Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]

throat to the breast, are some long hairs
hanging down; the breast and belly are
grey; the tail is two feet long, brown above,
white beneath, and black at the end.
The Gnu, the Hottentot name for a
singular animal, which, with respect to its
form, is between the horse and the ox-It
is about the size of a common galloway, the
length of it being somewhat above five feet,
and the height rather more than four. This
animal is of a dark-brown colour; the tail
and mane of a light grey; the shag on the
chin and breast, and the stiff hairs which
stand erect on the forehead and upper part
of the face, are black; the curvature of the
horns is singular; and the animal is repre-
sented in the figure in the attitude of butting,
to give an idea of their form and position.
The legs of the gnu are small; its hair is very
fine; and it has a cavity beneath each eye,
like most of the antelope kind.
The Chevrotain and Meminna.-The
Chevrotain, or little Guinea Deer, is the
smallest of all the antelope kind, the least
of all cloven footed quadrupeds, and we
may add, the most beautiful. Its legs at
the smallest part are not much thicker than
a tobacco-pipe; it is not more than seven
inches in height, and about twelve from
the point of the nose to the insertion
of the tail; its ears are broad; and its horns,
which are straight, and scarcely two inches
long, are black and shining as jet; the co-
lour of the hair is a reddish brown; in some
a beautiful yellow, very short and glossy.
These elegant little creatures are natives of
Senegal and the hottest parts of Africa;
they are likewise found in India, and in
many of the islands belonging to that
vast continent. In Ceylon, there is an ani-
mal of this kind called Meminna, which is
not larger than a hare, but perfectly resem-
bling a fallow-deer. It is of a grey colour;
the sides and haunches are spotted and
barred with white; its ears are long and
open; and its tail short. None of these
small animals can subsist but in a warm cli-
mate. They are so extremely delicate, that
it is with the utmost difficulty they can be
brought alive into Europe, where they soon
perish. They are gentle, familiar, most
beautifully formed, and their agility is such,
that they will bonnd over a wall twelve feet
high. In Guinca, they are called Guevei.
The female has no lorns, -
The Springer.Antelope, is an elegantspe-
cies, weighs about fifty pounds, and is rather
less thau a roe-buck: inhabits the Cape of
Good Hope; called there the Spring bock,

from the prodigious leapsittakes on the sight
of anybody. When alarmed, it has the power
of expanding the white space about the tail
into the form of a circle, which returns to
its linear form when the animal is tranquil.
They migrate annually from the interior
parts in small herds, and continue in the
neighbourhood of the Cape for two or three
months; then join companies, and go off in
troops consisting of many thousands, cover-
ing the great plains for several hours in
their passage: are attended in their migra-
tions by numbers of lions, hyaenas, and other
wild beasts, which make great destruction
among them: are excellent eating, and,
with other antelopes, are the venison of the
Cape. Mr. Masson informs us, that they
also make periodical migrations, in seven or
eight years, in herds of many hundred thou-
sands, from the north, as he supposes, from
the interior parts of Terra de Natal. They
are compelled to it by the excessive drought
which happens in that region, when some-
times there does not fall a drop of rain for
two or three years. These animals, in their
course, desolate Caffraria, spreading over
the whole country, and not leaving a blade
of grass. Lions attend them: where one of
those beasts of prey are, the place is known
by the vast void visible in the midst of the
timorous herd. On its approach to the
Cape, it is observed that the avant guard is
very fat, the centre less so, and the rear
guard almost starved, being reduced to live
on the roots of the plants devoured by those
which went before; but on their return they
become the avant guard, and thrive in their
turn on the renewed vegetation; while the
former, now changed into the rear guard,
are famished, by being compelled to take up
with the leavings of the others. These ani-
mals are quite fearless, when assembled in
such mighty armies, nor can a man pass
through unless he compels them to give
way with a whip or stick. When taken
young, they are easily domesticated: the
males are very wanton, and are apt to butt
at strangers with their horns. The expan-
sile white part on the end of the back of
this animal is a highly singular circumstance.
It is formed by a duplicature of the skin in
that part, the inside and edges being milk-
white; when the animal is at rest, the edges
alone appear, resembling a white stripe, but
when alarmed, or in motion, the cavity, or
white intermediate space, appears in form.
of a large oval patch of that colour.
The Scythian Antelope, or Saiga, which
is the only one of the species that is to be

