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name of John Munro, at the advanced age of 95, who makes a point of walking daily, for the sake of recreation, the six miles betwixt his residence and Inverary, or to the top of Tullich-hill, which is very steep, and distant about two miles. Should the rain pour in torrents, so much the better, aad with the greater pleasure does he perambulate the summit of the bill for hours in the midst of the storm. Whether it is natural to this man, or whether it is the effect of habit, cannot be said ; but it is well known he cannot endure to remain any length of time with his body in a dry state. During summer, and when the weather is dry, he regularly pays a daily visit to the river Arca, and plunges himself headlong in with his clothes on; and should they get perfectly dry early in the day, so irksome and disagreeable does his siuation become, that, like a fish out of water, he finds it necessary to repeat the luxury. He delights in rainy weather, and when the
sky lowers, and the clouds threaten, and other men seek the “ bield or the ingle side," then is the time that this “ man of habits” chooses for enjoying his natural element in the highest perfection. He never bends his way homeward till he is completely drenched; and, on these occasions, that a drop may not be lost, his bonnet is carried in his hand, and his head left bare to the pattering of the wind and rain. He at present enjoys excellent health : and, notwithstanding his habits, he has been wonderfully fortunate in escaping colds, a complaint very common in this moist climate-but when he is attacked, whether in dry or wet weather, whether in summer or winter, his mode of cure is not more singular than it is specific. Instead of confining himself and indulging in the ardent sweating potions so highly extolled among the gossips of his country, he repairs to his favourite element, the pure streams of the Arca, and takes one of his usual headlong dips, with his clothes on. He then walks about for a few miles, till they become dry, when the plan pursued never fails to check the progress of his disorder. In other respects, the writer has never heard any thing singular regarding his manners or habits.
Whether Suicide may be considered as a proof of courage, I will not now discuss. In my opinion self-murder is always an act
highly unnatural, and men who do not live in a state of civil society, will never be guilty of it. Various causes have been assigned, to account for this propensity of the English to suicide. Sometimes the blame is laid upon the climate, sometimes upon the melancholy disposition peculiar to them, and sometimes upon their eating too much animal food, besides an hundred other reasons. But I believe it to be a natural consequence of that education which prevails in this country. The passions are in youth little controled, much less subdued ; and when, in years of more maturity, they cannot be gratified in their vehemence, they will sometimes produce that fatal resolution to finish a disagreeable life, by violent means; which, in an hundred instances, is more easily taken, because religion, the support of the unhappy in adversity, is too often totally neglected. The Quakers in England, are a plain proof of the truth of the opinion here advanced ; for they have the same climate and diet as the rest of the English, and yet suicide is unheard of among them, or at least extremely seldom. The reason of this must undoubtly be looked for in the difference of the education which the Quakers receive, when compared with that of the rest of the English.
Should the following, transcribed for your next GLEANER, be thought, in addition, to what you have already given, en epitaphs, acceptable, it is at your service.
I am, Sir, your's &c. December, 27. 1822.
An epitaph is a monumental inscription, in honour or memory of a person deceased. It has been disputed, whether the ancient Jews inscribed epitaphs on the monuments of the dead ; but be this as it may, epitaphs, it is certain, of very ancient date, are found amongst them.
The Athenians, by way of epitaph, put only the name of the dead, with the epithet “ good,” or “ hero," and a word expressive of their good wishes to the defunct. The Lacedemonians allowed epitaphs to none but those who had died in battle. The Romans inscribed their epitaphs to the names, diis manibus.
The epitaphs of the present day are generally crammed with fulsome compliments which were never merited, characters which human nature in its best state could scarcely lay claim to, and expressions of respect which were never paid in the life-time of the deceased. Hence the French proverb, with great propriety, took its rise : Menteur comme ume épitaphe : He lies like an epitaph.
Virgils's celebrated epitaph, which is said to have been dictated by himself on his death bed, is in direct opposition to most modern inscriptions, being at once short, opposite, and modest :
Mantua me genuit : Calabri rapuere : tenet nunc
Me life, Brundusium death, Naples a grave. The following epitaph is the simple chronicle of an extraordinary man, and as well told, perhaps, as many of the lofty and pompous inscriptions in the Abbey of Westminster.
Beneath this stone, in sound repose,
(From Burchell's Travels in Africa.)
