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[The Pelican.) of its rounded tail, and from ten to twelve in the every part of the old world, excepting the most expanse of its wings. The extent of these latter northern regions. Buffon gives a curious aecount organs, together with the extreme lightness of the of the inanner in which they sometimes act in conbony structure, (which is capable of receiving a cert when in pursuit of their finny prey; and this sarge quantity of air,) enable the bird to soar to a fact is confirmed by some late observations of M. very considerable height, and to remain long upon Roulin upon an American species. The latter adds the wing. Its bill, frequently sixteen or eighteen that when a single pelican is in search of food it inches in length, and two or even more in breadth, wheels round and round at the height of fifteen or has but little strength; but the fish on which it preys twenty feet, and as soon as it perceives a fish, darts are immediately consigned to its pouch, in which it upon it from above with inconceivable rapidity, disspeedily accumulates a sufficient store to serve it placing the water around it for a considerable disfor a meal, and then retires to some neighbouring tance. Should it fail in its attack, which rarely rock to satisfy its voracity, which is by no means happens, it rises again to repeat the same manoeuvre. trifling, from the contents of its wallet. This part is so highly distensible as to be capable of contain
THE SEAHORSE. ing from two to three gallons of water.
It serves also as a reservoir for the food which the old birds These curiously-formed fish have obtained this bring home to their young, and which they disgorge name, from their resemblance, when they have been into the throats of the latter by pressing the bill up- dried, to the outline of a horse's head in miniature. on the breast; an action that has given rise to the The specimen here figured is represented in a fable of the pelican feeding its young with its blood. dried state, and from its singular appearance, it is In the same manner the males supply the wants of frequently found in the cabinets of the curious. It the females when sitting.
is taken in almost every quarter of the globe, and The white pelicans nest in rocks, on the shores is generally from six inches to a foot in length : of the sea, of large rivers, and of lakes, in almost I in colour it varies much, accordin to the climate in which it is taken, being sometimes of a bluish lead-colour, at others brown, or a greenish black : instead of being covered with scales, its whole body is enclosed in a series of hard rings, cove with numerous spines and hairs.
[The Hyssop.) obvious reason why the Roman soldier plad sponge filled with vinegar upon hyssop, in ord raise it to the lips of the Saviour, (John xix., The Phytolacca decandra, and other species o genus, contain an enormous quantity of potas that a hundred pounds of its ashes afford forty
pounds of pure caustick alkali; hence we obia (The Seahorse.]
striking illustration of that expression used in P The ancients, attracted, perhaps, by its singular if we suppose that a shrub of this kind was m
li., “ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clea form, attributed many wonderful properties to it, The only doubt that hangs about the suppositic which, with greater or less absurdity, have been re- the North American origin of the Phytolacca de lated by most of their authors. in Dalinatia, it is supposed to possess several heal" dra; but others are found in the old continent, ing properties, while on the other hand, the Norwe- hitherto submitted to a chymical analysis, have
Aleppo, and in Abyssinia, which may, though gians consider it a poison.
swered the same purpose equally well. While elling in Mexico we met with an old man who us that a kind of Phytolacca, which was gro
near a cottage, was formerly used by the In THE HYSSOP.
female instead of soap, such was the detergent The hyssop of the Sacred Scriptures has opened ture of the foliage. This unexpected piece of i a wide field for conjecture, but in no instance has mation led us to think that the hyssop of Scri any plant been suggested that at the same time had must have been allied to this American plan a sufficient length of stem to answer the purpose of Congoran, in structure as well as in property. a wand or pole, and such detergent or cleansing Phytolacca belongs to the family Chenopoded properties, as to render it a fit emblem for purifica- which the barilla-plant forms a part, but it is u tion. Our wood-cut represents a shrub remarkable the rest of its congeners, in the exceeding beaut in both these respects, which is the Phytolacca de- its flowers, which are of a fresh and lively candra. We do not indeed assert that this was the disposed in elegant racemes or clusters ; the be individual species in question, but we have no doubt are compounded of a circle of carpella or mi in our own mind that ihe hyssop belonged to this fruits, closely joined together, and afford a bloo genus. 'The length and straightness of the stem die. The leaves are generally smooth, and ne form a characteristick of the several kinds of Phyto- shaped; and stem is long, smooth, and wandlacca with which we are acquainted, affording an In short, there is a peculiar grace in every pa. the plant, which, in the case of decandra, renders it sword; and the person who was daring enough to a great favourite in the garden. There exists a pluck it from the earth, was subject to manifold dangreat similarity between the several species of the gers and diseases, unless under some special proPhytolacca, so that an acquaintance with one spe- tection; therefore it was not unusual to get it eradcies suggests a correct idea of the whole ; for this icated by a dog, fastened to it by a cord, and who reason the reader is presented a with figure of decan- was whipped off until the precious root was pulled dra as an average specimen. Two or three species out. According to Josephus, the plant called Buaare found in Oahu, Sandwich islands, which have the ras, which was gifted with the faculty of keeping stem of an extraordinary length, and which, from its off evil spirits, was obtained by a similar canine weakness, lies extended upon the vegetation around; operation. Often, it was asserted, did the mandrake and here and there supports a cluster of lovely flow- utter piteous cries and groans, when 'thus severed ers to beautify the wild waste amidst the mountains. from mother earth. Albertus the Great affirms that
the root has a more powerful action when growing under a gibbet, and is brought to greater perfection by the nourishing secretions that drop from the criminal's dangling corpse.
