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that when the Duke of Norfolk was commit. quart bottle, which showed many symptoms ted to the Tower in the reign of Queen Eli- of animation. He seized it and brought it zabeth, a favourite cat made her way into his in. It was found to contain an eel so much prison-room by getting down the chimney. thicker than the neck of the bottle, that it
Cats have been known also to do their best must be supposed the eel made its lodgment to protect the property of their masters, as there when it was younger, and, of course, well as dogs. A man who was sentenced to smaller. It was necessary to break the bottle transportation for a robbery, informed me, for the purpose of liberating the fish. after his conviction, that he and two others If this account is true, it goes prove in broke into the house of a gentleman near a curious way, as far as one instance can do Hampton Court. While they were in the so, the propensity which eels have to hyact of plundering it, a large, black cat flew at bernate during the cold months. It also one of the robbers, and fixed her claws on
seems to prove that they do this in the tideeach side of his face. He added that he way, if they can, and that they neither feed never saw any man so much frightened in nor deposit their spawn till the season of his life.
hybernation is over. It is, indeed, a general Eels certainly come upon grass lands to opinion amongst old fishermen that eels feed at night upon worms and snails. In cannot bear cold. the meadows at Barford, in Warwickshire, Non-migration of Fish.—Every year serves they have been cut in two by the mowers; to convince me more and more, that the idea and an old keeper there assured a friend of which I ventured, with considerable diffimine that he had frequently intercepted them dence, to advance in the first Volume of my on their way back to the river early in the Gleanings of the non-migration of gregarious morning. Their movements on land are fish, such as mackerel, herrings, pilchards, very quick. In a clear, rapid stream, eels &c., is a correct one. It has been supposed may sometimes be observed, having their by Pennant, and other able writers on Natails coiled round a piece of rush or flag, like tural History, that large shoals of herrings snakes, the force of the water washing their leave the neighbourhood of Shetland in bodies backwards and forwards. In this June, and surround the island of Great position, they are prepared to seize upon any Britain and Ireland, congregating again off prey which comes within their reach, feeding the Landsend in September. From the upon aquatic insects, frogs or fish. Eels united testimony of many intelligent fisherhave been known to fasten even upon large men, and from my own observation, I am carp, like a bull-dog, and no exertion of the convinced that no such migration takes fish can shake them off. An eel will thus place, but that by a beautiful and benevolent attach itself to a carp till it has destroyed arrangement of Providence, the gregarious it.*
fish, which are of such vast utility to man, I may here mention that there was no eel leave the depths of the sea at certain, ordainfare this spring, (1834,) in the river Thames. ed periods. Each vast shoal is succeeded by A very few stragglers were observed, but not another. We have the mackerel, the her. higher than Teddington. A circumstance ring, the sprat, and the pilchard, in regular of this sort has not occurred for many years. succession. These fish leave their haunts The Thames was, however, unusually low in when they are in the highest perfection, and the spring, and the eels might have made frequent shallows where they are readily captheir passage more in the middle of the tured. If they had not been endowed with stream instead of the sides, as has been here. this impulse, the enormous benefits they are tofore the case.
of to mankind would be lost. Surely the That eels hybernate during the cold mind of man cannot have a more interesting months, there can, I think, be little doubt, or indeed a nobler subject for meditation, few or none being caught at that time. I than the consideration of the ways of Provihave endeavoured also, but without success, dence in the works of creation. to procure eels in the winter, from those Instinct in a Turtle.—The following extraplaces in the river Thames where I have ordinary fact in Natural History was comevery reason to believe they go to spawn. I municated to me by an officer of rank in the read an account, which, if correct, would British army. He informed me that a ship, serve to prove what I have now stated. A which touched at the island of Ascension on boy at Arthurstown in the county of Wex. her way to England, took in several large ford, on the river of Waterford, perceived turtle, and, amongst others, one, which, from something of a very unusual appearance some accident, had ouly three fins. It was floundering upon the sand at low water. in consequence called, and known on board Upon a nearer approach, he found it to be a the ship by the name of “ the Lord Nelson.”
