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covering of the arms, and branches out to the extremity | of the pinnæ. This membrane forms a series of canals, extending over the whole under-surface of the animal. The margins of these canals are everywhere studded with brown spots, supposed to be the ovaries of the animal. Every other portion of the animal's body is a deep rose-colour.
The singular part of the history of this animal is the deposition of its eggs on the stems and branches of corallines, and the attachment of the young animals thereto during the early stages of their progress. Mr. Thomson says that it is strongly to be suspected that the animal is gifted with the power of placing the eggs in appropriate situations, otherwise we should find them indiscriminately on fuci, shells, stones, &c., which does not appear to be the case. However this may be, the attached ova of the feather-star is first perceived as a flattened oval disk, which afterwards gives exit to an obscurely pointed head, in which may already be detected the incipient formation of the arms, mouth, &c. The change of the young animal from its stalked to its perfect form, although never having been witnessed, was considered established by the arguments of the discoverer, founded on the examination of a variety of specimens. But in the introduction to Professor Forbes's work, the feather-star is distinctly stated to be in its youth fixed and pedunculate, like a zoophyte; in its adult state free and star-like, and the author adds, "When dredging in Dublin Bay in August, 1840, with my friends Mr. R. Ball and Mr. W. Thomson, we found numbers of the phytoerinus or polype state of the feather-star, more advanced than they had ever been seen before; so advanced that we saw the creature drop from its stem and swim about a true comatula; nor could we find any difference between it and the perfect animal, when examining it under the microscope."
These animals in their free state frequent both deep and shallow water: those of the largest size are usually found in deep water. In swimming they move about their arms in the same way as the meduse, raising themselves from the bottom, and swimming very rapidly. Professor Forbes has observed that they effect the movement by advancing the arms alternately, five at a time.
The feather-star is found in many parts of the British coast. It was found at Milford Haven by Mr. Miller; in other parts of Wales by Mr. Adams; on the west coast of Scotland by Pennant; and at Penzance by Llwyd. It is also abundant on the Dublin coast, at Cork, and on the shores of Antrim and Down. The two species of comatula, usually described in our zoological works, are now believed to be the same animal of different ages, or in different states of preservation, and as identical with the species described by Lamarck as Comatula mediterranea.
The author last quoted also informs us that when a freshly-caught feather-star is plunged into cold fresh water, it dies in a state of contraction; but if not killed in this way, or in spirits, it breaks itself into pieces. When dying, it gives out a most beautiful purple colour, tinging the liquid in which it is killed. This colour can be retained for a long time in spirits. The fact was long since noticed by Bartholinus, who observed it at Naples.
In common with various other animals, the featherstar is infested by its own peculiar parasitical pest. This is a minute nondescript animal resembling a flat scale, which runs about with considerable rapidity over the arms of the feather-star, and which has been observed occasionally to protrude a flexible tubular proboscis. The disk, or body of this creature, is surrounded by a number of moving tentacula, and is also furnished with five pair of short members ending in a hooked claw.
The stalk is very long, when compared with the body of the animal. Professor Forbes found it to consist of eighteen joints. Under the microscope it appeared of a granular texture. When compressed between plates of glass, and highly magnified, the substance of the column, as well as that of the body of the animal, presented a beautiful reticulated appearance, in consequence of the separation of the plates of calcareous matter with which it was studded. These plates were mostly pentagonal. They are themselves composed of lesser particles, having apparently the same form. This peculiar granular texture is seen in the calcareous substance of other Echinodermata, and is favourable to the spheroidal growth of these creatures.
Our illustration being a highly magnified representation of the comatula, will give some idea of the appearance of the feather-stars in the early stages of their growth, while they are seated on their respective stalks.
ON THE LANGUAGE OF UNEDUCATED
WHILE we are commenting on Shakspeare, mending or
Thus writes the ingenious Samuel Pegge in his Anecdotes of the English Language, which chiefly regard the local dialect of London and its neighbourhood, and are highly amusing and clever. From these anecdotes we propose to make such a selection as may show the origin of some of the "colloquial barbarisms," as they were called by Dr. Johnson, which still maintain their hold on the lower orders of people; but which, according to our authority, are, in many cases, far from being inaccurate, and may well be considered as old, unfortunate, and discarded words and expressions, which are now turned out to the world at large by persons of educa tion, (without the smallest protection,) and acknowledged only by the humbler orders of mankind; who seem charitably to respect them as decayed gentlefolks that have known better days.
