuppofe they are endued with unerring fagacity, but it is not the cafe; for they have been knowa to build their houfe in a pond, where there was fuch a fcarcity of food, that they have all died for want; or in one, that lay in a flat country, which, by a great thaw in the winter, has been flooded; when they have been obliged to cut a hole through the crown of their lodging, and by fo doing, and the water freezing in their houfe on the return of the froft, they have not been able to get into it gain, but have all been found dead upon it. At other times, they have lived on a brook, where a thaw has caused fuch a ftream as has washed away all their food, and confequently ftarved them. They will often run a stint across a narrow valley, through which a small drain of water runs, and where plenty of willows, alders, and fuch like things grow, and make a pond for themfelves. The furrier has then only to cut the ftint, and when the water is run off, he kills them all with the greatest ease. As the killing of beavers is an art appertaining to the fcience of furring, which I do not wish to make public, I fhall fay no more on that head, except that they are always killed by ftaking their houses, by guns, or by traps; and not by hunting them with dogs, by men on horfeback with fpears, as I have feen ridiculoufly defcribed in prints. Nor do they ever caftrate themselves to efcape their purfuers, for that part is not only of no ufe, but both those, their prides, and oil-bags (the two latter veffels being common to both fexes, and the prides only used in medicine, known by the name of caftoreum) lie fo completely within

them,

them, that the operation must be performed by a very skilful hand indeed, and with the greatest care, not to kill them. Befides, what made them acquainted with the caufe of their being purfued? If their flesh were not fuch excellent eating, very few beaver-fkins would ever come to market. Beavers generally bring forth two young ones at a time, which are most commonly male and female; yet they will often have but one, efpecially the firft time of breeding; and fometimes three or four and I was told by a man of mine (Jofeph Tero) that he once cut feven out of an old one. The firft year they are called pappoofes; the fecond small medlers; the third large medlers; the fourth beaver: and after that old, or great beaver. They copulate in May, and bring forth towards the end of June. The young ones continue to live with their parents until they are full three years old; then pair off, build a houfe for themfelves, and begin to breed. Yet fometimes, and not uncommonly, if they are undifturbed and have plenty of provifions, they will continue longer with the old ones, and breed in the fame houfe. They are then called a double crew; and that was the cafe with the family which we found yefterday. It oftentimes happens that a fingle beaver lives retired, and it is then ftyled by furtiers, a hermit: they fay, it is turned out from the family, because it is lazy and will not work; and what is very fingular (for be the caufe what it will, the fact is certain) all hermit beavers have a black mark on the infide of the skin upon their backs, called a faddle, which diftinguithes them. I rather think the cause of hermit beavers to be fidelity; as they are very faithful creatures to their mate; and by fome accident or other, lofing that mate,

they either will not pair again, or remain fingle until they can find another hermit of the contrary fex; and that the faddie proceeds from the want of a partner to keep their back warm. I am fure that fuppofition is more natural, than, that it fhould be turned out because it is lazy; for many of those hermit beavers do fo much work, that good furriers have fometimes been deceiv. ed, and imagined they had found a fmall crew. Whether they do, or do not make ufe of their tails as trowels to plafter their houses with, I cannot fay, though I am inclined to believe they do not; because their tail is fo heavy, and the tendons of it fo weak, though numerous, that I do not think they can ufe it to that effect; and that therefore they daub the earth on with their hands, for I must call them fo. When they dive, they give a fiack on the water with their tails as they go down; but that appears to me to proceed from the tail falling over with its own weight. They move very flowly on land, and being alfo a very cowardly creature, are eafily killed there by any man or beast that chances to meet with them: yet, being defended by long fur, and a thick fkin, and armed with long, ftrong teeth, firmly fet in very ftrong jaws, they are capable of making a ftout refiftance. I have heard of an old one, which cut the leg of a dog nearly off at one stroke, and I make not the least doubt of the truth of the information. Still I have been informed, that otters willenter their houses and kill them; but I believe it must only be the young ones, when the old ones are from home; for I hardly think, that an old beaver would fuffer itself to be killed by an otter. When met on fhore by a man, they have been known to fit upon their breech and

