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being confined for some months to the same apartment, how my very soul panted for change; how tiresome became every object within the range of vision. had watched the different outlines of hills, until I had seen them in all their varying effects of light and shade. Sunrise, midday, or sunset, could offer no novelty. The trees, grouped about the old country house, I had greatly admired at first, for their tasteful arrangement and variety of foliage -the stiff and stately poplar and fir contrasting pleasantly with the willow, the ash, and the weeping elm. But after the months referred to, during which I had watched them in the fall of the leaf, and afterward amused myself by counting every knot and limb, until I had become as familiar with them as is the master's eye to the keys of a piano-forte-then it was that I panted for change. Had some wild blast of heaven removed even a single tree, or all. it would have been welcome to me. And I would have counted that same errant blast my best friend, and offered up a prayer of thankfulness to God for having seen my suffering, and given me, at last, a new scene to look upon.
But "the living landscape," seen from one side of this dismal abode, furnishes the only cheerful impression which the Lunatic Asylum of Stockholm has left upon my mind. On my first entrance into the yard of the institution, I was approached by a fine-looking man, slightly past the noon of life. There was something in his manner which attracted me at first sight. He addressed me in Swedish; but, after a few remarks, changed the conversation to French, which he spoke without the slightest accent. He said that he had been for sixteen years confined in this wretched place. He had been an artist, and was residing in Paris, when he was torn from home and brought to this asylum. "I was young then, (said he,) and active; but see, the weight of my sorrow begins to show itself," pointing to his long beard, somewhat frosted by time. After a short conversation, I informed him that I was an American. "Ah!" said he, "you speak English then; it is a language I have always loved." He changed immediately into English, and entertained me for a considerable time with remarks which evinced a close intimacy with our history and literature of days gone by. He reminded me of a lady, whom I had once met
in a lunatic asylum, who had been an inmate of the place for seventeen years; during one of her lucid intervals she was brought into the parlor of the institution, and asked to favor the company with some music. Seating herself at the piano-forte, and turning to her audience with great complaisance," Shall I play you the battle of Prague?" said she; "it is something quite new, and very fashionable just now.” Poor girl, it was quite new and fashionable seventeen years before. The unfortunate artist complained that he was not allowed his drawing materials, and that they would afford great relief to the monotony of the life which he led here.
But the internal arrangements of the institution left the most painful impression upon my mind. Here, within a compass designed for the accommodation of seventy persons, as I was informed by the superintendent, were no less than two hundred patients, and these crowded into rooms, without the slightest regard to ventilation, and entirely destitute of any appearance of comfort. The wild laugh of the maniacs still rings in my ears, and O! their wretched, comfortless condition.
Here were to be seen the usual variety of patients in an institution of this kind, and all the various fancies of madmen. Here was the princess, in her own imagination, "the queen of a fantastic realm;" and "lords many, and gods many;" each one assuring me that he was in reality the Simon Pure. But nobility was, indeed, not wanting here in its representatives. I was particularly struck with the appearance of a middle-aged lady, whom my guide assured me was of one of the noblest families of the country. She was not so completely lost to herself as to have forgotten those peculiar manners which convey at once an impression of high breeding. Knowing her rank, I addressed her in French, in which language she replied quite intelligibly, and even collectedly. The mildness, and for the moment calmness, of her expression of countenance, interested me much. There was, withal, a look of resigned and settled suffering, which was touching in the extreme. She seemed to be allowed more privileges than the patients generally; and placed about her, upon the bed and chair which stood beside, were numerous souvenirs of other days; also a Bible, and several religious books of the Lutheran Church. My guide
informed me that this lady had been a patient here for eighteen years, and that her insanity was produced by religious despair. I whispered to her words designed as those of consolation, and when I said, "O! we are all of us poor sinners; but we have such a merciful Saviour, so
full of love, even to 'the chief of sinners, that none need ever despair," I saw at once that I had touched a chord; the tears soon started from her eyes, and she raised my hand to her lips, and covered it with kisses.
It was with an impression of deep sadness that I left this abode of wretchedness and suffering; and the remembrance of a visit to this place will not readily fade from memory. It will be present in those hours of the night, when it seems that a reflection of all that is dark and gloomy upon earth, in its varied scenes, flits with lightning speed through the mind.
"A LITTLE WHILE."
FROM THE GERMAN OF META HAUSSER.
“A LITTLE While !" so spake our gracious Lord
Of his own Father's sin-avenging sword.
Take thou the message, weeping, weary one! Are not all things around thee hastening on? Thy Father's hand ordains
All these thy griefs and pains; "A little while," they, too, are past and gone.
Have all the lights of love quite died away?
Do friends misunderstand or mock thy pain?
And hearts long severed reunite again.
There end the longings of the weary breast;
Poor bark! soon shalt thou be
In the calm haven of eternal rest.
"A little while," look upward and hope on!
[For the National Magazine.]
