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bound with a massive chain, lay bellowing, and vainly tightly embraced by the springing up of the arms, other endeavouring to tear from his throat the glittering pieces starting forwards and pinioning his legs, so that serpent which had coiled itself around him. A hissing he could not release himself until some one came to his dragon and savage-looking witch made tremendous assistance. Winstanley, in our own country, had ingrimaces at one another from out of little windows in vented a precisely similar captivator. In the same the opposite sides of the cave; after which fearful per- palace was a statue of a satyr, which mimicked the formances, the chest closed itself up. The philosopher human voice, and rolled its eyes and head in a manner would then further amuse his visitors by a representa- very terrible to behold.' The museum of Settala at tion of Jonah swallowed up by the whale : this, we Milan was widely celebrated during the same epoch are informed, he succeeded in effecting by constructing for divers kinds of marvel-exciting things, in which a small figure of the prophet, having a magnet con objects of natural history took an inferior rank to some cealed in one leg, and putting a more powerful one in of the ridiculous automatic ingenuities of the day. the interior of the figure of the great fish. Things Before returning to our own country, let us spend a were all ready for the swallowing up of the prophet, few moments with J. Baptist Porta, the follies of whom and he and the fish were sent to swim in a basin of it were unjust to omit from a place in our catalogue. water, and presently, before the eyes of the wondering if ever man deserved the name of wizard, that man visitors, poor Jonah would disappear in a twinkling was Porta. His work on natural magic, well-known down the fish's throat!
to most persons, is an extraordinary instance of the Kircher appears also to have laboured hard to com- prostitution of an acute and penetrating genius to the pass the realisation of the fable concerning the iron mere purpose of exciting popular wonder. He appears coffin of Mahomet; but in vain: he has, however, left to have been the inventor of the camera-obscura; at us a receipt for making a bird which should be sus- anyrate he made use of a device in which its prinpended in the air; but it is to be feared it is rather ciple was involved: he thus, by constructing figures of an exercise of his imagination than an actual possi- wood, &c. and placing them in a chamber strongly illubility. He certainly invented those curious toys now minated, filled the side of the apartment in which his sold by every philosophical instrument-maker, known friends were with spectres, battle-scenes, and liunting as the bottle imps,' consisting of a long glass cylinder representations; and he accompanied them, by collusive full of water, and having little figures of glass inside, agency, with all the life of a real scene : horns were which can be made to rise and fall by pressure upon heard, men and horses dashed across the field, the sun the bladder which covers the vessel. Among the other shone, the very clouds moved onwards, and the branches remarkables of his museum were little ships which set of the trees bent before the passing wind. Everything out from port, performed a miniature voyage, tacked, in Porta's house partook of a magical character. The and returned to harbour again ; with divers other hy drinking vessels were most mysterious : if a person draulic toys, motions, and mechanisms, in which the ventured to raise one of these dreadful glasses to his child-philosopher took a profound delight. Kircher, lips, suddenly a shower of the liquid would burst upon however, demands an expression of gratitude from every his face, and drench his clothes. Another wonderful one who in his boyhood has been intoxicated with the glass would yield its contents to the thirst of none mysterious charms of the magic lantern. It was invented but of him who knew the secret of its construction. by him about the middle of the seventeenth century, When his friends drank wine out of the same cup and became a formidable addition to the supernatural which he used, they were mortified with wonder; for capabilities of this already marvel-doing man. His he drank wine, and they only water! Or when, on a optical illusions were really of a high order; and there summer's day, all complained of the sirocco, he would may be reason to doubt whether some of them were freeze his guests with cold air in the room, or on a not used for a less legitimate purpose than the playful sudden let off a flying dragon, to sail along with a amusement of his friends. He contrived an apparatus cracker in its tail, and a cat tied on its back I so that for the production of aërial figures; and on one occasion it required strong nerves, in an age of apparitions and he represented the ascension of our Saviour, in a man- devils, to meet this great philosopher when in his best ner so life-like, as to strike all who beheld it with awe; humour.' In another apartment, an air-drawn dagger and they could not be dissuaded from the belief that it would seem to strike at one's heart; or one's limbs would was real, until they attempted to grasp the figure. An- be seen to be distorted, swollen, or contracted, or multiother of his marvels was to put his friends into a dark- plied. Moreover, Porta knew the secret of making a ened room, and suddenly to cast a blaze of light upon man believe himself to be a bird-none other than a the wall, in the midst of which would be seen the mys- goose!-and attempt to fly; or a fish, and attempt to terious word, 'Beware!'