It was marked in the usual way by having * The more rapid the stream is in which eels are found, the better they appear to be, both as to con
certain initials and numbers burnt upon its
under shell with a hot iron, and which “ The Kennett swift for silver eels revown'd."
marks are known never to be obliterated.
dition and colour :
THE LADY MAGDALENE:
Owing to various causes, the ship was a long (1834,) on a flower-pot standing on the outtime on her passage homewards, a circum- side of my parlour-window, and although the stance which occasioned many of the turtle female was much looked at, and persons to die, and most of the rest were very sickly. were continually passing, she sat upon her This was the case with “the Lord Nelson," eggs in the most fearless manner. In the and it was so nearly dead when the ship Magazine of Natural History, it is stated arrived in the Channel, that the sailors, with that a pair of robins, for two years together, whom it was a favourite, threw it overboard, affixed their nest to the bible as it lay on the in order, as they said, to give it a chance. reading-desk, in the parish church of HampIts native element, however, appears to ton, in Arden, Warwickshire. The worthy have revived it; for, two years afterwards, the vicar would on no account suffer the birds very same turtle was again taken at its old to be disturbed, and accordingly introduced haunt, on the island of Ascension. The another bible into the church, from which he proofs brought forward of the accuracy of read the lessons. the statement, place its authenticity beyond Hiving Bees. It is interesting to coma doubt, and it affords a most extraordinary pare the customs of the ancients, with those instance of the wonderful instinct possessed of modern times. Cottagers are in the by animals. When we consider the vast habit of striking a brass pan to make a noise tract of waters this turtle had to pass through, when their bees are swarming. So it was and that the island of Ascension is only a when Virgil wrote his fourth Georgic;little speck in the mighty ocean, it is impos: « Tinnitusque cie, et Matris quate cymbala circum.” sible not to reflect with wonder upon that unexplained instinct, which enabled so un
“And ring the tinkling brass, and sacred cymbals
sound.” wieldy, and apparently so stupid, an animal, to find its way back to its former haunts.
Affection of a Squirrel.-In cutting down The Public Journals. some trees on the estate lately purchased by the Crown at Petersham, for the purpose of
A TRADITIONARY being annexed to Richmond Park, the axe
BALLAD, BY MARY HOWITT. was applied to the root of a tall, drawn-up
A Legend of an English Hall. tree, on the top of which was a squirrel's nest. A rope was fastened to the tree for
In a brave old house dwells Magdalene, the purpose of pulling it down more expedi- And with her there are threetiously; the workmen cut at the roots, the
The blithe old man, the gardener; rope was pulled, the tree swayed backwards And the good Dame Margery ; and forwards, and at last fell. During all
And a priest, who cometh now and then,
With a high and shaven crown, these operations, a female squirrel never at
With a foot that trod so silently, tempted to desert her new-born young, but And a long, black, camlet gown. remained with them in the nest. When the
All up and down the galleries tree fell down, she was thrown out of the Went the Lady Magdalene, nest and secured unhurt, and was put into a
A-looking at the pictures old,
That on the walls were seen. cage with her young ones. She suckled
“ And who is this, Dame Margery, them for a short time, but refused to eat.
With the gold chain and the sword ?" Her maternal affection, however, remained to “Oh, that was thy father, Magdalene, the last moment of her life, and she died in And he was a noble lord !” the act of affording all the nourishment in “ And who this boy, Dame Margery, her power to her offspring.
With the greyhound at his side ?".
