« 上一頁繼續 »
The quantities produced in 1827 in the different Sir George Staunton ascertained that its diameter was districts were,
12 feet., The trunk divides into a great number of
branches which rise in the form of a candelabra, each of Staffordshire. 216,000 tons, produced by 95 furnaces.
which is terminated by a bunch of leaves. It still bears South Wales 272,000 »
flowers and fruit. Humboldt has given, in the Atlas to North Wales 24,000 »
his large work, a plate from a drawing of this palm, Yorkshire
taken in 1776;-the above wood-cut is copied from a Derbyshire
20,500 Scotland. : 36,500 ,
sketch in Maria Graham's 'Journal of a Voyage to 18
Brazil,' made after one-half of the crown of the tree had Total 690,000
fallen in 1819. This remarkable tree is considered by About three-tenths of this quantity is used as cast iron, Humboldt to be one of the oldest inhabitants of this and the other seven-tenths as wrought iron, being globe. The species is of very slow growth; and it is formed into bars, bolts, rods, &c. The exports of the judged that a thousand years must have elapsed before different sorts of iron amount, at present, to about this specimen had attained maturity. 110,000 tons, which, at £10 a ton, would be worth £1,100,000. In 1767, the iron exported from Great National Prejudices.-In estimating the worth of nations, Britain amounted to only 11,000 tons, and in 1806 not justice requires that, while their vices are put into one scale, more than 28,000. The total value of the pig-iron now their virtues should as conscientiously be poised in the other. produced in Great Britain, at £6 a ton, may be estimated Individuals and nations are equally stung with a sense of at nearly £4,200,000, and the additional labour ex. and then great and good actions are all forgotten. This
wrong, when their crimes are acrimoniously recapitulated, pended in forming the pig-iron into bar-iron, &c. may fatal forgetfulness is the origin of that rancour which has so probably add £1,200,000 to its value, making it worth, long desolated the earth. It distracts private families, conin all, about £5,400,000. The prices of iron have lately founds public principles, and turn's even patriotism itselt so much declined, that pig-iron, which in 1824 and 1825 into poison. Let those, who have but the smallest love fot sold at from £12 to £14 a ton, fell in 1826 to £8: or the happiness of mankind, beware how they indulge this £9, and is now only worth from £4. 108. to £5 a ton. pernicious propensity. He, who in every man wishes to meet
à brother, will very rarely encounter an enemy: -Holcrofl's It seems to be feared that, supposing prices not to rise, many of the furnaces now in blast will have to be laid preface, to his translation of Count Stolberg's Travels aside. We recommend those who desire full informa- through Germany, fc. p. viii. tion as to the history and prospects of our iron trade, to consult the treatise on the Manufacture of Iron,
THE SEASONS. published by the Society of Useful Knowledge." Of Tue Seasons are my friends, companions dear that one contemptible mineral," says Mr. Locke, speaking
Hale Winter will I tend with constant feet, of iron," he who first made use, may be truly styled the
When over wold and desert, lake and mere, father of arts and the author of plenty."
He sails triumphant in a rack of sleet,
With his rude joy the russet earth to greet, [To be continued.]
Pinching the tiny brook and infant ferry;,
And I will hear him on his mountain seat,
Shouting his boisterous carol free and merry, :
Crown'd with a Christmas wreath of crimson holly-berry.
When in her humid scarf she leaves the hills,
To set the pebbly music of the rills,
As yet scarce freed from stubborn icicles;
Ere yet the light her golden dew distils
When the wrung peasant's anxious toil is done,
And glean the harvest of a setting sun,
From the pure mellowing fields of ether won;
Till vesper rising slowly, widow'd nun,
The gospel of the stars, great Nature's holy writ!
considerable beauty, entitled 'The Solitary,' by Charles Whitehead, which was published some months since.]
The Office of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge is st
59, Lincoln's-Inn Fields.
LONDON:-CHARLES KNIGHT, PALL-MALL EAST. Shopkeepers and Hawkers may be supplied Wholesale by the following
Booksellers, of whom, also, any of the previous Numbers may be hed:
London, GROOMBRIDGE, Panyer Alloy. | Manchester, ROBINSON; and Wea Near the town of Orotava, in the island of Teneriffe, Bath, SIMMS.
and Sinks. there is an enormous many-headed palm of the species Bristol, WESTLEY and Co.
