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sixty feet broad in the widest part. Over this there
Over this there of preparing its pith for use as human food, is to be appears to have been originally, at least one other story, of which however nothing now remains. it is to the following effect. The prospect from the top is of great beauty and “ The tree being felled, is cut into lengths of five extent, comprehending not only the whole of the or six feet. A part of the hard wood is then sliced island, but a considerable part of Southampton off, and the workman, coming to the pith, cuts water, and of some of the adjoining counties. In across the longitudinal fibres and the pith together, the centre of the Keep is a well of three hundred leaving a part at each end uncut, so that when it is feet in depth, but which has been for some time excavated, there remains a trough, into which the covered over as useless and dangerous. In ancient pulp is again put, mixed with water, and beaten times such an accommodation must have been with a piece of wood. Then the fibres, separated indispensable in this the heart of the fortress, and from the pulp, float at top, and the flour subsides. the last retreat of the garrison when pressed by a After being cleared in this manner by several besieging enemy. In the earlier ages of English waters, the pulp is put into cylindrical baskets made history Carisbrook Castle was frequently attacked, of the leaves of the tree; and if it is to be kept especially by the French. In 1377 it is related, some time, those baskets are generally sunk in that a band of invaders of that nation having made fresh water to keep it moist. One tree will pro an assault upon it, fell into an ambuscade in a nar duce from two to four hundred weight of flour. row lane in the neighborhoud, and were nearly all “We seldom or never see sago in this country but massacred. The scene of slaughter still retains in a granulated state. To bring it into this state the name of Deadman's-lane.
from the flour, it must be first moistened and passed through a sieve into an iron pot (very shallow) held over a fire, which enables it to assume a globular form. Thus all our grained sago is half baked and will keep long. The pulp or powder of which this is made will also keep long if preserved from the air, but if exposed, it presently turns sour."
We learn also from the same authority, that loaves of bread are sometimes made in the Molucca Islands of the pith of the sago, and that these loaves are baked in small ovens, is the floors of which are divided by means of partitions into cells about the size of an octavo volume.”
The leaf of the sago is used in the same quarter for covering houses, and in that climate will not need to be renewed oftener than once in seven years.
When the sago tree is cut down, its vegetative Stem of the Sago Tree, showing the pith from which the Sago is extracted.
power still remains in the root, which again puts SAGO.
forth its leaves and forms the trunk, and this proThe substance known in commerce under the ceeds again through its different stages until it is name of sago is a farinaceous pithy matter, extracted again subjected to the axe, and made to yield its from the trunk of a tree.
alimentary contents for the service of man. This tree is a native of the southeast of Asia, and Sago is also produced from many varieties of of the islands of the Indian Ocean, where it grows palms, but the tree here described is that which spontaneously, and is perfected without any culture. furnishes the best. The produce of the Cycas cirThis circumstance occurring with regard to a sub cinalis, so often erroneously mentioned as yielding stance highly nutritive, in a climate which disposes the sago of commerce,
very inferior. the human frame to inaction, occasions the adoption of sago in many places as the general food of the population, to the neglect of other plants, the Catching Cold.-It may seem a little contradictory that cultivation of which would call for some amount of temporary local heat should produce cold, but it is nevertheexertion.
less true. How soon a person who has been in too close a
room, or too near the fire, gets cold and shivering, compared The sago, or, as it is called in the Molucca Isl
with one who has been in a colder apartment, at a greater disands, the libley tree, is of peculiar growth. The tance from the fire, or in the open air. Half the colds and trunk, which is formed of the bases of the leaves, coughs with which people are annoyed in the winter are grows at first very slowly, and is covered with
owing to their winter habitations being too warm : and those
complaints are far more frequent in towns than in the open thorns; so soon, however, as the stem is once
places of the country. When people go hot into the cold air, formed, the growth of the tree proceeds with very the evaporation from the surfaces of their bodies is so rapid, great rapidity, so that it speedily attains its full as not only to make them feel cold and shiver, but if it be long height of thirty feet, with a girth of five or six feet,
continued, to injure the little follicles of the skin, which, in
the healthy states of the body, remove inuch of the waste losing in this stage its thorny accompaniments.
matter that is unfit for the purposes of life ; and thus that Like the cocoa-nut tree, the sago has no distinct matter remains in the system, and acts as a poison. Washing bark that can be peeled off, but the trunk consists
with warm water in cold weather has much the same effect; of a long, hard, ligneous tube, about two inches
and they who resort to that in order to avoid the temporary
influence of the cold, thereby subject themselves to it for the thick, the internal area of which is filled with a
whole day. In summer, warm water is a luxury, and a kind of farinaceous pith, intermixed with numerous wholesome, and almost immediately a cooling luxury: but longitudinal fibres. The maturity of the tree is they who would escape chilblains and frost-biting should avoid known by the transpiration of a kind of whitish dust
it in winter. through the pores of the leaves, and when this the trunk is felled near to the ground.
