Imatges de pàgina

The nonagenarian, whose faculties are in no wise impaired by his great age, after clearing his pulmonary organs by the frequent rattles of a loose cough (the usual precursor of his long speeches), interrupt

ed Don Michele:

"You are wrong, my lad," (of fifty odd years, mind!) "in saying such a thing was never heard of; for I remember, in the year fifty-seven, no, sixty-seven, aye, in the year sixty-seven, the very year poor Gaetane died, this same holy function lasted for upwards of an hour. And surely you must recollect the terrible eruption of the mountain which followed soon after it.

Let me see!--it was on the 22d of October
when it first began, and lasted for three
successive days. Why, don't you remem-
ber the sand which fell over the whole
city? I am sure our roof was covered with
it-But Signor Don Luigi," addressing
himself to me, "the power and goodness
of our holy protector are beyond belief: he
first gives us warning of our impending
calamities, that we may, if we choose,
avert them by fasting and prayer; and
even when we neglect to do so, he is ready
to extricate us from our misery. For at
the very time I am now speaking of, when
the rage of the mountain had continued
for three days, and when for aught we
know, it might bave lasted three weeks
longer, and perhaps destroyed the whole
city; the Cardinal Archbishop Sersale, to-
gether with the whole chapter of the ca-
thedral, and innumerable ecclesiastics from
the different convents, sallied forth in hum-rich crops of wine and grai
ble and devout procession from the city of even a ruin was to be see
towards the mountain, carrying the head turies, except a fragment
of our St. Januarius before them. Now which had constantly be
mark what I am going to tell you, for I have been reared on the
was an eye-witness of the fact. No sooner it was thought to stand, b
had they got to the bridge of St. Magdalen, proved afterwards the n
and within sight of the mountain, than a of the great theatre of Po
tremendous report was heard from it, rior height over all the o
londer than if a hundred thousand cannon caused it to project a
had been let off at the same time: the stratum. In this state of
shower of hot sand and the eruption in- quent to the discover
stantly ceased; the sky, which had before (about forty years ago
been utter darkness, became perfectly bourer was arrested
clear; and, in the evening, the stars, for On removing the su
the first time after three nights, appeared perceived that he b
with their usual brightness. Thus, sir, a small statue of
did the infinite goodness of our illustrious gold. His ear
protector intercede for his people, and in cied treasur
the hour of trial, obtain divine mercy for firmly rive
us. You are a young man, Signor Don the latter
Luigi, your troubles may have to come some h
yet. let this, therefore, be a lesson to you,
not to despair in misfortunes, but to put
your trust in the goodness and mercy of

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

proves At difse young

¡y, about thickness when put

Ave swam

spect, perility capa s: being of nem several put them am strongly st Eel which wn, at Brox4, on opening black species) in the stomach onfuli of a white e thread, or cotained small Eels, too minute to be e, as this species ill Michaelmas, or took out was quite to the water it init. Several persons a Mr. Boyd, a lover ened to call in at the

Whereas, in its present abandoned state, the walls of the houses will soon fall in-indeed some are decaying very fast-and, in less than a hundred years, the benefit of the singular volcanic preservation for so many ages will have been in vain; the appearance of Pompeji, if then it be at all discernible, will be no wise different from many other masses of Italian ruins, a shapeless heap of stones and


To shew the brilliancy of the paintings, our veteran guide threw over one of the walls of an apartment a pailful of water, which spread a temporary lustre over the colours, deadened by the dust and flying sand. They certainly looked as if they had been laid on but a month ago; even the greens had faded little, or perhaps not at all: for who can tell the precise hue of the original tint?

Notwithstanding all that has been said on the subject, it appears still a matter of doubt to me, whether the medium used for laying on the colours in the Pompejan rooms, was not different from that employed in our fresco paintings, of which description these are generally supposed to be: no rubbing with a wet finger was capable of detaching the least tint from the walls. I am, therefore, inclined to believe, that either the medium itself was some oily or unctuous liquid; or that, if the paintings were really al fresco, a coat of some such substance was afterwards laid over the

whole like a varnish: indeed, a faint gloss is easily perceptible: but, upon the whole, I would fain give my opinion in favour of the oily medium, the peculiar character of which the strokes of the pencil carry with them. To this hypothesis it has been objected, that the heat of the volcanic sand

with which the rooms must have been overwhelmed, would have affected the oil; but it remains to be proved, that the inte rior of the rooms was completely filled with sand of such a heat as to injure the oil. If such had been the case, the colours themselves must necessarily have suffered, or have been changed, which is no where perceptible. This latter circumstance, indeed, appears altogether astonishing, and to me, I own, perfectly inexplicable.

