Imágenes de páginas

called because he is prone to conceal him. The skin is smooth, loose, and scaleless. self in the muddy bottoms of the fresh brook's Under the chin and along the belly are nu. in which he lives. Is about six inches long; merous small cirrhi. Between the eyes is rather large in the girth and toward the head, an excrescence, which at first sight might be though tapering at the tail.

taken for a horn or a fin; but on examina. The lateral line is curved downward. A tion is found to be of a skinny and cartilagi. dark or blackish stripe horizontally from the nous constitution, covered with a sort of middle of the tail through the eye to the moss or down. Connected with it in front nose; back, sides, belly, and tins irregularly is a single hair-like excrescence tufted at the marked by black dots, consisting of a soft or summit. Behind it, at a short distance is viscous matter, capable of being detached by another excrescence having the form and the point of a knife without lacerating the appearance of a first dorsal fin. It is of a skin; back furcated into a groove between triangular figure. It has one cartilaginous the head and dorsal fin; colour of the back ray before ; ihe other parts are skinny, and brown; of the sides, except the before mene the semblance of unreal rays may be traced tioned 'stripe, yellowish or brassy ; belly along it by the eye. white ; fins carnation or ruddy; mouth of The colour of the skin is a pale brown; a middling gape ; lips distinct; jaws tooth variegated along the sides with dark yellowless; tongue plain ; nostrils large. Found ish and ruddy, so as to resemble some sorts in the Wall-kill.

of iron stones, or fractures of ferruginous Rays br. 3, p. 13, d. 7. v. 7, a. 7, c. 21. earths. The deeper dark, crosses the dorsal V. CARTILAGINOUS.

rays obliquely, and transversely; and the LOPHIUS.

caudal in concentric curves. MOUSE-FISH.- Lophius gibbus, with projecte

PRICKLY ANGLER. ing sternum, horizontal ventral fins, a foliated PrickLY ANGLER.-- Lophius aculeatus, cirrhus between the eyes, a membranous tri- with prickly back, and margin aculeated angular cirrhus resembling a first dorsal fin, forward and backwards ; the prickles single, and with pectoral fins resembling elbows and and a slight fringe around the circumference hands..

of the body. Taken in the Straits of Bahama This is a fish scarcely two inches long, and with a, in water of forty fathoms was taken by Dr. John D. Jaques,on a voyage deep. Length three inches and a balf; from the island of St. Croix to New-York, breadth two; thickness half an inch. Is flat June, 1815, in Lat. 22, and Long. 64. He after the manner of a skate; or is one of was brought on board clinging with bis fin. frog-shaped division. gered pectorals to some gulf weed that was The back is of a callico, or marbled colour. raised from the surface of the ocean by the The circumference larger than a dollar, and boat-hook. Was exceedingly nimble when rough with fringe and prickles. The pectoral first exposed on the deck.

fins far back, and furnished with fifteen or He possesses several peculiarities which sixteen rays. There is a small dorsal fin of render him worthy of a description. The four rays, situated toward the tail. The cau. head rises rapidly into a very gibbous back: dal fin has eight coarse rays placed vertically. and descends almost as remarkably to a ster- Belly whitish, the ventral fins about midway, num of uncommon projection. Though the consisting of four soft rays; anal fin nearly opcreature is so small, the distance brough is posite the dorsal, and forined of three soft about an inch and a quarter. The mouth is mid- rays. Eyes large and approximated in their way between, with the corners drawn down. thorn rimmed orbits. The gill-openings small,

The proper dorsal tin is broad, and consists a little forward of the pectoral fins, and sur of twelve soft rays; the anal is also broad rounded with a sort of coloured border Mouth and composed of seven rays; the caudal has oblong and rather small; lips rough with very nine rays. The two latter are remarkable minute teeth; tongue distinct and scabrous. for their rounded figure; and all three of

Fraser's Collection. them for retaining their expansion after

PROSTRATED ANGLER. death in distilled spirits.

