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enclose as many of the fish as possible. The largest net which is employed, is called a sean, and is upwards of sixty fathom (three hundred and sixty feet,) in length, and thirty-six feet in depth; the lower part of this net is kept down by means of leaden weights, while the upper floats on the surface, being rigged out with a number of corks; if one of these nets is found to be insufficient for the purpose of surrounding the shoal, a second, or even a third, is attached to it. The sean now forms a kind of wall, within which the fish are enclosed, and the object of the fishermen is to bring this net as near as possible to the shore, so that at low water, the fish shall have all means of escape cut off, except by overleaping the net. As soon as the tide is out, a net called a truck-net, which differs from the scan in being smaller, and without leads, is cast among the Pilchards, and, cords being attached to its four corners, it is hauled on shore, along with as many fish as it may happen to contain; and this is repeated until the whole of them are taken or have made their escape.
While these means are employed for the capture of the larger quantity, other boats are engaged in taking the scattered parts of the shoal by means of driving-nets. The boats and nets of the seaners, being very expensive, are generally provided by some capitalist or company of proprietors, and the men during the season are paid a small weekly sum, and also a certain portion of the captured fish. As soon as they are brought on shore, they are carried off in baskets to the curing-house, where they are carefully laid in rows one above the other, with alternate layers of salt, till a pile of considerable height is formed. They are said now to be in bulk, as seen in the engraving, on the right hand, and are allowed to remain in this state from a fortnight to five weeks. During this time a quantity of brine and oil has drained from them, which runs off through gutters in the floor and is carefully collected; they are next thrown into a large wooden trough which contains a false bottom formed of battens or long strips of wood, and are freed from the salt and impurities that are attached to them; they are now very carefully and neatly packed in hogsheads, arranged in circles, one within the other, the heads all pointing inwards.
As soon as the hogshead is full, a circular board is placed on the top of the fish, and they are pressed very closely together by the application of heavy weights, in the simple and ingenious manner shown in the engraving, the weights being large blocks of granite. This pressure reduces the bulk of the fish by nearly one third, and the hogshead has to be filled up three times before it is considered well packed. A quantity of pure oil runs off, during this part of the process, through a small hole in the bottom of the cask. It is calculated, that a hogshead of Pilchards which weigh about four hundred weight and a quarter, will yield from three to four gallons of oil, worth about 17/. a tun, or rather better than Ir. 4d. a gallon.
The oil is used in the manufacture of cart-grease, and for many other purposes to which the commoner kind of whale-oil, called train-oil, is applied. Attempts have been made to purify this oil, so as to render it serviceable to the currier, but hitherto without success, on account of the quantity of salt an d glutinous matter which it contains. The Pilchards, when thus packed, are exported chiefly to the West Indies, for the use of the slave-population, and to different parts of the Mediterranean, and are likewise salted and dried in great quantities for winter-provision, by the poorer classes in Cornwall and Devon.
The myriads of fish that a shoal of Pilchards
contains, are almost beyond the power of calculation; some of the shoals will form almost solid masses, covering a surface frequently of six square miles, and extending in depth upwards of one hundred feet. In successful times, as many as from five to seven hundred hogsheads have been taken from one shoal. The annual value of the fish that are exported is from fifty to sixty thousand pounds.
The appearance of a shoal of Pilchards on a dark night, when enclosed by the nets, is splendid beyond description; struggling and leaping in every direction, to escape from their confinement, or to avoid the attacks of their numerous enemies (particularly the Dog-fish), who are imprisoned along with their victims, they appear like so many flakes of fire, and the sea itself seems like a lake of liquid flame.
The Pilchard Fisheries, according to evidence laid before a Committee of the House of Commons, appear, of late years, to have decreased considerably. Several causes have tended to produce this state of the fishery; among others, the removal of a bounty of 8*. 6d. a hogshead, which had been paid to the exporters till within this five or six years, and the increase of duty at present is as much as 18s. 2d, a hogshead, imposed by the Government at Naples, to which place large quantities were exported.
