The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 31, January 30, 1841

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Title: The Irish Penny Journal, Vol. 1 No. 31, January 30, 1841

Author: Various

Release date: May 14, 2017 [eBook #54722]

Language: English

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[Pg 241]


Number 31. SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 1841. Volume I.
Dun-garbry Castle


The Castle of Dun-garbry, or properly Dun-cairbré, signifying the Dun or Fort of Cairbre, is situated on a hill, on the south side, and not far from the mouth, of the Drowis, or Drobhaois—a river very celebrated in Irish history—and the estuary of the beautiful Lough Melvin, in the lower part of the county of Leitrim, bordering on the county of Sligo. Though marked on the maps made in the reign of Elizabeth as an important fortress, its ruins are now but inconsiderable, and consist only of a side wall perforated by an arched doorway. But trivial as these vestiges are, they impart some historic interest to scenery of the most delightful character by which it is surrounded, and are valuable as a memorial of an ancient Irish family, once of great rank in the county, though now reduced to utter decay, at least in their original locality.

Dun-garbry Castle was erected by the chief of the Mac-Clanchys, or correctly Mac-Fhlannchadha, a sept or clan who possessed the ancient district called Dartree, the present barony of Rossclogher, and of which the Castle of Rossclogher, situated on an island in Lough Melvin, was their chief residence. The name of its founder and the date of its erection are not preserved; but the latter may with probability be referred to a period anterior to the reign of Henry VIII., as the Annals of the Four Masters record at the year 1538, that “Cahir (the son of Feradach, the son of William), the son of Mac Clanchy, heir-apparent to the chieftainship of Dartree, died in that year in Dun-cairbre.”

It may be proper to state that there are in Ireland two perfectly distinct families of the name Mac Clanchy, or, as it is now more usually written, Clancey; first, the family of Thomond or Clare, some of whom were hereditary Brehons or judges to the O’Briens, and who were a branch of the Macnamaras; and, secondly, the family of Dartree, who were hereditary chiefs of that district from a very remote period.

The notices of the chiefs of this family, as preserved in the Irish Annals from the twelfth till the seventeenth century, will serve to convey a very vivid impression of the insecurity of life resulting from the unsettled state of society, and its retrogression towards absolute barbarism during this unhappy period of our history, and will teach us also to appreciate the blessings we derive from the progress which civilization has made within the last century.

1241. Donnell Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, died.

1274. Cathal Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, died.

1278. Gillchreest Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, was slain.

1301. William (the son of Cathal) Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, was slain.

1303. Murtogh Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, was slain.

1337. Teige (the son of William) Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, was slain by O’Conor.

[Pg 242]

1349. Hugh Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, and Gillchreest Mac Clanchy, were slain.

1366. Cathal (the son of Teige) Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, was slain.

1418. Teige (the son of Cathal) Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, died in a monastery.

1420. Cathal (the son of Teige) Mac Clanchy, chief of Dartree, and Hugh boy (or the yellow) Mac Clanchy, were slain in their own house, about the festival of St Bridget, by their own kinsmen Teige, Maurice, and Henry.

1421. Cathal O’Rourke and his sons made a nocturnal attack on Mac Clanchy on Iniskeen, an island of Lough Melvin, and the guards of the lake delivered up the boats of the lake to them. They took young Mac Clanchy prisoner, and possessed themselves of Lough Melvin and its castle. Five of the sons of Mac Clanchy, and a great number of the men of Dartree, were slain by them, and the remainder of the sons of Mac Clanchy went after that into Carbury.

1532. Turlogh, the son of Mac Clanchy, was slain by his own two brothers in the doorway of the mansion of Mac Clanchy. In revenge of this murder, Brien O’Rourke destroyed a great portion of Dartree.

1536. Mac Clanchy (Feradach, the son of William, the son of Teige), chief of Dartree, died. He was a charitable and humane man.

1578. Mac Clanchy (Cathal Duff, the son of Feradach), chief of Dartree, died, and his son Cathal Oge assumed his place.

1582. Mac Clanchy (Cathal Oge), chief of Dartree, was slain by his own kinsman Teige Oge.

It appears from an inquisition taken at the Abbey of Creevelea, on the 24th September 1603, that Cathal Oge Mac Clanchy died on the 3d of January 1582, seized of the castle and manor of Dun-carbry, and of the whole country called Mac Clanchy’s country, leaving a son and heir, Cathal Duff, then aged twenty-eight years.

It appears, however, that in accordance with the Brehon law, the chieftainship of Dartree passed at his death not to his son, but to the eldest surviving representative of the name, as an inquisition taken at Rossclogher on the 3d of October in the same year, finds that the greater part of the country, including the Castle of Dun-carbry, and the castle and chief town of Rossclogher, &c., were in the possession of Malaghlin Mac Clanchy, who died so seized on the 13th of August 1603, leaving a son and heir, Cahir Mac Clanchy, three years and ten months old at the time of his father’s death; and it is stated that all these castles, lands, &c., were held of the king by knights’ service in capite, but the quantity of the service was not ascertained by the inquisitors. By the will of this Malaghlin Mac Clanchy he bequeathed to his son and heir, Cahir, all his lands except such as were nominated wife’s jointure; and to his wife, Katherine Ny Rourke, who was found to have been his legitimate consort, he bequeathed his Castle of Dun-garbry, as also his chief town called Rossclogher, in pawn of her marriage goods, until his heir should redeem it.

The property of the Mac Clanchys was confiscated after the rebellion of 1641, but their name is the prevailing one in the barony of Dartree, or Rossclogher, to the present day.



In the prettily situated village of Ring, within the beautiful harbour of Cove, lived an old man named Jeremiah Sullivan, who was by profession a boat-builder, and who, being unrivalled in that art, justly regarded himself as one of the most important personages in the said village, if not in the county of Cork itself. It was indeed the conviction of Jerry that the man who, if any such man there were, could surpass him in the plan, the construction, or the finish of a race-gig, must be a wonder, and far above the general standard of human excellence. After his divine art, and the equally divine productions of that art, his daughter Sally Sullivan was next best loved by the enthusiastic and honest old man. Sally had the reputation of a snug little fortune and of an infinite deal of beauty, the latter founded, no doubt, on the possession of a pair of roguish black eyes, a blooming cheek, and a rosy pair of lips, that half disclosed two rows of the prettiest and whitest teeth in the world.

