« IndietroContinua »
are apt to buy fish taken in gill-nets, driven into the bottom of the lake in which may have been dead twenty-four twenty-five feet of water, and reach to hours before they are brought to table. the surface. This enclosure of netting To be really good, the fish should be has a wing of the same net stretching caught either in a pound-net, wirere to the shore, so as to direct the fish they are kept alive, or in a dip-net, as towards the opening of the pound, they are taken at the Sault St. Marie by which is on the land-side, made in a the Indians. The best white-fish are sort of intricate or labyrinthian fashion, those of Lake Superior, where they so that the fishes, once in, cannot find grow to the weight of twelve pounds, their way out. As they follow the shoreand, unlike most fish, the largest are line, they strike the wing-net, and, folthe best. After much experience in lowing this, they are conducted into fish-eating, we think that the white-fish the opening of the pound. at the Sault stands at the head of the We visited one of these pounds on list of American fishes; for it has this Lake Michigan, and entered it in a peculiarity, that, owing to the delicacy small boat. All around us were the of its flavor, it never cloys the appetite, various fishes found in the lake, swimas we find the salmon and the brook- ming about as if in an aquarium. trout will do. Hasten, then, ichthy- White-fish, pike, black and white bass, ophagous epicures, to Lake Superior, the pike-perch, sometimes called the where
you will find the happy combina- Ohio salmon, great lake-trout three feet tion of an appetizing climate, and a fish long, and huge sturgeon as long as the of which you may eat till you burst. boat, and so crowded together in their
The Mackinaw trout we cannot praise watery prison, that we could seize hold so highly. There are, we think, several of them by the tails. varieties of this salmon in the lakes- Of these, the white-fish-Corregonus one of them, when fresh, much resem- Albus-are found in all the lakes, those bling in flavor the true salmon, but of Lake Superior being the largest and most of them inferior to it. This fish best, weighing as high as fifteen in Lake Superior is much better than in pounds; while, in the other lakes, five the other lakes; as is, indeed, the case pounds is a good-sized fish. They with all the kinds found there.
spawn in the fall, on shoals and reefs, An abundant supply of fish is found and are vegetable feeders almost excluin these lakes, and the catching of them sively. They are the most numerous as employs a great number of men. They well as the most valuable of all the lakeare taken in seines in the spring and fishes, and command the highest price fall, and in gill-nets and pound-nets all when salted. summer. The gill-net is made of fine Pike or pickerel-Esox Boreus—arc twine, with a mesh just large enough to taken in large numbers in the rivers and admit the head of the fish without let- shallow bays; they rank next in value ting his body through. The net is to the white-fish; usual weight from about four feet deep and several hun- two to ten pounds; spawn in the dred feet long, and is kept at the bot- spring. tom of the lake by weights at the lower The lake-trout-Salmo Amethystuscdge, and floats at the upper. To mark are very voracious, and feed upon the its place in the lake, wooden buoys are white-fish ; are caught in nets, and with attached to it by long lines, and it is the hook-by trolling in the summer, set in from fifty to one hundred feet and with set lines in spring and fall; depth of water, and visited, if possible, weigh from five to fifty pounds; spawn every day for the purpose of removing in the autumn. the fish. The pound-net is a square
The siscowit are only found in some enclosure of netting twenty-five feet parts of Lake Superior; they belong to each way, with a bottom of the same; the salmon family, and are very fat-so this is fastened to poles which are much so as only to be eatable when
salted; weigh from four to six pounds; kee, are principally Norwegians, and spawn in the autumn.
they use a boat the model of which Besides these, are packed the black they have brought from their stormy and white bass and the lake-herring, in northern seas. It is much like the boat mall quantities, however.
of Narraganset Bay--short and deep, The capital invested in the fisheries and broad in the beam ; with one mast, of Lake Michigan alone, in 1858, was- and a large boom-inainsail, with a jib Boats, nets, &c.......
for light winds.
