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NOVEL AND CURIOUS ACCOUNT OF THE CHAMELEON.
cient, and we are thus reduced to hire the trembling infant, let us direct the wretched task to be performed at a more seasonable hour than three or four hours before the commencement of the meanest labour, at an hour when they should be enjoying a few moments snatched from the sorrows of their lives in the undisturbed serenity of sleep. Let every one concede but thus much to the poor fallen race, and I doubt not, in a few years, the result will be such as every friend to mercy will rejoice at.
Would to heaven that the unhappy children had a more eloquent champion in their behalf; a more sincere one they cannot have.
they need it not. For, to that individual, of which-ever sex, who can listen on a bed of down, to the faint cry of the shivering chimney sweeper, and be untouched by its sound, who will not feel the lisping cry of "sweep" from infant lips, to be the supplicating wail of its helplessness, the reproach for inertness in his cause, which Providence permits to be poured on his ear, persuasion were utterly vain. If such impressions shall strike on any woman's breast, and it remains unmoved by them, to such the oratory of Demosthenes would plead in vain, the pen of Cicero were utterly unavailing.
NOVEL AND CURIOUS ACCOUNT OF THE CHAMELEON.
(From Mrs. Belzoni's Account of her Residence amongst the Women in Egypt,` Nubia, and
ceed in preserving them alive and in health more than two months." This is attributed to the injury they receive in the clumsy and careless manner of collecting them; the Arabs in Lower Egypt catch them by jumping on them, or by throwing stones at them, or striking them with sticks, by which they are generally much hurt. Those which are caught in Nubia, are in general in better condition, from the more humane and rational method of securing them; the Nubian lies down gently on the ground in the close neigh-on the green, and this not in a confused or bourhood of the date trees in which the animals harbour, and when they descend, he approaches slowly, and with some care and deliberation he seizes the reptile by the tail, and secures it by fixing a string to it; the body therefore is scarcely bruised or injured.
"My prison companions," says Mrs. Bel- || months, and under the circumstances of zoni, 66 were antelopes, sheep, goats, and leisure, which the peculiarities of her situation fowls. I had collected a great number of afforded her. Mrs. B. observes, that these chameleons, but, during the continued at- animals are extremely inveterate in their tempts of five months trial, I never could suc-animosity to their own kind, insomuch that they must by no means be shut up together; in such situations they invariably attack and bite off each others tails and legs. There are three species of chameleons whose colours are peculiar to themselves: for instance, the most general species is that whose general colour is green, that is to say, the body being entirely green, and when in a state of rest, or inaction, and free from any external irritation, beautifully marked on each side with regular spots or stripes of black and yellow
Mrs. Belzoni's account of this interesting little animal does not pretend to be the scientific description of the naturalist, but what is perhaps much more valuable to science, a series of curious observations on the habits and peculiarities of the reptile from actual and long continued observations during several
irregular manner, but as if painted. This species of the animal is very abundant; they never exhibit any other colour except a light green when asleep, and when in a state of disease, a very pale yellow. Of the second sort Mrs. Belzoni possessed but one, out of near forty which she kept when in Nubia, on her first journey, this was of a very small size, and had red marks. Mrs. B. relates, that one of these animals lived with her eight months. during the greater part of which time it remained fixed to the button of her coat, and was accustomed to rest on her
shoulder or head. After keeping the cha-
any one opens the mouth at them, it is immediately thrown into a high degree of uneasiness and irritation, and they immediately begin to assume their defensive operations by swelling or inflating themselves, and taking the dusky black colour; they will, on such occasions, sometimes even hiss in a trifling degree.
