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58   Art of Travel.

ridiculous by abortive attempts to neigh and bray; while the poor calf, unconscious of its attractive qualities, stood trembling in their midst. It is customary to have a horse in the mule-trains of the traders of North Mexico, as a sort of magnet to keep together the separate atoms of the train, for, whatever the temptation, they will never stray from him." (Taylor's 'Eldorado.')

Asses.-Notwithstanding his inveterate obstinacy, the ass is an excellent and sober little beast, far too much despised by us. He is not only the most enduring, but also one of the quickest walkers among cattle, being usually promoted to the leadership of a caravan. He is nearly equal to the camel in enduring thirst, and thrives on the poorest pasture, suffers from few diseases, and is unscathed by African distemper. The long desert-roads and pilgrim-tracts of North Africa are largely travelled over by means of asses.

Asses taught not to kick.-Mungo Park says that the negroes, where he travelled, taught their asses as follows :-They cut a forked stick, and put the forked part into the ass's mouth, like the bit of a bridle ; they then tied the two smaller parts together above his head, leaving the lower part of sufficient length to strike against the ground if the ass should attempt to put his head down. It always proved effectual.

Not to bray.-Messrs. Hue and Gabet, who were distracted by the continual braying of one of their asses throughout the night, appealed to their muleteer : he put a speedy close to the nuisance by what appears to be a customary contrivance in China, viz., by lashing a heavy stone to the beast's tail. It appears that when an ass wants to bray he elevates his tail, and, if his tail be weighted down, he has not the heart to bray. In hostile neighbourhoods, where silence and concealment are sought, it might be well to adopt this rather absurd treatment. An ass who was being schooled according to the method of this and the preceding paragraph, both at the same time, would be worthy of an artist's sketch.

Oxen.-Though oxen are coarse, gross, and phlegmatic beasts, they have these merits : they are eminently gregarious, and

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