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sea, and seems to be less remarkable in the skin, whenever it is frightened or very inclined situations. The circum- agitated. stance is slightly hipted at by Aristotle, Ugly as this creature may appear, its and the early writers on meteorology. eyes, perhaps, are the most beautiful of It shows the power of light on the phæ- any other living creature. They are of nomena of the atmosphere.

uncommon brilliancy, and are surround

ed by a reddish gold-coloured iris ; VULGAR ERRORS.

and the pupil, when contracted, appears Curious stories are told of the enmity transverse. of the spider to the toad ; Erasmus, The most extraordinary circumstance whom I should be sorry to doubt, re- attending this animal is, its having been lates the following story :

found inclosed, or imbedded, without “A monk had in his chamber seve- any seeming passage for air, not only ral bundles of green rushes, wherewith in woody substances, but even in blocks to strew his chamber at his pleasure. of stone and marble. Dr. Shaw, the One day, after dinner, he fell asleep on famous zoologist, expresses his doubt: one of those bundles, with his face up- on that subject; and thinks, if a toad ward; and while he slept, a great toad had been so overtaken as to have been came and sat on his mouth. When inclosed by the growth of wood, it yet some of his comrades saw this, they could only live so long as there was knew not how to act; for it was then some passage for air, and, of course, for the foolish belief, that to pull away the the ingress of insects on which it could toad would have been certain death to occasionally feed. A curious experithem, so prejudiced were the igriorant ment was made by a Monsieur Herripeople against the poor animal; but sant, belonging to the French academy, then to let her stand on the monk's which rather makes me willing to entimouth was worse than death. One of brace the opinion of Dr. Shaw. In the them spying a spider's web in the win- year 1771, on pulling down a wall at dow, wherein was a large spider, advi- a seat belonging to the Duke of Orsed that the mouk should be carried to leans, and which had been built forty that window, and laid with his face years, a living toad, it was asserted, had right under the spider's web. As soon been found in it; its hind feet comas the spider saw the load, she directly pletely imbedded in the mortar. M. wove her thread, and descended on it Herrisant, therefore, in the presence of down upon the toad, when she so se- the academicians, inclosed three toads in verely wounded it, at three different as many boxes, which were immediatetimes, that it swelled and died.” ly covered with a thick coat of moriar,

This tale, though from such good and kept in the apartments of the acadeauthority, I must say, I feel inclined to my. On opening these boxes eighteen doubt. That there i3 an enmity be- months afterwards two of the toads were tween the common toad and the spider, still found living ; these were immediis beyond a doubt; but then it appears ately re-inclosed; but on being again to be more on the side of the toad, who opened three months after, were found will swallow down dozens of spiders, dead. These experiments cannot be without being aflected by any venom : regarded as conclusive, and only serve but lizards, after biting a toad, have to sbew, that the toad, like other amphibeen known to become paralyzed, and bia, can support a long abstinence, and to appear dead for as much as two requires but a very small quantity of air. hours; a dog, too, lolding a toad, after he has seized it, a little while in his

THEATRICAL MORALITY! mouth, will be affected with a slight A fair daughter of Terpsichore, enswelling on his lips, and the saliva will gaged at one of the principal theatres run profusely from its mouth ; yet this in Paris, manifested an ardent attachis nothing more than from the acrimo- ment for a young man, whose expectanions acid which the toad exudes from tions in life were of a very humble

VOL. 4.]

Varieties.-Superstition-Picture of Holland.

487

kind. Her mother had endeavoured, where Trimalchio relates a marvellous by every means maternal tenderness adventure, in which a man thrust his could suggest, to break off a connec- sword through the body of a sorceress. tion which, to use her own words, at In describing the exploit, Trimalonce shocked her delicacy, and woun- chio (as it appears) points out on his ded the purity of her morals. After own person the very place of the wound, numerous expostulations, the old lady, by laying bis hand to the part; whereaided by the overpowering eloquence upon he immediately exclaims, “ Salof a wealthy banker, who was contin- vum sit, quod tango !”—“ Safe be ually talking of bis riches, had the what I touch !".- exactly equivalent to satisfaction to find her daughter com- the Irish “ God bless (or “God save] pletely converted. The other evening, the mark !in the coulisses of the Opera, the moth- For the satisfaction of those, among er was boasting of her triumph to a fe- your readers, who have not an opportumale friend, and describing the anxiety pity of consulting the original text of and distress she had suffered owing to Petronius, I here transcribe the passage the misplaced attachment of the pretty “Mulierem, tamquam hoc loco, (salRose :---"At last, my dear madam,” vum sit, quod lango!) mediam trajecit.” said she, “the girl has recovered her Let me add, with respect to the Irish senses ! I knew she would soon blush superstition, that the touch, in those cafor her choice! How could she enter- ses, is deemed to possess equally malign tain regard for a man who must have influence, whether applied to the naked ruined her in the public opinion ; for body itself, or to the garment covering you know, Madam, the wreich is lost to the part : and the Roman idea seems all sense of religion, and his income, to have been precisely the same ; as we scanty as it is, is thrown away on sweet- can hardly presume that Trimalchio meats and trash!” Rose, of course, exposed bis naked person ; since we do figures as the mistress of the Banker, not find such circumstance mentioned instead of being the young lover's wise. by Petronius, who would not have fail

