Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

that!)

A deserted Dove-cot on the island is tenanted the stolid (I beg your pardon), the stalwart by a pair of White Owls. The Frogs are swim- Englishman, are not more various in their ing about most lustily.

mental capacities than in their table Walking around the lake, our face turned home- læsthetics. wards, we had the pleasure of seeing some pairs And even in this century we see that wit of the Long-tailed Titmouse and the Cole Tit, and oysters come in together with September, both of which breed here in abundance. When we did see them, onr mind was musing on these and wit and oysters go out together in May most true lines of the great Schiller :

-a circumstance not without its weight, and On the mountain is Freedom ! the breath of decay With this brief but not irrelevant digression

peculiarly pertinent to the subject matter. Never sullies the fresh flowing air;

I will proceed. We have Ostreumfrom Oh! Nature is perfect wherever we stray ; 'Tis man that deforms it with care.

the Latins, “ Oester" from the Saxons, “ Auster" from the Teutons, “ Ostra" from

the Spaniards, and “Huitre" from the French; THE FIRST OYSTER-EATER.

words evidently of common origin, threads

spun from the same distaff! And here our THE IMPENETRABLE VEIL of antiquity archæology narrows to a point, and this point hangs over the antediluvian oyster, but the is the pearl we are in search of: viz., the geological finger-post points to the testifying genesis of this most excellent fish. fossil. We might, in pursuing this subject, “ Words evidently derived from a common sail upon the broad pinions of conjecture into origin.” What origin? Let us examine the the remote, or flutter with lighter wings in venerable page of history. Where is the the regions of fable—but it is unnecessary : first mention made of oysters ? Hudibras the mysterious pages of Nature are ever

says: opening freshly around us, and in her stony

" the Emperor Caligula, volumes, amid the calcareous strata, we

Who triumph'd o'er the British seas, behold the precious mollusc—the primeval Took crabs and 'OYSTERS' prisoners (mark bivalve, -"rock-ribbed ! and ancient as the sun."

And lobsters, 'stead of cuirassiers ;
BRYANT.

Engaged his legions in fierce bustles

With periwinkles, prawns, and mussels, Yet of its early history we know nothing. And led his troops with furious gallops Etymology throws but little light upon the To charge whole regiments of scallops ; matter. In vain have we carried our re- Not, like their ancient way of war, searches into the vernacular of the maritime To wait on his triumphal car, Phænicians, or sought it amid the fragments

But when he went to dine or sup, of Chaldean and Assyrian lore.

To no

More bravely ate bis captives up; purpose have we analysed the roots of the Leaving all war by his example, comprehensive Hebrew, or lost ourselves in

Reduced-to vict'ling of a camp well." the baffling labyrinths of the oriental San- This is the first mention in the classics of scrit. The history of the ancient oyster is oysters; and we now approach the cynosure written in no language, except in the universal of our inquiry. From this, we infer that idiom of the secondary strata !

oysters came originally from Britain. The Nor is this surprising, in a philosophical word is unquestionably primitive. The broad, point of view. Setting aside the pre-Adamites, open, vowelly sound is, beyond a doubt, the and taking Adam as the first name-giver, primal, spontaneous thought that found when we reflect that Adam lived in-land, and utterance when the soft, seductive mollusc therefore never saw the succulent periphery first exposed its white bosom in its pearly in its native mud, we may deduce this rea- shell to the enraptured gaze of aboriginal sonable conclusion: viz., that as he never man! Is there a question about it? Does saw it, he probably never NAMED it-never! not every one know, when he sees an oyster, -not even to his most intimate friends. that that is its name? And hence we reason