Jerry had one favourite apprentice, to whom he had already imparted some of the most important secrets in his profession, and to whom, at some distant period, he intended to confide the entire, as a legacy richer than the hoarded treasures of a miser; nay, more valuable than even the philosopher’s stone. William Collins (for such was his name) was a fine-looking young fellow, standing about five feet ten inches in height, and possessed of a light, active, muscular, and admirably proportioned figure; indeed, Sally was known to have told her female friend in the strictest confidence that William had the brightest pair of eyes, and the handsomest brown curls, that young man could well be vain of. William, on the other hand, could find no language sufficiently comprehensive to express his ideas of Sally’s beauty; and as for her good qualities, her temper, her cheerfulness, her sweet-toned merry laugh—to describe them was quite an impossibility. The fact was, they were both young, both amiable, both warm-hearted, and very naturally both lovers! Yet poor old Jerry never dreamed what the real state of the case was. Wonderful as was his penetration, deep as was his knowledge, and great as was his skill in all matters appertaining to the building of a boat, in affairs of the heart he was blind and stupid as a mole. He, honest simpleton, could never dream that Sally’s frequent intrusions into the work-yard could be attributed to aught else than that most natural spirit of curiosity common to young people who desired to witness the interesting process of a delightful and important art! Besides, Jerry never wore his spectacles within doors; and, therefore, it must be presumed he never saw the eloquent flushing of his daughter’s cheek, or the additional brilliancy of her dark eye, when he spoke of the young man’s attention to his duty, and of his surprising advancement in the nicer labours of the profession.

Early in the month of May, a gentleman ordered a race-gig from Sullivan, and from time to time sent his man Duggin to see after the progress of the work. This Duggin was held to be the crack oarsman of the harbour, and consequently prided himself not a little on his reputation. He was a powerfully made though not a tall man, and his features were rather good than otherwise, but rendered displeasing from a peculiar expression of cunning about the eyes, and a perpetual sneer on his lip. Duggin had heard of Sally Sullivan’s fame as a beauty; and being quite of a gallant temperament, he conceived the very natural design of rendering himself agreeable to the old boat-builder’s daughter. The moulds were laid down, and soon the outline of the future race-gig began to be formed more distinctly, when Mr Curly Duggin one day entered the work-yard to pass his opinion on what had been already done, and to offer any suggestions as to the future, that his scientific judgment might deem necessary. On his entrance he found the peerless Sally seated on a chair, and apparently employed at some feminine labour—apparently so, for in reality her eyes were fixed on every movement of William Collins, who was busily engaged in the building of this future wonder of the race-gig class. Sally, observing the stranger enter, and not relishing the familiar stare of a pair of wicked-looking optics, nor the too evident admiration they expressed on their master’s part, immediately left the yard, and retired to the neatly painted cottage of her father. As for Collins, looking up from his work at that very instant, he saw, with the quickness of jealousy, the manner of Duggin and the retreat of Sally; and from that hour he felt an unconquerable aversion to the bold looking oarsman.

“Come, now, I’m blessed,” said Duggin, “that’s a nate tidy craft, if I’m a judge in the laste! I say, Mister what’s-your-name, isn’t that purty girl the ould fellow’s daughter?” “Yes, she is,” replied William, with a growl; “that young woman is Miss Sullivan.” “Sartinly she is a beauty without paint! Has she a heap of fine strapping fellows, that’s sweethearts, following of her—has she, my hearty?” “How the devil should I know! What have I to do with any one’s business but my own?—and that gives me enough to mind.” “Why, my fine fellow,” said Duggin, rather annoyed at the reply, “I tell you what, that same ain’t over partiklar civil.” “Isn’t it?—then if you don’t like my civility, I can’t help your liking; so that’s all I care about the matter.”

Duggin made no reply, but marching round and round the half-built boat, he made several slighting observations signifying his utter contempt for the plan, as well as its execution. “Why, blow it!” said he, “look at that. I tell you there’s no living use for that infernally outlandish keel. You might as well turn a lighter, as such a tub as that, in the water!”

Poor William’s feelings were almost too great for words, so indignant was he at this coarse and vulgar attack on the object of his zealous labours. He, however, merely said,[Pg 243] “She’s very unlike a tub, for the matter of that; and as for the keel, that will give her a sure grip of the water, and make her hold her way.” “Who’s the out-and-out judge that said them wise things, I’d like to know?” asked Duggin, with a mocking sneer on his lip. “Them that’s as fine judges as any in the harbour,” replied Collins; “there’s Dan Magrath, and Ned Desmond, and Mark Brien, down at the ferry; and there aren’t better men to be found at handling an oar.” “Bother!” said Duggin, “little I’d give for a score of ’em; and as for that fellow Magrath, he’s a regular lubber, that isn’t no more fit in a race than I’m fit to bite a piece out of this anchor at my feet!” “I know nothing about biting the anchor,” said Collins; “but I tell you what: the four of us will try you at the regatta for the ten-pound cup!” “Done! done! my hearty: mind ye don’t go back, and be forgetting yer promise!” said Duggin, with the air of one already certain of the prize. “Don’t be afraid of me,” Collins replied; “I never broke my word yet, and I don’t intend to begin now.” Again did Duggin criticise the boat, and declare himself dissatisfied with nearly every point about her. The temper of the young builder was severely tried; but rather than turn away a customer from his master’s yard, he with difficulty succeeded in curbing his rising passion. Scarcely had Duggin, however, left the yard, when a piercing shriek rang from the house, through which lay the general passage. William heard it, and flinging aside the plane he was then using, he rushed in to ascertain its cause. What was his amazement at beholding Sally struggling violently to release herself from the arms of the gallant Duggin, who was endeavouring in vain to snatch a kiss from the maiden’s rosy mouth! “Ha! you villain!—there, take that!” said Collins, as with one fierce spring he gripped him by the throat, and flung him headlong on the floor.

Duggin was for a moment nearly stunned by the fall, but when in a measure recovered from its effects, he rose from the ground, and eyeing the pair with a fiendish expression of malice and revenge, he said, “Collins, mark my word for it, if I was to go to hell for it, I’ll be into you for that fall! Mind you keep a look-out, my tidy fellow! Good morning to you, Sally—good morning, purty Sally! Don’t forget the race, unless you’re afraid, Collins!” So saying, Duggin left the house; and no sooner had he gone, than Sally, frightened by his brutal insolence, burst into a flood of tears; but she at length allowed herself to be consoled by William, who used the most persuasive and powerful arguments in order to soothe her ruffled spirits.

As might be anticipated, the gig was disliked, and left on old Sullivan’s hands. Jerry was a little peevish on the subject, and was continually regretting his unfortunate attack of the gout, which prevented himself from superintending the work, and of a consequence rendering it a model of perfection. But poor William bore up manfully against all, and even had the audacity to prophesy, for the old man’s comfort, that in two days after the coming regatta, he would procure for the gig no less a sum than two-and-twenty guineas! The boat was finished, launched, and christened “the Darling Sally;” her fair namesake worked with her own pretty fingers a white silken flag, that was intended to adorn the beautifully-moulded bow.

