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PINCKARD - PALLAS - STAVORINUS.

583

without the appearance of any thing to

support the combustion.

[Beautiful Appearance of Frozen Trees.] “We observed fresh water slowly distil

“ SEVERE hoar-frosts had commenced in ling into the pit, from the earth at its sides, and dropping to the bottom; and as this

these regions before Christmas, and were increased in quantity, it raised the flame followed by snow, mixed with rain or sleet, higher and higher in the pit, supporting it

so that even the smallest branches of the upon its surface, and conveying the

trees were covered with ice an inch thick,

appearance of the water itself being on fire; al- by this all the flexible birch trees had been though it was very clear and pure, and not

bent to the ground in semicircles. Their spread with any oily or bituminous matter.

tops and branches were thus buried under When the water had risen to a certain

the continual snow which lay upwards of a height, the flame became feeble, then gra- yard deep, and kept the trees in that recum

bent state. The inflexible full dually declined, and presently was extinct.

birch

grown The water was now seen to boil and bubble

and oak trees had been partly split and as before, and soon overflowing the pit, re

partly broken by the weight of the congesumed its course down the narrow channel lations on their tops, while their collateral

branches were also bent to the ground. of the gully, and all was restored to the state in which we had found it.

The thaw which began here towards the “ You will, before this, have discovered latter end of February, and the rays of the that the water was cold, and that the boil- sun, had indeed melted the icy incrustaing and burning of this fiery deep was only tions on the upper part of the trees, but it the effect of inflammable gas, which, es

still remained undissolved on the branches

The cylincaping from the bowels of the earth, and which were fixed in the snow. rising from the bottom of the pit, support

ders of ice, on one side, all appeared melted ed the flame when it was empty, and, bub- into a solid mass, but on the lower part they bling through it, when it was filled with

were crystallized, some according to the water, gave it the appearance of a boiling

usual configuration of frozen water, in hexaspring.

gonal and partly in rhomboid figures, while “During the combustion, the smell of the

others consisted only of hexagonal sections. inflammable air was very powerful.

These bodies were, like the well known “ In the stones and soil, in the very rocks hollow cubes of salt, apparently formed of and roads we traced the origin of this phe

icicles of a pyramidal figure when inverted, nomenon of nature. Asphaltic productions broad on the surface, and narrow towards abounded on every quarter: and, upon in

the inner part, where they were fixed in

the ice.”—PALLAS. quiry, we found that we were in the very part of the country which produces the celebrated Barbadoes tar; the smell of which saluted us as we rode along; and we even saw it distilling from the hills of hardened

[Origin of the Term Grass-Sea-from the clay, and likewise issuing from the rocks at

Gulph Weed.] the sides of the road. The argillaceous soil " In the north latitude of 22" we saw for of this neighbourhood is everywhere strong- the first time the gulph weed. This sea ly impregnated with bitumen, in which you weed consists of small green bunches, large will readily perceive the origin of the ' boil- fields of which are sometimes seen floating ing or inflammable spring.'”—PINCKARD'S on the water; they are mostly disposed in Notes, vol. 1, p. 298.

long bands, separated from each other by narrow intervals, and lying longitudinally in the direction of the winds, it is not found

1

584

PIETRO DELLA VALLE

POUQUEVILLE — THUNBERG.

RINUS.

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in such large quantities in any other part of the ocean, whence and from its verdant

[The Bupleurum Giganteum.] appearance, the sea hereabouts is called the grass sea by the seamen ; it is mostly found

“A REPORT that was very general at between the lat. 21° and 34° N.”—Stavo- Roode-zand, struck me with the greatest as

tonishment, and excited my curiosity in the
highest degree. The inhabitants all assured

me with one voice, that there was a bush to [Spuma Maris, or, Excrement of the Sea.] be found on the mountains, on which grew

