« AnteriorContinua »
having spread a false report of the death of Napoleon, for the purpose of affecting the price of the stocks, was condemned to the pillory, to a year's imprisonment, and a fine of £1000, and excluded from parlia--The cock has his head surmounted by a ment and from the order of the Bath. The royal clemency spared him the exposure in the pillory. The fine was paid by his friends. In 1818, lord Cochrane took the command of the naval force of Chile, which he conducted with success, and afterwards of that of Brazil. In 1823, the emperor Pedro created him marquis of Maranham. After the peace between Portugal and Brazil, he took his dismission, returned to England, and, in 1826, intended to enter the Greek service as admiral; but the steam-boats built for the use of the Greeks in England proved unfit for their purpose. He remained a long time at Marseilles and Genoa, waiting for other vessels, finally entered the Greek service in 1827, in which he continued until the following year, and then returned to England.
COCHRANE, captain John Dundas, nephew of the above, travelled on foot through France, Spain and Portugal, then through Russia to Kamtschatka (see Narrative of a Pedestrian Journey through Russia, &c., 1820-23, London, 1824), and died in 1825, in Colombia, whither he had gone with a view of travelling through South America on foot.
COCK (phasianus gallus, L.); the wellknown chieftain of the poultry-yard, and rural announcer of the passage of time; whose shrill clarion, heard in the still watches of the night, inspires the invalid with cheering hopes of the coming dawn, and informs the way-worn traveller of his approach to the habitations of his kind; the appropriate emblem of vigilance, virility, warlike daring and gallantry: domesticated, but not subdued, he marches at the head of his train of wives and offspring, with a port of proud defiance, not less ready to punish aggression against his dependents than to assert his superiority upon the challenge of any rival. At what time this valuable species of pheasant was brought under the immediate control of man, it is now impossible to determine; but, as the forests of many parts of India still abound with several varieties of the cock in the wild or natural condition, it is quite reasonable to conclude that the race was first domesticated in the Eastern countries, and gradually extended thence to the rest of the world. It is stated that the cock was first introduced into Europe from Persia; and Aristophanes speaks of
it as the Persian bird. Nevertheless, it has
thus taken possession of her nest, she becomes a model of enduring patience, remaining fixed in her place until the urgency of hunger forces her to go in search of food. A short time suffices; she runs eagerly about in quest of sustenance, and soon resumes her charge. Her eggs are diligently turned and shifted from the centre to the edge of the nest, so that each may receive a due degree of genial warmth, and it is not until about 21 days have elapsed that the incubation is completed. The strongest of the progeny then begin to chip the shell with the bill, and are successively enabled to burst their brittle prisons. She continues upon the nest till the whole are hatched and dry, and then leads them forth in search of food. The hen, except when accompanied by a young brood, is always timid, and ready to fly from disturbance; but when she is engaged in discharging the duties of maternity, her whole nature is changed. She fiercely and vigorously attacks all aggressors, watches over the safety of her young with the utmost jealousy, neglects the demands of her own appetite to divide the food she may obtain among her nurslings, and labors with untiring diligence to provide them sufficient sustenance. The limits within which we are restricted forbids the attempt to give a complete history of this valuable species, which is, in every point of view, interesting. To detail all that would be necessary to illustrate it, as an object of natural history and domestic economy,the modes of breeding, rearing, preparing for the table, &c.,-would require a small volume. Fortunately, almost every one, who will employ his own observation, may readily arrive at such knowledge. Very full histories of the species are given by Buffon and other standard authors. Temminck has, perhaps, offered the most complete, in his Histoire des Gallinacés. (See Incubation.)
Cock-Fighting was an amusement of the Greeks and Romans. An annual cockfight was instituted at Athens, and Eschines reproaches Timarchus, and Plato the Athenians in general, with their fondness for the cock-pit. The breeds of Rhodes and of Tanagra in Boeotia were in great esteem in Greece. The Romans seem to have used quails and partridges also for this purpose. Mark Antony was a patron of the pit, but, in his matches with Octavius, it was observed that Cæsar's cocks were always victorious. This barbarous and brutalizing spectacle, it is well known, has been a favorite sport with the English,
although repeatedly denounced and prohibited by the laws; but it is now deservedly in disrepute. Many nice rules are given for the training and dieting of cocks, and for the choice of individual combatants. "The best cocks," says one of the many English writers on this subject, "should be close hitters, deadly heelers, steady fighters, good mouthers, and come to every point." Great difference of opinion has prevailed as to the size most proper for game-cocks. Hoyle settles it at not less than 4 lbs. 8 oz., nor above 4 lbs. 10 oz. The strain from which the cock is chosen ought to be distinguished for victory. For the combat, they are armed with steel or silver spurs, or gaffles. The place appropriated to fighting is called the pit, and consists generally of a mound of earth, covered with sod, and surrounded by seats in circular tiers. The battle is conducted by two setters, who place the cocks beak to beak. When they are once pitted, neither of the setters-to can touch his cock, so long as they continue to fight, unless their weapons get entangled.Cock-fighting is prevalent in China, Persia and Malacca.