A third description of Chameleon was procured by Mrs. Belzoni, at Jerusalem, which seems to be the most singular of any; what may not improperly be termed its temper, was extremely sagacious and cunning, it was of the green species, but its general colour partook largely of a sort of drab, producing altogether a tinge of very disagreeable hue, and did not change or vary its appearance as to colour, during two months. Its most remarkable property was the faculty it possessed of contracting its natural bulk, at pleasure, and in an astonishing degree. On Mrs. Belzoni's return from Cairo, the animal was permitted to crawl about the room, on the furniture, whence, she says, "it would sometimes descend, and endeavour to conceal itself from me, with the singular precaution of constantly chusing a situation whence it could observe me without interruption; and sometimes on my leaving the room for a short time, on my entrance it would reduce itself into so thin a form, as to be nearly on a level with the surface on which it rested, in order as it should seem, to escape my observation, and I was often deceived in this way.
These changes are not satisfactorily accounted for by naturalists; that the mere accession of fresh air, or the smell of plants, does not produce them, is evident from the same changes taking place with the same brilliancy and regularity, when under the same circumstances in a close room. Its changes are made in an irregular order, and seem the result of mental temperament, rather than according to the vulgarly accepted idea, of external impressions; they are at one moment of a plain and uniform green, and they next assume its most beautiful tints in rapid succession. When in a state of high irritation or anger, it invariably becomes of a deep black colour, and the whole body is suddenly inflated like a balloon. On such occasions, from the most beautiful, interesting, and delightful little animal nature presents us with, it becomes to the sense one of the most loathsome, and even conveys an impression of terror. The chameleon, with this extraordinary property of exhibiting the state of its irritable feelings by its changes of colour, is also one of the most irritable reptiles we are acquainted with; the most trifling interruption will put them in what we may term an ill humour; if in crossing a table, for instance, you stop or interrupt their progress, and attempt to turn them into a different direction, they exhibit a determined obstinacy, and will not stir from the spot at which they experience the interruption: perhaps one of the most singular circumstances connected with the irritability of this animal is, that if
One day, having missed it for some time, I concluded it was hid in its accustomed manner in some part of the room, but after a long and fruitless search, I considered it had made its way out of the apartment, and effected its escape; in the course of the evening, however, when the candles were lighted, I went to a wicker basket, which had a cross handle to it, and there found my roving little animal, its colour entirely changed, and totally different from any I had ever before observed; the whole body, head, and tail, were now of a rich brown, with black spots, encircled with sets of other spots of the most beautiful and deep orange colour; I was much gratified with its extraordinary and brilliant appearance, but to my utter astonishment and regret, all this variegated beauty vanished almost on the instant of its being disturbed, being in
THE MONASTERY OF AUGUSTINE FRIARS.
The Chameleon's principal food is flies, and it. is a curious circumstance that the fly does not die immediately on being swallowed, for upon taking the Chameleon in the hand, it is easy to feel the fly buzzing within it. They possess the singular faculty of rapidly inflating themselves by drawing in air, and can do it to an extraordinary bulk on some occasions, but particularly when they wish to throw themselves from any considerable height, they are at such times inflated to such a degree, as to be actually so buoyant as to descend without injury, except sometimes bruises on the mouth, that part first reaching the ground. Their mode of drinking is very curious, they are enabled to pass many days without liquid food, and when they drink they frequently take half an hour in the operation; Mrs. Belzoni says she has many times held a glass in one hand, while the Chamelion rested its two fore paws on the edge of it, the two hinder feet resting on her other hand; on such occasions it stood upright, elevating its head like a fowl. It has a relish for animal food, at least so far as to eat freely of broths and soups. Of the phenomena of the varying colours, Mrs. Belzoni modestly declines obtruding any opinion as a naturalist, but contents herself with a simple and intelligent redis-lation of facts, which are for the most part new, and certainly very interesting.
this respect altogether unlike any I had observed. But after this, I used to observe it at my first rising in the morning, and at such times always found it exhibiting the same beautiful arrangement of spots and colours. Some time after this it made its escape from the room, and as I imagine, had made its way into a garden into which the apartment looked." Mrs. Belzoni could never after meet with a Chameleon of these colours, although she afterwards at Rosetta possessed between fifty and sixty, but all these were green, yellow, and black, and of these, few were in healthy condition, from the injury they had sustained in the clumsy mode of catching them by the Arabs: these injuries were of so much importance that few of them survived their capture more than a month or six weeks. The Chameleon is observed to be an animal extremely tenacious of life; but if the body is once squeezed, even in a slight degree, it never survives more than about six weeks. They should always be caught by the tail. It is easy to discover the injuries they may have received by observing them at night when|| asleep, for being of a very light colour when sleeping, the part that has been bruised either on the body or the head, is extremely black, this, when the animal is of a green colour will not be so distinct, but yet clearly cernible.
