Page images
PDF
EPUB

We no

ducks and waterfowl of every description, and al ed by a force marching into the interior. Distanco though it is so far in the interior, the water is salt. travelled this day, forty miles. The view of the lake of Chalco, and the different March 291h. We proceeded early on our jourvillages around, serves to make the ride quite inter ney, and stopped to dine at the village of Lasgivas. esting. At 6 P. M. arrived at the village of Venta Not two miles from this village, are the mines of Cordova, having travelled during the day 27 miles. Somelahucan, producing gold and copper. These,

March 25th. Our road led to day over high and in time, will make this a place of some importance.. extensive hills, and through forests of fine trees. The country passed through this day was somewhat From the tops of these hills, the two famous moun dreary. The road, for twenty-five or thirty miles, tains of locamilco and Popocatepetl, with their consisted of a well paved causeway. We passed peaks of eternal snow, may be seen. The heights another large tract of lava and forests of pine trees. of these mountains are estimated by Humboldt as Early in the evening, we arrived at the gates of being 18,000 feet above the level of the sea. They Xalapa, where we were obliged to unload all our seemed but a few thousand feet above us.

baggage and undergo a strict examination, which ticed the villages of Iocamilco, Tesmeluco, and consumed one or two hours. several others of little note. In the afternoon we Not having any thing in the smuggling line, much arrived at the village of San Marta, containing to the dissatisfaction of the insignificant customabout 4000 inhabitants. It is supported by agricul house officer, we were permitted to proceed. Disture and trade. Distance travelled this day, forty tance travelled this day, thirty-six miles. The two miles. Height, 13,000 feet. The next day, descent was 2500 feet. our path led over a very bad road, but through a Xalapa, is a handsome town, situated on a sloptolerably good tract of country. We stopped to ing hill and at considerable height from the sea, dine at the city of Puebla, said to contain 100,000 cortaining several hundred buildings and nearly inhabitants. I visited the celebrated cathedral. It 20,000 inhabitants. As none of the Mexicans, is built of stone, and surpasses any piece of work know any thing respecting the population, it is of the kind, that I have ever witnessed. The public complete guess work to the stranger: therefore the buildings that I visited were very elegant, and the estimate is given with the best of my judgment. private houses constructed in excellent style. The Xalapa is supported by trade. This town is said to streets were laid out in squares and well paved. give name to the purgative root called jalap or xalap: Taking it all in all, I consider it a most beautiful At daylight we continued our journey over a paved city. I noticed a large castle built on a rising causeway, and through a good tract of country. ground, for the protection of the city. A small We found considerable inconvenience from the river runs through the town.

boughs of the trees, which scraped the top of the We resumed our journey over a difficult road; carriage. We stopped to breakfast at a village being obliged frequently to alight and steady the called the Plaa del Rio. At this place, there is a coach, with ropes made fast at the top. We passed stream of water and two fine bridges. We proceedthrough several small villages, the land of which

ed over a very bad road, and at 6 o'clock arrived seemed under good cultivation. We stopped for at Pont del Rey or “Kings bridge.” Here are the night at a village called Amozorque. Distance two well built bridges, and on the heights above, are travelled this day, forty-two miles.

two strong batteries, to command the pass. DisMarch 27th. At daylight we continued our jour tance travelled this day, thirty-six miles. ney over a tedious road, but through a well cultiva We proceeded on our journey the next day over ted tract of land. We passed through the towns of a road leading through the remains of a causeway, Acajete and Napalucan, and arrived at a house or which had been destroyed, in the time of the revotavern called Ofo del Agua, or in English “ eye of lution. Each side was overgrown with trees, which water," there being several large springs at the were constantly knocking the top of the coach. foot of a high hill, which produce a river. A The country was but little cultivated. Towards stream under ground is said to be the cause of these evening we arrived at the town of Santa Fé. Dissprinys. Distance travelled this day, thirty-nine tance travelled this day, forty-two miles. miles.

The tavern at which we stopped had only two We commenced our journey the next day over a rooms, and we were obliged to take up our quarters good carriage road, leading through a country but in company with some muleteers.

