Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

acts hereinafter mentioned, together with all enact shelve the difficulty by saying, 'No Irish need apply.' ments (if any) confirming, continuing, or perpetuating Our fathers boldly looked the difficulty in the face, the same, or any of them, are hereby repealed : pro- and, what is more, legislated for it. vided always, that such repeal shall not affect any Let us look at the act itself, which will shew us legal proceeding commenced under any of the said something of the Norman-French not yet gone out, acts before the passing of this act. This is the whole and also serve to mark that the Commons were not yet act, with a list of statutes repealed, one hundred and advanced to the dignity of a legislative power; it is, as eighteen in number, ranging from the 13th year of we shall see expressed, to be enacted by the king, with the reign of King Edward I. to the 17th George III., the assent of the Lords, at the request of the Commons. and comprising, as may be expected, a great variety of It was not till the reign of Charles II. that the preamble subjects. Of course, these are not all the acts which of acts of parliament assumed the shape now in use. were passed during this period. Great numbers liave Item pur tant ge diverses homicides murdres rapes been from time to time repealed; many still remain in roberies et autres felonies riotes conventicles et maleforce. What changes have come over English society faitz jatarde ount estez faitz en diverses countees -its politics, its education, its religion, its language-d'Engletiore par gentz [the intelligent reader will not in the interval! Look in the list at the statute of 7th mistake this for gents] "nus en Irlande reparantz å la year of Richard II.'s reign, entitled, “No man shall ville de Oxenford et illocques demurrantz desoutz ride in harness within the realm, nor with launcegays.' la jurisdiction del université d'Oxenford a grande Here is a word now probably known only to one in a peure de toute manere poeple demeurant la environ thousand of the community. We confess we were come par toute la communalte du roialme assemblez more than half inclined to associate the term with en cest parlement fuist grevousement di ces compleint.' some sort of mauvais sujet, male or female, and were After this recital, the act goes on to say, that the king, eagerly on the look-out for some further light, when with the assent aforesaid (that is, of the Lords), and we discovered evidence that these launcegays were a at the request of the Commons, ordained that all permost inveterate and deeply rooted subject of complaint; sons born in Ireland eject themselves out of the realm for thirteen years afterwards we find in our list: (soient voidez hors de roialme) in a month's time, on

20 Ric. II. c. 1.—No man shall ride or go armed : pain of losing their property and being imprisoned at launcegays shall be put out.

the king's pleasure. An exception is allowed in favour

of graduates, clergymen, and others; and amongst Certainly, most peremptory! Still we were no nearer them, merchants and other inhabitants of the cities to the nieaning of launcegays. What an appalling and boroughs, of good fame, who can give security for thought, too, that up to the 21st day of last July, one their good behaviour. All scholars of Ireland, dwellmight have been breaking the unrepealed statutes of ing in England, are to find security for their good one's country every day without knowing it! Suppose behaviour, and to bring testimonials from the lieua launcegay should turn out to mean a dog-cart, a tenant shewing that they are deli obeisance du roy; Scotch terrier, or a pretty cousin !

and from the Feast of St John then next, no person Distracted at the thought, we hurried down to born in Ireland is to enter the realm of England our library of reference. Several dictionaries were without such testimonial, on pain of being treated as searched in vain. At last Nares's Glossary gave a rebel. The phrase del obeisance du roy reminds us us: launcegaye, a kind of spear. Camden mentions that, notwithstanding the achievements of Henry II. it in his Remains; and Tyrwhitt, in his note on Canter- and Strongbow, Ireland was still only partially subbury Tales, says: "The said Evan then and there, with dued, a large portion being under the government a launcegay, smote the said William Tresham throughe of native chieftains, which continued to be the case the body a foote and more, whereof he died.' Not to till the reign of Elizabeth. be wondered at, under the circumstances, and also

Welshmen, by the way, seem to have had rather a accounting for launcegays being forbidden in the bad reputation about this time; in proof of which, we troublous time of King Richard II., Bolingbroke, find the following statutes : Percy, and old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster.

