Imágenes de páginas



LANGSDORFF — TOOKE POUQUEVILLE SAINT PIERRE. feet long by four broad, and five and six

[The Cayman.] feet deep, which is paved with large stones, and the pieces of fruit thrown into it. A

that though the caystrong fermentation ensues, and forms a man would be good meat were it not for leaven, which will then keep for months. the odour of musk, none but the Payaguas This food is called popoi. When it is mixed eat them (vol. 1, p. 322). The Abate Jolis, with water, it makes a drink which has very on the contrary, says (p. 324) that many much the appearance and taste of butter- tribes eat them, first cutting out two glands milk, and is extremely cooling and refresh- in the mouth of the females, and the testiing." — LANGSDORFF, vol. 1, p. 125. New cles of the males, which are the parts from Marquesas or Washington Islands.

whence this musky odour proceeds. These are sold to the Spaniards and Portugueze for medical uses, for keeping off reptiles and

insects, and for preserving food. It is reThe leaner the Monkey the greater the

markable that parts which are cut from the Value of his Fur.

cayman, because their scent would affect it “LEAN foxes have better skins, and there- as meat, should be used for this purpose. fore the Ostiaks, who when they find cubs feed them with such care, that the women actually suckle them, break one of their legs some time before they are to be killed,

[Liannes.] that they may eat less and grow lean ! “ A GREAT variety of shrubs, all comEither of these customs is sufficiently shock- prized under the general name of liannes, ing, but their co-existence renders them some of which are as thick as a man's leg, monstrous.”—Tooke's View of the Russian and grow round the trees, making the trunks Empire, vol. 3, p. 44.

look like a mast furnished with rigging. They, however, support the trees against the hurricanes, of whose violence I have seen

frequent proofs. When they fell timber in [Olive Trees of the Morea.]

the woods, they cut about two hundred 66 The olive trees of the Morea are some trees near the root, which remain upright of the finest to be found in any part of the till the liannes, which hold them, are cut world. The respect of the people for these down also. When this is done, one whole trees is such, that they pay them a sort of part of the forest seems to fall at once, veneration when they are loaded with fruit; making a most horrid crash. Cords are to cut off a branch would be a crime against made of their bark, stronger than of hemp.” which the whole country would rise in arms. Saint PIERRE, Voyage to the Isle of Every part of the province seems to suit France. this tree. Immense forests of wild olive trees had covered various districts before any attention was paid to them by the in

[Introduction of Indigo into Surinam.] habitants. It was not till the country was INDIGO was introduced into Surinam by occupied by the Venetians that the people a M. Destrades, who called himself a French became sensible of the treasure they pos- officer. “ I myself,” says sessed : these new guests instructed them well acquainted with this poor fellow, who in the art of grafting the trees, and since since shot himself through the head at Dethat time olives have become an article of merary. The circumstances of his death the highest importance among them.” were somewhat remarkable. Having inPOUQUEVILLE, p. 201.

volved himself in debt, he turned to ready







money his remaining effects and fled from to swim across the river at some distance Surinam; next setting up in the Spanish above, being carried away by the rapidity contraband trade, his all was taken. De- of the current, was cast upon this island. prived of every thing, he now applied for He there lived several days, but not having protection to a friend at Demerary, who courage to plunge again into the impetuous humanely gave him shelter. At this time torrent, he perished of hunger."— KUTTan abscess gathering in his shoulder, every assistance was offered, but in vain ; M. Destrades refusing to let it be ever examined. His shoulder therefore grew worse, and even

[The Rein-Deer Moss.] dangerous, but he persisted in not permit- “ The country around offered a scene ting it to be uncovered ; till one day, having very uncommon, and to us quite new. The drest himself in his best apparel, the family

moss on which the rein-deer feeds covers were alarmed by the report of fire arms, the whole ground, which is flat, and only when they found him weltering in his blood, skirted by hills at some distance; but these with a pistol by his side; and then, to their hills also are clothed with this moss. The surprize, having stript him, the mark of V, colour of the moss is a pale yellow, which, for voleur, or thief, was discovered on the when dry, changes to white: the regularity very shoulder he had attempted to conceal. of its shape, and the uniform manner in Thus ended the life of this poor wretch, which the surface of the ground is decked who had for years at Paramaribo supported with it, appears very singular and striking : the character of a polite and well-bred gen

it has the semblance of a beautiful carpet. tleman, where he had indeed been uni- These plants grow in a shape nearly octaversally respected.”—Vol. 2, p. 316. gonal, and approaching to a circle; and as

they closely join each other, they form a kind of mosaic work, or embroidery. The

white appearance of the country, which [Snakes at Sea a Sign of Land.]

thence arises, may for a moment make you “ Next morning we saw two snakes upon imagine that the ground is covered with the water, which occasioned great joy in the snow ; but the idea of a winter scene is ship, for when they begin to see snakes it done away by the view of little thickets in is an infallible mark that they are not above full green, which you perceive scattered forty leagues off the land of the Indies. In here and there, and still more by the prethe evening we saw upon the water a great sence of the sun and the warmth of his rays. many little yellow snakes, a foot long, and As this moss is very dry, nothing can posas big as one's little finger, which made us sibly be more pleasant to walk upon, nor know that we were near the coast of Diu, can there be anything softer to serve as a along which the snakes are small, for from bed. Its cleanness and whiteness is temptthenceforward along the coast of the In- ing to the sight; and when we had put up dies they are big.”—THEVENOT.