On waking in little cultivated. The road was principally on the the morning, I found that I had lost my trunk, condescent. We passed through a tract of lava, ten or taining my papers and clothing. On searching, I twelve miles in extent. The

appearance, while

found it in an adjoining roomn, completely emptied passing, is novel, as the country in all directions of its contents: there was nothing however missing, presents to the view nothing except these large as they lay in a confused state around the room. blocks of cinders. In some parts the pines have Not liking the looks of some of the guests, I had taken root, and helped to render the road more taken the precaution to remove my money and gloomy. We stopped to dine at the town of Tepille place it under my pillow. hualco, after which we arrived at the town of April 1st. We continued our journey, being Perote, containing 4 or 5000 inhabitants. It is glad to bid good riddance to the miserable village supported by agriculture and trade. Perote is situ of Santa Fé. Our path lay over a sandy road, on ated at the foot of a very high hill, at the top of each side overgrown with wood. At noon, we which is a large square rock, resembling a chest, arrived at the city of Vera-Cruz. Distance travelwhich is called the coffer of Perote.” It

may

be led this day ten miles. Distance from Mexico 297, seen ninety miles at sea. Here I also noticed a and from San Blas 1032 miles. arge castle, mounting 120 guns and built in the Vera Cruz, on the Gulf of Mexico, is situated valley a short distance from the town. It is at on a low sandy beach, containing a number of well present used for the confinement of state prisoners built streets and buildings and about 18,000 inhabiand for a military school. It appears to be a work tants. It is surrounded on all sides by a strong of considerable strength, but might be easily avoid wall, and defended at every point by massive bat

teries, mounted with heavy artillery. The streets are well laid out at right angles, and paved. Although the city has a neat and cleanly appearance, and the atmosphere seems to be healthy, still at some seasons the black vomit and yellow fever prevail to a great extent. About two miles in front of the city, is the famous castle of St. Juan de Ulloa, built on reefs. Between these and the town is the usual place of anchorage.

On the 5th of April, I took passage in the Brig Eliza for New York, where I arrived on the 27th of the same month, it being fifty-seven days since I quitted San Blas.

THE BANANA. The banana and the bread-fruit are examples of extraordinary vegetable fruitfulness, with very little assistance from the care of man. The banana is not known in an uncultivated state; and those who principally depend upon the plant for subsistence propagate it by suckers. But here the labor of cultivation almost ends; and M. Humboldt has calculated that thirty-three pounds of wheat and ninetynine pounds of potatoes require the same space as that in which four thousand pounds of bananas will grow. But the industry of the European surrounds him with a much greater amount of blessings than the almost spontaneous bounty of Nature to the Indian who lives upon his patch of bananas. The same reasoning applies to the bread-fruit; for when the produce of two or three of those trees will suffice for a man's yearly supply, he is not likely to call forth the faculties of his mind, which wait upon a constant course of assiduous labor. Those bodies of mankind are in the happiest state who are placed by climate between the extremes of natural fruitfulness and sterility. Where nature offers spontaneous food to large tribes, as in a few situations in tropical countries, their condition is nearly as wretched, taken under all its circumstances, as that of those poor inhabitants of polar regions, o whom almost erery thing appears to be denied by the “ All-giver,” but who really obtain comforts by their persevering labor, which the idle native of the finest soil almost always wants.

used to annoy us exceedingly. Our barracks were under the hills, and when we went to parade, we were invariably obliged to leave armed men for the protection of our property; and, even in spite of this, they have frequently stolen our blankets and greatcoats, or any thing else they could lay their claws on. A poor woman, a soldier's wife, had washed her blanket, and hung it out to dry, when some of these miscreants, who were ever on the watch, stole it, and ran off with it into the hills, which are high and woody. This drew upon them the indignation of the regiment, and we formed a strong party, armed with sticks and stones, to attack them, with the view of recovering the property, and inflicting such chastisement as might be a warning to-them for the future. I was on the advance, with about twenty men, and I made a detour to cut them off from caverns, to which they always flew for shelter. They observed my movement, and immediately detached about fifty to guard the entrance, while the others kept their post; and we could distinctly see them collecting large stones, and other missiles. One old grey-headed one, in particular, who often paid us a visit at the barracks, and was known by the name of Father Murphy, was seen distributing his orders, and planning the attack, with the judgment of one of our best generals. Finding that my design was defeated, I joined the corps de main, and rushed on to the attack, when a scream from Father Murphy was a signal for a general encounter, and the host of baboons under his command rolled down enormous stones upon us, so that we were obliged to give up the contest, or some of us must inevitably have been killed. They actually followed us to our very doors, shouting, in indication of victory; and, during the whole night, we heard dreadful yells and screaming; so much so, that we expected a night attack. In the morning, however, we found that all this rioting had been created by disputes about the division of the blanket; for we saw eight or ten of them with pieces of it on their backs, as old women wear their cloaks. Amongst the number strutted Father Murphy. These rascals annoyed us day and night, and we dared not venture out, unless a party of five or six went together.

