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by experience, THEREes proposed, fome
ture, and did not understand the necessity of preserving an equilibri. Method of destroying great numum in a building of that prodigi- bers of Rats in a small time. ous bulk; and therefore he must
Society and pay dear for it.
Arts&c. The quantity of matter in the time ago, a premium of 501. for crown of the arch was but little in a preparation for taking rats alive. proportion to that which was ne. This may at first seem a trivial, cessary to be laid on the abutments perhaps even somewhat droll affair in order to make the ascent easy. for that society to trouble themThe weight of this matter caused selves with : but when we confi. such an inequality of pressure on der that the loss to the public, by the arch, that in about a year's the destruction of corn alone, a. time it crushed that stupendous mounts to some hundred thousand pile, and it fell again to the bot- pounds a year, besides that of ma. tom.
ny other commodities, subject to By this time the mason was be devoured, or damaged by them, greatly in debt, and greatly dif- and the very disagreeable domestic couraged : but the lords Talbot and annoyance of these noxious creatures Windsor, (who have estates in that where they abound, it will appear neighbourhood) pitied his case, a matter of serious moment. and being willing to encourage It was reprefented to the fociety, fuch an enterprising genius, most that professed rat-catchers have a generoully promoted a subscription secret for preparing fome compofiamong the gentry in those parts, tion which will allure all the by which a sum of money was rats in or about any building toraised that enabled him to com- gether to one place, and intoxiplete the bridge in one arch for the cate or fascinate them so, that they last time.
may be taken by the rat-catchers In order to lessen the quantity of at pleasure ; it was therefore conmatter in the abutments pressing cluded, that if this secret was laid upon the arch, and thereby to bring open, any person might easily pracit on an equipoise with that on the tise it without employing professed crown, he has contrived three cir- rat-catchers. cular arches in the abutments : In consequence of advertising these pass through from side to this premium, several candidates fide, like round windows, and gra- offered themselves ; but it appeardually decrease in the ascent. ed, that instead of a preparation,
This surprising piece of ma- that is, fome composition which sonry, though built of stone, coft would allure, fascinate, or intoxibut 7001. has stood eight or nine cate the rats, so that they might be years, and it is supposed that it easily taken, they had only sent may stand for ages to come, a mo- traps or machines of various forms nument of the strong natural parts, and constructions. and bold attempts of an ancient As those who practise rat-catchBriton.
ing for a livelihood are not many
in number, nor always at hand, are intended to be taken : at that
The first step taken is, to allure of the rat-catchers have a shorter, the rats all together to one proper and perhaps more effectual method place, before they attempt to de- of bringing them together ; which stroy them; for there is such an in- is, the calling them, by making stinctive caution in these animals, such a kind of whistling noise as accompanied with a surprizing fa- resembles their own call; and by gacity in discovering any cause of this means, with the assistance of danger, that, if any of them be the way-baits, they call them out hurt or pursued in an unusual man- of their holes, and lead them to ner, the rest take the alarm, and the repait prepared for them at the become so shy and wary, that they place designed for taking them. elude all the devices and stratagems But this I apprehend much more of their pursuers for some time difficult to be practised than the after. This place, where the rats art of trailing ; for the learning are to be assembled, should be some the exact notes or cries of any closet or small room, into which kind of beasts or birds, so as to all the openings, but one or two, deceive them, is a peculiar talent may be secured ; and this place which I have seldom seen attained, should be, as near as may be, in though I have known fome few the middle of the house, or build- persons who could call together a ings.
great number of cats : and there The means used to allure them
is now one man in London, who to one place are various : one of can bring nightingales, when they those moft easily and efficaciously are within hearing, about him, and practised, is, the trailing fome even allure them to perch on his pieces of their most favourite food, hand, so as to be taken. which should be of the kind that
In the prictising either of these has the strongest scent, such as methods, of trailing or calling, toasted cheese, or broiled red-her- great caution must be used by ring, from the holes or entrances the operator to suppress and preof the closet to their receifes in vent the scent of his feet and boevery part of the house, or conti- dy from being perceived ; which guous buildings. At the extremi- is done by overpowering that scent ties, and in different parts of the by others of a stronger nature. course of this trailed track, finall order to this, the feet are to be quantities of meal, or any other covered with cloths rubbed over kind of their food, should be laid, with affa fætida, or other strong to bring the greater number into smelling fubfiances ; and even oil the tracks, and to encourage them of rhodium is sometimes used for to pursue it to the place where they this purpose, but sparingly on
account of its dearness, though it be scented as above, to overhas a very alluring, as well as dif- power the smell of his perfon; and guising effect. If this caution of besides this, he is to avoid any avoiding the scent of the opera- motion till he has secured his tor's feet, near the tract, and in point of having all the rats in his the place where the rats are pro- power. posed to be called, be not When the rats are thus enticed properly observed, it will very and collected, where time is afmuch obstruct the success of the forded, and the whole in any attempt to take them; for they house and out-buildings are inare very shy of coming where the tended to be cleared away, they scent of human feet lies very fresh, are suffered to regale on what they as it intimates to their sagacious most like, which is ready prepared instinct, the presence of human for them, and then to go away creatures, whom they naturally quietly for two or three nights ; dread. To the above-mentioned by which means those, which are means of alluring by trailing, way: not allured the first night, are baiting, and calling, is added brought afterwards, either