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Title: Useful Knowledge: Vol. III. Animals - A familiar account of the various productions of nature
Author: Bingley, William
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Useful Knowledge: Vol. III. Animals - A familiar account of the various productions of nature" ***

Transcriber's note: Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

       *       *       *       *       *

_Front. Vol. III._











_Illustrated with numerous Figures, and intended as a Work
both of Instruction and Reference._





















  1. Rhinoceros.
  2. Seal.
  3. Cat.
  4. Sable.
  5. Bear.
  6. Badger.
  7. Camel.
  8. Elk.
  9. Stag, or red deer.
  10. Fallow deer.
  11. Chamois.
  12. Antelope.
  13. Goat.
  14. Sheep.
  15. Bison.
  16. Hog.
  17. Outline of the head of the Great Whale.



  18. Manis.
  19. Armadillo.
  20. Elephant.
  21. Spaniel.
  22. Greyhound.
  23. Mastiff.
  24. Fox.
  25. Beaver.
  26. Hare.
  27. Musk.
  28. Rein-deer.
  29. Ox.
  30. Horse.



  31. Falcon.
  32. Bird of paradise.
  33. Crowned pigeon.
  34. Pheasant.
  35. Cock.
  36. Red Grous.
  37. Black Grous.
  38. Ptarmigan.
  39. Bustard.
  40. Ostrich.
  41. Heron.
  42. Bittern.
  43. Snipe.
  44. Curlew.
  45. Woodcock.
  46. Ruff.
  47. Swan.
  48. Eider duck.
  49. Puffin.
  50. Penguin.
  51. Gannet.



  52. Turtle.
  53. Imbricated Turtle.
  54. Guana.
  55. Eel.
  56. Muræna.
  57. Sword-fish.
  58. Cod.
  59. Torsk.
  60. Burbot.
  61. Thunny.
  62. Gurnard.
  63. Tench.
  64. Dog-fish.


  FISHES, &c.

  65. Dorée.
  66. Turbot.
  67. Surmullet.
  68. Salmon.
  69. Gar-fish.
  70. Carp.
  71. Sturgeon.
  72. Skate.
  73. Lamprey.
  74. Lobster.
  75. Prawn.
  76. Crab.
  77. Oysters.
  78. Scallop.
  79. Muscle.
  80. Cockle.

_Plate 2. Vol. 3._


_Plate 3. Vol. 3._


_Plate 4. Vol. 3._


_Plate 5. Vol. 3._







1. Animals are natural bodies which possess organization, life, sensation,
and voluntary motion; and ZOOLOGY is that branch of natural science which
treats of their systematic arrangement; their structure and functions;
their habits of life, instincts, and uses to mankind.

2. The objects comprehended within the animal kingdom are divided into six
classes: of Mammalia or Mammiferous Animals, Birds, Amphibia or Amphibious
Animals, Fishes, Insects, and Worms: which are thus distinguished:


                                        { Viviparous           I. MAMMALIA.
                       { Hot blood      { Oviparous           II. BIRDS.
       { With vertebræ { Cold red blood { With lungs         III. AMPHIBIA.
  Body {                                { With gills          IV. FISHES.
       {                                    { Have antennæ.    V. INSECTS.
       { Without vertebræ. Cold white blood { Have tentacula. VI. WORMS.

3. The first class, or MAMMALIA, consists of such animals as produce living
offspring, and nourish their young ones with milk supplied from their own
bodies; and it comprises both the quadrupeds and whales.

4. This class has been distributed into seven ORDERS; of _primates_,
_bruta_, _feræ_, _glires_, _pecora_, _belluæ_, and _cete_, or whales. The
characteristics of these are founded, for the most part, on the number and
arrangement of the teeth; and on the form and construction of the feet, or
of those parts in the seals, manati, and whales, which supply the place of


  I. PRIMATES Have the upper _front teeth_ generally four in number,
  wedge-shaped, and parallel; and two _teats_ situated on the breast, as
  the _apes_ and _monkeys_.

  II. BRUTA Have no _front teeth_ in either jaw; and the _feet_ armed with
  strong hoof-like nails, as the _elephant_.

  III. FERÆ Have in general six _front teeth_ in each jaw; a single _canine
  tooth_ on each side in both jaws; and the grinders with conic
  projections, as the _dogs_ and _cats_.

  IV. GLIRES Have in each jaw two long projecting _front teeth_, which
  stand close together; and no _canine teeth_ in either jaw, as the _rats_
  and _mice_.

  V. PECORA Have no _front teeth_ in the upper jaw; six or eight in the
  lower jaw, situated at a considerable distance from the grinders; and the
  _feet_ with hoofs, as the _cattle_ and _sheep_.

  VI. BELLUÆ Have blunt wedge-shaped _front teeth_ in both jaws; and the
  feet with hoofs, as the _horses_.

  VII. CETE Have _spiracles_, or breaking holes on the head; _fins_ instead
  of fore-feet; and a _tail_ flattened horizontally, instead of hind feet.
  This order consists of the _narwals_, _whales_, _cachalots_, and

5. The second class, or BIRDS, comprises all such animals as have their
bodies clad with _feathers_. Their _jaws_ are elongated, and covered
externally with a horny substance called a bill or beak, which is divided
into two parts called mandibles. Their _eyes_ are furnished with a thin,
whitish, and somewhat transparent membrane, that can at pleasure be drawn
over the whole external surface like a curtain. Birds _respire_ by
air-vessels, which are extended through their body, and which, in the
abdominal cavity, adhere to the under surface of the bones. Their organs of
motion are two _wings_ and two _legs_; and they are destitute of external
ears, lips, and many other parts which are important to quadrupeds.

6. Linnæus has divided this class into six ORDERS.


1. _Land Birds._

  I. RAPACIOUS BIRDS (_Accipitres_) Have the upper mandible hooked, and an
  angular projection on each side near the point, as the _eagles_, _hawks_,
  and _owls_.

  II. PIES (_Picæ_) Have their bills sharp at the edge, somewhat compressed
  at the sides, and convex on the top, as the _crows_.

  III. PASSERINE BIRDS (_Passeres_) Have the bill conical and pointed, and
  the nostrils oval, open, and naked, as the _sparrow_ and _linnet_.

  IV. GALLINACEOUS BIRDS (_Gallinæ_) Have the upper mandible arched, and
  covering the lower one at the edge, and the nostrils arched over with a
  cartilaginous membrane, as the _common poultry_.

2. _Water Birds._

  V. WADERS (_Grallæ_) Have a roundish bill, a fleshy tongue, and the legs
  naked above the knees, as the _herons_, _plovers_, and _snipes_.

  VI. SWIMMERS (_Anseres_) Have their bills broad at the top, and covered
  with a soft skin; and the feet webbed, as the _ducks_ and _geese_.

7. Under the third class, or AMPHIBIA, are arranged such animals as have a
cold, and, generally, naked body, a lurid colour, and nauseous smell. They
respire chiefly by lungs, but they have the power of suspending respiration
for a long time. They are extremely tenacious of life, and can repair
certain parts of their bodies which have been lost. They are also able to
endure hunger, sometimes even for months, without injury.

The bodies of some of them, as the turtles and tortoises, are protected by
a hard and horny shield or covering; those of others are clad with scales,
as the serpents, and some of the lizards; whilst others, as the frogs,
toads, and most of the water-lizards, are entirely naked, or have their
skin covered with warts. Many of the species shed their skins at certain
times of the year. Several of them are furnished with a poison, which they
eject into wounds that are made by their teeth.

They chiefly live in retired, watery, and morassy places, and, for the most
part, feed on other animals; though some of them eat water plants, and many
feed on garbage and filth. None of these species chew their food; they
swallow it whole, and digest it very slowly.

The offspring of all the tribes are produced from _eggs_, which, after they
have been deposited by the parent animals in a proper place, are hatched by
the heat of the sun. The eggs of some of the species are covered with a
shell: those of others have a soft and tough skin or covering, not much
unlike wet parchment: and the eggs of several are perfectly gelatinous. In
those few that produce their offspring alive, as the vipers, and some other
serpents, the eggs are regularly formed, but are hatched within the bodies
of the females.

8. This class is divided into two ORDERS.


  I. REPTILES  Have four legs, and walk with a crawling pace, as the
  _tortoises_, _frogs_, and _lizards_.

  II. SERPENTS Have no legs, but crawl on their belly.

9. FISHES constitute the fifth class of animals. They are all inhabitants
of the water, in which they move by certain organs called _fins_. These,
when situated on the back, are called _dorsal fins_; when on the sides,
behind the gills, they have the name of _pectoral fins_; when on the belly
near the head, they are _ventral_; when behind the vent, they are _anal_;
and that at the posterior extremity of the body is called the _caudal fin_.
Fishes breathe by _gills_, which, in most of the species, are situated at
the sides of the head. In some of the flatfish, however, as the skate and
thornback, they are on the under part of the body. Fish rise and sink in
the water, generally by a kind of bladder in the interior of their body,
called an _air-bladder_. Some of them, as the skate and other flat-fish, do
not possess this organ, and consequently are seldom found but at the bottom
of the water. The bodies of these animals are usually covered with
_scales_, which keep them from injury by the pressure of the water. Several
of them are enveloped with a fat and oily substance to preserve their
bodies from putrefaction, and also to guard them from extreme cold.

10. The fishes are divided into six ORDERS.


  I. APODAL Have bony gills; and no ventral fins, as the _eel_.

  II. JUGULAR Have bony gills; and the ventral fins situated in front of
  the pectoral fins, as the _cod_, _haddock_, and _whiting_.

  III. THORAIC Have bony gills; and the ventral fins situated directly
  under the pectoral fins, as the _perch_ and _mackerel_.

  IV. ABDOMINAL Have bony gills; and the ventral fins on the belly behind
  the pectoral fins, as the _salmon_, _herrings_, and _carp_.

  V. BRANCHIOSTEGOUS Have their gills destitute of bony rays.

  VI. CHONDROPTERYGEOUS Have cartilaginous fins, as the _sturgeons_,
  _sharks_, and _skate_.

11. The fifth class of animals comprises the INSECTS. These are so
denominated from the greater number of them having a separation in the
middle of their bodies, by which they are, as it were, cut into two parts.
The science which treats of them is called ENTOMOLOGY.

Insects have, in general, six or more _legs_, which are, for the most part,
nearly of equal length and thickness. Sometimes, however (as in the
mole-cricket), the forelegs are very thick and strong, for burrowing into
the ground; sometimes the hind thighs are long and thick, for leaping; or
flattened, fringed with hairs, and situated nearly in an horizontal
position, to serve as oars for swimming.

Most of the insect tribes are furnished with _wings_. Some, as the beetles,
have two membranous wings, covered and protected by hard and crustaceous
cases, called elytra; some, as the wasps and bees, have four wings without
elytra; others, as the common houseflies, have two wings; and others, as
the spiders, are entirely destitute of these members.

They are furnished with _antennæ_, which are usually jointed, and moveable
organs, formed of a horny substance, and situated on the front and upper
part of the head. These serve as instruments of touch, or of some sense
which is to us unknown. The _eyes_ of insects are formed of a transparent
substance, so hard as to require no coverings to protect them. Their
_mouth_ is generally situated somewhat beneath the front part of the head,
and in a few of the tribes is below the breast; and the jaws are
transverse, and move in lateral directions. These are furnished with
feelers, and other organs, of various arrangement and structure, which
constitute the foundation of arrangement in some of the systems of
entomology. All insects breathe, not through their mouth, but through pores
or holes along the sides of their bodies; or, as in the crabs and lobsters,
by means of gills. The skin of insects is, in general, of hard or bony
consistence, divided into plates or joints which admit of some degree of
motion, and is generally clad with very short hairs.

Nearly all insects go through certain great _changes_ at different periods
of their existence. From the _egg_ is hatched the _larva_, grub, or
caterpillar, which is destitute of wings; this afterwards changes to a
_pupa_, or _crysalis_, wholly covered with a hard shell, or strong skin,
from which the _perfect_ or _winged insect_, bursts forth. Spiders, and
some other wingless insects, issue from the egg nearly in a perfect state.

12. Linnæus has divided the animals of this class into seven ORDERS.


  I. COLEOPTEROUS Have elytra or crustaceous cases covering the wings; and
  which, when closed, form a longitudinal division along the middle of the
  back, as the _chafer_.

  II. HEMIPTEROUS Have four wings, the upper ones partly crustaceous, and
  partly membranous; not divided straight down the middle of the back, but
  crossed, or incumbent on each other, as the _cock-roach_.

  III. LEPIDOPTEROUS Have four wings covered with fine scales, almost like
  powder, as the _butterflies_ and _moths_.

  IV. NEUROPTEROUS Have four membranous and semi-transparent wings, veined
  like net-work; and the tail without a sting, as the _dragon-fly_ and

  V. HYMENOPTEROUS Have four membranous and semi-transparent wings, veined
  like network; and the tail armed with a sting, as the _wasp_ and _bee_.

  VI. DIPTEROUS Have only two wings, as the _common house-flies_.

  VII. APTEROUS Have no wings, as the _spiders_.

13. The sixth and last class of animals consists of WORMS, or vermes. These
are slow of motion, and have soft and fleshy bodies. Some of them have hard
internal parts, and others have crustaceous coverings. In some of the
species eyes and ears are very perceptible, whilst others appear to enjoy
only the senses of taste and touch. Many have no distinct head, and most of
them are destitute of feet. They are, in general, so tenacious of life,
that parts which have been destroyed will be re-produced: These animals are
principally distinguished from those of the other classes by having
tentacula, or feelers.

14. Some late writers have divided the worms into three or more distinct
classes; but the Linnæan division is into five ORDERS.


  I. INTESTINAL Are simple and naked, without limbs; some of them live
  within other animals, as the _ascarides_ and _tape-worms_; others in
  water, as the _leeches_; and a few in the earth, as the _earth-worm_.

  II. MOLLUSCOUS Are simple animals, without shell, and furnished with
  limbs, as the _cuttle-fish_, _medusæ_, _star-fish_, and _sea-urchins_.

  III. TESTACEOUS Are animals similar to the last, but covered with shells,
  as _oysters_, _cockles_, _snails_, and _limpets_.

  IV. ZOOPHYTES Are composite animals, and appear to hold a rank between
  animals and vegetables; though they are in fact true animals, and possess
  sensation and voluntary motion. In many instances a great number of them
  inhabit the same stone, but some are soft, naked, and separate. The
  _coral_, _sponge_, and _polypes_, are instances of this order.

  V. ANIMALCULES Are destitute of tentacula or feelers, and are generally
  so minute as to be invisible to the naked eye. They are chiefly found in
  different infusions of animal and vegetable substances.





  15. _MAN._

  _The only production of the human body which appears to be useful in a
  commercial view, is the_ hair.

Human hair, for the purpose of being made into wigs, and ornamental
head-dresses, is imported into this country from the Continent, and chiefly
from Germany. We also import hair from China, but the latter is generally
of very dark colour. On the Continent this article is almost wholly
collected by pedlars, who travel through the different countries, and carry
trinkets and other articles for sale, and to exchange for it.

When, some years ago, long hair was much more fashionable than it is at
present, great numbers of young women in Germany suffered their hair to
grow, and had it cut, from time to time, as a source of emolument. The
notion that long hair is frequently cut from the heads of persons after
they are dead is totally unfounded, since the uncertainty of such supply
would alone render it impracticable. The hair that is used for men's wigs
is almost wholly children's hair, no other being in general considered
sufficiently fine for this purpose.

The value of hair is from five to twelve shillings per ounce, according to
the quality, length, or colour. Before it can be used it is well rubbed
with dry sand, and afterwards boiled, to clean it. Such as is intended for
wigs, if it do not curl naturally, is twisted round small earthenware
cylinders, put into a vessel with sand, and baked in an oven, until it
acquire this property. The most scarce and valuable kind of hair is that of
flaxen colour.

So great was formerly the demand for long hair, and so extravagant the
price for which it was frequently sold, that a mode was invented of
stretching it to nearly double its original length. This was effected by
fastening the ends of the hair to the opposite sides of a vessel, placing a
heavy weight across the middle, and applying heat underneath. As the heat
softened the hair, the weight pressed it down, and extended it. But this
project was found not to answer, as the hair lost all its quality, and
could never be used but when mixed with other hair, and even then the fraud
was discoverable by the stretched hair gradually shrinking nearly to its
original length.

In lawyers' and judges' wigs horse-hair and goats'-hair are frequently
used, to give stiffness and form to the different parts.

  16. _APES, BABOONS, and MONKEYS_ (Simia), _are all animals of hot
  climates, none of them except the Barbury ape_ (Simia inuus) _being ever
  found wild in Europe. They are distinguished by having four front teeth
  in each jaw, and all their feet formed like hands_.

  _Linnæus, although he has arranged these animals under one tribe, has
  characterised the apes by their entire want of tails; the_ baboons _by
  having short tails; and the_ monkeys _by having long ones. The tails of
  some of the monkeys, particularly those of South America, are so formed,
  that the animals are able to coil them round any object so firmly as to
  afford them a support in, apparently, the most perilous situations.
  Several of the monkeys have pouches within their cheeks, in which they
  collect their food previously to its being swallowed._

The chief, perhaps the only, use to which these animals are applied, is as
food. The _pigmy apes_ are caught by the Arabs, and fattened for this
purpose, as we would fatten sheep. Whilst Dampier was on the coast of
America he frequently partook of this kind of food; and states that he
never ate any thing more delicious. The native American tribes eat the
flesh of almost all kinds of monkeys, preferring that, however, of the
_four-fingered species_ to any other. Oexmelin informs us that, while he
was at Cape Gracias a Dios, in New Spain, the hunters regularly brought
home, in the evening, such monkeys as they had killed in the course of the
day; and that their flesh somewhat resembled that of a hare, and was of
peculiarly sweet flavour. He observes, that he and his companions lived on
these animals all the time they remained there.

Desmarchias, in his account of Cayenne, says that the flesh of the _howling
monkeys_, which are peculiarly numerous in the woods of that county, is a
white and very palatable food, not indeed so fat, but in general as good,
as mutton. Both the negroes and the colonists of Surinam occasionally
subsist on monkeys. Yet, however delicate this kind of food may be, it is
extremely repugnant to the feelings of an European to partake of what, when
skinned, has so much the form and general appearance of a human being as
these animals.

The woods of nearly all hot climates abound in monkeys, the species of
which are extremely numerous. They feed almost wholly on fruit, grain,
roots, and other vegetable productions. It would be inconsistent with the
plan of the present work to enter into any detail relative to their habits
of life. We can only say, generally, that few animals are known to be more
active, mischievous, and enterprising than these. They usually live in
immense troops, and commit great depredations in cultivated grounds near
the forests where they reside; some of them continuing on watch, to give
alarm in case of danger, whilst others are engaged in pilfering and
carrying off the plunder to their habitations.

  17. _The BATS_ (Vespertilio) _constitute a very singular tribe of
  quadrupeds, which have the toes of their fore-feet extremely long, and
  connected together by a very thin and dark-coloured membrane, that
  extends round the hinder part of their body, and serves the place of
  wings, in enabling them to flit along the air in pursuit of food_.

  _There are near thirty ascertained species of bats, six of which are
  occasionally found in England. Some of them are smaller than a mouse, but
  others are so large that their extended membranes measure betwixt three
  and four feet in width. The latter are found only in torrid climates._

As all the European bats feed wholly on insects, which they catch during
their flight, there can be no doubt but, in this respect, they are
extremely serviceable to mankind. They devour myriads of night-flying
moths, the caterpillars of which would otherwise prove injurious to our
gardens, orchards, and fields.

The larger kinds, such as the _vampyre_ and _spectre bats_, the former of
which are found in incredible numbers in the islands of the eastern seas,
and the latter on the continent of South America, are not unfrequently used
as food. At a particular season of the year, they become fat; and though,
whilst alive, their smell is excessively rank and unpleasant, they are then
said to be delicious eating, and, in flavour, somewhat to resemble rabbits.
The inhabitants of New Caledonia weave their _hair_ into various ornamental
articles, and plait it, with the stalks and leaves of a kind of grass, into
tassels for their clubs.


  18. _The LONG and SHORT-TAILED MANIS_ (Manis tetradactyla, and
  pentadactyla, Fig. 18) _are very singular quadrupeds, with a long muzzle,
  small mouth destitute of teeth, and their body covered with scales. They
  are distinguished from each other by the former having a very long tail
  and four toes, and the latter a short tail and five toes._

  _These animals are natives of India, Africa, and China; and are from four
  to seven or eight feet in length. From the scales with which their bodies
  are clad, and the general shape of the tail, they might be mistaken, at
  first sight, for lizards. The under part of their bodies, however, is
  clad with hair, which is not the case in any species of lizard._

By the negroes of Africa both the species of manis are much sought for, and
on account, chiefly, of their _flesh_ as food. There is, however, some
difficulty in procuring them, as they live in obscure places, in the midst
of rocks, woods, and morasses. When discovered they are unable to escape by
flight, and, in self-defence, roll themselves into a ball, and erect their
scales; exposing an armed surface on every side, impenetrable by the teeth
of dogs, but easily assailable by the spears of the negroes. In their
habits these animals are gentle and innoxious, and subsist only on insects,
of different kinds.

Their _scales_, which are sufficiently hard to strike fire when struck
against flint, are applied to many useful purposes.

  19. _The ARMADILLOS_ (Dasypus, Fig. 19) _are a tribe of quadrupeds, which
  have grinding teeth, but no canine nor front-teeth; their bodies are
  covered with a crustaceous shell_.

  _There are ten species, all of which are inhabitants of Brazil and other
  parts of South America, and are from eight or ten inches to three feet in
  length. The species are distinguished from each other chiefly by the
  number of flexible bands which extend across their back._

Their _flesh_ is a favourite food with the inhabitants of South America. Of
their _shells_ these people make baskets, boxes, and numerous ornamental
articles, which they paint and adorn in various ways; and the shells,
reduced to powder, are sometimes administered internally as a medicine.

It is customary to hunt armadillos with dogs that are trained for the
purpose. They reside in burrows which they dig in the ground, into these
they endeavour to retreat when pursued: or, if at too great a distance,
they attempt to dig new ones before they are overtaken. When in their
holes, they are either smoked out, or are expelled by pouring in water. The
moment they are seized they roll themselves together, and will not again
extend unless placed near a hot fire. These animals seldom appear abroad
except during the night; and they are often caught in snares that are laid
for them at the mouths of their dens.

  20. _The RHINOCEROS.--There are two species of rhinoceros, one of which
  has one, and the other two horns, situated on the nose, and three hoofs
  on each foot._

  _These are animals of large size and bulky form, and live in swamps,
  morasses, and forests, in wet situations, within the torrid regions_.
  _The_ SINGLE-HORNED RHINOCEROS (Rhinoceros unicornis, Fig. 1.) _which is
  generally five or six feet in height, is found in Africa, in the central
  and southern parts of Asia, and in the islands of Sumatra and Ceylon. Its
  skin is blackish, naked, extremely thick, covered with a kind of warts,
  and disposed into large folds on different parts of the body. The_
  TWO-HORNED RHINOCEROS (Rhinoceros bicornis) _is a native of Africa, and
  has a thick and dark-coloured skin, but not arranged in folds like that
  of the preceding species_.

The _skin_ of the rhinoceros is an article in great demand in several
countries of Asia and Africa. It is manufactured into the best and hardest
leather that can be imagined; and targets or shields are made of it, that
are proof against even the stroke of a scimitar. In this state the colour
of the skin is variegated; and when polished it is nearly similar in
appearance to tortoise-shell. The inhabitants of Surat make very elegant
targets of these hides, which they stud with silver-headed nails. The
Hottentots make _chanboks_ or whips of them.

In Sumatra, Ceylon, and some parts of India, the _flesh_ of the rhinoceros
is an useful food. The _horns_, which are from twelve to fifteen inches in
length, and three to six inches in diameter, are much esteemed amongst the
Mahometans, not on account of any real utility, but from their being
considered an antidote against poison. Good-sized horns, if purchased at
three or four pounds sterling each, may be sold in the East Indies, with
considerable profit, to the Arabian merchants. They are made into drinking
cups; and it is believed that if any thing poisonous be put into them, a
fermentation will ensue, by which the poison may be discovered. This,
however, is without foundation, as very satisfactory experiments have
proved. By the Arabians the horns of the rhinoceros are frequently made
into the hilts of swords; and they are sold at an enormous price for that
purpose. They are also manufactured into snuff-boxes, which are considered
preferable to such as are made of tortoise shell; and we are informed by
Martial, that the Roman ladies of fashion used them in the baths, to hold
their essence bottles and oils.

The savage tribes of southern Africa, and even the inhabitants of the Cape
of Good Hope, set a high value on the dried _blood_ of the rhinoceros, to
which they ascribe great medicinal virtues. The _hoofs_, and even the
_teeth_, are also used medicinally.

Respecting the rhinoceros it may not be improper to remark, that, although
naturally of a quiet and inoffensive disposition, his strength is such,
that few animals are able to contend with him; and that the thickness of
his hide is so great, as in several parts to be impenetrable even by a
musket ball. These animals feed entirely on vegetable food, but
particularly on the leaves and tender branches of shrubs. Their horns are
not fixed into the bone of the head, like those of other quadrupeds, but
only into the skin. They appear loose whilst the animals are in a quiescent
state; but when the animals are irritated, they become fixed and

  21. _The ELEPHANT_ (Elephas, Fig. 20), _the only known animal of the
  tribe to which it belongs, is an inhabitant of the warmer regions of Asia
  and Africa, and is distinguished by having two long tusks projecting from
  the upper jaw, and the snout lengthened into a long and flexible trunk_.

  _The general height of the elephant is nine or ten feet. Its skin is of
  dingy brown colour, and nearly destitute of hair. The tusks are much
  longer in the male than the female. Each of the feet has five rounded
  hoofs: and the tail, which is short, is terminated by a few scattered,
  and very thick black hairs._

Throughout the whole of the East Indies, as well as in several other parts
of Asia, the elephant is an animal of indispensable utility. When tamed and
reduced to a state of submission, he becomes so tractable as to obey all
the orders of his keeper. Elephants are formed in a particular manner for
the service of man in hot climates. They are employed both as beasts of
draft and burthen; and one elephant is supposed equal to as much work as
six horses. They are conducted by a man, who sits on their neck, and who
employs as a weapon an iron rod, hooked at the end, with which he pricks
the animal to urge him forward, or turn him in any direction that may be
required. Almost all the articles that are transported from place to place
in India are conveyed by elephants. They bend their knees to accommodate
those who mount them: and, with their trunks, they even assist the persons
by whom they are loaded. Before the invention of gunpowder, elephants were
much employed by the Indians in their wars. They are now chiefly used for
the purposes of labour and parade. They require much attention, and are
generally fed with rice, either raw or boiled, and mixed with water, of
which each elephant will devour daily near a hundred pounds' weight,
besides a certain quantity of fresh herbage which is procured for him. They
are led to the water thrice a day, both to drink and bathe; and their daily
consumption of water for drink has been estimated at forty five gallons

The modes in which elephants are caught and domesticated are curious and
interesting. In a wild state they inhabit, in large troops, the thick and
boundless forests of Asia and Africa. To obtain the single male elephant,
it is customary, in some parts of India, to employ females, which are
trained for that particular purpose. When the hunters have discovered a
male elephant that suits them, they conduct four of the females silently
and slowly, at a little distance from each other, nearly to the place where
he is feeding. If, as frequently is the case, he permit their approach, two
of them are conducted, one on each side, close to his neck, a third places
herself across his tail, and the fourth is brought up by proper attendants,
who immediately pass under the animal and tie his legs with ropes. After
this he is further secured; and, at length, though not without much
difficulty, is conveyed home and domesticated.

When a herd of elephants are to be secured, a party consisting sometimes of
500 persons are employed. These, by fire and noises, drive them into
certain enclosures, formed for the purpose; an operation which generally
occupies several days. These enclosures are three in number, and
communicate with each other by narrow openings or gateways. The opening of
the outer enclosure is disguised, as much as possible, by bamboos and
branches of trees stuck into the ground, so as to make it look like a
natural jungle. It is not without much difficulty that the leader can be
induced to enter: but, after he has passed, all the others immediately
follow. There is still greater difficulty in inducing them to pass into the
second and third enclosures: and lastly, one by one, into the roomee, an
outlet about sixty feet in length, and so narrow that the animals are
unable to turn round in it. Here, after in vain exerting all their powers
to break down the fences and escape, they are all, in succession, secured
by ropes that are fastened round their legs.

To domesticate the animals, they are now each placed under a keeper, who is
appointed to attend and instruct them. After the elephant has for some days
been supplied with food and water, the keeper ventures to approach him. He
strokes and pats him with his hand, at the same time speaking to him in a
soothing voice; and after a little while the beast begins to know and obey
him. By degrees the keeper becomes familiar; he ventures to mount upon his
back from one of the tame elephants, and at length seats himself on his
neck, from whence he afterwards regulates and directs all his motions. In a
few weeks the animal becomes obedient; his fetters are by degrees taken
off; and, in the course of six months, he submits entirely to his keeper's

Wild male elephants are frequently hunted and killed, both in Asia and
Africa, on account of their tusks, which, under the name of _ivory_, are a
very important article of traffic. The temptation held out, at the Cape of
Good Hope, to this dangerous pursuit, in which many of the hunters lose
their lives, is the payment of a guilder per pound for the tusks; and these
weigh from 30 to 130 pounds each. For the whitest, smoothest, and most
compact ivory that is known, we are, however, indebted to the island of
Ceylon. The whole quantity of ivory exported from the Cape of Good Hope in
four years, ending in 1804, amounted to 5981 pounds; and the average annual
quantity vended at the East India Company's sales from 1804 to 1808 was
twenty-six tons.

The principal consumption of ivory is for making ornamental utensils,
mathematical instruments, boxes, combs, dice, and an infinite variety of
toys. This substance is also used for painting miniatures upon, for which,
however, it goes through a peculiar preparation. It is capable of being
stained of various and very beautiful colours. The shavings of ivory, like
those of hartshorn, may, by boiling, be converted into a jelly; and they
possess similar virtues. Bone is frequently substituted for ivory, but it
is easily known by its pores, which are not to be seen in ivory, and by its
wanting the beautiful white veins or marks by which ivory is distinguished.

The _flesh_ of the elephant is eaten by the negroes of Africa; and the
ancients attributed many medicinal qualities to the _blood_ and the

  22. _The GREAT MORSE, or ARCTIC WALRUS_ (Trichechus rosmarus), _is a
  marine quadruped of enormous size, with short fin-like feet, two great
  tusks pointing downward from the upper jaw, the lips peculiarly thick,
  the upper lip cleft into two large rounded lobes, and no front teeth in
  either jaw_.

  _These animals inhabit the sea near the northern parts of the coast of
  America, and feed on sea-weeds, corallines, and shellfish. They are
  sometimes nearly eighteen feet in length, and ten or twelve in
  circumference. Their skin is of dark colour, and thinly covered with
  short brownish hair. They have small eyes, and small circular orifices in
  place of external ears._

We are informed that these animals, under the name of horse-whales, were
objects of pursuit so early as even the reign of King Alfred, and on
account chiefly of their _tusks_ and _oil_. The former are a close-grained
kind of ivory, and weigh from ten to near thirty pounds each; and the
latter, which is equally valuable with that of whale oil, is in such
abundance that the body of each animal yields nearly half a tun. This oil
is burned in lamps, is used for the same purposes as whale-oil, and even
eaten by the inhabitants of Greenland with their food. Of the _skins_ of
the arctic walrus the Greenlanders make a thick and strong harness for
their sledges and carriages; and they sometimes twist narrow strips of them
together to form cables. They constitute an important article of export
from the coast of Labrador. The _tendons_ of these animals are capable of
being split and used as thread.

So numerous were arctic walruses formerly in the northern seas, that we are
informed of the English, in 1706, having killed, on Cherry Island (betwixt
Norway and Greenland) near eight hundred of them in six hours; and that, in
1708, they killed nine hundred in seven hours. Of late years, however,
their numbers are much decreased.


  23. _The COMMON SEAL_ (Phoca vitulina, Fig. 2) _is a marine quadruped
  with a large and round head, no external ears, the neck smooth, the body
  tapering gradually to the tail, the legs smooth, and all the feet

  _This animal is found on almost all the northern shores of Britain; and
  is generally from four to six feet in length. Its colour varies, being
  dusky, whitish, grey, black, or spotted._

Seals are eagerly pursued by the inhabitants of nearly all the northern
countries of Europe. They are found in hollow rocks or caverns near the
sea, and are killed with guns, clubs, or spears. The usual season for
hunting them is during the months of October and November.

The _flesh_ of seals is much esteemed by the Greenlanders; and their
_skins_ are extremely serviceable. These are converted into clothing; into
coverings for beds, houses, and boats; and into thongs, and straps of every
description. The Americans fill them with air and make a kind of rafts of
them. The _fat_ yields a clear and much sweeter oil than that obtained from
whales, and is used by the Greenlanders in their lamps, and frequently also
with their food. The _fibres_ of the tendons are said to be a stronger and
better substance for sewing with than either thread or silk. Before the
introduction of iron the _bones_ of seals were used for the points of
weapons both for chase and war. The _skins of the entrails_ are employed
instead of glass in windows; and, sewed together, are formed into shirts
and other under parts of dress.

When the long and coarse hair of the seal is pulled off, a fine, short,
silky, and somewhat fawn-coloured down is left, which in this country is a
fashionable _fur_ for ornamenting ladies' dresses. This fur woven with silk
is also manufactured into shawls, which are of extremely soft and delicate
texture. Seal _skins_, when tanned and properly dressed, are converted into
a valuable leather for shoes and other uses.

  24. _The LEONINE SEAL, or SEA LION_ (Phoca jubata) _is a marine quadruped
  which inhabits the shores of Kamschatka and Greenland, is sixteen or
  eighteen feet in length, and is distinguished by the male having its neck
  covered with a mane._

The great quantity of oil which is yielded by these seals is the cause of
their being pursued and killed, by the inhabitants of all countries on the
shores of which they are found. The _skins_ of the younger animals are
made, in Greenland, into garments for women; and those of the old ones are
used for beds. When the latter are freed from the hair, they are applied as
coverings for boats and houses. They are also sometimes sewed together as
bags to contain provision, and for other uses. The _skins of the
intestines_ are used for the same purposes as those of the common seal; and
the _teeth_ are adapted for the points of arrows and spears.

There are numerous other species of seals, all of which are in some
respects useful to mankind, and chiefly for the purposes which have been
above enumerated.

  25. _The DOG_ (Canis familiaris) _is an animal characterized by Linnæus
  as having the tail recurved, and bent towards the left side of the body._

  _Dogs are found in a wild state in Africa and South America._

As an attached and faithful servant of man, the dog is equalled by no
animal. Though destitute of the faculty of thought, he has all the ardour
of sentiment. He is all zeal, warmth, and obedience; and, forgetful of
injuries, he seeks only how he may gain the favour and affection of his
master. During the night he guards the house, and, by the noise he makes,
he gives notice of the approach of depredators. He also protects the
property committed to his care, and secures it from being plundered. He
directs the steps of the blind, and, in some instances, has even been
instructed to pick up money, and put it into his master's hat. Being
endowed with great strength and fleetness of foot, some kinds of dogs are
trained to the chase, and taught not only to pursue and to destroy noxious
and savage beasts, but also to hunt for and secure animals as food for
their master. And there are many countries, both of the old and new
Continent, in which, if man were deprived of this faithful ally, he would
unsuccessfully resist the foes that surround him, and that are incessantly
on the watch to destroy his labour, attack his person, or encroach upon his

But it is not only during his life that the dog is serviceable to mankind.
After death his _skin_ is converted, by the inhabitants of Greenland, into
garments, and particularly into stockings. It is also used for the
coverlets of beds. Dogs' skins in our own country are tanned, and applied
to several useful purposes, as leather, and particularly for gloves and
shoes. The _hair_ of some kinds of dogs is so thick and matted that, like
wool, it is capable of being converted into cloth. A small kind of King
Charles's dog is mentioned by Dr. Anderson to have had long and soft hair,
covering a finer sort, which might, with advantage, have been woven into
shawls. He speaks of another kind which had a very thick fleece, much
resembling that of some of the Lincolnshire sheep; and of a third kind with
close frizzed wool, which was shorn annually and made into stockings. He,
however, remarks that the finest hair he ever saw upon a dog, and which
indeed for softness and gloss more resembled silk than hair, grew upon a
very small kind of Maltese dog. This, if manufactured, might have been
converted into shawls of uncommon softness and beauty. The fleece of a
water dog, belonging to a farrier in the horse artillery, was manufactured
into hats, and answered this purpose sufficiently well. Each fleece was
sufficient for two hats, and was considered to be worth about twelve

Disgusting as it may appear to us, the _flesh_ of the dog is a favourite
food in many countries. The Greenlanders eat it with avidity. In the
markets of Canton, dogs are exposed for sale in the same manner as other
animal food. The negroes of Africa prefer their flesh to that of any other
quadrupeds; for dogs are sold in some of their markets at as dear a rate as
mutton or venison. With the North American Indians they are considered a
great delicacy; and we are informed by Pliny, that the Romans were so
partial to this kind of food, that a fricassee of sucking puppies was
considered a favourite dish with even the most notorious Roman epicures.

There are near thirty distinct and well ascertained varieties of the dog;
of which fourteen are considered to be natives of our own island.

  26. _The SIBERIAN DOG is distinguished by having its ears erect, and the
  hair of its body and tail very long._

To the inhabitants of many northern countries of the world, these dogs are
of essential service. They are employed in drawing sledges over the frozen
snow, five of them being yoked to each sledge, two and two, with the fifth
in front as a leader. These sledges generally carry only one person each,
who sits sideways, and guides the animals by reins fastened to their
collars; but more particularly by his voice, and a crooked stick which he
carries in his hand. If the dogs be well trained, the charioteer has only
to strike the ice with his stick to make them go to the left, and the
sledge to make them go to the right; and, when he wishes them to stop, he
places it betwixt the front of the sledge and the snow. When they are
inattentive to their duty, he chastises them by throwing his stick at them;
but great dexterity is generally requisite in picking it up again. So much,
however, depends upon the excellence of the leader, that a steady and
docile dog for this purpose is not unfrequently sold for as much as ten
pounds sterling.

The fleetness of the Siberian dogs is so great that they have been known to
perform a journey of 270 miles in three days and a half; and with a sledge
containing three persons and their luggage, they will travel sixty miles in
a day. During the most severe storms, when their master cannot see his
path, nor can even keep his eyes open, they seldom miss their way. And it
is said that, in the midst of a long journey, when it is found absolutely
impossible to proceed any further, the dogs, lying round their master, will
keep him warm, and prevent him from perishing by the cold.

The natives of Kamtschatka wear the _skins_ of these animals as clothing,
and consider the long hair as an ornament.

27. _The NEWFOUNDLAND DOG_, for united size, strength, and docility,
exceeds all the kinds of dog with which we are acquainted. As its name
imports, it is a native of the island of Newfoundland; and also of the
adjacent parts of America, where it is employed in drawing wood on sledges,
from the interior of the country to the sea-coast. Four of these dogs are
harnessed to each sledge, and are able with ease to draw three hundred
weight of wood for several miles. And it is peculiarly deserving of remark,
that they often perform this service without any driver. Before the
introduction of horses into general use in Canada, most of the
land-carriage was performed by dogs.

The ease with which the Newfoundland dog swims, and the strong attachment
which he forms towards mankind, have rendered him of great service in cases
of danger from the oversetting of boats, and other accidents by water.


  28. _The SHEPHERD'S DOG is an animal of rude and inelegant appearance,
  has its ears erect or half erect, and the tail covered beneath with long

In wide and extensive tracts of down or mountain that are appropriated to
the feeding of sheep, it would be impossible for the shepherds to have any
command over their flocks, without the assistance of this faithful and
docile ally. At a word from his master he drives the sheep to and from
their pasture, and will suffer no stranger from another flock to intrude
upon his. If he observe any of the sheep attempting to stray, he springs
forward in an instant to stop their course, however great the distance.
These dogs drive the sheep entirely by their voice; never lacerating them,
nor indeed ever employing force but for the preservation of peace and good
order. When awake they are, at all times, alive to their master's
directions; and, in repose, they lie down by his wallet, and defend it from

  29. _The WATER DOG is principally distinguished by having its hair long
  and curled, like the fleece of a sheep, its muzzle somewhat short, and
  the feet more webbed than those of most other dogs._

  _There are two kinds of water-dogs, which differ only in size, the one
  being nearly as large again as the other._

It is to sportsmen principally that these dogs are of use. Being fond of
swimming, they are chiefly employed for fetching out of the water game that
has been shot and fallen into it.

Their _fleece_ has so near a resemblance to wool, that it is capable of
being manufactured into a coarse kind of cloth, or of being made into hats.

  30. _The SPANIEL_ (Fig. 21) _is a dog with pendulous and woolly ears, the
  hair long on all parts of the body, but particularly on the breast,
  beneath the body, and at the back of the legs._

Like the water dog, the spaniel is chiefly useful to sportsmen, in the
shooting of water fowl. And when hawking was a fashionable recreation in
England, this was the kind of dog which was always taken out to spring the

In all ages the spaniel has been noted for fidelity and attachment to
mankind; and the instances that have been recorded of these are
innumerable. The chief order of Denmark (now improperly denominated the
order of the elephant) was instituted in memory of a spaniel, which had
shown a peculiar attachment to the monarch, his master, when deserted by
his subjects.

  31. _The SETTER is a dog nearly allied to the spaniel, and is to this day
  frequently distinguished by the name of the English spaniel._

In some parts of England these dogs are used in the field to discover and
point out game to the sportsman. They are very tractable, and easily
trained to their duty. And such are their muscular powers, that an instance
has been related of a setter having hunted all the fields adjoining to the
road along which his master was riding, through a distance of near sixty

  32. _The POINTER is a dog with smooth hair, stout limbs, blunt muzzle,
  and tail appearing as if in part cut off._

These dogs are in common use with sportsmen, for discovering game, which
they are taught to do with wonderful steadiness and attention. Aided by the
acuteness of their smell, they gently approach the spot where the game
lies, and at length stop; having their eyes steadily fixed upon it, one
foot generally somewhat raised from the ground, and the tail extended in a
straight line. If the birds run, the dog steals cautiously after them,
keeping still the same attitude; and when they stop he is again steady. It
is by the assistance of pointers that game is chiefly killed in this

  33. _HOUNDS are distinguished into three kinds, called the_ harrier,
  fox-hound, _and_ stag-hound; _all of which are characterized by having
  their ears smooth and pendulous, and having on each hind foot a spurious
  claw, called a dew claw._

Of these animals the first, which is the smallest, has its name from being
employed in hunting the hare; the second is larger and more stout, and is
used for hunting the fox; and the third, which is the largest, stoutest,
and fleetest of the whole, is used for hunting the stag.

They are always taken to the field in packs, consisting of about
twenty-five couple; and, when in scent of their game, they unite in a loud
yelling noise which they continue so long as they are in pursuit.

  34. _The BLOOD-HOUND is larger than the common hound, and is generally of
  a deep tan or reddish colour, with a black spot over each eye._

In the early periods of our history, blood-hounds were in much greater
request than at present.--They are indebted, for their name, to the faculty
with which they are endowed, of being able to trace wounded animals by
their blood. Their principal employment was to recover such game as, after
having been wounded, had escaped from the hunters. In most of the royal
forests blood-hounds are at this day kept, for tracing wounded deer; which
they are able to do, however distant the flight, or however thick the parts
of the forest through which they may have passed. Deer-stealers are also
frequently discovered by means of these animals.

Blood-hounds were formerly used in certain districts on the confines of
England and Scotland, to overawe or pursue the depredators of flocks and
herds. Of late years they have been employed in the island of Jamaica, to
discover the ambuscades of the Maroons, in their projected descent upon the
whites; and, in the Spanish West Indian islands, to traverse the country,
in pursuit of persons guilty of murder and other crimes. The dogs are
taught to act more by exciting terror than by attack; and criminals are in
general taken by them, and brought to justice, without the slightest
personal injury.

  35. _The GREY-HOUND_ (Fig. 22) _is distinguished by his slender and
  curved body, his narrow muzzle, and his tail being curved upward at the

Our ancestors so highly esteemed the grey-hound, that, by the laws of
Canute, it was enacted that no person under the degree of a gentleman
should presume to keep a grey-hound. The pursuit of animals by these dogs
is particularly denominated _coursing_. Those that were anciently coursed
by them were the deer, the fox, and the hare; but they are now only used
for coursing the hare. They hunt by sight, and not by scent; and their
fleetness of foot is such that, in a hilly or uneven country, there are few
horses which can keep pace with them.

  36. _The MASTIFF_ (Fig. 23) _is a dog of large size and robust body; and
  has the lips hanging down at the sides._

By the ancient Britons it was customary to train these dogs to be of use in
war. With us they are chiefly employed as watch dogs; and they discharge
this duty in many instances with great fidelity. Some of them will suffer a
stranger to come into the enclosure they are appointed to guard, and will
accompany him peaceably through every part, so long as he continues to
touch nothing; but the moment he attempts to lay hold of any of the goods,
or endeavours to leave the place, the animal informs him, first by
growling, or if that be ineffectual, by harsher means, that he must neither
do mischief nor go away. He seldom uses violence unless resisted; and in
this case, will sometimes seize the person, throw him down, and, without
biting him, will hold him there for hours, or until relieved.

When roused to fury the mastiff is one of the most tremendous animals with
which we are acquainted, and consequently one of the most difficult to be
overcome in combat. He is, however, capable of a steady attachment towards
his master, and will protect him from injury at the risk of his own life.

  37. _The BULL-DOG is smaller than the mastiff, but in general form is
  nearly allied to it: the body is robust, the snout somewhat flatter than
  that of the mastiff; and the lips are pendulous at the sides._

For courage and ferocity the bull-dog is exceeded by no British animal of
its size. Since the horrid practice of bull-baiting has been discontinued
in this kingdom, the race of these dogs has much declined; and the few that
are now seen are employed by butchers and other persons as watch-dogs.

  38. _The TERRIER is a small and hardy kind of dog, the name of which is
  derived from its usually subterraneous employments._

  _Some terriers are rough, and others smooth haired. They are generally of
  reddish brown, or black colour, short-legged, and strongly bristled about
  the muzzle._

These dogs, the determined enemies of almost every species of vermin, are
of great use to farmers and others, in the extermination of rats, polecats,
and similar depredators. They are also employed in driving foxes from their
dens, and on this account are generally attendants upon every pack of
fox-hounds. Formerly they were used in rabbit warrens, to expel these
animals from their burrows. In character they are fierce, keen, and hardy;
and, being remarkable for vigilance, they are admirable house-dogs.

  39. _The LURCHER is a dog apparently partaking of the nature both of the
  terrier and the grey-hound; there are two varieties, one covered with
  short and thickset hair, and the other with long and harsh hair._

As this dog hunts both by sight and smell, and takes his prey without
noise, he is frequently employed by poachers in their nocturnal excursions
in pursuit of game. When in the midst of game the lurcher does not, like
most other dogs, either bark or suddenly run upon it; but, by a seeming
neglect, he deceives the object till it comes within reach, and then
suddenly springs upon and secures it.

  40. _The TURNSPIT is a small dog, with short and generally crooked legs,
  and the tail curled upward._

These dogs were formerly much employed to assist in the roasting of meat.
For this purpose they were placed in a broad kind of wheel connected with
the spit, which they turned round by running in it as a squirrel does in
his cage. They are still used in this capacity in most of the countries of
the Continent; but being now in little request in England, the breed is
nearly extinct with us.

  41. _The WOLF_ (Canis lupus) _is a ferocious animal of the dog tribe, of
  brownish colour, with pointed nose, erect and sharp ears, and bushy tail
  bent inward._

  _This animal is found wild in most of the countries of the Continent, and
  was formerly common in England._

The wolf affords to us nothing valuable but his _skin_, which makes a warm
and durable fur.

In North Carolina there is a kind of wolf the _skin_ of which, when
properly dressed, makes good parchment; and, when tanned, is convertible
into excellent summer shoes. The Indians frequently use these skins for
beds, under an impression that they drive away bugs and fleas; and they
imagine that nearly all parts of this animal are useful as remedies for
different bodily disorders.

In the ancient periods of our history wolves were so numerous and so
destructive in England, that we are informed of places having been built in
different parts of the island to defend passengers from their attacks. In
the reign of Edward the First, a royal mandate was issued to a person whose
name was Corbet, to superintend and assist in the destruction of wolves, in
the several counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, Salop, and
Stafford; and numerous individuals held lands of the crown, by the duty of
hunting and destroying wolves. The latest account that has occurred
respecting the existence of wolves in England is under the date of 1281.
The last wolf known to have been killed in Scotland was in the year 1680;
and the date of the complete extinction of these animals in Ireland is

  42. _The COMMON FOX_ (Canis vulpes, Fig. 24) _is an animal of the dog
  tribe, of brown colour, with sharp muzzle, erect and pointed ears, and
  straight and bushy tail tipped with white._

  _This animal is found in almost every country of the world._

Although foxes occasionally commit great depredation in poultry-yards, and
among game, they are serviceable to mankind by destroying many kinds of
noxious animals. Their _skin_ also constitutes a soft and warm fur, which,
in many parts of Europe, is used for muffs and tippets, for the linings of
winter garments, and for robes of state. So great is the demand for these
skins, that, at Lausanne, there are furriers, who in a single winter, have
received betwixt two and three thousand of them from different parts of the
adjacent country. The _flesh_ of the fox is eaten by the inhabitants of
some countries of the Continent.

  43. _The ARCTIC FOX_ (Canis lagopus) _is an animal of the dog tribe,
  smaller than the common fox, of white or bluish grey colour; the hair
  very thick, long, and soft, the tail straight and bushy, and the feet
  very hairy._

  _The extreme parts of North America, and the country around the Frozen
  Sea, are those which the Arctic fox principally inhabits._

These animals are principally killed on account of their _skins_, their fur
being light and warm, though not durable. In winter this changes to a
_white_ colour, and becomes much thicker. The inhabitants of Greenland
split the _tendons_, and use them as thread; they also sometimes eat the
_flesh_ of these animals.

The modes in which they are caught are various: by stone traps; in holes in
the snow, the openings to which are surrounded by snares; in pitfalls, the
surfaces of which are so covered that the animals are unable to discover
them; and with arrows and guns.

  44. _The LION is an animal of the cat tribe, distinguished, from all
  others, by his body being of uniform tawny colour, the tail being long
  and bushy at the end, and the neck and chest of the male being clad with
  a shaggy mane._

  _The deserts of the interior of Africa, Persia, India, and Japan, are
  inhabited by these animals._

The _skin_ of the lion was formerly used as the tunic of heroes. At this
day it serves both as a mantle and a bed for many of the African tribes.
His _flesh_, though of strong and disagreeable flavour, is occasionally
eaten by the savages, who do not dislike it the more on that account. The
_fat_ of the lion is considered to possess many medicinal properties.

It is a characteristic of the lion that he does not often attack any animal
openly, unless provoked, or impelled by hunger. The immense strength of his
body, his dauntless courage, and the great quantity of food that is
requisite to his support, all, however, tend to render him an object of
dread. His voice, when irritated, is an horrible roar, which is
particularly loud and tremendous when in the act of springing upon and
seizing his prey. The only mode of alarming these animals, and preventing a
threatened attack, is by fire; the notion of their being alarmed at the
crowing of a cock is entirely fabulous.

  45. _The TIGER_ (Felis tigris) _is an animal of the cat kind, about the
  size of a lion, with smooth hair, of brownish or tawny yellow colour, and
  marked by long transverse stripes._

  _He is a native of various parts, both of Asia and Africa, but is
  principally found in India and the Indian Islands._

The _skin_ of the tiger is almost the only advantage, trifling as that is,
which mankind appears to derive from this destructive beast. Tigers' skins
are occasionally imported into Europe, but not in great numbers, as
articles of trade. They are rather brought as objects of curiosity than of
use; and are chiefly employed as hammer-cloths for carriages. They are,
however, much esteemed by the Chinese; the mandarins cover their seats of
justice and sedans with them, and also use them for cushions and pillows in
the winter. The best skins are of large size, with bright yellow ground,
beautifully marked with numerous broad black stripes; the more intense the
yellow, and the better defined the stripes, the more valuable are the
skins. The Indians eat the _flesh_ of the tiger, which they find neither
disagreeable nor unwholesome. They also attribute medicinal properties to
various parts of the tiger's body.

The great military officers of China have the figure of a tiger embroidered
on their robes, than which there could not be selected a more appropriate
symbol of the evils and horrors of war.

We know of no quadruped so powerful and ferocious as this. He is the terror
of the inhabitants of all the hotter parts of Asia, who not only fear for
ravages which he commits amongst their cattle and flocks, but even for
their own personal safety. The mode of seizing his prey is by concealing
himself, and springing suddenly upon it with an hideous roar. This
tremendous beast usually resides in woods and thickets, near streams or

  46. _The PANTHER_ (Felis pardus), _OUNCE_ (Felis uncia), _and HUNTING
  LEOPARD_ (Felis jubata), _are all animals of the cat tribe; of which the_
  panther _is about seven feet in length, and has the upper part of the
  body marked with circular spots, many of them with a spot in the centre,
  and the lower parts with stripes; the ounce is about three feet and half
  in length, has the body whitish, with irregular black spots; and the_
  hunting leopard _is about the height of a grey-hound, has its body tawny,
  with black spots, and the neck somewhat maned._

  _Each of these animals is found in the hotter parts of Africa and Asia._

In Persia and India, the ounce and hunting leopard are each trained for the
_chase_ of antelopes and other game. Of these the former is carried, on
horse-back, behind the rider, upon a small leather pad made for the
purpose. As soon as the horseman perceives an antelope or other animal at a
moderate distance, he makes the ounce descend; which, creeping unperceived
near the spot, springs, at five or six amazing leaps, suddenly upon it, and
seizes it securely by the neck. The hunting leopard is generally carried in
a small waggon, chained and hooded, lest his precipitation should defeat
his master's purpose. His mode of approaching and seizing his prey is
similar to that of the ounce.

