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dences are forced upon their attention — and itand often loud notes of the little warblers are exebecomes as much their duty as it is their nature cuted, and, drawing from his own stores of obto exercise the gifts intrusted to them in truly servation, combines some novel and interesting interpreting such evidences. They are instru- facts with the best part of the experience of ments in the hands of a Providence governing Bechstein, Daines Barrington, and Gilbert White, the psychical progress of mankind. When a in the elucidation of the nature, the periods, and fact reveals itself to such a man, “it lies not in the mode of acquisition of the various melodies his will what he shall say or what he shall con- of song-birds. ceal. If he think to be silent as Jeremiah did Few, probably, suspect how much the particbecause of the reproach and derision he met ular song of any given species depends upon with daily, “and all his familiar friends watched the circumstances under which the bird was for his halting, to be revenged on him for speak- hatched and reared. Barrington thought he had ing the truth,' he would be forced to confess as clearly established" that birds have not any inthe prophet confessed — his word was in my nate ideas of the notes which are supposed to be heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones; I peculiar to each species.” The reason, he says, was weary with forbearing and could not stay.' why, in a wild state, they adhere so steadily to
In that field of the “ lower wisdom” which the same song is, that the nestling's attention is rests in the contemplation of animated nature, given solely to the instruction of the parent the harvest is truly abundant, but the laborers bird, whilst it disregards the notes of others are few. We have adduced one only of many which may be singing in the vicinity. problems in zoology which deeply concern both the feelings and interests of mankind, and which
“He took a common sparrow from the nest demand the combined efforts of many observers linnet; the bird, however, by accident, heard a
when it was fledged, and educated him under a and thinkers for their solution. He, therefore, goldfinch also, and his song was therefore a who diffuses the elements of the science in a mixture of the linnet and goldfinch.' The same cheap form, and who attracts to its study by a experimentalist educated a young robin under a perspicuous style, has rendered no small service very fine nightingale, which, however, began in relation to its advancement in a country already to be out of song, and was perfectly mute which has hitherto been too poor or too busy to in less than a fortnight: the scholar afterwards endow a professorship of zoology in any one of sang three parts in four nightingale, and the rest its universities, or in connection with any one of bish,' or no particular note whatever.
song was what the bird-catchers call • rubits museums.
“I have known,' says Barrington, instances This author entices us with “wood-notes wild ” of birds beginning to record when they were into the paths of his science, from which so many not a month old. The first essay does not seem are repelled by the barbarous array of technical
to have the least rudiments of the future song; words that “perplex the things they would ex
but, as the bird grows older and stronger, one plain.” His first chapter is on singing-birds : - may begin to perceive what the nestling is aim
ing at. Whilst the scholar is thus endeavouring “ The melody of birds finds its way to the to form bis song, when he is once sure of a pagheart of every one; but the cause that prompts sage, he commonly raises his tone, which he the outpourings that make copse, rock, and river drops again when he is not equal to what he ring again on a fine spring morning, is more ais attempting; just as a singer raises his voice, matter of doubt with ornithologists than the un when he not only recollects certain parts of a initiated in zoological mysteries might suppose. tune with precision, but knows that he can exeMuch has been written on this subject; but, cute them. What the nestling is not thus thorupon a consideration of the different opinions, oughly the master of he hurries over, lowering aided by our own observations, we are inclined his tone, as if he did not wish to be heard, and to think that love and rivalry are the two great could not yet satisfy himself. A young bird stimulants — though we do not mean to deny commonly continues to record for ten or eleven that a bird may sing from mere gaiety of heart, months, when he is able to execute every part arising from finding itself in the haunts dear to of his song, which afterwards continues fixed, it, and in the midst of plenty of the food it likes; and is scarcely ever altered. When the bird is to give vent, in short, to the buoyancy of spirit thus become perfect in his lesson, he is said to arising from general pleasurable sensations. In sing his song round, or in all its varieties of pasthis country, the season of reproduction is un sages, which he connects together, and executes doubtedly that wherein –
without a pause.'” - p. 6. "The isle is full of pleasant noises, Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight.' ” — p. 1.
The most striking characteristics of all our
resident singing-birds are selected with judgHe conveys a very just idea of the natural musi- ment, and described with the accuracy of a cal instrument with which the sweet and varied, practised observer. The missel-thrush, the song.
