« הקודםהמשך »
part of animals which inhabit the earth; while others delight so much in cold, that they are only to be found in those regions where frost and ice eternally abound. To some, the sandy desart, alone, is found to supply their wants; while others can only exist in swamps and marshy bogs. The water, itself, and air, and every thing we touch or handle, is full of life.
Among the quadrupeds of the coldest regions, the polar bear is the most conspicuous, not only for its size, but for its amazing strength, agility, and ferocity. In size it greatly exceeds all other animals of the bear tribe, being sometimes found to measure thirteen feet in length. Its limbs are of great thickness and strength; its hair long, harsh and disagreeable to the touch, and of a yellowish white coa lour ;' and it has the singular peculiarity of being naturally disposed into tufts, very much resembling, the manner in which a brush is made ; its ears are short and rounded ; its muzzle long and sharpilh ; and its teeth large, i It has seldom been seen farther. south than New. foundland; but abounds chiefly on the shores of Hudson's Bay and Greenland, on one side, and Spitz.. bergen and Nova Zembla on the other.
266 There, the shapeless bear,
Hardens his heart against assailing want." During summer, they take up their residence on large islands of ice, and frequently pass from one to
another. They swim well, and can go the distance of six or seven leagues : they will dive; but cannot continue long under water. When the pieces of ice are detached by strong winds or currents, the bears allow themselves to be carried along with them; and as they cannot regain the land, or abandon the ice on which they are embarked, they often perilh at sea. But should a ship come near them, instigated by hunger, and naturally fearless, they will boldly board it, and résolutely seize and devour the first animal they meet with. On these occasions, neither fire, nor noise, nor any kind of threats, will stop it in its progress ; nor can any thing but the death of the animal, itself, save the crew from its rapacious gripe ; for it will follow them up the shrouds, and along the yards, wherever these are sufficiently strong to bear its weight.
Sometimes bears are thus driven upon the coast of Norway, almost familhed for hunger by their long voyage ;
but as soon as the natives discover one of them, they arm themselves, and presently dispatch him. Its flesh is white, and it is said to eat like mutton. The fat is melted for train oil, and that of the feet is used in medicine.
The white bear brings forth two young at a time. Notwithstanding their savage appearance, and natural ferocity, their fondness for their offspring is so great, that they will die rather than desert them *. Wounds serve only to make the attachment more violent : they embrace their cubs to the last, and bemoan them with the most piteons cries.
* See a remarkable instance of this sört, Bee, vol. vii p. go.
They feed on fish, seals, and the carcases of whales. Attracted by the scent of seals flesh, they often break into the huts of the Greenlanders. They sometimes attack the morse, with which they have terrible conflicts; but the large teeth of that animal, give it a decided superiority over the bear, which is generally worsted.
AN ESSAY SHOWING HOW TASTE EXALTS THE PLEA
SURES OF RURAL LIFE. BY THE AUTHOR OF THĘ.
To the Editor of the Bee. Some time ago I had a letter from an acquaintance of mine, who' has been long resident at a distance from the metropolis, in the quiet retirement of the country, and mixing but little in the busy bustling haunts of pleasure or ambition in the capital.
This letter is so full of the effects of that taste and discernment which I have endeavoured to explain and promote, that I cannot refuse myself the gratification of at least attempting to find a place for it in your elegant miscellany, I am, Sir, your humble servant,
MY DEAR SIR,
Landon, Sept. 1. 1792. You will be surprised to receive a letter from me dated at this place, which is now a desart, from the general emigration of the beau monde to Bath, Buxton, Tunbridge, Cheltenham, Harrowgate, Scarborough, Weymouth, Brightelmstone, Margate,
and every supposible place of amusement in the kingdom, exčept to the truly useful and interesting places of their rural abode.
For my own part, I have been here but for a few days, to sell some stock in the three per cents, to ina" Test in the country, and shall soon turn my back upon sin and sea coal, and taste again as soon as possible, the chaste and delightful emotions that accompany the mibi me reddentis. It is really astonishing to observe the fatuity of people of landed estate, who, as if they were universally planet-struck, under the sign of the waterman, seem to have no other idea of -summer aniusement, but in water-bibbing at these scenes of nastinefs and dissipation. I can easily divine, indeed, the cause of some men flying with their families from London, like hunted stags, that they may escape their followers, by plunging into the deep, like dolphins in the wake of sinking mariners: but by what witchcraft families of reputation, and independent fortune, are induced to forsake the delightful and profitable scenes of their rural residence, I should have been altogether unable even to guefs, had I not myself experienced in the beginning of my life, the cause of this miserable perversion of sense and sentiment, in the want of a system of rational pursuit. Having been originally educated on the automaton plan of fashionable life, I was forced (though an excellent repeater, and even provided with an extensive barrel of the most excellent chimes,) to go every now and then to a watering, place, to get myself wound up, and made to go till my paces were run down again ; a dependance which at length grew intolerable to me, and put me at last upon trying fairly to wind up myself, which, bý God's blessing, and the strength of my understand ing, I was at last enabled to accomplish.
Now, in the midst of so many notable discoveries, relating to machinery, that are daily published for the gratification of the public, and the benefit of trade and manufactures, it may be no ungrateful communication for me to make to you, as my friend, that I have ascertained the primum mobile of a mart of fashion to be fire, and not water.
These falls of water at the various places of public resort, which I have mentioned, make men and wo. men go, but they cannot wind them up, which I found to my fatal experience; but after a certain desiccation of the human frame, after having been drenched in mineral waters, with the constant difsipation which goes on after the humefaction, a coldness en sues, which probably arises from the effects of evaporation. But action and re-action, being equal and contrary, as has been observed by the great Sir Isaac Newton, a hot fit succeeds, and if no water, or redundancy of any liquid whatsoever, takes place, there, and in that case, an elastic flame is kindled, and the regular paces are resumed, and return into their due situations, which was the thing to be demonstrated.
Among your multifarious communications, directed towards the improvement of your country, I should be sorry to deny you the advantage of this accidental but important discovery of your old and faithful friend ; and I give you my free permission to make it generally known to the people, in whatever