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of the season the salmon caught in a state fit for spawning are by no means all of the same size; if, then, we are to take size as an index of age, we must arrive at the conclusion that salmon spawn at different ages, and before they have reached their full size. I know, likewise, in reference to another species of the genus which I have enumerated, the spirlin, for instance, that it breeds before it reaches its full size. I have taken a young spirlin, not two inches in length, full of roe, evidently ready or nearly ready for exclusion, along with full grown spirlins about six inches in length.

"Have you any knowledge of the number of ova in the roe of a salmon ?—I have never counted the ova myself, and I should think it would be difficult to assign any definite number of ova, the number differing according to the size of an animal and its condition, so that what may be true in a small fish may not be true in a large one, and there may likewise be some individual differences.

"Can you state the probable number in a well-grown salmon? Not having counted them myself, I cannot state positively; but I have no hesitation in believing the testimony of experienced fishermen who have counted them, and who have said there are 17,000 or 18,000.

"In what places do the salmon spawn?-Generally in shallow fords, with a gravelly bottom.

"In fact, may it not be said to be always within the reach almost of destruction ?-I should think so.

"You have said that your opinion was, that salmon pair; but if the male salmon be killed, would not another male salmon immediately throw its melt over the spawn of

the female?-It is well known to poachers, that if in the act of spawning they destroy the male fish, the female fish leaves the bed, and in the deep pools endeavours to find another mate. In that way, poachers, by attending to the operation of one female, may succeed in capturing many males, leaving the female fish undestroyed."

It is manifest from the evidence annexed to this report, that the general fisheries in the kingdom have for a number of years been gradually declining in value; indeed to an alarming degree, in some places where the population (particularly in parts of Ireland) presses heavily upon the means of subsistence. The same abundance of fish still visits our shores as formerly, but through the complexity, the folly, and partiality of the laws, together with the blind cupidity of individuals, who grasp at present profit, to the injury if not extinction of future supply, the breed is immaturely intercepted, and sacrificed. In some places (Cork, for instance) the greatest injury is inflicted upon salmon, by a prevailing, but most unfounded notion, that the fish is in season the whole year round; and where even hogsheads of the fry (notwithstanding a prohibitory law) have been publicly exposed for sale in the market at three halfpence the dozen. The scarcity of salmon in the present day, compared with its former abundance, is curiously illustrated by an anecdote communicated to this committee by Mr. George Hony, of Edinburgh, who alluding to the present scarcity along the whole line of the Tweed, where salmon was formerly caught in such abundance as to be a principal article of food, states, with reference to that abundance-" So

nuca, indeed, was this the case, hat I have been informed, that in some old indentures between master and servant, it was a common stipulation on the part of the latter, that he should not be obliged to eat salmon more than four times in the week!"

The more remarkable fact, too, is, that this mismanagement and consequent decrease has occurred in proportion as larger capital has been embarked in the trade, and greater public and private interests become involved in its success; together with bounties from the legislature for its support, and a variety of other shifts (for they deserve no other name) held out by the government, which have all proved misplaced and abortive. There is a fatality about these fisheries which must puzzle political economists-they have had a free trade and a monopoly,

and been equally ruined in both. The stake-nets, seem, in many places, to have been a free (or rather a freebooting) trade, as lawless and destructive as that of the seals and grampuses, and yet to have turned to little or no account; and the monopolies are equally declared to have declined in the hands of the corporations. We are now a fish-importing people, while a century has hardly elapsed since Spain, France, and Holland, severally paid very large sums annually for permission to fish on the coasts of this kingdom. Such is the historical fact, contrasted with the present condition of the British fisheries-a trade which has, in its course, within the last twenty-five years, been an exception to every other in which the United Kingdom has been concerned.

GEOGRPAHY, ASTRONOMY, &c.

North Pole Expedition. The expedition, it will be recollected, sailed in May, 1824, and very soon encountered the mortifying obstacle of being embayed within mountains of ice crossing Baffin's-bay: they were eighty days encircled with in this icy barrier, and the occurrence took place during our summer months of June, July, and August. They were only twelve days extricated from this position, when the state of the weather, and frozen obstruction of every object around them, rendered it absolutely necessary they should seek winter-quarters, which they did in a small inlet called Port Bowen, on the 1st of September,

1824.

