The majestic step, the bold look, the grace and strength of the lion, have obtained for him the title of “king of beasts.” He is greatly indebted, however, to the imagination of the poet for the noble qualities which he is supposed to possess. He is, though capable of gratitude towards those from whom he has received kindness, often treacherous and revengeful, and Dr. Livingstone considers him an arrant coward. The stories, however, which I have to narrate, describe his better qualities.

Mrs Lee tells us of a lion which was kept in the menagerie at Brussels. The animal’s cell requiring some repairs, the keeper led him to the upper portion of it, where, after playing with him for some time, they both fell asleep. The carpenter, who was employed in the work below, wishing to ascertain whether it was finished as desired, called the keeper to inspect what he had done. Receiving no answer, he climbed up, when, seeing the keeper and lion thus asleep side by side, he uttered a cry of horror. His voice awoke the lion, which, gazing fiercely at him for a moment, placed his paw on the breast of his keeper, and lay down to sleep again.

On the other attendants being summoned, they aroused the keeper, who, on opening his eyes, appeared in no way frightened, but taking the paw of the lion, shook it, and quietly led him down to the lower part of the den.