It was summer, and the sun was in his meridian glory, pouring a flood of light and beauty over one of the loveliest combinations of landscape—the tree-clad hill, the many-coloured rock, and the widely-extended water—that can by possibility be found within the limits of the British empire. The month was glorious July, and the scene was the far-famed Cove of Cork. How beautiful did all appear on the last day of the regatta, as a fleet of fairy-like yachts, yielding to the light breeze that just broke the surface of the sea into tiny waves, dashed aside from their bows the silver spray, and skimmed like sea-birds over the bosom of the Cove. The sea actually blazed with light, and the islands seemed like emeralds set in gold. Green were the hills that encircled in their embrace the beauteous sheet of water, and cloudless was the heaven that overhung the loveliness of earth. A stately man-of-war rode at anchor nearly opposite the town of Cove, and gay were the flags and streamers that enlivened by their hues the dark maze of rigging rising from the nobly proportioned hull. Several merchantmen were also there, and decked in like manner as the floating citadel—the seaman’s pride. The marine picture was finished by myriads of boats of all sizes and shapes, from the one-oared punt and the light wherry, to the family whaler or the well-manned race-gig, that were ever gliding to and fro, imparting life and animation to the beautiful scene.

On the Regatta Quay might be observed hundreds of elegantly dressed females, with their attentive cavaliers; some of the latter arrayed in divers fantastic styles of costume, intended to resemble the garb of the sailor, and resembling it about as much as their affectation and the swagger of their gait resembled his manner. Naval and military officers added by their brilliant uniforms to the liveliness of the picture. On an erected platform was stationed a brass band, that from time to time played some fine pieces of music and exhilarating airs—a fitting accompaniment to the soft murmur of the wave, the harmony of nature.

Outside the gate of the privileged yard were ranged tents of every variety—some few in the form of an oblong square, with a slanting roof—others like an Indian wigwam—some covered with bleached, and some with dirty canvass, while in each of them a piper or a fiddler might be heard discoursing most peculiar music, responded to by the clatter of some score of feet, whose movements would puzzle the eccentric genius of Fanny Elsler herself. Outside these temples, erected equally to Bacchus and the lively Terpsichore, more intellectual food was offered to the youthful mind in the antics of Punch and Judy; and there was, besides, a magnificent theatre, the approach to which was by a ladder, and on a platform before which the distinguished company—Turkish warriors and Christian knights, princesses and Columbine, assassin and clown—were threading the intricacies of a fashionable dance, to the sound of three trumpets and a drum. Fun, frolic, and delight, reigned within as well as without. In fine, it was the last day of the regatta, and “now or never” was the universal motto.