fall

fall a crying like a young child; an inftance of which I muit relate. "A man newly arrived in Newfoundland, was walking through a wood, and near a pond; where he chanced to meet a beaver with a billet of wood on his fhoulder, going down to the water. As foon as the creature faw him, he laid down his load, fat upon his breech, and cried exactly like an infant. The man having more tenderness in his difpofition than fuch men ufually have, not knowing what it was, and, perhaps, taking it for a creature fuperior to the brute creation, ftopped and addreffed it thus, "Thou need'ft not cry, poor thing, for I would not hurt thee for the world; fo thou mayeft take up thy turn of firewood and go home about thy bufinefs." The above ftory I do not give as a pofitive fact; relating it only as I have often heard it. It is an actual truth, however, that a late fervant of mine, Charles Atkinfon, could never be prevailed upon to taste the flesh of beavers, because he was fure, he faid, "They were enchanted Chriftians." When beavers meet with a fufficiency of afpen, birch, or fuch fhrubs as they are fond of, and which are not big. ger than a tout pole, they will feldom cut thofe of a larger fize; but, when neceffity obliges them, they will cut down the largeft tree that ever grew. How long they are in performing the work, I have had no opportunity to afcertain, but I believe it is done in no great time: for I once found at the foot of a black fpruce, that they had cut down, a chip of four inches in length and two in breadth, which feemed to have been taken off at one ftroke. And I have feen fo many ftout trees, which have been felled by them in the course of one feafon, that am convinced they

ly.

must work both quick and diligentSmall trees they cut on one fide only, but large ones they go round and always fell them towards the water, to fave themselves carriage. A stick, the thickness of a ftout walking cane, they will cut off at one ftroke, and as clean as if done by a gardener's pruning knife. is the bark only of trees which they eat, and feem to like that of the branches beft, though they will eat the rind of the trunks alfo. Having felled a large tree, they lop off all the branches, and thofe, as well as the bodies of fmall trees, they cut up into lengths according to their weight and thickness the largger ones they carry on their shoulders to the water fide, throw them in, and tow them to the place where they are wanted; the long branches they drag along in their mouths. They always cut on the windward fide of a pond, because, by iwimming along the fhore before they land, they can wind any enemy who may perchance be there; the wind alfo aflifting them both to fall the tree towards the water, and to tow the wood home. These creatures begin to grow fat after the middle of July, are in tolerable cafe by the end of Auguft, and by the end of September, are at their best, provided they have good living and are not difturbed. Those which feed upon brouze, particularly on birch, are the moft delicious eating of any animal in the known world; but the flesh of those which feed upon the root of the water-lilly, although it makes them much fatter than any other food, has a strong tafte, and is very unpleasant. Af. ter Chriftmas they begin to decline, and by May are commonly poor; in thefe particulars they refemble the porcupine, as they do in many other refpects. If their houfe is

disturbed

difturbed much before the pond is frozen, they commonly quit it, and go into the next, either above or below; or they will go into an old houfe in the fame pond, or a fmall one of their own there, which they generally have befides the one they live in, and it is termed the hovel. If they have been teafed much in former years, they will often fly for a flight difturbance; but fhould the furrier chance to catch the two old ones at first, the reft of the family will scarce ever quit the pond. So long as the pond is free from ice, they keep adding to their magazine of provifions; but when it is frozen firm, they begin to live upon it. As the fticks which compofe their magazine are entangled one in another, fo as to make it difficult to extract a whole, they cut a piece off, bring it into their house, and there eat off the bark after which they carry it out again and caft it loofe into the water. In bringing their food into their house, they often strike one end of the stick on the bridge of a trap, which the furrier has placed for him in the angle. From this circumftance, many of the ignorant people have pofitively afferted, that the fagacity of the beaver induced him fo to do, to prevent being caught himfelf; but if beavers had fo much knowledge, very few of them, I am perfuaded, would be taken. Whereas, the beaver's fafety depends chiefly on the furrier's ignorance, for he who understands the bufinefs well, will certainly catch the whole family, or all the families which are in the fame pond (if it be not too large) in a very few nights, be they ever fo numerous. If they are caught young, they are foon made tame, and then are very fond of boiled peafe. Buffon and others fay, that