found in Europe. The form of its body resembles the domestic goat, but its horns are those of an antelope, being marked by very prominent rings, with furrows between; they are a foot long, the ends smooth, of a pale-yellow colour, almost transparent. The male is covered with rough hair, like the he-goat, and has a strong scent; the female is smoother, hornless, and timid. The general colour is a dirty white. When they are attacked by wolves or dogs, the males stand round the females, forming a circle, with their heads towards the enemy, in which posture they defend their charge. Their common pace is a trot, when they go faster, it is by leaps; and are swifter than roe-bucks. When they feed, they are obliged to go backward, owing to the length of the upper lip, which they lift up. Their skin is soft, and excellent for gloves, belts, &c. They are found in flocks from six to ten thousand, on the banks of the Tanais and Boristhenes. The young are easily tamed, and will readily return to their master, when turned out on the desert. The Nilgau, or White footed Antelope, is a large and beautiful species, known only within the space of a few years past. Its height is four feet one inch to the top of the shoulders, and its length, from the bottom of the neck to the base of the tail, four feet. The colour of the nilgau is a fine dark-grey or slate-colour, with a large spot of white beneath the throat, and two white bands or marks above each foot: the cars are large, white within, and edged with the same colour, and marked internally by two black stripes: along the top of the neck runs a slight mane of black hair, which is continued to some distance down the back, and on the breast is a much longer mane or hanging tuft of a similar colour: the tail is moderately long, and terminated by a tuft of black hair: the horns are short, pointed, smooth, triangular at their base, distant from each other, bent very slightly forwards, and of a blackish colour. The female resembles the male in general appearance, but is considerably smaller, of a pale brown colour, and is destitute of horns: the manc, pectoral tuft, and ears, resemble those of the male, and the feet are marked above the hoofs by three transverse bars of black and two of white. The nilgau is a native of the interior parts of India. According to Mr. Pennant, it abounded in the days of Aurengzebe between Delli and Lahor, on the way to Cashmire, and was called nyl

gau, or the blue or grey bull. It was one of the objects of the chace with that mighty monarch during his journey : they were inclosed by his army of hunters within nets, which being drawn closer and closer, at length formed a small precinct, into which, the king and his omrahs and hunters entered, and killed the nilgaus with arrows, spears, and musquets; and that sometimes in such numbers, that Aurengzebe used to send quarters as presents to all his great people. The nilgau has of late years been often imported into Europe, and has bred in England. In confinement, it is generally pretty gentle, but is sometimes seized with fits of sudden caprice, when it will attack with great violence the objects of its displeasure. When the males fight, they drop on their knees at some distance from each other, and gradually advance in that attitude, and at length make a spring at each other with their heads bent low. This action, however, is not peculiar to the nilgau, but is observed in many others of the antelope tribe. The nilgau is said to go with young about nine months, and to produce

sometimes two at a birth: the young is of

the colour of a fawn. Antelope Leucoryx, orWhite Antelope, is entirely milk-white, except the markings on the face and limbs. It is an inhabitant of an island in the Gulf of Bassora. See Plate Mammalia, fig. 1–6. ANTHEM, a church-song performed in cathedral service by choristers, who sing alternately. It was formerly used to denote both psalms and hymns, when sung in this manner. But at present, anthem is used in a more confined sense, being applied to certain passages taken out of the scriptures, and adapted to a particular solemnity. ANTHEMIS, in botany, chamomile, a genus of the Syngenesia Superflua class and order. Receptacle chaffy; seeds generally crowned with a slight border; calyx hemispherical, nearly equal ; florets of the ray more than five, oblong. There are two divisions of this genus, namely A. with a differently coloured or white ray; and B. ray the colour of the disk or yellow: there are about forty species. ANTHERAE, among botanists, denote the little roundish or oblong bodies, on the tops of the stamina of plants. The anthera is the principal part of the male organ of generation in plants, answering to the glans penis in animals. It

is tumid and hollow, containing a fine pow

der, called farina foecundans.

