Catch a Fish (Amarys and Indigo Book 2)

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Ellis is with us, and gives his com- pliments. He is very industrious to procure you new materials for Natural History. Read at the Royal Society, March 9, I know not which to admire most in my dear friend Klein, his learning or his judgment, in com- piling so many ingenious and instructive books in natural history. Now as respiration is absolutely necessary for circulation, how is it possible to be carried on, for so many months, under water, without risque of suffocation? Besides, if so remarkable a change were intended, the great wisdom of the Almighty Creator. An easy experiment may throw some light on this doubtful afiair.

If it remains there for a week or two without any remarkable inconvenience, then there may be some probability of its continuing so many months in that state. Besides, these reeds, and willows, are annually cut down for several uses, and yet not a swallow has been discovered in his aquatic abode. Another circumstance I must add. In great towns, remote from water, where rivers and reeds are not near, I have frequently observed that, a little time before the swallows de- part, they, every morning early, gather together in large flocks, on the roofs of houses exposed to the morning sun.

This they daily do for some time, to collect themselves before they take their flight. To confirm my opinion that the migration of some species of swallows is certain, I think I have some proofs. Every rope was covered.

They hung on one another like a swarm of bees. The decks, and the carving about the ship, were filled with them. They seemed almost spent and ikmished, little more than feathers and bones ; but, being recruited with a nighfs rest, they took their flight in the morning. Captain Wright, a very honest man, whom I could depend on, told me the like happened to him in a voyage from Philadelphia to London. But a yet stronger confirmation of swallows being birds of passage, is M. Adanson's observation in his History of Senegal lately published, p. Indeed 1 have since remarked that they do not appear at Senegal but at that sea- son, with quails, wagtails, kites, and some other " birds of passage, which come thither every year when driven by cold from the temperate countries of Europe.

Walking in my garden about noon on a bright clear day, and looking up to the sky, at a very great height I distinctly saw innumerable multitudes of swallows, soaring round and round, higher and higher, until my eyes were so pained with looking, I could no longer discern them.

But as my learned friend Klein seems to be so positive that the Hirundo riparia at the approach of winter retires into the holes in which it bred up its young and made its summer residence, and there passes the cold season in a dormant state, as snakes, lizards, and some other animals do, I have been the more solicitous to come at the truth. There is therefore suff flcient reason to believe, from all the observations above recited, that swallows are birds of passage.

Possibly it may excite some person ,of probity to give matters of fact of his oum knowledge relating to the migration of swallows, for there is no depending on the reports of ignorant country people. I have sent you a box and a paper packet, being a specimen of Mr. Fisherj in the Stockholm, which I hope will be acceptable. I am surprised to hear Dr. Pray send me Hasselquist's travels. Mkta LoDcbn, July 9Xy, I have the pleasure to salute my dear Linnseus by the hands of my valuable friend Dr.

You may blame me for not answering your queries concerning the Homines Troglodjftea : but, at our friend Ellis undertook to do it, 1 thought it needless to repeat it, as he is a perfect master on that subject Dr.

Fothergill is much pleased with your letter. Your plan of procuring the Chinese specifics is a good one, if it could be carried into execution. I do not see any other way. I lament the long absence of poor Solander. S5 certain advice come of his fate r Is not the naine of the ship known, or the port from whence she sailed? Our spring was early and very agreeable, and our summer the finest and warmest since I75O. Great plenty of all sorts of grain and fruits. For all sorts of news I recommend you to Dr.

Bi5rken, who is well acquainted with the curious people here. I have two species of what is called Rhabarbarum verum ; the one with broad leaves, the other with long narrow curled leaves. The one was sent mc from the Jesuits at Pekin ; the other was from my dear friend Dr. But I observed a very different plant of Rhubarb in the Chelsea garden, which Mr.

Miller tells me was sent him, i think, from Holland, and has all the characters of the true Rhubarb.

