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consisted in waging war with the colossal member
of the finny tribe. And apart from the
larger quantity of oil yielded by the one animal,
the bone of the whale was singularly valuable.
Twenty tons of oil would indicate one ton of
bone, and that was worth some two hundred
and fifty pounds sterling. The seal, too, had
its extrinsic value, for its skin was worth
seven-pencedust in the balance compared
with the bone of its huge contemporary.
Whales, then, undoubtedly were the superior
subjects for capture ; but as whales could
not be had, and seals became plentiful, the
whalers lowered their plumes, and raised their
arms against their amphibious prey.

Old seals had wont to be pursued, but
although their capture was more profitable
than young ones, still the old seals are so
excessively shy that they can only be shot in
detail, and hence a preference is given to the
destruction of the young. The seal propagates
twice a yearthe first pups of the
season lie upon the ice early in the spring,
and being unable to run to the water and
swim off, they fall ready prey to the spoiler.
A smart blow with a club stuns them, and
a wound does the rest. Their numbers are
very large. During the present season of
1851, a flock of them extending to about
fifteen miles was discovered, not far from the
Scottish coast ; a dozen animals at least
occupying every hundred square yards. Of course,
with such opportunities, a ship is readily filled,
and bearing homewards with her valuable
cargo, there is still time to undertake a second
and more northern voyage, in search of whales
or larger seals.

The Dutch have been in the habit of prosecuting
the trade with small vessels, but the
British, although occasionally using tiny craft,
prefer employing large and stout vessels, as
with such they can penetrate into fissures of
the ice, instead of timidly sailing by the
margin; and their success in this respect is
gradually inducing their foreign competitors
to follow their example.

The size of ships generally preferred for
seal or whale fishing, is three hundred and
fifty tons burden, or upwards, although this
year some vessels have gone out so small as
eighty tons. A ship of the larger size carries
sixty-five men, of the latter dimensions, twenty.
The average outfit of a large vessel costs about
one thousand four hundred pounds, and the
orignal cost of such varies from two thousand
to ten thousand pounds, according to age and
quality of vessel, and also whether a used
ship has been purchased, or one expressly
built for the trade. The loss when a vessel is
unsuccessful, is greater than in any other
maritime speculation, there being no return
whatever to stand against outlay; but, on the
other hand, if fortunate, no other kind of
shipping adventure yields so large profits.
One vessel this year brought home a cargo of
the gross value of six thousand pounds, leaving
(it being her first fishing voyage) a net
profit to her owners of three thousand pounds.
The vessels sailing from the small northern
port of Peterhead have, as before stated, been
remarkably successful. The following is a
statement of the produce of the ten vessels
which sailed from thence in 1850 :—

               1,144 tons of oil.
             63,426 seal-skins.
                    14 tons of whalebone :

the aggregate commercial value of the whole
would amount to about fifty thousand pounds.
Seal-skins have lately risen in valuethe
former rate of seven-pence having been
augmented to three shillings; and they are used
principally for the purpose of being
manufactured into patent leather. Each skin is
split into two or three layers, and each layer is
turned to separate account. No other leather
possesses the same closeness of texture,
smoothness of surface, and elasticity. From being
employed as rough waistcoats for seamen, and
hairy coverings for trunks, it is now in its
stratified state applied to the most delicate
artistic purposes.

The Seal belongs to the four-limbed
mammiliferous animals. It is half quadruped, half
fish. The head and general physiognomy,
especially when seen in the water, resemble
those of a dog. The limbs, which in the sea
act as excellent paddles, are indifferent instruments
of locomotion on landthe forepaws
are almost the only motive powers,
the posterior portion of the body having to be dragged
over the ground. The young are very obedient
to the parent seals, and are obedient to, and
recognise the voices of, their dams amidst the
loudest tumult. They are decidedly gregarious
in their habits, and hunt and herd together in
common ; and in those cases, when surprised
by an enemy, they have great facilities in
expressing, both by tone and gesture, the
approach of a dreaded enemy. There are
four different species of the animal ; the one
to which we have been referring is called the
Phoca Greenlandica, and is about six feet in
length, and has the peculiar property of often
changing the colour of its skin as it approaches
maturity. The seal visiting the British shores
(Phoca Vitidina) is seldom more than four or
five feet in length.

We have now given our contribution to the
literature of the Seal, and submit, that it has
the merit of being up to what Mr. Carlyle
calls the "present hour."



THE street-door is ajar, and Ellen enters.
She pauses in the empty hall, for sounds
Come, from the right, of musicsoft, low sounds
Of one preluding on the organ, rapt
Into an ecstacy at his own touch.
She pauses still ; for, on the left, she hears
A querulous voice, and then a long-drawn sigh :
She opens the left hand doorMary sits weeping'.
"Yes, Ellen, I am wretchedI, the bride