“ Ah ! that was thy brother, Magdalene; Birds' Nests.— Birds, indeed, frequently
But at four years old ho died !" build in singular localities. One of the work
“ And tell me, I prithee, Margery, men employed in the gardens of Hampton- Who's this with the downcast eye ?-Court Palace, discovered, last summer, a
It troubles my heart, Dame Margery,
But to pass that lady by." kingfisher's nest in the bank of a small
No answer at all made Margery, gravel-pit, in the wilderness of that place,
For a little season's space; and within a short distance of the public And again the maiden, Magdalene, foot-path leading through it, and which is Looked up into her face. much frequented. There were six eggs in “ There are chambers many,” quoth Magdalene, the nest, which was composed as usual of “ And many a stately bed ; small fish-bones, and was placed about two
And many a room so beautiful,
All green, and gold, and red. feet in the bank. The small gravel pit was
“ How is it, I pray, Dame Margery, perfectly dry, and the workmen were in the
That all alone I dwell ? constant habit of throwing the sweepings of I have asked the question of myself,
And I'm sure I cannot tell. the gardens into it. The old birds showed but little fear of the workmen, and this led
“ In the village street, Dame Margery,
Even in winter weather, to the discovery of the nest.
I see the children, sevens and eights, A pair of robins built their nest this year, All playing there together,
“ There was my Lord Francis, my Lady Jane,
And your blessed lady-mother;
That was dearer than a brother. 'He was your father afterwards
Ah, me! how time'moves on !--
And now there is but one.
Like flowers of spring are gone. “And then, what troops of ladies grand,
Went walking up and down ; Each softly fanning of herself,
In a shining silken gown.
All clad in velvet fine;
Stiller than it was then;
It may be blithe again!"
And harder worked than ever;
Aud drown care in the river !"
Of the crocus, matted and wan:
And he kept singiug on.
" But, in this large and grand old house,
I pray, how may it be, That I am thus alone, alone,
With none for company ?
On the terrace as I stand,
With their children by the hand. " Au now, I pray, Dame Margery,
Who's this with the golden hair?
For the lady pictured there."
The tears were in her eye,
As thus she made reply.
Was ever fair and mild;
I nursed her when a child.
But all those times are fled-
For the guests who sat to meat;
With fair shoes on their feet.
And grooms, nigh half-a-score ;
But all those times are o'er!
And hath a look of gloom-
And music in every room! “ The jackdaws now, and the swallows, build
In the chimneys cold and tall; The ivy creeps o'er the window-glass,
And green damps ou the wall? “ I can remember, Magdalene,
When the shrubs, that grow so wild, Were set, scarce bigger than my hand
Thy mother was then a child. “ Now, there's good old John, the gardener,
Thinks those times will come again;
With gentle steps and slow;
Was working down below. And
aye sung the blithe old gardener“ The bird upon the tree, Is merry i' th’ budding spring-time,
Aud I am as merry as he.'
And tied up the daffodilly;
With a “ Hiho! willy, willy.”
And stood by the old flower-bed; Yet still at his work the old man bent,
Nor ever raised up his head. “ 'Tis a lonesome place," said Magdalene,
“A lovesome, dreary place !".
And gazed into her face.
With children all astir.
With hair like the raven's wing ; And the second sister, Adeline,
A wilful, proud, young thing,
lu a stately room, the grave old priest
Doth sit at eventide ; ;
And Magdalene sits by 's side.
“ I eannot read to-day;
And hearken what I say !"
Did slowly raise his eyes ;
As if in calm surprise.
“ This day I pray thee tell, Wherefore in this grand house alone,
Year after year I dwell ? “ Thou hast taught me both to read and write;
Hast taught me all I know-
I pray, why is it so ?
Thou hast ever taught to me-
Of his great family.
Glad sisters, too, aud brothers;
Of lowly village-mothers.
How many a loving band
With their children by the hand. " I see them kneeling, side by side,
Each to the other known,
But I kneel all alone!
And yet my heart doth ache,
That I can not partake!
That noue with me abide ?
To worship at my side!
" It has been stripped and desolate,
Its want laid open wide;
• The place hath purified !
Please God, the time shall be,
Tait's Edinburgh Magazine.
" Father, I scarce know who I am,
Save of a lineage ligh,
Is a dark, sad history.