The philosopher leaves the fashion of his clothes to the appears
tailor; it is as great a weakness to be out of the fashion as to The best account of this tree, and of the mode affect to be in it.
“ The fierce Dane,
Home's Douglas. One of the first objects that strikes the eye of the traveller, after he has crossed the Scottish border by Berwick, is this remarkable rock in the sea, which lies at the mouth of the Frith of Forth, at the distance of about a mile and a half from the coast of East Lothian. It continues to be seen during the rest of the journey, until the traveller approaches Haddington, when the mountain called Berwick-law, and other high grounds, conceal it from View. It is about a mile in circumference, and not much more than four hundred feet above the level of the sea, but looks considerably higher. The water that washes its precipitous sides is from thirty to forty fathoms deep. The rock can be approached in safety only in fine weather; and its stark, rugged cliffs are only accessible by one narrow passage that faces the main land. Close by this only landing-place is a castle, now in ruins, but once a place of great strength and some importance in history, consisting of four square towers and connecting works. During the war of religion between Charles II., and the Covenanters this castle was converted into a state prison, and became the solitary residence of many west country Whigs and recusants. When the dynasty of the Stewarts was driven from the throne of the United Kingdom, the Bass Rock was occupied by a brave garrison devoted to that ill-fated family, who obstinately defended it for several years, and gained for the place the dubious honor of its being the last spot of
British ground to yield to the improved and more constitutional government introduced by the revolution of 1688. Besides the castle there seems once to have been a hermitage and some other habitations on this rock; but soldiers, monks, prisoners, and peasants have all been long gone; and now the only inhabitants of the Bass are immense flocks of Solan geese and some score of shoep, that contrive to climb up its precipitous sides and find pasture on its summit.
The base of the rock is perforated completely through from east to west by a natural cavern fearfully dark in the centre, and through which the sea frequently dashes and roars with astounding violence, but which may be examined at low water on a calm day. When the tide is out, the water remaining in this curious fissure, at a few yards from its mouth, is not more than knee-deep: The young fishermen often go through it though its aspect is exceedingly. terrific. At one of the entrances to this cavern it appears as if the Bass were composed of two immense rocks, the larger of which leans diagonally against the smaller, leaving this narrow chasm between them at the bottom, but closely joining with each other at all other points. There are several other caverns of considerable length, the openings into which resemble fretted Gothic windows or doors that have been made to deviate from the perpendicular by time or violence. The pencil of an able artist alone could convey an idea of their singularity and beauty.
The Bass is now the property of the family of the Dalrymples, of North Berwick, a little fishingtown on the coast, about three miles distant froin
the rock. It is of course more picturesque than profitable: about thirty pounds per annum are paid for the birds, and ten pounds for the right of pasturage. The island pays annually twelve Solan geese to the minister, and two to the schoolmaster of North Berwick, as part of their stipends. These geese, the principal inhabitants of the islet, are white birds, considerably smaller than the domesticated geese. They differ in many points from any other species of wild geese. They are birds of passage, and so very particular in the choice of their residence, that it is said, that of all the lonely rocks and islets of Scotland they are only found here and on Ailsa Craig, a rock in the Frith of Clyde, very like the Bass. They regularly arrive, year after year, at the end of February or beginning of March. At first a small fight is seen to wheel round the rock, and then alight on its precipitous sides with the most clamorous screams; these are soon followed by other flights, each more numerous than that which preceded it, and in a very few days after the arrival of the scouts and vanguard, the whole of the migratory colony is assembled, and no more stragglers are seen to arrive. They generally leave the Bass in parties, as they came, towards the end of October, though, occasionally, when the winter is mild and fish abundant in the surrounding sea, they forego their journey to distant parts of the world, and stay there the whole year round. Last winter, for instance, they did not leave the Bass.