THE MONASTERY OF AUGUSTINE FRIARS.
This convent was founded in the tenth century, by St. Bernard, a native of Savoy, from whom the mountain takes its appellation. The building has been twice destroyed by fire, and each time rebuilt upon a larger scale, and though an extensive and well arranged habitation, is not always found sufficiently large for the benevolent purposes of its institution Its revenues which were originally considerable, are at present much reduced, and are principally drawn from estates, in the Valais, in the canton of Berne. The government of
The Monastery of St. Augustine, upon Mount || Berne, although a protestant canton, suffers St. Bernard, in Switzerland, is perhaps the them, in consideration of the great utility of most singular, as well as the most disinterest- the institution, to remain undisturbed. The edly humane in Europe. pious fraternity, however, derive from the celebration of masses, and the collections made for them in the neighbouring countries, more than sufficient to answer their current expences; and generally enough to effect a saving for contigencies. They have ten or twelve resident members, the rest of the order occupying the different livings dependent on the convent: and who on account of age, infirmities, or long services, are permitted to be absent.
The spot in which this extraordinary institution stands, is at least eight thousand feet
above the level of the Mediterranean, and is secluded from the world, and (if merit and perhaps the most elevated dwelling place in virtue bring an earthly reward of satisfaction) Europe; for there is not even a peasant's live happily, these hospitable anchorites. The chalet (or hut) upon any of the neighbouring sun, it is true, scarcely ever warms them with Alps, erected more than three thousand feet its rays, nor does the western breeze waft above the level of the Mediterranean, and the || upon its wings the blessings of the milder chalets are only tenanted during eight or ten || climates; but in exchange for these, they enweeks in the midst of summer, whereas this joy that serenity of mind, which real contentconvent of hospitality and protection is con- ment only can afford us, and which actions of stantly inhabited. true benevolence like theirs are so especially calculated to produce.
It is placed at an equal height with the eternal snows, situated between two lofty It is a sight of great interest to observe the mountains covered with glaciers, and exposed | indefatigable humanity of this brotherhood, to the piercing and ungovernable (fury of the during the season when this passage into north, and north-east wind. The temperature | Italy is most frequented; to see their alacin January is frequently found at 25 degrees rity and skill, the ready watchfulness and below the freezing point of the thermometer, contempt of fatigue with which they receive and is seldom more than six or seven degrees and attend all comers; with what care and above that point, even in the month of July tenderness they administer medical assistance or August. In the latter season, however, to those who need it, and the attentive hospithere is some inconsiderable vegetation, al- || tality with which by wholesome and suitable though indeed in a very weak state, inasmuch || aliments, and the comforts of warmth and that in the little gardens which are with infi- rest, they restore strength and spirits to the nite pains, raised on terraces, built on the more robust, whom the extreme keenness and declivity in the warmest and most sheltered tenuity of the air, and consequent fatigue, aspects, it is with the greatest difficulty the frequently render incapable of prosecuting inmates of this region of cold can raise a few their journey without such timely aid. stunted and unripe lettuces, and other similar vegetables for their scanty board, and indeed even these are produced in so small a quantity, that the cultivation becomes more an object of amusement and relaxation to them, || than of any substantial utility.
At certain distances, there are poles erected to serve as directing marks for the road, and small huts designed either as resting places on the ascent, or to afford immediate shelter from the severity of the weather in cases of pressing danger or inconvenience.
