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WILD ASS.... WILD BOAR.
England, and are discovered in clear weather by vessels coming on the eastern coast, before any other land
; but by reason of their bright appearance, are frequently mistaken for clouds. They are seen on shore, at the distance of sixty or eighty miles, on the south and south-east sides, and are said to be plainly visible in the neighborhood of Quebec. Generally these mountains begin to be covered with snow and ice, either in the latter part of September, or the beginning of October, and it never wholly leaves them till July. During this period of nine or len months, they exhibit more or less of that bright appearance, from which they are denomi. nated White. May we not ascribe the piercing cold of our north-west winds to the vast ranges of frozen mountains, rather than to the lakes and forests ?..... Belknap.
WILD ASS. These animals are found in great numbers in the deserts of Lybia and Numidia, and in the islands of the Archipelago : they run with such amazing swiftness, that scarce even the swiftest horses of the country can overtake them. When they see a man, they set up a horrid braying, and stop short altogether, till he approaches near them ; they then, as if by common consent, fly off with great speed; and it is upon such occasions that they generally fall into the traps which are previously prepared to catch them. They have all the swiftness of horses, and neither declivities nor precipices stop their career. When attacked, they defend themselves with their heels and mouth with such activity, that without slacking their pace, they often maim their pursuers. If a horse happens to stray into the place where they graze, they all fall upon him ; and without giving him the liberty of flying, they bite and kick him tillöthey have left him dead upon the spot. Such is this animal in its natural state, swift, fierce, and formidable ; but in a state of tameness, the ass is the most gentle and quiet of all animals : he entirely loses his ferocity, and becomes patient, dull, and stupid....Goldsmith.
WILD BOAR, a ferocious and formidable animal of the forest. He is always found of an iron-grey, inclin
ing to black : his snout is much longer than that of the tame hog ; his tusks also are larger, some of them being seen almost a foot long. When he is come to a state of maturity, he walks the forest fearless, dreading no single creature. He does not seek the lion to attack, but will not fly at his approach. We are told of a combat of a lion and a wild hoar, in a meadow near Algiers, which continued for a long time with surprizing obstinacy. At last, both were seen to fall by the wounds they had given each other; and the ground all about them was covered with their blood. When this creature aims at the hunter nothing will avail but courage and agility ; if the hunter flies for it, he is surely overtaken and killed. If the boar comes straight up, he is to be received at the point of the spear ; but if he makes doubles and windings, he is to be watched very cautiously, for he will attempt getting hold of the spear in his mouth : and if he does so, nothing car save the huntsman but another person attacking him behind..., Goldsmith, Encyclopedia.
WILD GOOSE, a bird of passage.
« From the beginning of April to the middle of November, this fowl resides chiefly in the northern and north-easterly parts of America. In those parts they produce their young, and are to be found in the rivers and harbors, in immense numbers. In November they come in large flocks from the north and north-east, and pass off to the south-west. In March and April, they return from the south-west, in a contrary direction, and go back to their summer habitation. These flocks frequently consist of fifty or sixty; they fly at a great height, and appear to observe great regularity in their passage. They sometimes follow one another in a strait line, but are more generally drawn up in the form of a wedge, and appear to be lead by one of the strongest and most active ; and while they keep together they seem to understand their course perfectly well.” The goose, though a despised animal, is to a high degree necessary, both for carrying on business by day, and for comfortable repose at night. So useful are the quills and feathers of this creature, that, if all the other feathered tribes were struck out of existence, it would not, per
WILD HORSE.... WILD MEN.
haps, be so great, a loss to the civilized world as the loss of the goose alone.
WILD HORSE. In the boundless plains of Tartary and Arabia, wild horses are often seen feeding in droves of five or six hundred. Whenever they sleep in the forests they have always one among their number that stands as centinel to give notice of any approaching danger; and this office they take by turns.