They lay several eggs each, but only sit upon one, which they hatch on the face of the bare rock. Their season of incubation is in June and July, when the cliffs literally seem covered with their snow-white plumage.
Their flesh has a strong fishy disagreeable flavor. A curious method is used by the fishermen in the neighborhood to catch them: they take a small wooden plank, which is sunk a little below the surface of the sea by means of a stone or a piece of lead; on this plank they put a herring, and then drag the plank after them by a long rope, which leaves the trap considerably astern of the boat. . The bird, attracted by the sight of its favorite food, wheels two or three times in the air, and then plunges down with such rapidity, that it often transfixes the plank with its bill, and is almost invariably stunned or killed by the shock.
The plumage of the Solan geese, which is beautifully wbite and soft, is sold to upholsterers and others, who employ it in making feather-beds. The old man, who rents the rock, plucks the birds before they are sent to market. When deprived of their plumage they sell on an average at about seven-pence each. A good many of them find their way to the markets of Dunbar, Haddington, and Edinburgh, where many persons, who have been accustomed to it, do not find their flesh unpalatable, and use it at breakfast. The old man only takes the young birds, but sportsmen and others, who occasionally disregard his rights, shoot whatever comes in their way, though it is scarcely possible to eat the flesh of the old birds.
The writer of this short account, who has just returned from an excursion to the Bass, (May 9, 1833,) was much amused by the old fisherman's description of the mode of taking the young birds. It is precisely the same as that adopted in the Feroe Islands, Norway, and other rocky coasts. The geese hatch and bring up their young on the
most precipitous sides of the rocks, where man has no possible means of access, except by being suspended from the head of the precipice. When this dangerous operation is to be performed, a party, never less than six men, climb up the Bass to some spot where there is firm footing, and which is immediately above a brood of the geese, which always lie in large flocks crowded together. The man who is to descend is secured by a strong rope tied round his body, and a second rope, with a leaden weight at its end, is dropped down by his side within reach of his hand. Both these ropes are kept fast by the men on the top of the rock, who gradually lower their companion down the sides of the perpendicular cliff. The man, in his descent, aids himself
, or rests bimself occasionally, by putting his toes in the crannies or on slight projections of the rock. The second rope, which serves to steady him, he grasps with his left hand, and in his right hand he carries a strong stick to knock down the young birds, and keep off the old ones, whose bite is exceedingly severe. As soon as he reaches the point where the brood lies, he proceeds with all expedition to knock them on the head, on which they fall from the narrow ledge where they were sitting, and drop into the sea at the foot of the rock, where they are taken up by men in boats. Great havoc is thus made on the poor birds in a very few seconds, and when their destroyer has disposed of all he can reach, he is pulled up to the top of the rock.
The eastern side of the Bass is most frequented by the Solan geese. As the writer approached, on the morning of the ninth May, an almost incredible number of geese flew thence, looking like snow blown from a mountain's side. Their united scream, which is peculiarly wild and shrill, seemed to reproach'his intrusion as they wheeled over his head.
In going round the rock, the geese flew out in great numbers in many other places, and besides them morrits or puffens, and tommynories or hawks, darted from the side of the cliffs in countless numbers.
When the writer reached the landing-place, he found some men in a large boat with twenty-two sheep that were brought to the Bass for pasture. The first part of the ascent, which lay over steep slippery rocks, was not performed without some difficulty either by the sheep or the men. On the top of the rock, however, the poor sheep found excellent grass. They were to be left here until October or November, when the shepherd said, it was sure they would be found fat and in the finest condition. A variety of beautiful wild flowers, in full bloom, sprung up among the pasture and from fissures in the rocks
Many of the geese had already laid their eggs and were sitting on them. On the side of a cliff above the castle—the only place where the traveller could get at all near to them-about a hundred that were thus occupied, allowed him to approach almost within reach of them before they would leave their eggs. They then rose on the wing, uttering their wildest screams, and hovered over their eggs until the intruder departed, when they instantly returned to their positions. The eggs lay on the bare rock without any thing to protect them. Unlike the tame goose, these birds had a very bold and fierce appearance.