In obedience to the warning gun, the twenty-ton yachts had drawn up in line near their starting buoys. For a moment their mainsails flapped idly in the breeze as they wore gracefully round. Another gun, and up went jibs and gaff-top-sails, as they began to move in one cluster of snowy canvass. At first they seemed scarcely to stir through the water that lazily rippled around their bows; but as the breeze began to be felt, they got under weigh, and the waves were broken into foam by the dividing stem. Sally was seated in the well-cushioned stern of her father’s four-oared family gig, which was steered by that worthy individual himself; she wore a Leghorn bonnet with smart pink ribbons; and as she sat near her bluff, broad-shouldered, honest old parent, she looked as handsome a maiden as ever lent willing ear to a lover’s vows. She was now all anxiety, as the time for William’s race was near at hand. Duggin’s crew were on the course; and if one might judge from the perfect appointment of the gig, the lively strokes pulled on her, and the rapidity with which she was turned, one should seem to run no risk in betting on her certain success. The Norah Creenah—for such was her name—was painted on the outside a delicate buff, and on the inside pink. One of the best and most fortunate cockswains in the harbour steered her; and as he glanced on the powerful limbs and the muscular chests of his men, and saw the exquisite regularity with which the blades were dipped into the wave, his heart swelled with anticipated triumph. “Sally, my dear,” said old Jerry Sullivan to his daughter, “take the ropes for a minute, and mind what you’re about, child.” Jerry stood up in the boat to have a peep at the preparations for the race; but hardly had he time to satisfy his curiosity, when the bow of the gig came slap against the side of a large yawl, and he was laid sprawling in the bottom from the concussion; and to mend the matter, Sally began to scream most energetically at the mischief she herself had occasioned. The truth was, she had mechanically obeyed her father’s directions, by taking the tiller-ropes, but that was all, for her thoughts were far otherwise engaged. “Back water, ye infarnal ould lubber! Do you want to stave the side of us in? Where’s yer eyes, ye ould fool?” Such were the pleasing queries which the parties in the assaulted boat levelled at the innocent Jerry. “Why don’t you look out yourselves, and be hanged to ye!” said the choleric builder, as he replied in the true Irish fashion by putting another question. After plentifully heaping the choicest epithets on each other, the belligerent parties at last separated, the victory being equally divided. “Come, boys,” said Jerry to his crew, “heave ahead, and let us see are they getting all ready for the start.” In a few moments the boat reached that part of the strand where William Collins and his companions were busily employed in rubbing black lead on the[Pg 244] bottom of the new gig. “Well, Bill, my hearty, how’re you coming on? What do you think of her now? don’t she look handsome?” “She does, sir, look very beautiful,” answered William in reply to his master’s last remark, as he gazed with admiration on Sally. “Is the paint hard on her, Bill?” asked Jerry. “Paint! paint on her, sir!” exclaimed William, still looking at Sally. “Why, what ails you, boy? I said paint; is the paint dry?” “All right, sir; hard as a bone.” “Very good—now see are the stretchers the regular length and well lashed down.” But though he received an affirmative answer, he was not satisfied till he had convinced himself by examination that all the arrangements had been attended to by William. “I’m aisy in mind now, any how. I hope she’ll do; eh, Bill?” “Never fear, sir; we’ll do our best; and if we don’t come in first, it won’t be our own fault. Did you hear the news, sir? A gentleman—the same that was in the yard over on Friday—came up to me and said if the boat won the race, he’d give five-and-twenty guineas down on the nail.” “Bless my soul!” exclaimed old Sullivan, charmed at the offer. “But what good is a man offering of such a price when there isn’t any great chance of her winning?—oh, if I wasn’t laid up in my bed when she was building! Well, it can’t be helped now; more’s the pity!” “Well, sir, we must do our best; won’t we, boys?” said William, turning to his crew. “We’ll try, any how,” was the reply, as they raised the light gig carefully from off the stones on which she rested, and gently floated her on the water. “William, here’s the flag,” said Sally. “Ha! there’s the gun!” “’Tis the gun, sure enough. I’ll bring you the cup, Sally, I hope. Come, lads,” he continued, “take your places. There—step gently! Magrath, tread on the kelson, and don’t stand that way on the ribs!” “Run down a bit,” said Jerry, “and lave me see your trim. Give the long steady stroke, for the breeze is freshening. Now start away; and, Bill, my boy, mind you win!” Away they pulled from the strand; and as they shot quickly out, Jerry could not help exclaiming with delight, as he noticed how evenly the gig went under the stroke, and how regular was the time kept with their oars; but his former misgivings returned, as he remarked the great difficulty with which she was brought round. Duggin, in the meantime, was dashing about, attracting all eyes by the beauty of the Norah. “Clear the course!—clear the course—pull out of the way!” So bawled the racing steward, as by entreaty or by threat he succeeded in clearing a space sufficient for the rival boats. “Take your places!” again shouted he. Oh! how Sally’s heart beat as she saw the gigs drawn up opposite the quay where the fashionables were assembled, and on which was placed a small signal-battery. She leaned against her father for support, as she observed the crews gently “backing water” to keep on a line till the word was given. “Which side will you take?” asked the cockswain of the Sally. “All the same, my hearty; stay where you are,” answered Duggin with a voice as if confident of success. “Ready!” shouted the steward. All oars were thrown forward, as the men bent ready for the first dash. “Fire!” Scarce had the gun boomed over the water when the blades were dipped together. “Pull, boys, pull!” cried the cockswain of the Norah. “Heave away, my lads, heave! now for the start!” cried the other. After about five strokes the buff shot right ahead, clearing completely the bow of her sable rival. A sneer of bitter triumph might be seen on Duggin’s lip as he darted past his hated opponent. In a very few minutes more, however, the buff ceased to gain, as the black, under the powerful and steady stroke of her crew, began to more gallantly through the water. As they came alongside the ruined barracks below the town of Cove, the Sally had come up to the Norah, and for a short distance they went stem and stem together. From that point they had to shoot over towards a large buoy, round which they must turn. The cockswains now urged on their men, who answered by a cheer, as the wave foamed under their strokes. Duggin’s crew pulled with desperate vigour in order to gain the turn, but the black continued the same even regular pull that was evidently telling well. “Look now, father; is the white flag first? is it ahead, father?” asked Sally. “No, child; the Norah is—— No! she is not! Bravo, Bill! there they go for the buoy! That’s it. More power to you, Bill! Don’t they walk out of the saucy buff!” It was true for Jerry; the black boat was now fairly six lengths ahead, and was gaining more at every stroke. They reached the buoy; and now began the difficulty. “Back water, larboard side; pull—pull on the starboard,” said the cockswain. “Magrath, heave! Brien, that’s the go!” shouted William, as he backed with all his might. “Hurra for the honour of Passage! Pull, my lads, pull!—rattle into ’em. Hurra!” bawled the Norah’s helmsman, with a voice hoarse from exertion. Before the Sally could be well got under weigh after the turn, the Norah had darted round the buoy, and was in a moment three lengths beyond her. “Oh, heavens, they’re beat!” said Jerry, as he sank back on the cushion in utter despair. “Don’t say that, father! Look again!” entreated Sally. “There!” cried the old man, as he ventured another glance, “she’s clane out of her again! Bravo, Bill! Give it to her! There she clips, the beauty! I always said there wasn’t your equal except myself at building a gig! Now, boys,” continued he, addressing his own crew, “pull a rattling touch over, and we’ll give them such a cheer! Heave, my lads—that’s it; bend your lazy backs!” The course was about two or three miles in length from the buoy to the old convict-hulk, round whose dark mass the boats must pull before they made for the quay from which they had started, and which was also the winning-place. The struggle up along the bank was indeed a beautiful sight, as from time to time the chances seemed to vary in favour of each, and as the crews appeared to gain new vigour from the cheering that came from the numerous boats which met them on the course. Gallantly did the long stroke tell on the Sally, as she shot far out of the rakish buff. She was dashing on in noble style for the convict-ship, when, smash! away went the bowman’s oar! All was in confusion. On came the Norah! At that very moment Jerry Sullivan arrived; and seeing the terrible disaster, he caught at the oar next his hand, and flung it within reach of the bowman. “You have it now, my boys. Now, Bill, pull, my darling fellow, hurrah!” shouted Jerry, as the crew gave back the cheer, and the Sally bounded after the lively Norah. Thirty strokes more, and the Sally was stem and stem with her well-manned rival. They passed the man-of-war, and the sailors who crowded the side of the noble vessel gave them a cheer. Before them rose the hull of the old convict-ship, and now the struggle was, who should round her first. Still was the same quick stroke pulled on the buff, and still did the other crew continue to keep the same powerful one on the black. The stern of the hulk was neared; the Sally was five boats ahead, but the Norah dashed on gallantly in her wake. “Pull, boys, pull!” was the word in both boats. “Back water hard! Pull on the bow! Hurra! Back her well! Hurra!” shouted both cockswains. The Sally had not well rounded the bow of the convict-ship, when the Norah had turned, as if on a pivot, and again was stem and stem with her opponent. Now, indeed, was the true time for testing the capabilities both of the men and the boats, for a breeze was blowing from the west, and as the tide was making fast out of the harbour, there was a swell as both met in opposition. Shouts now greeted the gigs as they dashed on to the winning-place. Again did old Jerry meet them, and cheer aloud! Duggin literally foamed at the mouth, as he plied his oar with the energy of desperation, while William shouted to his crew to pull; and pull they did. In spite of all the exertions of Duggin, the Norah dropped back, as the Sally bounded on to the goal. Duggin cursed and raved, but all to no purpose; for the high-pointed bow of his gig caught the wind, and she had not the same power of keeping her way as the other, owing to her want of keel. “Stand by with the match!” cried the steward. “There they come; the black boat is long ahead! Fire!” No sooner had the loud report followed the quick flash, than the oars were tossed on high, and the Sally rode triumphant! Loud were the shouts that rang from land and sea, as the victors dropped their blades into the wave, and shot into the landing-place to receive their well-earned prize. Who can describe the pride and joy of the old man, or the deep rapture of his daughter, as they saw the steward present the silver cup to William, flushed as he was from the exertion and triumph of the moment! As it would be quite impossible to do justice to their feelings, the attempt must be modestly refrained from.

The gig was immediately purchased for twenty-five guineas, and orders were given to Jerry for the building of two more on an exactly similar plan. As for Duggin, he was so subdued in spirit by the loss of his reputation as a crack oarsman, that he never after that day was known to try his fortune on the course, and neither visited Ring to woo Miss Sullivan, nor to make good his threat on the body of the victorious William. It has been since whispered among the gossips of the village that old Jerry Sullivan, though much surprised at hearing[Pg 245] of the mutual love of William and Sally, finally gave his blessing and consent to their union. Need it be told that the well-won silver cup was ever looked on as an honoured vessel, and that Sally prized it nearly as much as William himself did?