The _skins_ of all these animals are valuable, and are converted into
excellent furs. That of the panther is particularly esteemed in Russia.

  47. _The LEOPARD_ (Felis leopardus) _is an animal of the cat tribe, about
  four feet in length, of yellowish colour, and marked with numerous
  annular spots._

  _It is an inhabitant of Senegal, Guinea, and most parts of Africa; and
  has considerable resemblance, both in habit and appearance, to the

Leopards' _skins_ are much esteemed in Europe. They seldom exceed four feet
in length; and should be chosen large, of lively yellow colour, marked on
the back and sides with annular spots, the belly covered with longish white
hairs, and with large and oblong spots on the tail. Their use is for
hammer-cloths, muffs, the trimmings of ladies' dresses, and other purposes.
Some of the most valuable of these skins sell for ten guineas each and
upwards. The _flesh_ of the leopard is said, by Kolben, to be white and of
good flavour.

  48. _The COMMON CAT_ (Felis catus), _in its wild state, is distinguished
  from all the animals of the same tribe by having its tail marked with
  rings of different coloured hair._

  _The body of the wild cat is marked with dusky stripes, of which three on
  the top of the back are lengthwise, whilst those on the sides are
  transverse and somewhat curved. Domestic cats are marked very variously;
  some are grey and striped, others variegated with black, white, and
  orange, and others are entirely black or white._

  _Cats are found wild in woods of Europe, Asia, and America._

The savage disposition and great size of the wild cats render them the most
formidable wild animals which are now left in Great Britain. In the
southern and midland parts of England they have all been long destroyed;
but, in the woods which border the lakes of Westmoreland and Cumberland,
and in several of the mountainous parts of Scotland, they are yet
occasionally found. They have their lodgments in hollow trees, in the
fissures of the rocks, and in deep and narrow holes on the face of dreadful
precipices; from which, during the night chiefly, they issue forth in
search of prey. This consists of hares, rabbits, and other quadrupeds, and
also of various kinds of birds. Wild cats are caught in traps, more for the
purpose of destroying them on account of the ravages they commit, than for
any uses to which they can be converted. Their _skins_ were formerly in
request as fur for the lining of robes and other garments; though they do
not appear to have been held in much esteem.

The _domestic cat_ (Fig. 3) is a subdued variety of the wild species; and
although it still partakes, in some degree, of the native ferocity of its
original, it is a clean and useful inmate in our houses. By the ancient
Egyptians cats were considered objects of sacred veneration; it was
accounted a capital crime wilfully to kill one of them, and whoever even
accidentally killed one was liable to severe punishment. We are informed by
Herodotus, the Greek historian, that, whenever a cat died a natural death,
the inhabitants of the house were accustomed to shave their eye-brows in
token of sorrow, and the animal so dying was embalmed and nobly interred.
The Turks entertain a sacred respect for cats; and the ancient Britons so
greatly esteemed them that, in the tenth century, their price was inserted
even in the laws of the land: a kitten, before it could see, having been
rated at a penny (equal to at least five shillings of present money); as
soon as proof could be had of its having caught a mouse, the price was
raised to two-pence; and a tolerably good mouser was considered worth

These animals possess a very acute sense both of sight and smell; and by
the peculiar structure of their eyes, which sparkle in the dark, they are
able to discover their prey, such as rats and mice, as well in the night as
during the day; and a cat, that is a good mouser, will soon clear a house
of these troublesome little quadrupeds. Cats should not, however, either be
much handled or too well fed, if kept for this purpose; as, in this case,
they become indolent and disinclined to exert themselves.

Useful as cats are to us, they are, in some respects, unpleasant. If
injured or offended, they suddenly express their resentment by scratching
and biting, and sometimes with great fury. Constantly bent on theft and
rapine, they are never to be trusted in the same room with provisions that
are within their reach; and although many persons do not hesitate to let
them sleep on their beds, it is a practice much better avoided, as the
exhalation from their bodies is considered to be injurious.

The _skins_ of cats form, in some countries, a very considerable branch of
commerce; and, as furs, they are much esteemed for particular purposes.
Those of Spanish cats are the most valuable; but the greatest numbers sent
from the northern parts of Europe and Asia. The Russians not only export
them to other countries of Europe, but even send them into China. In
Jamaica, and some of the other West Indian islands, the negroes frequently
eat the _flesh_ of cats. From the skins of their intestines was formerly
manufactured the article called _cat-gut_, which was used as strings for
violins, and other similar musical instruments; but this is now chiefly
made from the intestines of sheep. If the fur of the cat be rubbed with the
hand, particularly in frosty weather, it yields electric sparks; and if a
cat, clean and perfectly dry, be placed during frosty weather on a stool
with glass feet, and rubbed, for a little while, in contact with a coated
phial, the phial will become effectually charged. This fur is consequently
sometimes used in electrical experiments.

The Caffre women, in the South of Africa, occasionally use cat-skins as
pocket handkerchiefs.

  49. _The LYNX_ (Felis lynx) _is an animal of the cat tribe, about four
  feet in length, exclusive of the tail, which is obscurely ringed, and
  black at the tip; the head and body are whitish tawny, spotted with
  black; and the ears have a long pencil of black hair at the tip._

  _This animal is found in woods and forests of the northern parts of
  Europe, of Asia, and America, where it climbs with facility into the
  loftiest trees._

There is a trade in the _skins_ of lynxes, and other animals, betwixt
Russia and China. These skins constitute a thick and soft fur, and, when of
pale or whitish colour, with the spots tolerably distinct, they are very
valuable. The further north the animals are caught, the whiter and better
are the skins; those that are most elegant are taken near lake Balkash in
Usbec Tartary. They are sold at a rate of from fifteen shillings to five or
six pounds sterling each, exclusive of the fore feet, which are so valuable
as to be sold separately, and at high prices.

  50. _The ICHNEUMON_ (Viverra ichneumon) _is a quadruped somewhat more
  than three feet in length, of which the tail, which is thick at the base,
  and tapering and tufted at the extremity, measures nearly half: the hair
  is hard, coarse, and of reddish gray colour, and the great toes are
  remote from the others._

  _It is found in Egypt, and particularly in the parts of that country
  which are adjacent to the banks of the Nile. It is also found throughout
  nearly all the southern parts of Asia._

To the inhabitants of Egypt the ichneumon is an animal of great importance.
Being a natural enemy of the whole serpent race, and of other noxious
reptiles which infest that country, it unsparingly attacks and destroys
them. It combats, without dread, even the most venomous serpents; and the
address with which it seizes them by the throat, in such manner as to avoid
receiving any injury itself, is very remarkable. It digs the eggs of
crocodiles out of the sand; and even kills and devours great numbers of the
young ones of those tremendous and dreaded creatures. Both in India and
Egypt the ichneumon is domesticated and kept in houses, where it is found
more serviceable than a cat, in destroying rats and mice. It is easily
tamed, and very active, and springs with great agility on its prey. For its
various services, but more especially in the destroying of crocodiles, it
was ranked by the ancient Egyptians amongst their deities, and received the
honours of divine worship.

  51. _The STRIATED WEASEL, or SKUNK_ (Viverra putorius), _is an animal of
  the ichneumon tribe, which has the upper parts of its body striped with
  black and while, the neck and legs very short, and the tail is clad
  towards its extremity with long whitish hair._

  _This animal is about eighteen inches in length exclusive of the tail,
  which measures about fourteen inches. It is an inhabitant of several
  parts of America._

The mode in which the skunk is protected from the attack of enemies more
powerful than itself, is by emitting an odour so fetid and abominable that
few creatures are able long to continue within its influence. Cattle are
said to be so much alarmed by it as to utter the most dreadful bellowings.
Clothes that are infected with this smell retain it for many weeks; no
washing can render them sweet, and they must be for some time buried in the
fresh soil before they are thoroughly cleansed. Notwithstanding this, the
American Indians frequently eat the _flesh_ of the skunk; but great care is
requisite in killing it, to prevent any ill effect which would arise from
its noxious vapour. As soon as the animals are dead, the glands, from which
this vapour issues, are cut away, and the flesh, then untainted, is said
nearly to resemble that of a young pig. The _skins_ of these quadrupeds,
which are sweet, and well clad with hair, are much in request by furriers.
The inhabitants of Chili are very partial to them as coverlids for their
beds, and for other useful purposes. The Indians also make purses of them,
which they hold in great esteem.

  52. _The CIVET_ (Viverra civetta) _is an animal of the ichneumon tribe,
  distinguished by having coarse hair of yellowish ash-colour, marked with
  large blackish or dusky spots and stripes; a sort of upright mane on the
  neck and back, and the tail spotted above, and brown towards the tip._

  _The whole length of the civet is generally about two feet. It is a
  native of several parts both of Africa and India._

The drug or _perfume_ called civet is the production of this animal. It is
formed in a large bag or receptacle situated at a little distance beneath
the tail, and the creature often spontaneously presses it out through an
external orifice. This substance is a fatty secretion about the consistence
of soft pomatum, of lively white colour when fresh, but darker when it has
been some time kept. Its perfume is so strong, that it infects every part
of the animal's body. The skin and hair are so entirely impregnated with
it, that they retain their original smell long after they have been taken
from the body; and if a person be shut up in the same apartment with one of
these quadrupeds, the odour is almost insupportable.

Civet was formerly much employed in medicine; but it is now seldom used,
except as a perfume. It communicates some smell both to watery and
spirituous liquors; hence a small portion of it is often added to
odoriferous waters and spirits. The Italians make it an ingredient in
perfumed oils, and in this manner obtain the whole of its scent; for oils
dissolve the entire substance of the civet. When genuine, its value is from
thirty to fifty shillings per ounce.

Although the animals which produce this drug are inhabitants of hot
climates, they are kept in great numbers, and with a commercial view, at
Amsterdam. They are fed with boiled meat, eggs, birds, small quadrupeds,
and fish; and, as soon as the receptacle of any of them is supposed to be
nearly full, the animal is put into a long cage, so narrow that it is
unable to turn round. This cage has a door behind, through which a small
spoon or spatula is introduced into the pouch. This is carefully scraped,
and its contents are deposited in a proper vessel. The operation is usually
performed twice or thrice a week.

In many parts of the Levant and the East Indies, civets are reared and fed,
as domestic animals are with us: but as, in the Levant particularly, they
are few in number, and brought from a great distance, the perfume is
increased by introducing into the bag a small quantity of butter or other
fat. The people then shake the animal violently, and, by beating, irritate
and enrage it as much as possible. This accelerates the secretion; and the
fat, after having imbibed a great portion of the perfume, is used in place
of the genuine drug. Civet is adulterated by mixing it with storax and
other balsamic and odoriferous substances. That which is procured from
Amsterdam is said to be less adulterated, and consequently is held in
higher estimation than the civet which is imported from the Levant and the
East Indies; but, notwithstanding the apparent care to sell it genuine, as
would appear by the sealed bottles in which it is purchased, there is
reason to suppose that very little indeed of it is free from adulteration.

It must be remarked, that the drug called civet is not only produced by
this animal, but by some others of the same tribe, though in smaller
quantity, and of less value. Civet is more pleasant than musk (65), to
which it has some resemblance, and with which, by ignorant persons, it is
sometimes confounded.

  53. _The GENET_ (Viverra genetta) _is a quadruped belonging to the
  ichneumon tribe, and nearly allied to the civet, but is distinguished by
  its tail having seven or eight black rings, and the body being of tawny
  red colour, spotted with black._

  _It is an inhabitant of some parts of Asia, and is also found in France
  and Spain. Its length is about seventeen inches._

Like the civet (52) this animal produces, and in similar manner, an
agreeable _perfume_. It is not, however, so powerful as that of the civet,
and its scent much sooner evaporates. The _skin_ of the genet is capable of
being made into a light and handsome fur. This was formerly a fashionable
substance for muffs, particularly on the Continent; and, as the animals are
by no means numerous, was sold at high prices. After a while, however, the
art of counterfeiting it, by staining the skins of grey rabbits with black
spots, having been discovered, its value gradually abated, and, at length,
it has ceased to be in request.

  54. _The MARTIN_ (Mustela foina) _is a quadruped belonging to the weasel
  tribe, with greatly lengthened body and short legs, and the body of
  blackish tawny colour above, brown on the belly, and white on the

  _This animal is about eighteen inches in length, exclusive of the tail,
  and is not uncommon in woods near farm-yards, in the southern districts
  of Great Britain and Ireland. It is also found in several parts both of
  the Old and New Continent._

In some countries the martin is an object of eager pursuit, on account of
its _skin_, which makes a valuable fur. This is in great request in Europe
for lining and trimming the robes of magistrates, and for several other
purposes. In Turkey, where furs of all kinds are in much esteem, those of
the martin are particularly admired; and they are exported thither chiefly
from France and Sicily. They form a considerable article of commerce
betwixt this country and the northern parts of America; more than 12,000
skins being annually imported from Hudson's Bay, and more than 30,000 from
Canada. The most valuable part of the skin is that which extends along the
middle of the back. In England these skins are sold for about seven
shillings each; and the best and darkest of them are sometimes imposed upon
the purchaser for sables' skins (55). In some countries the flesh of the
martin is eaten; but from its musky flavour, it is not very palatable even
to persons who are accustomed to partake of it.

  55. _The SABLE_ (Mustela zibellina, Fig. 4) _is an animal of the weasel
  tribe, which in its general shape and size has a great resemblance to the
  martin (54), and is of a deep glossy brown colour._

  _It is a native of some of the northern parts of America and Europe, as
  well as of Siberia and Kamschatka, and is usually about eighteen inches
  in length._

The _fur_ of the sable is peculiarly valuable. Some of the darkest and best
skins, though not more than four inches in breadth, have been sold at sums
equal to twelve or fifteen pounds sterling each. Sables' skins are chiefly
imported from Russia, and the greatest number of them was formerly obtained
in Siberia, by persons banished thither from Russia: or sent for the
purpose of collecting them. These were compelled by the government to
furnish annually a certain number of skins by way of tax.

Sables are chased only during the winter, betwixt the months of November
and January; for at that time the skins are in the highest perfection. Such
animals as are caught at any other season have their skins full of short
hairs, which render them less valuable. The sable hunters frequently
assemble in companies of thirty or forty, and proceed along the great
rivers in boats, taking with them provisions for three or four months. They
have a chief, who, when they are arrived at the place of their rendezvous,
assigns to each division of his men the quarter to which they are to go. In
the places which are frequented by these animals the hunters remove the
snow, on particular spots, and place snares there, each hunter being able
to place about twenty snares in a day. They also pitch upon small places
near trees; these they surround with pointed stakes of a certain height,
covering them with boards to prevent the snow from falling in, and leaving
a narrow entrance, above which is placed a beam supported only by a small
and light piece of wood. As soon as a sable touches this to seize the piece
of meat or fish which is placed for a bait, the beam falls and kills it.

Sables are also caught by a kind of snares that are usually laid for grouse
and hares, being peculiarly partial to the seeds that are employed as bait
for these animals. Nets are sometimes used. When the hunter has discovered
the trace of a sable in the snow, he pursues it till he arrives at the
burrow of the animal, over the mouth of which he places his net, and then
by smoke compels the animal to come out, when he is secured in the net. If
fire-arms are used, they are loaded only with single balls, that the skins
may be as little injured as possible. Sometimes, in place of fire-arms,
cross-bows with very small or with blunt-headed arrows are adopted.

All the sables, as they are caught, are either delivered to the chief
hunter, or concealed in holes of trees, lest the Tonguses, or other tribes
inhabiting the adjacent country, should steal and carry them away. When the
time appropriated to the chase is over, the hunters all assemble at the
place of rendezvous, and return home.

The hardships, fatigue, and perils with which these expeditions are
attended, may well be conceived when we consider the nature of the country,
the season of the year, and the intense cold which the hunters have to
endure. Frequently do they penetrate into the depths of immense and
trackless woods, from which, they have no other mode of securing a retreat,
than by marking the trees as they advance; and, if these marks should be
obliterated and fail them, they must inevitably be lost; often have they to
sustain the extremes of cold and hunger. Some instances have been mentioned
of sable hunters, when their provisions have failed, being reduced to the
necessity of tying thin boards tight to their stomachs to prevent the
cravings of appetite. To all these must be added the constant peril, under
which they labour, of being overwhelmed and lost in the snow.

The fur of the sable is short, and generally of glossy and beautiful
blackish brown colour: some animals, however, are of lighter colour, some
have yellowish spots on the neck, and others have been found entirely
white; but the skins of these are of little further value than as

There is a mode of dyeing the light-coloured furs darker, and also of
dyeing other furs to imitate sables; but these are easily discovered by
their having neither the smoothness nor the gloss of furs in a natural

Sables are very sprightly and active little animals. They form holes or
burrows under ground in forests, and the banks of rivers, and subsist on
small quadrupeds, birds, eggs, and other animal substances of different

  56. _The FERRET_ (Mustela furo) _is a species of weasel, which, in shape,
  somewhat resembles the martin (54); but it has a strong and more shaggy
  fur, of dingy yellowish colour, and red eyes._

  _It is found wild in the northern parts of Africa._

The principal use to which this quadruped is applied is in rabbit warrens,
for driving those animals out of their burrows into the nets or traps of
the warreners. Though naturally of savage disposition, ferrets are easily
tamed, and rendered sufficiently docile for all the services that are
required of them. They should be kept in tubs or chests, and well supplied
with clean straw, as otherwise they would become excessively fetid and

When about to be used, they should be kept, for a little while, without
food, and have their mouths securely muzzled. The former, lest they should
become indolent and not hunt: and the latter, lest they should satiate
themselves on the rabbits, and consequently be disinclined to return from
the burrows. Some warreners are so cruel as to sew up the mouths of ferrets
instead of muzzling them.

When put into a burrow it is customary to tie a bell round the neck of the
ferret, and purse-nets are fastened over all the holes that are supposed to
communicate with that in which he is placed. The use of the bell is to
ascertain the situation of the ferret, and prevent his being lost. The best
time for setting the nets is at day-break, and they are generally suffered
to remain till half an hour before sun-rise: and they are set again from
half an hour before sun-set until it is dark. If it be required to take
half-grown rabbits from holes that are known to have few angles, and not to
extend far below the surface of the ground, it is sometimes customary to
use the ferret unmuzzled, and with a line round him; and as soon as he is
supposed to have seized the rabbit, he is drawn gently back with the animal
in his mouth.

Ferrets are frequently kept by farmers and other persons for killing rats;
and so eager and active are they in this pursuit that few are able to
escape them. Even a young ferret, after he has seized a rat, will so
perseveringly retain his hold, as to suffer himself to be dragged to a
considerable distance before he can kill it, but he seldom fails in doing
this at last.

As the unmixed breed of ferrets is supposed to degenerate, and lose, in
some degree, their native ferocity, it is usual with some warreners to
cross the breed with our native wild animal the polecat.

  57. _The ERMINE is a species of weasel, of white colour, except the tip
  of the tail, which is black. This is, however, only the winter colour of
  the animal in the northern parts of Europe; in the summer it becomes
  brown instead of white, and in this state has the name of stoat._

  _This animal, which, in its brown state, is well known in all parts of
  England, is usually about ten inches in length, exclusive of the tail._

The skins of ermines are a valuable article of commerce in several parts of
the Continent, and particularly betwixt the Russians and Chinese. In some
countries, as in Norway, Lapland, and Finland, the animals are found in
prodigious numbers. They are generally caught in traps, but are sometimes
shot with blunt arrows. Their skins are employed for ornamenting robes of
state, and in various parts of female dress; and, for these purposes, they
have been used during many centuries past, as is evident from ancient
paintings, sculpture, and other authorities. The black tips of the tails
are considered peculiarly valuable.

In Russia ermines' skins of good quality are sold at the rate of about a
shilling each. They are usually sewed in lengths of three Russian ells, and
these parcels are estimated, according to their quality, at from two to
five guineas each. Many deceptions, however, have been practised respecting
ermines' skins, which have tended to depreciate their value; the principal
of these is to conceal and sew small bits of lead in the feet, to increase
their weight.

Ermines, like all other animals of the same tribe, are carnivorous, and
very destructive to such quadrupeds as they are able either openly to
attack, or to seize by stratagem. They are chiefly found amongst woods, in
hedge-banks, hollow trees, heaps of stones, and the banks of rivers.

It is a remarkable circumstance, and one that affords a very pleasing proof
of the wisdom of Providence, that, at the commencement of winter, these and
other defenceless animals change their brown summer coat to one similar in
colour to the snows of that inclement season. By such means they are able
to elude the sight of many of their enemies, to the attacks of which they
would otherwise be peculiarly exposed.

  58. _The COMMON OTTER_ (Lutra vulgaris) _is a large quadruped of dark
  brown colour, with short and thick legs, the hind feet naked, and the
  tail about half the length of the body._

  _This animal is about two feet in length, exclusive of the tail. It has a
  short head and broad muzzle; the eyes are situated towards the front of
  the face; the ears are rounded and, short; and the tail is very thick,
  particularly towards its origin._

  _The otter inhabits the banks of fresh-water rivers and streams, in many
  of the British counties; in other parts of Europe, in North America, and
  Asia, as far as Persia._

The depredations committed in rivers and fish ponds by this voracious
animal, are not compensated by the value of its _skin_, which however
affords a fine fur of deep brown colour, particularly if the animal be
killed in the winter; for then its shade is darker than at any other season
of the year. Otters are generally either caught in traps, or chased by
dogs, and men armed with long spears.

Their _flesh_ is allowed by the canons of the Romish church to be eaten on
maigre days, from its supposed resemblance to fish, on which otters almost
wholly subsist. In the kitchen of the Carthusian convent near Dijon, Mr.
Pennant saw the servants preparing an otter for the dinner of the religious
of that rigid order, who, by their rules, are prohibited, during their
whole lives, the eating of flesh.

It is possible so far to tame and educate these animals as to render them
serviceable in catching fish. Many instances of this have been mentioned.
An inhabitant of Christianstadt in Sweden had an otter which daily procured
for him as much fish as served for the use of his family. Dr. Goldsmith
speaks of having himself seen an otter plunge into a gentleman's pond at
the word of command, drive the fish into a corner, and, seizing one of the
largest, bring it off to his master; and in Bewick's History of Quadrupeds
two instances of this proficiency are noted. In one of these it is stated
that the otter would sometimes catch for his master as many as eight or ten
salmon in a day. As soon as one was brought to the shore and taken from its
mouth, it dived in pursuit of another; and when tired would refuse to fish
any longer, after which it was rewarded with as much as it could devour.

The otter always hunts for his prey against the stream; and usually
destroys several fish at a time, seldom devouring more than the upper part
of their bodies. These animals fish in the sea as well as in fresh water;
and their habitation is a den or burrow, which they form or find near the
banks of rivers or other water, from which they can take food.

  59. _The SEA-OTTER_ (Lutra marina) _is chiefly distinguishable from the
  common species by its hind feet being hairy, and the tail being only one
  fourth part as long as the body._

  _Its length, exclusive of the tail, is about three feet; and its fur
  extremely soft, and of deep glossy black or dark brown, colour. The hind
  legs somewhat resemble those of a seal (23)._

  _These animals are found on the sea-coast of Kamtschatka and the adjacent
  islands, as well as on most parts of the opposite coast of America._

A considerable trade in sea-otters' _skins_ is carried on betwixt Russia
and other nations. The Kamtschadales, on whose coasts the animals are
chiefly killed, barter them with the Cossacks, and they with the Russian
merchants. So little do the Kamtschadales value these skins, that they
exchange them freely for an equal number of foxes' or sables' skins, which
are much indeed inferior to them in value. The Chinese are the principal
purchasers of them from the Russians; and they pay for them at the rate of
from seventy to a hundred rubles each. This great price, and the distance
from which they are brought, are the principal causes of their being seldom
seen in Europe.

The best skins are those of such animals as are killed betwixt the months
of March and May. The fur of the sea-otter is, in some respects,
inconvenient as cloathing, on account of its being very thick and heavy,
otherwise (independently of its greater size) it would be superior in value
to the fur of the sable. Its colour is generally black, but sometimes brown
like the fur of the common otter. The skins of the females are easily
distinguished from those of the males, by being smaller, more black, and
having the hair longest under the belly. It was the trade for these and
other furs, at Nootka Sound, on the north-western coast of America, which,
in 1788, had nearly occasioned a rupture betwixt this country and Spain.

The _flesh_ of the young sea-otters is said to be an extremely delicate
food, and scarcely to be distinguishable from that of lamb.

  60. _The COMMON BEAR_ (Ursus arctos, Fig. 5) _is a heavy looking
  quadruped of large size, which has a prominent snout, a short tail,
  treads on the whole sole of its foot; and is covered with shaggy blackish

  _It is found in marshy woods of the northern parts of Europe and Asia,
  and is likewise found in Egypt, Barbary, and India._

The hunting of bears is an extremely important pursuit to the inhabitants
of nearly all the countries in which they are found; and in many parts of
the world it constitutes their principal and most profitable employ. The
_skins_ are made into beds, covertures, caps, and gloves. Of all coarse
furs these are the most valuable; and, when good, a light and black bear's
skin is one of the most comfortable, at the same time one of the most
costly articles in the winter wardrobe of a man of fashion at Petersburgh
or Moscow. In England bears' skins are used for the hammer-cloths of
carriages, for pistol-holsters, and other purposes. The leather prepared
from bears' skins is made into harness for carriages, and is used for all
the purposes of strong leather.

Nearly every part of the bear is of use. Its _flesh_ is a savoury and
excellent food, somewhat resembling pork: and that of the paws is
considered a delicacy in Russia, even at the imperial table. The _hams_ are
salted, dried, and exported to other parts of Europe. The flesh of young
bears is as much in request in some parts of Russia as that of lamb is with

Bears' _fat_ is frequently employed as a remedy for tumours, rheumatism,
and other complaints. An _oil_ prepared from it is adopted as a means of
making the hair grow. This fat is likewise used by the Russians and
Kamtschadales with their food, and is esteemed as good as the best
olive-oil. The _intestines_, when cleansed and properly scraped, are worn
by the females of Kamtschatka, as masks to preserve their faces from the
effects of the sun, the rays of which, being reflected from the snow, are
found to blacken the skin; but by this means they are enabled to preserve a
fair complexion. These intestines are also used instead of glass for
windows. In Kamschatka the _shoulder-blade bones_ of bears are converted
into sickles for the cutting of grass.

The modes in which bears are caught or killed are too numerous to be
described in this place. These animals chiefly frequent the most retired
parts of forests; and their habitations are dens formed beneath the surface
of the ground, in which they pass the winter in a state of repose and
abstinence. In some countries, where they are suffered to live without much
molestation, they are quiet and inoffensive animals; but in others they are
extremely surly and ferocious.

  61. _The WHITE or POLAR PEAR_ (Ursus maritimus) _is a quadruped of large
  size, sometimes measuring near twelve feet in length, and covered with
  long, coarse, and shaggy white hair; the head and neck much longer in
  proportion than those of the common bear, and the tail short._

  _The sea-shores of Greenland, and other countries within the arctic
  circle, as well as the immense islands of ice which abound in the Frozen
  Ocean, are frequented by great numbers of these animals._

The uses of the white bear are chiefly confined to the skin, the flesh, and
the fat. Of these the _skin_, which is perhaps the most valuable part, is
employed for beds, shoes, boots, and, in various ways, as leather. The
_flesh_ is eaten by the Greenlanders and the inhabitants of other northern
countries, and is described to be as excellent as mutton, though this must
be very doubtful when we consider the food on which these animals subsist.
The _fat_ is melted and employed instead of oil; that of the paws is used
in medicine, for anointing rheumatic and paralytic limbs, and was formerly
esteemed a sovereign remedy in these diseases. Of the _tendons_, when split
into slender filaments, the Greenlanders make thread to sew with.

White bears are killed with spears; and are sometimes hunted with dogs, or
killed with guns. They are savage, ferocious, and powerful animals; and so
great is their activity in the water, that they are frequently known to
swim over tracts of sea, six or seven leagues, from one island or shore to

  62. _The GLUTTON_ (Ursus gulo) _is a small animal of the bear tribe,
  which has the back, muzzle, and feet of dark brown colour; the sides
  dusky, and the tail of the same colour as the body._

  _It is about three feet in length, exclusive of the tail; and is a native
  of mountains and forests in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and

In such esteem are the _skins_ of these animals in Kamtschatka, that only
the most wealthy of the inhabitants can afford to wear them; and females,
when full dressed, ornament their hair with the paws. They indeed value
this kind of fur so highly as to assert that the heavenly beings wear
garments made of it; and no Kamtschatka can present to his wife or mistress
a more acceptable gift than one of these skins. In Lapland they are sold at
very high prices; and are used for muffs and the linings of coats. From the
skin of the legs the Lapland women cut out gloves, which they work with a
kind of tinsel wire, drawn through a machine made of the skull of the
rein-deer. The fur is of glossy black colour, and shines with peculiar
lustre, reflecting different shades of light, according to the different
positions in which it is held. The _flesh_ of these animals is sometimes
eaten in Greenland.

It is said to be the habit of the gluttons to climb into trees, and to drop
from the branches upon the backs of deer and other animals which happen to
pass beneath, and on which they can prey. They also feed on hares, mice,
birds, and even on putrid flesh; and are said to be voracious in an extreme

  63. _The RACCOON_ (Ursus lotor) _is a slender and somewhat fox-shaped
  quadruped belonging to the bear tribe; and is peculiarly distinguished by
  having a dusky stripe along the nose, and the tail marked with black

  _This animal it chiefly found in the woods of North America._

The _fur_ of the raccoon is so soft and useful as to be sometimes employed
instead of beaver in the making of hats. It is also used for the linings of
garments; and the _skins_, when properly dressed, make good gloves and
upper leathers for shoes. The _flesh_ is eatable.

  64. _The BADGER_ (Ursus meles, Fig. 6) _is a small animal, of the bear
  tribe, which has coarse hair, of grey-colour on the upper parts, and
  black beneath; and a long, black, pyramidal strips on each side of the
  head; its body and legs are thick, and the teeth and claws peculiarly

  _This animal is found in several of the woody districts of England, as
  well as in nearly all the temperate parts of Europe, and is about the
  size of a small pig._

In various particulars the badger is an useful animal to mankind. Its
_flesh_, which is somewhat similar in taste to that of the wild dog, is
much esteemed in Italy, France, and Germany, and may be made into excellent
hams, and bacon. The _skin_, when dressed with the hair on, makes excellent
knapsacks, and covers for pistol furniture and travelling trunks. For all
these purposes it is frequently used, as it is impervious by rain, and
needs no additional preparation to render it water-proof. In the paralytic
complaints of old persons, it is asserted that the hairy skin of the
badger, worn next to the body, has been of great service, by stimulating
the nerves into action. The _hairs_ or bristles are made into brushes for
painters; and the _fat_ is applied to many useful purposes, both externally
and internally, in medicine.

Badgers are generally caught in sacks fastened at night, when the animals
are abroad in search of food, into the mouth of their burrows in the
ground. When these are fixed, the animals are hunted home from the adjacent
fields with dogs, and, on entering their usual places of retreat to escape
from their foes, they are immediately seized and tied up in the sacks by
men who are stationed at hand for that purpose. Badgers are also sometimes
caught by steel traps placed in their haunts.

These animals subsist principally upon roots and other vegetable food,
which they scratch and root out of the ground during the night. Their dens
or burrows are generally formed in woody places, or the clefts of rocks.
Though in almost every respect innoxious, they are endowed with such
strength as successfully to oppose the attacks of animals apparently much
more powerful than themselves.

  65. _The VIRGINIAN OPOSSUM_ (Didelphis opossum) _is a whitish-coloured
  animal about the size of a small cat, but with feet somewhat like those
  of the monkey, slender muzzle, and scaly tail; the female has a pouch or
  bag on the under part of the body, in which she places her young ones,
  when very small, and where they afterwards find a place of retreat from

  _This species of opossum are numerous in Virginia, Louisiana, Surinam,
  and other warm and temperate parts both of North and South America._

Notwithstanding the disgusting smell of these animals whilst alive, when
dead and skinned, their _flesh_ is as sweet and excellent as any other
animal food. All the American travellers who have partaken of it appear to
agree that it much resembles that of sucking pig. The _hair_, which is of
considerable length, is spun, by the American Indians, into thread, dyed
red, and then woven into girdles and other parts of dress.

  66. _The COMMON MOLE_ (Talpa europæa) _is a small and well-known British
  quadruped of black colour, with broad fore feet, large head terminating
  in a slender snout, extremely small eyes, no external ears, and short

In former times the _skins_ of moles were in great esteem for many purposes
both useful and ornamental. They were employed for the linings of winter
garments, and for trimmings in several kinds of dress and were even made
into coverlets for beds. At present, although, by a late invention, the
down or fur, which is as soft as the finest velvet, has been adopted in the
manufacture of hats, they are so little esteemed in this country that the
mole-catchers in general can find no sale for them. The _flesh_ of the mole
is eaten in some countries, but the animals are too small to be used with
any advantage as food.

Moles live only in burrows or galleries which they dig, under the surface
of the earth, with their strong fore feet, and they are chiefly caught to
prevent the injury which they are imagined to do to the farmer by throwing
up the mould, in little hillocks, in different parts of his grounds. The
mode of catching them is by traps placed in their galleries, by persons
employed for that purpose, and who are paid for their trouble at a
stipulated rate per dozen.

Moles feed on roots, worms, and the grubs or caterpillars of insects. They
are generally considered to be both blind and deaf, but they possess every
requisite organ both for sight and hearing: indeed their quickness of
hearing is such that they take alarm, and seek for safety in flight, at
even the most distant approach of danger.

Moles are believed, by some persons, to be useful and not injurious to the
farmer. In cold clayey land their operations are supposed to have a
tendency to drain the soil, and to be beneficial in communicating air to
the roots of plants; they are also thought to be serviceable by raising
fresh mould upon grass-land, and feeding on the grubs of several kinds of
insects which subsist on the roots of the grass.

  67. _The HEDGE-HOG or URCHIN_ (Erinaceus europæus) _is a small British
  quadruped, the upper parts of which are covered with spines, each about
  an inch long, and the under parts covered with hair._

These animals are of considerable utility in several points of view. If
kept and allowed to run about in rooms that are infested with beetles,
cock-roaches, or crickets, they will destroy the whole of them. Some
persons imagine that they will devour mice, but this wants authentication.
A hedge-hog which was kept at the Angel Inn at Felton, Northumberland, was
tamed, and employed as a turnspit (40). The _flesh_ of the hedge-hog is
occasionally used as food, and is said to be very delicate eating. The
_skin_, which was frequently employed by the ancients as a clothes brush,
is now used by farmers, in some parts of the Continent, to put on the
muzzles of calves which they are about to wean, that the cow may not permit
them to suck. Several of the old writers have related accounts of very
extraordinary, and at the same time very absurd, medicinal effects from
different parts of this animal.

Hedge-hogs sleep in the day-time, and are awake during the night, when they
run abroad in search of worms, snails, insects, and other food. Few
creatures can be more inoffensive. When attacked they defend themselves by
rolling into a globular form, and opposing, on all sides, a spinous
surface. There is a notion, but it is apparently an unfounded one, that
hedge-hogs suck the milk of cows whilst lying in the fields asleep; and
that they stick fruit upon their prickles, and thus carry it off to their


  68. _The COMMON PORCUPINE_ (Hystrix cristata) _is a quadruped, the upper
  parts of which are covered with quills or spines six or seven inches in
  length, each variegated with black and white rings; and its head has a
  crest of smaller spines._

  _This animal, which is common in exhibitions of wild beasts in this
  country, and is about two feet in length, is found wild in Spain and
  Italy, as well as in several parts of Africa, Asia, and America._

In America porcupines are hunted chiefly on account of their _quills_,
which are applied by the Indians to many useful purposes. The women dye
them of several beautiful colours, split them into slips, and weave them
into bags, belts, baskets, and other articles, the neatness and elegance of
which would not disgrace more enlightened artists. The _flesh_ of the
porcupine is said to be excellent eating, and, at the Cape of Good Hope, is
frequently introduced at the tables even of the principal families.

It was formerly believed that these animals, when attacked, had a means of
defending themselves by forcibly darting their quills at the aggressor; but
this opinion has been fully refuted. Their principal mode of defence is by
throwing themselves on one side, and erecting their spines against the
assailant. They live in dens under the ground, and are chiefly in motion
during the night, in search of fruit, roots, and other vegetables, which
constitute their principal food. Though apparently heavy and inactive
animals, they are able to climb even to the tops of the highest trees, with
great facility.

  69. _The BEAVER_ (Castor fiber, Fig. 25.) _is a quadruped, with smooth,
  glossy, and chesnut-coloured hair; and a flat, oval, and naked tail,
  marked into scaly divisions, somewhat like the skin of a fish._

  _These animals inhabit the banks of rivers and lakes in woody and
  unfrequented parts of the north of Europe, Asia, and America: their
  general length is betwixt two and three feet._

In ancient times the beaver is supposed to have been found wild in this
country, and its _skin_ was so valuable as to constitute the chief and most
valuable fur which the island produced. The _hair_ is of two kinds, of
which the upper is long and thick; and the lower, or that immediately next
to the skin, is of dark brown colour, short, close-set, and as soft as
down. In commerce a distinction is made betwixt fresh, dry, and fat beaver'
skins. Of these the first are obtained from animals that are killed in the
winter; the second sort from those taken during the summer; and the third
or fat sort are such as have been carried, for some time, on the bodies of
the American Indians, who, as it were, tan the skins with their perspirable
matter. It is the fur of the first sort which is chiefly manufactured into
hats; but the fat skins are esteemed the most valuable in consequence of
the long hairs having been worn off, and the fine downy fur being left
perfectly free from them. Each full-grown beaver yields about twenty-four
ounces of fur. This, besides hats, is wrought into gloves, caps, stockings,
and other articles of dress. The _skin_ of the beaver, as leather, serves
for saddles, the upper leathers of shoes, gloves, the covering of trunks,
&c. The Russians sell great numbers of these skins to the Chinese, but,
probably, the greatest traffic in them is from North America. We may form
some idea of the numbers which are exported from that country, when it is
stated that more than 50,000 skins have been vended by the Hudson's Bay
Company at one sale; and that, in the year 1798, no fewer than 106,000
beavers' skins were collected in Canada, and exported thence into Europe
and to China.

Besides their fur these animals furnish a valuable substance, which is
known by the name of _castor_[1] or _castoreum_, and is contained in two
little bags, called the inguinal glands, each about the size of a hen's
egg. This substance is of a brownish oily consistence, has a disagreeable,
narcotic smell, and a bitterish, acrid, and nauseous taste. The castor
which is imported from Russia is generally esteemed the most valuable;
though in many cases that from Hudson's Bay has been found nearly if not
fully equal to it. Castor has been long celebrated as a remedy in
hysterical complaints; and has been frequently used with advantage in
languid habits and constitutions.

The American Indians are partial to the _flesh_ of the beaver, and they use
its _teeth_ for the cutting, hollowing, and polishing of wood; they also
clothe themselves in beavers' _skins_, and, in winter, wear them with the
hair next to their bodies as a defence against the cold.

Beavers are only found in the most retired situations, always in the
immediate neighbourhood of water, and generally in extensive communities.

  70. _The CHINCHILLA_ (Muslaniger) _is a small quadruped of the rat tribe,
  which has a beautifully soft grey fur._

The _fur_ of this animal, which is a native of some parts of South America,
was formerly used by the Peruvians, as a fine kind of wool, and was spun
and woven into stuffs of extremely delicate texture, to which they attached
great value. Of late years, however, the manufacture of it has been much
neglected. As a fur, the skin of the chinchilla is much in request in this
country, in consequence of its having become a fashionable trimming for
ladies' dresses, and a favourite article for muffs.

  71. _The GREY SQUIRREL_ (Sciurus cinereus) _is a quadruped about the size
  of a rabbit, which has the upper parts of its body grey, and the under
  parts white. It is found in America, and in some countries of the north
  of Europe._

The _skins_ of these animals are sometimes used as a fur for the lining of
winter garments, and are frequently imported into England, but they are not
of much value. As, however, they are very tough, they are tanned and
employed in America for many of the purposes of leather, but particularly
for the making of ladies' shoes. The Laplanders, in winter, annually make
war upon the troops of grey squirrels which are found in some parts of
their country. This they do chiefly for the sake of their skins, which they
make up into bundles of about forty each. But no merchandize is more liable
to deception than this. The purchaser receives them without examination,
the skins are packed with the fur inward, and all the bundles are sold at
the same price.

In several of the plantations of North America these animals, from their
immense numbers, and the devastations they commit, are greatly injurious to
the inhabitants. Rewards for their destruction are consequently given; and,
in Pennsylvania alone, more than 600,000 of them have, in some years, been

The grey squirrels reside chiefly in trees, but lay up stores of provision,
for winter, in holes which they dig in the ground. They are extremely agile
animals, and run about among the branches with as much facility and
security as upon the ground.

  72. _The BLACK SQUIRREL_ (Sciurus niger) _is a small black quadruped of
  the squirrel tribe, which is not uncommon in North America and New

The finest furs which the Iroquois Indians possess are those of _black
squirrels_. These they make into robes and garments, which they sell at a
price as high as seven or eight pistoles each.

  73. _The COMMON HARE_ (Lepus timidus, Fig. 26) _is distinguishable from
  all other animals of its tribe by the ears being tipped with black, and
  longer than the head; the hind-legs being half as long as the body, and
  the tail short._

  _It is found in every quarter of the world except Africa._

Notwithstanding the great estimation in which the _flesh_ of the hare is
now held as food, it was absolutely forbidden by the Druids; and was
abhorred by the Britons for many centuries after the abolition of that
order. At the present day it is not eaten by the inhabitants of many
eastern nations. It is prohibited by the Mahometans and Jews; and the
Copts, who have adopted many of the Jewish customs, refrain from it. The
ancient Romans, however, considered it so great a delicacy for the table,
that Martial styles the hare, in this view, the first of quadrupeds.

The _fur_ of the hare forms an important article in the manufacture of
hats, and vast quantities of hares' skins are, for this purpose, annually
brought from Russia and Siberia. This is the chief use which we make of
them; but, in some parts of the Continent, the fur is spun and woven into a
kind of cloth. The inhabitants of Dalecarlia, a province of Sweden, set a
peculiar value upon such cloth, from an opinion that it is itself so
attractive to fleas as to preserve the wearer from their attacks! The
Romans spun the fur both of the hare and rabbit into cloth; but Pliny says
that such cloth was neither soft nor durable.

In the extreme northern countries, where the frosts of winter are intense,
and where snow lies upon the ground for many successive months, all the
hares, at the approach of that season, change their coat, and, instead of
retaining a coloured fur, become perfectly white.

The chase of the hare is, at this day, a popular amusement in most parts of
England; and four or five centuries ago it was so much followed, that even
ladies had hunting parties by themselves, in which they rode astride upon
the saddle.

It is sometimes difficult to ascertain the excellence of hares for the
table, but the following directions may be of use. When newly killed the
body will be stiff, and the flesh of pale colour; but when a hare has been
some time killed the body becomes limber, and the flesh gradually turns
black. A young hare may be known from an old one, after it is dead, by the
bones of the knee joint. If, on thrusting the thumb-nail against this
joint, the bones are somewhat separate, the hare is young; if there be no
space, it is old; and the greater the separation, the younger the animal
may be considered. The under jaw of a young hare may easily be broken, and
the ears easily torn; the cleft also of the lip is narrow, and the claws
smooth and sharp. In an old hare the cleft of the lip spreads very much,
the claws are blunt and rugged, and the ears dry and tough. Hares may be
kept better if they are not opened for four or five days after they are
killed; and they are considered in the best state for the table when the
colour of the flesh is beginning to turn.

So numerous are these animals in some parts of England, where attention is
paid to preserving the breed, that they become greatly injurious to the
crops of all the neighbouring farmers. They feed upon green corn, clover,
and other useful vegetables; and frequently commit much damage in young
plantations, by eating the bark from the trees. Some years ago a gentleman
in Suffolk found it necessary to destroy the hares near some new
plantations, and 1082 were ascertained to have been killed.

  74. _The ALPINE HARE_ (Lepus Alpinus) _is a Siberian animal, destitute of
  tail, of tawny colour, with rounded, brown ears, and brown feet._

Amongst the mountains of Siberia alpine hares are very numerous. They live
in burrows or holes under ground, and store up, beneath the shelter of
trees or rocks, large ricks of dried grass and other vegetables for their
winter's subsistence. These collections are anxiously sought after by
persons engaged in the hunting of sables (55); and, in many instances, they
are the means of preserving their horses from perishing by famine. Some of
the adjacent peasantry also search them out as food for their horses and
cattle. The _skins_ of the alpine hares supply one of the articles of
commerce betwixt the Russians and Chinese.

  75. _The RABBIT_ (Lepus cuniculus) _is a British quadruped belonging to
  the same tribe as the hare; and is principally distinguishable from that
  animal by its proportionally shorter ears, and by the hind legs being
  only one-third of the length of the body._

  _The colour of the wild rabbit is dusky brown above, and paler or whitish
  on the under parts. In the domestic rabbit the colour is various, white,
  grey, black, or black and white._

  _These animals inhabit nearly all the warmer parts of Europe, as well as
  several of the temperate countries of Asia and Africa._

There are farms in many parts of England, particularly in Lincolnshire,
Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire, where the breeding of rabbits is rendered an
extremely advantageous pursuit. The most desirable situations are those in
which the soil is loose and sandy, and where the ground rises, in different
parts into low hills. Such lands can be more profitably employed as
rabbit-warrens than any others, from the greater facility with which the
animals are able to form their burrows in the earth, and the less liability
they have to be flooded, by the falling of heavy rains.

In a commercial view rabbits are animals of much greater importance than
hares; because, from their habit of living in greater numbers together,
they can be better attended to and managed; and also because they multiply
much more rapidly than hares. Their fecundity, indeed, is truly
astonishing. They breed several times in the year, and generally produce
seven or eight young ones at a birth; and it has been calculated that, if
the progeny from a single pair could, without interruption, proceed in the
same ratio for four or five years, the whole stock would, even in that
short period, amount to more than one million.

The particular uses of the rabbit are nearly the same as those of the hare
(73). The _fur_ is a principal substance employed in the composition of
hats; and such parts of it as are unfit for this purpose may advantageously
be adopted for the stuffing of beds and bolsters. Rabbits' skins are also
sometimes used as a cheap and warm-trimming for female dress; and the
_skins_ themselves, after the hair has been stripped from them, are boiled
down, and made into size or glue. The _flesh_, though, like that of the
hare, forbidden to the Jews and Mahometans, is a very delicate and
palatable food. We are informed by Pliny, the Roman naturalist, that the
ancients had a favourite dish which was made of sucking leverets or rabbits
unpaunched. The modes of ascertaining the quality of rabbits as food are
nearly the same as those which have been mentioned respecting the hare.

It is customary, in most warrens, to use ferrets (56) in the catching of
these animals. The ferrets are muzzled and put into the burrows; and, by
pursuing the rabbits under ground, they alarm and drive them into nets that
are placed over the outlets, in open and extensive grounds other modes are
adopted. These, as we are informed by Mr. Daniel, in his work on Rural
Sports, are by implements called fold-nets, spring-nets, and a kind of trap
called tipes. The _fold-nets_ are set, about midnight, between the burrows
and the feeding grounds; the rabbits being driven into them with dogs, and
kept enclosed in the folds till morning. The _spring-net_ is generally laid
round a haystack, or some other object of inducement for rabbits to collect
in numbers. The _tipe_ consists of a large pit or cistern, covered with a
floor. This has, near its centre, a small trap-door nicely balanced, into
which the rabbits are led by a narrow road or _meuse_. It was customary
formerly to set this kind of trap near a hay-stack; but, since turnips are
now grown as food for these animals in an enclosure in the interior of the
warren, it is placed within the wall of this enclosure. For a night or two
the rabbits are suffered to go through the meuse and over the trap, that
they may be familiarized to the place where the turnips are grown. After
that the trap-door is unbarred, and immense numbers fall in. On emptying
the cistern, the fat rabbits are selected and killed, and the others are
turned out upon the turnips to improve. Five or six hundred couples have
not unfrequently been taken in one night by this contrivance; and once, in
the Driffield warrens, as many as fifteen hundred couples were caught.

Many persons breed rabbits in a _tame_ or _domestic state_. The _skins_ of
these are useful; but, for food, the wild animals are greatly preferable.
Care should, at all times, be taken to keep them clean; and, during the
breeding season, the males and females must be kept apart. The best food
for tame rabbits is the shortest and sweetest hay that can be had; and one
load of this will serve two hundred couples for a year.


  76. _The ARABIAN CAMEL, or DROMEDARY_ (Camelus dromedarius, Fig. 7), _is
  distinguishable from every other specics of camel, by having a single
  bunch upon the middle of its back._

  _This animal, which is a native of many of the deserts of Asia and
  Africa, is of a tawny grey colour, and has soft hair, which is longer on
  the neck, under the throat, and on the haunch, than elsewhere._

  _The Arabian, like all other species of camel, has its upper lip cleft,
  and its feet with two long hoofs on which it treads, and two others
  shorter, which do not touch the ground._

These animals constitute the principal source of riches, and the whole
force and security, of the Arabians. They are the only beasts by which the
inhabitants of the sandy deserts of many parts of Asia could travel or
convey their burdens. Their tough and spongy feet, which are peculiarly
adapted both to the climate and the country, and their abstemious
temperament, but particularly their capability of travelling without water,
for many successive days, enable them to perform such journeys as would
destroy, probably, any other species of quadruped. The caravans, or troops
of merchants, that traverse, in all directions, the deserts of Egypt and
Arabia, are always accompanied by camels, which are often more in number
than the men. These commercial travels are sometimes to the distance of 700
or 800 leagues, and are usually performed at the rate of ten or twelve
leagues a day, the camels being, every night, unloaded to rest and feed.
For the latter purpose, if better provender cannot be had, they are
contented with a small quantity of dates or a few beans, together with the
scattered and oftentimes bitter herbage which the desert affords. The
burden of each camel usually weighs about half a ton; and, at the command
of his conductor, he kneels down for the greater convenience of being
loaded. It is from this practice that we account for those horny parts that
are observable on the bellies, knees, and limbs, even of the animals that
are exhibited in England. Camels are trained, from the earliest part of
their life, to the labours which they are afterwards to perform: and, with
this view, when but a few days old, their limbs are folded under their
body, and they are compelled to remain on the ground whilst they are loaded
with a weight, which is gradually increased as they increase in strength.
As soon as they have acquired sufficient strength they are trained to the
course, and their emulation is excited by the example of horses or of other

The pace of the camel is a high and swinging trot, which, to persons
unaccustomed to it, is at first disagreeable and apparently dangerous, but
is afterwards sufficiently pleasant and secure. The Arabians, in general,
ride on a saddle that is hollowed in the middle, and has, at each bow, a
piece of wood placed upright, or sometimes horizontally, by which the rider
keeps himself in the seat. A ring is inserted into the nostrils of the
camel, to which a cord is affixed; and this serves as a bridle to guide and
stop him, or to make him kneel when the rider wishes to dismount. Mr. Bruce
informs us that, in the caravans of one of the Abyssinian tribes, the
people sometimes ride two together on each camel, and sit back to back.

The camels of Sahara are probably more fleet than any that are known; and,
on these animals, the Arabs, with their loins, breast, and ears bound
round, to prevent the injurious effects of percussion from the quickness of
motion, can cross that great desert in a few days. With a goat's skin or a
porous earthen pitcher filled with water, a few dates, and some ground
barley, the Arab travels from Timbuctoo to Morocco, feeding his camel but
once upon the road. In one instance a camel was known to travel from Fort
St. Joseph, on the river Senegal, to the house of Messrs. Cabane and Depras
at Mogador, a distance of more than 1000 miles, in seven days.

It has been observed that the camel is the most completely and most
laboriously enslaved of all animals; the most completely, because, in the
other kinds of domestic animals, we find at least some individuals in their
natural state, and which have not yet been subdued by man: but the whole
species of the camel is enslaved; and not any of them are now to be found
in their primitive state of independence and liberty. He is the most
laboriously enslaved because he has never been trained, but as a beast of
burden whom man has not harnessed nor taught to draw, but whose body is
considered a living carriage which may be loaded and oppressed.

The above are not the only uses of the camel. The _hair_ or fleece of these
animals, which is renewed every year, and which regularly falls off in the
spring, is so soft that the finest parts of it may be manufactured into
stuffs of beautiful texture: and, in Europe, when mixed with the fur of the
beaver (69), it is sometimes made into hats. The inhabitants in some parts
of Sahara live in tents formed of woven camel's hair; this forms a thick
covering completely water-proof. After the hair has been stripped off, the
_skin_ is converted into leather.

