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{The Boa Constrictor about to strike a Rabbit.} ONE of the most interesting objects in the fine collection days, till he became familiar with his terrible enemy. of animals at the Surrey Zoological Gardens, is the Boa On a sudden, while the artist was observing the ill-sorted Constrictor. Curled up in a large box, through the pair, the reptile suddenly rose up, and, opening his fearupper grating of which it may be conveniently examined, ful jaws, made a stroke at the rabbit who was climbing this enormous reptile lies for weeks in a quiet and almost up the end of the box. But, as if his appetite was not torpid state. The capacity which this class of animals sufficiently eager, he suddenly drew back when within possess of requiring food only at very long intervals, an inch of his prey, and sunk into his wonted lethargy. accounts for the inactive condition in which they prin- The rabbit, unconscious of the danger which was passed cipally live. But when the feeling of hunger becomes for a short season, began to play about the scaly folds of strong they rouse themselves from their long repose, and his companion; but the keeper said that his respite the voracity of their appetite is then as remarkable as their would be brief, and that he would be swallowed the previous indifference. In a state of confinement the boa next day without any qualms. takes food at intervals of a month or six weeks; but he All the tribe of serpents are sustained by animal food. then swallows an entire rabbit or fowl, which is put in The smaller species devour inseets, lizards, frogs, and his cage. The artist who made the drawing for the snails; but the larger species, and especially the boa, not above wood-cut, saw the boa at the Surrey Zoological unfrequently attack very large quadrupeds. In seizing Gardens precisely in the attitude which he has repre- upon so small a victim as a rabbit, the boa constrictor sented. The time having arrived when he was ex- would swallow it without much difficulty; because the pected to require food, a live rabbit was put into his box. peculiar construction of the mouth and throat of this The poor little quadruped remained uninjured for several species enables them to expand, so as to receive within Vol. I.

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them animals of much larger bulk than the ordinary with their fingers out of one dish, and all the family drink diameter of their own bodies. But in those cases where out of the same glass. They are hospitable, however, the serpent attacks a large quadruped, such as an ante- in their way, but they are coarse and uninformed, having lope, he entwines himself round his prey, and by his not, like the Tuscan peasants, an opportunity of intergreat muscular power crushes the principal bones, so course with the educated classes. Few know how to that the dimensions of the victim are considerably re- read or write, or cast accounts; they sometimes hardly duced, and after a series of efforts which sometimes ap- know the name of their landlord. "The women dress proach to strangulation, the monster makes an end of very showily on holidays, and they generally have gold his meal. There are stories of the boa constrictor de ear-rings, necklace and cross. Daily labourers are paid stroying even the buffalo and the tiger, by crushing them about two carlins, or eight pence, a day, and somewhat in this manner by the astonishing force of its muscles. more at harvest time. But they are engaged only a We shall confine ourselves at present to a well-authenti- small part of the year, and they employ the rest of their cated account of the voracious appetite of a serpent of time in cutting wood in the forests, in charcoal making, this species, which was brought from Batavia, in the year and other occasional jobs. They offer themselves as 1817, on board a vessel which conveyed Lord Amherst guides to travellers, assuming the absurd appellation of and his suite to England.

Cicerone; and sometimes, for lack of other employment, This serpent was of large dimensions, though not of they join the banditti in some expedition just to try their the very largest A living goat was placed in his cage. fortune, after which they return quietly to their native He viewed his prey for a few seconds, felt it with his village and resume their rural occupations. Pot-houses tongue, and then, withdrawing his head, darted at the or wine-shops are very numerous, and to these the idlers throat. But the goat, displaying a courage worthy of a resort on holidays, after mass, to play and drink. This better fate, received the monster on his horns. The was once a source of frequent quarrels, ending often in serpent retreated, to return to the combat with more bloodshed and murder. But by the present laws (for deadly certainty. He seized the goat by the leg, pulled the Neapolitan criminal justice has somewhat improved) it violently down, and twisted himself with astonishing the vintner is made answerable for any mischief that rapidity round the body, throwing his principal weight happens in his house, and there is no longer any asylum upon the neck. The goat was so overpowered that he for criminals, in consequence of which blows are seldom could not even struggle for escape. For some minutes given. The farmers, however, do not much frequent after his victim was dead the serpent did not change his the wine-shops; they prefer selling their own wine, and posture. At length he gradually slackened his grasp, remaining at home on Sundays to see their children and having entirely disengaged himself

