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• Beef sells at sixpence half-penny per pound when living, or one shilling and three-pence per pound slaughtered.
• There are many horses upon the island, but few good ones. Arabian males, with some from the Cape of Good Hope and England, have been brought here, but without much advantage. Perhaps the colts are in general taken up too young, their bones not sufficiently set, nor a due proportion of strength acquired to undergo the fatigue of travelling the steep and unequal roads, they are prematurely worn out. Persons keeping horses pay an annual tax of eight shillings for each.
• The island sheep are small, but make very good mutton: they weigh from twenty to thirty pounds, dead. There are are also fine sheep of the Bengal and Merino breed, which thrive well-the Merino are but lately introduced. Cape sheep are imported for immediate consumption.
• Formerly, numbers of sheep were allowed to pasture, unattended, upon the honourable Company's waste lands, thence called common sheep: the fact is, they wandered all over the island, destroying young trees, damaging gardens, plantations, &c., especially by night, being in this respect more troublesome than the goats; these take up their abodes in the hollows of the rocks from sun-set to sun-rise, while the former roam about continually. Both have been recently exterminated by order of the lords proprietors, excepting a few goats permitted to be kept under similar regulations with tame flocks of sheep: a measure which cannot fail to produce beneficial consequences.
• A great many hogs are raised, and the flesh (of those reared in the country especially) is excellent food: equal to beef or veal, and superior to Cape mutton at least.
Until within the last twenty-five or thirty years, farmers were accustomed to cure their pork with salt gathered from the shores, thus providing one of the chief articles of subsistence, nearly sufficient for their consumption: this good practice has ceased, and, it may in truth be stated, that the facility and cheapness of obtaining salt provisions from the Company's stores, with which privilege they were indulged from 1772 until 1809, has been by degrees the principal cause of this neglect; this resource, however, being now cut off, they may revert to the custom of supplying themselves in the independent and laudable way of their forefathers.
Asses.-Of this patient and useful animal there were few until lately, and those seldom employed: attention has been paid to augment their number, and the services they render make it an object to procure a greater increase.
• Mules are scarce: it is difficult and expensive to procure them, being brought from the coast of South America—they are excellently adapted to the hills of Saint Helena.
• Dogs* abounded until a wise regulation effected a diminution of them: every proprietor of a dog, or dogs, is annually taxed for each in an increased proportion to the number he keeps; and no dog is permitted to live unless he wears a collar with his owner's name engraven on it. They are of the Newfoundland, spaniel, terrier, and water-dog species, with some others of inferior and useless kinds.
* No instance of canine madness has ever occurred here.
• There are no hares, but many rabbits, which are often killed by wild cats, in their predatory excursions: these are of the same species with the domestic cat, harbouring in the rocks, and wandering about by night in quest of prey--they carry off great numbers of poultry.
The houses both in town and the country, and the gardens, plantations, &c., are beset with multitudes of rats and mice; every means has been attempted to destroy them, but no apparent diminution of their thousands has been effected; the damage they do, particularly the rats, is almost incredible. One of the greatest benefits this island could experience, would be the extirpation of these verinin.
Of insects, reptiles, &c., none are venomous but the scorpion and centipede: their stings occasion considerable pain and inflammation of the wounded part, but seldom attended with more unpleasant effects. The remedy in general use is, to bruise the animal to pieces and apply it as a plaister, or to wash the place affected with spirits in which some of them are kept. This treatment speedily accomplishes a cure.
• The scorpion is small: the scolopendræ are from five to eight inches in length.
Gryllus, domesticus et campestris, the house and field cricket appear to be identified in species, only that the former is of a pale, yellow, brown cast, and the latter more decidedly brown.
• A species of the beetle, and two of the grasshopper, abound.
• The cattle-fly, probably oestrus tarandi, is the pest of oxen: when it inflicts its sting, the poor animal runs about in violent speed, careless of precipices, or any other danger; large worms are taken from under the hides, generated from the egg of this insect. Horses suffer also in like manner from their attacks: and instances have been known of persons stung by them, from whose flesh similar worms have been extracted.
• Innumerable ants are in every dry situation; the same with the common brown ant of England: they traverse the trunks and branches of trees in myriads, for the saccharine substance which a species of puceron affords. There are no white ants so destructive in India.
• A few lizards occasionally appear about houses, &c.--small and quite harmless.
• There are neither toads nor frogs.
• Butterflies and moths in great variety, and exceedingly beautiful, are common.