On the shore of the main land, immediately opposite to the Bass Castle, stand the striking ruins of Tantallan Castle, which form one of the finest
leatures in the view, that is, on all sides, varied and picturesque, and crowded with historical associations.
going to see a sheep-walk at six o'clock in the morning, I found the rays of the sun intolerably scorching; the air was calm and suffocating, that is, it was extremely rarefied; the sky was without a cloud, yet I heard four or five claps of thunder. About a quarter after seven, a cloud appeared in the southwest, and then a very brisk wind arose. In a few minutes, the cloud filled the horizon, and speeded toward the zenith with an increase of the wind; and a hail storm suddenly came on, the stones not falling perpendicularly, but at an angle of forty-five degrees, and so large that you would have taken them for the pieces of mortar of a roof fallen down. I could not believe my own eyes; many of the stones were larger than a man's fist, and I observed, too, that several of these were only fragments of larger pieces. When I could safely venture my hand out of the door of the house to which I had very opportunely retired for shelter, I took up one, and found it to weigh more than five ounces by a common pair of scales. Its shape was very irregular, and it had three principal horns as big as the thumb, and almost as long, projecting from the nucleus, on which they were collected. I have been credibly informed that a hailstone at St. Germaine's weighed more than three pounds, and after this I know not what surpasses belief.”
It is related, that, during the wars of Louis the Twelfth in Italy, in 1510, there was for some time a horrible darkness, after which the clouds broke into thunder and lightning, and there fell hailstones of one hundred pounds weight. On the 19th of May 1809, a scvere hail-storm occurred in the neighborhood of London. The hailstones that fell were many of them a full inch in diameter. Such was the velocity with which they were precipitated, that in many instances a clear round hole was left in the glass they pierced. " The water of the river, (says the account,) lashed by the hail and raised by the wind, resembled a caldron boiling violently, rather than waves with breakers. The damage done was so great, that a London newspaper estimated it at 200,000 squares of glass broken in sashes, skylights, conservatories, oratories, hothouses, &c., besides the injury done to the crops in fields and gardens. The foliage of large elms was cut off, and scattered on the ground to a furlong's distance to leeward; and fruit trees, besides being thus stripped, received wounds in their bark which were visible long after.”
It is calculated that a single drop of water, the diameter of which is only the one-thousandth of an inch, will, in descending through the air, acquire a velocity of nine or ten feet every second; wherefore it is less surprising that hailstones of such magnitude and weight should occasionally prove destructive, not only to delicate plants, but even to animals; for a pebble, even of the ordinary size of a hailstone, were it to fall from the mouth of a well on the head of a man, would kill him; and meteoric stones, which are no larger, bury themselves deep in the ground, and have been known even to forco themselves through the body of a house, and pene trate some inches into the cellar ground.
POPULAR INFORMATION ON SCIENCE.
No. IV. HAIL. Hail is unquestionably formed by the congelation of vapor in the higher regions of the atmosphere; and this arises from the warmer air in which the vapor was suspended mixing suddenly with an intensely cold current of air. Hail is generally defined to be frozen rain; but it differs from ice in this, that the hailstones are not formed of single pieces of ice, but of small particles agglutinated together, some of which are very hard, like perfect ice, while others are soft as snow, or resemble snow that has been hardened by frost. When hailstones are broken open, or cut across, they are sometimes within found to be of a spongy structure; sometimes the interior presents a very beautiful radiated appearance, and not unfrequently exhibits regular and very remarkable concentric plates. Generally, the centre of the hailstone is harder than its surface, and occasionally presents us with a nucleus, or sort of core, imbedded in which, bits of straw, wood, and earth, have been found; substances which, it may be presumed, were elevated from the surface of the earth by the action of a whirlwind, or some similar meteor. Hailstones vary much in shape: they are generally oval or round, but sometimes thin, flat, irregular globular, angular, pyramidal, occasionally irregular, having a central point whence proceed numerous icy spiculæ, like all directions; and, also, although more rarely, they have appeared as six sided prisms. A few years ago, a tremendous storm occurred in Gloucestershire, the most remarkable circumstance attending which, was the hail shower by which it was accompanied. “It may be doubted,"
the Athenæum, " whether such a name as hail be applicable, for the masses of ice which fell in places where the storm most fiercely raged, bore no resemblance to hailstones in magnitude or formation, most oí them being of a very irregular shape, broad, flat, and ragged, and many measuring nine inches in circumference; they appeared like fragments of a vast plate of ice broken into small masses by its descent towards the earth.' On the 4th of June, in the year 1814, hail fell at Cincinnati, Ohio, the pieces of which are described in the account read to the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York, as having been apparently “ aggregated of numerous others, which were likewise composed of smaller ones, while some of more than ordinary size appeared single, as if they had been snowballs immersed in water, and refrozen.”