The fishery is also injured by the illegal practice of employing drift and other nets too near the shore, by which means the shoals are dispersed as they approach. It is likely, however, that the statute oi the 14th of Charles II. will soon be more strictly enforced. This Act imposes a fine upon all persons who "shall in any year, from the first of June till the last day of November, presume to take fish in the high sea, or in any bay, port, creek, or coast, of or belonging to Cornwall and Devon, with any drift-net, trammel, or stream-net or nets, or any other nets of that sort or kind, unless it be at the distance of one league and a half at least from the respective shores."
The number of boats at present engaged in this fishery is about 1000, giving employment to 3500 men at sea, and upwards of 5000 men, women, and children, on shore.
FOR THE OPENING OF THE CHURCH REBUILT AT MORVAH, ON TEE NORTH-WEST COAST OF CORNWALL; BY THE REV. C. V. LE ClUCI.
Again we hear the Sabbath bell,
A welcome joyful sound;
It's cheering peals rebound.
Come, come, again they seem to say,
To God's own House repair;
And Christ will meet you there.
Though floods of waters beat around
On ever-shifting sands;
On which our Temple stands.
The winds may roar, the tempest frown.
Each breast from fear is free:
Upon the troubled sea:
So mid the storms of human life
The Christian is secure,
His path serene, and sure.
Though built by man our Temple-gate,
The way, by which it leads
If Faith for mercy pleads.
For mercy, while 'tis called to-day.
To plead we'll'hasten near;
Shall greet our coming bier.
The mind of a proud man is like a mushroom, which starts up in a night: his business is first to forget riimsj>)f| esl then his friends.—South.
THE ART OF CONTENTMENT To learn the art of contentment, is only to learn what happiness actually consists in. Sensual pleasures add little to its substance. Ease, if by that be meant exemption from labour, contributes nothing. One, however, constant spring of satisfaction, and almost infallible support of cheerfulness and spirits, is the exercise of domestic affections—the presence of objects of tenderness and endearment in our families, our kindred, our friends. Now, have the poor any thing to complain of here? Are they not surrounded by their relatives, as generally as others? The poor man has his wife and children about him; and what has the rich man more? He has the same enjoyment of their society, the same solicitude for their welfare, the same pleasure in their good qualities, improvement, and success: their connexion with him is as strict and intimate, their attachment as strong, their gratitude as warm. I have no propensity to envy any one, least of all the rich and great j but, if I were disposed to this weakness, the subject of my envy would be, a healthy young man, in full possession of his strength and faculties, going forth in a morning, to work for his wife and children, or bringing them home his wages at night. Paley.
Industry And Contentment. A Noble instance of contentment is given in the life of the late William Roscoe, Esq. That gifted man was almost entirely self-taught, and indebted to his own efforts for his rise from a very humble station, his father having been the master of a public house, with gardens and a bowling-green, at Liverpool. Mr. Roscoe afterwards represented this, his native town, in Parliament, was universally respected, and became distinguished as the author of the Life of Pope Leo the Tenth, and of the Life of Lorenzo de' Medici. In an account of his early days, written by himself, he says, " Having quitted school at twelve years old, I now began to assist my father in his agricultural concerns, particularly in his business of cultivating potatoes for sale, of which he every year grew several acres, and which he sold, when produced early in the season, at very advanced prices. His mode of cultivation was entirely by the spade, and when raised early, they were considered, in that part of Lancashire as a favourite esculent. "When they had attained their proper growth, we were accustomed to carry them to the market on our heads, in large baskets, for sale, where I was generally intrusted with the disposal of them, and soon became a very useful assistant to my father. In this and other laborious occupations, particularly in the care of a garden, in which I took great pleasure, I passed several years of my life, devoting my hours of relaxation to reading my books. This mode of life gave health and vigour to my body, and amusement and instruction to my mind: and to this day I well reremember the delicious sleep which succeeded my labours, from which I was again called at an early hour. If I were asked whom I consider to be the happiest of the human race, I should answer, those who cultivate the earth by their own hands."
There Is an ancient relation of a solemn convention of many Philosophers, before the ambassador of a foreign prince, and how that every one, according to their several abilities, made demonstration of their wisdom; that so the ambassador might have matter of report, touching the admired wisdom of the Grecians. But amongst these, one there was, as the history goes, that stood still and uttered nothing in the assembly, insomuch, as the ambassador turning to him, should say, " And what is your gift that I may report it?" To whom the Philosopher, " Report," said he, " unto your king, that you found one amongst the Grecians that knew how to hold his peace." Bacon.