ed to notice it if it had taken place. SUPERSTITION.

John Carey. Mr. Urban,

Oct. 5, 1818. To that specimen of superstilious co PICTURE OF HOLLAND. incidence, which I pointed out in your The country is entirely flat, and so Magazine for August,* allow me to add are the surrounding towns : but nothanother, equally striking.

... ing can be more neat, more pretty, or Among the less enlightened portion more elegant than the:e towns. They of the Irish population, if a person, des- present to the eye, at a great distance, cribing a hurt or wound, should, with by their numerous canals, planted on the view of illustrating his verbal des- each side with trees, the prospect of a cription, happen to touch the correspon- great number of hamlets, united togethding part of his own or another person's er ; we seem always in the country, body, that touch is fearfully noticed, as and the hamlets appear as if they had ominous of ill, and a sure precursor of been formed during the night by the similar mischief to the person and the wand of a fairy. part so touched, unless the narrator, or the public edifices and houses are some other individual present, be care- built on the waters, which surround and ful immediately to subjoin,“ God bless divide the country ; these appear in the the mark !” or “ God save the mark !water like so many stationary vessels, which prayer avails as a charm, to avert without masts, the roofs of which seem the dreaded disaster.

to be the decks. They are slight, and An exactly similar superstition pre- have not cost much labour in erecting. vailed among the ancient Romans, as They are washed every day, inside and we learn from a passage in Petronius, out; the outside, by means of engines • See Atheneum, vol. 4, p. 277.

-- the inside, with spunges. The cor

ridors, and stories are all inlaid with banks of the canals are almost all adoraDutch tiling; which give an air of ed with beautiful walks of elmas, and newness to the most ancient buildings. linden trees, and intersected with handThe outside is varnished in all manner some houses, and gardens, finely cultiof colours, and the stairs are covered vated, with all sorts of trees and flowwith matting, or strips of cloth.

ers; and wherein are bred the most In Holland, the way of living is tem- scarce and beautiful birds from Iodia. perate and wholesome; a piece of beef, The roufe of the canal-boat is a little weighing about twenty pounds, serves kind of cabin, set apart for some partiall the week, with a dish of excellent cular travellers. vegetables. This is the whole course. The time of frost and snow is the Those who call the Hoilanders cheese- carnival of Holland; the canals and eaters, have only been familiar with rivers are covered with skaters, both sailors and other sea-faring men.

male and female. A villager carries It is in vain that the Russians may his provisions to market skating ; a fetell a foreigoer to be guarded against male villager does the same. the effects of cold, or the Hollanders It seems that, without the business of against the influence of their evening commerce, wbich draws the Hollanders dews ; experience furnishes the best together, there is no kind of society defence. Would you wish to preserve among them, so little do they frequent your health, always follow the regimen each other. The country-house of a of the natives belonging to the country wealthy individual, has the appearance wherein you may sojourn ; when in of a Prince's palace. Russia, during the winter, eat their su- The coffee-houses are very siraple; gar-cakes, and drink the spirituous there are no women seen presiding in liquors they offer you before dinner ; them; there is no bar, no marble tables; in Holland, return home early and when neither glasses, nor chandeliers. you go out, do not go till it is late. The The carriages are built bigb, and are vicissitudes of the atmosphere require very light, because the country is sandy, little change in the clothing, from winter and a heavy carriage would require serto summer,

eral horses to drag it out of the deep The roads, in several countries, are ruts which the wheels would make. made with new half-baked bricks, just The quantity of diamonds worn by from the field ; they last, because they the ladies, the buckles, knives, scissors, are well covered with sand, and no chains of gold, rings on the fingers of heavy carriages pass over them. Every the tradesmen's wives, and even on thing is transported in boats, and pro- those of female peasants, are proofs of visions are carried to their destined the riches in the country. The women place in wheelbarrows.

