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gardens, which are of the most beautiful description, and, surrounded by their own wall, form what is called the " Prohibited City.”
The Grand Caral, which runs about five hundred miles, without allowing for windinrs, across the kingdom of China, is not only the means by which
subsistence is brought to the inhabitants of the imperial city, but is of great value in conveying the tribute, a large portion of the revenue being paid in kind. Dr. Davis mentions having observed on it a large junk decorated with a yellow umbrella, and found on enquiry that it had the honour of bearing the "Dragon robes," as the Emperor's garments are called. These are forwarded annually, and are the peculiar tribute of the silk districts. The banks of the Grand Canal are, in many parts through which it flows, strongly faced with stone, a precaution very necessary to prevent the danger of inundations, from which some parts of this country are constantly suffering. The Yellow River so very frequently overflows its banks, and brings so much peril and calamity to the people, that it has been called “ China's Sorrow;" and the European trade at Canton has been very heavily taxed for the damage occasioned by it.
The Grand Canal and the Yellow River, in one part of the country, run within four or five miles of each other, for about fifty miles ; and at length they join or cross each other, and then run in a contrary direction. A great deal of ceremony is used by the crews of the vessels when they reach this point, and, amongst other customs, they stock themselves abundantly with live cocks, destined to be sacrificed on crossing the river. These birds annoy and trouble the passengers so much by their incessant crowing on the top of the boats, that they are not much pitied when the time for their death arrives. The boatmen collect money for their purchase from the passengers, by sending red paper petitions called pin, begging for aid to provide them with these and other needful supplies. The difficulties which the Chinese must have struggled against, with their defective science, in this junction of the canal and the river, are incalculable; and it is impossible to deny them the praise they deserve for so great an exercise of perseverance and industry.
THE GOLIAH ARATOO. The splendid family of parrots includes about one hundred and sixty species, and, though peculiar to the warmer regions of the world, they are better known in England than any other foreign bird. From the beauty of their plumage, the great docility of their manners, and the singular faculty they possess of imitating the human voice, they are general favourites, both in the drawingroom of the wealthy and the cottage of humble life.
The various species differ in size, as well as in appearance and colour. Some (as the macaws) are larger than the domestic fowl, and some of the parakeets are not larger than a blackbird or even a sparrow.
The interesting bird of which our Engraving gives a representation was recently brought alive to this country by the captain of a South-seaman (the Alert), who obtained it from a Chinese vessel from the Island of Papua, to whom the captain of the Alert rendered valuable assistance when in a state of distress. In size this bird is one of the largest of the parrot tribe, being superior to the great red Mexican Macaw. The whole plumage is black, glossed with a greenish grey; the head is ornamented with a large crest of long pendulous feathers, which it erects at pleasure, when the bird has a most noble appearance ; the orbits of the eyes and cheeks are of a deep rose-colour ; the bill is of great size, and will crack the
hardest fruit stones; but when the kernel is detached, the bird does not crush and swallow it in large fragments, but scrapes it with the lower mandible to the finest pulp, thus differing from other parrots in the mode of taking food. In the form of its tongue it differs also from other birds of the kind. A French naturalist read a memoir on this
before the Academy of Sciences at Paris, in which he aptly compared it, in its
uses, to the trunk of an elephant. In its manners it is gentle and familiar, and when approached raises a cry which may be compared to a hoarse croaking. In its gait it resembles the rook, and walks much better than most of the climbing family.
From the general conformation of the parrots, as well as the arrangement and strength of their toes, they climb very easily, assisting themselves greatly with their hooked bill, but walk rather awkwardly on the ground, from the shortness and wide separation of their legs. The bill of the parrot is moveable in both mandibles, the upper being joined to the skull by a membrane which acts like a hinge; while in other birds the upper beak forms part of the skull. By this curious contrivance they can open their bills widely, which the hooked form of the beak would not otherwise allow them to do. The structure of the wings varies greatly in the different species : in general they are short, and as their bodies are bulky, they cannot consequently rise to any great height without difficulty ; but when once they gain a certain distance they fly easily, and some of them with rapidity. The number of feathers in the tail is always twelve, and these, both in length and form, are very varied in the different species, some being arrow or spear-shaped, others straight and square.
In eating, parrots make great use of the feet, which they employ like hands, holding the food firmly with the claws of one, while they support themselves on the other. From the hooked shape of their bills, they find it more convenient to turn their food in an outward direction, instead of, like monkeys and other animals, turning it towards their mouths.
The whole tribe are fond of water, washing and bathing themselves many times during the day in streams and marshy places; and having shaken the water from their plumage, seem greatly to enjoy speading their beautiful wings to dry in the sun.
At last, when blind and seeming dumb,
He scolded, laugh'd, and spoke no more,
To Mulla's shore.
He hail'd the bird in Spanish speech,
The bird in Spanish speech replied:
IS true, said I, correcting the propositionthe Bastile is not an evil to be despised ; but strip it of its towers, fill the fosse, unbarricadf the doors, call it simply a confinement, and suppose it is some tyrant of a distemper, and not a man which holds you in it, the evil vanishes, and you bear the other half without complaint. I was interrupted in the heyday of this soliloquy, with a voice which I took to be of a child, which complained "It could not get out." I looked up and down the
passage, and seeing neither man, woman, or child, I went out without further attention. In my return back through the passage, I heard the same words repeated twice over ; and looking up, I saw it was a starling, hung in a little cage ; "I can t get
out, I can't get out," said the starling. I stood looking at the bird ; and to every person who came through the passage, it ran fluttering to