, he prepared to dance the tarantella. Of this dance they are never tired. swallow the lifeless body. Feeling it about with his The vintage is the season of universal rejoicing. The mouth, he began to draw the head into his throat; but vines are planted thick, and allowed to grow luxuriantly, the horns, which were four inches in length, rendered and to spread in high festoons from tree to tree, forming the gorging of the head a difficult task. In about two shady alleys into which the rays of the sun can hardly hours the whole body had disappeared. During the penetrate. At vintage time a man first cuts the middle continuance of this extraordinary exertion the appearance branches between one tree and another, so as to make of the serpent was hideous; he seemed to be suffering a lane for the cart to go through. The cart is drawn by strangulation; his cheeks looked as if they were bursting; a fine well-fed ox, and on it is a large tub; the men and the horns appeared ready to protrude through the carry long narrow ladders, by which they ascend the monster's scales. After he had accomplished his task, trees, and having filled the baskets with grapes, they the boa measured double his ordinary diameter. He throw them down to the women below, who empty the did not move from his posture for several days, and no contents into the tub. Jokes and joyous songs relieve irritation could rouse him from his torpor.

the vintagers' labours, while the farmer looks on in silence, watching the progress and calculating the pro

duce of the ricolt. When the tub is full, the ox drags THE LABOURERS OF EUROPE.-No. 3.

the cart reeling with grapes to the vats, the fruit is thrown In the province of Naples, or “Campania the blest," as in, and then being pressed under the feet of a man, the it is called, from the great fertility of its soil and its liquor descends into a lower vat, where it undergoes genial climate, the farms are generally small. The fermentation. These vats are square, built of brick or corn returns eight or ten for one, and the land is not left masonry, and uncovered. When the weather is dry the fallow occasionally for a year, but ploughed and sown must is left to ferment five days,--if it should rain, one or with something else. Frequently after harvest it is im- two days more. The husks or dregs are then put into a mediately sown with the scarlet trefoil, which, when in press with water, and a sort of small wine is made, which flower, looks like a crimson carpet spread over the verdant is the common drink of the labourers. Another sort of fields. Rows of elms and mulberry trees, festooned with wine is made by drawing some of the must or new wine branches of the vine, divide the various possessions; while out of the vat after four-and-twenty hours, and pouring the fig, the lemon, and the orange, grow in the gardens it into canvass bags, which are suspended over another freely and to their full size. The high ridges of the moun- vat, into which the liquor distils. The wine thus made tains afford rich pastures, safe from the heat and drought is called lambiccato; it is sweet and pale, does not keep, of the plains; the sides are covered with forests of chesnut and, though not wholesome, it is agreeable to the taste trees, which afford an important article of food to the of the people. They repeat the process several times in poor; while the lower declivities are occupied by olive order to clear it and prevent any further fermentation. plantations yielding a valuable and easy harvest. In They use this wine to mix with the old wine, which has this favoured region the inhabitants, indolent as they are, turned sour or musty. Some wines are also made by boilcan easily procure their daily subsistence. Their cabins ing a certain quantity of the must, and then mixing it exhibit in many instances the appearance of slovenliness, with the rest : these wines keep longer. The yine bears but seldom that of indigence. The farmer's rent is paid fruit two years after it has been planted, and then consometimes in money, sometimes in kind, such as grain, tinues to produce for sixty years or more. oil, &c. The leases are generally renewed from genera- In the other parts of the kingdom of Naples the contion to generation. The farmer is a peasant, with no dition of the rural population varies according to the capital; he works his farm chiefly with the assistance of climate, localities, and nature of the soil. In the moun. his family. These people have some domestic com- tains of Abruzzo the inhabitants are chiefly shepherds, forts, good beds, coarse but good linen, a table, a few who migrate every year with their flocks to the plains of chairs, and a large chest for their clothes, They eat Puglia. Their families accompany them, and assist them

Comets.