by their another of a very material efficacy, fellows, or the effects of the trailwhich is, the use of oil of rhodium, ing, &c. and will not fail to come which, like the marum lyriacum duly again, if they are not disturbin the case of cats, has a very ex- ed or molested. But many of the traordinary fascinating power on rat-catchers make shorter work, these animals. This oil is extreme- and content themselves with what ly dear, and therefore sparingly can be brought together in one used. It is exhaled in a small night or two ; but this is never efquantity in the place, and at the fectual, unless where the building entrance of it, where the rats are is small and entire, and the rats intended to be taken, particularly but few in number. at the time when they are to be The means of taking them, when last brought together, in order to they are brought together, are vatheir destruction ; and it is used rious. Some entice them into a very also by smearing it on the surface large bag, the mouth of which is of some of the implements used in fufficiently capacious taking by the method below de- nearly the whole floor of the place fcribed : and the effect it has in where they are collected : which taking off their caution and dread, is done by smearing some vefsel, by the delight they appear to have placed in the middle of the bag, in it, is very extraordinary. with oil of rhodium, and laying
It is usual, likewise, for the in the bag baits of food. This operator to disguise his figure as bag, which before lay flat on the well as scent, which is done by ground with the mouth spread putting on a sort of gown or cloak, open, is to be suddenly closed of one colour, that hides the na- when the rats are all in. Others tural form, and makes him ap- drive, or fright them, by flight pear like a post or such inanimate noises or motions into a bag of a thing: which habit must likewise long form, the mouth of which,
after all the rats are come in, is cated, though they would not en. drawn up to the openings, of the , able a person without practice to place by which they entered, all manage this affair completely,
of retreat being se- would yet greatly assist, and rencured. . Others, again, intoxicate der it more easy to be attained. or poison them, by mixing with the It would therefore be an object repast prepared for them, the co-worthy the attention of the foculus Indicus, or the nux vomica. ciety, to procure for the public I have seen a receipt for this pur- the most perfect information that pose, which directed four ounces can be attained ; to which end the of the coculus Indicus, with twelve premium should not be confined, ounces of oatmeal, and two ounces as before, to a preparation for takof treacle or honey, made into a ing rats alive ; but offered for the moist paste with firong beer ; but most easy and effectual method for if the nux vomica be used, a much taking rats, without the use of less proportion will serve than is baited traps in the common way. here given of the coculus. Any The premium should be also greater similar composition of these drugs, than before; for 501. is not a conwith that kind of food the rats sideration for a man to lay open his are most fond of, and which has art, so as to stir rivals, that may a strong flavour, to hide that of the deprive him of part of his business, drugs, will equally well answer or lower his pay. A noble lord, the end. If, indeed, the coculus who was before a zealous promoter Indicus be well powdered, and of this premium, was desirous last infused in the strong beer for some year to have advanced 1001. if timé, at least half the quantity the society would have joined anhere directed will serve as well as other to it, to have made up the the quantity before mentioned. sum of 2001. for this purpose; but When the rats appear to be from some accidental' neglect the thoroughly intoxicated with the proposal was never publicly made coculus, or fick with the nux vomi- to the society ; though it is to be ca, they may be taken with the regretted that this generous intenhand, and put into a bag or cage, tion was not pursued, and fomethe door of the place being first thing further attempted by the sodrawn to, left those who have ciety. strength and
and sense remaining escape. By these methods, well con. Cheap, easy, and clean mixture for
. ducted, a very great part of all effectually destroying Bugs. the rats in any farm, or other house, and the contiguous build- TAKE of the highest rectified ings, may be taken.
But it re- fpirit of wine (viz. lampquires experience and observation spirits) that will burn all away dry, to perform them well; and there and leave not the least moisture bemay be circumstances known to hind, half a pint; new distilled the most skilful of the rat-catchers, oil, or spirit of turpentine, half a which, if intelligibly communi- pint ; mix them together, and
break into it, in small bits, half tains near the rings, or the joinings an ounce of camphire, which will or boles in and about the bed or dissolve in it in a few minutes ; head-board, wherein the bugs and shake them well together, and nits nestle and breed : and then with a piece of spunge, or a brush their being well wet all again with dipt in some of it, wet very well more of the same mixture, which the bed or furniture wherein those dries in as fast as you use it, pourvermin habour and breed, and it ing fome of it into the joints and will infallibly kill and destroy both holes where the spunge or brush them and their nits, although they cannot reach, will never fail absoswarm ever so much. But then the lutely to deftroy them all. Some bed or furniture must be well and beds that have much wood work, thoroughly wet with it, (the dust can hardly be thoroughly cleared upon them being first brushed and without being first taken down ; but fhook off) by which means it will others that can be drawn out, or neither stain, soil, nor in the least that you can get well behind, hurt the finest filk or damask bed be done as it should be, may. that is. The quantity here ordered Note: the smell this mixture of this curious neat white mixture occasions will be all gone in two or (which costs but about a shilling) three days ; which is yet very will rid any one bed whatsoeves, wholesome, and to many people though it swarms with bugs. Do agreeable. You must remember but touch a live bug with a drop of always to shake the mixture toge. it, and you will find it to die in- ther very well, whenever
use stantly. If any bug or bugs should it, which must be in the day time, happen to appear after once using not by candle-light, left the subit, it will only be for want of well tlety of the mixture should catch wetting the lacing, &c. of the bed, the flame as you are using it, and or the folding of the linings or cur- occasion damage.