In this situation, the crews of the Hecla and Fury remained nearly ten months, during which time they were left entirely upon their own resources, for not a single native visited them in their winter-quarters, nor was the shore which they occupied stocked with the same quantity of game, or indeed animals of any description in the same numbers as in that where the former expedition had wintered. The specimens brought home by the sailors are merely of the common sea-fowl-they had only two of the arctic foxes; they saw none of the native dogs; the white bears, however, abounded, and afforded occasional sport on the ice. It was quite impossible

to penetrate the shore any distance inland, the surface being entirely composed of conical heaps of ice, with deep ravines intervening; and the short expeditions which were made by captain Hoppner and lieutenant Sherer, were made by coasting on the ice, and skirting the land to the southward and northward.

With the exception of these little excursions, in which the ship's crews were indulged as far as was consistent with their safety, the time was spent in gymnastic exercises, in dramatic representations, and in masquerades in each ship on alternate fortnights, into which it would seem a good deal of spirit and character was infused. The ordinary dress of the seamen, wrapped up as they were during the winter in their fleecy clothing, as a protection from the nipping severity of the weather, was in itself sufficiently grotesque; but when to this was superadded the more fantastic and gayer variations of costume of the officers, a very decent set of masks appears to have been got up. The business, however, at length got monotonous and tiresome, notwithstanding the praiseworthy and considerate attention of the officers, and the constant supply of every thing which could administer to the health and comfort of their crews; and the return of summer in the present year, which detached the blockading masses of ice, was hailed with the most lively satisfaction by all hands. The ships got under weigh on the morning of the 20th of last July; but two days after, were driven back to Lancaster Sound by adverse weather, which drifted immense icebergs against their track. At this time it blew very fresh, but on the 24th they

succeeded in working down the western shore, which they were exploring, when they again encountered heavy floating masses of ice, and the Hecla was thrown very nearly on her beam-ends. These impediments continued with more or less danger until the 1st of August, when the Fury was driven on shore with great force by the impulse of the ice, and in such a situation that a bold perpendicular craggy cliff out-topped her mast-head more than 500 or 600 feet. She was, however, with great difficulty, by the united exertions of both crews, removed a little from her situation of imminent peril, and hove down for repair in a more convenient spot; but on the 19th of August the situation of the Hecla herself became so critical, that it was absolutely necessary to change her position; or else she must have likewise drifted ashore; and the only alternative was, to abandon the Fury to her fate, after removing her crew, stores, &c.

At this time, the sea was getting tolerably clear; but captain Parry, under the circumstances of the shipwreck of the Fury, and the consequent alteration in the condition of the means of prosecuting his original object, determined upon returning to England without further delay. On the 1st of September, the homeward voyage be gan, and the necessity of this was the more regretted, because, foraday or two before, the ice was getting more detached, and there was in the distance, and between icebergs, a very clear prospect of compara tively safe sea-room, with (as the sailors say) a perceptible current setting in, which in their judgment denoted the proximity of an oper ocean. The distant view in this

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direction was studded with small islands, the position and shape of which exactly resembled that given by captain Franklin of the sea view he obtained, in the extreme point of his severe land-journey from Hudson's Bay.

Though there were no natives seen by our seamen during this expedition, there were abundant tracks to show that the inlet at Port Bowen was occasionally the resort of human beings, for the remains of artificial caverns were found in the snow, and fragments of culinary vessels of rude construction. Places were also explored, which, judging from their shape, and the decayed bones that were thinly scattered on the spot, appeared to be cemeteries.

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Islands Discovered.-Extract from the agent to Lloyd's at Singapore, dated the 7th of September, 1824: The Francis and Charlotte, arrived from the north-west coast of America, discovered three islands on her passage. The following is an extract from the master's log: At daylight on the 26th of May, saw three islands, bearing due north by compass, distant 8 or 9 leagues. They are not laid down in any of the latest charts, nor mentioned in any modern work. Their size appeared small and their height moderate the one most western appeared in the horizon like a small hillock; the others, undulating and lower. The most eastern was the largest: the distance between them, 2 or 3 miles in an east north-east and west south-west direction. We had a good sight for the chronometer at 7 a. m., which places the islands in long. 114. 48. m., and the latitude (of this we cannot be equally certain) above 18. 11 north.' Pro

bably the latitude is nearly correct, as they had an observation at noon, and the ship had been running due west. There can be no doubt of the longitude, as captain Johnson's chronometers are so good, that after being five months without an opportunity of ascertaining their rate, he made Pedro Branca to a mile. His lunars, also, were never ten miles different from the chronometers."