our tent, we found ourselves in every respect very comfortably lodged. I had many times before met with this moss, but in no

place had I found it so rich. It was the [The Trollhätta Falls.]

only produce here which nature seemed to “Of the rocky islands situated in the favour and support: no other herb was river near Trollhätta, two or three are quite growing near it, nor any other vegetable inaccessible. One of them is overgrown on the spot, except a few birch trees, with with trees which have never been touched their underwood, and some firs, dispersed by human hands. A dog which attempted on the hill by the river side. All these




seemed to vegetate with difficulty, as if de- sleep in places where snakes and vipers prived of their nourishment by the moss, abounded, and other poisonous animals, surand appeared withering and stunted. Some rounding himself with boughs of the beech, trees, indeed, which grow very near the from the shade of which tree we saw by water, had the appearance of being in a experience, that those animals strangely fiy. flourishing state, perhaps owing to the He did another thing in our presence, that moisture they derived from the river: but, we might see the enmity they have to this in short, this moss appeared to be the royal tree, for he made a circle, half of fire and plant, which ruled absolute over the vege- half of beech boughs, and threw a viper into table kingdom of the country, and distri- the middle, which being only able to get buted its bounty and influence amongst a out through the boughs or through the fire, particular race of men and animals.". to avoid them, chose the fire."— Alonso ACERBI's Travels.

Perez, in his Continuation of George of
Montemor's Diana.


[Aurora Borealis.]

[Finches' Nests.] " On the 30th of March, towards midnight, we were still upon the road, suffering

“ Nests of finches (loxiæ) made of the from a cold of thirteen degrees of Celsius, stalks of grass, curiously interwoven, hung when an Aurora Borealis presented us with

on the branches of trees over ponds, with a a magnificent spectacle, which served to re- long and narrow neck, by which the bird lieve the irksome monotony of our journey. used to enter. This neck prevented the The heavens began to appear illuminated birds of prey from getting at the young in the north; presently it assumed a bright ones, and the water, over which the nest ruby colour, such as we have on a fine even- hung on low shrubs and bushes, kept off ing in Italy with the setting sun, when, as

foxes and other beasts of prey.”—TuurVirgil says, and as experience has often proved, a lively red as the sun goes down prognosticates fine weather for to-morrow, [The Mimosa Tree-the Guide to Water.] This phenomenon had just fixed our atten

“ Though the surrounding country was tion, when behold a luminous arch rose over

destitute of vegetation, a thick forest of the pole. This was accompanied by various

mimosas covered the banks of the Dwyka, other light and fleeting arches, which shifted from place to place every instant: they This plant grows indeed on every part of

and followed it through all its windings. were bounded here and there by vivid

the desert, on which it is the inseparable flames and torches, which issued in rapid succession from the skies, communicating riodical streamlets. Should a traveller hap

companion of all the rivers and all the pefire to the clouds in their vicinity, tinging pen to be in want of water, the appearance their gilded edges, and exhibiting a picture of the mimosa is a sure guide to the place highly interesting to us, unaccustomed as

where it occasionally, at least, is to be we were to such appearances.”—Ibid.


[Antipathy of Snakes and Vipers to the

Beech Tree.] " Then it was a marvellous thing to see with what unconcern he would lie down to

[The Loss, or Goupe. Lossen, som paa Norsk kaldes Goupe, &c.]

“ THE Loss, which in Norway dialect is called Goupe, is something smaller than a



wolf, but as fierce and dangerous : it bites, be felt. We rose early, and enjoyed a and tears all to pieces that it can master. steady walk on the now quiet deck. The This creature's skin is of a light grey, or sun, protruding from the bosom of a tranwhite, with dark spots. They are very quil ocean, softly stole above the horizon, cunning in undermining a sheep-fold, where and, swelling into globular forms, mildly they help themselves very nobly. It hap- assumed refulgent brightness, and spread pened lately in some of these, that a Goupe his genial rays around. From excess of was found out by a sly he-goat, who per- motion we had now lapsed into perfect rest. ceived his subterraneous work, watched him We contemplated the change with adminarrowly, and as soon as his head came ration and delight: yet wished enough of forth, before the body could be got out, wind to carry us on our voyage. The tibutted him, and gave such home pushes, moneer left the helm ; and the ship rethat he laid him dead in the grave of his

mained immoveable upon the water. Casting own making.”—Pontoppidan, Nores Na- our eyes over the silver surface of the sea, turlige Historie, pt. 2, p. 33.

to behold the beauteous rising of the sun, we offered aspirations that fierce Eurus, in the placid humour of milder Zephyr, might

follow in his train. Two strange vessels [Water-pools for the Elephant and were observed to be in sight-a brig and a Rhinoceros.]

