Imágenes de páginas


own tanes, or rather discord, have each | invincible god . Seh,' nor to the Fetish their own notion of time, and are chiefly Voh-dong," (leopard), but to the vitiated zealous to drown every other noise with appetites of the soldiery. At the Cannah their own.

'customs' there are sacrifices to the Voh“Dahoman houses, from the palace to dong ; and at the See-que-ah-hee there the farm, are all similar. Walls, either are sacrifices to the names of their anof clay or palm branches, enclose, ac- cestors; the Dahomans, like the disciples cording to the number of inmates, courts of Confucius, looking to their departed and houses of all sizes, made of clay, and ancestors for blessings in this life, and in thatched with grass.

A bamboo bed. the world to come. There are private stead a few mats, some country sacrifices all the year round. If a rich pots and agricultural implements, and man dies, a boy and a girl are sacrificed weapons, a loom of coarse material, be to attend him in the next world.”* sides the insignia of office (if a cabooceer

(To be concluded in our next.) or head man), are all the furniture. A store in each house is provided with cloth 38, grain, foreign goods, &c., accord.

FRAGMENTS FROM THE WELSH. ing to the wealth of the owner. Within the enclosure are all domestic animals,

POETICAL TRIADS. and invariably a dog. The diet is simple, 1. THE three primary requisites of poetconsisting chiefly of messes of meat and ical genius : an eye that can see nature; a vegetable, mixed with palm oil and pep. heart that can feel nature; and a resoluper, with which is eaten a corn cake tion that dares follow nature. called kankee, or dab-a-dab. There is increase of goodness ; increase of under

2. The three final intentions of poetry : very little variety. A mixture of beans, standing; and increase of delight. peppers, and palm oil, is made into a

3. The three properties of a just imagicake, and sold to travellers ; yams and nation: what may be, what ought to be, cassada form the staples of food. Foreign and what is seemly to be. liquors are scarce and expensive ; and as 4. The three indispensabilities of poetical palm wine is forbidden by the king, the language : purity, copiousness, and ease. chief drinks are a very palatable malt

6. Three things that ought to be well uncalled pitto, and a sort of burgoo called derstood in poetry: the great, the little, and

their correspondence. ah-kah-sar. Drunkenness is not allowed;

6. Three things to be avoided in poetry: nor is there, except in Whydah, much the mean, the obscure, and the extravagant. opportunity for it. As a public example, 7. Three things to be chiefly considered the king kept a drunkard and fed him in poetical illustration : what shall be obvion rum, and exhibited him at the cus- ously seen, what shall be instantly admired, toms,' that his emaciated and disgusting and what shall be eminently characteristic.

8. The three dignities of poetry: the true appearance might shame his people from making beasts of themselves ; this terrible beautiful and

the wise, and the union of art

and wonderful united, the union of the example is dead. In agricultural pur- and nature. suits they are advanced in knowledge, 9. The three advantages of poetry: the but extremely indolent, keeping but a praise of goodness, the memory of what is tithe of the land in cultivation. The remarkable, and the invigoration of the religion of Dahomey is a mystery only affections. known to the initiated. There is no daily worship, but periods at which the

THERE are two distinct sorts of what we call fetish men and women dance. They who bashfulness : this, the awkwardness of a booby, are initiated have great power, and exact which a few steps into the world will convert into much in return. It is a proverb that the the pertness of a coxcomb; that, a consciousness poor are never initiated. The fetish of which the most delicate feelings produce, and the

most extensive knowledge cannot always remove. Abomey is the leopard, that of Whydah - Mackenzie. the snake. The human sacrifices at the

• “Dahomy and the Dahomans." By Commander festival See-que-ah-hee are neither to the Forbes.

first heard, the arrival of the other may be safely NOTES AND QUERIES FOR predicted. NATURALISTS.