“We now saw in the sea for the first various wonderful products, such as caps, time, a number of things which appeared gloves, worsted stockings, &c. of a substance to be serpents, or rather fish in the shape of resembling a fine plush. I importuned alserpents, like great eels, long and rounded most every body in the neighbourhood, to in the same fashion, and which according to procure me, if possible, some of these marthe agitation of the water, appeared to go

vellous products, and I resolved not to serpentizing through the sea like snakes. leave the place till I should have unriddled I asked some intelligent persons concerning this mystery. In the course of a few days, them, and they told me that what I had I had several of the leaves brought me down seen was not any living thing, but a certain from the mountains, which were covered kind of excrement of the sea, which had no

very thick shag or down (tomentum), other movement than what the waves gave

and very much resembled white velvet. it, though as our vessel was sailing swiftly, The girls, who were used to the managethey appeared to be moving in a contrary ment of these leaves, began immediately, direction; and they said the nearer we ap

with singular dexterity and nicety, to strip proached India the more we should see.”- off this downy coat, whole and entire as it PIETRO DELLA VALLE.

was, without rending it. After it had been
taken off in this manner, it was turned in-
side outwards; when the green veins of the

leaf appeared on one side. Accordingly as
[Wine of Tertzena.)

the leaf was more or less round or oval,

divers of the above-mentioned articles were “ The wine made at Tertzena in the Mo

formed out of it, the shape being now and rea, is said to be some of the best in the then assisted a little by the scissars. province, because the inhabitants twist the

“ The stalks of the leaves furnished stockbranches as they hang upon the stock, and then leave the grapes to wither in the sun.” | leaves, caps. So that the matter was not

ings, and ladies fingered gloves; the smaller -POUQUEVILLE's Travels, p. 63.

quite so wonderful, as it was wonderfully
related. But in the mean time, it remained

still for me to find out to what plant these
[Storks of Tripolitza.]

leaves belonged, and this forced me to climb

up myself to the highest summits of the “ Ar Tripolitza the storks build their mountains, where they grew. The plant, nests peaceably among the planes and other indeed, was not scarce in those places, but large trees which shade the bazaar, though cost me a great deal of trouble before I they who are sentenced to be hung are sus- could find one in flower, or in seed, and pended from the branches.”—Ibid. p. 36. when I did, I was convinced that this plant

belongs to the genus of Bupleurum (Bupleu-
rum Giganteum). The downy coat, resem-
bling fine wool, being dried, was also used

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BARROW

WINTERBOTHAM.

585

for tinder, and answered the purpose ex- “The eggs of the ostrich are considered tremely well.”—THUNBERG.

as a great delicacy. They are prepared in a variety of ways; but that made use of by the Hottentots is perhaps the best: it is

simply to bury them in hot ashes, and [Ostriches.]

through a small hole made in the upper end “On many parts of the great deserts os- to stir the contents continually round till triches were seen scouring the plains, and they acquire the consistence of an omlet : waving their black and white plumes in the prepared in this manner we very often, in wind, a signal to the Hottentots that their the course of our long journeys over the nests were not far distant, especially if they wilds of Africa, found them an excellent wheeled round the place from whence they repast. In these eggs are frequently disstarted up: when they have no nest they covered a number of small oval-shaped make off, immediately on being disturbed, pebbles, about the size of a marrowfat pea, with the wing-feathers close to the body. of a pale yellow colour, and exceedingly There is something in the economy of this hard. In one were nine, and in another animal different in general from that of the twelve of such stones."-BARROW. rest of the feathered race. It seems to be the link of union in the great chain of nature, that connects the winged with the four-footed tribe. Its strong-jointed legs

