American Agriculturist, Volume 21 (Google Books)

17O Management of Sheep in Minnesota.

–To the Editor of the American Agriculturist. As stern necessity is forcing an increased interest to be taken by Northern States, in the business of wool growing, I propose to give you a few practical items from Minnesota. My neighbor Mr. Bennett, is the owner of about 2000 sheep, chiefly mixed blood, though a few are extraordinarily fine Spanish Merinos. He farms out about 1200, taking for his profits the fleece, and when the flock is returned, an equal number of young healthy sheep. The remaining 800 he feeds on his farm, and it is to the management of this home-flock that I would call attention, as I think that he has wintered them with unusual economy and success. Mr. B. raised a quantity of Indian corn, which was cut and cured in the usual way in the field, where it was left standing in stack for daily use during the Winter. The feeding season with us is almost invariably free from rains. The corn was drawn and scattered over a large pasture at the rate of about one and-a-half bushels of grain to a flock of 200 sheep. The little animals stripped the stalks and cobs absolutely clean; then after being watered they were enclosed in yards adjoining the sheds, and supplied with an abundance of fresh straw, in racks. Cost of Wintering.—Mr. B. estimates the cost as follows: In our neighborhood, unimproved land costs from five to ten dollars per acre. An acre of well cultivated and well cured corn, costing about $5 for labor, will support 15 sheep, at 33} cents per head. It is now the last of March, and he has still some weeks of provision left. How the Sheep Look.-Under this head it is unnecessary to multiply words. The sheep are fully as fat as desirable. They are healthy, fleece heavy, clean, and in excellent condition. Mr. B, estimates his clip will average four lbs. to the sheep, including the last year’s lambs. How Sheltered.—Our climate, I repeat, is unusually dry during the Winter; we have few or no rains, or heavy snows, therefore but very ordinary protection is required; nor need we confine the animals to close, heated, and unhealthy stables. Sheds of rough boards, or poles and straw are infinitely preferable to the most costly and closely built stables. Mr. B.’s sheds open to the south, and are well boarded against northeast and west winds. They have a depth of about 16 feet, which gives ample protection, affording a dry, airy, healthful, and all-sufficient shelter. The pens and sheds are daily spread with clean fresh litter—the straw which the sheep pull from the racks. In warm days which come suddenly upon us as Spring approaches, the animals are driven to the open ficlós, away from the fumes of the heated manure, until the approach of night-fall, and in this daily care for the health of his flock, lies fle true secret of Mr. B.’s success. So soon as grass appears, pasturage with us is not an item of cost. A sufficient range is so easily procured, that at most it can only cost the wages of a man, who with a good dog, will look after and care for from one to two thousand. The Profit.—According to present appearances Mr. Bennett’s profit item will stand as follows:

Sheep averaged when purchased………………. 2 2,000. Sheep at $220. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cost of keeping. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sheep worth without the fleece, say $5. 8,000 lbs. of wool, say 75c

Lambs, say… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …… 1,500 17,500 Deduct first cost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………. 5,720

Balance in Profit”. . . . . . . . . . . . ……………. $11,780 You will observe that I have added a cost for

Summer keeping equal to the Winter, which is

of course an excess; but I have made no allowance for loss by disease or death, which for six months past has only amounted to about $10.

Having given you the above items I now solicit permission to propose a few inquiries to be answered by experienced sheep breeders.

1st. There is a prevailing opinion that the further north, wool and fur animals are grown within the limit of plentiful support, the finer and better is the growth of the animal’s covering: —Is this only a conceit, or demonstrated fact?

2d. Do fine blooded sheep of the Eastern countries, degenerate in flesh or fleece by removal to the colder climates of the American States? 3d. Have sheep growers determined the quality of sheep natural to the temperate and colder climate of the Northern States of America? The subject of wool growing is at this moment so pregnant with interest that it deserves much more than ordinary investigation. Thousands will be tempted to embark in the business, knowing little or nothing of the habits, the quality, or the wants of the animals. T. T. MANN. Washington Co., Minn. “Mr. Mann’s estimate of profits is too large. His figures put wool at $1 a pound, making the profits $11,780; we took the liberty to change the estimate for wool in Minnesota to 75c., and that is nearly double the usual price. The present quotation in New-York (May 6) is 70 to 90 cents, from which must be deducted freight, commissions, etc. Again, is not $5 a head for shorn sheep rather a high estimate for Minnesota. If one were to now embark in sheep growing, he would of course have to pay present rates for stock sheep, and not $2.20, the price paid by Mr. Bennett. We readily grant that wool growing is largely profitable, and likely to continue so, but add these remarks as a caution against too great expectations.—Ed.

Shall Sheep be Washed

Wool undoubtedly needs cleansing before it can be used in the manufactory, but it does not follow that it must be washed while on the sheep’s back. There are many reason why it should not be—few if any valid ones for a continuance of the practice. The best washing will only remove part of the foreign matter from the fleece. The manufacturer subjects all Wool to a cleansing process, whether it has been previously carefully washed, or only “soused ” in a slovenly manner. Sheep washing is violently unnatural. No animal dreads the water more, and with good reason; it requires days of warm weather to evaporate the moisture held in the meshes of a thick fleece of wool, and the animal not only suffers discomfort, but frequently positive injury. It is comparatively an easy process to remove the yolk and dirt from wool when sheared from the sheep, but

impossible to complete the work while upon

the back of the struggling animal. It would be just as wise, and little less humane, to give children an occasional plunge to remove stains and soils from their garments. But for the washing, the sheep might be sheared one or two weeks earlier in the season, which would promote heaviness of fleece, and add to the comfort and thrift of both sheep and lambs. The great objection urged against shearing unwashed sheep, is that an unwarrantable deduction in the price of the wool is made by manufaaturers. The remedy for this is with the producer. He has only to remain firm in a reasonable demand, and in time his terms must be acceded to. There is a very just cause of complaint in the practice pursued, of buying wool according to a general average of cleanliness, instead of fixing the price according to the actual condition of each lot. This has, in effect been, to offer a premium for neglect, and

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many clips of professedly washed wool have been little superior in cleanliness to unwashed fleeces from sheep properly cared for. Producers should, in every case, insist upon selling their wool according to its own merits, and this can as easily be done with the unwashed article as any other. To change the present practice will require general simultaneous effort, and this can scarcely be expected without considerable discussion. It is here intended only to indicate some of the leading points that seem to make the change desirable. Tim Bunker on Sheep Traps. –“What upon airth d’ye call that?” asked uncle Jotham Sparrowgrass, as he hailed Seth Twiggs in the street, this morning. Seth had a gun over his shoulder, and held in his hand what might have been mistaken for game, at a short distance. On closer examination, the object revealed a pair of short ears, a prominent nose, a long clean pair of jaws, well armed with sharp, bloody teeth. It was what is left of a dog after his tail has been cut off just behind his ears. “That is what I call a sheep trap,” said Seth, as he flung the head upon the grass, pulled his pipe out of one pocket, and a match out of the other, and lighted. “Why that is Jake Frink’s dog ” exclaimed Uncle Jotham. “Taint Jake’s any longer,” replied Seth. “Ye see I caught him in the act, this morning airly. He was gnawing away at a sheep he had run down, and that is sheep’s blood you see on his teeth now. I put that bullet between his eyes, and he hadn’t time to clean his teeth before he emigrated to t’other country. That trap has caught three sheep of mine this Spring, be. sides lots of my neighbors, to say nothing of the lambs, and I was so afraid the trap might be set again that I jest cut his head off after I shot him, to make sure work of it. That critter has destroyed a hundred dollars’ worth of property this Spring, I haven’t a doubt. Sheep have been found dead, and badly maimed, and he has been seen chasing them. When complaint has been made to Jake, he could not believe he was guilty of even chasing sheep. He did not allow him in such tricks. His dog was as innocent as a lamb. Children could play with him, and he wouldn’t even growl. To hear Jake talk, you would think the dog’s mother must have been a sheep. Waal, now, ye see, that talk didn’t go down with me. I can tell a sheep stealin dog as soon as I lay my eye on him. There is a kind of guilty look about the critter, that says mutton, as plainly as if it stuck in his jaws. Jake has never been able to raise sheep. If he tried, his lambs disappeared mysteriously when that dog was a puppy. He always laid it to other folks’ dogs. But Rover was the guilty wretch that drunk lamb’s blood. I have been watching him for about a week, and ye see this morning I got him jest where I wanted him. There was a piece of mutton in his mouth when I fired. It will take a smarter man than Jake Frink to get away from that fact.” “I guess you’ll catch it when Jake hears of it.” “He won’t have to wait long, for I’m going to take home Jake’s sheep trap this morning. I wouldn’t have you think that I’d shoot a man’s dog, and then not own it. That would be too much like a sheep stealing dog. I calculate to take the responsibility.” This conversation of my neighbors shows the way the current is setting in the dog question, and the progress the reform is making, under

the new laws, and especially under the high prices of wool and mutton. This last, I think, has more to do with dog killing, than all the laws that have been enacted. With wool at a dollar a pound or in that neighborhood, every body that owns land wants a few sheep. Even Jake Frink rubs his eyes and wakes up to the fact that sheep raising will be a paying business. Sheep will live and do well on his poor pastures where his cows grow poor. He will bluster of course, when he learns that his dog is killed, but he will be resigned and conclude that his sheep as well as his neighbors’ will be safer with that sheep trap out of the way. A large number of poor farmers, and rather poor citizens, who have the dog mania will invest in sheep, and that will make them the natural enemies of dogs. I have noticed that it makes a mighty deal of difference whether it is your sheep or your neighbors’ that are bitten or killed. Resignation is a virtue easily practised, when a pack of dogs get into your neighbor’s flock and worry and slay. But when you go out some fine morning and find your fattest weather half eaten up, or your full blood Merinos made into mutton prematurely, it stirs the blood at once against dogs. You owe the whole race a grudge. You think of steel traps, bullets, and small stout cords in close proximity to dogs’ necks. You talk fiercely and threaten vengeance. Men in such a humor are prepared to legislate rationally upon the dog question. They see very clearly that one vile cur, not worth a copper to any body, may easily destroy a hundred dollars’ worth of their property in a single night. With sheep at two or three times the old prices we shall not only have good dog laws, but we shall have men that will execute the laws, and the dogs at the same time. The old arguments on this question are just as good as any new ones that can be brought forward, but men see them a great deal better. A sheep is a creature of consequence, just about three times bigger than it was two years ago. The dogs have grown small, and a multitude of them have grown out of sight entirely. There used to be a dog on about every corner of the streets in Hookertown. Some families kept a half dozen, and they had tight match to get enough for their children to eat, too. Now they are getting scarce, and I am in hopes that the time is not distant when they will be confined to cages, and shown up as curiosities at Barnum’s. It does my eyes good to see children and lambs fat and happy, and dogs lean and miserable. Fat dogs indicate a low civilization like the Chinese, or a low state of morals like the White Oaks, where the dogs are more numerous than the people. I have hated dogs ever since I was a boy. My father kept sheep and was a lover of choice mutton, and chose to do his own butchering, in a humane and decent manner. I remember an old ewe with twin lambs, a cosset who came home with the cows to be petted, and cared for as if she were a member of the family. One morning she was found dreadfully torn by the dogs, just alive, but unable to move and her lambs missing. I have hated the sight of a dog ever since, and never pass one in the street, without an apprehension of a bite, and a great longing to brain him on the spot. Seth Twiggs has given them the right name, “Sheep Traps.” And the morality of keeping a sheep-killing dog is on a par with that of a malicious neighbor, who should set steel traps in the sheep walks of your pasture. I would much rather

have steel traps than the dogs. The trap would

be certain to dispose of only one sheep in a night, while the dog might kill or maim a dozen. The trap and the victim would be found together in the morning, and the mystery of the broken leg would be cleared up. But your cowardly sneaking dog does his work by night and is miles away in the morning, with his chops all licked, and lying by his master’s door, as meek looking as if he never dreamed of mutton. The owner of a steel trap is a responsible being, but the owner of a dog seems to think that his brute is what Mr. Spooner would call a free moral agent, fit to do business on his own hook. He is not accountable for the deeds of his dog. I go in for trapping rats, skunks, foxes, weasels, and other vermin. If we must trap sheep and lambs, I prefer an article with steel-springs and chain, to a pair of living jaws on four legs. The latter catches too much game.

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It will be remembered that no little excitement was caused in England last year by the appearance of small pox among sheep. Active measures were soon instituted to meet the emergency, and we are happy to learn that they have been successful. An Association formed among the sheep breeders in Wiltshire, to prevent the spread of the malady and to afford compensation to those who might sustain loss by its attacks, has just closed its accounts, there being no present necessity for its continuance. The proceedings of the Association during the year are of general interest. When the disease first appeared it was recommended and practised to some extent, to inoculate exposed flocks, on the supposition that the malady would be less severe in its effects. This, however, proved not to be the case; inoculated flocks died off rapidly, and thus the proposed preventive only spread the infection. The Wiltshire Association instituted experiments to determine the efficacy of vaccine virus, which proved entirely satisfactory. Six healthy sheep were vaccinated and then confined with others that were diseased with small pox, and which subsequently died, but the vaccinated sheep resisted all contagion and remained perfectly sound. To put the experiment to the extreme test, the six sheep were afterward inoculated with small pox virus. Two of them died, two had the disease rather severely, the other two slightly, and the four fully recovered. The Association recommend instant isolation of an infected sheep, and the vaccination of those in the vicinity, as almost certain means of eradicating the disease.

The labors of the Association brought to light some startling facts concerning the introduction of diseases among stock by importations from infected districts. There remained no doubt that the small pox was thus brought in. According to Government reports, the cattle diseases of England rose in ten years from a yearly average of 13, to 5, 6, and 10 per cent. A Government commissioner stated that, in 1862 the loss from disease was at least three times the total amount of cattle imported, a large part of which was clearly traceable to the introduction of diseases from abroad. It is very justly considered a matter over which Government should exercise proper control, and it will not be amiss for American farmers to give the subject due attention in time. The Pleuro-pneumonia excitement, though somewhat exaggerated, shows how great the danger may be, and

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To the Editor of the American Agriculturist: I have repeatedly used the following treatment for foot-rot in sheep with complete success. Prepare a solution of blue vitrol as strong as it can be made, by pulverizing and dissolving in Warm soft water. Each hoof should then be examined, thoroughly cleansed with a knife, and if too long, cut to the proper dimensions. If no infection be found, let two men take the sheep with a leg in each hand and dip every foot into the solution of vitrol. When an infected hoof is found, carefully pare it until every particle of the infection is exposed—avoid bleeding the foot if possible. Then thoroughly saturate the foot with spirits of turpentine from a vial with a quill inserted in the cork; pour on as much fine powder as you can make adhere to the foot or the parts infected, and apply a lighted match to the same; after which dip the foot in the solution as above directed. The sheep should then run on a clean floor until the remedies have had sufficient time to take effect. I have cured an entire flock with a single course of the above treatment. But to be safe, the same should be repeated in five or seven days, and if any cases of infection be found, repeat again. Should an obstinate case be found Where the rot has penetrated into the center of the quick, the sheep should be put into a pen or small yard by itself, and subjected every second day to the prescribed treatment. Thoroughness is the great secret of success in treating the foot-rot. The knife is the principal remedy, if Sharp and skillfully handled. A SUBSCRIBER. Middlebury, Vt.

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To the Editor of the American Agriculturist: I found myself cheated to the amount of $50 by the purchase of a horse sold as “sound,” but which proved to be an inveterate cribber. Warious remedies were recommended and tried without success. Finally, I have found a preventive, if not a cure. I have arranged the stall So as to leave nothing against which he can press his teeth. He is fed from a low box which is pushed into the stall from a passage-way, and the box is withdrawn when not in use. (It is said that a horse can not crib with his head down.) The opening for air and light is placed too high for him to reach it, to crib against its sides. Since adopting the above arrangement, the horse has improved in condition and spirit, and his value is also much increased. X.

Salting Stock.

The Contemporary Review, Volume 48 (Google Books)


One thing must be said—if you are so fortunate as to possess a tree behind the house, do not let the local builder persuade you it is “unhealthy.” Whatever be the case in the country, we surely cannot have too many trees and bushes about us in the dry thin air of a city. All that transpires moisture in the air, and takes it from the ground, and absorbs bad gases is most precious, and the bare, proverbial “builder’s garden” is a mass of mistakes.

Value your privilege! Spare the tree, woodman, douche it well, and as often as you can. Moisture prevents caterpillars, so apt to swarin in London gardens through the drought of the atmosphere laden with heat of many fires and many lungs. Wash the trunk often—say as often as the windows are cleaned in dry weather. The tree will thank you, spring and summer, with great bursting rosy buds and broad leaves that attract thrushes, blackbirds, cherrychoppers, starlings, dainty finches, rooks with their dreamy caw, robins, occasional wood pigeons, and even tomtits—even nightingales, divinest songsters, abound in St. John’s Wood gardens, and have been heard of in Chelsea. All these sweet birds, besides the clever, merry sparrow, will build in a London tree.


Under its boughs you can easily have, not, indeed, very superfine turf, but plants that love shade, Solomon’s seal, foxgloves, musks, saxifrages, periwinkle, lilies of the valley, primroses, creeping Jenny, London pride, wild hyacinths, daffodils, hardy geraniums, calceolarias (acclimatized), all sorts of ferns and stonecrops, &c. &c. These can be grown in the very worst places, it appears to me.

Beyond where the sun falls, sunflowers of all sorts, poppies, pinks, chrysanthemums, wallflowers, daisies, hollyhocks, tall yellow and white lilies (nearly all bulbous things are suitable), nasturtiums, lupins, fritillaries, sweet William, honesty, thrift, Aaron’s rod (nice old names !), pyrethrum, lobelia, dahlias, sweet peas, evening primrose, and even mignonette and zinnias, with plenty more, are likely to thrive.

High-class roses, as I have said, will not thrive, and it is of no use to try them, even under glass; the velvet leaves cannot throw off the soot in the air, the pores are choked, and death is inevitable. The little old-fashioned white rose and the half-wild blush rose will do very well sometimes; and the exquisite moss rose can be cultivated—but not with ease, and only where there is plenty of air. Pansies, violets, variegated pelargoniums, forget-me-not, and laurustinns do not like London; nemophila and variegated grass thrive well, but are so besieged by cats that they are hopeless to grow. I will not enter upon the further merits and demerits of certain trees, shrubs, and flowers, but I may say that scented herbs, mint, rosemary, lavender, balsams, verbenas, marjoram, &c., are nice to have under one’s window, and they thrive capitally as a rule. A regular kitchen garden is quite come-at-able if there is space.


This is the crux of London gardening! mere green grass. What one goes through to get a plot of real, fine, springy turf in towns only the earnest gardener knows. But I have heard an ingenious, and successful amateur say that turf is a mere question of manure, even under trees, where the dripping from the boughs above and the suction of the roots beneath destroy the sustenance of the tender grass. He gets rich turf under London trees that nearly sweep the ground, of course providing for the free circulation of air beneath— without which turf has no chance at all—but it costs plenty in brain, nerve and muscle.

The right thing is to dig away all the old earth from the trees’ roots every year or so, manure cannily, and refresh the soil. Any amount of seed must be added to renew weak patches. Gardeners say, don’t manure trees; but most gardeners are pitifully ignorant, not to say prejudiced, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Trees are found by amateurs who have experimented con amore to thrive infinitely better if they are manured; the turf beneath thrives infinitely better too: argal, as Lancelot Gobbo would say, never mind the gardener and his assertions that this and that “won’t do.” Manure the trees; nurse the grass by lifting it and enriching the soil beneath. Plant under the foliage (if you wish) any half-grown hardy blossoming plants, which will do thoroughly well with occasional ” stopping,” although seeds will not come up to do you much credit, the plants are so drawn up in shade.

Personally, I don’t believe in top-dressing, except once in a way; it kills as much as it coaxes to grow, and nothing comes up but the new seed. Patch bare spots with seed, sprinkled over with fine soil to save it from the birds, mow constantly, roll, water heavily in dry weather, and for this the waste water from the dressing-rooms is more than useful. Turf is, however, better watered as little as possible after it is once thick enough. Sprinkling daily encourages the rootlets to come to the surface, instead of striking down for moisture, and then a single fierce day will burn up all your grass for good, may be.

Gardeners like top-dressing; some because it is very expensive, some because they have a hidden interest in particular seeds, some because it levels the ground nicely, and of course it is useful to correct the subsoil, or when the lawn is worn into holes and hillocks. But I advise it only occasionally.

If the plot of grass is small, it is perhaps no costlier—and certainly less trouble—to returf each year where the trees have killed the grass or little feet have worn it off. Five shillings will cover a large patch of bare earth.

Is not this better than blackness and desolation, though small be the space and a little trouble to keep neat? And most of these things that will grow in the ground will grow also on leads in boxes or pots of earth renewable each spring. Pepys used to spend many happy evenings making music and “taking the ayre” on his leads. He probably had them swept and garnished with a few flowers. He did not sit singing on a muck heap like Nero on the wreck of Rome. He had the place kept tidy.


