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sometimes chained on each side of the gate of his palace. The Persians are also fond of making lions fight with bulls or oxen, or rather destroy them, for there is hardly any fighting. I happened to see one of these affairs once, and thought once quite enough. A young ox was brought into the court yard of a house, and soon after a man led in a lion by a rope around his neck. He at first went and sat down quietly under the wall; but being incited by his keepers and by the sight of the ox, which was brought close to him, he made a spring and seized the ox upon the back. The poor thing made great efforts to get away, but the lion held him fast, both with claws and teeth, until his keepers dragged him off. When the lion was a second time let loose upon him, the ox fell to the ground; upon which the men cut his throat to put him out of pain, and the lion eagerly drank up his blood.
Jane. How cruel !
U. O. Yes; particularly as the ox was perfectly helpless. If it had been a spirited bull, it would have been a more equal match; but I should not even then have approved of it, for I think that such a being as man should be ca
pable of discovering more noble and pure enjoyments than he can find in seeing two poor beasts tear each other in pieces. A powerful bull sometimes makes a vigorous defence in the combats; and at first, when he has pinned his adversary to the ground with his head, his victory seems certain. But the terrible teeth and claws, with which the lion tears the bull even in this position, scarcely ever fail to render him the victor in the end.
The Persians are of opinion that a lion will plever hurt a person of their religion, which is somewhat different from that of the Turks. They firmly believe that their lions would devour a Turk; but that for themselves they are perfectly safe, if they take care to let the lion know, by some exclamation, what religion they are of. This opinion shows, as I have already told you, that men are not often attacked by lions in Persia.
There are some tigers and leopards in the country; but they are as inferior in size and spirit to the same animals in India as the lion is to the lion of Africa. Lynxes are more common, particularly in the provinces near the Caspian Sea, which afford, indeed, a peculiar species
of this animal, called by naturalists the Caspian lynx. It is generally of a yellow brown colour, with the under parts brighter than the rest-inclining to an orange colour. The tail, which reaches only to the bend of the legs, is tipped with black, and has three obscure black rings towards the tip. The ears also are tipped with black, and there are two rusty black bars inside the legs, near the bend of the knee. It is about two feet six inches long from the nose to the tail, but is sometimes nearly three feet. Like the other animals of its tribe, it lives on the smaller wild and domestic animals and poultry; and I am aware of nothing peculiar about it, except its appearance. Another species of lynx, called the Caracal, is the common lynx of Persia. Naturalists, indeed, call it the “Persian lynx," for which reason I may particularly mention it now, though it is equally common in some other countries of Asia. In its size and general appearance it resembles the common lynx; but its tail is larger, its face also is longer, and its disposition is rather more fierce. Its colour, too, is different. That of the common lynx is generally pale grey, with a slight reddish tinge, with a white tail; and the upper part of the body is spotted,