swim ; which was by dosing him with a certain mediItaly, the nurse of the fine arts, at that period teemed cine. He could also make a man drunk or sober at with similar collections of curiosities. The palaces of his pleasure. When these varied attainments are reher nobility were incomplete without them. The villa flected on, it will not be surprising that his visitors of the Cardinal Aldobrandini was a second fairyland, were almost exclusively his philosophic contemporaries, possessing beauties natural, artistic, and magical, in no whose moral courage was equal to the contemplation of common degree. In a grotto in the garden the car. his supernaturalities. dinal had constructed all manner of curious rocks, hy. Winstanley, the unfortunate architect of the Eddydraulic organs, and automatic birds: the birds sang and stone lighthouse, was Porta's representative in England. chirped, the organs discoursed most eloquent music, and in the admirable work of Smeaton upon that structhe rocks moved, and melted into fountains of water. ture, some particulars are mentioned which refer to the To these were added several other pageants and scenes, strange taste of his predecessor in the work for nickin which thunder and lightning, and wind and rain, were nackeries. Winstanley had a house at Littlebury in miraculously represented. In a word, one who visited Essex, which in many respects resembled that of Porta it with intense delight says, “You could scarcely stir a in Italy. A slipper, lying carelessly on the floor, if step without being wetted through ;' which was a very kicked aside, would suddenly give birth to a ghastly favourite practical joke of the seventeenth century. In phantom, which would start up to scare the intruder. one of the rooms of this villa was a copper ball, which His arm-chair was, if possible, even a more alarming was for ever suspended in the air, about a yard from piece of furniture. If you sat down,' writes Smeaton, the ground, to the great wonderment of the spectator.in a certain arbour by the side of a canal, you were Beneath it was a hole, through which rushed a strong forth with sent out afloat into the middle of the canal, blast of air, which buoyed up the copper ball upon its from whence it was impossible to escape until the bosom. At the Borghese palace the visitor was shown manager drew it back again. It is stated that he suba chair, in which he was politely requested to seat him- sequently formed a public exhibition at the west end of self; and instantly upon doing so, he found himself | London of some curious water-works, mentioned in the
* Tatler' for September 1709, the admission to which Unfortunately, we can only give a few passages from was one shilling. The exhibition appears to have con- this very remarkable speech. sisted of curious jets d'eaux principally. Unhappily Mr Chadwick first referred to the operation of the his talent for whimsicalities proved at length fatal to existing law upon unsettled labouring men. • The lower him, as there is no doubt that the fancifulness of the districts of Reading were severely visited with fever Eddystone lighthouse, built by him, was mainly con- during the last year, which called attention to the saniducive to its destruction.
tary condition of the labouring population. I was reThe celebrated Sir Samuel Morland was another of quested to visit it. Whilst making inquiries upon the the virtuosi of the same epoch. The Lord-Keeper Guil- subject, I learned that some of the worst-conditioned ford once dined with this philosopher, and spent a places were occupied by agricultural labourers. Many pleasant day in the midst of all sorts of wonders. Sir of them, it appeared, walked four, six, seven, and even Samuel was then resident at Vauxhall, and had been at eight miles, in wet and snow, to and from their places of a great expense in filling his house with ingenious con- work, after twelve hours' work on the farm. Why, howtrivances. At the dinner in question, a large fountain ever, were agricultural labourers in these fever-nests was made to play in the room, and the drinking-glasses of a town? I was informed, in answer, that they were each stood under little streams of water. The windows, driven in there by the pulling down of cottages, to avoid doors, hinges, and chimneys were all the contrivance of parochial settlements and contributions to their mainthe philosopher, and were of course all of them out of tenance in the event of destitution. Amongst a group, the common way. His museum must have been worth taken as an example there, in a wretched place consistlooking at, for gossip Evelyn, who went to see every- ing of three rooms, ten feet ng, lived Stephen Turner, thing, has a note, “I went to see Sir Samuel Morland's a wife, and three children. He walked to and from his inventions and machines, arithmetical wheels, quench- place of work about seven miles daily, expending two fires, and new harp.' A wonderful contrivance of his hours and a-half in walking before he got to his prowas his clock-work cooking apparatus, which, he says, ductive work on the farm. His wages are 10s. a-week, with some dismay, cost him thirty pounds! It contained out of which he pays 2s. for his wretched tenement. If a fireplace and grate, and would broil a cutlet, or make he were resident on the farm, the two and a-half hours of a stew, or roast an egg to a nicety. He carried this daily labour spent in walking might be expended in prosurprising mechanism with him when he travelled ; and ductive work; his labour would be worth, according to at inns, we are informed, he was his own cook! his own account, and I believe to a farmer's acknowledge