Such being the case, we must seek for in- that it originated'in Britain, was Latinised by formation in a later and more enlightened the Romans, replevined by the Saxons, corage. And here let me take occasion to rupted by the Teutons, and finally barbecued remark, that oysters and intelligence are by the French. Oh, philological ladder, by nearer allied than many persons imagine. which we mount upward, until we einerge The relations between Physiology and Psy- beneath the clear vertical light of Truth!! chology are beginning to be better under- Methinks I see the FIRST OYSTER-EATER! stood. A man might be scintillant with A brawny, naked savage, with his wild hair facetiousness over a plump Shrewsbury,” matted over his wild eyes, a zodiac of fiery who would make a very sorry figure over a stars tattooed across his muscular breast — bowl of water-gruel. The gentle, indolent unclad, unsandalled, hirsute, and hungry-Brahmin, the illiterate Laplander, the fero- he breaks through the underwoods that cious Libyan, the mercurial Frenchman, and margin the beach, and stands alone upon the sea-shore, with nothing in one hand but his upon it. The season, the hour, the westerly unsuccessful boar-spear, and nothing in the sky, remind him of former times. He sits other but his fist. There he beholds a and meditates. splendid panorama] The west all a-glow; Suddenly a flush of pleasure overspreads the conscious waves blushing as the warm his countenance; for there, just below the sun sinks to their embraces; the blue sea on flood, he sees a gigantic bivalve-alonehis left; the interminable forest on his right; with mouth agape, as if yawning with very and the creamy sea-sand curving in delicate weariness at the solitude in which it found tracery between. A picture and a child of itself. What I am about to describe may Nature!

be untrue. But I believe it. I have heard Delightedly he plunges in the foam, and of the waggish propensities of oysters. I swims to the bald crown of a rock that up- have known them, from mere humor, to clap lifts itself above the waves. Seating himself suddenly upon a rat's tail at night; and, he gazes upon the calm expanse beyond, and what with the squeaking and the clatter, we swings his legs against the moss that spins verily thought the Prince of Evil had broke its filmy tendrils in the brine. Suddenly he loose in the cellar. utters a cry: springs up; the blood streams But to return. When our Briton saw the from his foot. With barbarous fury he tears oyster in this defenceless attitude, he knelt up masses of sea-moss, and with it clustering down; and gradually reaching his arm tofamilies of testacea. Dashing them down ward it, he suddenly thrust his fingers in upon the rock, he perceives a liquor exuding the aperture, and the oyster closed upon from the fragments; he sees the white, them with a spasmodic snap! In vain the pulpy, delicate morsel, half hidden in the Briton tugged and roared; he might as well cracked shell; and instinctively reaching up- have tried to uproot the solid rock as to reward, his hand finds his mouth, and, amidst move that oyster! In vain he called upon a savage, triumphant deglutition, he murmurs all his heathen gods-Gog and Magog-elder

OYSTER!! Champing, in his uncouth than Woden and Thor; and with huge, unfashion, bits of shell and sea-weed, with un- couth, druidical oaths consigned all shell-fish controllable pleasure he masters this mystery to Nidhogg, Hela, and the submarines. of a new sensation; and not until the grey Bivalve held on with “a will.” It was nuts veil of night is drawn over the distant waters, for him, certainly. Here was a great lubdoes he leave the rock, covered with the berly, chuckle-headed fellow, the destroyer trophies of his victory.

of his tribe, with his fingers in chancery, and We date from this epoch the maritime like ancient Pistol, to make the world his

the tide rising! A fellow who had thought, history of England. Ere long, the reedy cabins of her aborigines clustered upon the oyster, and here was the oyster making a

world of him. banks of beautiful inlets, and overspread her long lines of level beaches; or percilled with his eves: there were the huts of his people;

Strange mutation! The poor Briton raised delicate wreaths of smoke the savage aspect he could even distinguish his own, with its of her rocky coasts. The sword was beaten slender spiral of smoke; they were probably into the oyster-knife, and the spear into oyster-rakes. Commerce spread her white preparing a roast for him; how he detested wings along the shores of happy Albion, and little ones awaiting him, tugged at his heart.

a roast! Then a thought of his wife, his man emerged at once into civilisation from a The waters rose around him. He struggled, nomadic state. From this people arose the screamed in his anguish ; but the remorsemighty nation of Ostrogoths; from the Ostro- less winds dispersed the sounds, and ere the phagi of ancient Britain came the custom of Ostracism—that is, sending political delin- evening moon arose and flung her white quents to that place where they can get no billow bad rolled over the First OYSTER

radiance upon the placid waves, the last more oysters. There is a strange fatality attending all

Eater !-From Holt's Magazine, No. 2. discoveries. Our Briton saw a mighty change come over the country—a change

THE WORLD'S " PLEASURE." beyond the reach of memory or speculation. Neighboring tribes, formerly hostile, were now linked together in bonds of amity. A there? For the most part, a set of querulous,

Cast an eye into the gay world. What see we sylvan, warlike people had become a peace- emaciated, fluttering, fantastical beings, worn out ful, piscivorous community; and he himself, | in the keen pursuit of what they call “ pleasure," once the lowest of his race, was now ele

--creatures that know, own, condemn, deplore, vated above the dreams of his ambition. yet still pursue their own infelicity! These are He stood alone upon the sea-shore, looking the thin remains of what is called “ delight."toward the rock, which, years ago, had been Young. his stepping-stone to power, and a desire to [Let every one of us, at this season," read, mark, revisit it came over him. He stands now | learn, and inwardly digest” the above.]

