Citation
Gleanings in natural history

Material Information

Title:
Gleanings in natural history with local recollections : to which are added maxims and hints for an angler
Creator:
Jesse, Edward, 1780-1868
Webb, William J., fl. 1853-1882 ( Engraver )
Woolmer, Theophilus, 1815-1896 ( Publisher )
Ballantyne Press ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
T. Woolmer
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
192 p. : ill. ; 16 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Natural history -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Animal behavior -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Nature study -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Birds -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by W. J. Webb.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Edward Jesse.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026788310 ( ALEPH )
ALH0891 ( NOTIS )
234194654 ( OCLC )

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YE

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WY,



NEERS.

THE ELEPHANT.AND THE MUTI

See page 107,



GLEANINGS

IN

NATURAL HESTORY.



LONDON:
T. WOOLMER, 2 CASTLE ST., CITY ROAD, E.C.

AND 66 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C,





CONTENTS.

——007-8300—_—

ANIMALS... ~ PAGE.
ANIMAL INSTINCT 3 ; : : : : 7
YuE GORILLA : : : : 3 : : 7 Seok
Tur Lion , . : ‘ ; ; : 5 ; . 13
MiTMs CAT es eo Sree See seer aes tneets ye ee eoereeee |S

The Cat and the Duck . : ; ‘ 5 : . 22
The Philosopher and the Cat . ‘ : . ‘ . 24
The Cat and the Eagle . : 5 poets ; 20
THE Doe 6 : . . ‘ : . . : . 27
The Shepherd’s Dog ; _ : ; : wots
A Boat’s Crew saved by a Dog 5 : 5 : . 32
The Chicken and Dog. ' , : . 6 . 38d
Mr. Hudson Gurney’s Dog. é , . : . 36
The Firemman’s Dog Bob. : : ; , . 3
Fairplay : : : " 5 . . : . 40
HeDGEHOGS . . ' ; : $3
THE SEAL AND THE WALRUS 5 . z ; ‘ ei
THe WHALE . . . . meee 5 : 5 - 56
THE BEAVER Sees . ° . coats . . 63
SQUIRRELS ee ee ee ee eee 0
THE IBEX. . ; 3 , ; . . . . TA

Mai SCABUGOAT! Se) fe oS se cege en te eer 0,
UDrbo| SOD gg ep OG oO a oe



vi

ANIMALS— Continued.

THE CAMELOPARD
THE CAMEL , .
DEER . «
THe MULE . .

CONTENTS,

THE ELEPHANT AND THE MUTINEERS

THE RHINOCEROS .

BIRDS .

TOE GOLDEN EAGLY
THE OWL ‘
SWALLOWS .

THE KINGFISHER.
THE JACKDAW :

- Sone BIRDS

THE Cuckoo :
THE WooD-PIGEON
THE QUAIL .

THE BLACK OR GREAT OSTRICH .

THE APTERYX ;
STORKS AND HERONS

WATER-FOwL (Ducks)

THE ALBATROSS
THU PELICAN

PAGE.

87
91

. 173

179
185
188



GLEHANINGS

IN

NATURAL HISTORY.



ANIMAL-INSTINCT.

NSTINCT in animals supplies the place which reason occupies
inman. This faculty is stronger in some animals than in
others. For instance, the elephant, the dog, and the horse
possess it in aremarkable degree. An elephant has been known
to remember an insult, or an act of cruelty practised upon him,
and to repay it, with interest, after an incredible number of
years. A horse is said to have distinguished the houses to which
milk was takeit only on certain days, stopping at the right placer.
on the right days as regularly as his master could have done.

A friend was one day walking with a farmer, who was
accompanied by his dog. Suddenly the farmer exclaimed, “1
dropped a marked piece of money in the market-place, just now ;
T will send Rover to fetch it.” The dog was immediately told
to go for it, which he did at once. He was very long in return-
ing ; from, which his master concluded that he had lost his way.



GLEHANINGS

IN

NATURAL HISTORY.



ANIMAL-INSTINCT.

NSTINCT in animals supplies the place which reason occupies
inman. This faculty is stronger in some animals than in
others. For instance, the elephant, the dog, and the horse
possess it in aremarkable degree. An elephant has been known
to remember an insult, or an act of cruelty practised upon him,
and to repay it, with interest, after an incredible number of
years. A horse is said to have distinguished the houses to which
milk was takeit only on certain days, stopping at the right placer.
on the right days as regularly as his master could have done.

A friend was one day walking with a farmer, who was
accompanied by his dog. Suddenly the farmer exclaimed, “1
dropped a marked piece of money in the market-place, just now ;
T will send Rover to fetch it.” The dog was immediately told
to go for it, which he did at once. He was very long in return-
ing ; from, which his master concluded that he had lost his way.



N

GLEANINGS I

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ite
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NATURAL HISTORY. 9

marked coin was found mixed with the stranger’s money, aud
was returned to the owner ; who declared that it should help to
buy Rover’a handsome collar, as a reward for his sagacity ; the
grazier, also, contributing his share toward so worthy an object.
The monkey, however, in some respects, surpasses all these

in adroitness and cunning, as the following account will show :—
- Some time ago a ship sailed for England from a port in the
West Indies. When just about to heave up the anchor, the
captain took on board four monkeys, which, at times were per-
mitted to wander about the ship at will. He had also procured
a quantity of very fine grapes. These were hung up in his
cabin ; but in some unaccountable way the bunches disappeared
much more quickly than they ought to have done. As monkeys
have ever been a pilfering race, the sly group on board were at
once suspected of having unlawfully possessed themselves of
the fruit. A watch was set for them, but for some time in vain.
The captain, therefore, determined to keep watch himself ; and,
that he might mete out due. punishment to the offenders when
caught, he provided himself with a “rope’s end.” — One morning,
just before the monkeys were Ict out of their cage, he lay down
in his cabin, and pretended to be asleep... No. sooner was he
settled than, bounce! down came the whole party from the deck.
They halted, however, at. the door, as if surprised to find the
cabin occupied. They remained for some time in deep consulta-
tion, various significant movements of the features passing
betweenthem. Atlength’one, more bold than the rest, advanced,
and, mounting the table, warily approached the motionless
captain. After steadfastly regarding him for some time, he at



10 ” G@LEANINGS IN

last slowly lifted his paw, and gently raised the captain’s eyelid,
to see if he really were asleep ; the others eagerly watching the
result of the experiment! The whole thing so amused the
captain, that he laughed loudly. Whereon the whole tribe
scampered back to the deck, having a wholesome dread of the
consequences that might follow the neat invasion of the cabin

in search of grapes.





NATURAL HISTORY, ii

THE GORILLA.

FRENCH traveller in Africa has lately brought home
wonderful stories of monkeys.

He tells us many things we have never heard before, about
the largest and most powerful of monkeys, called the “ Gorilla.”

If any of our young readers can go to the British Museum,
they will see a huge, hairy monster, of immense muscular power,
with a savage, ugly face that is terrible to look at. These
animals live in the thickest woods ; but, when they are dis-
covered, they are as fierce as lions, and roar as loudly, They
eat only berries and vegetables.

Perhaps an account of a baby-gorilla, which was taken alive,
will most interest our dear young people.

This little monkey was found by the hunters, seated on the
ground, not far from its mother, eating berries. They fired at
the mother, and she fell dead. The young one ran up to her,
and embraced her, and hid his face in her bosom. When the
hunters were about to seize them both, the young one climbed a
small tree, and sat roaring at them, They managed to secure
him, but not without receiving two -severe bites. He was a
little fellow, not three years old; but was as fierce as an old
gorilla, He was shut up in a cage ; but neither kindness nor
sternness could fame him. He was called “Joe” He managed,
one day, to force the bars of his cage and escape, and he was



12 GLEANINGS iN



found hid under a bed. He came out into the middle of the
room, and began to look curiously at the furniture. A net was

thrown. over him, and once more he was shut up. His temper
grew worse and worse, and again he escaped ; at last he was
chained up: it took an hour.to do this. Ten days after, he died.

The only thing we can possibly like in Mister “Joe” was his
love to his mother. Even this little savage showed signs of
sorrow at her sad death. —



NATURAL HISTORY















































































































































































































































































































































































THE LION.

MONG the beasts of prey, the first place is due to the lion.

He is the most powerful, daring, and noble-Jooking of -all
carnivorous, that is, flesh-eating; animals. Only the Indian
tiger can be compared with him, One full-grown of the



14 GLEANINGS IN’

Asiatic kind, weighs above four hundred and fifty pounds, and
those of Africa often above five hundred pounds. It is said
that a single stroke of his paw is sufficient to break the back of _
a horse, and that one sweep of his tail will throw a strong man
to the ground. The grasp of his claws, which cut four inches
in depth, is such as to crush the backbone of an ox. He has
huge jagged teeth, worked by powerful jaws ; while his tongue,
which is entirely covered with horny prickles, is so hard, that it
alone is sufficient to tear the flesh and skin without the aid of
either teeth or claws.

In Asia, the lion rarely measures more than nine feet anda
half from the nose to the end of the tail; but the African
species is considerably larger, and is supplied with a much
greater quantity of mane. His roaring, when in quest of prey,
resembles the sound of distant thunder; and, being re-echoed
by the rocks and mountains among which he roams, terrifies all
other animals, and puts them to flight. Sometimes his voice is
that of a hideous scream or yell. ‘“ When the lion roars,” says
a traveller, who saw many of them in South Africa, “the beasts
of the forests can do nothing but quake; they are afraid to lie
still in their dens, lest he spring upon them ; and equally afraid
to run, lest, in attempting to escape, they should také the
direction in which he is prowling, and throw themselves into
the jaws of their adversary.” It is when seeking food for their
young that these powerful creatures are most to be dreaded ;
they then attack man or beast without fear. At other times
they will bear hunger’a long time, and will occasionally feed on
carcases which they find,. They live to more than fifty years,



NATURAL HISTORY. 15

This noble animal is often spoken of in Scripture, and
supplies the sacred writers with some of their loftiest and most
impressive imagery. Its courage is noted by the prophet
Nahum: “ Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding-
place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion walked

. and none made them afraid?” Moses thus alludes to his
fierceness: “Gad . .. dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm
with the crown of the head.” His firm and majestic movements,
except when he rushes on some hapless victim, are spoken of in
the Book of Proverbs: “There be three things which go well,
yea, four are comely in going: a lion, which is strongest among
beasts, and turneth not away for any ; a greyhound ; an he-
goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

The universal fear which the roaring of the king of the
forest produces, is noticed by the prophet Amos: “The lion
hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who
can but prophesy?” The manner in which the inspired writers
speak of the lion’s mouth, would naturally lead to the conclusion
that it is formed to strike a beholder with terror. ‘“ Deliver
me,” says David, “from the mouth of the lion.” My God
hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they _
have not hurt me,” is the grateful exclamation of Daniel to
King Darius, after his great deliverance in the den.

The powerful paw, of which we havé above spoken, is in
Scripture called his hand, and is represented as being not less
formidable than his teeth. The king of Persia made a decree, .
commanding his subjects to fear the living God, “who: hatli
delivered Daniel from the power,”:or hand, as you read in the



16 GLEANINGS IN

margin, “of the lions.”. The-Greek writers also familiarly speak
of the lion’s “hand,” by which they mean his fore-foot.

He is a solitary animal, and fixes his abode in the woods and
mountains, far from the dwellings of men.. In the pursuit of
his prey he will not admit the company even of his mate. This
unsocial disposition is.often marked in the Sacred Volume.
Thus Jeremiah threatens the degenerate nobles of -Judah,
“ Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them ;”
asks, “ Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey ?”
Like other wild beasts, he slumbers in his covert during the
day, that he may return with fresh vigour to the chase at night.
To this the Psalmist alludes :. “Thou makest darkness, and it is
night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The
young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them
down in their dens.

Although the lion is the terror of the forest, and has been
known to scatter destruction over many a fair region in the
East,.yet he is often compelled to yield to the superior powers
and skill of man. When a young lion roared against Samson,
on his journey to Timnath, “the Spirit of the Lord came
mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a
kid, and he had nothing in his hand.” So David slew “both
the lion and the bear” that attacked the flock of sheep which he
was watching. We are told, too, that Benaiah, the son of
Jehoiada, “went down ... and slewa_lion in the midst of a pit
in time of snow.”

These are a few of the allusions made in the Bible to this

and Amos



NATURAL HISTORY. 17

animal. It would take up many pages to mention all the pas-
sages in which, in its various stages of existence,—the whelp,
the young lion, the old lion, the lioness,—it is spoken of. They
show that though these animals are not now found in Palestine,
the ancient Jews must have been quite familiar with them.
They still abound on the banks of the Euphrates, between
Bussorah and Bagdad, and in the marshes and jungles near the
rivers of Babylonia.

I will now only further remind you that the lion is also in
Scripture a symbol of our exalted and blessed Redeemer. He
was indeed a gentle Lamb in His sufferings and death, but He
became “ The lion of the tribe of Judah’’ when he burst asunder
the bands of death ; when He forced open the grave’s devouring
mouth, and returned “on high” to His Father, leading “ cap-
tivity captive,”—a Conqueror over all the powers of evil men
and wicked spirits. So Joel speaks: “The Lord also shall roar
out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the
heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the
hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
This is an allusion to the sounding forth of the Gospel, which
commenced at Jerusalem a few days after our Lord’s ascension.
All who now obey the invitation of God’s mercy, as set forth
by the Cross will hereafter listen to the voice of Jesus, not
terrifying as that of an angry lion, but gentle as that of a
friend who welcomes them to His rest and glory in heaven for
ever,



18 NATURAL HISTORY.

THE CAT.

HE cat is a well-known domesticated, carnivorous (that is,

Jlesh-eating) animal, whose attachment is said by many to
be rather to the dwellings, than to the persons of her friends.
Her conduct in this respect is very different from that of the
dog. The attachment of the latter to man is not affected by
changes of place or situation. Pussy’s youthful sportiveness,
her beautiful fur, and her quictness of manner when she grows
a little old, dispose us to regard her with kindness. But attempts
to cultivate her good dispositions often meet with but slight
success. She is capable of showing considerable fondness for a
person, yet never seems quite to confide even in those who treat
her well. When hurt, or much alarmed, she is ready to attack
her best friend with as much fury as a stranger.

At what period cats became inmates of human habitations
itisnot possible to say. Very likely their usefulness in destroy-
ing rats, mice, and other small noxious animals, first brought
them into notice. It is mentioned by Herodotus, who is called
the “ father of historians,” in his account of Egypt. He speaks
of cats as destroying the vermin which infested human dwell-
ings, and states some of the strange superstitions which the
Egyptians held with regard to them.

The domestic cat belongs to-a class of quadrupeds better
armed for the destruction of animal life than any other, Its



GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY, 19

short and powerful jaws, which are moved by strong muscles,
are supplied with formidable teeth. It often pursues its prey by
night, and with much patience and cunning. Its keen claws,
which are concealed when not in use, enable it to inflict a death-
blow on its victims with certainty and ease, It lies in ambush,
seizes a mouse or a bird with a sudden leap, and plays with its
captives before putting them to death. The food of the cats
which we keep in our houses is necessarily very various, but they
prefer flesh or fish, if it can be obtained. A desire for fish is
the strongest temptation that a cat can be exposed to. It is
fond of the odour of certain herbs, such as “catnip,” or “ cat-
mint,” and valerian ; the smell of the latter is said to throw
puss into an ecstasy of pleasure.

Both the lion and the tiger are considered animals of the cat
kind. The likeness between: the tiger and the cat is, indecd.
perceived at a glance. When little children first see tigers in a
zoological garden, they often call them great cats; and it is
well-known that in their native forests, tigers purr exactly as
their domestic kindred do at cur firesides. Both have the habit
of growling over their prey before they begin to devour it.

Cats have in several instances become celebrated in history,
It is said that in ancient times Cambyses took a city. by furnish-
ing each of his soldiers with a live cat instead of a buckler, as
the Egyptian garrison, rather than injure the creatures. which
they venerated, suffered themselves to be conquered. Mahomet
is.reported to have had a favourite cat, which used to lie upon
one of the long, loose sleeves of his robe, when he sat meditat-
ing.. One day, being suddenly called upon to quell a. revolt, he
B2



29 GLEANINGS IN





seized a pair of scissors and cut off a portion of his sleeve
rather than disturb the sleeping favourite. A large hospital for
eats is said to have been built at Damascus in honour of this
pet of Mahomet.

There are several kinds of cats. That called the wild-cat is



NATURAL HISTORY. 2h

quite distinct from the domesticated animal, being larger and
more powerful, and of a different internal structure. There is
the Persian cat, which has long silky gray hair, dark on the back,
but softening into white under the body. The next in beauty to
the Persian, is the cat of Angora, which has fine silky hair,
particularly long on the tail. The Chinese variety has long
glossy hair, but its colour is tortoiseshell, and it differs from all
other species in having hanging ears. All these cats with long
hair are now rare in England, though they are sometimes met
with in France. In England, however, there are many varieties,
the most beautiful of which is the one called “ tortoiseshell,”
because of its black, white, and reddish-orange colour. Another
variety of the British cat is black ; and another is white. The
white are generally very delicate, apt to take cold, and liable to
diseases. They are also said to be frequently deaf. There is a
kind of tailless cats in the Isle of Man, and also in Devonshire,
but it does not appear that they differ in other respects from the
common kind.

“The attitudes and motions of the cat,’ says an eminent
naturalist “are all of great elegance. Her legs are of singular
strength and flexibility, in consequence of her being furnished
with collar-bones ; she can, therefore, convey food to her mouth
by her paw like a monkey, She can also climb, strike sideways,
toss her prey upwards, and seat herself safely on an eminence,
‘in confined and narrow situations, such as the arm of an elbow-
chair, or the ledge of a window. The great suppleness of her
body enables her to swing herself from branch to branch of a
tree ; and by her power of clasping and holding with her claws,



22 GLEANINGS IN

‘she caz. cling firmly to any object to which she wishes to attach
-herself.”

A striking instance of the personal attachment of which
these animals are capable, was displayed by a cat belonging to
a lady called Madame Helvetius. This creature used continually
to lie at the feet of her mistress, seemingly ready to defend her.
It would never take food from any other hand than hers ; would
not allow any one else to caress it ; and would never touch any
of the birds which she kept. It would fetch anything that was
wanted, in its mouth, like a dog. During the last illness of
Madame Helvetius, this poor animal rarely quitted her chamber ;
-and though it was removed after her death, it made its way
back the next morning, slowly and mournfully pacing over the
hed, its mistress’s favourite chair, and her toilette-table, crying
piteously all the time. Two or three days after the funeral, the
faithful cat was found stretched on the grave, quite dead, having
apparently died from the excess of its grief. This little history
goes far to show that cats are sometimes quite as much attached
-4o persons, as to the houses in which they are sheltered and fed.

THE CAT AND THE DUCK.

Wn heard a curious tale which ought to be listened to from
the lips of the good woman, a Scotchwoman who told it ; for her
broad Scotch dialect would make it still more interesting.

A lay of eggs was provided for one of the hens, but amongst
them unknowingly a duck’s egg had been placed. It takes, it
seems, a week longer to hatch a duck’s egg than those of the
hen, consequently the chicks took off the attention of the hen a



NATURAL HISTORY. 23




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day or two before the shell of the duck burst. From this inat-
tention it, at length, came forth a wee, sickly bird, and was
supposed to have little life to contend with its lively neighbours.
The mistress, finding little warmth in it, took it in her hand, and
held it towards the fire. Now, there happened to be a family of
kittens just receiving the devoted attention of their mother, and
the little duck was dropped among _them, and in turn received

the reviving operation of the cat’s warm tongue. By spoon-
feeding it thrived ; and although it came in for a good.share of
tumbling, through its gamboling neighbours, it received even a



24 GLEANINGS IN

greater share of the cat’s attention. If a mouse was brought in
by her to amuse her progeny, the duck had the first chance of a
race for it ; the peculiar mew, which at such times, to the car
acquainted with the sounds cats make, appears so tender, was
lavished on duck as well as on kitten ; and the rough “ quack,
quack,” was proof that it was duly appreciated; and so the
duck, and the cat, and the kittens grew up in harmony.

































THE PHILOSOPHER AND THE CAT.

I once (says.a French writer) saw a lecturer upon experi-



NATURAL [ISTORY. 20

mental philosophy place a cat under the glass receive: of an
air-pump, for the purpose of demonstrating that life cannot
be supported without air and respiration. The lecturer had
already made several strokes with the piston, in order to exhaust
the receiver of its air, when the cat, beginning to feel herself
very uncomfortable in the rarefied atmosphere, was fortunate
enough to discover the source from whence her uneasiness pro-
ceeded. She placed her paw upon the hole through which the
air escaped, and thus prevented any more from passing out of
the receiver. All the exertions of the philosopher were now
unavailing ; in vain he drew the piston ; the cat’s paw effectually
prevented its operation. Hoping to effect his purpose, he again
let air into the receiver, which, as soon as the cat perceived, she
withdrew her paw from the aperture; but whenever he at-
tempted to exhaust the receiver, she applied her paw as before.
The spectators clapped their. hands in admiration of the cat’s
sagacity ; and the lecturer was compelled to remove her, and
substitute another cat who possessed less penetration for the
cruel experiment.

TUL CAT AND THE EAGLE.

Onu of those eagles with which the more northern parts of
Scotland abound, was observed to alight in his downward course,
in’ the vicinity of a farmyard, and in a few moments, the king
of the birds was again beheld ascending, having made captive a
fine but unlucky cat, and was in the act of conveying poor Grim-
alkin to his eyry. The suddenness of the capture, and her present
unusually perilous situation, rendered poor puss for some time a



26 GLEANINGS IN



att INKY

Ay" iN

passive prisoner. This, however, did not continue long. The
cagle appeared, to the spectators, to betray symptoms of un-.
easiness ; for puss hdd extricated herself from the claws of the -
victor, and was now the aggressor, and seizing the bird. by the
throat, inflicted some deadly wounds on the neck and héad of
the eagle, which caused it to descend to the earth, lifeless.

Pussy was uninjured, and, after looking round, and giving
herself a shake or two, returned to her former haunts.



NATURAL HISTORY. 27

THE DOG.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.

O no animal is mankind more indebted for its fidelity and

affection than to the dog. Wherever civilized man inay
go, the dog is invariably found to go with him, and it proves
itself useful in all parts of the world. It is, however, only in
temperate climates that it preserves many of its valuable
qualities. Naturalists divide dogs into several classes :—1i.
Mastif’s, including the dog of New Holland, the Danish-dog,
and the varieties of greyhound. 2. The spaniels, including the
spaniel and its varieties, the water-dog, the wolf-dog, the Siberian
dog, the shepherd’s dog, and the alco (or, Peruvian dog.) 3.
Bull-dogs, consisting of the bull-dog and its varieties, the house-
dog, the turnspit, the pug, and others.

One of the most useful varieties of this animal is the shep-
herd’s dog. This is distinguished by its upright ears, and the
shagginess of the under part of itstail. It is the most valuable
of farm-dogs. In the northern part of Scotland, where this
species is found in.its greatest purity, its aidis highly necessary
in managing the numerous flocks of sheep which are kept in
thosé extensive wilds. The dog prevents the sheep from
straggling, and helps the shepherd to conduct them from one
‘part of the moors to another ; and will not allow strange sheep
to mix with them. When a flock is driven to a distance, the
watchful “ colley ” keeps them in the road, watches every cross-



28 GLEANINGS IN

way where they would be likely to go astray ; and, pursuing
every straggler, drives it back to the flock. When the shepherd
gives a signal, “ Rover” will bring a whole flock to him from a
considerable distance. We have frequently seen sheep conducted
through the crowded streets of London, and have often won-
dered whether the man in charge of them or his dog showed the
greatest skill in. the accomplishment of so difficult a task. At
all events, the driver, one is ready to think, would be almost
helpless without his four-footed companion.

