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THE CARRIER PIGEON. The Carrier Pigeon has probably done any deviation from the course. There is much to direct attention to the flight of birds, another point equally more essential—that which is connected with several inquiries is, that we have the same bird at both ends of particular interest. This bird has afford- of the route. Now, how can all these be ed more and better opportunities than almost satisfactorily ascertained ? A little reflecany other, to ascertain with precision, facts tion will satisfy any one that it is difficult necessary to build upon. We have a multi- to bring all these to bear on any particular tude of birds around us in the summer, and case. almost every individual of them disappears What motive can we give a bird to fly to in the Autumn. Is it possible they can fly any particular place? The gay and beauto the warmer countries, a thousand or more tiful tenants of the air we can murder with miles south ? Many persons have doubted our assassin weapons, or capture by stealth it; and when we considerthe speed of some, and hypocritical guile. We can condemn we findit difficult to answer all the objections. them to long and bitter captivity, under preMany show us only a short and feeble flight, tence of love for their graceful forms and beingincapable of sustaining themselves long motions, theirsplendid and delicate plumage, on the wing How can they be certain of or the charming melody of their voices. finding food when they want it, if they make We can teach some of them movements frequent stops? Why are they not seen on which excite even our own wonder, and their passage ? These and other questions which flatter us to believe that we have subhave led to many inquiries and observations. jected their will to that of man—often the One of the most important points to be settled great tyrant of the lower creation. But in is, the distance which a swift bird, of any vain we trust to our authority over them kind, actually flies in a given number of when at liberty. Once in their native element, hours. Now, to determine this, several they cast off all thought of allegiance. Only conditions are requisite, and they are such the Falcon, when well trained, and a few as very seldom occur combined. We must other birds, will ever go and return at the know the distance, and the moments of start- command of a master; and then in flights ing and arriving. We ought to know, also, too short to satisfy the inquirer in the cases whether there was any delay on the way, or alluded to. We want some bird so strongly
attached to its home as to return to it without delay, whenever removed from it, and set at liberty. Even this would be of little avail, unless it could be applied to some use, which would make it profitable. These conditions are fulfilled by the carrier Pigeon; and he has this additional property, of soon forming an attachment to a new abode.
Hence he has been employed, for many years, in carrying important information from city to city, and even from country to country: literally fulfilling the proverb of the wise man,“ The birds of the air shall carry the matter.”
Cases have occurred in which rumors of battles and other important transactions, have circulated in distant places, at periods after their occurrence, far too short for transmission by any human means then in existeuce; and the only explanation of it was, by supposing they had been sent by pigeons. We lately heard of such a bird being shot in Europe, with a bit of paper attached to it, inscribed with signs of unknown import, which were supposed to mark the price of certain stocks, or prizes drawn by a lottery.
And here we are reminded of a trick attempted by a young friend, while becalmed off the island of St. Helena, during the time when it was the residence of Bonaparte. A sea-gull having been caught on board, he wrote a letter to Napoleon, requesting him to be prepared to embark the following night, in a boat to be sent for him from some ships of war which would lie off the island for his rescue. This note was tied to the bird, which flew straight for the land as soon as released; and, although no account was ever received from it, it may possibly have attracted notice, been shot, and caused some anxiety among the officers.
The Carrier Pigeon flies in circles, or rather in ellipses approaching circles-why is not certainly known. Some say it is for the purpose of distinguishing its intended route. But it is not to be conceived that it should recognize a landscape by looking down upon it from the air, after having seen portions of it only from a road. Indeed its journeys from home usually allow it little or nothing of that privilege. This circuitous or rather tortuous flight must greatly increase the time of passage, so that the direct journey might be made in a time considerably less; and that is probably the way in which most birds move in their migrations.
But let us attend to one of the interesting facts which have been reported by those who have made experiments with this remarkable bird.
The distance between Cologne and Pa
ris is about 100 leagues; and a gentleman once sent notice of his arrival in the latter city, to his friends in the former, by two Carrier Pigeons, one of which arrived in two hours and five minutes, and the other nine minutes after it, makirg above 150 miles an hour, or 2 1-2 miles a second, a rapidity almost incredible for any animal. Audubon, however, expresses the opinion that our wild Pigeons fly half as fast as this rate; and they are sometimes killed near New York with rice in their crops, which proves, almost without doubt, that they must have flown 300 or 400 miles in six hours, as that is the distance to the nearest rice regions in the southern States.