“There are many sorts of spiders, some very large, and of colours elegantly diversified.
• The snail and slug are often found in gardens, and on the young plants in the upper lands.
Grubs, produced most probably from moths' eggs, afterwards transformed into winged insects of the same description, are of great mischief in the gardens, destroying numbers of young plants, the tender stems of which they bite asunder, close to the surface of the earth.
• Mosquitoes are in swarms: the continual humming noise they make (which is astonishingly loud for so minute a fily) is nearly as annoying as their bite: in warm weather, wherever there happens to be any stagnant water they are innumerable, both in a winged state, and not yet furnished with alæ, swimming about like tad-poles. There is another lind not so numerous, called the day mosquito, of the same size, but whose sting is yet more severe; a degree of inflammation instantly succeeds it, at
tended with intolerable itching, and virulent sores have been the consequence of scratching these places. This insect is of a dark brown colour, its body, legs, and wings, spotted with white.
• The dragon-fly is from one to three inches in length: the colours red, green, and azure blue, of wonderful brilliance.
Cock-roaches are very large, numerous, and annoying, paying their unceremonious and disgusting visits in every apartment of the house.
• It is is impossible to describe the ravages occasioned by caterpillars: extensive plantations of esculents, verdant and flourishing in the evening, present, too often, a leafless and distressing appearance when the morning calls the gardener to his accustomed employ; they are inconceivably numerous, and their visitations are frequently as sudden as those of locusts in other countries. The energy and expectations of the fariner receive in no way a more vexatious check, than from these destructive insects. Their departure in a body is sometimes as sudden as their arrival.'
ORNITHOLOGY. • It appears from the best information which can now be obtained, that when Saint Helena was discovered it had no other birds than sea fowls, of the same species with those which now frequent the coast.
These are the frigate pelican, or man of war, pelicanus aquilus: it is a large, dark-coloured bird, in length from three to four feet, and ten to fourteen fcet in width, from the extremities of the wings: it soars to a great height; from which it darts with wonderful rapidity to seize its prey-usually the flying-fish.
• The tropic bird, phaeton ethereus: the bill is red, the eyes surrounded with black, a few of the larger quill feathers near their ends are black, tipped with white; all the rest of the bird is white, except the back, which is variegated with curved lincs of black. The legs and feet are of a vermilion red; the toes webbed; the tail consists of two long, straight, narrow, white feathers.
• There are also the white-bird, black-bird, and egg-bird: they are about the size of a full-grown pigeon, and in abundance. The eggs of the latter, which are deposited in their nests on the islets and rocks round the coast, are very good: the skin of the white bird is in curious contrast to its plumage, which is uniformly and delicately white, and that as entirely black. These birds are sometimes brought to table, but not much liked, on account of their fishy taste.
• To these may be added, the noddy, sterna stolida; petrel, procellaria capensis; and the grenadier gross-beak, loxia orix, locally called wirebird.
• The following are the land birds, all of which have been gradually introduced: the varieties are more valuable than numerous, most of them being articles of food.
Peacock, brought from Bombay in 1788: it is a magnificent bird, larger than the turkey: the female deposits her eggs in some secret place to prevent the male destroying them. They are wild.
* Pheasants.--A species from China; the plumage of peculiar beauty: by night they roost on the alpine trees, and by day descend into the brakes and bushes of the lower pastures; they do potatoe crops considerable damage, by raking them out of the earth.
Partridge.-Said to be from France: they prefer the rocky and barren parts of the island; their plumage is cinereous, the chin white, with
a black band-the bills and legs blood-red. This bird is properly the only game, the pheasants being reserved for hospitalities to strangers; and a proper delicacy to the inhabitants has generally disposed the governor to decline complying with the wish for a sport, from which the gentlemen of the island are excluded.
• Domestic poultry are plentiful, and all good in their kinds, but much 100 dear; large supplies of them are furnished to shipping.
"Guinea-fowls, not numerous: the common pigeons are plentiful.
• The other land birds are the dove, Java sparrow, amaduvade, and Canary, the two last as numerous as sparrows in England.'
On the subject of ichthyology, captain Barnes gives us a curious account of the sea-lion. Could some of our excessively plethoric citizens disencumber themselves of their superfluous fat as easily as this animal does of his, we should soon have some of our useless shipping chartered for Napoleon's rock. Our author quotes the words of Mr. Thomas Leech.