The English language has been variously mixed and modified from different sources, with which, were we well acquainted, we should find that many common unobserved words are not without their fundamental meanings, however contemptible they may appear to us in this age of refinement. Bishop Wilkins remarks, that all languages which are vulgar, or living languages, are subject to so many alterations, that in the course of time they will appear to be quite another thing than they were at first. And the truth of this remark may be easily proved by any one who will open a volume penned by one of our old English writers.
Such being the case, the humbler classes are to be looked on, not only without contempt, (when they adhere to the old expressions of their forefathers,) but actually with respect, as preserving on their lips a great deal of antiquarian lore. This of course applies to such expressons as can be justified from the charge of inaccuracy, and have merely gone out of polite usage on account of some caprice of fashion.
There have been at different periods in the history of the English language, persons of superior intellect, who adhered by choice to the ancient dialect of their forefathers in preference to the refinements which had been subsequently introduced. Such a person was Spenser, who, writing in the reign of Queen Elizabeth when the language was reputed to be in a state of refinement, yet both in his Pastorals and in his Faëry Queen imitated the language of Chaucer, on the conviction that it was stronger and more energetic than that of his own time. Warton says of him, that "he laboured to restore, as to their rightful heritage, such good and natural English words as have been a long time out of use, and almost
THE SATURDAY MAGAZINE
The use of the word least-wise, instead of "at
Many cockneys introduce an e in the word commandment, pronouncing it commandement; but in The Merchant of Venice, Act iv. Sc. 1, it occurs, "Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandement;" and again in Henry VI., P. I. Act i. Sc. 3, "From him I have Dr. Johnson a verb "to make angry.' express commandement." Again, they employ the word anger as gives this verb a place in his Dictionary, and quotes Hooker, Shakspeare, Lord Clarendon, and Pope. In the North, it is customary to say of a person who stints his servants in their food, "he hungers them," an expression corresponding with that before us. Perhaps The persons the error of saying shay and po-shay, for chaise and post-chaise, is a widely-distributed one. who use it, evidently think that shay is the singular, and shays the plural. Other mistakes can easily be traced to carelessness and ignorance. Thus, partner becomes partender; bachelor, bacheldor; obstreperous, obstropolous; Covent Garden, Common Garden; Piazzas, Pee-aches; cover, kivir; prodigy, progidy; contiguous, contagious; dubious, duberous; musician, musicianer. They convert Kensington into Kingsington (probably because there is a palace there), and Portugal into Portingal. Of this last it appears that Holinshed, Stowe, and most of the old chroniclers, wrote it Portingale. In a letter written by the Earl of Salisbury in 1607, the Portuguese are called the Portingalls. When the Portuguese money (Portugal-pieces as they were called) were current in England, this word was in the mouth of every cockney who had a Portingal-piece in his pocket.
So good an excuse cannot be offered for the expresscrowdge" instead of sions "for 'fraid of," instead of "for fear of;" "chimley" instead of "chimney;"" "crowd;" "squeedge" for "squeeze;" "postès" and "posteses" for "posts." Postes, ghostes, &c., are, indeed, ancient plurals, preserved by old Scottish writers; but the additional syllable given by cockneys is most Margent is used for margin, but this Bailey cannot be branded as erroneous, having been patronized by Milton, Shakspeare, and other high names. and Dr. Johnson allow both. Contráry is also used for contrary; blasphemous for blasphemous. Poetical Shakspeare says, licence allows this; "let then the cockney," says Mr. "have a prose licence." Pegge, "And themselves banding in contráry parts," and Milton, "And with contráry blast proclaims most deeds." Milton also says, "Oh argument blasphemous, false, and proud." Curious perversions and interpolations occur in the following terms common in London. Successfully is used for successively; respectively, for
clean disherited." It is no very easy matter to read and understand Chaucer and the poets of that age in their old-fashioned spelling, even when put into modern type; but in their ancient garb of black letter, it is still less so, until the reader has been long familiarized to the task. The antiquated French tongue appears to be even more unintelligible to a Frenchman of the present age.
Orthography, therefore, is for the most part what the literary and fashionable world for the time being are pleased to make it, and, for want of established principles, the mode of spelling established as perfectly right at the commencement of a century, may be discarded as palpably wrong, before its close. able alterations in spelling have been made of late years; thus such words as honour, favour, &c., have been cut down to honor, favor, &c., although Dr. Johnson gives no instance of these words being so written. words physic, music, public, &c., are now universally written without the final k, which no schoolboy might have dared to omit at the commencement of the present century. And this is not the first abridgment which these words have suffered, for they were written in earlier times, physicke, musicke, &c. Yet many other words ending in ck have been allowed to retain their final letter, as hemlock, bullock, &c., without any very apparent reason.