Hailstones vary considerably in size—from that of a nullet seed to that of a pigeon's egg-the smaller generally falling in the more northern climates, the larger in the south of Europe. Hailstones have fallen in Scotland which have been found to weigh five ounces; in North America they have been picked up weighing fifteen ounces; and in Oct. 5, 1831,one fell at Constantinople which weighed more than a pound. “I had long refused,” observes Volney, in his View of the Climate &c. of America, "to credit the existence of those hailstones said to weigh ounces, and even pounds, of which newspapers and travellers too frequently speak. But the storm of the 13th of July 1788 affords me the conviction of my own senses. at Ponchartrain, ten miles from Versailles; and
BY L. E. L.
The wind is sweeping o'er the hill ;
It hath a mournful sound, As if it felt the difference
Its weary wing hath found.
A little while that wandering wind
Swept over leaf and flower :
And bloom for every hour.
And caught the dove's lone song;
The rose's breath along.
No rose is open now,
Is vacant on the bough.
Ġo look upon the past ;
Their summer did not last.
One o'er a flower and leaf; The other over hopes and joys,
Whose beauty was as brief.
indicate, that in so far as respects the right of commanding their services, the chiefs are not absolutely the masters of the common people who live within their territories; while, on the other hand, they would appear to have the power, in some cases, of even putting them to death, according to their mere pleasure. Although there are no written laws in New Zealand, all these matters are, no doubt, regulated by certain universally understood rules, liberal enough, in all probability, in the license which they allow to the tyranny of the privileged class, but still fixing some boundaries to its exercise, which will accordingly be but rarely overstepped. Thus, the power which the chief seems to enjoy of depriving any of his slaves of life, may be limited to certain occasions only; as, for instance, the death of some member of the family, whose manes, it is conceived, demand to be propitiated by such an offering:
That in such cases slaves are often sacrificed in New Zealand, we have abundant evidence. Captain Cruise even informs us, that when a son of one of the chiefs died in Mr Marsden's house, in New South Wales, it required the interposition of that gentleman's authority to prevent some of the boy's countrymen, who were with him, from killing a few of their slaves, in honor of their deceased friend. On other occasions, it is likely that the life of the slave can only be taken when he has been convicted of some delinquency; although, as the chief is the sole judge of his criminality, he will find this, it may be thought, but a slight protection. The domestic slaves of the chiefs, however, it is quite possible, and even likely, are much more completely at the mercy of their caprice and passion, than the general body of the common people, whose vassalage may, after all, consist in little more than the obligation of following them to their wars, and rendering them obedience in such other matters of public concern.
Use of Forks.—A foreigner remarks, in his work on Great Britain, that an Englishman may be discovered anywhere if he be observed at table, because he places his fork upon the left side of his plate; a Frenchman by using the fork alone without the knife; and a German by planting it perpendicularly into his plate; and a Russian by using it as a toothpick. Holding the fork is a national custom, and nations are char. acterized by their peculiarities in the use of the fork at table. An affectation of the French usages in this respect seems now to be gaining ground in this country.
Whenever you speak any thing, think well, and look narrowly what you speak; of whom you speak; and to whom you speak, lest you bring yourself into great trouble.
SONGS AND DANCES OF THE NEW
ZEALANDERS. The New Zealanders have a variety of national dances; but none of them have been minutely described. Some of them are said to display much grace of movement: others are chiefly remarkable for the extreme violence with which they are performed. As among the other South Sea tribes, when there are more dancers than one, the most perfect uniformity of step and attitude is preserved by all of them; and they do not consider it a dance at all when this rule is not attended to. Capt. Dillon very much amused some of those who came on board his ship by a sample of English dancing, which he made his men give them on deck. A company of soldiers going through the manual exercise would certainly have come much nearer their notions of what a dance ought to be.
We are as yet very imperfectly informed in regard to the distinctions of rank, and other matters appertaining to the constitution of society, in New Zealand. It would appear, however, that, as among most other Asiatic races, the great body of the people are in a state approaching to what we should call slavery, or vassalage, to the few owners of the
Yet we are nearly altogether ignorant of the real extent of the authority possessed by the latter over the former Some circumstances seem to
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