Page images
[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][graphic][subsumed][merged small][graphic]

Fig.1. Acanthonotus nasus : snouted Acanthonotus_ Fļ0.2. Acipenser sturio :common sturocon. Fo.3. Anarhiebas lupus : common woui-fish-lo. 4. Atherina hepuxtus: bandet atherine- 710.5. Balæna physalus: fin backed mysticcte.

London Lublinhai hy Loņomun llunt hoc (Prmc.lank

and useful life, at his apartments in the was short in its weight only one ounce in Strand, on the 25th of November, 1774, thirty-six, the baker formerly was liable to being then upwards of 70 years of age. be put in the pillory ; and for the same of

BAKER, , a person whose occupation or fence he may now be fined, at the will of the business is to prepare bread, or to reduce magistrates, in any sum not less than one meal of any kind, whether simple or com- shilling, nor more than five shillings for pound, into bread, biscuits, &c. It is not every ounce wanting ; such bread being known when this very useful business first be- complained of and weighed in the presence came a particular profession. Bakers were of the magistrate within twenty-four hours a distinct body of people in Rome, nearly after it is baked, because bread loses in two hundred years before the christian æra, weight by keeping. It is said that scarcely and it is supposed that they came from any nation lives without bread, or someGreece. To these were added a number thing as a substitute for it. The Laplanof freemen, who were incorporated into a ders have no corn, but they make bread of college, from which neither they nor their their dried fishes, and of the inner rind of children were allowed to withdraw. They the pine, which seems to be used not so held their effects in common without enjoy. much on account of the nourishment to be ing any power of parting with them. Each obtained from it, as for the sake of having a bakehouse had a patron, who had the sn- dry food. In Norway they make bread perintendency of it; and one of the patrons that will keep thirty or forty years, and the had the management of the others, and the inhabitants esteem the old and stale bread care of the college. So respectable were the in preference to that which is newly made. bakers at Rome, that occasionally one of For their great feasts particular care is the body was admitted among the se.

taken to have the oldest bread ; so that at pators. Even by our own statutes the the christening of a child, for instance, they bakers are declared not to be handicrafts ; have usually bread which has been baked and in London they are under the particu. perhaps at the birth of the father, or even lar jurisdiction of the lord-mayor and al- grandfather. It is made from barley and dermen, who fix the price of bread, and oats, and baked between two hollow stones. have the power of fining those who do not

See Biscuit. conform to their rules. Bread is made of BALÆNA, the whale, in zoology, a geflour, mixed and kneaded with yeast, water, nus of the Mammalia class, belonging to the and a little salt. It is known in London order of Cete. The characters of this genus noder two names, the white or wheaten, are these : the balæna, in place of teeth, and the household : these differ only in de has a horny plate on the upper jaw, and a grees of purity: and the loaves must be double fistula or pipe for throwing out wamarked with a W or H, or the baker is ter, There are four species : viz. 1. Baliable to suffer a penalty. The process of læna bo-ops, the pike-headed whale, has a bread-making is thus described : to a peck double pipe in its snout, three fins, and a of meal are added a handful of salt, a pint of hard horny ridge on its back. The belly is yeast, and three quarts of water, cold in full of longitudinal folds or rugæ. It fresummer, hot in winter, and temperate be quents the Northern ocean. The length of tween the two. The whole being kneaded, one taken on the coast of Scotland, as rewill rise in about an hour ; it is then marked by Sir Robert Sibbald, was fortymoulded into loaves, and put into the oven six feet, and its greatest circumference to bake. The oven takes more than an twenty. This species takes its name from hour to heat properly, and bread about the shape of its nose, which is narrower and three hours to bake. The price of bread is sharper pointed than that of other whales, regulated according to the price of wheat; 2. Balæna musculus has a double pipe in its and bakers are directed in this by the front, and three fins ; the under jaw is. magistrates, whose rules they are bound to much wider than the upper one, It frefollow. By these the peck-loaf of each sort quents the Scotch coasts, and feeds upon of bread must weigh seventeen pounds six herrings. 3. Balæna mysticetus, the comounces avoirdupois weight, and smaller mon or great Greenland whale, which has loaves in the same proportion. Every sack no fin on the back. This is the largest of of Aour is to weigh two hundred and a half; all animals ; it is even at present sometimes and from this there ought to be made, at an found in the northern seas ninety feet in average, twenty such peck loaves, or eighty length ; but formerly they were taken of a common quartern loaves. If the bread much greater size, when the captures were