Idiom may be considered as the dress and fashion of
The humble and accepted dialect of London is sub-
respectfully; mayoraltry, for mayoralty; admiraltry, for admiralty; commonality, for commonalty; properietor, for proprietor; non-plush'd, for non-plus'd; discommode, for incommode; colloguing, for colleaguing; despisable, for despicable; paragraft, for paragraph; stagnated, for staggered. Speaking of the last expression, Mr. Pegge says, "This appears to be a much stronger and more expressive word than our staggered, which only intimates a quaking of the external frame; whereas, stagnating implies that the circulation of the blood, and the operation of every vital function, were suspended for the moment. I do not, however, give the cockney credit for the force of the word; it seems to have been a random shot, and as if the first syllable had taken its chance for the rest of the word." A singular and egregious error is that of saying, unbethought, instead of recollected. "I unbethought myself," is nonsense. It is suggested that it may be a perversion of "I onbethought myself," or "I bethought myself on it."
The inventive powers of the humbler classes have also been exercised in the formation of such words as an-otomy, meaning a skeleton; and disgruntled, offended. "A strange word (disgruntled)," says our amusing author, "carrying with it an exaggeration of the term disconcerted. It seems to be a metaphor taken from the hog; which I cannot account for, unless naturalists say that hogs grunt from some pleasurable sensation. I have, however, printed authority for it in Sir Philip Warwick's Memoirs, where, speaking of the Earl of Manchester being made prisoner in the house of his daughter, the Countess of Rutland, the writer says that the lady was much disgruntled at it.' But after all, the word, as used by the knight, must have been an unguarded escape; for he was rather of humble birth in Westminster, a son of an organist of the abbey, and perhaps in early life a chorister." From the lips of the same class we hear solentary, for solitary; ruinated, for ruined; eminent danger, for imminent danger; intosticated, for intoxicated; perwent, for prevent; skrimidge, for skirmish; refuge, for refuse. It is a sort of rule with them to convert ish, and age, into idge; thus we have radidges, rubbidge, furbidge, rummidge. Instead of nisi prius, they say nisi prisi; and instead of nolens volens, nolus bolus: pretty good guesses at these hard words, and coming nearer, perhaps, than we might have expected.
The lower orders are very fond of meddling with these difficult words, and therefore soon get out of their depth. If imprisoned in Newgate, they are said to call a "habeas corpus," "a hap'orth of copperas." Other common errors appear in the words vocation, for vacation; loveyer, for lover; nyst and nyster, for nigh and nigher; clost and closter, for close and closer; sinst, for since; wonst, for once; industerous, for industrious; sot, for sat; frags, for fragments; waps, for wasp; moral, for model. Of the last, Mr. Pegge says, "Every cockney hears morals talked of, though he is unacquainted with models; otherwise he would not say, that a child is, by personal likeness, the very moral (meaning model) of his father; which is an inversion of the order of things, because the model, as the prototype, must necessarily precede what is formed from it. He might say that the father is the very moral (to use his own word) of the child."
But after all, the most striking error in pronunciation among the Londoners lies in the transposition of the w and v, as in weal for veal; winegar, for vinegar; vicked, for wicked; vig, for wig, &c. The use of the w instead of h, in compound words, also gives an additional peculiarity, as in knighthood, widowhood, &c., which they pronounce knightwood, widowwood, &c. These are the foibles of the cockney dialect: its more serious errors will next be noticed.
NATURAL HISTORY AND MANAGEMENT
THE BLACKBIRD. (Turdus merula. LINN.)
When snow-drops die, and the green primrose leaves
THE rich and powerful notes of the Blackbird are so often heard in the streets of country towns, and are so much prized by the owner of the imprisoned favourite, that we must needs class this melodist among cage-birds; although its nature and habits seem to require for it a wide and extensive range, and its song is never so delightful as when sounding from the depth of the woods, or from the top branches of some friendly thicket.
In such situations, the blackbird commences its song very early in the season. It is a frequent and welcome guest in cultivated districts, and multiplies according to the increase and spread of rural labour. Where vegetables and fruits are grown in abundance to supply the wants of some neighbouring town, there blackbirds are sure to be plentiful. If the gardener studies his own interest, he encourages, instead of scaring away, these birds; for they clear the ground of a surprising number of snails and slugs, and thus save many a choice plant.