The following simple poem records an instance of the
remarkable sagacity possessed by this animal. The occurrence
which it relates took place in the Scottish Highlands many years
ago, and well deserves to be remembered.

‘Tyas in the pleasant month of June,
When hill and valley glows

With purple heath and golden whin,
White thorn and crimson rose ;

When balmy -dews fall soft and sweet,
And linger half the day,

Until the sun, with noontide heat,
Scarce clears them all away.

Near to a mountain high and wild,
A shepherd tended sheep,
And took with him his little child,
Up to a craggy steep.
The father and his darling boy
Lay dreaming on the hill’:



NATURAL HISTORY. g



Above them all was light and joy ;
Around them all was still,



30

GLEANINGS IN

When, hark! alow and distant sound

_ Of storm broke on their ear ;

He quick arose, and soon he found
Thick mists were gathering near.

The shepherd knew the storm might last
Through all the day till night,

And fear’d his sheep, amid the blast,
Might stray far in their fright.

He kiss’d, and charged his boy to stay
Close to the shelt’ring steep ;

And, with his dog, he hied away,
To gather in his sheep.

An hour had scarcely pass’d, when back
To the same spot he came ;

Call’d on his boy, while rock to rock
Loud echoed back his name.

No voice, no trace, no track was there !
He search’d, he call’d in vain.

Then home he ran in wild despair,
That he some help might gain.

Then came his friends and neighbours round

~ They climb’d the rocky height ;

The child they sought could not be found,
Although they search’d all night.

Three days and nights they still sought. on ;
Their efforts.all were vain; . :



NATURAL HISTORY. dl

The shepherd’s son was surely gone—
Would ne’er be seen again.

Meantime, the shaggy dog was seen,
When given its daily cake,

With all the bread his teeth between,
The hill-side road to take.

The shepherd, wond’ring what this meant,
His son still in his mind,

Follow’d the dog one morning, bent
To see what he could find.

Now look! far up yon stony crag,
The dog in haste is gone ;

Then gives his tail a merry wag:
The shepherd, too, went on.

A rocky ledge at length he gain’d ;
His heart beat high with joy ;

For lo! a cave above contain’d,
All safe, his darling boy.

The bread the hungry infant took ;
The dog sat at his feet :

The cake in two the child quick hioke,
And then they both did eat.

Such feasts of love are seldom seen
In gay and festal halls,

As this poor shepherd saw within
That cavern’s rocky walls,



82 GLEANINGS IN



















































































































































































































aa

Sal estat
STA
ro





A BOAT’S CREW SAVED BY A DOG.*

THE women weep, the children wail,
Scarce knowing why ;

* This dog was a noble fellow of the Newfoundland breed,



NATURAL HISTORY. 33

And men are watching (fix’d and pale)
A fishing-smack with dripping sail,
Now rolling nigh.

The surf leaps high upon the shore
In cruel sport ;
The wild winds ‘in the caverns roar ;
The weary fishers ply the oar
To gain the port.
The breakers crash, the sea-gulls screech :
- “No hope! No hope!” ©
How is that fragile boat to reach,
Across such surf, the shingly beach ?
“© for a rope!”

"Tig vain.. The boldest and the best
Turn back in fear:

The strongest swimmer dare not breast

Those breakers with the foamy crest ;
‘For life is dear.

The surf leaps high upon the shore,
So high! So high!

The boat obeys her helm no more,

The weary crew lay down the oar
To die! To die!

Nay! man may fail, though wise and strong °
Yet God can save.

A brave dog dashes from the throng,

co)



34

GLEANINGS IN

And throws his shaggy length along
The boiling wave.

The billows suck him in. Ah me!
“Not lost ! Not lost!”

Light as a buoy upriseth he,

And, battling with the greedy sca,
The surf hath cross’d.

No strange caprice, no desperate whim,
No senseless hope! _
Round, round the boat they see him swim,
With pleading eye and struggling limb,
“Pling him a rope!”
He grasps the hawser with his teeth.
- His suit is won ;
Back, back, through surf and foamy wreath,
Through ’whelming surge, for life or death :
His task is done.
The rope is strong, the hands are stout:
“ Ahoy! Ahoy!”
Like fragile shell, the trembling boat,
Is haul’d ashore, with cheer and shout,
And breathless joy !
Then women’s tears of happiness
With praises blend ;
And old men lift their hands and bless,
And strong men fondle and caress,
Their shagey friend.



NATURAL HISTORY. 35



THE CHICKEN AND DOG.

In past times, foxes were much preserved, and made con
siderable havoc with the hens that strayed from the houses
appropriated to them. One hen was a determined truant ; it was
most singular that she was not destroyed, as well as her nest
of eggs; but, having been a kitchen pet, she, perhaps, sought
succour of the old rough dog. “Instinct, I suppose, led her to
try his house for a nest; and when he was stretched out in
the sun, she hopped in, and deposited her egg in his kennel.

Now there was no room in the kennel for two families ; co

C2



36 . GLEANINGS IN

when she came forth, and had told her secret by the usual
cackle, the dog very cautiously crept in, and most carefully
taking the egg in his mouth, he backed out without even turning
round, and going to the extremity of the chain, deposited it
safely on the ground before the house. ‘The position of the eggs
for two following days caused observation ; and, discovering
himself watched upon the third morning, he found himself
rewarded by an extra bone from the good mistress.

MR, HUDSON GURNEY’S DOG.

Tus touching tale, was told by a friend of the late Mr.
Hudson Gurney. He says.:—“ One morning I was sitting on
business with Mr. Gumey, when I heard a pattering of feet
behind, and the door silently opened. I turned to see who was
listening to us, and the Newfoundland dog quietly entered the
room, and, standing in the centre, looked on me coldly, and on
his master kindly. ‘This,’ said Mr. Hudson, ‘is one of my most
faithful friends; he has come to pay me his usual morning
visit.. Turning to the dog he continued, ‘I’m a little better
to-day, but not much ; one morning you will miss me: I shall
be dead.’ The dog, as though endowed with human instinct,
» gave a. low.moan, and advancing to his master, placed his huge
paw, with. a gentleness that would hardly have crushed a fly,
on Mr. Gurney’s knee; that done, he raised himself om his hind
‘legs, and placed the other on Mr. Gurney’s shoulder, and, licking
his face, seemed to pat him on his back with an expression of
countenance which almost said, ‘Come, come, don’t be down:
hearted! ‘You are very-bad, but you'll get better by-and-by.



NATURAL HISTORY. £7

JAY
COND,

Stas
WN :



ith i My id Ss BSS
Mr. Gumey perfectly understood lim, since he replied, ‘It’s no
use; I tell you I shall die!’ The dog moaned again. ‘And
now,’ continued the owner of Keswick, ‘you must go; for I
am busy with this gentleman.’ The dog looked at his master,
then at me, and then silently quitted the room. A month or co
after, Mr, Gurney was a corpse.”



38 . GLEANINGS IN

THE FIREMEN’S DOG, BOB.

A FEW years ago, it was no uncommon sight in London
streets to see a dog rushing before the fire engine, and, by his
barking, helping in some measure to clear the way. Bob, as he
was called, belonged to one of the stations, and became so
accustomed to this peculiar calling that as soon as the fire-bell
sounded he hastened to the street and waited most impatiently
for the horsing of the engine, the mounting of the men, and the
hurried start.

“ ¥es, he loves those trampling horses,
Dashing on with steady power,
Husting to the place of danger,

And he clears the way before.”
He was much loved by all the men of the fire brigade, and many
interesting stories are told of his remarkable instinct, and he has
left an example from which we might take some valuable
lessons.

At one fire he was the means of saving the life of a little
girl, It was supposed that all those who were in the burning
house had been rescued. Bob was not to be seen, but above
the crackling of burning timbers, the splashing of the water as
it leaped into the fiery vortex, and the shouts of the crowd, the
men heard the barking of their faithful companion. With some
difficulty they managed to reach the place and found Bob outside
a door to which he did what he could to direct their attention. ©
The door was soon knocked in, when a little girl was found
standing in childish terror, and was safely brought into the
street, Bob licks the little girl as if to express the pleasure he



NATURAL HISTORY. £9



felt in being thus able to save her life, and as if certain that no
other lives are in danger lies dovn to rest. Well done, brave
Bob!



40° GLEANINGS IN

At another fire, when it was known that all the persons had
been rescued, Bob was secn to rush forward and enter the
building, much to the sorrow of the men who were afraid that
they should lose their old friend. They watched anxiously for
him, when he was seen to emerge from the burning house,
carrying in his mouth a poor tabby cat,—

“Conquering prejudice and passion—
What could man himself do more ?

“0, good Bob; he had his mission
In our selfish world of crime ;
Teaching virtue by example,
Unto this and future time.”
Brave Bob met his death whilst in the path of duty ; he was

knocked down and killed whilst hasting to a fire.

FAIR-PLAY.

“Fir him when he’s down,” we have heard some unthinking
people say.: But that is not fair ; indeed, it is best not to hit at
all, up or down, if you can avoid it.

There are many people, both boys and men, who are very
cowardly, and who do not dare to try to hurt the people who are
not down, but always kick the falling, and hit those the hardest ©
who are badly off.

Such people are like some dogs I have read oe ;—a family of
terriers who were all very good friends with each other, and with
two big -rough-haired deer-hounds. © In-doors they were all
allowed to go into the parlour, and some of them got on chairs,
some in the corners, some on the hearth-rug ; but all as near the
fire as they could, There they lay, blinking at the blaze, full of



NATURAL HISTORY: 4i













es

H AW: 3
MW KES BSS WaVe~
pS

WBA?

content,—neyer fighting. Out of doors they made sad: havoc
amongst the hares and rabbits, when they went with -their
master in his rambles in the woods. As long as there was any-



42 LEANINGS IN

thing to run down, they were all of one mind. If one dog
started a hare or a rabbit, he yelped vigorously, and helter-skelter
away the whole pack scampered after him. But one fine day
one of the terriers trodi in a trap, and made music in a new key.
Off ran master and dogs... The first dog that came up forthwith
fell on the unfortunate *young=one in the trap, and began to
worry him. Then came the“6fhers, and at once there was a
battle royal, so that the master had to use his ash stick freely
about him before he could scatter them. The captive was not
much hurt, but went on as did the others, as though it was ali
right, and only to be expected that when one dog is down, that
is the time for other dogs to worry, and for himself to be



“=~ worried,

Children should be much wiser and better than dogs. They -
should pity those who have got into trouble; they should not
attack the defenceless, but rather be glad to help and do them
good.

Boys? when “he’s down,” don’t hit him ; but take sides with
them who have no friends.



NATURAL HISTORY, 43

HEDGEHOGS.

NE of my early friends was a hedgehog. He wasa solemn
sort of animal, somewhat advanced in life, when I was a
very small boy, who had to learn from him that if we touch
bristles they will prick. Most likely that old playmate is dead,
and no one has written his life ; but as all hedgehogs are alike,
what I write about the genus will describe him, because there is
very little distinctive about any one of them in particular.
They have no kings, as men have; they write no books ; they
get themselves no individual character ; they are just hedgehogs,
and nothing more. Their bodies are covered with spines ; not
with hair, like so many other quadrupeds. The skin of their
backs has muscles, by which they are able to roll themselves up
like a ball; they have short one-inch tails, and feet with five
toes ; their nose is long, and their nostrils on each side furnished
with a loose flap ; their ears are dark, short, round, and naked ;
and part of their face and sides are covered with strong, coarse
hair ; so that it would be too flattering to say they are beautiful.
They often live in small thickets ; they eat fruit that they
find on the ground, and insects, and roots. They have not by
any means a delicate stomach, for they can, and do, eat hundreds
of Spanish flies without any pain ; while if a dog or cat ate
one, it would suffer horrible torment.
Some people tame hedgehogs, and keep them in their houses,



Ad. GLEANINGS IN

My old friend was of that sort ; he worked for his living, being
employed as domestic cockroach killer, and he seemed to thrive
well in his situation.

But favour me by looking at the picture again. I say again,
because I know well enough you looked at the picture before
you read two lines of. what I have written. Well, you sce there
are two dogs and a-rolled-up hedgehog. And the case is this:
these dogs have been oul a. pleasure, and seeing a hedgehog
they have given it chas



they expected to be rewarded fo:





















their race by worrying the poor euimal ; but now they get up to
it they are wofully disappointed, because, knowing its danger,
the hedgehog has wrapped itself up within itself, and put out
its bristles, so that the soft-mouthed dogs dare not touch it.
This pretty picture makes me think of many things besides
dogs and hedgehogs. I have often seen the same sort of thing
amongst boys and men. They have pursued some pleasure,
expected some delight, spent much time about it, and after all,



NATURAL HISTORY. 45

have been disappointed. It was covered all over with bristles,
and to have touched it would have pricked them.



Some of our companions have been rather Jike that living
ball. They were pleasant enough to begin with ; they played



46 GLEANINGS IN

without quarrelling ; talked without snarling; walked about
with us lovingly ; when all at once they rolled themselves
up, put out their spikes, and there. was no pleasing them, and
no getting close to them. I am afraid, too, that if some of
them wrote our lives with woodcuts, they might borrow this
picture, and say that illustrates our occasional characteristic.
With our friends, who only mean well to us, and wish to be
playful, it is not good to be too much like the hedgehog,—very
skilful in raising- points ; but when bad people come to us, and
when people want to worry us and do us harm: hunt us away
from our homes and our purity, from our schools and our
chapels, I think we cannot do better than imitate the hedgehog,
—put out all d do not let them touch us. There
is no doubt when Godamade this animal, and gave it power to do
as is represented in the picture, He intended it to use that power
in self-defence ; and when He gave us a mind by which to choose
good instead of evil, and a tongue with which to say “Nol” if
asked to sin, He intended us to declare our choice of the good.
So, dear children, do not bristle up, and get into naughty
tempers, when your companions wish to be loving and playful,
or your parents require of you what they decide to be best ; do,




then, not imitate the hedgehog.

But if you are tempted to do wrong, to tell lies, to swear, to
steal, to play truant, or to be mean, then put out your defence
against all such temptations ; make it hard for them to get at
you. Be like the hedgehog, guarded all over ; so that tempters
may say, it is not very easy to handle those children ; and they
may be disappointed like the two dogs in the picture.



NATURAL IISTORY. 47

THE SEAL AND THE WALRUS.

EALS are a tribe of flesh-eating animals, that live at their

pleasure on the land or in the water. In their construction
they exhibit a beautiful example of the adaptation of living
creatures to the station appointed them by their Creator. While
the rest of the great family to which they belong are confined
to the land, on which they find their prey, the species of which
the seal is a member are natives of the water, where they pursue
fishes and other marine creatures as their food. Their limbs are
short, and so inclosed in their skin as to; ive them the power of
creeping only, and that with great awkwardness, when they
move from place to place on the land; but as their feet are
webbed, they serve admirably the purpose of oars ; and such is
their natural use. In fact, these animals pass a great portion
of their life in the sea, only coming occasionally on shore to
bask in the sun, or to suckle their young. In form, their body
is long and tapering ; the spine very flexible, and provided with
rouscles, which bend it with great force. Their fur is smooth
and close, lying against the skin.

The teeth of the seal show that its proper food is flesh.
The feet have five toes ; on the fore feet these diminish gradu-
ally from what is called the “thumb” to the last ; but on the
hind feet, the “thumb” and the last are the longest. The tail,
which is short, is placed between the hind paws or “flippers,”



48 GLEANINGS IN



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































which are directed backwards. The head resembles that of a
short-muzzled dog, and has an expression of great intelligence



NATURAL HISTORY. 49

and mildness, agreeing with its actual’ character ; for the Seal
is easily tamed, and becomes much attached to its master. The
tongue is smooth ; the nostrils are furnished with a kind of
valve, which is shut when the animal dives; the ears, which
open behind the eyes, are also capable of being closed, so as to
prevent the entrance of water.

The Common Sau inhabits the rocky coasts of Scotland and
Ireland, and is abundant along the northern shores of Europe
and America ; and either the same species, or one very like it, is
found in the Caspian Sea, and in the fresh-water lakes of Russia
and Siberia. Its usual length is about five feet: its colour
yellowish grey, dappled with brown and yellow ; the lips are
furnished with long, stiff whiskers; and it has no outward
ears.

The seal is gregarious—that is, living in herds—in its habits.
Tt frequents the deep recesses and caverns on the shores of
northern seas, where during winter it brings up its young. The
female takes its cubs, which are usually two, into the water,
and displays great solicitude for their safety ; she teaches them
to swim and pursue the fish on which they prey, and when they
‘are tired, carries them on her back. ?

From the nature of its food, it has a fishy smell; and it is
said that when collected in numbers on the shore, the odour can
be perceived at a considerable distance. Its voice when old is
a hoarse, gruff bark ; when young, a plaintive whine.

To the Esquimaux and Greenlanders this animal is of the
utmost importance ; indeed their main subsistence may be said
to depend upon their success in capturing it. Its pursuit is

D



60 GLEANINGS IN

therefore with them a serious occupation. In his boat, or
kajak, which consists of the skin of the seal stretched over a
slight framework of wood, the Greenlander in his seal-skin dress
braves the violence of the northern seas, and every peril of the
deep, in the ardour of the chase.

“There, tumbling in their seal-skin boat,
Fenvless, the hungry fishers float,
And from teeming seas supply
The food their niggard plains deny.”

The flesh of this creature, says a naturalist named Crantz,
“ supplies the natives with their most palatable and substantial
articles of dict. The fat furnishes them with oil for lamp-light,
chamber and kitchen fire ; and whoever sees their habitations,
presently finds that even if they had an abundance of wood, it
would not be of much use; they can use nothing but train-oil
in their habitations. They also soften their dry food, mostly
fish, in the oil; and, finally, they barter it with the traders for
all kinds of necessaries.

“They can sew better with fibres of the seal’s sinews, than
with thread or silk. Of the skins of the internal parts they make
their windows, curtains for their tents, and even shirts. Of the
skins of seals they stand in the greatest need, because they must
cover with them both their large and small boats, in which they
travel and seek their provisions. They must also cut their
thongs or straps out of them, and cover their tents with them,
without which they could not subsist in summer. Therefore
no man can pass for a right and true Greenlander who cannot
catch seals. This is the great end to which they aspire in all
their labour from their childhood upwards.” -To make himself



NATURAL HISTORY. 51

a useful or good member of the community on the dreary shores
of Greenland, the art of capturing this animal, dangerous and
difficult as it is, must be perfectly learned by every native.

The ships engaged in the fishery are sent out principally from
Hamburg, and from Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland. They
penetrate the ice in a more daring manner even than the whalers,
and are, therefore, more exposed to the accidents attending
navigation in Polar seas. A crew, being provided with seal-
clubs and knives, by careful management of their boats occa-
sionally surprise a herd on an ice-field or floe, before the animals,
which are very watchful, take the alarm. If the men can
contrive to cut off the communication with the water, or with
those openings in the ice near which the seals commonly lie for
the sake of security, they will sometimes kill two-thirds of the
troop. Though the seal is remarkably tenacious of life, yet it is
easily killed by a blow on the nose, or at least sufficiently
stunned to allow of others being attacked before the herd can
effect an escape. If the sailors perceive that a herd which they
are approaching have taken an alarm, and are making off, they
raise loud shouts, arresting the attention of their victims, who
stop to ascertain whence such an unwonted sound proceeds.
The men thus gain time to approach, and often obtain many of
the number. :

The persons accustomed to this chase will pursue the seals
over detached pieces of ice, jumping from one to another, at
great risk of their lives. In. such cases, every man, when he
kills a seal, flenses (“flays”) it on the spot, and drags the
blubber and skin over the ice to his boat. When a crew have

D2



52 . GLEANINGS IN

succeeded in surprising a large number, on one field, a man is
left on the ice to flay the carcases, while his companions
pursue another herd at some other spot.

Whalers always take out seal-clubs as part of their equipment,
and one ship has been known to obtain a cargo of from four to
five thousand seals, yielding nearly a hundred tons of oil.

They are not only hunted in the way represented in the Cut,
but are followed into the hollows in the rocks and caverns in

‘ which, at certain times, they collect in great numbers. This is’
done in the months of October and November, at night by torch-
light. The hunters being properly stationed, and armed with
clubs, alarm the poor animals by shouts and noises; when,
terrified by the uproar, and confused by the light, they hurry
from the ledges of the rocks and places where they rest, and
tumultuously endeavour to escape. The work of slaughter now
begins, their pursuers knocking them on the head with their
clubs, so as to stun them, or kill them outright.

The uses of the seal are numerous and important. The oil
obtained from its fat, or blubber, is better than that from the
whale ; and a full-grown one will yield from eight to twelve
gallons. The skin, with the hair on, is used for covering trunks,
étc., and when tanned, forms an excellent leather.

The oil is obtained by putting the blubber, cut up into small
pieces, into large vats; the heat of the sun, in time, causes a
great part to. run into oil, which is drawn off at side apertures ;
the refuse is boiled in coppers, and an inferior quality procured.

There is a large fishery for seals on the Caspian Sea.

The seal, though the ears are cropped close to the head, has



NATURAL HISTURY, 53

a most. delicate sense of hearing, and delights in musical sounds,
a fact not unknown to the ancients, - In an account of a voyage



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































54 GLEANINGS IN

to Spitzbergen, it is stated that a number of seals would sur-
round the vessel, and follow it for miles when a violin was
played on deck. -

Among many instances of the taming of this creature, and
its use in fishing, I select the following anecdote, with which I
will close this description of it. “In January, 1819, a gentleman
in the neighbourhood of Burntisland, in the county of Fife,
Scotland, succeeded in completely taming a seal. Its-singular
habits attravted the curiosity of strangers. It appeared to
possess all the sagacity of a dog, lived in its master’s house,
and ate from his hand. In his fishing excursions, its owner
generally took it with him, when it afforded no small entertain-
ment. If thrown into the water, it would follow for miles
the track of the boat; and though thrust back by the oars, it
never gave up its purpose. Indeed, it struggled so hard to
regain its seat, that one would imagine that its fondness for its
master had entirely overcome the natural desire to be at largo
in its native clement.”

The principal*parts for which the WatRus, which is a species
of seal, is taken, are the two tusks, the ivory of which is of a
superior quality. It is employed for most purposes to which
that of the elephant’s tusk is adapted, and is preferred by
dentists for the purpose of making artificial teeth. The skin of
the walrus is used for mats, and for covering ropes exposed to
much rubbing. When cut into shreds,and plaited, it forms
strong and durable ropes, exceeding those of hemp for some
purposes. The Russians are most successful in the chase of the
walrus.



NATURAL HISTORY. 55

As the animal is large, powerful, and fearless, the attack of
itis not without danger, especially since, from the strength of
its hide and the solidity of the skull, a musket is of little avail,
unless a bullet be employed and the eye be hit. Sailors, when
exposed in boats to the attack of walruses, disperse them by
throwing sand into their eyes. They are usually killed by means
of spears, lances, and knives.





2
Looe
LLC Le

Zi:
LLO 7









56 GLEANINGS IN

THE WHALE.

ILALES so much resemble fish in their outward form,

that they are almost universally regarded as fish by the
greater part of people. If, however, we examine their structure
carefully, we shall find that they differ from quadruped animals
only in their organs of motion. They have warm blood; they
breathe the air of the atmosphere only, by means of lungs ; and
the female whale suckles her young in the same manner as
quadrupeds.