Cock-Pit; the place where cock-fights are held.—In navigation, the cock-pit of a man-of-war comprises the apartments of the surgeon and his mates, being the place where the wounded men are dressed in battle, or at other times. It is situated under the lower-deck.
COCKADE (from cocarde); a plume of cock's feathers, with which the Croats adorned their caps. A bow of colored ribbons was adopted for the cockade in France, which soon became a national emblem and party signal. During the French revolution, the tri-colored cockade became the national distinction. National cockades are now to be found over all Europe. In some countries, the law requires every citizen to wear one, and the deprivation of them is a disgraceful punishment, as in Prussia. In point of fact, the rule requiring them to be worn is but little observed.
COCKCHAFFER; a species of coleopterous insect, belonging to the genus melolontha (Fab.), remarkable for the length of its life, in the worm or larve state, as well as for the injury it does to vegetation, after it has attained its perfect condition. By Linnæus, this species, which is also known by the trivial names of may-bug, dorr-beetle, &c., was placed in the genus scarabæus, or beetle (see Beetle); and it is true, that the melolontha have the general aspect, conformation and habits of the beetles. They dif
fer from them, however, in having the body less depressed, swelling out above and below into a sort of hump. The head is engaged in the corselet, which is slightly narrowed in front, and most commonly attached to the elytra behind. The antennæ, which are foliated in a mass, are composed of 10 joints, the last of which terminates the mass like a plume, which the insect displays at will, sometimes to the number of seven plates, larger and more perfectly developed in the males than females. The bodies of melolontha are very often velvetlike, and covered with hairs and imbricated scales, differently colored, like the butterflies. Some species are very highly adorned in this way, and present combinations of brilliant and beautiful colors.-The may-bug (melolontha vulgaris) is hatched from an egg which the parent deposits in a hole about six inches deep, which she digs for the purpose. Her eggs are oblong, of a bright yellow color, and are placed regularly side by side, though not included in any common envelope. At the end of about three months, the insects come out of the eggs as small grubs or maggots, and feed upon the roots of vegetables in the vicinity with great voracity. As they increase in size and strength, they become able to make their way with ease under ground, and continue their ravages upon the roots of plants. When the worm has attained its greatest size, it is an inch and a half long by more than half an inch thick, perfectly white, with a red head, having a semi-circular lip, and a strong pair of jaws, with which it cuts the roots, for the purpose of sucking out their fluids. It has two antennæ, but is destitute of eyes. The subterranean existence of these animals is extended to four years, and, as their food is not accessible during the cold season, they bury themselves sufficiently deep in the soil to be safe from the frost, and pass the winter in a state of torpidity. When the spring restores them to animation and activity, they revisit the upper stratum of the ground, having, at each annual awakening, undergone a change of skin.-At the end of the third year, they have acquired their full growth as larves; they then cease eating, and void the residue of their food, preparatory to the change or metamorphosis which they are about to undergo. If opened at this period, their strongly muscular integument is found to be completely filled with a mass of white, oily matter, resembling cream, apparently destined as a reserve for the alimentation of the insect during the period of its remaining in the form of a nymph, which is
scarcely less than six months. To undergo their final change, these larves bore into the earth to the depth of two feet or more, where they form a rounded cavity, the sides of which are smoothed and consolidated by the application of a fluid disgorged from their mouths. The larve being thus secured, it soon begins to contract in length, swells, and bursts its skin, coming therefrom as a soft, whitish nymph, having all the members shrunk and folded, uniformly arranged in the same manner, exhibiting the rudiments of elytra, antennæ, &c. The insect then gradually acquires consistence and color, becoming of a brownish hue. This state continues about three months, by the end of which time, the insect disengages its wings, limbs and antennæ, and assumes its rank as a perfect coleopterous insect. It is in the month of February that the larve changes to nymph. During the months of March and April, it approaches the surface of the earth, and, about the beginning of May, escapes from its grovelling mode of life to soar through the air, disporting in sunshine and shade. From this circumstance; the German trivial name of Maikäfer, and the English may-bug or beetle, have been given. The term cockchaffer, applied to the common species, is evidently made up from the German.-Cockchaffers, in their perfect state, pass the greater part of the day in a state of slumber or quietude, on the leaves of the trees which they feed on, unless disturbed by the too great heat of the sun, which arouses them to fly to the shade. At eventide, the whole of this drowsy population take wing, for the sake of procuring food. Their flight is loud, humming, and generally with the wind; and so little is the insect capable of directing its course, that it strikes violently against every object in the way. This peculiarity has given origin, in France, to a proverbial expression, applied to a thoughtless, blundering person, who is said to be as stupid as a may-bug; Étourdi comme un hanneton.— The generative act of these insects has some peculiarities. The male, which is generally smaller than the female, and always cognizable by the greater size of his foliated antenna, previous to this operation, is very active. As soon, however, as this object is accomplished, he seems to fall into a state of faintness and lethargy, and the female, in flying from place to place, carries him with her, hanging in a helpless, inverted position, with his back downwards, and his feet in the air. The male organs are quite singular, being formed in such a manner that the organ