In Arabia the _milk_ of the camel is a most important article of nutriment;
and the _flesh_, though dry and hard, is not unpalatable, particularly when
young. By the inhabitants of Egypt camels' flesh is so much esteemed, that,
at Cairo and Alexandria, it was formerly forbidden to be sold to
Christians. In many parts of Africa the _tongues_ are salted and dried,
both for use and exportation; and, with the ancient Romans, the _heels_ of
camels were eaten as a great delicacy.

  77. _The BACTRIAN, or TWO-BUNCHED CAMEL_ (Camelus bactrianus), _is known
  by having two bunches on its back; and by being somewhat larger, and
  having shorter legs than the Arabian species._

  _This animal is found in Usbec Tartary, the ancient Bactria: it is
  likewise a native of Siberia, Thibet, and some parts of China._

The purposes to which the Bactrian camel are applied are the same as those
already described respecting the Arabian species (76). These animals,
however, are sufficiently hardy to sustain the climate of the temperate
parts of Siberia, and to be able, without injury, to traverse even humid
and marshy countries, which would soon prove fatal to the Arabian camel.

  78. _The LLAMA, or GLAMA_ (Camelus glama), _is a South American species
  of camel, of small size, which has a protuberance on the breast, and no
  bunch on the back._

  _The colour of the llama is white, grey, and russet, variously disposed.
  Its height, to the top of the back, is somewhat more than four feet, and
  to the head nearly six feet._

Without the aid of these animals, the Spaniards who inhabit the mining
districts of South America would labour under great inconveniences for the
transport of their merchandise and treasures: since mountains that are
altogether inaccessible to the horse, are with facility traversed by the
llama. This beast, though not so patient, is nearly as abstemious as the
camel. He proceeds, when loaded, with a slow but sure pace, and performs
journeys, in these mountainous regions, more than 200 leagues in extent.
Sometimes he will travel four or five days successively without appearing
desirous of repose, and then he rests spontaneously, for twenty or thirty
hours, before he resumes his toil. Like the camel, these animals kneel to
be loaded; and they are directed in this, and in most other of their
motions, by their conductor's whistle. The value of the best llamas is
about eighteen ducats, and of the common ones twelve or thirteen ducats
each. The burdens they are able to carry are from 150 to 200 pounds'
weight: and the number of llamas that are kept in actual employ is supposed
to exceed 300,000.

Of the _skin_ of the llama a hard kind of leather is made, which is
converted into harness, the soles of shoes, and to many other useful
purposes. But, as it is only tanned, and not curried, it is soon injured by
exposure to wet. The _hair_, or fleece, particularly of the wild llamas,
which is longer than that of the animals in a domesticated state, is much
in request for the manufacture of camlets and other stuffs, some of which
are of very beautiful texture, and also for the making of hats. On this
account the animals are frequently hunted in the plains with dogs, or
killed with guns; but such is their activity amongst rocks, that, if they
can once reach these, the hunters are generally obliged to desist from any
further pursuit. The _flesh_ of the llama is a wholesome and excellent
food. Sometimes it is salted, and, in this state, like our salt beef, is
adopted as provision for ships proceeding on long voyages. That, however,
of the young llamas four or five months old is preferred, and is considered
as good as veal. Many parts of these animals are adopted by the inhabitants
of South America as medicines.

  79. _The VICUNA_ (Camelus vicugna) _is a small South American species of
  camel, with woolly fleece, a flat and blunt nose, an erect tail; and
  without any bunches._

  _This animal inhabits, in a wild state, and in extensive flocks, the
  highest peaks of the Andes._

Unable to sustain burthens exceeding sixty or seventy pounds in weight, the
vicuna is seldom employed in the transport of merchandise. It is chiefly in
esteem on account of its _fleece_, which is of a dead rose colour, and as
soft and valuable as silk. This, in South America, is spun and woven into
gloves, stockings, quilts, carpets, and innumerable other articles, which
are sold at great prices, and constitute an important branch of commerce.

In most of their habits these animals have a close alliance with the llama,
and their general figure is nearly the same. They are gentle and
inoffensive, and, though not tamed with quite so much facility, are capable
of great attachment towards those who have the care of them. Amongst their
native mountains they are so light and agile, in all their motions, that it
is not easy to come within reach of them, except by stratagem; and,
consequently, though dogs are sometimes employed to hunt them, they are
much more frequently killed by snares or traps than in any other way.

In consequence of the great advantages which, in America, are derived from
the wool of the vicuna, the Spaniards were, some years ago, induced to
attempt the introduction of these animals into Europe. Some of them were
brought to Spain; but, from want of proper attention to their natural
habits, the experiment entirely failed.

  80. _The MUSK_ (Moschus moschiferus, Fig. 27) _is a small quadruped,
  somewhat shaped like a deer, but without horns; it has two projecting
  tusks curved downward, a short tail; and, about the middle of the under
  part of the male, there is an oval bag, about the size of a small egg._

  _This animal is seldom more than about two feet in height at the
  shoulder, and is clad with long, upright, and thickset hair. Each hair is
  waved, and of three different colours; the tip ferruginous, the middle
  black, and the bottom dusky._

  _It inhabits the mountains of Thibet, Tonquin, and Siberia._

The drug called _musk_ is a brown fatty substance, which appears somewhat
like clotted blood. It is contained in the bag or receptacle under the
belly, which has two small external orifices; through these, when it is
overcharged, the animal squeezes it out upon trees or stones. The mode in
which musk is collected for sale is to kill the animals, cut off the bags,
and tie them closely up to prevent it from being spoiled by evaporation. In
those countries where the animals are most abundant they are pursued in the
autumn and winter, and generally with so much success that many thousands
of bags are annually collected. It is, however, presumed that, of those
which are sold, many are factitious, formed of other parts of the skin, and
filled with musk adulterated by mixture with other substances. Indeed, so
valuable is this drug, that it is seldom to be obtained in a pure state. To
increase its quantity blood is not unfrequently mixed with it; and, to
increase its weight, lead finely ground, and sometimes even little bits of
lead, are put into the bags. The natives of India are said to have various
methods of detecting this adulteration, by the taste and the weight; but,
principally, by a thread steeped in the juice of garlic, which they draw
through the bag with a needle; this, if it retain the smell of garlic, is
considered a decisive indication of the musk having improper ingredients
mixed with it. The purest musk is said to be that which is brought from
Patna, in the dominions of the Great Mogul, where it is collected from
various parts of the interior of the country. It is imported into Europe in
bags, each of which is about the size of a pigeon's egg, well filled, and
covered with short brown hair.

Musk was formerly much used as a perfume. It is now chiefly in repute as a
medicine in spasmodic, convulsive, and other complaints; and, when properly
given, is thought a remedy of great service. So powerful is the scent of
this drug, that the smallest particle of it will perfume a very
considerable space; and, when the bags are fresh, if one of them be opened
in a close apartment, every person present is obliged to cover his mouth
and nose with several folds of linen, to prevent suffocation.

In all the countries where these animals are found, their _skins_ are in
great request as a strong and valuable leather; and, when tanned and
properly prepared, the Russians have a method of rendering this nearly as
soft and shining as silk. These skins are also sometimes dressed as _furs_
for winter clothing. The flesh of the musk is frequently eaten; but that of
the young ones only is tender and of good flavour.

These animals, which are astonishingly light and active in all their
motions, and at the same time of inoffensive and timid habits and
disposition, are caught by snares placed near their feeding places; are
shot with arrows, and sometimes killed by cross-bows, so placed that they
discharge arrows, by the animals treading on a string connected with the

  81. _The ELK, or MOOSE DEER_ (Cervus alces, Fig. 8), _is the largest
  species of deer that is known, and is distinguished from all others by
  having broad and flattened horns with several points, no brow-antlers,
  and a hairy protuberance on the throat._

  _In size these animals are frequently larger than a horse. Their upper
  lip is square, very broad, deeply furrowed, and hangs over the mouth. The
  hair of the male is black at the points, dusky in the middle, and white
  at the roots; that of the female is of sandy brown colour, except under
  the throat, belly, and flank, which are whitish. The males only are

  _The elk inhabits the forests of North America, of some parts of Europe,
  and of Asia as far south as Japan._

Strong and powerful as these animals are, it has been found possible to
domesticate and train them to labour. Mr. Livingston, at a farm near New
York, made the experiment by breaking two elks to the harness. After having
been only twice bitted, though two years old, they appeared equally docile
with colts of the same age, applying their whole strength to the draught,
and proceeding in a steady pace. The motion of these animals is a shambling
kind of trot, but it is very rapid, and, in drawing carriages, they are
able to out-travel a horse. They are also less delicate in their food than
horses, are long-lived, and more productive than any known beast of burden,
having annually from one to three young ones at a birth. Elks were formerly
used in Sweden for the drawing of sledges; but as they were frequently
employed in the escape of criminals from justice, the use of them was
prohibited under severe penalties.

The inhabitants of all countries where the elk is found esteem its _flesh_
a sweet and nutritious food, though the grain is coarser than that of most
other kinds of venison. The American Indians assert that they can travel
further, after having eaten of it, than of any other animal food. After
having been properly salted and dried, the _tongues_ are better than those
of the ox; and the nose, when cooked, is stated to eat like marrow, and to
be one of the greatest delicacies which are produced in Canada. Of the
_skins_ an excellent buff leather is made, which is strong, light, and
soft. This leather is used by the Indians for tent-covers, snow-shoes, and
the coverings of canoes. The long _hair_ of the elk is well adapted for the
stuffing of mattresses and saddles.

In Canada the hunting of the wild elk is a frequent but in general a most
laborious, pursuit, which chiefly occupies the attention of the Indians
during winter, when the whole surrounding country is covered with snow.

In a wild state these animals browze the thick and lofty grasses of the
plains, and the leaves and tender branches of trees. During the summer they
frequent the banks of rivers and lakes; and in winter they often traverse
vast distances upon the frozen snow. Notwithstanding the natural strength
of their body, their disposition is so mild and inoffensive, that, even
when pursued and attacked, they seldom attempt any resistance.

  82. _The REIN-DEER_ (Cervus tarandus, Fig. 28) _is known by its horns
  being long, bent back, slender, branched, and generally broad at the

  _It is about four feet and half high at the shoulder, and is of brown or
  greyish white colour above, and white on the under parts of the body.
  Both the sexes are horned._

  _These animals inhabit several of the alpine districts of America, and of
  the northern countries of Europe and Asia._

Useful and even indispensable as many of the domestic animals of this
country are to us, the rein-deer is infinitely more so to the Laplander.
For travelling, and the conveyance of heavy burdens in sledges and
carriages, he supplies the place of the horse; and such is the speed with
which he traverses the frozen snows of that dreary region, that he is able,
with ease, to perform a journey of near a hundred miles in one day. To this
labour the animals are trained from the earliest period of their lives: and
neither darkness nor storms can essentially impede their progress. The
usual mode of travelling is in sledges, to which one or more of the animals
are yoked. The sledges are extremely light, somewhat shaped like a boat,
having at the back an upright board for the driver to lean against. Being
rounded and not flat underneath, much dexterity is requisite in the
balancing and management of them. The driver is tied in, and protected by a
cover which encloses all the lower parts of his body, and shelters him from
the inclemency of the weather. The rein-deer is yoked by a collar, from
which a trace is brought under the belly between the legs, and fastened to
the fore part of the sledge; and the animal is guided by a cord or rein
fastened to its horns, and tied to a hoop held upon the driver's right
thumb. He directs the course of the deer by pulling the rein on the side he
would have him go, encouraging him at the same time with his voice. In
general, the Laplanders can travel with ease about thirty miles without

To persons unaccustomed to the habits of the Laplanders and their animals,
it will appear wonderful that they should be able to travel during the
winter, by night as well as by day, the earth presenting one uniform
surface of snow, and not a single vestige of human industry and labour
being discernible to direct their course; the snow, at the same time,
flying about in all directions, and almost blinding them. Yet it is certain
that they are under no difficulty in finding the spot to which they are
bound; and dangerous as these journeys may seem, they rarely experience any
accident. When several persons are travelling in company, they fix bells to
the harness of the animals, that the whole may be kept together by hearing
when they cannot see each other, after the light of their short day has
failed them. To guide them in their course, the Laplanders observe, in the
day-time, the quarter whence the wind blows, and, at night, they are
directed by the position of the stars. The missionary Leems, who resided
ten years amongst the Laplanders, remarks that, during the whole of that
time, he did not remember more than one fatal accident to have occurred
from this mode of travelling.

As the rein-deer supplies, to the Laplanders, the place of a horse for
conveyance and carriage, so it is an invaluable substitute for the cow in
affording them food. The females supply them with _milk_, each yielding
about as much as a common she-goat. This, though not so thick as the milk
of the cow, is said to be sweeter and more nutritive: and produces them
both butter and cheese. The mountain Laplander subsists, through the whole
winter, upon these, or upon _flesh_ of the rein-deer, slaughtering two or
three every week, according to the number of his family. The animals are
killed by stabbing them in the neck, and the wound is so dexterously
inflicted that no _blood_ flows from it; but this is found in the inside,
whence it is carefully taken out, and prepared for use. The _fat_ of the
rein-deer serves also for food.

Of the _skin_, after it has been properly prepared, the Laplanders make
garments, gloves, shoes, and caps, which cover them from head to foot, and
protect them against the cold. These skins also serve as interior coverings
for tents, as linings and coverings for sledges, and as beds. They are more
or less valuable, according to the season in which the animals have been
killed. If slain in the spring, the hides are found to be perforated, in
various parts, by a species of insect which lays its eggs in them; but if
the deer be killed in winter the skin is free from these defects. The
Laplander, however, desirous of obtaining the same price for a defective
skin as for a perfect one, frequently attempts to defraud the purchaser by
artfully closing up the holes in such manner as to render them scarcely

The _horns_ are converted into handles for different kinds of instruments,
and an excellent glue is made of them. The _bones_ are likewise of use; and
the _sinews_ or tendons of the legs, after having been held before the fire
and beaten with wooden hammers, are divided into filaments as fine as hair,
which answer all the purposes of thread; and these filaments twisted
together, serve for bowstrings and cords of different kinds.

So numerous and important are the uses of the rein-deer in Lapland, that
there are few inhabitants of that country who do not possess them; and some
of the wealthiest Laplanders have herds consisting of more than 1000 head.
In the summer-time these feed on divers plants which flourish during that
season; but, in winter, they either browze on the rein-deer liverwort
(_Lichen rangiferinus_), which they dig up from beneath the snow with their
feet and horns; or on another kind of liverwort, which hangs on the
branches of fir-trees, and which affords them sustenance when the snows are
too deep or too hard frozen to allow them to reach that.

Wild rein-deer live in the mountains and woods, and the hunting of them is,
in general, attended with excessive fatigue; as they are endowed with
astonishing muscular powers, and also possess a nicety and acuteness of
precaution which can scarcely be equalled. Some idea may be formed of the
difficulty of this pursuit, when it is stated that a Laplander, in chase of
one of these animals, has been known to creep on his hands and knees
through shrubs and moss, for nearly five miles, before he could approach
within gun-shot of his prey. The various modes in which rein-deer are
pursued, are too numerous and too intricate to require a detail in this
place. It may be sufficient to say that they are assailed by dogs, traps,
pitfalls, snares, cross-bows, and fire-arms, in all the ways which the
inventive art of man can devise.

  83. _The STAG, or RED DEER_ (Cervus elaphus, Fig. 9), _is a large species
  of deer, generally of reddish brown colour on the upper parts of the
  body, and white beneath; with large and much branched horns, rounded
  through their whole length._

  _The males only are horned.  The males is called_ stag, _or_ hart, _the
  female_ hind, _and the young one has the name of_ fawn.

  _Red deer are found in the mountainous parts of Scotland; in the forest
  of Martindale, Cumberland; in the New Forest, Hampshire; in the woods on
  the river Tamar, in Devonshire; and amongst the mountains of Kerry in
  Ireland.  On the Continent of Europe and in several parts of Asia and
  North America, they are very common._

The hunting of these animals was formerly considered one of the most
important occupations of the English nobility, and, during the Saxton
Heptarchy, it was the privileged pursuit of the sovereign and his court.
By the kings of the Norman line laws of the most sanguinary description
were enacted for the preservation of these the royal game, it being then
deemed less criminal to destroy an individual of the human species than a
beast of chase. Forests were enlarged for the shelter of wild animals, and
for the more ample enjoyment of the diversion of hunting, at the expense of
every principle of justice and humanity. Happily for us, the scenes of
devastation which this pursuit occasioned have long ceased to exist; and
those vast tracts of country which were once dedicated to hunting, are now,
for the most part, applied to the advantages and comfort of man.

As, therefore, the breed of red deer is now chiefly preserved in this
kingdom from motives of curiosity, rather than either an object of
amusement or utility, we are indebted almost wholly to foreign countries
for those parts of the stag which are important in a commercial,
economical, and medical view. The _skins_ are manufactured into an
excellently soft, and somewhat yellow-coloured leather, which is useful for
numerous purposes. Many very extraordinary medicinal virtues were formerly
attributed to the _horns_ of the stag, and indeed to nearly all parts of
its body: but the experience of late years gives no countenance to them.
The horns are of nearly the same nature as bones, and the preparations of
them, by heat, are similar to those of solid animal substances in general.
Consequently the articles denominated _spirit of hartshorn_, and _salt of
hartshorn_, though formerly obtained only from the horns of different
species of deer, are now chiefly prepared from bones. The former of these,
which is a volatile alkali of very penetrating nature, is an efficacious
remedy in nervous complaints and fainting fits; and salt of hartshorn has
been successfully prescribed in fevers. The scrapings or raspings of the
horns, under the name of _hartshorn shavings_, are variously employed in
medicine. Boiled in water, the horns of deer give out an emollient _jelly_
which is said to be remarkably nutritive. _Burnt hartshorn_ is employed in
medicine. The horns of the stag are used by cutlers and other mechanics for
the handles of knives and for cutting instruments of different kinds. The
_flesh_ of every species of deer has the name of _venison_; that of the
young red deer is very delicate eating, that of the female is by no means
bad, but that of the full-grown stag has a strong and disagreeable flavour.

These animals generally live in herds that consist of females, with their
offspring, headed by one male, and they inhabit the wildest and most
unfrequented parts of forests, browzing on grass, and on the leaves and
buds of trees. They have a penetrating sight, and an exquisite smell, and
are always on guard against the approach of danger. Their disposition, when
unprovoked, is mild and peaceable; but if attacked, they prove extremely
formidable opponents. The females produce their offspring (generally one
each) about the end of May, or the beginning of June.

  84. _The FALLOW DEER_ (Cervus dama, Fig. 10) _is a considerably smaller
  animal than the stag, generally of brownish bay colour on the upper parts
  of the body and whitish beneath, with branched horns, bent backward,
  compressed and broad at their extremity._

  _The males only are horned. The male of the fallow deer is called_ buck,
  _the female_ doe, _and the young one_ fawn.

  _Common as these animals are in parks throughout every part of England,
  they are not found wild in this country. They, however, inhabit various
  forests of the Continent; even as far as the south of Persia._

There is no species of food in more general request by epicures and
_bon-vivans_ than the _venison_ of the fallow deer. This, when properly
dressed, is an excellent aliment, and easily assimilated to the human
fluids; but when half putrid, as is generally the case, it is considered
very detrimental to health. The best season for killing the _bucks_ for
venison is from about the first of July to somewhat later than the middle
of September; and that for the _does_ is from about the middle of November
to the middle of February.

The does produce one, sometimes two, and rarely three young ones each,
about the beginning of June; these, for the first year, are called by the
park-keepers _fawns_, if, during that time, they have no horns; the second
year, if the young one be a male, it is called a _pricket_; in the third
year, a _sorel_, and in the ensuing year, a _sore_; when he attains his
fifth year he has the name of _buck_, and is accounted fit to be killed;
but if he be suffered to live a year or two longer, he will improve both in
flesh and fatness. If the young one be a female it is called during the
first year, a _fawn_, during the second a _teg_, and, after that, it takes
its proper name of _doe_. Such does as are intended to be killed in their
season are either what have had no fawns in the preceding summer, or have
had these killed and taken away.

The _horns_ of fallow deer are used for all the same purposes as those of
the stag (83); and their hides, under the name of _buck-skin_ and
_doe-skin_, have long been celebrated for their softness and pliability;
and the manufacturing of them into breeches and gloves affords subsistence
to a very numerous and industrious class of people.

Extensive herds of fallow deer associate together in large parks. These
animals are less savage than red deer, yet when offended they often become
ferocious. They feed on several kinds of vegetables, and on the leaves,
bark, and young branches of trees; many of which, particularly hollies, are
cut down, by park-keepers, in the severe weather of winter, for their

  85. _The ROE or ROE-BUCK_ (Cervus capreolus) _is a small species of deer,
  not more than two feet and half high at the shoulder, of reddish brown
  colour, which has short erect horns, divided towards their extremity into
  two or three points._

  _The males only have horns._

  _Small flocks of these animals are found wild in several of the
  mountainous districts of Scotland, and also in the mountainous woods of
  Germany, Switzerland, and other parts of the continent of Europe, as well
  as in those of North America._

In some countries the _venison_ of the roe is esteemed, during the proper
season, equal to that of any other species of deer. There is, however, a
great difference in it, according to the country in which the animals have
fed, and the different races or varieties of the animals themselves. The
flesh also of the bucks which have passed their second year is said to be
tough and not well flavoured, whilst that of the does, though of much
greater age, is tender. Those animals that are fed in parks, plains, and
valleys, are also greatly inferior to such as have resided among mountains.

In America the _skins_ of roes are an important object of commerce. They
are very light, and are capable, for some time, of resisting the effects of
moisture. Of these skins the American Indians make bags or bottles, in
which they are able to keep oil, honey, butter, and other similar
substances. They are also converted into clothing, and are sometimes
dressed as furs, but the hair soon falls off. The _hair_ itself is valuable
for the stuffing of horse-collars and saddles, and it has the advantage of
not becoming knotty like that of the ox. The _horns_ are used in making
handles for knives and for other purposes.

  86. _The CHAMOIS_ (Antilope rupicapra, Fig. 11) _is a kind of antelope
  about the size of a goat, with short, erect, round, and smooth horns,
  which are hooked backward at the tips._

  _Its colour is dusky yellowish brown on the upper parts of the body, with
  the cheeks, chin, throat, and belly, yellowish white. The horns, which
  are common to both the sexes, are generally about eight inches in length,
  but shorter in the female than the male._

  _These animals inhabit many of the mountainous parts of Europe,
  particularly the Alps and Pyrenees._

There are few pursuits more arduous and difficult than the hunting of the
chamois. Being wholly confined to rocky and mountainous situations, dogs
are nearly useless in it; and such are the sagacity and acuteness of
perception of these animals, that they take alarm at the most distant
approach of danger, and the stratagems which are practised to come within
gun-shot of them are almost innumerable. They associate in flocks
consisting of from four or five to nearly a hundred in number; and, when
alarmed, they are able to spring, at a single leap, up rocks the
perpendicular height of which is more than twenty feet, and in this case,
by a few bounds, they throw themselves entirely out of the reach of their
pursuers. If hard pressed, they will sometimes turn upon the hunter and
attack him with fury; and instances have been related of men, thus
attacked, having been thrown down precipices and destroyed by them.

The chief objects of this pursuit are the _flesh_ and the _skin_. The
former is, in general, a nutritious and wholesome food, and the latter is
useful in numerous ways. When dressed, it forms a soft, warm, and pliable
leather, which has the name of _shammoy_, and is manufactured into
breeches, vests, and gloves, that are very durable and are much used by the
labouring classes of people on the Continent. Of late years, however, the
art of tanning has been brought to so much perfection, that excellent
shammoy leather is made from the skins of the goat, the sheep, and the
deer. The _horns_ of the chamois are often cut into heads for canes, and
the farriers of the Continent sometimes sharpen and use them for the
bleeding of cattle. The _blood_ of these animals is used medicinally, and,
in Switzerland, is a celebrated nostrum for the cure of pleurisy and some
other complaints.

  87. _The COMMON ANTELOPE_ (Antilope cervicapra, Fig. 12) _is a quadruped
  distinguished by having spiral, round, and expanded horns, each marked
  with a great number of prominent rings; and the body of a brown colour,
  clouded with whitish and dusky shades and marks_.

  _It is found in several parts of Africa and India._

One mode of hunting these and some other species of antelope is by the
hunting leopard and the ounce, but the most frequent mode of killing them
is with guns.

Their _skins_ are sometimes dressed with the hair on, and sometimes as
leather; and the _flesh_ constitutes an excellent kind of venison. The
_horns_ are convertible to nearly all the same purposes as the horns of the
different kinds of deer; and they are also occasionally used as weapons.

  88. _The COMMON GOAT_ (Capra ægagrus, Fig. 13) _is distinguished by
  having hollow, compressed, and rough horns, which grow first upright, and
  then bend backward._

  _Both the male and female are horned._

  _These animals are found wild in many of the mountainous countries of the
  European continent, of Africa, Persia, and India._

In many parts of Europe the goat is an animal essentially serviceable to
the necessities and the comforts of mankind; affording even during its
life, though fed on the most barren and uncultivated grounds, an abundant
supply of milk and cheese.

Goats' _milk_ is not only considered to be thicker, but to have a richer
flavour than that of the cow; and, in some situations, especially on
ship-board, where the goat thrives better than any other animal, it is
peculiarly valuable. This creature eats readily every sort of refuse
vegetables, and is kept at little expense. In a medicinal view goat's milk
is an useful substitute for that of asses. It is of very peculiar nature,
as its oily and coagulate parts do not separate spontaneously; they throw
up no cream, and yield scarcely any butter. But this milk affords a very
large proportion of _cheese_. Hence, in Switzerland, and other mountainous
countries best adapted to the pasturage of goats, cheese is the chief
produce of the dairies.

The flesh of the _goat_, when full grown, is rank, hard, and indigestible;
yet, in some countries, it is eaten both in a fresh and salted state. That
of the kid is peculiarly rich, and, by many persons, is considered even
preferable to lamb.

When properly tanned, the _skin_ of the goat is manufactured into gloves
and other articles of dress. There is a way of preparing these skins by
maceration, so as to separate the surface or grain from the coarse under
parts, after which they are dyed of various colours for different uses.

_Morocco leather_ is chiefly made from the skins of goats, tanned and dyed
in a peculiar manner. The manufacture of this leather was originally
invented in the kingdom of Morocco, whence it has its name. The colours
that are chiefly communicated to it are red and yellow, the former of which
is produced by cochineal, and the latter by a yellow kind of berries.
Morocco leather is also dyed black, green, and blue. Until within the last
few years, the consumers of this kind of leather in England have depended
wholly on a foreign supply: there are now, however, several manufactories
of it in the neighbourhood of London, from which the most beautiful
moroccos may be had at prices that have superseded the necessity of
importing it from abroad. For leather of inferior quality, and particularly
for such as is to receive a yellow colour, sheeps' skins are often
substituted. The reason why goats' skins have been principally adopted for
the manufacture of morocco is, that they take the dye better, and that they
are susceptible of richer and more beautiful colours, than those of any
other animals.

Goat-skins, as well as the skins of sheep, are sometimes made into
parchment. The _skins of kids_ are thin and of beautiful texture; they are
consequently well adapted for ladies' gloves and shoes. On the Continent
they are made into stockings, bed-ticks, and sometimes into hangings for
beds, into sheets, and even into shirts.

Although the _fleece_ of the goat is by no means so valuable as that of the
sheep, yet it has been found extremely useful. The long and shaggy coated
goat, which is bred in many parts of this country, has, at the roots of the
long hair, a fine and beautiful soft wool. The latter, though scarcely
known to our manufacturers, has long been used in Russia for gloves,
stockings, and other articles of dress, which are highly valuable. About a
pound of this wool, in an unsorted state, was, some years ago, sent from
Russia to be made into shawls. As the quantity was too small to admit of
being manufactured into a web by itself, the chain was formed of silk, and
the woof of yarn made from the goat's wool. The fabric, when completed, was
compared with the finest Indian shawls; and, notwithstanding the hardness
of the silken part, it was decidedly more soft and beautiful than any of
these. Of the above-mentioned small quantity of wool three full-sized
shawls and one waistcoat were made. Their colour was a dull white, with a
delicate and scarcely perceptible glance of red through it; and their
texture was so much admired, that Dr. Anderson, to whose care they were
consigned, states, that if a hundred of them had been offered for sale,
they would have produced at least twenty guineas each.

The _long hair_ of goats, particularly that of the males, is used by
peruke-makers, for lawyers and judges' wigs. Previously to its being used,
it goes through several processes of preparation. The fine hair of kids is
sometimes employed in the manufacture of hats. Goat's hair is occasionally
made into a strong and coarse kind of cloth.

Of the _horns_ of these animals the country people make handles for tucks,
and knives of different kinds. The _fat_ or suet, which, in general, is
very abundant, may be made into candles, which, in whiteness and quality,
are greatly superior to those of the best tallow of the sheep and ox.

Goats are active and mischievous animals, of hardy nature, which delight in
rocky and mountainous situations. They are sometimes very injurious to
young plantations, from their propensity to peel and destroy the trees. The
females usually have two, sometimes three, and rarely four young ones at a
birth; and, in our climates, the duration of their life is said not often
to exceed eleven or twelve years.

89. The hair of the ANGORA GOAT is long, soft, and silky, and is one of the
most beautiful substances with which we are acquainted, for the manufacture
of shawls, and other fine stuffs; and these, which in England have the name
of _camblets_, are sometimes sold at very high prices. It is supposed that,
with attention, Angora goats might be successfully and advantageously bred
in Great Britain; particularly in those parts where the country is
mountainous, and where the climate and food might not be far different from
those of their native country of Asia Minor.

  90. _The COMMON SHEEP_ (Ovis aries, Fig. 14) _has, in general, hollow,
  compressed, transversely wrinkled, and somewhat crescent-shaped horns;
  but some of the varieties are entirely destitute of these weapons._

  _The male is called_ ram, _the female_ ewe, _and the young one has the
  name of_ lamb.

  _Sheep are found in nearly every country of the world._

The bodies of these animals, in temperate and cold climates, are clad with
a curled and closely matted kind of hair, which has the peculiar
appellation of _wool_. The distinguishing characteristic of wool is that,
when even the coarsest sort is manufactured into cloth, it thickens in the
milling, and forms a close texture, owing to the peculiar roughness of its
surface, and to its curly form; whereas the finest possible hair, under the
same operation, will neither thicken nor form any texture whatever. It is
by the manufacture of wool into various kinds of clothing that many
thousands of people, in different countries of Europe, are entirely
supported and fed. In temperate countries the fleeces of sheep are shorn or
cut off once, and in others, where the climate is warmer, twice in the
year, the animals being previously well washed to cleanse the wool. The
Shetland sheep, and some others, have the fleece pulled, and not cut off.

When wool is intended to be manufactured into cloth of mixed colours, it is
dyed in the fleece before it is spun. When intended for tapestry, it is
dyed after it is spun; and when to be wrought into cloth of uniform colour,
it is not dyed until the cloth is made.

Much wool is used in the manufacture of hats. For this purpose it goes
through a process called _felting_, to unite or mat it into a firm
substance. Felt is either made of wool alone, or of a mixture of wool with
camel's or other hair.

The _skins_ of sheep, after the processes called tanning and currying, are
manufactured into a thin and coarse but useful kind of leather, which is
much in request by saddlers, book-binders, and others. These skins, by a
different process, are converted into _parchment_, which is used for
writing deeds upon. Lambs' skins are made into gloves.

Every part of the sheep is advantageous to mankind. The flesh, under the
denomination of _mutton_, supplies us with a wholesome and palatable food,
which is in greatest estimation when the animals are at least three, and
not more than six years old. That of lambs, in the spring of the year, is
also in considerable demand. _House lamb_ is so denominated from the
animals being fattened within doors; but this kind of food is neither so
wholesome nor so nutritive as the meat in a natural state. _Suet_ is a
solid kind of fat which is found in various parts of the bodies
(particularly about the kidneys and intestines) of sheep, oxen, and other
ruminating animals. It differs materially from fat or grease, as the latter
remains soft, and this hardens in cooling. Suet is used for culinary and
other purposes, and very extensively in the making of candles. The _milk_
of sheep is rich and nourishing, and in great esteem among the peasantry of
all countries where these animals are bred. It produces an abundance of
butter, but this is so unpalatable as seldom to be eaten. Ewes' milk yields
a large proportion of strong and tough cheese. Of the entrails of sheep are
made the strings generally called _cat-gut_, which are used for different
kinds of musical instruments, and for the coverings of whips. Handles of
knives, and several other useful articles, are made of the _bones_ of
sheep; the refuse parts of which are coarsely ground to serve as manure. A
very important advantage is in another respect derived from these animals,
by folding them upon land on which corn is afterwards to be grown.

There are, in Great Britain, many different breeds of sheep, some of which
are very valuable.

91. Those called LEICESTER SHEEP are chiefly bred in that and the adjacent
counties, and are much esteemed for their property of readily fattening.
Their _mutton_, when in perfection, has a fineness of grain and a
superiority of flavour beyond that of almost every other kind of sheep.
These animals are capable of being rendered so fat, that, in some instances
they have measured more than six inches deep in solid fat on the ribs. But,
in this case, the mutton is scarcely eatable.

92. A coarse _wool_, but so long as to measure from ten to more than
eighteen inches, is obtained from the breed called LINCOLNSHIRE SHEEP.

93. For united excellence of _wool_ and _mutton_ the SOUTH DOWN SHEEP are
in great demand. This breed, which particularly abounds on the dry and
chalky downs of Sussex and other southern parts of England, has of late
been dispersed over nearly the whole kingdom. The animals are
distinguishable by their grey or speckled face and legs, and being
destitute of horns.

94. From the RYELAND and or HEREFORDSHIRE SHEEP is obtained a peculiarly
short, soft, and fine _wool_, which, if the filaments were of equal
thickness and quality throughout, would be as valuable as the best wool
that we import from Spain. The _mutton_ of these sheep is also fine-grained
and of excellent flavour.

95. A breed of sheep, which is well known in Northumberland by the name of
CHEVIOT SHEEP, produces very admirable _mutton_ and _wool_ of fine texture.
Of the _milk_ of these sheep great quantities of cheese are made, which is
sold at a low price. This, when three or four days old, becomes very
pungent, and is in considerable esteem for the table.

96. The SHETLAND islands produce a kind of sheep so small as seldom to
exceed the weight of thirty or forty pounds. Their _wool_ is sufficiently
soft to be adapted even to clothing of the most delicate texture. A pair of
stockings that were made of it were so fine as to be sold for six guineas.
The _skins_ of these sheep with the fleece on are capable of being
converted into a fur of great value; and, when the wool is stripped from
them, they are, as leather, peculiarly estimable for aprons, and are
purchased by mechanics for this purpose at double the price of other skins
of the same size.

97. It is to the breed called DORSETSHIRE SHEEP that the London markets are
principally indebted for the _house-lamb_, which, at an early part of the
season, bears so high a price. After the lambs are produced they are
confined in small dark places, and never see the light, except when brought
out to be fed by the ewes; and, at the times when thus brought out, their
cabins are cleansed, and littered with fresh straw, as a great part of
their value depends upon the cleanliness in which they are kept.

98. The _mutton_ of the HEATH SHEEP, a breed which is found in most of the
north-western parts of England, and even as far as the western Highlands of
Scotland, is accounted peculiarly excellent; and immense numbers of these
sheep are annually sold at the north country fairs. The animals themselves
are hardy and active, and well adapted to subsist in healthy and
mountainous districts.

  99. _MERINO SHEEP are a celebrated Spanish breed of sheep, with small
  horns, white face and legs, small bones, a loose skin hanging from the
  neck, the wool fine, the external part of the fleece dark brown in
  consequence of the dust adhering to it, the interior delicate white, and
  the skin of rosy hue._

The celebrity of this breed, for the production of a remarkably fine
_wool_, has been such, that all the highest priced cloths manufactured in
this country, until of late years, were made of Spanish wool. In the year
1787 some of these sheep were first introduced into England. And, although
it was formerly a prevailing opinion that the excellence of their fleece
depended, in a great degree, upon the temperature of the Spanish climate,
it has been satisfactorily ascertained that the fineness of Spanish wool is
not in the slightest degree impaired by breeding the sheep in this country.
Even in Hungary sheep of this kind have, for many years, been so
successfully reared, that much of the fine wool used in our clothing
countries has been imported from thence. The average weight of the Merino
fleece is about three pounds and half. It has lately been a great object of
attention in England to improve our own breeds, particularly the Ryeland,
by a mixture with merinos, and this cross breed is stated to retain all the
principal characteristics of the Spanish race. The _mutton_ of these sheep,
for size and flavour, is much in demand, and sells in the market at a
higher price than that of most other kinds of sheep.

  100. _The BROAD-TAILED SHEEP are a very remarkable kind of sheep,
  distinguished by their tails being extremely large, and so long as
  sometimes to drag upon the ground._

  _They are found in several parts of Persia, Syria, Egypt, and other
  eastern countries._

The _tails_ of these animals are almost wholly composed of a substance
resembling marrow, and sometimes they are equal in weight to one-third of
the whole carcase. To prevent them from chafing against the ground, the
shepherds not unfrequently put boards, with small wheels, under them,
attached to the hinder parts of the animal. The substance of these tails is
in great demand, instead of butter, for culinary purposes; and it forms an
ingredient in several kinds of dishes. The _fleece_ of the broad-tailed
sheep is peculiarly long and fine, and, in Thibet, is manufactured into
shawls and other articles of peculiarly delicate texture, which form a
considerable source of wealth to the inhabitants.

Of these, and of another kind of sheep called _Tartarian_ or _fat-rumped
sheep_, the hinder parts of which are so excessively fat as entirely to
enclose the tail, there are great numbers bred in Tartary. It is even
stated that, on an average, 150,000 of them are annually sold at the fairs
of Orenburgh, and a much greater number in some other places.

  101. _The COMMON OX_ (Bos taurus domesticus, Fig. 29) _is characterised
  by having rounded horns which curve outward, and a loose skin or dewlap
  beneath the throat._

  _The male is called_ bull, _the female_ cow, _and the young one_ calf.

  _This animal, in a wild state, is the_ bison (Fig. 15) _which is found in
  the marshy forests of Poland and Lithuania._

It is almost impossible to enumerate all the benefits that mankind derive
from these admirable animals. In many countries nearly the whole labour of
agriculture is performed by oxen, and, after this service is over, they are
fatted and slaughtered for food. It is well known in what estimation they
were formerly held in Egypt; they furnished even deities to the
superstitious inhabitants of that country. From their supplying the Gentoos
with milk, butter, and cheese, their favourite food, those people bear for
them a veneration so great that nothing on earth would induce them to slay
one of them.

In nearly all eastern countries oxen are employed in treading out corn. By
the Caffres of the Cape of Good Hope they are used as beasts of draught and
burden. When Mr. Barrow and his suite went into the country of the Caffres,
the king, who was at a distance from his usual residence, was sent to; and
he is stated to have arrived riding upon an ox full gallop, attended by
five or six of his people.

To the _milk_ of the cow we are indebted for several important articles of
human subsistence. It is adapted to every state and age of the body, but
particularly to the feeding of infants after they have been weaned. Skimmed
milk, or that which remains after the cream has been taken off, is
employed, in considerable quantity, by wine and spirit merchants, for
clarifying or fining down turbid white wine, arrack, and weak spirits.

Nearly all the _cheese_ that is consumed in the British islands is made of
cow's milk. For this purpose the milk is curdled by mixture with a
substance called rennet, which is prepared from the inner membrane of a
calf's stomach; and the curd, thus formed, after being cleared of the whey
or watery part contained in the milk, is collected together, pressed, and
dried for use.

The richest of all the English kinds of cheese is that called _Stilton
cheese_. This, however, is not, as its name would import, made in the town
of Stilton, but in various parts of Huntingdonshire, and in Leicestershire,
Rutland, and Northamptonshire. Stilton cheese is indebted, for its
excellence, both to the rich pastures on which the cows are fed, and to the
peculiar process by which it is made. It is not sufficiently mellowed for
use until two years old, and is not in a state to be eaten till it is
decayed, blue, and moist. To hasten the ripening of Stilton cheeses, it is
not unusual to place them in buckets, and to cover these with horse-dung.
_Cheshire_ is famous for its cheese, which is generally much salter and
more smart upon the palate than any other English kind. In _Wiltshire_ and
_Gloucestershire_ much cheese of rich and excellent quality is made.

The neighbourhood of _Chedder_, in the county of Somerset, produces a very
admirable kind, which is little inferior in taste to Parmesan, and is
supposed to owe its peculiar quality to the cows feeding in rich pastures,
and particularly on the flote fescue grass (_Festuca fluitans_), with which
many of those pastures abound. _Cottenham cheese_ is a soft white cheese,
for which we are chiefly indebted to a small village of that name situated
a few miles from Cambridge. In the neighbourhood of _Bath_ and _York_, and
also in _Lincolnshire_, a rich and excellent kind of cream cheese is made.
In Scotland a species of cheese is produced which has long been known and
celebrated under the name of _Dunlop cheese_, from a parish of that name in
Ayrshire, in the neighbourhood of which it is principally made.

Of foreign kinds of cheese the most celebrated is _Parmesan_. This is made
of ewes' milk, or of a mixture of ewes' or goats' milk with that of the
cow. We receive it from various parts of Italy, and also from other
countries, although the name would import it to be made exclusively in the
neighbourhood of Parma. In the district of _Gruyere_, a small town in the
canton of Friburg in Switzerland, a well-known kind of cheese of large size
is made, which goes by that name. _Gouda_ cheese is famous in Holland. The
common _Dutch cheeses_ are of globular shape, and each three or four pounds
in weight. They are prepared in the same manner as Cheshire cheese, with
the exception that, instead of rennet, the Dutch use spirit of vitriol
(sulphuric acid). Hence this kind of cheese has a sharp and saline taste,
which is said to exempt it from the depredations of mites. _Green Swiss
cheese_ has a strong and peculiar flavour derived from the fragrant powder
of melliot (_Trifolium melilotus officinalis_). This cheese is, however, to
many persons, very disagreeable.

When milk has been suffered to stand a few hours, a substance called
_cream_ rises to the surface. This is skimmed off for several uses, but
principally for the purpose of being made into _butter_, which is done by
beating it in a vessel called a churn. In Cheshire it is customary to churn
the butter from the whole milk, without its being skimmed, but this is
contrary to the practice in most other parts of England. The consumption of
butter is so great that not less than 50,000 tons' weight of it are stated
to be annually used in London only. That, which is principally in esteem
there is produced in Essex, and known by the name of _Epping butter_.

To make butter keep for a greater length of time than it would otherwise
do, it is salted and packed in small tubs or barrels; and, in this state,
it is a very considerable article of commerce. In the salting and packing
of butter many abuses are practised, to increase its bulk and weight,
against which there is an express act of parliament. Lumps of good butter
are sometimes laid, for a little depth, at the top of a barrel, with butter
of inferior quality beneath it. Sometimes the butter is packed hollow; and
sometimes the exterior part of the butter is good whilst the whole interior
is bad.

After the butter has been separated there remains in the churn a kind of
whey which is called _butter-milk_, and the quality of which greatly
depends on the manner of churning. Before it turns sour, butter-milk is a
favourite beverage in the families of some farmers. It is also occasionally
used as a wash for the face, being considered a remedy against freckles;
but it is principally applied for the feeding of pigs.

The flesh of oxen constitutes the kind of food which we call _beef_. This
is usually eaten in a recent state, but is sometimes, particularly in the
northern parts of England, in Ireland, and Holland, salted in the manner of
bacon, and in this state, it is a considerable article of trade. It affords
a strong and invigorating nutriment, superior to any that we are acquainted
with. _Beef-tea_ is a preparation commonly made for invalids and
convalescents, and consists of an infusion of the lean parts of beef in
boiling water. _Veal_, or the flesh of calves, is an highly esteemed and
delicate food.

The _skins_ of cattle, after they have undergone the processes of tanning
and currying, are employed for making harness, saddles, bridles, the soles
of shoes, and for various other purposes. _Calves' skins_ are used for the
upper leathers of shoes, and by saddlers, book-binders, &c. The skins of
sucking calves are manufactured into _vellum_, a thin substance which is
employed by book-binders; also for writing and drawing upon, and for other
uses. From the parings and other offals of the hides of oxen, and the
parings and scraps of the legs, by boiling them in water to the consistence
of a jelly, straining them through a wicket basket, suffering the
impurities to subside, and then boiling them a second time, is made _glue_.
This, in a state of jelly, is poured into flat frames or moulds; when
congealed, it is cut into square pieces, and afterwards dried, by being
suspended in a coarse kind of netting.

The leg-_bones_ of oxen, after having been whitened by boiling them with
quick-lime, are used in the manufacture of the handles of knives and forks,
and for innumerable other purposes. This substance, when good, is nearly
allied to ivory: but is easily distinguished by its porous nature, its
coarse grain, and its wanting the beautiful white veins which are so
conspicuous in ivory. Bones, after having been burnt or calcined, are used
by the refiners of gold and silver.

The _horns_ of oxen are used for many of the same purposes as bone. After
having been softened by heat they are capable of being moulded into almost
any shape. They are sometimes stained in such manner as to imitate
tortoise-shell, and they are then used for the making of combs. By a
peculiar process they are rendered semi-transparent, and, when formed into
thin plates, are employed instead of glass for lanthorns. Horn was the
first transparent substance that was ever used for lanthorns and windows.

_Tallow_ is the fat of sheep and oxen, cleared of its fibrous parts by
straining and other management. It is further improved and clarified by the
addition of alum, and, in this state, is used for the making of candles.
Tallow is also a chief ingredient in soap. From the feet of oxen is
procured a kind of oil, called _Neats'-foot oil_, which is of great use in
the preparing and softening of leather. The _blood_ is employed in the
clarifying of sugar, and great quantities of it, during the late war, were
exported from London to Sweden for this purpose. The skins of the
intestines are used for beating gold leaf betwixt; and these, under the
name of _gold-beaters' skin_, are afterwards considered efficacious as an
adhesive plaster for healing small wounds. Of gold-beaters' skin the French
manufacturers of toys sometimes construct little balloons for the amusement
of children. A few years ago there was, in London, an exhibition of animals
formed of this substance and inflated with air.

102. British cattle are considered preferable to the cattle of any other
country in the world. Those called DEVONSHIRE CATTLE, which are
distinguished by their mahogany colour and light yellow horns, are adjudged
to be the best of any. They are much used in agricultural labours, being
peculiarly fitted for draught both by their hardiness and activity. The
_beef_ of this breed is peculiarly excellent. Their _skins_ are thin, but
improve much in tanning; and the _tallow_ is of peculiarly good quality.

103. In the northern parts of England there is a very useful kind, called
HOLDERNESS or DUTCH CATTLE. These, in size and weight exceed all the
British cattle. The cows have great celebrity for yielding a very
extraordinary quantity of _milk_; instances have been mentioned of their
yielding thirty-six quarts in a day. This stock is well known in the
neighbourhood of the metropolis, being that which is generally kept by the
London cow-keepers. The animal exhibited in London in the beginning of
1802, under the name of the "wonderful ox," was a variety produced from
this breed, and weighed more than 200 stone.

104. The LANCASHIRE or LONG-HORNED CATTLE, are much esteemed for the dairy.
The cows yield from sixteen to twenty-four quarts of _milk_ per day; and,
on an average, about 300 weight of cheese per annum. They are hardy
animals, readily become fat, and produce remarkably well-flavoured _beef_.
But they are chiefly celebrated for the thickness and substance of their
hides, which are very valuable, and sell at high prices. In many instances
the _hides_ have been known to produce a greater price per pound than the

105. ALDERNEY CATTLE are a favourite breed, that have long been known and
esteemed, in the southern counties of England, for their _milk_, which is
richer than that of any other breed. These animals are of small size, the
cows seldom exceeding the height of four feet; yet they are known to
produce so much milk as to yield from 200 to more than 300 pounds' weight
of butter per annum. In the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, and Alderney,
where these cattle are chiefly bred, they are sometimes employed in
ploughing; but their greatest use is in carting, and, in this respect, they
are found to answer peculiarly well in bad roads and hilly countries. Their
_beef_ is generally yellow or very high coloured; but it is peculiarly fine
in the grain, and of excellent flavour.

106. Scotland is famous for a small kind of black cattle, with fine white
upright horns tipped with black, called HIGHLAND STOTS, or KYLOE CATTLE.
Having great celebrity for the fineness and sweetness of their _beef_, as
well as the facility with which they are fattened, these cattle are in such
esteem as to be driven into the southern counties of England, and
occasionally to supply even the London markets. The cows, in proportion to
their size, yield a great quantity of rich milk.

  107. _The YAK, or GRUNTING OX_ (Bos grunniens), _is an animal of large
  size, with round, upright, and slender horns, a lump on the shoulders,
  long and pendant hair, white on the back and tail; and the tail somewhat
  resembling that of a horse._

  _In a wild state this animal is an inhabitant of the mountains of

With the oriental princes the white _tails_ of the yak are of great value
for military standards; and the use of them is very ancient. These tails
are also employed, in many parts of the East, to ornament the trappings
both of elephants and horses; and, when mounted on a silver handle, they
are used by the principal men of India as a brush to chase away flies. The
Chinese dye the hair of a red colour, and form tufts for their caps of it.
Many beautiful kinds of stuffs are woven of a fine wool which these animals
have next to their skin.

  108. _The MUSK OX_ (Bos moschatus) _is a North American animal of small
  size, with horns broad, and approaching each other at the base, bent
  downward, and the tips upward and pointed; a protuberance on the
  shoulder, and the body covered with long silky hair of a dusky red

To the North American Indians the musk ox is an animal of considerable
importance. Its _flesh_ furnishes them with an useful food, which, though
it has a musky flavour, is not on that account the less esteemed. This
flesh, in a frozen state, is also an article of traffic, with the British
and American forts, during winter.

At the roots of the long hair of the musk ox there is a peculiarly
beautiful ash-coloured _fleece_, which is finer and softer than silk, and
may be wrought into very elegant articles of dress. It is of the long hair
of these animals that the Esquimaux Indians make those caps which give them
their very extraordinary appearance, by the ends being contrived so to fall
down over their face, as to protect them from the bites of musquetoes. The
_skins_ are convertible into leather, and are also frequently used, by
Indians, with the hair on, as coverings of various kinds.

  109. _The AMERICAN BISON_ (Bos Americanus) _is a large species of ox,
  with round and distant horns which point outward, a long and woolly mane,
  and a large fleshy protuberance on the shoulders._

  _These animals inhabit, in immense herds, the savannahs and marshes of
  the interior of North America._

As they are capable of being domesticated, and, in this state, are
sufficiently tractable for the purpose, they are sometimes rendered useful
for agricultural labours. The hunting of the wild bison is a common and
very arduous employment of the natives of the interior of America,
particularly those living adjacent to the rivers Mississippi and Ohio. The
_flesh_ of these animals is used as food, and the fatty protuberance on the
shoulders is esteemed a great delicacy. The _tongues_, which are reckoned
superior to those of oxen, are frequently transported to New Orleans, where
they always have a ready sale. When the animals are quite fat they are said
to yield sometimes as much as 150 pounds weight of _tallow_ each. The
latter is so important an article of commerce, that, in many instances, the
hunters cut out only the tongue and tallow, leaving the remainder of the
carcase to be devoured by wild beasts. Powder-flasks are made of the
_horns_. The _skins_ are capable of being converted into an excellent buff
leather; and, when dressed with the hair on, the lighter skins serve the
Indians as beds, and for clothes, gloves, and shoes. Some persons use them
as blankets, and find them a very warm and pleasant covering. The _hair_ is
spun and woven into various articles of clothing, which are both durable
and useful, and are peculiarly soft and pleasant to the wearer.

  110. _The BUFFALO_ (Bos bubalus) _is a species of ox, which has large
  horns of compressed form, with the outer edge sharp, growing straight for
  a considerable length from their base, and then bent slightly upward: on
  the shoulders there is a bony protuberance; and the general colour of the
  hair is black or dusky._

  _In a wild state these animals are natives of Asia and Africa; and they
  are domesticated in India, and in some of the warmer parts of Europe._

Although the buffalo is naturally a savage and ferocious beast, yet, when
properly trained, it is very serviceable to mankind. These animals are used
both for draught and burthen, and are sometimes even trained for the
saddle. They are guided by a cord attached to a ring, which is made to pass
through the cartilage of their nose. Two buffaloes, harnessed to a
carriage, are considered able to draw as much as four horses.

The _milk_ of the buffalo, though not so good as that of the cow, is in
greater quantity, and in much esteem. _Ghee_ is a kind of butter made from
the milk of these animals, and clarified. This is an article of commerce in
various parts of India, and is generally conveyed in bags or bottles made
of the hide, each of which holds from ten to forty gallons. The _flesh_ is
said somewhat to resemble beef, but to be of a darker colour: that of the
calves is considered peculiarly delicate. Of the skin is made a strong and
durable leather, which, under the name of _buff_ leather, is applicable to
a great variety of uses. The _horns_ have a fine grain, are strong, and
bear a good polish; and are, therefore, much used by cutlers and other
artificers. They are occasionally imported into this country from Bengal.

