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were as troublesome to me as if I had been in a which, (having rowed fourteen or fifteen miles that
morning,) we helped ourselves in a manner that The squatter returned, but he was chapfallen ;- seemed satisfactory to all parties. Our host gave nay I thought his visage had assumed a cadaverous us newspapers from different parts of the world, and hue. Tears ran down his cheeks, and he told me shewed us his small but chuice collection of books. that his barrel of rum had been stolen by the He inquired after the health of the amiable Caplain
eggers,” or some fishermen! He said that he had Bayfield, of the royal navy, and the officers under been in the habit of hiding it in the bushes, to pre- him, and hoped they would give him a call. vent its being carried away by those merciless Having refreshed ourselves, we walked out with thieves, who must have watched him in some of his him, when he pointed to a very small garden, where frequent walks to the spot." Now,” said he, “I a few vegetables sprouted out, anxious to see the can expect none until next spring, and God knows sun. Gazing on the desolate country around. I what will become of me in the winter!"
asked him how he had thus secluded himself from Pierre Jean Baptiste Michaux had resided in that the world. For it he had no relish, and although he part of the world for upward of ten years. He had had received a liberal education, and had mixed run away from the fishing-smack that had brought with society, he never intended to return to it. him from his fair native land, and expected to be. The country around,” said he, “is all my own, come rich some day by the sale of the furs, seal. much farther than you can see. No fees, no lawskins, eider-down, and other articles which he col- yers, no taxes are here. I do pretty much as I lected yearly, and sold to the traders who regularly choose. My means are ample, through my own invisited his dreary abode. He was of moderate dustry. These vessels come here for seal-skins, stature, firmly framed, and as active as a wild-cat. seal-oil, and salmon, and give me in return all the He told me that excepting the loss of his rum, he necessaries, and indeed comforts, of the lise I love had never experienced any other cause of sorrow, to follow ; and what else could the world afford me !" and that he felt as “ happy as a lord.”
I spoke of the education of his children. My Before parting with this fortunate mortal, I en- wife and I teach them all that is useful for them to quired how his dogs managed to find sufficient food. know, and is not that enough? My girls will marry
Why, sir, during spring and summer they ramble their countrymen, my sons the daughters of my along the shores, where they meet with abundance neighbours, and I hope all of them will live and die of dead fish, and in winter they eat the flesh of the in the country!" I said no more, but by way of seals which I kill late in autumn, when these ani- compensation for the trouble I had given him, pur mals return from the north. As to myself, every chased from his eldest child a beautiful fox's skin. thing eatable is good, and when hard pushed, I as- Few birds, he said, came around him in summer, sure you I can relish the fare of my dogs just as but in winter thousands of ptarmigans were killed, much as they do themselves."
as well as great numbers of gulls. He had a great Proceeding along the rugged indentations of the dislike to all fishermen and eggers, and I really bebay with my companions, I reached the settlement lieve was always glad to see the departure eren of of another person, who, like the first, had come to the hardy navigators who annually visited him for Labrador with the view of making his fortune. We the sake of his salmon, seal-skins, and oil. He found him after many difficulties; but as our boats had more than forty Esquimaux dogs; and, as I turned a long point jutting out into the bay, we were was caressing one of them, he said, pleased to see several small schooners at anchor, brother-in-law at Bras d'Or, that we are all well and one lying near a sort of wharf. Several neat- here, and that, after visiting my wife's father, I will looking houses enlivened the view, and on landing, give him a call !" we were kindly greeted with a polite welcome from Now, reader, his wire's father resided at the disa man who proved to be the owner of the establish- tance of seventy miles down the coast, and, like ment. For the rude simplicity of him of the rum- himself, was a recluse. He of Bras d’Or was at cask, we found here the manners and dress of a double that distance; but, when the snows of winter man of the world. A handsome fur - cap covered have thickly covered the country, the whole family, his dark brow, his clothes were similar to our own, in sledges drawn by dogs, travel with ease, and pay and his demeanour was that of a gentleman. On their visits, or leave their cards. This good gentlemy giving my name to him, he shook 'me heartily man had already resided there more than twenty by the hand, and on introducing each of my com- years. Should he ever read this article, I desire panions to him, he extended the like courtesy to him to believe that I shall always be grateful to him them also. Then, to my astonishment, he addressed and his wife for their hospitable welcome. me as follows: My dear sir, I have been expect- When our schooner, the Ripley, arrived at Bras ing you these three weeks, having read in the papers d'Or, I paid a visit to M.
