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black, grey and white (composed of dots of blackish brown on a white ground), with a tinge of yellow. The back, with the fins and tail, are black. The skin of the body is slightly furrowed, like the water lines in coarsely laid paper. On the tail and fins it is smooth. The skin is about an inch thick; the outer part of this can be pulled off in sheets after it has been dried in the air, and is not thicker than parchment. Under the skin lies the blubber, or fat. This and the whalebone are the parts to which the attention of the fisher is attracted. Its colour is yellowish white, yellow or salmon colour. It is by this covering that Providence enables the whale to defy the most dreadful extremities of cold, and to preserve a strong animal heat even under the eternal ice of the Pole. The blubber in its fresh state is without any unpleasant smell. The flesh of the young whale is of a red colour, and when cleared of the fat, broiled and seasoned with pepper and salt, does not eat unlike coarse beef; that of the old whale is nearly black, and is exceedingly coarse.
The Esquimaux eat the flesh and fat of the whale, and drink the oil with greediness. Indeed some tribes, who are not familiarized with spirituous liquors, carry along with them in their canoes, in their fishing excursions, bladders filled with oil, which they use in the same way, and with a similar relish that a British sailor enjoys a dram. Both adults and children eat the skin of the whale raw; and it is not uncommon, when the females visit the whale ships, for them to help themselves to pieces of skin, preferring those which have a little blubber adhering, and to give it as food to the infants suspended on their backs, who suck it with apparent delight. Blubber, when pickled and boiled, is said to be very palatable. At a whale feast, Captain Lyon states he has seen the Esquimaux lying on the ground, and their wives feeding them with blubber, filling the mouth, and then cutting the dainty off at the lips, repeating the operation until an enormous quantity was thus consumed. Mr. J. B. Noel, in a tract on the whale-fishery, informs us, " that about the thirteenth century, the flesh, particularly the tongue, of the whale was sold in the markets of Bayonne, Cibourre, and Beariz, where it was esteemed as a great delicacy, being used at the best tables;" arid even so late as the fifteenth century he conceives, from the authority of Charles Etienne, that the principal nourishment of the poor in Lent, in some districts of France, consisted of the flesh and fat of the whale. Besides forming a choice eatable, the inferior products of the whale are applied to other purposes by the Indians and Esquimaux.
Some membranes of the inside are used for an upper article of clothing; and one part in particular, being thin and transparent, is used instead of glass in the windows of their huts: the bones are converted into harpoons and spears for striking the seal, or darting at the sea-birds, and are also employed in the erection of their tents, and, with some tribes, in the formation of boats; the sinews are divided into filaments, and used as thread, with which they join the seams of their boats and tentcloths, and sew with great taste and nicety the different articles of dress they manufacture; and the whalebone, and other superior products, so valuable in European markets, have also their uses among them.
From the great size of the animal one would suppose that its motions would be sluggish and inactive, but this is far from being the case. A whale extended motionless on the surface of the sea can, in the space of five or six seconds, sink beyond the reach of its human enemies. When struck by the harpoon, which is used to capture them, they have been known to carry with them line to the depth of an English mile, and with such velocity, that when drawn up by the line attached, they have been found with the jawbones broken by the blow struck against the bottom. When the whale feeds it swims with considerable velocity below the surface of the sea, with its jaws widely extended; a stream of water consequently enters its capacious mouth, and along with it large quantities of cuttle fish, sea blubber, shrimps, and other marine animals; the water escapes at the sides of the mouth, but the food is entangled and sifted, as it were, in the whalebone, which, from its compact arrangement, and the thick internal covering of hair, does not allow a particle to escape.
The whale has but one young cub at a birth, when it is said to be from ten to fourteen feet in length. The mother suckles it for about a year, or until the whalebone enables it to procure its own nourishment; at this time it is called by the sailors Short-head; at two years old, Stunt.
The maternal affection shown by the whale for its offspring is peculiarly striking and interesting. The cub, not being sensible of danger, is frequently a snare to its mother; for when her offspring is struck by the harpoon, she joins it at the surface of the water whenever it rises to breathe; she encourages it to swim off, assists its flight by taking it under her fin, and seldom deserts it while life remains; she is then dangerous to approach, but affords frequent opportunities for attack, as she loses all regard for her own safety in anxiety for the preservation of her young, and rarely escapes being captured. The most insensible of her enemies cannot but be struck with the degree of affectionate regard thus shown by the whale for its