The busy party were surrounded by the sweetest scenery that landscape can produce. They had floated the animal to the bank, and labouring hard to get it out of the water; for, although it was but half grown, and only, what they called, a calf, its bulk being equal to two oxen at least, was more than they could manage ; till the Bushmen came to their asistance. At last it was rolled on to the grassy bank; and immediately, all who had knives, fell to work in cutting it up. The monstrous size, and almost shapeless mass of even a small Hippopotamus, when lying on the ground, and compared with the people who stood about it, appeared enormous. While they were employed in taking off the immoderately thick skin, I judge it would be making the best use of my time, to place the strange groupe in my sketch book; as their haste to cut up and dry the meat before it was spoilt by the heat of the weather, left me little time for examination. This animal is entirely of one uniform colour, which may be correctly imitated by a light tint of China-ink. The hide, above an inch in thickness and hardly flexible, was dragged off, as if they had been tearing the planks of a ship's side. It was carefully divided into such pieces, as would best admit of being cut into shamboks; as these constituted, to Klaarwater people, the greatest part of the profits. The ribs are covered with a thick layer of fat, celebrated as the greatest delicacy; and known to the colonists as a rarity, by the name of “ Zeekoe-spek' (Seacowpork.) This can only be preserved by salting; as, on attempting to dry it in the sun in the same manner as the other parts of the animal, it melts away. The rest of the flesh consists entirely of lean ; and was as usual with all.other game, cut into large slices, and dried on the bushes; reserving only enough for use. This latter portion, however, was no small quantity ; as, in addition to a considerable number of self-invited Hottentots, who all, of course, expected a feast, there was also a party of Bushmen, con sisting of six men and five women, whom the report of the muskets had attracted to the spot.
This animal had been killed by only two balls, both of which entered the head. It is very seldom that they are wounded in any other part; but this does not happen from the impenetrable nature of the rest of the hide, a reason which has often been assigned, and originally invented, like many other such tales, for the
purpose of exciting wonder. The truth is, that, as the Hippo potamus hardly ever quits the river but at night, and, by day, seldom ventures more than its head above the surface of the water, there is no other place left for the marksman.
The animal, when rendered wary by the suspicion of approaching danger, raises out of the water only his nostrils, eyes, and ears; which, being all placed in the same horizontal plane towards the upper part of the head, it may with probability be concluded that nature assigned them this position, with a view to ensuring its safety, by enabling him to breathe, see, and hear, without exposing himself much to the observation and attacks of man : on which account, they are not so easily shot, as many other animals. Their great size is nothing in favour of the marksman; and, unless he aim with as much precision as if it were but a hare, he fires in vain.
When no more than the upper part of the head is seen above water, it appears very much like the head of a horse, and sufficiently justifies the name of Hippopotamus (River-horse) given to it by the ancients; who, as this circumstance seems to prove, could rarely have had a sight of the entire animal, otherwise they would have discovered that, of all quadrupeds, this one bears, in form and general appearance, the least resemblance to a horse. Nor can any thing be more inapplicable, than the colonial name of Zeekoe (Sea-cow), to which animal, I never could perceive that it had, in any respect, the slightest similitude.
In the present animal there was no hair whatever, on any part of the skin, excepting a few scattered short bristles on the muzzle, the edges of the ears, and on the tail. The latter was extremely short, scarcely exceeding a foot. The eyes and ears were disproportionally small, while the mouth was altogether as extraordinarily large. Being not yet full grown, its tusks had not made their appearance. Three bushels, at least, of half-chewed grass were taken out of its stomach and intestines.
Every man had now turned butcher. The placid, noble stream gave to the scene a peaceful, yet animated character, which was strangely contrasted by the spot where our party were so busy at work. This indeed more resembled a flesh-market, where bushes were converted into shambles, and their branches were bending to the ground, overloaded with meat. Whichever way I turned my head, I beheld men, or women, or dog's, eating ; several large fires were crowded with cooks; all around were carving, broiling, gnawing, and chewing. Nor did I myself feel the least inclination to reprobate the practice, for, after a long fatiguing walk, and eight hours fasting, I confess that a Hippopotamus steak was not a thing to be rejected ; and, even at this moment, I still remain convinced, that, if our English lovers of good eating could but once taste such a steak, they would not rest till they had caused “ fine lively Hippopotami" to be an article of regular importation. All the offal, bones, and head, fell, by custom, to the Bushmen's share. No sooner was the carcase cut open, than they fell to work upon the entrails; occasionally wiping the grease from their fingers on to their arms, legs and thighs ; they were, besides, plentifully bespattered with the blood and filth, each rejoicing at the portion he had obtained.
Among these happy, dirty creatures, was one who, by her airs and dress, showed that she had no mean opinion of her personal accomplishments : she was, in fact the prettiest young Bushgirl I had yet seen ; but her vanity, and too evident conciousness of her superiority, rendered her less pleasing in my eyes, and her