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THE ARABIAN CAMEL.* This species is chiefly found, in a wild ftate, in the deserts of Arabia and Africa, and in the temperate parts of Asia. It is that, with a single hunch on its back, which we so frequently see exhibited in the streets in this country. In many parts of the east it is domesticated, and in carrying heavy burthens over the sandy deserts, supplies a place which the Horse would not be able to fill. The tough and spungy feet of these animals are peculiarly adapted to the hot climates, for, in the most fatiguing journies, they are never found to crack. Their great powers of abstaining from drinking, enables them to pass unwatered tracts of country for seven, eight, or, as Leo Africanus says, for even fifteen days, without requiring any liquid. They can discover water by their scent at half a league's distance, and, after a long abstinence, will hasten towards it, long before their drivers perceive where it lies. Their patience under hunger is such, that they will travel many days fed only with a few dates, or some small balls of barley-meal ; or on the miserable thorny plants they meet with in the deserts.t
A large Camel will bear a load of a thousand or twelve hundred pounds, and with this it will traverse the deserts. When about to be loaded, at the command of the corrductor, they instantly bend their knees. If any disobey, they are immediately struck with a stick, or their necks are pulled down ; and then, as if constrained, and uttering their groan
* SYNONYMS.-Camelus Dromedarius. Linn.-Dromedaile. BuffDromedary. Smellie.-Arabian or One-Bunched Camel. Penn.Shar's Gen. Zool. ii. tab. 166.Beau. Quad. p. 140.
+ Penn, Quad. i. 118.
of complaint, they bend themselves, put their bellies on the earth, and remain in this posture till they are loaded and desired to rise. This is the origin of those large callosities on the parts of their bellies, limbs, and knees, which rest on the ground. If overburthened, they give repeated blows with their heads to the person who oppresses them, and sometimes utter the most lamentable cries.*
They possess a very great share of intelligence, and the Arabs assert that they are so extremely sensible of injustice and ill-treatment, that when this is carried too far, the inflictor will not find it easy to escape their vengeance ; and that they will retain the remembrance of an injury till an opportunity offers for gratifying their revenge. Eager, however, to express their resentment, they no longer retain any rancour, when once they are satisfied; and it is even sufficient for them to believe they have satisfied their vengeance. Accordingly, when an Arab has excited the rage of a Camel, he lays down his garments in some place near which the animal is to pass, and disposes them in such a manner that they appear to cover a man sleeping under them. The animal recognizes the cloaths, seizes them in his teeth, shakes them with violence, and tramples on them in a rage. When his anger is appeased, he leaves them, and then the owner of the garments may
make his appearance without any fear, load, and guide him as he pleases. “ I have sometimes seen them,” says M. Sonnini, “ weary of the impatience of their riders, stop short, turn round their long neck to bite them, and utter cries of rage. In these circumstances the man must be careful not to alight, as he would infallibly be torn to pieces: he must also refrain from striking his beast, as that would but increase his fury. Nothing can be done but to have patience, and appease the animal by patting him with the hand, (which frequently requires some time), when he will resume his way and his pace of himself."
Like the Elephant, Camels have their periodical fits of rage, and during these they sometimes have been known to take up a man in their teeth, throw him on the ground, and trample him under their feet.
There is no mode of conveyance so cheap and expeditious as that by Camels. The merchants and other passengers unite in a caravan to prevent the insults and robberies of the Arabs. These caravans are often very numerous, and are always composed of more Camels than men. In these cominercial travels their march is not hastened :, as the route is often seven or eight hundred leagues, their motions and journies are regulated accordingly. The Camels only walk, and travel thus from ten to twelve leagues a day. Every night they are unloaded, and allowed to pasture at freedom.
When in a rich country or fertile meadow,
. Sonnini, ü, 102,
eat, in less than an hour, as much as serves them to ruminate the whole night, and nourish them during the next day. But they seldom meet with such pastures, neither is this delicate food necessary for them. They seem to prefer wormwood, thistles, nettles, broom, cassia, and other prickly vegetables, to the softest herbage. As long as they find plants to brouze, they easily dispense with water. This faculty of abstaining long from drink proceeds not, however, from habit alone, but is rather an effect of their structure. Independent of the four stomachs common to ruminating animals, the Camels have a fifth bag, which serves them as a reservoir for holding water. This bag is capable of containing a very large quantity of that necessary element. When the Camel is thirsty, and has occasion to macerate his dry food, in the operation of ruminating, by a simple contraction of certain muscles, he forces part of his water to ascend into his stomach, or even as high as the gullet. It is this singular construction that enables him to take in at one time sufficient to serve for many days.
When travellers find themselves much in want of water, it is no uncommon thing to kill a Cainel for what he contains, which is always sweet and wholesome. Aristotle
Aristotle says, that the Camel always disturbs the water with its feet before it drinks : if this be the case, which, it must be confessed, seeins very dubious, it is done to chase away the almost innumerable swarms of insects with which the waters of warm climates abound. “ Of all animals,” says the Comte de Buffon, fs that man has subjugated, the Camels are the most abject slaves. · With incredible patience and submission they traverse the burning sands of Africa and Arabia, carrying burthens of amazing weight. The Arabians consider the Camel as a gift sent from Heaven, a sacred animal, without whose assistance they could neither subsist, traffic, nor travel.». The milk of the Camel is their common food. They also eat its flesh; and of its hair they make garments. In possession of their Camels, the Arabs want nothing, and have nothing to fear. In one day they can perform a journey of fifty leagues into the desart, which cuts off every approach from their enemies. All the armies in the world would perish in pursuit of a troop of Arabs. By the assistance of his Camel, an Arab surmounts all the difficulties of a country 'which is neither covered with verdure, nor supplied with water. Notwithstanding the vigilance of his neighbours, and the superiority of their strength, he eludes their pursuit, and carries off with impunity all that he ravages from them. When about to undertake a depredatory expedition, an Arab makes his Camels carry both his and their own provisions. When he reaches the confines of the desart, he robs the first passengers who come in his way, pillages the solitary houses, loads them with the booty, and, if pursued, he accelerates his retreat. On these occasions he displays his own talents as well as those of his Camels. He mounts one of the fleetest, conducts the troop, and obliges them to travel day and night, without almost either stopping, eating, or drinking ; and, in this manner,