The body and tail of this animal are continuous, the latter
tapering gradually, and ending in a large, horizontal, gristly fin.
Hind feet are entirely wanting, but their position is marked by
two small bones, which are found wrapped in the skin. The
fore feet have outwardly the form of fins or flippers ; but they
have the same bones as those of quadrupeds, flattened, however,
and shortened, and inclosed in a sinewy covering. The head is
of an enormous size, often being equal to a third of the whole
animal, and the opening of the mouth is of corresponding
dimensions. The neck is very short, and to any one who looks
at the living whale, seems altogether wanting. At the top of
the whale’s head are its nostrils, or blow-holes, through which
the-air passes to its lungs when it rises to the surface of the
water in order to breathe. The skin is entirely without hair ;
and beneath it is a thick coating of oily fat, commonly called



NATURAL HISTORY. 57

“blubber,” which enwraps the whole animal. The eyes are
exceedingly small, considering the bulk of the creature, and
there are uo visible signs of ears, The senses of these huge

































































































































































































































































































































































































53 GLEANINGS IN

inhabitants of the deep do not appear to be very acute. The
sea affords them abundance of food, which they are able to
procure without much difficulty ; and they find in their great
size and strength a protection against most dangers.

The common or Greenland whale is without teeth ; but, in
their place, the upper jaw is furnished with cross layers of a
horny substance, called “baleen,”
edges, split into long, slender fringes. This species is productive
of more oil than any other; and being less active, slower in its
motion, and more timid than the rest of its kind, of similar size,

or whalebone, which, at the

is more easily captured.

The whale which frequents the Greenland seas is, when fully
grown, from fifty to sixty feet in length, and its greatest cir-
cumference from thirty to forty. The ordinary weight is about
seventy tons. When the mouth is extended, it presents an
opening large enough to contain a boat full of men, being six
or eight feet wide, ten or twelve feet high in front, and fifteen
or sixteen long.

These animals have no voice, but in breathing or blowing
make a very loud noise: the vapour which ihey discharge from
their nostrils is thrown up to the height of some yards, and
appears at a distance, like a puff of smoke. The usual rate at
which they swim seldom exceeds four miles an hour; and
though their greatest speed may be at the rate of eight or nine,
this never continues longer than for a few minutes, before it is
lessened to almost one-half. They can also rise from a great
depth with such rapidity as to leap entirely out of the water ;
which feat they sometimes perform apparently as an amusement,



NATURAL HISTORY. 59

to the no small terror of inexperienced pursuers. At times they
throw themselves into an upright position, with their heads
downwards, and, rearing their tails on high, beat the water with
tremendous violence : the sea is then thrown into foam, and the
air filled with vapours ; the noise is heard; in calm weather, to a
great distance ; and the waves occasioned by the blows of the
tail extend a considerable space around. Sometimes the monster
shakes its tail in the air, which, cracking like a whip; resounds
to a distance-of two or three miles.

Whales usually remain at the surface to breathe about two
minutes, seldom longer, during which they “blow” eight or
nine times; they then descend for an interval of five or ten
minutes, but sometimes, when feeding fifteen or twenty. When
struck by a harpoon, they have been known to descend to a
depth of a mile, and with such force that instances have occurred
in which they have broken their jaw-bones by their dashing
against the bottom of the sea. Their food consists of small
shell-fish, star-fish, etc. When feeding, they swim with con-
siderable speed, below the surface, with their jaws open ; so
that a stream of water enters the mouth, bearing along with it
large quantities of marine insects. The water escapes at the
sides, but the food is caught and strained by the whalebone,
which is so arranged that not a particle of the size of the
smallest grain can be lost.

These great animals are generally found solitary, or in pairs,
excepting when drawn to the same spot by an abundance of
attractive food. They are most frequently met with in the
frozen seas of Greenland, and Davis's Straits ; also in Baffin’s



60 GLEANINGS IN

and Hudson’s Bays, in the sea to the northward of Behring’s
Straits, and along some parts of the northern shores of Asia,
and also probably of America.

The affections of the whale towards its own kind appear to
be strong. The whalers are in the habit of taking advantage of
the love of the old one for itr offspring, to entice it into their
snares; aud the plan often succeeds when probably no other
would. The cul, though of little value in itself, is struck, to
induce the motk»r to come to its help. ‘In this case,” says
Captain Scoresby; “she joins it at the surface of the water,
when it has occasion to rise for breathing ; 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 affurds frequent opportunities for attack. She
loses all regard for her personal safety in anxiety for the pre-
servation of her young; she dashes through the midst of her
enemies ; despises the danger that threatens her; and even
voluntarily remains with her offspring after various attacks on
herself from the harpoons of her assailants.

“Tn June, 1811, one of my harpooners struck a sucker, with
a hope of its leading to the capture of its mother. Presently
she arose by the boat whence the harpoon had been thrown, and
seizing the young one, dragged out nearly a hundred fathoms of
line with remarkable velocity. Again she rose to the surface ;
darted furiously to and fro; frequently stopped short, or sud-
denly changed her direction ; and gave every possible indication
of her extreme agony. For a length of time she continued
thus to act, though closely pursued by the boats ; and inspired



NATURAL HISTORY. 61

with courage and resolution by her concern for her cub, seemed
regardless of the danger which surrounded her. At length one
of the boats approached so near that a harpoon was thrown.
It hit her, but did not fasten itself. A second was thrown, and
this also failed to pierce the skin. A third was more successful,
and held. Still she did not attempt to escape, but allowed
other boats to come near ; so that, in a few minutes, three more
harpoons were fastened ; and in the course of an hour after-
wards she was killed.”

The two instruments used in the capture of the whale are
the harpoon and the lance. The former is made of iron, and is
about three feet in length, ending in an arrow-shaped head, each
of the two branches of which has on the inner side a smaller
barb turned backwards, resembling the beard of a fish-hook.
When this instrument is forced, by a blow, into the body of a
whale, and the line fastened to it is held tight, the barbs seize
the strong fibres of the blubber, and prevent its being withdrawn.
The animal is thus held fast, the harpoon being attached to a
line. The lance is a spear of iron, six feet in length, ending in
a head of steel, made very thin and sharp, seven or eight inches
in length, and two cr two and a-half in breadth. These two
instruments, together with lines, boats, and oars, form all the
necessary apparatus for the taking of this large creature.

The usual stay of a whale under water after being struck, is
thirty minutes. The longer it is in returning to the surface, the
easier is its capture. When it re-appears, the boats hasten
towards it, and as many harpoons and lances are plunged into
it as possible. When the enormous animal expires, the sea



62 GLEANINGS IN

around is covered with its blood, and the ice, boats, and men
are sometimes drenched with it. Its death is preceded by a
final struggle, in which its tail, reared aloft, and whirled and
jerked in the air, makes a noise that may be heard for miles,





NATURAL HISTORY. 63

THE BEAVER.

HIS interesting animal is about two feet in length ; its
body thick and heavy ; the head flattened, and somewhat
arched at the front ; the snout much so. The eyes are placed
rather high in the head, and the pupils are rounded ; the ears
are short, and almost concealed by the fur. The skin is covered
by two sorts of hair, of which one is long, rather stiff, elastic,
and of a gray colour for two-thirds of its length next the root,
and ending in shining, reddish-brown points ; the other is short,
” thick, tufted, and soft, being of different chades of silver-gray
or light lead-colour. The hair is shortest on the head and feet.
The hind legs are longer than the fore, and are completely
webbed. The tail is eleven inches long, and, except where nearest
the body, is covered with six-sided scales. The part. next the
body is provided with hair like that on the back.

The food of the beaver consists chiefly of the bark of the
aspen, willow, birch, poplar, and occasionally alder ; it rarely ©
resorts to the pine, unless from severe necessity.

It is only in a state of nature that this creature shows any
of those peculiar modes of acting which have rendered the
species remarkable. Beavers are not particular as to the site
which they select for their dwellings, but if it is a lake or pond,
where a dam is not required, they are careful to build where the
water is sufficiently deep to prevent their being frozen fast in



G4 _GLEANINGS IN

their huts during winter. In standing waters, however, they
have not the advantage afforded by a current for the transporta-
tion of their supplies of wood, which, when they build on a
running stream, is always cut higher up than the place of their
residence, and floated down to it.

The materials used for the construction of their dams ere
the trunks of trees and branches of small birch, mulberry,
willow, and poplar trees, etc. They begin to cut down their
timber for building early in the summer, but do not set about
building until the middle or latter part of August, and the work
is not completed till the arrival of the cold season. Thestrength
of their teeth, and their perseverance may be estimated by the
size of the trees which they cut down for their purposes. One
naturalist informs us that he saw a mulberry tree, eight inches in
diameter, which had been brought down by the beaver ; while
on the Little Maine river, in North America, there were shown
several stumps of trees, that had evidently been felled by these
animals, which ‘were five or six inches in diameter. The trecs
are cut in such a way as to fall into the water, and they are
then floated towards the site of the dam or dwellings. Small
shrubs, cut at a distance, they drag by their teeth to the stream,
and then launch and tow to the required position. At a short
distance above a beavers’ dam, the number of trees which they
have hewn down appears truly surprising ; and the regularity of
the stumps might lead: persons unacquainted with the habits of
the animals to believe the clearing to be the result of human

: industry. ,
The figure of the dam varies according to circumstances :



NATURAL HISTORY. 65

should the current be very gentle, it is carried nearly straight
across ; but when the stream is swift, it is uniformly made with

a curve, having the convex, or outer side, opposed to the current.
Along with the trunks and branches of trees, they intermingle
mud and stones, to give the structure greater firmness. When
dams have been long undisturbed and often repaired, they





































































66 _ GLEANINGS. IN

become very solid: and their power of resistance to the pressure.
of water, or masses of ice, is greatly increased by the willow
and birch sometimes taking rcot, and growing up into something
like a regular hedge.

The dwellings of beavers are made of the same materials as
their dams, and are very rude. In forming them, they place
most of the wood crosswise, and nearly horizontally, observing
no other order than that of leaving an opening in the middle.
Branches projecting inwards are cut off with their teeth, and
thrown among therest. The houses are not composed of sticks,
and then plastered, but of all the materials used in the dams,—
sticks, mud, and stones, if the latter can be procured, The mud
is obtained from the banks or bottom of the stream, or pond,
near the.entrance of the hut, The beaver always carries mud or
stones by holding his burden between his fore paws and throat.
The entrance to the dwelling is invariably on the side farthest
from land, and is near the foundation, or a considerable depth
under water ; this is the only way of access to the interior.

The musk rat is sometimes found to have taken up his abode
in the homes of the beaver. The otter, also, occasionally
intrudes ; he, however, is a-.dangerous guest, for, should provi-
sions grow scarce, it is not uncommon for him to devour his
host. All the individuals of a community of beavers do not
unite in constructing houses for the whole ; the only work on
which they labour in concert is the dam. Beavers also make
hollows, or “washes.” in the banks adjoining: their dwellings,
These “washes” are so enlarged within, that they can raise
their heads above water, so as to breathe without being seen ;



NATURAL HISTORY, 67

and when disturbed at their huts, they for -greater safety swim
under the surface of the stream or pond to these excavations, in
which, alas for them! they are easily taken by the hunters.

The beaver abounds in the higher latitudes of North America ;
and—if it be indeed the same species—is found also in various
parts of Europe and the north of Asia; as, for example, along
the course of the Rhone, the Danube, and the Weser. It would
appear that at one period it also.existed in Great Britain ; but
when it became extinct cannot now be traced. Its flesh is
delicious; but it is not so much for this, as for its valuable fur,
that a war of merciless extermination is carried on against this
interesting animal,

“ Far in the north if thou sail with me
A wonderful creature I'll show to thee,
As gentle and mild as a lamb at play,
Skipping about in the month of May ;
Yet wise as any old learned sage
Who sits turning over a musty page ;

“Come down to this lonely river’s bank,
See, driven-in stake and riven plank ;
A mighty work before thee stands
That would do no shame to human hands.
A well-built dam to stem the tide .
Of this northern river so strong and wide,

“Look! the woven bough of many a tree, ap
And a wall of fairest masonry ; ;
The waters cannot o’erpass this bound,

For a hundred keen eyes watch it round ;

E2



68

GLEANINGS IN -

dnd the skill that raised can keep it good
Against the peril of storm and flood.

“ And yonder, the peaceable creatures dwell
Secure in their watery citadel ;
They know no sorrow, have done no sin;
Happy they live ‘mongst kith and kin—
As happy as living things can be,
Each in the midst of his family ;
Ay, there they live, and the hunter wild
Seeing their secial natures mild,
Seeing how they are kind and good,
Hath felt his stubborn soul subdued ;
And the very sight of the young at play
Hath put his hunter’s heart away ;
And a mood of pity hath o’er him crept,
As he thought of his own dear babes and wept.?
I know ye are but the beavers small,
Living at peace in your own mud wall ;
I know that ye have no books to teach
The lore that lies within your reach.
But what? - Five thousand years ago
Ye knew as much as now ye know ;
And on the banks of streams that sprung
Forth when the earth itself was young,
Your wondrous works were formed as true ;
For the All-Wise instructed you!
But man ! how hath he pondered on
Through the long term of ages gone ;
And many a cunning book hath writ,

-* A fact.



NATURAL HISTORY. 6¢

Of learning deep and subtle wit ;

Hath compass’d sea, hath compass’d land,
Hath built up towers and temples grand,
Hath travell’ d far for hidden-lore,

And learned what was not known of yore 3
Yet after all, though wise he be,

He hath no better skill than ye!”





40. @LHANINGS IR

SQUIRRELS.

QUIRRELS dre among the most elegant and lively of
quadrupeds ; their bright, beautiful eye, their archness,
and their light and nimble movements, render them general
favourites. “This animal,” says Pennant, “is remarkably neat,
lively, active, and provident ; never leaves its food to chance,
but secures, in some hollow tree, a vast magazine of nuts for
winter provision. In the summer it feeds on the buds and young
shoots, and is particularly fond of those of the fir and pine, and
also of young cones. Its makes its nest of moss and dry
leaves, between the fork of two branches.” White, in his
delightful history of Selborne, mentions a case in which a boy
(a cruel one, we should think) took from their nest three young
squirrels. These he put under the care of a cat, which had
lately lost her kittens, and found that she nursed them with the
same assiduity as if they had been her own offspring. So many
people went to look at the strange scene, that the foster-mother,
becoming jealous fo her charge, and in pain for their safety,
hid them over the ceiling.

In captivity the common squirrel is never at rest ; and it isa
sad sight to look on one of the most agile of creatures condemned
to tread the same unvaried round in a wheel. We should be
sorry to think that any of our dear young readers could be so
unfeeling as to keep one of these active little animals in a cage,



NATURAL HISTORY. stl:

as we have heard of some boys doing, and thus deprive it of
freedom and enjoyment. Rather would we like you to be able
to watch them, as we have often done, springing lightly and





92 GLEANINGS IN

gracefully from branch to. branch of some forest-tree. You
would catch the glance of a bright, black eye, fixed inquiringly
ipon you from beneath the fluttering leaves. Our little favour-
ites are very fond of nuts ; but we should not like young peojle
to crack them as they do. We do remember seeing some chil-
dren crack an almost incredible number of nuts, in a short time,
with their teeth. The practice is a very bad one, and likely, in
its consequences, to be long and painfully felt. We will close
our brief sketch, by quoting a few of some merry verses that
we once read :—

“To the very top of the tall nut-trees
The frost King seem’d to ride ;
With his wand he stirs the chestnut-burrs,
And straight they are open’d wide ;

“ And squirrels and children together dream
Of the coming winter’s hoard ;
And many, I ween, are the chestnuts seen
In hole or in garret stored.

“The children are sleeping in feather-beds,—
Poor Bun in his mossy nest !
fe courts repose, with his tail on his nose; .
On the others, warm blankets rest.

& at & 9

“The squirrel had on, when he first awoke,
All the clothing he could command ;
And his breakfast was light, he just took a bite
Of an acorn that lay at hand :



NATURAL HISTORY. %3

“ And then he was off to the trees to work ;
While the children some time it takes
To dress, and to eat what they think meet
Of coffee and buckwheat cakes.

o & DS 9 2

¢O, there is a heap of chestnuts, see!’
Cried the youngest of the train ;
For they came to a stone where the squirrel had thrown
- What he meant to pick up again.

“And two bright eyes from the tree o’erhead,
Look down at the open bag—
Where the nuts went in ; and so to begin
Almost made his courage flag.

o % 2 2 a

“The work was ended ; the trees were sttipp’d ;
The children were ‘tired of play ;’
And they forgot (but the squirrel did not)
The wrong they had done that day.”



74 - “-GLEANINGS IN

THE IBEX.

HE Ibex, or “wild goat,” is mentioned several times in
Scripture. We are told that Saul “took three thousand
chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his
men upon the rocks of the wild goats.” (1 Sam. xxiv. 2.) The
animal which is here spoken of as inhabiting “the rocks,” has
large knotted horns, reclining backwards ; a small head; large
eyes; a thick, short, strong body; strong legs; very short
hoofs ; and ashort tail. Its body is of a deep brown colour,
with a mixture of whitish hairs ; its belly is of a tawny white ;
and its legs are partly black, partly white. Ibexes are seldom
found, except in the most precipitous and inaccessible heights
of lofty mountains, where they assemble in small flocks, some-
times consisting of ten or twelve individuals. During the night
they feed in the highest woods, but at sunrise they again
ascend the mountains, till they have reached the most perilous
elevations.

These animals are remarkably swift, and display amazing
agility and dexterity in leaping. The men who hunt them must
be able to look down from fearful precipices without terror, and
must be sure-footed, as well as possess great strength and
activity. One danger in hunting the Ibex is, that when closely
pressed, it sometimes turns upon its pursuer, and tumbles hiin
down the precipices, unless he has time to lie down, and permit
the animal to pass over him.



NATURAL HISTORY. 75

These singular creatures will mount an almost perpendicular
rock, fifteen feet in height: in three successive bounds, they
appear just to touch it, and spring off again, like a piece of
indiarubber striking a hard body. Their fore legs being much
shorter than the hinder, enables them to ascend more easily than
descend, and hence, when they are pursued by hunters, they
always try to gain the higher parts of the mountains.




























































































































































































































































































































a
Ns {—————
C2 SS



16 GLEANINGS IN

The Ibex inhabits a chain of mountains in Asia Minor, of
which Mount Taurus forms a part. In Europe it is found on
the Carpathians and Pyrenees, and in the Grisons, and other
parts of the Alps. It is also found among the Sinai mountains,
where it is pursued much in the same manner as it is in the
Alps. The hunters try to get above a flock, and to surprise
them at early day. But it is difficult to get near them, for they
have a leader, who acts as a sentinel, and gives notice on the
occurrence of any suspicious sight, sound, or smell. On the
smallest alarm, the whole flock retreats to a higher peak, leaving
their pursuers to follow them by circuitous and dangerous paths,
which often render the chase in vain.

“The high hills,” said David, “are a refuge for the wild
goats.” When Saul is said to have pursued David into such
places as the Ibex inhabits, we see both the extreme danger of
the future King of Israel, and the eagerness with which his
wicked father-in-law hunted him in order to take his life.

THE SCAPEGOAT.

Tue Day of Atonement was the most important in the
Jewish year. In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus is
set forth the way in which it was to be observed :—“ On the
tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atone-
ment: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall
afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the
Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a
day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the



NATURAL IISTORY. 77

Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be
afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his
people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that
same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever
throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be

unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls.”—
(Ver. 27—32.)













































































































































































































































































































































ne
|



78 GLEANINGS IN

In these verses we see what importance God attached to the
proper observance of the great day of national humiliation, the
only one commanded in the law of Moses.. It was on this occa-
sion only that the high priest was permitted to enter into the
Holy of Holies. The high priest and his family were cleansed,
and sacrifices, purchased at the high priest’s own cost, made on
account of them. Atonement was also made by the purified
priest for the sanctuary and all contained in it. For a sin-
offering in behalf of the people, two young goats, with a ram
for a burnt-offering, were to be paid for out of the public
treasury. When the two goats were presented before the door
of the tabernacle, Aaron was directed to cast lots upon them,
one lot being “for Jehovah,” the other “for Azazel,” or “ the
scapegoat.” The one on which the lot “for Jehovah” had
fallen, was appointed to be slain, and its blood sprinkled before
the Mercy-seat ; on the head of the other the priest was directed
to lay his hands and to confess the sins of the people. The
animal was then led away, by a man chosen for the purpose, into
the wilderness, into “a land not inhabited,” and was there let
loose. ,

Both these goats were types of Christ. The slaying of the
one was intended to represent the death and passion of Jesus
for us; the scapegoat was an emblem of His resurrection for
our deliverance. The goat’s being sent into the wilderness also
signified the removal of sins far away both from the people, and
out of God’s sight. Being neglected by all men, and exposed
to many hazards in the desert to which it was led, the victim
might further signify »ur Lord’s being forsaken both by God



NATURAL HISTORY. 79

and men, even by His own disciples, and the many dangers and
sufferings He underwent. Indeed, the whole of the ceremonies
of the great Day of Atonement pointed to Onz who should in
due time take “ away the sin of the world,” and for whose sake
God would remember the sins and iniquities of the truly penitent
believer in Him no more.

The Jewish Mishna,—a book which professes to explain the
Word of God, and which was written probably in the second
century after Christ,—contains several curious particulars con-
cerning the scapegoat. It is said that the two goats of the
sin-offering’ were to be of the same appearance, size and value.
The lots were at first of boxwood, but in later times they were
of gold. They were put into a little box or urn. Into this the
high priest put both his hands, and took out a lot in each, while
the two goats stood before him, one at. the right side, the other
on the left. The lot in each hand belonged to the goat in the
like position, and when that “for Azazel” happened to be in
the right hand, it was regarded as a good omen. The high
priest then tied a piece of scarlet cloth on the scapegoat’s head,
called the “scarlet-tongue,” from the shape in which it was
cut. One Jewish doctor, very learned in such matters, says that
this was done only to distinguish him, in order that he might be
known when the time came for him to be sent away. The
prayer which the high priest uttered over the head of the goat
is said to have been as follows: “O Lord, the house of Israel,
Thy people, have trespassed, rebelled, and sinned before Thee.
I beseech Thee, O Lord, forgive now their trespasses, rebellions,
end sins which Thy people have committed, as it is written in



80 GLEANINGS IN

the law of Moses, Thy servant, saying that in that day there
shall be ‘an atonement for you to cleanse you, that ye may be
clean from all your sins before the Lord.’” The goat was then
goaded and roughly treated by the people, till it was led away
by the man appointed. As soon as it reached a certain spot,
which was regarded as the commencement of the wilderness, a
signal was by some means made to the high priest, who was
waiting for it, and who then went on with some other cere-
monies. The man who led the goat is said to have taken him
‘9 the top of a high precipice, and thrown him down backwards,
so as to dash him in pieces. It is clear, however, that the animal
was in the earlier period of the Jewish history set free. In
most parts of the wilderness to which it was conducted, it
would find herbage in sufficient abundance to live on: in others,
it is quite possible that the scapegoat would wander, with the
“scarlet tongue” on its forehead, from one rocky height to
another, till hunger, and the ill-treatment it had received, ended
in a miserable death.

Such a victim, bearing away the sins of the people, you see
in the picture. It looks as if ready to lay itself down and dic;
and as you pity its wretched lot, you will not fail to think with
gratitude of that Divine Victim who gave Himself to dic a
cursed death that eternal life might be yours,



NATURAL HISTORY, 8i

THE SHEEP.