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in making various kinds of cheese from sheep, cow, and Here in one hundred and fifty-three years we have buffalo inilk, for which they are renowned. These moun fifteen marked (t), in which the comet may be suptaineers are an honest, frugal, industrious race: the men posed to have produced a greater degree of warmth; dress in sheepskins, and numbers of them are to be seen while it happens that there are just as many in which it at Christmas time about the streets of Naples, playing may be said to have increased the cold. What, then, is their bagpipes in honour of the festivity.

the conclusion? Why, that the comet brings neither The inhabitants of the large province of Calabria are heat nor cold, at least none that we can discover. But another peculiar race. Brave, hardy, and proud, they there is another way of showing that comets do not work but little and live frugally. Although provisions are bring warmth, and that if they 78 % se any change at all cheap, wages are too low to allow the labourers to buy in the temperature (which we do nit affirm) we have as animal food, cheese, or butter : a Calabrian peasant will much right to say they bring cold. make his dinner of a handful of lupines, a few chesnuts, From the register of the temperature kept at the and two ounces of bread. When he can afford to drink Vienna Observatory, from the year 1800 to 1828 incluthe common wine, he pays for it from one penny to sive, it appears that in seven years, the average temtwo-pence a quart. The inhabitants near the coast live perature of which exceeded the general average teinperasomewhat better. The Calabrian, however, disdains to ture at Vienna, there were ten comets ; in five years, beg; he will sooner rob on the high road.

which fell below the average temperature, there were The Sicilian peasantry, especially in the interior of the eight comets; and in six years, some of which were a island, are still worse than the Calabrian. The towns and little above and others a little below the average temvillages swarm with beggars, and the misery and conse- perature, there were twelve comets. Or this result may quent corruption of the poorer classes are almost incredible. be expressed in the following way: While the coasts of the island abound with populous and luxurious towns, one half of whose inhabitants, however,

For every 10 hot years

10 cold ditto are in a state of beggary or nearly so, the fertile valleys of

10, neither hot nor cold, ditto ... 20 the interior are left in great measure unproductive, the fow farmers thinking only of getting what is absolutely ne But, after all, it may be said that though comets pro cessary for their subsistence, and not of multiplying the duce no change in the temperature that we can estimate, produce of their lands, for which they have no market. they may cause diseases and other calamities by acting The total want of roads or means of communication, the in some way to us invisible and unknown. Forster, in absence of capital, the ing'olence of the great proprietors, his Illustrations of the atmospherical origin of Epidemic the injudicious trammels on exportation, and several Diseases, asserts that since the Christian era the most other causes, contribute to the total prostration of Sicilian unhealthy years, and those most fruitful in all kinds of agriculture.

human calainities, have been marked by the appearance The land-tax in the kingdom of Naples is extremely of great comets, and that on the contrary no great comet heavy, amounting to about one-third of the estimated rent has ever appeared in a healthy year. of the estates, whether cultivated or not.

