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pour five barrels of water, mingle the whole together, and in • Twenty-four hours obtain from it a very agreeable piquette.' p. 21.
Although the island was at one period so famous for wood, the improvident consumption of its inhabitants has at length produced an actual and sensible scarciiy of forest trees more especially Our Author teils us, that throughout the island there ' is the greatest want of wood fit for carpenters' work,' that
wood for fuel is still more rare,' and that in all parts 'forest trees are wanted.' With respect to vegetable productions, the great height to which the American aloe, and the Indian fig arrive, seem to be one of the principle peculiarities of Elba. • The stalk of the former,'(vur traveller informs us, shoots up to the height of about eighteen or twenty feet, and is covered with
flowers of a yellowish green colour. It blows every year.' * Aromatic plants,' he adds, tourish throughout Elba in the ' greatest prolusion. The inhabitants use them daily in their • Kitchens. Balm, mint, hyssop, thyme, rosemary, many sorts of
sage, and fennel, lavender, egl. Dune, and myrtle, every where ' perfume the air with their sweet scents, and delight the eye by the variety of their flowers. p. 27.
Elba being in a great measure destitute of pastures, is, in consequence, thinly supplied with cattle. Several animals are, however, found here in sufficient number; and there is an abundance of game; so that the present ruler of the island may stiil enjoy opportunities of effecting the work of destruction; and is, is it has been asserted, he is destitute of personal prowess, one should imagine that this kind of warfare would be more congenial to his taste than that in which he was formerly engaged. In his peregrinations, however, he must be careiul to avoid encountering the bite of the spotted spider, which the Author tells us, he found in the island, and of which he gives the following interesting account.
“ It is of a bright shining black, marked with three rows of blood. red spots, to the number of 13, 15, 16 and 1 ; the abdomen is round, protuberant at the upper part, and marked with four very black spots arranged in a perfect square The whole body is covered with hairs, and attached to the thorax by a short pedicle; its eyes are fawn coloured, and eight in number; and the thorax is very small It spreads its web close to the surface of the ground, and rushes with prodigious velocity upon its prey; it attacks the scorpion, in particular, with great fury, and is extremely fond of its blood; it shuns the society of its own species It generates towards the end of summer, and envelops its eggs to the number of between 200 and 400, in a cocoop of white silk, compact but pot strong In winter it retires among large stones, into the clefts of the rocks and old walls, where, in a torpid state, it awaits the return of spring. Its bite is very dangerous; it is mortal even to man. Its
renom is of a highly subtle nature, and the more active, the more intense the heat.” p. 30–31.
Our traveller complains, that the Elboese are destitute of commercial activity, and in respect to manufactures, Elba, we are told, is tributary to the coasts of France and Italy. “The 'commerce of the island consists in the importation, from Leghorn and Marseilles, of grain, cheese, cattle, and other articles of prime necessity; and in the exportation of tunny, common wine, sait, Vermont, and Aleatico wines, vinegar, which is in greit request, granite, and, above all, of iron ore.'
The tunny fishery forms an essential branch of the Elboese commorce; and we shall extract for the amusement of our readers, the following lively account of the manner in which it is conducted.
* This (the tunny fishery)' says our Author, • is a truly curious, but, at the same time, a barbarous sight ; it is a period of festivity for the country. The sea is covered with boats :joy sparkles in every face ; all eyes are fixed upon the nets: the tunnies arrive, they enter and fill all the chambers of the vast inclosure ; they are pierced with a very sharp iron harpoon with two.prongs, and the gulph is soon reddened with their blood. The fishermen sometimes kill sword-fish, dog-fish, and dolphins, which prey voraciously upon the tunny, and pursue it into the very nets.' p. 35.