There is something irresistibly pleasing in the idea of sending a message of kindness and love to a distant friend, by so rapid and faithful a messenger. He will not mingle with the business of the world while on his way, he will have no intercourse with its inhabitants. He will not be exposed to interruptions ; our design cannot be frustrated by any unfriendly hand. Our commissioner will execute our will, in spite of any attempt to seize or terrify, to deceive or to injure him. He is one inaccessible to bribery and temptation, and is liable to make no error on his route. Men of wealth and power may be betrayed by their messengers, or apprehend disappointment or delay in their safe arrival, though half their estates were offered to ensure it. But my humble little message will be borne through the sky, as true as the arrow to its mark, by a bearer whose heart is as pure as the down that covers it. How many a king and conqueror would have given whole provinces or mines of gold and diamonds, to secure such certainty and despatch!
Domestic Yeast.-Persons who are in the habit of making their own bread, can easily manufacture their own yeast, by attending to the following directions : boil one pound of good flour, a quarter of a pound of brown sugar, and a little salt, in two gallons of water for one hour. When milk-warm, bottle it close, as it will be fit for use in 24 hours. One pound of this yeast will make eighteen pounds of bread.
The venerable Pear Tree, on the corner of the 3d Avenue and Thirteenth st., planted about 200 years ago, by Gov. Stuyvesandt, and of which the trunk and branches are yet in good preservation, has, as we learn from the American Agriculturist, borne a considerable quantity of fruit the past year.
Orange Groves of St. Michael. The orange plantations or quintas of St. Michael (the largest of the Western Islands, or Azores) are of large extent, always encircled by a wall from fifteen to twenty feet high, and within a thick plantation belt of the faya, cedar-tree, fern, birch, &c., to protect the orange-trees from the sea-breezes. The trees are propagated from shoots or layers, which are bent at the lower end into the ground, and covered with soil until roots begin to strike, when they are separated from the parent stem, and transplanted into a small excavated well about three feet deep (lined with pieces of lava, and surrounded at the top by plantations of laurel, young faya, and broom), until the tender orangeplants are sufficiently strong, at which period the plantations immediately round them are removed, and each plant begins to shoot up and flourish, after which no farther care is taken of it, beyond tarring occasionally the stem, to prevent injury by insects; and it in time spreads out with the majestic luxuriance of a chestnut tree.
In this country it only requires seven years to bring an orange plantation to good bearing; and each tree, on arriving at full growth a few years afterwards, will then annually, upon an average, produce from 12,000 to 16,000 oranges : a gentleman told me he had once gathered 26,000. The crops are purchased, previous to their arriving at a state of maturity, by the merchants, who ascertain the value of the year's probable produce, through the medium of experienced men, and then make their offer accordingly. The men thus employed to value orange crops, gain a livelihood thereby; and such is the skill whereto they attain, that by walking once through a plantation, and giving a general glance at the trees, they are enabled to state, with the most astonishing accuracy, on what number of boxes the merchant may calculate.-Boid's Western Islands.
sented that he had been a teacher, to which his habits and his conversation bore witness. The editor of this paper had long and numerous interviews with old Paul, as he was called, and obtained minute statements from him respecting his own country people, and some adjacent nations. These statements have never been published, but some of the most important facts derived from him have been communicated to the American Ethnological Society. Specimens of his language (the Serecule) were printed a few years since, which were thought quite valuable by the Geographical Society of Paris. The following extract from the notes before us, are inserted here as a specimen of the communications of “ Lamen Kibby,” as he called himself:
DISEASE AND PHYSICIANS IN NIGRITIA.There are certain diseases which I have seen among other African people, which are unknown among my countrymen. The worst of these is called Cuna. It covers the whole body with yellow spots, and destroys the hands and feet. It is, however, curable; but I do not know by what means. I have seen it among Africans in this country
In South Carolina a man had it, named Cæsar, who afterwards went to Natchez. He had come from Africa when young, and lived in Edgefield district, at the distance of two miles from me. He lost both his hands and feet from the disease.
The Mansara resembles the small pox, producing pustules, and leaving marks as large as the end of my finger. It is not, however, fatal: when old people have it, it makes them lame.
In our country we have physicians who are men of learning. While I was at college, several of my fellow students were preparing for that profession. Medical students did not study all the books which were put into my hands, as the Alsarah and some others; they become very skilful, and can cure the fever called Cuna, in a minute. Their course of study is much shorter than that pursued by many, and they do not attend the highest institutions, but reside with practising physicians, and have not time to study the books taught there.