J. F. M.


I saw him pass by, while the east-wind blew,
And the vernal blooms from the branches flew;
Lo! there he speeds, that old skeleton-man,
With his frame all bleached, all withered and wan;
His eye-balls are gone, and his cheek-bones bare,
And he rides a pale horse through the cold humid air!
Now he resteth himself ’neath an old dry tree,
Where the moss hath grown for a century:
He feeds his steed with grass that grew rank
On the field where warriors in battle sank;
Bedabbled with blood, it thick grew, and strong,
And to Death’s pale horse doth of right belong!
Gone is the beauty from violet blue,
For the look of Death hath pierced it through;
And the crocus that bloomed near the old dry tree,
Hath faded away, such a sight to see;
And the grass where he sat, that was bright and green,
Turned pale as the blades where a stone hath been.
Ha! ha! old pilgrim! may I go with thee,
Thy doings fearful and strange to see?
He nodded his head; not a word said Death,
For he had little need to waste his breath:
A man of short speech, he speaks in his brow;
He looks what he means, when he says “Come thou!”
We paused near a maiden with rosy cheek,
A lovely maiden, with blue eye meek;
But her youthful bloom, how it faded away!
Her heart was in heaven, she might not stay:
And we looked at an infant that lay on the breast,
A mother’s pride, and it sank to rest!
We stood by the cot of a widowed dame;
Life’s feeble embers gave out their last flame:
At the hut of a slave we stepped gently in;
With pity Death looked on his frame so thin,
And his face, as he watched at the old man’s bed,
Said “Peacefully let him be one with the dead!”
At a palace we tarried, and there one lay
On his last sad couch, at the close of day;
He struggled hard, but Death’s face said “No!
Duty is mine, wheresoever I go:
Peasant or king, it is all the same,
Mine must thou be—I have here thy name!”
We hovered around where a Christian sire
Lay waiting to join the eternal choir;
Peaceful and calm was his holy repose;
He sank as the sun on a May-day’s close:
He rose as the sun with beams tricked anew,
When flowers bend with beauty, and leaves with dew.
We crossed the path of a beautiful bark,
How many the corses, all stiff and stark!
Down sank the vessel beneath the wild wave,
No hand was near one poor soul to save!
We glanced at a ship by an iceberg crushed,
We gazed but a moment—then all was hushed.
We asked of a miser to yield up his gold,
But he loosed not his clutch when his hands were cold.
We entered a town, as it shook to and fro,
An earthquake was raging in fury below;
Dwellings were rocking like trees when storm-tost,
Crashing and sinking—till all were lost!
We stayed our flight o’er a funeral pile,
Where the Ganges roll’d swift through a deep defile;
Where Brahmin priests rent with cries the air,
While the victim lay burning and crackling there;
And the devotees of dark Jaggernath
We saw mangled and torn in its bloody path.
We paused a while where a family stood,
Partaking the sacred “body and blood;”
And we saw their mother unfaltering pray,
When life’s mellow evening way failing away;
And as she sighed out her last tremulous breath,
Was ended my first wild ride with Death.
From the Knickerbocker.


A woodcut of the seal described in this article

The prefixed woodcut of an impression of an ancient monastic seal hitherto unpublished, will, we think, interest some of our readers both in Scotland and Ireland, as, though it is certainly not Irish, it is intimately connected with that bright period of our history when Ireland sent forth her crowds of learned ecclesiastics to preach the gospel and instruct the people, not only to Scotland and England, but also to Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Mecklenburg, and even distant Iceland, in all which their memories are still venerated as patron saints—that period to which Spenser alludes in the lines:

“Whylome, when Ireland flourished in fame
Of wealth and goodness, far above the rest
Of all that bear the British island’s name.”

The matrix, which is of bronze or brass, was discovered among old brass at a foundry in London some three or four years ago, and is now in the possession of Mr Thomas, a merchant of that city, who has the largest collection of remains of this kind ever formed in the British empire.

The legend, which is in the semi-Saxon character of the twelfth century, reads—


The locality of this seal has been hitherto referred to the celebrated Irish monastery of Iona, or Hy-Columbkille, and such we ourselves deemed it when the impression was first sent to us. But on maturer reflection we are now disposed to consider this conclusion erroneous, and that the seal should with greater probability be referred to the monastery of Inch-Colm, a small island in the Frith of Forth, lying between Edinburgh and Inverkeithing, and which was anciently called Emonia, or Y-mona, i. e. the Island of Mona. On this island the Scottish King Alexander I., in gratitude for his escape from a violent storm, by which he was driven on the island in 1123, founded a monastery dedicated to its patron saint, and of which there are still considerable remains. It was plundered by the English in the reign of Edward III., who, as it is said, suffered shipwreck for their sacrilege; and if we might hazard a conjecture, it would be, that the seal may have been carried into England at that time. But be this as it may, the seal perfectly agrees in style with similar remains of the twelfth century, and we have little doubt, that this is its true locality, as the name in the legend will not with correctness or propriety apply to any other known to exist. For, in the[Pg 246] first place, the monastery of Iona, the only other religious house to which it could be referred, is invariably called Insula Columbæ, or I-Columbkille, in all ancient documents, and it would be against all probability that it should bear a different appellation on its seal. In the second place, the name of the patron saint of Iona is never written Colmoc, which is an Irish diminutive form of the name Colum, and which, as in the Latin, means a dove. But this name Colmoc was applied by the ancient Irish and Scotch indifferently to persons bearing the name of Colman, both being but synonymous and convertible diminutives of the name Colum—and hence it would follow that this seal must have belonged to some monastery which was dedicated not to St Columb, but to St Colman or Colmoc. It may however be objected that the island called Inch-Colm was dedicated to the celebrated apostle of Scotland, St Columbkille; and it is true that Colgan, on the authority of Fordun, does place it among the list of his foundations. But Fordun is a weak authority to rely on in such matters; and from the greater contiguity of this island to Lindesfarn, of which the Irish St Colman was the third bishop, it would seem more rational to attribute the origin of its name to him than to the saint of Iona. In either case, however, the seal is one of great interest to Scottish topography and Irish history.