Norwich, JARROLD and Son, called the Dragon-Tree (in French, Dragonnier), which Carlisle, Tuurnan; and SCOTT, Nottingham, WRIGHT.
Oxford, SLATTER. has been described by the scientific traveller Humboldt, Doncaster, Brooke and Co.
Plynouth, NETTLETOX. and more recently by Maria Graham. This tree is
Portsca, HORSEY, Jun.
Sheffield, RIDOL. situated in the garden of M. Franqui. There are exist Hull, STEPHENSON,
Staffordshire, Lane End, C. WATT ing documents which show that the trunk of this tree
Kendal, Hudson and NICHOLSON. Worcester, DEIGHTON,
Dublin, WAKEMAX. had attained its present vast size in the fifteenth century. Lincoln, Brooke and Sons.
Edinburgh, OLIVIR and Boyo.
Glasgow, ATKINSON and Co. Its height is about 60 feet; its circumference near the Liverpool, WILLMEZ and Suita. root is 48 feet. At the height of ten feet above the soil,
Printed by WILLIAN CLOWES, Stamford Street,
[Male and Female Ostrich.] rose Ti non 1392 In the year 1822, the writer of this paper happened to and then filling the two legs with the eggs slung them be travelling in the interior of the colony of the Cape over their shoulders ; and in this plight, without any of Good Hope, and had occasion to cross the Great notion of indecorum, presented themselves with goodKarroo, a desert region lying between the parallel humoured smiles at the waggons, claiming as their remountain ridges of the Zwartbergen and Sneeuwbergen. ward an extra allowance of tobacco —a claim duly This region consists of an elevated plain or tract of table- allowed. land, which, with the exception of a few spots along the On this and other occasions we picked up a good skirts of the mountain chains above-mentioned, is en- deal of information respecting the character and habits tirely uninhabitable from the aridity of the climate and of the oštrich, especially from an African farmer named the want of streams or fountains. It is not a sandy Du Ploit, who lived on the borders of the Karroo, about desert, like those of Arabia, but consists generally of a a day's journey from this spot; and who derived a conhard gravelly or clayey soil, much impregnated in many siderable income by hunting ostriches and sending the places with saltpetre, and sprinkled over with a variety feathers to Cape Town. Comparing the information of low shrubs resembling heath. It is of considerable thus acquired with that obtained in a similar way by Dr. extent, being about three hundred miles long by from Lichtenstein (the German naturalist), the following facts seventy to eighty miles broad. It is much frequented by may be considered as pretty well authenticated. ostriches, of which we saw great numbers, sometimes The male ostrich of South Africa ' at the time of single or in pairs, sometimes in flocks of twenty or thirty. breeding usually associates to himself from two to six Near a brackish fountain, about the middle of this females. The hens lay all their eggs together in one Karroo, called Rhinoceros Fountain, where we unyoked nest; the nest being merely a shallow cavity scraped our waggons for part of a day, our Hottentot attendants in the ground, of such dimensions as to be conveniently discovered two ostrich nests. In the one all the eggs covered by one of these gigantic birds in incubation. had been broken apparently by the birds themselves A most ingenious device is employed to save space, such being their practice on finding their nests dis- and give at the same time to all the eggs their due covered. In the other nest were twenty-four fine fresh share of warmth. The eggs are made to stand each eggs, which the Hottentots brought to the waggons by with the narrow end on the bottom of the nest and a curious mode of conveyance. Pulling off their leathern the broad end upwards; and the earth which has been trousers, they tied them tight at the lower extremities, scraped out to form the cavity is employed to confine the VOL. I.