The southern and midland parts of the kingdom are the favourite haunts of this bird; and in

the orchards around London its cry may be heard NOTES.

from sunrise to sunset throughout May and June.
In the northern parts of England it is more rare,
and in Scotland is seldom seen. It preys on ants
and other small insects found in trees, and in
ant-hills, into which its very long, slender, and
viscid tongue is thrust. The spot chosen for its
nest is the hole in the trunk of a tree, and upon
fine particles of decayed wood it deposits eight or
ten pure white eggs. It would be vain to attempt
to describe the markings of this bird, wbich con.
sist of the most delicate pencilings and spots,
in which white, brown, and black are mixed in
beautiful irregularity. It is about the size of a
common lark. It appears to be generally distri.
buted throughout the milder re ;ions of Asia and
Europe, and in all probability of Africa. Its
foreign names are equally characteristic with the
English. Its Swedish name (gioek tita) signifies
“ the cuckoo's explainer,” and its Welsh name
(gwas y gog) "the cuckoo's attendant.” Early in
September it re-migrates to more southern lati.

Chatham, March 12, 1860. Dear Sir,--I venture again to trespass on your space for the purpose of making known a most remarkable fact which I have observed in regard

to the colouring of chrysalides, and which I have THE WRYNECK (Yunx torquilla).

never seen alluded to in any entomological work. This is one of our earliest spring visitants, and I will take the swallow-tail chrysalis as a case in certainly not the least interesting. Its appearance point. is hailed with delight, as being the harbinger of Having received a few caterpillars of this butthe opening season, when young spring scatters terfly from a friend at Ely, I observed a fine fellow abroad her garlands over the earth, and the birds spinning; placing him in a chip-box, he soon fixed sing out their melody in copse and grove. It tells himself to the lid. Knowing he could no longer of the advent of those mild hours when

crawl away, and believing light to have some "The balm, the bliss, the beauty, and the bloom, effect in colouring chrysalides, I placed the lid, Recall the good Creator to his creature.” with the caterpillar on it, in a window facing the

It is known to but few of our peasants by its light. The result was, that the chrysalis, instead proper name, the more common names being of the usual green colour, assumed a delicate buff, those of snake-bird, pee-bird, &c. These names being the exact colour of the wooden box to which are highly characteristic: the first because the it was attached. I tried another, with the same tortuous windings of the bird's neck often lead result. I then coloured a box inside with the the unwary to mistake it for a snake; and the three primitive colours, red, yelłow, and blue (you young hunting urchin has often dropped his hold may think me rather green to expect chrysalides of the tree where its nest is built, from the idea to assume such colours); I placed a full-fed caterthat the fanged adder reposed among its nest- pillar in this, but the chrysalis was of the ordinary lings; and the latter because the cry of the bird green colour; this one, however, changed during is a loud and continued repetition of the mony- the night. Persons having "insect homes ” will syllable "pee,” uttered in a clear, shrill tone, and do well to try a similar experiment, as, no doubt, audible at a great distance. The wryneck is the all chrysalides which are exposed to view are precursor of the cuckoo; and when the one is subject to this variation, the result of which, in preserving the individual from observation, must swallowing, he drew it from the neck and swal. be evident to all. I have also noticed that those lowed the whole. The operation seemed an chrysalides which are gilded or silvered when agreeable one, and occupied but a short time."attached to a plant, when found on other sub- New York Independent, Dec. 29, 1859. stances not only want those embellishments, but


A STEEPLE-CHASE OF ELEPHANTS. assume the colour of those objects to which they are attached. It has been said that in nature

This odd event has taken place at Rancoon. preservation of the species is the only thing The 69th were the authors of the idea, which was attended to; the above facts show that the indi- carried out in all respects à la steeple-chase : vidual is also cared for.

ditches to wade, or leap fences, walls, &c. GenI conclude by observing that the colour of each tlemen jockeys, with the addition of an Indian to individual is permanent, so that its changeable- stir up the elephants ; betting, of course. Captain ness is of a different character from that of the Vaughan was the winner; and Ponderous Polly, chaineleon.-I am, dear Sir, yours truly,

ridden by Lieutenant Foorde, was nowhere, out

of the thirteen starters. 1858,
T. W. WOOD, Jun.