These animals usually associate in large herds, in marshy and woody plains.
So great is their ferocity that the hunters are at all times fearful of
attempting to kill them, unless they are perfectly sure of their aim. They
swim over even the widest rivers with a facility which can be equalled by
few quadrupeds.

  111. _The CAPE BUFFALO_ (Bos cafer) _is an excessively strong and
  ferocious beast of the ox tribe, which has thick horns that are rugged at
  the base, and lie so flat as to cover almost all the top of the head._

  _These animals are found in herds of a hundred and fifty or two hundred
  together, in the plains of Caffraria, and other parts of the south of

There are no animals of the ox tribe so savage, so much dreaded, nor so
wantonly mischievous as these: they attack and destroy mankind without
being themselves previously assailed, and commit devastations of the most
alarming kind in the neighbourhood of the places where they are found. They
are killed on account of their _flesh_, which is lean, but juicy and of
high flavour; and also on account of their _hides_, which are so thick and
tough that even musket-proof targets are formed of them. Of these hides
also the strongest and best thongs for harness are made. The Hottentots,
who are never inclined to take much trouble in dressing their victuals, cut
the _flesh_ off into slices, and then smoke, and at the same time half
broil, it over a few coals. They also frequently eat it in a state of
absolute putrefaction.


  112. _The HORSE_ (Equus caballus, Fig. 30) _is distinguished from every
  other quadruped by having his hoofs single, and his tail covered with
  long hair._

  _The male has the name of_ horse, _the female of_ mare, _and the young
  one of_ foal.

  _Wild horses are found, in large herds, in Siberia, and several other
  parts of Asia, as well as in some parts of Africa._

Endowed with the most useful qualifications, the horse is an animal of the
greatest importance to the inhabitants of all temperate climates. Though
naturally spirited, active, and intrepid, he submits with patience to carry
burthens, and to toil, for days together, along roads and in agricultural
labours. And, if treated with care and attention, he perseveringly adapts
himself to our wants and conveniences. In some parts of Tartary these
animals have even been made objects of divine worship, originating, no
doubt, in a principle of gratitude for the services they perform. By the
Arabians they are nearly as much attended to and beloved as human beings:
they live in the same tents with their owners, and participate in all the
kindnesses which this people bestow upon their own families. In Arabia,
indeed, they may be deemed the chief support of the families which possess
them; and (surrounded with foes) the very existence of the owner not
unfrequently depends upon the powers of his horse.

In no country of Europe is so much attention paid to the breeding and
training of horses as in England. The consequence has been that the British
horses are superior, both in swiftness of foot, and in strength and
perseverance in the course, to any others in this quarter of the world.

The fleetest of all the _British horses_ is, of course, the _race-horse_:
and, for short distances, none of the Arabians, which have been tried in
England, have proved in any degree equal to him. The celebrated horse
called Childers, in the year 1721, ran four miles in six minutes and
forty-eight seconds, carrying a weight of nine stone two pounds. Had the
different racing meetings at Newmarket, York, and other places, no other
view than to call together great concourses of people for amusement, their
tendency would be injurious rather than beneficial to society; but when it
is considered that such meetings are the cause of great emulation in the
breeding of a race of animals so valuable as the horse, their utility will
be sufficiently apparent.

The English _hunters_ are allowed to be among the noblest, most elegant,
and most useful animals that are known; and the value of our _hackneys_, or
road horses, may be imagined when it is stated that many of them are able
to trot at the rate of more than fifteen miles per hour.

So great is the strength of these animals, that instances have been
mentioned of a single horse drawing, for a short space, the weight of three
tons; and of others carrying a load which weighed more than 900 pounds. The
immense _dray-horses_ that are employed by brewers, and are so frequently
seen in the streets of London, though in some measure they are useful as
being able better to sustain the shock of loading and unloading than
slighter animals, are chiefly kept from a principle of ostentation. The
British _draught-horses_ are extremely valuable animals, but particularly a
chesnut-coloured race called Suffolk-horses.

In _Scotland_ there is a breed of small horses, or ponies, which are known
by the name of _galloways_. The best of these seldom exceed the height of
fourteen hands and a half,[2] and are uncommonly active, hardy, and
spirited animals. The Shetland Islands produce a race called _shelties_,
which, though exceedingly diminutive in size, are, in other respects,
highly excellent.

In _Ireland_ the cart-horses, though of sufficient size, are ill-shaped and
bad. The saddle-horses appear naturally as good as ours; but, in general,
they are ill kept, worse groomed, and still worse shod.

The _French horses_ are extremely various in their kind; but few of them
can be called fine. The best saddle-horses of France are produced in the
vicinity of Limosin, and in Normandy. The latter, though not so valuable as
hunters, are preferable to all the rest for war. Lower Normandy is famous
for fine carriage horses. A prevailing fault in the horses of France is too
great a width across the shoulders.

The _Dutch horses_ are said to be very good for carriages; and great
numbers of them are annually sent into France. The _Flemish horses_ are far
inferior to those of Holland. They have generally large heads and broad
feet; and their legs are subject to dropsical swellings.

_Germany_ affords some fine horses, but the generality of them are heavy
and thick-winded. Those of _Hungary_ and _Transylvania_, however, are very
light and fleet. The Hussars and Hungarians, it is said, adopt the cruel
practice of slitting the nostrils of their horses, with a view to improve
their wind, and prevent them from neighing in the field.

The _Danish horses_ are so large in size, and so well set, that they were
formerly preferred, as carriage-horses, to all others. They are extremely
various in colour; and many of them are pyed and spotted, which is not the
case with the horses of other countries.

In _Spain_ the horses are very beautiful and excellent. They have a long
thick neck, with a flowing mane. The head is large; the ears are long, but
well placed; the eyes full of fire; the air noble and spirited; the
shoulders thick, and the chest broad. They have great agility and
stateliness. Their prevailing colours are black and light chesnut.

The _Italian horses_ were formerly much finer than they are at present, the
breeding of them having long been neglected. The kingdom of Naples,
however, still affords fine horses, especially for carriages; but they
have, in general, large heads and thick necks. They are also untractable,
and consequently are difficult to be trained; but these defects are, in
some degree, compensated by the largeness of their size, their spirit, and
the beauty of their motions.

There is a prevalent and erroneous notion that the _flesh_ of the horse is
bitter and unpalatable. In several parts of Asia wild horses are killed
almost exclusively for food; and the Calmuc Tartars, in particular, are so
partial to this kind of flesh, that they seldom eat any other. Horses'
flesh is constantly exposed for sale in the markets of Tonquin. A
celebrated British writer (Dr. Anderson) has strongly recommended the
fattening of horses as food in this country, and urges his recommendation
by declaring that horse-flesh is superior in delicacy of flavour to beef!

The Tartars drink the _milk_ of the mare, and also convert it into butter
and cheese. One of their most favourite kinds of beverage is called
_koumiss_: it is a sort of wine made of fermented mares' milk; and is
carried, by them, from place to place, in bags made of horses' hides. When
in perfection, the taste of koumiss is said to be a pleasant mixture of
sweet and sour; but it is necessary to agitate it before it is drunk. This
preparation is also considered of great utility in a medicinal view.

The _skin_ of the horse, after it is tanned, is made into collars, traces,
and other parts of harness; and, under the name of _cordovan_, is also used
for shoes. The _hair_ forms a considerable branch of trade. That of the
tail is employed for weaving the covers or seats of chairs and sofas; for
making sieves, fishing-lines, and the bows of musical instruments. The
inferior hair of the tail and mane is employed for the stuffing of bolsters
and mattresses. For this purpose it is baked, by which it is rendered one
of the most elastic substances, for couches, that are known. The short hair
of the horse is used for stuffing saddles and horse-collars.

If horses be well treated, and properly attended to, they will sometimes
live to the age of fifty years; but, during great part of this time, they
are generally so decrepid as to be unable to perform any services whatever
for their owners. To ascertain the age of a horse, reference is generally
had to the teeth. Deeply sunk eye-pits are usually considered a criterion,
though not an infallible one, of an old horse; and, for colts or young
horses, attention must be paid to the appearance of their coat, and of the
hairs of the mane and tail, as it is not until they have changed their
first teeth that any correct judgment of their age can be formed from the
mouth. The deceptions of horse-dealers in changing the appearance of the
teeth, and in various other particulars relative to the horse, render great
caution necessary in the purchase of these animals.

  113. _The ASS_ (Equus asinus) _is characterized by his tail having long
  hairs only towards the extremity, and the male having a blackish cross
  over the shoulders._

  _Wild asses associate in herds in the mountainous deserts of Tartary,
  Persia, and India; and also in some parts of Africa._

This animal, which by care and attention, is rendered, in Spain and some
other countries, an elegant, tractable, and valuable servant of man, is
entirely neglected by us; and, in England, has consequently degenerated
into a stupid and inactive beast. The Sacred Writings speak of asses being
in general use throughout the Eastern countries, both for the saddle, and
as animals of draught and burthen. With the Romans they were in such
estimation that Pliny speaks of a male ass having been sold at a price
which exceeded 3000l. of our money. In Spain the best asses are sold at
very high prices, sometimes as much as 100 guineas and upwards each.

Doomed as it is with us to slavery and ill treatment, we cannot be
surprised that the ass, in many instances, should appear a stubborn and
intractable animal. But whenever it is well treated, it is remarkable for
meekness, patience, and docility; it submits quietly to chastisement, is
temperate in its food, and is contented to feed on such vegetables as most
other animals would refuse. In proportion to its size, the ass is capable
of supporting great fatigue, and of dragging and carrying heavy burthens.
Asses are chiefly employed for drawing hucksters' carts, and similar
burthens; and, if properly trained, there can be no doubt but they would
constitute the cheapest team that could be used. Being more hardy than
horses, these animals are preferred to them for journeys across the deserts
of Asia. Most of the Musselmen pilgrims use them in their long and
laborious journeys to Mecca. In the principal streets of Cairo, asses stand
ready saddled for hire, and answer the same purposes as hackney coaches in
London. The person who lets an ass accompanies him, running behind to goad
him on.

Asses' _milk_ is light, easy of digestion, and so nutritious as to be
recommended in many disorders. It is particularly agreeable to the tender
stomachs of consumptive persons, is wholesome for young children, and is
chiefly drunk whilst warm from the animals; there is a mode of preparing
artificial asses' milk with eryngo root, pearl-barley, and liquorice root,
boiled in water, and mixed with new cows' milk. In some parts of the
Continent asses' milk is occasionally used as a cosmetic.

The _flesh_ of the wild ass is so much esteemed in Persia that it is
admitted even to the imperial table. The Persians have an adage expressive
of their high opinion of it. Notwithstanding this, the flesh of the
domestic ass is so bad as food, that it is said few persons would be able
to eat of it. From their hardness and elasticity, the _skins_ of these
animals are capable of being used for various purposes. They are
manufactured into shoes, heads for drums, and, when varnished over in a
peculiar manner, are cut into leaves for pocket-books. The inhabitants of
some of the Eastern countries make of asses' skin the substance called
_sagri_ or _shagreen_. At Astracan, and throughout Persia, there are great
manufactories of this article. It is not naturally granulated; this
roughness being altogether effected by art. Of the bones of the ass the
ancients are said to have made their best sounding flutes.

114. The MULE, or mixed produce betwixt the ass and the mare, is a very
hardy and useful animal. Its size is larger, its head and ears smaller, and
its coat smoother than those of the ass. In countries where the breed of
asses is sufficiently large for obtaining mules of considerable size, these
are preferred to nearly all animals for cheapness, durability, and general
convenience, as beasts of burthen. In England they have never been
propagated to any extent; and the few that have been reared in this country
have, in general, been the produce of such diminutive parents, as to
exhibit only a puny race, by no means calculated for the services of which
a well-managed breed would be capable. Yet even these, where they have been
used, have been found to possess many very estimable qualities. In the
brewhouse of Messrs. Truman, Harford, and Co. of Limehouse, mules were for
a little while used in place of the dray-horses which are employed by other
brewers. Each dray was drawn by three mules, and carried three butts of
beer, a weight precisely the same which the London drays carry with three
large horses.

  115. _The HIPPOPOTAMUS, or RIVER-HORSE_ (Hippopotamus amphibius), _is an
  African quadruped of immense bulk, with large head, extremely wide mouth,
  strong teeth, and thick and short legs, each terminated by four hoofs._

  _The body is of brownish colour, and covered with short and thinly set
  hair. One of these animals, which M. le Vaillant killed in the South of
  Africa, measured nearly eleven feet in length, and about nine in

In the immediate vicinity of rivers, in several parts of Africa, even as
far south as the Cape of Good Hope, the hippopotamus is occasionally seen.
Notwithstanding his bulk and strength, he is an animal of considerable
timidity; and whenever he is surprised, he plunges into the water, and
walks about at the bottom with great ease, rising to the surface about once
every ten minutes to breathe. He feeds on plants of various kinds, and
sometimes proves very destructive in the plantations, not only by the
quantity of food which he devours, but also by treading down and crushing
with his feet much more than he eats.

The hippopotamus is one of those animals whose _tusks_ are used as ivory;
and, from their always preserving their original whiteness and purity, they
are considered superior to the tusks of the elephant. They are each from
twelve to fourteen inches in length, and weigh from six to ten pounds.
Dentists sometimes manufacture them into artificial teeth, for which they
are well adapted. Of the _hide_, which in some parts is nearly two inches
thick, the inhabitants of Africa make excellent whips, which, after a
little use, become very pliable.

The _flesh_, when the animals are in good condition, is said to be tender
and well flavoured, particularly that of the parts near the breast. It is
even sometimes admitted to the tables of the colonists at the Cape of Good
Hope. The Hottentots consider it so great a delicacy that they eat it even
in an half putrid state. Professor Thunberg states, that he one day passed
a Hottentot's tent, which had been pitched for the purpose of consuming the
body of an hippopotamus that had been killed sometime before; and says,
that the inhabitants of the tent were in the midst of such stench, that the
travellers could hardly pass them without being suffocated. The _feet_ are
considered peculiarly fine eating; and the _tongue_, when salted and dried,
is in great esteem at the Cape.

  116. _The HOG_ (Sus scrofa, Fig. 16) _is distinguishable by its prominent
  tusks, the flat termination of its snout, its feet being cloven, the fore
  part of its back being bristly, and the tail hairy._

  _The male is called_ boar, _and the female_ sow. _The appellations of_
  swine _and_ pig _are given to the whole breed, though the latter is more
  peculiarly applicable to the young animals._

  _The parent stock of our domestic swine is the wild boar, which inhabits
  the forests of France, Germany, and other parts of Europe, as well as
  those of Persia and India._

Wild boars usually live in families, and are hunted, as an amusement, in
all the parts of the world where they are found. The _flesh_ of the wild
animals, if they are not old, is said to be much superior to that of our
domestic swine. That of the young ones is peculiarly delicate. Of an old
wild boar the head only is eatable.

The advantages derived from the breeding of swine are very great. Their
flesh, which has the appellation of _pork_, is in universal request; and is
of peculiar importance in a commercial view, as it takes salt better, and
is capable of being kept longer, than any other kind of meat that we are
acquainted with. Pork, after having been salted, is sometimes hung up to
dry in the open air; but, generally, it is smoked by being hung in a
chimney. In this state it has the general name of _bacon_. What are called
_hams_, are the thighs preserved in a similar manner. _Westphalia hams_ are
generally made from such animals as have been well fed, and allowed to
range at pleasure in the extensive moorlands of that province; and they
have a singular flavour, not so much from any great difference that there
is in the salting of them, as from their being smoked in chimneys where
only wood fires are burnt. The time of fumigation is from three to six
months, according to their size. Pork, though a wholesome food, requires a
strong stomach to digest it properly; and ham and bacon are highly improper
for persons of weak and languid habits. _Brawn_ is the flesh of the boar
pickled in a peculiar manner, and is always better tasted according to the
greater age of the animal of which it is made. After the boar is killed,
the head and legs are cut off, and the bones are carefully taken from the
remaining part. This, after having been properly salted, is rolled together
as hard as possible. It is then boiled till it becomes so tender as to be
pierced with a straw. It is afterwards set by till quite cold, and lastly
is immersed in a pickle formed of salt and bran boiled together. The usual
mode of curing pork is with common salt, or bay salt; but some persons add
saltpetre or nitre, juniper berries, pepper, and other antiseptic

The Jews and Mahometans abstain from this species of food from a religious
principle, and even consider themselves defiled by touching it. The
inhabitants of China, on the contrary, are so excessively fond of pork,
that multitudes, from this partiality alone, are said to have been
prevented from conversion to Mahometanism.

The _fat_ of swine differs, in its situation, from that of almost every
other quadruped, as it covers the animals all over, and forms a thick,
distinct, and continued layer betwixt the flesh and the skin, somewhat like
the blubber in whales (118). It is called _lard_, and is applicable to
various uses, both culinary and medicinal; and particularly to the
composition of ointments. The general mode of preparation is to melt it in
a jar placed in a kettle of water; and in this state to boil it, and run it
into bladders that have been cleansed with great care. The smaller the
bladders are the better the lard will keep. The fat which adheres to the
parts connected with the intestines differs from common lard, and is
preferably employed for the greasing of carriage wheels. The _blood_, the
_feet_, and the _tongue_, are all adopted for food.

The _skin_, when properly dressed, is used for the seats of saddles; by
book-binders, and other artisans.

In China hogs' skins are much in request by shoe-makers. All the shoes that
are sold to Europeans at Canton are made of hogs' leather, the hair having
previously been burnt off with a hot iron. In our own country, when swine
are killed for food, it is not customary to strip off the skin, but merely
to rid it of the bristles, by scalding the animals, after they are dead,
with hot water, or singeing them with lighted straw. Consequently the hogs'
skins which we use are chiefly imported from abroad. The _bristles_ of
swine are made into brushes of various kinds, and are also employed by
shoe-makers in the place of needles.

Among the other uses of swine, it may not generally be known that, in the
island of Minorca, they are employed as beasts of draught. They are
frequently yoked to the plough with asses; and one writer speaks of having
seen a cow, a sow, and two young horses, all yoked together, and of these
the sow drew the best. In some parts of Italy swine are used in hunting for
truffles, an eatable species of fungus which grow at the depth of some
inches in the ground. A cord being tied to the hind leg of one of these
animals, the beast is driven into certain pastures; and we are told that
truffles are always to be found wherever he stops and begins to turn up the
earth with his nose.

Most writers have asserted that swine are long-lived, but few instances are
allowed to occur of their attaining a great age; as it is neither
profitable nor convenient to keep them to the full extent of their time. A
gentleman in Hampshire kept a sow till she was nearly seventeen years old;
and, at this period, she began to exhibit some signs of old age by the
decay of her teeth, and ceasing to be so fertile as she had previously
been. This animal afforded an instance of the extremely prolific nature of
swine. She is calculated to have been the parent of no fewer than 300 young
ones. The great weight to which swine are sometimes fed would appear
altogether incredible had it not been well attested. In one instance a pig
was known to weigh 1410 pounds when alive; and 1215 pounds when killed and


  117. _The NARWAL, or SEA-UNICORN_ (Monodon monoceros) _is a marine animal
  from twenty to thirty feet in length, with a long, tapering, twisted, and
  pointed weapon of ivory in front of the head._

  _It has a small fin on each side of the breast, in place of fore feet, an
  horizontally flattened tail, and a spiracle or breathing hole on the
  highest part of the head. The skin is white, variegated with numerous
  black spots on the upper parts of the body; and the weapon is generally
  from five to eight feet in length._

  _These animals are found in the Greenland seas, and they occasionally
  migrate southward off the British coasts. Their name of_ narh-wal
  _signifies a whale that subsists on dead bodies._

The Greenlanders pursue the narwals as they do other whales, chiefly on
account of the _oil_ which they obtain from them. This is considered
superior, in many respects, to the oil of the great whale (118), and is
used by them both with food and to burn in their lamps. These people also
eat the _flesh_ of the narwal prepared by fire, dried in a half putrid
state, and sometimes even raw; and they are also partial to the
_intestines_ as food. The _tendons_ serve them as a strong kind of thread.
The projecting _weapon_, which is not a horn but a species of tusk, in its
substance not much unlike the tusk of an elephant, is sometimes cut into
the heads of arrows; and, in some parts of Greenland where wood is scarce,
these weapons are occasionally used in the structure of tents and sledges.
As ivory, they are not of much use, since, from their twisted form, they
cut to great disadvantage. The kings of Denmark have, in the castle of
Rosenberg, a throne formed of the tusks of the narwal.

It has of late years been ascertained that the Japanese have a very
extraordinary opinion of the medical virtues of these tusks. A Dutch
merchant, on his return to Europe, happened, among other curiosities, to
transmit one of them to a friend in Japan, who by the sale of it became
extremely rich. From that time the Dutch wrote, to their correspondents in
Europe, for as many as could be sent, and great profit was made of them;
and, although by the continued importation, the price has since been
considerably diminished, it still continues very high.

Narwals are quick, active, and inoffensive animals. They swim with
considerable velocity. When harpooned they dive in the same manner as the
whale, but not so deep. They generally descend about two hundred fathoms,
after which they return to the surface, where they are dispatched, in a few
minutes, with a lance.

  118. _The GREAT or GREENLAND WHALE_ (Balæna mysticetus, Pl. 1, Fig. 17)
  _is a marine animal of immense magnitude, measuring from fifty to eighty
  feet in length, of which the head is nearly one third, and having several
  horny blades in the upper jaw, and a spiracle or breathing hole on the
  upper part of the head._

  _The bulk of these animals is such that their greatest circumference is
  nearly equal to their length; and their weight has been known to exceed
  400,000 pounds. The mouth is of enormous size, extending as far back as
  to the eyes; and the tongue is sometimes eighteen or twenty feet in
  length, and nine or ten in width. Notwithstanding this, the_ gullet, _or
  passage of the throat, is seldom more than four or five inches across.
  The eyes are situated a little above the corners of the mouth, and are
  scarcely larger than those of an ox; and the external opening of the
  ears, which are merely auditory holes, is likewise very small. There is a
  large fin on each side of the breast, and the horizontally flattened
  tail-fin is equal to about one sixth part of the length of the animal. On
  the back there is neither fin nor protuberance. The skin is very thick
  and strong, entirely destitute of hair, and always covered with an oily
  substance which issues through the pores, and which, when exposed to the
  rays of the sun, makes the surface appear as resplendent as that of
  polished metal. Whales vary much in colour; some being entirely black,
  others reddish, or black above and white beneath, and others variously
  mottled with black or brown and white._

  _The great whales are inhabitants of the ocean, and found chiefly in the
  Greenland and other seas, near the Arctic Pole; they, however, sometimes
  migrate so far south as to be seen in the neighbourhood of the British

The animals of the whale tribe are of great use to mankind in a commercial
view. They are pursued by the inhabitants of nearly all the maritime
countries of Europe, and to us are not merely a source of profit, but, from
the whale fishery requiring many ships, are the means of training a great
number of seamen. To this fishery it is that we are indebted for those two
valuable articles--_whale_ or _train oil_, and _whalebone_.

The fat of all the whales has the name of _blubber_, and is principally
found beneath the skin, to the depth of ten or twelve inches. Its use, to
the animals, appears to be for the double purpose of poising their bodies,
and keeping off the immediate contact of the water from the flesh, the
continued cold of which, in the frozen climates of the North, would tend to
chill the blood. The _whalebone_ supplies, in these animals, the place of
teeth, for catching and securing their food. It is attached to the upper
jaw, and is arranged in thin plates or blades, sometimes near seven hundred
in number, and parallel to each other on both sides of the mouth. The
largest blades measure from ten to fifteen feet in length, and twelve or
fifteen inches in width; and they all terminate in a kind of fringe of
considerable length, which has the appearance of the blades split into
innumerable small fibres. A large whale sometimes yields a ton and half of

The number of ships employed in the whale fishery is very great; but, in
consequence of the incessant pursuit of these animals for the last two
centuries, their numbers have been greatly diminished. One of the most
fortunate years that ever was known was 1697, when the following ships
entered the bay of Greenland:

   15 from Bremen, which had taken  190
   50 from Hamburgh                 515
  121 from Holland                 1252
    Total number of whales taken   1957

The year 1814 was a singularly prosperous one to the British whale fishery:
76 ships, fitted out from different ports of this country, obtained 1437
whales, besides seals, &c. The British ships, during four years, ending
with 1817, returned with 5030 whales, which produced 54,508 tons of oil,
and 2697 tons of whalebone.

The season for the whale-fishery commences in May, and continues through
the months of June and July; but the ships must come away before the end of
August, otherwise they might be blocked up and destroyed by the ice.

Every ship sent out from this country carries along with it six or seven
boats, each of which has one harpooner, one man at the rudder, one man to
manage the line, and four men as rowers. In each boat there are also two or
three harpoons, several spears, and about six lines, each 120 fathoms in
length, fastened together. As soon as the men in the boats discover a
whale, swimming near the surface of the water, they approach to the spot,
and strike a harpoon deeply into his body. To this instrument the line is
attached; and on the whale plunging into the water, this line is allowed to
run out, great care being taken not only to prevent it from catching, lest
the animal should overset the boat, but also (by continually wetting the
place against which it runs) to prevent its rapid motion from setting fire
to the wood. After a while the wounded animal is obliged to return to the
surface to breathe. His direction is followed, and his re-appearance
carefully marked. With great dexterity fresh wounds are inflicted, till, at
length, he appears exhausted, when a long spear is thrust into his
intestines, which soon destroys him. The whale is then dragged to the ship,
and securely fastened to the side by ropes attached to the fins and tail.
The blubber is cut out, in large square pieces, by men who get upon the
animal, having their shoes armed with a kind of iron spurs to prevent their
slipping. As soon as the blubber is taken on board the vessel, it is
divided into smaller pieces, and thrown into the hold to drain.

The next operation is to extract the whalebone. This is done entire, along
with the gums, which are hoisted on the deck, where the blades are cut and
separated, and left until the men have leisure to scrape and clear them.
The _tongue_ consists of a soft and spongy fat substance, which, when
boiled down, yields five or six barrels of oil; the oil that is drained
from the two upper jaw-bones is the peculiar perquisite of the captain. As
an encouragement to the whale fishery, a bounty of twenty shillings is
allowed by Government for every ton of blubber which is imported into this

From Milford, in Pembrokeshire, and some other British sea-ports, vessels
are also fitted out for the South Seas, in pursuit of whales which frequent
the ocean in those torrid climates, particularly near the coast of South

The inhabitants of Greenland, and of other northern countries of the world,
eat almost every part of the whale. The _skin_, the _tail_, and the _fins_,
are sometimes eaten even raw. The _flesh_ is eaten both fresh and dried.
That of the young animals is of red colour; and, when cleared of fat,
broiled and seasoned with pepper and salt, is said to eat not unlike coarse
beef. That of an old whale appears black, and is exceedingly coarse and
unpalatable. The Esquimaux, however, eat both the flesh and fat of the
whale, and drink the oil with greediness. Indeed some of the tribes carry,
in their canoes, bladders filled with whale oil, which they use in the same
way, and with a similar relish, that a British sailor does a dram. They
also eat the _skin_ of the whale raw. It is not unusual for female
Esquimaux, when they visit whale ships, to select for eating, pieces of
skin to which a portion of blubber is attached. They also give it for food
to the infants suspended at their backs, who suck it with great apparent
delight. The _heart_ of a young whale which was caught in the year 1793,
and measured fifteen feet in length, is said by Captain Colnett to have
afforded a delicious repast to his ship's crew. Of the _intestines_ of the
whale the Greenlanders prepare a substance which serves instead of glass
for their windows. They make fishing-lines of the _filaments_ which
terminate the blades of whalebone; and in many countries, the ribs and
other large _bones_ supply the place of timber, in the construction of
houses, and as fences to surround gardens and fields. The smaller bones are
converted into harpoons and spears. The _tendons_ are split into filaments,
and used as cordage, and for nets of various kinds. With the Esquimaux some
of the membranes of the abdomen are used for an upper article of clothing;
and the thinnest and most transparent of them are adopted, instead of
glass, in the windows of their huts. The _blubber_ of the whale, when
pickled and boiled, is said to be very palatable; and the _tail_, when
parboiled and fried, is often adopted in the Greenland ships as food. The
blubber, when in a fresh state, is destitute of any unpleasant smell:
indeed it is not until the termination of the voyage, when the cargo is
unstowed, that a Greenland ship becomes disagreeable. The use of the
_whalebone_ in our own country is well known; but, since ladies have left
off wearing stays, it is at present comparatively in little demand. By a
late invention it is manufactured into hats, bonnets, and brushes.

Whales are sometimes seen in troops sporting about near the surface of the
ocean. They spout water through the spiracles on the top of their heads,
with the rushing noise of a cataract, and to the height even of thirty or
forty feet. Such are their powers in the water that, in some instances,
their motion through that element has been calculated at thirty feet in a
second, or upwards of twenty miles in an hour. Great caution is required in
attacking them, as, with a single blow of their tail, they are able to
upset a tolerably large boat. They feed only on the smaller kinds of fish
and other marine animals, as their throat is not sufficiently wide to admit
of their swallowing any substance of large size, and they are not furnished
with teeth to cut or grind their food into small pieces. The females
produce only one young one each: this they suckle for many months, and are
peculiarly affectionate and attentive towards it.

These animals are occasionally stranded on the British shores, in which
case, by the ancient laws of the land, they are deemed royal fish; the king
being entitled to the anterior, and the queen to the posterior half.

  119. _The FIN-BACKED WHALE, or FIN-FISH_ (Balæna physalus), _is a marine
  animal from sixty to ninety feet in length, with a thick fin on the
  hinder part of the back, the muzzle tapering, and the jaws somewhat

  _This species is of more slender form than the last, its greatest
  circumference not in general exceeding fifteen or twenty feet. The
  spiracle or breathing hole is double, and situated on the middle of the
  fore part of the head; and the colour of the body is generally dark or
  blackish olive above, and white below. The whole surface appears polished
  and shining._

  _These whales are chiefly found in the northern frozen ocean, and
  particularly about the coast of Greenland and Spitzbergen. But they
  sometimes enter the Mediterranean, and are not uncommon in the South
  American and Indian seas._

Although a smaller proportion of _oil_ is obtained from these than from the
great whales, it is of much better quality than that. The inhabitants of
Greenland consume it with their food, preferably to burning it in lamps, if
oil of less value can be obtained for that purpose. The _whalebone_ is too
short and narrow to be of much value. From the small quantity of oil, and
little value of the whalebone, added to the difficulty and danger which are
attendant on the pursuit of these active and powerful animals, they are not
very eagerly sought after by the whale-fishers.

We are assured that the _flesh_ of the fin-backed whale is as well tasted,
and, in every respect, as excellent, as that of the sturgeon. In most of
the northern countries, both of Europe and America, the _fins_, the _skin_,
and the _tendons_, all serve for many useful purposes.

There are other species of whales which are useful, in a certain degree, to
mankind, for the oil that is yielded by their bodies; but few of them are
objects of pursuit, on account of the difficulty there is in killing them,
or of the very inferior quantity of oil which they afford. The blades of
their whalebone are also too small to be of any use as an object of

  macrocephalus) _is a marine animal from sixty to seventy feet in length,
  with large teeth in the under jaw, which fit into corresponding sockets
  of the upper jaw; the orifice of the spiracle single, and at the upper
  part of the extremity of the muzzle; and without any fin upon the back._

  _The head occupies about one-third of the length of the whole body. The
  colour of this whale is generally black, but, in the old animals, the
  under parts become whitish. The skin is smooth, oily, and almost as soft
  to the touch as silk._

  _It is most frequently seen in the northern ocean, in the latitudes of
  Greenland, Spitzbergen, and Iceland; yet it is occasionally observed off
  the British coasts, and sometimes even in the Mediterranean._

Lucrative as the several parts of these animals are, the whale-fishers have
a great dread of them, in consequence of their astonishing activity in the
water. Much care is requisite, in striking the harpoon, to keep the boats
out of danger of being overturned, and great dexterity in following their
track. From the relation given by the Danish voyagers Olafsen and Povelsen,
it would appear that the spermaceti whales become occasionally so ferocious
as even to seize the fishing boats with their teeth, and, in an instant, to
destroy the whole crew. Notwithstanding all these dangers, so highly valued
are they that they are searched for with much assiduity: and happy are the
owners of those vessels which can obtain the greatest number of them.

The _oil_ that is obtained from them is not in great quantity, but is of
excellent quality. In burning it yields a bright flame, without exhaling
any noxious smell.

The white and fatty substance known in our shops by the name of
_spermaceti_ is found in an immense cavity of the skull, distinct from that
which contains the brain. This sometimes occupies nearly the whole front
and upper part of the head, and, in some instances, is known to measure
sixteen or eighteen feet in length. It is divided horizontally into two
parts by a strong membrane, and each of these parts is again subdivided, by
vertical membranes, into numerous cells, which communicate with each other,
and contain the spermaceti. This, which is frequently mistaken for the
brain, is sometimes found in such quantity as to fill eighteen or twenty
butts. Whilst the animals are alive, the spermaceti is in a fluid state;
but, when dead, it is found in somewhat solid lumps, and is of whitish
colour. Spermaceti is of considerable use, medicinally, in pains and
erosions of the intestines, in coughs, and other complaints. It is also
applied externally in ointments, and for other purposes. It is converted
into a very beautiful kind of candles, which appear to be a medium between
those made of wax and tallow. Good spermaceti is in fine white flakes,
glossy, and semi-transparent, soft, and unctuous to the touch, yet dry and
easily friable, in taste somewhat like butter, and of faint smell, not much
unlike that of tallow. If exposed to the air, it soon becomes rancid and
yellow. Its quality and colour may however be recovered by steeping it in
alkaline liquors, or in a sufficient quantity of spirit of wine.

The _flesh_ of this kind of whale is of pale red colour, appears not much
unlike coarse pork, and is not unpalatable as food. The _skin_,
_intestines_, and _tendons_, are all useful to the inhabitants of the
northern countries of Europe. The _tongue_ is considered excellent eating.
The _teeth_ are formed into the heads of spears and arrows, and may even be
used as ivory; the _bones_ are sometimes applied as timber for tents and
cottages; and a very tenacious glue or size is manufactured from the
_fibres of the flesh_.

It is to these, and some other animals nearly allied to them, that we are
indebted for the drug or perfume called _ambergris_. This is generally
found in the stomach, but sometimes in the intestines, and in lumps from
three to twelve inches in thickness, mixed with many substances very
different from itself, such as macerated vegetables, the remains of marine
shell-animals, the bones and other hard parts of fish; and the ambergris
itself frequently contains the beaks or jaws of different species of sepiæ,
or cuttle-fish. The latter are the cause of those yellowish, whitish, or
dusky spots that are often observable in this drug. As we see it in the
shops, ambergris is an opake substance, which varies in solidity, according
to its exposure to a warm or cold atmosphere. It is however, in general,
sufficiently hard to be broken. Its smell is extremely powerful and
agreeable to some persons, but unpleasant and even nauseous to others. When
first taken from the stomach or intestines of the animals which produce it,
ambergris is quite soft to the touch; and, as may well be conjectured from
the situation in which it is found, has a fetid and most disgusting smell;
but after it has, for some time, been exposed to the influence of the
atmosphere, it becomes harder, and yields the powerful and peculiar odour
by which it is characterized.

Oil, spermaceti, and ambergris, are supposed to be yielded in greater or
less quantity from every species of cachalot.

  121. _The COMMON or TRUE DOLPHIN_ (Delphinus delphis) _is a cetaceous
  animal nine or ten feet in length, with a row of large teeth in each jaw,
  and a single orifice near the top of the head; an oblong and roundish
  body, a fin on the back, and the snout narrow and pointed, having a broad
  transverse band or projection of the skin on its upper part. The body is
  black, with a bluish tinge above, and white below._

  _Dolphins are found in nearly every part of the ocean._

Few animals have had greater celebrity than these. Their activity in
playing about near the surface of the ocean, their undulating motion, and
the evolutions and gambols of whole shoals of them together, occasionally
afford to mariners and others a very entertaining spectacle. By the ancient
Greeks and Romans dolphins were supposed to entertain a kind of friendship
towards mankind, and were consecrated to the gods. In cases of shipwreck
they were believed to be in waiting to rescue and carry on shore the
unfortunate mariners. Pliny, the Roman naturalist, was credulous enough to
believe that dolphins had been rendered so tame as to allow of persons
mounting on their backs, and being carried in safety over a considerable
space of sea. As these animals, in their progress through the water, often
assume a crooked form, in order to spring forward with the greater force,
both ancient and modern artists have depicted the dolphin with its back

The _flesh_ of the dolphin is hard and insipid, yet it was formerly in
repute as food even in this country. We are informed by Dr. Caius, that a
dolphin which was caught, in his time, at Shoreham, in Sussex, was sent to
the Duke of Norfolk, who had part of it roasted and served up at table with
a sauce made of the crumbs of white bread mixed with vinegar and sugar. The
_tongue_ of the dolphin is said to be very agreeable to the taste, and to
be in every respect delicate eating. The _fat_, which, as in other
cetaceous animals, lies, for the most part, immediately beneath the skin,
is not in great abundance.

It is to be remarked that seamen give the name of dolphin to another kind
of animal, the DORADO (_Coryphæna hippuris_). The latter, however, is a
genuine species of fish, and not, like the present, a warm-blooded and
mammiferous animal.

  122. _The PORPESSE_ (Delphinus phocæna) _is a cetaceous animal, six or
  seven feet in length, with a somewhat conical body, a row of pointed
  teeth in each jaw, a single spiracle near the top of the head, a broad
  fin about the middle of the back, and a short and bluntish muzzle._

  _Its colour is bluish black above, and white beneath, and the skin is
  bright, smooth, and soft to the touch._

  _These animals are found in the Baltic sea, near the coasts of Greenland
  and Labrador, in all parts of the Atlantic, and even in the Pacific

In most of their habits the porpesses have a near resemblance to the
dolphin, but they are not so active. They generally associate in troops of
from six or seven to thirty and upwards in number, and feed on fish of all
kinds, but particularly on such as swim in large shoals, as mackerel,
herrings, and the different species of the cod.

In proportion to the size of their body, porpesses yield a great quantity
of excellent _oil_; but from the difficulty there is in catching them, in
sufficient number to repay the labour, they are seldom thought worth
pursuing. The _flesh_, as well as that of the dolphin, was formerly in
great estimation in England. Among the provisions for the celebrated
inthronization feast of George Neville, Archbishop of York, in the reign of
Edward the Fourth, are enumerated no fewer than twelve porpesses and seals.
These animals, however, are now entirely neglected with us as food; yet the
inhabitants of Greenland and Lapland consider the flesh of the porpesse as
highly excellent. The former even eat the _fat_, the _entrails_, and the
_skin_; but they seldom cook the flesh till its hardness is destroyed by
long keeping. The Americans use the _skins_ (dressed in a peculiar manner)
for making waistcoats and breeches; they also form them into an excellent
covering for carriages.





  123. _The AQUILINE or EGYPTIAN VULTURE_ (Vultur percnopterus) _is a large
  bird of prey, which has a naked head and neck; a black and hooked beak,
  yellow at the base; and the quill feathers of the wings, except the first
  two, black, edged with hoary._

  _The male is of a dirty white colour, and the female brown, with, the
  above exception of the quill feathers._

  _Immense flocks of aquiline vultures are observable near all the
  principal towns of Egypt, Syria and Persia._

Filthy and disgusting as these birds are, not only in their appearance but
in all their habits, they are of almost indispensable utility to mankind in
those countries where they are found. They may be considered the scavengers
of hot climates. In conjunction with other animals of similar appetites and
propensities, they clear away, by devouring them, all the remains of animal
substances which otherwise would be left to putrefy, and would infect the
air with the most noxious effluvia. They are consequently protected and
encouraged by mankind. The ancient Egyptians held them in such veneration
as to punish with death any person who destroyed them. In consequence of
this protection, they have become fearless of mankind, and, even in the
streets of the most populous towns of Egypt, may be seen to feed with the
greatest familiarity.

These vultures devour also the eggs and young ones of the crocodiles, and
destroy myriads of rats and mice, as well as reptiles of every description,
which abound among the mud, and in all the grounds that are fertilized by
the overflowing of the Nile.

  124. _The CARRION VULTURE_ (Vultur aura) _is an American bird of prey,
  about four feet and a half high, with a small head covered with red skin,
  the bill hooked and white; and the plumage dusky, except the quill
  feathers, which are black._

In America these birds are protected for the same services as are performed
by the aquiline vulture (123) in Africa and Asia. They not only devour the
filth of the towns and villages, but also destroy, in great numbers, the
eggs of alligators; which animals otherwise would become intolerable by
their prodigious increase. The vultures watch the females in the act of
depositing their eggs in the sand; and, as soon as they retire into the
water, dart to the spot and feed upon their contents.

  125. _The CINEREOUS EAGLE_ (Aquila albicilla) _is a species of eagle
  about the size of a turkey, of cinereous brown colour, with while tail,
  the quill feathers white, the middle ones tipped with black; and the base
  of the bill, and the feet, yellow._

  _This bird is found in England, and in nearly every other country of

The _flesh_ of the cinereous eagles is eaten in Greenland, and is said not
to be of bad flavour. Their _skins_ sewed together, are used as under
garments; and are also frequently employed as beds. The _beak_ and _claws_
are employed as amulets or charms; and are considered efficacious for the
cure of various complaints. The Greenlanders either kill these birds with
arrows, or catch them in snares laid in the snow, and baited with flesh.

The cinereous eagles feed on dead animals of every description, as well as
on fish, young seals, and several kinds of birds.

  126. _The SECRETARY FALCON_ (Falco serpentarius) _is a bird of prey of
  large size, with a bill hooked at the point and bearded at the base,
  black plumage, a crest on the hind part of the head, the tail feathers
  white at the tip, the two middle ones the longest, and the legs of great

  _This bird is about three feet in height, and, in its general appearance,
  has some resemblance both to the eagle and the crane._

  _It is an inhabitant of the interior of Africa, of some parts of Asia,
  and several of the Asiatic islands._

As a destroyer of noxious reptiles and other injurious animals, the
secretary falcon is of great service to mankind. He attacks without fear
even the most poisonous serpents, approaching them with the point of one of
his wings, and either trampling them to death with his feet, or catching
them on the pinion of the other wing, and throwing them into the air
several times successively until they are dead.

This bird is easily domesticated, in which state he is not only serviceable
in destroying reptiles and serpents, but he might probably also be useful
in devouring rats and mice. Poultry of all kinds ought, however, to be kept
out of his way, or he would devour them also.

  127. _The GENTIL FALCON_ (Falco gentilis, Fig. 31) _is a British bird of
  prey about two feet in length, distinguished by its ash-coloured plumage,
  with brown spots; the tail having four blackish bands, and the base of
  the bill and the legs being of yellow colour._

  _It inhabits several of the mountainous parts of Europe and North

This was one of the several kinds of birds that were in great repute in
_falconry_; a sport which, some centuries ago, was pursued in all the
principal courts of Europe, and anterior to that by the ancient Greeks and
Romans. The estimation in which this sport was held may well be supposed
when it is stated that, at one period, scarcely any person of rank appeared
abroad without a hawk on his hand; and that, in old paintings, this
representation is considered even a criterion of nobility. The English laws
enacted for the preservation of falcons were so rigorous, that in the reign
of Edward the Third it was rendered felony to steal one of these birds; and
for a person to take the eggs, even in his own grounds, he was liable to be
imprisoned for a year and a day, besides a fine at the king's pleasure. The
falcons or hawks chiefly used in the British dominions, were the present
species, the _Peregrine falcon_ (_Falco peregrinus_), _Iceland falcon_
(_Falco islandus_), _Goshawk_ (_Falco palumbarius_), and _Gyrfalcon_
(_Falco candicans_). After the invention of gunpowder this sport fell
gradually into disuse; until, at length, hawks were discarded, and the
whole pleasure of killing feathered game was confined to shooting.

  128. _OWLS are birds of prey, distinguishable by their round head, a
  circular arrangement of feathers round each eye, the bill being hooked,
  and the nostrils being covered with bristly feathers._

These birds are of great service to farmers by devouring mice and other
small animals, the uninterrupted increase of which would be extremely
injurious to the fruits of the harvest. The late Rev. Gilbert White, in his
Natural History of Selborne, states that he had paid considerable attention
to the manner of life of a pair of white owls, which constantly bred under
the eaves of the church. He says that, generally, about an hour before
sunset they sallied forth in quest of mice; that he has often minuted the
birds with his watch for an hour together, and found that the one or the
other of them returned to the nest about once in five minutes, with a mouse
in its claws.

Though serviceable in thus destroying mice, these birds also destroy young
rabbits, hares, and partridges, for which they are execrated by sportsmen;
and they sometimes enter pigeon-houses, where their ravenous propensities
cause them to commit great devastations.

  129. _The GREAT or CINEREOUS SHRIKE_ (Lanius excubitor) _is a small bird
  of prey, distinguished by having a straightish black bill with a notch in
  each mandible near the end: the back hoary, the wings black, with a white
  spot, and the tail white at the sides._

  _There is likewise a black stripe on each side of the head, extending
  backward from the base of the bill. The length of this bird is about
  eight inches._

  _It inhabits the woods of Europe and America._

Such are the courage and address of the cinereous shrike, that it is
capable of being trained to hawk for and catch small birds. We are informed
that Francis the First, king of France, was frequently in the habit of
chasing the smaller kinds of game with shrikes.

In some parts of the Continent where these birds are very numerous, they
are considered so useful, by waging continual war against rats and mice,
and destroying great numbers of noxious insects, that the farmers will not
allow them to be destroyed.

It is the singular propensity of the cinereous shrike to stick the insects
on which it feeds upon the thorny branches of trees, previously to eating
them. Even when confined in a cage, it often adopts a similar mode with
respect to its food, by sticking it against the wires.


  130. _The RAVEN_ (Corvus corax) _is a bird of the crow tribe, known by
  its large size, its plumage being of bluish black colour, and its tail
  being roundish at the end._

  _It is found in almost every country of Europe, Siberia, and North

In Egypt these birds are held nearly in equal veneration with the vultures
(123), on account of their propensity to devour dead animals, and putrid
substances of almost every description. They also destroy rats, mice, and
small reptiles. It is said that in the Bermudas the inhabitants were, for
several years, annoyed by a prodigious increase of rats, which devoured the
corn and plants, and swam from island to island, committing great
depredations in every place; and that, at length, they suddenly
disappeared, without any other assignable cause than the unexpected
presence of several flocks of ravens. By the ancients these birds were
esteemed of much importance, from a notion that, by the various modulations
or tones of their voice, certain future events might be predicted.

Ravens are easily domesticated, and in this state may be trained to
fowling, somewhat in the same manner as falcons (127). They may also be
taught to fetch and carry small objects, like spaniels; but they are so
mischievous that they ought not to be trusted in any place where spoons or
other valuable articles are deposited, lest they also carry them away and
hide them.

The _flesh_ of the raven is eaten by the inhabitants of Greenland; and the
_skin_, with the feathers on, is preferred to most other substances as a
warm under garment. The _beak_ and _claws_ are used, in that country, as
amulets. With us the _quills_, cut to a point, were formerly much in
request for what are called the jacks of harpsichords, to strike the wires
in playing. They are now chiefly employed for drawing and writing with.

  131. _The ROOK_ (Corvus frugilegus) _is a bird of the crow tribe,
  distinguished by its black and glossy colour, the base of the bill being
  naked and dusky, and the tail being roundish._

  _These birds are found in Europe and Siberia._

Notwithstanding the prejudices which are entertained, by many farmers,
against these birds, arising from a supposition that they feed upon grain,
and consequently are destructive to the crops, there can be little doubt
that the services they perform are infinitely greater than any injury they
commit. Often may flocks of them be seen following at a little distance the
ploughs, to devour the grubs or caterpillars of such insects as may be
thereby exposed to their attacks. These of the cockchafer are destroyed by
them in thousands; and it is remarkable that the nostrils, chin, and sides
of the mouth, in old rooks, are white, and bared of feathers, in
consequence, as it is supposed, of their frequent habit of thrusting their
bill into the ground in search of these insects. The late Mr. Stillingfleet
was informed, by an intelligent farmer in Berkshire, that, one year, while
his men were hoeing a field of turnips, a great number of rooks alighted in
a part of it where they were not at work; and that the consequence was a
remarkably fine crop in that part, while in the remainder of the field
there were scarcely any turnips.

Young rooks are sometimes used as food; but it is requisite to skin them,
previously to their being cooked, as otherwise they would be too
strong-tasted to be eaten.

  132. _The RED-BELLIED TOUCAN_ (Ramphastos picatus) _is a bird about
  twenty inches in length, with an enormously large bill of yellowish green
  colour, and serrated at the edges; the upper part of the body blackish,
  the breast yellow, and the belly and the tip of the tail red._

  _This bird is found in Africa, and in several of the eastern parts of
  South America._

We are assured, by travellers in South America, that the red-bellied
toucans are held in great esteem by the Indians, not only on account of
their _flesh_ as food, but also for their _plumage_; particularly the
feathers of the breast, which are used to ornament their dresses. The
Indians even cut out the skin of this part, with the feathers on, and,
after it has been dried, glue it to their cheeks, considering it a great
addition to their beauty. We are informed by one of the French voyagers
that, whilst he was off the island of St. Catherine, near the coast of
Brazil, the governor, among other presents, sent on board the ship fifty
skins of toucans which had been dried with the feathers on.

  133.  _The BIRD of PARADISE_ (Paradisea apoda, Fig. 32) _is characterized
  by its having a chesnut-coloured body, the neck being of a gold green
  colour beneath, the feathers of the sides being longer than the body, and
  the two middle tail-feathers very long and bristly._

  _These birds inhabit New Guinea and the adjacent islands of Aroo; being
  found on the former in the fine, and the latter in the rainy seasons._

To the inhabitants of the islands of Aroo the birds of paradise have, for
many centuries, been an important article of commerce. They are shot with
blunt-headed arrows; or caught by birdlime or in snares. As soon as they
are killed their legs are cut off, as, by that means, the skins are more
easily preserved, and also because the persons who purchase them prefer
them thus. The entrails and breast-bone are taken out, and they are dried
with smoke and sulphur, for exportation to Banda and other commercial

They are in great demand both in Persia and India to adorn the turbans of
persons of rank, and even the handles of sabres and the trappings of
horses. Many of them are also sold to the Chinese; and, a few years ago,
they were a very fashionable ornament for female head-dress in England.

The appellation of birds of paradise has been given to these birds from a
notion, formerly prevalent, that, destitute of feet, they were constantly
in flight, even during their sleep; or that, if they did rest, it was only
for a few moments together, and then suspended from the branches of trees
by the long feathers of their tail: that the female deposited her eggs in a
hollow place on the back of the male, and there sat upon and hatched them,
that they fed only on dew: that, destitute of stomach and intestines, the
whole abdominal cavity was filled with fat; and, lastly, that they never
touched the earth until their death. It is somewhat difficult to account
for the origin of notions so absurd, unless we are to suppose them the
inventions of persons who traded in the skins of these birds, and founded
merely in the very extraordinary nature of their plumage, and the
circumstance of such skins being always sold without the legs.

Birds of paradise generally associate in flocks of forty or fifty together.
They form their nests in trees, and feed on fruit and insects. Their legs
are so short that, when they alight upon the ground, they cannot, without
difficulty, rise again into the air.

  134.  _The BEE CUCKOO, or MOROC_ (Cuculus indicator), _is an African bird
  somewhat larger than a sparrow, of rusty grey colour above, and whitish
  beneath; it has naked and black eyelids, a yellow spot on the shoulders,
  and the feathers of the tail somewhat rust-coloured, marked with white._

The great partiality which these birds have to honey and the maggots of
bees, as food, is the cause of their pointing out the hives of wild bees to
the inhabitants of those countries in which they are found. As soon as the
moroc has itself discovered a nest of bees, it utters a loud and continued
cry, as if for the purpose of exciting attention to its wants. If followed
by any person, it flies slowly towards the place, alighting from time to
time, to give opportunity for its attendant to come up. If the hive be in
the cleft of a rock, a hollow tree, or in some cavity of the earth, the
moroc will hover over the spot for a short time, and then sit, at a little
distance, in expectation of the result, and apparently with a view of
sharing in the plunder. When the bee-hunter has taken the nest, he
generally leaves a share of the comb to supply the wants and repay the
services of the bird. We are informed by M. Le Vaillant that the Hottentots
have so great a regard for these birds that they consider it criminal to
kill them.

  135.  _WOODPECKERS are a numerous race of birds, distinguished by having
  a straight, strong, and angular bill, and their tongue very long,
  slender, bony, hard, and jagged at the end. Their toes are formed two
  forward and two backward._

The English species of woodpeckers are somewhat injurious in woods and
plantations, from their propensity to pick holes in trees as places for
their nests. By this means the rain has admission to the wood, and often
causes its speedy decay. In forming these holes the birds fix themselves
firmly against the trees by their claws and tail, the feathers of which are
remarkably stiff: and they are able to pierce even the soundest and hardest

It does not appear that any of the English species of woodpecker are of
further use than by their subsisting on such insects as are found upon the
bark, or in crevices or holes of trees; but there can be no doubt that they
are very serviceable, by destroying great numbers of the grubs of these
timber-eating beetles, some of which bore to great depths, and have holes
of considerable size.

Some of the tribes of Turguses roast these birds; then bruise their bodies,
and mixing the substance thus formed with fat, cover with it the points of
arrows which they use in the chase, under a notion that such animals as are
struck with these arrows immediately fall dead.

