Page images
PDF
EPUB

calities. The best bait for them are small break upon the ear of night, are calculated dace and roach, which are usually obtained to produce an effect upon the mind never for that purpose with a casting-net. On to be forgotten. the Broads, towards six in the evening, you The nearest Broad to Norwich, Surlingwill frequently see a couple of men in a boat ham, is five or six miles from that city. It busily engaged in making fast to the weeds is not very extensive, averaging about a one end of a long line. Their boat is then hundred acres. Its communication with the thrust off, and the line paid out for forty or river Yare is by a series of small channels, as fifty yards, when it is sunk by a weight. is also the case with Rockland Broad, about Along it, at intervals of every three or four two miles lower down. Some decent shootfeet, a series of strings is fastened, to each ing and first-rate fishing are still to be had of which a hooked bait is attached. These here, although the near neįghbourhood of are all allowed to lie on the bottom, and, as the railway has greatly affected them for the eels generally move about between dusk worse. Surlingham Broad is a frequentlyand midnight, the greater part are sure to visited spot by the botanist, inasmuch as that be taken before morning. Thirty or forty rare fern, Polypodium calcareum, grows in hooks are usually attached to a single line. abundance on one of its reedy islands. In Early next morning the men return to take the summer time, every channel is lined up their primitive snares; and no small with the tall stems and blooms of the flowertask it is for the captured eels will have ing rush, the yellow iris, the arrow-head, wriggled round the weeds or dug themselves and the water-plantain. The greater porinto the mud; so that, unless caution be tion of every Broad is aglow with white and used, it is more than probable the lines will yellow water-lilies, peeping out of cool be broken and the greater portion of the leaves, and underneath which you might spoils lost.

fancy “Sabrina fair” to be sitting, were it Another way of taking eels, and by far not that the water is too shallow! With the more ingenious, is that known as " bab- the exception of Hassingham Broad, — pribing,” or bobbing." A series of large vately preserved, – there are no other worms are strung on cobbler's worsted and Broads between Norwich and Yarmouth. coiled into a knot. This is fastened to the “ Breydon Water," as it is commonly end of about six feet of strong cord, and a termed, where the Yare and Waveney join weight is attached about three inches above previous to their debouchure into the sea, the bait. The line is then tied to the end may rank as one, although it is so affected of a stout hazel-pole; and, provided with by the tides that it cannot be classed among this simple tackling, about nine o'clock in the fresh-water lakes. In the winter there the evening you row to a part of the river is some splendid shooting to be had here, or Broad where there is a tolerably clear and not bad fishing during the summer. bottom. Having made fast the boat, and, But, to get into the “ Broad district " proper, of course, lit a pipe as a preliminary, you you must go up the river Bure, which also gently let down the line until you feel the empties itself into the sea at Yarmouth. bottom with the weight. It is then drawn This river is more sinuous than any other, up again until the bunch of worms just trails owing to the general flatness of the country on the ground. Many minutes will not have through which it passes. Considering this, elapsed before you feel an electrical sort of however, the scenery is tolerably diversijerk travelling down the pole into your right fied and agreeable. arm. Another tug, more powerful than the Travelling up the Bure,

in a north-westformer, and quickly, but without any pluck-erly direction, you reach Filby Broad, at a ing, you raise the line over the boat, and in distance of about five miles from Yarmouth. flops a big eel! I have known a couple of This spot has long been famous for its wild "babbers” to take as many as four or five duck, mallard, and teal; its neighbourhood stone of eels in a single night. No small to the coast making it a splendid shelter for amount of practice is required to drop your these birds. Its fishing is not less abunprey into the boat. If the eel happen to be dant, and although this Broad only extends unusually large, the chances are that you tug over an area of 160 acres, its narrow and at him so strongly that, when you lift him sinuous character makes it appear much out, the impetus carries him over the boat, larger. It is divided from Ormesby Broad, and drops him in aqua pura on the other - preserved on account of its being the side! I have enjoyed few sports more than main water supply to the town of Great “babbing." The clear starlight overhead, Yarmouth, by a narrow road-bridge. the sighing and soughing of the wind among With the exception of those at Barton and the reeds, the ripple of the water against Wroxham, there is no Broad in Norfolk so the boat, and the strange sounds which picturesque. Indeed, were the vegetation

