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camels have not, upon their necks, shoulders, haunches and the crown of the head: which last, some travellers who did not know the difference of breed, supposed to be a piece of another animal's skin put upon their heads to keep them warm. They can endure a great deal of fatigue and want, and can carry from 700 to 1000lbs. weight; and their price is from 101. to 151., which is not half the price of a good ass. Sometimes one may see in the north of Persia another camel which is brought from Circassia, which is of an unusually slender form, and the doublehump of which, instead of being erect and firm as in other animals, flaps down, and is soft and fleshy.
H. By the double-humped camel you mean a dromedary, I suppose, Sir ?
U. O. No, I don't ; and I am glad you mention it, because it is a common mistake to call it so, and at the same time to speak of Arabian dromedaries, while Arabia has none but singlehumped camels. The truth is, that the dromedary, instead of having the difference of a hump between it and the camel, is only a fine breed of the camel, more elegant in its shape than the common one, and able to go much
faster. The difference between a dromedary and a camel is like the difference between a racehorse and a cart-horse.
Mules are of much more importance in Persia than camels, and are valued next to the horse. They are not of very large size, nor are they quite so elegant as mules that I have seen in Turkey; but their strength and power of enduring fatigue is amazing. They will travel the bad, stony, and steep roads of the country, day after day, at the rate of from twenty-five to fifty miles a day, with loads of 300 pounds upon their backs, without appearing in any way to suffer from it. They require twice as much food as the horses. It is to be remarked that the muleteers never remove the packsaddles from the backs of either mules or horses, except to clean or curry them. If they find that the back has been galled, they take away some of the stuffing of the packsaddle from the part which covers the sore place, and then put it on again as before; because experience has taught them that such sores, unless healed under the saddle, are apt to break out again.
J. I don't think I ever saw a mule, Uncle.
they are not very common in this country. We have such excellent roads for wheel-carriages, and can send goods about so easily by our canals and along the coast, that we have no need of animals to carry heavy loads upon their backs, which is the principal service for which mules are wanted. The mule is of most value in countries where the roads are bad and difficult. · The domestic asses of Persia, like the camels, are much inferior to those of Arabia, except some of a race which proceeds from the Arabian. The latter are fine, large, and well-trained animals ; and such religious men as wish to appear humble prefer them for riding. The common asses are very strong, and can bear a great deal of fatigue; but I do not know that they are much superior to the better sort of asses that we have, except that they are more tractable, in consequence of being treated more kindly and of being inore cared for. I must say this for both Persians and Turks, that I never saw among them such cruelty to animals as I have seen in this country. Such poor travellers as are one step above extreme poverty have generally an ass to carry a little baggage for them. It keeps, of its own accord, in company with the horses, mules and asses which belong to the party, and does not require much watching. When the master is tired of walking, he relieves himself by a little ride upon his donkey. When that is the case, he generally springs upon the back of the animal all of a sudden; because, in general, if the ass gets any suspicion of this intention, he runs about, and it sometimes takes much trouble to catch him. The men ride their asses without bridles or halters, merely guiding them by tapping their necks with a stick ; so that if the rider wishes his ass to go more to the left on the road, he taps him on the right side of his neck. I have been much amused to observe the way in which some asses have proceeded, when guided in this manner. When tapped on the right side, for instance, instead of going a little to the left and then proceeding right on, they would continue sidling towards the left, until the rider found it necessary to tap them on the left side to make them go towards the right again; and thus they would go on continually, crossing from one side of the road to the other, much to their own inconvenience, as it made the way twice as long to them as it need have been.
H. That is like the way in which a ship goes when the wind is unfavourable, is it not ?
U. O. Exactly. That is the only thing a ship can do in such a case; but in an ass it might be prevented by the use of a bridle. I must not forget to tell you that it is a very common practice to slit the nostrils of the asses, which gives them a curious appearance. I think it is done with some view of helping them in their breathing; but I really do not see why this should be considered more necessary to them than to other animals.