These examples may suffice for our purpose. Let it ment, 2s. 6d. per week more. For a rent of L.5, 5s., such not be imagined that in the age in which these wonder as he now pays, he would be entitled to a good cottage raising things and men flourished, the marvels were with a garden ; and his wife and children being near, regarded, as now, as mere efforts of philosophy in her would be available for the farm labour. So far as I playful moods: far from it. There is abundant evidence could learn, there are between one hundred and two to show that they occupied a far too high and important hundred agricultural labourers living in the borough of station in the minds of philosophers. When, therefore, Reading, and the numbers are increasing. The last the daybreak advanced, they fell to the subordinate week brought to my notice a fact illustrative of the position, and assumed the more trivial character which present unjust state of things, so far as regards the properly appertains to them. This is the line, then, labourer. A man belonging to Maple-Durham lived which is to be drawn between the follies of the wise' in Reading; walked about four miles per day to his of that day, and the amusements of the wise since that work, the same back, frequently getting wet; took fever, time. To both, however, we owe much instructive and and continued ill some time, assisted by the Reading delightful recreation, and, in several instances, the first union in his illness; recovered, and could have returned idea of implements and apparatus which are now ap- to his former employment of 108. per week, but found plied to purposes the most useful and important. he was incapable of walking the distance; the conse
quence was, he took work that only enabled him to earn
Even THE SLAVE SYSTEM OF ENGLAND.
5s. per week; he is now again unable to work.
in Lincolnshire, where the agriculture is of a high order, England has, professedly, no slaves ; but, as we lately and the wages of the labourer consequently not of the attempted to show,* she has a system of slavery never- lowest, similar displacements have been made, to the theless, in consequence of some peculiarities in her prejudice of the farmer as well as the labourer, and, as arrangements regarding pauperism. A member of the will be seen, of the owner himself. Near Gainsborough, humbler classes no sooner begins to exist, than he be- Lincoln, and Louth, the labourers walk even longer discomes a subject of very grave consideration to his supe- tances than near Reading. I am informed of instances riors--where and upon whom is he to be chargeable on where they walk as far as six miles ; that is, twelve the failure of employment? Chargeability is the English miles daily, or seventy-two miles weekly, to and from slave system. The poor man cannot go where he lists their places of work. Let us consider the bare economy, in search of employment-he may become chargeable. the mere waste of labour, and what a state of agriculHe cannot take a good place which may be offered to tural management is indicated by the fact that such a him, for he cannot get a residence, lest he become waste can have taken place. Fifteen miles a-day is the chargeable. Houses are pulled down over the ears of regular march of infantry soldiers, with two rest days honest working-men, and decent poor people are driven -one on Monday, and one on Thursday ; twenty-four from Dan to Beersheba, lest they should become charge- miles is a forced marcb. The man who expends eight able. There is something infinitely distressing in the miles per diem, or forty-eight miles per week, expends whole basis of this idea—that an English peasant must to the value of at least two days' hard labour per week, needs be regarded from his first breath, and all through or one hundred in the year, uselessly, that might be exlife, as a possible pauper. But the positive hardships pended usefully and remuneratively in production. How arising from the idea are what we have at present to different is it in manufactories, and in some of the mines, deal with.
or at least in the best-managed and most successful of These are delineated in a happy collection of facts, them! In some mines as much as L.2000 and L.3000 lately brought forward by Mr Chadwick at a meeting is paid for new machinery to benefit the labourers, of the Farmers' Club in London. It appears that the and save them the labour of ascending and descending company assembled, who, from their circumstances, were by ladders. In many manufactories they have hoists all qualified to judge of the truth of the facts and the to raise them and their loads from lower to upper rooms, soundness of the conclusions, gave a general assent to save them the labour of toiling up stairs, to econoto what was said by the learned Poor-Law secretary. mise their strength for piece-work to mutual advantage.