a little less English, you might easily im- | With these associated floral and other r..riagine yourself upon one of the Italian lakes ! ties, it is not surprising that the LepiqjopHorsey Mere, although only a few miles tera should be equally various, or that the distant from Filby, as the crow flies, is a entomologist should make his best captures long way by water, and you will have to in such a neighbourhood. The principal leave the Bure once more to reach it. Still Broad through which the river Bure passes higher up is Hickling Broad, the largest is that at Wroxham, about seven miles disand most extensive in the county, being tant from Norwich. The water is deep above three miles in circumference. Its enough here for an annual regatta to be bottom is gravelly over its entire area, so held, which is always a source of attraction that pike and perch literally swarm in it. to Norwich people. Walter White has But, with the exception of the deep chan- given a lively description, in bis “ Eastern nel running through its midst, along which England," of one of these “ water-frolics," the tan-coloured barges sail, Hickling Broad as they are locally termed. Indeed, a man is so shallow that a man might wade all over who has seen this sheet of water, with its it without sinking lower than the armpits. rich frame-work of fine old trees, is not

Returning to the Bure again, you pres- likely soon to forget it. The effect is conently reach South Walsham and Ranworth siderably heightened by the light river Broads. Both are exceedingly picturesque, yachts, with their snow-white sails, and by and each is connected with the main river the concourse of people who attend the by long reedy channels. The latter Broad regatta. was, until quite recently, a successful duck Besides the above-mentioned Broads, there decoy; whilst the former is famous for its are minor ones at Salhouse, Belaugh, Ludeels, perch, and tench, as well as for its ham, Mautby, and a dozen others smaller neighbourhood to a magnificent ruin, that still, which more or less fringe the coast from of St. Bennett's Abbey. South Walsham Winterton to Happisburgh. The most Broad is divided into two sheets, connected economical and the most effective way to by a strait termed The Weirs." The fur- explore these regions unknown to Cockneyther portion is richly wooded down to the dom would be to hire a yacht for a fortvery water's edge. The last time I was out night with a man to sail it. Then, to on these Broads, during the present sum- your heart's content, you might shoot, fish, mer, the “salt-water tide,” as the natives botanise, or sketch. Anchoring at a differterm it, had flowed higher up the river than ent place each evening, fresh scenes and usual, and the surface of the water was lit objects new would always be met with. Ocerally covered in some places by pike, of casional visits to scattered villages, with from two to eight pounds weight, which had their round and square towered churches, died in consequence. These periodic “salt rich in archæological treasures, would form tides” do immense harm to the fresh-water an agreeable relief. Altogether, in these fish.

not far-off“ Wilds of Norfolk," I dare proLeaving the Bure, and sailing up the Ant, mise the adventurer a treat such as he is the next Broads we come to are those of not likely to get anywhere else in the whole Barton and Irstead, which, in magnitude, of old England. approach nearest to Hickling, but are far more picturesque. These Broads are also connected with each other by a narrow strait of water. Both possess great attractions

From Fraser's Magazine. for the botanist on account of their many LANDS AND SEAS OF ANOTHER WORLD. rare plants. Nowhere, perhaps, do perch attain the size they do here, three and four BY R. A. PROCTOR, B. A., F. R. A. S..

'SATURN AND ITS BYSTEM,' &c. &c. pound fish being quite common in the deeper parts. The swampy margins of these At a recent meeting of the Astronomi Broads are pea-green with the little marsh Society a globe was exhibited by Mr. Brop fern, Polypodium thelypteris, whilst great ing, one of the Fellows, on which lands thickets of the royal flowering fern, Osmun- seas were depictured as upon an ordi da regalis, — truly so called, seven and terrestrial globe. By far the larger part ui eight feet high, give to the shores almost a these lands and seas were laid down as welltropical appearance! In the evening the known entities, respecting which no more aromatic odours of the sweet gale, whose doubt is felt among astronomers than in Solt arboraceous underwood covers the turf, are by geographers respecting the oceans and wasted over the lake with delightful effect. continents of our own earth. Yet the world The bladder-wort also, always a rare bo- which is represented by Mr. Browning's tanical prize, – is tolerably common here. Iglobe is one which is never less than one