BIRDS; OR, RECREATIONS IN ORNITHOLOGY.
Climbing Birds, an order to which our attention is now directed, have no great power of flight, but are remarkable for climbing and hanging upon the trunks and branches of trees. Their food is usually insects and fruit, and they build their nests, for the most part, in the hollow trunks of decayed trees.
The principal families of this order are the Cuckoo, the Trogon, the Woodpecker, Parrots, Macaws, Cockatoos, and Toucans. Before entering, however, upon a description of these better-known varieties, let us look at a very singular, and, in some respects, anomalous creature, of which we give an engraving, copied from a drawing taken from life in England. It is our figure No. 31, the Kiwi, or Wingless Bird of New-Zealand, called by naturalists (from two Greek words, signifying without wings) Apetrix. There are several varieties, all natives of New-Zealand. It does not belong, perhaps, to the family of the climbers, but may be considered as the connecting link between them and the Rasores. The bill, we are told, is grooved on both sides, and the nostrils are pierced, on each side, at the end of this groove. The beak is bony-looking. resembling that of a rook. It excavates deep holes in the ground, in the form of a chamber, where it deposits its eggs in a nest of dried grass. The eggs are of a dull, dirty, grayish white, nearly five inches in length. From observations made upon a specimen, in the Zoological Garden of London, we learn that, in a state of captivity, whatever may be its habits in its native country, the Kiwi sleeps during the day, rolled into an oval shape, presenting only the appearance of a bunch of bristly brown hairs. The hind part of the body is elevated, from the great size of the thighs. Its eye is very small and convex, like that of a rat or hedgehog, which expression is heightened by the long bristles near it, representing the whiskers so conspicuously developed in the mammalia, whose habits are nocturnal. The eyes differ from those of all other birds, in the absence of that characteristic
The Saviour comes to claim and bless his own! structure, the marsupium. The light of
a lantern directed at them does not seem to affect the little black eyes, as there is none of that winking and blinking so peculiar to the expressive large eyes of the owls. When pursued, it runs with great speed, carrying the head elevated, like the ostrich. It defends itself, when attacked, by striking rapid and dangerous blows with its powerful feet, and the sharp, spur-like claw at the end of its rudimentary hind-toe.
Of the Cuckoo there are many varieties. The most beautiful in plumage is a native of the Cape of Good Hope, known, from its peculiar glossy colors, as the Gilded
Cuckoo. The yellow-billed variety, found in the United States, is of a grayish brown color, intermixed with white and dull red. "The male," says Mr. Nuttall, "frequently betrays his snug retreat by his monotonous and guttural kow, kow, kow, or koo, koo, koo, and ko, kuk, ko, kuk, koo, koo, koo, uttered rather plaintively, like the call of a dove." Hence he is sometimes called the Cow-bird. The American cuckoo is a faithful creature, builds its own nest, and provides assiduously for its young. It is charged, justly, we believe, with a thievish propensity to suck the eggs of other birds, but is an
invaluable friend of the farmer in effecting the destruction of vast numbers of caterpillars and other insects.
Of the British cuckoo, so remarkable for its singular propensity to make use of the nests of other birds, we copy the following narrative, from the pen of an English lady, who was an eye-witness to the facts:
"In the early part of the summer of 1828, a cuckoo, having previously turned out the eggs from a water wagtail's nest, which was built in a small hole in a garden wall, deposited her own egg in their place. When the egg was hatched, the young intruder was fed by the water wagtails, till he became too bulky for his confined, narrow quarters, and in a fidgety fit he fell to the ground. In this predicament he was found by the gardener, who picked him up, and put him into a wire cage, which was placed on the top of a wall, not far from the place of its birth. Here it was expected that the wagtails would have followed their supposititious offspring with food to support it in its imprisonment, a mode of procedure which would have had nothing to recommend it to notice. But the odd part of the story is, that the bird which hatched the cuckoo never came near it; but her place was supplied by a hedge-sparrow, who performed her part diligently and punctually, by bringing food, at very short intervals, from morning till evening, till its uncouth fosterchild grew large, and became full-feathered, when it was suffered to escape, and was seen no more; gone, perhaps, to the country to which he migrates, to tell his kindred cuckoos (if he was as ungrateful as he was ugly) what fools hedge-sparrows and water wagtails are in England. It may possibly be suggested that a mistake has been made with regard to the sort of bird which hatched the cuckoo, and that the same bird which fed it, namely, the hedgesparrow, hatched the egg. If this had been the case, there would have been nothing extraordinary in the circumstance; but the wagtail was too often seen on her nest, both before the egg was hatched and afterward, feeding the young bird, to leave room for any skepticism on that point; and the sparrow was observed feeding it in the cage afterward, by many members of the family, daily."