Reader, are you given to cigar-smoking? The reason we put the question is, that we should not like to offend you by any thing you might find in our pages indicating a contempt on our part for this silly, and, as we think, vulgar practice. If you be, then, pass over this short article, or as our old Irish schoolmaster used to tell us when we came to a passage which we could not construe, nor he neither, “skip and go on.” But we feel tolerably certain you are not a smoker, or at least a cigar-smoker or exhibiting-street-performer, for we are satisfied that among the lovers of this now fashionable amusement we can count but few as supporters of our little work, or of any other of a mental or literary character—that renowned periodical called Paddy Kelly’s Budget, if it be still in existence, excepted. It is the practice of unidea’d men with unidea’d faces, who puff, not whistle—as the latter is no longer a fashionable amusement—as they go, for want of thought, and as they think to make them look manly and genteel! Well, heaven help their little wit! You think, reader, perhaps, as we ourselves were till lately foolish enough to suppose, that there must be a pleasure in this practice on its own account, like that which madmen feel in being insane. But no such thing. We have discovered that it is anything but an agreeable pastime, and that it is indulged in solely from the love of distinction, which is one of the peculiar characteristics of the human race, and which is so strong in these cigar-smokers, that they actually, in the spirit of martyrs, surrender both their minds, such as they are, and their bodies also, to its influence. Such a desire is not only natural to us, but praiseworthy: it is only the choice of means of gratifying it that is unworthy and even contemptible. It will bear no comparison in point of intellectuality with that of the fashionable dandies of our youthful days, who used to promenade the streets and public places, playing quizzes, that is, flat circular pieces of boxwood suspended on a string by a kind of pulley, and which they kept in a sort of perpetual motion with one or both hands, and sometimes even (great performers) with their mouths; their arms see-sawing up and down, and their heads shaking like those of the Chinese mandarins in the tea shops. This, though perhaps a little grotesque, was a comical mode of attracting notice and obtaining distinction. It was a healthy folly too, and required some human intellect to practise it adroitly. A monkey or a dog, both of whom we have seen expert smokers, could not, we are persuaded, be taught this; it would be beyond their intelligence; and it had a touch of the odd, the gay, and the ridiculous about it, that seemed to harmonize naturally with our national character—and we are not ashamed to confess it, we were ourselves great quizzers in our youth. But the cigar-smoking folly—it is a dull, lifeless, stupid, silent, moping mania, wholly unbecoming an Irishman, and inconsistent with the spirit, life, and animation that should be characteristic of youth. Old as we are, we think of taking to quizzing again, but we shall never fall into such a solemn absurdity as smoking for applause. It would not suit our temperament.

But we have said that we had made the discovery that the practice of cigar-smoking is any thing but a pleasant one in itself, and that it is indulged in solely from ambitious motives, and an amiable love of applause. Yes, reader, and we shall induct you into our knowledge of the matter, by a true and faithful narrative of the incident which enabled us to ascertain the fact.

We were lately coming along that favourite lounge of the cigar-smokers, Sackville Street, when, arriving near Mitchell’s, two young well-dressed, moustached, and imperialled dandies, stept out from that intellectual emporium, each with a Havannah in his mouth, his hands in his “Dorsay” pockets, and looking as grave as possible, evidently impressed with the pleasing idea that they were the admiration and envy of all passers. They proceeded before us in solemn slinge in the direction of the Rotunda, we following in their wake, observant yet not observed; and before they reached Earl Street, they were met by a mutual friend, with whom they linked, putting him between them, to allow them the greater facility to spit out, when the following colloquy ensued:—

Friend. Well, Tom, how goes the world with you? and, Dick, my boy, how is every bit of you?

Tom and Dick. Puff—— Puff—— Well.

Friend. Are you long in town—eh?

Tom and Dick. Puff—— Puff—— No.

Friend. How did you leave them all in the country?—how is the old fellow?

Tom and Dick. Puff—— Puff—— Puff—— Well.

Friend. Oh, damn ye! there’s no getting a word out of you but a monosyllable.

Tom and Dick. Puff—— Puff—— (And then each of them spat out.)

Friend. Why, Tom, you’ve become a great smoker.

Tom. Puff—— Puff—— Yaws.

Friend. And you too, Dick?

Dick. Puff—— Puff—— Ees. (The imperfect vocable being squeezed out through his teeth at the left corner of his mouth.)

Friend. And do you find it agree with you, Tom—is it pleasant?

Tom here, after a few puffs, slowly draws one hand out of his pocket, and taking the cigar out of his mouth, spits out, draws his breath, and after a minute replies:

“No, blast it; it always makes me sick.”

He then restores the cigar to his mouth and his hand to his pocket, while his friend puts a similar interrogatory to Dick.

“And does it always make you sick too?”

Here Dick, having in like manner indulged in a few puffs, takes the cigar out of his mouth, spits out at the other side, and drawing breath and looking very pale, answers:


Friend. In the name of heaven, then, what do you both smoke for?

This, as one would have supposed, not an unnatural query, produced a simultaneous stare of astonishment, mingled with contempt, from both the smokers, as much as to say, “What an ass you must be!” and Dick, slowly removing his cigar once more, and spitting out, answers,

“Why, how the devil can you ask such a stupid question—what do you suppose?”

Friend. Suppose! why hang me if I can guess.

Here Tom took hold of his Havannah, and after spitting out on a lady who was passing—but this was only an accident—replied for himself and fellow puffer—— But let us pause a moment. Guess, reader, what it was. Do you give it up? Well, then, here it is,

“Why, for the GAG, to be sure!”

This was enough for us. Our mind was enlightened by a new idea; and leaving the gentlemen to follow their gaggery, we hurried home to dinner, a wiser if not a better man.

An Old Quizzer.

Not a Fable.—A boy three years of age was asked who made him? With his little hand and foot upon the floor, he artlessly replied—“God made me a little baby, so high, and I grew the rest.”—Mirror.

Public.—We have a reading, a talking, and a writing public. When shall we have a thinking public?

The mind is a field, in which, so sure as man sows not wheat, so sure will the devil be to sow tares.—Bentham.

[Pg 247]


First Article.

Of all the branches of study into which natural history has been divided, the most interesting, from its extensiveness, its variety, and the almost insurmountable difficulties which it presents to the student, is Ichthyology. To acquire a thorough knowledge of zoology requires much labour, study, travel, and considerable risk; in like manner with ornithology, in the prosecution of which the difficulties are greater, from the mixture of elements; but still the inhabitants of the air have thus much in common with us, that they live in the same atmospheric medium, derive their sustenance from the same earth, and although the difficulties of following their motions, and observing (unseen by them) their habits and natures, are considerable, yet still, thanks to the extension of science, they have not proved unconquerable, and the telescope, in that form called the ornithoscope, has enabled man to acquire a large store of information on this interesting subject. But with ichthyology how widely different! Here the preliminary obstacle which presents itself is an element fatal to the existence of man within it, and out of which the creatures with whose nature he would fain be acquainted cannot exist. His very powers of observation are thus rendered useless, except in a very limited degree. They are bounded by a glass vase, or a small clear pond at the utmost, and confined to a few specimens of the smaller fishes, and even then it is doubtful whether circumstances may not have altered their really natural habits. Yet above these obstacles the mind of man has risen, and by the union of analogy with laborious and constant observation, he has succeeded in classing a large amount of the tenants of the mighty deep. But before he can ascertain what proportion, or write the history of any one of them fully, he must discover some substitute for gills which will enable him to extract the necessary air for his existence from the water, and thus enable him to search the depths of ocean, and seek its inhabitants in their haunts. That such may yet be discovered by the ingenuity of man, let no one deem impossible.