It is not in county and borough towns only that this * Article, Serfdom,' No. 170.
unwholesome over-crowding is going on. I an informed
that from the like cause the evil of over-crowding is than half-crowners.” The freedom of labour, not only going on in the ill-conditioned villages of open parishes. in the northern counties, but in some places near the It is admitted, and made manifest in extensive evidence slave-labour districts of the southern counties, is already given before a committee of the House of Lords by attended with higher wages-at the rate of 12s., 14s., practical farmers, that when an agricultural labourer and 15s. weekly. In such counties as Berks and Bedapplies for work, the first question put to him is not ford, the freedom of the labour market, when it came what has been his experience, what can he do, but to into full operation, could not raise wages les than 2s. what parish does he belong. If he do not belong to the a-week; and 2s. a-week would, in those counties, repreparish of the occupier, the reply is usually an expression sent a sum of productive expenditure and increased of regret that he can only employ the labourer of his produce equal to the whole amount of unproductive own parish. To the extent to which the farmer is di- expenditure on the poor-rates.' rectly liable to the payment of rates, by the displacement It forcibly occurs to us, that of all the absurd social of a settled parish labourer, he is liable to a penalty for arrangements which still deform our civilisation, this of the employment of any other labourer who is not of the parochial settlement, attended as it is by such effects, parish." To the same extent is he liable to a penalty if is the most absurd. One can hardly believe that those he do not employ a parish labourer who is worthless, who reared and now support such a system can be though a superior labourer may be got by going further rational creatures. Strangest of all, while such horrible a-field, to whoin he would give better wages. This la- evils have been depressing the rural peasantry, the bourer who would go further is thus driven back upon talkers and writers of our age have been looking in a his parish ; that is to say, imposed, and at the same totally different quarter for objects of philanthropic time made dependent upon, the two or three, or several enthusiasm. The manufacturing operatives, who have farmers, by whom the parish is occupied. He then says, twice the wages, with hoists to save them even the * If this or that farmer will not employ me, one of them labour of going up and down stairs, have been the must; if none of them will, the parish must keep me, themes of bitter deploration, as if their condition were and the parish pay is as good as any." Labour well or a foul plague-spot upon the country, while the peaill, he will commonly get little more, and it is a matter santry have been supposed to exemplify something like of indifference to him: it is found to be, in all its essen- the golden age, or the peace and comfort of Arcadia. tial conditions, labour without hope-slave labour; and Only now are facts beginning to dispel this monstrous he is rendered unworthy of bis hire. On the other hand, delusion. in what condition does the law place the employer? It imposes upon him the whole mass of labourers of a narrow district, of whatsoever sort, without reference to STRAY NOTES IN ZOOLOGY. his wants or his capital. He says, “I do not want the The following anecdote, told by Mr Featherstonhaugh in men at this time, or these men are not suitable to me; his “Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor,' places the pig at they will not do the work I want; but if I must have a respectable elevation in the scale of discriminating intelthem, or pay for keeping them in idleness if I do not ligence: As we approached a farm on the American side employ them, why, then, I can only give them such of the St Clair river, belonging to the captain of our wages as their labour is worth to me, and that is little.” steamer, a curious fact fell under my observation. The Hence wages are inevitably reduced. What must be the pigs belonging to the farm came squealing down to the effect upon the manufacturer if he were placed in the water-side, a thing which the persons at the farm assured same position as tenant farmers are in the smaller pa- tain explained this singular recognition on the part of the