The blackbird is very generally known, and does not need much description. The black plumage, and the tawny yellow colour of the bill, feet, and circle round the eyes, cause it readily to be distinguished at a distance. It is a larger bird than the song-thrush, but not quite so large as the missel-thrush. Quick-sighted and active, it is not so often seen as the thrush; but hides during the day-time in the thickest shades. Towards evening, and very early in the morning, it comes abroad, and roams over low moist grounds for food. Though it sojourns and nestles near inhabited places, it is distrustful, and watchful of danger. It is said to be able to spy the fowler at a very great distance, so that it is approached with much difficulty. When singing on the top of a low bush, it suddenly ceases on the approach of a footstep, and drops into the bush, slipping through the branches with the greatest facility, and making its way beneath or among the densest foliage. Where blackbirds have been long encouraged, they appear to lose some of their wary and mistrustful character. Thus a recent writer, speaking of the rich grounds on the Middlesex side of the Thames, from Westminster upwards, as far as the market gardens are continued, and of the important services performed by these birds, says, "In walking along the green lanes among the gardens alluded to, the number of blackbirds, and the activity of their labours, are a very pleasing sight; and one might readily imagine (though it is of course a mere matter of imagination,) that the birds feel that they are as useful as the human labourers who are at work in the same grounds. They are familiarised to all the ordinary sights and sounds, caring little for the scarecrows which are set up for intimidating other birds; and although no bird is very fond of the report of the musket, blackbirds appear to be less alarmed by it than most others."
The blackbird lives a solitary life, except during the breeding season. This commences early, and it is not uncommon to see young ones at the beginning of May. The place chosen for the nest is a thick bush, an ivied wall, or an old tree. If the birds wish to commence operations before the trees and bushes afford any shelter, they sometimes make their nest in a tuft of long grass, near tree or hedge. The outside of the nest is formed of moss, lichen, and small roots, worked up with clay or mud, and lined with the softest materials that can be found. Both the parent birds work very hard until the nest is completed, and although it is a neat and well
finished structure, they generally get it made in the space of a week. The female then deposits four or five eggs, of a greenish-blue colour, with rust-coloured markings. She sits very closely, and her mate brings her food; but he sometimes shares with her in the labour of incubation. Blackbirds' nests are often found very near houses, and the old bird has been known to sit close when within a few yards of human beings, and sometimes has suffered herself to be caught rather than leave the nest; but in the woodland scenes generally chosen by these birds, they are extremely wary, and it is difficult to find the nest. In every case they are jealous of intrusion, and will abandon their eggs, or even eat them, if they happen to be touched. They have also been known to destroy their young.
Young blackbirds are hearty feeders, and keep their parents on the alert to supply their wants. A great number of worms and caterpillars are carried to the nest, and the young ones thrive well on this food. As soon as they are old enough to manage for themselves, they separate from each other and from their parents, and pursue their search after food in the places where it most abounds, adding to their insect diet all kinds of berries and fruits. And here it is that the blackbird makes enemies. It undoubtedly commits extensive depredations on fruit trees, but these must not be considered apart from the benefits conferred by the bird, and which surely atone for what is injurious in its habits.
Blackbirds have two or three broods in the season, according to the nature of the situation. In cold parts of the country, or in late summers, they may have but one brood; and in this case the song does not begin until the season is considerably advanced. Where they breed two or three times, the song is nearly continuous throughout the whole summer. At the close of that season their moulting commences, and is so complete, that some are often seen with their heads entirely bare of feathers. In general, the plumage of the blackbird is beautifully clean, smooth, and glossy, and the bird delights in frequent washings. The neighbourhood of lakes, or slow-moving streams, are therefore favourite places of resort, especially if thickets or hedge-rows afford shelter for the birds.
Towards autumn blackbirds cease to sing, and in general proceed to migrate. Yet there are many that remain through the winter, roosting in hedges and sheltered spots, and often coming into shrubberies and gardens in search of the snails which may still be found there. They also feed on the berries of the hawthorn, holly, ivy, mountain ash, &c. In very severe weather these birds condescend to join the supplicant sparrows and robins that hover near our windows on the look-out for food; and when the cold is excessive, numbers of them perish.