The cuckoo has had many tributes from the poets. Some of its peculiar traits are thus beautifully versified by Wordsworth:
"O blithe new-comer! I have heard, I hear thee and rejoice;
O cuckoo shall I call thee bird,
"While I am lying on the grass,
"Thrice welcome, darling of the spring! E'en yet thou art to me
No bird; but an invisible thing,
"The same whom in my school-boy days
"To seek thee did I often rove
Through wood and on the green; And thou wert still a hope, a love; Still longed for, never seen.
"And I can listen to thee yet, Can lie upon the plain, And listen till I do beget That golden time again." The Spotted-bellied Tamatia (figure 32) is a native of Brazil. Its plumage is black and white, with a mixture of buff. From a description given by the celebrated naturalist, Swainson, we learn that the puff-birds, as they are called by the English residents at Brazil, frequent open cultivated spots, near the habitations of men, always perching on the withered branches of a low tree, where they will sit nearly motionless for hours, unless they descry some luckless insect passing near them, at which they immediately dart, returning again to the identical twig they had just left, and which they will sometimes frequent for months. At such times the disproportionate size of the head is rendered more conspicuous by the bird raising the feathers, so as to appear like a puff-ball. They are very confiding, and seem anxious to be on friendly terms with the human family.
In the woody solitudes of South America, concealed, for the most part, in the densest forests, is found that most curious bird, the Trogon, not less remarkable for the delicacy of his flesh than the beauty of his plumage.
"They are sometimes seen (says Gould) on the summit of trees, but in general they prefer the center, where they remain a portion of the day without descending to the ground, or even to the lower branches. Here they lie in ambush for the insects which pass within reach, and seize them with address and dexterity. Their flight is lively, short, vertical, and undulating. Though they thus conceal themselves in the thick foliage, it is not through distrust; for when they are in an open space, they may be approached so nearly as to be struck with a stick. They are rarely heard to utter any cries, except during the season of reproduction, and then their voice is strong, sonorous, monotonous, and melancholy. They have many cries, from the sound of one of which their name is derived. All those whose habits are known nestle in the hollows of worm-eaten
trees, which they enlarge with their bills, so as to form a comfortable and roomy residence. The number of eggs is from two to four, and the young are born totally naked, but their feathers begin to start two or three days after their birth. The occupation of the male, during incubation, consists in watching for the safety of his companion, bringing her food, and amusing her with a song, which, though we should call it insipid, is to her, without doubt, the expression of sensibility. Some of them express the syllable pio, repeated many times in succession, with a powerful yet plaintive tone. Their accent reminds one of the wailings of a child who has lost its way, and it is thus that they cry to each other amid the silence of the forests. As soon as the young are able to provide for themselves, they separate from their parents, to enjoy that solitude and isolation which appear to constitute the supreme happiness of the species. Their aliments are composed of larvæ, small worms, caterpillars, and berries, which they swallow entire. The male at various ages, the female, and the young, differ in their plumage, which has given rise to the institution of more species than are really in existence."
In the mythology of the ancient Mexicans, one species of this beautiful bird, the Golden Trogon, was celebrated, and watched over with great care. According to Cortes, royal physicians were appointed to watch over the health of these birds, and they had attendants, some of whom procured their food, others distributed it, and others watched over the eggs at the time of incubation. At certain seasons they were robbed of their feathers, which were highly prized for their beauty.
A variety of the Trogon is found in Africa, of which it is said that the moment the young are hatched they take flight and follow their parents. It is also said that there are several species found in Asia.
Of the Woodpecker, the most striking type of the climbing birds, there are many varieties. They are all distinguished by a peculiarity of structure which fits them admirably for their mode of obtaining food. The tarsi are short and strong; the toes large, and armed with short hooked claws, by which they take hold of any inequality upon the bark of the tree, and readily pierce its surface, in search of the larvæ of insects. The bill is strong, and thick at the base, narrowing to a point at
| the extremity. The tongue is a flexible probe, long and worm-like, and capable of being protruded to a great extent. It is armed with short spines, and covered with a viscus saliva. This organ the woodpecker inserts into the crevices of the bark, or into any aperture, in search of insects and their larvæ, and withdraws it; the prey adhering to it by means of the saliva, and being prevented from rubbing off by the retroverted bristles which barb the tip. The flight of the woodpecker is seldom protracted to any length, but limited to a transit from one tree to another in the seclusion of its native woods.
We give drawings of two varieties. Number 33 is the Green Woodpecker, found plentifully in the woods of England and Scotland. It has various provincial names; is called by the people of Surrey and Sussex the Yaffle, from its repeated notes, which resemble laughter. In some places it is called the Rain-fowl, because it is most noisy just before a shower. "The green woodpecker," says Yarrel, "when seen moving upon a tree, is mostly ascending in a direction more or less oblique, and is believed to be incapable of descending, unless this action is performed backward. On flying to a tree to make a new search, the bird settles low down on the bole or body of the tree, but a few feet above the ground, and generally below the lowest branch, as if to have all