PROSTRATED ANGLER.— Lophius nostratus ; The pectorals project from the sides like depressed subferrugineous angler, tubercuarms, forming an articulation resembling el. lated above and with a beaked head. Taken bows. From this joint proceeds forward al- in the Straits of Bahama, with a drag-net, in most at a right angle, a palmated fin, con

deep water. About six inches long and two sisting of ten or eleven rays.

These seem to be formed to seize and hold fast like a

broad. Is probably the rana piscatrix Ame

ricana of Seba, and the Guacucuja of Maechand and fingers, and it is said they are ac

grave. Belongs to the frog-shaped division. tually employed for that purpose; the ani. The snout somewhat resembles that of a mal living among marine plants, and cling- lobster; and the mouth of soft and thin lips, ing to them.

is quite distinct from it, and situated low, From the extreme projection of the ster- near the belly. The dorsal fin is very small; num proceed the two ventral fins, each con- the anal not much larger but longer. The sisting of five rays, and separating from each caudal has eight coarse and branching rays, other in a horizontal direction. The distance wbich are vertical. The pectoral fins have across from the estremity of one, to the tip seven or eight rays. The gill openings are of the other, is three quarters of an inch. situated, one on each side near their origin.

But the fish is figured and described by an external uniform cartilage, armed with a Shaw, so as to render a more minute descrip- straight spine at the end, and with booked tion unnecessary. (Fraser's Col.)

spines on the sides; and with four bony Calico ANGLER. Lophius calico : with a spines on each side of the tail, hooked forcartilaginous upright projection between the ward. Taken in the Straits of Bahama, in eyes, a curved projection from the back of 40 fathom water. the neck, a projecting lower jaw with a Length five inches and a half, depth from cirrhus at the chin, and a turn-up mouth. the back of the head to the lowest extremity Length about two inches ; depth three quare of the belly-fringe, three inches and a ters : thickness not much more than one half; thickness half an inch, skin scaleless, quarter. Swims vertically (cathelo-plateus) and with a surface very much like plush or or belongs to the fish-shaped division.

stiff velvet. Colour, a mottled calico, somewhat be- From the throat descends a cartilage two tween spotted and striped. Skin smooth inches and a half long, ending in a moveaand scaleless, a bristle or cartillage three bie estremity, armed with seven or eight quarters of an inch long, growing between spines or prickles ; of these the extreme one the eyes. A curved one a short distance is straight'; those on the sides being so incur bebind it, which may be indeed called a first vated or hooked that the fish may be suspend. dorsal in. Further back another, broader ed by them on the finger, or a piece of cloth. and longer dorsal tin. Candal, anal, pectoral, From this prickly cartilage, a fringe, or cili. and ventral fins, all distinct; and coloured ated margin three quarters of an inch broad, with dark, the pectoral and caudal traversely, reaches with a bold circularsweep to the vent; the second dorsal and anal obliquely; and the the sides of the belly and fringe bave a roughventral longitudinally. The mouth is wide; ness partaking of the variegation of oblong the lower jaw projects and has a small cirr- spots. hus; the tongue distinct ; and to close the There is a horn on the bead approaching jaw, the victus slants very much upwards. an inch in length, with reversed spines on (Fraser's Col.)

the posterior side. RadjaTED ANCLER.--Lophius radiatus ; On each side of the tail there are four with radiated spines proceeding from tuber- spines incurved forward, after the manner of cles on the upper parts of the body ; with a hooks, enabling the fish to be suspended by snout terminating in such a little cluster of the tail. radii diverging from a base like crystals; The tail is rounded. The dorsal and anal with a mouth below emerging from the prick- fins run from their respective places of begialy skin ; and with a cavity between the snout ning, almost to the tail

, with very numerous and mouth containing a soft organized sub- and delicate rays. The pectoral fins small stance like olfactory nerves. From the and slender ; and upwards in front of them, depths of the Strait of Bahama ; raised by is an oblique gill opening. a drag-net.