A word to explain what I mean by acclimatized calceolarias and geraniums growing under trees. I have found that the common sorts of these flowers are very robust, but they take a year to harden so that they will bloom in the worst corners under London trees. The first summer the plants want a good deal of nursing; probably because they have been raised in the country and under glass; and, when bought off an itinerant barrow, they have already received a slight shock from exposure. Except in very sunny, well-soiled spots, they are apt to shoot up weak and spindly, with quantities of aphis, or ” green fly,” and consequently the blossoms miserable or none. By-the-by, fight the green fly: he is a terrible fellow. When he is young and has wings, he can be caught (with industry) and saved the trouble of breeding in the ordinary way. But when he is older, if allowed to live, he becomes viviparous, and emits young as he breathes, without any assistance from without. Prevention (the hose) is better than cure (tobacco and tar water). Anyhow, he is a deadly enemy, destroying all the young and juicy shoots of plants. Slugs eat the roots, and when the slug is sated, cats smash what he leaves behind, and if the plant is left to itself, it dies the death.

But, tended through its first summer, its roots examined and freed from grubs if it droops, gently sprinkled with the hose daily, kept dwarf by frequent “stopping,” and dead leaves removed, the plant will often do very fairly well till autumn. Then take a number of ” cuttings “—you don’t want a gardener for this, almost any strong shoots will serve—stick them iri earth, say five or six in a pot, and keep them indoors during the winter, for neither calceolarias nor geraniums will stand frost. These cuttings, rooted and grown bushy by the ensuing spring, will be ten times as hardy as the parent plant. They have become acclimatized to London air and soil. I have had such calceolarias thrive with almost savage strength in places where literally no seed would come up, without sun or soil to speak of, blooming all the summer through, and filling ugly gaps with golden bells and scarlet trusses that are a “sight good for sair een.”


Persons whose London gardens, or leads, are too much overlooked would do well to glaze over the whole or a portion (no longer an expensive process). Wonderful effects can be attained in privacy thus, and a conservatory makes an airy tea-room in summer, and a charming outlet at all times. Otherwise little green-houses can be erected at a cost of from £2 10s. to £ 10, in which grapes soon repay the original outlay. Numerous cuttings can be preserved here during the winter, along with sufficient flowers in bloom to brighten the rooms for several months. A little heat is advisable (oil not gas stoves), but a good deal can be done without heat. The plants of which I have been speaking require none.

The roofs of London houses, as well as leads and backyards, might be utilized oftener than they are. Capital green-houses and cold frames for nursing purposes could be placed there to raise halfhardy plants for spring use. A great deal of sun’s heat is reflected from slate and cement, and I doubt not that whoever chose to devote some personal attention to fruit-growing aloft would find it pay.


The worst enemies of London gardens are not so much caterpillars as cats. It is worse than disappointing to find the fresh lobelia, variegated grasses, and nemophila, the regular breakfast of a pack of mangy, howling cats—creatures that possess no homes, no principles, no remorse. Cats swarm at times, and make not only night but day hideous with their yells, growls, and miauling.

Seedlings have but little chance where cats abound. Half-grown plants resist their approaches better, but a stout lily is easily broken by a couple of strong Toms at war. Of course a little wire-netting, which is cheap at some stores, will prevent a good deal of ravage, and glazed frames are useful; but I am of opinion that the time has come to show the feline race that they are not our masters, and we kept for their convenience, as hitherto we have led them to suppose. Why are we to do without a garden because cats like salad in bloom? Why, after having got a garden, are we to see it daily dug up? Is the world made for cats? Do we permit other half-wild animals to parade our roofs, run in and out of our houses, fight, court, scratch up, devour, yelp, die as they please all about the place? Do we allow vagrant horses and cattle to wander through the streets, bellow at the house door, breed promiscuously in our cellars? Is not every dog, horse, goat, hen, donkey, monkey expected to have an owner, and those that have no owners, are they not regarded as vermin like rats and beetles, and destroyed by police? Why do not people rid themselves of a pest that is always disagreeable, and sometimes even dangerous—witness the recent Ashton case, in which a man and woman were consigned to the hospital for daring to dispute their own house with strange cats!

A cat which has no owner is legally destructible by gun, poison,, or hanging; but a cat which has an owner must not be destroyed without notice. As it is, however, actionable to impose a nuisance on neighbours, the owner of a cat which harms our garden may be sued for damages.

This is well, but sueing takes time and nerve-force, and the proper remedy for many evils would be the levying a tax—however small— on cats, as dogs are taxerl. Small it should be, for a kitten is one of the few amusements of the poor, to pet and to worry, but any nominal tax would ensure the early drowning of all kittens not pretty enough to be worth the license, and that means oh! how much nocturnal peace! Every one who values his cat, keeps it, or ought to keep it, indoors at night. High-bred cats—most beautiful and inoffensive of ornaments—are delicate, and subject to bronchitis and many ills, like high-bred dogs, through exposure. High-bred cats too, it is noteworthy, are not as a rule mischievous nor predatory. Well-fed, they have no need to steal. Small-boned and smallclawed, their gardening excavations bear no comparison in horror to those of the mere cur-cat, which, like the cur-dog, is mostly an illtempered, powerful brute, with something of a fiendish element in its shrewdness and tenacity, which aids it to survive the many hardships of its miserable lot.

By-the-by, if amateurs took half the pains to breed cats that they take to breed dogs, cats would afford us similar profit and pleasure. It is hardly generally known how large a sale there is for good cats, nor what high prices they fetch in the market. Persian, French blue, Siamese, Mans, and others, to say nothing of really good English breeds (pure), are lovely house pets, with their plush coats and jewel-like eyes, and by no means incompatible with a

garden. They are affectionate; they are silent (only the cur yelps, as ‘Arry whistles in the street); they can be taught nearly all that is taught to dogs; they will beg, fetch and carry, leap high through hoops, retrieve, and be otherwise amusing. High-bred cats can be chained or caged without suffering—what common cat would bear it? Their intelligence, though different in character to a dog’s, is nearly as high, and by breeding might be variously modified.

In fact, the high-bred cat is as different a beast from the yelling mongrel as a Bayard is different from the common burglar. Even the kitchen pet-cat differs from the drawing-room pet-cat. Neglect makes the nomad cat what he is: it would be kindness to anticipate his usually violent end, and any lover of animals will agree with me that the whole breed and social status of these useful and neglected creatures would be raised (and much woe would be spared us) were they recognized by the tax-gatherer. We all value what costs us something.


Thus a very little trouble, a few seeds, a few square feet of glass, a hose, and a cat-tax might be instrumental in increasing the beauty and orderliness of towns.

It is indeed matter for regretful notice, how seldom English people of any class make the most of anything except their grievances. They “muddle away” so much that is good—waste splendid material —lose opportunities! How few of our poor keep poultry and rabbits, though five shillings a month will support a dozen of either, and they can be made so profitable! Who keeps bees? though any slum within a mile of a park might be full of hives properly conducted, and that would cheapen honey.

In France and Holland every available slip of ground is utilized for some good purpose. Our suburbs, crowded with small houses, each with its would-be “garden,” are positive miracles of slovenliness. Passing in the train, we can take stock of the back premises of row after row, where a few beans, marrows, artichokes, and other vegetables (to say nothing of a fruit tree) might be a treat to the eye, a pleasure to father and children to tend, and a help to the pot. And what meets the indignant eye?

Nothing but half-washed clothes drying, broken barrels, broken victuals, broken pipes, bottles, and cans—lumber thrown into the waste space where the humble scarlet-runner and the window garden might soon become a vigorous rival to the public-house.

To rich and poor Londoners alike, I would recall the wisdom-words, both sacred and profane, “Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost,” and “waste not, want not.”

Scribner’s Magazine …, Volume 20 (Google Books)

By George W. Cable

ilHE man of whom I am speaking was a tallish, slim, young fellow, shaped well enough, though a trifle limp for a Louisianian in the Mississippi cavalry. Some camp wag had fastened on him the nickname of “Crackedfiddle.” Our acquaintance began more than a year before Lee’s surrender; but Gregory came out of the war without any startling record, and the main thing I tell of him occurred” some years later.

I never saw him under arms or in uniform. I met him first at the house of a planter, where I was making the most of a flesh-wound, and was, myself, in uniform simply because I hadn’t any other clothes. There were pretty girls in the. house, and as his friends and fellow-visitors—except me—wore the gilt bars of commissioned rank on their gray collars, and he, as a private, had done nothing glorious, his appearance was always in civilian’s dress. Black he wore, from head to foot, in the cut fashionable in New Orleans when the war brought fashion to a stand: coat-waist short, skirt solemnly long; sleeves and trousers small at the hands and feet, and puffed out—phew! in the middle. The whole scheme was dandyish, dashing, zou-zou; and when he appeared in it, dark, good-looking, loose, languorous, slow to smile and slower to speak, it was—confusing.

One sunset hour as I sat alone on the planter’s veranda immersed in a romance, I noticed, too late to offer any serviceable warning, this impressive black suit and its ungenerously nicknamed contents coming in at the gate unprotected. Dogs, in the South, in those times, were not the caressed and harmless creatures now so common. A Mississippi planter’s watch-dogs were kept for their vigilant and ferocious hostility to the negro of the quarters Vol.. XX.—16

and to all strangers. One of these, a powerful, notorious, bloodthirsty brute, long-bodied, deer-legged—you may possibly know that big breed the planters called the “cur-dog” and prized so highly—darted out of hiding and silently sprang at the visitor’s throat. Gregory swerved, and the brute’s fangs, whirling by his face, closed in the sleeve and rent it from shoulder to elbow. At the same time another, one of the old “bear-dog” breed, was coming as fast as the light block and chain he had to drag would allow him. Gregory neither spoke nor moved to attack or retreat. At my outcry the dogs slunk away, and he asked me, diffidently, for a thing which was very precious in those days—pins.

But he was quickly surrounded by pitying eyes and emotional voices, and was coaxed into the house, where the young ladies took his coat away to mend it. While he waited for it in my room I spoke of the terror so many brave men had of these fierce homeguards. I knew one such beast that was sired of a wolf. He heard me with downcast eyes, at first with evident pleasure, but very soon quite gravely.

“They can afford to fear dogs,” he replied, “when they’ve got no other fear.” And when I would have it that he had shown a stout heart he smiled ruefully.

“I do everything through weakness,” he soliloquized, and, taking my book, opened it as if to dismiss our theme. But I bade him turn to the preface, where we read something like this:

That the seed of heroism is in all of us; else we should not forever relish, as we do, stories of peril, temptation, and exploit Their true zest is no mere ticklement of our curiosity or wonder, but comradeship with souls that have courage in danger, faithfulness under trial, or magnanimity in triumph or defeat. We have, moreover, it went on to say, a care for human excellence in general, by reason of which we want not alone our son, or cousin, or sister, but man everywhere, the norm, man, to be strong, sweet, and true; and reading stories of such, we feel this wish rebound upon us as duty sweetened by a new hope, and a new yearning for its fulfilment in ourselves.

“In short,” said I, closing the book, “those imaginative victories of soul over circumstance become essentially ours by sympathy and emulation, don’t they?”

“O yes,” he sighed, and added an indistinct word about “spasms of virtue.” But I claimed a special charm and use for unexpected and detached heroisms, be they fact or fiction. “If adventitious virtue,” I argued, ” can spring up from unsuspected seed and without the big roots of character”

“You think,” interrupted Gregory, “there’s a fresh chance for me.”

“For all the common run of us!” I cried. “Why not? And even if there isn’t, hasn’t it a beauty and a value? Isn’t a rose a rose, on the bush or off? Gold is gold wherever you find it, and the veriest spasm of time virtue, coined into action, is true virtue, and counts. It may not work my nature’s whole redemption, but it works that way, and is just that much solid help toward the whole world’s uplift” I was young enough then to talk in that high-flown manner, and he actually took comfort in my words, confessing that it had been his way to count a good act which was not in character with its doer as something like a dead loss to everybody.

“I’m glad it’s not,” he said, “for I reckon my ruling motive is always fear.”

“Was it fear this evening ?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied, “it was. It was fear of a coward’s name, and a sort of abject horror of being one.”

“Too big a coward inside,” I laughed, “to be a good stout coward outside,” and he assented.

“Smith,” he said, and paused long, “if I were a hard drinker and should try to quit, it wouldn’t be courage that would carry me through, but fear; quaking fear of a drunkard’s life and a drunkard’s death.”

I began to reply, but kept my tongue. He read the warning accusation in my eye.

“I’m afraid so,” he responded. You can guess what we meant. “I had a strange experience once,” he presently added, abstractedly, as if reminded of it by what we had last said “I took a prisoner.”

“By the overwhelming power of fear?” I inquired.

“Partly, yes. I saw him before he saw me and I felt that if I didn’t take him he’d either take me or shoot me, so I covered him and he surrendered. We were in an old pine-clearing grown up with oak-bushes.”

“Would it have been less strange,” I inquired, “if you had been in an old oak-clearing grown up with pinebushes?”

“No, he’d have got away just the same.”

“What! you didn’t bring him in?”

“Only part of the way. Then he broke and ran.”

“And you had to shoot him?”

“No, I didn’t even shoot at him. I couldn’t, Smith; he looked so much like me. It was like seeing my own ghost. All the time I had him something kept saying to me, ‘You’re your own prisoner—you’re your own prisoner.’ And— do you know?—that thing comes back to me now every time I get into the least sort of a tight place!”

“I wish it would come to me,” I responded. A slave girl brought his coat and our talk remained unfinished until five years after the war.


Gregory had been brought up on the shore of Mississippi Sound, a beautiful region fruitful mainly in apathy of character. He was a skilled lover of sail-boats. When we all got back to New Orleans, paroled, and cast about for a living in the various channels “open to gentlemen,” he, largely, I think, owing to his timid notion of his worth, went into the rough business of owning and sailing a small, handsome schooner in the “Lake trade,” which, you know, includes Mississippi Sound. I married, and for some time he liked much to come and see us—on inclement evenings, when he knew we’d be

alone. He was in lore ret, as he had been when we were fellow – absentees from camp, and with the same girl. But his passion had never presumed to hope, and the girl was of too true a sort ever to thrust hope upon him. What his love lacked in courage it made up in constancy, however, and morning, noon, and night—sometimes midnight too. I venture to say—his all top patient heart bowed mutely down toward its holy city across the burning sands of his diffidence. “When another fellow stepped in and married her, he simply loved on, in the same innocent, dumb, harmless way as before. He gave himself some droll consolations. One of these was a pretty, sloop-rigged sail-boat trim and swift, on which he lavished the tendernesses he knew he should never bestow upon any living she. He named her Sweetheart; a general term; but he knew that we all knew it meant the mender of his coat By and by his visits fell off and I met him oftenest on the street Sometimes we stopped for a moment’s sidewalk chat, New Orleans fashion, and I still envied the clear bronze of his fine skin, which the rest of us had soon lost. But after a while certain changes began to show for the worse, until one day in the summer of the fifth year he tried to hurry by me, I stopped him, and was thinking what a handsome fellow he was even yet, with such a quiet, modest fineness about him, when he began, with a sudden agony of face, “My schooner’s sol 1 for debt! You know the reason; I’ve seen you read it all over me every time we have met, these twelve months—O don’t look at me!”

His slim, refined hands—he gave me both — were clammy and tremulous. “Yes,” he babbled on, “it’s a fixed fact, Smith; the cracked fiddle’s a smashed fiddle at last!”

I drew him out of the hot sun and into a secluded archway, he talking straight on with a speed and pitiful grandiloquence totally unlike him. “I’ve finished all the easy parts—the first ecstasies of pure license—the long down-hill plunge with all its mad exhilarations —the wild vanity of venturing and defying—that bigness of the soul’s experiences which makes even its anguish

seem finer than the old bitterness of tame propriety—they are all behind me, now—the valley of horrors is before! You can’t understand it, Smith. O you can’t understand”

But I did. Are we not, all, sinuers together? And, anyhow, one does not have to put himself through a whole criminal performance to apprehend its spiritual experiences. I understood all, and especially what he unwittingly betrayed even now; that deep thirst for the dramatic element in one’s own life, which, when social conformity fails to supply it becomes, to an eager soul, sin’s cunningest allurement.

I tried to talk to him. “Oregon-, that day the dogs jumped on you—you remember?—didn’t you say if ever you should reach this condition your fear might save you?”

He stared at me a moment “Do you “—a ray of humor lighted his eyes —” do you still believe in spasms of virtue?”

“Thank heaven, yes!” laughed I, and he said good-by and was gone.

I heard of him twice afterward that day. About noon some one coming into the office said: “I just now saw Crackedfiddle buying a great lot of powder and shot and fishing-tackle. Here’s a note. He says first read it and then seal it and send it to his aunt.” It read:

“Don’t look for me. You can’t find me. I’m not going to kill or hurt myself, and I’ll report again in a month.”

I delivered it in person on my way uptown, advising his kinswoman to trust him on his own terms and hope for the best. Privately, of course, I was distressed, and did not become less so when, on reaching home, my wife told me that he had been there and borrowed an arm-load of books, saying he might return some of them in a month, but would probably keep others for two. So he did ; and one evening, when he brought the last of them back, he told us fully, my wife and I—spiritual experiences and all — what had occurred to him in the interval.

The sale of the schooner had paid its debt and left him some cash over. Better yet, Sweetheart was still liiH. On the day of his disappearance she was lying at the head of the New Basin, distant but a few minutes’ walk from the spot where we met and talked. When he left me he went there. At the stores thereabout he bought a new hatchet and axe, an extra water-keg or two, and a month’s provisions. He filled all the kegs, stowed everything aboard, and by the time the afternoon had half waned was rippling down the New Canal under mule-tow with a strong lake breeze in his face.

At the lake (Pontchartrain), as the tow-line was cast off, he hoisted sail, and, skimming out by light-house and breakwater, tripped away toward Pointeaux-Herbes and the eastern skyline beyond, he and Sweetheart alone, his hand clasping hers—the tiller, that is— hour by hour, and the small waves tiptoeing to kiss her southern cheek as she leaned it away from the saucy north wind. In time the low land and then the light-house sank and vanished behind them; on the left the sun went down in the purple-black swamps of Manchac; the intervening waters turned crimson and bronze under the fairer changes of the sky, while in front of them Fort Pike Light began to glimmer through an opal haze, and by and by to draw near. It passed. From a large in-bound schooner gliding by in the twilight came, in friendly recognition, the drone of a conch-shell, the last happy salutation Sweetheart was ever to receive. Then the evening star silvered their wake through the deep Rigolets, and the rising moon met them, her and her lover, in Lake Borgne, passing the dark pines of Round Island, and hurrying on toward the white sand-keys of the Gulf.

The night was well advanced as they neared the pine-crested dunes of Cat Island, in whose lee a more cautious sailor would have dropped anchor till the morning. But to this pair every mile of these fickle waters, channel and mud-lump, snug lagoon, open sea and hidden bar, each and all, were known as the woods are known to a hunter, and, as he drew her hand closer to his side, she turned across the track of the moon and bounded into the wide south. A maze of marsh islands—huddling along that narrow, half-drowned mainland of

cypress swamp and trembling prairie which follows the Mississippi out to sea —slept, leagues away, below the western waters. In the east lay but one slender boundary between the voyager and the shoreless deep, and this was so near that from its farther edge came now and again its admonishing murmur, the surf-thunder of the open Gulf rolling forever down the prone but unshaken battle-front of the sandy Chandeleurs.


So all night, lest wind or resolve should fail next day, he sailed. How to tell just where dawn found him I scarcely know. Somewhere in that blue wilderness, with no other shore in sight, yet not ovey three miles northeast of a “pass” between two long tide-covered sand-reefs, a ferment of delta silt—if science guesses right— had lifted higher than most of the islands behind it in the sunken west one mere islet in the shape of a broad crescent, with its outward curve to seaward and a deep, slender lagoon on the landward side filling the whole length of its bight. About half the island was flat and was covered with those strong marsh grasses for which you’ve seen cattle, on the mainland, venture so hungrily into the deep ooze. The rest, the southern half, rose in dazzling white dunes twenty feet or more in height and dappled green with patches of ragged sod and thin groups of dwarfed and wind-flattened shrubs. As the sun rose, Sweetheart and her sailor glided through a gap in the sand reef that closed the lagoon in, luffed, and as a great cloud of nesting pelicans rose from their dirty town on the flats, ran softly upon the inner sands, where a rillet, a mere thread of sweet liater, trickled across the white beach. Here he waded ashore with the utensils and provisions, made a fire, washed down a hot breakfast of bacon and pone with a pint of black coffee, returned to his boat and slept until afternoon. Wakened at length by the canting of the sloop with the fall of the tide, he rose, rekindled his fire, cooked and ate again, smoked two pipes, and then, idly shouldering his grin, made a long half-circuit of the beach to south and eastward, mounted the highest dune and gazed far and wide.

Nowhere on sand or sea under the illimitable dome was there sign of human presence on the earth. Nor would there likely be any. Except by misadventure no ship on any course ever showed more than a topmast above this horizon. Of the hunters and fishermen who roamed the islands nearer shore, with the Chandeleurs, the stormdrowned Grand Gosiers and the deepsea fishing grounds beyond, few knew the way hither, and fewer ever sailed it. At the sound of his gun the birds of the beach—sea-snipe, curlew, plover— showed the whites of their wings for an instant and fell to feeding again. Save when the swift Wilderness—you remember the revenue cutter—chanced this way on her devious patrol, only the steamer of the light-house inspection service, once a month, came up out of the southwest through yonder channel and passed within hail on her way from the stations of the Belize to those of Mississippi Sound; and he knew—had known before he left the New Basin— that she had just gone by here the day before.