THE CORAL ISLANDS.
Few objects are calculated to strike the mind with wonder and admiration more powerfully than the minute, and seemingly insignificant, animal, the Coral Insectj In the great book of nature we meet with wonders on every side, though, in general, we observe some perceptible proportion and fitness in the agent employed, to the object to be accomplished. In these minute agents, however, we can perceive no such proportion or fitness; and while we contemplate, with silent astonishment, their prodigious labours, we are led to admire the wisdom and power of that Being, who can thus employ the weakest of his creatures in effecting the most magnificent designs.
The substance called Coral, appears to have been considered as a vegetable production, until about the year 1720, when M. de Peyronnel, of Marseilles, commenced and (continued for thirty years,) a series of observations, by which he ascertained, that the Coral, instead of being a plant, was a living animal, of the Polypi tribe. The general name of zoophytes, or Plant-Animals, has since been applied to them, although some modern travellers still call them Lithophytes, or Stone-Plants. These animals, of which six species have been discovered, are furnished with minute glands, secreting a milky juice, concocted of animal gluten, calcareous earth, and other substances. This juice, when exuded from the animal, becomes fixed and concrete. Naturalists do not consider this substance merely as the habitation, but as a part, of the animal itself, to which it bears the same relation, as the shell of a snail or an oyster does to either of those animals, and without which they cannot long exist. The production of this secretion, is one of those processes of nature's chemistry, which the skill of man has not enabled him either to imitate or to detect; but it is certain, that by such means this diminutive insect has the power of raising huge masses of rocky substance, capable of resisting the tremendous power of the ocean, even when agitated to the highest pitch, by winds or tempests.
The Coral Insect is found in most of the great seas; and is particularly abundant in the Mediterranean, where it produces corallines of the most beautiful forms and colours; but it is in the Pacific Ocean where these tiny workmen are effecting those mighty changes which exceed the most stupendous works of man. That part of the Pacific in which these operations are going on, has been called the Dangerous Archipelago, from the number of coral reefs and sunken islands with which it abounds; but latterly it has been denominated the Coral Sea. It comprehends a region of many hundred miles in extent, the whole of which is thickly studded with reefs, rocks, islands, and columns of coral, continually approximating to each other.
The principal groups of islands of coral formation are, from the New Hebrides, eastward, the Friendly Islands, Navigation Islands, and the Society Islands; and, to the northward of the latter group, the Marquesas. These groups are separated from each other by channels or seas, wider than those which separate the individual islands which form the respective groups; but all these waters abound with shoals and minor islets, which indicate the existence of a common base, and show that the processes by which they will hereafter be united above the level of the sea, are in constant operation.
The structure and progress of these islands towards a state of fitness for the habitation of man, has been thus described. At a vast but unknown depth, below the surface of the sea, the insects attach themselves to the upper points and ridges of rocks, which form the bottom of the ocean, and many of which, in the Pacific Ocean, are supposed to be of volcanic origin. Upon these foundations, the little architects labour, building up, by means of the secretion before described, pile upon pile of their rocky habitations, until at length the work rises above the sea, and is continued to such a height, as to leave it almost dry at low water, when the insect leaves off building upon that part. A solid rocky base being thus formed, sea-shells, fragments of coral, and sea-sand, thrown up by each returning tide, and broken and mixed together, by the action of the waves, become in time converted into a sort of stone, and thus raise up the surface higher and higher. The heat of the sun so penetrates this mass of stone, that it breaks off into flakes, and these flakes are app raised one upon another by the waves, at high water. The ever active surf continues to throw up the shells of marine animals, and other materials, which fill up the crevices between the stones, and the sand upon the surface being now undisturbed, offers to the seeds of trees and plants cast upon it by the waves, a soil upon which they rapidly grow, and overshadow the dazzling whiteness of the new formed land. Trunks of trees, washed into the sea by the rivers from other countries and islands, find here a resting place, and with these come some small animals, chiefly of the lizard and insect tribes. Even before the trees form a wood, the sea-birds nestle among them, and soon the stray land-bird takes refuge in the bushes. At a later period, man appears, builds his hut upon the fruitful soil formed by the corruption of the vegetation, and calls himself lord and proprietor of this new creation.
