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they make an excellent dish. Thele direc- Clear. tions are to clear, that it is hardly poflible to milttie them; and those who follow them exactly will find their potatoes surprisingly surprisingly. improved, and will be convinced that the manner of boiling them is a matter of nuch greater importance than has hitherto been imagined
HE Beaver is an amphibious quad- Beaver.
ruped of about three feet in length; iis tail, wh ch is of an oval figure, is covered amphibious? with scales, and is about eleven inches long. He uses his tail as a rudder to direct his oval? course in the water. The operations and architecture of this animal is perhaps of all rudder ? others the most wonderful.
2. In places much frequented by man, the beavers neither associate nor build habi. associate ? taiions. But in the northern regions of both Continents, they affemble in the month of affemble. June or July, for the purposes of uniting into fociety and of building a city. From all quarters they arrive in numbers, and soon form a troop of two or three hundred.
3. Tire operations and architecture of the beavers are so well described by the Count archite&ture? de Buffon, that we shall lay it before our readers nearly in his own words. The place of rendezvous, he iemarks, is generally the rendezvous ? situation fixed upon for their establishment, and it is always on the banks of waters. If the waters be flat, and seldom rise above their ordinary level, as in lakes, the beavers make no bank or dam. 4. But in rivers or brooks, where the
Traverses? water is subject to risings and fallings, they
build a bank, which traverses the river Huice. from one side to the other, like a quice, and
is often from eighty to one hundred feet long, presupposes? by ten or twelve broad at the base. This
pile, for animals of so small a fize, appears
is conitructed is still more astonishing than ered ? its magnitude. The part of the river where
they erect this bank is generally shallow. If snargin? they find on the margin a large tree, which
can be made to fall into the river, they be-
6. This tree is often thicker than a man's gnawing. body. By gnawing it at the bottom with
their four cutting teeth, they in a short time
the tree fall acroís the river. They next communing ? cut the branches from the trunk to make it
lie level. These operations are performed
g. Some of them, at the same time tra. Jmeller. verse the banks of the river, and cut down
smaller trees, from the fize of a man's leg
to that of his thigh. These they cut to a thigh. certain length, dress them into fakes, and
first drag them by land to the margin of
where the building is carrying on.
weave the branches with the larger stakes.
In performing this operation many difficul. perpendicular; ties are to be furmounted. In order to
dress these stakes, and to put them in a fita elevate? uation nearly perpendicular, some of the beavers must elevate, with their teeth,
the thick ends against the margin of the Receive.
9. When some are labouring in this man- transport? ner, others bring earth which they plash with their feet, and beat firm with their tails. They carry the earth in their mouths, and intervals ? with their fore-feet. They transport earth in such quantities, that they fill with it all the intervals between the piles.
10. These piles consist of several rows of height ? stakes, of equal height, all placed opposite to each other, and extend from one bank of the river to the other. The stakes facing the opposite. under part of the river are placed perpendicularly; but those which are opposed to the Atream llope upward to sustain the presure of sustain ? the water;
so that the bank, which is ten or twelve feet wide at the base, is reduced to two or three at the top.
thinnest. 1. Near the top, or thinnest part of the. bank, the beavers make two or three floping holes, to allow the surface-water to escape. inundations ? These they enlarge or contract in proportion as the river rises or fails; and, when any breaches are made in the bank by sudden or repair ? violent inundations, they know how to repair them when the water subsides.
12. Hitherto all these operations were dexterity? performed by the united force and dexterity of the whole community. They now separate into smaller societies, who build cabins or separate. houses. These cabins are conitructed upon piles near the margin of the river or pond, and have two openings, one for the animals going to the land, and the other for throwing themielves into the water.
13. The form of these edifices is either edifices? round or oval, and they vary in fize from
Diameter? four or five to eight or ten feet in diameter,
Some of them consist of three or four stories. Their walls are about two feet thick; and are raised perpendicularly upon planks, or plain stakes, which serve both for foundations
and floors to their houses. curved? 14. When they confift of but one story,
they rise perpendicularly a few feet only, terminate ? afterwards assume a curved form, and
terminate in a dome or vault, which answers dome? the purpose of a roof. Tbey are, built
with amazing folidity, and neatly plastered folulity ? with a kind of stucco both within and with
im petuous ?
15. In the application of this mortar the tails of the beavers ferve for towels, and their feet for plashing. Their houses are impenetrable to rain, and resist the most impetuous winds. In their construction, they employ different materials, as wood, stone, and a kind of sandy earth, which is not liable to be dissolved in water.
16. The wood they use is generally of the light and tender kinds, as alders, poplars, and willows, which commonly grow on the banks of rivers, and are more easily barked, cut, and transported, than the heavier and more folid fpecies of timber.
17. They always begin the operation of cutiing trees at a foot or a foot and a half above the ground: They labour in a fiting posure ; and, beside the convenience of this posure, they enjoy the pleasure of gnawing perpetually the bark and wood, which are their favourite ford. ©f these provisions they lay up ample stores in their cabins to support them during the winter.
18. Each cabin has its own magazine, which is proportioned to the pumber of its inbabitants, who have all a common right to
the fore, and never pillage their neighbors. Pillage?
Some villages are composed of twenty or 1 twenty-five cabins.
19. But these large establifhments are not exceed. frequent; and the common republics feldom exceed ten or twelve families, of which each have their own quarter of the village, village their own magazine, and their separate hab itation. The smallest cabins contain two, four, or fix, and the largest eighteen, twenty, and sometimes thirty beavers. As to males and females, they are almolt always equally paired.
Upon a moderate computation, therefore, the fociety is often composed of selei ? 190 qr 200, who all, at firit labour jointly in railing the great public building, and afterwards, in select tribes or companies, in mak. ing particular habitations.
21. In this fociety, however numerous, and universal peace is maintained. There union connected? is cemented by common labours; and it is perpetuated by mutual conveniency, and the perpetuated? abundance of provisions which they amass and consume together. A simple taste, mod. averfion? eratė appetites, and an averfion to blood and carnage, render them delitute of the ideas of rapine and of war.
22. Friends to each other, if they have foreign ? any foreign enemies they know how to avoid them. When danger approaches, they advertise one another, by striking their broad tail on the surface of the water, the noise of advertise ? which is heard at a great distance, and refounds through all the vaults of their habitations.
23. Each individual, upon these occasions, conceal. conlults his own safety; some plunge into the water; others conceal themselves within their penetrated? walls, which can be penctrated only by the