schooner. The former was directly in our “ Great rivers falling from the high wake, and viewing this, amidst the universal countreys with prodigious violence, during stillness that prevailed, we observed, with the tropical rains, have in the plains washed surprise, that she was moving towards us, away the soil down to the solid rock, and with sails. At this moment the sky darkformed large basons of great capacity, where, ened; the thermometer fell to 64°; a gentle though the water becomes stagnant in pools rippling spread, lightly, over the still surwhen the currents fail above, yet, from their face of the water, and, almost imperceptibly, great depth and quantity, they resist being brought us--a favourable breeze! It was consumed by evaporation, being also thick from the north-east; and so soft and steady covered with large shady trees, whose leaves that scarcely did we feel the vessel in monever fall. These large trees, which in their tion, ere we were advancing at the rate of growth, and vegetation of their branches, five knots an hour! What we had so long exceed any thing that our imagination can and anxiously sought, was now arrived, and figure, are as necessary for food as the pools we most cordially hailed—the trade wind ! of water are for cisterns to contain drink The sailors announced it in loud greetings: for those monstrous beasts, such as the ele

need I

say that we partook in their liveliest phant and rhinoceros, who there make their joy. You will readily conceive, without constant residence, and who would die with expecting me to describe, our feelings upon hunger and thirst, unless they were thus

the occasion. Never was a happier moment. copiously supplied with both food and wa- All sense of our long sufferings vanished, ter."-BRUCE.

and we were in perfect raptures on this glad event. Indeed we had much cause to think ourselves fortunate on being saluted by the

favouring trades in their very earliest lati[The Trade Winds.]

tude. This was a most grateful period of “ We were in latitude 27° 49', the ther

our passage, and, together with the weather mometer at 69'. The morning was mild ; we have since experienced, has, in some dethe sea still smooth as a lake : all nature gree, compensated former evils. The temseemed hushed in silence, and no wind could perature grew cooler than it had been during





the few days of calm. The breeze freshened, and all hands were busily occupied in

[The Acacia Vera, or, Egyptian Thorn.] preparing and setting all possible sail, to obtain the full benefit of this great and con

The Acacia vera, or Egyptian thorn, the stant trader's friend. Quickly new canvass

tree which in the sultry parts of Africa stretched from every point of the ship, which produces the gum-arabic, is described by

BRUCE. “ These trees,” he says, “grow winged with five additional sails, widely spread her expanded pinions to embrace seldom above fifteen or sixteen feet high, the breeze. What a change! transported, touch each other, while the trunks are far

then flatten and spread wide at the top and at once, from the perils of severe tempest

asunder; and under a vertical sun, leave to the finest, smoothest sailing! During seven tedious weeks we had not known the you, many miles together, a free space to

walk in a cool delicious shade." wind from the point we wished; and we had been perpetually beset with all the dangers of a raging storm. Now, the breeze was all we could desire! Sickness, and other uneasy feelings were dispersed; we exercised [Boiling Spring of Barbadoes.] freely upon the deck, and sailed on our “ AMIDST these shades we descended to passage almost without perceiving the vessel a narrow gully, between two mountains, to

So rapid, indeed, was our progress, see one of the great curiosities—one of the that the ship seemed to feel no resistance, but reported phænomena of Barbadoes—'a boil. to fly, uninterrupted, through the water! ing spring!' On approaching the spot, we

“The crowded sails now remained night came to a small hut in which an old black and day. No change: no new arrangement woman, who employed herself as a guide to

- occasional bracing only was required! | exhibit, under a kind of necromantic proWe stood before the wind, and, in all the cess, all the details of this boiling and burndelight of fair weather and fine sailing, made ing fountain. The old dame, bearing in from 160 to 200 knots within the sailors' her hand a lighted taper, and taking with day—from noon to noon. In such seas, and her a calabash, and all the other necessary with such a wind, the ship's company might apparatus of her office, led the way from have slept ; leaving the helmsman only to the hut down to the spring. steer the vessel's course. The delay, the “In a still, and most secluded situation, difficulties and dangers we had met with, we came to a hole, or small pit filled with served but to augment the value of the water, which was bubbling up in motion, ever-constant trades, and to render them and pouring, from its receptacle, down a even more enchanting than we had hoped. narrow channel of the gully. The steadiness of this friendly breeze, and “ Here our sable sorceress, in all the its certainty of duration, likewise enhanced silence and solemnity of magic, placing the its charms. So truly delightful did we find light at her side, fell down upon her knees, it, and so pleasant were the wide ocean and and, with her calabash, emptied all the the weather, that, had not former sickness, water out of the hole, then immersing the with the torment of repeated gales, already taper in the deep void, she suddenly set the confirmed my abhorrence of the sea, I know whole pit in a flame; when she instantly not but I might have been led into the be jumped upon her legs, and looked signifilief that discomfort and a sailor's life were cantly round, as if anxious to catch the not strictly synonymous !” — PINCKARD'S surprise expressed upon our countenances, Notes, vol. I, p. 184.

from the workings of her witchcraft. The taper being removed, the empty space continued to burn with a soft lambent flame,

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