One morning, Father Murphy had the consummate impudence to walk straight into the grenadier barracks; and he was in the very act of purloining a serjeant's regimental coat, when a corporal's guard (which had just been relieved) took the liberty of stopping the gentleman at the door, and secured him. He was a most powerful brute, and, I am persuaded, too much for any single man. Notwithstanding his frequent misdemeanors, we did not like to kill the poor creature; so, having first taken the precaution of muzzling him, we determined on shaving his head and face, and then turning him loose. To this ceremony, strange to say, he submitted very quietly; and, when shaved, he was really an exceedingly good-looking fellow, and I have seen many a

blood" in Bond street not half so prepossessing in his appearance.

We then started him up the hill, though he seemed rather reluctant to leave us. Some of his companions came down to meet hir; but, fiom the alteration which shaving his head and face had made on him, they did not know him again, and, accordingly, pelted him with stones, and beat him with sticks, in so unmerciful a manner, that poor Father Murphy actuaHy sought protection from his enemies, and he in time became quite domesticated and tame. There are many now alive, in his Majesty's 22d regiment, who can vouch for the truth of this anecdote."

[graphic]

BABOONS. Lieutenant John Shipp, in the account of his amusing military adventures, describes several rencounters he had with baboons near the Cape of Good Hope. “On these hills (says he,) whole regiments of baboons assemble, for which this station is particularly famous. They stand six feet high, and in features and manners approach nearer to the human species than any other quadruped I have ever seen. These rascals, who are most abominable thieves,

[graphic]

THE GUANA. The above is an accurate representation, taken of the species differ considerably in different indifrom the drawings of the celebrated naturalist, Seba, viduals, and are probably dependent upon circumof the Guana, one of the largest lizards of the stances of age, sex, and climate. tropics. The appearance of this animal is some The guana feeds on the flowers and leaves of what alarming; and, when irritated, it puts on a trees, and on earth-worms and insects. Its jaws menacing aspect, swelling out the great pouch of are furnished with teeth, but it swallows its food its throat, erecting the scales on its back, lashing with scarcely any mastication. It runs with astonits tail, glaring with its fiery eyes, and making a ishing nimbleness along the highest branches of sort of hissing noise like a serpent. But the ani trees; and seldom descends to the earth, sleeping mal is very gentle, though it can bite and scratch; and feeding on the same tree. The female, howand it may be easily domesticated. The guana is ever, at a particular period of the year, goes to the common in several countries of South America, sea shore to deposit her eggs in the sand. After and it was formerly found in considerable numbers feeding the guana is very dull, and is then easily in the West-India Islands; but the race has there taken. been nearly destroyed, its flesh being considered a In some places it is hunted by dogs trained to delicious article of food.

the chase, and in others taken in a noose or trap.

It is kill, except in one way from the under side of its neck, by the indented The flesh, as we have mentioned, is esteemed a crest which reaches from the head to the extremity

delicacy. Catesby, in his Natural History of of the tail, and by the peculiar beauty of its general Carolina, says that the guana is made an article of colors, and the metallic brilliancy of its scales. Its traffic in the Bahama Islands, being carried from extreme length, from the muzzle to the end of the place to place, and kept alive, till required for the tail, is sometimes five or six feet. There is a dried tables of the rich. Brown, who wrote the Natural specimen in the Museum of Natural History at History of Jamaica, says that he kept a full-grown Paris, which is four feet long; and there is a small guana in his house for two months. It lay quiet er specimen in the British Museum. The ground on a bed during the day, and ran about at night, color of the guana is in general green, mixed with when it appeared to feed on small insects floating vellow or various shades of blue; but the colors in the air.

from every other species, by the pouch Which hangs that of enrusting a sharp instrumentupits nostrins

a mile upon

screw.