HE Sheep is one of the most valuable of our domestic
animals. It thrives in situations and soils on which other
animals would find it difficult to exist; and it affords us a large
supply of food, as well as one of the principal materials of our
clothing. The skin, dressed, forms different parts of our apparel,
and is used for covers of books. The sheep is, in fact, so useful
to man, that from the earliest ages it has been an object of his
- constant care. Two thousand years ago the Romans paid great
attention to their sheep, and the present mode of treating them
in Spain is almost exactly the same as that introduced by those
ancient conquerors of the world.

The varieties of the sheep are numerous, differing in size, the
length of their legs, the size and number of their horns. Some
are covered with hair instead of wool ; others have very large
tails ; and there are seme that have long, hanging ears. The
variety most celebrated for the fineness of its wool is the
Spanish Merino, as improved in Germany; but the English
sheep produce wool in the largest quantity. _The seat of the
Lord Chancellor of England, in the House of Lords, is said to
be so called from its having originally been a large square bag
of wool, without back or arms. Whether the seat ever really
was such a bag we cannot be quite sure, but no doubt the name

Spresents the great importance in which the wool trade was
F



82 GLEANINGS IN

held in the times of our forefathers. There are at the present
time probably not Icss than sixty millions of sheep in England
nnd Wales.

The allusions in Scripture to shepherds and their flocks are
very frequent. The following are only a few of them :—

The sheep naturally delights in a mountainous country. Of
this fact the sacred writers were well aware. Thus, when Moses
tended the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of
Midian, he led them “to the back side of the desert, and came
to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” The prophet Ezekiel,
in a later age, compares the return of Isracl from the land of
their captivity to the return of a flock, after long absence, to
their native mountains. He represents God as graciously say-
ing,-—‘‘ As a shepherd secketh out his flock in the day that he is
among his sheep that are scattered ; so will I seek out My sheep,
and will deliver them out of all places where they have been
scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them
out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and
will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the
mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places
of the country.” (Chap. xxxiv. 12, 13.)

When sheep are alarmed, they forsake the spots where they
have been pasturing, and run together so as to form one close
group. So the prophet Micah warned the people of his time,
when they were terrified by the invasion of hostile armies, and
the cruel devastation of their country, that they should seek
for safety in their cities, as the flocks of Bozrah in their fold
from the attack of the wolf or the lion :—“TI will surely



NATURAL HISTORY. 83

asseinble, O Jacob, all of thee ; I wiil surely gather the remnant
of Israel ; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as
the flock in the midst of their fold.” (Chap. ii. 12.)

This creature’ is neither remarkable for its sagacity, its
strength, nor its swiftness. It is, therefore, exposed to the
attacks of many enemies ; and when deserted by its keeper, no
domestic animal is more wretched and helpless. To the misery
of this destitute condition the writers of the Bible often allude.
“T saw all Israel,” says Micaiah, “scattered upon the hills, as
sheep that have not a shepherd.” (1 Kings xxii. 17.) “Smite
the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” (Zech. xiii. 7.)
And of Jesus it is said, “But when He saw the multitudes, He
was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and
were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matt. .
ix. 36.) Many similar passages will occur, I doubt not, to my
readers. #8

The sheep, again, is prone to wander from its accustomed
pastures ; it is apt, although gregarious,—that is, an animal
whose instinct it is to assemble in flocks,—to separate itself
from its fellows, rambling into distant and dangerous solitudes.
And when it has thus roamed far away from the flock and the
fold, it seems to want the inclination or the skill to return.
How touchingly is this defect used in Scripture to describe the
sad state of those who are without the knowledge of God or
do not obeyhim!” “T have gone astray like a lost sheep ; seek
Thy servant,” says the penitent psalmist. So Isaiah makes
confession for all mankind, “ All we like sheep have gone astray ;
we have turned every one to his own way ; and the Lord hath

Â¥2



8A. GLEANINGS IN





NATURAL HISTORY. 85

laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” So also St. Peter says to
the Christians to whom he was writing, “ For ye were as sheep
going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and
Bishop of your souls.” Such is the condition by nature of all
men. They are prone to wander from God, and are unwilling
to return to Him. Till divine grace enlightens them, they are
without knowledge to discern, or wisdom to secure, the true
interests of their immortal souls.

One of the most beautiful and affecting of the parables of
the Lord Jesus, is the one recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke
about the lost-sheep. The following verses are founded upon
it :—

“The way was rough and dark,
The wind blew bleak and cold,
And I, a foolish lamb,
Had wander’d from the fold.
No shelter could I find,
No place of refuge see,
Until the Shepherd kind
Tn love came after me.

“ He heard my bleatings far
Upon the mountain way,
He knew the barren path :
In which my feet would stray ;
And so this Shepherd kind
Had left the other-sheep,
The wanderer to find =<
And in His safety keep.



86 GLEANINGS IN

“ The pastures sweet and green,

I, in my folly, left

For rugged rocks, of sheen
And verdure all bereft.

But soon the Shepherd’s call
Came ringing soft and clear, -

I heard the Saviour’s voice,
And knew that He was near

“Quickly He stretch’d His arm,

And drew me to His side,

Where, safe from every harm,
In peace I can abide.

This Shepherd, good and true,
Who found me in distress,

Is seeking now for you,
Tn life’s dark wilderness.”

How glad a thing it is to know that “every soul that sheep
may be ;” that every sinner is sought by the great Shepherd,
however long or however far he may have strayed from the
peace and safety of the fold; Jesus seeks you, my dear young
reader, and He will rejoice over you with a great joy, if you
will only surrender to Him your heart. They only will be happy
for ever who foliow Him “ whithersoever He goeth.”



NATURAL HISTORY, 87

THE CAMELOPARD.

HE Guraffe, or camelopard, is a very remarkable quadruped,

belonging to the class of ruminants, or animals that chew
the cud, as the camel, the deer, the sheep, and the goat. Its
body has some likeness to that of the camel ; and the colour of
its skin, being a kind of yellowish white, -spotted with patches
of fawn colour, something like that of a leopard, led to its being
called by the names of both these animals,—camel, leopard. It
further resembles the camel in its manner of kneeling for the
purpose of sleeping, in the length of its neck, and its having
lumps of hardened skin on the lower part of the breast and over
the joints. Its horns, which, in the male’ giraffe, are about a
foot long, are covered by the skin of the head to the tips.
_Measured from the ground to the top of the head, this animal
is from fifteen to seventeen-feet high. The hoofs are rounded,
and cleft, like those of an ox, Its tail is slender, round, and
ended by a tuft three or four inches long. The head of the
giraffe is not unlike that of the horse ; the eyes are large, fine
and brilliant ; the ears, both in length and figure, more resemble
those of the ox. It is a mild, timid, and harmless creature,
choosing dense forests for its home, and feeding on the leaves
and shoots of trees. When it crops grass or herbage, it is not,
as has been supposed, under the necessity of knecling, though
its natural mode of feeding, for which it seems to be especially



88 we - -GLEANINGS IN -

constructed, is by browsing upon trees or shrubs at a great
height from the ground,
This animal is a native of the country lying between Egypt



OK



NATURAL HISTORY. 89

and Ethiopia. It is rare in Abyssinia, and. still more so in
Southern Africa. It is hunted and killed by the natives for the
sake of its large and beautiful skin, as well as for the marrow of
its bones, which is considered by them a great dainty. The
flesh of the young camelopard is said, by travellers, to be an
acceptable article of diet. When pursued, it bounds along with
such rapidity, as to outstrip the fleetest horse. Some have
said that its gait is awkward, and that it is soon exhausted by
its speed. But a traveller called Le Vaillant, who gives an
_ account of his attempt to capture one in Great Namaqualand,
in South Africa, bears a different testimony. After describing
a camelopard as proceeding at a “smart trot,” he says, “ We
galloped after her, and occasionally fired our muskets, but she
gradually gained so much upon us, that, having pursued her for
three hours, we were forced to stop, because our horses were
entirely out of breath, and we lost sight of her.” The next day,
he tells us, he saw five giraffes, to which he gave chase, but
which, after a whole day’s pursuit, he lost sight of as night
came on. During the next. day he fell. in with seven. One of
them he followed on horseback at full speed, but it-left him in
the distance, and was lost to his view; the dogs, however,
resolutely continued the chase, and afterwards brought the
creature to bay. They surrounded it, but did not venture to
make an attack, as it defended itself with vigorous and.rapid
kicks. Inthe meantime, the traveller came up, and killed it by
a shot.

The first giraffe seen alive in England, was sent, in 1827, by
the Pacha of Egypt, as a present to his Majesty George the



50 ; - . GLEANINGS IN’.

Fourth ; another also being sent at the same time to Paris.
These two animals were obtained while young, by some ‘Arabs,
a few days’ journey south of Sennaar, in Nubia, near a moun-
tainous and wooded district, and were fed with camels’ milk.
By command of the Pacha, they were removed by gradual stages
to Cairo, and thence by the Nile, in boats, to Alexandria, whence
they were shipped to their destinations in Eurupe. Several
living giraffes have been since that date brought into this
country.

It is stated that about the end of the fifteenth century the
Soldan, or Sultan, of Egypt-sent a -camelopard-to the famous
Lorenzo di Medici; and that it was familiar to the inhabitants
of Florence, in Italy"; where it was accustomed to walk at ease
about the streets, stretching its long neck into the balconies
and first floors for apples and other fruits, on which it gobelee
to feed. ;

It was well known in ancient Rome. ‘The first specimen
appears to have been exhibited in the time of Julius Cesar ;
several of the Emperors afterwards. exhibited it in the games
and processions ; and one Emperor, Gordian the Third, is said
to have possessed ten at the same time. Its figure also occurs
amongst the drawings made on monuments by the ancient
Rgyptians. It has not hitherto been tamed, so as to be. put
to any useful purpose.



NATURAL HISTORY. ot

THE CAMEL.

HIS interesting animal is one of the most valuable blessings
which the bountiful Creator has- bestowed upon the
‘Oriental nations. Designed by the God of nature to dwell in a
country where it can. find little nourishment, it is: extremely
spare in the whole of its formation. The head is small; the
body covered. with a soft.and rather long hair of a reddish
colour. Its legs and thighs seem to be deprived of every muscle
but such as are wanted for the purpyoses of motion ; and its
withered frame seems furnished only with the vessels and
tendons necessary to hold it together. The camel is provided,
moreover, with a strong jaw, that he may grind the hardest
food ; but, lest he should eat too much, his stomach is con-
tracted, so that, like cows and sheep, he is obliged to chew the
cud. There are two toes on his hoof, which, however, is not
fully divided. He has often to cross deserts of loose and deep
sand, in which a hoof quite divided would have sunk toe fay, :
while the one which he has, being entire in the under part,
enables him to. raove over the surface with more ease. His foot
iy ‘lined with a lump of flesh, which fits him only for a dry,
level, and sandy soil,
Without any sort of defence against his enemies, the camel
is obviously intended for a domesticated state, like that in which
the sheep and some other animals live; but the wise Creator



NGS IN-

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NATURAL I[JISTORY. - 92

quence, voracious creatures, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and
wolves, can have no inducement to prowl. The fugitives from
Babel found this invaluable beast of burden wandering on the
edge of the wilderness, and by its assistance peopled the most
barren regions on the face of the globe. No animal employed by
man for the purposes of traffic equals it in size, in strength, in
activity ; and in docility, patience, and power of endurance, it is
surpassed by none. Like the ass, it is pleased with the coarsest
food, and a very little even of that satisfies its moderate appe-
tite. The labour and fatigue which it is capable of enduring,
on the poorest and scantiest means of subsistence, almost
exceed belief. It will travel four or five days without water ;
whilst half a gallon of beans and barley, or else a few balls
made of the flour, will sustain it awhole day. Before drinking,
it disturbs the water with its feet ; and then, after the manner
of pigeons, takes several successive draughts.

In travelling over the deserts of Arabia, a full-sized camel
will carry a weight of more than a thousand pounds; he
receives this load kneeling, but if his driver lays more on him,
he refuses to rise till the burden is lessened.

This animal has sometimes been yoked to a chariot, and
forced ‘to contend in the race. The Emperor Nero sent to
certain games chariots drawn by four camels; and another
Roman Emperor, Heliogabalus, is reported to have amused
himself in his private circus with chariots. drawn by the same
number. To this custom the prophet Isaiah alludes,.in his
prophecy of the fall of Babylon: “he saw a chariot with a
couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels,”



924. GLEANINGS IN

In time of war, too, these useful creatures have been pressed
imto the service of conflicting hosts; they then groaned under
the cumbrous baggage of Oriental armies, or mingled in the
tumult of battle- Many of-the Amalekites, who burned Ziklag,































THE DROMEDARY,

(1 Samuel xxx. 1) were mounted in this manner, for we are told
(ver. 17) that not a man of the whole army escaped the furious
onset of David, “save four hundred young men, which rode
upon camels, and fled.” The Arabians used to set two warriors
upon each animal, back to back, of whom one opposed. the



NATURAL HISTORY. 93

advancing enemy, and the other repelled the pursuer. All the
Arabians in the army of Xerxes, the ancient historian Herodotus
says, were motinted om camels that equalled in speed the
swiftest horses. The people called Bactrians, from the name of
the province in Persia in which they lived, also fought in the
same manner; and the Parthians, in their wars with the
Romans, threw incessant showers of arrows from their horses
and camels on the legions of their terrible foe.

Mounted on this “Ship of the desert,” as the Arab calls his
camel, the traveller in the East pursues his way over vast and
trackless regions with ease and safety. For his convenience, a
couple of round baskets are slung on cach side with covers,
which hold all his necesgaries, and between which he is seated.
Sometimes two long chairs, like cradles, are hung on each side,
with a covering, in which he may sit, or stretched at his ease, resign
himself to sleep, without interrupting his journey. These covered
baskets, or chairs, are the “ cdmel’s furniture,” where Rachel put
the images which she stole from her father. (Gen. xxxi. 34.)

That species called the DromEpary, is chiefly remarkable for
its swiftness; the Arabs say that “it will run over as much
ground in one day as one of their best horses will do in eight
or ten.” No doubt this is an Oriental exaggeration, but the
prophet Jeremiah had good reason (Jer. ii. 23) to call it the
“swift dromedary.” Dr. Shaw, who travelled much in the East,
had several opportunities of verifying the estimate of the Arabs
in relation to the speed at which their “ships,” can perform a
journey. The Shiek, or chief, who conducted the party to
Mount Sinai, rode a camel of this kind, and would often favour



95 GLEANINGS IN

them with a display of its abilities: “he would leave their
caravan, reconnoitre another just in view, and return to them in
less than a quarter of an hour.” The dromedary has but one
hump on its back ; the common camel. has two.

These creatures are not only of great importance in the East
as beasts of burden, but also as a means of subsistence in the
inhospitable desert. Their flesh and their milk supply their
owner with food, and their hair is woven into stuffs for his
clothing. This hair is not shorn off, but is plucked off about the
time it is naturally shed. It was raiment of this kind that John
the Baptist wore ; made of the shaggy hair of which we have
above spoken,

When a caravan of camels arrives at a resting or baiting
place, they kneel, and the cords sustaining the load being un-
tied, the bales slip down on each side. They generally sleep on
their bellies, crouching beneath the bales they have carried ; the
load is, therefore, easily replaced when they recommence their
journey. Those which are used for speed alone are capable of
travelling sixty or even ninety miles in a day. Instead of
employing blows or ill-treatment to urge them to greater swift-
ness, the camel-drivers sing cheerful songs, and thus induce the
patient beasts to put forth their best efforts.

The animal in the picture seems to carry its burden of young
visitors to the Regent’s park Zoological Gardens very easily. If
it could be consulted, we doubt not its choice would be rather
to be journeying well laden in its own hot, sandy waste, some-
where in Africa or Arabia, than live in our changeful climate,
however carefully housed and attended to by its keepers,



NATURAL HISTORY. 97

DEER.

creatures now present themselves, of graceful form, elastic
step, and animated expression. We see them bounding over

A N elegant writer somewhere says, “A multitude of beautiful



THE REIN-DEERe



98 GLEANINGS IN

the plains and through the forests, in every quarter of the globe,
from the poles to the equator. Congregated in herds, they
wander wild and free ; their very air is that of freedom, and
every action proclaims independence. Their limbs are strong,
slender, and sinewy ; their neck tapering, and swan-like ; their
head small, held high, and garnished, in the males, with antlers.
Such are the stags and deer ; a multitudinous race that compose
the genus Cervus.” Many of ushave seen these beautiful creatures
in large parks, whose noble owners keep them as objects of
interest and to beautify the scene. In some of the royal parks
numbers may be seen browsing beneath the trees, or bounding
along so swiftly as soon to be out of sight. But in many
countries they are hunted for food. This is the case with the
elk or moose-deer ; one of the largest of the deer tribe, but not
by any means so handsome as the smaller ones. He has fine
horns, which do not attain to their perfect shape until the fifth
time of renewal, when the elk is six years old. Some of their
horns have been found to weigh as much as sixty pounds. We
wonder how the animal can support such a weight upon his
head ; but God has given him a short and powerful neck. This
~ enables him to carry the burden with ease. When he is chased
by the hunter, he holds his head so that the horns lie back on
each side of the neck, and thus are prevented from being
entangled among the branches of the forest. The elk is fond of
water, and is a capital swimmer. Its natural food is the tops
of plants and leaves of trees. The flesh and tongue are highly
prized as an article of food by some of the native American
tribes ; while its skin forms excellent leather, from which they



Full Text



The Baldwin Library

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YE

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WY,



NEERS.

THE ELEPHANT.AND THE MUTI

See page 107,
GLEANINGS

IN

NATURAL HESTORY.



LONDON:
T. WOOLMER, 2 CASTLE ST., CITY ROAD, E.C.

AND 66 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C,


CONTENTS.

——007-8300—_—

ANIMALS... ~ PAGE.
ANIMAL INSTINCT 3 ; : : : : 7
YuE GORILLA : : : : 3 : : 7 Seok
Tur Lion , . : ‘ ; ; : 5 ; . 13
MiTMs CAT es eo Sree See seer aes tneets ye ee eoereeee |S

The Cat and the Duck . : ; ‘ 5 : . 22
The Philosopher and the Cat . ‘ : . ‘ . 24
The Cat and the Eagle . : 5 poets ; 20
THE Doe 6 : . . ‘ : . . : . 27
The Shepherd’s Dog ; _ : ; : wots
A Boat’s Crew saved by a Dog 5 : 5 : . 32
The Chicken and Dog. ' , : . 6 . 38d
Mr. Hudson Gurney’s Dog. é , . : . 36
The Firemman’s Dog Bob. : : ; , . 3
Fairplay : : : " 5 . . : . 40
HeDGEHOGS . . ' ; : $3
THE SEAL AND THE WALRUS 5 . z ; ‘ ei
THe WHALE . . . . meee 5 : 5 - 56
THE BEAVER Sees . ° . coats . . 63
SQUIRRELS ee ee ee ee eee 0
THE IBEX. . ; 3 , ; . . . . TA

Mai SCABUGOAT! Se) fe oS se cege en te eer 0,
UDrbo| SOD gg ep OG oO a oe
vi

ANIMALS— Continued.

THE CAMELOPARD
THE CAMEL , .
DEER . «
THe MULE . .

CONTENTS,

THE ELEPHANT AND THE MUTINEERS

THE RHINOCEROS .

BIRDS .

TOE GOLDEN EAGLY
THE OWL ‘
SWALLOWS .

THE KINGFISHER.
THE JACKDAW :

- Sone BIRDS

THE Cuckoo :
THE WooD-PIGEON
THE QUAIL .

THE BLACK OR GREAT OSTRICH .

THE APTERYX ;
STORKS AND HERONS

WATER-FOwL (Ducks)

THE ALBATROSS
THU PELICAN

PAGE.

87
91

. 173

179
185
188
GLEHANINGS

IN

NATURAL HISTORY.



ANIMAL-INSTINCT.

NSTINCT in animals supplies the place which reason occupies
inman. This faculty is stronger in some animals than in
others. For instance, the elephant, the dog, and the horse
possess it in aremarkable degree. An elephant has been known
to remember an insult, or an act of cruelty practised upon him,
and to repay it, with interest, after an incredible number of
years. A horse is said to have distinguished the houses to which
milk was takeit only on certain days, stopping at the right placer.
on the right days as regularly as his master could have done.

A friend was one day walking with a farmer, who was
accompanied by his dog. Suddenly the farmer exclaimed, “1
dropped a marked piece of money in the market-place, just now ;
T will send Rover to fetch it.” The dog was immediately told
to go for it, which he did at once. He was very long in return-
ing ; from, which his master concluded that he had lost his way.
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GLEANINGS I

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NATURAL HISTORY. 9

marked coin was found mixed with the stranger’s money, aud
was returned to the owner ; who declared that it should help to
buy Rover’a handsome collar, as a reward for his sagacity ; the
grazier, also, contributing his share toward so worthy an object.
The monkey, however, in some respects, surpasses all these

in adroitness and cunning, as the following account will show :—
- Some time ago a ship sailed for England from a port in the
West Indies. When just about to heave up the anchor, the
captain took on board four monkeys, which, at times were per-
mitted to wander about the ship at will. He had also procured
a quantity of very fine grapes. These were hung up in his
cabin ; but in some unaccountable way the bunches disappeared
much more quickly than they ought to have done. As monkeys
have ever been a pilfering race, the sly group on board were at
once suspected of having unlawfully possessed themselves of
the fruit. A watch was set for them, but for some time in vain.
The captain, therefore, determined to keep watch himself ; and,
that he might mete out due. punishment to the offenders when
caught, he provided himself with a “rope’s end.” — One morning,
just before the monkeys were Ict out of their cage, he lay down
in his cabin, and pretended to be asleep... No. sooner was he
settled than, bounce! down came the whole party from the deck.
They halted, however, at. the door, as if surprised to find the
cabin occupied. They remained for some time in deep consulta-
tion, various significant movements of the features passing
betweenthem. Atlength’one, more bold than the rest, advanced,
and, mounting the table, warily approached the motionless
captain. After steadfastly regarding him for some time, he at
10 ” G@LEANINGS IN

last slowly lifted his paw, and gently raised the captain’s eyelid,
to see if he really were asleep ; the others eagerly watching the
result of the experiment! The whole thing so amused the
captain, that he laughed loudly. Whereon the whole tribe
scampered back to the deck, having a wholesome dread of the
consequences that might follow the neat invasion of the cabin

in search of grapes.


NATURAL HISTORY, ii

THE GORILLA.

FRENCH traveller in Africa has lately brought home
wonderful stories of monkeys.

He tells us many things we have never heard before, about
the largest and most powerful of monkeys, called the “ Gorilla.”

If any of our young readers can go to the British Museum,
they will see a huge, hairy monster, of immense muscular power,
with a savage, ugly face that is terrible to look at. These
animals live in the thickest woods ; but, when they are dis-
covered, they are as fierce as lions, and roar as loudly, They
eat only berries and vegetables.

Perhaps an account of a baby-gorilla, which was taken alive,
will most interest our dear young people.

This little monkey was found by the hunters, seated on the
ground, not far from its mother, eating berries. They fired at
the mother, and she fell dead. The young one ran up to her,
and embraced her, and hid his face in her bosom. When the
hunters were about to seize them both, the young one climbed a
small tree, and sat roaring at them, They managed to secure
him, but not without receiving two -severe bites. He was a
little fellow, not three years old; but was as fierce as an old
gorilla, He was shut up in a cage ; but neither kindness nor
sternness could fame him. He was called “Joe” He managed,
one day, to force the bars of his cage and escape, and he was
12 GLEANINGS iN



found hid under a bed. He came out into the middle of the
room, and began to look curiously at the furniture. A net was

thrown. over him, and once more he was shut up. His temper
grew worse and worse, and again he escaped ; at last he was
chained up: it took an hour.to do this. Ten days after, he died.

