[ILN 5 Nov 1881]
The Isle of Man, with its rock-bound shores and interior high-lands, its charming bays and coves of the seacoast, the singular historical antiquities of Peel, Castle Rushen, and the Tynwald, and the mingled Celtic and Scandinavian or Norse complexion of its native people, has more than once engaged our notice in the summer tourist season. It has been observed that the Manx people subsist, to a large extent, upon the great herring fishery in its season, which employs at least six hundred boats and nearly four thousand men and boys of this island, besides an equal number of English and Irish fishers. The pursuit also of cod and ling, in the winter and spring, and the taking of lobsters on the rocky ground about the Calf of Man, help to support the insular population ; but there are, of course, some peasants, small farmers and labourers, devoted to agricultural and pastoral industry, who find a good market at Liverpool or Whitehaven for their cattle, pigs, and poultry, and for their butter and eggs. The fishermen, dwelling mostly in the western and south-western parts ~f Man, about Port St. Mary and Port Erin, or at Peel, are a frugal, ever striving, and generally thriving class, who own shares in the fishing-boats and nets, and get their share of the money profits. Our Artist has sketched the interior of a cottage, with the female and infant members of the family, belonging to one of these hardy " toilers of the sea," who is probably out all night in quest of the finny prey. There is a cat--but not one of the Manx, or tailless, breed-clambering upon the table in this household scene. The genuine "rumpy"' species, which is supposed to have been introduced by the wreck of a ship of the Armada on Spanish Head, being apparently identical with the old Barbary cat, is no longer very common in the Isle of Man, though it may still be met with, and sometimes in a wild condition.