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The depths of the sea, in all probability, from crucifix.' It was taken to Haerlaem, where various chemical and philosophical causes, it lived some years, but it ever retained an contain animals unknown to its surface, wa- inclination for the water. At its death it ters, or if ever, rarely seen by human eye. was allowed christian burial. But when a creature is presented to us, having 6 In 1560, on the coast of Ceylon, some no other organization but that which is suit- fishermen caught, at one draught of their able to a medium always open to our obser- nets, seven mermen and mermaids. They vation, it in the first instance excites suspicion were dissected, and found made exactly like that only one individual of the species should human beings. For a full account of this be discovered and obtained. When know- last circumstance, see the Histoire de la ledge was more limited, the stories of mer- Compagnie de Jesus, part 2nd. t. 4. No. 276. maids seen in distant quarters might be “In 1531, a merman, caught in the Baltic, credited by the many, and not entirely dis- was sent to Sigismond, king of Poland, with believed by the few; but now, when Euro. whom, says the account he lived three days, pean, and especially British commerce fills and was seen by the whole court; but when every corner of the earth with men of obser- ther he died or escaped at the end of that vation and science, the unique becomes the period, we cannot say. But in some tracts incredible, and we receive with far greater published by John Gregory, A. M , and chapdoubt the apparition of such anoinalies as the lain of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1650, this present. It is curious that though medical identical merman is described, as ó a huge men seem in general to regard this creature animal of the human form, but very much as a possible production of nature, no natu- resembling a bishop in his pontificals.' A ralist of any ability credits it after five minutes German engraving of this being I have seen, observation! This may perhaps be accounted it is extremely curious. for by their acquaintance with the parts of “ Georgius Trapanzantius declares that he distinct animals, of which, it appears, the himself saw a mermaid, extremely beautiful, mermaid is composed. The cheeks of the rise many times above water; he adds, that blue-faced ape, the canine teeth, the simia in Epirus, a merman came on shore, and upper body, and the tail of the fish, are all watched near a spring of water, endeavouring familiar to them in less complex combina- to catch young women that came there : he tions, and they pronounce at once that the was caught, but could not be made to eat. whole is an imposture."
“ Maillet, in his Teliamede, speaks of a The editor of another interesting miscellany merman which was seen by the whole of a adds: “But while we doubt the reality of the French ship's crew, off Newfoundland, in disgusting looking mermaid (as it is called) 1730, for some hours. The account was now exhibiting, we are compelled to acknow- signed by all the crew that could write, and ledge that there is a host of evidence in favour was sent to the Comte de Maurepas on the of the existence of such a creature, both in 8th September, 1725." ancient and modern times. Pliny says, that To bring down the history to the present the ambassadors to Augustus from Gaul de- day :—"Valentyn describes a mermaid he clared that sea-women were often seen in saw in 1714, on his voyage from Batavia to their neighbourhood. Solinus and Aulus Europe, sitting on the surface of the water, Gellius also speak of their existence. with its back towards them, the body was
“It is related in the Histoire d'Angleterre, half above water, and was of a grizzly colour, part I, page 403, that in the year 1187, a like the skin of a codfish; it had breasts, and merman was 'fished up' in the county of was shaped like a woman above the waist, Suffolk, and kept by the governor for six and from thence downwards went tapering months; it was exactly like a man in every off to a point. respect, and wanted nothing but speech. He “In the year 1758, a mermaid is said to never could be brought to any understanding have been exhibited at the fair of St. Gerof his nature or situation, and at length made mains, in France. It was about two feet long, his escape, and was seen to plunge into the very active, sporting about in the vessel of sea, from whence he returned no more. water, in which it was kept, with great agility
"In 1430, in the great tempests which and seeming delight. It was fed with bread destroyed the dykes in Holland, some women and fish. Its position, when at rest, was at Edam, in West Freezeland, saw a mer- always erect. It was a female with ugly maid who had been driven by the waters into negro features. The skin was harsh, the ears the meadows which were overflowed. They very large, and the back parts and tail were took it and (as it is said) dressed it in femule covered with scales. M. Gautier, a celebrated attire, and taught it to spin. It fed on French artist, made an exact drawing of it. cooked meat, but all efforts to teach it to " Another mermaid, which was exhibited speak proved ineffectual, though Parival says, in London in 1775 (for the one now shown is it had some notion of a deity, and made its neither the first nor the second with which reverences very devoutly when it passed a John Buil has beeu duped), was said to have been taken in the Gulf of Stanchio, in the famous mermaid, hitherto considered as a Archipelago, by a merchantman trading to mere creature of the imagination. It is called Natolia, in August 1774.