The mouth is very small, rostrated and Length three inches; breadth less than one armed with sharp teeth ; eyes lateral and inch and a half. Belongs to the froy-shaped large, no distinguishable latteral line.-Fradivision. Is covered over the head, back, ser's Col. sides and tail with hard spots, whence pro. SHARP-TAILED FILE-F15H.- Balistes Ces ceed stitf spines in a radiating form. The picauda ; with cloud striped sides, long caurwhole upper skin is hard, rough and seini-crus. dal rays formed to a point, and a siogle ray taceous. The spines resemble crystals. Their on the back of the head serrated downward radiations are very regular and beautiiul, one slightly in front, and more slightly bebind. in particular distinguishes the extremity of The specinien now alive before me was ta. the rostrum or shoul; several more invest ken on the 20th Sept. 1815, at the city of the upper part of the eye-orbits; and many New-York. The length is about six inches; more beset the back, tail, and sides. The the depth one inch and an half, and the thick mouth is distinct from the snout, and so low ness scarcely half an incb. The belly bas that the under jaw is even with the belly; somewhat of a pendulous appearance. seeming to emerge from its crustaceous case. The mouth is very small, orbicular and Between the mouth and snout is a cavity, or sharply toothed. The lower jaw projects, recess, containing a soft, pulpy or plumage and the orifice turns up like the tutmouthed substance, which in all probability is the or. file-fish or balistes Crochus, before described. gan of smell. Mouth rather small, teeth on The skin is slightly rough and scaleless. the margin of the jaws very minute, tongue Its colour is a whitish linged with light brown distinct.

and orange, in a diversified way. From and Pectoral fins have nine or ten rays; ven- comprehending the mouth, proceeds an intetral five; dorsal just behind two stellar pro- gular sort of dark-brown stripe including the cesses, four: anal two thirds of the distance eye, and reaching near and along the ridge of from the vent to the tail four; caudal eight the back to the tail

. From the fore part of the rays vertically arranged, (Fraser's col.) belly, an imperfectly defined and mottled

stripe reaches obliquely almost to the first BALISTES FILE-FISH.

stripe, under the dorsal fin. From the midFRINGED FILE-FISH.-Balistes Cilials; dle, or thereabout, of this oblique stripe, 3 with a fringe or border under the belly, with narrower and more regular one extends di

[ocr errors]

rectly to the tail near its middle. From the a roughness, scarcely amounting to prickles, belly' a stripe of nearly the same hue extends along the margin extending from the tip of along the lower margin by the vent quite to the snout to the extremities of the wings. the tail. Both above and below the oblique Toward these extremities there was an obstripe dark spots or clouds in rows checker long patch of about three inches long and one the orange-white.

incb broad, whose surface was beset with There is a single ray or born situated on row's of prickles placed obliquely and conthe back, a very litile behind the point, cealing themselves in channels. They seemed which a line drawn perpendicularly from the to have a retractile quality. eye would touch, It is somewhat curved The teeth are distinct, and moveable sepabackward, and is slightly jagged downward rately. both before and behind.

The curtain of the eye is elegantly fimbriThe eye is large and placed far back on the ated. The anal fins are large and sinuated, head. The distaoce from it is more than an and the appendages between them and the inch to the extremnity of the lower jaw. Its tail are very stout, and of about balf the colour is yellowish.

leugth of the tail. The tail is composed of thirteen long rays. AN EXTRAORDINARY FISH, SEEN AT SEA. Of these the middle ones are the longest ; From the Alexandria Gazelle of Dec. 12, 1815. and they give the tail an acuminated or cuis- The brig Trim, Capt. Cleveland, on her pidated form. This is darker than the other passage from Gibraltar to this pori, on the fins. The dorsal and anal fins are remarkably 25th of October, in lat 31. long. 20, passed a pale, delicate, and fine ; the former consisting substance in the water about 25 or 30 feet of thirty-seven, and the latter of forty-one from the vessel, which, frem its extraordinarays. The pectorals are small and rounded, ry appearance, induced the captain to tack and are composed of thirteen delicate rays. ship with a view to examine what it was-No branchial rays nor ventral fins.

