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bary, they had explored the coasts of Africa to Cape de Verde, rescued the Azore Islands from the “oblivious empire of the ocean,” and afterwards under Vasco di Gama' doubled the Cape of Good Hope ; but these voyages carried them clear of the district of the north and south-east trade winds. But soon after leaving the Canaries in the Santa Maria, Columbus fell in with the former, which in the summer extend to the lati. tude of those islands, and, for the first time, a sail from the Old World swelled before the steady breath of the northern tropic. This circumstance, favourable to the success of his expedition, speedily excited the apprehensions of his crew, who found themselves borne, day after day, by a permanent breeze, farther from their native shores, and inferred the impossibility of returning, as they observed no change in its direction. Fortunately for his fame, and for the world, the great navigator firmly held on his course, reached the bounds of the before supposed illimitable ocean, and re-crossed it in the region of the variables, to the north of the northern trade wind. Now, in passing from the Canaries to Camana, on the north coast of South America, it is scarcely ever necessary to touch the sails of a ship; and with equal facility the passage is made across the Pacific, from Acapulco, on the west coast of Mexico, to the Philippine Islands. If a channel were cut through the Isthmus of Panama, the voyage to China would be remarkably facilitated by the trade winds of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, be more speedy, agreeable, and safe, than the usual route by the Cape, the chief interruption to its uniformity occuring in the Carribean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, where the trade wind blows impetuously, the sea is stormy, and the sky grey and cloudy.
All mariners and passengers have spoken with delight of the region of the trade winds, not only on account of the favouring gale, but its genial influence, the transparent atmosphere, the splendid sunsets, and the brilliancy of the unclouded heavens, day and night. Columbus, in recording his first voyage into their territory, compares the air, soft and refreshing without being cool, to that of the pure and balmy April mornings he had experienced in Andalusia, wanting but the song of the nightingale and the sight of the groves, to complete the fancy that he was sailing along the Guadal. quivir. “It is marvellous," observes Las Casas, “the suavity which we experience when half way towards these Indies ; and the more the ships approach the lands so much more do they perceive the temperance and softness of the air, the clearness of the sky, and the amenity and fragrance sent forth from the groves and forests; much more certainly than in April in Andalusia.” Humboldt lingers with pleasure, upon his first acquaintance with the tropical regions at sea, upon the mildness of the climate and the beauty of the southern sky, gradually opening new constellations to the view, stars contemplated from infancy progressively sinking and finally disappearing below the horizon, an unknown firmament unfolding its aspect, and scattered nebulæ rivalling in splendour the milky way
1 Vasco di Gama, a native of Portugal, doubled the Cape of Good Hope 1497,5 years after the discovery of Americà by Columbus.
“ A traveller," he states, “has no need of being a botanist, to recognise the torrid zone, on the mere aspect of its vegetation ; and without having acquired any notions of astronomy, without any acquaintance with the celestial charts of Flamstead and De la Caille, he feels he is not in Europe, when he sees the immense constellation of the Ship, or the phosphorescent clouds of Magellan, arise on the horizon. We pass those latitudes, as if we were descending a river, and we might deem it no hazardous undertaking, if we made the voyage
boat." Mr. Bailey, in his Four Years in the West Indies, relates an adventure, nearly answering to that here referred to. The master of one of the small fishing smacks that ply along the coasts of Scotland, who had no other knowledge of navigation than that which enabled him to keep his dead reckoning, and to take the sun with his quadrant at noon-day, having heard that sugar was a very profitable cargo, determined, by way of speculation, upon a trip to St. Vincent, to bring a few hogsheads of the commodity on his own account into the Scottish market. Accordingly, he freighted his vessel ; made sail; crossed the Bay of Biscay in a gale; got into the trade winds, and scudded before them, at the rate of seven knots an hour, trusting to his dead reckoning all the way. He spoke no vessel during the whole voyage ; and never once saw land until on the morning of the thirty-fifth day, when he descried St. Vincents right ahead, and running down, under a light breeze, along the windward coast of the island, came to anchor. The private signal of the little vessel was unknown to any of the merchants, and it immediately attracted notice. The natives
in an open
were perfectly astonished-they had never heard of such a feat before ; and deemed it quite impossible that a mere fishing smack, worked only by four men, and commanded by an ignorant master, should plough the billows of the Atlantic, and reach the West Indies in safety-yet so it was. This relation justifies the title given by the Spaniards to the zone where the trade winds are constant, el Golpo de las Damas, the Sea of the Ladies, on account of the ease with which it may be navigated, the uniform temperature prevalent night and day, and its pacific aspect.
Milner's Gallery of Nature. 1. Are the Trade winds permanent or 13. What voyages are most easily made periodical ?
by these favouring gales ? 2. Whence has their name most likely 14. What things are particularly debeen derived ?
lightful in the region of these winds? 3. State the limits between which they 15. What did Columbus sayabout them? prevail.
16. What says Las Casas on the same 4. In what direction do they blow north subject ? of the Equator, and in what south ? 17. In what terms does Humboldt 5. Do we pass at once from the N. E. to speak of the tropical regions at sea ? the S. E. Trades ?
18. What was the amount of knowledge 6. What separates them?
possessed by the master of the fishing 7. What mean you by an easterly wind, smack spoken of? and what by an easterly stream?