If any of our readers feel disposed to believe so bold an assertion, we beg they will read Littrow's chapter on

this subject, or get some good friend to read it to them, COMETS.—No. 2.

and we venture to say they will be for ever cured of all Well then-we give up the question as to the danger propensity to believe in the marvellous, unless the proofs of our earth jostling this comet of Biela, at least for the are rather stronger than those which Forster produces. next century; but every one will admit that comets have of the concurrence of diseases, &c. and comets; but, in

Littrow denjes altogether the accuracy of Forster's tables a great influence on the temperature, and often cause dreadful epidemics.

dependent of this, why should a comet cause a particular Thus say those who love to pro- disease in one part of the globe and not in another ? or phesy of evil; but we hope the present change of weather (October 5), when the comet is many thousand why, when the comet of 1668 appeared, should there be miles nearer than he was during the warm weather of a and how did it happen that the I utch and Flemish cats

a great mortality among the cats n Westphalia only? few weeks back, will make people doubt a little before escaped ? But, to set the matter at rest, Littrow takes they attribute warm summers and autumns and good Forster's table of diseases just as it is given, and comvintages, or bad summers and bad vintages (for comets are messengers both of good and evil), to these much- pares it with Olber's 'Catalogue of all the known tracks abused and ill-understood wanderers.

of Comets,' and to this he adds the catalogue of comets

which Riccioli has collected out of the older writers. We proceed to give a few more remarks, the substance This comparison gives the following among many other of which may be found in Littrow :

results:—“A.D. 717. There was a three years' plague It is said that comets raise the temperature at the in the East, and 300,000 men died at Constantinople earth's surface. In reply to this assertion, we give a list alone.” But unfortunately there was no comet in this of those years from 1632 to 1785, which were remarkable for the unusual temperature either of their winter year, nor in any years nearer to this date than 684 and

729. As there was no comet in 717, we ought, acor their summer, and were likewise distinguished by the cording to Mr. Forster's reasoning, not to believe that appearance of comets.

300,000 men died at Constantinople; which, for our Comet years. Temperature. Comet years. Temperature.

part, we are as little inclined to give credit to as to many 1632+ Hot summer.

1718 Severe winter. 1665

other marvellous facts of the same kind which the Severe winter. 1723+ Hot summer.

chronicles register. 1680 Ditto.

1729 Severe winter. 1682† Warm winter.

1737† Hot summer.

To take an example in favour of Mr. Forster :—"A.D. 1683 Cold summer.

1744 Severe winter. 1200. Plague in Egypt, in which about 10,000,000 of Severe winter.

1748+ Hot summer. men died." The Arabie writer, Ali ben Rodoan, men1684 Cold suminer.

1764+ Warın winter. 1689† Warm winter.

1766 Severe winter.

tions a comet in this year, the body of which was said to Cold summer.

1769† Warm winter. be three times as large as Venus; we can believe all this 1699 Severe winter.

1771 Severe winter. but not “ the 10,000,000 men." 17017 Hot summer. 1774+ Hot summer.

We will add another instance, not in favour of Mr. 1752+ Ditto.

1781 + Ditto.

Forster. 1702† Warm winter.

1783† Warm winter. 1706 Severe winter. 1784 Severe winter.

“ 1624. Destructive epidemic for five years through 17187 Hot summer.

1785 Ditto.
nearly all Europe. In London 35,000 men died; in

1683

1695

Venice 90,000, and Italy lost the fourth part of its in- of the designs of Providence, who have misled the ignohabitants," &c. This may be true, but we believe not rant by pronouncing comets to be the forerunners, somethat Italy lost the fourth part of its population; nor, if times of pestilence, at others of war, and at others of this calamitous event did take place, do we believe there political or local occurrences, such as the Fire of London. were then or are now any means of ascertaining the loss Such predictions, like those connected with eclipses of with such accuracy. But how stand the comets for this the sun and moon, cannot be too strongly stigmatized. as year? Alas! for theories without facts. Between 1618 proceeding either from the most presumptuous ignorance, and 1652 no comets are recorded.