they make use of their tails as fleds to draw ftones and earth upon: I cannot contradict their affertions, as I have never seen these animals work; but I do not believe it, because their tails being thickest at the root and down the centre part, it would be almost impoffible for them to keep a stone on it, unless held there by another. Nor have I ever obferved, that they had taken any tones off the ground; but they bring them from the fides and bot toms of the water, and muft make ufe of their hands for thofe purpofes; as they could easier flove and roll them along, than draw them on their tails: befides, the fkin of the under part of the tail would be rubbed off by the friction on the ground; which never yet has been obferved to be the cafe with them, and is a ftronger proof, that they never do make use of them for that purpose. Those who compare this account with the writings of Buffon and others, will find a great difference, but it must be remembered, that they wrote entirely from herefay, and I, from experience chiefly. As fo many noblemen and gentlemen in England have expended large fums on curiofities and pleasure, I greatly wonder, that not one, out of fo many who have parks well walled round (for no other fence will do) with convenient ponds in them, have been curious enough to establish a colony of beavers; which might eafily be done, by planting plenty of birch, afpen, afh, willow, fallow, ofier, alder, and other fuch like trees round the ponds, according to the nature of the foil, and procuring a few pairs of beavers to turn in. Eat care fhould be taken to have pairs of the fame families, left they fhould all turn hermits." ACCOUNT

ACCOUNT of the CYPRESS TREE.

[From the Third Volume of the ABRE MARITI'S TRAVELS through CYPRUS, SYRIA, and PALESTINE.]

"IN

"TN N the Song of Solomon I find mention made of another tree of Engaddi, called the cyprefs, or in Hebrew copher. Botrus Cypri dile&us meus mihi in vineis Engaddi*. The spouse here compares her beloved to this tree, as rare and odoriferous; but it may not be improper to enquire what this cyprefs tree really was, of which fo many different accounts have been given.

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"I fhall not examine the opinion entertained by fome, that botrus Cypri means grapes of the ifland of Cyprus, or wine made from them, and brought to Engaddi; for this interpretation has been rejected by fome of the moft learned commentators, who conclude, that the cyprefs of Solomon's Song muft have been a tree of great value, producing flowers of an agreeable odour.

"The cyprefs is that plant called commonly by the Arabs and Turks chenná, or kenná; but its true Arabic name is elhanne, or alhanna. In Hebrew it is called copher, and in Greek xipos, though the greater part of the modern Grecks know it under the denomination of kenna.

It rifes to the height of the pomegranate tree, and may therefore be very properly claffed among the number of trees. Its external colour, both at the thickest part of the trunk and on the branches, is a mixture of white, green, and

purple. The interior part is yellowish. The leaves, which grow oppofite to each other on the branches, never drop in winter. They are shaped like those of the myrtle, but are smaller, much thinner, and not fo green. If boiled in water, either fresh gathered or dry, they communinate to it a beautiful orange colour, and with this liquor the eastern ladies dye their nails, the palms of their hands, and likewife their hair.

"The flowers proceed from the ends of the branches, which are exceedingly flender. Before they blow they appear like fo many red and green balls, fcarcely fo large as the head of a pin. They all burst forth almost at the fame time, and hang in most beautiful clufters, which may very properly be compared to large bunches of grapes turned upfide down. The fmall flowers which compose these bunches are fhaped like a rofe, and when expanded are little more in circumference than a small lentil. The leaves, which are placed one over the other, are crifpated, and of a colour which in general may be called white, or rather white fhaded with yellow, like that of ivory when it begins to grow old.

"Each flower is fupported by a fmall ftrong calyx, divided into five indentations. The petals, which are of an oval figure, fmooth, and pointed at the extremities, are likewife five in number; and from the

"In our English tranflation it is, "My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi."

Song of Solomon, chap. i. ver. 14.” centre

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