conveying the fecundating fluid is introduced by the aid of two elongated horns, which, by their approximation, form a sort of stiff point. These two pieces lie over another, within which are muscles that, at the proper moment, contract, and thus dilate the sheath, which may be compared to a surgical dilator. To this expansion of the sheath the adherence of the sexes during the act of generation is owing. The males perish as soon as they have fulfilled this great object of their being, as they thenceforth cease to eat. The fecundated female forsakes the trees for the earth, into which, with her claws, she bores a hole six or eight inches deep, in which she places from 50 to 80 eggs. This completes the circle of her actions, and she soon after dies; though it has been said, without any foundation in observation or analogy, that the females, after laying their eggs, resume their former habits, and live among the
COCK-FIGHTING. (See Cock.)
COCKROACH (blatta, Lin.); a genus of insects belonging to the orthopterous or straight-winged order, characterized by an oval, elongated, depressed body, which is smooth on its superior surface. The head is inclined, short, and concealed under the corselet; the antennæ are long, bristly, formed of numerous pieces, and inserted in a groove within the eyes. The corselet is scutiform, covering the head and origin of the elytra; the abdomen is terminated by two conical appendages. The legs are beset with little spines; the feet are long and compressed; the tarsi have five joints. They have a longitudinal crop or craw; the gizzard, or muscular stomach, is internally provided with strong hooked teeth: from 8 to 10 cæca are found about the pyJorus.-These insects are among the most disagreeable of the annoyances to which the dwellings of man are subject, and, where their multiplication is permitted, the ravages they commit are extensive and vexatious. They are all nocturnal, and exceedingly agile; their flattened bodies allow them to hide, with ease, in every crevice, whence they sally forth in hordes during the night, to devour every sort of provision which is not secured from their voracity. Like all other depredators, they are thrown into confusion and put to flight by the presence of light, whence they were, in ancient times, appropriately called lucifuge, or light-shunners. Their destructiveness is not confined to articles of provision for the table; silk, woollen, and even cotton cloths are devoured, or ren
dered useless by being gnawed through. At some seasons of the year, when the male cockroaches fly about, they are very troublesome, especially about twilight, when they dash into rooms, and often strike against the faces of those present, to the great alarm of females, who generally dread them excessively. The presence of a light, it is true, would secure us against such invasions from the cockroach, but a great number of other nocturnal insects would be attracted by its glare, and induce a greater degree of annoyance. When a cockroach takes refuge or seeks concealment upon any person, he will inflict a smart bite, if particularly hurt or alarmed.-The sapient Sancho Panza declares, that there is a remedy for every thing but death; and it is truly happy for mankind, that the multiplication of this pestilent race may be repressed by aid of their own voracity. If to a quantity of Indian corn meal about one third of white or red lead is added, and the mixture is moistened with molasses, so as to make it moderately adhesive, the cockroaches will greedily devour it. The repetition of this poisoned food for a few nights is generally sufficient to reduce their numbers to a very few, even in the most infected houses, and will eventually cause the destruction of the whole. They may also be poisoned with preparations of arsenic, sublimate, &c., mixed with sugar or molasses, of which they are very fond. Traps especially designed for their capture are sometimes to be found at the potteries. A paste-board or card cover, well balanced upon two pins, and placed upon the edge of a vessel, nearly filled with molasses and water, makes a very good trap. The dish should be so placed, that they can readily mount upon the cover, which revolves on its axis whenever the equilibrium is disturbed, and throws the cockroaches into the fluid.-Cockroaches, like other orthopterous insects, do not undergo a complete metamorphosis: the larves and nymphs resemble the perfect insect, except that they have merely rudiments of wings. The females lay their eggs successively and singly. The egg has a very singular appearance, being large, cylindric, rounded at both ends, and having a projecting dentated line or keel, throughout its length, on one side. This egg is half as large as the belly of the female, and she carries it for seven or eight days, attached to the posterior part of the abdomen, and, finally, attaches it to some solid body, by means of a gummy fluid.-The species of cockroach at present determined, are about 12 in number.