Amongst the fishes hitherto discovered and classed, the herring (Clupea harengus) is one of the most universally known, most generally useful, and one of the greatest boons of an all-bounteous Providence to the inhabitants of these countries. Abundance, the universal producer of contempt, has caused this beautiful creature to be despised; but to the naturalist’s eye few creatures are possessed of greater charms. When first taken out of the water, it is of a dark-bluish and green colour on the back, lightening down the sides to a silvery blue, which shades to white on the belly. The scales have a clear lustrous golden colour, which changes in various shades of light after the manner of mother-of-pearl; they lie over one another in regular lines, with the convex edges pointing towards the tail. The termination of the body is remarkable for the beautiful dark-green colour which it exhibits when held before the light. The fins are seven in number—one dorsal, of eighteen or nineteen rays; two ventral, of nine rays each; one anal, of seventeen rays; two pectoral, of eighteen or nineteen rays each; and the caudal, or tail fin, of eighteen or nineteen rays. The eyes are placed in the middle of the sides of the head; the iris is of a silvery white colour, and the pupil black. The spine consists of fifty-six vertebræ. The ribs are thirty-five or six in number on each side, and there are several minute bones below the ribs, which terminate in soft elastic muscles at the anal fin, and serve to give it strength and elasticity. Fifty-two bones compose the head. The bronchiæ or gills are four on each side, each gill being supported by an arched cartilage; and there are two imperfect gills without the arch, which join the gill lid, and appear to regulate its motions. The convex side of the gills is furnished with fringed fleshy fibres, of a strong red colour when the fish is healthy; the concave side, which is next the mouth, is furnished with long serrated spines. The heart is placed in a cavity near the gills, above the stomach; it is three sided, and consists of a single auricle and ventricle. The œsophagus, or gullet, is remarkably short in proportion to the size of the fish; the stomach is thin, membranous, and capable of great distension. The gut is of uniform size throughout. The gall bladder is small, and of a dark-green colour; the liquid is of a light claret hue, having a sweetish pungent taste. The air bag, or vesica natatoria, is of a silvery white colour, round, of nearly the length of the stomach, and pointed and narrow at both ends; it is connected with the funnel-shaped posterior part of the stomach by a duct. The use of the vesica natatoria, or, as it is commonly called, the swim, is to enable the fish, by inflating or expelling the air from it, to rise or sink, for if the air-bag of a living fish be pierced, the creature sinks at once to the bottom. The under jaw of the herring projects beyond the upper. The form and consistency of its nose proves its use for the purpose of feeling, in the absence of the cirri or feelers possessed by other fishes. The skin not being provided with the corpus papillæ, and being besides covered with scales, it is supposed that the sensation of touch is either very limited or wholly wanting. The herring is provided with two nostrils; and from the perfection of the olfactory organ, it is presumed that its sense of smell is very acute. It has no external organs of hearing but a fringed orifice below the eye on the inner side of that part of the head which covers the gills. Fishermen affirm that their sense of hearing is very acute, and state instances of their immediately ceasing the peculiar pattering noise which they are accustomed to make on calm evenings, if a loud sound is made on any part of the interior of the boat.

The Swedes attribute the departure of the herrings from the neighbourhood of Gothenburg to the frequent firing of the British ships of war which were stationed there for convoys; and so great is the influence which fishermen have been accustomed to attribute to sound, that we are told in Chambers’s Picture of Scotland that the bell of St Monance in Fife, which was suspended from a tree in the churchyard, was removed every year during the herring season, lest the noise should scare the fish from the coast.

The mouth of the herring is furnished with a few teeth in the upper and lower jaws, and four rows in the tongue. These pointing inwards, enable it the more readily to secure and swallow its slippery prey, which chiefly consists of extremely minute animals, such as small medusæ, the Oniscus marinus, and small cancri and animalcula. The herrings on the coast of Norway sometimes feed upon a small red worm called the Roé-aal, which renders them unfit for curing; but there is probably no fish so indiscriminate in its food. The herring is often caught with flies, at which it leaps readily, and frequently with naked unbaited hooks. Mr Mitchell, in his article on the herring in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture, mentions that in the stomachs of several herrings which he examined, he found numbers of young sand-eels, and he adds a very curious observation, namely, that in the stomachs of such herrings as had the milt or roe small and immature, the sand-eels were numerous; whereas in those which had the milt or roe full grown, there were none whatsoever; but he offers no suggestion to account for this remarkable circumstance. They also frequently feed on their own ova and young.

The herring propels itself through the water by rapidly moving the tail from side to side, the other fins being employed in steadying and probably aiding its movement, and it is this rapid waving of the tail which causes the rippling or pattering sound which announces the presence of a shoal when swimming near the surface. On a calm night their course may be traced by a brilliant phosphorescent light, which illuminates the surface of the water, and is emitted partly from the fish themselves, and partly from the minute marine animals with which the ocean swarms.

Sometimes herrings do not approach the surface, and fine healthy shoals are often apt to swim deep; hence fishermen, through their ignorance in trusting too much to appearances, are frequently misled, they being apt to suppose that when they see no gulls or large fishes of prey exhibiting their gluttonous gambols, there are no herrings present, whilst the finest and choicest may be at the moment in millions beneath them; in fact, those which swim near the surface are usually the young, the gorged, and the sickly. Mr Mitchell informs us that several experienced masters of Dutch herring busses assured him that the only appearances they ever sought for were the colour of the sea, which should be a dark green, and its consistence apparently muddy. There is an additional fact worthy of observation, which is, that in clear dry weather the fish keep down at the bottom, and do not ascend until the moon rises.

