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قراءة كتاب The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 539, March 24, 1832

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‏اللغة: English
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction
Volume 19, No. 539, March 24, 1832

The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 19, No. 539, March 24, 1832

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 4

fences might be in more thorough repair, and your roads in better order, if less time was spent in politics.' 'The Lord! to see how little you knows of a free country? Why, what's the smoothness of a road put against the freedom of a free-born American? And what does a broken zig-zag signify, comparable to knowing that the men what we have been pleased to send up to Congress, speaks handsome and straight, as we chooses they should?' 'It is from a sense of duty, then, that you all go to the liquor store to read the papers?' 'To be sure it is, and he'd be no true-born American as didn't. I don't say that the father of a family should always be after liquor, but I do say that I'd rather have my son drunk three times in a week, than not to look after the affairs of his country,'"


"Immense droves of hogs were continually arriving from the country by the road that led to most of our favourite walks; they were often fed and lodged in the prettiest valleys, and worse still, were slaughtered beside the prettiest streams. Another evil threatened us from the same quarter, that was yet heavier. Our cottage had an ample piazza, (a luxury almost universal in the country houses of America,) which, shaded by a group of acacias, made a delightful sitting-room; from this favourite spot we one day perceived symptoms of building in a field close to it; with much anxiety we hastened to the spot, and asked what building was to be erected there. ''Tis to be a slaughter-house for hogs,' was the dreadful reply. As there were several gentlemen's houses in the neighbourhood, I asked if such an erection might not be indicted as a nuisance. 'A what?' 'A nuisance,' I repeated, and explained what I meant. 'No, no,' was the reply, 'that may do very well for your tyrannical country, where a rich man's nose is more thought of than a poor man's mouth; but hogs be profitable produce here, and we be too free for such a law as that, I guess.'"


On the 9th ult., about 10 P.M., a large herring-gull struck one of the south-eastern mullions of the Bell Rock Light House with such force, that two of the polished plates of glass, measuring about two feet square, and a quarter of an inch in thickness, were shivered to pieces and scattered over the floor in a thousand atoms, to the great alarm of the keeper on watch, and the other two inmates of the house, who rushed instantly to the light room. It fortunately happened, that although one of the red-shaded sides of the reflector-frame was passing in its revolution at the moment, the pieces of broken glass were so minute, that no injury was done to the red glass. The gull was found to measure five feet between the tips of the wings. In his gullet was found a large herring, and in its throat a piece of plate-glass, of about one inch in length.—(From No. I. of the Nautical Magazine, a work of clever execution, great promise, and extraordinary cheapness.)


It appears that the bill for the abolition of imprisonment for debt in America "works well," as applied to New York; and the system is consequently to be put in general force all over the Union—a fact, which, as a poet like Mr. Watts would say, adds another leaf to America's laurel. But the paper which announced this gratifying intelligence, relates in a paragraph nearly subjoined to it, a circumstance in natural history that seems to have some connexion with the affairs between debtor and creditor in the United States. It informs us, that up to the present period of scientific investigation, "no chalk has been discovered in North America." Now this is really a valuable bit of discovery; and we heartily wish that the Geological Society, instead of wasting their resources on anniversary-dinners, as they have lately been doing, would at once set about establishing the proof of a similar absence of that article in this country. Surely, our brethren on the other side of the Atlantic, will not fail to take the hint which nature herself has so benificently thrown out to them; and instead of abolishing the power of getting into prison, put an end at once to the power of getting into debt. The scarcity of chalk ought certainly to be numbered among the natural blessings of America. Had the soil on that side of the ocean been as chalky as this, America might have been visited by a comet, like Pitt, with a golden train of eight hundred millions.—Monthly Magazine.



(From the Angler's Museum, quoted in the Magazine of Natural History.)

Every one who is acquainted with the habits of fish is sensible of the extreme acuteness of their vision, and well knows how easily they are scared by shadows in motion, or even at rest, projected from the bank; and often has the angler to regret the suspension of a successful fly-fishing by the accidental passage of a person along the opposite bank of the stream: yet, by noting the apparently trivial habits of one of nature's anglers, not only is our difficulty obviated, but our success insured. The heron, guided by a wonderful instinct, preys chiefly in the absence of the sun; fishing in the dusk of the morning and evening, on cloudy days and moonlight nights. But should the river become flooded to discoloration, then does the "long-necked felon" fish indiscriminately in sun and shade; and in a recorded instance of his fishing on a bright day, it is related of him, that, like a skilful angler, he occupied the shore opposite the sun.


(For the Mirror.)

It may not be generally known that the tadpole acts the same part with fish that ants do with birds; and that through the agency of this little reptile, perfect skeletons, even of the smallest fishes may be obtained. To produce this, it is but necessary to suspend the fish by threads attached to the head and tail in an horizontal position, in a jar of water, such as is found in a pond, and change it often, till the tadpoles have finished their work. Two or three tadpoles will perfectly dissect a fish in twenty-four hours.



The first is a learned entomologist, who, hearing one evening at the Linnean Society that a yellow Scarabaeus, otherwise beetle, of a very rare kind was to be captured on the sands at Swansea, immediately took his seat in the mail for that place, and brought back in triumph the object of his desire. The second is Mr. David Douglas, who spent two years among the wild Indians of the Rocky Mountains, was reduced to such extremities as occasionally to sup upon the flaps of his saddle; and once, not having this resource, was obliged to eat up all the seeds he had collected the previous forty days in order to appease the cravings of nature. Not appalled by these sufferings, he has returned again to endure similar hardships, and all for a few simples. The third example is Mr. Drummond, the assistant botanist to Franklin in his last hyperborean journey. In the midst of snow, with the thermometer 15° below zero, without a tent, sheltered from the inclemency of the weather only by a hut built of the branches of trees, and depending for subsistence from day to day on a solitary Indian hunter, "I obtained," says this amiable and enthusiastic botanist, "a few mosses; and, on Christmas day,"—mark, gentle reader, the day, of all others, as if it were a reward for his devotion,—"I had the pleasure of finding a very minute Gymnóstomum, hitherto undescribed. I remained alone for the rest of the winter, except when my man occasionally visited me with meat; and I found the time hang very heavy, as I had no books, and nothing could be done in the way of collecting specimens of natural history."

Magazine of Natural History