What the writer adds on the nature of the colours, though just and judicious, has been greatly surpassed by Sir Humphrey Davy, whose accurate examination of them has been submitted to our readers; and receives a completion, by this his tory of the discovery, and these slight additions, to which chemistry is no party.

[blocks in formation]

The Angler's Guide &c. By T. F. Sal

ter Gent. 8vo, price 10s. 6d. For the Author. Tegg. London. 1813.

How is it that most treatises on Angling begin with a vindication of the art from the imputation of cruelty? - It should seem to imply that professors found it necessary to apologize in some manner for the nature and tendency of their delight. Mr..Salter himnity to those who consider angling as self "gives every credit for their humacruel;" and he proceeds to describe the Cod fishery, and the Turbot fishery, as nothing more than angling on a larger scale. He thinks fish are cold bloodied animals, and not susceptible of that acute sense of pain which other animals possess, and he improves this observation by reminding us that all fish devour one another. This may be very true: but whether they give directions for passing a baiting needle so dextrously through a Gudgeon "near the back, about an inch from the head and carry it so carefully between the skin and the flesh to within an inch of the tail;" that without much wounding the fish may swim strong for twenty four hours"-may be more than doubted. Prolongation of life, under such circumstances is prolongation of misery; and this is what the compassionate deem cruel. Certainly, fish have strong digestive powers; and are constantly hungry: it is on this their rapacity depends; and on their rapacity depends the success of the angler.

[ocr errors]

which, I suppose, most anglers must have observed. How Eels propagate, is a matter far from being settled among the theoretical writers on natural history: some conceive that they are viviparous-others oviparous, others, again, think they couple, and discharge a viscosity in the mud of rivers aud ponds, which produces innumerable young; but as no parts of generation are to be found in them, neither any roe, all is darkness and conjecture with them on the subject.

I am quite satisfied myself that Eels are viviparous, having paid much attention to The partiality for a particular swim, the subject for several years, during which hole, or eddy, in a river, is very great time numerous instances of it have come among anglers; many will travel during immediately under my own observation; the night to arrive first at a favourite and I have received many communications place. I knew an angler who frequently, corroborative of the fact from several rein summer, left London in the evening, spectable anglers and other persons, who and stopped at a village public house near are proprietors, &c. of fisheries. Bowlker, the river Lea, take his supper and pipe, in his treatise on augling,, mentions a cirand there remain until the people of the cumstance of a miller's wife who informed house retired to bed, then walk to his fa-him that she had several times found small vourite swim, and sit down and wait pa- Eels in the beily of large ones, when she tiently till the dawn of day enabled him to was preparing or cleansing them to dress; use his angle rod. and once she took ten or twelve out, and

placed them on the table, and they all
moved about: in size, she said, they were
about the bigness of a fine needle. Those
which I have examined have had the young
in the gut or stomach, close to the vent. I
have found those small Eels in the silver
Eel early in the summer, aud in the black
or dark Eel in September, which proves
that those Eels produce their like. At dif-
ferent periods I have met with those young
Eels in the larger, some very lively, about
two inches in length, and of the thickness
of a single horse-hair line, and when put
in a tumbler of water, they have swam
about, and appeared, in every respect, per-
fectly formed, and in all probability capa-
ble of providing for themselves: being of
this opinion, after having kept them several
hours a glass of water, I then put them
into the river, where they swam strongly
into the weeds, &c. The last Eel which
I examined was at the Crown, at Brox-
bourn-bridge, in August, 1814, on opening
au Eel (which was of the black species)
I found but one young one in the stomach
or gut, but about a tea-spoonfull of a white
substauce, like coarse white thread, or cot-
ton, which I conceive contained small Eels,
not perfectly formed, and too minute to be
seen with the naked eye, as this species
does not cast its young till Michaelmas, or
after. The one which I took out was quite
perfect, and when put into the water it im
mediately swam about. Several persons
saw it, among others, a Mr. Boyd, a lover
of angling, who happened to call in at the

There is not a more patient tribe on the face of the earth, than Anglers except Reviewers. Mr. Salter alludes to several who after passing a whole day in expectation, have not had a bite; or who have spent hours in watching, entangling, and tiring a single fish, which after all has been lost by some unlucky jerk of the line, or some exertion in the prey. Anglers endeavour, also to out manœuvre each other: nor is any trouble thought too much by them.