4 Hen. IV. c. 27.-There shall be no wasters, vagabonds, The fifth next in order has rather an amusing title: &c., in Wales. 4 Hen. IV. c. 25.-An hostler shall not make horse

4 Hen. IV. c. 29.-Welshmen shall not be armed. bread. How much he may take for oats.

2 Hen. VI. c. 4.-Welshmen indicted of treason or felony, Do you remember the scene in Henry IV., at Rochester, and imprisoned, or else pursued by hue and cry, and a

that do repair unto Herefordshire, shall be apprehended in which the carrier, who has a gammon of bacon forfeiture of those which do not pursue them. and two razes of ginger to be delivered as far as Charing Cross, complains that the house is turned It must be remembered, however, that Wales was only upside down since Robin ostler died, to which the even nominally annexed to England in Edward I.'s other replies: 'Poor fellow! never joyed since the price reign, and was long afterwards greatly disaffected; and of oats rose; it was the death of him.' Reader, mark in particular, that the fourth year of Henry IV.'s reign the coincidence of date; was it not rather this act of was the exact time of the great outbreak in Wales, parliament killed him ?

headed by Owen Glendwyr, in concert with the insurAre you an Irishman ?—then don't read the next rection under Harry Hotspur, which terminated in the paragraph; it is written only for Englishmen: battle of Shrewsbury. With this confluence of powerful I Hen. VI. c. 3.—What sort of Irishmen only may

and daring spirits against him, we can understand the come to dwell in England.

new king-himself without title derived from might

-very readily consenting to an act of parliament Here is a problem! Verily our ancestors in Henry VI.'s enacting (valeat quantum) that · Welshmen shall not reign didn't evade difficult subjects of legislation. Let be armed.? us try our hand at a specification. They should be We may form a tolerably fair estimate of the very honest; not repugnant to soap; not combative; have primitive state of English society about this time, at least one pair of trousers approximately perfect, from an act of the fifth year of Henry IV., long since and a hat with the crown in; not have more than repealed, and therefore not in this list; but which fifteen children; nor be too much given to a 'drop serves, however, to illustrate those that are. It bears of the craythur.' Half of us, however, in these days this exhilarating title: 'It shall be felony to cut out of degenerate indolence, to save ourselves trouble, I the tongue or pull out the eyes of the king's liege

people;' and proceeds: 'Item-Because that many that makers shall set on their marks, searchers be offenders do daily beat, wound, imprison, and maim appointed, and so on. You see it looks like little else divers of the king's liege people, and often purposely than an attempt of the great pewterers' to crush the cut out their tongues or put out their eyes, it is little ones, whose descendants we may still recognise ordained and established that in such case the offenders going about with their little furnaces of hot coals as that so cut tongues or put out the eyes of any of the pewterers walking.' king's liege people,' shall incur the pains of felony. The next act renders the former perpetual ; while

The 9 Hen. V. stat. 1, c. 10, in our list has an odd the third complains of the apprentices repairing unto title: "Keels that carry sea-coals to Newcastle shall strange regions, and teaching foreigners the craft and be measured and marked.' Here the now proverbial mystery of the pewterers', to the great impoverishment improbability seems to be quite a common thing, “to of the same, which before this time has been one of carry coals to Newcastle. The act, however, refers to the best handicrafts within this realm.' The pewterers, small vessels, called keels, which brought the coals to by the way, don't seem to have had very enlightened be shipped on board the colliers at Newcastle.

notions about free-trade: but how well this marks the Some useful acts appear in the list, shewing that increased facilities for travelling, and readiness to our forefathers had, tolerably early in English history, travel: we are not all going to stay where we were some sense of the value of sanitary reform. As early born, we can tell you! We have here the foreshadowas the reign of Richard II., we have an act entitled, ing of the ready locomotion of these modern days. "The punishment of them which cause corruption near The acts concerning Egyptians' refer, as most of a city or great town, to corrupt the air;' and again, our readers know, to the gipsies. The 1st in Henry in Henry VII.'s reign, 'An act that no butcher slay VIII.'s reign recites that they use great subtil and any manner of beast within the walls of London.' crafty means to deceive the people, bearing them in