Mr. Howard, of the Railway Inn, near the

"The distance was not more than eighty yards. Droylesden railway station, has in his possession I fired, and struck it; the monster wagged his a Scotch terrier with a wooden leg, which runs tail, but did not move from the spot where he about with scarceiy any perceptible limp. The

was lying. I fired two more shots; one ball took dog had its right fore-foot amputated by an effect, while the other glanced off into the water express train three months ago; and a veterinary beyond. I now thought myself sure of my surgeon from Manchester, being informed that it aquatic friend; so we jumped into the boat, and was a favourite pet, not only dressed its wounds, rowed across, when, to our surprise, just as we but shortly afterwards supplied it with an artificial were gaining the shore, the monster of the Nile limb, of which it appears somewhat proud. 1860. quietly slipped into his native element, and we

saw him no more. How A TOAD UNDRESSES.

On the spot where he had

been lying were two small pools of blood." A gentleman sent to The New England Farmer C. J. Monk. an amusing description of " How a Toad takes off

AN OLD RAVEN. his Coat and Pants." He says he has seen one do it, and a friend has seen another do the same

At Heppignies, in the year 1858, a gentleman thing in a similar way:-"About the middle of shot a raven which had round its wing a strip of July I found a toad on a hill of melons; and not parchment, on which was written, “1787, Abbaye wanting him to leave, I hoed around him; he de Socilment.” appeared sluggish, and not inclined to move.

ARTFUL ELEPHANTS. Presently I observed him pressing his elbows The Ceylon Observer contains an account of hard against his sides, and rubbing downwards. some brick-making works, six miles from CoHe appeared so singular, that I watched to see lombo, which turn out about 20,300 bricks a day. what he was up to. After a few smart rubs, his The clay for brick-making is prepared by eleskin began to burst open, straight along his back. phants. The wild and tame work together, and Now, said I, old fellow, you have done it; but he both attempt to shirk their work by endeavouring appeared to be unconcerned, and kept on rubbing to put their feet in old footprints, instead of in until he had worked his skin into folds on his the soft, tenacious, untrodden mud. sides and hips; then grasping one hind leg with

A MAGNIFICENT GOLDEN EAGLE. both his hands, he hauled off one leg of his pants was shot in 1858 by Frederick Can, gamekeeper the same as anybody would, then stripped the to Major Palmer, of Nazing Park, Herts. It other hind leg in the same way. He then took

measured 8 feet from wing to wing, 3 feet 2 inches off his cast-off cuticle forward, between his fore

from beak to tail, and weighed 9 lbs. legs into his mouth, and swallowed it; then, by raising and lowering his head, swallowing as his

LATE NESTING OF THE PARTRIDGE. head came down, he stripped off the skin under- On the 14th of November last a partridge's neath until it came to his fore legs, and then nest was accidentally discovered on Melbourne grasping one of these with the opposite hand, Common, Derbyshire. The bird was sitting on by considerable pulling stripped off the skin; eleven eggs nearly ready to hatch. The female changing hands, he stripped the other, and by a accidentally got killed. The male took no notice slight motion of the head, and all the while of the eggs. 1858.


mould, a mole hill, all are derived from the

Danish "mule," a mouth; a mole being an animal MOULD WARP (p. 171).-We cannot better which carts with his mouth. The Greeks call answer this question than in the words of a cor him skalops, a digger. I add Eccleston's translarespondent of Notes and Queries, who says:-"Ttion of the quotation from the homily:think Milton wrote “mould” and meant by the word a mole-hill, the habitation (cubile) of a mole

“For thee is a home built, or mould-warp. It is not every mole-bill that is

Ere thon wert born; the mould, but the largest one in which the mole

For thee is a mould shapen, hollows out various galleries and ways for him

Ere thou of (thy) mother camest; self. There is a plate, in a note on the mole, in

Its height is not determined, the Rev. J. G. Wood's edition of Gilbert White's

Nor its depth measured, "Natural History of Selborne” (Routledge, 1854.