AUTHOR OB

undred and twenty times farther from us had revealed to him the satellites of Jupiter, than our own moon.

was able to detect any features of interest It is rather singular that the planet Mars in the nearer planet. More than half a cen- the orb which is represented by Mr. tury, indeed, appears to have passed, after Browning's globe- is the only object in the invention of the telescope, before anythe whole heavens which is known to ex- thing was detected which led to the suspicion hibit features resembling those of our earth. that Mars has permanent markings upon his Astronomers have examined the moon in surface. In the beginning of March, 1666, vain for such features : she presents an arid Cassini, with a telescope 16 feet in length, waste of extinct volcanoes, dreary moun- but very far inferior in power to many tain scenery surrounding lifeless plains (the modern tubes not one quarter as long, seas of the old astronomers) ; an airless noticed features sufficiently remarkable to hemisphere of desolation, in fact, which has enable him to determine roughly the rotano counterpart on the terrestrial globe. tion-period of the planet. Not many days The planets Jupiter and Saturn, orbs which later our own countryman, the talented Dr. far transcend our earth in mass and volume, Hooke (who had detected spots on Mars in which are adorned with magnificent systems 1665), made two drawings of Mars which of subsidiary bodies, and which seem in will bear comparison with all but the best every respect worthy to be the abodes of modern views. These drawings were taken nobler races than those which subsist upon by means of a telescope no less than twelve our earth, afford no indications which jus- yards long. At the end of the same month tify us in asserting that they resemble the observers at Rome, using Divini's glasses, earth in any of those points which we are constructed a drawing of Mars, which accustomed to regard as essential to the aroused the wrath of Cassini ; for,' says wants of living creatures. Nearly the whole he, “these observers represent the spots of the light which we receive from these they saw as small, far apart, remote from splendid orbs is reflected, not from their the middle of the disc, and the eastern spot real surface, but from vaporous masses sus- less than the west, whereas by observations pended in their atmospheres. It is indeed made on the same day at Bonomia, I know doubtful whether anything has ever been that there were two very large spots close seen of the real surface of either planet, to each other, in the midst of the disc, and save perhaps that a small spot has here and the eastern bigger than the western. Certhere been faintly visible through the dense tain it is that Cassini deduced from his oboverhanging mantle of vapour. And strange-servations a nearly correct rotation-period, ly enough, the two small planets, which pre- while the Roman observers gave a period sent in other respects the most marked con- only one-half the true one, having appatrast to the giant members of our system, rently been deceived by a certain resemresemble them in this point. Venus and blance which exists between two opposite Mercury seem both to be protected from hemispheres of the planet. the intense heat to which they would other In 1704-1719 Maraldi made a series of wise be exposed through their proximity to observations of Mars, and two of his drawthe sun, by densely vaporous envelopes, ings are easily recognisable. In one there which only permit the true surface of the is seen a triangular or funnel-shaped spot, planets to be faintly seen, even under the running nearly north and south, which is most favourable conditions. The planet doubtless the feature called the · Hour-glass Mars, however, discloses to us his real sur-Sea' by modern astronomers. In the other face, and this surface presents indications there is an elbow-shaped spot which powerwhich cannot reasonably be doubted to re- ful modern instruments have broken up into sult from the existence of continents and two important seas.' oceans, resembling those of our earth in all Sir W. Herschel, however, was the first essential features. Moreover, that wonder- who attempted a systematic examination of fully delicate instrument of research, the Martial features. His object was rather a or vectroscope, has confirmed these indica- singular one; in fact, it will hardly appear, Fins in a manner which hardly suffers any at first sight, what relation can exist befurther dubiety to rest upon their meaning: tween that object and the features of Mars's We do not think that our readers will find surface. Herschel wished to ascertain whether a brief record of the process of discovery the length of our day is constant. He con

tegh has culminated in the construction of sidered that by watching the rotation of Martial charts and globes, otherwise than some other member of the solar system he interesting.

might be set upon the traces of any change It does not appear that Galileo, when he which may be taking place in our earth's applied to Mars the same telescope which I motion of rotation. He soon found that

[ocr errors]