Towards the reign of Henry VII., the various trades hand that they by palmistry could tell men's and seem to have begun to attract legislative attention. The women's fortunes, and so many times by craft and first act on the list in his reign is 'an act for finers subtilty have deceived the people of their money, of gold and silver ;' soon after, an act concerning and also have committed many heinous felonies and upholsterers ;' then an act, entitled 'pewterers walk- robberies ;' and enacts that all such persons shall leave ing.' Then in Henry VIII.'s reign, “an act for avoiding the realm within sixteen days, upon pain of imprisondeceits in worsteds' (Ah, ladies, how could you allow ment and forfeiture of goods and chattels. By the this to be repealed ?), and so on, till we are at last act of Philip and Mary, the penalty is death. Certainly, fairly launched into the consciousness that trade is it was time that these statutes were repealed; but it getting brisk, that we are become a nation of shop- is not very encouraging to remember that amongst us keepers, and are legislated for as such. Coining, now, three centuries after the passing of these acts, apprentices, horses, worsted yarn, coverlets, leather, there are still persons, as the newspapers within the steel, woollen cloth, raw-hides and calf-skins, hats, past month have shewn, who are the dupes of those are all subjects of legislation before the close of Queen who persuade them that they by 'palmistry can tell Elizabeth's reign. One word, however, as to the men's and women's fortunes, and so by craft and pewterers aforesaid. They appear to have been a subtilty deceive them of their money.' dreadful torment, for, in the 4 Henry VIII., there is Our space is now exhausted. Of course, we have again an act pur le pewterers,' and in the twenty- been obliged to leave the major part of these acts fifth year of the same reign, an act concerning of parliament untouched. They constitute, if looked pewterers.' Let us see what these pewterers have to into, a quaint and interesting commentary on the say of themselves. The act in Henry VII's reign is history of their age. The legislature have acted in the form of a petition, but, be it observed, the wisely in formally repealing them. No act should be Commons are included:

allowed to remain on the statute-book that is not "To the King our Sovereign Lord, and to the noble enforced. We ought to know under what laws we live, Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in this and to what we are amenable; and these one hundred present Parliament assembled, humbly and lamentably and eighteen acts of parliament must have felt—if an shewn and complain unto your most abundant Grace, act of parliament can feel that they had survived your humble subjects the pewterers and brasiers of their day. your cities of London and York, and of all other places of this your realm, That whereas many simple

A FORENOON CALL IN ALGIERS. and evil-disposed persons, using the said crafts, daily go about from village, from town, and from house to YESTERDAY, we all started on our promised visit to the house, as well in woods and forests, to buy pewter and family of a cadi who lives in the neighbourhood of brass, and that knowing thieves and other pickers' Algiers. A cadi, as all readers of the Arabian Nights bring the vessels they have stolen to them in such must know full well

, is a native justice of the peace, a hid places to sell, and sell it for little or nought; and Worship Shallow after the oriental pattern. Law and about they bring it into privy places, or into corners religion are here the same ordinance, and the ancient of cities and towns, and there sell much part of it to caliphs were at once pontiffs, judges, and doctors of strangers, which carry it over the sea by stealth; also, the law, having under them three classes of vicarsthe said persons so going about, and divers other the imamas or ministers of religion, the muftis or using the said crafts, use to make new vessels, and doctors of the law, and the cadis or judges. Who mix good metal and bad together, and make it naught does not remember the summary punishments inflicted (this word deserves notice), and sell them for good stuff