Of the bills of the _WHITE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Picus principalis)_ some of
the American Indians make a kind of coronets, by setting them in a wreath
with the points outward. And such is the value at which they estimate these
coronets, that they frequently purchase the bills at the rate of two and
even three deer's skins each.--The flesh of some of the species is
accounted good eating.


  136. _The SONG THRUSH, or THROSTLE_ (Turdus musicus), _is a bird known by
  its almost straight bill, notched near the end of the upper mandible; and
  its quill feathers being rust-coloured at their inner base._

  _This bird inhabits woods of all the temperate parts of Europe._

Although the singing birds may not, on account of their melodious notes
alone, be considered of any absolute use to mankind, yet these afford us so
much delight, and convey to our minds so many pleasing and cheerful
emotions, that they must not be overlooked even by such persons as are in
search of the useful productions of nature.

For fulness and clearness of tone, the throstle is excelled by none of the
British song-birds; and in plaintiveness, compass, and execution, it is
much superior to the blackbird. Its notes are heard in woods and thickets
during nearly nine months of the year, but are much too powerful to be
pleasant when kept in a room. Some of the inhabitants of Poland catch
thrushes in such numbers as even to load small vessels with them for
exportation to other countries.

During long droughts in the summer-time these birds are of great service by
hunting out shell-snails, which they eagerly pull in pieces as food for
their offspring.

They build their nests in thickets or orchards, and sometimes in thick
hedges near the ground. The outside consists of moss interwoven with dried
grass or hay, and the inside is curiously and smoothly plastered. The
female generally lays five or six eggs of deep blue colour, marked with
black spots.

  137. _The FIELDFARE_ (Turdus pilaris) _is a bird of the thrush tribe,
  distinguished by the tail feathers being black, except the outermost,
  which, at their inner edge, are tipped with white; and by the head and
  upper part of the body near the tail being of a hoary colour._

  _These birds annually visit England at the beginning of winter, arriving
  in large flocks from, the northern parts of Europe. They are also found
  in Syria and Siberia._

By the ancients, fieldfares, with some other species of thrush, were in
great esteem as food. The Roman epicures, as we are informed by Varro, had
them fattened with crumbs of bread mixed with minced figs; and the people
employed for this purpose kept thousands of them in successive states of
preparation for the table. With us they are sometimes eaten, but they are
by no means esteemed as a luxury.

Fieldfares do not breed in this country. They generally leave us about the
end of February or the beginning of March, and do not return till the
commencement of winter.

  138. _The BLACKBIRD_ (Turdus merula) _is a species of thrush, of black
  colour, with the bill and eyelids yellow._

  _The plumage of the female is generally brownish on the under parts._

  _These birds are found in nearly all the countries of Europe, and in
  several parts of Asia._

The song of the male blackbird is much admired in woods and fields, but it
is too loud for the house. In mellowness and sprightliness it is esteemed
equal to that of the thrush (136), but in compass and execution it is
considerably inferior. The blackbird begins its song in the first fine days
of spring, and, except during the season of its moulting, or change of
plumage, continues it until the commencement of winter.

Blackbirds devour vast numbers of worms and shelled snails. They form their
nests in thick bushes externally of moss, roots, and other similar
materials; plastering them internally with earth, and lining them with dry
grass. The eggs are four or five in number, of light blue colour, with pale
rust-coloured spots. Persons who rear these birds feed them as soon as they
are taken from the nest with a mixture of raw meat chopped small, bread,
and bruised hempseed, somewhat moistened with water.

The song of the female is very different from that of the male.

  139. _The BULFINCH_ (Loxia pyrrhula) _is a species of grosbeak, of
  cinereous colour, with the head, wings, and tail black, the breast and
  under parts red, the parts near the tail and the hindermost quill
  feathers whiter._

  _This bird is common in England and other parts of Europe._

Though in considerable esteem as song bird, the bulfinch, in a state of
nature, has but three cries, all of which are unpleasant. With attention,
however, it may be taught to whistle almost any simple tune of moderate
compass. It is even possible to instruct these birds to whistle in duet;
but, in this case, the composition should be so arranged as to be in
correct harmony, let the birds begin, stop, or go on in whatever parts they
please. The Germans are noted for training these birds, and great numbers
of them are annually imported into this country from Germany.

Bulfinches are very common in some parts of England, building their nests
in bushes or low trees about the month of May. Their eggs are four or five
in number, of bluish colour, with brown and faintly reddish spots towards
the large end.

  140. _The ORTOLAN_ (Emberiza hortulana) _is a species of bunting, known
  by its quill feathers being brown, the first three whitish at the edges;
  and the tail feathers brown, the two lateral ones black on the outer

  _It is found in most countries of the Continent, but has never been
  caught in England._

During the months of July, August, and September, these birds become
excessively fat; and, at that season, they are in great demand by epicures
on the Continent. They are caught in vast numbers at a time, are kept in
dark cages, and fattened for the table with oats and millet seed.

There is a great traffic in ortolans carried on by the inhabitants of the
island of Cyprus; where they are pickled in spice and vinegar, and packed
in casks, each containing from 300 to 400 birds. In this state they are
exported to France, Holland, and England, where they are sold at very high
prices. We are informed that, in productive years, 400 such casks, or on an
average 140,000 of these birds, are sacrificed, to the palate of man, in
the island of Cyprus only.

By many persons ortolans are kept in cages as singing birds; and they are
much esteemed on account of their song.

  141. _The GOLDFINCH_ (Fringilla carduelis) _is a small bird,
  distinguished by having all the quill feathers, except the two outermost,
  marked with yellow in the middle; the front of the head red, and the
  crown black._

  _These birds are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and are very common
  in most parts of England._

As a songster this bird ranks high, but particularly on account of the
vivacity and sprightliness of its tones; and, in addition to these, the
beauty of its plumage, and the facility with which it may be instructed to
perform many amusing tricks, have rendered it a great favourite. One of the
commonest of these that they are taught is to draw up their own food and
drink, in small cups formed for that purpose. If a young goldfinch be
placed with any other singing bird it will readily learn its song.

Goldfinches, during the winter season, assemble in flocks; but they
separate into pairs at the commencement of spring. They frequently
construct their nests in orchards or large gardens; forming them externally
of moss interwoven with other soft materials, in a most beautiful, compact,
and artificial manner; and internally with grass, horse-hair, wool, and
feathers. The eggs are five in number, and of white colour, speckled and
marked with reddish brown.

  142. _The CANARY-BIRD_ (Fringilla canaria) _is a species of finch, the
  bill and body of which are generally of straw-colour, and the quill and
  tail feathers greenish._

  _It is found wild in the Canary Islands, and also in several parts of the
  Continent, particularly the woods of Italy and Greece._

It was not until about the middle of the fifteenth century that these birds
were first brought into notice. They were then called _sugar birds_, from
an opinion that they were peculiarly partial to the sugar-cane as food. For
some time afterwards they continued so dear that they could only be
purchased by persons of fortune.

In Germany, and particularly in the Tyrol, great attention has, of late
years, been paid to the breeding and rearing of canary-birds. At Ymst, in
the Tyrol, there was formerly a company, who, after the breeding season was
over, sent out persons to different parts of Germany and Switzerland, to
purchase birds from those who bred them. Each person generally brought with
him from three to four hundred birds. These were afterwards carried, for
sale, through almost every country of Europe: and were usually conveyed on
the backs of those who sold them.

We are informed that, in the Canary Islands, these birds have no song; and
it is a well-established fact that nearly all the birds which are kept in
cages are indebted for their song to parents, the progenitors of which have
been bred with nightingales or tit-larks.

If canary-birds be treated with proper care they will breed three or four
times in the year, and become as vigorous and healthy in this country as in
their native islands. They are subject to many diseases, to prevent which
the greatest care should be taken to provide them with pure water and
simple food.

  143. _The GREY LINNET_ (Fringilla linota) _is a species of finch, of
  chesnut-brown colour, whitish beneath, the wings with a longitudinal
  white band, and the tail feathers edged on each side with white._

  _It is a native of woods and thickets in most parts of Europe, and is
  sufficiently common in our own island._

The plumage of these birds is of obscure colour, but their song is very
sweet. In compass and execution it is inferior only to that of the
nightingale. And so imitative are they that they will adopt the notes of
almost any other bird with which they are brought up. The experiment was
tried with three nestling linnets, one of which was reared under a sky-lark
(145), another with a wood-lark (146), and the third under a tit-lark, and
each adhered to the song of its instructor.

Linnets, when full grown, are caught, during the summer months, by twigs
smeared with birdlime, or in nets; and, if properly attended to, they soon
become tame. But if it be required that they should imitate the notes of
other birds, they ought to be taken from the nest when only about ten days

These birds generally construct their nests in some thick bush or hedge,
forming the outside with dried weeds and straw, and the inside of
horse-hair and such soft materials as they can pick up. They lay four or
five white eggs speckled with red.

144. The _COMMON SPARROW (Fringilla domestica)_ is mentioned in this place
only under a hope, in some measure, of rescuing its character from the
extreme degree of odium with which it is loaded, in consequence of the
supposed injury that it commits by feeding upon corn. This bird is by no
means without its utility, even to the very persons who incessantly seek
its destruction. On a calculation made by the late Professor Bradley, it
was ascertained that a pair of sparrows, during the time they have young
ones, destroy on an average 3360 caterpillars every week. He observed the
two parents to bring to the nest at least forty caterpillars in an hour;
and, on a supposition that they might have been thus occupied twelve hours
every day, it will yield the above number per week. But their utility is
not confined to the destruction of caterpillars. They likewise feed their
young ones with butterflies and other winged insects, each of which, if not
thus destroyed, would be the parent of hundreds of caterpillars.

In many parts of the world sparrows are in considerable demand as articles
of luxury for the table.

  145. _The SKY-LARK_ (Alauda arvensis) _is a small bird with slender bill,
  and the hind claw very long; the upper parts of its plumage are of a
  varied greenish brown colour, the external webs of the two outer tail
  feathers are white, and the two middle feathers are rust-coloured._

  _These birds are found in every quarter of the world except America._

To all persons capable of experiencing pleasure from rural scenes, the
notes of the lark are beyond description animating and delightful. During
fine weather, from the earliest part of spring, for several succeeding
months, they are every day heard. These birds sing whilst hovering in the
air, and sometimes at so vast a height that they seem but a speck in the
sky. In sprightliness their notes exceed those of any other bird except the
goldfinch; and in compass and execution are inferior only to those of the

Sky-larks, whilst in the nest, are fed on worms and insects; but when they
are fledged they subsist chiefly on seeds, herbage, and other vegetable
substances. It is remarkable, respecting them, that owing to the great
length of their hinder claw they are not able to perch on trees, but always
alight on the ground. Here they form their nest, generally in some hollow
place, and lay four or five dusky eggs spotted with brown.

In the winter season sky-larks collect into large flocks, and are caught
with different kinds of nets in vast numbers for the table. The
neighbourhood of Dunstable is chiefly celebrated for them. The season
commences about the 14th of September, and ends the 25th of February; and,
during that time, as we are informed by Mr. Pennant, about 4000 dozen have
been caught. In the country adjacent to the river Rhone, in France, as many
larks have been caught by one person in a day as loaded two mules: and in
Saxony, where they are liable to a tax, an average sum equal to about 900l.
sterling is annually paid to the city of Leipsic, on account of the larks
that are caught in that neighbourhood.

  146. _The WOOD-LARK_ (Alauda arborea) _is a bird smaller than the
  sky-lark, with slender bill, long hind claws, and a white streak over
  each eye, extending backward so as to form almost a ring round the head._

  _It is a very common bird in this country; and is found in other parts of
  Europe, and in Siberia._

There is, in the song of these birds, a plaintiveness and mellowness of
tone which exceed those of any English songster except the nightingale; but
their execution is much inferior to that of most others. They are not only
heard in the day-time, but also during the night: and not only whilst in
flight, but also when perched upon trees. Wood-larks are tender birds, and
not easily to be reared in a cage.

Towards the beginning of winter they become fat, and are then considered
excellent eating.

They generally form their nests in a bush near the ground, and have about
four eggs of pale red colour, clouded, and mottled with red and yellow.

  147. _The NIGHTINGALE_ (Motacilla luscinia) _is distinguished by the
  rusty brown colour, tinged with olive, of its upper parts, and by an
  ash-coloured ring on the naked part of the thigh above the knees._

  _It is a migratory bird, generally arriving in this country in the month
  of April, and leaving it in September, and then retiring, as it is
  supposed, into some parts of Asia._

This bird delights in solitude, and is naturally of a wild and timid
disposition. His usual resort is the side of some hill, especially if there
be an echo. Here, perched upon the branch of a tree or shrub, he most
delights to sing; and interrupts his warblings by short pauses, as if
listening and making responses to the echo of his own voice.

The song of the nightingale is peculiarly mellow and plaintive; and its
compass, such as to reach through three octaves, and sometimes even more.
In sprightliness it yields to the notes of the sky-lark, the linnet,
goldfinch, and even the redbreast. A nightingale in singing its whole song
was remarked to have sixteen different beginnings and closes; at the same
time that the intermediate notes were generally varied in their succession
with so much judgment, as to produce a most pleasing variety. It is to be
remarked, that nightingales in general do not, in a wild state, sing more
than ten weeks in the year; whilst those in cages continue their song for
nine or ten months. Notwithstanding the naturally beautiful song of these
birds, they readily adopt the notes of any other. They will even modulate
their voice to a given key, and that so readily, that if any person whistle
a note to it, the nightingale will immediately try in its strain an unison
with that note.

Delightful as the song of the nightingale is, it is certain that some
people have a dislike to it. We have even been told of a person who
entertained so great an abhorrence for these birds as to have all the trees
in his neighbourhood cut down, that, being thus without shelter, they might
be driven away. It may perhaps be worth while to remark, in addition, that
this person was delighted with the croaking of frogs.

The food of nightingales consists principally of insects, small worms, and
the grubs of ants. They usually build their nests near the ground, among
briers, in some low tree by a hedge or bush, and have four or five eggs.

  148. _The WHEAT-EAR, or WHITE-RUMP_ (Motacilla oenanthe), _is a bird
  about the size of a sparrow, distinguished by its back being of a hoary
  colour; the forehead, a line above the eyes, and the rump being white,
  and by having a black band through each eye._

  _These birds are migratory, and found in the southern parts of England
  from about the beginning of May till the middle or end of September. They
  are also found on the continent of Europe, in Asia, and Africa._

On the downs of Sussex the number of wheat-ears is sometimes so great that
more than eighty dozen have been caught by one person in a day. They become
fat in the autumn, and are then much esteemed for the table. During a rainy
season they are fatter than in a dry one; this is accounted for by their
feeding not only on insects, but on earth-worms, which come out of the
ground in much greater numbers during wet than in dry weather. These birds
are caught, by the shepherds, in snares made of horse-hair, and placed
beneath a long turf. Part of them are eaten in the neighbourhood, part are
pickled and sent to London for sale, and many are potted. When eaten fresh,
they are generally roasted, wrapped up in vine leaves.

Wheat-ears breed in old rabbit-burrows, in holes of cliffs, under old
timber, and in other situations on the ground. They form a large nest, and
have from six to eight light blue eggs.

  149. _The REDBREAST_ (Motacilla rubecola) _is distinguished by the dusky
  olive colour of its plumage and its red breast. It is found in nearly
  every country of Europe._

This interesting little bird is by no means despicable as a songster, being
equal or superior to the goldfinch in every particular except the
sprightliness of its notes; and its song is more valuable, as it is
occasionally heard even in winter and the earliest part of spring. So quick
are its powers of imitation, that a young red-breast, educated under a very
fine nightingale, which began already to be out of song, and was perfectly
mute in less than a fortnight, sang three parts in four of the
nightingale's notes.

These birds are serviceable to mankind by the myriads of injurious insects
which they devour.

They form their nests in thickets or holes of old buildings; and have from
five to seven eggs of dull white colour sprinkled with reddish spots.

  150. _The SWALLOWS are a tribe of birds chiefly distinguished by their
  short and depressed bills, their long wings, and the tail being generally

  _Only four species are found in this country. These are all migratory.
  The common or CHIMNEY SWALLOW_ (Hirundo rustica) _usually appears about
  the middle of April, and departs about the end of October; the MARTIN_
  (Hirundo urbica) _appears in the beginning of March, and leaves us about
  the middle of October; the SAND MARTIN_ (Hirundo riparia) _appears after
  the middle of March, and departs about the middle of September; and the
  SWIFT_ (Hirundo apus) _appears before the middle of May, and departs in
  the beginning of September._

All the English species of swallow skim along the air in pursuit of flies,
gnats, and other insects; which, if it were not for the all-wise ordination
of Providence, in directing their regulation by supplying food to these and
other species of birds, would soon fill the atmosphere and destroy all our
comfort. Hence (to say nothing worse of it) we see how injurious it is to
destroy these birds, as is frequently the case, for mere amusement, and
under an idle pretext, by many persons of improving their skill in shooting

Chimney swallows are sold as food in the markets of France, Spain, and

  151. _The ESCULENT SWALLOW_ (Hirundo esculenta) _is a very small bird,
  distinguished by being blackish above and whitish beneath, and having the
  tail tipped with white._

  _It is found in Sumatra, Java, and some other islands in the Eastern

There is a great trade to China in the nests of these birds. They are of
texture resembling isinglass, and are, in shape, somewhat like a saucer
with one side flatted. Their thickness is little more than that of a silver
spoon, and their weight from a quarter to half an ounce. They are very
brittle, and have a shining gummy appearance internally when broken; and
are wrinkled or slightly furrowed externally. The best and clearest of
these nests are nearly as white as writing paper, and, semi-transparent,
having a few downy feathers hanging about them; but their general colour is
white inclining to red. They are usually packed one within another, to the
length of twelve or fifteen inches, and secured with split canes to prevent
their breaking. The use to which they are principally applied is for the
thickening of soups and broths, and to these they are said to communicate
an exquisite flavour. Or, after having been softened in water, they are
mixed with ginseng, and put into the body of a fowl, and the whole is
stewed together, and constitutes a very favourite dish with the Chinese
epicures. It has been calculated that the island of Batavia alone exports
to China more than twelve tons' weight of these nests annually. A few are
brought into Europe as curiosities and presents.

Sir George Staunton speaks of having seen great numbers of them in two
caverns which ran horizontally into the side of a rock, in the Island of
Cass, near Sumatra. They adhered to each other and to the sides of the
cavern, mostly in rows, without any break or interruption. The nests are
not taken until after the young ones are fledged; and, in general, this is
done by persons who descend to the places where they are situated, by rope

  152. _The WILD PIGEON, or STOCK-DOVE_ (Columba ænas), _is distinguished
  by its bluish plumage, the neck being of a glossy green colour above; by
  the wings being marked with two black bars, and the tip of the tail

These birds are in some degree migratory; large flocks of them arriving in
England from the northern regions of the Continent at the approach of
winter, and returning in the spring. Many of them, however, remain in this
country during the whole year, and only change their quarters to procure
food. Similar, but much more extensive, flights of wild pigeons are
observed in some parts of Italy, where great numbers of them are caught for
sale as food.

They build their nests in the holes of rocks, in old castles, churches, and
towers, and sometimes in the hollows of trees, but never on the boughs; and
they lay two white eggs.

The name of Stock-dove has been given to these birds, from their being the
stock or origin of our _domestic pigeon_. In a domesticated state
artificial cavities are formed for them to breed in; and they are
frequently known to have young ones eight or nine times in the year. Thus,
although they have only two eggs for each brood, their increase is
sometimes extremely rapid.

The uses of pigeons in cookery are well known. The young ones only are
selected for this purpose; and they are generally taken just before they
are fledged.

There is a mode of enticing pigeons to resort to and reside in any place,
by putting there what is called a "salt cat." This is made of loam, old
rubbish and salt, and is a substance they are so fond of that instances
have been known of farmers having thus deprived their neighbours of their
whole stock of pigeons. But, by act of parliament, this practice is now
rendered illegal. The shooting of pigeons is also an offence against the
law. With respect to the formation of pigeon-houses, it may not perhaps be
generally known that, although a lord of a manor may build them on his own
land parcel of the manor, and a freeholder on his own ground, yet a tenant
cannot do this without his lord's license.

Pigeons are generally considered an injurious stock to the farmer, as they
subsist almost wholly on grain, and devour, in the course of a year,
infinitely more than would amount to their own value.

There are more than twenty different varieties of the domestic pigeon, of
which those called carriers, tumblers, croppers, and powters, are perhaps
the best known.

153.  The CARRIER PIGEON, which is easily distinguished from others by a
broad circle of naked white skin round each eye, and by the dark bluish
colour of its plumage, is remarkable for the celerity and certainty with
which it has been known to convey letters from distant parts. This arises
from the natural attachment which the birds have for the places where they
have been bred. The mode of employing them is to take them to the spot
whence intelligence is to be brought, to tie the letter under their wing,
and let them loose. They rise to a great height into the air; then, by an
unaccountable instinct, they dart onward in a direct line to their home.
The rapidity of their motion is such that they have been known to fly at
the rate of near thirty miles an hour.

  154.  _The RING DOVE_ (Columba palumbus) _is a species of pigeon known by
  its cinereous plumage, the tail feathers being black on the hind part,
  the first quill feathers being whitish on the outer edge, and the neck
  white on each side._

  _It is common in our woods, and is also found in most other parts of

These birds differ from the last in the habit of constructing their nests
on the branches of trees, and particularly on those of the fir-tree, and
not in holes of rocks and buildings. As they are of considerably larger
size than the domestic pigeon, and, whilst young, are almost equally good
for the table, several attempts have, at different times, been made to
domesticate them, by hatching their eggs in dove-houses under pigeons; but
it has always happened that as soon as they were able to fly, they have
escaped to their natural haunts in the woods.

  155.  _The CROWNED PIGEON_ (Columba coronata, Fig. 33) _is a bird about
  the size of a turkey, of blueish colour, with a crest four or five inches
  high upon its head, and the shoulders somewhat rust-coloured._

  _It is found in New Guinea, and some of the adjacent islands._

By the inhabitants of New Guinea crowned pigeons are killed for food; and,
from their great size, they often afford a very important supply. As they
are easily domesticated, they are frequently reared in poultry yards in the
East Indies; and their appearance there is highly pleasing and ornamental.

  156. _The PASSENGER PIGEON_ (Columba migratoria) _is known by its long
  tail, the circles round the eyes being naked and blood coloured, and the
  breast being of reddish colour._

  _These birds are found in different parts of North America._

Some idea of the immense numbers of passenger pigeons may be formed by
stating that one continued flight of them is calculated by Mr. Weld to have
extended at least eighty miles; and that a person is known to have killed
more than a hundred and twenty at one shot with a blunderbuss. They
migrate, at certain seasons, from one part of the country to another in
search of acorns, berries, and other food. During these migrations they are
very fat, and are either killed with clubs and guns, or caught in nets
extended upon the ground, into which they are allured by tame pigeons, of
their own species.

Passenger pigeons are brought, for sale, in sacksful to Quebec, where they
are eagerly purchased as food. Such numbers of them are killed by the
American Indians that they prepare their fat so as to be eaten like butter.
And we are informed that some years ago there was scarcely any Indian town
in the interior of Carolina in which 100 gallons of this fat might not at
any time have been purchased.

It will easily be imagined, that, in every part of the country where these
pigeons feed, they must prove, beyond all calculation, injurious to the
farmer, by devouring the fruits of the harvest.


  157. _The TURKEY_ (Meleagris gallo-pavo) _is found wild in the woods of
  America, and is distinguished by its forehead and chin having a red and
  naked shin, and the breast of the male being tufted._

Wild turkeys are hunted with dogs by the inhabitants of those parts of
America where they are found. As soon as their haunts are discovered, the
hunters send into the flock a dog that has been trained to this pursuit.
The turkeys do not attempt to escape by flight, but run before him until
they become fatigued, when they seek for safety in the trees. The dog gives
notice to his followers of the places where they are concealed, and they
are then easily knocked off the branches with poles, and secured.

Such is the size of these birds that they frequently weigh more than forty
pounds each. The Indians not only esteem them as food, but make an elegant
clothing of the _feathers_. The webs of these they twist, into a double
string, with hemp or the inner bark of the mulberry-tree, and work or weave
them somewhat, like matting. The article thus produced is said to have a
rich and glossy appearance, and to be as fine in texture as silk shag. The
inhabitants of Louisiana make fans of the tails; and the French, in the
American colonies, used formerly to construct parasols by joining four of
these tails together.

It does not appear that turkeys were known in England anterior to the reign
of Henry the Eighth; and it is supposed that the first of these birds which
appeared in Europe were brought from Mexico, after the conquest of that
country, in 1521.

These birds, in a domestic state, subsist on grain and insects, and breed
early in the spring; the females, whenever they have opportunity, wander to
a considerable distance from the poultry yards to construct their nests,
and lay and hatch their eggs. These are from fourteen to seventeen in
number, of large size, and white colour, marked with reddish or yellow
freckles. Young turkeys are so tender as to require much attention in
rearing them. The housewives of Sweden frequently plunge them into cold
water the day they are hatched; and, after having forced each of them to
swallow a pepper-corn, restore them to the care of the parent.

Few birds are more in request for the table than these. The principal
countries in which they are fed are Norfolk and Suffolk; and, about
Christmas, the demand for them in London is so great that the coaches are
sometimes laden with them, even to the exclusion of living passengers.
Occasionally turkeys are driven along the roads in flocks of several
hundreds together, the drivers having no other implement for keeping them
in order, than a long stick with a piece of scarlet rag tied at the end, to
which colour they have a very extraordinary antipathy.

  158. _The PEACOCK_ (Pavo cristatus) _is a well-known bird, a native of
  the woods of the East Indies and other parts of Asia, as well as of
  several parts of Africa._

  _It is peculiarly distinguished by having on its head a crest of
  twenty-four feathers, and, a single hard spur at the back of each leg.
  The male has, over its tail, several feathers, sometimes four or five
  feet in length, and each marked, at the extremity, with an eye-like spot:
  the real tail consists of a range of short, brown, and stiff feathers,
  which are beneath these._

In some parts of the East Indies the shooting of wild peacocks is not an
uncommon diversion, and the size and heavy flight of the birds are such
that it does not require a good marksman to bring them down.

Peacocks are mentioned, in the Sacred Writings, as constituting part of the
cargoes of the fleet which conveyed the various treasures of the East to
the court of King Solomon. They were so much esteemed for the table, by the
Romans, that one person, who had devised a mode of fattening them, obtained
thereby alone an annual income equal to about 500l. of our money. In
England these birds were formerly introduced at sumptuous dinners, and
sometimes the skin and all the feathers, particularly those of the tail,
were kept to serve them up in. The flesh of the old birds is coarse and
unfit for food; but young pea-fowls are at this day much esteemed by

The _train feathers_ of the peacock are used among the Chinese for
ornamental work of different kinds, and particularly for decorating the
caps of the mandarins; and they are an article of traffic from the East
Indies to that country. Peacocks' _crests_, in ancient times, were among
the ornaments of the kings of England; and it appears from records that, in
fines to the crown, these crests were sometimes among the articles to be

Pea-fowls are fed in the same manner as turkeys (157); and the females,
when allowed to range at liberty, always deposit their eggs in some
sequestered place. These birds are very injurious in gardens, from their
scratching up the ground in search of food. They love to perch on the
highest trees; and their voice is a harsh scream in two notes, one of which
is an octave of the other.

  159. _The COMMON PHEASANT_ (Phasianus colchicus, Fig. 34) _is
  distinguished by the general reddish chesnut colour of its plumage, its
  head and neck being blue, and each eye being surrounded with a red,
  naked, and warty skin._

  _There is a small and moveable tuft of feathers on each side of the head.
  The plumage of the female is much less brilliant and beautiful than that
  of the male._

  _These birds, though now found wild in our woods, are supposed to have
  been originally brought into Europe from the banks of the Phasis, a river
  of Colchis, in Asia, situated to the East of the Black Sea. Pheasants are
  also found in other parts of Asia, and in Africa._

These birds constitute a rich and wholesome nutriment. They breed in woods
and fields, forming their nests, upon the ground, in places where the
herbage is thick and close; and laying from twelve to fifteen eggs. These
are sometimes taken away and committed to the care of poultry hens, which
will hatch them, and rear the young ones as their own. Pheasants feed on
corn, wild berries, beech-mast, acorns, and other similar food. They roost
on the branches of trees, and, in the short days of winter, generally fly
into them for this purpose about sun-set; the male birds making a noise,
which they repeat three or four times successively, called "cocketing," and
the hens uttering one shrill whistle. Poachers, well acquainted with these
sounds, easily discover the place, and either shoot them on their perch,
bring them down by burning sulphur underneath, or catch them by a snare
made of brass-wire, and fixed to the end of a long pole. They are also
caught by snares placed in tracks through which they are known to run,
towards the adjacent fields, to feed.

If noblemen and gentlemen of extensive landed property did not preserve the
breed of pheasants by forbidding them, except under certain regulations, to
be destroyed, the race would soon be extinct in this country.

  160. _The ARGUS PHEASANT_ (Phasianus argus) _is a splendid bird, of pale
  yellow colour, spotted with black, the feathers of the wings grey, with
  eye-like spots; and the two middle feathers of the tail very long, with
  similar spots._

  _It is a native of Chinese Tartary, the inland of Sumatra, and other
  parts of the East, and is about the size of a turkey._

The beauty of the plumage of the argus pheasants, but particularly of their
wing feathers, and the two long feathers of the tail, has rendered them
objects of considerable attention. These feathers were, some years ago, in
considerable request in England as an ornament in female head-dress; but
from their natural stiffness both of texture and appearance, they are at
present but little regarded.

In their native country these birds are killed as food, their _flesh_ being
as much esteemed as that of the common pheasant is with us.

  161. _DOMESTIC POULTRY_ (Phasianus gallus, Fig. 35) _are birds of the
  pheasant tribe, and found in a wild state in some of the forests of
  India, and the Indian islands._

There are few birds so important to mankind as these. Whilst living, they
supply us with eggs; and when dead, their bodies afford us food, and their
feathers are useful for making beds.

It is said that hens will sometime lay as many as two hundred _eggs_ in
twelve months. The chickens are naturally produced by the warmth of the
parents sitting upon them, and generally in about three weeks after the
operation has commenced. In Egypt, however, it is customary to hatch
chickens in ovens by artificial heat. These ovens are sometimes so large as
to contain from 40,000 to 80,000 eggs; and it has been calculated that more
than 100,000,000 of chickens are annually brought to life in this manner. A
similar mode of hatching them was, some years ago, introduced into France
by M. de Reaumur; but the practice does not appear to have been much

Some villages in Sussex are famous for poultry, which are fattened to a
size and perfection not known elsewhere. They are fed on ground oats made
into gruel, by a mixture with hog's grease, sugar, pot-liquor, and milk; or
on ground oats, treacle, suet, &c. They are kept warm, and crammed for
about a fortnight before they are sold to the higlers. The cramming is
performed by rolling their food into pieces of sufficient size to be passed
down their throats. When full grown these fowls weigh six or seven pounds,
and are sold at four shillings and sixpence or five shillings each. What
are called _Darking fowls_ are a very large breed which are also reared in

To ascertain whether eggs are fresh, some persons hold them up against a
strong light, to see that the white has not lost its transparency; others
put their tongue to the large end, and if this feel warm they are
considered to be good. If, on shaking them, they are heard to rattle, they
are bad. It is said that eggs may be preserved, for many months, by being
covered with a thin coat of mutton suet, or other fat substance; but
perhaps a better mode than this would be to cover them with a cheap
varnish, by which, as well as by the fat, the air would be prevented from
penetrating the shells, and thereby rendering the eggs putrid.

Eggs are an agreeable and nourishing food, and are used in various ways in
cookery. The whites are of use in medicine. They have been employed with
advantage in burns, and have been recommended as a specific for the cure of
jaundice. They are likewise used by gilders and artisans. The yolks are
employed in medicine in several different ways, but most frequently in
emulsions. The shells of eggs serve for various purposes, but chiefly as a
white colour, in painting, which is considered preferable to that called
flake white.

The _feathers_ of poultry are used, to considerable extent, for making
beds, pillows, and bolsters; but they are by no means so excellent as those
of geese.

  162. _The GUINEA-FOWL, GALLINA, or PINTADO_ (Numidia meleagris), _is an
  African bird, which is now domesticated in most parts of Europe, and is
  known by the red or bluish wattles, under the throat, a naked
  protuberance on the head, their slender neck, and beautifully spotted

The flesh of Guinea fowls is tender and sweet, and, by some persons, is
thought to resemble that of the pheasant. In Guinea and the adjacent parts
of Africa, their native country, where they are not unfrequently seen in
flocks of two or three hundred together, they are hunted and caught by
dogs. These birds chiefly delight in marshy and morassy places, and subsist
on insects, worms, and different kinds of seeds. Their eggs are a very
delicate food.

Guinea fowls were originally introduced into England somewhat earlier than
the year 1260, and they are now common in our poultry yards, the females
always endeavour to lay their eggs in some concealed situation; and the
chicks, when hatched, require warmth and quiet, and should, for some time,
be fed on rice swelled with milk, or with bread soaked in milk.

These are restless and clamorous birds, and have a harsh and, to some
persons, an unpleasant cry, which consists of two notes, sounding like
"camac, camac, camac," frequently repeated.

  163. _The RED GROUS, or RED GAME_ (Tetrao scoticus, Fig. 36), _is a
  species of feathered game from fifteen to nineteen ounces in weight,
  which has its plumage beautifully mottled with deep red and black, and
  the six outer tail feathers blackish._

  _Over each eye is an arched and naked scarlet spot, and the feet are
  feathered to the claws._

  _This bird inhabits the mountainous heaths of Derbyshire, Yorkshire,
  Wales, and Scotland._

It is generally supposed that red grous are peculiar to the British
Islands. They are found in "packs," consisting sometimes of forty to fifty
birds; and are an object of eager pursuit by sportsmen. They principally
frequent high and heathy grounds, where they feed on mountain berries and
the tops of heath; and they seldom descend into the valleys. The birds are
eaten roasted, like most other game, but they are sometimes potted, and are
in general much admired for the table.

Red grous have been bred, and successfully reared, in confinement, by
supplying them almost every day with fresh pots of heath.

  164. _BLACK GROUS, or BLACK GAME_ (Tetrao tetrix, Fig. 37), _is a species
  of feathered game of violet black colour, with the tail forked, and the
  secondary quill feathers white towards the base._

  _Its weight is from two to four pounds. These birds are found in
  mountainous and woody parts of the north of England, and in the New
  Forest, Hampshire; in Scotland, and several countries of the Continent._

The pursuit of this and other species of grous is a much more important
occupation in the northern parts of the Continent than it is in this
country. In some parts of Russia they are caught in traps of wickerwork
baited with corn. Huts full of loop-holes are sometimes formed in woods
that are frequented by them, and upon the adjacent trees artificial
decoy-birds are placed. The persons in the huts fire upon the grous as they
alight, being careful to kill those first which are upon the lower
branches; and, in this case, so long as the men are concealed, the report
of the guns does not alarm the birds.

These birds feed on mountain fruits, and in winter on the tops of heath;
and, although they always roost on trees, they form their nests on the
ground. Each female lays six or eight eggs, of dull yellowish white colour,
marked with numerous small rust-coloured specks, and towards the smaller
end with some blotches of the same colour. The young male birds quit their
parents in the beginning of winter, and usually associate in small packs
until the spring. Black grous will live and thrive, but they have not been
known to breed, in aviaries.

  165. _The PTARMIGAN, or WHITE GAME_ (Tetrao lagopus, Fig. 38), _is a
  species of grous which, in summer, is of pale brown colour, elegantly
  mottled with small bars and dusky spots; and has the bill and the tail
  feathers black. In winter it is almost wholly while._

  _These birds, which, are somewhat larger than a pigeon, are inhabitants
  of the extreme northern countries of the continents both of Europe and
  America. They are also found among the mountains of Scotland, and are
  sometimes seen in the alpine parts of Westmoreland and Cumberland._

By the inhabitants of Greenland not only the _flesh_ but even the
intestines of these birds are much esteemed as food. The _skins_, with the
feathers on, are made into clothing; and the black _tail feathers_ were
formerly much in request among this people for female headdresses.

So numerous are these birds in the northern parts of America, as, at the
commencement of winter, to assemble in flocks of 150 or 200 in number; and
more than 10,000 have, in some years, been caught near Hudson's Bay,
betwixt the months of November and May. They are killed in various ways; by
snares, with nets, and with guns; and indeed so fearless are they of the
approach of mankind that they may be knocked down with sticks or clubs,
instances have occurred of their having been driven, almost like poultry,
into nets or snares that have been laid for them.

In our own country these birds associate in small packs, and live among
rocks, perching on the stones, and, when alarmed, taking shelter beneath
them. They feed on mountain berries, the buds of trees, and the young
shoots of the heath. The females form their nests on the ground, and lay in
them from six to ten eggs, which are of a dusky colour with reddish brown

It is a very extraordinary ordination of Providence, that these birds at
the commencement of winter should assume a white plumage, by which, being
incapable of defence, they are able, amidst the winter's snows, to elude
the pursuit of their enemies. And not only this, but, as an additional
protection against the cold, all the feathers except those of the wings and
tail are now doubled.

As food, these birds are said very much to resemble the red grous in

  166. _The WOOD GROUS, or CAPERCAILE_ (Tetrao urogallus), _is a bird
  nearly as large as a turkey, its plumage varied, but bay above, marked
  with blackish lines; the tail rounded, and the under parts at the base of
  the wings white._

  _This bird is found in the northern parts of Europe and Asia; and (though
  very rarely) in the Highlands of Scotland north of Inverness._

There can be no doubt but, in ancient times, these birds were common in the
mountainous parts of South Britain. In countries where pine forests are
numerous, they feed on the buds of fir-trees, and on the young cones, so as
sometimes to render the taste of their flesh extremely unpalatable. They
are also partial to the berries of the juniper.

The females form their nests on the ground, and lay from eight to sixteen
eggs, which are of a white colour spotted with yellow.

  167. _PARTRIDGES_ (Tetrao perdix) _are particularly distinguished, by
  having, under the eyes, a naked scarlet spot; the tail rust-coloured, the
  breast brown, and the legs of light colour._

  _These birds are found in nearly all the countries of Europe, and in many
  of the temperate parts of Asia._

In the autumn and winter, partridges are generally found in coveys, as they
are called, of ten or fifteen birds, consisting of the parents and their
brood. They are killed, by sportsmen, in immense numbers, for the table;
and in all the ways in which they are cooked they are an highly esteemed

Partridges are remarkable for never perching nor alighting on trees. They
live in cultivated lands, constructing their nests upon the ground, and
having usually from fifteen to eighteen eggs. These are hatched towards the
beginning of June, and the young ones are able to run as soon as they come
into the world. If the eggs happen to be destroyed, the female will, in
many cases, form another nest, and produce a second offspring. The birds of
this brood are not perfectly fledged till the beginning of October; and are
always a puny race. If the eggs of partridges be placed under a common hen,
she will hatch them, and rear the young ones without difficulty. But these,
after they are grown, almost always escape into the fields and become wild.
It is said that the inhabitants of Scio, one of the islands of the Grecian
Archipelago, rear large flocks of partridges, which, during the day, are
permitted to visit the fields, and in the evening always return home to
roost. At the commencement of the breeding season they abscond for some
time; but, after having hatched their coveys, they return with their
families to the farm-yard.

The attachment of partridges to their offspring, and the stratagems which
they adopt to draw off the attention of their enemies whilst these seek
their safety by flight or concealment, are well known to almost all persons
who are resident in the country.

It is usually considered that the dark-coloured feathers on the breast of
the partridge are peculiar to the male; but it has been ascertained beyond
a doubt that these are also common to the female. The males can be
distinguished from the females only by a superior brightness of the plumage
about the head.

  168. _The QUAIL_ (Tetrao corturnix) _is a bird considerably smaller than,
  but much resembling, the partridge: its form, however, is more slender,
  the body is spotted with grey, the eyebrows are white; and the
  tail-feathers have a rust-coloured edge and crescent._

  _These birds are found in some parts of England; but in other countries
  of Europe, as well as in several districts of Asia and Africa, they are
  extremely numerous._

Quails are migratory birds, generally arriving in this country betwixt the
middle of August and the middle of September, and departing in April. They
are greatly esteemed for the table; and are usually eaten roasted (without
being drawn), and served on toast, in the same manner as woodcocks. So
numerous are they, in many countries of the Continent, that they may be
purchased, even by dozens, at a very low price. In some parts of Italy
thousands of quails are caught in a day, at the periods of their migration.
The Russians also take them in immense numbers, and, packing them in casks,
send them for sale to Petersburgh and Moscow. We formerly imported great
numbers of these birds alive from France. They were conveyed, by the stage
coaches, in large square boxes, divided into five or six compartments one
above another, and just high enough for the birds to stand upright, each
box containing about a hundred quails. These boxes had wire in front, and
each partition was furnished with a small trough for food. The object of
this importation was solely for the table.

So irritable is the disposition of the quail, that, whenever the males are
kept together, they always fight. This propensity rendered them esteemed by
the ancient Greeks and Romans, for the same purposes as game cocks are by
many of the moderns. The fighting of quails is, at this day, a fashionable
diversion with the Chinese, and in some parts of Italy. The ancients did
not eat these birds, under a supposition that they were an unwholesome

Quails are not so prolific as partridges. They seldom have more than six or
seven eggs, which are of whitish colour marked with ragged rust-coloured

  169. _The BUSTARD_ (Otis tarda, Fig. 39), _the largest land bird which is
  produced in England, is distinguished by its plumage being waved and
  spotted, with black and dusky, and whitish beneath; and the bill being
  convex and strong, with a tuft of feathers on each side of the lower

  _These birds are about four feet in length, and are found in small flocks
  on open plains of different countries of Europe, Asia, or Africa. They
  were formerly seen on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, and other parts of
  England; but, in consequence of the enclosures which have of late years
  been made, the breed is supposed to be nearly extinct in this country._

When these birds were more numerous than they now are, they were hunted by
grey-hounds for amusement, and, as they run with great rapidity (seldom
being known to rise on wing), the chase was sometimes very long.

Their flesh has been compared to that of the turkey, and epicures on the
Continent are stated to prefer the thigh of the bustard to most other kinds
of game.

Such is the timidity of these birds that they seldom allow any person to
approach within gun-shot of them. They fly slowly, and have some difficulty
to rise from the ground, but, when in flight, they are able to continue
their course for many miles without resting. Bustards feed on green corn
and vegetables; and on worms, frogs, mice, and other animals. They form no
nest, but the female lays her eggs, two in number, on the ground. The eggs
are as large as those of a goose, and of pale olive-brown colour, marked
with brown spots.

  170. _The OSTRICH_ (Struthio camelus, Fig. 40) _is a bird of immense
  height, measuring from seven to nine feet from its head to the ground;
  and is distinguished by its extremely long neck, somewhat, conical bill,
  the wings not being formed for flight, and the feet having each only two

  _It inhabits extensive plains and deserts in the torrid regions of Asia
  and Africa._

Ostriches are pursued by the Arabs principally on account of their
_feathers_, which are a considerable article of traffic. This people use
the _fat_ of these birds in cookery; and they occasionally subsist upon the

The _eggs_ of the ostrich are of large size, and, in the South of Africa,
are considered a great delicacy. They are prepared for eating in various
ways; but the best way is simply to bury them in hot ashes, and, through a
hole made in the larger end, to stir the contents till they acquire the
consistence of an omelet. Ostriches' eggs are capable of being preserved
for a great length of time even at sea; and without any trouble of
constantly turning them, as is requisite with hen's eggs. This is owing to
the great thickness of the shells. At the Cape of Good Hope they are
usually sold at the rate of about sixpence sterling each. The Egyptians
suspend the shells of these eggs as ornaments, under the vaulted roofs of
their houses; and they are frequently hung between lamps in the mosques of
the Mahometans, and also in the Greek and Coptic churches. The _shells_ are
cut by the Hottentots into necklaces, bracelets, and ornaments for the
waist. In the eggs of the ostrich are frequently found a kind of small
oval-shaped stones about the size of a marrowfat pea, which are sometimes
set and used for buttons. The _skins_ of ostriches are employed by the
Arabians as a substitute for leather.

But no parts of the ostrich are so valuable as the _feathers_ of the wings
and tail. These are divided into loose and silky filaments, and are most
admired when plucked from the birds whilst alive. They are packed in
bundles by the Arabs, who put them, large and small, good and bad, together
for sale. In Europe they are used for female head-dresses; and for this
purpose the shortest and lightest are most esteemed. The ostrich feathers
that are imported into this country from the Cape of Good Hope are not
considered so good as those which we receive from Barbary; they are of
better colour, but not so perfect in the flue or feather, and are thin and
irregular. There is a permanent tax of 1l. 15s. and a war tax of 11s. 8d.
per pound on all ostrich feathers which are imported into England.

Two, three, or sometimes four ostriches deposit their eggs, thirty or forty
in number, in the same hollow place in the sand; and they do not, as is
generally supposed, leave them entirely to the heat of the sun to be
hatched. These birds are sometimes reared in a domestic state.


  171. _The COMMON or WHITE STORK_ (Ardea ciconia) _is a bird distinguished
  by its strong and sharp red bill, its white plumage, and the orbits of
  the eyes and the quill feathers being black. The feathers of the breast
  are long and pendulous._

  _This bird is upwards of three feet in length. It is found in every
  quarter of the world, except America; and, though rarely seen in England,
  is extremely common in Holland and some other parts of Europe. It is a
  bird of passage, and leaves Europe in the autumn for Egypt, Barbary, and
  some of the countries of Asia._

The Mahometans have the highest veneration for the stork; and any person
would be held in abhorrence who attempted to kill or even to molest these
birds. They frequent the streets of the most populous towns, where they
devour offal and filth of almost every kind; and, in fenny countries, they
are of great service  by feeding upon noxious reptiles and insects. In
ancient Thessaly it was a crime expiable only by death to kill one of them.

Storks are easily tamed and rendered domestic, and may be trained to reside
in gardens, which they soon clear of frogs, toads, and other reptiles. In a
wild state they make their nests of sticks and dried plants, on lofty trees
or the summits of rocks. The inhabitants of Holland frequently place boxes
on their houses for them to build in.

The _quills_ of the stork are large, and make excellent pens for writing

  172. _The COMMON HERON_ (Ardea major, Fig. 41) _is a bird of the stork
  tribe, distinguished by the cinereous colour of its plumage, by the male
  having a long and pendent crest on the hind part of the head, the
  feathers of the neck long; and by having a double row of black spots on
  the neck._

  _This bird, which is somewhat more than three feet in length, is common
  in most of the fenny parts of Great Britain._

A few centuries ago heronies were nearly as common in the neighbourhood of
noblemen's houses as rookeries. These birds, like rooks, delight in
building their nests in society, and on the highest trees. As many as
eighty herons' nests are mentioned by Mr. Pennant, to have been counted on
a single tree at Cressi Hall, near Gosberton in Lincolnshire.

When heron hawking, or the pursuing of these birds with falcons, was a
favourite diversion in this country, great attention was paid to the
preservation of the breed, they were ranked among royal game, and were so
far protected by the laws, that any person destroying or shooting at one of
them was liable to a penalty of twenty shillings. A penalty of ten
shillings was exacted for taking young herons from the nest, and any one
taking or destroying the eggs, betwixt the twenty-first of March and the
thirteenth of June, was punishable by twelve months' imprisonment, and a
forfeiture of eightpence for every egg so taken. These birds were formerly
as much esteemed for the table as pheasants are now, and no fewer than four
hundred herons are stated to have been served up at Archbishop Neville's
inthronization feast, in the reign of Edward the Fourth.

Plumes formed of feathers of the heron and egret are used as ornaments for
the caps of knights of the garter.

Herons subsist chiefly upon fish, and are very destructive in fish-ponds.
It has been calculated that a single heron will destroy nearly 3000 carp in
a year. These birds take their prey by wading into the water, and seizing
the fish as they pass by: they also sometimes catch them in shallow water
by darting from the air, and securing them against the bottom.

  173. _The BITTERN_ (Ardea stellaris, Fig. 42) _is a bird of the stork
  tribe, distinguishable by its brownish yellow plumage, variously marked
  with black; by the feathers of the neck and breast being peculiarly long;
  and the bill being strong, of brown colour above, and greenish beneath._

  _This bird is not quite so large as the heron. It is found in marshes of
  several parts of England, as well as on the continents of Europe, Asia,
  and America._

The _flesh_ of the bittern was formerly much esteemed at the table. Amongst
other provisions at Archbishop Neville's inthronization feast, there appear
to have been 204 bitterns. These birds are now sometimes to be seen in the
poulterers' shops in London, where they are generally sold for about
half-a-guinea each. The _hind claws_ were once in esteem as tooth-picks,
from an opinion that the use of them tended to preserve the teeth from

Few birds of their size are more strong, or, when attacked, are more
ferocious than these. They subsist chiefly on fish, frogs, mice, and other
animals. During the months of February and March the males, in the mornings
and evenings, make a kind of deep, lowing noise, which is supposed to be
their call to the females. These birds form their nests among rushes, and
generally lay four or five greenish brown eggs.

  174. _The CURLEW_ (Scolopax arquata, Fig. 44) _is a bird known by having
  a long arched black bill, bluish legs, and blackish wings, with snowy
  spots and marks._

  _Its general weight is betwixt twenty and thirty ounces._

  _In winter large flocks of these birds are seen on our sea-coasts, and in
  summer they often retire into mountainous parts of the interior of the
  country. They are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa._

Curlews are frequently shot for food, and sometimes are very palatable,
particularly if killed at a distance from the sea: but such as are killed
near the sea-coasts have often a fishy and bad taste.

They feed on marine and other worms and insects, and build their nests upon
the ground in unfrequented places distant from the coast, laying four eggs,
which are of a pale green or olive colour, marked with irregular brown

  175. _The WOODCOCK_ (Scolopax rusticola, Fig. 45) _is a bird with varied
  plumage, a long straight bill reddish at the base, legs ash-coloured, the
  thighs clad with feathers, and the head with a black band on each side._

  _The weight of the woodcock is generally about twelve ounces._

  _These birds are migratory, and usually begin to arrive, in England about
  the first week in October, and depart about the middle of March._

The woodcocks which arrive in the southern parts of England, probably come
from Normandy; and those in the northern parts from Sweden. The latter
appears evident by the time of their departure from Sweden exactly
coinciding with that of their arrival in Britain, and their retreat from
this country coinciding with their re-appearance there. In their migrations
they chiefly fly during the night, and arrive in greatest numbers with
north-easterly winds and during foggy weather.

Few birds are so much in esteem for the table as these and they are
fattest, and consequently in best condition, during the months of December
and January. Before they were protected by the game laws, it was customary,
in some of the northern parts of England, to catch woodcocks by traps. Long
parallel rows of stones or sticks, four or five inches high, were made in
moonlight nights on the commons frequented by them. In these rows several
intervals or gateways were left in which the traps were placed. When the
birds, running about in search of food came to one of these rows, they did
not usually cross it, but ran along the side till they arrived at the
gateways, which they entered, and in which they were caught.
Notwithstanding the high opinion entertained by British epicures respecting
the woodcock for the table, we are assured that the inhabitants of Sweden,
Norway, and other northern countries, wholly reject them, under a notion
that they are unwholesome. They, however, eat and are particularly partial
to the _eggs_ of the woodcock. These are carried for sale, in great
numbers, to the markets of Stockholm and Gottenburg.

In commencing its flight this bird rises heavily from the ground, and makes
a flapping noise with its wings. It does not long continue in flight, and
stops so suddenly as to fall apparently like a dead weight. A few moments
after being on the ground it runs swiftly, but soon pauses, raises its
head, and casts a glance around before it ventures to lurk in concealment
under the herbage or bushes.

Woodcocks are seldom known to breed in this country. Those very few,
however, that happen to remain, after the great flights have departed,
construct their nests on the ground, generally at the root of some tree,
and lay four or five eggs of rusty colour marked with brown spots. They
feed on worms and insects.

  176. _The COMMON SNIPE_ (Scolopax gallinago, Fig. 43) _is a small bird,
  with long straight bill, brown legs, the plumage varied with blackish and
  tawny colour above, and white beneath, and the front marked with four
  brown lines._

  _These birds, which usually weigh about four ounces, are found in marshy
  places in most parts of the world. They are migratory, a considerable
  portion of them leaving Great Britain in the spring of the year and
  returning in the autumn. Many, however, continue with us through the
  whole year._

Snipes, on account of their delicate flavour, are in great request for the
table. But as, like woodcocks (175), they are eaten with their entrails,
which contain many stimulant insects, &c. it has been supposed that a
frequent indulgence in such food is apt to induce the gout, or at least to
accelerate its paroxysms. It is remarkable respecting these birds that,
though generally fat and rich eating, they seldom cloy even the weakest

In winter they usually continue near marshy grounds, concealed among rushes
and thick herbage; but, during severe frosts, they resort to sheltered
springs, unfrozen boggy places, or any open streams of water. In summer
they disperse throughout the country, and are occasionally found even among
the highest mountains. When roused by the sportsman they utter a feeble
whistle, and generally fly off, against the wind, in a zigzag direction.
Snipes are fattest and in best season in November and December.