If a man approaches them while they are feeding by day, their centinel walks up boldly near him, as if to examine his strength, or to intimidate him from proceeding ; but, if the man approaches within pistol shot, the centinel then thinks it high time to alarm his followers : this he does by a loud kind of snorting ; upon which they all take the signal, and fly off with the speed of the wind ; their faithful centinel bringing up the rear. As they go together, they will not admit any strange animals among them, though even of their own kind. When ever they find a tame horse attempting to associate with them, they instantly gather round him, and soon oblige him to seek safety by flight.... Goldsmith,
WILD MEN, human creatures left in childhood among wild beasts, and brought up with them. There have frequently been found in the woods of Poland and Germany, wild men, who went generally upon all fours though sometimes they stood upright. They had not the use of speech at first, but were taught to speak when brought into towns and used kindly ; retaining thereafter no memory of their former savage lives. The frequent incursions of the Tartars and other savage nations, who often bore off whole villages of people into slavery, probably forced the women to carry their children into the woods for safety, and, in case of fur. ther pursuit, to leave them behind ; for they are often found among bears and other wild beasts, by which they are nourished, and taught to feed like them.... Morse. In these wretched objects there is seen what man is when entirely destitute of education. Savages who live in society among themselves, have always some degree of education, as they learn much from one another and from the experience of their ancestors;
WILD PINE.... WILLOW.
and the most ignorant tribes of such savages are, perhaps, as much superior in knowledge to the wild man, as they are inferior to the most learned and polished nations.
WILD PINE, a native plant of Jamaica ; which is so contrived by the Author of Nature, as to be of the utmost use to the inhabitants of that hot climate, where there is frequently a scarcity of water. The wild pine is a plant so called, because it somewhat resembles the bush that bears the pine-apple. They are commonly súpported or grow from some bunch, knot, or excresence of a tree, where they take root and grow upright. The root is short and thick, whence the leaves rise up in folds, one within another, spreading off to the top. They are of a good thick substance, ten or twelve inches long. The outside leaves are so compact, as to contain the rain water as it falls ; they will contain a pint and a half, and sometimes a quart. The thirsty traveller sticks his knife into the leaves, just above the root : and this lets out the water, which he catches in his hat.... Dampier.
WILLOW, a genus of trees comprising forty-two species. The Sallow-Willow has a soft, white and smooth wood, and furnishes shoe-makers with cutting and whetting-boards, on which they cut leather, and sharpen the edges of their knives. The shoots of the Golden-Yellow-Willow are used by cradle and basketmakers : the wood surrounding its seed vessels, when mixed with cotton, affords excellent yarn for various manufacturing purposes. From the great ease of pro. pagation and rapid growth of the yellow willow, it may be made a cheap fence, by setting the slips very close, in double or even treble rows. These may be takeni from even the smallest branches, as well as from the largest: all will grow, and may be set at any time of the year. When at a sufficient height, they should be cut off, lest they blow up by the roots. In some parts of Germany, many of the inhabitants are supplied with fuel entirely from the branches and tops taken off their willow hedge-trees....Dom. Encyclopedia, American Mu
408 WIND...WINTER'S CINNAMON... WIRE.
WIND, a sensible agitation of the atmosphere, occasioned by a quantity of air flowing from one place to another. Monsoons or trade winds blow six months in one direction, and six months in the opposite, the changes happening atout the time of the equinoxes. In all maritime countries between the tropics, the wind blows during a certain number of hours every day from the sea, and during a certain number towards the sea from the land; these winds are called the sea and land breezes. The sea breeze generally sets in about ten in the forenoon, and blows till six in the evening; at seven the land breeze begins, and continues till eight in the morning, when it dies away. Dr. Williams remarks, that the winds in North America receive their general direction from the situation of the sea coasts, mountains, and rivers. These are very much from the south-west to the north-east. The most prevalent of our winds are either parallel with, or perpendicular to this course ; or rather, they are from the north-east, south-west, and north-west.
WINTER'S CINNAMON, or Wintera Aromatica, one of the largest forest trees in Terra del Fuego. Ac-. cording to Dr. Solander, it often rises to the height of fifty feet: the branches are bent upward, and form an elegant head of an oval shape. The leaves are from three to four inches long, and between one and two broad; they are smooth and shining, of a thick leathery substance, and evergreen. The bark of this tree is from a quarter to three quarters of an inch thick; it is of a dark brown cinnamon colour, an aromatic smell, and a pungent hot spicy taste : it has been much celebrated as an antiscorbutic. As the climate of Terra del Fuego is very cold, it being above the fifty-sixth degree of south latitude ; so it has been thought that this valuable tree might be made to grow in cold northern climates.
WIRE, a piece of metal drawn through the hole of an iron into a thread of a fineness answerable to the hole it passes through. Gold-wire is made of cylindrical ingots of silver, covered over with a skin of gold, and thus drawn successively through a vast number of