But to Gregory this solitude brought no quick distress. “With a bird or two at his belt he turned again toward his dying fire. Once on the way he paused, as he came in sight of the sloop, and gazed upon it with a faintness of heart he had not known since his voyage began. However, it presently left him, and hurrying down to her side he began to unload her completely, and to make a permanent camp in the lee of a ridge of sand crested with dwarfed casino bushes, well up from the beach. The night did not stop him, and by the time he was tired enough for sleep he had lightened the boat of everything stowed into her the previous day. Before sunrise he was at work again, removing her sandbags, her sails, flags, cordage, even her spars. The mast would have been heavy for two men to handle, but he got it out whole, though not without hurting one hand so painfully that he had to lie off for over two hours. But by mid-day he was busy

again, and when at low water poor Sweetheart comfortably turned upon her side on the odorous, clean sand, it was never more to rise. The keen, new axe of her master ended her days.

“No! O no!” he said to me, “call it anything but courage! I felt—I don’t want to be sentimental — I*m sure I was not sentimental at the time, but — I felt as though I were a murderer. All I knew was that it had to’ be done. I trembled like a thief. I had to stoop twice before I could take up the axe, and I was so cold my teeth chattered. When I lifted the first blow I didn’t know where it was going to fall But it struck as true as a die, and then I flew at it. I never chopped so fast or clean in my life. I wasn’t fierce ; I was as full of self-delight as an overpraised child. And yet when something delayed me an instant I found I was still shaking. Courage,” said he, ” O no; I know what it was, and I knew then. But I had no choice; it was my last chance.”

I told him that any one might have thought him a madman chopping up his last chance.

“Maybe so,” he replied, “but I wasn’t; it was the one sane thing I could do ;” and he went on to tell me that when night fell the tallest fire that ever leapt from those sands blazed from Sweetheart’s piled ribs and keel.

It was proof to him of his having been shrewd, he said, that for many days he felt no repentance of the act nor was in the least lonely. There was an infinite relief merely in getting clean away from the huge world of men, with all its exactions and temptations and the myriad rebukes and rebuffs of its crass propriety and thrift. He had endured solitude enough in it; the secret lonelineHS of a spiritual bankruptcy- Here was life begun over, with none to make new debts to except nature and himself, and no besetments but his own circumvented propensities. What humble, happy masterhood! Each dawn he rose from dreamless sleep and leaped into the surf as into the embrace of a new existence. Every hour of day brought some unfrettin^ task or hale pastime. With sheath-knife and sail-needle lie made of his mainsail a handsome tent, using the maiuboom for his ridge-pole, and finishing it just in time for the first night of rain—when, nevertheless, he lost all his coffee!

He did not waste toil. He hoarded its opportunities as one might husband salt on the mountains or water in the desert, and loitering in well-calculated idleness between thoughts many and things of sea and shore innumerable, filled the intervals from labor to labor with gentle entertainment. Skyward ponderings by night, canny discoveries under foot by day, quickened his mind and sight to vast and to minute significances, until they declared an Author known to him hitherto only by tradition, and every acre of the barren islet grew fertile in beauties and mysteries, and a handful of sand at the door of his tent held him for hours guessing the titanic battles that had ground the invincible quartz to that crystal meal and fed it to the sea.

I may be more rhetorical than he was, but he made all the more of these conditions while experiencing them, because he knew they could not last out the thirty days, nor half the thirty, and took modest comfort in a will strong enough to meet all present demands, well knowing there was one exigency yet to arise, one old usurer still to be settled with who had not yet brought in his dun.


It came — began to come — in the middle of the second week. At its familiar approach he felt no dismay, save a certain inert dismay that it brought none. Three, four, five times he went bravely to the rill, drowned his thirst and called himself satisfied; but the second day was worse than the first; the craving was better than the rill’s brief cure of it, and once he rose straight from drinking of the stream and climbed the dune to look for a sail.

He strove in vain to labor. The pleasures of toil were as stale as those of idleness. His books were put aside with a shudder, and he walked abroad with a changed gait; the old extortioner was levying on his nerves. And

on his brain. He dreamed that night of war-times; found himself commander of a whole battery of heavy guns, and lo, they were all quaker-cannon. When he would have fled monstrous terrors met him at every turn, till he woke and could sleep no more. Dawn widened over sky and sea, but its vast beauty only mocked the castaway. All day long he wandered up and down and along and across his glittering prison, no tiniest speck of canvas, no faintest wreath of smoke, on any water’s edge; the horror of his isolation growing—growing—like the monsters of his dream, and his whole nature wild with a desire which was no longer a mere physical drought, but a passion of the soul, that gave the will an unnatural energy and set at naught every true interest of earth and heaven. Again and again he would have shrieked its anguish, but the first note of his voice rebuked him to silence as if he had espied himself in a glass. He fell on his face voiceless, writhing, and promised himself, nay, pledged creation and its Creator, that on the day of his return to the walks of men he would drink the cup of madness and would drink it thenceforth till he died.

When night came again he paced the sands for hours and then fell to work to drag by long and toiling obliques to a favorable point on the southern end of the island the mast he had saved, and to raise there a flag of distress. In the shortness of his resources he dared not choose the boldest exposures, where the first high wind would cast it down; but where he placed it it could be seen from every quarter except the north, and any sail approaching from that direction was virtually sure to come within hail even of the voice.

Day had come again as he left the finished task, and once more from the highest wind-built ridge his hungering eyes swept the round sea’s edge. But he saw no sail. Nerveless and exhausted he descended to the southeastern beach and watched the morning brighten. The breezes, that for some time had slept, fitfully revived, and the sun leaped from the sea and burned its way through a low bank of dark and ruddy clouds with so unusual a splendor that the beholder was in some degree both quickened and tranquillized. He could even play at self-command, and in child fashion bound himself not to mount the dunes strain for a northern look within an hour. This southern half-circle must suffice. Indeed, unless these idle zephyrs should amend, no sail could in that time draw near enough to notice any signal he could offer.

Playing at self-command gave him some earnest of it In a whim of the better man he put off his clothes and sprang into the breakers. He had grown chill, but a long wrestle with the surf warmed his blood, and as he reclothed himself and with a better step took his way along the beach toward his tent a returning zest of manhood refreshed his spirit. The hour was up, but in a kind of equilibrium of impulses and with much emptiness of mind, he let it lengthen on, made a tire, and for the first time in two days cooked food. He ate and still tarried. A brand in his camp fire, a piece from the remnant of his boat, made beautiful names. He idly cast in another and was pleased to find himself sitting there instead of gazing his eyes out for sails that never rose into view. He watched a third brand smoke and blaze. And then, as tamely as if the new impulse were only another part of a continued abstraction, he arose and once more climbed the sandy hills. The highest was some distance from his camp. At one point near its top a brief northeastward glimpse of the marsh’s outer edge and the blue waters beyond showed at least that nothing had come near enough to raise the pelicans. But the instant his sight cleared the crown of the ridge he rushed forward, threw up his arms, and lifted his voice in a long, imploring yell. Hardly two miles away, her shapely canvas leaning and stiffening in the augmented breeze, a small yacht had just gone about, and with twice the speed at which she must have approached was hurrying back straight into the north.

The frantic man dashed back and forth along the crest, tossing his arms, waving his Madras handkerchief, curs

ing himself for leaving his gun so far behind, and again and again repeating his vain ahoys in wilder and wilder alternations of beseeching and rage. The lessening craft flew straight on. no ear in her skilled enouirh to catch the distant cry. and no eye alert enough to scan the dwindling sand-hills. He ceased to call, but still, with heavynotes of distress to himself, waved and waved, now here, now there, while the sail grew smaller and smaller. At length he stopped this also and only stood gazing. Almost on first sight of the craft he had guessed that the men in her had taken alarm at the signs of changing weather, and seeing the freshening smoke of his fire hail also inferred that earlier sportsmen were already on the island. Oh, if he could have tired one shot when she was nearest! But already she was as hopelessly gone as though she were even now below the horizon. Suddenly he turned and ran down to his camp. Not for the gun; not in any new hope of signalling the yacht. No, no; a raft! a raft! Deliverance or destruction, it should be at his own hand and should wait no longer!

A raft forthwith he set about to make. Some stout portions of his boat were still left Tough shrubs of the sandhills furnished treunels and suppler parts. Of ropes there was no lack. The mast was easily dragged down again to the beach to be once more a mast, and in nervous haste, yet with skill and thoroughness, the tent was ripped up and remade into a sail, and even a rude centreboard was rigged in order that one might tack against unfavorable winds.

Winds, at nightfall, when the thing began to be near completion, there were none. The day’s sky had steadily withdrawn its favor. The sun shone as it sank into the waves, but in the northwest and southeast dazzling thunderheads swelled from the sea’s line high into the heavens, and in the early dusk began with silent kindlings to challenge each other to battle. As night swiftly closed down the air grew unnaturally still. From the toiler’s brow, worse than nt noon, the sweat rolled off, as at last ho brought his work to a close by the glare of his leaping camp-tire. Now, unless

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he meant only to perish, he must once more eat and sleep while he might. Then let the storm fall; the moment it was safely over and the wind in the right quarter he would saiL As for the thirst which had been such torture while thwarted, now that it ruled unchallenged, it was purely a wild, glad zeal as full of method as of diligence. But first he must make his diminished provisions and his powder safe against the elements; and this he did, covering them with a water-proof stuff and burying them in a northern slope of sand.

He awoke in the small hours of the night. The stars of the zenith were quenched. Blackness walled and roofed him in close about his crumbled fire, save when at shorter and shorter intervals and with more and more deafening thunders the huge clouds lit up their own forms, writhing one upon another, and revealed the awe-struck sea and ghostly sands waiting breathlessly below. He rose to lay on more fuel, and while he was in the act the tornado broke upon him. The wind, as he had forecast, came out of the southeast In an instant it was roaring and hurtling against the farther side of his island rampart like the charge of a hundred thousand horse and tossing the sand of the dunes like blown hair into the northwest, while the rain in one wild deluge lashed the frantic sea and weltering lagoon as with the whips of the Furies.

He had kept the sail on the beach for a protection from the storm, but before he could crawl under it he was as wet as though he had been tossed up by the deep, and yet was glad to gain its cover from the blinding floods and stinging sand. Here he lay for more than an hour, the rage of the tempest continually growing, the heavens in a constant pulsing glare of lightnings, their terrific thunders smiting and bellowing round and round its echoing vault, and the very island seeming at times to stagger back and recover again as it braced itself against the fearful onsets of the wind. Snuggling in his sail-cloth burrow, he complacently recalled an earlier storm like this, which he and Sweetheart, the only other time they ever were here, had tranquilly weath

ered in this same lagoon. On the mainland, in that storm, cane- and rice-fields had been laid low and half destroyed, houses had been unroofed, men had been killed. A woman and a boy, under a pecan-tree, were struck by lightning; and three men who had covered themselves with a tarpaulin on one of the wharves in New Orleans were blown with it into the Mississippi, poor fellows, and were drowned ; a fact worthy of second consideration in the present juncture.

This second thought had hardly been given it before he crept hastily from his refuge and confronted the gale in quick alarm. The hurricane was veering to southward. Let it shift but a point or two more, and its entire force would sweep the lagoon and its beach. Before long the change came. The mass of canvas at his feet leapt clear of the ground and fell two or three yards away. He sprang to seize it, but in the same instant the whole storm — rain, wind, and sand—whirled like a troop of fiends round the southern end of the island, the ceaseless lightnings showing the way, and came tearing and howling up its hither side. The white sail lifted, bellied, rolled, fell, vaulted into the air, fell again, tumbled on, and at the foot of a dune stopped until its wind-buffeted pursuer had almost overtaken it. Then it fled again, faster, faster, higher, higher up the sandy slope to its top, caught and clung an instant on some unseen bush, and then with one mad bound into the black sky, unrolled, widened like a phantom, and vanished forever.

Gregory turned in desperation, and in the glare of the lightning looked back toward his raft Great waves were rolling along and across the slender reef in wide obliques and beating themselves to death in the lagoon, or sweeping out of it again seaward at its more northern end. On the dishevelled crest of one he saw his raft, and on another its mast. He could not look a second time. The flying sand blinded him and cut the blood from his face. He could only cover his eyes and crawl under the bushes in such poor lee as he could find; and there, with the first lull of the storm, heavy with exhaustion and despair, he fell asleep and slept on til far into the day. When he awoke the tempest was over.

Even more completely the tumult within him was quieted. He rose and stool forth mute in spirit as in speech; humbled, yet content, in the consciousness that having miserably failed first to save himself and then to rue himself back to destruction, the hurricane had been his deliverer. It had spared his supplies, his ammunition, his weapons, only hiding them deeper under the dune sands; but scarce a vestige of his camp remained and of his raft nothing, and as once more from the highest sand-ridge he looked down upon the sea weltering in the majestic after-heavings of its passion, at the eastern beach booming under the shock of its lofty rollers, and then into the sky still gray with the endless flight of southward-hurrying scud, he felt the stir of a new attachment to them and his wild prison, and pledged alliance with them thenceforth.

Hebe, in giving me his account, Gregory asked me if that sounded sentimental. I said no, and thereupon he actually tried to apologize to me as a professional story-teller, for having had so few deep feelings in the moments where the romancists are supposed to place them. I told him what I had once seen a mechanic do on a steep, slated roof nearly a hundred feet from the pavement. He had faced around from his work, which was close to the ridge-tiles, probably to kick off the shabby shoes he had on, when some hold failed him and he began to slide toward the eaves. We people in the street below fairly moaned our horror, but he didn’t utter a sound. He held back with all his skill, one leg thrust out in front, the other drawn up with the knee to his breast, and his hands flattened beside him on the slates, but he came steadily on down till his forward foot passed over the eaves and his heel caught on the tin gutter. Then he stopped. We held our breath below. He slowly and cautiously threw off one

shoe, then the other, and then turned, clinibed back up the roof and resumed his work. And we two or three witnesses down in the street didn’t think any less of him because he did so without anv show of our glad emotion.

‘O.’if I’d hail that fellows nerve,” said Gregorv, ■• that would be another thing!”

My wife and I smiled at each other. “How would it be ‘another thing ?” we asked. ‘• Did you not quietly get up and begin life over again as if nothing had occurred?”

‘■ There wasn’t anything else to do,” he replied, with a smile. “The f ings came later, too, in an easy soi■: gradual way. I never could quite:.:. ke out how men get such clear notion ■ >’ what they call * Providence,’ but, just the same. I know by experience there’s all the difference of peace and misery, or life and death, whether you’re in partnership with the things that help the world on, or with those that hold it back.”

“But with that feeling,” my wife asked, “did not your longing for our human world coutinue?”

“No,” he replied, “but I got a new liking for it—although, you understand, / never had anything against it, of course. It’s too big and strong for me, that’s all; and that’s my fault. Your man on that slippery roof kicking his shoes off is a sort of parable to me. If your hand or your foot offend you and you have to cut it off. that’s a physical disablement, and bad enough. But when your gloves and your shoes are too much for you, and you have to pluck them off and cast them from you, you find each one is a great big piece of the civilized world, and you hardly know how much you did like it, till you’ve lost it And still, it’s no use longing, when you know your limitations, and I saw I’d got to keep my world trimmed down to where I could run barefooted on the sand.”

He told us that now he began for the first time since coming to the island, to find his books his host source, of interest and diversion. He learned, he said, a way of reading by which sea, sky, book, island, and absent humanity, all seemed parts of one whole, and all to speak together in one harmony, while they toiled together for one harmony some day to be perfected. Not all books, nor even all good books, were equally good for that effect, he thought, and the best

“You might not think it,” he said, “but the best was a Bible I’d chanced to carry along;” he didn’t know precisely what kind, but “just one of these ordinary Bibles you see lying around in people’s houses.” He extolled the psalms and asked my wife if she’d ever noticed the beauty of the twenty-third. She smiled and said she believed she had.

“Then there was one,” he went on, “beginning, ‘Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too wonderful for me;’ and by and by it says, ‘Surely, I have quieted myself as a child that is weaned: my soul is even as a weaned child.'”

One day, after a most marvellous-sunset, he had been reading, he said, “that long psalm with twenty-two parts in it— a hundred and seventy-six verses.” He had intended to read “Lord, my heart is not haughty” after it, though the light was fast failing, but at the hundred and seventy-sixth verse he closed the book. Thus he sat in the nearly motionless air, gazing on the ripples of the lagoon as, now singly, and now by twos or threes, they glided up the beach tinged with the colors of parting day as with a grace of resignation, and sank into the grateful sands like the lines of this last verse sinking into his heart; now singly—” I have gone astray like a lost sheep;” and now by twos— “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; save thy servant;” or by threes—”I have gone astray like a lost sheep; save thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.”

“I shouldn’t tell that,” he said to us, “if I didn’t know so well how little it counts for. But I knew at the time that when the next day but one should bring the light-house Bteamer I shouldn’t be any more fit to go ashore, to stay, than a jelly-fish.” We agreed, he and I (my wife dissenting) that there can be as wide a distance between fine feelings and faithful doing as, he said, ” be

tween listening to the band and charging a battery.”

‘On the islet the night deepened. The moon had not risen, and the stars only glorified the dark, as it, in turn, revealed the unearthly beauties of a phosphorescent sea. It was one of those rare hours in which the deep confessed the amazing numbers of its own living and swarming constellations. Not a fish could leap or dart, not a sinuous thing could turn, but it became an animate torch. Every quick movement was a gleam of green fire. No drifting, flaccid life could pulse so softly along but it betrayed itself in lambent outlines. Each throb of the water became a beam of light, and every ripple that widened over the strand—still whispering, “I have gone astray “—was edged with luminous pearls.

In an agreeable weariness of frame, untroubled in mind, and counting the night too beautiful for slumber he reclined on the dry sands with an arm thrown over a small pile of fagots which he had spent the day in gathering from every part of the island to serve his need for the brief remainder of his stay. In this search he had found but one piece of his boat, a pine board. This he had been glad to rive into long splinters and bind together again as a brand, with which to signal the steamer if—contrary to her practice, I think he said—she should pass in the night. And so, without a premonition of drowsiness, he was presently asleep, with the hours radiantly folding and expiring one upon another like the ripples on the beach.

When he came to himself he was on his feet. The moon was high, his fire was smouldering; his heart was beating madly and his eyes were fixed on the steamer, looming large, moving at full speed, her red light showing, her green light hid, and her long wake glowing with comet fire. In a moment she would be passing. It was too late for beacon-flame or torch. He sprang for his gun, and mounting the first low rise fired into the air, once !—twice !— and shouted, “Help !—help!”

She kept straight on. She was passing, she was passing! In trembling haste he loaded and fired again, again wailed oat his ay for help, and still she kept her speed. He had loaded for the third discharge, still frantically calling the while, and was lifting his sun to fire when he saw the white Light at her foremast-head becin to draw nearer to the red light at her waist and knew she wa% turning. He fired, shouted, and tried to load again; but as her green light brightened into riew beside the red. he dropped his gun and leaped and crouched and laughed and wept for joy.

“Whr, Gregory!” the naval lieutenant cried, as the castaway climbed from the steamers boat to her deck. “Why. you blasted old cracked fiddle! what in”

•• Right, the first guess!” laughed Gregory. “there’s where I’ve been!” and in the cabin he explained alL

‘•The fiddle’s mended.” he concluded. “You can play a tune on it—by being careful”

•• But what’s your tune ?” asked his hearer: “you cannot go back to that island”

“Yes, 111 be on it in a week—with a schooner-load of cattle. I can get them on credit. Going to raise cattle there as a regular business. They’ll fatten in that marsh like blackbirds.”

True enough, before the week -was up the mended fiddle was playine its tune. It was not until Gregory’s second return from his island that he came to see us and told us his simple story. We asked him how it was that the steamer, that first time, had come so much earlier than she generally did.

“She didn’t,” he replied. “I had miscounted one day.”

“Don’t you,” asked my wife, who woidd have liked a more religious tone in Gregory’s recital, “don’t you have

trouble to keep run of your Sabbaths away out there alone ? *

“Why *” — he smiled — *• it’s always Sunday there. Here almost everybody feels duty bound to work harder than somebody else, or else make somebody else work harder than he, and you need a day every now and then for Sunday— or Sabbath, at least. Oh. I suppose it’s all one in the end, isn’t it? You take yours in a pill. I take mine in a powder. Not that it’s the least bit like a dose, however, except for the good it does.”

“And you’re really prospering, even in a material way!” I said.

“Yes.” he answered. “0 yes; the island’s already too small for us.”

“It’s certainly very dangerously exposed.” said my wife, and I guessed her thought was on Last Island, which, you remember, though very large and populous, had been, within our recollection, totally submerged, with dreadful loss of life.

•■Oyes,” he responded, “there’s always something, wherever you are. One of these days souie storm’s going to roll the sea clean over the whole thing.”

“Then, why don’t you move to a bigger island closer inshore?” she asked.

“I’m afraid,” said Gregory, and smiled.

“Afraid!’ said my wife, incredulously.

“Yes,” he responded. “I’m afraid my prisoner!! get away fro in me.”

As his hand closed over hers in goodby I saw, what he could not, that she had half a notion to kiss it. I told her so when he was gone, and kissed hers —for him.

“I don’t care,” she said, dreamily, as it lingered in mine, “I’m glad I mended his coat for him that time.”

