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ducing good wool, that no fine wool is any where produced but in cold climates; and that sheep, if carried to the West-Indies, or any other warm climate, do not produce wool, but a thin coat of a particular kind of hair, resembling that of goats.
In Spain, Persia, and some other warm countries, he observes, that from neceffity the inhabitants have been obliged to drive their flocks to the cool mountains in summer, and down to the vallies in winter ; by which means, without intending it, they have been enabled to improve the quality of their wool to the degree for which it has ben long remarkable. That this in particular is the case with Spain, he infers from this circumstance, that there are theep in Andalufia, and some of the southern provinces, which are never driven to the mountains in Tummer; and that the wool of these is as coarse as hair. But that the wool must be improved by this kind of migration, not only in Spain but in every other country where the same practice prevails, he proves, in the most satisfactory manner, by a series of experiments and observations on the growth of wool, made by himself; in which he clearly demonstrates, that the thickness of every filament of wool that grows upon a Meep, is liable to be varied perpetually according to the variations in the temperature of the air at the time of its growth; that part of it which grows during warm weather being invariably coarser than that which is produced during the cold season. Hence it happens that the tops of a fleece of full grown wool, or that part which the summer produces, is always coarser than the roots of it; or that part which grows during winter, the difference between the fineness of these parts of the same filament being always exactly in proportion to the difference between the heat
cold of the climate, at different seasons, in the country where the sheep are kept. These facts are established beyond a possibility of doubt, by a great variety of judicious experiments.
We doubt not, but this discovery will be looked upon as a matter of curiosity by the lovers of natural history, and that it will for the future be enployed as one of the means of distinguishing dif"ferent classes of animals from one another, and may besides be attended with other consequences that we do not at present forefee. Our Author however, does not stop to enquire into these matters, but proceeds to draw fome natural inferences from thence that cannot fail to be very agreeable to the inhabitants of Britain, because it proves that this illand enjoys a natural advantage over most countries in Europe, with regard to the growth of wool, which must for ever give us a superiority over them in the woollen manufacture, if we take due pains to avail ourselves of it.
After having observed that the worst fault in wool is that of a great inequality between the size of the different parts of the same filament, because it is impossible to separate these from one another, and if not separated, the coarse and fine parts do not unite kindly in any fort of work. A necessary inference must follow; viz. That those countries alone will be capable of producing wool of a fine quality, which are not only cold, upon the whole, but as uniformly so, throughout the whole season as poffible.
• On this account we might expect, that the finest wool could be produced, with leait trouble or care, upon the sides of very high mountains in the torrid zone; for as the heat in these latitudes iş almost invariably of the same degree throughout the whole year, if the sheep are confined at a sufficient height in the mountains, they will there experience an uniform degree of cold from one end of the year to the other, without farther trouble or care. But small as this degree of trouble is, it has never yet been bestowed : yet, even without this, the theep that were carried from Spain to the Andes of America, continue to afford in some places there, as fine, or perhaps finer wool, than that of old Spain; although they are not there an object of any concern to proprietors, except on account of their carcase.
• We would next expect to find wool of the best quality in mild uno cultivated countries, where property was unfixed, and the inhabitants accustomed to an ambulatory life; as there they would always vary their habitations as the season required ; ascending to the mountains in summer, to enjoy the coolness, and fresh verdure, that these afforded, and retreating to the vallies in winter, that they may fhun the rigour of the season themselves, and find abundance of food for their flocks. -Such is exactly the conduct of the inhabitants of Persia, where the fine wool before mentioned is produced. And al:hough the natives of Spain have for the most part fixed habitacions, yet we have seen, that the Theep and their attendants follow the same ambulatory life as in Pertia, and these feep afford wool nearer approaching to that than any other country in Europe.'
• In northern climates, if property is much divided so as to prevent these extensive perambulations, little fine wool can be expected, except in small islands; and not even in these if they are in very high latitudes : because the heat of summer in northern couniries becomes for a short time so intense, as muft tend in a powerful manner to alter the quality of their wool in this respect. It is from this cause that the wool of the sheep in Iceland is extremely coarse on the outside of their fleece, while that part which adheres to their bodies is exceeding fine, as is remarked by Busching, vol. i. p. 219. and other natural hiftorians.
• For the same reason we may expect, that the wool in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and other northern continental countries, will be fill more subjected to this inconvenience, unless the theep be carefully driven to the mountains in summer; as the heat is then in these countries extremely intense.-Nor do we find that any fine wool has ever been produced in any of these regions.
