Unquestionably the Tiger has not the majesty of the Lion; for he is destitute of the mane, in which that majesty chiefly resides. Neither has he the same calm and dignified air of imperturbable gravity which is at once so striking and so prepossessing in the aspect of the Lion. But, on the other hand, it will readily be granted, that in the superior lightness of his frame, which allows his natural agility its free and unrestricted scope, and in the graceful ease and spirited activity of his motions, to say nothing of the beauty, the regularity, and the vividness of his colouring, he far excels his competitor, whose giant bulk and comparative heaviness of person, added to the dull uniformity of his colour, detract in no small degree from the impression produced by his noble and majestic bearing.
The foregoing description of the horns, it should be observed, is taken from those of the year before last, which were of the genuine or normal form. Those of the last year, which are represented in the cut prefixed, were from some cause or other remarkably different, that of the right side especially exhibiting a singular monstrosity in the production of additional branches of irregular form. Whether this was the effect of disease or of advancing age, or whether it arose solely from some temporary and accidental cause, will probably be determined by the growth of the present year, which is not yet sufficiently advanced to enable us to ascertain its probable form.
It was in the commencement of the year 1823, when the General was on service in Bengal, that being out one morning on horseback, armed with a double-barrelled rifle, he was suddenly surprised by a large male Lion, which bounded out upon him from the thick jungle at the distance of only a few yards. He instantly fired, and, the shot taking complete effect, the animal fell dead almost at his feet. No sooner was this formidable foe thus disposed of than a second, equally terrible, made her appearance in the person of the Lioness, whom the General also shot at and wounded so dangerously that she retreated into the thicket. As her following so immediately in the footsteps of her mate afforded strong grounds for suspecting that their den could not be far distant, he determined upon pursuing the adventure to the end, and traced her to her retreat, where he completed the work of her destruction, by again discharging the contents of one of the barrels of his rifle, which he had reloaded for the purpose. In the den were found a beautiful pair of cubs, male and female, supposed to be then not more than three days old. These the General brought away with him, and succeeded by the assistance of a goat, who was prevailed upon to act in the capacity of foster-mother to the royal pair, in rearing them until they attained sufficient age and strength to enable them to bear the voyage to England. On their arrival in this country, in September, 1823, he presented them to his Majesty, who commanded them to be placed in the Tower. The male of this pair is the subject of the present, the female that of the succeeding article.