The Living Age, Volume 39 (Google Books)


Of the two dozen species of American wild-ducks, none has a wider celebrity than that known as the canvas-back; even the eider-duck is less thought of, as the Americans care little for beds of down. But the juicy, fine-flavored flesh of the canvas-back is esteemed by all classes of people; and epicures prize it above that of all other winged creatures, with the exception, perhaps, of the reed-bird or rice-bunting, and the prairiehen. These last enjoy a celebrity almost, if not altogether equal. The prairie-hen, however, is the bon tnorceau of western epicures; while the canvas-back is only to be found in the great cities of the Atlantic. The reedbird — the American representative of the ortolan — is also found in the same markets with the canvas-back. The flesh of all three of these birds — although the birds themselves are of widely different families — is really of the most delicious kind: it would be hard to say which of them is the greatest favorite. The canvas-back is not a large duck, rarely exceeding three pounds in weight. Its color is very similar to the pochard of Europe; its head is a uniform deep chestnut, its breast black; while the back and upper part of the wings present a surface of bluishgray, so lined and mottled as to resemble — though very slightly, I think — the texture of canvas: hence the trivial name of the bird.

Like most of the water-birds of America, the canvas-back is migratory. It proceeds in spring to the cold countries of the Hudson’s Bay territory, and returns southward in October, appearing in immense flocks along the Atlantic shores. It does not spread over the freeli-water lakes of the United States, but confines itself to three or four well-known haunts, the principal of which is the great Chesapeake Bay. This preference for the Chesapeake Bay is easily accounted for, as here its favorite food is found in the greatest abundance. Hound the mouths of the rivers that run into this bay, there are extensive shoals of brackish water; these favor the growth of a certain plant of the genus vallisneria — a grass-like plant, standing several feet out of the water, with deep green leaves, and stemless, and having a white and tender root. On this root, which is of such a char-acter as has given the plant the trivial name of wild celery, the canvas-back feeds exclusively; for wherever it is not to be found, neither does the bird make its appearance. Diving fur it, and bringing it up in its bill, the canvas-back readily breaks off the long tanceolato leaves, which float off, either to be

eaten by another species — the pochard or

to form immense banks of wrack, that are thrown up against the adjacent shores. It is to the roots of the wild celery that the flesh of the canvas-back owes its esteemed Savor, causing it to be in such demand that very often a pair of these ducks will bring three dollars in the markets ot New York and Philadelphia. When the finest turkey can be had for less than a third of that sum, some idea may be formed of the superior estimation in which the web-footed favorites are held.

Of course, shooting the canvas-back duck is extensively practised, not only as an amusement, but as a professional occupation. Various means are employed to slaughter these birds: decoys by means of dogs, duck-boats armed with guns that resemble infernalmachines, and disguises of every possible kind. The birds themselves are extremely shy; and a shot at them is only obtained by great ingenuity and after considerable dodging. They are excellent divers; and when only wounded, almost always make good their escape. Their shyness is overcome by their curiosity. A dog placed upon the shore, near where they happen to be, and trained to run backwards and forwards, will almost always seduce them within shot. Should the dog himself not succeed, a red rag wrapped around bis body, or tied to his tail, will generally bring about the desired result. There are times, however, when the ducks have been much shot at, that even this decoy fails of success.

On account of the high price the canvasbacks bring in the market, they are pursued by the hunters with great assiduity, and are looked upon as a source of much profit. So important has this been considered, that in the international treaties between the states bordering upon the Chesapeake, there are several clauses or articles relating to them that limit the right of shooting to certain parties. An infringement of this right, some three or flfcir years ago, led to serious collisions between the gunners of Philadelphia and Baltimore. So far was the dispute carried, that schooners armed, and filled with armed men, cruised for some time on the waters of the Chesapeake, and all the initiatory steps of a little war were taken by both parties. The interference of the general government prevented what would have proved, had it been left to itself, a very sanguinary affair.

Staying for some days at the house of a planter near the mouth of a small river that runs into the Chesapeake, I felt inclined to have a shot at the far-famed canvas-backs. I had often eaten of these birds, but had never shot one, or even seen them in their natural habitat. 1 was, therefore, anxious to try my hand upon them, and I accordingly set out one morning for that purpose. My friend lived upon the bank of the river, some distance above tide-water. As the wild celery grows only in brackish water — that is, neither in the salt sea itself nor yet in the freshwater rivers — I had to pass down the little stream a mile or more before I came to the proper place for finding the ducks. I wCDt in a small skiff, with no other companion than an ill-favored cur-dog, with which I had been furnished, and which was represented to me as one of the best duck-dogs in the country. My friend, having business elsewhere, unfortunately could not upon that day give me his company; but I knew something of the place, and being au fait in most of the dodges of duck-hunting, I fancied I was quite able to take care of myself.

Floating and rowing by turns, I soon came in sight of the bay and the wild-celery fields, and also of flocks of water-fowl of different species, among which I could recognize the pochards, the canvas-backs, and the common American widgeon (Anas Americana). Seeking a convenient place near the mouth of the stream, I landed; and, tying the skiff to some weeds, proceeded in search of a cover. This was soon found — some bushes favored me; and, having taken my position, I set the dog to his work. The brute, however, took but little notice of my words and gestures of encouragement. I fancied that lie had a wild and frightened look, but I attributed this to my being partially a stranger to him; and was in hopes that, as soon as we became- better acquainted, he would work in a different manner. 1 was disappointed, however, as, do what I might, he would not go near the water, nor would he perform the trick of running to and fro which I had been assured by my friend he would be certain to do. On the contrary, he cowered among the bushes, near where I had stationed myself, and seemed unwilling to move out of them. Two or three times, when I dragged him forward, and motioned him toward the water, he rushed back again, and ran under the brushwood.

I was exceedingly provoked with this conduct of the dog, the more so that a flock of canvas-backs, consisting of several thousands, was seated upon the water not more than half a mile from the shore. -Had my dog done his duty, I have no doubt they might hare been brought within range; and, calculating upon thin, I had made sure of a noble shot. My expectations, however, were defeated by the waywardness of the dog, and I saw there was no hope of doing anything with him. Having arrived at this conclusion, after some hours spent to no purpose, I rose from my cover, mi marched back to the skiff. I did not even motion the wretched cur to follow me;

I should have rowed off without him, risking the chances of my friend’s displeasure, but it pleased the animal himself to trot after

me without invitation, and, on arriving at the boat, to leap voluntarily into it. I was really so provoked with the brute, that I felt much inclined to pitch him out again. My vexation, however, gradually left me; and I stood up in the skiff, turning over in my mind what course I should pursue next.

I looked toward the flock of canvas-backs. It was a tantalizing sight. They sat upon the water as light as cork, and as close together as sportsman could desire for a shot. A well-aimed discharge could not have failed to kill a score of them at least. Was there no way of approaching them? This question I had put to myself for the twentieth time at least, without being able to answer it to my satisfaction.

An idea at length flitted across my brain. I had often approached common mallards by concealing my boat under branches or furze, and then floating down upon them, impelled either by the wind or the current of a stream. Might not this also succeed with the canvasbacks? I resolved upon making the experiment. The flock was in a position to enable me to do so. They were to the leeward of a sedge of the vallisneria. The wind would carry my skiff through this; and the green bushes with which I intended to disguise it would not be distinguished from the sedge, which was also green. The thing was feasible. I deemed it so. I set about cutting some leafy branches that grew near, and tying them along the gunwales of my little craft. In less than half an hour, I pushed her from the shore; and no one at a distance would have taken her for aught else than a floating raft of brushwood.

I now pulled quietly out until I had got exactly to windward of the ducks, at about half a mile’s distance from the edge of the flock. I then took in the paddles, and permitted the skiff to glide before the wind. I took the precaution to place myself in such a manner that I was completely hidden, while through the branches I commanded a view of the surface on any side I might wish to look. The bushes acted as a sail, and I was soon drifted down among the plants of the wild celery. I feared that this might stay my progress, as the breeze was light, and might not carry me through. But the sward, contrary to what is usual, was thin at the place whore the skiff had entered, and I felt, to my satisfaction, that I was moving, though slowly, in the right direction. I remember that the heat annoyed me at the time. It was the month of November; but it was that peculiar season known in America as ” Indian sumuter,” and the heat was excessive — not under 90 degrees, I am certain. The shrubbery that encircled me prevented a breath of air from reaching my body; and the rays of the noonday sun fell almost vertically in that southern latitude, scorching me as I lay along the bottom of the bout. Under other circumstances, I should not have liked to undergo such a rousting; but, with the prospect of a splendid shot before me, I endured it as best I could.

The skiff was nearly an hour in pushing its way through the field of vallisnerio, and once or twice it remained for a considerable time motionless. A stronger breeze, however, would spring up, and then the sound of the reeds rubbing the sides of the boat would gratefully admonish me that I was again moving ahead. I saw, at length, to my great gratification, that I was approaching the selvage of the sedge, and, moreover, that the flock itself was moving, as it were, to meet me! Many of the birds were diving and feeding in the direction of the skiff. I lay watching them with interest. I saw that the canvas-backs were accompanied by another species of a very different color from themselves: this was the Amerioan widgeon. It was a curious sight to witness the constant warfare that was carried on between these two species of birds. The widgeon is but a poor diver, while the canvas-back is one of the very l)est. The widgeon, however, is equally fond of the roots of the wild celery with his congener; but he has no means of obtaining them except by robbing the latter. Being a smaller and less powerful bird, he is not able to do this openly; and it was curious to observe the means by which he effected his purpose. It was as follows: When the Canvas-back descends, he must perforce remain some moments under water. It requires time to seize hold of the plant, and pluck it up by the roots. In consequence of this, he usually reaches tho Biirface in a state of half-blindness, holding the luscious morsel in his bill. The widgeon has observed him going down, and, calculating to a nicety the spot where ho will reappear, seats himself in readiness. The moment the other emerges, and before he can fully recover his sight or his senses, the active spoliator makes a dash, seizes the celery in his horny mandibles, and makes off with it as fast us his webbed feet can propel him. The canvas-back, although chagrined at being plundered in this impudent manner, knows that pursuit would be idle, and, setting the root down as lost, draws a fresh breath, and dives for another. I noticed in the flock the continual occurrence of such scenes.

A third species of birds drew my attention: these were the pochards, or, as they are termed by the gunners of tho Chesapeake, redheads (Fuligula erythroccphalus). Those creatures bear a very great resemblance to the oanvas-backs, and can hardly be distinguished except by their bills; those of the former being concave along the upper surface, while the bills of the canvas-backs exhibit a nearly ■ ‘I-li^’.it lino. I saw that the pochards did

not interfere with cither of the other species, contenting themselves with feeding upon neither of the others c.ired for — the green leaves of the vallisneria, which, after bein^ stripped of their roots, were floating in quantities on the surface of the water. Yet thess pochards are almost as much prized for the table as their cousins, the canvas-backs; and, indeed, they are often put off for the latter by the poulterers of Xiw York and Philadelphia. Those who would buy a real canvas-back should know something of natural history. The form and color of the bill would serve as a criterion to prevent their being deceived. In the pochard, the bill is of a bluish color; that of the canvas-buck is dark-green: moreover, the eye of the pochard is yellow, while that of its congener is fiery red.

These thoughts were banished from my mind, on perceiving that I had at last drifted within range of a thick clump of the ducks. Nothing now remained hut to poke my gun noiselessly through the bushes, set the cocks of both barrels, take aim, and fire. It was my intention to follow the usual plan — that is, fire one barrel at the birds while sitting, and give them the second us they rose upon the wing. This intention was carried out the moment after; and I had the gratification of seeing some fifteen or twenty ducks strewed over the water, at my service. The rest of the flock rose into the heavens, and the clapping of their wings filled the air with a noise that resembled thunder. I say that there appeared to have been fifteen or twenty killed; how many I never knew: I never laid my hands upon a single bird of them. I became differently occupied, and with a matter that soon drove canvas-backs, and widgeons, and pochards, as clean out of my head as if no such creatures had ever existed.

While drifting through the sedge, my attention had several times been .ttracted by what appeared to be strange conduct on the part of my canine companion. He lay cowering in the bottom of the boat near the l>ow, and half covered by the bushes: but every now and then he would start to his feet, look wildly around, utter a strange whimpering, and then resume his crouching attitude. I noticed, moreover, that at intervals he trembled as if he was about to shake out his teeth. All this had caused me wonder — nothing more. I was too much occupied in watching the game, to speculate upon causes ; I believed, if I formed any belief on the subject, that these manoeuvres were caused by fear; that the cur had never been to sea, and that he was now either sea-sick or sea-seared. This explanation had hitherto satisfied me, and I had thought no more upon the matter. I had scarcely delivered my second barrel, however, when my attention was anew attracted to the dog; and this timo was so arrested, that in ■ •tie half-second I thought of nothing else. ‘He animal had arisen, and stood within three feet of me, whining hideously. His eyes glared upon me with a wild and unnatural expression, his tongue lolled out, and saliva fell copiously from his lips. The dog was mad!

I saw that the dog was mad, as certainly as I saw the dog. I had seen mad dogs before, and knew the symptoms well. It was hydrophobia of the most dangerous character. Fear, quick and sudden, came over me. Fear is a tame word; horror, I should call it; and the phrase would not be too strong to express my sensations at that moment. 1 knew myself to be in a situation of extreme peril, and I saw not the way out of it. Death — death painful and horrid — appeared to be nigh, appeared to confront me, glaring from out the eyes of the hideous brute.

Instinct had caused me to put myself in an attitude of defence. My first instinct was a false one. I raised my gun, at the same moment manipulating the lock, with the design of cocking her. In the confusion of terror, I had even forgotten that both barrels were empty, that I had just scattered their contents in the sea. I thought of reloading; but a movement of the dog towards me showed that that would be a dangerous experiment; and a third thought or instinct directed me to turn the piece in my hand, and defend myself, if necessary, with the butt. This instinct was instantly obeyed, and in a second’s time I held the piece clubbed and ready to strike. I had retreated backward until I stood in the stern of the skiff. The dog had hitherto lain close up to the bow, but, after the shots, he had sprung up and taken a position nearer the centre of the boat. In fact, he had been within biting distance of me before I had noticed his madness. The position, into which I had thus half-involuntarily thrown myself, offered me but a trifling security.

Any one who has ever rowed an American stiff will remember that these little vessels are ” crank ” to an extreme degree. Although boat-shaped above, they are without keels, and a rude step will turn them bottom upward in an instant. Even to stand upright in them requires careful balancing; but to fight a mad doginone, without being oitten, would require the skill and adroitness of an acrobat. With all my caution, as I half-stood, half-crouched in the stern, the skiff rocked from side to side, and I was in danger of being pitched out. Should the dog spring at me, Iknew that any violent exertion to fend him off would either cause me to be precipitated into the water or would upset the boat—a still more dreadful alternative. These thoughts did not occupy half the time I have taken to describe them. Short, however, as that time was. in actual duration, to me it seemed long enough, for

the dog still held a threatening attitude, his forepaws resting upon one of the seats, while bis eyes continued to glare upon me with a wild and uncertain expression.

I remained for some moments in fearful suspense. I was half-paralyzed with terror, and uncertain what action it would be best to take. I feared that any movement would attract the fierce animal, and be the signal for him to spring upon me. I thought of jumping out of the skiff into the water. I could not wade in it. It was shallow enough — not over five feet in depth, but the bottom appeared to be of soft mud. I might sink another foot in the mud. No; I could not have waded. The idea was dismissed. To swim to the shore! I glanced sideways in that direction: it was nearly half a mile distant. I could never reach it, cumbered with ray clothes. To have stripped these off, would have tempted the attack. Even could I have done so, might not the dog follow, and seize me in the water! A horrible thought!

I abandoned all hope of escape, at least that might arise from any active measures on my part. I could do nothing to save myself; my only hope lay in passively awaiting the result. Impressed with this idea, I remained motionless as a statue; I moved neither hand nor foot from the attitude I had first assumed; I scarcely permitted myself to breathe, so much did I dread attracting the further attention of my terrible companion, and interrupting the neutrality that existed.

For some minutes — they seemed hours — this state of affairs continued. The dog still stood up, with his forepaws raised upon the bench; the oars were among his feet. In this position he remained, gazing wildly, though it did not appear to me steadily, in my nice. Several times I thought he was about to spring on me; and, although I carefully avoided making any movement, I instinctively grasped my gun with a firmer hold. To add to my embarrassment, I saw that I was fast drifting seaward! The wind was from the shore; it was impelling the boat with considerable velocity, in consequence of the mass of bushes acting as sails. Already it hod cleared the sedge, and was floating out in open water. To my dismay, at less than :i mile’s distance, / descried a line of breakers ‘. A side-glance was sufficient to convince me, that, unless the skiff was checked, she would drift upon these in the space of ten minutes. A fearful alternative now presented itself: I must either drive the dog from tho oars, or allow the skiff to be swamped among the breakers. The latter would bo certain death, the former offered a chance for life; and, nerving myself with the palpable necessity for action, I instantly resolved to make tlio attack.

Whether the dog had read my intention iu my eyes, or observed my fingers taking a firmer clutch of my gun, I know not, but at this moment he seemed to evince sudden fear, and, dropping down from the seat, he ran backward to the bow, and cowered down as before. My first impulse was to get hold of the oars, for the roar of the breakers already filled my ears. A better idea suggested itself immediately after, and that was to load my gun. This was a delicate business, but I set about it with all the caution I could command. I kept my eyes fixed upon the animal, and felt the powder, the wadding, and the snot, into the muzzle. I succeeded in loading one barrel, and fixing the cap. As I had now something upon which I could rely, I proceeded with more confidence, and loaded the second barrel with greater care, the dog eying me all the while. Had madness not obscured his intelligence, he would no doubt have interrupted my manipulations; as it was, he remained still until both barrels were loaded, capped, and cocked. I had no time to spare; the breakers were nigh; their hoarse ” sough” warned me of their perilous proximity: a minute more, and the little skis’ would be dancing among them like a shell, or sunk forsver. Not a moment was to bo lost, and yet I had to proceed with caution. I dared not raiso the gun to my shoulder — I dared not glance along the barrels: the manoeuvre might rouse the dangerous brute. I held the piece low, slanting along my thighs, I guided the barrels with my mind, and, feeling the direction to be true, I fired. I scarcely heard the report, on account of the roaring of the sea; but I saw the dog roll over, kicking violently. I saw a livid patch over his ribs, where the shot had entered in a clump. This would no doubt have proved sufficient; but, to make sure, I raised the gun to my shoulder, took aim, and sent the contents of the second barrel through the ribs of the miserable brute. His kicking ended almost instantly, and he lay dead in the bottom of the boat.

I dropped my gun and Sew to the oars: it was a close ” shave;” the skiff was already in white water, and dancing like a feather; but with a few strokes I succeeded in backing her out, and, then heading her away from the breakers, I pulled in a direct line for the shore. I thought not of my canvas-backs — they had floated, by this time, I neither knew nor cared whither: the sharks might have them for me. My only care was to get away from the scene as quickly as possible, determined never again to go duck-shooting with a cur for my companion.

The Pastoral Relation – what are Its Securities?: Case of the Rev. John … (Google Books)

My Brother Dr. McFarland, Sir, has solemnly inquired, if I am ready by /f. my exposures at Lexington, to “pull down all that holy work of which I /U have been the instrument in building up ?”—Why, Sir, let the work be tried, V even though it should be by fire. Let Dr. McFarland rest assured, that neither he nor I have the power to pull down one jot or tittle of God’s own building. Not one pin is he able to take out of its place. Not one pillar could the united strength ofhim,andmyself,and this Presbytery for, prevail to oveiturn. But wherever there is brass, or iron, or clay, or stubble, you may take it for certain that they will be consumed one day. And the sooner they are made manifest, the better. It may not yet be too late to have their places filled with the pure gold, Perhaps, Sir, the God of Zion is at this moment sitting as a refiner, and anxiously awaiting the moment, when he shall behold his own beautiful image in the crucible, purged from the dross of malice, wrath, hypocrisy, jealousy, and envy.

Modcrator,blame me not,if I now make a momentary descent into a region of inferiDr grade. Maj. Preston has no right,Sir,toask your pardon and mine in the same breath with which he associates me and himself in your presence, with a low comparison. Although he makes up his own feelings for the degrading similitude, he has no right to conclude, that {he feelings of his own Pastor are equally prepared for the vulgar comparison of him and myselfto two dogs; and, to two dogs,—fighting! The Major, I know, has a strong predilection for dogs, He keeps, I suppose, some three or four of them. I always thought, it was for the purpose, not of fighting, but of hunting. He doubtless knows much more than I do, of their physiological nature, habits, and propensities. And lie may be accustomed to draw some of his lesser morals from them. But the; Apostle says to me “Beware of dogs.” So, there are figurative (logs, Sir, as well as literal ones. I have heard that “curry dogs” occur in the catalogue of those figurative dogs. I have also been told, that some two years ago, a certain Professor of Rhetoric in the State Military Institute was placarded in the Public Newspapers as the ‘.curry dog” of its Superintendent, Col. Smith. I don’t think I ever had a curry dog to follow me. I would rather despise, T think, having such an attendant. But I hate to have a snarling, vicious “cur” even of a “lap dog,” barking and jumping up about me,’with its dirty feet. “Beware,” Sir,” of Dogs!” I would blush, Sir, and be mortified to the very core, if I thought it true,that a Presbyterian Elder of mine should ever degrade his Presbyterianism so far,as to become, ofhis ownaccord,the “curry dog,”ofan Episcopalian Vestry-man? Major Preston must excuse me, if 1 make some use betimes of that Rhetorical Instrument of his, the “Hypothetical Negative^”

The people of Lexington, Moderator, have the name of being not only a /I moral and a religious, but also an educated and a literary people. The very / town, Sir, sometimes flourishes in the Public Prints as the “Athens of Vir^j glnia.” My friend the Major, claims a pretty high rank among our Athenian Literati* If any man, Sir, in the Session or church of Lexington, be qualified to appear at your bar as an advocate or an apologist, it is he. I (hank those Eight gentlemen, since not one of them cquld plead his own cause, for the honour they have done me, inputting forward one as their advocate, whom it is no dishonour for any member of this Court to encounter as an intellectual opponent. I wish to retum him the compliment of doing the amplest justice to his talents and acquirements;—the more so, because, when he first buckled on his armour, he boasted not as one who putteth it off. He was first a graduate, I believe, of our own Washington. He then walked as an alumnus in the Halls of the University of Virginia ; and eventually finished his education at Yale, New England. He was thereafter, duly licensed as a Member of the Bar, and entered on the practice of his profession in the County of Bath. Smce the foundation of our State Military institute, he has occupied its Chair of ancient and modern literature. He is a practised debater in our Franklin Literary Institute. And, besides bemg a good man, he has the name of being a rich man. That is the gentleman, Sir, who marie no “show of humility,” when he told you in his exordium, that he was “not accustomed to public speaking.”