or the most wicked imposture. It is quite enough for We have spoken of the false fears which the presence men to aim at an approximation to a knowledge of the of comets sometimes engender, in a tone which some system of the world, without taking upon themselves to persons may call by the name of levity. We have done assign supposed causes for the existence of this or that so, because we believe that such fears, tending to make phenomenon—and those causes often the most frivolous people unhappy, are best got rid of by a little good and absurd. True knowledge leads not to presumption natured ridicule. One of the best foundations of happi- but to humility: and it would be well for those who take ness is a confidence that the laws by which the universe upon themselves to expound, with reference to passing is governed, however mysterious and inexplicable, are events, the eternal ways of Providence, as if they were intended to sustain and preserve that wondrous me- gods, knowing good and evil, to take example from chanism which we so imperfectly understand, but which the modesty of such immortal philosophers as Newton we know must proceed from the most perfect goodness and Bacon; and, whilst confessing that the little that is as well as wisdom and power.

known to men only serves to show the more clearly how The errors which we have noticed regarding comets much is unknown, to humble themselves before that have in some cases been the errors of men whose judg- great First Cause who made“ the sun to rule the day, ments have been led astray by false assumptions. But the moon and the stars to govern the night,—for his there have not been wanting self-constituted interpreters | mercy endureth for ever!"

THE TEMPLES OF PÆSTUM.

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(The Temple of Neptune.] These sublime relics of antiquity stand on the edge of edifices rise before you in the most imposing and suba vast and desolate plain, that extends from the neigh-lime manner—they can hardly be called ruins, they have bourhood of the city of Salerno to the mountains of the still such a character of firmness and entireness. Their Cilento, or nearly to the confines of Calabria. The ap- columns seem to be rooted in the earth, or to have proach to them across this wild is exceedingly impres-grown from it! The first impression produced on the sive. For miles and miles scarcely a human habitation is traveller, when he arrives at the spot, has often been deseen, or any living creature, save herds of savage-looking scribed. Even the critical and sceptical Forsyth exbuffaloes, that range the lords of the waste. And when claims, “ On entering the walls of Pæstum I felt all the you are within the lines of the ancient walls of the town | religion of the place—I trod as on sacred ground—I

of the once opulent and magnificent Pæstum-only a stood amazed at the long obscurity of its mighty ruins !" miserable little taverna, or house of entertainment, a These edifices have been called, rather by caprice or barn, and a mean modern edifice belonging to the conjecture than from any good grounds for such names, nominal bishop of the place, and nearly always unin- the Temple of Ceres, the Temple of Neptune, and the habited, meet your eye. But there the three ancient | Basilica. That of Ceres, which is the smallest of the

three, first presents itself to the traveller from Naples. I moved, we perceived strata of stone similar to the stones It has six columns in front, and thirteen in length; the which compose the temples, and I could almost venture columns are thick in proportion to their elevation, and to say that the substratum of all the plain, from the much closer to each other than they are generally found Sele to Acropoli, is of the like substance. Curious peto be in Greek Temples, “which," says Mr. Forsyth, trifactions of leaves, pieces of wood, insects, and other “ crowds them advantageously on the eye, enlarges our vegetable and animal matters, are observed in the maidea of the space, and gives a grand, an heroic air to a terials of the columns, walls, &c.” monument of very moderate dimension."