The migration of the herring has been long a disputed point, and from the difficulties to which we have alluded in the commencement of this article, of observing minutely or accurately the movements or nature of fishes, it is likely to remain unsettled much longer. The old and long received opinion has been, that the winter habitation of the herring is under the vast fields of ice which surround the North Pole[Pg 248] within the Arctic Circle; that they there deposit their spawn and advance southwards with the opening year, making their appearance off the Zetland islands about the month of April, and coming upon the coasts of Ireland and Scotland in June. Off Thurso they are sometimes taken as early as May, but June, July, and August, are the months in which the fishing is most actively commenced off the west Highlands of Scotland. Off the east coast of Ireland, near Arklow, the fishery used to commence in June, but latterly it has been postponed till October. The fluctuations in the time of commencing the herring fishery at various places, and the fact of a winter fishery being successfully carried on in some parts—as for instance at Killybegs, where they are taken from December till March, and along the whole coast of Ireland south of Galway Bay, where there are sufficient indications that the fishery might be successfully carried on the whole year—have at length caused the hitherto received opinion of their migration from the Arctic Circle to be questioned, and Mr Mitchell has given many sound arguments in refutation of it. He divides the theories upon the subject into three:—first, that the herrings come from the North Pole in great shoals of many leagues in extent, dividing into lesser shoals on coming towards the north point of Scotland; second, that they do not come from the Arctic regions, but from a less northerly direction, still, however, very far north of Shetland; and, third, that they are spawned on the coasts near which they are caught, and are consequently natives; that after spawning, they retire out to sea, and continue so until their spawning season comes round again, when they return to their accustomed shore. The latter he considers to be the most reasonable theory, and adduces in support of it the well-known fact that the herrings at every fishing station are of a peculiar quality uniformly the same, and always different from those at other even very nearly adjoining stations; and so well has this fact been established, that practical men can at once pronounce from the size, appearance, and quality of the fish, where it was taken. For example, the herrings taken off the coast of Stadtland in Norway are almost twice the size of those taken near Shetland, and these are twice the size of those caught near Thurso, whilst the Dublin Bay herrings have long been famous for their superior flavour, which is unmatched by those of any other bay or harbour. Again, a size of herrings similar to those of Yarmouth visited till lately the coast of Lumfiord in Denmark, whilst on the Mecklenburg coast higher up the Baltic, the herrings are one-third larger than those of Lumfiord; and proceeding up the Baltic above Mecklenburg to the Pomeranian and part of the Prussian coasts, they are fully one-third smaller; and again still farther up they are larger. In quality and condition they differ as much as in size, those off the coast of Holland being so inferior as not to be worth pickling, and the Dutch fishermen consequently seek the coasts of Scotland and England.

As to the time of appearance at the several fishing stations, their irregularity goes far to prove their constant propinquity, the take commencing at some of the more southern stations before the northern ones; whereas, if they migrated regularly from the north, it is evident that the fishing should commence at the various stations in regular order, from the most northern where the shoals would first make their appearance, to the next, and so on to the most southward, which should be deserted by them at some certain season, in order that they might return.

But there is no well-authenticated instance of those prodigious shoals of herrings having been met with approaching the south in any high northern latitude; and so far from their abounding in the Arctic regions, none have been found in the Greenland seas, nor have any been discovered in the stomachs of the whales killed there. Egede, who resided in Greenland for fifteen years, and compiled the natural history of it, after enumerating the fishes, adds, “No herrings are to be seen;” whilst on the contrary, the whales which feed principally on herrings, frequent our own coasts. These arguments appear to be fatal to the theory of the Arctic migration, and to support most powerfully that of the mere retirement of the herring to the deep. But Mr Mitchell goes farther, and asserts, upon the evidence of the celebrated naturalists Bloch and Lacepede, that “fishes of a similar size even in fresh water cannot go above half a mile a-day, and that therefore herrings could not make, even from spring to autumn, the long voyage attributed to them.” Now, this appears to be going too far, and we would prefer that the argument should rest on the former grounds, excluding this, which seems to be a weak assertion, founded upon the observation that fishes do not proceed far from their haunts, whilst the fact is, that they merely move about in search of food; but who that has seen the rapid movement of a trout, or of the very fish we are treating of, could for a moment entertain the idea of their progress being confined to a rate that the crawling snail might equal? Mr Mitchell himself mentions a fact that alone is sufficient to rebut such an assertion, namely, that shortly after the union between England and Scotland, an immense shoal of herrings ran ashore near Cromarty, and covered the beach to the depth of several feet; and he adds, “Strange to say, however, the shoal left the Frith in a single night, and no shoals made their appearance again for more than half a century.”

Now, if they could make but half a mile a-day, how could they have returned several miles in a single night? But this argument was unnecessary, and it would be well for many persons to know that an ill-sustained argument is not merely a bad prop to a cause, but a wedge inserted for the advantage of an adversary, placed ready for his use in overturning it.

But the most powerful argument against the theory of migration seems to have escaped Mr Mitchell’s observation; it is—that the herrings do not retire to spawn, as was asserted, but actually spawn near the fishing stations, and retire after it. Their spawn is taken up in abundance, and the nets are always found to contain large quantities of it, whilst the assertion that no young herrings are found near our shores, is altogether absurd, the contrary being the fact. The fecundated roe has the power, after having been deposited, of attaching itself firmly to the stones, rocks, or sea-weed, and in about three weeks after deposition, the young fry come forth from the eggs, and are seen in millions near the shore; in six or seven weeks they are about three inches in length, and arrive at maturity in about eighteen months.

Lacepede tells that in North America the inhabitants carry the herring-spawn from the spawning ground to the mouths of rivers and other places not before frequented by the fish, and those places become forthwith regular resorts for them; and the same authority mentions the fact of a similar custom in Sweden.

Thus the theory of the herring being a native of the place which it is accustomed to frequent annually, seems to be satisfactorily established; and having thus presented our readers with such information upon the subject of the natural history of the herring as our space permits, we shall close this article, reserving some account of the various modes of fishing and methods of curing, for another paper.


Sentiment.—How much fine sentiment there is wasted in our strange world! I have seen a young lady in raptures of admiration over a flower which was to deck her hair in the ball-room, who would turn away with a look of loathing from the proffered kiss of her baby brother; and I have heard lovely lips, all wreathed in smiles, and breathing tones of joy over a pretty shell, a shining insect, or even a gay ribbon, say cold and cruel words to the best friend, ay, the mother, who was wearing her life out to promote the happiness of her ungrateful daughter.

Marriage.—When a man of sense comes to marry, it is a companion whom he wants, and not an artist. It is not merely a creature who can paint, play, dress, and dance—it is a being who can comfort and console him.

Blushing.—Blushing in the male sex is too frequently and constantly regarded as a proof of guiltiness: it is a proof of sensibility and fear of disrepute, by whatever incident called forth; but except in so far as fear of being thought guilty is proof, it affords no proof of the existence of the object by the idea of which the apprehension is excited.—Bentham.

Pride destroys all symmetry and grace, and affectation is a more terrible enemy to fine faces than the small pox.—Hughes.

At twenty years of ago the will reigns, at thirty the wit, at forty the judgment.—Grattan.

Authors in France seldom speak ill of each other, unless they have a personal pique. Authors in England seldom speak well of each other, unless they have a personal friendship.—Pope.

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