French Guyana. — A commission, nominated by baron Milius, governor of French Guyana, set out some time since to explore the sources of the Oyapock and the Maroni. This commission returned on the 24th of January last; and though a variety of circumstances prevented the completion of its object, yet it proceeded a considerable distance from the mouth of the river Oyapock, and entered into an alliance with the tribe of the Oyampis. Ounanica, the chief of this tribe, took an oath of fidelity to the king of France. M. Bodin, commander of the French expedition, invested him with the uniform and insignia of captain, and during this ceremony, the French flag was hoisted by Ounanica, who gave a fête upon the occasion, enlivened by dancing. The tribe of Oyampis is composed of about 6,000 individuals, and is not far from that of the Emerillons, which is also very numerous. Among the useful things which were brought by baron Milius, is some cotton, cultivated by the Oyampis, which is extremely beautiful, and is said to be much superior to that of Cayenne and even of Pernambuco. In a great part of its course, the Oyapock is barred by cataracts and waterfalls, which in some places are at an immense elevation; one of these cataracts is

500 feet long and 80 high. M. Bodin has brought back a branch of a tree, called the galibis or carouachi, the leaf of which is a mortal poison. The difficulty which the Indians raised to M. Bodin taking this away, led him to believe that it is with the sap of this vegetable that they poison their arrows. Ounanica accompanied the expedition as far as Camopi; and Macarayou, another chief, confided his son, a youth, to M. Bodin, who brought him to Cayenne. The abbé Fournier, while with the Oyampis, baptized 49 children.

The Interior of Africa.-The accounts brought by captain Clapperton and major Denham from Soudan, and other places in the interior of Africa which have been visited by these enterprising travellers, is very satisfactory, and much valuable information relative to the inhabitants has been obtained. The surprise of the former gentleman may readily be conceived, upon his reaching Sockatoo, in finding plates, dishes, basins, and other articles of English manufacture, with the makers' names marked thereon; and during his residence, which was nearly three months, he daily used wares of this description. The markets are regularly supplied, in addition to flour, with fine stall-fed beef, mutton, and kids; as also poultry, including wild ducks and geese, eggs, &c. The existence of this place, which is to the westward of Bornou, was before unknown; it is governed by a sultan, who has several wives, and many children, and with all the persons about him evinced every attention to captain Clapperton. Major Denham proceeded to the south and east of Bornou, and examined the lake

Tsad, which is an immense fresh water lake, visiting many towns and villages in his journey. The country to the southward of Fezzan may be considered as a new discovery, and extends from that place to about the ninth degree of latitude, between the sixth and fourteenth degrees of longitude east of Greenwich. It has hitherto been deemed impracticable to travel in any part of Africa as Christians until this time. Both these officers performed the journey as such, occasionally wearing their uniforms, and were deemed by many of the followers of Mahomet as curious personages. Ministers have considered it an object of such importance, as to again send another mission, placed under the direction of captain Clapperton, in which he will be assisted by captain Pearce. (also of the royal navy). The Camelion sloop of war was prepared at Portsmouth for their conveyance.

Directions for vessels navigaling the channels of Corfu." The Ionian government, desirous of affording every possible security and facility to vessels navigating the channels leading to Corfu, has caused to be erected four lighthouses, which are kept constantly lighted every night, from sun-set to sun-rise.

"The first is on the old citadel of Corfu; it is a single light, 240 feet high, and can be seen from the entrance of the north channel, and some distance to the southward of Point Lefchimo, in the south channel it is particularly useful to guide ships to the harbour of Corfu.

"The second is a single floating light, moored off Point Lefchimo, in the south channel. The vessel lies in five fathoms water, one cable's-length N. W. by W. W. from the N. E. point of Lefchimo

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