The only thing we can possibly like in Mister “Joe” was his
love to his mother. Even this little savage showed signs of
sorrow at her sad death. —
NATURAL HISTORY















































































































































































































































































































































































THE LION.

MONG the beasts of prey, the first place is due to the lion.

He is the most powerful, daring, and noble-Jooking of -all
carnivorous, that is, flesh-eating; animals. Only the Indian
tiger can be compared with him, One full-grown of the
14 GLEANINGS IN’

Asiatic kind, weighs above four hundred and fifty pounds, and
those of Africa often above five hundred pounds. It is said
that a single stroke of his paw is sufficient to break the back of _
a horse, and that one sweep of his tail will throw a strong man
to the ground. The grasp of his claws, which cut four inches
in depth, is such as to crush the backbone of an ox. He has
huge jagged teeth, worked by powerful jaws ; while his tongue,
which is entirely covered with horny prickles, is so hard, that it
alone is sufficient to tear the flesh and skin without the aid of
either teeth or claws.

In Asia, the lion rarely measures more than nine feet anda
half from the nose to the end of the tail; but the African
species is considerably larger, and is supplied with a much
greater quantity of mane. His roaring, when in quest of prey,
resembles the sound of distant thunder; and, being re-echoed
by the rocks and mountains among which he roams, terrifies all
other animals, and puts them to flight. Sometimes his voice is
that of a hideous scream or yell. ‘“ When the lion roars,” says
a traveller, who saw many of them in South Africa, “the beasts
of the forests can do nothing but quake; they are afraid to lie
still in their dens, lest he spring upon them ; and equally afraid
to run, lest, in attempting to escape, they should také the
direction in which he is prowling, and throw themselves into
the jaws of their adversary.” It is when seeking food for their
young that these powerful creatures are most to be dreaded ;
they then attack man or beast without fear. At other times
they will bear hunger’a long time, and will occasionally feed on
carcases which they find,. They live to more than fifty years,
NATURAL HISTORY. 15

This noble animal is often spoken of in Scripture, and
supplies the sacred writers with some of their loftiest and most
impressive imagery. Its courage is noted by the prophet
Nahum: “ Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding-
place of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion walked

. and none made them afraid?” Moses thus alludes to his
fierceness: “Gad . .. dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm
with the crown of the head.” His firm and majestic movements,
except when he rushes on some hapless victim, are spoken of in
the Book of Proverbs: “There be three things which go well,
yea, four are comely in going: a lion, which is strongest among
beasts, and turneth not away for any ; a greyhound ; an he-
goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up.”

The universal fear which the roaring of the king of the
forest produces, is noticed by the prophet Amos: “The lion
hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who
can but prophesy?” The manner in which the inspired writers
speak of the lion’s mouth, would naturally lead to the conclusion
that it is formed to strike a beholder with terror. ‘“ Deliver
me,” says David, “from the mouth of the lion.” My God
hath sent His angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they _
have not hurt me,” is the grateful exclamation of Daniel to
King Darius, after his great deliverance in the den.

The powerful paw, of which we havé above spoken, is in
Scripture called his hand, and is represented as being not less
formidable than his teeth. The king of Persia made a decree, .
commanding his subjects to fear the living God, “who: hatli
delivered Daniel from the power,”:or hand, as you read in the
16 GLEANINGS IN

margin, “of the lions.”. The-Greek writers also familiarly speak
of the lion’s “hand,” by which they mean his fore-foot.

He is a solitary animal, and fixes his abode in the woods and
mountains, far from the dwellings of men.. In the pursuit of
his prey he will not admit the company even of his mate. This
unsocial disposition is.often marked in the Sacred Volume.
Thus Jeremiah threatens the degenerate nobles of -Judah,
“ Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them ;”
asks, “ Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey ?”
Like other wild beasts, he slumbers in his covert during the
day, that he may return with fresh vigour to the chase at night.
To this the Psalmist alludes :. “Thou makest darkness, and it is
night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The
young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them
down in their dens.

Although the lion is the terror of the forest, and has been
known to scatter destruction over many a fair region in the
East,.yet he is often compelled to yield to the superior powers
and skill of man. When a young lion roared against Samson,
on his journey to Timnath, “the Spirit of the Lord came
mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a
kid, and he had nothing in his hand.” So David slew “both
the lion and the bear” that attacked the flock of sheep which he
was watching. We are told, too, that Benaiah, the son of
Jehoiada, “went down ... and slewa_lion in the midst of a pit
in time of snow.”

These are a few of the allusions made in the Bible to this

and Amos
NATURAL HISTORY. 17

animal. It would take up many pages to mention all the pas-
sages in which, in its various stages of existence,—the whelp,
the young lion, the old lion, the lioness,—it is spoken of. They
show that though these animals are not now found in Palestine,
the ancient Jews must have been quite familiar with them.
They still abound on the banks of the Euphrates, between
Bussorah and Bagdad, and in the marshes and jungles near the
rivers of Babylonia.

I will now only further remind you that the lion is also in
Scripture a symbol of our exalted and blessed Redeemer. He
was indeed a gentle Lamb in His sufferings and death, but He
became “ The lion of the tribe of Judah’’ when he burst asunder
the bands of death ; when He forced open the grave’s devouring
mouth, and returned “on high” to His Father, leading “ cap-
tivity captive,”—a Conqueror over all the powers of evil men
and wicked spirits. So Joel speaks: “The Lord also shall roar
out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the
heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the
hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
This is an allusion to the sounding forth of the Gospel, which
commenced at Jerusalem a few days after our Lord’s ascension.
All who now obey the invitation of God’s mercy, as set forth
by the Cross will hereafter listen to the voice of Jesus, not
terrifying as that of an angry lion, but gentle as that of a
friend who welcomes them to His rest and glory in heaven for
ever,
18 NATURAL HISTORY.

THE CAT.

HE cat is a well-known domesticated, carnivorous (that is,

Jlesh-eating) animal, whose attachment is said by many to
be rather to the dwellings, than to the persons of her friends.
Her conduct in this respect is very different from that of the
dog. The attachment of the latter to man is not affected by
changes of place or situation. Pussy’s youthful sportiveness,
her beautiful fur, and her quictness of manner when she grows
a little old, dispose us to regard her with kindness. But attempts
to cultivate her good dispositions often meet with but slight
success. She is capable of showing considerable fondness for a
person, yet never seems quite to confide even in those who treat
her well. When hurt, or much alarmed, she is ready to attack
her best friend with as much fury as a stranger.

At what period cats became inmates of human habitations
itisnot possible to say. Very likely their usefulness in destroy-
ing rats, mice, and other small noxious animals, first brought
them into notice. It is mentioned by Herodotus, who is called
the “ father of historians,” in his account of Egypt. He speaks
of cats as destroying the vermin which infested human dwell-
ings, and states some of the strange superstitions which the
Egyptians held with regard to them.

The domestic cat belongs to-a class of quadrupeds better
armed for the destruction of animal life than any other, Its
GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY, 19

short and powerful jaws, which are moved by strong muscles,
are supplied with formidable teeth. It often pursues its prey by
night, and with much patience and cunning. Its keen claws,
which are concealed when not in use, enable it to inflict a death-
blow on its victims with certainty and ease, It lies in ambush,
seizes a mouse or a bird with a sudden leap, and plays with its
captives before putting them to death. The food of the cats
which we keep in our houses is necessarily very various, but they
prefer flesh or fish, if it can be obtained. A desire for fish is
the strongest temptation that a cat can be exposed to. It is
fond of the odour of certain herbs, such as “catnip,” or “ cat-
mint,” and valerian ; the smell of the latter is said to throw
puss into an ecstasy of pleasure.

Both the lion and the tiger are considered animals of the cat
kind. The likeness between: the tiger and the cat is, indecd.
perceived at a glance. When little children first see tigers in a
zoological garden, they often call them great cats; and it is
well-known that in their native forests, tigers purr exactly as
their domestic kindred do at cur firesides. Both have the habit
of growling over their prey before they begin to devour it.

Cats have in several instances become celebrated in history,
It is said that in ancient times Cambyses took a city. by furnish-
ing each of his soldiers with a live cat instead of a buckler, as
the Egyptian garrison, rather than injure the creatures. which
they venerated, suffered themselves to be conquered. Mahomet
is.reported to have had a favourite cat, which used to lie upon
one of the long, loose sleeves of his robe, when he sat meditat-
ing.. One day, being suddenly called upon to quell a. revolt, he
B2
29 GLEANINGS IN





seized a pair of scissors and cut off a portion of his sleeve
rather than disturb the sleeping favourite. A large hospital for
eats is said to have been built at Damascus in honour of this
pet of Mahomet.

There are several kinds of cats. That called the wild-cat is
NATURAL HISTORY. 2h

quite distinct from the domesticated animal, being larger and
more powerful, and of a different internal structure. There is
the Persian cat, which has long silky gray hair, dark on the back,
but softening into white under the body. The next in beauty to
the Persian, is the cat of Angora, which has fine silky hair,
particularly long on the tail. The Chinese variety has long
glossy hair, but its colour is tortoiseshell, and it differs from all
other species in having hanging ears. All these cats with long
hair are now rare in England, though they are sometimes met
with in France. In England, however, there are many varieties,
the most beautiful of which is the one called “ tortoiseshell,”
because of its black, white, and reddish-orange colour. Another
variety of the British cat is black ; and another is white. The
white are generally very delicate, apt to take cold, and liable to
diseases. They are also said to be frequently deaf. There is a
kind of tailless cats in the Isle of Man, and also in Devonshire,
but it does not appear that they differ in other respects from the
common kind.

“The attitudes and motions of the cat,’ says an eminent
naturalist “are all of great elegance. Her legs are of singular
strength and flexibility, in consequence of her being furnished
with collar-bones ; she can, therefore, convey food to her mouth
by her paw like a monkey, She can also climb, strike sideways,
toss her prey upwards, and seat herself safely on an eminence,
‘in confined and narrow situations, such as the arm of an elbow-
chair, or the ledge of a window. The great suppleness of her
body enables her to swing herself from branch to branch of a
tree ; and by her power of clasping and holding with her claws,
22 GLEANINGS IN

‘she caz. cling firmly to any object to which she wishes to attach
-herself.”

A striking instance of the personal attachment of which
these animals are capable, was displayed by a cat belonging to
a lady called Madame Helvetius. This creature used continually
to lie at the feet of her mistress, seemingly ready to defend her.
It would never take food from any other hand than hers ; would
not allow any one else to caress it ; and would never touch any
of the birds which she kept. It would fetch anything that was
wanted, in its mouth, like a dog. During the last illness of
Madame Helvetius, this poor animal rarely quitted her chamber ;
-and though it was removed after her death, it made its way
back the next morning, slowly and mournfully pacing over the
hed, its mistress’s favourite chair, and her toilette-table, crying
piteously all the time. Two or three days after the funeral, the
faithful cat was found stretched on the grave, quite dead, having
apparently died from the excess of its grief. This little history
goes far to show that cats are sometimes quite as much attached
-4o persons, as to the houses in which they are sheltered and fed.

THE CAT AND THE DUCK.

Wn heard a curious tale which ought to be listened to from
the lips of the good woman, a Scotchwoman who told it ; for her
broad Scotch dialect would make it still more interesting.

A lay of eggs was provided for one of the hens, but amongst
them unknowingly a duck’s egg had been placed. It takes, it
seems, a week longer to hatch a duck’s egg than those of the
hen, consequently the chicks took off the attention of the hen a
NATURAL HISTORY. 23




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WH

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fu



























day or two before the shell of the duck burst. From this inat-
tention it, at length, came forth a wee, sickly bird, and was
supposed to have little life to contend with its lively neighbours.
The mistress, finding little warmth in it, took it in her hand, and
held it towards the fire. Now, there happened to be a family of
kittens just receiving the devoted attention of their mother, and
the little duck was dropped among _them, and in turn received

the reviving operation of the cat’s warm tongue. By spoon-
feeding it thrived ; and although it came in for a good.share of
tumbling, through its gamboling neighbours, it received even a
24 GLEANINGS IN

greater share of the cat’s attention. If a mouse was brought in
by her to amuse her progeny, the duck had the first chance of a
race for it ; the peculiar mew, which at such times, to the car
acquainted with the sounds cats make, appears so tender, was
lavished on duck as well as on kitten ; and the rough “ quack,
quack,” was proof that it was duly appreciated; and so the
duck, and the cat, and the kittens grew up in harmony.

































THE PHILOSOPHER AND THE CAT.

I once (says.a French writer) saw a lecturer upon experi-
NATURAL [ISTORY. 20

mental philosophy place a cat under the glass receive: of an
air-pump, for the purpose of demonstrating that life cannot
be supported without air and respiration. The lecturer had
already made several strokes with the piston, in order to exhaust
the receiver of its air, when the cat, beginning to feel herself
very uncomfortable in the rarefied atmosphere, was fortunate
enough to discover the source from whence her uneasiness pro-
ceeded. She placed her paw upon the hole through which the
air escaped, and thus prevented any more from passing out of
the receiver. All the exertions of the philosopher were now
unavailing ; in vain he drew the piston ; the cat’s paw effectually
prevented its operation. Hoping to effect his purpose, he again
let air into the receiver, which, as soon as the cat perceived, she
withdrew her paw from the aperture; but whenever he at-
tempted to exhaust the receiver, she applied her paw as before.
The spectators clapped their. hands in admiration of the cat’s
sagacity ; and the lecturer was compelled to remove her, and
substitute another cat who possessed less penetration for the
cruel experiment.

TUL CAT AND THE EAGLE.

Onu of those eagles with which the more northern parts of
Scotland abound, was observed to alight in his downward course,
in’ the vicinity of a farmyard, and in a few moments, the king
of the birds was again beheld ascending, having made captive a
fine but unlucky cat, and was in the act of conveying poor Grim-
alkin to his eyry. The suddenness of the capture, and her present
unusually perilous situation, rendered poor puss for some time a
26 GLEANINGS IN



att INKY

Ay" iN

passive prisoner. This, however, did not continue long. The
cagle appeared, to the spectators, to betray symptoms of un-.
easiness ; for puss hdd extricated herself from the claws of the -
victor, and was now the aggressor, and seizing the bird. by the
throat, inflicted some deadly wounds on the neck and héad of
the eagle, which caused it to descend to the earth, lifeless.

Pussy was uninjured, and, after looking round, and giving
herself a shake or two, returned to her former haunts.
NATURAL HISTORY. 27

THE DOG.
THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.

O no animal is mankind more indebted for its fidelity and

affection than to the dog. Wherever civilized man inay
go, the dog is invariably found to go with him, and it proves
itself useful in all parts of the world. It is, however, only in
temperate climates that it preserves many of its valuable
qualities. Naturalists divide dogs into several classes :—1i.
Mastif’s, including the dog of New Holland, the Danish-dog,
and the varieties of greyhound. 2. The spaniels, including the
spaniel and its varieties, the water-dog, the wolf-dog, the Siberian
dog, the shepherd’s dog, and the alco (or, Peruvian dog.) 3.
Bull-dogs, consisting of the bull-dog and its varieties, the house-
dog, the turnspit, the pug, and others.

One of the most useful varieties of this animal is the shep-
herd’s dog. This is distinguished by its upright ears, and the
shagginess of the under part of itstail. It is the most valuable
of farm-dogs. In the northern part of Scotland, where this
species is found in.its greatest purity, its aidis highly necessary
in managing the numerous flocks of sheep which are kept in
thosé extensive wilds. The dog prevents the sheep from
straggling, and helps the shepherd to conduct them from one
‘part of the moors to another ; and will not allow strange sheep
to mix with them. When a flock is driven to a distance, the
watchful “ colley ” keeps them in the road, watches every cross-
28 GLEANINGS IN

way where they would be likely to go astray ; and, pursuing
every straggler, drives it back to the flock. When the shepherd
gives a signal, “ Rover” will bring a whole flock to him from a
considerable distance. We have frequently seen sheep conducted
through the crowded streets of London, and have often won-
dered whether the man in charge of them or his dog showed the
greatest skill in. the accomplishment of so difficult a task. At
all events, the driver, one is ready to think, would be almost
helpless without his four-footed companion.

The following simple poem records an instance of the
remarkable sagacity possessed by this animal. The occurrence
which it relates took place in the Scottish Highlands many years
ago, and well deserves to be remembered.

‘Tyas in the pleasant month of June,
When hill and valley glows

With purple heath and golden whin,
White thorn and crimson rose ;

When balmy -dews fall soft and sweet,
And linger half the day,

Until the sun, with noontide heat,
Scarce clears them all away.

Near to a mountain high and wild,
A shepherd tended sheep,
And took with him his little child,
Up to a craggy steep.
The father and his darling boy
Lay dreaming on the hill’:
NATURAL HISTORY. g



Above them all was light and joy ;
Around them all was still,
30

GLEANINGS IN

When, hark! alow and distant sound

_ Of storm broke on their ear ;

He quick arose, and soon he found
Thick mists were gathering near.

The shepherd knew the storm might last
Through all the day till night,

And fear’d his sheep, amid the blast,
Might stray far in their fright.

He kiss’d, and charged his boy to stay
Close to the shelt’ring steep ;

And, with his dog, he hied away,
To gather in his sheep.

An hour had scarcely pass’d, when back
To the same spot he came ;

Call’d on his boy, while rock to rock
Loud echoed back his name.

No voice, no trace, no track was there !
He search’d, he call’d in vain.

Then home he ran in wild despair,
That he some help might gain.

Then came his friends and neighbours round

~ They climb’d the rocky height ;

The child they sought could not be found,
Although they search’d all night.

Three days and nights they still sought. on ;
Their efforts.all were vain; . :
NATURAL HISTORY. dl

The shepherd’s son was surely gone—
Would ne’er be seen again.

Meantime, the shaggy dog was seen,
When given its daily cake,

With all the bread his teeth between,
The hill-side road to take.

The shepherd, wond’ring what this meant,
His son still in his mind,

Follow’d the dog one morning, bent
To see what he could find.

Now look! far up yon stony crag,
The dog in haste is gone ;

Then gives his tail a merry wag:
The shepherd, too, went on.

A rocky ledge at length he gain’d ;
His heart beat high with joy ;

For lo! a cave above contain’d,
All safe, his darling boy.

The bread the hungry infant took ;
The dog sat at his feet :

The cake in two the child quick hioke,
And then they both did eat.

Such feasts of love are seldom seen
In gay and festal halls,

As this poor shepherd saw within
That cavern’s rocky walls,
82 GLEANINGS IN



















































































































































































































aa

Sal estat
STA
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A BOAT’S CREW SAVED BY A DOG.*

THE women weep, the children wail,
Scarce knowing why ;

* This dog was a noble fellow of the Newfoundland breed,
NATURAL HISTORY. 33

And men are watching (fix’d and pale)
A fishing-smack with dripping sail,
Now rolling nigh.

The surf leaps high upon the shore
In cruel sport ;
The wild winds ‘in the caverns roar ;
The weary fishers ply the oar
To gain the port.
The breakers crash, the sea-gulls screech :
- “No hope! No hope!” ©
How is that fragile boat to reach,
Across such surf, the shingly beach ?
“© for a rope!”

"Tig vain.. The boldest and the best
Turn back in fear:

The strongest swimmer dare not breast

Those breakers with the foamy crest ;
‘For life is dear.

The surf leaps high upon the shore,
So high! So high!

The boat obeys her helm no more,

The weary crew lay down the oar
To die! To die!

Nay! man may fail, though wise and strong °
Yet God can save.

A brave dog dashes from the throng,

co)
34

GLEANINGS IN

And throws his shaggy length along
The boiling wave.

The billows suck him in. Ah me!
“Not lost ! Not lost!”

Light as a buoy upriseth he,

And, battling with the greedy sca,
The surf hath cross’d.

No strange caprice, no desperate whim,
No senseless hope! _
Round, round the boat they see him swim,
With pleading eye and struggling limb,
“Pling him a rope!”
He grasps the hawser with his teeth.
- His suit is won ;
Back, back, through surf and foamy wreath,
Through ’whelming surge, for life or death :
His task is done.
The rope is strong, the hands are stout:
“ Ahoy! Ahoy!”
Like fragile shell, the trembling boat,
Is haul’d ashore, with cheer and shout,
And breathless joy !
Then women’s tears of happiness
With praises blend ;
And old men lift their hands and bless,
And strong men fondle and caress,
Their shagey friend.
NATURAL HISTORY. 35



THE CHICKEN AND DOG.

In past times, foxes were much preserved, and made con
siderable havoc with the hens that strayed from the houses
appropriated to them. One hen was a determined truant ; it was
most singular that she was not destroyed, as well as her nest
of eggs; but, having been a kitchen pet, she, perhaps, sought
succour of the old rough dog. “Instinct, I suppose, led her to
try his house for a nest; and when he was stretched out in
the sun, she hopped in, and deposited her egg in his kennel.

Now there was no room in the kennel for two families ; co

C2
36 . GLEANINGS IN

when she came forth, and had told her secret by the usual
cackle, the dog very cautiously crept in, and most carefully
taking the egg in his mouth, he backed out without even turning
round, and going to the extremity of the chain, deposited it
safely on the ground before the house. ‘The position of the eggs
for two following days caused observation ; and, discovering
himself watched upon the third morning, he found himself
rewarded by an extra bone from the good mistress.

MR, HUDSON GURNEY’S DOG.

Tus touching tale, was told by a friend of the late Mr.
Hudson Gurney. He says.:—“ One morning I was sitting on
business with Mr. Gumey, when I heard a pattering of feet
behind, and the door silently opened. I turned to see who was
listening to us, and the Newfoundland dog quietly entered the
room, and, standing in the centre, looked on me coldly, and on
his master kindly. ‘This,’ said Mr. Hudson, ‘is one of my most
faithful friends; he has come to pay me his usual morning
visit.. Turning to the dog he continued, ‘I’m a little better
to-day, but not much ; one morning you will miss me: I shall
be dead.’ The dog, as though endowed with human instinct,
» gave a. low.moan, and advancing to his master, placed his huge
paw, with. a gentleness that would hardly have crushed a fly,
on Mr. Gurney’s knee; that done, he raised himself om his hind
‘legs, and placed the other on Mr. Gurney’s shoulder, and, licking
his face, seemed to pat him on his back with an expression of
countenance which almost said, ‘Come, come, don’t be down:
hearted! ‘You are very-bad, but you'll get better by-and-by.
NATURAL HISTORY. £7

JAY
COND,

Stas
WN :



ith i My id Ss BSS
Mr. Gumey perfectly understood lim, since he replied, ‘It’s no
use; I tell you I shall die!’ The dog moaned again. ‘And
now,’ continued the owner of Keswick, ‘you must go; for I
am busy with this gentleman.’ The dog looked at his master,
then at me, and then silently quitted the room. A month or co
after, Mr, Gurney was a corpse.”
38 . GLEANINGS IN

THE FIREMEN’S DOG, BOB.

A FEW years ago, it was no uncommon sight in London
streets to see a dog rushing before the fire engine, and, by his
barking, helping in some measure to clear the way. Bob, as he
was called, belonged to one of the stations, and became so
accustomed to this peculiar calling that as soon as the fire-bell
sounded he hastened to the street and waited most impatiently
for the horsing of the engine, the mounting of the men, and the
hurried start.

“ ¥es, he loves those trampling horses,
Dashing on with steady power,
Husting to the place of danger,

And he clears the way before.”
He was much loved by all the men of the fire brigade, and many
interesting stories are told of his remarkable instinct, and he has
left an example from which we might take some valuable
lessons.

