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direction by intelligible signs. He died from an unlucky effort of imitation: having observed the process by which a sick officer made his tea, and soon after having by accident been left alone in the gun room, he infused a paper .of tobacco into the pot, and killed himself by the decoction.
There are other animals besides Geese which merit national gratitude; and if Gibraltar may be considered to England what the Capitoline Hill was to Rome, the argenteus anser would not be the only saviour of the State to which a statue has been erected. Even yet we may live to see the monkey receive due honour, and on the strength of the following anecdotes, the day may come on which the public gaze will be diverted from the site of the present bronze 'Achilles, to that on which
Effigies sacri nitet aurea.
The author of the book before us, who is clearly an old soldier, speaks of the occurrence which he relates, and which is obscurely alluded to in Drinkwater's narrative of the siege, as falling within his own personal knowledge. A few weeks before the memorable sally, the Spaniards had concerted a surprize upon one of our outposts, which could not have failed of success, if, in their advance, they had not had to pass a party of monkeys, who by their loud screams alarmed our sentinels.
The next anecdote, though on the same scene, draws somewhat more largely on our credulity.
"When Lord Howe came out to our relief he brought with him, amongst other re-inforcements, the twenty-fifth regiment of infantry.
"Shortly after the conclusion of peace, a party of officers belonging to this corps, were amusing themselves with whiting-fishing at the back of the rock; but were disturbed and obliged to shift their ground, from being pelted from above, they did not know by whom. At last, however, they gained a station, where they were left in peace, and where they caught plenty of fish. At this time the drums beat to arms, on some unexpected occasion, and the officers rowed their boat ashore, and left it high and dry upon the beach, hurrying where their duty called them.
"On their return, their surprize was excessive to find their boat beached, not half so high as they had left it, and at some little distance from its former position. Their amazement was increased, on examining their tackle, to find some hooks baited, which had been left bare, and to see the disposition of many things altered. The cause was afterwards explained. An officer of Hanoverian grenadiers, who was amusing himself with a solitary walk, happened to be a close observer of animal and vegetable nature. This man, hearing the chatter of monkeys, stole upon a party of young ones,
who were pelting the fishers from behind some rocks. While they were so employed, arrived two or three old ones who drove the youngsters away, and then remained secretly observing the proceedings of the whiting-fishers.
"The fishers having beached their boat and retired, the monkeys apparently deemed the time was come for turning their observation to account. They accordingly launched the boat, put to sea, baited their hooks and proceeded to work. Their sport was small, as might be anticipated, from the impatient nature of the animals; but what few fish they caught, were hauled up with infinite exultation. When they were tired, they landed, placed the boat (as nearly as they could) in her old position, in the friendly spirit on which I have before remarked, and went up the rock with their game." P. 29.
Crossing over the straits, we are presented with a story: which we think we have before found in other Facetia.
"A man, who had been a muleteer at Cadiz, and who afterwards established himself as a barber at Gibraltar, in the spirit of restlessness shifted to Ceuta, and having invested a very small capital, of which he was possessed, in the purchase of those woven red caps, which form the crown of the turban throughout Turkey and Africa, set out alone, to seek his fortune, in the interior of the country.
"He was off long before sunrise, and reached a wood before the noon-tide heat became insufferable. This period of the day is, (as is well known,) in hot countries, appropriated to repose. He accordingly opened the valise, which contained the treasure of red caps, put on one of them instead of his hat, and stretched himself under a tree. He slept comfortably till the sun was somewhat low in the horizon, when imagine his horror, at waking, to perceive the boughs of the tree under which he was sleeping covered with monkeys in red caps!
"They had seen the Spaniard put on his, and, as soon as he was asleep, had, one and all, followed his example. The poor Spaniard, with all the gesticulation of his country, cursed his hard fate, stamped with vexation, and cast his red cap on the ground. 'When -blessed and unexpected result!-all the monkeys did the same, and the happy man repossest himself of his treasure." P. 39.
Of the circumcision and vaccination of monkeys, far be it from us to express any doubt. We firmly believe in the Italian female monkey who, whenever she was vexed or offended, ran to the chimney, and, out of spite, thrust the end of her tail into the fire. The spirit, if not the letter of this action may be observed every day in animals claiming a far higher rank in the standard of nature than is as yet allotted to monkeys. The Irish monkey, whom we shall next mention, was too wise to burn himself.
"He had seen his master and mistress lying in bed with their heads reposing on the pillow, and had treasured the circumstance in
his recollection: he turned it to an odd account. Being present when the bedchamber was prepared for their reception, he secreted himself till the maid was gone, then opened the bed-clothes, laid the two lighted toilette-candles carefully on the bed, with their wicks upon the pillow, and tucked them up in form. The bed furniture was, as may be imagined, soon in a blaze, and the smell of fire and crackling of the flames brought the whole household to the
Pug seemed to have some notion of the result of his experiment; for he posted himself near the door, and, on the first irruption of the servants, sprang out; overturning the first who entered the bed-room in his sally.
"Another Irish monkey played a trick of something of the same description.
"This monkey lived in the service of a small milliner in Dublin. In the same room with him, was a basket of kittens, and his mistress had put upon the fire some sort of soup or porridge with mutton chops. The monkey fished out these and ate them, and put the poor kittens in their place." P. 71.
But monkeys, if all that has been said of them is true, (and who is there shall prove its falsehood?) exercise their superiority of instinct in social intercourse, as well as in acts of solitary intelligence:
Oppida cœperunt munire et ponere leges.