by the Indians méné mamma, or mother of " Its face, say the accounts of the day, is the waters. The descriptiou given of it by like that of a young female; its eyes a fine the governor is as follows:- The upper por: light blue ; its nose small and handsome; tion resembles the human figure; the head its mouth small; its lips thin, and the edges smaller in proportion, sometimes bare, but of them round like that of the codfish; its oftener covered with a copious quantity of teeth are small, regular and white; its chin long black hair. The shoulders are broal, well shaped, and its neck full. Its ears are and the breasts large and well formed. The like those of the eel, but placed like those of lower portion resembles the tail portion of a the human species and behind them are the fish, is of immense dimension, the tail forked, gills for respiration, which appear like curls. and not unlike that of the dolphin, as it is Soine are said to have hair upou their head; usually represented. The colour of the skin but this has only rolls instead of hair, which, is either black or tawny. The animal is held at a distance, might be taken for short curls. in veneration and dread by the Indians, who But its chief vrnament is a beautiful mem- imagine that the killing of it would be attended brane or fin rising from the temples, and with the most calamitous consequences. It gradually diminishing till it ends pyramidi- is from this circunstance that none of these cally, forming a foretop like a lady's head- animals have been shot, and consequently, dress. It has no fiu ou the back, but a bone not examined but at a distance. They have like that of the human species. Its breasts been generally observed in a sitting posture are fair and iull; the arms and hands are in the water, none of the lower extremity well proportioned, but without nails on the being discovered until they are disturbed, fingers; the belly is round and swelling, but when, by plunging, the tail appears, and agithere is no navel. From the waist down- tates the water to a considerable distance wards the body is in all respects like the cod. round. They have been always seen employed fish; it has three sets of fins one above another in smoothing their hair, or stroking their faces below the waist, which enable it to swim erect and breasts with their hands, or something reon the sea.
sembling hands. In this posture, and thus " In the year 1794, a inermaid, as it was employed, they have been frequently taken for called, was shown at No. 7, Broad-court, Indian women bathing Mr. Van BattenBow-street, Covent-garden; it was said to burgh's account was much corroborated by have been taken in the North Seas by Cap- that of some gentlemen settled in Mahaytain Fortier. This nymph of the sea, a woman cony and Abary: from the head down to the lower part of the "At Sandside, in the parish of Reay, in waist, and a fish from thence duwnwards, the county of Caithness, there was seen, on was three feet long, having ears, gills, breasts, the 12th of January, 1809, an animal supfins, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, and a posed to be the mermaid. The head and contiguous scale covering the fish part. the chest, being all that was visible, is said
The existence of this animal is firmly be- to have exactly resembled those of a fulllieved in the northern parts of Scotland, and grown young woman. The breasts were perin the year 1797, a schoolmaster of Thurso fectly formed; the arms longer than in the affirined, that he had seen one, apparently in human boly, and the eyes somewhat smaller. the act of combing its hair with its fingers. When the waves dashed the hair, which was The portion of the animal which he saw was of a sea-green shade, over the face, the hands so near a resemblance to the form of a wo- were immediately employed to replace it. The man, that but for the impossibility of a female skin was of a pink colour. Though observed so long supporting herself in the waves, he by several persons within the distance of should have presumed it to have been one. twenty yards, for about an hour and a half, Twelve years afterwards, several persons ob- it discovered no symptoms of alarm. served near the same place a like appearance. “Iu 1811, a young man, named John
