Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

ty. His lordship would not fuffer the preacher to escape unknown,

but invited him to dinner; and enquiring of him his name, life, and fortune, received this anfwer: "My lord, my name is Afhberry ; I am a clergyman of the church of England, and a loyal fubject to the king: I have lived three years in a poor cottage under your warrenwall, within a few paces of your lordship's house. My fon lives with me, and we read and dig by turns, I have a little money, and fome few books, and I fubmit chearfully to the will of Providence."

This worthy and learned man (for fuch lord Orrery always called him) died at Marfton fome years

after; but not till his lordship had obtained an allowancee of 30 l. per ann. for him, without any obligation of taking the covenant. Thus far Mr. Morrice.

As a memorial of the above tranfaction, the poor cottage in which Mr. Afhberry lived, with a little garden adjoining to it, is ftill kept up in its old form by the prefent earl of Cork and Orrery, being taken into his gardens; and the two rooms of which it confifts, viz. a kitchen and a chamber, are furnished as much as poffible in the tafte of thofe times, and with all forts of usefuk furniture and books, prints, &c. of equal antiquity.

[graphic]

NATURAL HISTORY.

IT has been often obferved by naturalifts, that the bellies of falmons are always found empty, and many attempts have been made to affign the caufe of it. The following is a letter to a friend on the fubject, by a gentleman who refides at Berwick, near the great falmon fishery.

To Mr. Peter Collinfon.

DEAR SIR,

I

Have made what enquiry I could concerning the falmon, but I find that people who have the best opportunities, are not always the moft curious in improving them. The fact you mentioned, was confirmed to me; fome added, the falmon must live upon water, but I cannot well admit this, becaufe though they are generally caught in long nets, yet they are fome times caught with a rod, and artificial fly. I cannot fee how falmon fhould rife at an artificial fly, unless they were accuftomed to catch at natural ones. I believe they are fometimes caught with bait aifo, which if it be fo, must, I apprehend, direct to another fpecies of their food; all that I have enquired of, agree, that the ftomach of the falmon is remarkably fmall. I apprehend therefore, that they

are not voracious, for as all voracious animals are apt at times to gorge themselves to an incredible degree, and, at others, to fuffer abftinence, for a furprising time, itis probable, their stomachs must be proportionably large, and fitted to retain the aliments a confiderable time; on the other hand, creatures who are of a different nature, and have very small ftomachs, will require frequent fupplies of food, as they can receive it but in fmall quantities, and it will pafs quickly through their ftomach; now as the flomachs of thefe animals will be more frequently empty than those of the voracious ones, it will be more difficult to find any thing in them when killed. You fee, that according to my hypothefis, the falmon ought not to be capable of keeping a long faft; yet their ftomachs being alwas found empty, is a furprifing phenomenon. Some queries I think are neceffary to be refolved, in order to explain it; as, what quantity of food will the ftomach of the falmon receive and retain at a time? what time does this food take in digeftion and paffing through the ftomach? what is the interval between the salmon's being caught either in a net or upon a hook, and its death ? Is this inter

val

E3

val fufficient for the digeftion and paffage of fuch a quantity of food as its ftomach is capable of receiving at a time? If this laft query fhould be answered in the affirmative, it would account for the phenomenon, but the interval between their being caught and their death, muft vary according to circumftances. The falmon certainly retire to the fea, and return to the fresh waters alternately; it is also certain, I believe, that they feek the rivers for the fake of spawning. I doubt whether they have any certain feafons of going and returning; I am rather inclined to think, that fome may be returning while others are only coming up; however, in general, the fummer is the feafon of their coming up from the fea; of course, the winter must be the season of their return to it: from the 30th of September to November 30, is what we call close time, when fishing is forbidden here, it being fuppofed the

feafon of the falmon's fpawning, To this letter I shall only add the fol

lowing remarks.

when it is not lawful to difturb them. According to this regulation, it is fuppofed, that the falmon have done fpawning, and are returned to the fea by the end of November. It is allowed, that the falmon are fatter and better at their return from fea, than after they have lain any time in the fresh water; of course the falmon ought to be caught only in their return from the fea; the falmon caught in winter are far inferior to thofe caught in fummer. I fufpe&t they are caught in their return to fea. By the latter end of April, or beginning of May, they begin to return in confiderable quantities, and keep coming up all the fumIn great droughts, the falmon are always very scarce, they do

mer.

not chufe to take river till we have fome land-floods; when the river is a little difcoloured with a gentle flood, they come up in surprising quantities. Is not the bait or land flies, which the flood washes into the river on these occafions, what tempts the falmon to take the river at that time? It cannot be the increafed depth of water, for they have plenty of water for many miles above Berwick in the feverest droughts, yet they will keep playing and hovering just off the mouth of the river, till a land-flood happens; in a great flood they do not come up fo faft; on these occafions, when the flood has abated a little, the falmon come up. I apprehend that the ftream at fuch times, is too volent for them during the ftrength of the flood.

Berwick, August 8.

Yours, &c,

Nfects, in general, leave off eating when near laying their eggs, or changing their form. The moth of the filk-worm engenders and lays eggs, but never eats.

When falmon are near spawning, they may perhaps grow fick, and fubfift for a time on animalculæ, with which all waters abound.

It is highly probable by their waiting for land-floods, that fome fort of fuftenance is brought down, but whatever it is, it's quickly digefted, or elfe it would be found in their ftomachs when they are caught.