, on evildoers in the golden prime of good Haroun where, indeed, the stuff and metal thereof is not worth Alraschid !--the fines and bastinadoes, the imprisonthe fourth part that it is sold for, to the great hurt, ments and bowstrings which served as a gentle deceit, and loss of your subjects ; also, divers persons divertissement to the placid repose and sunny languor using the said crafts have deceivable and untrue of Bagdad; how the wandering prince in disguise, beams and scales--that one of them would stand even and the scolding wife Fatima, dervishes, Jews, onewith twelve pounds' weight at one end against one eyed calendars and water-carriers, and all the other quarter of a pound at the other end-to the singular dramatis personæ of the fascinating eastern romances, advantage of themselves, and to the great deceit and loss were invariably summoned once in the course of their of your subjects, buyers and sellers with them. After adventures before the cadi, who usually ended his this exordium, they pray that it be enacted, that inquiry by a decree equivalent to your money or your pewter and brass ought to be of a certain goodness ; | life.' Dear, old, bearded dignitaries of our childish days! The cadis are still retained under the French military shelves, on one of which was the invariable set of government of Algiers, but with a greatly modified coffee-cups. Hither flocked, one by one, the feminine jurisdiction. Under the decree of the 26th of September members of the household, all attired in gay party1842, the whole colony, including native or imported coloured garments and woollen stockings, with dark populations, of whom there are in Algeria no lack, are hair cut short, and hanging down by the side of their placed under the French law and tribunals. But there rouged cheeks quite straight; smart handkerchiefs still remain some special Mussulman offences, which twisted round their heads, and earrings. One or two are brought before the native cadis as of old. The had their eyebrows painted to meet between the eyes, commonest cases of a penal nature referred to their and their nails tipped with henna. They had rather judgment are those of drunkenness—by far the most handsome faces, good eyes and hair; but there was numerous-breaking of the fasts. blasphemy, and im- only one of them that could be called beautiful, and proper behaviour in religious edifices. The questions even her face was devoid of all ennobling expression. relative to native divorce and heritage are also still They looked good-natured and lively, and extremely under their jurisdiction.

glad to see us, though we feared we had taken them The cadi to whose wife we were about to pay our by surprise, as they were not arrayed in regular respects, must have been a man of some substance, Moorish grande parure

, though their dresses were very as he dwelt in a large house about a mile out of fine and gay. One of them brought a beautiful baby town, and under the same roof with various other with curling hair of a deep gold colour; and another members of his family. In fact, the establishment presented to us a merry little girl about five years was somewhat patriarchal in size. The Moors have old, bagged up like her seniors in full trousers, and rarely more than one wife apiece, and the six ladies with her hair dyed of a peculiar auburn. They who received us were each married to a brother, a pressed us to be seated, some on the divan, some on nephew, or a cousin of the cadi. The introduction was the carpeted floor; and then tucking their trousered effected for us by some French ladies ; and an English and stockinged legs under them, in a most adroit lady married in Algiers, who spoke the Moorish and convenient manner, they formed, with us, a large language perfectly, kindly accompanied to serve as social circle, across which they chattered like so an interpreter. We made altogether a party of ten, many magpies, the English interpretress rendering including three children, two of whom were little boys, the questions and answers as fast as she could. under the age that excludes males from admittance We had brought for them some little presents, into the sacred precincts of a harem. Leaving the consisting of artificial flowers, bonbons, and a pair main road, we plunged down a steep path, whose of English scissors. Those who received the flowers condition, nearly impassable from mud-this being the stuck them into their head-dresses, and seemed to be rainy season- -plainly shewed that the female inhabit- greatly satisfied with them. The scissors were given ants of the domain were wholly unaccustomed to walk to an old woman, the mother of one of the husbands, abroad. An English lady in a provincial town would for all relationships seemed represented in this family have thoroughly scolded gardener and errand-boy, or group. The wife of the cadi was a tall woman, dressed laid down à cart-load of gravel with her own fair in mourning on account of the death of her mother. hands, rather than have been obliged to wade through She was not so handsome in colouring as the others, such slush every time she went to the church, or the but had a more intelligent expression than any one school, or the shop, or to see Mrs John Smith in the of them. She ordered coffee to be brought, which was High Street. With some difficulty, and by dint of our served up on a tray, each cup being set in a sort of goloshes, we got over the road, carrying the children filigree frame, that served as a saucer. The beverage with us, and passed through two ill-kept fields to the was most excellent. Our party of thirteen, seated in massive white house. The Moorish dwellings have a circle on the floor drinking it, would have been a much the look of a feudal border fort: the rooms open sufficiently ludicrous spectacle to a looker-on. into interior courts, and present nothing to view from They were highly delighted with our ornaments, the outside save tiny slits like Gothic loopholes. The and felt the silk of my dress between their fingers. total absence of chimneys makes them still more One lady shewed them a Roman brooch with a head of devoid of life; but they are wonderfully picturesque Dante cut in lava; they asked if it was the portrait amidst their cypresses and vine trellises, especially of her husband !-probably taking the fillet and baywhen, from their walls, as white as driven snow, they leaves for some ornamental variety of an Englishreflect back every colour of sunset!