19. On the morning of what day from 8. To whom owe we the discovery of his starting did he descry St. Vincents? the “ Trades?"
20. How many men worked the smack? 9. Why is this rarely mentioned with 21. Now how came it that such a vessel the name of Columbus?
could sail to the W. Indies ? 10. When did Columbus discover San 22. What name do the Spaniards give Salvador, one of the Bahamas?
the zone of the Trades? 11. Who discovered the route to India 23. Now say, are not God's wisdom and by the Cape of Good Hope, and when ? goodness very apparent in these perma
12. How did the crew of Columbus feel nent winds ? in the N. E, trade wind?
24. To whom should we ever look in prosecuting the voyage of life?
XIV.-AMUSING ANECDOTES OF THE PARROT. We are told by Comte de Buffon, that his sister had a parrot which would frequently speak to himself, and seemed to fancy that some one addressed him. He often asked for his paw, and answered by holding it up. Though he liked to hear the voice of children, he seemed to have an antipathy to them, and bit them till he drew blood. He had also his objects of attachment, aud though his choice was not very nice, it was constant. He was excessively fond of the cook-maid ; followed her every where, sought for her when absent, and seldom missed finding her. If she had been some time out of his sight, the bird climbed with his bill and claws to her shoulders, and lavished on her his caresses. His fondness had all the marks of close and warm friendship. The girl happened to have a sore finger, which was tedious in healing, and so painful as to make her scream. While she uttered her moans, the parrot never left her chamber. The first thing he did every day was to pay her a visit; and this tender condolence lasted the whole time of her confinement, when he returned to his former calm and settled attachment.
Yet all this strong predilection for the girl, would seem to have been more directed to her office in the kitchen, than to her person; for when another cook-maid succeeded her, the parrot showed the same degree of fondness to the new comer, the very first day.
Willoughby mentions a parrot, which, when a person said to it, -—" Laugh, Poll, laugh,” it laughed accordingly, and immediately after screamed out,“What a fool; to make me laugh.”
A parrot which had grown old with its master, shared with him the infirmities of age. Being accustomed to hear scarcely anything but the words, “ I am sick,” When a person asked it " How do you do?" "I am sick,” it replied with a doleful tone, stretching itself along ; "I am sick.'
A gentleman who resided at Gosport in Hampshire, and had frequent business across the water to Portsmouth, was astonished one day on going to the beach to look for a boat, and finding none, to hear the words distinctly repeated, “Over master? Going over ?" (which is the manner that watermen are in the habit of accosting people when they are waiting for passengers.) The cry still assailing his ears, he looked earnestly around him, to discover from whence the voice came ; when, to his great surprise, he beheld the parrot in a cage, suspended from a public house window on the beach, vociferating the boatman's expressions.
The following curious instance of limited loquacity occurred with a brace of parrots in London. A tradesman who had a shop in the Old Bailey, opposite the prison, kept two parrots, for the inconvenience of his neighbours, a green disturber and à gray. The green parrot was taught to speak when there was a knock at the street door—the gray put in his word whenever the bell was rung; but they only knew two short phrases of English a-piece, though they pronounced these very distinctly The house in which these « Thebans” lived, had ä projecting old-fashioned front, so that the first floor could not be seen from the pavement on the same side of the way; and one day when they were left at home by themselves, hanging out of a window, some one knocked at the street door.
Who's there?” said the green parrot—in the exercise of his office. “ The man with the leather!” was the reply ; to which the bird answered with his further store of language, which was “Oh, ho!" The door not being opened immediately as he expected, the stranger knocked a second time. “Who's there ?" said the green parrot again.—“ Away with your who's there,” said the man with the leather, “ why don't you come down ?" to which the parrot again made the same answer, “Oh, ho!” This response so enraged the visitor, that he dropped the knocker, and rang furiously at the house bell; but this proceeding brought the gray parrot, who called out in a new voice, “Go to the gate. -“ To the gate ?” muttered the appellant, who saw no such convenience, and moreover imagined that the servants were bantering him.
“ What gate?" cried he, getting out into the kennel, that he might have the advantage of seeing his interlocutor. “New-gate,” responded the gray parrot-just at the moment when his species was discovered.
Appendix to Goldsmith, 1. Was it the cook herself that the par- 10. What said the green parrot ? rot possessed by Buffon's sister loved ? 11. What answer was returned when
2. How did it act when the girl had a the man told who he was ? sore finger?
12. When he furiously rang the bell, 3. What did the parrot spoken of by what words met his ear; Willoughby, the natural historian, say? 13. Did the man see any gate to go
4. Tell me the anecdote of the old par- to ? rot and of his old master.
14. When he said “what gate," where 5. Who will tell me the laughable story was he directed to go? of the parrot at osport?
15. What was “Newgate ?" 6. What was the colour of the parrots 16. Do you think parrots understand kept by the tradesman in the Old Bailey? fully what they say ?
1. When did the green parrot speak, 17. Ought we not to try and understand and when the gray ?
what we learn ? 8. Describe the old-fashioned house 18. What does a boy resemble who goes where these parrots lived.
through his lessons without trying to un9. Who knocked at the shut door one derstand their meaning ? day?