These islands vary in extent, as well as in the degree of finish to which they have arrived. Of thirty-two examined by Captain Beechey, the largest was thirty miles in diameter, and the smallest somewhat less than a mile. They were of various shapes, and all formed of living coral, except one, called Henderson's Island, which was partially surrounded by it; and they all appeared to be increasing in size by the active operations of the Zoophytes, which are gradually extending, and building up above the level of the sea, those parts which are at present below the water. Twenty-nine of the number had lagoons, (or molasses,) in their centres, within which, it has been observed, the smaller species of coral seek a quiet abode, and labour silently and slowly, in throwing up banks, which, in process of time, unite with islets that surround them, and at length fill up the lagoon, so that what was at first a ring of little islands, becomes one connected mass of land.
All these islands are situated within the action of the trade wind, exept one (Oeno,) which is on the verge of it, and follow one general rule in having their windward side higher, and more protected than the other, and, not unfrequently, well wooded, while the other is only a half drowned reef, or wholly under water. At Gambier and Matilda Islands this inequality is very 'conspicuous; the weather-side of both being wooded, and, of the former, inhabited, while the other sides were twenty or thirty feet under water, where they might be perceived equally narrow and well defined.
One of these islands (Maiden Island,) presented the singular appearance of perpendicular coral cliffs, elevated eighty feet above the level of the sea; these were of dead coral, but the outside of the island was surrounded with a belt of living coral, sloping from the cliffs, to from three to twenty-five fathoms under water, after which it descends' abruptly to a depth where a 200-fathom line does not reach the bottom. The surface of this island is flat; and it is not easy to account for its present elevation, unless by an earthquake or sub-marine volcanic explosion.'
Gambier Group consists of five large islands, and several smaller ones, the whole (as well as the five separate islands) being enclosed in a reef of coral, forming an irregular diamond-shaped space. The older islands are volcanic, and the largest rises in two peaks, 12-18 feet above the level of the sea. The outer belt of coral descends abruptly outside to an unfathomable depth, but slopes inward by ■• decreasing declination, to about 120 or 150 fathoms below the surface; and within this enclosure, a number of low islands are already formed, and others are in progress, rendering it almost certain that, in process of time, the whole space will become one island, each of the original islands being also enclosed with its own reef. These are inhabited by a race of men with fine Asiatic countenance, wearing mustachios and beards, and they appeared to be more civilized than those of many other islands. Specimens of spars, crystals, alumine, jasper, and chalcedony, have been procured on these islands by the Naturalist who accompanied Captain Beechey. They are covered with a deep soil, and well wooded with trees and evergreens of different kinds.
It is a fact worthy of remark, that on all these islands, a plentiful supply of fresh and sweet water may be obtained, by digging three or four feet into the coral; and, that even within one yard of high-water mark, such a supply is to be found. This is an important consideration to the nan gators of those seas, where such a resource is so valuable, on account of the extreme heat to which they are exposed; and it shows, also, the powerful properties of the coral, in divesting the sea-water of its saline particles. These properties, which are probably chemical, and not merely the effect of filtration, have never been examined or experimented upon, but they furnish a subject of consideration for the naturalist, and the man of science.
Of the rapidity with which the coral grows, we are not in possession of sufficient information, on which to form a correct judgment. Matilda, or Osnaburg Island, a supposed to have been only a reef of rocks, when the Matilda was wrecked there, in 1792; it is now an island, fourteen miles in length, and covered on one side with tall trees, and the lagoon in the centre is dotted with columns. The coral, therefore, has, probably, mad? a rapid growth since 1792, although Captain Beecher found two anchors, of a ton weight each, and a kedgc anchor, which he supposes belonged to the Matilda, thrown upon the sunken reef of live coral, and around these anchors, the coral had made no progress in growing, while some large shell-fish, adhering to the same rock, were so overgrown with coral, as to have only space enough left to open about an inch. It is probable, however, that the oxide proceeding from the anchors may have been prejudicial, as far as its effects, extended, to the coral insect, and thus have prevented its growth. All navigators, who have visited these seas, state that no charts or maps are of any service after a few years, owing to the number of fresh rocks and reefs which are continually rising to the surface; and it is perfectly accordant with the instincts of animals, to continue working without intermission, until their labours are consummated, or their lives are extinct.