man's costume. A little magnifying-glass hanging at We were received on the threshold by a fine-looking a girdle also delighted them extremely. We asked Moor, who was saluted as 'Monsieur Omar,' and who about their education, and were told they could none most courteously invited us in. He was in full of them read or write; so that when members of a costume, with a shaven head and a red fez. He family are separated by marriage, and live in different ushered us into a small hall at the foot of the stair, towns, they are wholly dependent on chance oppordown which, to meet us, came one of the ladies, a tunities of communication through word of mouth of lively-looking woman about forty years old, with friends. Neither do they know their own ages, usually dark hair and eyes, and dressed in a variety of light referring to some public date in order to indicate silk and cotton garments, including of course the the limits of their recollection, as we remember the full trousers, of a pale-pink and white check. She coming of the French,' &c. shook hands with us all round very energetically, The life led by these unfortunate creatures is ejaculating 'Slama, Slama,' with every shake, which, forlorn in its utter absence of moral and intellectual we suppose, was 'How do ye do?' and then took us action. They have not only no education, in which up a low flight of steps into a court surrounded they are not wholly singular, but no religion on by pillars and arches—à sort of domestic cloister, which to fall back; they have no concern with the open to the blue heaven; then up a second flight of ordinances of Mohammedanism ; they never enter a stairs to the second story of the same, round which mosque except about three times a year; to the clothes were hung out to dry, and into a large airy graves of the dead they pay occasional visits of reverroom, matted and carpeted, rejoicing in two exterior ence; but from all the duties enjoined on Christian windows looking over the country and beautiful women of all ranks, in all persuasions, they are cut blue bay, in a four-post bed of light construction, a off. They can neither teach their children religious sort of cushioned divan in the recess of the centre truths, for in these they are themselves but half window, a large old chest richly ornamented in instructed; nor can they take part in charities, colours and gilding, and a couple of recesses with for that true religion which visits the widow and

the fatherless can be but ill followed where every the elves, many of whose attributes were believed to movement is fettered by a cruel conventionality. resemble his. The fairies sucked cows as they slept,