I have loved thee many a year-
I pray thee let me hear!” "For a moment's space, the grave old man
No answer made at all;
And yet no tear did fall.
At length he did reply :“ Thou art the sole, surviving stem
Of a great old family.
Was full of sons and daughters ;
As willows by the waters.
What a noble band were there; The sons all goodly men of might,
The daughters wondrous fair. "I can recall this solitude,
An ever-changing crowd;
Was riot long and loud.
Of heartlessness and crime; Enough, the wrath of Heaven did scourge
The evil of that time.
They one by one did fall;
And death consumed them all.
Whom folly did not win; An angel in a woman's form
Thy mother, Magdalene ! "And when, upon her bed of death,
All in her youth she layAn angel, to her native skies
Ready to pass away;
Save for one mortal tie-
That in her arms did lie. " Take, take, my friend, this little child,'
Said she,' when I am dead;
Let her be nurtured. ** Thou know'st the follies of this house,
Thou know'st its sin,' quoth she, And from such folly and such sin,
I pray thee keep her free.'
Her kindred all were gone-
and thou, her orphaned one! " Their thriftless lives had made thee poor, Their shame thy name had speutSorely run out were all thy lands,
And mortgaged all thy reut.
And in this solitude,
Thoughtful, and wise, and goud.
Thy noble lands are free ;
Are looking up to thee. “Ere long, thou wilt have friends enow,
And so, Heaven give thee grace, The sounds of joy may ring again
From this deserted place.
MR. BECKFORD AND FONTHILL ABBEY. (From the Editor's clever Notes (in 1833,) on Gar.
dens and Country Seats: in the Gardener's Mag.) We spent the greater part of two days in looking over this place, even to the cottages and cottage-gardens in the village; and, having met with some of the old men who had worked on the grounds during the whole of Mr. Beckford's time, we indulged ourselves in asking questions, and procured much curious information respecting the building of the abbey, the mode of life of Mr. Beckford while he resided in it, the, falling down of the tower in Mr. Farquhar's time, and the general effect of Mr. Beck. ford's immense expenditure on the surrounding population.
It appears that Mr. Beckford pursued the objects of his wishes, whatever they were, not coolly and considerately like most other men, but with all the enthusiasm of passion. No sooner did he decide upon any point, than he had it carried into immediate execution, whatever might be the cost. After the abbey was commenced, he was so impatient to get it finished, that he kept regular relays of men at work night and day, including Sundays ; supplying them liberally with ale and spirits while they were at work, and when anything was completed, which gave him particular pleasure, adding an extra 5l. or 101. to be spent in drink. The first tower, the height of which from the ground was 400 ft., was built of wood, in order to see its effect: this was then taken down, and the same form put up in wood covered with cement. This fell down, and the tower was built a third, time, on the same foundation, with brick and stone. The foundation of the tower was originally that of a small summer-house, to which Mr. Beckford was making additions when the idea of the abbey occurred to him ; and this idea he was so impatient to realize, that he could not wait to remove the summerhouse, to make a proper foundation for the tower, but carried it up on the walls already standing. The kinds of masonry, brickwork, and carpentry which were used may easily be ascertained from the parts remaining. Nothing can be worse : the walls were carried up in some parts of brick, in others of stone, and in others of studwork, sometimes inclosed in stone or brick casing, but always of the very worst description of workmanship.
To those who are acquainted with the details of building, and especially with the
practices of the worst London builders, the as to excite suspicion. We were informed, exhibition here is most amusing in a scien- however, that the dust occasioned by taking tific point of view; and one may easily con- out the windows, &c., was so considerable, ceive that the work had been chiefly carried that when Mr. Farquhar's table was covered on by men in a state of intoxication. The with dust from the falling of the tower, he manner in which the tower fell may be men- thought it arose from the same cause.