Moderator, I told you at Bethesda, that so far Was 1 from dreading any hostility which this faction might arouse against me, that I was not only willing, but implored that you should come to Lexington, and allow me to speak in the hearing of the very people among whom 1 have laboured, and lived, those seven years, in the faithful and onerous discharge of my ministry. I was conscious at the moment, that, “encompassed though 1 be with infirmities,” yet I had nothing to fear—nothing for which to Mush. It was. not I, Sir, hut you who shut the mouth of my Elder Dr. Leyburn at Uethesda. Had you given him the liberty of speeeh,then, as you cannot lefuse it to him now that he is before you as a Commissioner; I designed not only to have told him, that there was nothing which he had he?rd me “speak in the closet, which I was not willing, he should proclaim from the housetop;” —but also, to advise him, that if he broke up the seal of our confidential intercourse he should break it up for me, as well as for himself; and to say.that I have a number of beautiful portraits in my pocket, of certain characters is Lexington, drawn by a certain artist, and that I hoped he would not tempt me to exhibit them, for my vindication, to the assembly. It is well, perhaps. Sir, that his words to-day have been “few and well ordered.”—-Moderator, it is perhaps sufficiently manifest now, that 1 an* not the man to be intimidated either by the threats or the flattery of Major Preston or any other mam, or set of men hovvever wealthy or influential, into any timid, secret, or temporizing policy. I pursue uniformly a straight forward, frank, and fearless course. And there is no spectacle more abhorrent to my nature than to behold men, with whom I am called to deal, acting as if they were the brethren of the Mole,ancl conducting their operations under ground, and fn thedark. / have often seen it happen to such men, as. it is sung by our inspired Hebrew Prophet, as translated by Rouse,—The good old Scottish Seceders,Sir, generally had those versified Psalms committed to memory,and notonly sung them in praise, but were also in the habit of devoutly applying them, as’ they also did their Scottish proverbs, to the incidents of life. t

The Homeopathic World: A Monthly Journal of Medical, Social, and …, Volume 10 (Google Books)

Medical Defence

“During the past year the number of cases 1Mad Dogs. of £ in ‘ Dog seen at the Institution has been greater than at any previous period. On inquiry it was almost invariably found that the animals affected had been allowed to run at liberty about the streets; and in a considerable proportion of the cases the owners knew that the animals had been bitten by other dogs.’ This is a quotation from a Report just presented to the Senate of the University of London, by Dr. Burdon Sanderson, as Professor-Superintendent of the Brown Institution, which is a Hospital for Animals. Now, although Hydrophobia is not limited to summer time, yet it is associated in most persons’ minds with hot weather. Such weather is coming. We therefore draw the attention of our readers to this quotation, and to the inferences we make. It appears that Rabies is on the increase, it should therefore be persistently “stamped out. It also appears to be chiefly prevalent among vagrant dogs; such dogs should therefore be informed against, and “taken up” by the police, and destroyed. No doubt it is an unpleasant thing for a policeman to “take up” a suspicious dog; so it is to take up a riotous man: unquestionably a policeman’s business is often a very disagreeable and dangerous business, but that is his business, and he chooses it with all its contingencies. We have often stated that the homeless curs are a nuisance to everybody, and should be killed. So also should vicious dogs, even if they have owners. If, however, a dog has been known to bite any person, it should not be immediately destroyed, but kept so long as to give time for the development of Rabies; for if the disease do not declare itself it will be some comfort to the bitten person and his friends to know that the dog was not mad. Still, whether mad or not, we would have every snapping, vicious cur, as well as every ownerless wanderer, put out of existence, as one means of “stamping out Rabies.

The Quarterly Return of the RegistrarGeneral informs us that during the three months ending 31st March, the mortality in England and Wales from Scarlet Fever was 5,050, as against 8,562 during the quarter ending 31st December, and 6,081 during that ending 29th September. The disease is therefore declining, though only slowly. The death-rate has come down to the average rate for the twenty years, 1850-69. The highest relative mortality was in the counties of Nottingham, Derby, Lancaster, York, Durham, Cumberland, and South Wales. Some towns and villages have been most severely visited, the conditions favouring the disease being great overcrowding and impure air.

The Sanitary Review, and Journal of Public Health (Google Books)






Having, in former numbers of the Sanitary Review And Journal Of Public Health, contributed ” Notes on certain Vegetable Poisons,” I propose, in the present paper, to communicate notes of cases of that dire disease Hydrophobia, the result of a poison conveyed by the bite of rabid animals. My attention was first drawn to the subject by having witnessed in this city, several years since, three cases,—one from the bite of a cat, two from the bites of dogs. At the present moment, when the attention of the legislature is directed to the framing of a law, which shall more effectually restrict the circulation of poisons taken from the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, I have thought that the publication of the notes might be useful, by tending to show the necessity of more stringent legislation than that which now exists, in checking the diffusion of a poison productive of a disease which, in the opinion of the celebrated Meade, is ” the greatest calamity to which mankind is Hable.”

The disease is commonly propagated by the dog; this animal appearing to be more susceptible of rabies than any other. In this point of view, the multitude of useless dogs that infest our highroads, and the streets and lanes of towns, is a great and alarming evil; these animals, when in a rabid state, not only biting passengers that come in their way in the public, thoroughfares, but, in some instances, entering at the open doors of dwellings and biting one or more of the inmates. Nor is the evil limited to the loss of human life. Wandering in a rabid state through the country, they frequently bite, not only human beings, but cattle and other animals, valuable as property,—a consideration which should have peculiar weight in the circumstances of this island, now destined, it would seem, in the course of events to become almost wholly a cattlefeeding or pasture country. In almost all the cases of hydrophobia from the bites of dogs, which will be given in this paper, the bite was inflicted by a dog of this description.

Some medical writers have asserted that the disease, when derived from the cat, is not genuine hydrophobia, but a modified form, comparatively mild in its symptoms. Good, in his Nosology, has created two new species: 1, rabies felina, with little spasm; 2, rabies canina, with much spasm. He has omitted in his definition of feline rabies the fear of water,— the reason that induced him having been, according to the author of the article “Hydrophobia” in the Cyclopaedia of Practical Medicine, the simple fact, that “the cases on record from cats are too few to afford a firm basis for any inference.” The cases from the bites of cats, which will be given in this paper, go fully to prove that the disease, when thus communicated, is genuine, unmitigated hydrophobia. Marochetti, Christison, and Colles, are of opinion that the bite of the cat is more dangerous, as more certainly communicating the disease, than the bite of the dog. The statement of the mode in which, in some cases, the disease was contracted, owing to rashness on the part of the unfortunate sufferer, in exposing himself to the chance of being bitten, may operate as a caution to many against incurring, by like rashness, a similar fate.

In general, the disease has been communicated by strange or stray dogs or cats. In not a few instances, however, the bite has been inflicted by a house-dog or house-cat: in some instances the owner has been bitten, while unwarily fondling or playing with a favourite dog or cat; an animal fed from his table, petted, perhaps, like the lamb of Nathan in Scripture, “eating of his bread, drinking of his cup, sleeping in his bosom”, becoming thus, in an unsuspecting moment, his assassin!

A few writers there have been who, setting at nought the accumulated testimony of so many ages, and of so many various nations, have denied the existence of hydrophobia as a real specific disease, regarding it as, in every instance, “the result of fear,”—a thing of the “imagination “—a metaphysical abstraction, existing, according to one, “only in the brains of a few speculative writers;” according to another, “a fable for the historian, and a metaphor for the poet.” A fair appreciation of the facts of several of the cases, which will be brought forward in this paper, might, if other evidence were wanting, be alone sufficient to show the fallacy of so dangerous and Quixotic a notion.

I was particular in noting instances from the bites of cats; the cases on record from this cause being, it appears, so few.

The sufferer in the case from the bite of a cat which I witnessed in this city, and with the details of which I shall commence, was a fine robust boy, of the name of Lynch, fifteen years of age, son to a poor inhabitant of the North Parish. Seeing, at an early hour in the morning, in the month of April 1830, a cat run across one of the quays of this city, and enter a hole in a waste house, he pursued in order to catch it for the use of his family; but upon putting his hand into the hole for the purpose, he was instantly bitten in the back of the fingers. The animal continued to adhere to the fingers, though the boy withdrew his hand, until repeatedly dashed against the ground . After this, the cat disappeared among the ruins of the waste house, and was no more heard of. The fingers continued to bleed freely during the rest of the day; but, as they healed in the course of some days, without any application, the occurrence passed unheeded. In about six weeks afterwards, on a Monday, the bitten hand, after fatigue in playing ball, became swollen so that he could not close nor lift it; he had also pain extending along the corresponding arm to the throat,—”along the veins of the arm,” was the expression used by himself and his family, to mark the direction of the pain. There was no tumour under the axilla. On Wednesday morning following, the symptom of dread of liquids developed itself . There was no application, however, for medical assistance until Saturday evening following,—that is, until the evening before the day of his death, neither himself nor his family suspecting for an instant the real nature of his complaint. I saw him on that evening, at the house of the late Dr. John Barry, of this city, to whom he had made applition as for a common sore throat, accompanied with inability of swallowing. Upon examination, however, of the uvula and fauces, no inflammation was observable. This circumstance, coupled with the boy’s statement of inability of swallowing liquids, at once roused suspicion, and led to the eliciting of the facts which I have here stated. He did not lay the slightest stress on the circumstance of the bite, which was compared by himself and his family to scratches of a pin, nor would he have mentioned it had he not been asked, having almost forgotten the occurrence. Scratches were still evident on his fingers. He had walked from his father’s house, a distance of nearly a mile, to Dr. Barry’s, and had been sitting half an hour there when I saw him ; he was very communicative, I might say voluble, in conversation; professing his readiness to submit to any mode of treatment recommended. I had never seen a case of the disease before, and my curiosity was the more awakened, as I was aware, at the/ time, that some medical writers had denied the communicability of true hydrophobia from the bite of a cat. On being questioned, he said that since Monday morning he had not swallowed a drop of drink, nor tasted a morsel of food; adding, that he would give the world to be able to take a drink of water, but that he “had a dread of it, that it stopped in his throat.” What struck me most, was the excessive nervous agitation of his whole manner, indicative of the utmost misery and horror. Next to this, what appeared most remarkable was the very peculiar expression of the eye, denoting something indescribably scared and haggard . The pencil of an artist might have portrayed it, but words could not have described it. In tone of voice and conversation, however, he appeared bold and undaunted, not entertaining, seemingly, the slightest consciousness of the nearness of death. He complained greatly of oppression of the praecordia, or, as he expressed it, “a drag about the heart”—the heart, as I found, on pressing my hand, palpitating violently (thumping, as it were) against the pleura. His shoulders were much elevated in the effort of respiration. This symptom, however, he attributed to a play-fellow having, some weeks before, raised him from the ground, and held his hand to his mouth until he almost suffocated him. There was no headache, no quickness or other irregularity of pulse. The tongue was slightly furred; the bowels were costive. There was no derangement of the urinary secretion, which was passed freely without pain. Convulsive paroxysms followed, upon his being presented, first with a glass of milk and afterwards with a glass of wine. I can never forget the peculiar oblique look, and suspicious scowl, with which he eyed the liquid as it was brought near, until, at the moment when it came directly opposite to him, he started, as it were, with horror, averting his head, crying, “Oh ! oh!” his throat swelling at the same time with spasm. There was no spitting as yet; none of the sublingual glands, described by Marochetti and others, was observable upon examination. The sensibility to cold air, or a current of air, was such that “the draught of a person passing by” affected him. He was quite unaffected, however, by the light of a large window, to which he continued to sit opposite for nearly an hour. While sitting at Dr. Barry’s, a member of the doctor’s family remarked that the sight of the big drops, which sometimes trickled from his perspiration, brought on the spasms. He was conveyed home in a car, covered, at his own request, with a woman’s cloak, though the evening was mild . I saw him on the following morning, in company with Dr. Barry, at his father’s house. He had passed a sleepless night. An enema of four ounces of turpentine, which we had ordered, brought off two stools. A warm bath, which we had also ordered, afforded him, he said, some relief . No convulsions took place during immersion in the bath, nor during the administration of the enema. He had sucked,

before our visit, about half pint of water through a wheaten straw, and had also eaten or sucked part of the pulp of an orange. His pulse was now evidently become weak. There was some spitting, and occasional vomiting of white frothy mucus. He continued to complain greatly of want of breath and air. The cheeks were flushed, the face and neck drenched in perspiration. His hair, it was observed, stood erect (horripilatio). Upon visiting him two hours afterwards, I found his position in bed had been reversed, at his own request, to avoid, as he said, though the day was very mild, the air from an opposite hole in the wall, which served for a window. He had raved for a moment or so in the interval since the former visit, having fancied that an apron, which hung in the room, was a black cat, and, under this delusion, causing it to be removed. The spitting had now become constant, and the vomiting of frothy mucus very frequent. He consented, to oblige me as he said, to repeat the attempt of sucking in water through a straw, trying for the purpose different straws, until he hit on one of such length as, with the extremity dipped in the vessel, not to require him, while sucking by it, to bend the neck. During the trial of these different straws he caused the vessel to be placed on one side, not directly opposite to him, so as to avoid the sight of the liquid,—refusing, however, to allow his eyes to be bandaged, lest it might ” confine his breath.” In this way I saw him suck in laterally, his eyes steadily averted from sight of the liquid, about a noggin of water, stopping short at intervals to take breath . His face and neck continued to stream with perspiration. Vinegar has been extolled by some as a specific in the disease. He attempted to suck in a little weak vinegar; but, after swallowing a few drops, was immediately forced to desist, crying out that “it burned him within.” On the evening before, while at Dr. Barry’s, he could bear to look, though not without repugnance, upon a mirror which was presented to him; but upon a fragment of one being now presented, he turned from it with aversion. He died tranquilly in two hours afterwards, without convulsions or hiccup, manifesting no inclination to bite or spit at any of those present. Some minutes before death, he called for the family prayer-book, and read, or seemed to read, a portion of the contents. Though, during the last hours of his existence, labouring under a state bordering on delirium, with the exception of the delusion of fancying that an apron which hung in the room was a black cat, he shewed no symptom of actual delirium throughout. He lived six days from the commencement of constitutional symptoms, and somewhat more than four from the development of the symptom of dread of liquids. A post mortem examination was not allowed. Upon my calling at half-past 12 on the following day, putrefaction, I learned, had already commenced, particularly in the bitten hand.*

With the case of poor Lynch may be coupled one in which the disease was contracted under like circumstances of rashness. It occurred several years since near Clonakilty, in this county, as communicated to me by Dr. Callinan, of this city, who witnessed it, and was at the time a resident of the place. A peasant, seeing a strange cat on the road side, at some distance from his house, as it is always an object with the lower orders to make prize of a stray cat, thought to catch it; but in his making the attempt, it bit him in the hand, adhering so firmly, that he found considerable difficulty in extricating the hand. The cat was killed rabid. He was a foolhardy sort of fellow, and thought no more of the accident; people in general, as Dr. Callinan justly remarked to me, being little aware that the bite of a cat may occasion the disease. In about six weeks afterwards, characteristic symptoms were developed, preceded by the return of inflammation and swelling in the bitten part. The wound did not heal; a scab remained on it. Around the bitten spot was a dark areola. He died horribly delirious. The sensibility to atmospheric exposure was felt as a severe aggravation of his sufferings; a current of air which blew on his bed-place from a hole in the opposite wall of the cabin, which served for a window, agonising him exceedingly. There was much enlargement (tumefaction) of the region of the stomach, as from flatulence.

About twenty years before the occurrence of the case of Lynch, occurred the case of the servant of a principal merchant of this city, Mr. Goold; the man was bitten by a strange cat, which he struck with a napkin while returning after carrying in the dishes to table. The case excited at the time great interest, and was seen by a number of physicians. Dr. Barry, who was one of the attending physicians, informed me that the nervous sensibility was such, that when he passed between the patient and the light of the window, the man would start up out of bed involuntarily as if to seize him, but would lie down again immediately and apologise. The noise of water poured from one vessel to another brought on the spasms. There

» Happening, shortly after the occurrence of the case of Lynch, to attend professionally in the family of a principal baker of the city, on mentioning to him the facts of the ease, he told me he never made use of a cat, as he found an owl more efficient in keeping the bakehouse clear of mice. An owl is said U) be worth six cats in keeping a barn clear of mice.

was great spitting, and, towards the end, incessant plucking of the bed-clothes as in the last stage of malignant typhus.*

Some years afterwards occurred the case of a Mr. Cronin, who, travelling to town from Mallow, in this county, went into a waste house on the road side, when, just as he entered, a cat sprang across and bit him in the foot. In about six or seven weeks afterwards he was seized with symptoms of hydrophobia, and died, as I learned from his medical attendant, in forty-eight hours, in convulsions. The sight of a mirror alarmed him.

In each of the cases now given, the bite was inflicted by a strange or stray cat. In each of five other cases, all those of females, and which occurred in this city, the bite was inflicted by the house cat.

In the instance of Miss Tisdall, a child eight or ten years of age, which occurred many years since, the animal, I was informed by a near relative, had, the evening before, devoured its young. It had found access, somehow in the morning, to the child’s bed-room before she rose, and had hidden itself under the bed. Upon her stepping out of bed, the animal sprang at her from under the bed and bit her in the thigh. She lived about a week from the commencement of the sickness. After inflicting the bite, the cat allowed itself to be brought down stairs, and without attempting to bite any one else, was hanged.

Some years before or after, occurred the case of Miss Gray, who was bitten while turning a cat out of her room previously to retiring to rest.

In another instance, Miss Bennett, an elderly lady, while playing with a favourite cat, was bitten by it in the throat. Hydrophobia developed itself, according to my informant, in three weeks afterwards. It is certain, that this lady was suffocated at her residence, in this city, between beds.

In another instance, which was seen by Dr. Baldwin (sometime representative in Parliament for this city), a Mrs. Crowley, after having the cat in her lap, put it down. The animal wanted to get up again. She struck it. The cat flew at her, scratched and tore her face, and bit her in the leg, adhering with such tenacity to the part, that the servant who came to her assistance, could detach it only by cutting its throat. In six or eight weeks symptoms of uneasiness came on. She was so delirious that it was necessary to tie her to the bed. She also was, I learned, suffocated between beds, a practice formerly permitted from a mistaken motive of humanity, to put an end to the patient’s sufferings; (“the patient,” as observed by Boerhaave, “dying soon enough without accelerating his fate”); but which has been now expressly prohibited by law in most countries of Europe.

* The quickness of ear of hydrophobous patients, in the perception of sound associated with the idea of water, was curiously illustrated in the case of a boy, as mentioned to me by the attending physician, which occurred several years since near this city. Not only the noise of empty tin vessels, though in another room, brought on the spasms, but even the noise of a horse drinking at a stream, which crossed the road at some distance, though no one else in the room could perceive the noise, and though he sat upright in bed!

About the same time, a case occurred in the Munster Hotel of this city, as mentioned to me by the attending physician, of a chambermaid, who died of hydrophobia from the bite of the house cat.

Since the case of Lynch, in 1830, no case of hydrophobia from the bite of a cat has occurred in this city. Several have occurred within the period from the bites of dogs, and one from the bite of a fox

In this county, in the town of Macroom, occurred in February last, 1857, the case of a Mrs. Shea, the wife of a baker in the town, mother of a large young family, “who,” according to the report of the attending physician, “was employed in her shop on or about the previous September, when a young cat ran in from the house of a neighbour. She endeavoured to drive it out, but it took refuge behind the counter, and, fearing that it might jump through the window, she pursued and caught it, and when in the act of putting it out of the door, it turned on her and inflicted a severe bite on the little finger of the right hand. She at the time expressed some uneasiness at the occurrence, but soon forgot it, and continued to enjoy her usual good health until the 4th of February, when she complained of pain running up her right arm. She died on the morning of the 8th . Chloroform administered, so far from relieving, increased the convulsive suffocation to such a degree, that she declared it would cause her instant death if not removed. She would not permit the bottle to remain in the room.”