These temples are the only ancient remains of any The second, or the Temple of Neptune, is not the importance to be found at Pæstum, except the Cyclolargest, but by far the most massy and imposing of the pean walls of the city, which are pretty well preserved three: it has six columns in front and fourteen in length; on three sides, and only entirely obliterated on the side the angular column to the west, with its capital, has towards the sea. On the eastern side, indeed, they have been struck and partially shivered by lightning. It once suffered little, and fragments of towers, which seem to threatened to fall and ruin the symmetry of one of the have flanked the walls at regular distances, yet exist. most perfect monuments now in existence, but it has There is a gate in this part called La Porta della Sibeen secured by iron cramps. An inner peristyle of rena, or the Syren's Gate (from a small rudely sculpmuch smaller columns rises in the cella, in two stories, tured figure that looks like a dolphin, over the arch), with only an architrave, which has neither frieze nor which is very perfect, but mean and small; and here the cornice between the columns, which thus almost seem ancient aqueduct is traced for some distance. standing the one on the capital of the other—a defect The origin of the city may safely be referred to rein architecture, which is, however, justified by Vitruvius mote antiquity; but those are probably in the right and the example of the Parthenon. The light pillars who would fix the period at which the existing temples of this interior peristyle, of which some have fallen, were erected as contemporary with, or a little posterior to, rise a few feet above the exterior cornice and the massy the building of the Parthenon at Athens. But even this columns of the temple. Whether you gaze at this won calculation leaves them the venerable age of twentyderful edifice from without or from within, as you stand two centuries; and so firm and strong are they still, on the floor of the cella, which is much encumbered with that, except in the case of a tremendous earthquake or heaps of fallen stones and rubbish, the effect is awfully some other extraordinary convulsion of nature, two grand. The utter solitude, and the silence, never broken thousand two hundred and many more years may pass save by the flight and screams of the crows and birds of over their mighty columns and architraves, and they prey which your approach may scare from the cornices remain, as they now are, the objects of the world's and architraves, where they roost in great numbers, admiration. adds to the solemn impression produced by those firmset and eternal looking columns.

The third structure, generally called a basilica, but sometimes an atrium, a curia, a market-place, or an exchange, is the most extensive, and, in point of architecture, the most curious. It has nine columns in front, and eighteen in length, and a row of pillars in the middle, parallel to the sides, which divide the temple, or whatever it may have been, into two equal parts. The diameter of these columns is somewhat larger than that of the columns of the first temple, but much smaller than the diameter of those of the second temple.

All the three structures are in the peculiar style called the Doric. They are all raised upon substructions forming three gradations or high steps—the columns without bases repose on the uppermost of these steps: the co

[Interior of the Temple of Neptune.) lumns are not quite five diameters in height, they taper off about one-fourth as they ascend, they are fluted like all ancient Greek columns, their capitals are flat and pro

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GAMBLING AND minent, and their intercolumniation, or the space from one

TRADING to the other, little exceeds one diameter. The material It has been remarked that all games or sports are imita of which they are built is the same throughout each of the tions either of war or commerce. The imitations of war temples and common to them all. It is an exceedingly are sufficiently obvious; some, such as the combats of hard, but porous and brittle stone, of a sober brownish- the gladiators in ancient Rome, were exhibitions of grey colour.

It is a curious fact, that not only the actual fighting; others, such as the bull-fights of Spain, ignorant people on the spot, but Neapolitan anti- the elephant and tiger-fights of India, the cock-fights, quaries (who, however, rarely travel to see things with dog-fights, badger-baits, &c. of England and other countheir own eyes) wonder whence the ancients brought tries, are exhibitions of the combats of animals. In these masses of curious stone. They found them on the these cruel sports, the men or animals are made to fight spot. “ The stone of these edifices,” says Mr. Forsyth, for the amusement of the lookers-on, who sympathize in * was probably formed at Pæstum itself, by the brackish the exertions of skill, power, and courage which they bewater of the Salso acting on vegetable earth, roots, and hold. More frequently, however, the pleasure is derived plants; for you can distinguish their petrified tubes in from being, not a spectator, but an actor in the contest; every column.” And Mr. Mac Farlane, who passed a as in all field-sports, such as hunting, shooting, and considerable time on the spot, adds, “ The brackish fishing; or in bloodless games, such as cricket, football, water of the river Salso that runs by the wall of the prisoners-base, chess, draughts, &c.; in which the gratown, and in different branches across the plain, has tification arises from a sense of the skill exercised, from so strong a petrifying virtue that you can almost fol- the love of emulation, and the feeling of superiority. low the operation with the eye; the waters of the The games which appear to be imitations of mercantile neighbouring Sele (a considerable river-the ancient dealings are, without exception, games of chance or Silarus) have in all ages been remarkable for the same gambling games, such as games with dice and cards, quality: in many places where the soil had been re- I lotteries, rafiles, &cy In games of this kind there is

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