Berneaud concludes this second chapter of his work, by a few remarks on the diseases to which the inhabitants of Elba are principally subject, which are, he tells us, intermittent, putrid, bilious, spotted, and gastric fevers, and jaundice'; cutaneous affictions, dropsy, and dysentery. The causes, he thinks, are principally putrid' exhalations from the stagnant waters and salt, marshes, the dampness of the nights, the cold and abundant dew that takes place at dusk, the variableness of the winds and other accidents of weather, and above all, the hot, moist south winds which almost always blow in the island. He reprobates the use of whalebone stays, which, he says, are worn here by the women and children ; and which, by their tightness, occasion pulmonary disorders, and general deformity. He has remarked their particularly injurious effects upon pregnant women. Our English females may, perhaps, be benefited by this hint; for although the mischief to the constitution by the pressure of dress is happily much less in the present day, than it was some time since, yet we are told by those who are in the secret, that 'the old plan of severe constriction, much oftener than ' is suspected, lurks below the free Grecian flow of the external 'habit.' But on this subject, it is not for us here to enter. In the third chapter of the work under review, the Author presents us with a very animated sketch of the political history of the island, of which our limity will scarcely permit us even to VOL. III. N. S.
chalk the outline. The Etruscans or Tyrrhenians were its first masters ; afterwards it was in possession of the Carthagenians, Romans, Goths, and Moors, successively; it subsequently was contested, and at different times possessed, by the Pisans and Ge
Under the reign of Charles Vth, it became an object in the views of aggrandizement of Cosmo de Medici, first grand duke of Tuscany, who, in the year 1537, possessed himself of the supreme power at Florence, and ranged himself under the banner of Charles, who had recognised liim as the sovereigu of ancient Etruria. In the year 1513, the Turks, under Barbarossa, gained a temporary possession of the island, but were prevented from pursuing their ravages by the resistance which they met with from Cosmo, who claimed as a reward for the services he had thus rendered the emperor, the investiture of Elba and other dependencies This was, however, refused him, until Charles requiring money, and being under the necessity of applying to Cosmo, the latter sent a considerable supply, and received in exchange the required possessions. Of these, however, he was again soon deprived; but in order to indemnify him for the expenses he had been at in fortifying Piombino, he obtained in the island of Elba the privilege of building a town on the site where Porto Ferrajo now stands, with a surrounding territory of the extent of two miles in every direction. Dragutt, a famous pirate, sometime afterwards infested the Mediterranean, and twice made a descent on the island of Elba. It afterwards passed into the hands of the Spaniards, and at the commencement of the seventeenth century, came by donation into the possession of the house of Ludovici, of Bologna. The Buoncompagna became subsequently possessors by alliance on “the female side ; but they only acquired in the island, Rio, Capo• liveri, Campo, and Marciano, with their territories; the king of Naples reigned there, from the year 1735, as proprietor of
Longone, and the grand duke of Tuscany as sovereigns of • Porto Ferrajo. At length the French revolution changed
the face of Europe. The grand duchy of Tuscany was de. stroyed, and by the treaty of Aranjuez, of the 21st of March, 1801, it was, through the mediation of the Court of Spain, erected into a kingdom iny favourot Lewis I. infant of Spain, he reditary prince of Parma and Placentia. The island of Elba. entirely ceded by the king of Naples, then formed a part of
the kingdom of Etruria, but a short time afterwards it passed . under the French dominion. The writer of the above history,
a very superficial abridgment of which we have endeavoured te lay before our readers, little anticipated the present fate of the island in connexion with his then renowned and potent master!
On the subject of antiquities and monuments, a short dissertatiou on which forms the concluding section of the present
chapter, we do not find matter sufficiently interesting to detain the reader a moment We shall therefore pass on to the fourth chapter, which treats of the ' geology of the island.
By some, Elba, as it now exists, has been supposed to own a volcanic origin; by others, it has been conjectured, that the island once formed a part of the Italian continent, and that it
has been detached by the shocks which separated Sicily from *the territory of Rheggio, the islands of the Archipelago froin
the continent of Italy, and England from antient Gaul. Neither oi these suppositions, however, does our Author deern wellfounded. His reasons for rejecting the notion of its volcanic origin, are, that there are no fragments of true lava, no pumice stone, nor any proper vitrifications found on the island, as in the neighbourhood of volcanves. Even the granites are different fro i those which are unquestionably of volcanic production. In place of consisting of quartz, schorl, mica, and feldspar,
they are a combination of niany different substances united, 'conglobated and cemented together, by an aggregation altoge *ther accidental, by a simultaneous crystallization resulting from • the waters, and they possess no magnetic property.'