(as has been already indicated) Mars is the pictured is to be taken as representing what only planet available for this purpose, as the observer actually saw. For while there being the only planet whose surface bears are large and well-marked features correrecognisable marks. He set himself there- sponding with those seen in other drawings, fore to construct a series of pictures of the there are a multitude of light streaks and planet.

patches which one might well suppose to Herschel was not very successful, how- represent merely the general effect preever. We have heard his pictures described sented to the observer by parts of the planas caricatures' of Mars. Their defects et not rendered quite so distinctly visible are not dụe, of course, to any want of care as the rest. Then, again, on a rough comor skill in this eminent observer, but to the parison of several views, whether taken on imperfect definition of his large reflectors. succeeding days or belonging to different It has been said of these instruments that years, one does not find the sort of resemthey would bunch a star into a cocked hat, blance which one would be led to expect. and, therefore, it can readily be conceived It is not a little singular that these pecuthat they were wanting in that extreme ac- liarities, which would lead one at first sight curacy of definition which would alone suf- to attach little value to Dawes' drawings of fice to present the surface-details of so dis- Mars, are precisely those which enable us tant an object as the planet Mars. And by to assign to them their real importance. a singular accident Herschel was not even It is well known that Mr. Dawes was averse successful in determining the rotation-pe- to long and tedious mathematical processes. riod of Mars with the accuracy which might Where his observations required such prohave been deduced from his long series of cesses,

he left the work to be done by othobservations. In comparing views taken at ers. Content with doing that which none an interval of two years, he accidentally could do so well as he, he left the interpreomitted one rotation, so that the Martial tation of his observations - where this reday, as determined by him, was two min- quired mathematical computation of any utes too long.

complexity — to those whose tastes led them The next series of observations which de- to care more for work of that sort. Now, serves special comment, is that taken by when a series of observations has been made Messrs. Beer and Mädler, in the years upon a globe continually varying in its pre1830-1837. They used an instrument about sentation towards the eye, it is a much four inches in aperture, and rather more more difficult and laborious process than than five feet in focal length. With this might be supposed, to reduce all these obinstrument, which in less experienced hands servations in such a way that the real conwould have been wholly inadequate for ob- figuration of the globe shall become known. servations of such difficulty, they construct-Just as our earth in travelling round the ed an admirable series of views, which they sun bows first one pole then the other tosubsequently combined in a chart of Mars' wards him, and, by rotating on its polar They also obtained a close approximation axis, brings different countries in succession to the length of the Martial day, which they under his rays, so Mars presents a continfound to consist of 24h. 37m. 23.8s., a re- ually varying configuration to the observer sult not differing much more than a second on earth. Nay, there is an even greater from the true value !

complexity in the latter variations, because We pass over a number of excellent the earth' itself, from which we observe drawings which have been made by Kunow- Mars, is not at rest. Thus it becomes a ski, Delarue, Lockyer, Nasmyth, the Pa- perplexing problem to educe, from a mere dre Secchi, and other observers, to describe series of eye-transcripts of the planet, the the exquisite drawings which were con- real features which exist upon his globe. structed by the eagle-eyed Dawes, in 1852- But when this has been carefully done, it 1864. This eminent observer, whose loss clearly becomes possible to determine how astronomy has lately had to deplore, made far those eye-transcripts may be trusted. use in 1852 of an exquisite 65-inch refrac- If we see that the varying figures presented tor from the celebrated Munich works. by the same feature are due merely to the He described this instrument to the present varying presentation of the planet, we not writer as absolutely perfect. Later ob- only learn that that feature exists on the servations he made with a fine refractor 81 planet, but we have satisfactory evidence inches in aperture.

of the skill of the observer who has made The first peculiarity which strikes one in the drawings. examining Dawes' views of Mars, is the mul Now, when Mr. Dawes' drawings are tiplicity of the details which they contain. tested in this way, it is found that they One begins to doubt whether all that is accord in the most satisfactory manner.