Among its many wonderful properties it was said to double the amount of money that was locked up with it in a box. It was also all-powerful in detecting hidden treasures. Most probably the mandrake had bad qualities to underrate its good ones. Among these we must certainly class the blackest ingratitude, since it never seemed to benefit the eloquent advocates of its virtues, who in general were as poor as their boasted plant was rich in attraction.
It was also supposed to possess the delightful faculty of increasing population and exciting love ; and the emperour Julian writes to Calixines that he is drinking the juice of mandrake to render him amorous. Hence was it called Love-apple; and Venus bore the name of Mandragontis. It has been asserted by various scholiasts that the mandrake
which Reuben found in the fields and carried to his mother Leah was the mandragore ; but the Dudaim which he gathered was not, according to all accounts, an unpleasant fruit, but is supposed to have been a species of orchis, still used in the East in love-philters and prolifick potions. The word Dudaïm seems to express a tuberculated plant; and in Solomon's Songs he thus describes it: “ The man
drakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner THE MANDRAKE.
of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid SELF-STYLED wandering Turks and Armenians up for thee, O my beloved.” Now it is utterly imare frequently met with in crowded cities vending possible, whatever may have been the revolution in rhubarb, tooth-powder, and various drugs and nos- taste since the days of Solomon, that the nauseous trums, exciting the curiosity of the idlers that group and offensive mandrake could have been considered around them by exhibiting a root bearing a strong as a propitiating present to a lady. resemblance to the human form. This is the far- Frontinus informs us that Hannibal employed famed mandrake, of which such wonderful accounts mandrake in one of his warlike stratagems, when have been related by both ancients and moderns. he feigned a retreat, and left in the possession of the
This plant is the Atropa Mandragora of Lin- barbarians a quantity of wine in which this plant næus, and grows wiid in the mountainous and shaded had been infused. Intoxicated by the potent bevparts of Italy, Spain, and the Levant, where it is erage, they were unable to withstand his second atalso cultivated in gardens. The root bears such a tack, and were easily put to the sword. Was it the likeness, at least in fancy's eyes, to our species, that mandrake that saved the Scotch in a similar ruse de it was called Semi-homo.
guerre with the Danish invaders of Sweno? It is The word vesano clearly refers to the supposed supposed to have been the Belladonna, or deadlypower it possessed of exciting delirium. It was nightshade, the effects of which are not dissimilar also named Circea, from its having been one of the to those of the plant in question. mystick ingredients employed in Circe's spells; al- In the north of Europe this substance is still used though the wonderful mandrake was ineffectual for medicinal purposes; and Boerhaave, Hoffberg, against the more powerful herb the Moly, which and Swediaur have strongly recommended it in Ulysses received from Mercury. This human re- glandular swellings, arthritick pains, and various semblance of the root, which is moreover of a diseases where a profuse perspiration inay be deblackish hue and hairy, inspired the vulgar with the sirable. idea that it was nothing less than a familiar demon. Machiavel has made the fabulous powers of the It was gathered with curious rites: three times a mandrake the subject of a comedy, and Lafontaine magick circle was drawn round it with a naked | has employed it as an agent in one of his tales
THE WILD BOAR.
as will keep close to him; and the huntsman, The boar generally lives to twenty-five or thirty his spear, should always be riding in among t years, if he escapes accidents. They feed on all and charging the boar as often as he can, to sorts of fruits, and on the roots of many plants; the courage him ; such a boar as this, with five o roots of fern in particular seems a great favourite couple of dogs, will run to the first convenient with them: and when they frequent places near the of shelter, and there stand at bay and make at seacoasts, they will descend to the shores and de- as they attempt to come up with him. There a molish the tenderer shell-fish in very great numbers. always to be relays also set of the best and sta
Their general places of rest are among the thick- est hounds in the kennel; for if they are of y est bushes that can be found : and they are not eager dogs, they will be apt to seize him, an easily put up out of them, but will stand the bay a killed or spoiled before the rest come up. The long time. In April and May, they sleep more ting collars with bells about the dogs' necks, sound than at any other time of the year, and this is great security for them; for the boar will no therefore the successful time for the taking them in soon strike at them when they have these, but the toils. When a boar is roused out of the thicket, rather run before them. The huntsmen genei he always goes from it, if possible, the same way kill the boar with their swords or spears : but g by which he came to it; and when he is once up, caution is necessary in making the blows; for I he will never stop till he comes to some place of very apt to catch them upon his snout or tusks ; more security. if it happen that a saunder of them if wounded and not killed, he will attack the hu are found together, when any one breaks away, the man in the most furious manner. The place rest all follow the same way. When the boar is give the wound with the spear, is either betw hunted in the wood where he was bred, he will the eyes in the middle of the forehead, or in scarce ever be brought to quit it ; he will sometimes shoulder; both these places make the wo make toward the sides to listen to the noise of the mortal. dogs, but retires into the middle again, and usually When this creature makes at the hunter, ther dies or escapes there. When it happens that a boar nothing for it but courage and address; if he f runs ahead, he will not be stopped or put of his way for it, he is surely overtaken and killed. If the b by man or beast, so long as he has any strength left
. comes straight up, he is to be received at the p He makes no doubles nor crossings when chased; of the spear: but if he makes doubles and wi and when killed makes no noise, if an old boar; the ings, he is to be watched very cautiously, for Bows and pigs will squeak when wounded.
will attempt getting hold of the spear in his mou The season for hunting the wild boar begins in and if he does so, nothing can save the hunts, September, and ends in December. If it be a large but another person attacking him behind : he will boar, and one that has lain long at rest, he must be this attack the second person, and the first must hunted with a great number of dogs, and those such attack him again : two people will thus have eno