These birds feed on small worms, slugs, and insects. They form their nests
of dried grass and feathers, in concealed and inaccessible parts of
marshes, and have each four eggs of a dirty olive colour marked with dusky

  177. _The RUFF and REEVE_ (Tringa pugnax, Fig. 46) _are the male and
  female of a species of sandpiper, which have very varied plumage, the
  face coloured with yellow pimples, the three lateral tail feathers
  without spots, and the covert feathers of the wings brown, inclining to

  _The males, or_ ruffs, _have, round their heads, after they are twelve
  months old, a very singular arrangement of long feathers, which drop off
  every year at the season of moulting. The female, or_ reeve, _has no
  feathers of this description. The weight of the ruff is generally more
  than seven ounces, and that of the reeve about four._

  _These birds are found in the fens of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and

In the early part of spring they begin to appear in the fens, and they
disappear about Michaelmas. These birds are caught in nets, and a skilful
fowler has been known to catch six dozen in one morning. In general the
males only are taken, the females being allowed to escape on account of
their smaller size, and that they may be left to breed. When caught they
are generally put up, for some days, to be fattened; and for this purpose
are fed with boiled wheat, and bread and milk mixed with hempseed, to which
sugar is sometimes added. By this treatment, in the course of a fortnight,
they become excessively fat. The usual mode of killing them is by cutting
off their head with a pair of scissars. They are cooked, like woodcocks,
with their intestines, and, when in perfection, are esteemed by epicures a
most delicious food.

It is a very singular habit of the males, which are much more numerous than
the females, to take possession each of a small piece of ground, upon which
they run in a circle until all the grass is worn away. These _hills_, as
they are called by the fowlers, are near each other; and as soon as a
female alights, all the ruffs of the neighbourhood immediately begin to
fight for her. It is during this contest that the fowlers seize the
opportunity of entangling them in their nets.

The reeves form their nests of a few straws and dried grass loosely put
together upon the ground; and lay each four white eggs marked with large
rust-coloured spots.

  178. _The LAPWING, or PEE-WIT_ (Tringa vanellus), _is a well-known marsh
  bird, which has a crest at the back of the head, the upper part of its
  plumage green, the breast black, and the legs red._

  _Its general weight is seven or eight ounces. This bird frequents moist
  heaths and marshy grounds in nearly all the temperate parts of Europe,
  Asia, and Africa._

The name of Lapwing has been given to these birds, on account of the
flapping noise which they make with their large wings during flight; and
that of pee-wit has been obtained from their cry. They associate in flocks
during the winter-time, and are caught, by nets, in the same manner as
ruffs (177), but are killed as soon as they are caught. Lapwings are in
considerable demand by the London poulterers, particularly about the month
of October, when they are fat and excellent eating. Their _eggs_, which are
olive-coloured spotted with black, are esteemed a peculiar delicacy during
the whole season in which they can be obtained.

Lapwings feed chiefly on worms, and the females lay each two eggs on the
ground, in some hollow place, on the dry parts of marshes.

  179. _The DOTTEREL_ (Charadrius morinellus) _is a species of plover
  distinguished by its roundish and obtuse bill and black legs, its breast
  being rust-coloured, and by having a white line over each eye, and
  another upon the breast._

  _These birds seldom weigh more than three or four ounces. About the
  latter end of April, during the month of May, and part of June, they are
  found, in flocks of eight or ten together, on the heaths and moors of
  Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, and Derbyshire, and among the mountains of
  Westmorland and Cumberland. They are also seen on the Wiltshire and
  Berkshire downs in the months of April and September._

Such is the singularity of manners of these birds that it is possible to
catch them, even with the hand, by a very simple artifice. It was formerly
customary for the fowler to proceed, in the night, with a candle and
lantern, to the places where he knew the birds were in the habit of
roosting. Roused, but unalarmed, by the light, if he approached with
caution they would continue immoveable until he was able to discover them.
He would now stretch out one of his arms, which induced the imitative birds
to stretch their wing; then a foot, which the birds likewise mimicked. This
he did alternately until he was sufficiently near to extend and entangle
them in his net. There were other contrivances besides this: but the
greater facility of killing these birds by the gun has of late years
rendered them all useless.

When dotterels are best in season they are very fat and delicate eating.

There are several birds which are sold by the London poulterers under the
appellation of _plovers_. These are chiefly the GOLDEN PLOVER (_Charadrius
pluvialis_), the GREY SAND-PIPER (_Tringa squatorola_), and the GREEN
SAND-PIPER (_Tringa ochropus_), all of which are much esteemed for the

  180. _The LAND-RAIL, or CORN-CRAKE_ (Rallus crex), _is distinguished by
  having a short and strong bill, and the legs situated far back; the
  feathers of the back black, edged with bay, and the wings of a reddish
  rusty colour._

  _The usual weight of these birds is from six to eight ounces. They are
  found, during summer, in corn-fields, but are migratory, and seldom seen
  after the middle of September._

The remarkable cry of "crek, crek, crek," uttered by these birds in meadows
and corn-fields before the grass and corn are cut, is well known. It is
heard from the thickest part of the herbage: and, when any person
approaches the spot, so great is the rapidity with which they run, that it
is, almost in an instant afterwards, heard forty or fifty paces distant.

When pursued by dogs, these birds persist in keeping upon the ground, and
they may sometimes be taken even with the hand. They often stop short and
squat, and the dog, overshooting the mark, loses his trace. When driven to
the last extremity they rise, but they fly heavily, and generally with
their legs hanging down. They do not fly far before they alight: they then
run off, and, before the sportsman can reach the place, are at a
considerable distance. Sometimes the land-rail will alight upon a hedge, in
which case it will perch and sit motionless till the pursuer (who thinks it
is upon the ground) almost touches it.

When they first appear these birds are quite lean, but, before their
departure, they become so fat that the author of Rural Sports informs us he
has frequently been obliged to wrap his handkerchief round them, when
killed, to prevent the fat which exuded from the shot-holes from soiling
other birds.

The females lay twelve or more eggs of reddish cinereous white colour,
marked with rusty and ash-coloured spots and blotches. The nest is loosely
formed of moss or dry grass, generally in some hollow place among thick


  181. _The WILD SWAN, or HOOPER_ (Anas cygnus), _is distinguished from the
  tame swan (182) by having the cere or naked skin at the base of the bill
  yellow and not black; and being of smaller size._

  _These birds are found in the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and

On several of the lochs or lakes of Scotland wild swans are very numerous;
and they are known, at a great distance, by their cry, which is not much
unlike the sound of a clarionet blown by a novice in music.

About the month of August these birds change their feathers, during which,
in some countries, they are killed with clubs or hunted by dogs. Their
_flesh_ is esteemed a wholesome and palatable food, and the _eggs_ are
considered peculiarly delicious. Of the _skins_, which are used in England,
with the down upon them, for muffs, tippets, and powder-puffs, the
inhabitants of Iceland and Kamtschatka make garments of different kinds.
The North American Indians sometimes weave the down into ornamental
dresses; and form the large feathers into caps and plumes to decorate the
heads of their warriors.

  182. _The TAME Swan_ (Anas olor, Fig. 47), _the largest of all British
  birds, is distinguished from the wild swan (181) by its larger size, and
  by the cere or naked skin at the base of the bill being black and not

  _It is an inhabitant both of Europe and Asia._

So highly were these beautiful and stately birds esteemed by our ancestors
that, by an act of Edward the Fourth, no person who possessed a freehold of
less yearly value than five marks was permitted to keep them. At this day
the stealing of swans is considered a felonious act; and there is a penalty
for stealing the eggs, of twenty shillings each.

Swans were formerly served up at almost every great feast. At Archbishop
Neville's feast in the reign of Edward the Fourth, there were no fewer than
400 of these birds. At present, the _cygnets_, or young swans, only are
eaten. Considerable numbers of these are annually fattened near Norwich,
about Christmas, and chiefly for the table of the corporation of that city.

The nest of the swan is formed, about the month of February, of grass, and
generally among reeds near the water. The eggs are six or eight in number,
of large size and white colour.

  183. _The WILD GOOSE_ (Anas anser) _is distinguished by having a somewhat
  cylindrical bill, the body ash-coloured above and paler beneath, and the
  neck striate._

  _Large flocks of wild geese frequent all the fenny districts of England,
  and are also found in the northern parts of the continents of Europe,
  Asia, and America._

These birds are killed on account of their _flesh_ which is an excellent
and nutritive food; and they are the stock from which our common or _tame
geese_ have been obtained.

Vast numbers of the latter are kept in the fens of Lincolnshire, and other
parts of England, and chiefly for the sake of their quills and feathers. Of
these they are unmercifully stripped, whilst alive, once every year for the
former, and five times for the latter. The _quills_, or large feathers of
the wings, are termed firsts, seconds, and thirds, from the order in which
they grow. The last two kinds are those principally used in writing, on
account of the larger size of their barrels. And as the utility and value
of quills, in the making of pens, greatly depend on their firmness and
elasticity, different expedients have been contrived to harden them. The
most simple of these is to thrust the barrels, for a few moments, into hot
sand or ashes, afterwards to press them almost flat with a penknife, and
then to restore their roundness by the fingers, with the assistance of a
piece of leather or woollen cloth, removing at the same time their external
roughness by the friction. But when great numbers are to be prepared, other
methods are adopted. Aqua-fortis is frequently employed in the preparation
of quills, by which they are stained a yellow colour.

All the best _feathers_ that are used in this country for making beds,
bolsters, and pillows, are those of geese: and such as are obtained in the
county of Somerset are generally esteemed the best. Great quantities of
goose and other feathers are annually imported from the north of Europe;
but these being insufficient for the demand, the feathers of cocks and
hens, and also of ducks and turkeys, all of which are much inferior to
those of geese, are frequently mixed with them. The best mode of preserving
feathers is to expose them, in a room, to the rays of the sun; and, as soon
as they are thoroughly dried, to put them loosely into bags, in which they
should be well beaten to cleanse them from dust and filth. Of late years
feathers have been manufactured into hats.

The usual weight of a fine goose is fifteen or sixteen pounds, but it is
scarcely credible how far this weight may be increased, by cramming the
birds with bean-meal, and other fattening diet. It some places it is
customary to nail them to the floor by the webs of the feet, to prevent any
possibility of action, and thus to fatten them the more readily. In Vienna
the _livers_ of geese are esteemed a great delicacy. They are eaten stewed,
and some of the German poulterers have a method of making them grow to an
enormous size.

In the choosing of geese for the table, care should be taken that the feet
and legs be yellow, which is an indication of the bird's being young: the
legs of old geese are red. If recently killed, the legs will be pliable,
but if stale they will generally be found dry and stiff.

These birds are denominated _green geese_ until they are three or four
months old; and, at this immature age, they are held by many persons in
great esteem for the table.

Besides the present, there are several other species of goose, which are
useful on account of their quills and feathers, and likewise as supplying
mankind with food.

  184. _The WILD DUCK_ (Anas boschas) _is distinguished by the general
  cinereous colour of its plumage, by having a narrow white mark round the
  neck, the bill being straight, and the tail feathers of the male curved

  _The male is called_ mallard, _or_ drake, _and the female has the name
  of_ duck.

  _Wild ducks are very common, in most of the fenny parts of England: they
  are also found on the continent of Europe, in Asia, and America._

One mode of catching wild ducks, in the fens of Lincolnshire and some other
countries, is by what are called _decoys_. These are ponds, generally
formed in marshy situations, and surrounded with wood or reeds, and if
possible with both. The wild birds are attracted into nets placed in the
ditches of the decoy, by ducks trained for the purpose, and called
decoy-birds. The latter fly abroad, but regularly return, for food, to the
pond of the decoy, where they mix with tame ducks, which never quit the
place. When it is required to catch the wild birds a quantity of hemp-seed
is thrown into the ditches. The decoy and tame ducks lead them in search of
this, along the ditches, which generally have reed-skreens at certain
intervals on each side, to prevent the decoy-man from being seen. And as
soon as they have advanced to the part of the ditch over which the net is
extended, the man appears behind. Fearful of returning past him, and unable
to escape by flight, they proceed onward to the end of the net, which
terminates on the land, and are there caught by a man stationed for the
purpose. The trained birds return back, past the decoy-man, into the pond
again. The general season for catching wild ducks is from the latter end of
October until the beginning of February; and we are informed that, in ten
decoys which are near Wainfleet, as many as 31,200 wild ducks, wigeon,
teal, and other water fowl, were caught in a single season.

These birds are the original to which we are indebted for our valuable
breed, the common or _tame duck_.

  185. _The TEAL and WIGEON_ (Anas crecca _and_ penelope) _are two small
  species of duck, of which the former has a green spot on each wing, and a
  white line about and beneath the eyes; and the latter has the tail
  somewhat pointed, the under part near the tail black, the head brown, the
  front white, and the back waved with ash-coloured and blackish marks._

Both these species are common in England, and are killed for the table.

  186. _The EIDER DUCK_ (Anas mollissima, Fig. 48) _is about twice the size
  of the common duck, and known by its bill being cylindric, and the cere
  or naked skin at the base being divided into two parts at the back, and

  _These birds inhabit the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and America, and
  generally form their nests on small islands not far from the sea-shore._

The nests of eider ducks are constructed, externally, of marine plants, and
lined with white down, which the birds pluck from their own breasts. This
is the substance called _eider down_. It is collected, from the nests, by
the bird-catchers, who, for that purpose, carefully remove the females, and
then take away a certain portion both of down and eggs from each. More down
is plucked from their breasts, and more eggs are laid to supply the place
of those that have been taken. The nests are plundered in the same manner
as before; and when the young ones are fledged, the whole of the down that
remains is collected. It is generally reckoned that the down of one nest,
after it has been picked and cleansed, will weigh about a quarter of a
pound; and the bulk of the whole quantity may easily be imagined, when it
is stated that three quarters of an ounce of eider down is more than
sufficient to fill the crown of a large hat. The use of this down is for
making beds, but, particularly, for making what are called down quilts, a
kind of covering almost like a feather bed, which is used in the northern
countries of Europe, as a protection against cold, instead of a common
quilt, or blanket.

The _flesh_ and the _eggs_ of these birds are used for food, and their
_skins_ are sewed together and made into under garments by the inhabitants
of Greenland.

  187. _The PUFFIN_ (Alca arctica, Fig. 49) _is a marine bird about the
  size of a pigeon, and distinguished by having a large bill compressed at
  the sides and marked with four grooves; the top of the head, a ring round
  the throat, and all the upper parts of the plumage, black, and the under
  parts white._

  _These are birds of passage, arriving in this country about the beginning
  of April, and leaving it in August. They are chiefly found on rocks and
  elevated ground, in unfrequented places, near the sea-shore._

The breeding of puffins is encouraged in the island of Prestholme, North
Wales, and other parts of the British dominions, as a source of profit. The
birds, which, in some places, are numerous beyond all calculation, form
their nests in holes in the ground, each nest containing only a single
white egg. The young ones are seized before they are quite fledged; and,
after the bones are taken out, the skin is closed round the flesh, and they
are pickled in vinegar impregnated with spices. In this state they are sold
as a delicacy for the table. The flesh of the old birds is rank and
unpalatable, in consequence of their feeding on seaweeds and fish. We are
informed, by Dr. Caius, that in Roman Catholic countries, puffins are
permitted to be eaten instead of fish during Lent, and on other fast days.

  188. _PENGUINS_ (Fig 50.) _are a tribe of marine birds with straight and
  narrow bills, furrowed at the sides; the legs situated so far back that
  they walk in an upright position; and the wings small, not calculated for
  flight, and covered with a broad and strong membrane._

  _Most of the penguins are found in different islands of the South Seas._

Vast numbers of these birds inhabit the Falkland islands, and, to mariners,
they have sometimes afforded a very seasonable supply of food. They are in
general extremely fat, and must be skinned before they are eaten. Sometimes
they have been salted and packed in casks to supply the place of beef.
These birds are so fearless of the approach of mankind, that there is no
difficulty in knocking them down and killing them with sticks.

Penguins form their nests in holes in the ground, and generally lay one egg
in each nest. The _eggs_ are an excellent food.

  189. _PELECANS, or CORVORANTS, are a tribe of birds distinguished by
  their bills being hooked at the end, and furnished with a nail at the
  point and a pouch beneath, and having their face naked._

  _There are more than thirty known species of pelecans, some of which are
  found in nearly every part of the world._

Of these the most remarkable species is the great, or WHITE PELECAN
(_Pelecanus onocrolalus_). It is furnished with a bag attached to the lower
mandible of its bill, so large as to be capable of containing a great
number of fish. On these the pelecan feeds, and, by means of this bag, is
enabled to convey them as food for its offspring. We are informed that the
inhabitants of Mexico sometimes obtain a supply of fish by cruelly breaking
the wing of a live pelecan, and then tying the bird to a tree. Its screams
are said to attract other pelecans to the place, which give up a portion of
the provisions they have collected to their imprisoned companion. As soon
as this is observed the men, who are concealed at a little distance, rush
to the spot, and take away all except a small portion, sufficient for the
support of the prisoner.

The Chinese train one of the species (_Pelecanus sinensis_) to catch fish,
and the birds are so well trained that they do not appear to swallow any,
but such as are given to them for encouragement and food.

190. The GANNET (_Pelecanus bassanus_, Fig. 51) is a species of pelecan so
numerous, and, at the same time, so important to the inhabitants of some
parts of Scotland, that, in the island of St. Kilda only, more than 20,000
are said to be annually killed by the inhabitants as food. The young birds,
however, alone are eatable; and, to obtain these and the eggs, the
bird-catchers undergo the greatest risks. They not only climb the rocks,
but even allow themselves to be lowered from the top of the most dangerous
precipices, by ropes, to the ledges on which the nests are placed. As
gannets and their eggs are a principal support of the inhabitants of St.
Kilda throughout the year, they are preserved, for this purpose, in a
frozen state, in small pyramidal stone buildings covered with turf and





  191. _The GREEK TORTOISE_ (Testudo græca) _is a species of reptile of
  dirty yellow and black colour; with four feet, and a somewhat
  hemispherical shell, consisting of thirteen middle convex pieces, and
  about twenty-five marginal ones._

  _These animals are about eight inches long, and three or four pounds in
  weight. They are found in woods of many of the countries of the
  Continent, and in most of the islands of the Mediterranean._

In nearly all countries where these tortoises abound they are considered
valuable as food; and are cooked in various ways, but are chiefly used for
soup. By some people the _blood_ is eaten without any culinary preparation.

Each tortoise towards the end of June lays, in the sand, from thirty to
forty _eggs_, of round shape, and about the size of those of a pigeon.
These eggs, when boiled, are in particular esteem for the table. In some
parts of Italy it is customary to collect and bury them in places dug in
the earth; and when the young ones appear, they are fed and taken care of
until they are in a fit state to be killed for the table.

In their habits the animals are mild and peaceable; and, being furnished
with a house which they continually carry about with them, and into which
they can, in an instant, withdraw their head, legs, and tail, they have no
danger to fear from their enemies. So great is the strength of their shell
that instances have occurred of their having been run over, even by
waggons, without injury. Tortoises have been known to live to the age of
more than 100 years.

192. Several other kinds of tortoises serve for food as well as the
present; particularly the _ROUND TORTOISE (Testudo orbicularis)_, which is
in great request for the tables of the opulent inhabitants of Germany and

  193. _The HAWK'S-BILL TURTLE_ (Testudo imbricata, Fig. 53) _is a marine
  species of tortoise, of yellowish and brown colour, which has fin-shaped
  feet each with two claws, thirteen plates in the middle of the shell, and
  twenty-one round the margin, lying somewhat loosely over each other at
  the edges._

  _This animal, which is from two to three feet in length, is a native of
  the American and Asiatic seas; and is also sometimes found in the

The plates or scales of the hawk's-bill turtle constitute that beautifully
variegated and semi-transparent substance called _tortoise-shell_. This,
after having been softened by means of boiling water, is capable of being
moulded into almost any form; and is in request by opticians and other
artists for many purposes both useful and ornamental. The ancient Greeks
and Romans were so partial to the use of tortoise-shell that they decorated
with it their doors, the pillars of their houses, and even their beds; and
the great consumption of it at Rome may be imagined by the relation of
Velleius Paterculus, who informs us that, when the city of Alexandria was
taken by Julius Cæsar, the magazines or warehouses were so full of this
article that he proposed to have it made the principal ornament of his

The best tortoise-shell which is brought into this country pays an import
duty of 1s. 4½d. per pound; and the quantity vended at the East India
Company's sales in 1808 was no less than 13,728 pounds.

The _flesh_ of the hawk's-bill turtle is not only of bad flavour, but is
said to be even in some degree poisonous; persons who have partaken of it
having been seized with vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms. The _eggs_,
however, are esteemed peculiarly delicious.

  194. _The COMMON, or GREEN TURTLE_ (Testudo mydas, Fig. 52), _is a marine
  species of tortoise, distinguished by its oval shape; by the fore-feet
  only having two claws, the scales neither folding upon each other, nor
  having any ridge, and the middle scales being thirteen in number._

  _These, which are the largest kind of tortoise that is known, are
  sometimes six feet and upwards in length, and five or six hundred pounds
  in weight._

  _They are found, and generally in great numbers, on the unfrequented
  sea-shores of most countries within the torrid zone._

This species of turtle is one of the most valuable gifts of Providence, to
the inhabitants of tropical climates, and to mariners frequenting those
climates. It affords them an abundant supply of agreeable and nutritive
food. So numerous are they, in some places, that instances have occurred of
forty or fifty having been obtained in the course of three hours. They are
generally caught whilst asleep on the shore. The seamen go gently to the
places where they are found, and successively turn them on their backs.
From this position they are unable to recover their feet, and thus are
perfectly secured until a sufficient number can be collected for conveyance
on ship-board. Turtles are sometimes killed with spears whilst lying at the
bottom of the sea in shallow water, or whilst swimming on the surface.

The females dig hollow places in the sand of the sea-shore, a little above
high water mark; and in these they deposit sometimes more than a hundred
eggs, carefully concealing them, from observation, by scratching over them
a thin layer of sand. These eggs, which are wholesome food, are nearly
globular, each two or three inches in diameter, and covered with a strong
membrane, somewhat like wet parchment. They consist of a yolk, which by
boiling hardens like that of other eggs, and of a white that is incapable
of being hardened by heat.

The parts of the turtle most in esteem are those about the belly, which are
of delicate white colour, somewhat resembling veal; and the green fat,
which possesses a very peculiar odour. The whole is extremely nutritious,
and of a soft gelatinous nature; but, as it contains a large proportion of
strong fat, it should not be eaten without salt and pepper, or other spice;
and should be carefully avoided in every form by invalids and persons whose
digestive powers are impaired. The flesh of the turtle is sometimes cut
into pieces and salted, and in this state forms an article of traffic in
the West Indies. Not only the flesh, but even the intestines and eggs are
salted. The _fat_ yields a greenish yellow oil, which is used in lamps for
burning, and when fresh with food. The inhabitants of some countries
convert the upper _shells_ of turtles into canoes, troughs, bucklers, and
other useful articles; and sometimes adopt them as a covering for houses.

It does not appear that the turtle has been introduced into England, as an
article of luxury for the table, more than seventy or eighty years. We
import these animals chiefly from the West Indies.

  195. _The EDIBLE FROG_ (Rana esculenta) _is distinguished by its back
  being angular, and by having three yellowish stripes which extend from
  the muzzle almost to the hind legs._

  _These animals are not only common in England, but are found in ponds,
  ditches, and fens, in nearly all the temperate parts of Europe._

As an article of luxury for the table the Edible frogs are in great request
in France, Germany, and other countries of the Continent. They are
generally caught, in the autumn, by rakes with long close-set teeth, by
nets, and in numerous other ways. Some persons amuse themselves by catching
them with lines and hooks baited with insects or worms. At this season they
are collected in thousands, and sold to the wholesale dealers, who have
large conservatories for them. These are holes dug in the ground, to the
depth of four or five feet, covered at the mouth with a board, and over
this, in winter, with straw. We are informed, by Dr. Townson that at
Vienna, in the year 1793, there were only three great dealers in frogs; by
whom most of those persons were supplied who carried them to the markets
for sale.

The parts that are eaten are chiefly the hind quarters.

196. In America the species called _BULL-FROGS_, which sometimes measure
eighteen inches and upwards in length, from the nose to the hind feet, are
not unfrequently adopted as food.

  197. _The CROCODILE and ALLIGATOR_ (Lacerta crocodilus _and_ alligator)
  _are two immense animals of the lizard tribe, the principal distinction
  between which is founded on the head and part of the neck of the former
  being more smooth than those of the latter; and in the snout being
  proportionally more wide and flat, as well as more rounded at the

  _The length of the crocodile, when full grown, is from eighteen to about
  twenty-five feet; and that of the alligator somewhat less. Crocodiles are
  chiefly found in the river Nile; and alligators in rivers and lakes of
  some parts of America._

The _flesh_ of both these animals has a strong, unpleasant, and somewhat
musky flavour; yet it is eaten by the natives of most of the countries in
which they are found. It is white and juicy; and the parts that are
preferred are those about the belly and tail. The flesh of the young ones
is, however, said to be devoid of any unpleasant taste, and to be
sufficiently palatable even to Europeans. The _eggs_ also are eaten. Of the
_teeth_ of the alligator, which are as white as ivory, the Americans make
snuff-boxes, charges for guns, and several kinds of toys.

There is an unfounded opinion that the upper jaws of these animals are
moveable; and that they have no tongue. They swim with great velocity, and
sometimes float asleep on the rivers, like immense logs of wood. Their
voracity is excessive; springing in a very surprising manner upon animals
on which they prey, they instantly drag them into the water, sink to the
bottom, and there devour them. The females deposit their eggs, from eighty
to a hundred in number, in the sand, and leave them to be hatched by the
heat of the sun.

  198. _The GUANA_ (Lacerta iguana, Fig. 55) _is a species of lizard, four
  or five feet in length, which has a round and long tail; the back with an
  elevated ridge of scales; and the throat with a pouch that is capable of
  being inflated to a large size._

  _These animals are found among rocks, or in woods, in several parts of
  India and America. In Surinam, Guiana, and Cayenne, they are very
  numerous: and they are occasionally caught in the West Indian islands._

Scarcely any species of animal food is so much admired by epicures in hot
climates as the _flesh_ of the guana. It is preferred even to that of the
turtle, and is cooked in various ways, being roasted, boiled, or converted
into soup. The fat of these animals, after having been melted and
clarified, is applicable to many uses. The flesh is sometimes salted, and
exported for sale to distant countries.

There are several modes of catching guanas. In many parts of America they
are chased by dogs, which are trained purposely to this pursuit. Frequently
they are caught with snares placed near their haunts, and sometimes by a
noose of cord affixed to the end of a long rod.

The _eggs_ of the guana, which are generally found in the sand near the
sea-shore, are said to be preferable for sauces and other purposes of
cookery to the eggs of poultry; but, when eaten alone, they are viscid in
the mouth, and to an European palate have at first a very disagreeable

199. _SERPENTS._--Several kinds of serpents are adopted as food by the
inhabitants of countries in which they are found. The American Indians
often regale themselves on _RATTLE-SNAKES_ (_Crotalus horridus_), skinning
and eating them as we do eels. The _GREAT BOA_ (_Boa constrictor_), which
sometimes measures more than thirty feet in length, is a favourite food
with the negroes of some countries. The flesh of the _COMMON VIPER_
(_Coluber berus_) has been strongly recommended as a medicine in several
complaints, such as leprosy, scurvy, rheumatism, and consumptions, but its
virtues have been much exaggerated.





  200. _The ROMAN EEL_ (Muræna helena, Fig. 56) _is a long and slimy fish,
  of serpentine form, variously marked and spotted, and destitute of
  pectoral fins._

  _It is an inhabitant both of fresh and salt waters, and is chiefly found
  in the Mediterranean sea, and the rivers that run into that sea._

By the Romans this fish was regarded one of the greatest delicacies which
could be introduced at their tables; and instances have been recorded of
wealthy persons having even fed them with the flesh of slaves that had been
condemned to die, believing that they were thereby rendered still more

On many parts of the coast of Italy reservoirs were made in the sea for
storing and fattening these fish in; and the luxurious Sybarites exempted
from every kind of tribute the persons who sold them. Representations of
them were made into ear-rings, and into other ornaments for female attire.
Pliny tells us, that one of the Roman punishments for youths under the age
of seventeen years was to flog them with whips made of eel-skin.

  201. _The COMMON EEL_ (Muræna anguilla, Fig. 55) _is distinguishable by
  its lower jaw being somewhat longer than the upper, and the body being of
  an uniform colour._

  _It is an inhabitant of rivers and ponds in almost every country of
  Europe; and sometimes grows to the weight of fifteen or twenty pounds._

The _flesh_ of the eel affords a very rich and delicious food; and, were it
not for groundless prejudices, arising from its serpent-like shape, this
fish would be in much greater request for the table than it now is.

So abundant are eels, in many of the rivers adjacent to the sea, that, in
the first autumnal floods several tons' weight have sometimes been caught
in a day; and, in the river Ban, near Coleraine, in Ireland, there is an
eel-fishery of such extent as to be let for 1000l. per annum. The modes of
taking eels are various; but these are chiefly by traps or engines of
different kinds, so contrived as to admit of their entering, but to prevent
their return.

In the river Nyne, Northamptonshire, a small kind of eels are caught, with
small head and narrow mouths, which have the name _bed-eels_. What are
called, in the south of England, _grigs_, _gluts_, or _snigs_, are a
variety of the common eel with larger head, blunter nose, and thicker skin.
_Silver eels_ owe probably their distinction of colour to the clear and
gravelly streams in which they feed.

Eels are considered in highest perfection for the table from the
commencement of spring till about the end of July; yet they continue good
till the end of September. The modes of cooking them are numerous and well
known. In some parts of the Continent the _skins_ are made into a kind of
ropes, which have great strength and durability. The inhabitants of several
of the districts of Tartary use them, in place of glass, for windows; and,
in the Orkney Islands, they are worn as a remedy for the cramp. Bits of
eel-skin are not unfrequently put into coffee to clarify it. In many parts
of the North of Europe the _scales_, which are extremely minute, are mixed
with cement to give a silvery lustre to the houses.

  202. _The CONGER, or SEA EEL_ (Muræna conger), _is chiefly distinguished
  from the common eel by the lower jaw being shorter than the upper, and
  the lateral or side line being white._

  _It is found in all the European seas; and, when at its full growth,
  measures from six to twelve feet in length, and from twelve to twenty
  inches in circumference._

So numerous are congers on some of the British shores, that, from Mount's
Bay, in Cornwall, there have, in some years, been more than ten tons'
weight of dried congers exported to different parts of Spain and Portugal.
These fish are also peculiarly abundant in the neighbourhood of the Orkneys
and Hebrides. They are chiefly caught with strong lines, each about 500
feet in length, and having sixty hooks placed about eight feet asunder. The
lines are sunk in the sea, and sometimes so many of them are fastened
together that they extend nearly a mile in length.

The _flesh_ of the conger is white, but coarse and greasy; and, though
frequently eaten, is to some persons extremely disgusting. In the salting
and drying of these fish they shrink to less than one-fourth part of their
original weight, and the process is attended by the most nauseous stench.
By the Spaniards and Portuguese dried congers are ground or beaten into
powder, to thicken and give a relish to soups.

  203. _SAND-LAUNCE, SAND EEL, or WRECKLE_ (Ammodytes tobianus), _is a
  small fish, distinguished by its eel-shape, its head being narrower than
  the body, the lower jaw much longer than the upper, and the upper lip
  being doubled._

  _There is only one ascertained species of launce: this is found on sandy
  sea-shores in the Northern Ocean, and seldom exceeds the length of six or
  eight inches._

From about the end of June to the middle of October these brilliant little
fish are caught in great numbers on the southern coasts of England. They
are sometimes fished for with seine nets, which have small meshes, and
sometimes are dug out of the sand, at low water, with a kind of fork that
has three or four short and flat prongs.

When eaten perfectly fresh, these are among the richest and most delicious
fish that are known. But, to have them in perfection, they should be cooked
almost immediately after they are caught. They so soon become putrid that
it would be impossible to convey them to any distant market. The
inhabitants of some parts of the Continent salt and dry them, and, in this
state, they are considered a great delicacy.

  204. _The EUROPEAN SWORD-FISH_ (Xiphias gladius, Fig. 57) _is known by
  having its upper jaw lengthened into a hard and sword-shaped blade; and
  its dorsal fin long, and lowest in the middle._

  _These fish are of steel-blue colour, and measure from fifteen to twenty
  feet in length._

  _They are found in most parts of the European seas._

By the ancient Romans sword-fish were highly esteemed as food; and were
killed, with harpoons, by persons stationed in boats for that purpose. They
were not only eaten fresh, but were also cut into pieces and salted. The
inhabitants of Sicily are, at this day, extremely partial to them, and
purchase them, particularly the smaller ones, at very high prices. The
parts chiefly in request are those about the belly and tail. In several
places, near the Mediterranean, the fins are salted and sold under the name
of _callo_.


  205. _The COMMON COD_ (Gadus morhua, Fig. 58) _is distinguished by having
  three fins upon its back, a small fleshy beard on the under jaw, the tail
  fin nearly even at the extremity, and the first ray of the anal fin

  _The average weight of these fish is from ten to twenty, or thirty

To the inhabitants of many countries, but more especially to those of our
own, the cod fishery is a very essential source of wealth. It affords
occupation to many thousand persons, and employment for several hundred
sail of shipping. The fishery on the great bank near the island of
Newfoundland is by far the most important of any that has hitherto been
discovered in the world, and the resort of fish to this spot is beyond all
imagination numerous. In the year 1791 there were caught more than
750,000,000 pounds weight.

This immense bank is a vast mountain in the sea, more than 400 miles long,
150 miles broad, and, in depth of water, from twenty to sixty fathoms. It
was first discovered in the reign of Henry the Seventh; and in 1548 an act
of parliament was passed, by which all Englishmen were permitted to traffic
and fish on the coasts of Newfoundland and the adjacent banks, without
payment of any duty. In 1583 Sir Humphrey Gilbert took possession of the
island of Newfoundland in the name of Queen Elizabeth; and the first
English company that associated to settle a colony there was incorporated
by a patent of King James the First, in 1609.

The Newfoundland fishery at present gives freight to about 300 vessels,
from 100 to 200 tons' burden each. These are chiefly fitted out from the
islands of Guernsey and Jersey, from Ireland, and some ports of the English
Channel, as Pool, Dartmouth, &c. When these vessels arrive at the fishery,
a kind of gallery is formed, which reaches from the main-mast to the poop,
and sometimes even from one end of the ship to the other. This is furnished
with tuns stove in at one end, into which the fishermen get, to be
sheltered from the weather, their heads being covered with a kind of roof
fixed to the top of the tun. The mode of fishing is by hook and line only;
and the baits are herrings, a small fish called capelins (209), shell fish,
or pieces of sea fowl. Each man can catch only one fish at a time; yet an
expert fisherman has sometimes been known to take 400 in a day. As soon as
the fish are caught the tongues are cut out, the heads cut off, and the
liver, entrails, and spine, are all taken out. After this they are salted
and piled, for some time, in the holds of the vessels, and then packed in
barrels for sale, under the name of _green_ or _wet cod_. When the fish are
to be dried, they are conveyed in boats to the shore, where they are
headed, cleansed, and salted, upon stages or scaffolds erected for that
purpose. They are subsequently spread on the shore to dry; these are called
_dry cod_, and constitute the principal object of the Newfoundland trade.
The chief markets to which the fish are conveyed are those of Spain,
Portugal, Italy, and the Levant.

The most important fishing banks of Europe are in the neighbourhood of
Iceland, Norway, and the Orkney Islands; and the Dogger-bank, and
Well-bank, betwixt this country and Holland.

As the air-bladders of cod are thick and of a gelatinous nature, the
Icelanders frequently make _isinglass_ of them, similar to that which we
usually import from Russia. By the Newfoundland fishermen the air-bladders
are generally salted and packed in barrels under the name of _sounds_; and
these, when good, are considered a great delicacy for the table. The
_tongues_ are prepared in the same manner and for the same purpose. From
the _livers_, after they have become in a certain degree putrid, a kind of
oil is obtained which is considered superior to whale oil (118), because it
preserves leather longer flexible, and, when clarified, yields less vapour
in burning than that. The _roes_ are collected by the Icelanders, salted,
packed in barrels, and sold to the Dutch, French, and Spaniards, as bait
for anchovies and other fish. Before the commencement of the French
revolution from 20,000 to 30,000 barrels of these roes were annually
exported from Bergen. The inhabitants of some parts of Norway, when forage
is scarce, dry the _heads_ of cod, and, mixing them with some species of
sea-weeds, give them as food to their cattle.

The London markets are abundantly supplied with fresh cod from the fishing
banks adjacent to our own country. These fish are in season from the
beginning of December till about the end of April; and are brought alive to
the Thames in well-boats, the air-bladders being previously perforated with
a pointed instrument, to prevent the fish from rising in the water. Cod
should be chosen for the table of middling size, plump about the shoulder
and near the tail, the hollow behind the head deep, and with a regular
undulated appearance on the sides, as if they were ribbed. The gills should
be very red, the eyes fresh, and the flesh white and firm.

It is generally considered that the shoals of cod confine themselves
between the latitudes 66° and 50° north. Those which are caught to the
north or south of these degrees are both few in quantity and bad in

  206. _The HADDOCK_ (Gadus aglefinus) _is a fish of the cod tribe, which
  has three fins tip on its back, a small fleshy beard on the under jaw,
  the upper jaw the longer, and the tail somewhat forked. There is a dark
  oval spot on each side of the body a little below the gills._

  _These fish seldom exceed the weight of seven or eight pounds._

Our markets are principally supplied with haddocks from the coast of
Yorkshire and other eastern parts of England. They are best in season
betwixt the months of July and January, after which they deposit their eggs
or roe, and, for many weeks, are scarcely eatable; but those which have not
begun to breed may be admitted to the table after this period. Their flesh,
which in a degree resembles that of the common cod, is white, firm,
well-tasted, and easy of digestion. Those that are best for the table do
not usually exceed the weight of two or three pounds.

Though haddocks are sometimes caught with nets, they are much more
frequently taken by lines. Each of these has a great number of hooks, and
is placed in the sea at the ebb of the tide, and taken up at the ensuing
tide. The numbers thus caught have, in some instances, been almost beyond
belief. Some idea may however be formed respecting them, when it is stated
that shoals of haddocks have not unfrequently been known to extend four or
five miles in length and nearly a mile in width.

These fish are sometimes salted and packed in barrels like cod. And, if
this be skilfully done, they are excellent eating, and may be kept good for
a great length of time.

  207. _The TORSK_ (Gadus callarias, Fig. 59) _is a species of cod which
  has three fins upon its back, a small fleshy beard on the under jaw, the
  upper jaw longer than the lower, and the tail fin nearly even at the

  _Its usual weight is from two to seven or eight pounds._

As an article of food the torsk is said to be superior to every fish of its
tribe. It is principally found in the Baltic Sea and the Northern Ocean,
and has not hitherto been known to frequent the English shores. The most
favourable seasons for catching these fish, in Greenland, are the spring
and autumn; and the general mode is by lines made of pieces of whalebone,
or thongs of seal-skin, the hooks being baited with fish.

The Icelanders frequently salt and dry them, as one of their articles of
subsistence for the winter.

  208. _The WHITING POUT_ (Gadus barbatus) _is a small fish of the cod
  kind, distinguishable by the great depth of its body, which is usually
  about one-third of its length; by having three dorsal fins, a small
  fleshy beard on the chin, and seven punctures on each side of the lower

  _Its weight seldom exceeds a pound and half or two pounds._

These delicate fish are found in shoals, near several of the shores of
Europe. They are usually caught about the month of August; and are so
plentiful on some parts of the French coast that fishermen have been known
to take two or three hundred of them at a single haul of their nets.

The French consider them to be dry and insipid eating; but in England they
are often more esteemed than whitings. The inhabitants of Greenland
frequently salt them: they also salt and dry the _roes_; and are
particularly partial to the _livers_, which they dress and serve to table
with crowberries (_Empetrum nigrum_).

  209. _The CAPELAN, or POOR_ (Gadus minutus), _is a fish of the cod tribe,
  which seldom exceeds the length of six or seven inches, and differs from
  all others of the same tribe by being black in the interior of the

  _It has three dorsal fins, a small beard on the chin, and nine punctures
  on each side of the lower jaw._

In the Newfoundland fishery these fish are of considerable importance, as
supplying bait for the taking of cod. They are also found in considerable
numbers in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and the North Sea, and wherever
they appear they are a source of great joy to the fishermen, since they are
believed to announce an abundant supply of valuable fish, which pursue and
prey upon them.

It is stated that, in the year 1545, the French coasts in the Mediterranean
were visited, for two months, by such myriads of capelans, that many of the
inhabitants were obliged to collect together and bury those that were
thrown ashore, to prevent any evil consequence that might occur from the
corruption of so great a mass of animal matter. These fish are sometimes
caught on the coast of Cornwall.

They are considered very delicate food; and when salted are peculiarly
excellent. A few barrels of salted capelans are occasionally sent from
Newfoundland, as presents to the friends of the merchants in England, but
the fish are too small to be salted there as an article of profit. They are
caught both with lines and nets.

  210. _The WHITING_ (Gadus merlangus) _is distinguished from other fish of
  the cod tribe by having three fins on its back, no beard on the chin, its
  upper jaw longer than the lower, the tail-fin somewhat hollowed, the back
  dusky, and the rest of the body silvery white._

  _Its weight seldom exceeds two pounds._

The chief season for whiting is during the first three months of the year,
though they are frequently, brought to market till after Midsummer. They
are sometimes caught with nets, but the hook and line are generally
preferred, on account of the depth of the water at which they are usually
found. The baits are lugworms, and muscles, whelks, or other shell-fish.
The shoals of whiting, which approach within two or three miles of our
shores, are sometimes extremely numerous. The Dutch fishermen use lines,
for catching them, of immense length, and each containing about 250 hooks.
These are laid near the bottom of the water; and when taken up have, in
many instances, a fish at each hook.

It has been remarked that the flesh of the whiting, which is usually
considered very delicate eating, varies much with the season and the kind
of shore where the fish are caught. Those which frequent sandy flats, at a
little distance from the shores, are smaller and much better flavoured than
others that are taken on banks distant from the sea-coasts. They should be
chosen for the table by the redness of their gills, the brightness of the
eyes, and the general firmness of the body and fins.

In the neighbourhood of Bruges and Ostend whitings are frequently salted;
and conveyed for sale into the interior of France and Germany, where, in
general, they are considered preferable to salted cod.

  211. _COAL-FISH, or PILTOCKS_ (Gadus carbonarius), _are a kind of cod
  with three dorsal fins, no beard on the under jaw; the under jaw longer
  than the upper, the side line straight, and the mouth black within._

  _They are frequently two or three feet long, and twenty pounds and
  upwards in weight._

These fish are indebted, for their name, to the dark colour which their
body generally assumes when they have attained their full growth. To the
inhabitants of the Orkney Islands, and of the extreme northern parts of
Scotland, they afford a most important supply of food, at a season of the
year when the poor are deprived of almost every other means of subsistence.
At the approach of winter, when the seas are stormy, myriads of these fish
run into the bays; and they continue in the immediate neighbourhood of the
same coasts till the months of February and March. They are nearly as
important an object of pursuit on account of their _livers_ as for their
_flesh_. From these is obtained a considerable quantity of oil, which is
used for burning in lamps, and for numerous other purposes. The young
Coal-fish approach the Yorkshire coasts in the months of July and August,
and, when four or five inches in length, they are much esteemed as food;
but the older fish are so coarse and bad, that, where other food is to be
obtained, few people will eat them. By being salted and dried, however,
they are rendered firm and palatable.

Coal-fish are usually caught with lines. The best bait for them is a sprat
or a limpet parboiled. The Shetlanders use the latter; and, seated on the
rocks projecting over the water, or in boats, they are very expert in
catching them. A man, holding a rod in each hand, will frequently draw them
up as fast as he can put down his lines. He keeps a few limpets in his
mouth, and baits his hook at a single motion with one hand, assisted by his
lips, and with the greatest ease and certainty. The fish thus caught are
generally those of the second year's growth, and are not much larger than

  212. _POLLACK_ (Gadus pollachius) _is a fish belonging to the cod tribe,
  with three dorsal fins, no beard to the under jaw, the under jaw longer
  than the upper, the tail-fin forked, and the side line much curved._

  _The usual weight of the pollack is six or seven pounds, but it sometimes
  much exceeds this._

In the Baltic Sea and the Northern Ocean, particularly in those parts where
the bottom is rocky, and the sea much agitated, these fish appear, at
stated seasons, in great shoals, playing about on the surface in all
directions and in the most sportive and agile manner. Near Lubec and
Heligoland they are sometimes caught, in immense numbers, in nets, or with
lines and hooks baited with a feather, a small fish, or a bit of the skin
of an eel. They frequent some of the southern parts of our coasts in the
summer, and the eastern shores of Yorkshire in winter.

As an article of food, pollacks are usually considered inferior to whiting,
but, in some places, they are much esteemed. On the Continent they are
sometimes salted, and eaten during Lent by the inferior classes of people.

  213. _LING_ (Gadus molva) _are a species of cod which have two dorsal
  fins, a small beard on the under jaw, the under jaw longer than the
  upper, and the tail fin rounded._

  _They are caught in great numbers in the Northern Ocean, and about the
  northern coasts of Great Britain and Ireland; and when full grown are
  three or four feet in length._

The importance of these fish in a commercial view, is very great. Their
size, the numbers in which they are caught, the excellence of their flesh
when salted, and the value of the oil that they yield, all contribute to
render them an object of eager pursuit by fishermen in those countries on
the coasts of which they are found. More than 900,000 pounds' weight of
ling are annually exported from the coasts of Norway. In England they are
fished for and cured in the same manner as cod (205): and it is said that
they bear carriage to great distances much better than cod.

Ling are in season from February until about the end of May. Vast numbers
of these fish are salted in the northern parts of England, for exportation
as well as for home consumption. When they are in season the _liver_ is
white, and yields a great quantity of fine and well-flavoured oil. This is
extracted by placing it over a slow fire; but if a sudden heat be applied,
very little oil can be obtained. As soon as the fish are out of season the
liver becomes red, and affords no oil. A kind of isinglass is made from the
_air-bladders_. The _tongues_ are eaten either fresh, dried, or salted.

  214. _The BURBOT_ (Gadus lota, Fig. 60) _is a somewhat eel-shaped species
  of cod with two dorsal fins, a single fleshy beard on the under jaw, the
  jaws nearly equal in length, and the tail rounded._

  _This fish is found in some rivers of England, and in rivers and lakes of
  the Continent; and when full grown weighs two or three pounds._

Although the burbot is esteemed a very delicate fish for the table, it is
so common in the Oder, and in some other rivers of Germany, that the
fishermen, unable otherwise to dispose of all they catch, not unfrequently
cut the fattest parts of the fish into slips, and, after drying them, burn
them instead of candles. The _livers_ are large and of peculiarly excellent
flavour. It is related of a Countess de Beuchlingen, in Thuringia, that she
was so partial to the livers of burbots as to expend a great portion of her
income in the purchase of them. If suspended in a glass and placed near a
hot stove, or in the heat of the sun, they yield an oil which was formerly
in great repute as an external application for the removal of swellings.
The _air-bladders_, which are so large as often to be nearly one-third of
the whole length of the fish, are employed in some countries for making


  215. _The JOHN DOREE_ (Zeus faber, Fig. 65) _is a fish very much
  compressed at the sides, with large head, wide mouth, long filaments to
  the rays of the first dorsal fin, the tail rounded, and a roundish black
  spot on each side of the body._

  _This fish is an inhabitant of most seas, and is usually about a foot and
  a half in length; but it is sometimes known to weigh so much as ten or
  twelve pounds._

It has only been within about the last half century that this delicious,
though hideous-looking, fish, has had a place at our tables; and the first
person who brought it into notice was the well-known actor and bon-vivant,
the late Mr. Quin.

Near the coasts of Devonshire and Cornwall, dorées are caught in great
number both in nets and with lines; and they are principally in season
during the months of October, November, and December. Their name is a
corruption from the French _jaune dorée_, and signifies golden yellow fish,
this being their colour when first taken out of the water.

  216. _The HOLIBUT_ (Pleuronectes hippoglossus) _is a flat fish of
  considerably lengthened shape, of olive or blackish colour above, with
  smooth body, and the tail hollowed at the extremity. The eyes (as viewed
  from the head toward the tail) are on the right side._

  _These, the largest of all the European species of flat fish, inhabit
  both the European and American seas, and frequently weigh from 100 to 300
  or 400 pounds each._

As the holibut is found only at the bottom of the water, the usual mode of
catching it is with hooks and lines; and its size is so great that, for
sale in the markets, it is customary to cut it into pieces. The season in
which it is most esteemed is during the months of October, November, and

Though, in general, a coarse food, the parts which are near the side fins
are fat and delicious, but too rich for any one to eat much of them. The
inhabitants of Greenland eat of these fish both fresh and dried. They also
eat the _skin_ and the _liver_; and the _membrane of the stomach_ serves
instead of glass for windows. The Swedes and Icelanders make of holibut a
food called _raff_ and _roechel_; the former consisting of the fins with
the fat skin to which they are attached; and the latter of pieces of the
flesh cut into stripes, salted, and dried on sticks in the air. Holibuts
are also salted in the same manner as herrings, which is said to be the
best mode of curing them; but, in this state, they are coarse and bad

  217. _The PLAISE_ (Pleuronectes platessa) _is a kind of flat fish easily
  known by a row of six bony protuberances behind the left eye, and its
  upper side being marbled with olive and brown, and marked with orange

  _Though usually of small size, this fish sometimes grows to the weight of
  twelve or fourteen pounds, and is found on the shores of almost all the
  countries of Europe._

The best and largest plaise are said to be caught on some parts of the
coast of Sussex. They are in greatest perfection from December to March,
and in July, August and September. Those that are of tolerably large size
are firm and well-flavoured, but the small and thin fish become gluey by
boiling. The flesh of the former is bluish, and of the latter reddish
white. Plaise are generally caught with nets called seine nets, which are
hauled upon the shores.

In some countries these fish are salted and dried as articles of commerce;
and in others the best of them are skinned, dried, and pressed into
particular forms, and, when eaten, are cut like cheese.

  218. _The DAB_ (Pleuronectes limanda) _is a species of flat fish, of
  yellowish brown colour, with the eyes on the right side of the body, the
  scales hard and toothed, and the lateral line, at its commencement,
  curved round the pectoral fin._

  _It is in general much smaller than the plaise._

Although very common on the shores of the Baltic and Mediterranean seas,
the dab is much more scarce on the British shores than the plaise. When in
best season, during the months of February, March, and April, it is
considered preferable to that fish. In the summer-time its flesh is soft
and of bad flavour. The Dutch and Scots fishermen sometimes salt and dry
these fish.

  219. _The BRILL is a flat fish somewhat like the turbot (222), but with
  its eyes on the right side of the body, the whole surface of the body
  smooth, and a laceration at the beginning of the dorsal fin._

These fish are not uncommon, in somewhat deeper water than the plaise, and
the flounder, along the coasts of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, and some of the
eastern parts ot England. They are very common at Billingsgate, and in
other markets; are considered an excellent fish for the table, being white,
firm, and well-flavoured; and are chiefly in season in the months of
October and November.

  220. _The FLOUNDER_ (Pleuronectes flesus) _is a flat fish which differs
  from the plaise (217) principally in wanting the six protuberances behind
  the left eye, in having the lateral line rough, short spines at the base
  of the upper side of the fins, and a great number of rough points on
  almost the whole upper surface of the body._

  _Its weight seldom exceeds two or three pounds._

There are few species of fish so common on the flat and somewhat muddy
shores of this country as the flounder. It enters the harbours, and ascends
the rivers to a considerable distance from their mouth. It is even caught
in places where the water is perfectly fresh, and it is said to be much
sweeter and better for the table when taken at a distance from the sea than
in salt-water. On this account chiefly it is that the flounders caught in
the river Thames have obtained great celebrity. They are in best season
from January to March, and from July to September.

Flounders are generally caught with nets in the same way as other flat
fish. But sometimes the fishermen catch them by walking gently in the
shallow waters, where they abound, and stabbing an iron prong or fork
through their bodies, as they lie in the mud. The places where they lie are
known by the exposure only of their eyes and mouth, all the other parts of
their body being concealed. Small flounders are frequently used by
fishermen as bait for crabs and lobsters.

  221. _The SOLE_ (Pleuronectes solea) _is a flat fish, the body of which
  is oblong and rough, and the upper jaw longer than the lower._

  _It is found off the sandy shores of nearly all parts of the world; and,
  though in England, it does not often exceed the might of three or four
  pounds, in hot climates it frequently weighs as much as seven or eight

The sole is a fish in great request for the table, and, except the turbot,
is usually considered the most firm and delicate fish of its tribe. Though
exposed for sale during nearly the whole year, it is in highest perfection
about Midsummer. By the ancient laws of the Cinque Ports no person was
allowed to catch soles from the first of November to the fifteenth of
March; nor was any one permitted to use nets betwixt sun-setting and
sun-rising, that the fish might not be disturbed in their feeding. Soles
when good are of thick form, and their under parts are cream-coloured; if
the latter are bluish, the fish are flabby and bad. These, unlike most
other fish, may be kept several days, even in hot weather, without becoming
putrid; and they are always skinned before they are eaten. The _skins_ are
sometimes dried, and used for the clarifying of coffee.