In the immediate vicinity of the convent are the mansions of the dead, as they may not improperly be termed, or small open buildings, in which lie exposed to public view, without order, and from the coldness of the atmosphere, without offensive decay, the dead bodies of those unfortunate travellers who have perished in the severity of these ungenial regions.
In such a desert spot, in this centre, as it were of the boisterous element, and the wreck of matter, as with respect to the smiling but far distant countries which surround their elevated position, it may well be termed, live
These benevolent monks extend their kind offices to all persons indiscriminately who need their assistance; they are Samaritans in the best sense of the word, whose charity is restrained by no contracted prejudice.
In winter during the heaviest snows and the most terrible drifting storms, these worthy brethren voluntarily incur the greatest dan||gers. From the month of November to May, not a day passes, but, accompanied with their servants, and several large and powerful dogs of the Newfoundland species, they expose themselves, to all the inclemencies of the weather, in order to meet and conduct the wandering and benumbed traveller, to their hospitable roof. Of the sagacity of these remarkable dogs, the numberless relations would suffice to make an interesting volume; they constantly exert themselves in the discovery of bodies, that may be overwhelmed, and buried in the snow, in determining the safest road, or in assisting to carry, or in guiding the unfortunate sufferer to the place of refuge; they are even sometimes sent forward singly, as scouts, or in a body as an avant-garde, to make discoveries of this
part of the monks themselves, while thus occupied, that they also do not, in their turn, suffer the very calamity they are thus humanely endeavouring to avert from others. In winter the cold is of such dreadful intensity in these upper regions, that to continue without motion in the open air, during the space even of a few minutes, is sufficient to bring on the first symptoms of congelation ; and as nothing but constant exercise is able to prevent the stagnation of the blood in the extremities, they are obliged to strike their hands and feet against the long poles which they carry, and keep themselves in continual motion.
nature, and when on such occasions a traveller is found by them in a dangerous situation, they themselves render assistance; if the sufferer sleeps, which must in the event be certain death, the faithful animal shakes and rouses him from this fatal lethargy; he bears about his neck a leathern bottle, which contains wine for his refreshment, and a written invitation to follow, and second the instinctive exertions of the animal; if the sufferer be a child, the dog endeavours to persuade it to mount on his back, in which case the transport to the convent is safe and expeditious. The monks themselves follow or accompany these dogs, exposing themselves to the most dreadful inclemencies of weather, through dense fogs, and across tremendous drifts of snow, they resolutely accomplish their generous purpose, conducting, and even carrying upon their shoulders, or on a temporary frame made of their staves, those unhappy wretches, who, from the intensity of the cold, or the severity of fatigue, has bereft either of the use of limbs, or deprived of their faculties; they are frequently reluctantly obliged to make use of violent means to rouse the poor benumbed creature, they shake, or even beat the unhappy man, as the only method by which they can hope to dissipate the lethargic stupor, which is invariably the forerunner of a frozen death. It requires the utmost caution, and the most unremitting attention on the
The merit and extraordinary circumstances of this institution, and the still more extraordinary exertions of courage and resolution in the performance of the benevolent duty they impose upon themselves, and the promotion of their generous purpose, give it rank amongst the most liberal establishments of civilization, and although the improved roads through, or rather over the Alps, and the great road of the simplon over St. Gothard, have, generally speaking, rendered the passages of St. Bernard less frequented at the present day than they formerly were, the institution still exists in activity, and still continues, as it ever must, to excite admiration and respect.
What is your sex's earliest, latest care,
IT is useless to lament the value that is set on personal beauty. I should rather say the undue value, for none but the blind will deny its weight in the scale of human advantages. While the world goes on as it does, (and there is little probability of any alteration, unless perhaps for the worse) women will covet the possession of beauty, men be allured by it as moths to a flame, and like their prototype often fall disabled, rather than destroyed by the fatal fascination, and drag on an existence, whose present misery can draw no consolation from the past, and but little from the future.