the wind being light from the W. S. W. causNARROW-TAILED File-Fish.— Balistesino ed the boat to be louered down, and sent the gusticauda; with a considerable gibbosity male with two men to make discovery. On above the eyes ; a single horn curved for their return they gave the following descripward and bending backward at the point; tion:-1lien we came in sight of the before with a very prominent fabby belly : with an mentioned substance, turned the boat and isthmus-shaped tail, narrow iinmediately be backed her stern nearly over bim, then about hind the anal and dorsal fins, and wider 10- four feet under water lying coiled up with wards the origin of the caudal fin ; with a his head on the top of the coil the lead bevery projecting snout and small mouth; with ing pointed and about 12 or 14 inches in a white iris, and a skin marked by shades of length, with upper and lower tushes or teeth, dark brown over the whole surface.

appeared from 3 to 4 inches outside the jaw This character is derived from a drawing of shut within each other, appeared curvely like a fislı taken at New-York. The figure done the tush of a hog, and extremely white. His from the lise, by John L. Morton, Esq. is now body had the appearance in size of about 3 before me. And I consider the animal wor. to 3 and a half feet in circumference, taperthy of being mentioned here.

ing towards the tail-his colour was of the SMOOTH-BACKED Skate – Roja Laris; with deepest crimson, and reflected the water a smooth back, except a row of direct spines some yards round. The boat licing to leeward along the middle of the tail, and an oblong of the reptile, the little wind and sea, while patch of oblique prickles near the extremity of they stood viewing him, drifted it off about each wing.

30 10 40 feet, the mate then concluded to The individual now before me was taken at hook him; the noise of the oars at the first the city of New York, beside a wharf in the stroke staried him; he threw himself out bis East-River, on the 5th Nov. 1815. The length length with his head towards the boat, and was four feet and one inch; and the breadth

came very near, raising himself nearly to the two feet and ren inches ; being a large fish. surface of the water in an attitude of attack,

The snout was pointec', and elongated to- it was judged best to make for the vessel. ward the extremity. Its upper side was dark His length could not have been less than 30 coloured, clouded and smutty. The tail was to 40 feet, and we judge him to be in form thick and stout, having three rows of short and appearance like to a sea serpent. stiff spines, one along the middle or ridge, The creature herein described is probably and one along the lower margin on each a fish, of the eel kind. I record the account, side. They resembled incipient knobs rather because it may lead some future observer to than thorns. Toward the end there were two an important discovery in natural history. dorsal ins of nearly the same figure and size; I mention also that a scarlet fish of enormous the extremity of the tail itself was soft and size, and resembling the preceding, was obflexible ; yet it was triangular, like the form of served in the Atlantic ocean, by a most rea bayonet. The broad back was of a rather spectable gentleman of this city, ahout the pale ash-colour, overspread irregularly with latitude of Madeira, in 1804; and that a huge darkish clouds. About the middle of each creature of the same snaky form and crimwing was a spot of a circular form, surround- son complexion, was seen by another intellied as a centre by eight or nine smaller spots; gent citizen of New-York i eyoud the Cape and the central spot itself contained some. of Good Hope. The testimony of these two thing of lighter and darker shades. There was witnesses corroborates that of Capt. C. and


escites a strong desire to be more particular- andone below the corselet, at the tail; and with ly acquainted with an animal that has hither- quinquangularand hexangular figures over the to remained unnoticed by naturalists. sides, having six rays in each. proceeding from

GROUND SHARK.-Squalus Lilloralis ; with a central point to the angles of the hexagon. long teeth, whitish or gray skin, and body This fish is about seven inches long, and of free from spines or prickles.

a triangular shape, widening from a flat belly The individual of this species which I es. of an inch and a half broad, to a sharp edge amined on the 15th of October, 1816, was on the back. The body is incased in a cruscatched near the city of New-York, in a set- taceous shell or box, allowing motion only

He is sometimes taken by the hook. for the jaws, eyes, fins, and tail. There are The present specimen was about five feet two sharp processes, like horns, in front of the long. The largest one that I have heard of, eyes, two more of almost the samne length exhibited about a year ago, was eight feet near the hinder part of the belly, and two and nine inches in length, and weighed up- more at the extremity of the corselet, one wards of one hundred and fifty pounds. above and the other below the tail.