W

RECREATIONS IN SCIENCE. creature that finds favor in the sight of so

very many of our sons and daughters; and THE SILK WORM.-No. I.

the wonders of whose short lives almost HAPPY is he who lives to understand

surpass belief. A little child, when it hears Not human nature only, but explores

the ticking of a watch, labors earnestly 10 ALL natures ; to the end that he may find, break it open-to see whence the sound The law that governs each, and where begins The union, the partition where, that makes comes, and how it is produced. Shall we Kind and degree among all visible things. then, "children of a larger growth,” culti

WORDSWORTH.

vate these worms, and not show an equal HEN WE NOTE WHAT IS curiosity to know how they perform such

PASSING AMONGST Us day miracles as are constantly presented to our after day, and behold the view ? Assuredly not. The little animal indifferent manner in which who spins her soft, her shining, her exquithe obligations and duties sitely-fine silken thread; whose matchless of life are too often per- manufactures lend an ornament to grandeur, formed, we stand aghast and make royalty itself more magnificent,

at the shallowness of the must be regarded with admiration ; nor must human mind-which, like a horse in a mill, we fail to notice, at a future time, the cell goes through its duties as if it were blind- in which, when the gaiety and business of fold. Why, the commonest (as we call it) life are over, the little recluse immures herof Nature's Works possesses an interest for self, and spends the remainder of her days an inquiring mind that is perfectly delight- in retirement :ful. It only wants the eye to see it, and This study, if directed by a meek, the heart to appreciate it, to cause its beau- Sincere, and humble spirit, teaches love ; ties to shine resplendently forth. Education For knowledge is delight, and such delight can alone give these—followed by example. Breeds love. Yet, suited as it rather is

We are glad however to observe, that the To thought, and to the climbing intellect, apathy of which we complain is beginning to

It teaches less to love than to ADOREbe aroused. Things are not now universally

If that be not indeed the HIGHEST LOVE. regarded with the stoical indifference they It would be useless for us to tell young were some years ago. Wholesome Treatises people where to obtain their silkworms. They on the works of nature have been issued at know this as well—perhaps better than we a cheap rate; and an incipient taste for an do. Our business is with their habits and investigation into the Wonders of the Crea- manner of life. These we shall glean from tion has begun to manifest itself. Flowers, the best authorities. birds, and gardens, now possess a charm, The habits of the silkworm are completely which works powerfully on the better feel- sui generis, both as regards the times of its ings of the human heart; and there are many eating and sleeping. To ascertain these among our rising. youth who show, an thoroughly, should be an early—the earliest inquiring spirit which it is delightful to study. The silkworm takes no water with encourage.

its food, excepting only what is contained in For such, we propose to-day to give our first the fresh leaf on which it feeds. If neglected, paper on the Silkworin, an interesting little or only fed at long intervals, and during the

day (even though at such times fed abun* We have often before remarked—that these dantly), a large portion of the food is thereby harmless amusements, introducedl amongst chil

wasted. The leaves thus for a long time dren, form their character for good or evil in after- exposed becoming dry, the silkworms refuse life.' A child really fond of flowers, birds, dogs, to eat ; suffering irrecoverable injury by day, or indeed any living." pet," gives indication of its and also during the long night, both by becoming a kind and feeling member of society. We have noticed this often. Whereas an early reason of hunger and tormenting thirst. display of cruelty in children, or an inclination to They suffer doubly also from the voracity tease, worry, and torture animals, invariably with which they then devour their food in leads to evil in manhood or womanhood. Not long the morning. since, we saw four innocent girls amongst their But by fresh feeding, at short and frequent “ pets.” One possessed a goldfinch, one a redpole, intervals (by night as well as by day), the one some pretty little dormice; and the fourth food is all devoured; and half the quantity three young rabbits. The mutual affection sub: will suffice, none being wasted. Half the sisting between all these, it was really delightful expenses of gathering the leaves and of to behold. The rabbits in particular, as they ran cultivation being saved, even less than one after their young mistress in the garden-at once fearless and playful, cansed us to regard that hundred pounds of these leaves will be found happy family with rapture. Their papa-a

amply sufficient for the production of a most estimable man, encourages this amiable pound of silk. The cocoons thus formed feeling, and he may well be proud of his children. will be found large and heavy; the thread, God bless them all! say we.-En. K. J.