  222. _The TURBOT_ (Pleuronectes maximus, Fig. 66) _is a species of flat
  fish, distinguished by its eyes being on the left side, the body being
  broad, marbled with brown and yellow above, and rough with bony

  _The weight of these fish is from four or five to betwixt twenty and
  thirty pounds._

  _They are chiefly caught in the European and Mediterranean seas._

It has been calculated that more than 10,000 pounds' weight of turbots are
annually consumed in London. These are chiefly caught off the northern
coasts of England, and off the coast of Holland. Notwithstanding the high
repute of turbot for the tables of the most wealthy and luxurious
inhabitants of this country, it has only of late been relished in Scotland,
and many persons there still prefer the holibut (216) to it. There are now,
or were very lately, living in one of the coast-towns of Scotland several
poor people who were accustomed to derive a great part of their subsistence
from the turbots which the fishermen threw away upon the beach as of no
value. A general officer in the English army first taught the inhabitants
of Fifeshire that these fish were eatable; and astonished the fishermen of
that country by offering so great a sum as a shilling a piece for the
largest of them.

Many of the vessels, which carry fish to the Thames, are employed in
fishing for turbot even so far north as the Frith of Forth, and, in the
wells of these vessels, they are brought alive to the London markets.
Turbot are caught off the Yorkshire coast with hooks and lines. At
Scarborough each fisherman takes, in his boat, three lines coiled upon flat
oblong pieces of wicker-work, the hooks being baited and placed in the
centre of the coils. The lines are usually furnished with 280 hooks, placed
at the distance of six feet two inches from each other. In this fishing
there are always three men in each boat, and nine of these lines are
fastened together, extending in length nearly three miles, and furnished
with 2520 hooks. They are placed in the sea, across the current, and
secured by anchors or large stones at the end of every three lines. Their
situation is marked by floats or buoys made of leather or cork. The lines
are always placed at the turn of the tide; and they are suffered to
continue until the next tide, and consequently remain upon the ground about
six hours. The best bait for turbot is a fresh herring, though the Dutch
fishermen prefer the lesser lampreys (255) to them, and have been known to
purchase of the English fishermen, for this purpose, more than 700l. worth
of these lampreys per annum. Small pieces of haddocks, sand-worms, and some
kinds of shell-fish, are also occasionally used; and, when none of these
are to be had, bullock's liver is adopted.

Turbots are in season during nearly the whole summer. When in perfection,
they are thick, and the under part of the body is of yellowish white
colour. If they are thin, or this part has a bluish tinge, they are bad.
These fish are generally considered better if kept in a cool place for a
few days before they are eaten.

  223. _The COMMON PERCH_ (Perca fluviatilis) _is a fresh-water fish,
  distinguished by having sixteen soft rays to the second dorsal fin,
  fourteen spiny ones to the first dorsal fin, the upper gill-covers
  serrated at the edges, and the sides marked by five broad and upright
  bars of black._

  _This fish seldom exceeds the weight of four or five pounds._

  _It is found in rivers and lakes both in Europe and Siberia._

With the ancient Romans the perch was a very favourite fish. Though
somewhat bony, it is white, firm, and well flavoured, and is considered an
excellent food for persons in a weak state of health. Perch are generally
found in rapid streams where the water is somewhat deep. They are caught
both with nets and with hooks and lines, and are in greatest perfection,
from January to March, and again in October and November. In Lapland and
Siberia they are sometimes found of enormous size. The Laplanders, in one
of their churches, have the dried head of a perch which is nearly a foot in
length. The Dutch are particularly fond of perch when made into a dish
called _water souchy_.

From the _skins_ of perch a kind of isinglass is made which surpasses that
made from any other fish. The Laplanders use it to stiffen their bows and
make them durable. As this substance might be rendered of use for various
purposes of domestic economy, it may not be altogether unimportant to
detail the mode of its preparation. The skins are first dried, and
afterwards softened in cold water to rid them of the scales. The Laplanders
generally take four or five of the skins at a time, put them into a
rein-deer's bladder, or wrap them in pieces of the bark of the birch-tree,
so that they may not come in contact with the water. They place these in a
pot of boiling water, putting on them a stone to keep them at the bottom of
the pot; and in this situation they are boiled for an hour. When they have
become soft and glutinous, they are taken out, and are then in a state fit
for use.

Perch may be bred and fattened in ponds; but care should be taken not to
put them with other fish, as their voracity renders them extremely
destructive to any that are weaker than themselves; or they should be
accompanied by such only as are intended to furnish them with food. A pond
may be stocked with perch by putting only the eggs or spawn into it; and if
the situation and circumstances be favourable, the increase in a few years
will be extremely great.

These fish are so tenacious of life that instances have occurred of their
being packed in wet straw and carried alive to a distance of fifty miles
and upwards.

  224. _The BASSE is a sea-fish somewhat resembling a perch, with a short
  and sharp spine on the posterior plate of the gill-cover, fourteen rays
  to the second dorsal fin, the back dusky tinged with blue, and the belly

  _This fish sometimes attains the weight of twenty and even thirty

  _It is found in the Mediterranean, the British Channel, the Northern
  Ocean, and the Baltic._

These voracious fish are caught during nearly all the year; but the months
of August, September, and October, are considered most favourable for
taking them. They not only approach the shores, but even ascend the rivers
to great distances. Though their flesh is in general woolly and insipid,
the Romans preferred them to many other kinds of fish, and sometimes paid
high prices for them. Those which they chiefly esteemed were caught in the
Tiber, betwixt the bridges of Rome.

The eggs or _roes_ of the basse have sometimes been used in France and
Italy to make what is called _Boutargue_ or _Botargo_.

  225. _The COMMON MACKREL_ (Scomber scomber) _is known from other fish by
  having five small and distinct fins betwixt the dorsal fin and the tail._

  _Its usual length is from a foot to eighteen inches, and its weight
  seldom exceeds two or three pounds._

The mackrel fishery is an object of great commercial importance to the
inhabitants of most of the countries on the shores of which these fish
abound. During the summer season they approach our coasts in immense
shoals, and are generally caught in what are called seine nets. From June
to August many of our markets are supplied with them; but as mackrel become
putrid sooner than most other fish, they cannot be carried to any great
distance, nor be kept for any great length of time. On this account it is
that they are allowed to be sold in the streets of London on Sundays, and
in catholic countries on Sundays and festivals.

When quite fresh mackrel are an excellent fish for the table, and are in
best season from May to July. Both in Italy and England they are often
pickled with vinegar and spices, and sometimes with bay leaves intermixed.
By the inhabitants of many parts of the north of Europe they are salted;
and, in this state, they constitute a cheap and very important article of
subsistence. In Scotland they are frequently cured in the same manner as
herrings. It was with these fish chiefly that the ancient Romans formed
their celebrated pickle called _garum_. This in the ancient world
constituted a very considerable branch of commerce, not only from its being
used as an highly esteemed sauce, but also as it was considered a remedy
for various diseases. In the Mediterranean the _roes_ of mackrel are
salted, and used for _caviar_.

  226. _The THUNNY, or ALBICORE_ (Scomber thynnus, Fig. 61), _is a large
  fish of the mackrel tribe, of steel-blue colour above, and silvery white
  beneath; and is particularly known by having from eight to eleven
  distinct fins betwixt the dorsal fin and the tail._

  _These fish measure from six to ten feet in length, and frequently weigh
  from 400 to 1200 pounds._

  _They are chiefly caught in the Mediterranean._

We are acquainted with no species of fish, of size equal to the thunny,
which supply mankind with so palatable a food. The thunny fishery is
pursued with great ardour, by the inhabitants of nearly all the shores of
the Mediterranean; but, particularly, by those of Spain and Sardinia. It
constitutes one of the principal objects of diversion to the inhabitants of
Sardinia; and, for the purpose of attending it, many persons of distinction
come even from distant countries. The nets, which are of great size and
value, are prepared in April, and are consecrated by the priests previously
to being thrown into the sea. On the preceding evening the persons employed
draw lots for the name of the Saint who is to be considered the patron of
the fishing for the ensuing day; and this Saint, whoever he maybe, is alone
invoked to promote the success of the undertaking.

Notwithstanding their great size, these fish swim in shoals of sometimes
more than 1000 together. Pliny, the Roman naturalist, asserts that the
fleet of Alexander the Great attempted, in vain, to pass through a shoal of
them, in any other manner than closely arranged in order of battle. Of the
immense numbers of thunnies some idea may be formed when it is stated that
300,000 or 400,000 of them are supposed every year to pass through the
straits of Gibraltar. These fish are not uncommon on the western shores of
Scotland, but not in shoals as in the Mediterranean.

The flesh of the thunny differs much, according to the season, and the
place where it is taken; hence in Sardinia it is called by different names
according with this difference. When raw it is in general red like beef,
but, on being boiled, it assumes a pale colour; and when in perfection, its
taste somewhat resembles that of salmon. These fish are salted, and sent,
in great quantity, to Constantinople and the Greek islands. The thunny was
so much esteemed by the ancient Greeks that they consecrated it to Diana.

  227. _The BONITO_ (Scomber pelamis) _is a large species of mackrel, of
  thick form, with seven small distinct fins betwixt the dorsal fin and the
  tail, and several large scales below the pectoral fin._

  _This fish measures eighteen inches or two feet in length, and is ten
  pounds and upwards in weight._

  _It is principally found in the seas of tropical climates._

Sometimes these fish approach the European shores; and one of them was
caught a few years ago at Christchurch, in Hampshire. To mariners in hot
climates they often afford an important supply of food. Their flesh is fat
and white, but inferior in excellence to that of the thunny, except when
salted. A very lucrative fishery of bonitos is carried on at Cadiz. The
fishing commences about the end of April, and continues until the beginning
of July; and, in general, affords occupation for about a hundred persons.

  228. _The RED SURMULLET_ (Mullus barbatus) _is a fish known by its large
  and loose scales, the general red colour of its body, and its having two
  fleshy beards on the under jaw._

  _It frequents the European seas, and seldom exceeds the length of eight
  or ten inches._

  229. _The STRIPED SURMULLET_ (Mullus surmuletus, Fig. 67.) _has large and
  long scales, is of red colour, with four yellowish stripes along its
  sides, and two beards on the under jaw._

  _This fish inhabits both the European and the American seas, and is from
  ten or twelve inches to two feet in length._

The prices at which the surmullet was sometimes purchased by the Romans
were enormously great. We read of a Roman consul having given at the rate
of more than 64l. of our money for one of them; and of one of the Roman
emperors having paid upwards of 240l. for another--to such an absurdity of
extravagance did this people arrive before the dissolution of their empire.
But it went further:--they are said to have considered even the surmullet
of little value unless it died in the very hands of their guests. Some of
the most luxurious of the Romans had stews formed even in their
eating-rooms, so that the fish could at once be brought from under the
table and placed upon it. Here they were put into transparent vases, that
the guests might be entertained with their various changes of colour, from
red to violet and blue, as they expired. The parts chiefly admired for the
table were the head and the liver.

Both the above species of surmullet occasionally visit our coasts during
the summer season. Their flesh is white, firm, and well-tasted; but they
cannot long be kept without becoming putrid.

  230. _GURNARDS_ (Trigla, Fig. 62.) _are fish with a large angular and
  bony head; and two or more distinct appendages near the pectoral fins._

Of about fifteen known species of gurnards, five are caught near the
British coasts. These are the GREY GURNARD, RED GURNARD, PIPER, TUB-FISH,
and STREAKED GURNARD, of which the two former are considered best for the
table. Their flesh is white, firm, and good, though somewhat insipid; and
they are thought to be in greatest perfection from about the beginning of
May to the end of July.


  231. _The COMMON SALMON_ (Salmo salar, Fig. 68) _is a fish known by its
  forked tail, the upper jaw being somewhat longer than the lower, and by
  the extremity of the under jaw, in the male, being hooked and bent

  _All the fish of the salmon tribe have their hindmost dorsal fin fleshy._

At an early season of the year salmon begin to leave their winter haunts in
the ocean, and to pass up the fresh water rivers, sometimes to vast
distances, to deposit their spawn. And it is in these peregrinations that
they are chiefly caught. The British rivers that are most celebrated for
salmon are the Tweed, the Tyne, the Trent, the Severn, and the Thames.
Sometimes they are taken in nets, sometimes in traps or engines, and
sometimes by harpoons. They have been known to ascend the rivers to the
distance of more than 200 miles.

Vast numbers of salmon are annually pickled at Berwick for the London
markets, and for sale on the Continent. These are packed in small tubs, and
are usually sold under the name of Newcastle salmon.

The season for catching salmon commences towards the end of the year, but
the principal capture is in the month of July; and instances have occurred
in which more than 1000 fish have been caught at one haul of a net. Fresh
salmon are frequently sent to London from the northern rivers packed in
ice. The Severn salmon are earlier in season than those of any other river
in England, though not so early as what are caught in some parts of
Scotland and Ireland. The Thames salmon are principally taken near
Isleworth, and are sold at a most extravagant rate in London. In Ireland
the most considerable salmon fishery is as Cranna, on the river Ban, about
a mile and a half from Coleraine. At a single haul of one of the nets,
about the year 1776, there were taken as many as 1356 fish; this
circumstance was so extraordinary as to be recorded in the town books of

In the Severn, Trent, and some other northern rivers of England, no salmon
measuring less than eighteen inches from the eye to the middle of the tail
is allowed to be caught; nor any whatever betwixt the eighth of September
and the eleventh of November (except in the Ribble, where they may be
caught betwixt the first of January and fifteenth of September), under the
penalty of 5l. and forfeiture of the fish. And no salmon of less weight
than six pounds are permitted to be sent by fishmongers to their agents in
London, under a similar penalty.

When these fish, about the beginning of May, are five or six inches in
length, they are called _salmon smelts_, and, when they have attained the
weight of from about six to nine pounds, they have the name of _gilse_.

Salmon are a very general and favourite article of food. When eaten fresh,
they are tender, flaky, and nutritive; but are thought to be difficult of
digestion. The flesh of the salmon is of red colour, and the beauty of its
appearance is increased by soaking slices of it in fresh water before they
are cooked. Immediately after the salmon have deposited their spawn they
become so flabby and bad as to be unfit for food. Raw salmon is a favourite
dish with even the first nobility of Stockholm, insomuch that they seldom
give a great dinner in which this food is not presented on the table. It is
prepared by merely cutting the fish into slices, putting these into salt,
and, when salted, leaving them for three days in a wooden dish, with a
little water. In this state it is said to be very delicious eating.

The modes of curing salmon are various, but these are chiefly by _drying_,
_smoking_, _salting_, and _pickling_. Near the bay of Castries (in the
Strait of Saghalier) the Tartars tan the _skins_ of large salmon, and
convert them into a very supple kind of clothing.

232. In South Wales, and in the rivers of the north of England which fall
into the sea, a kind of salmon, called _SEWEN_ (_Salmo esiox_), is
frequently found. It is known by having nearly an even tail, and being
marked with ash-coloured spots. These salmon are chiefly caught from July
to September, and seldom weigh more than ten or twelve pounds. They are
much inferior to the common salmon in delicacy of flavour.

  233. _SALMON TROUT, SEA TROUT, or BUDGE_ (Salmo trutta), _is a species of
  salmon chiefly characterized by the tail being hollowed, by having seven
  rays to the anal fin, black spots encircled with ash-colour on the head,
  back, and sides; and the jaws of equal length._

  _It inhabits the sea, and rivers adjacent to the sea; and sometimes
  weighs eight or ten pounds, or more._

The flesh of the salmon trout is red and good, but not so highly flavoured
as that of the salmon; and it varies much, according to the quality of the
water in which the fish are taken. Salmon trout are caught chiefly with
nets; and the fishing for them generally commences about the beginning of
May, and continues till after Michaelmas.

In some of the northern countries of Europe, where these fish are very
numerous, they are cured by _salting_, _pickling_, and _smoking_; and in
these different states they are articles of some commercial importance. The
smoking of these and other fish is performed in a tub without bottom, which
is pierced at the top and round the sides with holes. This tub is raised on
three stones; and the fish being suspended within it, they are exposed, for
three days, to the smoke of burning oak-branches and juniper berries, which
are lighted beneath.

  234.  _The FRESH-WATER TROUT_ (Salmo trutta) _is a species of salmon
  which has its tail somewhat hollowed, eleven rays to the anal fin, the
  upper parts of the body and the sides marked with red spots encircled
  with brown, and the lower jaw somewhat longer than the upper._

  _These fish inhabit fresh-water rivers, streams, and lakes, but
  particularly those of mountainous countries; and their weight is seldom
  more than four or five pounds._

In clear and cold streams the fresh-water trout multiplies very fast, and
chiefly because such streams do not contain any voracious fish of greater
power than themselves. Such is the excellence of these fish that it has
frequently been considered desirable to keep them in ponds or preserves.
These should have the water clear and cold, a gravelly or sandy bottom, and
be constantly supplied by a stream. The ponds should, if possible, be
shaded with trees; and should have, at the bottom, roots of trees or large
stones, amongst which the fish may find shelter, and deposit their spawn.
They should also be supplied with gudgeons, loaches, roach, minnows, and
other small fish. To stock these ponds it is recommended to place in them
the spawn of the trout, and not the fish themselves, as the former will
bear carriage much better than the latter.

Trout are chiefly caught with lines. Their flesh is red, tender, and of
excellent flavour; and the colder and more pure the water is the better
they are. The best season for trout is from April to June: and, during the
winter, their flesh is white and ill-tasted. In many countries the nobility
reserve these fish for their own use, and the capture of them is forbidden
under very severe penalties.

So numerous are trout in some of the mountainous parts of the Continent,
that, having little or no sale for them, the inhabitants _salt_ and _dry_
them for their winter's food.

In certain lakes of the province of Galway, and other districts of Ireland,
there is a kind of trout called _Gillaroo trout_, which are remarkable for
the great thickness of their _stomachs_. These, from their resemblance to
the organs of digestion in birds, are sometimes called gizzards; and, in
the largest fish, they are equal in bulk to the gizzard of a turkey. The
trout themselves are bad eating; but the stomachs are much esteemed for
their fine flavour, and are in frequent request for the table.

  235. _CHARR_ (Salmo alpinus?) _are a species of salmon which inhabit the
  lakes of mountainous countries: there are three kinds or varieties of
  them, called_ gilt charr, red charr, _and_ case charr. _Their bodies are
  spotted; and those of the first are of a golden colour, of the second
  full red, and of the case charr pale red. Their tails are forked. When
  full grown these fish are about ten inches in length._

  _They are found in Ullswater, Winandermere, and some other lakes in the
  north of England, in a lake near Snowdon in North Wales, and in lakes of
  several parts of the Continent._

There are no fish of the salmon tribe more esteemed for the table than
these. The _gilt charr_ are considered in highest perfection, and are
caught in greatest numbers, from the end of September until the end of
November, and the _case charr_ about the month of May. During the
summer-time all the kinds of charr sink to the bottoms of the lakes far out
of the reach of the fishermen. They are usually caught with nets called
breast-nets, which are about twenty-five fathoms long and five in depth.

Their flesh is of red colour, and their flavour peculiarly delicate. Great
numbers of charr are potted every year, and sent to London. But of the fish
which are sold under the name of potted charr many are trout; and, even in
the pots which contain charr, trout are frequently to be found. In the
river Petteril, which runs near Carlisle, there is a kind of trout which,
both in size and colour, are so like charr that they can scarcely be
distinguished from that fish.

  236. _The SMELT, or SPARLING_ (Salmo eperlanus), _is a small fish of the
  salmon tribe, known by its silvery and semi-transparent appearance, the
  first dorsal fin being further from the head than the ventral fins, the
  under jaw being longer than the upper and curved, and the tail being

  _Its length seldom exceeds seven or eight inches._

  _These fish abound on the shores of most of the countries of Europe; and,
  during their spawning season, they ascend the rivers sometimes in immense

About the month of November smelts begin to leave the deep water, and
approach the coasts, for the purpose of depositing their spawn in the
rivers. This they do in the ensuing months of March and April; and they are
caught, in vast abundance, in the Thames, during this time. When in
perfection, they are not only a delicious, but are considered as nutritious
fish, and easy of digestion. Their name is derived from their very singular
smell, and is nothing more than a contraction of "smell it." These fish are
sometimes split, salted, and dried; and sold under the name of _dried

  237. _UMBER, or GRAYLING_ (Salmo thymallus), _is a fish of the salmon
  tribe, distinguished by having several longitudinal streaks upon its
  body, the first dorsal fin nearer the head than the ventral fins, the
  upper jaw longer than the lower one, the side line nearly straight, and
  the tail forked._

  _A fish of this species, which, weighed five pounds, was caught some
  years ago in the river Severn._

  _The umber inhabits clear and rapid streams of Europe and Siberia._

These fish are so much esteemed in some parts of the Continent, that they
are exclusively reserved for the tables of the nobility. They are fattest
in the autumn, but are best in season during the winter, particularly when
the weather is cold; and they cannot be dressed too soon after they are
caught. Many of the old medical writers strongly recommended umber as a
wholesome fish for sick persons: they also stated that an oil prepared from
its fat would obliterate freckles and other spots on the skin. By the
Laplanders the intestines are frequently employed as a substitute for
rennet, to coagulate the milk of the rein-deer, when used for the making of

These fish are in great esteem by anglers on account of their vivacity, the
eagerness with which they rise at a bait, and their rapid motions in the
water. They lurk close all the winter, and begin to be very active in April
and May, about which time they deposit their spawn.

  238. _The PIKE, or JACK_ (Esox lucius), _is a voracious fresh-water fish,
  with large teeth, a compressed head and muzzle, the part of the head
  betwixt the nape and the eyes elevated and rounded; and the dorsal, anal,
  and caudal fins marked with black spots._

  _These fish sometimes attain so large a size as to weigh upwards of
  thirty pounds._

  _They are found in deep rivers, and in lakes of nearly all parts of
  Europe, in some of the northern districts of Persia, and in North

Common as pike now are in our fresh-water rivers, it has been asserted that
they were originally introduced from the Continent in the reign of Henry
the Eighth. This, however, cannot be the fact, as they were known in
England long before that period. Mr. Pennant speaks of these fish being
formerly so rare in this country, that a pike, in the month of February,
was sold for double the price of a house-lamb. If caught in clear and
tolerably rapid waters, these fish, though bony and dry, are not bad
eating. In some parts of Germany they are salted, smoked, and barrelled for
exportation to other countries.

The modes of catching pike are very various, by nets, with lines, and
snares of different kinds. Their voracity is so great that they not only
eagerly seize a bait, but one pike has been known to choke itself by
swallowing another of its own species, which proved too large a morsel.

These fish are chiefly partial to still and shady waters, where the bottom
is of sand, clay, or chalk. They spawn in March or April. When in high
season, their colours are green spotted with yellow; but, when out of
season, the green changes to grey, and the yellow spots turn pale. The age
to which they live has not been ascertained, though there appears
sufficient evidence of their existing for more than a century. As to their
size, we are informed that, in the river Shannon, in Ireland, they have
been found of nearly seventy pounds in weight; and, in some of the
continental lakes, they are said to be more than eight feet long, and from
eighty to a hundred pounds in weight.

  239. _The SEA-PIKE, or GAR-FISH_ (Esox belone, Fig. 69), _is a fish of
  the pike tribe, of green colour on the upper part, serpentine shape, with
  long and narrow jaws, the lower one considerably shorter than the upper.
  The bones are of green colour when they have been exposed to strong

  _These fish generally are about a foot and a half in length, and weigh
  from one to three pounds. The late Sir William Hamilton, however,
  mentioned one caught near Naples which weighed fourteen pounds, and was
  sent to the King as a great curiosity._

  _They are found in the ocean in nearly all parts of Europe._

The gar-fish begin to approach our coasts, in considerable shoals, about
the month of March, shortly after which they deposit their eggs in smooth
and shallow water. Their flavour is not much unlike that of mackrel, though
many persons have a great antipathy to them, in consequence of the green
colour of the bones.

  240. _The WHITE, or COMMON MULLET_ (Mugil cephalus) _is a fish
  distinguished by having the lower jaw angular upwards, several narrow and
  dark-coloured stripes on each side of the body, a toothed process betwixt
  the eye and the opening of the mouth, and the gill-covers angular behind
  and covered with scales._

  _The weight of these fish is four or five pounds and upward._

  _They inhabit the seas of nearly all the southern parts of Europe, and
  annually enter the mouths of almost all the great rivers._

Vast shoals of mullets are frequently observed, about the months of May,
June, and July, swimming, near the surface of the water, in harbours, and
in rivers adjacent to the sea. They are caught with nets, but are so
cunning, that, even when entirely surrounded, they will sometimes nearly
all escape, either by leaping over or by diving under the nets.

These fish are in considerable request for the table, and are in best
season about the month of August. Their flesh, however, is, in many
instances, woolly and bad; and the great quantity of oil which is found
beneath the skin renders them, to some persons, very unpleasant. In several
places on the coast of the Mediterranean mullets are dried and smoked for

Of the roes of mullets is sometimes made the kind of caviar called
_botargue_ or _botargo_. For this purpose they are taken out and covered
with salt, for four or five hours. Afterwards they are gently pressed
between two boards or stones, to squeeze the water out of them. They are
then washed in a weak brine, and lastly exposed to the sun for twelve or
fifteen days to be dried. This substance is said to quicken a decayed
appetite, and to give a relish to wine. It is much in request, in Greece,
as food on the numerous fast-days of the Greek church.

  241. _The HERRING_ (Clupæa harengus) _is a small fish distinguished by
  its sharp and serrated belly, the body being without spots, the lower jaw
  longer than the upper, and the dorsal fins so exactly situated above the
  centre of gravity that, when taken up by it, the fish will hang in

  _These fish, which are in general from eight to ten inches in length, are
  migratory, and found, at particular periods, in immense shoals, in nearly
  all parts of the Northern Ocean._

So great is the supply of herrings, and such is the general esteem in which
they are held, that they have almost equal admission to the tables of the
poor and the rich. They have been known and admired from the remotest
periods of antiquity; but, as our ancestors were ignorant of the means by
which they could be preserved from corruption, they were not so profitable
to them as they are to us.

The herring fishery, in different parts of the world, affords occupation
and support to a great number of people. In Holland it has been calculated
that formerly more than 150,000 persons were employed in catching,
pickling, drying, and trading in herrings; and, on the different coasts of
our own country, many thousands of families are entirely supported by this
fishery. The principal of the British herring fisheries are off the coasts
of Scotland and Norfolk; and the implements that are used in catching the
fish are nets stretched in the water, one side of which is kept from
sinking by buoys fixed to them at proper distances, and the other hangs
down, by the weight of lead which is placed along its bottom. The herrings
are caught in the meshes of the nets, as they endeavour to pass through,
and, unable to liberate themselves, they continue there until the nets are
hauled in and they are taken out.

Herrings are in full roe about the month of June, and continue in
perfection until the commencement of winter, when they begin to deposit
their spawn.

The art of pickling these fish is said to have been first discovered
towards the end of the fourteenth century, by Guilliaume Beuchel, a native
of Brabant. The Emperor Charles the Fifth, about 150 years afterwards,
honoured this benefactor of the human race by visiting the place of his
interment, and eating a herring on his grave.

Yarmouth, in Norfolk, is the great and ancient mart of herrings in this
country. The season for catching them commences about Michaelmas, and lasts
during the whole month of October; and generally more than 60,000 barrels
are every year cured in the neighbourhood of that town. Some of these are
_pickled_, and others are dried. In the preparation of the latter (which
have the name of _red herrings_) the fish are soaked for twenty-four hours
in brine, and then taken out, strung by the head on little wooden spits,
and hung in a chimney formed to receive them. After this a fire of
brush-wood, which yields much smoke but no flame, is kindled beneath, and
they are suffered to remain until they are sufficiently dried, when they
are packed in barrels for exportation and sale.

It will afford some idea of the astonishing supply of these invaluable
fish, when it is stated that, about seventy years ago, near 400,000 barrels
of herrings were annually exported from different parts of the coast of
Norway; that, previously to the late war, about 300,000 barrels were
annually cured by the Dutch fishermen; and that a considerably greater
quantity than this is every year obtained on the coasts of Great Britain
and Ireland.

There is, in some countries, a considerable trade in the _oil_ that is
obtained from herrings during the process of curing them. The average
annual quantity of this oil exported from Sweden is about 60,000 barrels.

  242. _The PILCHARD_ (Clupæa pilcardus) _is a fish of the herring tribe,
  and so nearly resembling the common herring, that the best mode of
  distinguishing the one from the other appears to be by the situation of
  the dorsal fin. If the pilchard be held by this fin, the head will dip
  downward; the herring held in similar manner continues in equilibrio._

  _The length of the pilchard is from eight to about ten inches._

  _These fish annually appear in vast shoals off the coast of Cornwall, and
  some other south-western parts of England. Their utmost range seems to be
  the Isle of Wight in the British, and Ilfracomb in the Bristol channel._

To the inhabitants of Devonshire and Cornwall the pilchard fishery is of as
much importance as that of herrings is to the people on the eastern and
northern coasts of Britain. Many hundred families are almost wholly
supported by it. The first appearance of the fish is generally about the
middle of July, and they usually continue until the latter end of October.

As soon as the pilchards are caught they are conveyed to a warehouse, where
they are covered with bay-salt, and suffered to lie for three weeks or a
month. After this they are washed in sea-water and dried. As soon as they
are dry the fish are closely pressed into barrels to extract the oily
particles from them, which drain through holes that are made in the bottom.
Thus prepared they become fit for use, and, when properly dressed, they are
considered preferable to herrings.

Pilchards are generally caught in nets. These are sometimes 200 fathoms in
length, and about eighteen fathoms deep. The approach of the shoals is
known by great numbers of sea-birds which accompany and prey upon them; and
the progress of the shoals is marked by persons who are stationed on the
cliffs to point them out to the fishermen, and who are called _huers_, from
their setting up a hue for this purpose.

The principal towns in the neighbourhood of which pilchards are caught are
Fowey, Falmouth, Penzance, and St. Ives; and the average annual quantity
that is sent to market is about 30,000 hogsheads.

  243. _The SHAD_ (Clupæa alosa) _is a species of herring known by the
  belly being strongly serrated and covered with large transverse scales,
  the sides being marked with round black spots placed longitudinally, and
  the under jaw sloping upward._

  _These fish weigh from half a pound to four or five pounds and upwards._

  _They are found on the shores of all the temperate and warm countries of
  Europe, and, at certain seasons of the year, they ascend the rivers, to
  considerable distances, in order to deposit their spawn._

In the Thames and Severn these fish are generally found in the months of
April, May, and June. Those that are caught in the Thames are coarse and
insipid; whilst such as are caught in the Severn, especially that part of
it which flows by Gloucester, are generally sold at a higher price than
salmon. Shad that are taken in the sea are thin and of bad flavour, and the
longer they continue in the rivers the fatter and more eatable they become.
They are generally caught in nets, but sometimes with lines having an
earth-worm for a bait. The London fishmongers are frequently supplied with
shads from the Severn. These are distinguished by the name of _allis_, or
_alose_, the French name for shad.

  244. _The SPRAT_ (Clupæa sprattus) _is a very small fish of the herring
  tribe, distinguished by its belly being strongly serrated, the dorsal fin
  having seventeen rays, the anal fin nineteen, and the ventral fins each

  _It seldom exceeds the length of about five inches, and is generally much

  _These fish are caught on most of the British shores, and they ascend the
  river Thames nearly as high as London Bridge, in the beginning of
  November, and leave it in the month of March._

To the lower classes of inhabitants in London, during the winter, sprat a
afford a cheap and very acceptable supply of food. They are caught in nets,
and, in some instances, as many have been taken at a single haul as would
have filled thirty barrels. Sprats are generally eaten fresh, though, both
at Gravesend and Yarmouth, they are cured in the manner of red herrings. In
some countries they are pickled, and, in this state, they are little
inferior to anchovies, though the bones will not dissolve like those of

Immense numbers of sprats, larger in size than ours, are every year caught
on the coast of Sardinia. These are salted, packed in barrels, and exported
to various parts of the world under the name of _Sardines_.

  245. _The ANCHOVY_ (Clupæa encrasicolus) _is a small fish of the herring
  tribe, known from all the others by its upper jaw being considerably
  longer than the under jaw._

  _These fish seldom exceed the length of four or five inches._

  _They are chiefly caught in the Mediterranean, and the principal fishery
  for them is on the shores of Gorgona, a small island west of Leghorn.
  They are also caught off the coast if France, and occasionally off our
  own shores._

There are few persons fond of good eating to whom the anchovy, either in
the form of sauce or as an article of food, is unknown. With us, however,
it is seldom eaten in a recent state, the greater proportion of the
anchovies consumed in this country being brought in pickle from the

They are generally caught in nets during the night, being attracted
together by fires lighted on the shore, or by torches fixed to the boats
which are engaged in the fishery. As soon as they are caught the heads are
cut off and the entrails taken out; after this they are salted, or pickled,
and packed in barrels or earthen vessels for exportation.

In the choice of anchovies such should be selected as are small,
round-backed, fresh pickled, whitish on the outside and red within. The
most effectual method of concentrating the excellences of these fish is to
reduce the fleshy part to a soft pulp, and to boil this gently, for a few
minutes, with a certain proportion of water and spices. The substance thus
prepared is denominated _essence of anchovies_.

  246. _The CARP_ (Cyprinus carpio, Fig. 70) _is a fresh-water fish known
  by having one dorsal fin, three bony rays to the gill membrane, the mouth
  with four fleshy beards, the second ray of the dorsal fin serrated
  behind, and the body covered with large scales._

  _These fish sometimes grow to a very large size._

  _They inhabit slow and stagnated waters in various parts of Europe and
  Persia, and were first introduced into England about the year 1514._

Carp are a useful species of fish for the stocking of ponds, and for the
supply of the table. In Polish Prussia they are an important article of
commerce; being sent alive in well-boats to Sweden, Russia, and other
parts. They are bred by the principal landholders of the country, to whom,
in many instances, they yield a very important revenue. If the rearing of
carp were better understood and practised in the marshy parts of England
than it now is, they would amply repay every expence and trouble that might
be bestowed upon them. The increase of these fish is very great: we are
informed by Bloch that four male and three female carp, put into a large
pond, produced in one year an offspring of no fewer than 110,000 fish. They
are also extremely long lived, instances having occurred of carp living to
the age of considerably more than 100 years. To fatten carp and increase
their size, the growth of vegetation in the ponds where they are kept
should be particularly attended to, as, during the summer-time, they
principally feed upon this. In winter, when the ponds are frozen over, care
must be taken to break the ice, that they may have access to the
atmospheric air, without which, if they are in great numbers, they will

Carp are much esteemed as food, but a principal part of their excellence
depends on the mode in which they are cooked. They are best in season
during the autumnal and winter months. The usual mode of catching them is
with nets, and the most proper time at daybreak. These fish, if kept in a
cellar, in wet hay or moss, and fed with bread and milk, will live many
days out of the water, and will even become fat.

With the roes of carp, in the eastern parts of Europe, a kind of _caviar_
is made, which is sold in considerable quantity to the Jews, who hold that
of the sturgeon in abhorrence. The _sounds_, or air-bladders, of carp are
converted into a species of isinglass, and their _gall_ is in much repute,
with the Turks, for staining paper and for making a green paint.

  247.  _The TENCH_ (Cyprinus tinca, Fig. 63) _is a fish of the carp tribe,
  distinguished by its mouth having only two beards, the scales being
  small, the fins thick, and the whole body covered with a slimy matter._

  _The weight of these fish seldom exceeds four or five pounds, but
  instances have occurred of their weighing more than eleven pounds._

  _They are found in stagnant waters in nearly all the temperate parts of
  the globe._

There are not many fresh-water fish that are more excellent for the table
than these; yet the ancient Romans so much despised them, that they were
eaten by none but the lowest classes of the people. In the kingdom of
Congo, on the contrary, they were formerly so much esteemed that they were
allowed only to be eaten at court, and any person was liable to the
punishment of death who caught a tench and did not carry it to the royal
cook. Such tench as are caught in clear waters are much superior to those
which have inhabited muddy places. They thrive best in still waters, where
there are weeds at the bottom; and they are in season from the beginning of
October until the end of May.

  248.  _The GUDGEON_ (Cyprinus gobio) _is a small fish of the carp tribe,
  with a thick and round body, two fleshy beards near the mouth, and the
  dorsal and caudal fins spotted with black._

  _Its length is usually about six inches, and its weight seldom more than
  three or four ounces._

  _This fish is an inhabitant of gentle streams, with gravelly or sandy
  bottom, in most of the northern parts of Europe._

The flesh of gudgeons is white, firm, and of excellent flavour; but the
smallness of their size prevents these fish from being much in demand. They
are found in small shoals near the bottom of the water; and are caught both
with nets and lines. The bait that is used is generally a small earth-worm,
which they seize with great eagerness. The season when they are in greatest
perfection is from September till the end of the year.

Gudgeons are found to thrive well in ponds, if these be fed by brooks
running through them. Under favourable circumstances they have sometimes
attained an unusually large size. They feed on aquatic plants, worms,
water-insects, and the spawn of fish.

  249. _The BLEAK_ (Cyprinus alburnus) _is a small fish of the carp tribe,
  with somewhat pointed muzzle, and no beards; and the scales thin, shining
  and slightly attached._

  _It seldom exceeds the length of five or six inches._

  _These fish inhabit fresh-water rivers, in nearly all the temperate parts
  of Europe, and are extremely common in many if those of our own country._

There is, in Paris, a great consumption of bleaks on account of their
_scales_, which are used in the manufacture of _artificial pearls_. The
scales are scraped off into clear water, and beaten to an extremely fine
pulp. After this the water is several times changed until they are entirely
free from colour. The silvery matter that is left precipitates to the
bottom; and the water is carefully poured off from it, by inclining the
vessel. This substance, mixed with a little size, is introduced, in small
quantity, into thin glass bubbles, by a slender pipe, and moved about until
their whole interior surface is covered. The remaining part of the bubble
is then generally filled with wax. The inventor of this art was a Frenchman
of the name of Jannin, a bead merchant in Paris.

In some countries bleaks are pickled in the manner of anchovies. When of
large size they are well flavoured, but they are too bony to be in much
request as food, even by the poor. They are considered in greatest
perfection in the autumn.


  250.  _The COMMON STURGEON_ (Acipenser sturio, Fig. 71), _is a large kind
  of sea-fish with five rows of bony tubercles along the body; the mouth
  beneath the head, and four fleshy beards betwixt the mouth and the
  extremity of the muzzle._

  _This fish sometimes growes to the length of sixteen feet and upwards._

  _It inhabits the European and American seas, and annually ascends the
  rivers in the early part of the year._

It is to this and to a still larger species of sturgeon called the BELUGA
(_Acipenser huso_), which is found in the river Wolga, that we are indebted
for much of the well-known substance called _isinglass_. The mode of making
isinglass was long kept a secret by the Russians, and has only of late
years been made public. This article consists of certain membranous parts
of fishes deprived of their viscous quality and properly dried. The sounds,
or air bladders, are those of which it is chiefly made. They are taken out,
while sweet and fresh, slit open, washed from their slime, divested of a
very thin membrane which envelopes them, and then left to stiffen in the
air. After this they are formed into rolls, each about the thickness of the
finger, and put into the shape in which we see them, by small wooden pegs,
and left to dry. The kind called _cake isinglass_ is formed of bits and
fragments put into a flat metal pan with very little water, heated just
enough to make the parts adhere, and subsequently dried in the air.

Although by far the greatest quantity of isinglass is obtained from the
beluga, as being the largest and most abundant fish in the rivers of
Muscovy, yet it has been ascertained that this substance may be made from
the air-bladders of every species of fresh water fish. The principal
consumption of isinglass is by brewers and others, for the fining of
fermented liquors: this it appears to do merely by the mechanical effect of
its organization, which forms a kind of strainer, or fine net-work, and
carries the gross impurities before it, as it subsides. It is sometimes
employed in medicine; and also in cookery, for making jellies, and other

_Caviar_ is a kind of food made generally from the roes of the sturgeon.
For this purpose they are washed, when fresh, by rubbing them, with the
hands, in a sieve, to free them from the fibres by which the several eggs
are connected together. They are then washed in white wine or vinegar, and
spread out to dry. After some further processes, they are either formed
into cakes, each about an inch in thickness and three or four inches in
diameter, or they are packed in small kegs for use.

The _flesh_ of the sturgeon is firm, white, and of excellent flavour; and,
by some persons, has been compared to veal. It is considered best when
roasted; though it is commonly sold in a pickled state, and, in this state,
is chiefly imported from the rivers of the Baltic and North America. All
sturgeons that are caught near London are taken to the Lord Mayor, and are
by him presented to the King. In Italy the _back bones_ of these fish are
cut into pieces, salted and smoked for food. The Russians frequently
convert the _skins_ of sturgeons into a kind of leather, which they use for
the covering of carriages.

  251. _The SHARKS and DOG-FISH_ (Squalus, Fig. 64) _constitute a tribe of
  sea-fish noted for their voracity, and peculiarly characterized by
  having, instead of gills, from four to seven breathing apertures, of
  curved form, on each side of the neck._

  _They are found in all seas, and some of them are of enormous magnitude,
  measuring from twenty to thirty feet and upwards in length._

The _skins_ of nearly all these animals, which are rough, with hard and
minute prickles, are in frequent use for polishing wood, ivory, and even
iron. Those of the larger species are cut into thongs and traces for
carriages; and, in Norway, a sort of leather is prepared from them, which
is employed for shoes and many other purposes. The skin of the SPOTTED
DOG-FISH (_Squalus canicula_) is converted into the well-known substance
called _shagreen_, or _chagreen_. For this purpose it is extended on a
board and covered with mustard seed; and, after having been exposed for
several days to the effects of the weather, it is tanned. The best shagreen
is imported from Constantinople. This is of brownish colour, and very hard;
but when immersed in water, it becomes soft and pliable, and may be dyed of
any colour. Shagreen is often counterfeited by preparing morocco leather in
the same manner as the skins of the dog-fish. Such fraud may, however,
easily be detected by the surface of the spurious manufacture peeling or
scaling off, whilst that of the genuine article remains perfectly sound.
Shagreen is employed principally to cover cases for mathematical
instruments, and was formerly used for watch-cases and the covers of books.
_Sharks' fins_ are an article of trade from the Arabian and Persian gulfs
to India, and thence to China: they are generally packed in bales weighing
each about 700 pounds.

The _flesh_ of all the species of sharks is hard, and in general unpleasant
both to the smell and the taste; yet it is sometimes eaten by seamen, after
having been macerated for a while in water to soften it. The _eggs_ of
sharks are also eaten. The _livers_ of all the species yield a considerable
quantity of oil, which is useful for burning and for other purposes. From
the livers of some of the larger kinds as much as seven or eight butts of
oil have been obtained, worth twenty or thirty pounds and upwards.

  252. _The SKATE_ (Raia batis, Fig. 72) _is a species of ray of large
  size, with flat and somewhat diamond-shaped body, and the mouth on the
  under side: the teeth sharp, and a single row of spines in the tail._

  _It is found in almost every part of the European ocean._

No fish of its tribe is so excellent for the table as the skate,
particularly when it is young and has not fed in a muddy part of the sea.
The flesh is white and of good flavour, but is usually crimped before it is
cooked. The best season for skate is from January to March; and from July
to September. So great is the size which these fish sometimes attain, that
Willoughby mentions one that would have served 120 men for dinner. In
several parts of the Continent skate are salted and dried for sale. The
fishermen also sometimes dry the _stomach_ as an article of food; and
extract from the _liver_ a white and valuable kind of oil.

  253. _The THORNBACK_ (Raia clavata) _is a species of ray, which differs
  from the skate chiefly in having blunt teeth, and a row of curved spines
  along the middle of the body and on the tail._

  _This is a very common fish near all the coasts of Britain._

The flesh of thornback is much inferior to that of the skate, yet it is
sometimes eaten. That of the young ones, which have the denomination of
_maids_, is however peculiarly excellent. The Norwegian fishermen catch
thornbacks chiefly on account of their _livers_; from these they extract a
considerable quantity of oil, which they sell with great advantage to
strangers who frequent their harbours.

  254.  _The TRUE LAMPREY_ (Petromyzon marinus, Fig. 73) _is an eel-shaped
  fish having seven breathing-holes on each side of the neck, and somewhat
  oblong mouth with many rows of yellowish pointed teeth disposed in a
  circular form._

  _These fish are of dusky colour, irregularly marked with dirty yellow;
  and they sometimes weigh four or five pounds each._

  _They are sea-fish, but, at certain seasons, they ascend the rivers to
  deposit their eggs._

Lampreys are celebrated as forming an excellent dish for the table; and
they have, at all times, been held in great esteem by epicures,
particularly when potted or stewed. The death of one of our monarchs, Henry
the First, has been attributed to a too plentiful repast which he made of
these fish. Lampreys are in best season during the month of March, April,
and May; at which time they are caught in the rivers. The Severn is
peculiarly celebrated for them; and the city of Gloucester, which is
situated on that river, is required, by ancient custom, to present annually
to the King, at Christmas, a lamprey pie with raised crust. And as, at that
early season, lampreys are very scarce, it is not without difficulty that
the corporation is able to supply the proper quantity.

These fish are caught in various ways, but particularly in osier pots or
baskets formed to entrap them, and also in nets. In some parts of the
country they are boiled, and afterwards packed into barrels with vinegar
and spices.

  255.  _The LESSER LAMPREY_ (Petromyzon fluviatilis) _is a fresh-water
  fish, distinguishable from the true lamprey by its much smaller size, the
  second dorsal fin being angular and connected with the caudal fin, and
  having a single row of teeth placed circularly in the mouth._

  _This fish seldom exceeds the length of eight or ten inches._

  _It is found in the rivers of most parts of Europe, America, and Asia;
  and particularly in those of Brandenburgh, Pomerania, Silesia, and

In the spring of the year these fish are frequently seen sticking, by their
mouth, to stones in shallow water, from which they may easily be taken with
the hand. They are considered a very delicious fish for the table, in
whatever way they are cooked. The best season for them is betwixt the
months of December and April.

Great numbers of Lesser Lampreys are caught in the Severn, the Dee, and the
Thames; but particularly in the latter, near Mortlake in Surrey. Anterior
to the late war more than 400,000 of them were annually sold to the Dutch
as bait for cod, turbot, and other large fish.




  256. _The SPANISH FLY, or BLISTERING LYTTA_ (Lytta vesicatoria), _is a
  coleopterous insect (12), about an inch in length, of shining blue-green
  colour with black antennæ._

  _It is found in most parts of Europe, and feeds on the leaves of the ash,
  poplar, elder, lilac, and other trees._

These insects, which are known in medicine by the name of _cantharides_,
are of incalculable importance to mankind, as the basis of blistering
plasters, and also as an internal remedy against many diseases. We import
them in a dried state, from Spain, Italy, and the South of France; in many
parts of which countries, about the middle of summer, they are found in
vast abundance. As they are generally in a torpid state during the day,
they are easily collected, by shaking them from the trees upon a cloth
spread on the ground to receive them. When a sufficient number has been
collected they are tied in bags, and killed by being held over the fumes of
hot vinegar. After this they are dried in the sun, and packed in boxes for
sale. The odour which is emitted by these insects is peculiarly nauseous,
and so powerful, that great injury has sometimes been experienced by
persons employed in picking them, and by those who have even fallen asleep
under the trees where they abound.

Previously to being used they are pounded; and if, in this state, they be
applied to the skin, they first cause inflammation, and afterwards raise a
blister. The usual blistering plaster is formed with Venice turpentine,
yellow wax, Spanish flies, and powdered mustard.

  257. _The PALM-TREE GRUB, or GRUGRU, is the larva or caterpillar of a
  coleopterous insect (12), the palm-tree weevil_ (Curculio palmarum),
  _which is about two inches in length, of black colour, and has the elytra
  or wing cases shorter than the body, and streaked or marked with several
  longitudinal lines._

  _This insect is found in Cayenne, Surinam, and other parts of South

It deposits its eggs on the summit of the palm-tree; and the grubs that
issue from these eggs subsist on the soft interior parts of the tree. They
become about the size of the thumb, and are much sought after in many
places for the table. They are generally eaten roasted, and are considered
a peculiar delicacy. We are informed, by Ælian, of an Indian king, who for
a dessert, instead of fruit, set before his Grecian guests a dish of
roasted worms taken from a plant: these were probably the present insects,
or a kind nearly allied to them.

  258.  _The LOCUST_ (Gryllus migratorius) _is an insect, not much unlike
  our large grasshoppers, which is too common in most of the eastern

  _It is about two inches and a half in length, has a brownish body varied
  with darker spots, blue legs and jaws, the hind thighs yellowish, and the
  wings of yellowish brown colour spotted with black._

We are informed, in the New Testament, that the food of John the Baptist in
the wilderness was "locusts and wild honey." Some of the commentators have
imagined the locusts here mentioned to have been a vegetable production--a
species of pulse; but this opinion will scarcely be admitted when it is
known that the insects of this name, even at the present day, serve as food
to many of the eastern tribes. The Ethiopians and Parthians are recorded,
from the earliest periods of antiquity, to have occasionally subsisted on
this species of food. And the traveller Hasselquist, in reply to some
inquiries which he made on this subject, was informed that, at Mecca, when
there was a scarcity of grain, the inhabitants, as a substitute for flour,
would grind locusts in their hand-mills, or pound them in stone mortars:
that they mixed the substance thus formed with water, and made cakes of it;
and that they baked these cakes, like their other bread. He adds, that it
was not unusual for them to eat locusts when there was no famine; but that,
in this case, they boiled them first in water, and afterwards stewed them
with butter into a kind of fricasee. The Hottentots delight in locusts as
food, and even make their eggs into a kind of soup. Some of the African
tribes pound and boil these insects with milk; and others eat them, after
being merely broiled for a little while on the coals. Mr. Jackson says
that, when he was in Barbary, in 1799, dishes of locusts were frequently
served at the principal tables, and were esteemed a great delicacy. These
insects are preferred by the Moors to pigeons; and it is stated that a
person may eat 200 or 300 of them without experiencing any ill effects.

  259. _LAC is a resinous substance, the production of an hemipterous
  insect_ (Coccus ficus), _which is found on three or four different kinds
  of trees in the East Indies._

  _The head and trunk of the lac insect seem to form one uniform, oval, and
  compressed red body, about the size of a flea. The antennæ are
  thread-shaped, and half the length of the body. The tail is a little
  white point, whence proceed two horizontal hairs as long as the body._

These insects pierce the small branches of the trees on which they feed;
and the juice that exudes from the wounds is formed by them into a kind of
cell, or nidus for their eggs. Lac is imported, into this country, adhering
to the branches, in small transparent grains, or in semi-transparent flat
cakes. Of these the first is called _stick lac_, the second _seed lac_, and
the third _shell lac_.

On breaking a piece of stick lac it appears to be composed of regular
honeycomb-like cells, with small red bodies lodged in them; these are the
young insects, and to them the lac owes its tincture; for, when freed from
them, its colour is very faint. Seed lac is the same substance grossly
pounded and deprived of its colouring matter, which is used in dyeing, and
for other purposes; and shell lac consists of the cells liquefied, stained,
and formed into thin cakes.

This substance is principally found upon trees in the uncultivated
mountains on both sides of the river Ganges; and it occurs in such
abundance, that, were the consumption ten times greater than it is, the
markets might readily be supplied. The only trouble which attends the
procuring of it is to break down the branches of the trees and carry them
to market.

The uses of lac, in its different states, are various. It is employed in
the East Indies for making rings, beads, chains, necklaces, and other
ornaments for female attire. Mixed with sand, it is formed into
grind-stones; and added to lamp-black or ivory-black, being first dissolved
in water with the addition of a little borax, it composes an ink, which,
when dry, is not easily acted upon by moisture. A red liquor obtained from
lac is employed as a substitute for cochineal (260) in dyeing scarlet, and
in painting. Shell lac is chiefly adopted in the composition of varnish,
japan, and sealing-wax. A tincture prepared from lac is sometimes used in

  260.  _COCHINEAL is a scarlet dyeing drug, which is chiefly imported from
  Mexico and New Spain, and is the production of a small hemipterous
  insect_ (Coccus cacti) _that is found on the prickly pear_ (Cactus
  opuntia) _and some other trees._

  _The male is winged, and the female not. The latter is of an oval form,
  convex on the back, and covered with a white downy substance resembling
  the finest cotton. The antennæ are half as long as the body, and the legs
  are short and black._

Cochineal is one of the most valuable substances that are used in dyeing.
As imported into this country, it is in the form of a reddish shrivelled
grain, covered with a white bloom or powder.

The cochineal insects adhere in great numbers, and in an apparently torpid
state, to the leaves of the prickly pear. At a certain period of the year
they are carefully picked or brushed off, either by a bamboo twig shaped
somewhat into the form of a pen, or by an instrument formed of a squirrel's
or stag's tail: and so tedious is the operation, that the persons employed
in it are sometimes obliged to sit for hours together beside a single
plant. In some parts of South America the insects, after being collected in
a wooden bowl, are thickly spread upon a flat dish of earthen ware, and
cruelly placed alive over a charcoal fire, where they are slowly roasted,
till their downy covering disappears, and they are perfectly dried. In
other parts they are killed by being thrown into boiling water, by being
placed in ovens, or being exposed in heaps to the sun.