Such are the wonderful productions of the coral insects, and we cannot but view their operations as calculated to produce, in time, the most important changes in those parts of the ocean where they are found, connected with the abolition of idolatry, the introduction of Christianity, and the consequent increase of the population of those fertile parts of the world. Here are continually increasing lands produced for them, to which they may resort, when their numbers become too large for their native islands.
The instinct, too, which can draw together inconceivable myriads of these insects, to commence a structure many miles in diameter, and of heights which the hand of man has hitherto been unable to fathom, and impel them, in spite of the violence of the sea, steadfastly, and with mathematical precision, to pursue their purpose to its completion, is as surprising as the work itself; and, while it throws in the shade the physical powers of man, strikingly displays the omnipotence of that God, who "weighs the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance," and can thus cause "the weakest things of the world,to confound things that are mighty!"
Captain Kotzebue, the Russian navigator, who visited these regions during his voyage of discovery, performed between the years 1815 and 1818, indulges in the following reflections upon the mighty works which he had witnessed. "The spot on which I stood filled me with astonishment, and I adored in silent admiration the omnipotence of God, who had given even to these minute animals the power to construct such a work. My thoughts were confounded, when I consider the immense series of years that must elapse, before such an island can rise from the fathomless abyss of the ocean, and become visible on the surface. At a future period, they will assume another shape; all the islands will join, and form a circular slip of earth, with a pond or lake in the circle ; and this form will again change, as these animals continue building, till they reach the surface, and then the water will one day vanish, and only one great island be visible. It is a strange feeling, to walk about on a living island, where all below is actively at work. And to what corner of the earth can we penetrate, where human beings are not already to be found? In the
With respect to the Devotees, who prowl about the temples at Benares, we saw some of the most revolting objects that can be supposed to exist in any state of human society; they were disgusting beyond description, and Fitch, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, alluded to these moiisters'of devotion. Of one, in particular, he says, "his beard was of enormous growth, his hair hanging more than half down his body, his natU two inches long; he would cut nothing from him, neither would he speak,— he would not speak to the king." I shall presently take the liberty to describe one among the multitude which we saw at Benares, as he was even remarkable among many of the most extraordinary objects in human nature: he was what they call an Ooddoobahoo of the Vogue tribe. These visionaries live frequently in the depths of the jungles, like wild beasts, subsisting on roots or fruits, or on the casual benefactions of travellers; they go perfectly naked, having their bodies daubed with cow-dung and sprinkled with wood-ashes, neither cutting their nails, their hair, nor their beards. These monsters, for they are truly so, as well in moral as in physical deformity, occasionally inflict upon themselves the most intolerable tortures, in order to establish a claim, as they pretend, upon the Deity to everlasting reward in Paradise. Their inflictions are so severe, and sometimes so horrible, that they would seem to be beyond the power of human endurance, did not almost daily experience prove the contrary. When they have submitted to a certain course of infliction, they demand eternal happiness as a right, having, as they conceive, established their claim by the sanctity of their penances, and these, as I have already said, 'are truly frightful. Some of them keep their liinbs in particular positions, until the sinews and joints become immoveable; others chain themselves to trees, with their faces towards the rising sun, in which position they sometimes remain for years, if death do not release them from their torments, and are fed meanwhile by devout passengers, who throng to the scene of their sufferings, and offer them the most servile homage, as beings of superior endowments and untainted sanctity. Others nightly sleep upon beds composed of iron-spikes, sufficiently blunt not to penetrate their flesh; thus subjecting themselves to sufferings absolutely incredible. Others, again, bury themselves alive, in a hole just capacious enough to contain their bodies, having a small aperture to admit the hand of the charitable passenger, who supplies them with food, and in this narrow grave they will continue fin years.
The man to whom I have alluded had stamped upon his emaciated body the seal of the first-mentioned penalty. He had vowed to keep his right arm in a vertical position above his head for a certain length of time: but when the term of probation had expired, the arm remained fixed, so that he could no longer use it; the sinews were shrunk, the limb had withered; the nails had grown to an enormous length, quite through the hand, which was clenched, and looked like monstrous claws. The whole appearance of the man was squalid aud repulsive in the most odious degree. His hair was long, matted, and filled with filth; his shaggy beard, tangled and thick with the revolting accumulation of years, covered his meagre chest, which was smeared with cow-dung and ashes. His eyes glared with an expression of hardened and reckless impiety, induced, doubtless, by the supposition of his claims to "a blessed immortality. He scowled upon all around him who did not seem disposed to administer to his wants, among whom were my companions and myself; and the silent arrogance of this unwholesome beggar, for to beg he was not ashamed, was truly disgusting.