WATERTON'S ACCOUNT OF THE SLOTH. cagle to soar in the expanse of the skies, and the

The character and habits of that singular animal, monkey and squirrel to inhabit the trees; still these the Sloth, according to Charles Waterton, the en- 1 change their relative situations without feeling much thusiastic traveller in the wilds of South America, 1 inconvenience; but the Sloth is doomed to spend have been strangely misrepresented by naturalists. his whole life in the trees; and, what is more exThis singular animal (says he) is destined by traordinary, not upon the branches, like the squirrel nature to be produced, to live, and to die, in the and the monkey, but under them. He is as much trees. He is a scarce and solitary animal, and, at a loss to proceed on his journey upon a smooth being good food, he is never allowed to escape.

and level floor, as a man would be who had to walk He inhabits remote and gloomy forests, where

a line of feather-beds. He moves sussnakes take up their abode, and where cruelly-sting- pended from the branch, he rests suspended from ing ants and scorpions, and swamps,

and innumer it, and he sleeps suspended from it. To enable able thorny shrubs and bushes, obstruct the steps

him to do this, he must have a very different forof civilized men. This, then, is the proper place

mation from that of any other known quadruped to go in quest of the Sloth. We will first take a Hence, his seemingly bungled conformation is at near view of him. By obtaining a knowledge of his once accounted for; and in lieu of the Sloth leading anatomy, we will be enabled to account for his a painful life, and entailing a melancholy and misemovements. His fore-legs, or, more correctly

rable existence on its progeny, it is but fair to speaking, his arms, are apparently much too long, surmise that it enjoys life just as much as any other while his hiņd-legs are very short, and look as if animal, and that its extraordinary formation and they could be bent almost to the shape of a cork- singular habits are but farther proofs to engage us Both the fore and hind legs, by their form,

to admire the wonderful works of Omnipotence. and by the manner in which they are joined to the body, are quite incapacitated from acting in a perpendicular direction, or in supporting it on the

CHICK IN THE EGG. earth, as the bodies of other quadrupeds are sup The hen has scarcely sat on the egg twelve hours, ported, by their legs. Hence, when you place when we begin already to discover in it some him on the floor, his belly touches the ground. lineaments of the head and body of the chicken that Now, granted that he supported himself on his legs is to be born The heart appears to beat at the like other animals, nevertheless he would be in pain, end of the day; at the end of forty-eight hours, two for he has no soles to his feet, and his claws are vesicles of blood can be distinguished, the pulsavery sharp and long, and curved; so that, were his tion of which is very visible. At the fiftieth hour, body supported by his feet, it would be by their an auricle of the heart appears, and resembles a extremities, just as your body would be, were you lace, or noose folded down upon itself. At the end of to throw yourself on all-fours, and try to support it seventy hours we distinguish wings, and on the head on the ends of your toes and fingers. Were the two bubbles for the brain; one for the bill, and two floor of a polished surface, the sloth would actually others for the forepart and hindpart of the headbe quite stationary; but as the ground is generally the liver appears towards the fifth day. At the end rough, with little protuberances upon it, such as of one hundred and thirty-one hours, the first volunstones, or roots of grass, this just suits the Sloth, tary motion is observed. At the end of one hunand he moves his fore-legs in all directions, in order dred and thirty-eight hours the lungs and stomach to find something to lay hold of; and when he has become visible-at the end of 142, the intestines, succeeded, he pulls himself forwards, and is thus the loins, and the upper jaw. The seventh day, enabled to travel onwards, but, at the same time, the brain, which was slimy, begins to have some in so tardy and awkward a manner, as to acquire consistence.--At the 190th hour of incubation, the him the name of the Sloth. Indeed, his looks and bill opens, and the flesh appears in the breast. A. his gestures evidently betray his uncomfortable the 194th, the sternum is seen, that is to say, the situation; and as a sigh every now and then escapes breastbone. At the 210th, the ribs come out of him, we may be entitled to conclude that he is actu the back, the bill is very visible, as well as the gallally in pain.

bladder. The bill becomes green at the end of 236 hours; and if the chick is taken out of its covering, it evidently moves itself.-- The feathers begin to shoot out towards the 240th hour, and the skull becomes gristly. At the 264th the eyes appear. At the 288th, the ribs are perfect. At the 331st,