* Milton, “ Reason of Church-Government,” &c. thrush, and the blackbird seem, in the lively
diction of this portrayer, to tune for us their sweet- | the same chapter, and Gilbert White is cited est lays, with the accompaniments of the green- in favor of the swallow as a delicate songswood, the blossoms, and the bright sunshine. ter — but we are told that he who would hear Every line breathes of vernal nature; as we the swallow sing must rise early. The section read, we are withdrawn from the cares of busy in which he condenses the natural history of life, and the noise and gloom of the populous the nightingale well exemplifies the judgment city, to listen to the carol of the lark, and in and taste of this unpretending volume. Many imagination we follow it, mellowed by distance, writers would have yielded to the temptation, as he soars aloft into the clear blue heaven and have cloyed their readers with the oftenabove. Hear the humane magistrate's protest relished beauties with which the poetry of all against the unwarrantable imprisonment of this ages abounds in allusion to this chief of songsters. songster:
It is a relief to listen to the sober - not to say “Of all the unballowed instances of bird, graphical distribution, and nidification of Lus.
severe - brevity in which the migration, geoincarceration (not even excepting the stupid cruelty of shutting up a robin in an aviary), the cinia Philomela are scientifically expounded. condemnation of the sky-lark to perpetual im- The very melody of the bird is analyzed — nay, prisonment is surely the most repugnant to ev
criticized. We are told that ery good feeling. The bird, whilst his happy brethren are carolling far up in the sky, as if
"Like other biped performers, nightingales they would storm heaven itself with their rush vary much in their powers of song. They have of song, just at the joyous season
among them their Rubinis, Tamburinis, and
Lablaches, and also their Mopers, that sing at When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear," intervals only, without connexion, and with long
- some minutes - between each strain. is doomed to pine in some dingy street. There, It is amusing to see when a man mounts his in a den with a solid wooden roof, painted green
bobby and happy is he who has one in his outside, and white, glaring white, within — which, stable — how far it will carry him, ay, and in bitter mockery, is called a sky-lark's cage, he merrily too. Thus Bechstein prints no less than keeps winnowing his wretched wings, and beat-twenty-four lines of words - some of them rare ing his breast against the wires, panting for one sesquipedalities — as expressive of the nightinonly one
upward flight into the free air. gale's song. Twenty-four different strains or To delude him into the recollection that there couplets,' says he, 'may be reckoned in the song are such places as the fields, which he is begin- of a fine nightingale, without including its del. ning to forget, they cut what they call a turf - icate variations. This song is so articulate, so a turf dug up in the vicinity of this smoke- speaking, that it may be very well written. canopied Babel of bricks, redolent of all its The following is a trial which I have made on sooty abominations, and bearing all the marks that of a nightingale in my neighbourhood which of the thousands of tons of fuel which are now passes for a very capital singer'- and off the suffered to escape up our chimneys, and fall good Bechstein goes at score: down again upon our noses and into our lungs
“ Tioû, tioû, tioû, tioû,” &c., &c., &c., &c., tons which, when our coal-mines begin to shrink alarmingly — 't is no laughing matter, the but we must introduce the reader to one or two time must come - some future Arnott will, per- of the words representing the strains: haps too late, enable the public to save, while he at the same time bestows upon them the
“ Zozozozozozozozozozozozo, zirrhading. blessing of a pure atmosphere. Well, this abomi- Hezezezezezezezezezezezeze couar ho dze hoi nable lump of dirt is presented to the sky-lark Higaigaigaigai guiagaigai couior dzio dzio pi. as a refreshment for his parched feet, longing The British bird-fanciers have, also, a vocabufor the fresh morning dews. Miserable as the lary of their own to express the same ideas.” winged creature is, he feels that there is something resembling grass under him; and then the —p. 65. fond wretch looks upwards and warbles, and ex
With the cuckoo (which he treats with great pects his mate. Is it possible to see and hear skill) Mr. Broderip takes leave of the feathered this desecration of instinct unmoved ? and yet vocalists, and next introduces his reader, by way we endure it every spring, and moreover we have our Society for Preventing Cruelty to Ani- of contrast, to the owls. mals.” — p. 19.
“ There are few animals that have been more
suspiciously regarded than owls. Their retired of our migratory singing birds he passes in habits, the desolate places that are their favorite review the shore-lark, the pipit-larks, the fly- haunts
, their hol hootings, fearful shriekcatchers, the field-fare, the red-wing, the bunt- ings, serpent-like hissings, and coffin-maker-like ings, the ring-ouzel, the beautiful rose-ouzel, and snappings, have helped to give them a bad emi
nence, more than overbalancing all the glory the rare golden oriole. A clever sketch of the that Minerva and her own Athens could shed Hirundinida or swallow tribe is introduced into / around them." - p. 83.