outer circle, and keep the whole in the proper position. The food of the ostrich consists of the tops of the variThe hens relieve each other in the office of incubation ous shrubby plants which even the most arid parts of during the day, and the male takes his turn at night, South Africa produce in abundance. This bird is so when his superior strength is required to protect the eggs casily satistied in regard to water that he is constantly or the new-fledged young from the jackalls, tiger-cats, and to be found in the most parched and desolate tracts other enemies. Some of these animals, it is said, are not which even the antelopes and the beasts of prey have unfrequently found lying dead near the nest, destroyed deserted. His cry at a distance so much resembles that by a stroke from the foot of this powerful bird. of the lion, that even the Hottentots are said to be some
As many as sixty eggs are sometimes found in and times deceived by it. around an ostrich nest; but a smaller number is more When not hatching they are frequently seen in troops common; and incubation is occasionally performed by a of thirty or forty together, or amicably associated with single pair of ostriches. Each female lays from twelve herds of zebras or quaggas, their fellow-lenants of the to sixteen eggs. They continue to lay during incubation, wilderness. If caught young the ostrich is easily tamed; and even after the young brood are hatched the super- but it does not appear that any attempt has been made numerary eggs are not placed in the nest, but around it, to apply his great strength and swiftness to any purpose being designed to assist in the nourishment of the young of practical utility. birds, which, though as large as a pullet when first hatched, are probably unable at once to digest the hard and acrid food on which the old ones subsist. The
ON ANCIENT INDIA. period of incubation is from thirty-six to forty days. In | ARRIAN s book on India, to which we have already rethe middle of the day the nest is occasionally left by all ferred, is curious for the short notices which it gives about the birds, the heat of the sun being then sufficient to the animal and vegetable productions of a country which keep the eggs at the proper temperature.
is now virtually included within the empire of a people An ostrich egg is considered as equal in its contents who, when Arrian wrote, were considered little better to twenty-four of the domestic hen. When taken fresh than savages by the Greeks and Romans. from the nest, as those were which we found near The Indians, says Arrian, consider the tiger a much Rhinoceros Fountain, they are very palatable, and are fiercer animal than the elephant. Nearchus, Alexander's wholesome though somewhat heavy food. The best admiral, says that he saw a tiger's skin, but never the mode of cooking them is that practised by the Hotten- animal itself; the Indians, however, assured him that the tots, and which we adopted under their tuition, namely, tiger is as large as the largest horse, and that as to to place one end of the egg in the hot ashes, and making speed and courage no animal can be compared with a small orifice in the other, keep stirring the contents him. The tiger will fight even with the elephant, and with a bit of stick till they are sufficiently roasted ; and will leap on his antagonist's head and easily strangle then with a seasoning of salt and pepper you have a very him.-In this description of the tiger we see that love of nice omelade.
exaggeration and of the marvellous which has led so The ostrich of South Africa is a prudent and wary many visitors of newly-discovered countries to magnify animal, and displays little of that stupidity ascribed to what they have seen and heard. Though there is often this bird by some naturalists. On the borders of the truth at the bottom even of the wildest tales, as in this tiger Cape Colony, at least, where it is eagerly pursued for story, it is not easy to separate it from the falsehood. the sake of its valuable plumage, the ostrich displays 119 of the parrot (Psittacus) Nearchus talks as want of sagacity in providing for its own safety or the prodigy, describing the bird and affirming that it can security of its offspring. It adopts every possible pre- speak like a man. As to this matter, says Arrian, I caution to conceal the place of its nest; and uniformly have seen many of them, and they are now no rarity. abandons it, after destroying the eggs, if it perceives that The first mention of the parrot is by Ctesias, a Greek the eggs have been disturbed or the footsteps of man are physician, resident with Artaxerxes
, King of Persia, discovered near it. In relieving each other in hatching, B.C. 401. His account, as usual with this doctor, the birds are said to be careful not to be seen together savours a little of the extravagant." The bird called at the nest, and are never observed to approach it in a bittacus has the tongue and voice of a man: its size is direct line.
about that of a hawk, its head is red, and it has a black Some of the Cape colonists, on the skirts of the Great I beard.” Clesias, who had perhaps never seen the bird, Karroo and other remote districts, make the pursuit of is evidently speaking of his beak, which he has transthe ostrich one of their principal and most profitable formed into a beard. He goes on to say, " Its neck is amusements. Du Ploit showed us five or six skins of of the colour of cinnabar; and it speaks the Indian lanostriches that he had lately killed. The beautiful white guage just like a man.