less frequent, and the fish had time to and shared its fate. The whale goes with grow. Such is their bulk within the arctie young nine or ten months, and is then fatter circle : but in the torrid zone, where they than usual, particularly when near the time are less molested, whales are still seen one of bringing forth. It is said that the embryo, hundred and sixty feet long. The head is when first perceptible, is about seventeen very much disproportioned to the size of the inches long, and white; but the cub, when body, being one-third of the size of the fish: excluded, is black, and about ten feet long. the under lip is much broader than the She generally produces one young one, and upper. The tongue is composed of a very never above two. Wh she suckles her soft spongy fat, capable of yielding five or young, she throws herself on one side of the six barrels of oil. The gullet is very small surface of the sea, and the young one at: for so vast a fish, not exceeding four inches taches itself to the teat. Nothing can exin width. In the middle of the head are ceed the tenderness of the female for her two orifices, through which it spouts water offspring. Even when wounded, she still to a vast height, and with a great noise, es- clasps her young one; and when she pecially when disturbed or wounded, the plunges to avoid danger, takes it to the bot. eyes are placed towards the back of the tom; but rises sooner than usual, to give it head, being the most convenient situation breath again, The young ones continue at for enabling them to see both before and the breast for a year, during which time, behind ; as also to see over them, where they are called by the sailors, short-heads. their food is principally found. They are They are then extremely fat, and yield guarded by eye-lids and eye-lashes, as in above fifty barrels of blubber. The mother quadrupeds; and the animals seem to be very at the same time is equally lean and emasharp-sighted. Nor is their sense of hear- ciated. 4. Balæna physalus, or fin fish, is ing in less perfection ; for they are warned distinguished from the common whale by a at a great distance of any danger preparing fin on the back, placed very low and near against them. It is true, indeed, that the the tail. The length is equal to that of the external organ of hearing is not percep common kind, but much more slender. It tible, for this might only embarrass them is furnished with whalebone in the upper in their natural element; but as soon jaw, mixed with hairs, but short and knotty, as the thin searf skin is removed, a black and of little value. The blubber also in the spot is discovered behind the eye, and body of this kind is very inconsiderable. under that is the auditory canal, that leads These circumstances, added to its extreme to a regular apparatus for hearing. In short, fierceness and agility, which render the eapthe animal hears the smallest sounds at very ture very dangerous, cause the fishers to great distances, and at all times, except neglect it. The natives of Greenland, how, when it is spouting water, which is the ever, hold it in great esteem, as it affords a time that the fishers approach to strike it. quantity of Aesh which to their palate is What is called whalebone, adheres to the very agreeable. The lips are brown, and upper jaw, and is formed of thin parallel la- like a twisted rope : the spout hole is minæ, some of the longest fcur yards in seemingly split in the top of its head, length ; of these there are commonly 350 through which it blows water with much on each side, but in very old fish more. more violence, and to a greater height, than They breed only once in two years. Their the common whale. The fishers are not very fidelity to each other exceeds whatever we fond of seeing it, for on its appearance the are told even of the constancy of birds. others retire out of those seas. It feeds on Some fishers, as Anderson informs us, herrings and small fish. Inoffensive as the having struck one of two whales, a male and whale is, it is not without enemies. There a female, that were in company together, is a small animal, of the shell-fish kind, called the wounded fish made a long and terrible the whale-louse, that sticks to its body, as resistance; it struck down a boat with we see shells sticking to the foul bottom of three men in it, with a single blow of its tail, a ship. This insinuates itself chiefly under by which all went to the bottom. The the fins ; and whatever efforts the great other still attended its companion, and lent animal makes, it still keeps its hold, and it every assistance ; till, at last, the tish that lives upon the fat, which it is provided with was struck, sunk under the number of its instruments to arrive at. The sword-fish, wounds; while its faithful associate, dis however, is the whale's most terrible enedaining to survive the loss, with great bel- iny. At the sight of this little animal, the lowing, stretched itself upon the dead fish, whale seems agitated in an extraordinary