At one fire he was the means of saving the life of a little
girl, It was supposed that all those who were in the burning
house had been rescued. Bob was not to be seen, but above
the crackling of burning timbers, the splashing of the water as
it leaped into the fiery vortex, and the shouts of the crowd, the
men heard the barking of their faithful companion. With some
difficulty they managed to reach the place and found Bob outside
a door to which he did what he could to direct their attention. ©
The door was soon knocked in, when a little girl was found
standing in childish terror, and was safely brought into the
street, Bob licks the little girl as if to express the pleasure he
NATURAL HISTORY. £9



felt in being thus able to save her life, and as if certain that no
other lives are in danger lies dovn to rest. Well done, brave
Bob!
40° GLEANINGS IN

At another fire, when it was known that all the persons had
been rescued, Bob was secn to rush forward and enter the
building, much to the sorrow of the men who were afraid that
they should lose their old friend. They watched anxiously for
him, when he was seen to emerge from the burning house,
carrying in his mouth a poor tabby cat,—

“Conquering prejudice and passion—
What could man himself do more ?

“0, good Bob; he had his mission
In our selfish world of crime ;
Teaching virtue by example,
Unto this and future time.”
Brave Bob met his death whilst in the path of duty ; he was

knocked down and killed whilst hasting to a fire.

FAIR-PLAY.

“Fir him when he’s down,” we have heard some unthinking
people say.: But that is not fair ; indeed, it is best not to hit at
all, up or down, if you can avoid it.

There are many people, both boys and men, who are very
cowardly, and who do not dare to try to hurt the people who are
not down, but always kick the falling, and hit those the hardest ©
who are badly off.

Such people are like some dogs I have read oe ;—a family of
terriers who were all very good friends with each other, and with
two big -rough-haired deer-hounds. © In-doors they were all
allowed to go into the parlour, and some of them got on chairs,
some in the corners, some on the hearth-rug ; but all as near the
fire as they could, There they lay, blinking at the blaze, full of
NATURAL HISTORY: 4i













es

H AW: 3
MW KES BSS WaVe~
pS

WBA?

content,—neyer fighting. Out of doors they made sad: havoc
amongst the hares and rabbits, when they went with -their
master in his rambles in the woods. As long as there was any-
42 LEANINGS IN

thing to run down, they were all of one mind. If one dog
started a hare or a rabbit, he yelped vigorously, and helter-skelter
away the whole pack scampered after him. But one fine day
one of the terriers trodi in a trap, and made music in a new key.
Off ran master and dogs... The first dog that came up forthwith
fell on the unfortunate *young=one in the trap, and began to
worry him. Then came the“6fhers, and at once there was a
battle royal, so that the master had to use his ash stick freely
about him before he could scatter them. The captive was not
much hurt, but went on as did the others, as though it was ali
right, and only to be expected that when one dog is down, that
is the time for other dogs to worry, and for himself to be



“=~ worried,

Children should be much wiser and better than dogs. They -
should pity those who have got into trouble; they should not
attack the defenceless, but rather be glad to help and do them
good.

Boys? when “he’s down,” don’t hit him ; but take sides with
them who have no friends.
NATURAL HISTORY, 43

HEDGEHOGS.

NE of my early friends was a hedgehog. He wasa solemn
sort of animal, somewhat advanced in life, when I was a
very small boy, who had to learn from him that if we touch
bristles they will prick. Most likely that old playmate is dead,
and no one has written his life ; but as all hedgehogs are alike,
what I write about the genus will describe him, because there is
very little distinctive about any one of them in particular.
They have no kings, as men have; they write no books ; they
get themselves no individual character ; they are just hedgehogs,
and nothing more. Their bodies are covered with spines ; not
with hair, like so many other quadrupeds. The skin of their
backs has muscles, by which they are able to roll themselves up
like a ball; they have short one-inch tails, and feet with five
toes ; their nose is long, and their nostrils on each side furnished
with a loose flap ; their ears are dark, short, round, and naked ;
and part of their face and sides are covered with strong, coarse
hair ; so that it would be too flattering to say they are beautiful.
They often live in small thickets ; they eat fruit that they
find on the ground, and insects, and roots. They have not by
any means a delicate stomach, for they can, and do, eat hundreds
of Spanish flies without any pain ; while if a dog or cat ate
one, it would suffer horrible torment.
Some people tame hedgehogs, and keep them in their houses,
Ad. GLEANINGS IN

My old friend was of that sort ; he worked for his living, being
employed as domestic cockroach killer, and he seemed to thrive
well in his situation.

But favour me by looking at the picture again. I say again,
because I know well enough you looked at the picture before
you read two lines of. what I have written. Well, you sce there
are two dogs and a-rolled-up hedgehog. And the case is this:
these dogs have been oul a. pleasure, and seeing a hedgehog
they have given it chas



they expected to be rewarded fo:





















their race by worrying the poor euimal ; but now they get up to
it they are wofully disappointed, because, knowing its danger,
the hedgehog has wrapped itself up within itself, and put out
its bristles, so that the soft-mouthed dogs dare not touch it.
This pretty picture makes me think of many things besides
dogs and hedgehogs. I have often seen the same sort of thing
amongst boys and men. They have pursued some pleasure,
expected some delight, spent much time about it, and after all,
NATURAL HISTORY. 45

have been disappointed. It was covered all over with bristles,
and to have touched it would have pricked them.



Some of our companions have been rather Jike that living
ball. They were pleasant enough to begin with ; they played
46 GLEANINGS IN

without quarrelling ; talked without snarling; walked about
with us lovingly ; when all at once they rolled themselves
up, put out their spikes, and there. was no pleasing them, and
no getting close to them. I am afraid, too, that if some of
them wrote our lives with woodcuts, they might borrow this
picture, and say that illustrates our occasional characteristic.
With our friends, who only mean well to us, and wish to be
playful, it is not good to be too much like the hedgehog,—very
skilful in raising- points ; but when bad people come to us, and
when people want to worry us and do us harm: hunt us away
from our homes and our purity, from our schools and our
chapels, I think we cannot do better than imitate the hedgehog,
—put out all d do not let them touch us. There
is no doubt when Godamade this animal, and gave it power to do
as is represented in the picture, He intended it to use that power
in self-defence ; and when He gave us a mind by which to choose
good instead of evil, and a tongue with which to say “Nol” if
asked to sin, He intended us to declare our choice of the good.
So, dear children, do not bristle up, and get into naughty
tempers, when your companions wish to be loving and playful,
or your parents require of you what they decide to be best ; do,




then, not imitate the hedgehog.

But if you are tempted to do wrong, to tell lies, to swear, to
steal, to play truant, or to be mean, then put out your defence
against all such temptations ; make it hard for them to get at
you. Be like the hedgehog, guarded all over ; so that tempters
may say, it is not very easy to handle those children ; and they
may be disappointed like the two dogs in the picture.
NATURAL IISTORY. 47

THE SEAL AND THE WALRUS.

EALS are a tribe of flesh-eating animals, that live at their

pleasure on the land or in the water. In their construction
they exhibit a beautiful example of the adaptation of living
creatures to the station appointed them by their Creator. While
the rest of the great family to which they belong are confined
to the land, on which they find their prey, the species of which
the seal is a member are natives of the water, where they pursue
fishes and other marine creatures as their food. Their limbs are
short, and so inclosed in their skin as to; ive them the power of
creeping only, and that with great awkwardness, when they
move from place to place on the land; but as their feet are
webbed, they serve admirably the purpose of oars ; and such is
their natural use. In fact, these animals pass a great portion
of their life in the sea, only coming occasionally on shore to
bask in the sun, or to suckle their young. In form, their body
is long and tapering ; the spine very flexible, and provided with
rouscles, which bend it with great force. Their fur is smooth
and close, lying against the skin.

The teeth of the seal show that its proper food is flesh.
The feet have five toes ; on the fore feet these diminish gradu-
ally from what is called the “thumb” to the last ; but on the
hind feet, the “thumb” and the last are the longest. The tail,
which is short, is placed between the hind paws or “flippers,”
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which are directed backwards. The head resembles that of a
short-muzzled dog, and has an expression of great intelligence
NATURAL HISTORY. 49

and mildness, agreeing with its actual’ character ; for the Seal
is easily tamed, and becomes much attached to its master. The
tongue is smooth ; the nostrils are furnished with a kind of
valve, which is shut when the animal dives; the ears, which
open behind the eyes, are also capable of being closed, so as to
prevent the entrance of water.

The Common Sau inhabits the rocky coasts of Scotland and
Ireland, and is abundant along the northern shores of Europe
and America ; and either the same species, or one very like it, is
found in the Caspian Sea, and in the fresh-water lakes of Russia
and Siberia. Its usual length is about five feet: its colour
yellowish grey, dappled with brown and yellow ; the lips are
furnished with long, stiff whiskers; and it has no outward
ears.

The seal is gregarious—that is, living in herds—in its habits.
Tt frequents the deep recesses and caverns on the shores of
northern seas, where during winter it brings up its young. The
female takes its cubs, which are usually two, into the water,
and displays great solicitude for their safety ; she teaches them
to swim and pursue the fish on which they prey, and when they
‘are tired, carries them on her back. ?

From the nature of its food, it has a fishy smell; and it is
said that when collected in numbers on the shore, the odour can
be perceived at a considerable distance. Its voice when old is
a hoarse, gruff bark ; when young, a plaintive whine.

To the Esquimaux and Greenlanders this animal is of the
utmost importance ; indeed their main subsistence may be said
to depend upon their success in capturing it. Its pursuit is

D
60 GLEANINGS IN

therefore with them a serious occupation. In his boat, or
kajak, which consists of the skin of the seal stretched over a
slight framework of wood, the Greenlander in his seal-skin dress
braves the violence of the northern seas, and every peril of the
deep, in the ardour of the chase.

“There, tumbling in their seal-skin boat,
Fenvless, the hungry fishers float,
And from teeming seas supply
The food their niggard plains deny.”

The flesh of this creature, says a naturalist named Crantz,
“ supplies the natives with their most palatable and substantial
articles of dict. The fat furnishes them with oil for lamp-light,
chamber and kitchen fire ; and whoever sees their habitations,
presently finds that even if they had an abundance of wood, it
would not be of much use; they can use nothing but train-oil
in their habitations. They also soften their dry food, mostly
fish, in the oil; and, finally, they barter it with the traders for
all kinds of necessaries.

“They can sew better with fibres of the seal’s sinews, than
with thread or silk. Of the skins of the internal parts they make
their windows, curtains for their tents, and even shirts. Of the
skins of seals they stand in the greatest need, because they must
cover with them both their large and small boats, in which they
travel and seek their provisions. They must also cut their
thongs or straps out of them, and cover their tents with them,
without which they could not subsist in summer. Therefore
no man can pass for a right and true Greenlander who cannot
catch seals. This is the great end to which they aspire in all
their labour from their childhood upwards.” -To make himself
NATURAL HISTORY. 51

a useful or good member of the community on the dreary shores
of Greenland, the art of capturing this animal, dangerous and
difficult as it is, must be perfectly learned by every native.

The ships engaged in the fishery are sent out principally from
Hamburg, and from Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland. They
penetrate the ice in a more daring manner even than the whalers,
and are, therefore, more exposed to the accidents attending
navigation in Polar seas. A crew, being provided with seal-
clubs and knives, by careful management of their boats occa-
sionally surprise a herd on an ice-field or floe, before the animals,
which are very watchful, take the alarm. If the men can
contrive to cut off the communication with the water, or with
those openings in the ice near which the seals commonly lie for
the sake of security, they will sometimes kill two-thirds of the
troop. Though the seal is remarkably tenacious of life, yet it is
easily killed by a blow on the nose, or at least sufficiently
stunned to allow of others being attacked before the herd can
effect an escape. If the sailors perceive that a herd which they
are approaching have taken an alarm, and are making off, they
raise loud shouts, arresting the attention of their victims, who
stop to ascertain whence such an unwonted sound proceeds.
The men thus gain time to approach, and often obtain many of
the number. :

The persons accustomed to this chase will pursue the seals
over detached pieces of ice, jumping from one to another, at
great risk of their lives. In. such cases, every man, when he
kills a seal, flenses (“flays”) it on the spot, and drags the
blubber and skin over the ice to his boat. When a crew have

D2
52 . GLEANINGS IN

succeeded in surprising a large number, on one field, a man is
left on the ice to flay the carcases, while his companions
pursue another herd at some other spot.

Whalers always take out seal-clubs as part of their equipment,
and one ship has been known to obtain a cargo of from four to
five thousand seals, yielding nearly a hundred tons of oil.

They are not only hunted in the way represented in the Cut,
but are followed into the hollows in the rocks and caverns in

‘ which, at certain times, they collect in great numbers. This is’
done in the months of October and November, at night by torch-
light. The hunters being properly stationed, and armed with
clubs, alarm the poor animals by shouts and noises; when,
terrified by the uproar, and confused by the light, they hurry
from the ledges of the rocks and places where they rest, and
tumultuously endeavour to escape. The work of slaughter now
begins, their pursuers knocking them on the head with their
clubs, so as to stun them, or kill them outright.

The uses of the seal are numerous and important. The oil
obtained from its fat, or blubber, is better than that from the
whale ; and a full-grown one will yield from eight to twelve
gallons. The skin, with the hair on, is used for covering trunks,
étc., and when tanned, forms an excellent leather.

The oil is obtained by putting the blubber, cut up into small
pieces, into large vats; the heat of the sun, in time, causes a
great part to. run into oil, which is drawn off at side apertures ;
the refuse is boiled in coppers, and an inferior quality procured.

There is a large fishery for seals on the Caspian Sea.

The seal, though the ears are cropped close to the head, has
NATURAL HISTURY, 53

a most. delicate sense of hearing, and delights in musical sounds,
a fact not unknown to the ancients, - In an account of a voyage
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































54 GLEANINGS IN

to Spitzbergen, it is stated that a number of seals would sur-
round the vessel, and follow it for miles when a violin was
played on deck. -

Among many instances of the taming of this creature, and
its use in fishing, I select the following anecdote, with which I
will close this description of it. “In January, 1819, a gentleman
in the neighbourhood of Burntisland, in the county of Fife,
Scotland, succeeded in completely taming a seal. Its-singular
habits attravted the curiosity of strangers. It appeared to
possess all the sagacity of a dog, lived in its master’s house,
and ate from his hand. In his fishing excursions, its owner
generally took it with him, when it afforded no small entertain-
ment. If thrown into the water, it would follow for miles
the track of the boat; and though thrust back by the oars, it
never gave up its purpose. Indeed, it struggled so hard to
regain its seat, that one would imagine that its fondness for its
master had entirely overcome the natural desire to be at largo
in its native clement.”

The principal*parts for which the WatRus, which is a species
of seal, is taken, are the two tusks, the ivory of which is of a
superior quality. It is employed for most purposes to which
that of the elephant’s tusk is adapted, and is preferred by
dentists for the purpose of making artificial teeth. The skin of
the walrus is used for mats, and for covering ropes exposed to
much rubbing. When cut into shreds,and plaited, it forms
strong and durable ropes, exceeding those of hemp for some
purposes. The Russians are most successful in the chase of the
walrus.
NATURAL HISTORY. 55

As the animal is large, powerful, and fearless, the attack of
itis not without danger, especially since, from the strength of
its hide and the solidity of the skull, a musket is of little avail,
unless a bullet be employed and the eye be hit. Sailors, when
exposed in boats to the attack of walruses, disperse them by
throwing sand into their eyes. They are usually killed by means
of spears, lances, and knives.





2
Looe
LLC Le

Zi:
LLO 7






56 GLEANINGS IN

THE WHALE.

ILALES so much resemble fish in their outward form,

that they are almost universally regarded as fish by the
greater part of people. If, however, we examine their structure
carefully, we shall find that they differ from quadruped animals
only in their organs of motion. They have warm blood; they
breathe the air of the atmosphere only, by means of lungs ; and
the female whale suckles her young in the same manner as
quadrupeds.

The body and tail of this animal are continuous, the latter
tapering gradually, and ending in a large, horizontal, gristly fin.
Hind feet are entirely wanting, but their position is marked by
two small bones, which are found wrapped in the skin. The
fore feet have outwardly the form of fins or flippers ; but they
have the same bones as those of quadrupeds, flattened, however,
and shortened, and inclosed in a sinewy covering. The head is
of an enormous size, often being equal to a third of the whole
animal, and the opening of the mouth is of corresponding
dimensions. The neck is very short, and to any one who looks
at the living whale, seems altogether wanting. At the top of
the whale’s head are its nostrils, or blow-holes, through which
the-air passes to its lungs when it rises to the surface of the
water in order to breathe. The skin is entirely without hair ;
and beneath it is a thick coating of oily fat, commonly called
NATURAL HISTORY. 57

“blubber,” which enwraps the whole animal. The eyes are
exceedingly small, considering the bulk of the creature, and
there are uo visible signs of ears, The senses of these huge






























































































































































































































































































































































































53 GLEANINGS IN

inhabitants of the deep do not appear to be very acute. The
sea affords them abundance of food, which they are able to
procure without much difficulty ; and they find in their great
size and strength a protection against most dangers.

The common or Greenland whale is without teeth ; but, in
their place, the upper jaw is furnished with cross layers of a
horny substance, called “baleen,”
edges, split into long, slender fringes. This species is productive
of more oil than any other; and being less active, slower in its
motion, and more timid than the rest of its kind, of similar size,

or whalebone, which, at the

is more easily captured.

The whale which frequents the Greenland seas is, when fully
grown, from fifty to sixty feet in length, and its greatest cir-
cumference from thirty to forty. The ordinary weight is about
seventy tons. When the mouth is extended, it presents an
opening large enough to contain a boat full of men, being six
or eight feet wide, ten or twelve feet high in front, and fifteen
or sixteen long.

These animals have no voice, but in breathing or blowing
make a very loud noise: the vapour which ihey discharge from
their nostrils is thrown up to the height of some yards, and
appears at a distance, like a puff of smoke. The usual rate at
which they swim seldom exceeds four miles an hour; and
though their greatest speed may be at the rate of eight or nine,
this never continues longer than for a few minutes, before it is
lessened to almost one-half. They can also rise from a great
depth with such rapidity as to leap entirely out of the water ;
which feat they sometimes perform apparently as an amusement,
NATURAL HISTORY. 59

to the no small terror of inexperienced pursuers. At times they
throw themselves into an upright position, with their heads
downwards, and, rearing their tails on high, beat the water with
tremendous violence : the sea is then thrown into foam, and the
air filled with vapours ; the noise is heard; in calm weather, to a
great distance ; and the waves occasioned by the blows of the
tail extend a considerable space around. Sometimes the monster
shakes its tail in the air, which, cracking like a whip; resounds
to a distance-of two or three miles.

Whales usually remain at the surface to breathe about two
minutes, seldom longer, during which they “blow” eight or
nine times; they then descend for an interval of five or ten
minutes, but sometimes, when feeding fifteen or twenty. When
struck by a harpoon, they have been known to descend to a
depth of a mile, and with such force that instances have occurred
in which they have broken their jaw-bones by their dashing
against the bottom of the sea. Their food consists of small
shell-fish, star-fish, etc. When feeding, they swim with con-
siderable speed, below the surface, with their jaws open ; so
that a stream of water enters the mouth, bearing along with it
large quantities of marine insects. The water escapes at the
sides, but the food is caught and strained by the whalebone,
which is so arranged that not a particle of the size of the
smallest grain can be lost.

These great animals are generally found solitary, or in pairs,
excepting when drawn to the same spot by an abundance of
attractive food. They are most frequently met with in the
frozen seas of Greenland, and Davis's Straits ; also in Baffin’s
60 GLEANINGS IN

and Hudson’s Bays, in the sea to the northward of Behring’s
Straits, and along some parts of the northern shores of Asia,
and also probably of America.

The affections of the whale towards its own kind appear to
be strong. The whalers are in the habit of taking advantage of
the love of the old one for itr offspring, to entice it into their
snares; aud the plan often succeeds when probably no other
would. The cul, though of little value in itself, is struck, to
induce the motk»r to come to its help. ‘In this case,” says
Captain Scoresby; “she joins it at the surface of the water,
when it has occasion to rise for breathing ; 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 affurds frequent opportunities for attack. She
loses all regard for her personal safety in anxiety for the pre-
servation of her young; she dashes through the midst of her
enemies ; despises the danger that threatens her; and even
voluntarily remains with her offspring after various attacks on
herself from the harpoons of her assailants.

“Tn June, 1811, one of my harpooners struck a sucker, with
a hope of its leading to the capture of its mother. Presently
she arose by the boat whence the harpoon had been thrown, and
seizing the young one, dragged out nearly a hundred fathoms of
line with remarkable velocity. Again she rose to the surface ;
darted furiously to and fro; frequently stopped short, or sud-
denly changed her direction ; and gave every possible indication
of her extreme agony. For a length of time she continued
thus to act, though closely pursued by the boats ; and inspired
NATURAL HISTORY. 61

with courage and resolution by her concern for her cub, seemed
regardless of the danger which surrounded her. At length one
of the boats approached so near that a harpoon was thrown.
It hit her, but did not fasten itself. A second was thrown, and
this also failed to pierce the skin. A third was more successful,
and held. Still she did not attempt to escape, but allowed
other boats to come near ; so that, in a few minutes, three more
harpoons were fastened ; and in the course of an hour after-
wards she was killed.”

The two instruments used in the capture of the whale are
the harpoon and the lance. The former is made of iron, and is
about three feet in length, ending in an arrow-shaped head, each
of the two branches of which has on the inner side a smaller
barb turned backwards, resembling the beard of a fish-hook.
When this instrument is forced, by a blow, into the body of a
whale, and the line fastened to it is held tight, the barbs seize
the strong fibres of the blubber, and prevent its being withdrawn.
The animal is thus held fast, the harpoon being attached to a
line. The lance is a spear of iron, six feet in length, ending in
a head of steel, made very thin and sharp, seven or eight inches
in length, and two cr two and a-half in breadth. These two
instruments, together with lines, boats, and oars, form all the
necessary apparatus for the taking of this large creature.

The usual stay of a whale under water after being struck, is
thirty minutes. The longer it is in returning to the surface, the
easier is its capture. When it re-appears, the boats hasten
towards it, and as many harpoons and lances are plunged into
it as possible. When the enormous animal expires, the sea
62 GLEANINGS IN

around is covered with its blood, and the ice, boats, and men
are sometimes drenched with it. Its death is preceded by a
final struggle, in which its tail, reared aloft, and whirled and
jerked in the air, makes a noise that may be heard for miles,


NATURAL HISTORY. 63

THE BEAVER.

HIS interesting animal is about two feet in length ; its
body thick and heavy ; the head flattened, and somewhat
arched at the front ; the snout much so. The eyes are placed
rather high in the head, and the pupils are rounded ; the ears
are short, and almost concealed by the fur. The skin is covered
by two sorts of hair, of which one is long, rather stiff, elastic,
and of a gray colour for two-thirds of its length next the root,
and ending in shining, reddish-brown points ; the other is short,
” thick, tufted, and soft, being of different chades of silver-gray
or light lead-colour. The hair is shortest on the head and feet.
The hind legs are longer than the fore, and are completely
webbed. The tail is eleven inches long, and, except where nearest
the body, is covered with six-sided scales. The part. next the
body is provided with hair like that on the back.

The food of the beaver consists chiefly of the bark of the
aspen, willow, birch, poplar, and occasionally alder ; it rarely ©
resorts to the pine, unless from severe necessity.