When it has learned Greek, it feathers so much prized in Europe are found on the tail speaks that language also just as well as its native only of the male bird. Du Ploit said that it was ex- tongue.". If we had never seen the parrot, it would be tremely difficult to get within shot of them, owing to rather difficult to extract the truth out of this strange their constant vigilance, and the great distance to which account. We may remark that about five hundred they can see. The fleetest horse, too, will not overtake years elapsed between the time of Ctesias and Arrian, them unless stratagem be adopted to tire them out; but who lived under the Emperor Trajan, when it appears by several horsemen taking different sides of a large that the parrot had become a common bird in the west. plain, and pursuing them backwards and forwards till Indeed we know from various passages, that the Romans their strength is exhausted, they may be at length run had these birds domesticated just as we have, and dowrl
. If followed up too eagerly this chace is not des taught them to utter a great variety of words. titute of danger, for the huntsman has sometimes had Nearchus says snakes are caught in India, which are his thigh-bone broken by a single stroke from the wing spotted and very swift. One which Python, the son of or the foot of a wounded ostrich. While jealous and Antigenes, caught, was four and twenty feet long, and vigilant against the hunter, these birds will often allow the Indians say there are some much above these dimentravellers in waggons to approach very close to them sions. The Greek doctors, says Nearchus, could never before they becoine alarmed. A Hottentot waggon-cure any of the soldiers who had been bitten by an driver once carried the writer of this article almost Indian snake, and therefore Alexander, during his camwithin pistol-shot of a covey of ostriches, by driving paign in that country, always kept a number of the best round and round them in a circle and gradually narrow- Indian physicians about him, and notice was given that ing the distance till they took flight.
if any man was bitten he must repair to the king's tent.
There are trees in India, says Nearchus, of such a descent, either to fall back into the crater, or to roll size, that they cover a space not less than five hundred down the outside of the cone with fearful violence and feet in circuit, and ten thousand men might easily find rapidity.
To this there was no pause. shelter under one of them. Here we have an account, of fire never grew paler or less, and the burning and hardly an exaggerated one, of the banian-tree of stones and rocks succeeded each other without interIndia, one of the most wonderful products of the vege- mission or decrease. If our readers could imagine table world. “ On the banks of the Nerbudda is a ten thousand pieces of ordnance discharging red-hot celebrated banian-tree ; and though much of it has been shot in the air, in conjunction with ten thousand of the swept away by high floods, what still remains is near two greatest rockets, still they would have an inadequate idea thousand feet in circumference, measured round the prin- of this mighty eruption, and of the noise that accomcipal stems. This has been known, in the march of an panied it. The column of fire threw a horrid blood-red army, to shelter seven thousand men beneath its shade*." glare over part of the bay and a small portion of the sky,
Megasthenes says that the shell which contains the while, from the dense clouds of smoke that continually pearl is fished for with nets, and these shells are found increased, the most vivid forked lightning flashed at in great quantities in one place, clustered together like every second. The ghastly blue of these long zig-zag so many bees, for they have either a king or a queen flashes contrasted strangely with the red colour of the among them just as bees have. If a man should happen volcanic fire; and as they darted on either side and high to catch the king, he easily manages to get all the rest. | above the head of the pillar rising from the crater, they But if the king escapes, it is impossible to take the other produced an effect which baffles the description of the shells.—Whether Megasthenes, who bears rather a bad pen and the ingenuity of the pencil. To all this must be name as a notorious liar, is telling the truth here or not, added that a continuous issue of lava now came from the we beg the zoologists to determine for us.
cone and rolled down towards the sea-as a vast river
of fire ; whilst another stream of lava scarcely less in MOUNT VESUVIUS.
magnitude, but not visible from Naples, flowed in the
direction of the now partly disinterred city of Pompeii. By far the most tremendous eruption of Mount Vesu The writer of this notice, who can but feebly describe vius since that of 1779, described by Sir William Hamil- the scenes of which he was an eye-witness, though be ton, and in some of its features grander even than that, can never forget them, left his apartments in Naples was the eruption of 1822.