The Moorish women, however, who are seen in the and so did the hedgehog, and, like them also, he took streets of Algiers, are not of a respectable class. especial delight in pillaging orchards. Pliny indeed Moorish ladies live in a profound retirement. The informs us that he climbs up the trees, and after shaking houses of the town being built up a very steep ascent, off the choicest apples and pears, tumbles himself down the flat terraces ascend like so many steps; and we upon them, and runs away with his booty sticking read that, until the arrival of the French, it was upon his back! but this is either one of Pliny's longstrictly forbidden any man, under pain of death, to shots, or the idiosyncracy of some individual Tuscan, go on to these terraces, lest he should see from thence for at anyrate it is not the custom of the English the women of neighbouring families. The muezzins species. To hear his cry when one is starting on a who ascended the minarets of the mosques several journey, is reckoned very unlucky. "The hedgepig times a day to announce the hours of prayer, had thrice hath whined,' is one of the dismal omens which alone the privilege of overlooking the roofs and courts herald in the caldron-scene in Macbeth; and Prospero's of Algiers; and we are further informed, that pretty spirits, it will be remembered, turned into hedgehogs good care was taken that these muezzins should be to annoy Caliban. A little animal possessing such chosen from among the blind ! From the terrace very negative means of defence, would seem to be of the Casbah, or ancient palace of the deys, we our- harmless and pitiable; but, according to our rustics, selves saw a Moresque come unto her roof, hanging he is the most astute creature in all creation, not out the clothes,' and then a second emerge from excepting even the fox. The peasantry of Berkshire another house, and clamber over to the top of an have a legend about him, in which Reynard plays but adjoining one, from which she was separated by a a poor figure. A fox and a hedgehog, they say, once low wall, and disappear by a staircase, to pay her disputed which of them was the swifter animal, and respects to her gossip. We were told that the part agreed to run a race of three heats between two ditches of the Casbah in which we were, had been appropriated in a large field. The hedgehog, like a cunning old to the women of the dey's family, so that in ancient knave as he was, hid his wife in the ditch which was to times no sacrilegious inspection of Algerine privacy form the goal, so that when he had made a pretence of could have been perpetrated, though the Casbah is starting, she might jump out, and pretend to be himself the highest point of the whole town, and looks down just arrived. No sooner had the fox cried ‘Off!' than from roof to roof, till the eye of the gazer rests on Mrs Hedgehog cried 'In!' and directly she had in the broad bosom of the blue Mediterranean.

her turn made a false start back, old Thorny-sides But we are leaving our particular friends, who leaped out and said · In again!' So after three desperrejoiced in the sonorous names of Ayesha, Ouria, ate runs, the broken-winded fox, which never perceived Toma, Mouna, Gossa, and Haniffa. After an hour of the ruse, was compelled to yield, and ever since that vehement conversation, neither party understanding day the hedgehog has been his master. a word of what the other said, except by help of The hedgehog usually takes up his residence in the good-natured interpreter, and gestures extremely woods or wide double hedgerows, where he can hide à propos, we rose to go, shook hands with each of away beneath the underwood ; but he is perhaps our entertainers in succession, making altogether a fondest of a little thicket of fern and bracken near a sum of sixty shakes of the hand got through in five running stream. The best time to meet with him is minutes, exchanged sixty ejaculations of “Slama,' and on a summer evening soon after sunset, for he is then were ushered down stairs, and through the court to just roused from his day-sleep, and walks out to look the outer hall, passing, as we went, the open door of after food. You may often see him stealthily creeping a saloon, where sat a handsome moustached Moor along a hedge-bottom, rooting with his long snout on his divan, cross-legged, and lazily reading a book. among the herbage, and every now and then stopping He looked up as we passed, and slightly bowed with to crunch, with extra gusto, some delicious bonne bouche a whimsical expression of indoleni wonder at the in the shape of a savoury cockroach or plump earthsudden irruption of a bevy of foreign ladies upon the worm. The moment he sees you, he begins to run; womenkind of his establishment. Such a picture he but his awkward legs are not meant for fleetness; and made in his fez, seen through the arch of the open directly he sees there is no chance of escape, he door, that I could not resist scanning him in what he tumbles upon his side, bows his head under his breast, probably considered an audacious English manner. draws in his legs and tail, and in half a second lies at And so we were bowed and shaken out of the estab- your mercy, a ball of prickles. While in this position, lishment, heartily thankful that we were not born it would be as easy to tear him to pieces, as to pull Mussulwomen, nor under the marital or summary him open; he resists every effort, and possesses, penal jurisdiction of a Moorish cadi.