«« There is also here the manatee, commonly called the sea-cow, though it certainly is the sea-lion, mentioned by lord Anson, in his Voyage round the World: this creature comes on shore to disencumber itself of its fat, or blubber, which it does by cutting its skin against the rocks, from whence issues a great quantity of oil; and after it has rid itself of its burden, it retires to the sea again. It will lay four, five, or more days on shore, if not disturbed, but on the least disturbance makes towards the sea: it has a large head and neck, like that of a bull, with large teeth and whiskers, rather resembling horn than hair; (the common people affirm, that wearing these, ring fashion, is a specific against the cramp.) In smelling, it moves its nose like a dog: it has two short paws, or feet, not much unlike those of a dog, extremely strong, and the claws are also not much different; the tail part is divided into a kind of fin, to assist it in swimming. The eyelids of this creature are very remarkable: the undermost is a thin, transparent skin, which falls down over the eye, while the eye itself remains entirely open; this, I imagine, Nature has provided for the security of the creature's eye, while under water, as it can certainly see through it: when it sleeps on shore, both the eyelids of each eye are shut. The method of taking it is, by shooting it near the eye, or with a hatchet to split its head open; for, if you fire twenty or more balls at its body, they will take little or no effect, on account of the thickness of its fat.
The island of St. Helena has been frequently represented as uncommonly barren and dry; but captain Barnes informs 'us, that it contains five hundred species of plants; that rains are not unfrequent; that fields of potatoes have been suffered to rot in the ground, because the market price would not defray the expense of digging them; and that on this little speck of the ocean, there are certainly several thousand acres of excellent land, now lying waste, which might, with great facility and advantage, be cultivated.' most, if not all of the estates and farms, are plantations of young trees, valuable in their kind, and rapidly advancing in their growth. The greatest pests of the island are mice, blackberry bushes, and Napoleon.
ART. VIII.-Persian Anthology.-From the Asiatic Journal.
MR. EDITOR, IN the last Edinburgh Review. p.: 243, on the article of Dugald
Stewart's Introduction to the Encyclopædia Britannica, is the following note:
At the conclusion of bishop Taylor's Liberty of Prophesying is a Jewish story, told in the manner of a chapter of Genesis, in which God is represented as rebuking Abraham for having driven an idolater out of his tent. This story, the bishop says, is somewhere to be found in the Rabinical books; but till the original is discovered, we may ascribe the beauty of the imitation, if not the invention of the incidents, to the. bishop himself.
• Dr. Benjamin Franklin gave the same story, with some slight variations, to lord Kaimes, who published it in his Sketches of the His. tory of Man.'
About twenty years ago, I sent to the Asiatic Society at Calcutta a paper on the coincidences of the European and oriental classics, ancient and modern, part of which my friend general Kirkpatrick furnished the editor of the Asiatic Register with a copy of, in which it appeared; but what I now send you has never been in print. In Europe we have of late been much amused by stories of Muhammadan intolerance; but it has been by writers, who were either ignorant of the Mussulman tenets, or wilfully misrepresented them. In the Koran we are told that
Jews, Christians, and Sabians, and indeed whoever believeth in God and the last day, and doeth that which is right, shall have his reward with the Almighty, and no fear shall come upon him, neither needeth he to grieve.' And Sadi, in quoting that passage in one of his sermons, adds that any fellow-creature, who believes in God after his own fashion and heart, and thus accomplishes good works, may expect a favourable reception and final sentence on the last day, notwithstanding his failure in ritual duty; that there is salvation for a virtuous infidel, but none for a vicious believer.' He moreover adds- Many a be. liever is arrayed in vain glory, and many an infidel wears the garb of humility.'
But what finer examples of toleration can I offer than the following two apologues, from the Bustan of Sadi:
"A Mogh, or fireworshipper, had secluded himself from the world, and devoted his whole time to the service of an idol. Some years afterwards that professor of a rejected faith happened to fall into distressed circumstances. Confident of reljef, he threw himself at the feet of his idol, and lay prostrate and helpless on the floor of its temple, saying, “ I am undone: take me, oh! my idol! by the hand: I am afflicted to the soul: have compassion on my body.” Oftentimes would he be thus fervent in his devotional duty; for his affairs were not in the train of being settled. But how shall an image forward any man's concern, which cannot drive a fly from settling on its own body? The poor Mogh waxed warm, and added, in his passion, “Oh! slave of error! how long have I worshipped thee to a vain purpose! accomplish for mę at once the object of my heart, otherwise I must ask it of Providence, or the Lord God paramount!" That contaminated Mogh still