They are associated with desolation and un A brief but accurate account is given of each clean things wheresoever they are mentioned in of our native species of owl, and of occasional the sacred volume. Virgil introduces an owl | visitors. The barn or white owl (Strix flammea), among the prodigies and horrors that foreshadow which is the true “screech-owl,” claims the first the fate of Dido. Horace, Propertius, and Ovid notice; next comes the tawny or ivy owl (Surallude to a species of the owl-genus, in citing the nium aluco); then the long-eared owl (Otus nocturnal strix as an ingredient in the infernal | vulgaris); and, lastly, the short-eared owl, betphilters and witch-broths of Canidia and Medæa. ter known perhaps as the fern owl (Otus palusSo Shakespeare, also, adds the “owlet's wing" tris), which appears to be the only regularly to the cauldron wherein the weird sisters pre- migratory British owl. The organization of the pare their charm for Macbeth. The modern nocturnal bird of prey, and its relations to the superstitions connected with or excited by the habits and mode of life, with the principal inciunearthly sounds of the owl are quaintly touched dents in the economy of each of the British speupon; and we may refer to the volume for one cies, are well elucidated; and the history of the of the best of modern ghost-stories, in which the race, gloomy and foreboding at its commencebird of night plays a prominent part.
ment, gradually brightens — to culminate in the In a second chapter devoted to the Strigida following incident, depicted with the truth and our worthy Justice changes the key, and gives a reality of a Dutch picture. In reference to the more amiable and natural character of the bird migratory species, he says — of wisdom,” or, as others are pleased to regard him,
“ In consequence of the general arrival of
these birds in the southern parts of Britain with " the jolly owl,
the first fair October winds, they are called That all night blows his horn.”
woodcock owls — an appellation branded on the “What presence among the feathered bipeds memory of more than one luckless would be is more dignified than that of the great horned
sportsman. From some turnip-field hard by a owl, Le Grand Duc, as he is most appropriately plantation, or a tuft of rushes close to a copse named in the kingdom of Clovis ? Who ca
on a moist hill-side, up springs a russet-plumaged look at his feathered highness, as he sits solemn
bird, and is in the cover in a moment. The and sedate, without inquiring,
eager shooter catches a glimpse on 'in,' as an
old keeper used to say, through the trees. Bang What doth gravity out of his bed at midnight?'” goes the gun. “That's the first cock of the sea.
son!” exclaims he, exultingly. Up comes John, a demeanour which, it seems, is not forgotten, who has been sent ostensibly to attend him, but even under circumstances of the most absorbing really to take care of him :-— * I'm sure he's passion — witness the following happy sketch:
down,'— pointing to the cover, as many are apt
to say when they shoot at a cock, without being “ Cowper has admirably sung the sidling' able to produce the body – Well, let's look, and ‘ogling' of a small-bird flirtation, but he sir; where did he drop ?' • There, just by that does not appear to have ever witnessed the holly.' In they go, retriever and all. There grand passion of an owl: would that he had. he lies,' cries the delighted shot, loading his gun Such a serious affair is only to be observed by triumphantly in measureless content; dead as the out-door naturalist, who will bury himself Harry the Eighth. I knew he was down; there, for hours in the depths of the quiet woods, near just where I said he was, close by that mossy some favorite owl-tree. If he is so fortunate as stump. Can't you see?' — Iss, sir, I sees well to see the courtship of some warm, gloomy, enough, but I don't like the looks on 'in. His spring day, whose stillness is only broken by head's a trifle too big, and a do lie too flat on the pattering of the shower, or the minute his face.' -— * Pick up the cock, I say,' rejoins our drops' that fall from the moss-grown trees, he hero, somewhat nettled. — “I can't do that, sir, will be well repaid for his watching by the says John, lifting a fine specimen of Otus palussolemnization. The Hudibrastic air with which tris, and holding it up to the blank-looking cockthe lover approaches, inaking lowly congés, as ney, amid the ill-suppressed laughter of those
confounded fellows who attend to mark not only “Honor the shadow of the shoe-tie"
the game, but the number of shots that are
missed, on their abominable notched sticks – of the prim Quaker-like figure that receives all • Never mind sir,' adds the comforter John, “if these humilities with the demure starched de- taint a cock, a did kip company wi' em; and meanour of one of Richardson's heroines — only a's curous like, and since you han't killed nothnow and then slowly turning her head towards en else to-day, I'd bag un, if I was you; he'll the worshipper when she thinks she is not ob look uncommon well in a glass case.' *served, but instantly turning it back when she thinks she is — and the occasional prudish snap
Leaving the “parrots” to speak for themof her bill, when she is apprehensive that he is selves, which they do through a most entertaingoing to be rude - make a scene truly edifying. ing chapter, we come next to a bird of more
immediate and general interest, especially at the
- p. 107.