Some

Some account of the animal fent from the East Indies by general Clive, to his royal highness the duke of Cumberland, which is now in the Tower of London: In a letter from James Parfons, M. D. F. R. S. to the Rev. Tho. Birch, D. D. Secretary to the Royal Society, From the Phil. Trans.

AT T the request of the Rev. Dr. Littelton, dean of Exeter, I went to observe this creature, in order to find what clafs of animals he belonged to; and made the drawing now before the Royal Society, for its infpection. I have endeavoured to make it as accurate as pofible in all its proportions; yet am afraid I have made the ears a fmall matter too long. There is a figure of it in the London Magazine for December laft, which has no refemblance at all to it, except in the ears, which the engraver, who drew it, has made to turn forwards, contrary to nature. However the following defcription will, I believe, be the proper account of it.

very tame.

It is fomething taller than the largeft fized cat, being about 15 inches high at the fhoulders; flender and light, tho' ftrong. The head is fmall in proportion to the reft, and the neck flender. It has nothing fierce in its afpect, but it is mild and It is exactly of a fawncolour, having its ears black on their outfides, and lined with white hairs, and fome white round the root of each ear; it is alfo white under the throat and belly, and a little fo on the backs of its limbs. Its eyes are fmall, and its head like that of a cat, but fomewhat flenderer; its legs are gentcel and strait, with the paws of a cat, having the power of

dilating and contracting its toes, which are armed with strong crooked nails, in the fame manner as a cat or tyger does; and its actions are like thofe of a cat. I fat and watched its motion, and faw it lick its foot, and rub it over its face feveral times, exactly like a cat; and was told by the man who fhewed it me, that, if it is offended, it hiffes. I examined its teeth, and find them in the fame number and manner with those of a cat. And as to its food, they give it raw mutton every day; and when it is fick, which it often is, they give it a live fowl, or rabbit, which it feizes eagerly, and lies upon it without motion, for a confiderable time, to fuck the blood, and this proves a certain cure. The figure fhews it to have alío a tail like that of a cat.

None of the natural hiflorians have any account of this animal, that I have yet feen, except the learned Dr. Walter Charleton, who has a bad figure of it, engraved at the expence of Dr. John Lawson, his cotemporary, of the college of phyficians, as it appears in an infcription at the bottom of the plate, wherein the head is, contrary to truth, very large and Arong in appearance, the tail like that of a fox, and the whole as ftrong as a maftiff dog; the name given it in the plate is the fame with this, but differently fpeiled, thus, Siyahghush.

This author very jufily ranks it ar mong the cats, and has given fuch an account of this animal, as well deferves the notice of this learned fociety, of which I have made the following English extract.

66

Among the wild cats, which vary according to the difference of

E 4

ci

climate, manner of living, and the like, none is more worthy of notice than that which is now kept in the park of our fovereign K. Charles II. It was fent to the king by an English gentleman, who was governor of our mercantile affairs in the dominion of Surat, and is called, among other names, in the Perfian language, Siyah-ghuth, that is, Black-ear, all along the coaft of Coromandel, and indeed all over India. It is about the fize of a fox, but like a cat in its form; and has the cunning and cruelty of a leopard, with the limbs of a cat, but longer and ftronger; having fo much ftrength, that I faw it kill a hound, that came in his way, in a moment. The legs are thick fet with hair, and its nails concealed under them, which are never extended but upon feizing its prey, which is common to lions, panthers, and domestic cats. But what seems peculiar to this animal is, that, having jumped upon his prey, he lies upon it unmoved, holding his bite, as if he was dead, whether by joy, or in order to drink the blood of the creature. The great men in India have them bred up tame; becaufe of their dexterity in catching birds, hares, rabbits, and fuch-like; and fuch is their craft and fiercenefs, that they will feize even a fox; but their keepers will not fuffer them to attack any thing above their ftrength, and therefore they only fet them atcranes, geefe, ducks, pheasants, partridges, peacocks, and fuch-like game, which they feize by many kinds of deceit, to the great pleasure of the fpecta

tors; and catch those timid animals, the hare, rabbit, fawn, goat, &c. by fwift running, and fometimes by craft.

When they are fick (which, from over-gorging their ftomachs, they often are) their keepers fteep a piece of render meat in human urine, and feed them with it, and being bruifed or tired by over-hunting, they give them fome mummy, wrapped up in their meat, and a warm place to reft in, till they recover."

It is faid of this animal, that he follows the lion at a distance, in order to feed on what he leaves of the animals he deftroys. To illuftrate this, Dr. Charleton quotes a paffage from the Apolog. of Sheich Saadi, which was written five hundred years before, and publifhed in Perfic and Latin by Georgius Gentius ; which is in English as follows:This Black-ear is asked, "What makes him keep company with the lion, and feem fo officious to please him?" to which he answers, "That I may feed on his leavings, and lead my life fafely under his protection.' To which it is replied, Since you live under the fhadow of his protection, and draw fuch benefit from him, why do not you approach nearer to him?" He answers, "If I took your counfel, and came near to him, I fhould not be fafe from his fury a moment.”

32

Now from this particular account by the learned Charleton, and my own obfervations on him and his actions, I am inclined to rank this

Dr. Charleton fays, that he was obliged to his good friend the learned Dr. Tho. Hyde, then principal librarian to the Bodleian Library, for this interpretation, who was well versed in the oriental languages.

animal

« AnteriorContinuar »