moreover, a power of elevating and depressing his spines at will, which makes the attempt far from

pleasant. So great is the strength and toughness of THE HEDGEHO G.

this covering, that Mr Bell states he has seen a hedgeThe hedgehog is the only representative of the hog in his possession run towards the precipitous wall Erinaceade to be found in our latitudes, and his of an area, and without a moment's hesitation, throw appearance and habits are so entirely different to in which condition it reached the ground from a height

itself off, contracting at the same instant into a ball, those of the rest of our Fauna, that he has become of twelve or fourteen feet, and after a short interval, surrounded with quite a little group of myths and it would unfold itself, and run off unhurt. The writer wonderful stories. Among the ancient Egyptians, has seen them thrown from nearly three times this and in the Greek and Roman fabulists, we find him height, without any apparent injury. the emblem of craft and subtlety. Ælian has much For his size, the hedgehog is immensely fierce. He to tell us about his warfare with the foxes, and is a great gourmand, and will face almost any danger Aldrorandus devotes many pages to the proverbs and to please his palate. They are often known to enter synibolism connected with him. In the rural districts poultry-houses, and after driving away the hens,

devour the eggs. The young of birds which build of our own country, he is the subject of many curious their nests near the ground, are eaten by them, and superstitions, which cause him to be remorselessly they even attack the snake. This latter fact was killed wherever he shews himself. His old English often doubted, till Professor Buckland put it to the name, urchin, was also one of the popular names of test by shutting up the two animals together in a large box. When first introduced, it was not apparent Bodenham, in his Garden of the Muses, published in whether the snake recognised his enemy. It did not 1600, alludes to this idea in the simile: dart away, but kept creeping gently round the box

As hedgehogs doe foresee ensuing stormes, while the hedgehog lay rolled up, and did not appear

So wise men are for fortune still prepared. to see the intruder. The professor then laid the hedgehog on the snake, with that part of the ball where the Into this hibernaculum, when the nights become head and tail meet, downwards, and touching it. The chilly, and his food scarce, he betakes himself for his snake proceeded to crawl; the hedgehog started, opened long winter's sleep; first, however, taking care to roll slightly, and seeing what was under, gave the snake a himself up in such a prodigious quantity of moss and hard bite, and instantly rolled itself up again. After dried leaves, that the severest snows will leave him lying a minute, it opened a second, and again a third warm and dry. Unlike the rest of the sleepers, he time, repeating the bite; and by the third bite, the accumulates no provisions. The only store he takes back of the snake was broken. This done, the hedge- with him is a goodly layer of fat about the viscera and hog stood by the snake's side, and passed its whole under the skin, which is slowly absorbed, as the waste body successively through its jaws, cracking and of his inactive life requires. With the first warm breaking it at intervals of half an inch or more, by beams of spring he wakes up lean and hungry; and it which operation the snake was quite finished. The is said that in this voracious condition he will attack hedgehog then placed itself at the tip of his fallen almost anything, and has even been known to break enemy's tail, and began to eat upwards—as one would his fast upon a hen. eat a radish-slowly, but without intermission, till The disposition of the hedgehog may be very conhalf of him was devoured, and next morning he ate siderably modified by taming. James Dousa, the the remainder. A correspondent of Notes and Queries celebrated Dutch scholar, had a pet one which gives another instance of their voracity. He tells us followed him about, and evinced the greatest attachthat he once enclosed, in three separate hampers, a ment for his person. When it died, Lipsius immor. hedgehog, two starlings, and a wood-pigeon; the lids talised its memory in some Latin verses, almost as of each were securely fastened, and they were left in a rough and unpoetical as the subject. In London, they garden-house all night. Next morning, the strings of are much used to destroy the black beetles which all the hampers were severed, and only a few feathers abound in the underground kitchens; and many were left of the birds, the hedgehog being found in the instances are recorded of their becoming familiar with wood-pigeon's hamper. With all his hankering after those who treat them kindly. The writer formerly flesh, however, it is pretty clear, from the make of his had one who used to know his name 'Spot' very well, mouth and teeth, that nature intended him for a vege- and would directly uncoil himself at the sound of his tarian. "The manner in which they eat the plantain- master's voice. He had so far overcome his natural roots in my garden,' says White of Selborne, is very timidity, as to lie before the fire in company with a curious. With their upper mandible, which is much cat and dog. With the latter, he was on very friendly longer than the lower, they bore under the plant, and terms; but the cat and he always regarded each other so eat the root off upwards, leaving the tuft of leaves with mutual aversion. Every now and then, withuntouched.' The popular idea, that they suck the out the slightest provocation, he would suddenly open cows as they sleep, has been cominonly denied by all and bite her leg or tail, and then instantaneously scientific men; but it still remains an article of the contract himself again with a Touch-me-if-you-dare farmers' creed, and they have certainly been found kind of air, which was vastly amusing. This may early in the morning in very suspicious vicinity to have been the mere exuberance of hedgehog spirits, their udders. In all probability, the notion originated but it was a great deal too much like earnest to make in the fact, that they are attracted to the animal by it pleasant for pussy, who, however, never ventured to the smell, and sometimes come in for a share of the retaliate, for she had probably found that his prickles milk which may have been squeezed out during sleep. were more than a match for her claws. She contrived