ANTHERICUM, in botany, a genus of plants of the Hexandria Monogynia class and order. Cor. six-petalled, spreading, permament; filaments uniform; capsule superior; seeds angular. There are three divisions. A. leaves channelled; filaments mostly beardless: B. leaves fleshy; filaments bearded: C. stamina dilated in the middle; root bulbous. There are between 50 and 60 species. ANTHERYLIUM, a genus of the Icosandria Monogynia class and order. Calyx inferior, four-parted; petals four; capsule one-celled, three-valved, many-seeded. There is but a single species, a tree found at St. Thomas's Island. ANTHISTERIA, in botany, a genus of the Polygamia Monoecia class and order. Hermaphrodite; florets sessile, male florets pedicelled; calyx four-valved, three or fourflowered, coriaceous: corol, glume twovalved, awnless ; filaments three; styles two; stigmata clavate; seed one. There is but a single species. ANTHOCEROS, a genus of the Cryptogamia Hepaticae. Male; six parted or entire; antherae three to eight, obovate, in the bottom of the calyx. Female; calyx sessile, cylindrical and entire. There are four species. ANTHOLOMA, in botany, a genus of the Polyandria Monogynia class and order. Calyx two to four-leaved; cor. cup-shaped; many seeded. There is but a single species, a shrub found in Caledonia. ANTHOLYZA, in botany, a genus of the Triandria Monogynia class and order. Corol tubular, six-cleft, unequal, recurved; capsule inferior. There are six species, all found at the Cape. ANTHOSPERMUM, in botany, the amber tree, a genus of plants belonging to the Tetrandia class and order. It is male and female, in different plants, and some are hermaphrodites, The androgynous flower is of one leaf, with two pistils and four stamina, with the germen below the flower. The male flowers are the same with these, wanting only the pistils and germen. The female flowers have the pistils and germen, but want the stamina. There are three species. ANTHOXANTHUM, in botany, a ge. nus of the Diandria Digynia class and order. Gen. char. calyx, glume two-valved, one-flowered ; corol, glume two-valved, pointed, awned; seed one. There are four species. ANTHREMIS, in natural history, a

genus of insects of the order Coleoptera.
Esson. char. antennae clavate, the club so-
lid; feelers unequal, filiform ; jaws mem-
branaceous, linear, bifid ; lip entire ; head
hidden under the thorax. There are 13
an system of zoology, a class of animals, re-
sembling in some degree the human form ;
the distinguishing characteristic of which is,
that all the anima's comprehended in it
have four fore teeth in each jaw, and the
teats are situated on the breast. Besides
the human species, which stands at the
head of this class, it likewise comprehends
the monkey and sloath kinds.
ANTHYLLIS, the bladder lotus, in bo-
tany, a genus of the Diadelphia Decandria
class of plants, the corolla whereof is pa-
pilionaceous; the fruit is a small roundish
legume, composed of two valves, and con-
taining one or two seeds. This genus is se-
parated into the A. herbaceous and B.
shrubby; there are of the former 12 spe-
cies, of the latter nine.
ANTICHORUS, in botany, a genus of
the Octandria Monogynia class and order.
Calyx four-leaved; petals four; capsule su-
perior, subulate, four-celled, four-valved;
seeds numerous. There is only one species,
found in Arabia.
ANTIDESMA, in botany, a genns of the
Dioecia Pentandria class of plants, the ca-
lyx of which is a perianthium, consisting of
five oblong concave leaves; there is no co-
rolla; the fruit is a cylindric berry, con-
taining one cell; in which is lodged a sin-
gle seed. There are three species found in
the East Indies and China.
ANTIMONY, in mineralogy, one of the
metals that is brittle and easily fused. No
metal has attracted so much of the attention
of physicians as antimony. One party has
extolled it as an infallible specific for every
disease: while another decried it as a most
virulent poison, which ought to be expunged
from the list of medicines. Antimony, as
it occurs under that name in the shops, is a
natural compound of the metal with ‘sul-
phur. To obtain it in a metallic state, the
native sulphuret is to be mixed with two-
thirds its weight of acidulous tartrite of
potash, (in the state of crude tartar,) and
one-third of nitrate of potash deprived of
its water of crystallization. The mixture
must be projected by spoonfuls, into a red-
hot crucible ; and the detonated mass
poured into an iron mould greased with a
little fat. The antimony, on account of