the brother-in-law, your intention to visit Labrador, and some fishermen who lived in a house imported from Quebec, which told me of your arrival at Little Natasguan. Gen- fronted the strait of Belle isle, and overlooked a tlemen, walk in."
small island, over which the eye reached the coast Having followed him to his neat and comfortable of Newfoundland, whenever it was the wind's pleasmansion, he introduced us to his wife and children. ure to drive away the fogs that usually lay over both Of the latter there were six, all robust and rosy. coasts. . The gentleman and his wife, we were told, The lady, although a native of the country, was of were both out on a walk, but would return in a very French extraction, handsome, and sufficiently ac- short time, which they in fact did, when we followed complished to make an excellent companion to a them into the house, which was yet unfinished. gentleman. A smart girl brought us a luncheon, The usual immense Dutch stove formed a principal consisting of bread, cheese, and good port wine, to feature of the interiour. The lady had once visited
- Tell my
the metropolis of Canada, and seemed desirous ofed the place, in the month of August, notwithstandacting the part of a “ blue-stocking.” Understand-ing the coolness of the atmosphere, sent forth a ing that I knew something of the fine arts, she stench that, according to the ideas of some naturalpointed to several of the vile prints hung on the ists, might have sufficed to attract all the vulsimene bare walls, which she said were elegant Italian pic- the United States. tures, and continued her encomiums upon them, as- During our stay at Bras d'Or, the kind-hearted suring me that she had purchased them from an and good Mrs. daily sent us fresh milk and Italian, who had come there with a trunk full of butter, for which we were denied the pleasure of them. She had paid a shilling sterling for each, making any return.
Audubon frame included! I could give no answer to the good lady on this subject, but I felt glad to find that she possessed a feeling heart. One of her children had caught a siskin, and was tormenting the poor
BOTANY. bird, when she rose from her seat, took the little fluttering thing from the boy, kissed it, and gently
CATKINS. launched it into the air. This made me quite forget the tattle about the fine arts.
With the earliest dawn of spring, Some excellent milk was poured ont for us in clean glasses. It was a pleasing sight, for not a
-" while yet the wheaten blade
Scarco shoots above the new-fallen shower of snow,” cow had we yet seen in the country. The lady turned the conversation on musick, and asked if 1 a thousand beauties deck our woodland trees, which played on any instrument. I answered that I did, to unobserving eyes appear to be only so many green but very indifferently. Her fort, she said, was mu- buds, the harbingers of future leaves. Little is it sick, of which she was indeed immoderately fond. supposed that these “ green buds” are clusters of Her instrument had been sent to Europe to be re- flowers, which in most cases appear before the paired, but would return that season, when the leaves, and which in the exquisite delicacy of their whole of her children would again perform many colours, and the marvellous contrivance of their beautiful airs, for in fact any body could use it with forms, as much surpass the more showy blossoms of ease, as when she or the ehildren felt fatigued, the the summer's day in real soul-subduing interest, as servant played on it for them. Rather surprised at the variegated glories of the dawning sun exceed the extraordinary powers of this family of musi- the simple splendour of his noontide inajesty. We cians, I asked what sort of an instrument it was, cannot express the pleasure we have felt, when, when she described it as follows :-“Gentlemen, turning our backs for awhile upon the cold and fogmy instrument is large, longer than broad, and stands gy haunts of men, we have journeyed on a spring on sour legs, like a table. At one end is a crooked morning to some thicket in the suburbs of the town, handle, by turning which round, either fast or slow, to regale our senses, and invigorate our minds with I do assure you we make most excellent musick.” a sight of the catkins, which hang from the trees The lips of my young friends and companions in- with a profusion worthy of the beneficient Being stantly curled, but a glance from me as instantly re- who gave them life to perpetuate the species, and composed their features. Telling the fair one that beauty to charm the hearts of all those who take it must be a hand-organ she used, she laughingly pleasure therein. said, “ Ah, that is it: it is a hand-organ, but I had We recommend our readers, some spring mornforgot the name, and for the life of me could not ing, when the sun is rising, to get into the centre of recollect it.”