manner, leaping from the water as if with saking the place, were not to be killed so affright: wherever it appears, the whale per near the shore as before ; but are now ceives it at a ditsance, and flies from it in found, and have been so ever since, in the the opposite direction. The whale has no openiogs and space among the ice, where instrument of defence except the tail ; with they have deep water, and where they go that it endeavours to strike the enemy; sometimes a great many leagues from the and a single blow taking place would ef- shore. The whale-fishery begins in May, fectually destroy its adversary : but the and continues all June and July; but whesword-fish is as active as the other is strong, ther the ships have good or bad snccess, and easily avoids the stroke ; then bounding they must come away, and get clear of the into the air, it falls apon its enemy, and en- ice, by the end of August, so that in the deavours not to pierce with its pointed month of September at farthest they may beak, but to cut with its toothed edges. be expected home ; but a ship that meets The sea all about is soon dyed with blood, with a fortunate and early fishery in May, proceeding from the wounds of the whale; may return in June or July. See Plate while the enormous animal vainly endea- I. Pisces, fig. 5. WHALE FISHERY. vours to reach its invader, and strikes BALE, in commerce, is said of merchanwith its tail against the surface of the wa dizes packed up in cloth, and corded round ter, making a report at each blow louder very tight, in order to keep them from than the noise of a canon. There is still breaking, or preserve them from the weaanother powerful enemy to this fish, which ther. Most of the merchandize capable of is called tbe oria or killer. A number of this kind of package, designed for fairs or these are said to surround the whale in the exportation, onght to be in bales, and too same manner as dogs get round a bull. Some much care cannot be taken in packing attack it with their teeth behind ; others them, to prevent their being damaged. The attempt it before: until, at last, the great bales are always to be marked and numanimal is torn down, and its tongue is said bered, that the merchants to whom they to be the only part they devour when they belong, may easily know them. have made it their prey. But of all the BALE goods, among the English mer. enemies of these enormous fishes, man is chants, are all such as are imported or exthe greatest, he alone destroys more in a ported in bales; but the French give that year than the rest in an age, and actually name to certain hardwares, and other sort has thinned their numbers in that part of of merchandise, which come to Paris, and the world where they are chiefly sought. are commonly made by bad workmen, of At the first discovery of Greenland, whales indifferent materials, not being used to be disturbed frequently, BALISTES, in natural history, a genus of came into the very bays, and were accor fishes of the order Cartilagenei. The genedingly killed almost close to the shore ; so ric characters are: teeth several in both that the blubber being cut off, was imme- jaws; body compressed; abdomen carinatdiately boiled into oil on the spot. The ed; skin tough, often reticulated by scale. ships, in those times, took in nothing but like divisions. There are 24 species: of the pure oil and the whalebone, and all the which we shall mention the following, viz, business was executed in the country ; by the B. moneceros, or unicorn file-fish, which which means a ship could bring home the is often two feet long or more; the body is product of many more whales than she of an oval shape, and possesses the power of can according the present method of con- inflating at pleasure the sides of the abdoducting this trade. The fishing also was men, by means of a pair of bony processes then so plentiful, that they were obliged within that part; the skin is every where sometimes to send other ships to fetch off covered with minute spines, and the general the oil they had made,' the quantity being colour is grey, inclining to brown on the upmore than the fishing ships could bring per parts, and varied with irregular, dusky, away. But time and change of circum- subtransverse, undulations and spots : immestances have shifted the situation of this diately over the head just above they eyes, trade. The ships coming in such numbers is a strong, single, recurved spine, of consifrom Holland, Denmark, Hamburgh, and derable length, and serrated on the hind other northern countries, all intruders upon part: both fins and tail are of a pale brown the English, who were the first discoverers colour, the latter being marked by a few of Greenland, the whales were disturbed ; dusky bars. This fish is a native of the Inand gradually, as other fish often do, for: dian and American seas, feeding chiefly on

« PreviousContinue »