The rich full-toned song of the blackbird is almost too powerful for a cage, but is nevertheless the cause of the capture of this bird. The wicker prison is kept in the open air, and a single blackbird is quite enough for one street, and generally becomes the annoyance of some of the dwellers therein. When at liberty this bird sings only during the summer season; but in a cage it sings all the year. The blackbird has a good memory, and shows a slight degree of the propensity which is so remarkably exhibited in its relation the "mocking bird." It is mentioned in the Magazine of Natural History, that near a clergyman's house in Northamptonshire, a blackbird was in the habit of crowing exactly in the manner of the common cock, and nearly as loud. Perched upon the top bough of an ashtree it might be seen crowing away, and only resuming for a second or two at intervals its natural song. When the cocks from a neighbouring poultry yard answered it, the little bird seemed delighted, and appeared as if it was trying to rival them in the shrillness of its note. Mr. Neville Wood informs us that he has frequently heard the blackbird cackle as a hen does after laying, especially in the neighbourhood of farms, and places where great numbers of fowls are kept. This power of imitation in the blackbird makes it a still more desirable prize to those who are fond of teaching artificial strains to birds. Like the bull-finch, if properly trained, it will learn two or three airs, and will sing them without confusion or intermixture. Persons wishing to bring up young blackbirds usually take them in the nest as soon as they are feathered. They may be fed at first with a liquid paste made of steeped bread, yolk of egg, and bruised hempseed; afterwards with sheep's heart, minced meat, bread crumbs, and different fruits and berries. Blackbirds are indeed ready to partake of almost anything that is brought to our tables. If it is desired to teach the young birds to sing artificial tunes, they must be taken when the quills of the feathers are just beginning to be developed; because they have not then learned their natural song, and will acquire another the more readily. The blackbird's cage should be a large one, and he may well be permitted to occupy it alone, since his disposition in confinement seems quarrelsome and mischievous. In the work above quoted it is said, "Blackbirds must not be shut up with other birds, for, naturally uneasy and petulant, they will pursue and torment them continually, unless in very large aviaries filled with shrubs and bushes. In this way indeed, they may have the pleaif they are provided with a sufficient quantity of the proper sure of making their own nests, and bringing up their voung, aliment. To succeed completely it is necessary to abstain from approaching the brood while the little ones are not entirely fledged, for otherwise the old ones will either abandon or devour them."
In order to keep blackbirds in health it is particularly necessary to furnish them with the means of bathing every day. If this and their food are properly attended to, they may live in confinement ten or twelve years.
Blackbirds, as well as rooks and crows, have not unfrequently been found with entirely white plumage. It is mentioned in GRIFFITH'S Cuvier that among the accidental varieties of the present species some have the plumage quite white, including even the bill and the feet; some have these parts yellow, others have the bill red. Again, individuals have been observed, whose entire plumage was of a yellowish rose-colour, with the. bill and feet yellow. On some specimens the head only is white, with three black spots behind the eyes; the iris, the beak, and the feet, being yellow. Others have a sort of magpie plumage, the wings and tail as white as snow, the rest of the body a beautiful black. Lastly, young ones are sometimes seen with some of the quills white from the origin, and for half their length.
Blackbirds, as well as other members of the thrush family, were held in high estimation among the Roman epicures, and were included in their extensive aviaries, where thousands of birds were fatted for the table. These aviaries were vaulted pavilions, with a great number of roosting-places, and very little light.
THE SOUL BE WITHOU
Along the mirror of the flood Shone palaces, with dome, and colonnade, Before whose marble steps bright fountains play'd 'Mid trim parterres, and arbors quaintly shorn VOL. XXV.
MORE pleased, my foot the hidden margin roves
As up the opposing hills with tortoise foot they creep.
THERE is, perhaps, scarcely a single individual so devoid of taste for the beauties of nature as not to be struck with rapture at the first view of the Lake of Como. The bright sunny cheerfulness of that resplendent lake, the richness of its surrounding scenery, consisting of hills covered with vines, chestnut, walnut, and almond trees; the enlivening effect of its numerous picturesque villages and delightful villas; the undulating line of its important city, with its marble cathedral, its towers, and other imposing edifices, spreading along the southern extremity of the lake, and shut in by fertile hills; all these, with the mild and balmy air of Como, fill the mind with exuberant feelings of delight.
THE TOWN AND LAKE OF COMO.
By artful toil, that here and there display'd A Flora, graced with Amalthea's horn, Pan, or a piping Faun, who glads the groves, Or quiver'd Dians under gilt alcoves.
But,-lovelier far, fair Como! lovelier far
To deck the rustic porch, and wed the vine,
Where wild flowers wanton are,
To wind along the margin of the lake,
The Lake of Como, the Lacus Larius of the an779 cients, is a noble expanse of water more than thirty