There is another peculiarity about the hedgehog to kitten upon a table, in order that her young should which is very little known, but, if properly investi- be out of his reach; but one day, during her absence, gated, seems likely to lead to valuable discoveries. No he climbed up by the leg, and pushed one of them off

, poison of any kind will act upon its system. Pallas and then rolling himself down after it, was proceeding gave one a hundred cantharides, which the animal to drag it away by the neck to his hole under the fireappeared to relish amazingly; while half of one of place, when the mother happened to return. Then these acrid insects given to a dog or cat, would cause ensued a battle-royal. Utterly unmindful of her usual the most horrible torment. M. Leny caused one to caution, the infuriated parent dashed herself three be bitten several times in the throat and tongue by a separate times against the enemy, and was each time viper, but without having the slightest effect; and received with fixed bayonets. Never, probably, was Mr Cuthbert Johnson, the well-known agricultural there such an expenditure of spitting and fuming; writer, states that prussic acid, arsenic, opium, and but all to no purpose, for the hedgehog clung to his corrosive sublimate, have each been tried upon it prey like a ferret. Had not the writer interfered, and without producing the slightest indisposition.

caused the hedgehog to drop the kitten, it would proThe home of a hedgehog is a curious little structure bably have been rent in two between the combatants. of moss and dried leaves, and is generally constructed The cat was much pricked all over her face and with greater skill than that of any other of the nest-shoulders, and the hedgehog had some ugly scratches making mammalia. Sometimes he builds it under the under his throat. After this affair, they never lay shade of a thick furze-bush, or oftener still in the little together on the hearth. caves hollowed out by the rain

The uses to which the hedgehog has been put are Under an oak whose antique root peeps out;

Among the peasantry on the continent,

and in many parts of England, it is used as food to a and this perhaps is his favourite den, as it affords him considerable extent. Hedgehog-dumpling is by no the most protection from the foxes and dogs. The means an uncommon cottage-dinner in Buckinghamcare he takes in rendering his dwelling wind-and-rain shire. The flesh of the young animal is very white, proof, has given rise to a popular notion that he is and not unlike rabbit. Among the Romans, the spines able to foresee changes in the weather, and alters the were extensively used in carding wool, and several situation of his house accordingly; hence, in many decrees of the senate are extant against the rich woolparts of England, a hedgehog's nest is looked upon staplers, who were in the habit of buying them all up, as a kind of Murphy's Almanac, altogether infallible. I and thus forestalling the market. In medicine, he wa

numerous.

« AnteriorContinuar »