its specific gravity, will be found at the bottom adhering to the scoriae, from which it may be separated by the hammer. Or three parts of the sulphuret may be fused in a covered crucible, with one of iron filings. The sulphur quits the antimony, and combines with the iron. Antimony in its metallic state (sometimes called regulus of antimony) is of a silvery white colour, very brittle, and of a plated or scaley texture. It is fused by a moderate heat; and crystallizes, on cooling, in the form of pyramids. In close vessels it may be volatilized, and collected unchanged. It undergoes little change when exposed to the atmosphere at its ordinary temperature; but when fused, with the access of air, it emits white fumes, consisting of an oxide of the metal. This oxide had formerly the name of flowers of antimony. Antimony combines with phosphorus and sulphur. With the latter, an artificial sulphuret is formed, exactly resembling the native compound, which last may be employed, on account of its cheapmess, for exhibiting the properties of this combination of antimony. Antimony is dissolved by most of the acids. Sulphuric acid is decomposed; sulphurous acid being disengaged, and an oxide formed, of which a small proportion only is dissolved by the remaining acid. Nitric acid dissolves this metal with great vehemence; muriatic acid acts on it by long digestion; but the most convenient solvent is the nitro-muriatic acid, which, with the aid of heat, dissolves it from the native sulphuret. With oxygenized muriatic acid, it forms a compound of a thick consistence, formerly called butter of antimony. This may be formed, by exposing black sulphuret of antimony to the fumes of oxygenized muriatic acid, and subsequent distillation; or by distilling the powdered regulus with twice its weight of corrosive muriate of mercury. The metal becomes highly oxydized, and unites with muriatic acid in its simple state. On pouring this compound into water, a white oxide falls down, called powder of algaroth. Antimony is susceptible of various states of oxydizement. The first oxide may be obtained by washing algaroth powder with a little caustic potash. It is composed of 18% oxygen, and 81 metal. That formed by the action of nitric acid on antimony, contains 77 metal, and 23 oxygen. See OREs, anulysis of ANTINOMIANS, in church history, a sect of Christians, who reject the moral law as a rule of conduct to believers, disown

personal and progressive sanctification, and hold it to be inconsistent for a believer to pray for the forgiveness of sins. Although these principles will, by some, be thought to lead to mischievous consequences and practice, yet there are, unquestionably, worthy men and virtuous Christians, who avow Antinomian tenets. To the young, the giddy, and the thoughtless, such sentiments might, if acted upon, be the source of much evil; but these like the doctrine of necessity, are rarely believed but by persons who have already attained to virtuous habits. ANTIPATHES, in natural history, a genus of worms of the order Zoophyta. Animal growing in the form of a plant: stem

expanded at the base, internally horny, beset

with small spines, externally covered with a gelatinous flesh, beset with numerous polype-bearing tubercles. There are 13 . species. A. spiralis, inhabits the Indian, Mediterranean, and North seas; of a hard, horny, black, substance, exceedingly brittle, very long, and variously twisted, about the size of a writing pen. A. alopecuroides, with spinous setaceous closely panicled branches; inhabits South Carolina; about two feet high, and rises from a broad spread base, dividing into several large branches, flat on one side, with a groove along the middle; it then subdivides into smaller branches, forming close panicles, not unlike the fox-tail grass: the outside greyish, the inside black and very brittle. ANTIPODES, in geography, a name given to those inhabitants of the globe that live diametrically opposite to one another. They lie under opposite parallels, and opposite meridians. They have the same elevation of their different poles. It is midnight with the one, when it is noon-day with the other; the longest day with one is the shortest with the other; and the length of the day with the one is equal to the night of the other. See Globes, use of: ANTIQUARY, a person who studies and searches after monuments and remains of antiquity. There were formerly, in the chief cities of Greece and Italy, persons of distinction called antiquaries, who made it their business to explain the ancient inscriptions, and give every other assistance in their power to strangers who were lovers of that kind of learning. Foundations of this kind have existed in England. Sir H. Spelman speaks of a society of antiquaries in his time, which had been instituted in 1572, by Archbishop

« PreviousContinue »