a young wood, and if they have the least taste for The husband had gone out to work, and was in the unsophisticated charms of nature, we promise the harbour caulking an old schooner. He dined them a vision of beauty, so imposing in its effect, with me on board the Ripley, and proved to be also and so curious in its details, that they will ever after an excellent fellow. Like his brother-in-law, he deplore with us the apathy and worldly-mindedness
. had seen much of the world, having sailed nearly which deprive the great majority of our fellow-crearound it; and, although no scholar, like him, too, tures of such a sweet and purifying source of enjoyhe was disgusted with it. He held his land on the ment, and which caused the royal botanist of Judea, same footing as his neighbours, caught seals with upon another subject to exclaim, “A wise man's out number, lived comfortably and happily, visited eyes are in his head.” his father-in-law and the scholar, by the aid of his A Catkin is a tassel of male flowers, destitute of dogs of which he kept a great pack, bartered or calyx or coralla, in place of which a little scale is sold his commodities, as his relations did, and cared produced. These scales, or bractæ, as they are about nothing else in the world. Whenever the called by botanists, are placed one beneath the othweather was fair, he walked with his dame over er round the stalk of the catkin with the most prethe moss-covered rocks of the neighbourhood ; and, cise regularity. Each scale covers a number of during winter, killed ptarmigans and karaboos, while stamens, which spring from its lower surface, and his eldest son attended to the traps, and skinned the are shielded by it from wet and too great a degree animals caught in them. He had the only horse of light, just in the same way as our readers may that was to be found in that part of the country, as have observed the helmet-shaped petal in the comwell as several cows; but, above all, he was kind mon white nettle protects the anthers and stigma to every one, and every one spoke well of him. which nestle in its concavity. Catkins are, thereThe only disagreeable thing about his plantation or fore, with the exception of the willow and some othsettlement, was a heap of fifteen hundred carcasses ers, clusters of stamen-bearing flowers; but if trees of skinned seals, which, at the time when we visit- bore no other kind of flowers, we should be destituto
in autumn of a great many useful fruits—the nut, | machick febrifuge. The fruit of many of the Amen acorn, and the like, which are so useful as the win- taceæ contains a considerable proportion of fæcula, ter food of many animals. Our friends must there which renders it fit for the food of man and other fore habituate themselves to look for the less showy animals, as the acorns of the oak, the mast of the female flowers; but in doing so, they will experi- birch, the nut of castanea and corylus, &c. ence many difficulties. Let us suppose that the This great natural assemblage of trees has been hazel is the subject of their investigation ; they divided, for the convenience of study, and in accorwould have no trouble in pitching at once upon the dance with certain similarities in their floral struccatkins, or in separating and naming their compo- ture, into five sub-orders : 1. SALICEÆ, the Salix, or nent parts : all this would be quite easy: but where willow tribe, comprising the genera Salix and Popare the female flowers? Do any of the catkins ulus. 2. BETULINEÆ, the Betula, or birch tribe; bear them? They pull a hundred to pieces in vain, comprising Betula, Alnus, Carpinus, Ostrya, and and are just on the point of giving up the pursuit, Corylus. 3. CUPULIFEÆ, or nut-bearing tribe, with when a little scaly bud near the base of the catkins cups ; comprising Quercus, Fagus, and Castanea. attracts their attention, from the circumstance of its 4. PLATANEÆ, or plane-tree tribe ; comprising Plabeing crowned with numerous short red threads, tanus and Liquidambar. 5. MYRICEÆ, or candlebut in every other respect looking exactly like the berry-myrtle tribe ; comprising Comptonia, Myrica, leaf buds with which they had been confounded. Casuarina, and Nageia. These are the pistil-bearing flowers, and the red This arrangement, which is very clearly made, is threads are the stigmas, which catch the pollon not, however, sufficiently simple for those who are from the catkins. Thus far well; but our intelligent only yet on the threshold of botany, and for whom friends are not out of the wood yet. They would some less learned classification is necessary. We be justly proud of their discovery, and would cer- shall therefore proceed to describe the different gentainly feel themselves to be fully competent to dis- era, with occasional illustrations of their characters, cover and investigate both the male and female flow- according