In the workhouse of Mallow, in this county, about a year and a half since, occurred the case of a child who, it would appear, was not bitten, but only scratched by a rabid cat The scratch of the claw of a rabid cat has, it is stated, communicated hydrophobia to the human subject. A coroner’s inquest held on the child returned a verdict that she died of hydrophobia.*

In the autumn of 1843, a case occurred in Tralee, county of Kerry, of the death of a grown boy from the bite of a cat. The cat had strayed from the house; the boy pursued it and seized it, when it bit him.

* The spur of the ornithorynchus paradoxicus is, according to Blumenbachi the only instance of any part of an animal in health being capable of conveying hydrophobia.

Braugmarten, a German physician, who has written on hydrophobia, says, “Before the dread of water sets in, the cure is not only practicable, but not unfrequent.” He seems to have echoed the words of Avicenna, who says in a remarkable passage, speaking of hydrophobia:—” Cura propinqua est ante terrorem aquae.” If stress can be laid on a passage, the terms of which are so vague and ambiguous, it must mean the interval between the commencement of constitutional symptoms, and that of the dread of liquids; for, previously to the appearance of constitutional symptoms, there is nothing to indicate that the disease will take place. An early indication of the virus having become active, or of the constitutional action having commenced, i3 not infrequently afforded by the reappearance of inflammation or pain, as in the cases of Lynch and of the boy near Clonakilty; or by numbness or prickling sensation (as in a case which will be subsequently given), in the bitten part; analogous to the effects of other diseases which can be communicated by inoculation, it appearing to be a law of such to excite inflammation, or recrudescence, at the place of insertion, shortly before they shew themselves in the constitution. I find it stated too, by some eminent recent authorities, that if any good can be done, it is in this stage; in the second stage, that is, when the dread of liquids has set in, all means hitherto used having proved unavailing. In Lynch’s case, the interval lasted two days, that is from Monday till Wednesday morning; but it sometimes exceeds this period. The misfortune, however, is, that no application is made for medical assistance until the disorder has been fully developed, or has passed this stage; it being mistaken, as in the cases of Lynch and of Mr. Cronin, for a common sore throat; or, as in other instances, for a cold or feverish attack, or for rheumatism, or hysterics, or some other affection, masking the real disease. The pain and swelling of the bitten hand were attributed by Lynch and his family to over fatigue in ball play. It may be a question, whether but for the excitement of the ball playing, the virus would have been called into action at all; an observation which suggests the necessity of caution to those who have the misfortune of being bitten by a rabid animal . A medical writer states, that, “in all the cases he had met with, there had been shortly before the setting in of the symptoms, exposure to some considerable excitement.”

John Hunter, in an able paper on the disease, in remarking

on the little diminution of muscular strength, in the operation of a poison so destructive to human life, gives two cases, which though they ultimately proved fatal, “were remarkably relieved by running.” The relief thus obtained could not, however, as may be inferred, have been owing to the perspiration excited; a supposition, to which what we are told of the effects of dancing in curing the disease occasioned by the bite of the tarantula, might seem to lend a degree of plausibility, as numerous cases have been attended, as in the case of Lynch, with copious and long-contin ted perspiration without relief having been obtained.*

Of the two cases of hydrophobia seen by me, in each of which the bite was inflicted by a dog, one was that of a female, the other that of a male. The female, a young woman of about eighteen, had been bitten four months before by a cur dog, belonging to an inmate of same house, the house being tenanted by poor room-keepers. The case was seen also by Sir James Pitcairu, late Deputy Inspector-General of Hospitals for Ireland, who resided at the time in this city. The case occurred in 1832. I saw her on a Thursday, about one o’clock, p.m. Symptoms commenced with pain and sense of suffocation in throat, but she did not take to her bed until Tuesday night. She had been hot and feverish for a couple of days before. She could not swallow any drink—(she had eaten,however, two or three strawberries). The moment a vessel touched her lips, spasms came on When spasms came on, there was increased action of the heart, with occasional, as ascertained by feeling the artery, intermissions of pulse. When the spasms went off, the pulse became regular again, with a rate of about 130. Dread of cold air was very distressing. She cried out that some person in the room had a cold breath. There was intolerance of light. When a looking-glass was presented, she could bear to look at it, but said her eyes, which were naturally full and prominent looked “like moons.” Previous to the present attack, she was described as being remarkably beautiful, and of rather a full habit; her features were now sunken and ghastly. Towards the end there was great discharge of saliva. There was no actual delirium, but, as Dr. Pitcairn expressed it, “she seemed every moment ready to fall over into the sea of delirium.” She cried out “to be tied.” She died on the same night at ten o’clock; that is, in five days from the commencement of constitutional symptoms. She was bitten in two places, in the fleshy part of the right leg. She complained of pain extending from the bitten part down her leg; the ankle of the bitten extremity was blue. Turpentine enemata were the curative means tried. The dog, after biting another inmate of the same house, was hanged. Thomas Keeffe, aged 17, of robust frame, living in Hardwicke Street, was seen by me on Tuseday, August 12th, 1834. His father was holding him when I went into the dark narrow back ground-floor room, in which he lay. He cried out to me, “they were restraining him,” calling them murderers. He thought the bite of “that dog” did not signify. He had been bitten about three weeks before by a strange cur-dog, which came into the room from the street, and to the tail of which he attempted to tie a canister; it being a mischievous trick of boys to tie a canister to a dog’s tail, and then to send him running a-muck with it through the streets. He was bitten in the thumb of the left hand in three places; the cicatrices were small, though it had been found necessary to detach the dog with a shovel . The wound did not fester, but healed readily, and the thing passed unheeded by himself and family. On the previous Sunday morning, after a sleepless night, feeling himself thirsty, he got out of bed to take a drink from a water-jug, but, on attempting it, “shuddered, and could not touch it.” He ate his dinner apparently well on Saturday; the night before, however (Friday), he had also a sleepless night. He walked on Monday morning to Dr. Harvey’s house in a neighbouring street. There was great anxiety, Dr. Harvey told me, about him then, but he did not suspect what was the matter. He was struck, however, by his desiring the woman who came with him to cover his mouth with her cloak. Shortly after his return from Dr. Harvey’s, he was visited by a clergyman, who,

* M. Uuisson, in a small tract addressed to the Paris Academy of Sciences, in 182ft, using as an argument from analogy the story of the mode of cure of the bite of the tarantula, recommends as the mode of treatment in hydrophobia, ” that the patient should take a certain number of vapour-baths, and should induce every night a violent perspiration, by wrapping himself in flannels, and covering himself with a feather bed.” Those who seek to cure hydrophobia by forcing sweats, whether by violent exercise, or by the vapourhath, or by the hydropathy of the present day, seem not to be at all aware that sweating as a symptom of hydrophobia, had been noticed so far back as the time of Cwlius Aurelianus. Lynch’s fancying an apron that hung in the room was a black cat, and under this delusion causing it to be removed, might seem to lend a degree of plausibility to the above supposed analogy; persons bitten by the tarantula, according to Baglivi, having a great aversion to black. In one of three cases seen by Dr. Meade, as reported by him in vol. 5 of “Phil. Transactions”, abridged, the patient, a boy,” had a strange aversion to anything white, saying that, if all the women in the room who had white aprons would go out, he would be well presently.” Meade attributes this to hydrophobous patients so ill bearing the light, that the sight of anything white is intolerable. In Lynch’s case, however, there was no intolerance of light. Truth is, that though all, with very few exceptions, agree in the main symptoms of dread of liquids, and dread of air (hydrophobia and aerophobia), the difference in minor points, in different subjects, is sucb, that in this respect hydrophobia, as has been said of typhus fever, may be said to be a Protean malady.


surprised at something that occurred, while administering the rites of the church, was led to inquire of him whether he had been bitten by a dog. It was thus that the real nature of the disease was discovered, and communicated by the clergyman to his family.

It was about three o’clock,p.m., when I saw him. He had taken some pills, ordered for him by Dr. Harvey, but had not swallowed any liquid since the previous Saturday. He made frequent attempts by ” coaxing it sideways to his lips,” and with various gesticulations, somewhat in the manner of those affected with St. Vitus’s dance, but failed. In the progress of his sickness, the morbid sensibility of surface was such, that even the cold breath of a person who approached him agonised him. As in Lynch’s case, urine was passed freely and repeatedly, without pain, or without, as sometimes happened, bringing on the spasms. The discharge of saliva and frothy mucus was very profuse, the floor being all begrimed with it There was no actual delirium, but the excitement was so great as to border on it. He at one time cried out “to tie him;” was quite aware of the nature of his disease, frequently exclaiming, “I am innocent of that dog,” and seemed apprehensive of being smothered, exclaiming, “they are going to murder me,” “I am dying,” “Let me die.” Words of his at intervals to those about him, though wild and incoherent, were painfully affecting. “Father, kiss me, though you are my murderer. Don’t kiss me, for fear I may bite you, and you may go mad too: kiss my foot.” He called on us individually by name to pray for him, and say, ” Lord have mercy on him.” His last words were (to his sister), “Hannah, good bye.” I forbade his family to kiss him. “Father, they will be yet throwing this in your face”— his having died of the bite of a mad dog. He died tranquilly at half-past six the same evening, on the fifth day from the commencement of constitutional action, and on the fourth from the development of the symptom of dread of liquids. Upon calling on the following day, putrefaction, I found, had commenced, the thumb and palm of the hand being livid, and a black line or streak extending from the thumb up the arm to the acromion. Might this have been an indurated or enlarged lymphatic? Monro (On Morbid A natomy of Gullet, Stomach, and Intestines) says, “Though it is probable the poison of hydrophobia is absorbed, yet the lymphatic vessels, and lymphatic glands have not been observed to be indurated or swelled.” The morbid action of the poison is still “a vexed question;” whether it is carried into the circulation by the lymphatics, so as to effect a change, leavening, as it were, the whole mass of blood; or whether it causes some peculiar effect upon the nerves of the injured part, and through them on the brain and nervous centres. »

In both the above cases, there was a remarkable preference of the prone position in bed, apparently with some relief to the respiratory organs, dyspnoea having been in both a prominent and very distressing symptom. In two or three instances in which typhus fever was complicated with asthma, I remarked a like preference of the prone position, as if affording some relief to the respiratory organs. In Keeffe’s case, while in this position, there was much jactitation of the lower extremities.

In none of the three cases which I saw, was it found necessary to resort to any extreme measure of coercion. In Keeffe’s case I had been strongly urged by his family to allow the application of the strait-waistcoat, but refused, conceiving that in a case so utterly hopeless, in which there was no disposition to injure others, it would have been a measure of unnecessary rigour. Without going the length of saying with one of the medical gentlemen, examined before a committee of the House of Commons, in 1830, on the subject of canine madness, “It is a vulgar error to suppose hydrophobous patients are mad; they are not mad,” I believe the madness, or furious delirium, attributed to them has been often the exasperation produced by needlessly harsh treatment.

In the great hospital of Paris, it was formerly the rule to tie every hydrophobous patient indiscriminately to the bed . In Prussia, by an edict of the present king, some years since, among other directions for the treatment of hydrophobia, it was ordained, that every hydrophobous patient should be confined in a strait-waistcoat*

The following case which occurred in July, 1835, at a place called Feenagh, county of Limerick, as reported by the dispensary physician, the late Dr. Graham, evinces the prodigious augmentation of muscular strength which, when the symptoms are maniacal, sometimes takes place in hydrophobia. The sufferer was a lad about twenty years of age, named Garrett Nagle. He “was working on the repairs of a road about three ^weeks before, and was bitten in the hand by a small dog. From that time until the afternoon of the day preceding the night on which he died, no effects were apparent; but now he complained of drowsiness and headache. He left off work and came home,

•In the Prussian dominions, in the ten years ending in 1H20, 1 000 persons, according to Morochetti, died of hydrophobia.

when his mother prepared some mulled porter for him. At sight of the liquid he shewed some uneasiness, and when it was offered to him to drink, he became delirious, and shortly afterwards raging mad. He was secured and tied to a bed by two policemen (his relatives and friends, as well as all the neighbours, having run away from him), but he broke both the bindings and the bedstead to pieces, and he was, at his own request, during one of the lucid intervals from the violent paroxysms of spasm, handcuffed by the police to prevent his injuring himself and those who were about him. He continued in the most excruciating torments for about sixteen hours, when death released him from his sufferings.”

The mention of the police being employed in the above case, brings to mind a case which occurred, several years since, in a barrack, as communicated to me by a friend of mine, an army surgeon, who was quartered at the time with his regiment in the barrack. The dog, a sporting one, of the spaniel breed, had entered the barrack by night and bitten one of the men, who afterwards died of hydrophobia . It had been turned out of an upper room which it had entered, in which were a number of the men. The unfortunate man who perished, having had occasion to go down stairs, was met by the animal on his return, when it flew at him, and bit him in various places before it could be bayoneted. Upon dissection of the dog by my informant, he found in the stomach, besides the usual crude mass of indigestible matter (feathers, straw, &c., which the animal had gobbled up) half of a fowl (a hen), with the feathers on. The stomach was quite dry and contracted, as if the secretion of the gastric juice had been completely at an end. The membrane, he thought, somewhat thinner than natural. There was a red patch or two about the cardiac orifice. On the pia mater was a slight blush of inflammation, but no effusion. There was no inflammation of the trachea or oesophagus. An assistant in the dissection, happening to have a scratch on one of his fingers, being of a nervous temperament, fancied he had inoculated himself with the virus, and was seized with hysterical paroxysms, resembling those of hydrophobia, which lasted two or three days.

Since the case of Keeffe, in 1 834, I am aware of five cases from the bites of dogs having occurred in this city, or its immediate vicinity; all those of children so young—from five years of age to eight—as to preclude the idea that the disease had been brought on by fear or mental emotion, arising from knowledge of or sensibility to the peculiar danger incurred from the bite.

111 1837, occurred the case “of a boy, five years old, who died in the South Infirmary of this city, after fifty hours suffering. He had been bitten by a dog five months before,” the symptoms having been more tardy in supervening than is usual in young subjects.

After an interval of nearly ten years, there occurred in March, 1847, the case of a girl, eight years old, who was bitten in her own dwelling by a cur dog which leaped from under a table and bit her severely in the face, breaking three teeth of the upper jaw. The symptoms began to manifest themselves four weeks after the occurrence. She lived four days. There was little or no mental aberration. Though disinclination to liquids was marked, there was no actual inability of swallowing them. The most striking symptom was dyspnoea. The wound had been attended to by a surgeon and soon healed, there having been no unhealthy discharge.

In each of three other cases which occurred subsequently, the child was said to have been bitten while at or near the door of its dwelling, by ” a small dog”; in one instance a poodle, which ran by, snapping in its way. The last case was in the spring of 18o4i. Thomas Barry, a child five years old, son to a farmer living near town, was playing with some other children in a haggard, when a large dog, in running by, snapped at and bit him in the nose. The wound was little more than a scratch, and healing readily, gave no alarm; it happening, indeed, not infrequently that when the injury has been very slight, the bite is almost as little regarded as a flea-bite. He continued to go daily, as usual, to a neighbouring school . In about six weeks after, while at school, he was seized with a fit of crying, and was otherwise so troublesome, that the mistress directed an elder child, a sister who went also to the school, to take him home. In doing so, she thought to avail herself of a short way which led across a small stream of water or ford ; but on coming to it, at sight of the water, the child recoiled, screaming, and could not be made to pass! It was found necessary to carry him home by another way, so as to avoid the sight of the water, on a man’s back . In the course of his sickness, though “dying,” as one of the family expressed it to me, “for a drink of water”, when brought to him, “he could not look at it, nor touch it.” He lived about thirty hours from commencement of the symptoms. He died in great agony. He was quite delirious. He foamed much at the mouth. Under the delusion of an old prejudice, which unfortunately has not yet become quite obsolete even among the better classes, he was said to have barked like a dog. The dog was shot A dog and calf, which were also bitten by it, died rabid.

In February 1833, occurred a case from the bite of a fox; the bite having been inflicted four months before. The sufferer, a man named Driscol, had risen at an early hour in the morning in order to be in time for his work at Lota, three miles from his place of abode. A little dog he had with him pursued an animal into a sewer on the highroad. Supposing it to be another dog, the man hallooed. The fox bolted, and after running a little way, pursued both by dog and man, turned back and flew at the man, biting him in the tip or lobe of the left ear. He at first repelled the attack; but in the second attempt was bitten. He paid little attention to the accident himself, nntil the ear was seen bleeding by a young woman going the road. The fox, after biting him, ran back into the sewer, and was coming out again to attack him, but went back . The man lived from Monday till Thursday. On Monday, when my informant, the late Dr. MacNamara, first saw him, he would hold, while conversing with him, a vessel of water a considerable time in his hand, but when he attempted to drink the paroxysm came on. At another time, the bare mention of water brought on the spasms. The morbid sensibility of surface to currents of air, or the impulse of any thing blowing on him, was present to a great degree. He could not bear the sight of a mirror, nor a piece of sheet tin, when presented. He lay quiet. It was not found necessary to restrain him. He retained consciousness to the last. According to his dying request, the sewer was examined, and the skeleton of the fox was found there. It was a pet fox, supposed to have strayed from a neighbouring gentleman’s demesne.* Many years since a case occurred in this county of a huntsman, who got hydrophobia from the bite of a fox, in endeavouring to save the fox from the hounds.

Arising almost always from dogs, the spread of hydrophobia in this part of Ireland has been commonly traced to the cur-dog. The multitude of dogs of this sort on the high-roads, and in the streets and lanes of towns, has been long complained of—to quote words applied to it—as “a crying and enormous evil.” In many of the lanes of this city, scarcely is there a room-keeper, however poor, who does not keep one or more dogs of this sort, to the danger or terror of the passenger in passing through them. The dispensary physician, in visiting the sick poor at their homes in these lanes, incurs, as he has often complained, considerable risk, these yelping inmates being apt to fly at a stranger. When the owner is expostulated with, and asked how it happens that he who can hardly feed himself, keeps so many dogs, the answer is,— “They cost nothing, sir; they forage for themselves:” that is, they prey on the garbage thrown out from houses by night into the streets, and this failing, take to plunder, snatching a mouthful, when opportunity offers, from some kitchen, or cookshop, or huxter’s or butcher’s stall.*

* The young fox, by the bite of which, while patting it. the Duke of Richmond lost his life in Canada from hydrophobia, wan a pet fox.

In the two cases of hydrophobia from the bites of dogs, which I saw in this city, the bite, as mentioned above, was, in each instance, inflicted by a cur-dog. At dates prior to the occurrence of these cases, occurred the case of a poor sweep, who got hydrophobia from the bite of a cur-dog in separating him from another dog, with which he was fighting in the street ;-f- and that of a child, who was overturned and bitten over the eye by a cur-dog, in making his escape from another with which he had been fighting in the street The disease came on in three weeks after.

The writer of a letter signed a “Friend to Humanity,” addressed to the editor of the morning paper of this city, in March, 1848, in communicating the fact of a cur-dog, apparently in a rabid state, having a day or two before run through the most populous streets of the town of Bandon, in this county, and bitten no fewer than ten persons, before he was destroyed by the police, added, as showing the necessity of more stringent legislation, that besides cases of hydrophobia occasionally noticed in print, many others had occurred in the western parts of the county, without having received publicity.

In Limerick city, much about the same time, “a large black dog, in a rabid state,” according to a Limerick newspaper, “entered the house of Mr. , Thomond Gate, and

bit the servant boy, who was in the kitchen, in the thumb and shoulder. The furious animal then ran down Thomond Gate, snapping at every one in his way, and effected his escape without being destroyed.” Two of the individuals bitten died some time after of hydrophobia. In Limerick city, some years since, as stated in the newspapers at the time, ” One of the city police having discovered a pig, quite in a rabid state, in one of the streets, shot it, and had the body thrown into the Shannon. In the course of the evening some wretches attempted to take it out of the river, in order to expose it for sale. The police having been informed of this movement, had the body taken up and burnt.” There can be little doubt that the flesh of animals which have died rabid is often sold in the market It is a moot question, whether the flesh of animals, which have died rabid, is not, when eaten, capable of communicating hydrophobia to the human subject.*

* “He that has not bread to spare, must not keep a dog”, is a Spanish proverb: “A quien no le sobrn el pan no crie can.”

+ In Durham, in England, some years since, a Mr. died of hydrophobia, caused by the bite of a dog, which he endeavoured to separate from another, with which it had been fighting under a table. So true it is that, “He who parts a fray, gets the worst of it.”