A Dane, whose papers were purchased by the late Lord Melville, stated, that having fled from the Cape of Good Hope, in consequence of an unjust charge of peculation brought against him by the old Dutch government, he penetrated due North, through the interior of Africa, till he reached the opposite coast. Among other marvels he arrived at a town of monkeys.
"I regret that I do not recollect time, bearings, or dates, which he was said to have specified with great apparent consistency: but I will give, as accurately as I can, the substance of his narrative.
"Here again he was arrested, and, to his great surprize, by what he called a swarm of tailless monkeys, inhabiting a sort of wigwam of low hovels. He described the supposed monkeys as communicating amongst each other, in guttural and other indescribable sounds, which were, I suppose, what are denominated palatic. He spoke of them as living on roasted roots, as pursuing agriculture, as acquainted with a homely description of architecture, and making use of barrows in their labours, which he (who had probably been a sailor) called small rafts upon wheels.
"The first act of this people of pigmies was to strip the Dane and his Dutch servant, put a clog upon their legs, and employ them in their works. For this purpose, they were each furnished with two of these flat barrows lashed together, which they were compelled
VOL. XXIII. FEBRUARY, 1825.
to wheel; their strength being apparently calculated by the inhabi tants as double their own.
"After some weeks spent in this melancholy employment, master and man contrived to effect their escape." P. 99.
The writer of this volume contends, and as we think, on good grounds, for the probability of this narrative, which, it must be admitted, looks at first as if it had been coined in the mint of Ferdinand Mendez Pinto or Sir John Maundeville. We will furnish him with a fresh argument in support of the Dane. If the monkeys were not, in fact, real, original and genuine monkeys, but a horde of Bosjemen, may they not be descendants of the same Lilliputian race, avages μingoi, μετριῶν ἐλάσσονες ἀνδρῶν, whom the Nasamonians encountered in their trip into the interior of Africa (Herod. ii. 32.) These spoke a language unknown to the maritime tribes, and lived in a city ἐν τῇ ἅπαντας εἶναι τοῖσι ἄγουσι τὸ μέγαθος ἴσους. If the Dane had but mentioned the colour of the complexion of his monkeys, we have little doubt that we should have found, even on this point, the modern discoverer and the Father of History mutually confirming each other's veracity.
Hear what Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, tells of the forethought of these animals. They seize serpents behind the head, grind their teeth out against a stone, and having thus rendered them harmless, toss them as playthings to their children. Hear Tavernier's relation of the confederacy of monkeys, which nearly wrought him so much ill.
"The famous M. Tavernier tells us that, returning from Agra with the English president to Surat, they passed within four or five leagues of Amenabad, through a little forest of mangoes. • We saw here (says he) a vast number of very large apes, male and female, many of the latter having their young in their arms. were each of us in our coaches, and the English president stopt his, to tell me that he had a very fine new gun, and knowing that I was a good marksman, desired me to try it by shooting one of the apes. One of my servants, who was a native of the country, made a sign to me not to do it; and I did all that was in my power to dissuade the gentleman from his design; but to no purpose: for he immediately levelled his piece and shot a she ape, who fell through the branches of the tree on which she was sitting, her young ones tumbling, at the same time, out of her arms, upon the ground. We presently saw that happen which my servant apprehended, for all the apes, to the number of sixty, came immédiately down from the trees and attacked the president's coach with such fury, that they must infallibly have destroyed him, if all who were present had not flown to his relief, and by drawing up the windows, and posting all the servants about the coach, protected him from their resentment. I must confess, I was not a little afraid, though they did
not offer to meddle with me, because they were very large and of incredible strength, and their fury was so great, that they pursued the president's coach for nearly three leagues."" P. 115.
Hear, in conclusion, an instance of deliberation in the Gibraltar monkeys, which is scarcely to be excelled in our own Courts of law.
"Lord Heathfield, then General Elliott, had ordered a very small advanced post to be established on a part of the rock hitherto undisturbed by military operations; and the officer commanding it, had received directions to conceal his little party with the greatest
"The post was taken possession of at night, and the men, ambushed in the hollow of an overhanging crag, were the more easily hidden, in that a Sirocco had just risen, driving wreaths of mist before it, as thick as those which issue from the mouths of a battery.
"While they were thus lying under cover, a party of monkeys was seen advancing with an old gray-headed baboon, carefully guarded in the centre. They arrived, halted, and detached their prisoner to a small distance; where he remained between two monkeys who had the charge of him. The rest formed a sort of court, before which an advocate evidently accused the prisoner of some offence, he weeping, screaming, and frequently interrupting the attorney-general. Indeed, the proceedings seem to have been altogether irregular; for the officer represented judges, advocate and prisoner, as all chattering together.
"At length, however, an old monkey, who, the soldiers insisted, was the Chief Justice of the woods, screamed louder than the rest, and the prisoner was instantly hurried off and precipitated over a projecting rock.
"Our people were much scandalized at this proceeding, being convinced that the old baboon was too helpless to have deserved his punishment, and that he was sacrificed, under some false accusation, to prevent his being burthensome to his parish!" P. 169.
These anecdotes may be startling to the dignity of human nature and man, in his pride, may perhaps be more inclined to admit the approaches with which the half-reasoning elephant has sometimes evinced his intellectual superiority, than those of the Pongo and the Marmazet. But the fact, we believe, must nevertheless be received. This is not the first time in which the resemblance has been exhibited, and we must be content, after all, to acknowledge, with Ennius, Simia quam similis turpissima bestia nobis.