" The next publication in which we find M'Isaac, of Corphine, in Kintyre, in Scotany account relative to the mermaid worthy land, made oath, on examination, at Campbleof notice, is Dr. Chisholm's Essay on the town, before the sheriff-substitute of Kintyre, Malignant Fever in the West Indies, pub- that he saw, on the afternoon of the 13th of lished in 1801. The Doctor speaks of it as October, in that year, on a black rock on the follows :- I probably hazard the implication sea-coast, an anima', of the particulars of of credulity by the following note : In the which he gives a long and curious detail. He year 1797, happening to be at Governor Van states that the upper half of it was white, Battenburgh's plantation, in Berbice, the con- and of the shape of a human body; the other versation turned on a singular animal which half, towards the tail, of a brindled or reddish had been repeatedly seen in Berbice river, grey colour, apparently covered with scales; and some smaller rivers. This animal is the but the extremity of the tail itself was of a greenish red shining colour ; that the heart with a noise similar to that made by a stream was covered with long hair ; at times it would of water falling gently on the leaves of a tree. put back the hair on both sides of its head; In the mean time we observed something it would also spread its tail like a fan; and, about one hundred yards from us, to wind while so extended, the tail continued in tre- ward. We all imagined it to be some human mulous motion, and when drawn together being, though at the same time we were at a again, it remained motionless, and appeared loss to account for this, at such a distance to the deponent to be about twelve or four- from the shore, and no other boat near. We teen inches broad ; that the hair was very hailed, but received no reply, and we made long and light brown; that the animal was toward this creature as soon as possible, when, between four and five feet long; that it had to the great astonishment of us ali, it eluded a head, hair, arıns, and body, down to the our pursuit by plunging under water. In a middle, like a human being; that the arms few minutes it rose again, nearly in the same were short in proportion to the body, which place; and by that time we had got sutti. appeared to be about the thickness of that of ciently near for one of the boatmen to throw a young lad, and tapering gradually to the into the water a piece of boiled fish, which point of the tail; that when stroking its he had in his locker. This seemed to alarm head, as above mentioned, the fingers were the animal, though it soon recovered from its kept close together, so that he cannot say fears, for we presently observed it to lay hold whether they were webbed or not; that he of the fish, which it ate with apparent relish. saw it for near two hours, the rock on which Several other pieces were thrown out, by which it lay being dry; that, after the sea had so the creature was induced to keep at a short far retired as to leave the rock dry to the distance from our boat, and afforded us the height of five feet above the water, it tum. opportunity of observing it with attention, bled clumsily into the sea; a minute after he and found to our astonishment that it was no observed the animal above water, aud then he other than a merinaid. As the sea was calm, saw every feature of its face, having all the and in a great degree transparent, every part appearance of a human being, with very hol. of the animal's body became in turn visible. low eyes. The cheeks were of the same The head, from the crown to the chin, torms colour with the rest of the face; the neck rather a long oval, and the face seems to seemed short ; and it was constantly, with resemble that of the seal, though, at the same both hands stroking and washing its breast, time, it is far more agreeable, possessing a which was half immersed in the water; he, peculiar softness, which renders the whole set therefore, cannot say whether its bosom was of features very interesting. The upper and formed like a woman's or not. He saw no back part of the head appeared to be furnished other fins or feet upon it but as described. with something like hair and the forepart of It continued above water for a few minutes, the body with something like down, between and then disappeared. The minister of a very light fawn and a very pale pink colour, Campbletown, and the Chamberlain of Mull, which, at a distance, had the appearance of attest his examination, and declare that they fesh, and may have given rise to the idea know no reason why his veracity should be that the body of the mermaid is, externally, questioned.