In country districts, the multiplication of cur-dogs appears to have been a still greater nuisance than in towns. The traveller could pass scarcely a farm-house or cottage, however poor, without being annoyed and worried by one of these inmates rushing out. They were snappish, and to be found at the heels of every horse; by alarming with their noise, and sometimes seizing the animal by the heels, causing him, in not a few instances, to run away with his rider. Parties of idle fellows might be seen, particularly on Sundays, accompanied by troops of these dogs, and of terriers, roving through the country in search of game, or for the purpose of baiting cats, though “a baited cat has sometimes turned a man into a mouse, becoming fierce as a lion.” In one of the volumes of Martin Doyle’s Quarterly Journal of Agriculture, published some years since in Wexford, is “A Chapter,” so entitled, “on Curdogs.” After a rough calculation or census of the comparative numbers of other dogs, the writer observes: “We have 10,000 dogs left, which I shall beg leave to call useless, troublesome, and food-consuming curs. On my entering the cabin of a poor widow and her family, living on a meal a day, a dog lay cowering near the hearth. Of course he flew at me on my entrance. Why, said I, do you keep this brute as sentry, when you have not as much food as would give supper to a mouse? The widow assured me, in reply, that the cur was not an expensive inmate, that ‘he was a good warrant to shift for himself, and that she never gave him a bit to eat;’ in other words, that the poor brute was left to pi owl about the country in search of a mouthful of carrion, which he may

• Notwithstanding our civic authorities’ fulminations against unmuzzled or untagged dogs, and our canicidal campaigns in the dog-days, as if hydrophobia and canine madnes3 were not of all seasons, to how many cities and towns may not, at the present day, the line of Horace in reference to the streets of anoient Rome apply :—

“HAc rabiosa fugit cunis, hac lutulenta ruit sus!”

get in two months, he being otherwise led into the temptation of taking a lamb or sheep from a neighbouring field, or of preying upon a farmer’s fowl yard . Many a horse,” the writer adds, “has, in this country, started and kicked, and run away with his rider, and flung him to the ground and killed him, in consequence of the sudden rushing out of a cur-dog at his heels; and many a man has been deprived of life in the most horrific manner by the bite of his own dog 1”

At Kilrush, County Clare, occurred a case of hydrophobia in March of 1844, which, from the misery and destitution into which were plunged the poor family in which it happened, excited at the time much and general interest. A boy, named Walsh, was bitten in February by a young dog which he had been rearing. No notice was taken of it till, in about four weeks after, the disease manifested itself in all intensity. What made the occurrence more melancholy was, that five others of the family, including the father, had been also bitten. The family were described as renting, at a pound per year, a quarter acre of land, on which they lived in a hovel, situated on the brink of a frightful sand-pit. Potatoes and salt, and occasionally a salted herring, had been their usual food . A horse, their sole means of support, which had been also bitten, died rabid. They could get no employment; they were deserted even by their relatives. Their neighbours were all afraid to approach them. The only person in communication with them was the dispensary physician of the district. These particulars, published in the newspapers, appeared to excite general commiseration. As at this time (1844) there was a marked increase of cases of hydrophobia in England, and in the north and south of Ireland, the daily press teemed with nostrums and prophylactics of all sorts, under the title of specifics; each was vouched for as infallible, with the same confidence as has been vouched for, of late years, the infallibility of each of certain specifics for Asiatic cholera; all who took it were saved,—all who did not take it, died. With others sent from different places to the family at Kilrush, one, which had been brought from Bohemia by Lord Clanwilliam, was sent from England, together with another specific—the best of all—the liberal donation of £20 by Lord Arundel, the present Duke of Norfolk.

In December 1846, according to the Limerick paper, “a fine boy, seven years old, son of Captain Kennedy, agent to the Devon estate, died of hydrophobia at Newcastle, near that city, from the bite of a stray cur-dog five weeks before.”

In Castle Island, county of Kerry, in June 1844, “a poor woman died of hydrophobia, after three successive days of agonizing suffering, who had been bitten in the upper part of the wrist in May by a stray cur-dog, while driving some geese convenient to her house.”

In Dungarvan, county of Waterford, “a poor woman, named Connor, died of hydrophobia in December 1844, from the bite of a small dog, which bit her several weeks before.”

In the case of Garrett Nagle, who was bitten while at work on the repairs of a road, the bite, as mentioned above, was also inflicted by a small dog. The small dog, and the stray dog, may, in almost every instance, be taken to mean a cur-dog* A peasant, returning home from a wedding party late at night, was bitten on the highroad by a stray dog, and died of hydrophobia. A boy, herding some sheep of his father’s, was bitten in the hand by a stray dog, while in the act of defending the sheep from the dog, and died of hydrophobia. A poor girl, milking a cow in a field, the cow having been first bitten, was bitten by a stray dog, and died of hydrophobia. It is usual with dogs, in the commencement of rabies, to stray from home, biting frequently in their wanderings human beings and other animals. The loss to farmers and graziers in the destruction of “stock” by the bite of rabid dogs wandering through the country has been often grievous, if not ruinous. We may readily infer this from the accounts which occasionally appear in the public prints, of the ravages of a single mad dog among a flock or a herd. In the loss of his pig, or—as in the instance at Kilrush—of his horse, or as in other instances of his poultry, from the bite of a rabid dog, the poor cottier has, in Ireland, sometimes lost his all!

The following case may be interesting, as exemplifying the fact of the extreme shortness of interval (in this case only a very few days), which has sometimes elapsed between the infliction of the bite and the setting in of symptoms, contrasting widely with those instances recorded, in which the symptoms did not take place until twelve months or upwards after the bite. In the case of a peasant, which occurred several years since near Fermoy in this county, attended by the late Sir George Alley, physician to the Fermoy Dispensary, the symptoms, as I was informed by the resident medical officer of the Dispensary, did not manifest themselves until two years after

• Sir Walter Scott, in “Waverlj”, has given a graphic account of the nuisance of “innumerable cur-dogs” on the high roads of Scotland, at the time in which the scene of ” Waverly” is laid.

the bite. In the present instance, a poor girl, washing clothes at ” a slip” on the side of the river Bandon, was bitten by a stray hound belonging to a gentleman in the neighbourhood, which swam across the river from the opposite side, and landing at the spot where she was, bit her in the cheek. The disease, terminating fatally, came on in three or four days after the bite. She died in convulsions. The late Rev. T. R England, who was my informant, hearing of her sickness, had some tea made for her; but, upon its being offered to her to drink, he was surprised to hear that she refused it with marks of great aversion,—tea being regarded by the poorest class here, particularly in country places, as a luxury. Seeing a cut or scratch on her cheek, his suspicions were roused, which were the more awake from his having formerly seen a case of the disease, and from having read a good deal on the subject Thus the fact of her having been bitten in the manner stated was elicited. She was, he said, an ignorant country girl, very young, who had probably never heard of such a disease. “Dread of water” is not a symptom in the rabid dog; the supposition that it is has sometimes led to fatal errors. In the case of the peasant which occurred near Fermoy, the bite was inflicted in the thumb. The first symptom, on the disease manifesting itself, was numbness, and a pricking sensation as “from pins and needles ” in and about the thumb. Died in forty-eight hours. Was so furiously delirious that it was necessary to ” pinion him behind.” The aversion to a smooth shining surface was very marked. A piece of looking-glass, which was stuck in the mud wall of the cabin—opposite to his bed place—had to be removed. The dog that bit him was wandering through the country, “raging mad,” and bit dogs and pigs, that died rabid. “There is something surprising,” says Van Swieten, “in the poison of this disease (hydrophobia), which will lie dormant for a long time without showing itself by any apparent signs, and yet, when it becomes active, raises a most acute disorder, which commonly kills before the fourth day.”

The Quarterly Journal of Agriculture, Volume 3 (Google Books)

“Cur-Dogs.—Perhaps you think that I am going to give you a long chapter on the improvement of your breed of dogs, their feeding, education, and so forth; if such be your expectation, you have never been more out in your guessing. I want to prevail on you not to keep them at all; a cat in a cabin is more useful, less noisy, and comparatively of no expense whatever. But let us fairly consider the matter. Supposing that there are seven millions of us, men, women, and children, in this most green and happy island of ours, and that, on the average, there are five persons in each family, it follows, that there are one million four hundred thousand families. Now, I think I am within bounds when I say that there is (on an average again) one dog in each family; and supposing that four hundred thousand of these dogs are kept for purposes of utility or recreation, we have ten hundred thousand dogs left, which I shall beg leave to call useless, troublesome, and food-consuming curs. You will tell me, perhaps, (by the way, I happen to know so much myself), that the greater part of them is left to forage for themselves, and that, consequently, they are of no expense: well, it comes to this, then, they are fed or they are not fed; if fed, they will consume as much potatoes and milk, or bacon-broth (for the man that gives tliem better food, when his own fellow-creatures are in want of a bone—I mean a bone with some picking on it—or a loaf, deserves all the abuse that can be thrown on him) as would rear a young pig, or, at all events, fatten a great many fowl; and, if not fed, they must lead very miserable lives, and, by the wretchedness of their appearance, excite the compassion of every beholder. I lately went into the cabin of a poor widow, who was endeavouring to satisfy the hunger of seven children, when oatmeal was one guinea per cwt. and potatoes sixpence per stone, prices which I shudder to relate, limited her and her little ones to one meal in the day; a dog lay cowering near the hearth—of course he flew at me on my entrance, and, until he had received half a dozen blows of a poker on his head, and as many kicks on his ribs, continued to annoy me with his harsh and noisy yellings, so that I could hardly make myself heard for some minutes. ‘Pray, Mrs Moriarty,’ said I, (a little angrily you may suppose,) ‘ why do you keep this ugly, troublesome, and useless brute as sentry, when you have not five shillings worth of property in the house, nor as much food as would give supper to a mouse?’ The widow assured me, in reply, that the cur was not in the slightest degree an expensive inmate to her; that he was a good warrant to shift for himself; and that she never gave him a bit to eat; in other words, that the poor brute was left to prowl about the country in search of a mouthful of carrion, which he might not find once in two months, or led into the temptation of taking a lamb or sheep from a neighbour’s field to satisfy the craving of an empty stomach.

“In England and Scotland, where there is a tax on dogs, the traveller is not molested at the door of every house which he passes by the barking and furious attacks of these miserable animals. Many a horse in this country has started, and kicked, and run away with his rider, and flung him to the ground, and killed him, in consequence of the sudden rushing out of a curdog at his horse’s heels; and many a man has been deprived, in the most horrifying manner, of a valuable life, by the bite of his own dog.

“I repeat my wish to see a tax imposed on dogs of all kinds; the rich can afford to pay for them if they choose to keep them; the poor would be better without them, and the community at large relieved from danger and from annoyance, by the diminution of the number of dogs which would necessarily take place if the tax were once imposed; and if a cabin-cur, when dead, could speak, he would thank you for putting him out of misery, and extinguishing his breed altogether.

‘But dogs who speak when they are dead,
Are very cunning dogs indeed.1

So that you must take my word at present for the happiness which a rope would confer on most of them.”

We must leave for the present our good-humoured guide. We have said enough to recommend these and his other works to that attention which they deserve so well. Could we laugh or reason his humble countrymen into habits of decent industry, or lead them to useful knowledge, it were well. But while every endeavour of this kind is to be commended, it is too certain that all that volumes upon volumes of written instruction can effect for the improvement of Ireland, will be as dust in the balance, while this misguided country remains in a state the least resembling that in which it now is.

Other means than the insulated attempts of individuals must be employed to better the state of Ireland, and it is hard to believe that such means do not exist somewhere, if they shall be but vigorously and wisely applied. Can it be that a rich and fertile country, living under the sway of the British laws, abounding in people like ourselves, and enjoying a portion of those vast commercial advantages which England possesses, is incapable of enjoying that prosperity of which all other countries governed well may be made the partakers? Is it necessary that a country, abounding in so many natural and acquired advantages, should remain more barbarous and wretched than any other in the Christian world? What is it that has produced this monstrous state of things; or can we believe that any thing can exist which must necessarily perpetuate it?

The accounts which every hour conveys to us of the state of this wretched country are fitted to make the blood run cold. We hear of human beings perishing as if a pestilence had smitten the land. But it is the pestilence of hunger, and of hunger not caused by a failure of the earth to produce food, but of the inability of the people to exchange their labour for the food which their country can produce. They have supplied the markets of England with raw produce to satiety, and they have not left themselves wherewith to feed themselves. They have in many places, it is said, picked up the miserable potatoes which they had planted for their future food,—a frightful act of improvidence or necessity in a fertile country and a fruitful season.

But it is not by the occasional occurrence of scarcity, nay, by periodical returns of famine, that we are to judge of the actual wretchedness of Ireland. Every arrival, even in peaceful times, brings us accounts of ravages and murders perpetrated in the face of day, with a blind resolution and ferocity of which no example occurs in any other country. In every corner, it is known, property and life are insecure, and the laws are outraged. We hear of insurrection acts and bloodshed, as in a country not in peace and under the protection of laws, but in a state of war. There is, in fact, a perpetual servile war either raging openly or preparing to burst forth; and this not of yesterday, for it has outlived the memory of all the living generation, and extended far beyond it. Intelligent foreigners are struck with amazement, when they hear of such things as our daily papers communicate to them: they cannot imagine such a state of society to exist in any country which has any government at all. Well may they ridicule the boasted institutions of England, under which a third part of the inhabitants are living in a state of greater barbarism and wretchedness than any other country around them. A good government is indeed a good thing; but a good government under which such a state of violence and disorganization exists, is worse than the sway of a Czar or a Sultan.

But what can government do? Government can do a great deal; and it is Government alone that has the power of affording the least corrective of the multiplied evils that press down and degrade this beautiful country.

The first duty of the State is to establish such a state of internal government and police as shall insure obedience to the laws, and the full protection to all of property and life. Unless this is done, nothing is done. The laws are worse than useless that are not obeyed; and the greatest blessing we can confer upon the Irish people themselves, would be to compel them to respect the laws. This is the first step towards teaching them to respect themselves.

To this end we have not the least hesitation in saying, that a firm and united police, deriving authority from a Board or an individual, possessed of the requisite powers, acting with decision, promptitude, and effect, is essential. Nothing can be worse than the police establishments of England itself; they are decidedly inferior to those of all the countries around us, both for the prevention and detection of crime. We do not propose a system of espionage, but we want such a system of secrecy and unity of design and power, as shall enable the functionaries entrusted with this important instrument of government to exercise it with vigour and effect.

In France and other countries on the Continent, the system of police forms an essential part of the government. There is, for the most part, a minister of police armed with sufficient powers, and intrusted with this sole branch of the executive power.

There is no reason why we should borrow the evil parts of those systems. There is enough of good in them for our imitation; and if we could be persuaded to get rid of the trumpery of our own absurd system, if system it can be called, under which offences and crimes are multiplied against society, and neither the prevention nor detection of them ensured, we should do much to repress the tendency to crime and disorder which is yearly gaining ground in this country. A good police is true humanity; and, so far from being incompatible with civil liberty, it is a necessary means of preserving it. No one should dread the establishment of a firm and powerful police in such a country as England. In despotic states the police is the creature of the sovereign, and may be made the engine of tyranny. In a free country it is the handmaid of civil liberty, and the servant of the laws.

But we may return to this subject, and endeavour to show that the police is a branch of science, as much meriting the study of the philosophical statesman as any other branch of law. It is marvellous indeed, that amongst all the departments of knowledge which have been raised to the rank of sciences, the ” Science of Police” should have been overlooked.

Without however pursuing this subject farther at the present moment, let it be asked, if it would be too great a breach of ” the liberty of the subject1’—or rather, if it would not be the best means of preserving ” the liberty of the subject,”—to have such a system of police in Ireland, as exists in France?

Amongst the thirty-two millions of the inhabitants of France, there is not one crime in five hundred committed against the peace of society, which are committed in Ireland, with her seven millions of inhabitants. Now is there, or is there not, a sufficient degree of liberty in France? There is not indeed the liberty of cutting throats and burning barns; but there is not a freer people in the world, as it respects the exercise of every right of freemen, than the inhabitants of France. We say that there is more real independence and true freedom amongst the labouring classes in France than there is in England; and the admirable system of police of the country, which protects the rights of all from outrage, is one of the means by which this is effected. To compare together the freedom of the inhabitants of Normandy and Connaught, is, we say, to put together the extremes of liberty and oppression.

Now, if we are too sensitive to have an efficient system of police on this side of the channel, let us have one on the other, where things cannot possibly be worse, under the worst system that can be devised. We have indeed in Ireland the police of military force, but this is not the steady means for the detection and prevention of crime which a well organized system of civil government demands. The military power is unhappily neces sary to enforce the civil decrees; but military power is too irregular in its action to fulfil the purposes required. A Minister of Police with a powerful force at his command, acting with secrecy, vigour, and combination, and, above all, possessed of power sufficient for the purpose of detecting and checking offences of whatever kind, would be worth a thousand neglected acts of Parliament to this distracted country.

The whole experience of the past should convince us, that unless something of this kind is done, the ignorant peasantry of Ireland will never be taught to respect the laws; and by respecting the rights of others, to know that they have rights themselves. The best liberty we can give to this unhappy people, is protection from the violence of their own passions. This is the first thing to be done; and unless it is done, and done effectually, we may trifle on with our acts of Parliament as hitherto, and wonder that we make not a single step in advance :—and we shall never make one step in advance, unless the system is changed, be the laws that we pass in other respects what they may.

What hopes were not entertained of the conciliatory effects of the Catholic Relief Bill? and yet what has the Catholic Relief Bill done to soothe the passions of the Irish people? And we may pass many laws as likely to be effectual as the Catholic Relief Bill, and as unavailing, if we do nothing more.

Much has been said in Parliament and out of it about the establishment of a system of Poor-Laws, as a means of improving the state of Ireland. Now we are entirely favourable to the establishment of a system of poor-laws in Ireland. We say that beggary and vagrancy ought to be prevented. But beggary and vagrancy cannot be prevented, unless we establish a public provision for the indigent. If we prevent people from begging their bread, we must give them bread to eat. We cannot allow people to starve, and direct them to die in silence. This would exceed our power ; and therefore, if we are to restrain beggary, and extinguish its concomitant evils in Ireland, we must provide a public fund for the maintenance of the poor of Ireland.

And we say that to rescue the people from the shocking degradation in which they are by being suffered to beg their bread, we must establish a provision for those who have not, and cannot obtain food. But what is to be the consequence of this? There is not a people in Europe so improvident as the peasantry of Ireland are;—there is not a people that have less sense of the decencies of life ;—there is not a people that would scruple less to make claims upon a public provision for their support than the Irish: And how will these claims be answered? We will make a distinction, it is said, between the healthy labourer who can work, and the sick, the aged, and the infirm. But if the healthy labourer cannot find work or food, where is the distinction? Are you better entitled to reject the claims of a starving labourer of thirty-five, with his starving wife and his ten starving children, than that of a man of threescore? Which would be the greatest outrage upon the feelings of nature and conscience? You may make what distinctions you will in your acts of Parliament, but we tell you that such distinctions will be found as useless as waste paper. If you make a provision for the poor at all, you must be prepared to answer the demands of all who are so poor that they have no food. In England this has been so, and in Scotland it is becoming so, wherever poors-rates have been established. While you have a public fund at your command, you cannot tell a healthy man, or a healthy female, to go and starve, because he or she is able to work, when you know that a morsel of food cannot be obtained for all that the helpless labourers have it in their power to offer.

If we establish a public provision for the poor in Ireland, then we must be prepared for the claims which will inevitably be made, and perchance enforced by threats and violence. In England every tenth person receives parish support. What the proportion would be in Ireland may be conceived from the present state of the country. It is not too much to say, that a million of men, women, and children would need constant support. But a million of persons, fed no better than their own pigs, would take no inconsiderable portion of the whole landed rental of the country.

Nor is this to argue against the policy of a provision for the poor of Ireland. We say that such a provision is called for by the necessity of the case. The landed gentlemen of England will not consent to support their own poor and at the same time those of Ireland. The Irish gentlemen must bear the burden which the present frightful state of their country must show them can be avoided no longer. Justice to England demands that the Irish poor shall not be suffered to come in crowds to England, to supplant the labour of Englishmen, while the Irish landholder is suffered to escape free. Even the poor resource of voluntary charity must be soon closed up with respect to Ireland. No government can long suffer those fruitless appeals which are now making to the charity of England, for the preservation of the wretched beings that are perishing for the want of food in their own country.

The Irish gentlemen will do well to resign themselves to a necessity which cannot be longer shunned; but let them also direct their attention and that of the Government to such measures as are necessary for the good government of the country, and the improvement of the condition of the people.

The field is a wide one, and will require wisdom and enlarged views from those who are to enter upon it. The state of all the laws that regulate the transference and succession of property, the provision for the Church, and many things more, would require separate investigation. One of these, more important than some which even more immediately affect the physical wants of the people, shall only be here referred to,—that is, the providing a general system of education for the people.

It is plain, that the peasantry of Ireland are the most ignorant in Europe; and while magnificent provision is made for the clergy who have no duty to perform, the provision for the public instruction of the poor inhabitants is nothing. Should this state of things be suffered to continue? Ought not the State to take upon itself, as in France, the duty of seeing that the neglected inhabitants of this country have the means of instruction placed within their reach? Surely it would be no great matter for the country to establish a free school in every parish in Ireland. A Napoleon would have marched the youth of Ireland to the school-room to the beat of the drum.

But then, it will be said, the Catholic clergy will not suffer their people to be educated, lest they should be enlightened. We would not believe such an absurdity, were we told it of the Muftis, or the followers of Fo. The Catholic clergy, we presume to say, are themselves men who have received the education of gentlemen. Do such men wish to see their poorer countrymen kept in a state of ignorance, lest they should find out the errors of popery? The good people who suppose so must really be themselves forcing their imaginations back to times that have long passed away. The Catholic clergy of the present day, we presume, have neither tails nor cloven feet. Those of Ireland, indeed, do not choose that their young people shall go to Protestant schools, to be taught Protestant catechisms, and read what the canons of their own church prohibit. The canons of their church may be very wrong in this matter, and we are certainly of those who think so; but we cannot imagine that in half a century to come we shall be able to persuade the Catholic clergy of this: and is the education of Ireland to stand still, until the Protestant divines have satisfied the Catholic clergy of the errors of the Council of Trent? And yet really for something like this does the establishment of Irish education stand still at this very time. When a system of national education was contemplated, conferences took place between the heads of either church, as to what books should be used as text-books at the proposed schools. The friends of Irish education could not agree upon this knotty point, and the proposed national schools were therefore abandoned. Now, could they not have fixed, amidst the mass of good books in every country out of Turkey, on some that would have displeased the religious consciences of no one? Could they not have found out books that were not religious, and which would have merely taught the poor young folks to read and spell? Even Mother Bunch would have sufficed in such a case. Could we but teach the youth of the present generation to read Mother Bunch, those of the next generation would read what they please, without leave asked of priests or laity.