Among these, the blatta Americana and the blatta Orientalis are the especial pests of our country. The first mentioned is the largest of the genus, and grows to be two or three inches long, including the antenna. Throughout the southern portion of this continent, and in the West India islands, this species (blatta Americana), called Kakkerlac by the Dutch, is very numerous and troublesome. The blatta Orientalis, or common kitchen cockroach, was originally brought from Asia to Europe, and thence to America. It is now thoroughly domiciliated in all parts of our country, to the great vexation of its inhabitants. This species is fond of warmth, and makes its abode near to the kitchen fire-place, about ovens, stoves, &c.
COCKSWAIN, or COXEN; the officer who manages and steers a boat, and has the command of the boat's crew. It is evidently compounded of the words cock and swain, the former of which was anciently used for a yawl, or small boat, as appears from several authors, but has now become obsolete.
COCLES. (See Horatius.)
COCOA-NUT. The cocoa-nut is a woody fruit, of an oval shape, from three or four to six or eight inches in length, covered with a fibrous husk, and lined internally with a white, firm and fleshy kernel.-The tree (cocos nucifera) which produces the cocoa-nut, is a kind of palm, from 40 to 60 feet high, having on its summit only leaves or branches, appearing almost like immense feathers, each 14 or 15 feet long, 3 feet broad, and winged. Of these, the upper ones are erect, the middle ones horizontal, and the lower ones drooping. The trunk is straight, naked, and marked with the scars of the fallen leaves. The nuts hang from the summit of the tree in clusters of a dozen or more together. The external rind of the nuts has a smooth surface, and is of a somewhat triangular shape. This encloses an extremely fibrous substance, of considerable thickness, which immediately surrounds the nut. The latter has a thick and hard shell, with three holes at the base, each closed with a black membrane. The kernel lines the shell, is sometimes nearly an inch in thickness, and encloses a considerable quantity of sweet and watery liquid, of a whitish color, which has the name of milk. This tree is a native of Africa, the East and West Indies, and South America, and flourishes best in a sandy soil.-Food, clothing, and the means of shelter and protection, are all afforded by the cocoa-nut-tree. The kernels of the nuts, which somewhat resemble
the filbert in taste, but are of much firmer consistence, are used as food in various modes of dressing, and sometimes are cut into pieces and dried. When pressed in a mill, they yield an oil, which, in some countries, is the only oil used at table; and which, when fresh, is equal in quality to that of almonds. It, however, soon becomes rancid, and, in this state, is principally used by painters. The milk or fluid contained in the nut is an exceedingly cool and agreeable beverage, which, when good, somewhat resembles the kernel in flavor. Cocoa-nut-trees first produce fruit when 6 or 7 years old; after which each tree yields from 50 to 100 nuts annually. The fibrous coats or husks which envelope the cocoa-nuts, after having been soaked for some time in water, become soft. They are then beaten, to free them from the other substances with which they are intermixed, and which fall away like saw-dust, the stringy part only being left. This is spun into long yarns, woven into sail-cloth, and twisted into cables, even for large vessels. The cordage thus manufactured is, in several respects, preferable to that brought from Europe, but particularly for the advantages which are derived from its floating in water. The woody shells of the nut are so hard as to receive a high polish, and are formed into drinking cups, and other domestic utensils, which are sometimes expensively mounted in silver. On the summit of the cocoanut-tree, the tender leaves, at their first springing up, are folded over each other, so as somewhat to resemble a cabbage. These are occasionally eaten in place of culinary greens, and are a very delicious food; but, as they can only be obtained by the destruction of the tree, which dies in consequence of their being removed, they are in general considered too expensive a treat. The larger leaves are used for the thatching of buildings, and are wrought into baskets, brooms, mats, sacks, hammocks, and many other useful articles. The trunks are made into boats, and furnish timber for the construction of houses; and, when their central pith is cleared away, they form excellent gutters for the conveyance of water. If, whilst growing, the body of the tree be bored, a white and sweetish liquor exudes from the wound, which is called toddy. This is collected in vessels of earthen ware, and is a favorite beverage in many parts where the trees grow. When fresh, it is very sweet; in a few hours, it becomes somewhat acid, and, in this state, is peculiarly agreeable; but, in the space of 24 hours, it is