$250,000 Wages paid per annum..
170,000 “ What do you find to do at MackiAmount paid for barrels..
70,000 nac ?” is a question often asked. First,
It is the most charming $190,000
place in the country for that exercise. Value of fish taken, ...
The soil is dry, and never muddy. The It is estimated that the annual catch island is covered with paths running on all the five great lakes will amount through the bush, and winding about to at least one hundred thousand bar- so pleasantly, that you can choose a rels of fish, worth a million of dollars. new route every day. There is a leafy These fish are consumed in the Western shade, a bracing air, fine views on every and Southwestern States, among the side, and no musquitoes. The few cows farmers and planters, Chicago being the on the island are amiable; and except headquarters of the trade. They are when an excursion-boat arrives, there inferior to mackerel or codfish, but, seem to be no loafers or roughs--so that being sold at a lower price, the demand ladies can walk safely, unattended. for them is extensive.
Secondly, you ride, you drive, and you The Canadian and half-breed fisher- sail. For shooting and fishing, the islmen about the lakes use the Mackinaw and affords little opportunity. There is boat, which seems to be built on the no game, unless you choose to invest model of a bark canoe, flat in the bot- the crows with that name.
As to fish, tom and sharp at the ends, which rise the neighboring waters abound with up with a sheer. They were originally them, but they are not available to the intended for navigating the rivers as angler. There are trout-streams on the well as the lakes, for travelling on those mainland on both sides of the straits, great watery highways which extended but those who visit them with hopes of from Montreal to St. Louis. On the bringing home such strings of fish as lakes the voyagers use sails and a cen- we read of in Wilkes' Spirit of the tre-board; on shallow waters titey haul Times, will be disappointed. To catch up the centre-board, and use oars or trout in summer, you must be on the paddles.
ground very early or late in the day; The American fishermen who come and these streams being from ten to up from the lower lakes use boats fifteen miles away, the only chance is to similar to those found on the seaboard, camp out overnight in the woods; and built with a keel, and much broader few amateur anglers will take that and deeper than the Mackinaw craft; trouble. and they say that their boats can out- Carp River, about fifteen miles to the sail and outcarry the Mackinaw boats, northwest, is, or was, a good troutboth going free and closehauled. stream-indeed, one of the best we ever
We were surprised to hear this, as twenty years ago-swift and clear, the Mackinaw boats have a great repu- full of little falls, rapids, and deep tation in these regions; but on several pools, about fifty feet wide and from occasions, when the two classes of boats one to three feet deep, and with a clear contended together, we observed that margin of shore from which to throw the salt-water craft was victorious. the fly. But a sawmill has been built
The fishermen at the head of Lake on its lower waters, which are of course Michigan, about Chicago and Milwau- spoiled for fishing; though above the
dam, among the hills, we are told the obstructed the channel. It was evident trout are still to be caught.
that no trout with the use of his fins Hearing of a stream eight miles away would stay here. There had formerly to the southeast, a party was formed to been a cleared spot of land about the visit it. Three ladies and three men mill, but it was fast growing up into appeared at the wharf at ten o'clock in forest again. So, pursued by the trithe morning, out of a dozen who had umphant musquitoes, we fled to our wished to go the night before; but ships. We found the ladies encamped some were lazy, and some had head- at the water's edge to escape the enemy, aches from too much dancing and ice- who, reinforced by all that could sting cream, overnight. We ran over in a or bite-sand-flies, punkies, and greensail-boat, with a light breeze, in two heads—seemed disposed to follow up hours, trolling unsuccessfully for lake their victory. trout on the way. Our skipper, a fish- On looking about for the skipper, we erman from Lake Ontario, reckoned it found him and his boy wading in the was too late in the season for trolling pool at the mouth of the creek, and This was in August : in July it would compelling the trout to be caught: have probably been too early.