or filament, substantial and strong, and not

*

[merged small][ocr errors]

liable to break in reeling. Thereby, neither voracious eater. Indeed, its whole life aptrouble nor waste will be caused ; and eight pears to be devoted to the satisfaction of its pounds of cocoons of this superior size will, appetite. It will be found advisable to feed with careful and skilful reeling, produce a the worms at least four times a-day. The pound of raw silk. In the manufacture of first meal should be given very early in the this silk, the waste will be exceedingly small. morning—the second about nine or ten; the

The eggs are to be obtained, as they were third at three in the afternoon, and the last laid on the paper the preceding season by at nine in the evening. the female moth. Some persons recommend The quantity of leaves given should intaking the eggs off the paper;

then distri

crease at every meal up to the fifth day, and buting them on a paper tray, or other recep the chopped leaves should be spread a little tacle appropriate for them. If the eggs were wider every time that they are fed. Thus, originally laid on paper, it would be as well as the worms increase in size, they will have to let the eggs remain upon it; and so soon

more room to feed. This may be considered as a sufficiency of food can be regularly the proper course of management up to the insured, to place them in the sun, or under fifth day from the time of hatching. On the influence of an artificial temperature, for the sixth day, a less quantity should be the purpose of expediting the hatching. The given them. On the seventh, little will be paper tray for the worms, which is nothing required; and on the eighth, or thereabouts, more than a sheet of paper folded up at the the first sickness, which is called moulting, ends and sides, may be about six inches will take place. square. When the eggs begin to hatch, let

This may be called the “FIRST AGE" of the a piece of writing paper (pierced with numerous holes) be put over the eggs, through refusal of food, the animal appears on that

silkworm. On the third day from its first which the worms crawl as they hatch ; and on the paper lay some small twigs of'mul- account much wasted in its bodily frame, berry, with the leaves on.

a circumstance which naturally assists it in

The worms, in getting through the holes, immediately lodge order to facilitate this moult, a kind of humor

the painful operation of casting its skin. In on the twigs, which, when covered, you is thrown off by the worm, which, spreading should remove to another paper tray about between the body and the skin about to be eighteen inches square. More leaves should

abandoned, lubricates their surfaces, and then be placed over the eggs, and removed as soon as the worms are upon them. The causes them to separate more readily. It time of hatching generally commences at five, also emits from its body silken traces, which, and lasts till nine o'clock in the morning. It adhering to the spot on which it rests, serve will take about three days for the whole of to confine the skin to its then existing position. the eggs to be hatched, and each day's hatch- In two or three minutes from the commenceing should be placed on a separate tray, so and again puts on the appearance of health

ment of its efforts, the worm is wholly freed, as to occupy one-fourth of the space. The and vigor, feeding with renewed appetite upon day of the month, too, should be carefully its leafy banquet. When the silkworm gets noted down, so as to prevent all future

over his first sickness and moulting, he is of confusion.

a greyish color; and his little trunk, or point When first batched, the produce of the of his head, is jet black, by which color he is egg appears like a small black worm, of about then distinguished. It must, however, be a quarter of an inch in length. Its first sign observed that this first moulting, or casting of animation is the desire which it evinces their skins, depends entirely upon the tempefor obtaining food, in search of which it will rature in which they have been kept. If the roam about. But so little desire is there for a temperature be kept up to seventy-five dechange of place on the part of these animals, grees, they would cast their skins on the sixth that of the generality it may be said their or seventh day. As a rule, the hotter they inclination seldom causes them to travel over

are kept the more rapid their growth; and a greater space than three feet throughout they consequently go through their changes the whole duration of their lives!

more quickly. Still

, the risk is greater. As soon as the worms have done coming The litter must not be cleared away from forth for the day, and are removed, they the worms until they have parted with their should have a little food given to them. This skin; it should then be immediately removed. may be a few young leaves, chopped very Great care must be always taken in giving fine, which should be sprinkled over them. the worms dry leaves. Indeed they ought Some prefer giving the leaves whole, as they always to be gathered some hours before they consider that, when chopped, they lose a