That Elba never formed a part of the European continent, our Author thinks is evident by the different construction and arrangement of the soil from that of the neighbouring coast of Italy; and he therefore conceives, and, indeed, announces the supposition with a greater degree of confidence than geologists have in general a right to assume, that it has arisen from the • bottom of the sea.
The climate of Elba, we are told, is temperate. As in Italy, the autumn and winter are almost always rainy. Its highest mountains are sometimes covered with soow for fifteen or twenty days during the latter season. Earthquakes are never experienced at Elba.
Some naturalists have conjectured, that the fresh water which is found in the island, is furnished by means of a submarine comin unication between it and Corsica, or the continent. Berneaud, however, imagines that the common processes of filtration, evaporation, and aunospheric deposition, are quite equal to the production of all the water with wbich Elba is supplied.
Having thus gone over a general view of the Isle of Elba, its population, natural history, agriculture, commerce, diseases, political history, and geology, our traveller favours us with a concluding chapter on the topography of the place, together with a slight notice of the other islands in the Tyrrhenian sea. This chapter he has contrived to render extremely amusing, and we are sorry that our limits will not suffer us to follow bin in due order through its several divisions. The reader who feels disposed to know more of the place than we can relate, will find it instructive
o travel with Bcrneaud through the several departments of the island, with the assistance of the map with which the little volume before us is furnished. There is a very good account of the iron mountain, wbich forms the mine for which Elba was principally remarkable prior to the residence of Buonaparte ; and in the department of Longone, we met with a description of the hermitage of Monte Serrato, which is too pleasing to be withheld from our readers.
• In a delightful situation in the midst of stupendous rocks, whose sharp and rugged summits seem to pierce the clouds, at about the distance of two miles from the city, we find the charming hermitage of Monte Serrato. We pass to it through an alley of cypress trees. I have sometimes stopped in this picturesque place, where the fresh spring yields delicious water, and which seems fondly to mingle with the excellent wine which the herinit lavishes on all who visit him. This tranquil retreat enjoys a certain something of Ossian in it which I know not how to describe, which insensibly sooths us to meditation and delight, elevates the soul to sublime thoughts, and makes its inhabitants forget their pains, and all the corroding cares of life. There all is calm, all well adapted to invite sensibility to pour forth ts whole soul in boundless confidence; this were the Paraclete two lovers would desire. The wild magnificence of pat re, agreeable solitude, a view which, extending from the fertile plain is finally lost in the ast expanse of the ocean ; murmurs secretly prolonged, which 6ll the heart with numerous ideas of long life ; the concerts of the feathered songsters, an unclouded sun spreading light and life around, and a moon whose silver rays throwing the shadows of the trees on the neighbouring rocks, a long and fugitive train, produce a magical effect. Such is the hermitage of Monte Serrato. p. 137.
With this extract we must conclude the article, merely observing, that the translation, so far as we can judge, without having had an opportunity of comparing it with the original, appears, with a few trifling exceptions of false idioms and involved sentences, to be very respectably and faithfully executed.
Art. X. A Treatise on Mechani's : intended as an Introduction to
the Study of Natural Philosophy. By the Rev. B. Bridge, B.D. F.R.S. Fellow of St. Peter's College, Cambridge and Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in the East India College.
8vo. pp. x. 598. London. Cadell and Davies. 1814 WE gave a favourable account of the first edition of this in
genious work, in our Number for January, 1814 As we augured, it has been well received by the public. In revising for this new edition, the Author has made several corrections, and some slight alterations. Ile has now introduced into che text the substance of the notes which were formerly annexed to the