Natural history. Mollusca

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Page 245 - ... ears, and nostrils, and frequently even blood. But this does not hinder them from going down again in their turn. They will often make from forty to fifty plunges in one day, and at each plunge bring up about a hundred oysters.
Page 133 - And here were coral bowers, And grots of madrepores, And banks of sponge, as soft and fair to eye As e'er was mossy bed Whereon the wood-nymphs lie With languid limbs in summer's sultry hours. Here, too, were living flowers, Which, like a bud compacted, Their purple cups contracted; And now in open blossom spread, Stretched, like green anthers, many a seeking head.
Page 242 - The period allowed to the merchant to fish, the banks is six weeks, or two months at the utmost ; but there are several interruptions, which prevent the fishing days from exceeding more than about thirty. If it happens to be a very bad season, and many stormy days intervene touring the .period allotted^ the purchaser of the fishery ij often allowed a; few days more as a favour.
Page 260 - They next pour in water, to separate the fishy substance, which they call solach, from the more heavy parts, consisting of sand, small pebbles, and the pearls, which settle in the bottom. After numerous washings, until the fishy part is entirely removed, the sediment, if I may so term it, is put out to dry, and each pearl separated on a large wooden platter, one at a time, with a feather; and when a sufficient quantity is obtained, they are taken to the overseer, who pays the fisher so much per ounce...
Page 96 - On removing very carefully a portion of the roof soon after its completion, I was enabled to see the formation of the operculum. In about an hour, or even less, after the hybernaculum is covered in, the whole surface of the collar of the mantle instantaneously pours out the calcareous secretion in considerable quantity. This is at first as fluid as thick cream, but very soon acquires exactly the consistence of bird-lime, being excessively adhesive and tenacious ; and in about an hour after it is...
Page 244 - ... sufficient to admit a rope. Some of the divers use a stone shaped like a half-moon; which they fasten round the belly when they mean to descend, and thus keep their feet free. These people are accustomed to dive from their very infancy, and fearlessly descend to the bottom in from four to ten fathom water, in search of the oysters. The diver, when he is about to plunge, seizes the rope, to which one of the stones we have described u attached, with die toes of his right foot, while he takes hold...
Page 248 - A machine made of wood, and of a shape resembling an obtuse inverted cone, about six inches in length, and four in breadth,, is supported upon three feet, each twelve inches long. In the upper flat surface of this machine, holes or pits are formed to receive the larger pearls, the smaller ones being beat in with a little wooden hammer. The drilling instruments are spindles of various sizes according to that of the pearls ; they are turned round in a wooden head by means of a bow handle to which they...
Page 267 - ... never had a pearl : and Sir Robert judges this liquor to be the true mother-of-pearl. He tells us that the pearl lies in the toe or lesser end of the shell, at the extremity of the gut, and out of the body of the fish, between the two films that line the shell. He is of opinion, with some naturalists, that the pearl answers to the stone in other animals, and, like that, increaseth by several crusts growing over one another, which appears by pinching the pearl in a vice, when the upper coat will...
Page 23 - Light as a flake of foam upon the wind, Keel upward, from the deep emerged a shell, Shaped like the moon ere half her horn is filled ; Fraught with young life, it righted as it rose, And moved at will along the yielding water. The native pilot of this little bark Put out a tier of oars on either side, Spread to the wafting breeze a twofold sail, And mounted up and glided down the billow In happy freedom, pleased to feel the air And wander in the luxury of light.
Page 93 - Continent, and not always used from economical motives, for at Vienna but a few years ago, seven of them were charged the same at an inn as a plate of veal or beef.

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