yet wear hanging to their sides, a kind Holland, watered on almost every of purse, similar to the ancient French side by the ocean, offers only extensive Escarcelle, ornamented with a spring fields. There are no forests, and the circlet, and hooks of silver. only trees are those of the gardens, and The young maidens, however wealof places near the towns.

thy, do not marry so early as in France; Besides the rivers, there are innume- the fathers keeping close together as rable canals, to facilitate parties of plea- long as they possibly can, their tuas of sure, voyages, and the transporting of gold. merchandize; and the boatmen under- The Dutch women are, in general, take to carry provisions and goods at a truly virtuous; and there are few men moderate price. A boat costs but little prodigals or libertines. Interest, labour, to keep it, and will contain more than the love of gain, and close application eight cart-loads of merchandize. The to business, with a natural taste for public barks, with which the canals are commerce, absorb every other passion. covered, are drawn by horses, and de- The women, as we have said before, part and arrive at a given hour. The are virtuous and modest, good house

VOL. 4.]

Varieties : Critical, Literary, and Historical..

489

wives—rather too economical ; they loves a good table. The birth of a watch over their houses with the child, its christening, its weaning, all most incessant care, to see that they are agreements, betrothings, weddings, lykept in the utmost extreme of neatness. ings-in, departing on a journey, and on They love their boorish husbands, are return, are all subjects for feasting. beloved by them, have all the rule in The Westphalians in Holland, are domestic affairs, and are sovereigns in what the Savoyards are in France. their own houses.

They are industrious, faithful, and parSeveral women wear large rings of simonious ; they live on bread and wagold on the first finger and on the ter, with a little of their own country thumb of the right hand : the ring on bacon ; they are employed in all kinds the forefinger is a mark of their having of works, but in particular with the gold enough ; and that on the thumb, gathering in of the hay-larvest, which that they have abundance.

is considerable in a country covered The Dutch women are fair, but they with fields and meadows. The women are apt to stoop much ; they are hand- are attached to the country-houses, some, if we may allow a woman to be where they are employed in gardening. so who is enormously fat. Such as we T here are fewer thieves in Holland see them painted by Rubens, such we than in other parts of the world : and actually behold them in their houses. how could they possibly exercise the

The young women seldom marry till perilous trade of a highwayman, in a they are five-and-twenty. On the wed- country cut out into ditches, canals, and ding-day, the bride receives a present, rivers, and set thick, all over, with barwith part of her household furniture. riers ? The present is what is observed, as a On Sunday, every man and woman custom, with the most opulent; the is seen flocking to church ; they never furniture is bestowed among the com- work on that day, neither do they buy, mon people, at the expense of the aunts, sell, negotiate, por make any demand cousins, relations, and friends, who are or payment; and Suoday is a day of present at the wedding, where there is liberty to every debtor. always an equal number of each sex in- The Dutch keep their dead unburied vited.

for a whole week; they often wash the There are very pretty children, few corpse with warm water, shave it, dress bandsome men, and scarce any beauti- it, and expose it, for two or three days, ful women, in Holland. If morals are to its nearest relatives and friends; they not attended to more in Amsterdam place it in an oak coffin, lined with irou than in Paris, it is not the case in other plates, the head placed on a cross-bar, towns ; a public courtezan would not which serves as a pillow : the coffin is be allowed to remain in Saardam : at nailed and screwed down. The wothis place, the women wear short petti- men are dressed in the habiliments suitcoats, folded like fans, a corset, tight to able to their sex, trimmed with black the shape, and a straw hat; not even ribband; the men are in' night-gowns, the shadow of a naked bust is to be with wigs on their heads, and are buried seen at any time in the year. They with an expence proportionate to their wear fine laces, rings on their fingers, means.--Translated from the French earrings, their legs almost bare, and they of Diderot's Supplementary Work, just stir up the dung with forks, like men : published. but one cause of the extreme neatness of the Dutch, is, that there are a far greater In a little French town they lately number of women than men-servants. got up a sort of dramatic entertainment,

The Hollanders take, regularly, four in two acts, entitled, “ Adarn and his meals a day; their coffee in the mora- family.At another, where they playing, dine between one and two o'clock, ed “ The Death of Abel,” it was audrink tea at six, and sup at gine. Eco- nounced to be acted " in the coslume nomical as is the Dutchman, he yet of the times."

30 ATHENEUM VOL. 4.

POLAR EXPEDITION...NEW NATION.
MONUMENT TO DANTE.