[The Blowing Cave of Virginia.] and cloven hoofs are well adapted for speed “ At the Panther gap, Virginia, in the and for defence. The wings and all its fea- ridge which divides the waters of the Cow thers are insufficient to raise it from the and Calf pasture, is what is called the Blowground; its camel-shaped neck is covered ing Cave. It is in the side of a hill, is of with hair; its voice is a kind of hollow, about an hundred feet diameter, and emits mournful lowing, and it grazes on the plain constantly a current of air of such force, as with the quacha and the zebra. Among to keep the weeds prostrate to the distance the very few polygamous birds that are of twenty yards before it. This current is found in a state of nature, the ostrich is strongest in dry frosty weather, and weakest one. The male, distinguished by its glossy in long periods of rain. Regular inspirations black feathers from the dusky grey female, and expirations of air, by caverns and fisis generally seen with two or three, and sures, have been probably enough accounted frequently as many as five, of the latter. for, by supposing them combined with inThese females lay their eggs in one nest; termitting fountains, as they must of course to the number of ten or twelve each, which inhale the air while the reservoirs are empthey hatch all together, the male taking his tying themselves, and again emit it while turn of sitting on them among the rest. they are filling. But a constant issue of Between sixty and seventy eggs have been air, only varying in its force as the weather found in one nest; and if incubation has be- is dryer or damper, will require a new hygun, a few are most commonly lying round pothesis. There is another blowing the sides of the hole, having been thrown in the Cumberland mountain, about a mile out by the birds on finding the nest to con- from where it crosses the Carolina line. All tain more than they could conveniently we know of this is, that it is not constant, cover. The time of incubation is six weeks. and that a fountain of water issues from it.” For want of knowing the ostrich to be po- -WINTERBOTHAM. lygamous, an error respecting this bird has slipt into the Systema Naturæ, where it is said that one female lays fifty eggs.

cave

586
POUQUEVILLE - LANGSDORFF- FLINDERS.

species lives in thick orange groves, settling [Volcanic Island.]

upon the stem, with its wings spread out, “ The little island in the midst of the and from being very much the colour of lake is inhabited by Greeks, who have a the tree, it is difficult to be discerned; but village to the North, and a Monastery. But when any one approaches it flies away with although most of the inhabitants were born the rattling noise above described. The and have constantly lived there, they have Archidamas is a butterfly which emits a soft never been able to reconcile themselves to and not oppressive smell of musk; it lives a phænomenon which occurs perpetually, upon flowers, and flies very quick and high. and most commonly during the autumn. Another phenomenon I observed was that

“ At this time the island seems as if it a butterfly, which I took to be the Catilina stood upon a moveable base; more perhaps | Crameri, through a very remarkable openthan thirty shocks are felt in the course of ing in the breast-plate, emitted a great a day, accompanied with explosions like the quantity of a sort of froth; this seemed firing of a cannon. The Greeks, terrified employed as a means of defence against its by these subterranean commotions, and the

enemy, and resembled in some sort what is noise which accompanies them, run out done by the caterpillar of the Machaon. trembling from their houses, and invoke Several species of the yellow diurnal butheaven with cries and lamentations. It terfly, which are here among the most comdoes not appear that the danger is as great mon sorts, live in societies and are seen in as might be imagined, since no apparent hundreds, nay, thousands together. Their effect has hitherto been produced; though favourite abode is in low, sandy, and someit is not improbable that the island may be times moist districts, near rivers or brooks, destined to be swallowed up some day in where they often settle in large flocks tothe waters of Acherusia, or that other is- gether upon the sand. The Philea, the Trite, lands may rise, like those of Santorin or the the Alcmeone, the Senna, the Eubulus, and Cameni, and forcing the waters over their the Argante, may be particularized among present banks, inundate the whole of the them."—Vol. 1, p. 74. Elysian Fields.”—POUQUEVILLE, p. 371.

[The White Eagle and the Kangaroo.]

“A white eagle, with fierce aspect and [Butterflies at Catharina.]

outspread wing, was seen bounding towards “I OBSERVED," says

LANGSDORFF, speak- us; but stopping short at twenty yards off, ing of the butterflies at S. Catharina, “that he flew up into a tree.