Nor is it closed up See page 321), which gives a good description of

However long it may be à mole-hill, the mould, and its "darksome pas

Until I thee bring sages.” I have heard mole-catchers talk of a

Where thou shalt remain

Until I shall measure thee garden-mole as if he were a larger animal than the field-mole; and, perhaps, because he is more

And the sod of earth.” mischievous; they always expect more for trap. The literal translation of the last line is, “And ping a garden-mole. Milton writes,

the mould sod there."-A. HOLT WHITE. “For God had thrown

A WOLF'S TOOTH (p. 171).-We cannot inform That mountain as his garden mould, high raised Dentatus as to the origin of the superstition he Upon the rapid current, which through veins refers to: wolves, we suppose, have sharp teeth, Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn, and perhaps it was thought that they had the Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill power of communicating this quality of sharpness Watered the garden, there united fell

to the dentals of the suffering child, enabling Down the deep glade, and met the nether flood, them to penetrate the gums speedily. Perhaps Which from his darksome passage now appears.” the following extract from a letter, addressed by

In God's hand the mountain was but as a mole. Lady Wentworth to Lord Strafford, under date, hill; and as in a mole-hill, with its porous earth March 26th, 1713, may direct our querist to one and several passages, the water oozed, some up county, at least, in which the superstition flourwards, forming a fountain, which meets the ished; this also seem to show that it prevailed in nether flood, which goes through the darksome the century immediately preceding our own :-“I passage. This seems to me all to apply to a have made your daughter a present of a woll's mould, a mole-hill; had Milton meant a mound, tooth; I sent to Ireland for it, and set it here in he would have written mound, but I do not see gold. They are very lucky things; for my twoe that his description would in any way have ferst ones did dye; the other bred his very ill, and applied to a solid mound, a mole, or embankment. none of ye Rest did, for I had one for all the

Once more I must ask pardon. The mole Rest."-H. G, A. derives his name, I think, from the Danish AGAMA AND AGAMI (p. 171).-The first of these "mule," a mouth; muld-varp is his Danish name, words, whose similarity has puzzled W. B., has which means mold-caster, but the root is mule, a reference to a genus of Saurian reptiles, the type mouth-caster, as in the German maul-warf. The of a family called Agamide. The Agamis are Anglo-Saxon name is wanda, from wendan, to truly lizards, being closely allied to the Iguanas; turn. Mould-warp is still the name of the mole they have a loose skin, which they can at will in Derbyshire; and among the Danish "by's” of inflate with air. They are generally of small size, Lincolnshire I have shewn the use of the word and inhabitants of warm climates, some living in

warp.” Is mould-warp also used in Lincoln- trees and others on the ground. The Egyptian shire ?

Agami (A. Egyptiace, or Trapelus Egypticus) is I know no other instance of“ mould,used as I remarkable for changing colour, like the chamesupposed it to be by Milton; but “mold" I find leon; some of the most common lizards of Aus. used in a homily in the Bodleian Library, temp. tralia belong to this family, the most remarkable Henry II. (supposed) : vide Eccleston's "Intro- of them being the Frilled Agami (Mamydosauduction to English Antiquities," p. 102. And I rus), which has a kind of frill round the neck, conclude that mould, a shape, in which anything commonly lying back in pleats, but standing out is cast, mould (humus) earth, fine earth, church when the animal is alarmed or angry. yard earth, mould-damp, mole, the animal, and The term Agami refers to a genus of South Ame.

[ocr errors]


rican birds, allied to the cranes. Only two species a foot deep, the whole operation occupying but a are known, and these are sometimes called Trum- few hours. When the work is complete, the peters, from a peculiar sound which they emit. female deposits her eggs upon the object, and it is The Gold-breasted Trumpeter (P. crepitans) is then covered up so as to leave but little trace of the best known; it is as large as a pheasant, but the performance. An instance is recorded of the with a much longer neck and legs. This bird singular manner in which their instinct enables runs with extraordinary swiftness; a tame one, them to overcome unexpected difficulties when kept in England, has been known to keep up with they occur. A mole, as it is said, was suspended hounds.