to the Linnæan method, which proceeds ers of all the catkin-bearing trees. We will sup- not upon the natural affinities of plants, but upon pose them, in this spirit, to attack a willow or a number of their stamens, and when that cannot be poplar ; they gather catkin after catkin; but all those conveniently followed, as in the present case, upon of the willow are males, and all from the poplar are their sexes. females. This is an awful dilemma, and for the Amentaceous trees may be divided intotime utterly beyond their solution. The next day I. Those which bear diocecious flowers, as willow, they search again, when, lo! the order of yesterday poplar, candleberry, myrtle, and nageia. is reversed ; the catkins of the willow from which II. Those which bear monæcious flowers, as hornthey are now gathering are exclusively females, and beam, birch, alder, chestnut, beech, oak, hazel, of the poplar, males! Are they mistaken? They plane, liquidambar, ostrya, comptonia, and caustake the wisest, and if all history did not contradict
arina. the fact, one would suppose, the most immediate To these may be added the elm, which is certain. course. They go to the trees which they had ex- ly a catkin bearer, although it differs in so many amined yesterday, and find their first observations to particulars from the Amentaceæ, as to liave made it be quite true. The simple truth then becomes man- necessary, in a strictly scientifick work, to put it in ifest : some trees bear male and female flowers, a different situation. For our purpose, however, it others only male flowers, and others again only fe- very properly finds a place here males. This distribution of the sexes, is the character upon which Linnæus founded his twenty-first
I. DIOECIA. and twenty-second classes. The first, named Monæcia, from monos, one, and oikos, house ;—plants bearing stamens and pistils on the same plant; and the second, Dioccia, from dis, twice, and oikos, house ;-plants bearing stamens and pistils on different plants.
Nearly four hundred species of trees flower in catkins; and upon this coincidence in their mode
7 of fructification, a natural family has been erected, called AMENTACEÆ, from the word amentum, which is the botanical term for a catkin. In this noble group, all the timber trees of Europe, and most of those of all cold countries, are stationed. Every genus consists of plants important to the wants of man. The alder, the birch, the willow, the poplar, the oak, the chestnut, the hornbeam, the plane, and perhaps the elm, are all collected together in this family. The bark of nearly all the species is furushed with an astringent principle, which has rendered them valuable either for staining black, as in
d the alder and the oak-gall; or for tanning, as in the oak; or as febrifuges, as the alder, the birch, the oak, most of the willows, and also the Populus trem
Willow. Salix caprea. a Male catkins. 6 Female.
c Male uloides, which is well known as a tonick and sto-floret, magnified. d Female, natural size. e The same, magnified.
1. Salix, the Willow. Of this genus there are beguiles, by the beauty of its catkins, the walk of one or two hundred species and varieties. Those the weary but thinking traveller. It derives its of salix pentandria and amygdalina, are very large, name from two Celtick words, car, wood, and
pin, of a bright red colour and, odoriferous. All of them the head--wood for the head, in allusion to its anbear a vast deal of cottony down to protect them cient use, (which continues,) for the yokes of cattle. against cold, which to many birds, and particularly 2. Betula, the Birch. This tree has been describthe goldfinch, is of great use as a lining to their ed in a former number of the Family Magazine. nests. The willow tribe is of great service to man. 3. Alnus, the Alder. By the side of a stream, Salix alba affords a very useful timber, and is carried with a March breeze shaking its catkins, no tree all over the world, together with salix triandra, to presents a more curious spectacle. The twigs apafford withies for the basket-maker.
pear to be covered with a host of writhing caterpil2. Populus, the Poplar, called in Rome the arbor lars. The fructification, and the differences between populi, or tree of the people. The catkins are full the bracts of the male and female catkins, should be of curious design, and should be very carefully stud-carefully distinguished, as, indeed, in all other cases. ied : those of the abele tree, or white poplar, are the best for the purpose. This is an elegant and useful genus. They grow rapidly, and produce an abundance of soft wood.
Chestnut. Castanea vesca. a a Male catkins. 6 Females. E Male floret, showing the stamens d Female florets. e Pistils
from ditto. White Poplar. Populus alba. a a a Buds of female flowers. obo Catkins of males. c Bracts, each containing eight stamens.