[From the Oriental Anniml.j
Our most unreasonable prejudices are generally the strongest. Boucher.
Be thankful that your lot has fallen on times when, though there may be many evil tongues and exasperated spirits, there are none who have fire and faggot at command.
Let the grounds of our actions be noble, beginning upon reason, proceeding with prudence, measured by the com-
^i u "', rao11' aml conf"lent upon the expectation of a usual Providence. Jeremy Taylor.
THE ABBEY OF ST. ALBAN.
Towards the eastern extremity of Hertfordshire, and situated upon an eminence, conspicuous to all the neighbouring country, stands the Abbey Of St. Alban. The snows of upwards of seven centuries and a half have fallen upon its tower and transepts. Its elongated nave, curtailed chancel, and severed Lady's Chapel, comprise an extent of nearly six hundred feet: but it has little or nothing to boast of from exterior splendour. It has neither buttresses nor pinnacles: neither cloisters nor chapter-house. Denuded of every trace of its once celebrated monastic accessory, on the south side, it presents in that direction, to the eye of the spectator, little more than an extended brick and stone wall, which, till lately, scarcely seemed to be pierced by a single window. But, in spite of such drawbacks from admiration, this venerable pile has very much, within and without, to command our attention and to interest our feelings. In the first place, its antiquity competes with that of any similar establishment in the kingdom. The materials of which the outer walls are built, exhibit an abundant portion of the tile and flint of which the old Roman city Verulam * was constructed. Its immediate contiguity to the ruins of that once celebrated spot, naturally suggested the importance of the aid of such materials. The tower and transepts, or, perhaps, more strictly speaking, the greater portion of those parts of the edifice, are of early Norman construction: yielding, on this score, neither to Canterbury, Ely, nor Winchester!. In the second place, it has outlived, in the identity of its structure, the once rival-edifices of St. Edmund's- bury, Croyland, Glastonbury, and Malmesbury; that of Westminster, alone, presuming to eclipse both its grandeur and importance. In the third place, its Abbot, having, about the close of the twelfth century, made a successful struggle against the interposition of the Bishop of Lincoln (the visitor), and shaken off all fealty towards him, assumed the mitre for his own brows; and, thus habited, preceded, on all public occasions, every other Abbot in the kingdom. True it is, this priority of rank was lost in the thirteenth century, in consequence of the never-ceasing feuds and bickerings between the Albanian Abbot and his formidable rival of Westminster: but, we apprehend, on all attendances abroad, on papal elections and consecrations, our Abbot of St. Alban uniformly took the precedence. Not fewer than twelve cells and hospitals were dependent upon his Abbatial jurisdiction; of which some extended as far as Lincomshire and Northumberland.
These, however, may be considered as secondary considerations. The venerable pile, of which we are speaking, was once not less remarkable for its political influence than its extended wealth: for its large scale of hospitality, and the talents of many of those who had the direction of its spiritual and temporal concerns. Nineteen out of twenty portions into which the whole county of Hertford was divided, acknowledged its headship in the payment
* Perhaps the largest Roman town or station in this kingdom. Stukoley, at the beginning of the last century, measured the traces of the outward walls, and found them a mile in length, and nearly three quarters of a mile in breadth. The labouring man, even yet, with his spade or his hoe, brings home a handful of imperial Roman coin. Why is not every vestige of a hedge cut away, that the explorer of ancient relics may have at least an uninterrupted view!
t The reader will give us credit for being sober as well as grave antiquarian judges. When we hear warm-hcaded critics talking about Danish and Saxon architecture, and averring that the very traces of Ofla's structure of the first abbey, (A. J>. 800,) are yet evident, we naturally "shift our trumpet, and only take snuff." We ought to add, that St. Alban was the first British martyr, and that he fell in the second persecution of the Christian church under Dioclesian, A. D. -/y2.