Wet leaves almost invariably considerable portion of their nutritive juices. produce sickness and disease. The food must be given to them in very The “SECOND AGE" of the silkworm may small quantities, so as at first not to cloy the be said to commence on the ninth day of its appetite of the worm; for the silkworm is a rearing; that is, supposing the moult to have

are used.

worms.

taken place on the eighth. The routine of their last moult, and enter upon their final management is now nearly the same as and most precarious stage as silkworms. during the first age. Mulberry twigs with At this age of the worms, most particular the leaves on, or separate leaves, may be attention must be paid to the temperature. spread over them; and as soon as the worms If the weather be very cold, a fire ought to are fairly established upon them, they should be made in the apartment in which they are be removed to clean paper trays kept in kept; and every method adopted to prevent readiness. In this age they will require the worms being exposed to any damp. All double the space to grow in, for they are now objects yielding any offensive smell should beginning to increase considerably in size. be removed, and the air in which they are They must be laid in squares (about one kept should be occasionally renewed. This fourth the space they will fill during this age), may be effected by sprinkling the apartment and particular care must be taken to enlarge with chloride of líme. the squares every time they are fed. Proper

The "FIFTH AGE" commences about the attention, too, must be paid to the quantity 28th day from the birth; and this may be con, of food given, which must be increased up sidered the commencement of the largest and to the fourth day of the second sickness. On most dangerous size of the silkworm. The the fifth day they will require but little, and on the sixth little or none, as they will now

greatest attention must now be paid—not only become torpid. When at this age, the leaves to the feeding, but to the ventilating of the need not be cut at all, but given as they are apartment ; and be sure to keep up a regular gathered from the tree. They will now con

temperature, and prevent the entrance of sume double the quantity; and in much less dampness and noxious air. Strict attention, time.

too, must be paid to the excrement of the

This and the refuse leaves must be The temperature of the room in which they removed every morning. Cleanliness is of are kept should be as equable as possible. the greatest importance in the keeping of The apartment should be well ventilated, but silkworms. no strong current of air should be allowed to In this last age, the worms should be fed pass over the worms. When the sun shines with full-grown leaves, given whole. The brightly, a blind should be hung up against quantity they require, if they be in good the window; for the intense rays of the sun health, will be about four times what they con. are very hurtful to them. The neglect of sumed during their first four ages. On no acthese precautions is the cause (too often) of count must the leaves be given in a wet state; failure and disappointment.

and it will be advisable that a stock be always The “THIRD AGE" of the silkworm com- kept in hand, in case of wet weather. If the mences from about the fifteenth day of its leaves be two days old, they will answer very birth. The worms, after their third sickness, well, but they must be kept dry; not piled will have increased to such a size as again to upon each other, but spread out singly, and require double the space which they had turned occasionally, to prevent the tops from during their second age, and four times the shrivelling. quantity of food. When they have revived Up to the sixth day, they will consume from their sickness, which can be told by an immense quantity of leaves, and of course their increased activity and apparent anxiety the quantity must be increased every time or food, they should be removed to clean the worms are fed. Every morning, bear in trays. The food must be gradually increased mind, they should be removed to clean trays. up to the fifth day; but on the sixth, half If it be found necessary to remove a few of the quantity will be sufficient. On the seventh, the large worms, it is a good plan to take them little or none must be given, seeing that, on up with a quill. The less they are handled the eighth, they will begin to cast their skins the better; for the heat of our hands being and enter upon their fourth age.

much greater than their bodies, it does them The “FOURTH Age" of the silkworm com- an injury from which they frequently never mences about the twenty-first day of its recover. The paper trays used the first day birth. In this age they will consume nearly will answer for the third, and so on. For three times the quantity of leaves which they the seventh day, a less quantity of leaves did in the third age. The leaves should now will be required than on the former day; be givenin their natural state (not chopped); and on the eighth day still less. On the and the worms will require at least double the ninth day very few will be required; but it extent of space which was allotted to them in should be well remembered that the worms the preceding ages. Remove them, as in the should have as much food given them as they previous ages ; and every time they are fed will consume. This should be most carefully increase the quantity of food up to the fifth attended to, in this age of the silkworm. It day. On the sixth day give about half the now requires all the nutrition that can be quantity; and on the seventh day little or administered to it. The juices from which none. They are now about to pass through the silk is to be produced are commencing to

« PoprzedniaDalej »