It is only in a state of nature that this creature shows any
of those peculiar modes of acting which have rendered the
species remarkable. Beavers are not particular as to the site
which they select for their dwellings, but if it is a lake or pond,
where a dam is not required, they are careful to build where the
water is sufficiently deep to prevent their being frozen fast in
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their huts during winter. In standing waters, however, they
have not the advantage afforded by a current for the transporta-
tion of their supplies of wood, which, when they build on a
running stream, is always cut higher up than the place of their
residence, and floated down to it.

The materials used for the construction of their dams ere
the trunks of trees and branches of small birch, mulberry,
willow, and poplar trees, etc. They begin to cut down their
timber for building early in the summer, but do not set about
building until the middle or latter part of August, and the work
is not completed till the arrival of the cold season. Thestrength
of their teeth, and their perseverance may be estimated by the
size of the trees which they cut down for their purposes. One
naturalist informs us that he saw a mulberry tree, eight inches in
diameter, which had been brought down by the beaver ; while
on the Little Maine river, in North America, there were shown
several stumps of trees, that had evidently been felled by these
animals, which ‘were five or six inches in diameter. The trecs
are cut in such a way as to fall into the water, and they are
then floated towards the site of the dam or dwellings. Small
shrubs, cut at a distance, they drag by their teeth to the stream,
and then launch and tow to the required position. At a short
distance above a beavers’ dam, the number of trees which they
have hewn down appears truly surprising ; and the regularity of
the stumps might lead: persons unacquainted with the habits of
the animals to believe the clearing to be the result of human

: industry. ,
The figure of the dam varies according to circumstances :
NATURAL HISTORY. 65

should the current be very gentle, it is carried nearly straight
across ; but when the stream is swift, it is uniformly made with

a curve, having the convex, or outer side, opposed to the current.
Along with the trunks and branches of trees, they intermingle
mud and stones, to give the structure greater firmness. When
dams have been long undisturbed and often repaired, they


































































66 _ GLEANINGS. IN

become very solid: and their power of resistance to the pressure.
of water, or masses of ice, is greatly increased by the willow
and birch sometimes taking rcot, and growing up into something
like a regular hedge.

The dwellings of beavers are made of the same materials as
their dams, and are very rude. In forming them, they place
most of the wood crosswise, and nearly horizontally, observing
no other order than that of leaving an opening in the middle.
Branches projecting inwards are cut off with their teeth, and
thrown among therest. The houses are not composed of sticks,
and then plastered, but of all the materials used in the dams,—
sticks, mud, and stones, if the latter can be procured, The mud
is obtained from the banks or bottom of the stream, or pond,
near the.entrance of the hut, The beaver always carries mud or
stones by holding his burden between his fore paws and throat.
The entrance to the dwelling is invariably on the side farthest
from land, and is near the foundation, or a considerable depth
under water ; this is the only way of access to the interior.

The musk rat is sometimes found to have taken up his abode
in the homes of the beaver. The otter, also, occasionally
intrudes ; he, however, is a-.dangerous guest, for, should provi-
sions grow scarce, it is not uncommon for him to devour his
host. All the individuals of a community of beavers do not
unite in constructing houses for the whole ; the only work on
which they labour in concert is the dam. Beavers also make
hollows, or “washes.” in the banks adjoining: their dwellings,
These “washes” are so enlarged within, that they can raise
their heads above water, so as to breathe without being seen ;
NATURAL HISTORY, 67

and when disturbed at their huts, they for -greater safety swim
under the surface of the stream or pond to these excavations, in
which, alas for them! they are easily taken by the hunters.

The beaver abounds in the higher latitudes of North America ;
and—if it be indeed the same species—is found also in various
parts of Europe and the north of Asia; as, for example, along
the course of the Rhone, the Danube, and the Weser. It would
appear that at one period it also.existed in Great Britain ; but
when it became extinct cannot now be traced. Its flesh is
delicious; but it is not so much for this, as for its valuable fur,
that a war of merciless extermination is carried on against this
interesting animal,

“ Far in the north if thou sail with me
A wonderful creature I'll show to thee,
As gentle and mild as a lamb at play,
Skipping about in the month of May ;
Yet wise as any old learned sage
Who sits turning over a musty page ;

“Come down to this lonely river’s bank,
See, driven-in stake and riven plank ;
A mighty work before thee stands
That would do no shame to human hands.
A well-built dam to stem the tide .
Of this northern river so strong and wide,

“Look! the woven bough of many a tree, ap
And a wall of fairest masonry ; ;
The waters cannot o’erpass this bound,

For a hundred keen eyes watch it round ;

E2
68

GLEANINGS IN -

dnd the skill that raised can keep it good
Against the peril of storm and flood.

“ And yonder, the peaceable creatures dwell
Secure in their watery citadel ;
They know no sorrow, have done no sin;
Happy they live ‘mongst kith and kin—
As happy as living things can be,
Each in the midst of his family ;
Ay, there they live, and the hunter wild
Seeing their secial natures mild,
Seeing how they are kind and good,
Hath felt his stubborn soul subdued ;
And the very sight of the young at play
Hath put his hunter’s heart away ;
And a mood of pity hath o’er him crept,
As he thought of his own dear babes and wept.?
I know ye are but the beavers small,
Living at peace in your own mud wall ;
I know that ye have no books to teach
The lore that lies within your reach.
But what? - Five thousand years ago
Ye knew as much as now ye know ;
And on the banks of streams that sprung
Forth when the earth itself was young,
Your wondrous works were formed as true ;
For the All-Wise instructed you!
But man ! how hath he pondered on
Through the long term of ages gone ;
And many a cunning book hath writ,

-* A fact.
NATURAL HISTORY. 6¢

Of learning deep and subtle wit ;

Hath compass’d sea, hath compass’d land,
Hath built up towers and temples grand,
Hath travell’ d far for hidden-lore,

And learned what was not known of yore 3
Yet after all, though wise he be,

He hath no better skill than ye!”


40. @LHANINGS IR

SQUIRRELS.

QUIRRELS dre among the most elegant and lively of
quadrupeds ; their bright, beautiful eye, their archness,
and their light and nimble movements, render them general
favourites. “This animal,” says Pennant, “is remarkably neat,
lively, active, and provident ; never leaves its food to chance,
but secures, in some hollow tree, a vast magazine of nuts for
winter provision. In the summer it feeds on the buds and young
shoots, and is particularly fond of those of the fir and pine, and
also of young cones. Its makes its nest of moss and dry
leaves, between the fork of two branches.” White, in his
delightful history of Selborne, mentions a case in which a boy
(a cruel one, we should think) took from their nest three young
squirrels. These he put under the care of a cat, which had
lately lost her kittens, and found that she nursed them with the
same assiduity as if they had been her own offspring. So many
people went to look at the strange scene, that the foster-mother,
becoming jealous fo her charge, and in pain for their safety,
hid them over the ceiling.

In captivity the common squirrel is never at rest ; and it isa
sad sight to look on one of the most agile of creatures condemned
to tread the same unvaried round in a wheel. We should be
sorry to think that any of our dear young readers could be so
unfeeling as to keep one of these active little animals in a cage,
NATURAL HISTORY. stl:

as we have heard of some boys doing, and thus deprive it of
freedom and enjoyment. Rather would we like you to be able
to watch them, as we have often done, springing lightly and


92 GLEANINGS IN

gracefully from branch to. branch of some forest-tree. You
would catch the glance of a bright, black eye, fixed inquiringly
ipon you from beneath the fluttering leaves. Our little favour-
ites are very fond of nuts ; but we should not like young peojle
to crack them as they do. We do remember seeing some chil-
dren crack an almost incredible number of nuts, in a short time,
with their teeth. The practice is a very bad one, and likely, in
its consequences, to be long and painfully felt. We will close
our brief sketch, by quoting a few of some merry verses that
we once read :—

“To the very top of the tall nut-trees
The frost King seem’d to ride ;
With his wand he stirs the chestnut-burrs,
And straight they are open’d wide ;

“ And squirrels and children together dream
Of the coming winter’s hoard ;
And many, I ween, are the chestnuts seen
In hole or in garret stored.

“The children are sleeping in feather-beds,—
Poor Bun in his mossy nest !
fe courts repose, with his tail on his nose; .
On the others, warm blankets rest.

& at & 9

“The squirrel had on, when he first awoke,
All the clothing he could command ;
And his breakfast was light, he just took a bite
Of an acorn that lay at hand :
NATURAL HISTORY. %3

“ And then he was off to the trees to work ;
While the children some time it takes
To dress, and to eat what they think meet
Of coffee and buckwheat cakes.

o & DS 9 2

¢O, there is a heap of chestnuts, see!’
Cried the youngest of the train ;
For they came to a stone where the squirrel had thrown
- What he meant to pick up again.

“And two bright eyes from the tree o’erhead,
Look down at the open bag—
Where the nuts went in ; and so to begin
Almost made his courage flag.

o % 2 2 a

“The work was ended ; the trees were sttipp’d ;
The children were ‘tired of play ;’
And they forgot (but the squirrel did not)
The wrong they had done that day.”
74 - “-GLEANINGS IN

THE IBEX.

HE Ibex, or “wild goat,” is mentioned several times in
Scripture. We are told that Saul “took three thousand
chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his
men upon the rocks of the wild goats.” (1 Sam. xxiv. 2.) The
animal which is here spoken of as inhabiting “the rocks,” has
large knotted horns, reclining backwards ; a small head; large
eyes; a thick, short, strong body; strong legs; very short
hoofs ; and ashort tail. Its body is of a deep brown colour,
with a mixture of whitish hairs ; its belly is of a tawny white ;
and its legs are partly black, partly white. Ibexes are seldom
found, except in the most precipitous and inaccessible heights
of lofty mountains, where they assemble in small flocks, some-
times consisting of ten or twelve individuals. During the night
they feed in the highest woods, but at sunrise they again
ascend the mountains, till they have reached the most perilous
elevations.

These animals are remarkably swift, and display amazing
agility and dexterity in leaping. The men who hunt them must
be able to look down from fearful precipices without terror, and
must be sure-footed, as well as possess great strength and
activity. One danger in hunting the Ibex is, that when closely
pressed, it sometimes turns upon its pursuer, and tumbles hiin
down the precipices, unless he has time to lie down, and permit
the animal to pass over him.
NATURAL HISTORY. 75

These singular creatures will mount an almost perpendicular
rock, fifteen feet in height: in three successive bounds, they
appear just to touch it, and spring off again, like a piece of
indiarubber striking a hard body. Their fore legs being much
shorter than the hinder, enables them to ascend more easily than
descend, and hence, when they are pursued by hunters, they
always try to gain the higher parts of the mountains.




























































































































































































































































































































a
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The Ibex inhabits a chain of mountains in Asia Minor, of
which Mount Taurus forms a part. In Europe it is found on
the Carpathians and Pyrenees, and in the Grisons, and other
parts of the Alps. It is also found among the Sinai mountains,
where it is pursued much in the same manner as it is in the
Alps. The hunters try to get above a flock, and to surprise
them at early day. But it is difficult to get near them, for they
have a leader, who acts as a sentinel, and gives notice on the
occurrence of any suspicious sight, sound, or smell. On the
smallest alarm, the whole flock retreats to a higher peak, leaving
their pursuers to follow them by circuitous and dangerous paths,
which often render the chase in vain.

“The high hills,” said David, “are a refuge for the wild
goats.” When Saul is said to have pursued David into such
places as the Ibex inhabits, we see both the extreme danger of
the future King of Israel, and the eagerness with which his
wicked father-in-law hunted him in order to take his life.

THE SCAPEGOAT.

Tue Day of Atonement was the most important in the
Jewish year. In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus is
set forth the way in which it was to be observed :—“ On the
tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atone-
ment: it shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall
afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the
Lord. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a
day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the
NATURAL IISTORY. 77

Lord your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be
afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his
people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that
same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever
throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be

unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls.”—
(Ver. 27—32.)













































































































































































































































































































































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78 GLEANINGS IN

In these verses we see what importance God attached to the
proper observance of the great day of national humiliation, the
only one commanded in the law of Moses.. It was on this occa-
sion only that the high priest was permitted to enter into the
Holy of Holies. The high priest and his family were cleansed,
and sacrifices, purchased at the high priest’s own cost, made on
account of them. Atonement was also made by the purified
priest for the sanctuary and all contained in it. For a sin-
offering in behalf of the people, two young goats, with a ram
for a burnt-offering, were to be paid for out of the public
treasury. When the two goats were presented before the door
of the tabernacle, Aaron was directed to cast lots upon them,
one lot being “for Jehovah,” the other “for Azazel,” or “ the
scapegoat.” The one on which the lot “for Jehovah” had
fallen, was appointed to be slain, and its blood sprinkled before
the Mercy-seat ; on the head of the other the priest was directed
to lay his hands and to confess the sins of the people. The
animal was then led away, by a man chosen for the purpose, into
the wilderness, into “a land not inhabited,” and was there let
loose. ,

Both these goats were types of Christ. The slaying of the
one was intended to represent the death and passion of Jesus
for us; the scapegoat was an emblem of His resurrection for
our deliverance. The goat’s being sent into the wilderness also
signified the removal of sins far away both from the people, and
out of God’s sight. Being neglected by all men, and exposed
to many hazards in the desert to which it was led, the victim
might further signify »ur Lord’s being forsaken both by God
NATURAL HISTORY. 79

and men, even by His own disciples, and the many dangers and
sufferings He underwent. Indeed, the whole of the ceremonies
of the great Day of Atonement pointed to Onz who should in
due time take “ away the sin of the world,” and for whose sake
God would remember the sins and iniquities of the truly penitent
believer in Him no more.

The Jewish Mishna,—a book which professes to explain the
Word of God, and which was written probably in the second
century after Christ,—contains several curious particulars con-
cerning the scapegoat. It is said that the two goats of the
sin-offering’ were to be of the same appearance, size and value.
The lots were at first of boxwood, but in later times they were
of gold. They were put into a little box or urn. Into this the
high priest put both his hands, and took out a lot in each, while
the two goats stood before him, one at. the right side, the other
on the left. The lot in each hand belonged to the goat in the
like position, and when that “for Azazel” happened to be in
the right hand, it was regarded as a good omen. The high
priest then tied a piece of scarlet cloth on the scapegoat’s head,
called the “scarlet-tongue,” from the shape in which it was
cut. One Jewish doctor, very learned in such matters, says that
this was done only to distinguish him, in order that he might be
known when the time came for him to be sent away. The
prayer which the high priest uttered over the head of the goat
is said to have been as follows: “O Lord, the house of Israel,
Thy people, have trespassed, rebelled, and sinned before Thee.
I beseech Thee, O Lord, forgive now their trespasses, rebellions,
end sins which Thy people have committed, as it is written in
80 GLEANINGS IN

the law of Moses, Thy servant, saying that in that day there
shall be ‘an atonement for you to cleanse you, that ye may be
clean from all your sins before the Lord.’” The goat was then
goaded and roughly treated by the people, till it was led away
by the man appointed. As soon as it reached a certain spot,
which was regarded as the commencement of the wilderness, a
signal was by some means made to the high priest, who was
waiting for it, and who then went on with some other cere-
monies. The man who led the goat is said to have taken him
‘9 the top of a high precipice, and thrown him down backwards,
so as to dash him in pieces. It is clear, however, that the animal
was in the earlier period of the Jewish history set free. In
most parts of the wilderness to which it was conducted, it
would find herbage in sufficient abundance to live on: in others,
it is quite possible that the scapegoat would wander, with the
“scarlet tongue” on its forehead, from one rocky height to
another, till hunger, and the ill-treatment it had received, ended
in a miserable death.

Such a victim, bearing away the sins of the people, you see
in the picture. It looks as if ready to lay itself down and dic;
and as you pity its wretched lot, you will not fail to think with
gratitude of that Divine Victim who gave Himself to dic a
cursed death that eternal life might be yours,
NATURAL HISTORY, 8i

THE SHEEP.

HE Sheep is one of the most valuable of our domestic
animals. It thrives in situations and soils on which other
animals would find it difficult to exist; and it affords us a large
supply of food, as well as one of the principal materials of our
clothing. The skin, dressed, forms different parts of our apparel,
and is used for covers of books. The sheep is, in fact, so useful
to man, that from the earliest ages it has been an object of his
- constant care. Two thousand years ago the Romans paid great
attention to their sheep, and the present mode of treating them
in Spain is almost exactly the same as that introduced by those
ancient conquerors of the world.

The varieties of the sheep are numerous, differing in size, the
length of their legs, the size and number of their horns. Some
are covered with hair instead of wool ; others have very large
tails ; and there are seme that have long, hanging ears. The
variety most celebrated for the fineness of its wool is the
Spanish Merino, as improved in Germany; but the English
sheep produce wool in the largest quantity. _The seat of the
Lord Chancellor of England, in the House of Lords, is said to
be so called from its having originally been a large square bag
of wool, without back or arms. Whether the seat ever really
was such a bag we cannot be quite sure, but no doubt the name

Spresents the great importance in which the wool trade was
F
82 GLEANINGS IN

held in the times of our forefathers. There are at the present
time probably not Icss than sixty millions of sheep in England
nnd Wales.

The allusions in Scripture to shepherds and their flocks are
very frequent. The following are only a few of them :—

The sheep naturally delights in a mountainous country. Of
this fact the sacred writers were well aware. Thus, when Moses
tended the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of
Midian, he led them “to the back side of the desert, and came
to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” The prophet Ezekiel,
in a later age, compares the return of Isracl from the land of
their captivity to the return of a flock, after long absence, to
their native mountains. He represents God as graciously say-
ing,-—‘‘ As a shepherd secketh out his flock in the day that he is
among his sheep that are scattered ; so will I seek out My sheep,
and will deliver them out of all places where they have been
scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them
out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and
will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the
mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places
of the country.” (Chap. xxxiv. 12, 13.)

When sheep are alarmed, they forsake the spots where they
have been pasturing, and run together so as to form one close
group. So the prophet Micah warned the people of his time,
when they were terrified by the invasion of hostile armies, and
the cruel devastation of their country, that they should seek
for safety in their cities, as the flocks of Bozrah in their fold
from the attack of the wolf or the lion :—“TI will surely
NATURAL HISTORY. 83

asseinble, O Jacob, all of thee ; I wiil surely gather the remnant
of Israel ; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as
the flock in the midst of their fold.” (Chap. ii. 12.)

This creature’ is neither remarkable for its sagacity, its
strength, nor its swiftness. It is, therefore, exposed to the
attacks of many enemies ; and when deserted by its keeper, no
domestic animal is more wretched and helpless. To the misery
of this destitute condition the writers of the Bible often allude.
“T saw all Israel,” says Micaiah, “scattered upon the hills, as
sheep that have not a shepherd.” (1 Kings xxii. 17.) “Smite
the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” (Zech. xiii. 7.)
And of Jesus it is said, “But when He saw the multitudes, He
was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and
were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matt. .
ix. 36.) Many similar passages will occur, I doubt not, to my
readers. #8

The sheep, again, is prone to wander from its accustomed
pastures ; it is apt, although gregarious,—that is, an animal
whose instinct it is to assemble in flocks,—to separate itself
from its fellows, rambling into distant and dangerous solitudes.
And when it has thus roamed far away from the flock and the
fold, it seems to want the inclination or the skill to return.
How touchingly is this defect used in Scripture to describe the
sad state of those who are without the knowledge of God or
do not obeyhim!” “T have gone astray like a lost sheep ; seek
Thy servant,” says the penitent psalmist. So Isaiah makes
confession for all mankind, “ All we like sheep have gone astray ;
we have turned every one to his own way ; and the Lord hath

Â¥2
8A. GLEANINGS IN


NATURAL HISTORY. 85

laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” So also St. Peter says to
the Christians to whom he was writing, “ For ye were as sheep
going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and
Bishop of your souls.” Such is the condition by nature of all
men. They are prone to wander from God, and are unwilling
to return to Him. Till divine grace enlightens them, they are
without knowledge to discern, or wisdom to secure, the true
interests of their immortal souls.

One of the most beautiful and affecting of the parables of
the Lord Jesus, is the one recorded by St. Matthew and St. Luke
about the lost-sheep. The following verses are founded upon
it :—

“The way was rough and dark,
The wind blew bleak and cold,
And I, a foolish lamb,
Had wander’d from the fold.
No shelter could I find,
No place of refuge see,
Until the Shepherd kind
Tn love came after me.

“ He heard my bleatings far
Upon the mountain way,
He knew the barren path :
In which my feet would stray ;
And so this Shepherd kind
Had left the other-sheep,
The wanderer to find =<
And in His safety keep.
86 GLEANINGS IN

“ The pastures sweet and green,

I, in my folly, left

For rugged rocks, of sheen
And verdure all bereft.

But soon the Shepherd’s call
Came ringing soft and clear, -

I heard the Saviour’s voice,
And knew that He was near

“Quickly He stretch’d His arm,

And drew me to His side,

Where, safe from every harm,
In peace I can abide.

This Shepherd, good and true,
Who found me in distress,

Is seeking now for you,
Tn life’s dark wilderness.”

How glad a thing it is to know that “every soul that sheep
may be ;” that every sinner is sought by the great Shepherd,
however long or however far he may have strayed from the
peace and safety of the fold; Jesus seeks you, my dear young
reader, and He will rejoice over you with a great joy, if you
will only surrender to Him your heart. They only will be happy
for ever who foliow Him “ whithersoever He goeth.”
NATURAL HISTORY, 87

THE CAMELOPARD.

HE Guraffe, or camelopard, is a very remarkable quadruped,

belonging to the class of ruminants, or animals that chew
the cud, as the camel, the deer, the sheep, and the goat. Its
body has some likeness to that of the camel ; and the colour of
its skin, being a kind of yellowish white, -spotted with patches
of fawn colour, something like that of a leopard, led to its being
called by the names of both these animals,—camel, leopard. It
further resembles the camel in its manner of kneeling for the
purpose of sleeping, in the length of its neck, and its having
lumps of hardened skin on the lower part of the breast and over
the joints. Its horns, which, in the male’ giraffe, are about a
foot long, are covered by the skin of the head to the tips.
_Measured from the ground to the top of the head, this animal
is from fifteen to seventeen-feet high. The hoofs are rounded,
and cleft, like those of an ox, Its tail is slender, round, and
ended by a tuft three or four inches long. The head of the
giraffe is not unlike that of the horse ; the eyes are large, fine
and brilliant ; the ears, both in length and figure, more resemble
those of the ox. It is a mild, timid, and harmless creature,
choosing dense forests for its home, and feeding on the leaves
and shoots of trees. When it crops grass or herbage, it is not,
as has been supposed, under the necessity of knecling, though
its natural mode of feeding, for which it seems to be especially
88 we - -GLEANINGS IN -

constructed, is by browsing upon trees or shrubs at a great
height from the ground,
This animal is a native of the country lying between Egypt



OK
NATURAL HISTORY. 89

and Ethiopia. It is rare in Abyssinia, and. still more so in
Southern Africa. It is hunted and killed by the natives for the
sake of its large and beautiful skin, as well as for the marrow of
its bones, which is considered by them a great dainty. The
flesh of the young camelopard is said, by travellers, to be an
acceptable article of diet. When pursued, it bounds along with
such rapidity, as to outstrip the fleetest horse. Some have
said that its gait is awkward, and that it is soon exhausted by
its speed. But a traveller called Le Vaillant, who gives an
_ account of his attempt to capture one in Great Namaqualand,
in South Africa, bears a different testimony. After describing
a camelopard as proceeding at a “smart trot,” he says, “ We
galloped after her, and occasionally fired our muskets, but she
gradually gained so much upon us, that, having pursued her for
three hours, we were forced to stop, because our horses were
entirely out of breath, and we lost sight of her.” The next day,
he tells us, he saw five giraffes, to which he gave chase, but
which, after a whole day’s pursuit, he lost sight of as night
came on. During the next. day he fell. in with seven. One of
them he followed on horseback at full speed, but it-left him in
the distance, and was lost to his view; the dogs, however,
resolutely continued the chase, and afterwards brought the
creature to bay. They surrounded it, but did not venture to
make an attack, as it defended itself with vigorous and.rapid
kicks. Inthe meantime, the traveller came up, and killed it by
a shot.