4. Castanea, the Chestnut. The catkins of the d Female bud. e Female florets. The three last figures are mag- chestnut are extremely curious. The male flowers nified.
are arranged in the form of a loose pendulous cat3. Myrica. Candleberry myrtle.
kin, which starts from the angle made by the leaf 2. Nugeia.
stalk with the branch, called in botanical language These are mostly bushy shrubs, natives of almost the axilla, and the catkin is thence said to be axilall parts of the world : they should be sought for in lary. About twenty or more flowers compose a our great nurseries, and carefully investigated. It is moderately sized catkin. The flowers are without wonderful to see how nicely the nearly approaching blossoms, having a calyx only, which is cut at the species are separated from each other. The myrica top into six clefts, and carries from five to twenty cerifera is remarkable for the production of a waxen longish filaments. The anthers at the end of these berry, from which candles are sometimes made in are large in proportion to their size, and emit a grea.
quantity of pollen. The female flowers are also ax
illary, but are so altogether unlike what is popularly II. MONÆCIA.
conceived of a flower, that our little friends will at 1 Carpinus, the Hornbeam. This grows plenti- first find some difficulty in recognizing them under fully in hedges, and from March to the end of May, such a name. They look like little balls, stuck
THE FAMILY MAGAZINE.
over on the outside with sharp thorns, in the man- 7. Platanus, the Plane. This graceful tree bears ner of a sea-egg (Echinus) which commonly orna- but very small catkins, and owing to the height at ments our mantel-pieces. This prickly ball is call which they grow, are rarely observed by the unined by botanists an involucrum, and from the circum- quiring. The clusters of the females, are, however, stance of being covered with thorns, is said to be very large and conspicuous.
In autumn a very thickly muricated. It serves the purpose of a calyx, beautiful mast is formed from them, which, after the and encloses three florets. Each of these florets fall of the leaves, hang like little balls all over the consists of a little urn-shaped cup, in the bottom of tree, and continue through the winter : falling only which is an ovary or germe of the future nuts, when the ground is ready to receive them. which bears on its summit six awl-shaped styles. 8. Corylus, the Hazel. The catkins are loose, One only of these germes reaches perfection. It is but covered with perhaps one hundred and fifty six celled, and contains the embryo of six nuts ; but scales, beneath each of which there are eight anin the course of their growth four of them perish, thers. This enormous provision is necessary to and two only reach perfection. These are the insure the impregnation of the pistils, which usually chestnuts, which, when fully ripe, burst from their standing above these, might otherwise have suffered thorný enclosure, and fall to the ground.
from the want of pollen. But as it is, that fructify. 5. Fagus, the Beech. The catkins of the beech ing powder is emitted in such quantities, that on a usually grow so much beyond reach, that they ne sunny day the whole air round the tree is loadshould be sought for on the ground after a high ed with its golden-coloured particles. wind. They differ from most of the preceding in
9. Liquidambar. being globular. The female should be studied 10. Ostrya. through the whole of the summer season, and the 11. Comptonia. gradual development of the fruit made the subject 12. Casuarina. of particular observation.
These our limits prevent us from describing sep6. Quercus, the Oak. The catkin is loose, long, arately. And we merely notice them that our reaand thread-shaped, and is seldom noticed, as it ap- ders may not forget to get the flowers for their expears after the leaves, which hide it from observa- amination. That of ostrya will perhaps please them tion. The“ masquerado” of botany, as it has been more than any we have enumerated, and is indeed called, is beautifully exhibited in the structure and a very extraordinary production. Liquidambar is so growth of the female.
called from a balsam which is produced by the tree, and which is chewed by the Indians. Ostrya, from a Greek word signifying a scale, from the large scales of the catkins. Comptonia, aster Henry Compton, Bishop of London, who first cultivated it in 1714: and Casuarina, from a supposed resemblance which its branches bear to the feathers of a cassowary
Common elm, Ulmus campestris. Male flowers. 6 Male flor. et, with the stamens. c Branch, with the temale flowers. d The stigma of ditto.
We have only now to notice the Elm, (Ulmus,)
which, as we have already hinted has by some been Plane. Platanus occidenatlis. Twig, with the globular female separated from the Amentaceæ, and made the type catrin a Male catkins. b Stamen.
of a distant family, called Ulmaceæ. The elm bears