With their business and medicines I have no acquaintance, I only know that they are often successful in their treatment, and that their medicines are not nauseous, nor their applications violent. They have nothing like salts, and medicines of that kind; they, however, do not acquaint their patients with the names or nature of the medicines they administer; and I was never informed
An Interesting African. In the years 1833 and 1834, an aged African spent several months in the city of New York, under the charge of the Colonization Society, who had received him from his late master in one of the Western States, to be sent back to his native country. He was a native of the kingdom of Foota, where he had spent thirty or more of the first years of his life. He bore a high character, and was intelligent and educated in the Mahomedan schools of his country. He repre
me, and made me pay a good round sum in gold, which is the money commonly used. The amount, however, I do not exactly remember. They never would think of taking more than the worth of five or ten dollars.
of them. They never give pills, but often potions, being able to mix their medicines with drinks so that they cannot be tasted. You may even take them in water without perceiving any taste. They also cook them with the patient's food and administer them in that manner. From their effects, I know that some of the remedies thus taken are at once purgative and emetic. How much better their practice is than yours !
American medicines are bitter, and I never would take any except salts; and that is quite bitter enough.
Other nations in Africa also have physicians, even the Coffry (that is, Caffres, or pagans). They use plants for medicines, and are what you call herb-doctors. I have been assured by people who knew them, that they administer their remedies in an instant, and often with very good success. For myself, I have had no personal acquaintance with them. Every nation indeed has physicians.
Our physicians judge of the state of their patients by feeling the pulse, which is called, in the Serecooly language, taparah. The taparah rek, or dancing pulse, indicates high fever. Sickness is called wateh, and medicine safarah. In Arabic amareely means sickness, and talamareely long sicksickness. The latter is called by the Serecoolies watenguesong-kelo; and they have two names for a physician, Jarandun and Safaranah, while they call his house Jarecan. While speaking of these subjects I recollect, what I have not thought of in a long time before, that the doctors have a house to keep their medicines in.
While I was at Bundoo I was once ill, and sent for a physician. He bled and cupped me; but those operations were performed with caution and gentleness, not as in this country, where they thrust in their instruments carelessly, and kill many a patient. For a pain in the left side they cup you on the opposite side, or rather partly on the back, under the right shoulder-blade.
Cupping is performed by our African physicians in this manner :-First they take a razor, and make many small incisions in the skin, by hacking it slightly with the point. They then soak a gourd in hot water until it is soft, put a little cotton into it and set it on fire, apply it to the spot, and let it remain until it becomes full of blood and drops off.
There is one point in which the practice of our physicians differs from yours. We never pay until the patient is cured; and the physician would never receive pay if he could not cure. Here you pay when the man is dead. The Bundoo physician cured
a, a seed dandelion ; b, do. naked : 6 a seed, stem and gossamer.
The sight of this familiar flower, we presume, will strike many of our readers with pleasure. It is associated with the recollections of childhood, and with the scenes,
the companions and the feelings of early days in spring, the childhood of the year. These impressions are such as it would be in vain to attempt to describe.
We could go no further than to describe the spots where this flower abounds, the green fields and meadows, the grassy plats and grassy banks, the village lawns, the pasture lots, the orchard walks and borders of the brooks, the city square, the neglected garden, or the humble yard of a lowly cottage. We must leave it to the mind to fill up the rest.
Perhaps there are none of our plants which are more perfect strangers to the house and the flower pot, and yet none which we hear so often pronounced worthy of them. How often has the remark been made and assented to, that if the dandelion were a rare exotic, it would be one of the most cherished and admired! But, distinguished as it is for its simple richness and beauty, its early appearance, which makes it doubly welcome, and its peculiar change of aspect with the advance of the season, the associations of childhood greatly increase its interest, and still more the lessons which may be drawn from it of instruction and moral improvement. We will allude here only to the plain and beautiful example it presents of one of the
BREAD FRUIT. Loaves of bread growing on a tree! man in all ages : all these ideas are raised There is something pleasing and curious in in the mind when we hear of the bread the idea! Perhaps there is nothing in the fruit. entire vegetable kingdom which more na To think then of a tree, which obviates turally or more strongly excites the inter all the difficulties to which the production est of one unaccustomed to it than the of a loaf of bread is liable, which saves bread fruit. The usefulness of bread, its to man all the labor, care, and anxiety, value, so universally known, the expense attendant on procuring his principal arand labor necessary to produce it, the ticle of sustenance, presenting it to him forethought, self-denial, and perseverance, by the simple act of “yielding her fruit of the farmer ; the knowledge and care in its season,” naturally excites a peculiar necessary
grows on a the precious grain ; its preservation and tree ! That is enough to rouse a lively preparation; with a snowy whiteness, curiosity. agreeable taste and wholesome nature, In Ellis's Tour in Polynesia we find a which adapt it so pre-eminently to be very particular description of this tree and what it is, the chief and favorite food of its fruit, which we shall copy hereafter.