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For I knew you would like to go there too;
There was fear in the mother's anxious eye
Evening again, and the sun's last beam Shines upon valley, and hill, and stream. And the flowery meadow, with beauty bright, Glows in the radiance of parting light. But where is the child with brow so fair, And her waving clusters of golden hair, Her fawn-like figure, and dancing eye, And step like a sun-beam gliding by? Her Shepherd has called her, she could not stay; He has taken his lamb to his fold away; He has gather'd his flower ere the frosts of earth Had nipped the fair bud of immortal birth!
THE QURAN OUTANG.
The name of this singular animal sig
wild man,” from the Malay words, Ouran, wild, and Outang, man; and his resemblance to the human form has led others to call him “ The wild man of the woods.” But he cannot walk erect like a man. When he moves on level ground he puts his hands on the ground and drags his body and legs after him, as a man walking with crutches would who had no use of his legs. Tiler says,
“ This animal belongs to the ape tribe. When full grown, it is from five to six feet in height, of a reddish brown colour, is destitute of a tail, has four hands, and in face is something like a man.
The Quran Outang, which approaches nearest to the human skeleton, has three joints in the back-bone fewer than a man. It possesses a pouch connected with the throat; and a largnx, or instrument of voice, which differs totally from those organs of the human being. It never walks upright from choice. Its tongue is very differently formed from that of man; indeed no animal possesses a tongue like that of man. The forehead is much more oblique, the chin has no elevation, and the brain bears a much smaller proportion to the rest of the body than it does in man.
The animal is found in Africa, the East Indies, Borneo,
and China. It inhabits the most retired places, and feeds on fruits, vegetables, and roots; sometimes it visits the seashore for the sake of the shell-fish, which it dexterously secures by putting a small stone between the shells, when open, to save its fingers from being nipped, and then extracts the fish in safety. Trees afford it a comfortable retreat from all enemies but serpents.
Andrew Battel, a Portuguese traveller, and others, have told us that these creatures assembled around the embers of the fires which had been deserted, and sat by them until they went out, but they never fed them—that when one of them died, they covered up the body with branches of trees—that
when attacked, they defended themselves by throwing stones, or had resource to large sticks, which they used with tremendous dexterity. In a state of captivity, they are said to learn to sit at table, use a knife and fork, and drink wine like the offi
They submit to wear clothes, and lie in bed with their heads on the pillow; in fact, they imitate, or endeavour to imitate, every action of those with whom they live, and will eat whatever they observe to be eaten by others.
A full-grown Ouran Outang is so strong, that it would be difficult for ten men to hold it. One has been known to
into a tree.
seize a man,
M. Vosmaer's account of the manners of a chestnutcoloured Quran Outang, brought into Holland in the year 1776, and presented to the Prince of Orange's menagerie, is so curious, that I shall repeat it.
This animal, says M. Vosmaer, was in height about two Rhenish feet and a half. It shewed no fierceness or malignity, and was even of a melancholy appearance. It was fond of being in company, and shewed a preference to those who daily took care of it, of which it seemed to be very sensible. Often when they retired, it would throw itself on the ground as if in despair, uttering lamentable cries. Its keeper having been accustomed sometimes to sit near it on the ground, it would take the hay of its bed, and spread it in the form of a cushion, or a seat, and by every demonstration invite its keeper to sit with it. Its usual manner of walking was on all fours. One morning it got unchained, and we beheld it, with wonderful agility, ascend the beams and rafters of the building; it was not without some trouble that it was taken, and we then remarked the prodigious strength of the animal, the assistance of four men being necessary, in order to hold it in such a manner as to be properly secured. During its state of liberty, it had, among many other things, taken the cork from a bottle of Malaga wine, which it drank to the last drop, and had set the bottle in its place again. When presented with strawberries on a plate, of which it was extremely fond, it was very amusing to see it take them up one by one with a fork, and put them into its mouth. Its common drink was water, but it also willingly drank all sorts of wine, but preferred Malaga. After eating, it always wiped its mouth; and when presented with a toothpick, always used it in a proper manner.
This animal lived seven months in Holland, and was brought from the island of Borneo.
The specimens hitherto brought into Europe, have seldom exceeded three feet in height; but the largest are said to be about six feet high, very active, and of such prodigious strength, that one of them is able with ease to overpower the most muscular man. They are also exceedingly swift, and cannot be taken without much difficulty. Their colour is generally a kind of dusky brown, and their feet are bare. They go together in companies; and if they happen to meet one of the human species remote from succour, they show him no mercy. They even attack the elephant with clubs, and compel him to leave that part of the forest which they claim as their own. They feed on fruits, vegetables, and roots; and when they happen to approach the shore, will eat fish or crabs. The Ouran Outang may be tamed, and closely imitates the manners and actions of those with whom he resides. In this state he seems to lose all his ferocity, and even to acquire a considerable degree of affection for the human race.
We have gathered the above sketches of this creature from various sources. Notwithstanding all that can be said about it, how inferior is it to the most wild of the human race. It has no power of speech, and cannot be taught, for it has "no understanding;" whilst man, however sunk in barbarism, may be lifted up from its lowest depths by education and religion.