me they never did when other steamers passed. The caprishes in the southern counties, if he were restricted to pigs, by stating that the swill of his steamer was always the employment only of the labourers in the parish? If, preserved for them, and that, on reaching the landing place, before he engaged a smith, a carpenter, or a mason, he it was immediately put on shore to feed them. The aniwere compelled to inquire, “ To what parish do you mals having been accustomed to this valuable importation belong?" Why, that the 24s. a-week labour would during the whole summer months, had leared to disfall to 12s, or 10s., or the price of agricultural labour. tinguish the peculiar sound which the steam made in rushiAgriculturists from northern districts, who work their ing through the pipe of the steamer ; and as they could do farms with 12s. and 158. a-week free labour, have de- this at the distance of half a mile, they immediately, upon clined the temptation of low rents, to take farms in hearing it, lastened down to the river, whilst the noise parishes where the wages are 7s. or 88. a-week. Whilst curious instance of the possibility of sharpening the facul
made by the other steamers was disregarded.' This is a inspecting a farm in one of these pauperised districts, ties of the lower animals by an appeal to their appetites, an able agriculturist could not help noticing the slow and a conclusive proof that the readiest way to make all drawling motions of one of the labourers there, and said, swinish animals reasonable, is to provide plenty of swill for “My man, you do not sweat at that work.” “Why, them. no, master,” was the reply; "seven shillings a-week isn't Every one is aware of the ferocious contests which often sweating wages.” The evidence I have cited indicates take place among the higher animals during the season the circumstances which prevent the adoption of piece of love and gallantry ; but few, we believe, will be prework, and which, moreover, restrict the introduction of pared to find the same feeling raging as fiercely among machinery into agricultural operations, which, strange the cold blooded denizens of the waters, though the poet though it may appear to many, is greatly to the injury has long ago given his word for it, “that even an oyster of the working-classes ; for wherever agricultural labour may be crossed in love:'. Such, however, is the case, if is free, and machinery has been introduced, there more
we may credit the subjoined paragraph from the • Elgin
Courier::-_While several cutter-men (of the Preventive and higher-paid labour is required, and labourers are Service) were on their rounds the other day, and bearenabled to go on and earn good wages by work with ing along the Findhorn, between Glenferness and Dulcio machines long after their strength has failed them for Bridge, they observed an unusual commotion among the working by hand.' In free districts, and with high spawning beds of the ford. On approaching the spot, cultivation by free and skilled labour, I can adduce in- two large male salmon were seen engaged in mortal comstances of skilled agricultural labourers paid as highly bat for the possession of a female. Never did chivalric as artisans. I could adduce an instance, bordering upon knights contest for the hand of " ladye fair” more fiercely Essex, where the owner, working it with common parish than those buirdly lords of the flood. The tranquil bosom
of the stream was lashed into foa by the struggles of labour at 1s. 6d. a-day, could not make it pay; and an able farmer now works it with free labour at 23. 6d., the finny antagonists; in the meantime the object of the 38., and 38. 6d., and even more, per day, for task-work, From the appearance of the stream —-dyed with blood,
fray was beating silently about,“ spectatress of the fight.” and, there is reason to believe, makes it pay well
. A and gradually assuming its former smooth surface-it was farmer, who died not long ago immensely wealthy, was evident that the contest was over. One of the salmon at wont to say that " he could not live upon poor 2s. last flounders on the surface_dead ; and the victor, it may 4-day labour; he could not make his money upon less be conjcctured, exhaustedly bore off his prize. The men,
who had the curiosity to watch the fight, as a proof of taste, and constitutes the favourite food of the little ringtheir story, conveyed the dead salmon to the nearest tailed monkeys, which are no less fond of the internal part dwelling. The victor had torn off the flesh along the of the nut, which contains a kernel similar to that of the back, from head to tail, to the very bone. In the move cocoa. In several parts of the interior, I had been told ment of salmon-spawning, the males have often been seen that, to get at this kernel, the shell being too hard to break chasing each other, but such a fray as this has not been with their teeth, the monkeys carry the nuts to a rocky witnessed by the oldest fisher or poacher on the Find place, and there break them with a stone; and I even met horn.'