about midnight to take a nearer view of the eruption. The volcano had been unusually quiet for several As he went through that crowded city, terror seemed months, with not so much as a wreath of smoke proceed to keep all eyes open; and he met numerous proing from the great crater, or from any other part of it ; cessions, with figures of Madonnas and Saints at their when suddenly, on a Sunday evening late in the month head, hurrying to particular churches and the suburbs of October, two columns of fire were seen to ascend froin facing Vesuvius to implore the protection of Heaven. On the summit of the great cone. The quantity of fire, the road to Portici the scene was still more melancholy:however, was inconsiderable. The burning stones, and thousands and thousands of affrighted peasants from other ignited matter, seemed all to fall back into the villages on the mountain's sides, and townspeople from broad crater from which they were ejected; and there was Portici, Resina, the Torre del Greco, and other villages, no appearance that this would be anything more than were flying towards Naples with such of their property as one of the frequent minor eruptions that cause neither they could remove, or were lying out in the fields or on mischief nor alarm.
the road near to the walls of the capital. The aged and During that night the eruption continued as it had be the infirm, weeping women and helpless children, were gun. On Monday the mountain offered merely a small huddled together with the conviction that their homes, column of smoke. When the sun set and darkness came their gardens, and their vineyards must inevitably be on, the fire again was visible on the top of the cone, but consumed and buried by the descending lava. during the whole of Monday night there was no increase; The English traveller reached Resina, and thence and on Tuesday morning the volume of smoke was as walked up ihe mountain to the hermitage of San Salvainsignificant as on the preceding day. But about two tore, mentioned in our former notice of Vesuvius as hours after noon on the Tuesday all at once a rum- being situated on a flat at the foot of the terminating bling noise of terrific loudness was heard ; and the next cone in which is the great crater. Here he found several instant an immense coluinn of Heecy smoke burst fiom of his country-people, and among them some ladies, the great crater, and towered slowly and majestically whose anxiety to view this subline spectacle near at hand upward until it attained an extreme elevation in the had overcome their fears. From the hermitage he adatınosphere, when it spread itself laterally, and for some vanced nearer to the cone, and then descended into time continued to present a consistent and defined form, a hollow through which the great river of lava was flowlike that of the Italian pine-tree.
ing As he approached it, he saw it come in conIn this state it was an exceedingly beautiful object ; tact with a fine large vineyard. The low, dried vines its forin being graceful, and its flaky white colour re were immediately set on fire, and blazing all over in lieved by the deep, pure blue of an Italian sky. But an instant, the destructive element spread to another soon other throbs and groans of the volcano were heard; and another vineyard, until considerable mischief was smoke of a dark brown colour burst from the crater; done. The lava, as in every eruption he has seen, so the head of the gigantic column swelled in size; and far from being rapid, was exceedingly slow in its course, spreading it all directions, and becoming darker and flowing only a few feet in a minute. At this time it darker, sooni covered every part of the sky, and lost all seemed tending directly to the unfortunate town of the shape. By this time alarin had struck not only the po- Torre del Greco, which it threatened to overwhelm; but pulation in the immediate neighbourhood of the moun- it afterwards turned aside, and, following another hollow, tain, but the inliabitants of Naples itself. All thronged rolled into a wide and deep chasm of the mountain. He to the shores of the bay, or to the hills, or to the outside then attempted to ascend by the side of this burning river of the town, to gaze with territied looks at Vesuvius. towards the cone; but its heat, which set fire to brush But it was not until tlie fall of night that the scene wood and little trees at several feet distance, became in displayed all its terrors. Then an immense pillar supportable. At every throe of the volcano the Inounof fire was seen to rise from the cone; and red-hottain shook beneath his feet, and he was already so near stones and disrupted rocks to ascend with it, and in thieir that the lapilla from the crater tell upon him like hal. * Edin. Cab. Lib. from Forbes' Oriental Memoirs. This sort of ash, which is called lapilla, is an exceedingly
