The Cambria, with her crowd of sufferers, made all speed to the nearest port, and reached Portsmouth in safety, shortly after midnight, on the 3d of March, 1825, the accident having taken place on the 28th of February. Wonderful to tell, fourteen of the poor creatures, left on the Kent, were rescued by another ship, the Caroline, on her passage from Alexandria to Liverpool.
The life of a pelican seems to be a very lazy, if not a very pleasant one. Man, ever on the watch to turn the habits of animals to his own account, observing how good a fisherman the pelican is, often catches and tames him, and makes him fish for him. I have heard of a bird of this kind in America, which was so well trained, that it would at command go off in the morning, and return at night with its pouch full, and stretched to the utmost; part of its treasure it disgorged for its master, the rest was given to the bird for its trouble. It is hardly credible what these extraordinary pouches will hold; it is said, that among other things, a man’s leg with the boots on was once found in one of them.
Pelicans live in flocks; they and the cormorants sometimes help one another to get a living. The cormorant is a species of pelican, of a dusky color: it is sometimes called the sea crow. The cormorants are the best divers, so the pelicans arrange themselves in a large circle at some great distance from the land, and flap their great wings on the surface of the water, while the cormorants dive beneath. Away swim the poor frightened fish towards the shore; the pelicans draw into a narrower circle, and the fish at last are brought into so small a compass, that their pursuers find no difficulty in obtaining a plentiful meal.
[Illustration: The sea turtle.]
There are two kinds of turtle; the one is called the green turtle, and is much valued as a delicious article of food; the other the hawk’s bill turtle supplies the tortoise shell of commerce, which is prepared and moulded into various forms by heat. The flesh of the hawk’s bill turtle is considered very unwholesome.
[Illustration: Catching turtle.]
The turtles in the picture are of the edible kind; they are found on the shores of nearly all the countries within the tropics.
There is a little rocky island in the south Atlantic Ocean, called the Island of Ascension, where they are found in vast numbers, and this barren spot is often visited by Indiamen for the purpose of obtaining some of them. The turtles feed on the sea weed and other marine plants which grow on the shoals and sand banks, and with their powerful jaws, they crush the small sea shells which are found among the weeds. This kind of food is always to be had in great abundance, so that the turtles have no occasion to quarrel among