He had three rows of elongated teeth sha- The surface is divided into spaces of six ped almost like horse-sloe nails. The inouth sides and six angles, alternated with pentawas enormously wide, and not very remote gons here and there. From the cenire of from the extremity of the snout. Tongue each diverge five or sis rays, proceeding rebroad and smooth. There were five spiracles, gularly to the angles of each hexagonal or tbe hindmost of which was measurably in ad- five-sided figure. The nostrils are a single vance of the pectoral fin. The opening be- pair of orifices a little in front of the eyes. bind the eyes. Nostrils under the margin of The skin is somewhat clouded or streaked the snout. Colour whitish or gray. Skin very lengthwise, without regard to the compartsleek when stroked from head to tail; and ments of the skin. The belly flattish and moderately rough when felt by the hand white. The eyes are vertical, and surmounted moved froin the tail toward the head. with a prominent brow, from which the pair

lö said to be not prone to attack the human of large spinous processes project. The mouth species; and therefore not so much an ob- is small and furnished with a single row of ject of dread as some other species of shark. little teeth. The dorsal and anal fins far back He is therefore not so terrible to fishermen, on the body, and moving through openings mariners, and swinmers, as several of the in the bony case. other sorts of shark, which devour every sort The specimen now described was brought of animal, while the species now under con- from the Gulf, near the mouth of the Missis sideration preys chiedly upon the inhabitants sippi, and presented to me by Dr. S. G. Mot. of the sea

My intelligent and scientific friend Le Sketches of the History of Greece, subst. Sueur, he who lately, under the auspices of the French government, visited on a voyage

quent to its subjugation by the Romans. of discovery, Timor, New-Holland, Van Die. We now behold Greece in a state of men's Land, and other parts of Australasia ; more absolute subjection than any to the same who has, among other things, elu- which she had been reduced since the cidated numberless points of marine zoolo- battle of Chæronia. Her history-her gy, delineated this fish from nature in liis recent state: and I am happy in making this name—is lost or confounded in those of record of my acquaintance with him and of her new masters; and it is from Latin his friendship to me.

historians that we collect the slender The reason given by the fishermen for and scattered notices of a people whose calling him ground shark-that he is usually legislators laid the foundations of Roman found along shores, or within soundings. jurisprudence, and whose arts and civil. THE LONG-TOOTHED SHARK.

zation first inspired the mistress of the In my memoir published in the first volume world with a passion for literary glory. of the New-York transactions, I described

Athens and Sparta appear to have rethe long-toothed shark of our waters, as the tained their domestic jurisdiction, and to squalus Americanus of Shaw. I have doubts, have been governed by their own laws however, whether the animal ought to be so considered. He is most probably a distinct for some time after the establishment of species. He belongs to the section of squalus, the Roman power in Greece. The love that has nasal orifices and an anal fio: and of liberty still continued to throw out from the remarkable length of his teeth, and some brilliant flashes among the Athethe great size of his body, there is reason to but the tyrannic temperament of suppose be bas not been heretofore describ- the Spartans manifested itself whenever ed as clearly and fully as he ought to have

an opportunity was presented. In the been. It would be proper, therefore, to dis

contest between Cæsar and Pompey, the tinguish him as the squals macrodous, or

laws, unquestionably, were on the side of Jong-toothed shark.

the latter. Cæsar was notoriously in SEX-HORNED TRUNK-FISH. OSTRACION SES-CORNUTUS ;-Six-horned

arms against the freedom of his country, Trunk-Fish ; with six horns, two in front, one

whose defence and preservation were enbeneath the abdomen on each side, one above trusted to the conqueror of Mithridates:

[ocr errors]