- p. 102.
- p. 137.
present festive season. Long and grave has ocellated turkey will have the merit of introducbeen the discussion as to when and whence the ing the most beautiful addition to our parks and turkey was first brought into Europe.
homesteads, to say nothing of its utility — since
the importation of the peacock; and, in these "As for the often-repeated couplet given by days of record, his name will not be forgotten. Baker
Turkeys, carps, hoppes, piccarel, and beer, In his chapters on swans our Zoologist rises Came into England all in one year'
in style and illustration to the height of all the that is about the fifteenth of Henry VIII., (1524), associations which the image of that noble and there is no reliance to be placed upon it, as far graceful bird recalls. England, it appears, at least as the fish is concerned; for Dame every winter sees two species of wild swan Juliana Berners, prioress of Sopewell
, mentions the Hooper (Cygnus ferus), and Bewick's swan in the Boke of St. Alban's, printed by Winkyn (Cygnus Bewickii), first accurately distinguished de Worde in 1496, the carp as a 'deyntous fisshe;' and the price of pike or pickerel was by Mr. Yarrell; — and is occasionally visited by the subject of legal regulation in the time of our the Polish swan (Cygnus immutabilis.) The first Edward. . . . Oviedo, in 1526, describes tame swan (Cygnus olor) is a distinct species the turkey well, as a kind of peacock of New from these. There are few writers — indeed we Spain which had been carried over to the islands know of none — in our language, by whom the and the Spanish Main, and was about the houses characters, the habits, and the singular anatomy of the Christian inhabitants, so that it is evident of these stately aquatic birds have been more that, when Oviedo wrote, the bird had been clearly and beautifully described. It is plain domesticated. Heresbach states that they were brought into Germany about 1530, and Barnaby that few non-medical naturalists have so diliGooge (1614) declares that those outlandish gently availed themselves of the instructions and birds called ginny-cocks and turkey-cocks before illustrations which our museums of comparative the yeare of our Lord 1520 were not seen with
afford. Take for example this sketch us.'' In 1541 we find a constitution of Arch of the chief characteristics of the osteology :bishop Cranmer directing that of such large fowls as cranes, swans, and turkey-cocks, there should “ Let us examine the bony framework of a be but one dish; and we see the bird mentioned What an admirable piece of animated as no great rarity at the inauguration dinner of ship-building it is! How the ribs rise from the the serjeants-at-law in 1555. The learned broth- broad and keeled sternum to support the lengthers had upon that occasion two turkeys and four ened pelvis and the broad back, which form a turkey chicks, charged at four shillings each, goodly solid deck for the young cygnets to rest swans and cranes being valued at ten shillings, on under the elevated, arched, and sail-like and capons at half-a-crown." - p. 129.
wings of the parent: and how the twenty-five
vertebræ of the neck rise into a noble ornamenUpon these and other carefully collected evi- tal prow, crowned with the graceful head. How dences, a verdict, according to the careful Jus- skilfully are the oary legs and feet fitted - just tice, may be given in favor of the Spaniards as
where their strokes would be best brought to the importers from America of this great addition bear for the purpose of putting the living galley
in motion! It is a work worthy of the great to our poultry-yards; and he abides by old Bar
Artificer." naby Googe's decision, that the introduction of the turkey into this country must have taken Or this picture of the vocal organization of place about the year 1530.
the Hooper, whose loud and wild but plaintive The habits of the wild turkey of North Amer-notes procured for it the name of Cygnus musiica are drawn from Lawson, Audubon, and cus from Bechstein, and were the origin of the Bennett ; and a very picturesque description of classical allusions to the song of the dying swan, the wild turkey of Honduras (Meleagris ocella. deemed fabulous by those who have supposed ta) is abridged from Cuvier. In regard to this the ancients to have referred to the mute and noble species, we would recommend the author's tame swan exclusively :concluding paragraph to the special attention of
“ The wind instrument which produces these the present intelligent secretary of the Zoologi- sounds is a curious piece of animal mechanism. cal Society -- or why not the spirited Marquis The cylindrical tracheal tube passes down the of Breadalbane, who has so successfully restored neck, and then descends between the forks of the Capercailzie :
the merry-thought to the level of the keel of the
breast-bone, which is double; and this windpipe, “ With the naturalized poultry from Asia, after traversing nearly the whole length of the Africa, and America before our eyes, there can keel between the two plates, is doubled back as not exists a doubt that the Ocellated Turkey it were upon itself, and passing forwards, upwould thrive with us. The benefactor who wards, and backwards again, ends in a vertical conferred the domestic turkey upon Europe is divaricating bone, whence two long bronchial unknown. He who succeeds in naturalizing the tubes diverge, each into their respective lobe of
the lungs. In short, our winged musician car-, the fossil “ Saurians;” which, realizing or surries a French horn in his chest, but it is not passing in bulk, in power, and in strange comquite so melodious as Puzzi's. In the females binations of forms, the dragons of romance, have and young males, the windpipe is not inserted been, of late, restored as they were in life, for so deeply.” — p. 140.