to the upper end of a stick fixed firmly in the LICHEN (p. 171).-Henry is informed, that in ground, and the scent of the carcase soon atBotany, this is the name of an extensive division of tracted the “Sextons," who appeared at first cryptogamous plants, constituting a genus in the much disconcerted by the situation of the coveted order Alya in the Linnæan system, but now supply of provender for their future progeny. forming a distinct natural order called Lichen. After a kind of consultation, however, which

The general mode of growth of these appears to have been very much to the point, plants is that of a thin, flat crust, spread over they proceeded to undermine the stick, which, rocks and the bark of trees. Sometimes they yielding to a few hours' unceasing labour, at last spring from the ground, and shoot out tiny fell, and the prize was secured and duly interred branches like miniature shrubs; and sometimes after the usual fashion.---The Butterfly Vivarium, they appear as a mere gelatinous mass, or a fine by NOEL HUMPHREYS. powdery substance. Among them are included the Iceland Moss, on which the Reindeer feed,

QUERIES. which, however, is quite distinct from the true interest the account of this bird in the last

The Oyster Catcher.-I have read with much Mosses. Lichens abound chiefly in the cold and number of the Family Friend. I remember being temperate parts of the world. Their chief use told by an old fisherman that he once found one appears to be the preparation of the surface of the of these birds, which had been killed in a very earth for the growth of large vegetables; but singular_manner; it had, as is mentioned in the some kinds, as those above named, are of direct opened its shell, but the fish, rapidly shutting

Family Friend, attempted to seize an oyster as it essential service to man, possessing tonic and itself up, had caught the poor oyster-catcher by strengthening properties. They are also useful the beak, and being fixed upon the base of a small in the arts, furnishing the dyer with many bril- rock, held it fast until it was drowned by the

return of the tide. He also told me that these liant colours. An acid peculiar to some varieties birds would sometimes take an oyster up in the has been extracted, and termed Lichenic Acid ; it air and let it fall upon a rock, repeating this appears to be identical in its character with mancuvre until the shell was sufficiently broken Malic Acid. A peculiar vegetable starch, called to allow them to get at the contents. How much

credit is to be given to these stories P-BLANCHE Lichinin, is obtained from the Liverwort, it is said | ALSINGTON. to possess the alkaline property of combining with Bird Stuffing. I am very desirous of forming acids,

an ornithological collection, and shall be glad if BUBYING BEETLES (p. 171).- These beetles, directions for stuffing bird skins, of which I have

you can furnish me with some plain and simple sometimes called the “Sextons," exhibit a very a number in a very good state of preservation.interesting kind of instinct in providing for their James W. larvæ. These Necrophori, as they are sometimes What is a Reptile? Under this term I find called, are some of them very handsome, being in appearance and habits, that I am puzzled to

comprehended so many creatures, very different most frequently red or orange-coloured, and finely know exactly what it means, and on what prinspotted or barred with black. Gledetsch, in his ciple of classification the arrangements had been " Recreations of Natural History,” published in made which brings together such diverse formed 1765, has given a very interesting account of their

and variously-uatured animals.--BOBBY B. habits. He tells us that if a dead reptile or piece make, in order, as they say, to attract a swarm of

About Bees.-I8 the noise which some people of flesh is placed as a bait for them at the proper bees, and the custom of rubbing the inside of a season, they appear in an incredibly short time, hive with something which has a pleasant perguided no doubt by an extremely keen sense of fume, previous to introducing

the swarm, really of

any service?-A BEE-KEEPER. smell, which enables them to scent it from a

Formation of Pearls.-Has the account first considerable distance. When they arrive, they given by Sir Joseph Banks, of the mode in which appear to survey the object with a certain kind of pearls are found in the shell of the muscle or deliberation, as though taking the measure of its oyster ever been proved to be correct. I know

that considerable doubt has been expressed on the dimensions ; after which they at once commence subject, and shall be glad to receive information digging underneath, and sometimes bury it above, thereupon.-A JEWELLER.

« AnteriorContinuar »