light and porous substance, resembling pumice-stone; | invasion the castle was greatly enlarged by William Fitzand though it fell so thickly and in pieces as large as osborne, Earl of Hereford, to whom it was given by the walnuts, it caused little annoyance. But the heat, as it Conqueror, and additions have since been repeatedly has been said, was insupportable; and as the fumes of made to it. In the reign of Elizabeth, the buildings were the sulphur became still more so, causing a most disa- for the first time enclosed by a wall faced with stone, and greeable sensation of suffocation, he returned to the defended by a deep moat, as they now remain. The space hermitage. In a short time the quantity of smoke was contained within this enclosure amounts to about twenty so great and so black that it obscured the lava that pro- acres, and the entire circuit of the fortifications is threeduced it. Nothing could now be seen distinctly except fourths of a mile. The principal and most ancient part of the lightning flashing through a pitchy sky, and a part the castle, however, is that which stands on the west side, of the column of fire from the crater looking a lurid red. next to the entrance, and forms an almost regular paralleloThe noise, tremendous even as far off as Naples, was, gram, with the corners rounded off. Much of this belongs at a spot so near as the hermitage, utterly astounding. undoubtedly to the Norman age, and a small portion It should be noticed that this noise' was produced by the of it is probably Saxon. The keep is built on the north passage through the air of the matter which the volcano side of the fortress upon the summit of an artificial mount, ejected, and then the fall of that matter ; for the forked of nearly sixty feet in height, the ascent to which is by a lightning was unaccompanied by thunder-it only played Alight of seventy-two steps. Only the lower apartment close round and above the crater, and seemed produced by now remains, which is an irregular polygon, of about electric fluid issuing thence, and to depend on the dense sixty feet broad in the widest part. Over this there apblack clouds that flanked the ascending column of fire. pears to have been originally, at least one other story,
The violence of this eruption was little abated for of which however nothing now remains. The prospect two days and nights. Fortunately, however, the lava, in from the top is of great beauty and extent, comprethe courses it took, did not find any town or village to hending not only the whole of the island, but a condestroy; and the lapilla and ashes or dust that fell in siderable part of Southampton water, and of some of the almost inconceivable quantities in every place in the adjoining counties. In the centre of the keep is a well neighbourhood were not difficult to remove, and indeed of three hundred feet in depth, but which has been for (that being the rainy season) were mainly washed away some time covered over as useless and dangerous. In by the heavy rains shortly after. In No. 2 of the Penny ancient times such an accommodation must have been Magazine, some other accounts of this same eruption, indispensable in this the heart of the fortress, and the and particularly of the curious state of the roads at the last retreat of the garrison when pressed by a besieging foot of the mountain, of the appearance presented by enemy. In the earlier ages of our history Carisbrook Pompeii a few days after, and of the prodigious distance Castle was frequently attacked, especially by the French. to which the ashes of Vesuvius were carried, have been in 1377 it is related, that a band of invaders of that given in a short article on the city of Pompeii.
nation having made an assault upon it, fell into an When the smoke cleared away from the mountain, ambuscade in a narrow lane in the neighbourhood, and which it did not for many days, it was perceived that the were nearly all massacred. The scene of slaughter still eruption had carried away the edges or lips of the cra- retains the name of Deadman's-lane. ter, and materially altered the shape, and lowered the cone, of Vesuvius. The lava by this time, though its outer coating had cooled to such a degree that you could walk over it, still burned beneath; and it was many days more before what had been rivers of liquid fire became cold. Solid ridges were then seen, of what looked like hard, black, brittle stone, or rather like what smiths and iron-founders call clinkers. :: Hi · The main stream of lava was about fifty feet wide on an average. It ran for more than a mile; and had not the eruption ceased and stopped at its fountain head, even in the direction it had taken it would have soon destroyed a beautiful district between-Vesuvius and the sea.
CARISBROOK CASTLE. THERE are few edifices now remaining in England that lay claim to so venerable an antiquity as the celebrated pile of which we are about to give an account. Carisbrook Castle stands about a mile to the south-west of Newport, the principal town of the Isle of Wight, and consequently almost in the centre of the island. It is erected upon an eminence, from which it overlooks the town of Carisbrook, now an insignificant village, but which, before Newport rose into importance, enjoyed the dignity of metropolis of the Isle of Wight under the feudal lords who possessed the island until 1291, when the last descendant of these petty sovereigns, Isabella de Fortibus, Countess of Devon, and Lady of the Isle of Wight, (widow of William de Fortibus, Earl of Albemarle,) surrendered this portion of her vast inheritance to King Edward I. whilst lying on her death-bed at her manor of Lamb-Heth (Lambeth), of which, as well as of the adjoining manor of Sale-Faux (Vauxhall), she was the proprietor. It is thought by some antiquaries that a portion of the present building was of Saxon construction, as early as the sixth century. After the Norman