they drove the fish to one end of the We landed on a wild and desolate pool, and thrust the hook at them with shore, heavily timbered with maple, so commanding an air, that they could beech, and pine, and found the natives do nothing but submit. In this rude prepared to resist our invasion, for they and ferocious manner they absolutely attacked us on sight, these tribes of captured three or four simple-minded Buzz and Hum. After snatching a little trout, the only ones taken that hasty repast, one valiant lady and the day. We, the skilled anglers, with rods, three men marched, rod in hand, for the reels, and flies, were ignominiously beattrout-brook. What might have been a en by these rude fisherinen, brook in happier times, was now a So we sailed away from the musquito thread of water at the bottom of a shore, with swollen and discolored faces, stony ravine, overgrown with bushes resembling a huckleberry pudding. and briers. There was not water The run home was delightful, and we enough to float a minnow, except at were consoled for our defeat by the the mouth of the stream, where there sight of one of the most magnificent was a shallow pool separated from the of sunsets-brilliant even for that relake by the inevitable sandbar, which gion, where the sky and clouds are is found at all the river-mouths, big and always gorgeous.
The heavens were little, in these regions. We made our turned to gold, rubies, topaz, and ameway up the stream about half a mile, thyst ; and the water reflected them where there had formerly been a saw- back, so that we seemed to sail through mill, the ruined dam of which still wavelets of purple fire.
FABLES OF BIDPAI.
The Fables of Bidpai, or Kalila wa- the Byzantine writer Simeon Seth, or Dimna, as - they are more commonly Simeon son of Seth, who lived under named from the principal piece in the the emperors Nicephorus Botaniates Arabic version, are of great antiquity, and Alexis Comnenus, about the year and have ever been very famous in the 1080. This was made from the Arabic, East. This appears from the number and, though very defective, is of great of versions that have been made in the use in determining various readings, Oriental tongues. Their origin was un- and, sometimes, in fixing the meaning doubtedly Indian ; the most remote of corrupt and difficult passages. The appearance that can be traced being in first printed edition, under the added an ancient Brahmanic book entitled title of Specimen Sapientiæ Indorum, Pantcha-tantra. The first translation was by Sebastian Godofr. Stark, Berowas into the old Pehlvi language, of lini, 1697, with a Latin translation; which there is a full account given in another has lately been printed at one of the Arabic Introductions. The - Athens, date, 1851. From this Greek book had become very famous for its version, and the Arabic before menwisdom, and for the ingenuity and ele- tioned, there have been made entire or gance of its composition. On this ac- partial translations into French and count Nouschirewan, sovereign of Per- German, but, none, to the writer's knowlsia, was very desirous of obtaining a edge, have appeared in English. copy. This, however, was very diffi- The Arabic version, as published by cult, as the book was jealously guarded De Sacy, de l'imprimerie royale, Paris, by the Indian monarch, and great pains 1816, is a beautiful specimen of typogtaken to prevent any copy or translation raphy, and has an introduction giving of it from being carried out of the all the information that could be procountry. A secret mission, therefore, cured respecting this curious and most was entrusted to the physician Barzou ancient production. yeh, who went to India in disguise, be- In one of the Arabic jintroductions, came familiar with its learned men, ob- ascribed to Bahnoud ben Sahwan, there tained the confidence of one of them, is given the traditional pccount of its and finally, by surreptitious means, suc- first Indian origin in the reign of Dabceeded in accomplishing his object. schelim, who obtained the throne after On his return to Persia, the only recom- the departure of Alexander the Great. pense he would receive was the king's He was a monster of a tyrant, to whom promise that a special memoir of his
no one dared to give counsel, until the mission should be written, and forever dangerous office was assumed by a attached to the book. The Arabic ver- Brahmanic philosopher named Bidpai. sion, in one of the introductions to He succeeded in gaining audience of which this memoir is found, was the the king, and in interesting him in work of Abdallah ben Al mokaffa, a these ingenious fables, wherein p.blitical man of Persian descent, but who be- and moral truths are presented in the came a Mohammedan in the time of language and actions of animals.