like that of the human being. This creature “In 1812, Mr. Toupin, of Exmouth, pub- has two arms, each of which terminates into lished the following account of his having a haud with four fingers, connected to each seen a mermaid: The day, (August 11,' other by means of a very thin elastic memsays he, being very fine, I joined a party of brane. The animal used its arms with great ladies and gentlemen in a sailing excursion. agility, and its motions in general were very When we had got about a mile to the south- graceful. From the waist it gradually tapered east of Exmouth-bar, our attention was sud- so as to form a tail, which had the appeardenly arrested by a very singular noise, by no ance of being covered with strong broad means unpleasant to the ear, but of which it polished scales, which occasionally reflected is impossible to give a correct idea by mere the rays of the sun in a very beautiful manner; description. It was not, however, unaptly and from the back and upper part of the compared by one of our ladies to the wild neck, down to the loius, the body also apmelodies of the Æolian harp,* combined
birds. There are antique representations of them • Here we have the fiction of the Syrens realized, still subsisting under both these forms. Pansaning which none of our Argus-eyed mermaid-hunters had tells us that the Syrens, by the persuasiou of Juno, hitherto done. The Syrens, in fabulous history, were challenged the Muses to a trial of skill in singing ; certain celebrated songstresses, who were ranked and these, haviug vanquished them, plucked the among the demi-gods of autiquity. Hyginus places golden feathers from the wings of the Syrens, and their birth among the consequences of the rape of formed them into crowns, with which they adorned Proserpine. Others make them the daughters of the their own heads. The Argonauts are said to have river Achelous and one of the Muses. The number been diverted from the enchantment of their songs of the Syrens was three, and their names were Par. by the superior strains of Orpheus. Ulysses, hoi thenope, Lygea, and Leucosia. Some make them half ever, had great difficulty in securing himself from Womeu and half fish; others, half women and half
peared covered with short round broad fea- Cape and bringing home at 1,000L. ; so that thers, of the colour of the down on the fore it is probable Jonathan did not give half the part of the body. The whole length of the money stated. animal, from the crown of the head to the Without offering any remarks as to the extremity of the tail was supposed to be about existence or non-existence of the mermaid, we five feet, or five feet and a half. In about may observe that the question is as far from ten minutes from the time we approached, the solution as ever, since it seems to be univeranimal gave two or three plunges, in quick sally acknowledged by all persons capable of succession, as if it were at play. After this, judging, that the mermaid now exhibiting is it gave a sudden spring, and swam away from nothing but the head and bust of a baboon us very rapidly, and in a few seconds we lost joined to the tail of a fish. This circumstance, sight of it.
however, does not appear to affect the exhibi" It must be in the recollection of most tion, which continues as crowded as ever."persons, that in the autumn of 1819, a crea- MIRROR, Vol. I., 1822. ture appeared on the coast of Ireland, about "The English are particularized for their the size of a child of ten years of age, with a partiality to strange sights,” says Strutt; un. bosom as prominent as a girl of sixteen, having common beasts, birds, or fishes, are sure to long dark hair, and full dark eyes. We shall attract their notice, and especially such of not transcribe the account, as it will doubt them as are of a monstrous kind : and this less be well remembered; but it may be right propensity of our countrymen is neatly sati. to add, for the satisfaction of those who have rized by Shakspeare, in the Tempest, where not seen it, that a spectator endeavoured to Stephano, seeing Caliban lying upon the shoot it, but on the report of the musket, it stage, and being uncertain whether he was a plunged into the sea with a loud scream. fish, a bea-t, or one of the inhabitants of
“ Since this time we heard nothing of mer- the island, speaks in the following manner : maids, until an American ship, and a Bosto- “Were I in England now, as once I was, and nian too, Captain Eades, established this had this fish painted, not a holiday fool there wonder of the deep, which is now the wonder but would give me a piece of silver. There of the good people of London, at the Cape of would the monster make a man : any strange Good Hope. It is said to have been caught beast there makes a man. When they will on the north coast of China, by a fisherman, not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they who sold it for a trifle, when Captain Eades will lay out ten to see a dead Italian.” Inbought it for 5,000 Spanish dollars. At least deed we may observe, that a cow with two so the first account from the Cape stated; heads, a pig with six legs, or any other unnabut the present possessor of this interesting tural production, with proper management, creature, who certainly believed it to be a real are pretty certain fortunes to the possessors mermaid, only estimates the whole cost at the in this country. -Ed.