Such predilection marks the practised Angler. It is not for such Mr. Salter writes; but his instructions are intended to form such. He describes the various kinds of hooks, baits, floats, and lines ;the proper baits for each kind of fish usually found in our rivers; the best parts of the rivers near Loudon, and what fish may be expected, in the various holes and eddies on the banks and swims. He gives a map of the Thames for this purpose; he visits the New River, the Lea, &c. and hints at the character of almost every public-house within dining or sleeping distance of a favourite fishery. He gives extracts from Acts of Parliament; -- rules for judging on the weather, &c. &c.

It must be confessed that anglers who follow their sport with spirit, see much of nature and natural history, which remains unknown to the slug-abeds in the city of London. As naturalists, their evidence is weighty. For instance, speaking of the eel, when discussing the question whether they be viviparous, says Mr. S.

When very small, (about two inches in length,) the young Eels move by thousands from one part of the river Lea to another, always working up the stream; this takes place in the month of June, a circumstance

time: after some few hours, I threw the little animal into the river, and he swam off as lively as a Grig.

In respect to Eels being mirgatory, I have never met with any circumstance, during my experience as an angler, either to strengthen or destroy that opinion. A gentleman who lived near West-End, Hampstead, having a large pond on his premises, informed me that as he was walking one evening through the meadow in which the pond was, he was surprised at some rusting in the grass near his feet. On looking, he thought it was a snake, but found it to be an Eel, making very fast today. the pond, from which it was at the distance of about a hundred yards: he secured it, and it was a fine dark Eel, near a pound weight.

Whether the forbearance of the Pike arises from respect to the healing qualities of the Tench, or is to be attributed to a dislike of the slimy matter on its body, I know not, but I believe the Tench is perfectly free from the persecution suffered by all the other species of fish; for I have never taken one that has been at all mutilated in its fins, tail, or any other part, or with any of those wounds or scars on the body, which are so frequently met with by the angler among the small fish he takes. The Eel also foregoes his voracity, in regard to the Tench, both by night and I have known several trimmers to be laid at night, baited with live fish, Roach, Dace, Bleak, and Tench, each about six or seven inches long; and when those trimmers were examined in the morning, both Eels and Jack have been taken by the hooks baited with any other fish but the Tench, which I found as lively as wheu put in the river the preceding night, without ever having been disturbed: this has rience; neither have I met with even one invariably been the case during my expesolitary instance to the contrary related by any of my acquaintance, who have had numerous opportunities of noticing the sin

Mr. S. enlarges on the dispositions of different kinds of fish:-the voracity of the Pike is well known; the suddenness of the Barbel; the shyness of the Carp; &c. &c. but, among the most singular remarkables, usually noticed by an-gular circumstance of the perfect freedom glers, is that property of the Tench, from death or wounds, which the Tench which extends not only to self preser-enjoys over every other inhabitant of the vation, but to the assistance of others: liquid element, arising from the continual as is said. This part of Mr. S.'s article rally spawn about the latter end of June: conflicts among each other. Tench geneis a fair specimen of his manner. they are seldom caught so large as to weigh five pounds, but that they grow much larger I do not doubt, from many cases of their having been found much larger, in ponds that were emptied, in order to cleanse them from an accumulation of weeds, mud, &c The most remarkable account of a Tench is that of one found in the year 1801, in a hole at the bottom of a choakedup pond, at Thornville Royal, Yorkshire, the seat of Colonel Thornton, which measured two feet nine inches in length, and two feet three inches in circumference, and weighed nearly twelve pounds. This wonderful Tench had taken the shape of the hole in which it had been confined for all-years; its colour also differed from the usual golden or bronze hue of the Tench, the belly being as it were tinged with vermilion: when put into a pond, it soon recovered the power of swimming, but seemingly with some difficulty, doubtless from having led a life of idleness for so many years.

This may contribute to account for finding fish in ponds where there were none originally.


The Teuch is not a very handsome fish in shape, being short and thick, and wheu of a large size, nearly as broad as they are long their scales are very small and close, and the whole body covered with a slimy glutinous substance, which is considered to be of a balsamic quality, healing the wounded and sick of all the finny race; for which purpose the sick and wounded rub themselves against the Tench, and receive a cure: this is the general and received opinion, and, in consequence, the Teuch is honoured with the name of the Physician, and is respected even by the devouring Pike.

The Pike, fell tyrant of the liquid plain,
With ravenous waste devours his fellow train;
Yet, howsoe'er with raging famine pin'd,
The Tench he spares, a medicinal kind;
For, when by wounds distress'd, or sore disease,
He courts the salutary fish for ease,
Close to his scales the kind physician glides,
And sweats the healing balsam from his sides.

We cannot forget old Isaac Walton, and-but comparisons are odious.

« AnteriorContinua »