Another bird of in their nature and habits these superb | the same kind discovered himself by making creatures differed in many respects as much a motion to pounce down upon us as we from their brethren in Europe as in their passed underneath ; and it seemed evident exterior. They raise themselves with a that they took us for kangaroos, having light and rapid flight into the air, and hover probably never before seen an upright aniabout the blossoms of lofty trees; they are mal in the island of any other species. shy and restless, and settle so seldom upon These birds sit watching in the trees, and the flowers, that they must in general be should a kangaroo come out to feed in the caught in their flight. I observed with the day time, it is seized and torn to pieces by utmost astonishment a particular species, these voracious creatures. This accounted Februa Hoffmanseggi, which, when it flew for why so few kangaroos were seen, when away from a tree, or when flying with the traces of them were met with at every step; female, made a very clear and distinct noise, and for their keeping so much under thick like a rattle, probably with its wings. This bushes that it was impossible to shoot them.

JACKSON - DOBRIZHOFFER

- LIONEL WAFER.

587

sea.

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Their size was superior to any of those come near its odour. (DOBRIZHOFFER, found upon the more western islands, but vol. 2, p. 341.) The musky parts of the much inferior to the forest kangaroo of cayman are supposed in like manner to the continent.”—FLINDERS, vol. 1, p. 133. keep these reptiles and insects also at a

distance. (Jolis, p. 324.) Dobrizhoffer says that gnats are driven away by the

smell of burnt cow dung. (Vol. 2, p. 361.) [Red-throated Diver of the Feroe Islands.]

The Feroe Islanders say that the redthroated diver (colymbus septentrionalis) foretels the weather by its different cries at

[The Burning Well.] If it mews like a cat, or cries varra- The Burning Well is a little sorry hole vi-varra-vi—it is a sign of rainy weather; | in one of the grounds about 100 yards from but if its cry be gaa-gaa-gaa, or turkatra— the road between Wigan and Warrington, turkatræ, the weather will be fine.

two miles from Wigan,-just by a hedge This vocabulary of the red-throated di- and bank; it is almost full of dirt and mud, ver's language is more extensive than that but the water continually bubbles up as if of “cawation, chirp-ation, hoot-ation, whistle- it were a pot boiling. Nevertheless, I felt ation, crow-ation, cackle-ation, shriek-ation, the water, and it was a cold spring. The and hiss-ation.'

man that shewed it me took out a good quantity of the water with a dish and threw

it away: and then with a piece of rush he [African Dragon engendered by the Great

lighted by a candle that he brought in a Eagle on the female Hyæna.]

lanthorn, he set the water in the well on Bezz el Horreh designates the largest fire, and it burnt blueish, just like spirits, species of eagle, with undescribably clear and continued a good while ; but by reason and beautiful eyes of an orange colour. of the great rains that fell the night before, This is the bird which is reported by the the spring was weaker, and had not thrown Africans to engender the dragon on the fe- off the rain water, otherwise it used to flame male hyena; a chimera originating undoubt all over the well a good height.- Quære? edly in some Arabian fable or allegorical tradition, though generally credited by the inhabitants of Atlas, who affirm the dragon thus engendered to have the wings and beak [Poisonous Effects of the Manchinelle Apple.] of an eagle, a serpent's tail, and short feet “The Manchinelle apple is in smell and like a hyena, the eye-lids never closed, and colour like a lovely pleasant apple, small that it lives in caves like the hyena.”— and fragrant. The trees grow in green spots; Jacksos's Morocco, p. 118.

they are low, with a large body, spreading out, and full of leaves—the very sap is poi

A Frenchman of our company A Series of Experiments upon Odours and lying under one of these trees to refresh

Insects might ascertain the only Preserva- himself, the rain water trickling down tives against the greatest Plagues to which thence on his head and breast, blistered Men are subject.

him all over as if he had been bestrewed

with cantharides. His life was saved with The Guaranies carry garlick about them

much difficulty, and even when cured there because they believe that snakes will not

remained scars like those after the small1 Landt's Desc. of the Feroe Islands, p. 132.

pox."-LIONEL WAFER, Voyage and De2 RANDOLPH's Amyntas.

scription of the Isthmus of America.

sonous.

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