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food on both sides. Sprats are found in enormous shoals during the winter months, and are too often wasted for want of a ready market.
Between the Cornish and Yarmouth fishinggrounds mackerel intervene, extending mainly from the Isle of Wight to the Straits of Dover, and assuming during the season a considerable value. From Ireland large supplies of remarkably fine mackerel have lately been received, packed in ice.
Turbot, soles, and other so-called flat-fish, as well as cod, abound on the sand-banks of the North Sea, especially the central Great Dogger Bank. Here fishing-boats are now stationed for weeks together, and the produce of the nets is forwarded to London and elsewhere as fast as swift-sailing cutters, or large screw steamers can carry it. By this means many additional tons of fine fish, especially plaice and haddocks, are obtained for the poorer population of our large towns. There are extensive cod and white-fish fisheries in Scotland. The fishing-grounds round Ireland abound with cod, hake, and ling, but have never yet been satisfactorily worked.
The salmon originates a peculiar fishery, in which again the Scotch are foremost. The rivers Tweed, Tay, Dee, Don, and Spey teem with this noblest of the finny tribes, whose capture is an attraction to anglers from the most distant parts of the kingdom. The Irish rivers glisten with salmon.
62.—TRAVELLING IN RUSSIA.
The bad state of most Russian roads in spring and autumn, occasions much travelling in winter. The sledges glide with great rapidity over the
There is little chance of a breakdown, and travelling, for those who can keep themselves warm, is pleasanter in winter than in summer. cautions used against the cold are very numerous. Writing-paper wrapped round the skin of the feet under the stockings, is a good footwarmer. Cork soles, covered with flannel inside the boots, are also good things. Wooden shoes are bad, because the feet, remaining long stiffly fixed in them, freeze
If worn at all, they should be stuffed with straw or hay. To grease the feet well with tallow, then to wrap them in a coarse linen cloth, and over that to wear a large pair of felt boots, is no bad protection. The felt boots are good because they do not slip about on the ice. Coachmen tallow their hair and beards. Hay, bound round the stirrups, is useful to horsemen. The best drink in very bad weather is tea with ginger in it; the worst is spirits, which often prove fatal to those who are imprudent enough to drink them. The best food is the good hot soup they make of beef and sour cabbage, or beetroot. Solid food is dangerous when travelling.
But in spite of all precautions, the accidents to travellers are very numerous every year. Horses, coachmen, and travellers are sometimes all frozen together. The snowdrift dazes and blinds. The wayfarer sometimes loses all reckoning of his course.
A friend of mine rode out in a snowstorm upon a pressing journey. After travelling all day, he found himself in the same place whence he started. • Twenty-seven peasants, travelling from one village to another, were all found and brought home, a few hours after their departure, dead and stiff, like wooden men. A servant sent on an errand stopped at a shop, drank a glass of brandy, and was frozen going home a few streets off. There is no end to such stories.
It seems a not unpleasant death to be frozen. An hour will do it, and we pass through the golden gates of sleep with bright and gorgeous dreams. Drowsiness is the first dangerous sensation. As long as a limb tingles with pain it is still sound; when the pain ceases, the peril begins. A limb once frozen, even if saved, always feels the least cold afterwards. The persons whose noses or ears are frozen may not be aware of it. Any one who passes by will, therefore, stop them to tell the disagreeable news, and assist in restoring the circulation. This is usually effected by rubbing with snow, a remedy which, if applied in time, prevents all mischief. The freezing of the gristle of the ear is a most unsightly accident.
Horses and dogs resist the cold best. Open and cows seem to wither in it. Twelve hundred
sheep and five shepherds were all lost a few days ago. Sheep caught in a snow-drift, canter wildly before it, and are not to be turned aside. If they meet with water in their passive flight, they rush in, and are drowned. If they meet with a precipice, they tumble over, and are dashed to pieces. They seem to be deprived of all self-management. In the extreme cold, the bustard, the partridge, and the hare may be found frozen ; even the fish are said to suffer in the water, and are easily caught, by merely making an opening in the ice, to which they swim at once for air.
It is towards the end of January that we begin to hear grim news of the wolves. It is then that they congregate together in large packs, and grow famished and dangerous. This is the only time of the year, when, driven by extreme hunger, they will venture, even singly, to attack the traveller. All that is fabled of the cunning of the fox is true of the wolf. The fox is quite a simpleton in comparison with him. The wolf will attack a whole flock of sheep, and worry and carry off as many as sixty lambs from it, one after the other, to his lair in a single night. He never stays to eat a single one, lest he should be caught, swollen and lazy after a good dinner, on the scene of his felony. The wolf's mode of attack is simple and noiseless. He seizes the lamb by the throat, and the little victim is dead before he can utter a single baa to call the watchdog. Indeed, the wolf is so strong as to be more than a match for one dog, and often even for several dogs. He is more than a match also for one horse, and sometimes for two horses; but not for three, for when there are three horses together, they can keep their heels always towards him, and master wolf fears a horse's kick by experience. He knows that his bones, tough and elastic as they are, may be broken by it. His mode of attacking the horse is to glide up stealthily to a convenient distance, from which he may make a sudden spring, and seize the horse by the nose. If he once gets a firm grip there, he never loses it till the horse falls down from pain and fatigue, and then he becomes an easy prey. In the same way one or two cows have no chance with him ; but sometimes a number will keep him off by getting close together, and butting at him with their horns. A man was attacked by wolves near the country-house of a friend of mine. They devoured him so completely, that only a portion of his boots, all torn to ribbons, was left to tell the tale.
The wolf, notwithstanding his prudence and great courage when hungry, is very nervous. He is, like most animals, especially afraid of fire; a lucifer match will daunt him at his fiercest, and a traveller with a good supply of matches need only to light them one after another while in danger to keep off a whole pack. The peasants also make use of his own cunning to deceive him. They tie a long string or rope after their carts; wolf thinks this a trap to catch him, and will not come near, but prowls about at a distance, watching them with red, sleepless eyes. Dogs, horses, and cows