with persons who assured me that they had watched them Mr Gardner, in his recently-published 'Travels in Brazil,' in such places, and actually seen them engaged in this opefurnishes some additional information respecting the habits ration. This account I always considered to be fabulous and character of the electric eel : In the Rio de Palma,' till I arrived at Sapé. In an excursion we made over the says he, “as in all the rivers within the province of Goyaz, Serra, where it is composed of nearly bare, rugged limethe Gymnotus electricus is exceedingly common. They are stone peaks, in several almost inaccessible places, we came of all sizes, from a foot to six feet in length, and are fre- upon large heaps of the broken shells of nuts, generally on quently caught on the lines which are set for fishes; they a bare open part of the rock, and along with them a numare sometimes eaten, but not generally, although their ber of roundish pieces of stone, larger than the fist, which flesh is said to be very good. Horses as well as men, by had evidently been employed in breaking the shells. These, coming in contact with them in the water, are not unfre- Senhor Lagoeira told ine, were the places resorted to by quently thrown down by the shock which they impart; the monkeys for the purpose of breaking the nuts collected they are called by the inhabitants Treme-treme. In rainy in the low grounds; and that, in his shooting excursions weather, those who fish in these rivers often receive a shock, over the mountains, he has frequently seen them take which is communicated along the moisture upon the rod fight on his approach. That they both can, and really do, and line when one of them happens to seize the hook. I make use of a stone in order to break that which is too saw one in a state of captivity, about six feet long, which hard for their teeth, I have frequently witnessed in a little was so tame, that it would allow any one to put his hand pet monkey that accompanied me on my journey. I obupon it, and even slide for its whole length through the tained it in Piauhy, and it was the only one of the many fingers; but if irritated in the smallest degree, by pinching tame animals I carried with me that reached Rio de Janeiro it a little, it instantly communicated a smart shock.' alive: it was a female of the species we are now speaking
The same authority confirms the early accounts respect of, and ultimately became very gentle. Jerry was the faing the size and prodigious swallowing capacity of the boa-vourite with all, and indeed in all respects fared like ourconstrictor-accounts which certain naturalists, whose re
selves: it became so fond of tea, which it drank every searches never extended beyond the galleries of a museum, morning and evening, that it would not go to sleep without are in the habit of treating with ridicule and unbelief. its usual allowance. Its favourite food was farinha, boiled "The boa,' says he, “is not uncommon throughout the whole rice, and bananas; but scarcely anything camo amiss to it. province of Goyaz, particularly by the wooded margins of A raw egg was a choice morsel
, and on being given to it, it lakes, marshes, and streams, "Sometimes they attain the broke one end by gently knocking it on the floor, and comenormous length of forty feet; the largest I ever saw was pleted the hole by picking off the broken bits of shell, and at this place, but it was not alive. Some weeks before putting in the point of its long slender finger; throwing our arrival at Sapé, the favourite riding-horse of Senhor back its head, and holding the egg erect between its two Lagoeira, which had been put out to pasture not far from hands, it soon contrived to suck out the whole contents. the house, could not be found, although strict search was
Whenever anything was given to it that was too hard to made for it all over the fazienda. Shortly after this, one of break with its teeth, it always looked about for a stone, his vaqueiros, in going through a wood by the side of a which it would hold in both its hands, and rising erect on small river, saw an enormous boa suspended in the fork of its legs, would let it fall, leaping backwards at the same a tree which hung over the water: it was dead, but had time, to avoid any injury to its toes.' evidently been floated down alive by a recent flood; and Wits and essayists are in the habit of setting up the being in an inert state, it had not been able to extricate penguin as their standard of awkwardness and stupid itself from the fork before the waters fell. It was dragged indifference: how far they are justifiable in doing so, let out to the open country by two horses, and was found to the reader of the following extract from Dr Von Tschudi's measure thirty-seven feet in length. On opening it, the Travels in Peru' determine :- A species of penguin, called bones of a horse, in a somewhat broken condition, and the by the Peruvians Paxaro Nino, or the Child Bird, is easily flesh in a half-digested state, were found within it, the bones tamed, becomes very social, and follows its master like a of the head being uninjured. From these circumstances, it dog. It is amusing to see it waddling along with its plump was concluded that the boa had devoured the horse entire body and short legs, and keeping itself in equilibrium by In all kinds of snakes the capacity for swallowing is prodi- moving its floating wings. I had one completely tame, gious, I have often seen one not thicker than my thumb which I bought from an Indian. It was named Pope, and swallow a frog as large as my tist; and I once killed a readily answered to the name. When I was at my meals, rattlesnake, about four feet long, and of no great thickness, he regularly placed himself beside my chair, and at night which had swallowed not less than three large frogs, one he slept under my bed. When he wished to bathe, he went of which swelled out its sides to nearly twice the thickness into the kitchen, and beat with his bill on an earthen pan of the other parts. I have also seen a very slender snake until somebody threw water over him, or brought him a that frequents the roofs of houses, swallow an entire bat vessel full of water for a bath.' three times its own thickness. If such be the case with We are occasionally assailed by the anonymous abuse of these smaller kinds, it is not to be wondered at that one parlour naturalists for repeating what certain travellers have thirty-seven feet long should be able to swallow a horse, written respecting the dimensions and habits of the soparticularly when it is known that, previously to doing so, called bird-catching spiders of South America : what do it breaks the bones of the animal by coiling itself round such authorities say to the recent testimony of Dr Von it, and afterwards lubricates it with a slimy matter which Tschudi ? · At Quibo,' he says, “I saw a bird-catching spider it has the power of secreting in its mouth.'