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I here send you some good seed gathered July 18th, in the Chelsea garden. I am glad you received the PapiUanes. Let me hear from you, which always gives sensible pleasure to your affectionate friend, P. My address is to Mr. Some years are passed since I sent to my dear Linnaeus my dissertation on the migration of Swal- lows, but I have received no satisfactory answer. Linnaoasaya so; and will you dispute his reracity? The first experiment I propose is, to verify that Swallows live under water by dissecting these birds, and demonstrating that there is an internal appara- tus provided, and plainly to be seen, to enable them to undergo so great a change.

Have a large wide tub ready filled, a foot deep, with mud or sand, then fill it with water within a foot of the brim. Let a broad board float on the top of the water. On this board put the Swallows, and then cover the tub with a net ; so leave them in quiet. This should be repeated every day with Swallows until no more can be found ; and if after one or two month's time they are taken out of the water alive, then the fact is proved. As you are very certain of the period of Swallows going and coming, some persons of probity should be set to watch their motions.

It is unlikely all could conceal their going down in the water. If they do disappear in this manner some in so many roust be discovered ; and soon after some fishermen should be employed to drag them up again. In the spring, at their return, some per- sons should be appointed to watch their coming out of the water, in their languid and wet state, and how long afterwards they lie drying before they be fit for flight.

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London, Sept. There was our beloved So- lander seated in my Musaeum, surrounded with tables covered with an infinite variety of sea plants, the accumulation of many years. He was digesting and methodizing them into order, and for his pains he shall be rewarded with a collection of them, which no doubt you will see. Afterwards at supper we remembered my dear Linnaeus, and my other Swedish friends, over a cheerful glass of wine. My son, who is a great lover of plants, as welt as myself, is greatly disappointed that the Bettda nana is not sent us, as it is our favourite plant, and has been long promised to us ; and what I do not take friendly is, that every friend has been obliged with your Systema Naturce but myself.


Must your oldest friend be served last? That is not kind. I am glad the bulbous roots please you. More species will flower next year.

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My great Magnolia is now finely in flower. Mt Diiar Linnaus, London, Nov. I am informed there are proposals from the Aca- demy of Sciences at Petersburg to engage our dear Solander for a botanic professor. For the love and esteem I have for the doctor, I cannot forbear expressingmy concern, for many reasons. First, from the uncertain situation of the public afiairs in that kingdom ; for it is impossible learning can flourish in, tumults and riots.

Next, if we consider, the russian eoipre h inland, and those countries safficiently explored, and their vegetable and mineral productions discovered by the indefatigable pains of Gmelin, Steller, and others ; besides, that country has no cooimerce with the West or East Indies, to bring new and rare produc- tions from thence.

Pray what is there to exercise Solander's great talents, which he has been with so much pains and industry improving? Am I not witness to his daily labours?

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Must all these fine accomplishments he lost and sunk into supineness for want of proper subjects to exercise his aspiring genius? If any good and advan- tageous station should ofier, and a person of his abilities will not want friends, he is here confined, and cannot accept of it until his time is out : how hard is this! Should it please God, my dear friend, to take you from us, who is there you could wish to be your successor, but Solander?

But if he accepts the profes- sorship on the old conditions, his hands will be tied, and his feet fettered ; it will prevent his accepting any advancement. No doubt but you, my dear friend, know persons less eminent, but every way qualified in botanic science to teach Russian bears. Some of his friends have proposed a scheme for that purpose ; the suc- cess will be known before the end of this year.

If after all I have said, you have determined Dr. I presume my letter of the SOth of May, relating to the Swallows, you have received. To TBB Rt.

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Baron Linnaus, F. If this can be happily found out, it will establish the veracity of your assertion,, and be more likely to be met with in birds that have lain some time in the lakes. It may facilitate this inquiry, if rewards were offered to the fishermen, when they took up any Swallows in the water or from under the ice, to bring them to you or your disciples.