That fresh-water fish have been known to remain locked in the flinty bosom of Monte Uda in Carnia, the Academical Discourse of Cyrillo de Cremona, pronounced there in the year 1749, might have informed us; and we are all familiar, I suppose, with the anchor named in the fifteenth book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Strabo mentions pieces of a galley found three thousand stadii from any sea; and Dr. Allioni tells me, that Monte Bolca has been long acknowledged to contain the fossils, now diligently digging out under the patronage of some learned naturalists at Verona.—The trout, however, is of value much beyond these productions certainly, as it is closed round as if in a transparent case we find, hermetically sealed by the soft hand of Nature, who spoiled none of her own ornaments in preserving them for the inspection of her favourite students.
The amiable old professor from whom these particulars were obtained, and who endured my teizing him in bad Italian for intelligence he cared not to communicate, with infinite sweetness and patience grew kinder to me as I became more troublesome to him: and shewing me the book upon botany to which he had just then put the last line; turned his dim eyes from me, and said, as they filled with tears, “You, Madam, are the last visitor I shall ever more admit to talk upon earthly subjects; my work is done; I finished it as you were entering:—my business now is but to wait the will of God, and die; do you, who I hope will live long and happily, seek out your own salvation, and pray for mine.” Poor dear Doctor Allioni! My enquiries concerning this truly venerable mortal ended in being told that his relations and heirs teized him cruelly to sell his manuscripts, insects, &c. and divide the money amongst them before he died. An English scholar of the same abilities would be apt enough to despise such admonitions, and dispose at his own liking and leisure of what his industry alone had gained, his learning only collected; but there seems to be much more family fondness on the Continent than in our island; more attention to parents, more care for uncles, and nephews, and sisters, and aunts, than in a commercial country like ours, where, for the most part, each one makes his own way separate; and having received little assistance at the beginning of life, considers himself as little indebted at the close of it.