Mr. tioned as something remarkable. It had Farquhar, it is said, could scarcely be con. given indications of falling for some time, vinced that the tower was down; and when and the more valuable parts of the windows he was so, he said he was glad of it, for that and other articles had been removed. Mr. now the house would not be too large for him Farquhar, however, who then resided in one to live in. Mr. Beckford, when told at Bath, angle of the building, and who was in a very by his servant, that the tower had fallen, infirm state of health, could not be brought merely observed, that it had then made an to believe that there was any danger. He obeisance to Mr. Farquhar, which it had was wheeled out in his chair on the lawn in never done to him. front, about half an hour before it fell; and In confirmation of our idea that Mr. Beckthough he saw the cracks, and the deviation ford's enjoyments consisted of a succession of the central tower from the perpendicular, of violent impulses, we may mention that, he treated the idea of its coming down as when he wished a new walk to be cut in the ridiculous. He was carried back to his room, woods, or any work of that kind to be done, however, and the tower fell almost imme- he used to say nothing about it in the way diately. From the manner in which it fell, of preparation, but nzerely give orders, perhaps from the lightness of the materials of which late in the afternoon, that it should be cleared it was constructed, and partly also from a out and in a perfect state by the following number of workmen having been for some morning at the time he came out to take his days making a noise in taking down articles, ride. The whole strength of the village was which it was supposed by Mr. Farquhar's then put in reqnisition, and employed during nephew the tower would injure if it fell, the night; and the next day, when Mr. Beckneither Mr. Farquhar nor the servants, who ford came to inspect what was done, if he were in the kitchen preparing dinner, knew was pleased with it, he used to give a 51. or that it had fallen; though the immense a 101. note to the men who had been em. collection of dust which rose into the atmo. ployed to drink, besides, of course, paying sphere had assembled almost all the inha. their wages, which were always liberal. Éver bitants of the village, and had given the his charities were performed in the same alarm even as far as Wardour Castle. Only manner. Suddenly he has been known to one man (who died in 1833) saw it fall. He order a hundred pairs of blankets to be puris said to have described its manner of falling chased and given away; or all the firs to be as very beautiful; it first sank perpendicularly cut out of an extensive plantation, and all the and slowly, and then burst and spread over poor who chose to take them away to be perthe roofs of the adjoining wings on every mitted to do so, provided it were done in one side, but rather more on the south-west than night. He has also been known suddenly on the others. The cloud of dust which arose to order all the wagons and carts that could was enormous, and such as completely to be procured to be sent off for coal to be disdarken the air for a considerable distance tributed among the poor.
Mr. Beckford around for several minutes. Such was the seldom rode out beyond his gates, but when concussion in the interior of the building, that he did he was generally asked for charity by one man was forced along a passage, as if he the poor people. Sometimes he used to had been in an air-gun, to the distance of throw a ll. note or a guinea to them, and 30 ft., among dust so thick as to be felt. sometimes he used to turn round and give Another, on the outside, was in the like the suppliants a severe horsewhipping. When manner carried to some distance. Fortu- the last was the case, soon after he had ridden . nately, no one was seriously injured. With away, he generally sent back a guinea or two all this, it is almost incredible that neither to the party who had been beaten. In his Mr. Farquhar nor the servants in the kitchen mode of life Mr. Beckford had many singushould have heard the tower fall, or known larities; though he never had any society, that it had fallen, till they saw through the yet he had his table covered every day in the windows the people of the village who had inost splendid style. He has been known to assembled to see the ruins. Still, we were give orders for a dinner for twelve persons, assured by different persons that this was the and to sit down alone to it attended by twelve fact. We can hardly account for it by the servants in full dress, eat of one dish, and lightness of the materials and the distance of send all the rest away. There were no bells the tower from the kitchen, and the room in the house, with the exception, we believe, inhabited by Mr. Farquhar, though this was of one room, occupied occasionally by his very considerable, since the dust must surely daughter, the Duchess of Hamilton. The have penetrated everywhere to such an extent servants used to wait by turns in the ante