Dabthe first Khalifs of the House of Abbas, schelim admires their theoretical wisSaftah and Mansour. Besides these, dom, and, finally, becoming a practical there were translations into the Syriac, convert, reigns virtuously and gloriand one into the later or Talmudic ously under the philosopher's guidance. Hebrew made by Rabbi Joel. A Greek Each piece commences as a conversaversion was made at Constantinople by tion between the king and Bidpai---the former asking an illustration of some powerful of the animal tribes; and this virtue in which he wishes to be con- is essential to the dramatic design, which firmed, or of some vice to which a ruler is to show how the varied adaptation is especially exposed, and the other of different gifts, even of the smallest replying by the narration of some one kind, builds up a secure society for the of the stories of which the book is weak, inspiring mutual confidence, and composed.
giving mutual help, even against the The difference between this and all most powerful foes. Granting them other collections of fables, ancient or speech, and a measure of reason adaptmodern, is very striking. There are ed to their state, every thing else is in the same leading animal characters, the accordance with their animal ways and lion, the eagle, the bear, &c., with the instincts, whilst the whole presents a difference, that the jackal takes the picture of quiet friendship, of charmplace of the fox, and that there are in- ing constancy, of tender mutual regard, troduced more of the smaller species. from which our lordly race may derive There are also the same animal traits, a lesson of practical wisdom not to be showing great acuteness and fixed- despised. The pervading moral, Lore ness of zoological observation from the is strength, is one that appears in the earliest times; but instead of being aphorisms and in the songs of Scripbrief apologues, with a single event, ture. See Proy. xxx. 24-28, Canticles and one brief moral deduced; like the viii. 7. Greek fables of Æsop, op the Arabian In this introductory notice, we would of Lokman, they are long, continued only farther advert to one feature perhistories, involving a great variety of vading the collection, and furnishing events, having each their social or politi- internal evidence, not only of the antical aspects, forming a narration highly quity, but of the wide influence of these interesting in itself, exhibiting some- fables in the East, as shown even in the times the most exquisite moral, and yet, modifications they have received. The with rare ingenuity, preserving the various versions, although presenting peculiar characteristics of each species. substantially the same events, and, in Thus, for example, in the principal great part, the same unbroken narration, story of king lion, and his friend the do yet show differences arising from the bull, who are set at variance by the peculiar coloring that religious ideas unprincipled jackal, the lion is alarmed have assumed in different lands, and as at hearing for the first time the bull's they have passed through successive deep bellow, so different from his own
ages. Some pious animal, such as a hoarse roar; he is not afraid, not he, devout jackal, a very virtuous lion, in but then there is something mysterious one place a very pious cat, and in about it, and prudence is a virtue. And another a very hypocritical one who so again, the generous monarch resists makes religion a cloak for her atrocithe efforts of the crafty calumniator, by ties, is quite a favorite personification. representing the difference of their This recluse character has, in the origihabits, the one eating flesh and the nal Pantcha-tantra, or Indian legend, other grass-as taking away all ground quite an ascetic aspect, is very quietof rivalry in their intercourse. Some- istic, eats no flesh — in other words, times, indeed, the philosopher seems to shows the predominance of Brahmanic forget himself; the peculiar animal and Buddhist ideas. In the Persian traits are lost sight of, and they are (ante-islamic) it has more of the Masimply men talking, wisely or absurdly, gian look. In the Arabic, the pious in animal forms; but in general the fox, &c., is an orthodox Mohammedan, dramatic proprieties are well observed. a Nasek, or extraordinary devotee, who This, we think, will be seen in the one is ever attentive to the call of the which we venture here to translate. Muezzin, says extra prayers, quotes the The actors are taken from the least Koran, and makes extra pilgrimages to