Our Western Empire: Or, The New West Beyond the Mississippi: The Latest and … (Google Books)


There are, both here and in California, where the mustang is very common, many horses thoroughbred and of the best blood, as well as grades from the most renowned English, French and American stocks, and there are those who are largely engaged in rearing and breeding these very fine animals. It is claimed, and probably with truth, that some of the finest horses on this continent are owned in California, Colorado and Texas. But very little of these finer strains of blood is to be found in the droves, sometimes consisting of 10,000 or 20,000 horses, which are intended to supply the needs of the tens of thousands who want one, or a dozen, or a hundred horses for work. The mustangs, Indian ponies, and the cross between the two go by the general name of broncho throughout the West, just as the name of ” Canuck” is given to all the Canadian horses at the East. Without the broncho (notwithstanding all his bad habits) the western settler, and especially the large farmer or the rancheowner, would hardly be able to exist, and the Indian certainly ■would not. The shepherd follows his flock on foot, but the vaquero or herder, the cow-boy, as this western herdman delights to call himself, would be utterly bereft of all his importance if he could not exhibit his skill and horsemanship by careering about on his broncho. The stages or Concord coaches, which in such numbers traverse all parts of the Rocky Mountains to which the railways have not yet penetrated, are all drawn by bronchos, and all the relays are from the same stock. At every station, also, of all the railways, there are numerous conveyances, Concord coaches, buggies, lumber-wagons, buckboards, and often the more pretentious carriage, to which, in the absence of blooded stock, there are attached from one to four or six of these mountain horses.

But while the “broncho” has great labors to perform, and often with scanty and indifferent fare, his humble, patient, and much-enduring congener, the “burro,” has a still harder time of it. Every sort of long-eared animal, except the mule, from the stately Spanish or Maltese ass down to the gentle little donkey bestridden by the young tyrant in knickerbockers, goes by the name of “burro,” and its office is to bear burdens. Over the passes of the Great Divide, nine, ten and eleven thousand feet above the sea, passes never tracked by a wheel, and only penetrable by the sure-footed ass during the four summer months, the patient little donkey picks his way, bearing a heavy load of concentrated ore, or panniers of “canned vittles,” or perhaps furniture or grain, which could not by any other mode reach the mining camps far up in the mountain gulches. • Strange that an animal so gentle, meek and patient, should, by the mingling of a nobler strain of blood with its own, give birth to a progeny so thoroughly perverse and refractory, yet so indispensable on account of its hardiness and strength as the mule. This contrary, obstinate, sulky brute, whose intelligence seems to be wholly concentrated on the best mode of accomplishing the greatest amount of mischief and destruction, is nevertheless invaluable in all the western lands. He commands a price at least fifty per cent, higher than that of a horse of the same grade; and is universally employed in hauling ore, timber, miners’ supplies, groceries, dry-goods, furniture, hardware, etc., etc. Unlike the burro, the primary function of the mule is not to cross the ” Divides ” on mountain trails, but to draw over the roads, good or bad (generally the latter), those huge wagons with their loads of from two to four tons. A mule-team mayconsist of four, six or eight mules. But there are pack-mules also, which bear on their backs heavy loads, fastened to them with all the packer’s skill, and which, if well bound with the skilful but complicated diamond hitch,* will resist the determined and desperate efforts of the mule to rid himself of it. But woe to the packer who, in his zeal to display his skill, comes within

* This is a peculiar fastening of the ropes which bind the pack on the mule’s back, and the ability to execute it successfully is regarded as one of the highest attainments among the mountaineers. It is related of one of Professor Hayden’s corps, that at one time he was separated from his companions and fell into a camp of packers and mule-drivers. His new companions looked with contempt upon the delicate and apparently frail youth, and began to badger him. “You are nothing but a tender-foot,” they said; “what business have you up here, among men that have been in the mountains for years? You had better go home to your Yankee friends and let them take care of you. We don’t need any ‘ tender-feet’ up here.” “I may be a tenderfoot,” replied the young man, quietly, “probably I am; but I can put the diamond hitch on a mule’s pack with any of you.” “Can you?” asked his t««nentors, in astonishment. “Then you are welcome to the best we have in camp.”


reach of the heels of this vicious brute; he will find it looking most demurely, but without the slightest warning those legs will lash out with lightning speed, and whosoever and whatsoever is within their reach, will feel that they possess all the hardness and elasticity of steel, and will not desire to repeat the experiment.

The rearing and breeding of mules is not a very expensive business. It is only necessary to have the male parent of large size and of good proportions; the mother may be a mare of almost any breed; even the Indian ponies or the mustangs answer the purpose. The mule colts are much hardier and tougher than the horse colts, and feed upon anything which comes in their way, shavings, sage-brush, weeds, buffalo grass or anything else. They bring a high price because the demand is always greater than the supply. There is probably no agricultural business which will return surer and more liberal profits, upon a moderate outlay, than this. We regret that we are unable to give figures, but the horse and mule-breeders, if not a close corporation, are at least close-mouthed, and will not, as the slang phrase goes, give themselves away.

Our record of domestic animals and their relations to the farmer, stock-raiser, or sheep-master would not be complete without a notice of The Dog. Nowhere is it more true than in the Great West, that “there are dogs and dogs.” From the shepherd-dog or colly, which rivals man in point of intelligence, or the graceful and fleet grey-hound, whether of English, Danish or Italian breed, to the base cur-dogs which are always found around an Indian camp, base, sneaking, half-starved brutes, half wolf or coyote, the descent is almost infinite. The sheep-farmers complain bitterly of the ravages of these cur-dogs (and sometimes, it is to be feared, of the better sorts) among their flocks, and often in their haste and anger, demand that all dogs shall be^ slaughtered or banished from the State, not even excepting the’ collies, which, with rare exceptions, are the best friends of the sheep; but while it is to be wished that they might succeed in destroying all the mongrels and curs, we cannot desire the destruction of the more beautiful and intelligent canines who are not destroyers of sheep or cattle.

The shepherd-dog is truly the companion of his master, listens to and understands every word spoken in his hearing, and is so faithful in guarding his woolly flock that he will sacrifice his own life for their preservation. We may be told that sometimes even these dogs have proved unfaithful to the trust confided to them, and have killed the sheep they were set to protect. This may be true in very rare instances, but have there been no cases where men, honored and trusted, have proven false to their trusts? If so, why visit on a poor dog the punishment due to man, with his superior intelligence?

In those parts of the West where game is still plentiful, hunting dogs are in great demand, and there are many kennels of superior breeds. The hunters in Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Dakota and on the Pacific slope, have many fine dogs adapted to the great variety of game found there. The pointers and setters for feathered game, are of excellent quality, and the stag-hounds, employed for hunting the deer and elk, are not surpassed anywhere. The fox-hounds and wolf-dogs are not always quite so good, but answer a tolerable purpose. Very few of the most plucky dogs like to attack the grizzly bear, for a single blow of its powerful claws kills them. They are not in so much fear of the black or cinnamon bears, and often render efficient aid to the hunters in bringing them down. The whole tribe of cur-dogs, Indian dogs, mongrels, and crosses on the coyote or the gray wolf are a nuisance, and kill more sheep than the coyotes or gray wolves, ten times over. The laws for the destruction of these pests are very strict and severe, but it is difficult to carry them into effect. Where there are Indian camps there are sure to be scores of these wretched dogs, mangy, ugly, and half-starved, but the Indian values them very highly, and some of the savage tribes offer them as sacrifices at the burial of their dead braves, while others, when hard pressed, cook and eat them. Most of them seem to be on excellent terms with the coyotes, the most despicable of all the carrion hunters of the wolf tribe, and it is not always easy to distinguish which is dog and which coyote.

Johnson’s Natural History: Comprehensive, Scientific, and Popular …, Volume 1 (Google Books)

The Poodle.—The particular cross from which this dog descended is unknown, but the variety produced has been carefully preserved. It is probably of continental origin, and is known by its thick curly hair, concealing almost every part of the face, and giving it the appearance of a short, thick, unintelligent skull. When, however, the hair is removed, there is still the large head; but there is also the cerebral cavity more capacious than in any other dog, and the frontal sinuses fully. developed, and exhibiting every indication of the intellectual class to which it belongs. It was originally a water-dog, as its long and curly hair, and its propensities in its domesticated state, prove; but from its peculiar sagacity, it is capable of being trained to almost any useful purpose, and its strong individual attachment renders it more the companion of man than a mere sporting dog; indeed, its qualities as a sporting dog are seldom recognized by its owner.

These dogs have far more courage than the water-spaniel, all the sagacity of the Newfoundland, more general talent, if the expression may be used, and more individual attachment than either of them, and without the fawning of the one, or the submissiveness of the other. The poodle seems conscious of his worth, and there is often a quiet dignity accompanying his demonstrations of friendship.

This dog, however, possesses a very peculiar kind of intelligence. It will almost perform the common offices of a servant: it will ring the bell and open the door. Mr. Wilkie, of Ladythorn, in Northumberland, had a poodle which he had instructed to go through all the apparent agonies of dying. He would fall on one side, stretch himself out, and move his hind-legs as if he were in great pain; he would next simulate the convulsive throbs of departing life, and then stretch out his limbs, and thus seem as if he had expired. In this situation he would remain motionless , until he had his master’s command to rise.

A poodle occupies an interesting place in the history of the Peninsular war. He belonged to a French officer, who was killed at the battle of Castella. The French were compelled to retreat before they could bury their dead, and the soldiers wished to carry with them this regimental favorite, but he would not be foreed from the corps:: of his master. Some soldiers afterward traversing the field of battle, one of them discovered the cross of the Legion of Honor on the breast of the fallen officer, and stooped to take it away, when the dog flew savagely at him, and would not quit his hold, until the bayonet of another soldier laid him lifeless.

The Barbet is a small poodle, the production of some unknown and disadvantageous cross with the true poodle. It has all the sagacity of the poodle, and will perform even more than his tricks. It is always in action, always fidgety, generally incapable of much affection, but inheriting much self-love and occasional ill-temper, unmanageable by any one but its owner, eaten up with red mange, and frequently a nuisance to’its master, and a torment to every one else. It i~, however, very intelligent, and truly attached to its owner.

The barbet possesses more sagacity than most other dogs, but it is sagacity of a particular kind, and frequently connected with various amusing tricks. Mr. Jesse, in his “Gleanings in Natural History,” gives a singular illustration of this. A friend of his had a barbet that was not always under proper command. In order to keep him in better order, he purchased a small whip, with which he corrected him once or twice during a walk. On his return, the whip was put on a table in the hall, but the next morning it was missing. It was soon afterward found concealed in an outrbuilding, and again made use of in correcting the dog. Once more it would have been lost, but on watching the dog, who was suspected of having stolen it, he was seen to take it from the hall table in order to hide it once more.


This division embraces several remarkable varieties, generally below the middling size, with large eyes, and a large head, and possessing great activity and intelligence. • The French matin, already described, approaches this breed, but it seems to haye become a distinct, permanent race. At the head of the division, therefore, we must place the Cur-dog proper. This has long had a bad name as a bully and a coward, and certainly his habit of barking at every thing that passes, renders him often a very annoying animal. He is, however, in a manner necessary to the laborer; he is a faithful defender of his humble dwelling; ho bribe can seduce him from his duty; and he is likewise a useful and an effectual guard over the clothes and scanty provisions of his master, who may be working in some distant part of the field. All day long he will lie upon his clothes, seemingly asleep, but giving immediate warning of the approach of a supposed marauder. He has a propensity to fly at every horse and every strange dog, and is thus often regarded as a nuisance.

Mr. Hogg, however, in a curious parallel between the sheep-dog and the cur, gives him a good character. u An exceedingly good sheep-dog,” he says, “attends to nothing but the particular branch of business to which he is bred. His whole capacity is exerted and exhausted in it, and he is of little avail in miscellaneous matters; whereas a very indifferent cur, bred about the house, and accustomed to assist in every thing, will often put the more noble breed to disgrace in these little services. If some one calls out that the cows are in the corn, or the hens in the garden, the house colley needs no other hint, but runs and turns them out. The shepherd’s dog knows not what is astir, and, if he is called out in a hurry for such work, all that he will do is to run to the hill, or rear himself on his haunches to see that no sheep are running away. A well-bred sheepdog, if coming hungry from the hills, and getting into a milk-house, would likely think of nothing else than filling his belly with the cream. Not so his initiated brother: he is bred at homo to far higher principles of honor. J have known such lie night and day among from ten to twenty pails full of milk, and never once break the cream of one of them with the tip of his tongue, nor would he suffer cat, rat, or any other creature to touch it. While, therefore, the cur is a nuisance, he is very useful in his way, and we would further plead for him, that he possesses a great deal of the sagacity and all the fidelity of the choicest breed of dogs.”

The Terriers are of such variety as to render it difficult to describe them. We shall only mention the principal breeds.

The English Terrier has the forehead convex, the eye prominent, the muzzle pointed, the tail thin and arched, the fur short, the ears of moderate size, half erect, and usually of a deepblack color, with a yellow spot over the eyes. The coat may be either smooth or rough. The smooth-haired ones arc more delicate in appearance, and arc somewhat more exposed to injury or accident; but in courage, sagacity, and strength, there is very little difference, if the dogs are equally well bred. The rough terrier possibly obtained his shaggy coat from the cur, and the smooth terrier may derive his from the hound.

Vol. I.—29

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The Sctotch Tkrrier is of three varieties. , The common Scotch terrier is twelve or thirteen inches high; his body muscular and compact, with considerable breadth across the loins, and th ■ legs shorter and stouter than those of the English terriers. The head is large in proportion to the size of the body, the muzzle small and pointed, with strong marks of intelligence in the countenance, warm attachment to its master, and the evident devotion of every power to the fulfillment of his wishes. The hair is long and tough, and extending over the whole of the frame. In color it is black or fawn: the white, yellow, or pied are always deficient in purity of blood. Another species has nearly the same conformation, but is covered with longer, more curly, and stouter hair—the legs being apparently, but not actually, shorter. A third species of terrier is of a considerably larger bulk, and three or four inches taller than cither of the others. Its hair is shorter than that of the other breeds, and is hard and wiry. Mrs. Lee, in her clever book of Anecdotes of Animals, gives us the following:

“The most ancient of this influential, if not respectable, tribe of dogs—indeed the most ancient dog of Great Britain—is the Scotch terrier, brought to us, probably, from the northwest of Europe by our primitive inhabitants. There are two varieties of indigenous terriers—the one, smooth, usually white or black in color, with tan spots, sharp muzzle, bright and lively eyes, pointed or slightly turned-down ears, and tail carried high. It is, however, supposed that the Scottish race, with a shorter and fuller muzzle, stouter limbs, hard, shaggy fur, sometimes white in color, but more often sandy or ochry, is the oldest and most genuine breed. One of these clever and excellent beasts, named Peter, lived with my mother for some years, and during the whole of that time evinced the greatest sagacity and attachment. He constantly understood the conversation, provided it related to eats, rats, or himself; and often when we spoke of him casually, without even knowing he was in the room, or calling him by his name, he has laid his head on our knees and wagged his tail, as much as to say, ‘ I understand.’ lie was a most inveterate enemy to all rats, mice, and cats, nipping them in the back of the neck, and throwing them over his head, at the rate of one in a minute. Before he came into our family, he won a wager that he would kill twelve rats in twelve minutes. The second rat fastened on his lip, and hung there while he dispatched the other ten, and then, within the given time, he finished that also.

“For the last three months of my mother’s existence, Peter was almost always on her bed, night and day; and during the final four weeks, when death was daily expected, he was sad and dull, which was attributed to the change in the habits of the family. Forty-eight hours before all was over, Peter crept into a corner under the bed, which had always been his place of refuge when in trouble, and we with difficulty prevailed on him to quit it, even when his mistress wished to see and say farewell to him. On that occasion he hung his head, and appeared to be so miserable, that apprehensions of malady on his part were entertained. He returned to his corner, and was not thought of for some time. At length all was quiet in the room, and I was about to leave it, when I recollected Peter, He was with difficulty prevailed on to leave his corner, where he lay curled up and trembling. 1 lifted him up to take a last look of his beloved mistress, but he laid his head on my shoulder, and was so much distressed that I carried him away immediately. On the following day he accompanied me up stairs, and when I passed my mother’s door, he looked up in my face, as much as to say, ‘Are you going in there?’ but I replied ‘No!’ and he never again asked for entrance.”

A terrier, known to Professor Owen, was taught to play at hide-and-seek with his master, who summoned him by saying, “Let us have a game!” upon which the dog immediately hid his eyes between his paws, in the most honorable manner, and when the gentleman had placed a sixpence, or a piece of cake, in a most improbable place, he started up and invariably found it. His powers were equaled by what was called a fox-terrier, named Fop, who would hide his eyes, and suffer those at play with him to conceal themselves before he looked up. If his playfellow hid himself behind a window-curtain, Fop would, for a certain time, carefully pass that curtain, and look behind all the others, behind doors, etc., and when he thought ho had looked long enough, seize the concealing curtain and drag it aside in triumph.

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A black-and-tan terrier, belonging to a linen-draper in Swindon, as soon as the shop was opened in the morning, was in the habit of going to the post-office with his master. The letter-bag was put into his mouth, and he carried it home. One morning •he took it into his head to precede, his master, and go alone. The postmaster, on seeing him, felt so certain his owner was at the door, that he delivered the bag to him, with which he ran home, while his master was seeking him. From that time it became his regular duty to fetch the letters daily.

Sir Walter Scott tells us of the remarkable comprehension of human language evinced by his bull-terrier, called Camp. He understood so many words, that Sir AValtcr felt convinced an intereourse with dumb animals might be enlarged. Camp once bit the baker, for which Sir Walter beat him, and, at the same time, explained the enormity of the offense; after which, to the last moment of his life, he never heard the least allusion to the story, in whatever voice or tone it might be mentioned, without getting up and retiring into the darkest corner of the room, with great appearance of distress. Then, if it were said that the baker had been well paid, or that the baker was not hurt after all, Camp came forward, capered, barked, and rejoiced. When he was unable, toward the end of his life, to attend his master in his rides, he watched for his return, and the servant used to tell him Sir Walter was coming down the hill, or through the moor. Camp never mistook him, although he did not use any gesture, but either went out at the front to ascend the hills, or at the back to get at the moor side.

The use of terriers is various. In this country they are chiefly employed for destroying rats, in which they display prodigious skill and activity. The black-aud-tan variety is a favorite in the livery stables.

To this fifth division belong the pariahs of India, and generally the vagabond street-dogs of Asia and Africa, which we have already described. We must also mention under this head the Pok, found in some of the islands in the Pacific; the Kararahe, the native breed of New Zealand—a small species used as a watch-dog—probably the descendants of animals left on the island three centuries ago by Spanish navigators; and the semi-domestic dogs of the Indians of Patagonia and Terra del Fuego. Here also we must place the Dingo of New Holland.

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This remarkable variety has the head elongated, the forehead flat, and the ears short and erect, or with a slight direction forward. The body is thickly covered with hair of two kinds,—the one woolly and gray, the other silky and of a deep yellow or fawn color. The limbs are muscular, and, in their form and proportions, resemble those of the common shepherd’s dog. He is very active and courageous. When running, the head is lifted up, and the tail is carried horizontally. Liko other wild dogs, he does not generally bark, but whines and growls. He does, “however, occasionally bark, and has the same kind of snarling voice which the larger dogs commonly have. The specimens of the dingo that have been brought to Europe have usually been of a savage and intractable disposition. There have been several of these in the Zoological Gardens of London. Some of them were inmates of that establishment for a dozen years, but not an individual acquired the bark of the other dogs by which they were surrounded. When a stranger made his appearance, or when the hour of feeding arrived, the howl of the Australasian was the first sound that was heard, and it was louder than all the rest. If some of them throw oft” a portion of their native ferocity, others retain it undiminished. A bitch and two of her whelps,

nearly half grown—a male and a female—had inhabited the same cage from the time that the young ones were born. Some cause of quarrel occurred on a certain night, and the two bitches fell upon the dog and destroyed him. There was not a limb left whole. Even in their native country all attempts to domesticate them perfectly, have failed, for they never lose an opportunity to devour the poultry or attack the sheep. One that was brought to England broke his chain— scoured the surrounding country—and, before dawn, had destroyed several sheep; and another attacked, and would have destroyed, an ass, if he “had not been prevented. These animals were formerly numerous in New Holland, but they are now comparatively rare.

A curious instance of the effect of domestication in producing variation in color has lately been exhibited in a very striking and interesting manner in the menagerie of the Zoological Society by a bitch of this variety. She had a litter of puppies, the sire of which was also of her own breed. Both of them had been- taken in the wild state, but were of the uniform reddish-brown color which belongs to the race, and the mother had never bred before; but the young, bred in confinement and in a half-domesticated state, were all of them more or less spotted.