(mygale) of extraordinary large size. The back-part of the Much has been said and written both for and against the body alone measured two inches! Being at some distance, I ingenuity and imitative faculties of monkeys-these ac- supposed it to be one of the rodent animals, and I fired at counts, however, generally referring to the animals in a it. To my mortification I discovered my mistake when state of domestication and training. We have little re too late, for the specimen was completely destroyed by the corded of their natural state beyond their chattering frolic- shot, and was useless for my collection. The Indians assomeness, their shyness, their affection for their young, or sured me that on the margin of the stream which flowed their occasionally pelting some obtrusive traveller with near the plantation, many larger individuals were to be rotten twigs or palm-nuts from the branches overhead. found ; but I never saw another of such remarkable size The following extract from the same traveller not only adds as the one I inadvertently destroyed.' to our knowledge on this soore, but exhibits the monkey The vampire, or blood-sucking bats, which were also so tribe as capable of employing implements, if we may so long regarded as fabulous, are thus spoken of by the same speak, for the attainment of a certain end :
-The moist recent authority: Not less troublesome are the leaf-nosed and marshy campos produce various kinds of palm-trees, bats (phyllostoma), which attack both man and beast. This which bear large clusters
of small nuts, greatly resembling bat rubs up the skin of his victim, from which he sucks the miniature cocoa-nuts. When ripe, these are covered ex blood. The domestic animals suffer greatly from the nocternally with a fibrous oily substance, which has a sweetish turnal attacks of these creatures, and many are destroyed
by the exhaustion consequent on the repeated blood suck- the ministers of commerce and finance; but the legising. The blood drawn by the bat itself does not exceed lature would not comply, to the lively satisfaction of the a few ounces; but if, when satisfied, it drops down to the country graziers, and the great displeasure of the conground, or flies away, the wound continues to bleed for a
sumers. long time, and in the morning the animal is often found
The butchers for a long time fostered a race of gi. in a very weak condition, and covered with blood. One of my mules, on which a leaf-nosed bat made a nightly attack, gantio dogs, which, harnessed to little carts, dragged was only saved by having his back rubbed with an ointment the meat from the abattoirs to the shops. Since this made of spirits of camphor, soap, and petroleum. The species of equipage has been proscribed, they have sub. blood-suckers have such an aversion to the smell of this stituted serviceable steeds, and hence we find so many ointment, that on its application they ceased to approach butchers among the cavalry of the National Guard. the mule. These bats are very mischievous in the planta- Their guard days are days of feasting and indulgence. tions of the forests, where beasts of burden and horned After an ample breakfast, they pass the day in drinking cattle are exposed to their attacks. Whether they venture punch, in gambling, and in noisy conversation, consistto assail man, has been a much-disputed question. Seve-ing of little else than the terms of the game they play. ral travellers declare they do not. "I may, however, men One fine day, in the summer of 1824, a butcher retion a case which occurred within my own knowledge. A bat fastened on the nose of an Indian lying intoxicated in turning from Poissy in his cart observed before him
one of the court carriages, containing her Royal Higha plantation, and sucked so much blood, that it was unable
ness the Duchess de Berry. He was a liberal, no very to fly away. The slight wound was followed by such severe inflammation and swelling, that the features of the Cholo zealous partisan of the royal family, and thought it were not recognisable. This account is confirmed by Mr would be a glorious thing to outrun, with his good Gardner, the Brazilian traveller, who believes that the dapple-gray, the six horses of the princely equipage. puncture which the vampire makes in the skin of the ani- He starts at a gallop, distances her highness, suffers mals is effected by the sharp-hooked nail of its thumb, her to resume the advantage, commences a new contest, and that from the wound thus made it abstracts the and is again the victor; and repeats this exploit many blood by the suctorial powers of its lips and tongue. times with the same success. The next day, the duchess
having sent to him with a polite demand to inquire
whether he would sell his horse, he replied with THE BUTCHERS OF PARIS.