Thus of two characters equally obnox- ferocious example of Sylla. During the ious to a republican government, Pompey life of Cæsar, Athens confined her atappeared as the champion of the state, tention to the cultivation of philosophy, while his more illustrious opponent was literature, and the arts-pursuits in which branded as the enemy of liberty and the city of Minerva had expended a larger Rome. Such, undoubtedly, was the light capital of genius than the rest of Greece in which those rivals in empire were be- united. But when the dagger of Brutus held by their contemporaries. The peo- restored the freedom of Rome, the ple and senate joined the senate and peo- blow that stretched Cæsar in the dust ple of Rome. Throughout the war they was answered by the applause of Athens. adhered steadfastly to the banner of the re- The hopes of freedom finally perished in public: and it was not till the catastrophe the field of Philippi, and three of the of Pharsalia rendered Cæsar the master of basest of mankind found themselves in the his country, that Athens yielded to a yoke possession of sovereign power. Statues which the world consented to endure. in honour of Brutus, bearing inscriptions

From the commencement to the con- ranking him with the celebrated patriots clusion of the war, Sparta had embraced Harmodius and Aristogiton, testified the the cause of the Dictator. Similar disposi- admiration of Athens for that illustrious tions will co-operate in the same designs. Roman; and the infamy of Sparta in That of Cæsar was to establish tyranny coalescing with the triumvirs is rendered in Rome; and Sparta, in her prosperity, more glaring by this fresh instance of had evinced the same eagerness to bind Athenian virtue and sensibility: Greece in her chains. Thus her alliance The victory of Philippi, and the death with Cæsar was in perfect harmony with of Brutus, placed the dominion of Rome the character she had displayed since the in the hands of Octavius, (the adopted son time of Lycurgus. Pride and cruelty, of Cæsar,) Marcus, Antonius, and Æmiambition and insolence constituted its lianus Lepidus. The whole triumvirate chief ingredients, and if for Sparta Spar- are infamous for their cruelty and ambitans were willing to expend the last drop tion, but the viler character of Lepidus of their blood, their surly and selfish pa. was deficient in every quality required by triotism was rarely animated by that the station to which he had been elevated glowing liberality towards the nation of by his wealth. Having served the purGreece, so frequently shown in the his- poses of his colleagues, they determined tory of their polished and generous ri- to dismiss him. At the command of Ocvals. Hatred to Athens, we may suppose, tavius, Lepidus resigned his authority, bad also some share in inducing Sparta and left the whole power of the state in to join the arms of Cæsar ; while it is by the possession of his coadjutors. no means improbable that she might have The characters of Octavius and Antony been deluded by the prospect held out to were not so much contrasts of each other, her, by that artful chief, of being invested as compounds of different vices. Yet the with the sovereignty of Greece if she moral deformities of Antony were less consented to assist him in imposing fet- revolving than those of his wily colleague. ters upon Rome.

Devoted to the pleasures of the table, and Such was the policy pursued by the the charms of meretricious beauty, he two states at this juncture, and its princi- added to the uncontrolled indulgence of ples may fairly be presumed to have been a sensual disposition, the gratification of the same that had actuated them since a fierce and sanguinary temper. But the the battles of Marathon and Mycale--vic- tyrant was not deficient in personal coutories, which, rescuing Greece from the rage, a quality which will always command grasp of Asiatic oppression, may justly be the reverence of the brave, and which considered as having saved Europe from only the coward will affect to depreciate. barbarism. When the legions of the re- If he was licentious, he was liberal; and public perished in the plains of Thes- the reputation of the orator is some relief saly, a merciless conqueror would have to the character of the proscriber and rejoiced in the reflection that the fate of voluptuary. Hypocrisy does not appear his enemies depended upon his will, and to have aggravated the crimes of Antothat triumph secured the indulgence ny. His enormities were not performed of revenge. But the temper of Cæsar in secret. He was, at least, an open vio. was mild and beneficent ; the assertors lator of humanity and decorum, and the of the liberty he had overthrown deserve world that abhorred his excesses, was not ed and possessed the respect of a gene- disgusted by his simulation. rous victor; and the magnanimity of The constitution of Octavius was cold. the dictator disdained to imitate the He was ursusceptible of friendship: he

VOL. 11.No. v.

« AnteriorContinuar »