the spleen draws near to the stomach, and the lungs “Some years ago I kept a Sloth in my room for to the chest. At the end of 355 hours, the bill freseveral months. I often took him out of the house, quently opens and shuts; and at the end of 451 and placed him upon the ground, in order to have hours, or the 18th day, the first cry of the chick is an opportunity of observing his motions. If the already heard-it afterwards gets more strength, ground were rough, he would pull himself forwards and grows continually, till at last it sets itself at by means of his fore-legs, at a pretty good pace; liberty, by opening the prison in which it was shut and he invariably shaped his course towards the up. Adorable wisdom of God! it is by so inany nearest tree. His favorite abode was the back of different degrees that these creatures are brought a chair; and after getting all his legs in a line upon into life. All these progressions are made by rule! the topmost part of it, he would hang there for and there is not one of them without sufficient reahours together, and often, with a low and inward No part of its body could appear sooner or cry, would seem to invite me to take notice of him. later, without the whole embryo suffering, and each The Sloth, in its wild state, spends its whole life in of its limbs appear at the most proper moment the trees, and never leaves them but through force, This ordination, so wise, and so invariable in the or by accident. An all-ruling Providence has or production of the animal, is manifestly the work of vlered man to tread on the surface of the earth, the a Supreme Being.

son.

[graphic]

ANIMAL ASSOCIATIONS. All associations between animals of opposite indifference to the presence either of cat, or hawk, natures are exceedingly interesting; and those who or owl. The modes by which this man has effected train animals for public exhibition know how at this, are, first, by keeping all the creatures well tractive are such displays of the power of discipline fed; and, secondly, by accustoming one species to over the strength of instinct. These extraordinary the society of the other at a very early period of arrangements are sometimes the effect of accident, their lives. The ferocious instincts of those who and sometimes of the greater force of one instinct prey on the weaker are never called into action; over the lesser force of another. A rat-catcher their nature is subdued to a systematic gentleness; baving caught a brood of young rats alive gave the circumstances by which they are surrounded them to his cat, who had just had her kittens taken are favorable to the cultivation of their kindlier'disfrom her to be drowned. A few days aferwards, positions; all their desires and pleasures are boundhe was surprised to find the rats in the place of the ed by their little cage; and though the old cat drowned kittens, being suckled by their natural sometimes takes a stately walk on the parapet of enemy. The cat had a hatred to rats, but she the bridge, he duly returns to his companions, with spared these young rats to afford her the relief which whom he has so long been happy, without at all she required as a mother. The rat-catcher exhibit thinking that he was born to devour any of them. ed the cat and lrer nurslings to considerable advan This is an example, and a powerful one, of what tage. A somewhat similar exhibition exists at may be accomplished by a proper education, which present.

rightly estimates the force of habit, and confirms, There is a little Menagerie in London where by judicious management, that habit which is most such odd associations may be witnessed upon a desirable to be made a rule of conduct. The more extensive scale, and more systematically con principle is the same, whether it be applied to childucted, than in any other collection of animals with dren or to brutes. which we are acquainted. Upon the Surrey side of Waterloo Bridge, or sometimes, though not so often, on the same side of Southwark Bridge, may

THE HAPPY LIFE. be daily seen a cage about five feet square, containing the quadrupeds and birds which are repre

How happy is he bred and taught, sented in the annexed cut. The keeper of this

That serveth not another's will, collection, John Austin, states that he has employ

Whose armor is his honest thought, ed seventeen years in this business of training

And simple truth his utmost skill. creatures of opposite natures to live together in Whose passions not his masters are, content and affection. And those years have not

Whose soul is still prepared for death ; been unprofitably employed! It is not too much to Untied unto the world by care believe," that many a person who has given his

Of public fame, or private breath. halfpenny to look upon this show, may have had Who envies none that change doth raise, his mind awakened to the extraordinary effects of

Nor vice hath ever understood; nabit and of gentle discipline, when he has thus How deepest wounds are given by praise ; seen the cat, the rat, the mouse, the hawk, the

Nor rules of state, but rules of good. rabbit, the guinea-pig, the owl, the pigeon, the Who hath his life from rumors freed; starling, and the sparrow, each enjoying, as far as

Whose conscience is his sure retreat , can be enjoyed in confinement, its respective modes

Whose state cau neither flatterers feed, of life, in the company of the others,--the weak

Nor ruin make oppressors great. without fear, and the strong without the desire to Who God doth late and early pray, injure It is impossible to imagine any prettier

More of his grace than gifts to sena; exhibition of kindness than is here shown. The

And entertains the barmless day abbit and the pigeon playfully contending for a

With a religious book or friend. lock of hay to make up their nests; the sparrow This man is freed from servile bands, sumetimes perched on the head of the cat, and

Of hope to rise or fear to fall; sumetimes on that of the owl, -each its natural Lord of himself, though not of lands, enemy; and the mice playing about with perfect

And having nothing, yet hath all.

BY SIR HENRY WOTTON.

« PreviousContinue »