• We are as yet so little acquainted with the internal state of Tartary, or the nature of things that are produced in it, that we have only room to conjecture what may be their late in this respect. But as the natives lead a wandering life, like many other Asiatic nations, and as the country is mountainous and cold for iis latitude, we have r.ason to think that they might produce wool of a very fine quality. I know not if you will or will not admit the following fact as tendinig to prove the probability of some of the northern hordes having at present fine wool: but as it is curious, I doubt not but you will be pleased to be informed of it,
• When Earl Marischal was Jaft in Scotland, a gentleman of my acquaintance who was on a very intimate footing with him, called on him one morning to breakfast ; when he found his Lordship in his nightgown ; which was lined with kind of fur chat catched the gentleman's attention. When the Eail perceived that he took notice of the fur, he came up to him, and asked if he knew what kind of fur it was : but the gent'eman having told him that he had never seen any of that fort before, nor could conjecture to what animal it be. longed, his Lordship said, that the gown had been sent to him in a prelent by his brother Marshal Keith when he was in the Russian service, who had informed him, that the fur with which it was lined was Siberian lamb fins. The gentleman was a good deal surprised at this account, and examined the fur with attention. It was, he faid, of a jetty black colour, and silky softness, exceeding close and warm ; and was in his opinion the molt beautiful for he ever beheld. I give you the flory as I had it, and leave you to credit it or not as you shall see proper. I, for my own part, should not be much furprised if some of the Tartar hordes, who border on Siberia, and range through all the northern provinces of Asia, should have sheep of that fort, the skins of which might sometimes find their way through Siberia to Ruflia.
• But however this may be, it is certain, that the diference be. tween the heat of summer and the cold in winter is far less considera. ble in Great Britain than in any oiher country in Europe ; which gives this island an undoubted superiority over all the neighbouring nations with regard to rearing of wool: a fuperiority of which we often vainly boast, but in other refpects cakes little heed how to im. prove to the utmost: for which we are surely much to blame; as it is hardly to be doubted, that through careletiness the quality of our wool is gradually debafing, while that of cur neighbours, by an opposite conduct, is as gradually improsing.'
In the succeeding letters, the Author goes on to thew in what manner the quality of wool may be improved or debafed, independent of the influence of the climate. The chief circumItance in this attempt, he observes, is a minute attention to the qualities of that particular variety of the animal employed to breed from. These varieties, in compliance with common practice among farmers, he diftinguishes by the name of particular breeds. These breeds he obierves, in opposition to Buffon and other naturalists, are not casual varictics whose qualities may be attended by accidental circumstances, but are each of them a
diftinct and separate race, posseffing certain peculiar qualities in
Having thus shewn, at great length, the improvements that
But before he ventures to advise, without reserve, an attention to sheep in preference to cattle, he enquires, first whether cattle or sheep promise to be more immediately advantageous to the farmer, which he determines clearly in favour of Theep; and then he proceeds to enquire whether the country be well calculated for carrying on the woollen manufacture, at large. With a view to ascertain this question, he gives a sketch of the nature of the parish of Halifax in Yorkshire, distinguishing those particularities which render it better adapted for the woollen manufacture than any other part of England, and which have occafioned that encrease of its inhabitants for which it is so justly remarkable ; after which he draws a parallel between that parish and the north highlands of Scotland, with a view to this manufacture. As we here meet with an entertaining account of a part of the country scarcely at all known, we fhall lay it before our Readers.
• In most mountainous countries the hills rise gradually above one another to a great height as you recede from the sea, so that the access to the internal parts of the country is every way steep and diffi. cult. But throughout the greater part of the North Highlands of Scotland, although the country may in Atria propriety be called mountainous, nothing of that fort is observable. Like the deep seas in the bay of Biscay, or near the Cape of Good Hope, when agitated by a form, although the surface, if considered in one general view, may be called level ; yet when viewed nearer, it is found to be scooped out into immense cavities, or heaped up into innumerable ridges of ftupendous height, the alternate successions of which fill the most daring mind with horror and affright.
• Sush, in some measure, is the situation of these Highlands. It feems to be an immense plain, that has been by Nature, in some of her wanton freaks, thrown up into large and irregular ridges of mountains, with wide and deep furrows between them, which run far backwards into the country, in a direction nearly horizontal.
• Hence it bappens, that although the mountains sometimes boldly advance into the sea, and with their towering tops bid defiance alike to the fury of the tempeft and the raging, ocean; yet in other places these furrows are cut so deep, and run in such a level direction, as to admit the sea to flow through them into the very heart of the country, although skirted on every side by hills suddenly rearing their tops to a great height above them. These inlets are called by the Lowlanders friths or firihs (fretæ) and by the inhabitants of the Highlands kiles. But on the Weft coast, where they are most numerous and extensive, they have obtained the improper appellation of lochs,
From these larger furrows there branch off many others, the bottom of which are only elevated to a small degree above the level of the sea, which run back into the more inland parts of the country ; being denominated Araths ; in the lowest part of which always flows a river of some fort, with a gentle current towards the nearest frith, or arm of the sea. And at the back of the next ridge of moun