The quantity of cochineal annually exported from South America is said to
be worth more than 500,000l. sterling, a vast sum to arise from so minute
an insect; and the present annual consumption of cochineal in England has
been estimated at about 150,000 pounds' weight.

It is for dyeing scarlet that cochineal is chiefly in demand; but although
a peculiarly brilliant dye is now obtained from it, this substance gave
only a dull crimson colour until a chemist of the name of Kuster, who,
about the middle of the seventeenth century, lived at Bow, near London,
discovered the art of preparing it with a solution of tin. Cochineal, if
kept in a dry place, may be preserved, without injury, for a great length
of time. An instance has been mentioned of some of this dye, 130 years old,
having been found to produce the same effect as though it had been
perfectly fresh.

The attention of the East India Company has, for many years, been directed
to the production of cochineal in the East, but hitherto with little
success. That which has been brought from India is very small, and greatly
inferior to what is imported from New Spain.

An imitation of cochineal is made by a preparation of bullock's blood, and
some other ingredients.

  261. _The SILK-WORM is a smooth and somewhat lead-coloured caterpillar,
  produced from the eggs of a moth_ (Phalæna mori) _which is found in great
  abundance in China, the East Indies, the Levant, several parts of Italy,
  and the South of Spain._

So great is the importance of _silk_, in a commercial view, that, in most
of the Eastern countries of the world, a close attention is paid to the
growth and cultivation of the insects by which it is produced. Each moth
lays about two hundred small straw-coloured eggs. As soon as the worms are
hatched they are fed with the tenderest leaves of the mulberry-tree, or
with these leaves chopped very fine; and, when they have attained
sufficient strength, they are removed into wicker baskets, or placed upon
shelves made of wickerwork. Here they feed for about thirty days, until
they are full grown, when they are furnished with little bushes of heath or
broom. On these they spin the nests in which they are about to change into
chrysalids. These nests have the general name of coccoons, and consist of
somewhat oval-shaped balls of silk, of marigold colour. The exterior of the
coccoon is composed of a rough cotton-like substance, called _floss_.
Within this is the thread, which is more distinct and even; and appears
arranged in a very irregular manner, winding off first from one side of the
coccoon, and then from the other. Previously to the silk being wound from
the coccoons they are baked for about an hour to kill the chrysalids they
contain. When the silk is to be wound off, the coccoons are put into small
coppers or basins, of water, each placed over a small fire. The ends of the
threads are found by brushing the coccoons gently with a whisk made for the
purpose; and so fine are these threads that eight or ten of them are
generally rolled off into one. In winding them, they are each passed
through a hole in an horizontal iron bar placed at the edge of the basin,
which prevents them from being entangled.

The art of manufacturing silk was known to the ancients; but in Europe this
commodity, long after its invention, was of very great value. We are
informed that, in the third century, the wife of the Roman Emperor Aurelian
entreated him to give her a robe of purple silk, and that he refused this
under an allegation that he could not buy such a robe for its weight in

It is not certain at what precise period the silk manufacture was first
introduced into England. But, in the year 1242, we are told that part of
the streets of London were covered or shaded with silk, for the reception
of Richard, the brother of Henry the Third, on his return from the Holy
Land. In 1454 the silk manufactures of England are said to have been
confined to ribbons, laces, and other trifling articles. Queen Elizabeth,
in the third year of her reign, was furnished by her silk-woman with a pair
of black knit silk stockings, which she is stated to have admired as
"marvellous delicate wear;" and after the using of which she no longer had
cloth ones, as before. James the First, whilst king of Scotland, requested
of the Earl of Mar the loan of a pair of silk stockings to appear in before
the English ambassador, enforcing his request with this cogent appeal, "For
ye would not, sure, that your King should appear as a scrub before

China may be said to be the country of silk; indeed it furnishes large
quantities of raw silk to all the neighbouring nations, and to Europe; and
also for clothing the greatest part of its own inhabitants. There are in
China very few, except the lowest orders, who are not clad in silk
garments. The best Chinese silk is that which is imported from Nankin.

The principal silk manufacture in England is carried on in Spitalfields,

Although the whole of the silk which is produced in Europe, and the
greatest proportion of that manufactured in China, is obtained from the
common silkworm; yet considerable quantities are procured, in India, from
the caterpillars of other moths. Of these the most important are the TUSSEH
and ARRINDY silk worms (_Phalæna paphia_ and _cinthia_), both of which are
natives of Bengal and the adjacent provinces. The silk from these kinds of
worms has long been used by the natives. The former, which is commonly
called tusseh silk, is woven into a coarse and dark-coloured kind of cloth,
called _tusseh dooties_, much worn by the Brahmins and other sects of
Hindoos. Of the arrindy silk is manufactured a coarse kind of white cloth,
of seemingly loose texture, but of almost incredible durability. It is
employed as clothing both for men and women; and may be used for more than
twenty years without decay. In the washing of it, however, care must be
taken to use only cold water, as, if put into boiling water, it will become
rotten, and will tear like old and decayed cloth. This kind of silk is not
only employed for clothing, but, by merchants, as packing cloths, for
silks, shawls, and other fine goods. Some manufacturers in England, to whom
the silk was shown, were of opinion that it might be made into shawls,
equal in quality to any that we receive from India.

  262. _The HIVE-BEE_ (Apis mellifica) _is a well-known, hymenopterous
  insect (12), of uniform brown colour, and with somewhat hairy body._

  _Bees live in extremely numerous societies, either in decayed trees, or
  in habitations prepared for them by mankind, called_ hives. _Each hive
  contains, 1, a single female which has the name of_ queen-bee; _2, about
  1600 males, called_ drones; _and, 3, about 20,000 individuals of neither
  sex, called_ working-bees. _It is upon the latter that the whole trouble
  devolves of constructing combs, or cells, for the honey and for the eggs
  deposited by the female; collecting and forming the honey, and feeding
  the grubs which proceed from the eggs, and which afterwards change into

_Bees' wax_ is the substance of the combs after the honey has been
extracted from them. The best kind is hard, compact, of clear yellow
colour, and an agreeable odour, nearly similar to that of honey. It is
melted, and cast in moulds of different sizes and shapes. _White wax_ is
prepared from common bees' wax by melting it into water, and exposing it,
for a considerable time, to the action of the sun, air, and water. When
sufficiently bleached, it is cast into thin cakes. The purposes for which
wax is applicable are very numerous. Great quantities of white wax are
annually consumed in the manufacture of candles; and in making cerates,
plasters, and ointments.

_Honey_ is a sweet and fluid substance, which is collected from flowers,
and deposited in the combs for support of the bees and their offspring. The
honey made by young bees is purer than any other, and is thence called
_virgin honey_. Before the discovery of sugar, honey was of much greater
importance than it is at present. Yet both as a delicious article of food,
and as the basis of a wholesome fermented liquor called _mead_, it is of no
mean value even in this country; but in many parts of the Continent, where
sugar is much dearer than with us, few articles of rural economy, not of
primary importance, would be dispensed with more reluctantly than honey. In
the Ukraine some of the peasants have each 400 or 500 bee-hives, and make
more profit of their bees than of corn. And in Spain the number of hives is
almost incredible: a single parish priest is stated to have possessed 5000.

Bee-hives that are made of straw are usually preferred to any others, as
they are not liable to be overheated by the sun; they keep out the cold
better than wood, and are cheaper than those formed of any other material.
The profit arising from bees, when properly attended to, is very
considerable; and, to obtain the greatest possible advantage from them,
they should be supplied with every convenience for the support of
themselves and their offspring. They should be kept in a good situation;
that is, in a country abounding with flowers; at a distance from
brew-houses, smelting-works, &c. and in well-constructed hives. In France
floating bee-hives are very common. One barge contains from sixty to a
hundred hives well defended from the inclemency of the weather. With these
the owners float gently down the stream, whilst the insects gather honey
from the flowers along the banks.

Many of the bee-masters in France have an ingenious mode of transporting
the loaded bee-hives from one part of the country to another. They are
fastened together by laths placed on pack-cloth, which is drawn up on each
side, and then tied by a piece of pack-thread several times round the top.
In this state they are laid in a cart, and can be carried in safety to very
considerable distances.

When the young bees begin to appear, the hives become so much crowded that
they _swarm_ or separate. This usually takes place in the month of May, or
earlier if the season be warm.

In England it is customary, in taking the honey, to destroy the bees, by
suffocating them with the fumes of brimstone; but there are modes, which
not only humanity but even policy would recommend, of obtaining the honey
without injuring the insects.

  263. _The COMMON, or BLACK-CLAWED CRAB_ (Cancer pagurus, Fig. 76), _is a
  crustaceous animal, with smooth shell, of somewhat oval shape, having a
  margin with nine folds on each side, and the great claws black at the

  _These crabs inhabit the rocky parts of the sea both of Europe and

They are frequently caught at low water of the spring tides, under stones
and in crevices of the rocks. But the usual mode is by large wicker baskets
made somewhat in the shape of wire mouse-traps, and baited with garbage or
fish. When caught, the large claws are tied together, or (with great
cruelty) pegged in the joints, to prevent the animals from destroying each
other. They are then put into store baskets, which are placed in the sea,
until the crabs are wanted for sale. In these they are kept sometimes for
many weeks, without any other food than what they can collect from the

The principal season for crabs is the spring of the year; and those of
middle size which are the heaviest are best. When in perfection the joints
of the legs are stiff, and the body has an agreeable smell. If the eyes
look dead and flaccid, the crabs are not fresh.

The article which is used in medicine called _crabs' claws_, consists of
the black tips of the claws pounded, well washed in boiling water, and
reduced to a fine powder.

  264. _The LAND CRAB_ (Cancer ruricola) _is a crustaceous animal, common
  in some parts of America, the Bahamas, and other islands in the West
  Indies, which has a rounded shell without margin, and the first joints of
  the legs spinous, and the second and third furnished with tufts of hair._

  _The shells of the largest land crabs are about six inches in diameter,
  and of various colours._

These crabs inhabit the clefts of rocks, the hollows of trees, or holes
which they form in the ground. In the early part of the year they descend
in myriads to the sea-coast, to deposit their eggs in the sand. They
chiefly travel by night, but in rainy weather they also proceed during the
day. The inhabitants of the countries where they abound are always eagerly
on watch for their migrations towards the sea, and destroy immense numbers
of them, disregarding, at this time, the bodies, and only taking out the
spawn. It is on their return that the animals themselves are valuable as

  265. _The LOBSTER_ (Cancer gammarus, Fig. 74) _is a well known
  crustaceous animal, distinguished by its long and jointed tail, its shell
  being smooth, and having betwixt the eyes a kind of beak toothed on each
  side, and with a double tooth at its base._

  _These animals are of bluish black colour when alive, but, in boiling,
  this changes to a dingy red. They sometimes grow to an immense size._

  _Lobsters are found among marine rocks in nearly all parts of Europe._

They are caught much in the same manner as crabs (263). The London markets
are supplied with great numbers of lobsters from the Orkney Islands and the
eastern parts of Scotland, and even from the coast of Norway. It is said
that in London lobsters are sometimes boiled every day for a week or
longer, to keep them sweet externally; but, notwithstanding this
precaution, their inner parts become putrid. An immoderate use both of
lobsters and crabs is sometimes attended with irruptions in the face, or a
species of nettle rash over the whole body; and, when eaten in a state
approaching to putrescence, they are sometimes productive of still more
disagreeable effects.

When selected for the table, lobsters ought to be heavy in proportion to
their size, and to have a hard, and firm crust. During winter the male
lobsters are generally preferred for the table. These are distinguished by
the narrowness of their tail, and by the first two fins beneath being large
and hard. The females, on the contrary, are broader in the tail, and have
these fins small and soft. The roe or eggs are found under the tail of the
females for some time after they have been protruded from the body, and in
this state the females are generally preferred to the males. When fresh,
the tails of lobsters are stiff, and pull open with a spring, but when they
are stale the joints of the tail become flaccid.

  266. _The SEA CRAW-FISH, or SPINY LOBSTER_ (Cancer homarus), _is a
  crustaceous animal, distinguishable from the common lobster, by its shell
  being covered with spines, mud by each of the legs ending in a hairy

  _This species is of large size, and is found in most of the European

Sea craw-fish are very common in the London markets, where they are sold at
a price inferior to that of the common lobsters. Their flesh is hard, and
has a peculiar sweetness, which by many persons is much disliked. At
Marseilles, and on the coast of the Mediterranean, however, they are in
considerable request on account of their eggs, which are esteemed a great
delicacy. These begin to appear towards the end of May, and are cast about
two months afterwards.

  267. _The COMMON, or FRESH-WATER CRAW-FISH_ (Cancer astacus), _is a small
  crustaceous animal, in shape somewhat resembling a lobster, and
  distinguished by having its large claws beset with numerous tubercles,
  and the beak between its eyes being toothed on each side, and having a
  single tooth at the base._

  _It inhabits holes in the clayey or stony banks of many of the rivers of
  England, and is seldom known to exceed the length of three or four

Craw-fish are frequently used in cookery; and their flesh is considered
nutritive, but somewhat indigestible.

Those substances which in medicine are improperly denominated _crabs' eyes_
are concretions formed within the thorax of the craw-fish. They are
generally about the size of peas, or larger, somewhat flatted on one side,
and of whitish colour. The principal part of them are brought from Muscovy,
and particularly from the banks of the river Don.

In England the usual mode of catching craw-fish is by cleft sticks, baited
with flesh or garbage, and stuck in the mud near their haunts at the
distance of a few feet from each other. After being suffered to remain some
time, these are gently drawn up, and a basket is put under them to receive
the animals, which always drop off as soon as they are brought to the
surface of the water.

  268. _The COMMON SHRIMP_ (Cancer crangon), _is a very small crustaceous
  animal, somewhat shaped like a lobster; having four antennæ, the two
  interior ones short and double, with two thin projecting laminæ beneath
  them, and on each of the large claws a single moveable fang._

  _Shrimps are common in shallow parts of the sea where the bottom is

  269. _The PRAWN_ (Cancer squilla, Fig. 75), _is a small crustaceous
  animal, which differs from the shrimp in having a preceding and sharply
  serrated horn in front of its head, four antennæ, of which the two
  interior ones are long, and each in three divisions, and on each of the
  large claws two fangs._

  _It is found in many parts of the European ocean._

Both these species are in great demand for the table, the former chiefly as
sauce, and the latter to eat as a relish at breakfast or with the last
courses at dinner. They are an agreeable repast, and more easily digestible
than either crabs or lobsters.

The mode in which they are caught is generally by a kind of net called a
putting net, which is fixed to the end of a long pole, and pushed along
upon the sand in shallow water. Prawns in some places are caught in wicker
baskets, similar in shape to those which are used for the catching of crabs




  270. _The MEDICINAL LEECH_ (Hirudo medicinalis), _is a worm-shaped animal
  of olive-black colour, with six yellowish lines on the upper part of the
  body, and spotted with yellow beneath._

  _When fully extended, the leech is generally two or three inches in
  length. It is found in stagnant and muddy waters._

The use of leeches in medicine is to diminish the accumulation of blood in
any particular part of the body. This they do by fixing themselves to the
spot, forming a hole with three sharp teeth which are situated triangularly
in their mouth, and sucking the blood through the wound. When they have
drawn sufficient, they are easily loosened by putting upon them a small
quantity of salt, pepper, or vinegar.

Leeches are caught in various ways, but one of the best is to throw bundles
of weeds into the water which they inhabit. These, if taken out a few hours
afterwards, will generally be found to contain a considerable number. They
are collected from several of the rivers in the south of England, and are
kept for sale sometimes, many thousands together, in casks or tubs of
spring water. This is frequently changed, and all the slime and filth which
exude from their bodies is carefully washed away.

It is said that if leeches be kept in glass vessels they will indicate a
change of weather, by becoming at such times peculiarly restless and

  271. _The OFFICINAL CUTTLE-FISH_ (Sepia officinalis), _is a marine
  animal, with somewhat oval body nearly surrounded by a margin, eight
  short and pointed arms, and two tentacula four times as long as the arms,
  all furnished with numerous small cup-shaped suckers._

  _These animals are found in considerable numbers in the European seas._

By the ancients, cuttle-fish were in great esteem as a delicacy for the
table; and, even at the present day, they are frequently eaten by the
Italians, and by the inhabitants of other countries on the shores of the

There is, in the middle of their body, an oval bone, thick in the middle,
and thin and sharp at the edges, light, spongy, and of whitish colour.
These bones were formerly employed in medicine, and are still kept in the
druggists' shops. When dried and pulverized, they are used by silversmiths
as moulds, in which they cast spoons, rings, and other small work. When
burnt or calcined, they are useful for the cleaning and polishing of silver
and other hard substances, and sometimes for correcting the acidity of

The body of the cuttle-fish is furnished with a vessel that contains a
considerable quantity of dark-coloured or inky fluid, which the animal
emits into the water, to conceal its retreat when alarmed by the approach
of its enemies. And it is generally supposed that the article called
_Indian ink_ is this black fluid, in an inspissated or hardened state, and
perfumed with musk and other substances.

  272. _The PEARL-BEARING MYA_ (Mya margaritifera) _is a testaceous animal,
  having an oblong double or bivalve shell of somewhat oval shape, but
  narrower towards the middle than at the ends, and covered externally with
  a dark-coloured rough epidermis or skin, except on the protuberant parts
  near the hinge: one of the shells at the hinge has a single tooth or
  prominent part, which fits into a forked one in the other._

  _The general depth of the shells is two inches, and breadth about five

  _Pearl-bearing myas are found in fresh-water rivers in many parts of
  Britain, and in those of most other countries within the arctic circle.
  The river Tay in Scotland, and the Conwy in Wales, are particularly noted
  for them._

In the river Tay some of these shells are found to contain good pearls; but
fine ones are very scarce, and the greater part are of little or no value.
They are of various shapes, round, oval, or elongated, and cylindrical,
hemispherical, and resembling buttons. Several of the oblong ones have a
contraction towards the middle, which gives them the appearance of two
pearls joined together.

Pearls are a calculus, or morbid concretion, formed in consequence of some
external injury which the shell receives, particularly from the operations
of certain minute worms which occasionally bore even quite through to the
animal. The pearls are formed in the inside on these places. Hence it is
easy to ascertain, by the inspection of the outside only, whether a shell
is likely to contain pearls. If it be quite smooth, without cavity,
perforation, or callosity, it may with certainty be pronounced to contain
none. If, on the contrary, the shell be pierced or indented by worms, there
will always be found either pearls or the embryos of pearls. It is
possible, by artificial perforations of the shells, to cause the formation
of these substances. The process which has been chiefly recommended is to
drill a small hole through the shell, and to fill this hole with a piece of
brass wire, rivetting it on the outside like the head of a nail; and the
part of the wire which pierces the interior shining coat of the shell will,
it is said, become covered with a pearl.

As to the value of British pearls, some have been found of size so large as
to be sold for 20l. each and upwards; and 80l. was once offered and refused
for one of them. It is reported in Wales, that a pearl, from the river
Conwy, which was presented to the queen of Charles the Second, was
afterwards placed in the regal crown.

  273. _The ORIENTAL PEARL MUSCLE_ (Mytilus margaritiferus) _to which we
  are indebted for nearly all the pearls of commerce, has a flattened and
  somewhat circular shell, about eight inches in diameter; the part near
  the hinge bent, or transverse, and imbricated (or covered like slates on
  a house) with several coats which are toothed at the edges._

  _Some of the shells are externally of sea-green colour, others are
  chesnut, or reddish with white stripes or marks; and others whitish with
  green marks._

  _These shells are found both in the American and Indian seas._

The principal pearl fisheries are off the coasts of Hindostan and Ceylon.
The fishing usually commences about the month of March, and occupies many
boats and a great number of hands. Each boat has generally twenty-one men,
of whom one is the captain, who acts as pilot; ten row and assist the
divers, and the remainder are divers. The latter go down into the sea
alternately by five at a time. To accelerate their descent they have a
perforated stone of eighteen or twenty pounds weight, fastened by a cord to
their great toe, or to some other part of their body. The depth of water
through which they pass is from four to ten fathoms; and they collect the
muscles into a bag of net-work which they hang about their necks. When
desirous of ascending, they pull a rope as a signal to their companions in
the boat to draw them up. They are often known to descend as many as forty
or fifty times in a day, and at each plunge to return with more than a
hundred shells. The usual time for the divers to remain under water does
not much exceed two minutes, though some are able to continue immersed more
than five minutes.

When the muscles are taken out of the boats, they are placed in heaps on
the shore, where they continue about ten days, till the animals become
quite putrid. They are then opened and searched for the pearls. One muscle
sometimes contains many pearls, a hundred and upwards, large and small; and
sometimes a hundred muscles have been opened without yielding a single
pearl large enough to be of any value.

The pearls are sorted according to their size, by being passed through
large brass sieves, or through saucers with round holes in the bottom.
After having been sorted, they are drilled; and then washed in salt water
to prevent any stains which might be left by the drilling. The arranging of
them on strings is considered the most difficult task of a pearl merchant,
in consequence of the correctness of judgment which is requisite in
classing them according to their value.

The value of pearls is estimated by their size, roundness, colour and
brightness. A handsome necklace of pearls, smaller than large peas, is
worth from 170l. to 300l. whilst one of pearls not larger than pepper-corns
may not be worth more than 20l. The King of Persia has a pear-shaped pearl
so large and pure as to have been valued at 110,000l. sterling. The largest
round pearl that has been known belonged to the Great Mogul, and was about
two-thirds of an inch in diameter. Pearls from the fishery of Ceylon are
considered more valuable in England than those from any other part of the
world. The smaller kinds are called _seed_ or _dust pearls_, and are of
comparatively small value, being sold by the ounce to be converted into

_Nacre_ or _mother-of-pearl_ is the inner part of the shell of the pearl
muscle. This is of a brilliant and beautifully white colour, and is usually
separated from the external part by aqua-fortis, or the lapidary's mill.
Pearl muscle shells are on this account an important article of traffic to
China and many parts of India, as well as to the different countries of
Europe. They are manufactured into beads, snuff-boxes, buttons, and spoons,
fish and counters, for card-players, and innumerable other articles.

The pearl muscles are not considered good as food; though, after having
been dried in the sun, they are sometimes eaten by the lower classes of
people in the countries near which they are found.

  274. _The COMMON or EDIBLE MUSCLE_ (Mytilus edulis, Fig. 79) _is a
  testaceous animal, with a smooth double or bivalve shell of oblong oval
  form, pointed, and slightly keel-shaped at the beak, flatted and somewhat
  curved on one side._

  _The colour is generally blackish, and the length about three inches._

  _This species of muscle is found adhering to sub-marine rocks by certain
  silky threads, which it forms from its own body; and it is common both in
  the Indian and European seas._

In many parts of Europe muscles are nearly as much in request for the table
as oysters; and at Rochelle, and some other places, modes are adopted of
increasing their excellence, by placing them, after they are taken from the
sea, in pools or ditches where the sea-water is stagnant, and introduced
only at particular periods as it is wanted. Muscles are caught nearly
through the whole year, though they are considered best in the autumn.

To some constitutions they are an unwholesome food, producing inflammation,
eruptions on the skin, and an intolerable itching over the whole body; the
best remedies for which are said to be a liberal use of oil, emetics, or

  275. _The OYSTER_ (Ostrea edulis, Fig. 77) _is a testaceous animal, too
  well known to need any description._

  _It is found affixed to rocks, or in large beds, both in the European and
  Indian seas._

The use of oysters as food has rendered them celebrated in all ages. The
ancient Roman writers speak of them as in great request by that luxurious
people. Pliny relates that in his time they were considered so exquisite
as, when in perfection, to have been sold for enormous prices; and that
Apicius, the notorious epicure or glutton, invented a peculiar method of
preserving and fattening them.

Of all the European oysters, the largest are those that are caught off the
coast of Normandy, and with which Paris is principally supplied. But the
best are of middle or somewhat small size, and are caught in the waters of
Malden and Colne in Essex, or near the mouth of the Thames. They are
dredged up by a net (with an iron scraper at the mouth) which is dragged by
a rope from a boat over the beds; and then stored in large pits formed for
the purpose, and furnished with sluices through which, at spring tides, the
salt water is suffered to flow. In these pits they acquire their full
quality, and become fit for the table in six or eight weeks. The most
delicious oysters are considered to be those which are fattened in the
salt-water creeks near Milton in Kent, and Colchester in Essex.

Oysters are out of season during the summer-time, the period at which they
deposit their spawn, and which commences in the month of April. Each spawn
has the appearance of a drop of candle-grease, and adheres to rocks,
stones, or other substances on which it happens to be deposited. In some
oyster-beds, old shells, pieces of wood, &c. under the denomination of
_cultch_, are purposely thrown in to receive the spawn. From these, in the
month of May, the oyster-fishers are allowed to separate the spawn for the
purpose of transferring it to other beds; but they are required, under
certain penalties, to throw the cultch in again, that the beds may be
preserved for the future; unless the spawn should be so small as not with
safety to be separable from the cultch.

Oysters are considered to be first fit for the table when about a year and
half old; and they are among the few animals which in Europe are not merely
eaten raw, but even in a living state. Oysters are also eaten cooked in
various ways, as sauce to different kinds of fish, and pickled.

The _shells_, like those of other testaceous animals, consist of calcareous
earth in combination with animal glue; and, by calcination, they yield a
pure kind of quick-lime. In this state they are not only useful as lime,
but are also frequently employed by stationers and attorneys as pounce for
rubbing upon parchment previously to its being written upon.

  276. _The GREAT SCALLOP_ (Pecten maximus, Fig. 78) _is a testaceous
  animal with a double shell, flat on one side, and convex on the other,
  with about fourteen rounded ribs, which are longitudinally grooved, and a
  projection or ear on each side of the hinge._

  _The shells, when full grown, are about five inches long, and six inches

By some persons scallops are thought better eating than oysters; and the
ancients held them in great esteem. In several parts of France they have
the name of "Coquilles de Saint Jacques," from the Catholics who annually
visit the shrine of St. James of Compostella, in Spain, placing the shells
in their hats as a testimony of this pilgrimage. These shells are also worn
by pilgrims to the Holy Land.

  277. _The COCKLE_ (Cardium edule, Fig. 80) _is a small and well-known
  testaceous animal with a double convex shell, somewhat deeper on one side
  than the other; and marked by twenty-eight depressed ribs, which are
  streaked or slightly furrowed across._

Cockles are perhaps more generally eaten in England than in any other
country of the world: and they are a wholesome and, to many persons, an
agreeable food, but, if eaten raw, they are supposed to produce poisonous
effects. Cockles are generally found on sea coasts, immersed at the depth
of two or three inches in the sand. They are dug up at low water, and the
places where they are concealed are known by small, circular, and depressed
spots in the sand. Cockles are chiefly in request during the winter months.
They are sometimes pickled, and sometimes converted into ketchup.

  278. _The GREAT PINNA, or SEA WING_ (Pinna nobilis) _is a testaceous
  animal with a double or bivalve shell, of nearly triangular shape, open
  at the broader end, longitudinally striated, the scales channelled and
  tubular, and somewhat imbricated._

  _Its length is sometimes more than fourteen inches, and its greatest
  breadth six or seven inches._

  _These animals are found in great abundance in the Mediterranean; and in
  the sea near some parts of the coast of America._

From the most remote periods of antiquity the _byssus_, as it has been
denominated, or silky threads by which these animals affix their shells to
rocks or stones at the bottom of the sea, has been spun and woven into
different articles of dress. For this purpose the shells are dragged up by
a kind of iron rake with many teeth, each about seven inches long, and
three inches asunder; and attached to a handle proportionate to the depth
of water in which the shells are found. When the byssus is separated, it is
well washed, to cleanse it from impurities. It is then dried in the shade,
and straightened with a large comb; the hard part from which it springs is
cut off, and the remainder is properly carded. By these different processes
it is said that a pound of byssus, as taken from the sea, is reduced to
about three ounces. This substance, in its natural colour, which is a
brilliant golden brown, is manufactured in Sicily and Calabria (with the
aid of a little silk to strengthen it) into stockings, gloves, caps,
waistcoats, and other articles of extremely fine texture. All these,
however, are to be considered rather as curious than useful; and the
manufacture of them is every day declining.

  279. _The EDIBLE SNAIL_ (Helix pomatia), _is a shell animal distinguished
  by its large size, nearly globular shape; being of brownish white colour
  with usually three reddish horizontal bands, somewhat striated
  longitudinally; and having a large and rounded aperture with thickened
  and reflected margin._

  _It is sometimes more than two inches in diameter; and is found in woods
  and hedges in several parts of Europe, and occurs in those of some of the
  southern counties of England._

By the Romans, towards the close of the republic, when the luxury of the
table was carried to the greatest height of absurdity and extravagance,
this species of snails were fattened as food, in a kind of stews
constructed for the purpose, and were sometimes purchased at enormous
prices. The places for feeding them were usually formed under rocks or
eminences; and, if these were not otherwise sufficiently moist, water was
conveyed into them through pipes bored full of holes like those of a
watering pot. They were fattened with bran and the sodden lees of wine.

In France, Germany, and other countries of the Continent, these snails are
at this day in great request for the table: and are chiefly in season
during winter and the early months of the year. They are boiled in their
shells, and then taken out, washed, seasoned, and otherwise cooked
according to particular palates. Sometimes they are fried in butter, and
sometimes stuffed with force-meat; but, in what manner soever they are
dressed, their sliminess always in a great measure remains. They are
generally kept in holes dug in the ground, and are fed on refuse vegetables
from the gardens.

These snails are frequently used by females in France, as a cosmetic, to
preserve the skin of the face soft and delicate.

  280.  _CORAL_ (Corallium nobilis) _is a hard, stony, branched, and
  cylindrical substance which is formed, at the bottom of the sea, by
  certain minute animals called polypes, that issue from the branches, and
  are white, soft, semi-transparent, and each furnished with eight
  tentacula or feelers._

  _The general appearance of coral is that of a shrub destitute of leaves;
  and its height is usually from three to four feet._

  _It is found in great abundance in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea._

To the inhabitants of Marseilles, Catalonia, and Corsica, the coral fishery
is a very important pursuit; and the principal parts of the Mediterranean
from which coral is obtained are the coasts of Tunis and Sardinia, and the
mouth of the Adriatic Sea. The British government has, within the last few
years, concluded a treaty with the Barbary powers, for liberty to fish for
coral in their waters. The coral thus obtained is conveyed chiefly to Malta
and Sicily, is there wrought into beads and other ornamental forms; and
thence is imported into this country. Previously to this arrangement the
principal import of coral was from Leghorn.

The mode of obtaining coral is by a very simple machine, consisting of two
strong bars of wood or iron tied across each other, with a weight suspended
from their centre of union. Each of the arms is loosely surrounded, through
its whole length, with twisted hemp; and, at the extremity, there is a
small open purse or net. This machine is suspended by a rope, and dragged
along those rocks where the coral is most abundant; and such as is broken
off either becomes entangled in the hemp, or falls into the nets.

Coral is bought by weight: and its value increases in a certain ratio
according to its size. Beads of large size are worth about forty shillings
an ounce, whilst small ones do not sell for more than four shillings. Large
pieces of coral are sometimes cut into balls, and exported to China, to be
worn in the caps of certain persons, as an insignia of office. These, if
perfectly sound and of good colour, and upwards of an inch in diameter,
have been known to produce, in that market, as much as 300l. to 400l.
sterling each. There are extant many beautiful pieces of sculpture in
coral; as this substance has in all ages been considered an admirable
material on which to exhibit the artist's taste and skill. Probably the
finest specimens of sculptured coral that are known are a chess-board and
men, in the Tuilleries.

The Chinese have, within the last three or four years, succeeded in cutting
coral beads of much smaller dimension than has hitherto been effected by
any European artist. These, which are not larger than small pins' heads,
are called _seed coral_, and are now imported from China into this country
in very considerable quantity for necklaces. Nearly the whole of the coral
that is used is of _red_ colour; _white coral_ being considered of little
value either as an article of commerce or decoration. There are modes of
imitating coral so exactly, that, without a close inspection, it is
sometimes impossible to discover the difference betwixt the real and the
counterfeit article.

  281.  _SPONGE_ (Spongia officinalis) _is an animal substance of soft,
  light, porous, and elastic nature, which is found adhering to rocks at
  the bottom of the sea in several parts of the Mediterranean, and
  particularly near the islands of the Grecian Archipelago._

The general uses of sponge, arising from its ready absorption of fluids,
and distension by moisture, are well known, and of great importance. It is
collected from rocks, in water five or six fathoms deep, chiefly by divers,
who, after much practice, become extremely expert in obtaining it. When
first taken from the sea, it has a strong and fishy smell, of which it is
divested by being washed in clear water. No other preparation than this is
requisite previously to its being packed up for exportation and sale. The
growth of sponge is so rapid that it is frequently found in perfection on
rocks from which, only two years before, it had been entirely cleared. It
is principally imported into this country from the Levant.

Sponge is sometimes used by surgeons for the dilating of wounds; and, as it
adheres strongly to the mouths of wounded vessels, it is occasionally
applied as a styptic to prevent their bleeding. Sponge burnt in a close
earthen or iron vessel, and then reduced to powder, is sometimes used as a





  Albicore. See Thunny.
  Alligator, description of, and use of flesh, eggs, teeth, &c., 183
  Ambergris, what it is, whence obtained, and uses, 121
  Anchovy, description of, how caught, cured, and uses of, 221
  Animals, classification of, 1
  Antelope, description of, and uses of flesh, skin, and horns, 82
  Apes. See Monkeys.
  Arctic walrus, description of, and uses of tusks, oil, skin, and tendons,
  Armadillo, description of, how caught, and uses of, 15
  Ass, uses of, and of milk, flesh, skin, and bones, 106
  Asses-skin pocket-books, of what made, 107

  Baboons. See Apes.
  Bacon, how cured, 110
  Badger, description and habits of, and how caught, 54, 55
  ----, uses of flesh, skin, hair, and fat, 54
  Basse, description and use of, 204
  Bats, description and uses of, 13
  ---- Vampire bat, use of its hair, 14
  Bear, common, description of, and how caught, 51, 52
  ---- ----, uses of skin, flesh, fat, oil, intestines, and bones, 52
  Bear, white or polar, description of, and uses of skin, flesh, fat, and
      tendons, 52
  Beaver, description of, and uses of skin, hair, castor, flesh, and teeth,
  Beef, 94
  Bees, description, uses, and management of, 237
  Bees'-wax, what it is, how prepared, and uses of, 237
  Bison, American, description of and uses of, flesh, tongue, tallow,
      horns, skin, and hair, 99
  Bittern, description of, and uses of flesh and claws, 164
  Blackbird, 135
  Black game, 155
  Bleak, description and uses of, 224
  Blistering plasters, of what made, 230
  Bloodhound, description and uses of, 29
  Blood, uses of, 96
  Boa, great, 185
  Bonito, description and use of, 206
  Botargue, or botargo, of what and how made, 204, 206
  Brawn, what it is, and how prepared, 110
  Brill, description and use of, 199
  Bristles of swine, uses of, 111
  Buck-skin, what it is, and uses of, 80
  Buffalo, description of, and uses of milk, flesh, skin, and horns, 100
  ----, Cape, description of, and uses of flesh and hide, 100
  Buff leather, what it is, 100
  Bulfinch, 135
  Bull-dog, description and use of, 30
  Burbot, description of, how caught, and use of, 197
  Bustard, description and uses of, and particulars respecting, 161
  Butter, how made, uses of, and impositions respecting, 94
  Buttermilk, uses of, 94

  Cachalot, blunt-headed, description and uses of, 119
  Callo, what it is, 204
  Calve's skins, uses of, 95
  Camblets, what they are, 86
  Camel, Arabian, description and uses of, 65
  ----, uses of milk, flesh, tongue, and heels, 68
  ----, Bactrian, or two-bunched, description and uses of, 68
  Canary-bird, description of, whence obtained, &c., 137
  Cantharides, what they are, how collected and prepared, and uses of, 230
  Capelan, description of, how caught, cured, and uses of, 193
  Carp, description of, how bred and kept, and uses of, 221
  Cat, wild, description, habits, &c. of, 36
  ----, domestic, uses of, and of skin, flesh, and intestines, 37
  Cat-gut, what it is, and uses of, 38, 88
  Cattle, uses of, and of milk, flesh, &c., 91
  ----, Devonshire, and Holderness or Dutch, 96
  ----, Lancashire or long-horned, Alderney, and Highland or Kyloe, 97
  Caviar, what it is, and how made, 205, 206
  Chagreen, of what made, uses of, and how imitated, 227
  Chamois, description of, and how hunted, 81
  ----, uses of flesh, skin, horns, and blood, 82
  Charr, description, preparation, and uses of, 212
  Cheese, Stilton, how made, 92
  ----, Cheshire, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire, 92
  Cheese, Chedder, Cottenham, Bath, York, Lincolnshire, Dunlop, Parmesan,
      Gouda, Gruyere, Dutch, and green Swiss, 93
  Chinchilla, description of, and uses of fur, 60
  Civet, description of, how obtained, and uses of, 41
  Coal-fish, description of, how caught, and use of, 194
  Cochineal, description of, how obtained, value, and uses of, 233
  Cod, common, description of, fishery, and modes of curing, 189
  ----, use of air-bladder or sounds, tongue, liver, roes, &c. 190
  Conger, description and uses of, 187
  Coral, description of, how obtained, value, and uses of, 253
  ----, white, red, and seed, 254
  Cordovan leather, what it is, and uses of, 65
  Corn-crake, description of, and particulars respecting, 170
  Corvorants, 177
  Crab, common, how caught, and uses of, 239
  ----, land, description and uses of, 240
  Craw-fish, sea, description and use of, 241
  ----, common or fresh-water, description of, how caught, and use of, 242
  Cream, uses of, 94
  Crocodile, description of, and uses of flesh, eggs, teeth, &c., 183
  Cuckoo, bee, description and uses of, 132
  Curlew, description and use of, 165
  Cuttle-fish, description and uses of, 254
  Cygnets, what they are, and use of, 172

  Dab, description and use of, 199
  Doe-skin, what it is, and uses of, 80
  Dog-fish, description of, and use of skin, &c., 226
  Dog, description and uses of, 23
  ----, uses of skin, hair, and flesh, 24
  ----, Siberian, description and uses of, 25
  ----, Newfoundland dog, shepherd's dog, 26
  ----, Water dog, spaniel, 27
  ----, Setter, pointer, hound, 28
  ----, Bloodhound, greyhound, 29
  ----, Mastiff, bull-dog, 30
  ----, Terrier, lurcher, turnspit, 31
  Dolphin, common or true, description and habits of, 122
  ---- ----, uses of flesh, tongue, and fat, 122
  Dorée, description and use, &c. of, 197
  Dotterel, description and uses of, and particulars respecting, 169
  Dromedary, description and uses of, 65
  Duck, wild, description of, how caught, and use of, 174
  ----, tame, 175
  ----, eider, description of, and uses of down, flesh, eggs, and skin, 175

  Eagle, cinereous, description of, and uses of flesh, skin, beak, and
      claws, 125
  Eel, Roman, description and use of, and particulars respecting, 185
  ----, common, description of, how caught, and use of, 186
  ----, conger, 186
  Eggs, uses, &c. of, 153
  Eider down, how obtained and prepared, and use of, 176
  Elephant, description and uses of, for draft and burthen, &c., 17, 18
  ----, how caught and tamed, 18
  ----, uses of tusks, flesh, blood, and proboscis, 20
  Elk, description and use of, and of flesh, tongue, skin, and hair, 72
  Ermine, description, habits, &c. of, 47, 48
  ----, uses and value of skin, 47, 48

  Falcon, secretary, description and uses of, 126
  ----, gentil, 126
  Falconry, account of the sport of, 126
  Fallow deer, description and uses of, 79
  Feathers, how prepared and uses of, 154, 173
  Ferret, description and uses of, 46
  Fieldfare, 134
  Fin-fish, description and uses of, 118
  Flounder, description of, how caught, and use of, 200
  Fox, common, description of, and uses of skin, and flesh, 32
  ----, arctic, description of, and uses of skin, tendons, and flesh, 33
  ----, white, 33
  Frog, edible, description of, how obtained, kept, and use of, 182
  ----, bull, 183

  Gallina, description and use of, and particulars respecting, 154
  Galloways, 103
  Gannet, 178
  Gar-fish, or gore-fish, description and uses of, 215
  Garum, pickle so called, of what made, 205
  Genet, description and uses of, 42
  Ghee, what it is, and how made, 100
  Gilse, description and uses of, 209
  Glama, description and uses of, 69
  Glue, of what and how made, 59
  Glutton, description of, and uses of skin and flesh, 53
  Gluts, 186
  Goat, common, uses of milk, flesh, skin, hair, horns, and fat, 83
  ----, Angora, description and uses of, 86
  Goldfinch, 137
  Gold-beater's skin, what it is, and use of, 96
  Goose, wild, description and use of, 172
  ----, tame, use of quills, feathers, &c., 172
  Grayling, description of, how caught and use of, 213
  Greyhound, uses of, 30
  Grigs, 186
  Grous, red, particulars respecting, 155
  ----, black, how caught and uses of, 155
  ----, wood, description and uses of, 157
  Grugru, description and use of, 230
  Guana, description of, how caught, and uses of flesh and eggs, 184
  Gudgeon, 223
  Guinea-fowls, description, &c. of, 154
  Gurnards, 208

  Haddock, description of, how caught, and use of, 191
  Hair, human, uses of, and how prepared, 11
  Hams, how cured, 110
  Hare, common description and uses of, 61
  ----, Alpine, 63
  Hartshorn, from what prepared, and uses of, 78
  ----, shavings and jelly, 78
  Hedge-hog, description and habits of, 56
  ----, flesh and skin, uses of, 57
  Heron, common, description and use of, 163
  Herring, description of, and account of fishery, 216
  ----, how cured, and uses of, 218
  Hippopotamus, description of, and uses of tusks, hide, flesh, feet, and
      tongue, 108
  Hog, uses of flesh, fat, blood, feet, tongue, skin, bristles, &c., 109
  Holibut, description of, and uses of flesh, skin, liver, &c., 198
  Honey, description and uses of, 238
  Hooper, description of, and uses of flesh, eggs, skin, &c., 171
  Horn, how prepared, and uses of, 95
  Horses, uses of, 101
  ----, race, hunter, hackney, 102
  ----, dray, draught, Scots, Irish, French, Dutch, Flemish, German,
      Hungarian, 103
  ----, Danish, Spanish, Italian, 104
  ----, uses of flesh, milk, and skin, 104, 105
  Horse-hair, uses of, 105
  Hound, description and uses of, 38
  House-lamb, 89

  Ichneumon, description and use of, 39
  Indian ink, of what made, 244
  Isinglass, of what and how made, 225
  Ivory, what it is, importation, value, and uses of, 20

  Kid skins, uses of, 84

  Lac, description of, how obtained, and uses of, 232
  ----, stick, seed, and shell, 232
  Lamprey, description and use of, 228
  ----, lesser, 229
  Land-rail, description, &c. of, 170
  Lap-wing, description and use of, 169
  Lard, what it is, how prepared, and use of, 110
  Leech, medicinal, description of, how caught, and use of, 243
  Leopard, description and use of, 35
  ----, hunting, description and use of, 35
  Ling, description and fishery of, 196
  ----, uses of flesh, liver, air-bladder, and tongue, 196
  Linnet, grey, 138
  Lion, description of, and uses of skin, flesh, and fat, 33
  Llama, description and uses of, 68
  ----, uses of skin, hair, and flesh, 69
  Lobster, how caught, how chosen, &c., 240
  ----, spiny, 241
  Locust, description of, and particulars respecting, 231
  Lurcher, description and use of, 31
  Lynx, description of, and use of skin, 38

  Mackrel, description of, how caught, and use of, 205
  Maids, 228
  Manis, long and short-tailed, description and use of, 14
  Martin, description and uses of, 43
  Mastiff, description and use of, 30
  Mead, of what made, 238
  Milk, of goat, uses of, 83
  ----, of sheep, 87
  ----, of cow, 92
  Mole, uses of skins and flesh, habits of, and how caught, 55
  Monkeys, description of, and uses of, for food, 12
  Moose deer. See Elk.
  Moroc, description and uses of, 132
  Morocco leather, of what and how made, and how imitated, 84
  Morse, great. See Article Walrus.
  Mother of pearl, what it is, and uses of, 247
  Mule, description and uses of, 107
  Mullet, white, description of, how caught, and uses of, 216
  Muscle, oriental pearl, description and uses of, 246
  ----, common or edible, 248
  Musk, description of, how procured and imported, and uses of, 71
  Mutton, 87
  Mya, pearl-bearing, 245

  Nacre, what it is, and uses of, 247
  Narwal, description of, and uses of oil, flesh, intestines, tendons, and
      horns, 112
  Neat's-foot oil, what it is, and use of, 96
  Nightingale, particulars respecting, 141

  Opossum, Virginian, description and uses of, 55
  Ortolan, description and use of, 136
  Ostrich, description of, and uses of feathers, fat, flesh, eggs, and
      skins, 161
  Otter, common, description and uses of, 48
  ----, trained to catch fish, 49
  ----, sea, description of, and uses and value of skin, 50
  Ounce, description and use of, 35
  Owls, use of, 127
  Ox. See Cattle.
  ----, musk, description of, and uses of flesh, wool, hair, and skin, 98
  ----, grunting, description and use of, 98
  Oysters, how caught, and uses, &c. of, 249

  Palm-tree grub, description and use of, 230
  Panther, description and use of, 35
  Paradise, bird of, description and use of, 131
  Parchment, of what made, 87
  Partridge, particulars and use of, 158
  Peacock, description and uses of, 150
  Pearls, how obtained and prepared, use and value of, 246, 247
  ----, how formed by artificial perforations, 245
  ----, artificial, how made, 224
  Pee-wit, description and use of, 169
  Pelecan, white, 178
  Penguins, description and use of, 177
  Perch, description of, how caught, and use of, 203
  Pheasant, common, particulars and use of, 151
  ----, argus, description and use of, 152
  Pigeon, wild, 143
  ----, domestic, 146
  ----, carrier and crowned, 147
  ----, passenger, 148
  Pike or Jack, description of, how caught, and use of, 214
  ----, sea, 215
  Pilchard, description, fishery, and use of, 219
  Piltocks, description of, how caught, and use of, 154
  Pintado, particulars respecting the, 154
  Plaise, description and use of, 198
  Plovers, 170
  Pointer, description and use of, 28
  Pollack, description of, how caught, and use of, 195
  Porcupine, common, description and habits of, 57
  ----, uses of, quills and flesh, 57
  Pork, what it is, value of, and how cured, 109
  Porpesse, description of, and uses of oil, flesh, fat, entrails, and
      skin, 123
  Poultry, domestic, particulars respecting, 153
  Prawns, description of, how caught, and use of, 242, 243
  Ptarmigan, description and uses of, 156
  Puffin, description and use of, 176

  Quail, description and use of, and particulars respecting, 159
  Quills, how obtained and prepared, and uses of, 173

  Rabbit, wild, description and uses of, 63
  ----, modes of catching, 64
  ----, warrens, 63
  ----, tame, 65
  Raccoon, description of, and uses of fur, skin, and flesh, 53, 54
  Rattle-snake, 184
  Raven, description of, and uses of flesh, skin, beak, claws, and quills,
  Red-game, 155
  Redbreast, 143
  Red deer. See Stag.
  Reeve. See Ruff.
  Rein deer, description, uses, and value of, 74
  ----, uses of milk, flesh, blood, fat, skin, horns, bones, tendons, &c.
  ----, how hunted, 77
  Rinoceros, description of, and uses of skin, flesh, horns, blood, hoofs,
      and teeth, 16
  Ringdove, 147
  River-horse. See Hippopotamus.
  Roe, or Roe-buck, description and use of, 80
  Rook, description and use of, 129
  Ruff and Reeve, particulars respecting, and use of, 167

  Sable, description of, and how hunted, 43, 44
  ----, uses and value of fur, and modes of imitating, 43, 44
  Sagri, or Shagreen, of what made, 107
  Salmon, common, description, fishery, and uses of, 208
  Sand-eel, or sand-launce, description of, and how caught, 187
  Sea-unicorn. See Narwal.
  Sea-lion. See Seal, leonine.
  Seal, common, description of, and how killed, 22
  ---- ----, uses of flesh, skin, fat, tendons, bones, fur, &c. 22
  ----, leonine, description and uses of, 22
  Serpents, 184
  Setter, description and uses of, 28
  Sewen, 210
  Shad, description of, and particulars respecting, 219
  Shagreen, of what made, and how manufactured, 107
  Shammoy leather, what it is, and uses of, 82
  Sharks, description and uses of, 226
  Sheep, common, uses of wool, skin, flesh, fat, milk, intestines, and
      bones, 86
  ----, Leicester, Lincolnshire, Southdown, and Ryeland or Hereford,
      account of, 88
  ----, Cheviot, Shetland, Dorsetshire, Heath, 89
  ----, Merino, broad-tailed, 90
  ----, Tartarian, or fat-rumped, 91
  Shelties, 103
  Shrimps and prawns, how caught, and uses of, 241
  Shrike, great or cinereous, description and uses of, 128
  Silk, value, uses, and other particulars of, 235
  ----, Tusseh, and Arrindy, 237
  Silkworms, description of, how bred, &c., 235
  Skate, description and use of, 227
  Skunk, description and habits of, 40
  ----, flesh and skins, uses of, 40
  Skylark, how caught, &c., 140
  Smelt, description and use of, 213
  Snail, edible, description of, how kept, use of, &c., 252
  Snigs, 186
  Snipe, common, description, particulars, and use of, 167
  Sole, description of, how caught, and use of, 200
  Song thrush, 134
  Spaniel, description and uses of, 27
  Spanish fly, description and use of, 230
  Sparling, description and use of, 213
  Sparrow, common, use of, 139
  Spermaceti, what it is, how obtained, and use of, 118
  Sponge, description of, how obtained, and use of, 254
  Sprat, description and use of, 220
  Squirrel, grey, description and use of, 60
  ----, black, 61
  Stag, description and uses of, 77
  Stock dove, 145
  Stork, common or white, description and use of, 162
  Sturgeon, common, description, and fishery of, 225
  ----, uses of flesh, roes, bones, and skin, 225
  Suet, 87
  Surmullet, red and striped, description, particulars, and use of, 207
  Swallows in general, 144
  Swallow, esculent, use, &c. of its nest, 144
  Swan, wild, description of, and uses of flesh, eggs, and skin, 171
  ----, tame, 172
  Swift, 144
  Sword-fish, description of, how killed, and use of, 188

  Tallow, what it is, how prepared, and use of, 96
  Teal, 175
  Tench, description and uses of, 223
  Terrier, description and use of, 31
  Thornback, 228
  Throstle, 134
  Thunny, description, fishery, value, and use of, 205
  Tiger, description of, and uses of skin and flesh, 34
  Torsk, description of, how caught, and use of, 192
  Tortoise, Greek, description of, and uses of blood, eggs, &c., 179
  ----, round, 180
  ---- shell, what it is, how prepared, use, and value of, 180
  Toucan, red-bellied, description and uses of, 121
  Train-oil, what it is, and uses of, 114
  Trout, salmon or sea, description and use of, 210
  ----, fresh-water, description of, how caught, use of, &c., 211
  Turbot, description of, fishery, &c., 201
  Turkey, wild, how caught, use of, &c., 149
  ----, domestic, particulars respecting, 149
  Turnspit, description and use of, 31
  Turtle, common or green, description of, how procured, and uses of, 181
  ----, hawk's bill, description of, and uses of flesh, eggs, and shell,
  Tusseh dooties, what they are, and use of, 237

  Umber, description of, how caught, and uses of, 213
  Urchin. See Hedge-hog.

  Veal, 95
  Vellum, of what made, and uses, 95
  Venison, 79
  Vicuna, description and uses of, 70
  Viper, common, uses of, 185
  Vulture, Aquiline or Egyptian, description and uses of, 124
  ----, carrion, 125

  Wax, bees and white, what it is, how prepared, and uses, 238
  Weasel, striated. See Skunk.
  Westphalia hams, how cured, 110
  Whale, great or Greenland, description of; and uses of oil, whalebone,
      tongue, skin, fins, flesh, intestines, bones, &c., 113, &c.
  ---- ----, fishery, account of, 114
  ---- ----, fin-backed, description of, and uses of oil, spermaceti,
      flesh, skin, intestines, tendons, teeth, bones, &c., 118, &c.
  Whalebone, what it is, and uses of, 114, 117
  Wheat-ear, description of, how caught, and use of, 142
  White-game, 156
  White-rump, description of, how caught, and uses of, 142
  Whiting, description of, how caught, and use of, 193
  ----, pout, description and use of, 192
  Wigeon, 175
  Wolf, description and history of, 32
  ----, use of skin, 32
  Woodcock, description and use of, and particulars respecting, 165
  Woodlark, 141
  Woodpeckers, description and uses of, 132
  Wool, uses and manufacture of, 24, 27, 85, 86
  Wreckle, description of, how caught, and use of, 187

  Yak, description and use of, 98






A DICTIONARY OF LATIN PHRASES; comprehending a Methodical Digest of the
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    C. Baldwin, Printer,
  New Bridge-Street, London.


[1] This is perfectly distinct from castor oil, which is the production of
    a vegetable seed.

[2] Four inches make a hand. This is the usual mode of estimating the
    height of horses.

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