Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa, Band 1

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Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1822 - 586 Seiten
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Seite 416 - All the mantis tribe are very remarkable insects ; and this one, whose dusky sober colouring well suits the obscurity of night, is certainly so by the late hours it keeps. It often settled on my book, or on the press where I was writing, and remained still, as if considering some affair of importance, with an appearance of intelligence which had a wonderful effect in withholding my hand from doing it harm. Although hundreds have flown within my power, I never took more than five. I have given to...
Seite 430 - Nature, though regular and systematic in all her works, often puzzles and perplexes human systems, of which this animal affords an instance. It partakes of the horse, the ox, the stag, and the antelope: the shoulders, body, thighs, and mane, are equine; the head completely bovine; the tail partly one and partly the other...
Seite 427 - ... regular article of merchandise as the ivory, hides, and feathers, which form the staple of South African trade. " On the branches of these acacias, which have so great a resem-blance to the true acacia of the ancients, or the tree which yields the gum-arabic, as to have been once considered the same species, I frequently saw large lumps of very good and clear gum. " Wherever they had been wounded by the hatchets of the natives, there most commonly the gum exuded; and by some similar operations...
Seite 467 - I have no doubt of its being one of the most venomous of Southern Africa. There is a peculiarity which renders it more dangerous, and which ought to be known by every person liable to fall in with it. Unlike the generality of snakes, which make a spring, or dart forwards, when irritated, the Puff Adder, it is said, throws itself backwards ; so that those who should be ignorant of this fact would place themselves in the very direction of death, while imagining that by so doing they were escaping the...
Seite 459 - I showed them a looking-glass : at this they laughed, and stared with vacant surprize and wonder, to see their own faces ; but expressed not the least curiosity about it ; nor do I believe it excited in their minds one single idea ; and I may not, perhaps, be doing them an injustice by asserting that, whether capable of reflection or not, these individuals never exerted it.
Seite 301 - One day, near this spot, having with his party pursued an elephant which he had wounded, the irritated animal suddenly turned round, and singling out from the rest the person by whom he had been wounded, seized him with his trunk, and lifting his wretched victim high in the air dashed him with dreadful force to the ground. His companions...
Seite 375 - Virgil, in the third book of the ^ineid, in his story of the harpies ; too long to be quoted here, but which the sight of these birds, and their habits, brought immediately to my recollection, and served greatly to increase the interest with which I viewed them. There was a heaviness in their gait and looks, which made one feel half-inclined to consider them rather as beasts of prey, than as feathered inhabitants of the air.
Seite 310 - The intention of Nature, in these instances, seems to have been the same as when she gave to the Chameleon the power of accommodating its color, in a certain degree, to that of the object nearest to it, in order to compensate for the deficiency of its locomotive powers. By their form and color, this insect may pass unobserved by those birds, which otherwise would soon extirpate a species so little able to elude its pursuers, and this juicy little Mesembryanthemum may generally escape the notice of...
Seite 346 - for several months in the year, is entirely covered with snow;' (a specimen of the accuracy of that writer's description of the colony;) and concludes its account of that people by stating, with peculiar sagacity, that, 'though very good friends among each other while poor, from the moment they have obtained by plunder a quantity of cattle, they begin to quarrel about the division of the spoil; and they are said to carry this sometimes to such an excess, that they continue the fight and massacre,...
Seite 454 - They had no earthly possessions whatever, excepting the miserable bit of dirty skin which hung around them ; their bows and arrows, a few hassagays, a knife, and two or three ostrich eggshells. They had not even a hut, or a few mats, like most of their countrymen. Neither beads, nor any thing intended as ornament, were to be seen upon them : their persons, meagre and filthy, too plainly bespoke...

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