Features which present no apparent resem- | Herschel I. (Sir W.) Continent. Beblance are found to resolve themselves into tween Dawes Continent and Herschel Conthe same well-marked ocean or continent, tinent flows the Hour-glass Sea, termed when each is brought to the centre of the in the chart Kaiser Sea, the large southplanet's disc. One singular instance of ern ocean out of which this sea flows this is worthy of notice. We have spoken being denominated Dawes Ocean. Beof a long sea running north and south on tween Mädler Continent and Dawes ConMars's globe, which was represented by tinent flows Dawes Strait, connecting a Maraldi as a dark triangle, and which, as large southern ocean and a northern sea, seen in modern telescopes, has seemed to named after Tycho. Herschel Continent merit the name of the Hour-glass Sea.' is separated from Secchi Continent by HugThis sea appears in many of Mr. Dawes' gins Inlet, flowing from a large southern drawings, and on account of its extent and sea termed Maraldi Sea. In like manner peculiar figure, there is in most cases very Bessel Inlet, flowing out of Airy Sea (a little difficulty in recognising it. But in northern sea), separates the Mädler and explaining his tracings to the present writer, Secchi Continents. Between Dawes Ocean Mr. Dawes pointed out the existence of a and Delarue Ocean there lie two large isldark marking near the border of the disc ands, Phillips Island, lying within the Mar(in two or three drawings) which he com- tial tropics, and Jacob Island, lying in the pared to the leg of an old-fashioned table. southern temperate zone. Dawes Ocean It appeared as a double curve resembling separates into four large seas extending Hogarth's line of beauty. Now, when northwards. Large tracts of land lie bethe requisite calculation and construction tween these seas, but whether they are islhad been gone through, it was found that ands or not is uncertain, as their south pothis mark, brought to the centre of the disc, lar extremities are never very clearly deassumed the exact figure of the Hour-glass fined. In Delarue Ocean there is a small Sea, and a comparison of the position of island which presents so bright and glisthe marking with the position of the Hour-tening an aspect as to suggest the probabilglass Sea in another drawing, reference be- ity of its being usually snow-covered. It ing made to the planet's rotation in the in- is called in the chart Dawes' Snow Island. terval, left no doubt that the · Table-leg Three seas, separated by lands of doubtful Sea'and the Hour-glass Sea’ were one and extent, reach from Delarue Ocean towards the same.

the south pole. We have mentioned the The numerous details in Mr. Dawes' northern seas Tycho and Airy. These are drawings being shown in this way to corre-connected, and form, with a third sea, spond to real features on the planet's sur-named Beer Sea, a continuous fluid zone face, it became feasible to construct a chart around the northern polar regions. In the which should represent all these features zone of land which separates this sea from exactly as oceans and continents are rep- Schröter Sea, there lies an extensive sea or resented in the maps of hemispheres which lake named after Delambre. usually accompany terrestrial atlases. This One of the most singular features of the has been done, and two charts have been Martial globe is the prevalence of long and constructed, in which all the features de- winding inlets and bottle-necked seas. tected by Mr. Dawes find a place. For These features are wholly distinct from anyconvenience of reference, these features thing known on our own earth. For examhave received the names of those astrono-ple, Huggins Inlet is a long forked stream, mers whose researches have added in any far too wide to be compared to any terresway to our knowledge of this interesting trial river, extending for about three thouplanet. These names we shall make use sand miles from its two-forked commenceof in giving a very brief sketch of the Mar- ment, near Airy Sea, to the point at which tial oceans and continents; in other words, it falls into the Maraldi Sea. Bessel Inlet a brief treatise on areography.

is nearly. as long. Another inlet, called in Each pole of Mars is capped by a polar the chart Nasmyth Inlet, is yet more recap, which varies in extent according to markable. Commencing near Tycho Sea, the progress of the Martial seasons. Around it flows to the east, running parallel to that each polar cap there is a polar sea--the sea and Beer Sea. It then turns sharply northern sea being termed in the charts southwards, and, expanding, forms Kaiser Schröter Sea, the southern Phillips Sea. Sea. Oudemann's Inlet connects (apparThe equatorial regions of Mars are mainly ently) two bell-shaped seas; but it is not occupied by extensive continents. There quite clear whether these seas are separated are four of these - viz., Dawes Continent, or not by an interval of land from Beer Mädler Continent, Secchi Continent, and Sea. Tħe bottle-necked seas or lakes are

« EelmineJätka »