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THE HORSE. Of all quad-ru-peds, those of the horse kind merit the most dis-tin-guish-ed place in nat-u-ral his-to-ry. Their strength and use-ful-ness con-tri-bute to render them the prin-ci-pal objects of our at-ten-tion.
The English horses have now become su-pe-ri-or to those of ev-e-ry other part of the world for size and beauty. By a ju-di-cious mixture of the sev-er-al kinds, by the happy dif-fer-ence of our soils, and by our su-pe-ri-or skill in man-age-ment, we have brought this an-i-mal to its highest per-fec-tion. An English horse is now known to excel the A-ra-bi-an in size and swiftness.
When dead, its skin is useful for collars, traces, and other parts of harness. The hair of the tail is used for bottoms of chairs and floor-cloths.
THE ass, in a state of tameness, is the most gentle and quiet of creatures. He makes his humble repast upon what the horse and other an-i-mals leave un-tast-ed : but he is del-i-cate in his choice of water.
When o-ver-load-ed, the ass shows his sense of his master's in-jus-tice by hanging down his head and low-er-ing his ears ;and, when too hard pressed, he opens his mouth and draws back his lips in a very dis-a-gree-a-ble manner. He walks, trots, and gallops like a horse ; but, though he sets out freely at first, he is soon tired, and then no beating will make him mend his pace.
It is in vain that the un-mer-ci-ful rider exerts his whip or his cudgel : the poor little an-i-mal bears it all with patience; and, conscious of his own weakness, does not even attempt to move.
Of all an-i-mals, those that ru-mi-nate, or chew the cud, are the most harmless and the most ea-si-ly tamed.
Of these, the cow kind deserves the first rank, both for size, beauty, and ser-vi-ces. Ox is the gen-er-al name for horned cattle. They live en-tire-ly upon ve-ge-ta-bles. The cow is the poor man's pride, his wealth, and his support.
The climate and pasture of Great Britain are ex-cel-lent-ly a-dapt-ed to this an-i-mal's mod-er-ate nature; and the verdure and fer-ti-li-ty of our plains are per-fect-ly suited to its manner of feeding. There is, indeed, no part of Europe where the tame an-i-mal grows larger, yields more milk, or more read-i-ly fattens than with us: and, by its mixture with foreign breeds, its beauty as well as strength have been increas-ed.
Cows give us milk, and of milk we make cheese, and of the cream we make butter. Their flesh supplies us with food. Their fat is made into candles; their hides into shoes and boots; their horns into combs, and other useful and cu-ri-ous ar-ti-cles. In fact, the cow may be con-sid-er-ed more con-du-cive to the comforts of mankind than any other an-i-mal.
This an-i-mal in its do-mes-tic state, is too well known to require a detail of its pe-cu-li-ar habits, or the methods which have been a-dopt-ed to improve the breed. No country produ-ces finer sheep than England, either with larger fleeces, or better a-dapt-ed for the bu-si-ness of clothing.
The flesh of sheep is called mutton. From their wool, broad cloth, flannel, and stockings are made. Their fat gives us the means of light, and their skin supplies us with leather. Their entrails are made into strings for violins.
Though the ewes are very fond of their lambkins, their fondness con-ti-nues no longer than while they are helpless ; for when they have done suckling them, and have shown them what to eat, they drive them away, and take no further notice of them.
The sheep is of all an-i-mals the most in-of-fen-sive and de-fence-less. With its li-ber-ty, it seems to have been depri-ved of its swiftness and cunning; and what in the ass might be called patience, in the sheep appears to be stu-pidi-ty. It has therefore no other pro-tec-tion and safety than what it finds in man.
Tais an-i-mal seems in every respect better a-dapt-ed for a life of savage in-de-pen-dence than the sheep. It is nat-u-ral-ly pos-sess-ed of a greater share of instinct, and is con-si-der-a-bly stronger, swifter, and more cou-rage-ous.
Sen-si-ble of kindness and ca-ress-es, the goat ea-si-ly at-tach-es itself to man; and as it is a hardy an-i-mal, and sus-tain-ed at little cost, it is chiefly the pro-per-ty of the in-di-gent.
The milk of the goat is sweet, nou-rish-ing and me-di-cinal : it is less apt than that of the cow, to curdle upon the stomach. Goats are very playful. Their young is called a kid : gloves are made of their skins.
The stag is one of those in-no-cent and peace-a-ble ani-mals, that seem formed to em-bel-lish the forest, and an-i-mate the sol-i-tudes of nature. The easy el-e-gance of his form, the lightness of his motions, and the ample branches that adorn rather than defend his head, added to his size, strength, and swiftness, render him one of the most el-e-gant, if not one of the most useful of quad-ru-peds.
The stag or hart, whose female is called a hind, and his young a calf, differs both in size and horns from the fallow deer; for he is much larger, and his horns are round; whereas in the fallow kind, they are broad and pal-ma-ted.
Of all the quad-ru-peds that are natives of our climate, there are none that have such beau-ti-ful eyes as the stag: they are sparkling, soft, and in-tel-li-gent: and the a-cuteness of his smell and hearing is e-qual-ly worthy of admi-ra-tion.
THE hog in a do-mes-tic state is the most sordid and brutal an-i-mal in nature : the awk-ward-ness of its form