ANIMALS OF THE MONKEY KIND.*
QUADRUPEDS may be considered as a numerous group, terminated on every side by some that but in part deserve the name. On one quarter we see a tribe covered with quills, or furnished with wings, that lift them among the inbabitants of air; on another, we behold a diversity clothed with scales and shells, to rank with insects; and still, on a third, we see them descending into the waters, to live among the mute tenants of that element. We now come to a numerous tribe, that, leaving the brute creation, seem to make approaches even to humanity; that bear an awkward resemblance of the human form, and discover some faint efforts at intellectual sagacity.t
Animals of the monkey class are furnished with hands instead of ears, eyes, eyelids, lips, and breasts, are like those of mankind; their internal conformation also bears some distant likeness; and the whole offers a picture that may well mortify the pride of such as make their persons alone the principal object of their admiration.
These approaches, however, are gradual; and some bear the marks of this our boasted form, more strongly than others.
The animals of this very extensive fa- clearly and palpably that the gulf which sepamily are distinguished by their having four rates him from other creatures is impassable. front teeth in each jaw, all placed close toge. It matters not how nearly they may approxi. ther, as in the human mouth; the canine mate to his outward form or his physical teeth are longer than the rest, and a little peculiarities, his mental powers set him at an distant from the grinders; the grinders are immeasurable height above them all. His obtuse.
supremacy is no usurpation of pride; it is
the gift of Heaven, and has been universally † Man. There are few departments of recognised in all ages and among all nations. human knowledge that have been more dis. The most untaught have yet learned to know figured by fable, imposture, misconception, and to respect the dignity of their natureand exaggeration than natural history in gene
"To venerate themselves as men."—GRIFFITH. ral. Few portions of natural history have suffered more from the same causes than that INTELLIGENCE OF THIS Race.—The de. which relates to the quadrumanous species grees of their so much vaunted intelligence, of the animal world; and the first subdivi- which is in general very limited, and rarely sion of those animals, namely, that of the capable of being made subservient to the apes, has proved in a more especial manner a purposes of man, vary almost as much as the fertile source of falsehood and misrepresenta- ever-changing outline of their form. From tion, of impudent or ignorant distortion of the grave and reflective oran-outang, whose facts, and of ridiculous and contemptible ab- docility and powers of imitation in his young surdity of deduction.
state have been the theme of so much ridicu. Man has not merely been placed by his lous exaggeration and sophistical argument, Maker at the head of the countless organized to the stupid and savage baboon, whose gross beings which occupy this nether world, but he brutality is scarcely relieved by a single spark has also been disjointed, as it were, and of intelligence, the gradations are regular and severed from them all. His natural superi- easy. A remarkable circumstance connected ority is strongly marked, even in the earliest with the developement of this faculty, or perstages of moral advancement, and when his haps we should rather say, with its gradual unexcited faculties lie almost dormant within extinction, consists in the fact that it is only him. Attitude, physiognomy, and language in young animals which have not yet attained proclaim the rudest savage that traverses the their full growth that it is capable of being wild, to be lord of the prone and mute crea- brought into play; the older individuals, even tion that surrounds him. But when, by the of the most tractable races, entirely losing judicious cultivation of his moral and intel. the gaiety, and with it the docility of their lectual faculties, the diviner part of man's youth, and becoming at length as stupid and nature becomes fully developed, we then see as savage as the most barbarous of the tribe.