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“ Flower of his dear loved native land !
Alas! when distant, far more dear.
Looks homeward through the blinding tear,
The flights and motions, the cheerful sounds and voices of the birds of the air, give animation to the most solitary places; and through the lakes and rivers of the country, myriads of the Salmon genus are seen advancing in their annual visits from the
I watch their progress from day to day. One time on the margin of a favourite lake, another on the borders of the river, among the ferns and rushes, which bend over the stream. And there I frequently recall to recollection those
and careless hours, when with you I traced the progress of these annual vagrants, through the sparkling waters of the Derwent, into the river that flows from Keswick to the valley of St. John, or when, with those
“ Guides of our life, instructors of our youth,
Who first unveil'd the hallowed form of truth,”
we observed the same species opposing themselves to mountain torrents, and springing over cataracts several feet in height, at the perpendicular falls of Kenneth, Pont Aberglassin, and Leixlep, seven miles from Dublin. With what delight we contemplated the retiring of the Salmon a few paces back, when arrived at the base of the cascade, as if by mutual consent, in order to survey the danger that assailed them. Then advancing, and again retreating, and at length, summoning all their courage, they sprung upwards, keeping themselves straight, with a tremulous motion, and thus surmounted the opposing barrier, Since then, I have visited the romantic cascade of the rushing Tivy, and stood on the same spot (for indeed there is only one from which the falls can be seen to advantage), where Camden, and the poet Drayton observed the remarkable phenomenon of the salmon leap. The first informs us that the people used to stand and wonder at the strength and sleight by which they saw the Salmon get out of the sea, into the said river, and that the manner and height of the place is so notable, that it is known by the name of the Salmon leap.” The latter gave impression to his feelings in the following antiquated lines :
“ And when the Salmon seeks a fresher stream to find,
And springing at his height, as doth a little wand
“Successive generations have since resorted to the same romantic spot, exhibiting in themselves the gradual advances of science, or the vicissitudes of ignorance and learning; but the falls and the surrounding country have sustained little alteration since the days of Camden. He who visits scenes distinguished in the annals of his country, frequently recurs with lively interest to the changes produced by time or custom in the lapse of years, but he forgets that the emotions which have actuated him at different periods of his life, are nearly as dissimilar. When with
I visited the falls of Kenneth, Pont Aberglassin, and Leixlip, life appeared as an unlimited horizon, and hope had coloured the future with her rainbow tints. A cloud has since obscured the brightness of the landscape, and far different feelings have engrossed the bosom of your friend, when in the gloom of evening, he has seen the fires of the fishermen lighting up on the shores of the solitary Usk, for the purpose of attracting the Salmon, and when, as if unable to resist the fascination, they have pressed towards the bickering flame, that allured to betray them. He
then has felt, that a reflecting mind, like the fabled transmuting power which turns all it touches into gold, derives instruction or reproof from almost every object, and in the wilful blindness of the Salmon genus, has confessed a striking emblem of his own perilous career. The sober realities of truth have gradually succeeded to illusions, which at one period exercised such an unbounded sway over his affections; as the disappearance of light and unsubstantial vapours, discovers the majesty of Alpine districts. Nor is it irrelevant to add, that the flowers blossoming beside his solitary path, have often been to him, like way-marks in conducting his reflections to some important end; and that, from the tribes of ocean he has learned, in whatever station the Deity has placed him, to be content. For, observing that the Supreme Creator of the universe, assigns to every class of being, their different localities, and renders them subservient to the general harmony of things, he inferred that the states of individuals were adjusted with a reference to their higher destination.
“ The mind that is thus filled with secret contentment, has gone a great way towards praise and thanksgiving. Such an habitual disposition, consecrates every rock and river; turns, as Addison well remarks, "an ordinary walk into a morning and evening sacrifice, and will improve those transient gleams of joy, which naturally brighten up, and refresh the mind, into a sweet abiding feeling of confidence and peace.”
Thus far our extract. It now remains to notice the wanderings of the genus Clupea, with a reference to the benefits they annually confer.
This species is unknown in the warm climates of the south. They delight in northern latitudes; and in rapid rivers, shaded with high trees; and abound in Greenland, Newfoundland, throughout the northern extremities of Europe, in Kamschatka, Norway, and the Baltic.
The Kamschatkadales, especially, depend for subsistence, upon the Anadromous kinds ; such as quit the sea at stated periods, and ascend the lakes and rivers of the country, which are entirely destitute of native species, for the evident purpose of leaving them to their annual quests. These quests are entirely of the Salmon genus, with the exception of the Cod, and Herring, each of which in autumn, forsakes the salt water for the fresh. “These active creatures, (says honest Walton) like persons of honour, and of riches, have both their winter and summer houses ; the fresh rivers for summer, and the sea for winter, to spend their lives in.”
We have seen, that different species of Salmon, migrate from their native haunts at a stated period of the year, and that they permit no surmountable obstacle to impede their progress towards the