haughtiness, 'I can feed my horses as well as madame : Previous to the Revolution, the butchers of Paris were my circumstances allow it.' This could be considered subjected to a number of vexatious rules, which have only a piece of gratuitous insolence, for no doubt the since been considerably modified. A great improve- duchess reasonably concluded that the man had been ment was effected in 1810. By a decree of Napoleon in showing off his horse in the hope of disposing of it to that year, all private slaughter-houses were abolished, her. The truth is, the Parisian butchers are a coarse, and in their stead five public abattoirs, under strict unmannerly set of people, the descendants of a generally regulations, were established : and thus, thirty-seven cruel and reckless portion of the community. The stallyears ago, Bonaparte effected for Paris what till this men and shopkeeping butchers are usually superior, in day our legislature has not had the intelligence or the point of polish, to the slaughtermen; still, even of them fortitude to accomplish for London or any other city. not much good can be said.
To the emperor also is owing the institution of a On the Thursday which precedes Jeudi gras, or fat general market for the sale of meat; but it is not Thursday, oxen of colossal size are led to the market of much prized, and the more respectable butchers keep Poissy; and the fattest, ornamented with streamers, shops throughout the city and environs. The number exposed for sale in the middle of the market-place, is of Parisian butchers is limited to five hundred. There soon surrounded by a circle of bidders, who dispute the were but three hundred and ten in 1822. Thirty of honour of his possession. It is not the desire of gain the whole number, designated by the prefect of police, which animates them; it is rather the love of glory, the and of whom ten are selected from the least influential ambition of being mentioned in the journals, the honour of their class, nominate a syndic and six associates. of sending a sirloin to the king of the French, and of The syndic, two associates, and one-third of the electors, occupying, though but for a day, the first rank among are renewed annually by lot. A butcher cannot estab- their colleagues. The biddings go on with spirit and lish himself at Paris without the permission of the eagerness, and mount up with reckless extravagance prefect of police, granted by the advice of the syndics and rapidity: the victory hangs for a moment undeand associates; and a guarantee of three thousand cided, and the fear of ruin barely restrains the eager francs is moreover required from a candidate. Nume- candidates. rous ordinances of police regulate the relations of the The victor consigns his purchase to the abattoir, butchers with the public, prevent the sale of unwhole. whence the animal starts in procession precisely at nine some meat, and prescribe the measures to be taken for o'clock on the morning of the following Sunday. A the proper management of the market stalls.
document headed · L'Ordre et la Marche du Bæuf gras,' The traffic in beasts for the provisioning of Paris can circulated through Paris, has aroused the population of only take place at the markets of Sceaux and Poissy, the city, which is everywhe concentrated upon the the Marché aux Vaches Grasses, and the Halle aux route of the monstrous beast. Veaux. The Bank of Poissy, instituted in 1811, pays A troop of drummers and musicians, and the butcher ready money to the drovers and country cattle mer- proprietor of the beast, head the procession; the latter chants for all the purchases made. It is under the mounted on the best horse he can procure. These are surveillance of the prefect of the Seine, and its funds followed by a party of the municipal guard, and then are composed of the guarantee deposits made by the come files of butchers' workmen on horseback, and butchers, and sums accruing from an open credit ac- masked, knights with paper helmets, Turks glittering count managed by the said prefect,
with spangles, tiremen with glazed hats, mock miliMany of the more wealthy butchers are addicted to tary, charcoal-men, lightermen; in a word, all the odd the unlawful commerce called vente à la cheville (literally, and grotesque figures of the city. In the midst of the sale by the piece). They purchase entire animals, and cavalcade walks the huge ox, in full dress, escorted by a sell the meat in detail to their less fortunate colleagues. swarm of savages in tight flesh-coloured suits, brandishAs this species of traffic is considered to be injurious ing enormous clubs of coloured paper, with monstrous to the levying of duties at the barriers on live animals sham beards, and their heads bristling with feathers, which enter the city, it is made illegal, and therefore such as travellers and poets depict the human biped in many poor families suffer. A general council of the his unsophisticated state. Behind comes an ornamental department of the Seine prayed for a relaxation of the car of wood and canvas, conducted by old Time, and protective duties in 1838 and 1839. A petition of the containing Venus, Mercury, Hercules, and a little curlybutchers to the same effect was forwarded in 1840 to headed boy, who takes the title of Love. This brilliant