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Pugnacity

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The town of Bindrabund in India is in high estimation with the pious
Hindoos, who resort to it from the most remote parts of the empire. The
town is surrounded by groves of trees, which are the residence of
innumerable apes, whose propensity to mischief is increased by the
religious respect paid to them in honour of a divinity of the Hindoo
mythology, who is represented as possessing the body of an ape. In
consequence of this superstition, such numbers of these animals are
supported by the voluntary contributions of pilgrims, that no one dares to
resist or ill-treat them. Hence, access to the town is often difficult;
for should one of the apes take a dislike to any unlucky traveller, he is
sure to be assailed by the whole community, who follow him with all the
missile weapons they can collect, as pieces of bamboo, stones, and dirt,
making at the same time a most hideous howling. Of the danger attending a
meeting with enemies of this description, the following is a melancholy
instance. Two young cavalry officers, belonging to the Bengal army, having
occasion to pass this way, were attacked by a body of apes, at whom one of
the gentlemen inadvertently fired. The alarm instantly drew the whole
body, with the fakeers, out of the place, with so much fury, that the
officers, though mounted upon elephants, were compelled to seek their
safety in flight; and in endeavouring to pass the Jumna, they both
perished.





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