The Class Reptilia

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Whittaker, Treacher, and Company, 1831 - Reptiles - 481 pages
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Page 60 - No part of its behaviour ever struck me more than the extreme timidity it always expresses with regard to rain ; for though it has a shell that would secure it against the wheel of a loaded cart, yet does it discover as much solicitude about rain as a lady dressed in all her best attire, shuffling away on the first sprinklings, and running its head up in a corner.
Page 61 - Much too wise to walk into a well," and has so much discernment as not to fall down an haha; but to stop and withdraw from the brink with the readiest precaution. Though he loves warm weather he avoids the hot sun; because his thick shell, when once heated, would, as the poet says of solid armour — "scald with safety.
Page 61 - ... way. I was much taken with its sagacity in discerning those that do it kind offices ; for as soon as the good old lady comes in sight who has waited on it for more than thirty years, it hobbles towards its benefactress with awkward alacrity; but remains inattentive to strangers. Thus not only " the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib...
Page 61 - When one reflects on the state of this strange being, it is a matter of wonder to find that Providence should bestow such a profusion of days, such a seeming waste of longevity, on a reptile that appears to relish it so little as to squander more than twothirds of its existence in a joyless stupor, and be lost to all sensation for months together in the profoundest of slumbers.
Page 373 - He said they were bora so, and so said the grave and respectable men among them. Many of the lighter and lower sort talked of enchantments, by words and by writing, but they all knew how to prepare any person by medicines, which were decoctions of herbs and roots.
Page 374 - I have seen many thus armed for a season do pretty much the same feats as those that possessed the exemption naturally. The drugs were given me, and I several times armed myself, as I thought, resolved to try the experiment, but my heart always failed me when I came to the trial...
Page 372 - To make myself assured that the animal was in its perfect state, I made the man hold him by the neck, so as to force him to open his mouth, and lacerate the thigh of a pelican, a bird I had tamed, as big as a swan. The bird died in about thirteen minutes, though it was apparently affected in...
Page 61 - If attended to, it becomes an excellent weatherglass; for as sure as it walks elate, and as it were on tiptoe, feeding with great earnestness in a morning, so sure will it rain before night. It is totally a diurnal animal, and never pretends to stir after it becomes dark. The tortoise...
Page 60 - Nothing can be more assiduous than this creature night and day in scooping the earth, and forcing its great body into the cavity ; but as the noons of that season proved unusually warm and sunny, it was continually interrupted, and called forth...
Page 60 - It scrapes out the ground with its fore- feet, and throws it up over its back with its hind; but the motion of its legs is ridiculously slow, little exceeding the hour-hand of a clock...

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