all the purposes of contemplation. Mr. Broderip does not allow even the “Swan The dragons of the sea, or Enaliosaurs, are with Two Necks” to escape him, but evidently first tabled — namely, the Ichthyosaurus, the deems that common sign to have no foundation Plesiosaurus, and the Pliosaurus : - to which whatever in nature; for, in his learned antiqua- he subjoins a skilful sketch of the great extinct rian dissertation on “swan-marks,” he alludes marine monster-lizard, — "of the length and to the two cuts or nicks” in the Vintner's bulk of a grampus,” — the remains of which are mark, and infers that “from their swans with most abundant at Maestricht, in the bed of the two nicks' have been hatched the double-necked Meuse, whence its name Mosasaurus. The swans whose portraits grace our sign-boards." Ichthyosaurus, or great fish-dragon, has been With much submission, we would venture to re well compared in its general form to a gigantic call a picture in nature, which can hardly bave fish of the abdominal order, i. e., with the binder escaped this observer. When the swan takes its fins placed far behind the fore pair — but with a weary cygnet on its back, and arching over it longer tail and a smaller caudal fin - scaleless, the protecting pinions, swims deeply with its moreover— having apparently been covered procious burthen, the hidden young one may be with a smooth and finely-wrinkled skin like that seen to protrude its head and neck from its of the whale-tribe. It had a huge head, with downy chamber close behind the neck of the long and strong jaws well set with sharp destrucparent — and the two slender flexible columns tive teeth, and provided with enormous eyes, springing, as it were, from a common base, and furnished like the sea-turtle and birds with a often moving in opposite directions, then present circle of osseous plates arranged round the apera lively image, though with some disproportion, ture in the sclerotic where the clear cornea or of the “swan with two necks.” It is curious to window of the eye was set. The general type watch the modified instincts of the parent under of construction of the skeleton of the ichthyothese circumstances. If a tempting weed floats saurus, and especially of his skull
, was that deeply past, the mother dips her head and neck which we now trace in the crocodile, but the at full stretch, but makes no effort to give that vertebræ were cupped at both ends like those of half-rotation of the trunk which is the common fishes. Thus the head of a crocodile, the
eyes movement when about to feed, for this act would of a bird, the paddles and skin of a wbale, and produce a vertical position of the body which the vertebræ and outward form of a fish were would throw the cygnet overboard.
all combined in this extinct monster. The deFrom the specimens which we have culled as posits of the primeval seas, forming the oolitic to the feathered tribes, a just estimate may be and cretaceous series of the secondary strata of formed of the bulk of the work. The chapters England, have already been found to contain on dogs and cats, apes and monkeys, elephants ten species of ichthyosaur, some of them upwards and — dragons are truly “Recreations." We of thirty feet in length. had supposed that the teeming literature of late The Plesiosaurus – a less bulky and portendevoted to popular science had exhausted all tous dragon, but with a dentition as strictly carthat could be told of elephantine memory, canine nivorous — appears to have infested estuaries sagacity, and quadrumanous dexterity and imi- rather than the open sea. The most striking tativeness; but we were mistaken. The tact difference in its external appearance as comdisplayed in the selection of instances, with the pared with the ichthyosaurus is the excessive life of the descriptions, bas proved sufficient to length of the neck with a corresponding smallimpart a freshness to the most hackneyed sub ness of head; the trunk and tail present the jects in zoology. But the closing section ? What, ordinary proportions; it was provided with four it will be asked, has he found to say about Drag- paddles like those of the turtle, but longer, more ons? Have the regions of romance and nur- tapering, and flexible. The vertebræ are nearly sery-rhyme been ransacked for his finale ? Much fat at the ends, as in whales, but are constructed goodly narrative and legend in both prose and after the type of the crocodiles: the skull comverse have unquestionably contributed to lighten bines the cranial characters of the existing crocand embellish the pages on sea-dragons, flying odiles and lizards: and with these characters dragons, and ancient terrestrial dragons. But borrowed from, or rather now divided amongst, the greater part of them is honestly filled by a very different orders of animals, was associated most agreeable and instructive reviewal of the this long and slender and flexible neck, which zoological, anatomical, and geological history of must have resembled the body of a serpent.