Since the above, (see p.481] advices hart A subscription has been opened at been received that the Isabella aod the AlerFlorence, for a monument to be erected ander, discovery ships, are safely arrived, in in honour of Dante. It is well known Brassa Sound, Lerwick, all well; Deither

ship having lost a man, nor hasing a man de that the prince of Italian poets, when in the sick list. Captain Ross has completely banishment, like Gibelin, was reduced succeeded in exploring every part of Balin's

of Bay, and, with the exception of errors in the to beg for a shelter and a morsel of

Des for a shelter and a horse o latitudes and longitu es, of verifying the hread in foreign countries. The monu- statements of thai old and able bavigator ment will be erected in the church of

whose name it bears, and of ascertaining that

no passage exists between the Atlantic and Santa-Croce, the Pantheon of Tuscany.

Pacific Oceans through Davis's Straits and

Baffin's Bay, the whole being foud to be TRAGIC FALL

surrounded by highland, extending to the At Franconi Circus, Paris, Macbeth north as far as lat. 77. 55. and long. 76. W.; and Othello are converted into Panto

and in the 74th degree of latitude, stretch

ing westward as far as 84. W. Joncitode. mimes!

They traced the same the whole way deri “ To what base uses may we come at last."

to the Cape Walsingham of Davis, which

they ascertained to lie in lat. 66. and leeg VENUS DE MEDICIS.

60. ; from thence they steered for Resolatioa

Island, and then stood homeward. They The admirers of antiquity and of the have made many carious observations and arts were lately gratified with a povel discoveries, of which, perhaps, will not be

considered as the least interesting, that of a kind of exhibition at Lansdowne house. nation being found to inbabit the Arctic B The great attraction was the Venus de gions, between the latitudes of 76. and 78 Medicis, which was, after lying under

who thought that the world to the sogth va

all ice ; that generation had succeeded a ground for nearly 2,000 years discov generation of people who had never taste ered lately among the ruins of Pompeii. the fruits of the earth, had no idea of a Sg

preme Being, who never had an enemy, and This is the original renowned statue,

whose chiefs had hitherto supposed them and pronounced such by Canova, who, selves mon

a, who, selves monarchs of the universe. There ROT when he first discovered it, was seized only remains to be discovered the termina

tion, if it has one, of Middleton's Repulse by such an extravagant fit of enthusi- Bay, and a few degrees to the borthward or asm, as induced common people to it, to determine whether Greenland be 20 suppose that his intellects were disor

island or joins America ; and this might with

the greatest ease be done from the northerodered. It is considered as the finest most station of the Hudson's-bay Company specimen of that branch of the art in the in any one season." known world. This beautiful object bella and Alexander reached lat, 765, they

Another account states, that when the Isis represented as coming from the bath, were unexpectedly opposed in their Northern and by candle light looks as white as progress by terra firma. Here they met

with a new race of Esquimaux, who, by their snow; but by day the appearance is astonishment, appeared never to bare seen a different; it having acquired those pre- ship before. At first they were much afraid,

and made signs for the vessels to fy away, cious tints so highly prized by the lovers

thinking they were huge birds of prey that of ririu, and which time only can had descended from the moon to destroy bestow. Around the room were other

them. A few of the natives, however, were

soon enticed on board, when they expressed statues, all very fine, and real antiqui- their awe and wonder by hugging the masts, lies.

and other extravagant manifestatons of im

ploration, as if to -uperior beings; at other INGREDIENT OF THE CIELSEA GOUTMEDICINE,

they laughed immoderately They were et

tirely unintelligible to the Esquimaux whom The efficacy of which has been ascertained by several who have used it.

Captain Ross took out with him, although

they seem to be of the same origin, their phyTwo pounds of honey clarified to one siognomy being similar, but of rather a dark. pound, flour of sulphur 2 ouoces, cream er complexion--- in theirgeneral appearance, of tartar 1 ounce, powder of gujacum

language, and manners, approaching nearer

SUTH to the natives of Kamtschatka, or the North1 drachm,powder of rhubarb 2 dracbms, eastern extremity of Asia. Their mode of powder of ginger half an ounce, and one travelling is op sledges, drawn by dogs, and

some of them were seen in this way, going eg reanced to powder. I be above Northward. They were in possession of to be mixed together, and a tea spoon- knives, which, it is conjectured, they must ful of the medicine dissolved in a glass

bare formed from the iron in its natural state,

143 and which may, perhaps, at some fatnre peof warm water to be taken every night. riod, become an object of commerce with the

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