The first giraffe seen alive in England, was sent, in 1827, by
the Pacha of Egypt, as a present to his Majesty George the
50 ; - . GLEANINGS IN’.

Fourth ; another also being sent at the same time to Paris.
These two animals were obtained while young, by some ‘Arabs,
a few days’ journey south of Sennaar, in Nubia, near a moun-
tainous and wooded district, and were fed with camels’ milk.
By command of the Pacha, they were removed by gradual stages
to Cairo, and thence by the Nile, in boats, to Alexandria, whence
they were shipped to their destinations in Eurupe. Several
living giraffes have been since that date brought into this
country.

It is stated that about the end of the fifteenth century the
Soldan, or Sultan, of Egypt-sent a -camelopard-to the famous
Lorenzo di Medici; and that it was familiar to the inhabitants
of Florence, in Italy"; where it was accustomed to walk at ease
about the streets, stretching its long neck into the balconies
and first floors for apples and other fruits, on which it gobelee
to feed. ;

It was well known in ancient Rome. ‘The first specimen
appears to have been exhibited in the time of Julius Cesar ;
several of the Emperors afterwards. exhibited it in the games
and processions ; and one Emperor, Gordian the Third, is said
to have possessed ten at the same time. Its figure also occurs
amongst the drawings made on monuments by the ancient
Rgyptians. It has not hitherto been tamed, so as to be. put
to any useful purpose.
NATURAL HISTORY. ot

THE CAMEL.

HIS interesting animal is one of the most valuable blessings
which the bountiful Creator has- bestowed upon the
‘Oriental nations. Designed by the God of nature to dwell in a
country where it can. find little nourishment, it is: extremely
spare in the whole of its formation. The head is small; the
body covered. with a soft.and rather long hair of a reddish
colour. Its legs and thighs seem to be deprived of every muscle
but such as are wanted for the purpyoses of motion ; and its
withered frame seems furnished only with the vessels and
tendons necessary to hold it together. The camel is provided,
moreover, with a strong jaw, that he may grind the hardest
food ; but, lest he should eat too much, his stomach is con-
tracted, so that, like cows and sheep, he is obliged to chew the
cud. There are two toes on his hoof, which, however, is not
fully divided. He has often to cross deserts of loose and deep
sand, in which a hoof quite divided would have sunk toe fay, :
while the one which he has, being entire in the under part,
enables him to. raove over the surface with more ease. His foot
iy ‘lined with a lump of flesh, which fits him only for a dry,
level, and sandy soil,
Without any sort of defence against his enemies, the camel
is obviously intended for a domesticated state, like that in which
the sheep and some other animals live; but the wise Creator
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MRT,




























































NATURAL I[JISTORY. - 92

quence, voracious creatures, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and
wolves, can have no inducement to prowl. The fugitives from
Babel found this invaluable beast of burden wandering on the
edge of the wilderness, and by its assistance peopled the most
barren regions on the face of the globe. No animal employed by
man for the purposes of traffic equals it in size, in strength, in
activity ; and in docility, patience, and power of endurance, it is
surpassed by none. Like the ass, it is pleased with the coarsest
food, and a very little even of that satisfies its moderate appe-
tite. The labour and fatigue which it is capable of enduring,
on the poorest and scantiest means of subsistence, almost
exceed belief. It will travel four or five days without water ;
whilst half a gallon of beans and barley, or else a few balls
made of the flour, will sustain it awhole day. Before drinking,
it disturbs the water with its feet ; and then, after the manner
of pigeons, takes several successive draughts.

In travelling over the deserts of Arabia, a full-sized camel
will carry a weight of more than a thousand pounds; he
receives this load kneeling, but if his driver lays more on him,
he refuses to rise till the burden is lessened.

This animal has sometimes been yoked to a chariot, and
forced ‘to contend in the race. The Emperor Nero sent to
certain games chariots drawn by four camels; and another
Roman Emperor, Heliogabalus, is reported to have amused
himself in his private circus with chariots. drawn by the same
number. To this custom the prophet Isaiah alludes,.in his
prophecy of the fall of Babylon: “he saw a chariot with a
couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels,”
924. GLEANINGS IN

In time of war, too, these useful creatures have been pressed
imto the service of conflicting hosts; they then groaned under
the cumbrous baggage of Oriental armies, or mingled in the
tumult of battle- Many of-the Amalekites, who burned Ziklag,































THE DROMEDARY,

(1 Samuel xxx. 1) were mounted in this manner, for we are told
(ver. 17) that not a man of the whole army escaped the furious
onset of David, “save four hundred young men, which rode
upon camels, and fled.” The Arabians used to set two warriors
upon each animal, back to back, of whom one opposed. the
NATURAL HISTORY. 93

advancing enemy, and the other repelled the pursuer. All the
Arabians in the army of Xerxes, the ancient historian Herodotus
says, were motinted om camels that equalled in speed the
swiftest horses. The people called Bactrians, from the name of
the province in Persia in which they lived, also fought in the
same manner; and the Parthians, in their wars with the
Romans, threw incessant showers of arrows from their horses
and camels on the legions of their terrible foe.

Mounted on this “Ship of the desert,” as the Arab calls his
camel, the traveller in the East pursues his way over vast and
trackless regions with ease and safety. For his convenience, a
couple of round baskets are slung on cach side with covers,
which hold all his necesgaries, and between which he is seated.
Sometimes two long chairs, like cradles, are hung on each side,
with a covering, in which he may sit, or stretched at his ease, resign
himself to sleep, without interrupting his journey. These covered
baskets, or chairs, are the “ cdmel’s furniture,” where Rachel put
the images which she stole from her father. (Gen. xxxi. 34.)

That species called the DromEpary, is chiefly remarkable for
its swiftness; the Arabs say that “it will run over as much
ground in one day as one of their best horses will do in eight
or ten.” No doubt this is an Oriental exaggeration, but the
prophet Jeremiah had good reason (Jer. ii. 23) to call it the
“swift dromedary.” Dr. Shaw, who travelled much in the East,
had several opportunities of verifying the estimate of the Arabs
in relation to the speed at which their “ships,” can perform a
journey. The Shiek, or chief, who conducted the party to
Mount Sinai, rode a camel of this kind, and would often favour
95 GLEANINGS IN

them with a display of its abilities: “he would leave their
caravan, reconnoitre another just in view, and return to them in
less than a quarter of an hour.” The dromedary has but one
hump on its back ; the common camel. has two.

These creatures are not only of great importance in the East
as beasts of burden, but also as a means of subsistence in the
inhospitable desert. Their flesh and their milk supply their
owner with food, and their hair is woven into stuffs for his
clothing. This hair is not shorn off, but is plucked off about the
time it is naturally shed. It was raiment of this kind that John
the Baptist wore ; made of the shaggy hair of which we have
above spoken,

When a caravan of camels arrives at a resting or baiting
place, they kneel, and the cords sustaining the load being un-
tied, the bales slip down on each side. They generally sleep on
their bellies, crouching beneath the bales they have carried ; the
load is, therefore, easily replaced when they recommence their
journey. Those which are used for speed alone are capable of
travelling sixty or even ninety miles in a day. Instead of
employing blows or ill-treatment to urge them to greater swift-
ness, the camel-drivers sing cheerful songs, and thus induce the
patient beasts to put forth their best efforts.

The animal in the picture seems to carry its burden of young
visitors to the Regent’s park Zoological Gardens very easily. If
it could be consulted, we doubt not its choice would be rather
to be journeying well laden in its own hot, sandy waste, some-
where in Africa or Arabia, than live in our changeful climate,
however carefully housed and attended to by its keepers,
NATURAL HISTORY. 97

DEER.

creatures now present themselves, of graceful form, elastic
step, and animated expression. We see them bounding over

A N elegant writer somewhere says, “A multitude of beautiful



THE REIN-DEERe
98 GLEANINGS IN

the plains and through the forests, in every quarter of the globe,
from the poles to the equator. Congregated in herds, they
wander wild and free ; their very air is that of freedom, and
every action proclaims independence. Their limbs are strong,
slender, and sinewy ; their neck tapering, and swan-like ; their
head small, held high, and garnished, in the males, with antlers.
Such are the stags and deer ; a multitudinous race that compose
the genus Cervus.” Many of ushave seen these beautiful creatures
in large parks, whose noble owners keep them as objects of
interest and to beautify the scene. In some of the royal parks
numbers may be seen browsing beneath the trees, or bounding
along so swiftly as soon to be out of sight. But in many
countries they are hunted for food. This is the case with the
elk or moose-deer ; one of the largest of the deer tribe, but not
by any means so handsome as the smaller ones. He has fine
horns, which do not attain to their perfect shape until the fifth
time of renewal, when the elk is six years old. Some of their
horns have been found to weigh as much as sixty pounds. We
wonder how the animal can support such a weight upon his
head ; but God has given him a short and powerful neck. This
~ enables him to carry the burden with ease. When he is chased
by the hunter, he holds his head so that the horns lie back on
each side of the neck, and thus are prevented from being
entangled among the branches of the forest. The elk is fond of
water, and is a capital swimmer. Its natural food is the tops
of plants and leaves of trees. The flesh and tongue are highly
prized as an article of food by some of the native American
tribes ; while its skin forms excellent leather, from which they
NATURAL HISTORY. 99.

manufacture their moccasins, or shoes. It is said to be anative
of Poland, Sweden, and Scandinavia, as well as of the northern
parts of America. We have read that it sometimes attains a
weight exceeding eleven hundred pounds.

The reindeer is a most useful and valuable creature ; the
true friend of man in some of nature’s most inhospitable
regions. The North-American Indian tribes would often be’
totally unable to inhabit their barren’ hunting-grounds, were it
not for the immense herds of these animals which are found
there. They supply the people with food; their horns are
turned to advantage in making fish-spears and hooks; their
skins supply clothing, with bedding and coverings for tents ;
knives are made of the bone ; the tendons make capital thread ;
and in various other ways is the reindcer turned to account.
These Indians, however, have never attempted to domesticate it,
but have treated it only as a beast of chase. It isthe Laplander
who has tamed it, and made it so helpful to man ; and, indeed,
this animal is the only riches of which he can boast. A herd of
five hundred reindeer marks thesowner as a wealthy man.
These supply him with milk to make cheese. What a pleasant
picture it must be, such a large number of these creatures
brought together at milking-time, standing about amongst the-
tents, tame and patient as our own European cows. It reminds
us of some of the scenes spoken about in’ Genesis, when the
wealth of the Patriarchs consisted mostly of flocks and herds.
_ The reindeer is also the only beast of burden and of conveyance
which the Laplander possesses, and is invaluable to him in this
respect. It is yoked to a sledge by acollar, and guided by reics

G2
100 . GLEANINGS IN

attached to its horns. Its usual load is nearly three hundred
pounds, and with this weight it will trot over the snow at the
rate of ten miles an hour ; but when urged, it can run at a much
greater speed. Some have been known to go at the rate of
nineteen miles an hour.

But our space will not permit us to mention all the different
kinds of deer.

One more species we will, however, just allude to; and that
is the stag, or red-deer, originally a native of Barbary, where it
































































































































NATURAL IISTORY. 101

is still found wild, In our illustration some of our readers will
readily recognize him, as he may often be seen in gentlemen’s
parks, A short time ago we saw a small herd of this species
moving about amongst the fine trees of a park, and wondered
much how any sportsman could have the heart to kill such
graceful, gentle creatures, especially in our own land, where
they are so little required for food. Before our country was so
much cultivated, they abounded in many parts of it; and, indeed,
even now in the Highlands of Scotland, numbers of them are to
be found. It iy said that, in the forest of Athol, a hundred
thousand acres are devoted to the range of the red-deer. _

They are shy and timid, and love.seclusion; and require,
therefore, more space than can well be afforded in a country
whose constantly-increasing population demands that every acre
be turned to good account. Here is a picture in words of this
beautiful creature :—

The mountain-ash, with its burthen,
Its burthen of berries red,

Yields a friendly, fostering covert,
When, with silent, stealthy tread,

“The antler’d king of the forest
Halts cautiously to browse :
But should even a breath or a whistle
His half-waked fears arcuse,—

“The black eye peers wary and restless,
The raised fore-foot, slim as a reed,
Is pressed to the velvet greensward,
And away with an arrow’s speed]?
102 GLEAN:NGS IN

. THE MULE,

"J .VHE Mule is in the Bible first mentioned in connection with
the reign of King David. On the occasion of Israel
gathering to make the son of Jesse king at Hebron, we read
that they “brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules,
and on oxen,” (1 Chron. xii. 40.) Absalom used one for his own
riding, and lost his life through it, (2 Sam. xviii. 9,) though’ he
had chariots and horses ; (2 Sam. xv. 1;) and in this he only
followed the fashion of all the royal princes. For we find “ all
the king’s sons,” on their visit to Absalom, riding on mules,
(2 Sam. xiii. 29.) King David himself used the same easy-paced
but somewhat humble animal; so that when his successor was
to be formally put into his office, an important part of the
ceremony was thus ordained by the king: “Cause Solomon
my son to ride upon mine own mule.” (1 Kings i. 33.)

The Israelites probably brought their mules from Egypt and
Armenia. In the account of the yearly tribute paid to Solomon
by “The kings of the earth,” we find mules enumerated as well
ashorses. (2 Chron. ix. 24.) During the great famine in Samaria,
we read that Ahab sent Obadiah in search of water and grass
that the “horses and mules” might be kept alive. (1 Kings
xvii. 5). And in the reign of Jehoram, we find Naaman asking
Elisha for “two mules’ burden of earth.” (2 Kings v. 17.)

In the time of Homer, these animals were considered as
NATURAL HISTORY, 103

worthy of being employed by kings. A pair of them drew the
car on which Priam, the King of Troy, carried to the Grecian
camp the ransom for the body of his slain son Hector, and on
which he conveyed the corpse back to the city.

In modern times, the mules of Persia are described as of
large size, and of astonishing strength and power of endurance.
They will travel over rocky mountains, day after day, at the
rate of from twenty-five to fifty miles in the twenty-four hours,
loaded with a weight of three hundred pounds. In Syria,
travellers of rank recline in a kind of litter, carried by mules ;
one before and one behind, each carrying the ends of the poles
harnessed on each side. In Egypt, four are usually employed,
two before and two behind.

Nowhere is this animal more valued than in Spain and Por-
tugal. They are indispensable to the carrying on of the inland
commerce of those countries. One traveller thus writes : “ With
wary caution and cool resolution, the mules traverse the difficult
pass along the edge of the tremendous precipice: they plod
their way up the toilsome winding ascent, or follow the steep,
downward path, rugged as it may be, with untiring perseverance.
It sometimes happens that an abrupt declivity of more than
usual steepness has to be passed ; and it is then the mule has to
put forth all its sagacity and courage. It proceeds cautiously,
with the fore-legs stretched forwards, and the hind limbs bent
under the body. Taking step by step with the utmost wariness,
and fixing its attitude and balance, it at length slides down the
rocky surface of the descent, and gains the place of security.
The traveller who ventures the mountain-passes on a mule,


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NATURAL HISTORY. 105

-must keep his nerves firm and his head steady, and must trust to

theanimal entirely. He must neither check nor urgeit. Though
the narrow shelf along which he is passing presents a towering
wall on the one side, and a profound abyss on the other, still
he may rely on his mule if he can on his own firmness.”

Of equal service aré these creatures among the frightful
passes of the Cordilleras, or Andes, in South America. Here
everything depends upon their intelligence, courage, steadi-
ness, and surefootedness. There is one steep path which,
Humboldt tells us, is called “ Purgatory,” because of its fearful-
ness. In going down this pass, the mules draw their hind-legs
near their fore-legs, and lowering themselves backwards, slide
down at a venture ; but the rider runs no risk, provided he
loosens the bridle and leaves the animal entirely at liberty in
its movements. The traveller says: “ After passing through
a thick forest, we descended without intermission for seyen
hours. It is difficult to form an idea of a more tremendous
declivity. It is a real road of steps, a kind of ravine, in which
during the rainy season, impetuous torrents tumble from rock to
rock. The steps are from two to three feet high, and the
unfortunate beasts of burden, after having measured with their
eye the space necessary to let their load pass between the
trunks of trees, leap from one rock to another. Afraid of
missing their leap, ‘we saw them stop for a few minutes to
examine the ground, and bring together their four feet, like
wild goats. If the animal do not reach the nearest block of
stone, he sinks half his depth in the clay, which fills up:the
hollows between the rocks, The Creoles have sufficient confi-
106 GLEANINGS IN

‘dence in the address and instinct of the mules to remain on
their saddles during this long and dangerous descent.”

After going through exertions like these, no one can grudge
such an abundant feed of hay as the muleteer in our picture is
represented as giving his trusty companions in travel,

*
















NATURAL HISTORY. 107

THE ELEPHANT AND THE MUTINEERS.

OME time ago a very fine specimen of the Asiatic Elephant
was landed at Southampton.. The animal was an exceed-
ingly fine one, standing several feet in height, with large tusks,
and between three and four years of age. It was shipped at
Bombay, and was under the charge of a native of Sumatra,
named Ramee Jhandeegar, (familiarly known on board ship by
the term “ Ramy,”) to whom the elephant was much attached,
and who had brought the huge brute under perfect subjection.
During the first few days after the ship had cleared the land,
everything went on well; but, stormy weather coming on, a
spirit of disobedience was displayed by some of the crew. The
would-be mutineers assembled together, one evening, near the
wheel-house on the main-deck, close to where the elephant was
chained, and held council as to their future proceedings. The
keeper Ramy, lying at the side of the animal, feigned sleep,
although he paid attention to what the wicked men were saying.
He heard the whole details of a plot to murder the captain, and
a great portion of the crew and passengers ; and he ascertained
that he himself was one of those who were to be massacred.
The onslaught was to be made when the watch was changed
that very night. : :
No time was to be lost in warning the captain of the danger;
_but it was utterly impossible for Ramy to proceed to the state-
108 GLEANINGS IN

cabin without incurring the greatest possible risk, inasmuch as
he would have been compelled to have passed through the midst
of the mutineers ; and they certainly would not have scrupled
in killing at once one whom they had themselves selected as .a
victim. The wily keeper, however, took a wiser course; and, .
as it turned out, a very serviceable one. Noiselessly unfastening
the chain which bound the elephant’s legs, Ramy set the animal
at liberty: and, springing to his feet in an instant, he bounded
into the midst of the mutineers, followed by the clephant. On
his giving a signal to the intelligent creature, it laid about it
right and left with its trunk, and the astonished sailors were
quickly thrown down on the deck, wounded and bleeding, and
shouting loudly for mercy. The captain, hearing the disturbance,
was soon on the spot ; and, having been made acquainted with
the facts of the case, caused the mutineers to be placed in irons,
to be brought to justice at the first port at which they might
touch. The wounds caused by the animal’s trunk were frightful.

This elephant gave many other proofs, on the voyage, of his
intelligence and sagacity. On one occasion, during a heavy
gale of wind, he saved a man from a watery grave, by seizing
him by his jacket just as he was slipping from off the bulwarks ;
and on another he prevented the first mate of the vessel from
being severely bitten by a ferocious mastiff belonging to one of
the passengers. The dog was flying at the throat of the man,
when his spring was arrested by the elephant, which, taking
firm hold of him with his trunk, hurled him over the side of the
ship into the ocean.
NATURAL HISTORY. 109

THE RHINOCEROS.

HE word “ Rhinoceros” is made up of two Greek words,

one of which means a “horn,” and the other a “snout.”

The huge animal to which this name is given belongs to the

Order of pachydermata, another Greek word, which means

“thick-skinned.” It has each foot divided into three toes, and

is furnished with one or more “horns ;” which are not placed

like those of the cow, or the elephant, but on its nose. There

are several species, the best known of which are the Indian, or
one-horned ; and the African, or two-horned.



ONE-HORNED RHINOCEROS.
110 GLEANINGS IN

The one-horned rhinoceros is a native of India, and particu-
larly of that part beyond the river Ganges. It is a clumsy-
looking creature. The upper lip, which is very large, and
overhangs the lower, is furnished with strong muscles, and is
employed by the animal somewhat as the elephant uses his
trunk. Its ears are large, erect, and pointed. The skin, which
ig rough, is without -hair or other covering, and is very thick ;
about the neck it is gathered into folds, as also in other parts of
its body. It lives in shady forests near to rivers, or in the
swampy jungles in which its native country abounds.

Though it has-great strength, and is more than a match for
the elephant, or the tiger, it is quiet and inoffensive, unless
provoked. Its smelling and hearing are singularly acute.
Canes and shrubs are its chief food. The flesh somewhat
rerembles pork in taste, though of a coarser grain and stronger
flavour. Some have supposed this species to be the “unicorn”
of the Bible ; but this seems rather to have been some kind of
wild-ox, an animal which was spread anciently from the Rhine
to China, and existed in Asia Minor. |

The single-horned rhinoceros was well-known to the ancients

and was introduced into the games of the Roman circus.*

%

* In those games great numbers of wild beasts were often driven to destroy
each other. On one occasion, there were provided no fewer than thirty-two
elephants, ten tigers, ten elks, sixty lions, thirty leopards, one hippopotamus,
one rhinoceros, forty wild horses, twenty wild asses, and ten camelopards ;
with avast number of deer, goats, antelopes, and other animals. Two thousand
gladiators were, at the same time, compelled to engage in mortal combat, still
further to gratify the thirst of the Romans for blood. Such were the public
shows in which the people delighted at Rome long after the Gospel had been.
preached there by St, Paul and others,

‘
111

NATURAL HISTORY.

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112 -GLEANINGS. IN

opened the way to India by the Cape of Good Hope, the.
rhinoceros again became known; and many specimens were
brought to Europe. The first that appeared in England was in
1684.

The two-horned species is a native of Africa. It differs from
that found in India in being provided with an: additional horn,
of a smaller size, near the forehead. Its skin, also, is not
thrown into the folds so remarkable in the Indian rhinoceros.
A specimen of this animal has lately been brought to England,
and is now in the gardens of the Zoological Society of London.
We give a sketch of it, along with its keeper. It is a young
male, about six fect long, and three feet six inches high. It
was caught in Upper Nubia. It is quite tame ; and, at present,
is in good health ; its chief food is clover—hay.

The rhinoceros is greatly inferior to the elephant in docility.
The. skin is used for whips and walking-canes. It is also used
“by the Japanese for shields. Drinking-cups were formerly
made of the horns ; and an ancient author says, that the Roman
ladies used them as cases to hold their hottles of perfumes and
oils. A coin-of the time of Domitian represents a combat
between a two-horned rhinoceros and a bear, in which the latter
appears to be tossed into the air with as much ease as © bull:
would toss a troublesome ctr, * .
NATURAL HISTORY, 113

BIRDS.

HE wisdom of God is seen in every part of creation, and

especially in the different tribes of birds. The beauty
displayed in their graceful forms and varied colours strikes
every beholder ; while the adaptation of their organs for the
purposes of flight, their peculiar habits and modes of living,
are a constant source of admiration to the student of nature.

Almost everything about the shape of a bird fits it for
moving rapidly in the air, and all parts of its body are arranged
so as to give it lightness along with strength. The soft and
delicate plumage of birds protects them from cold or moisture ;
their wings, though so delicate, are furnished with muscles of
such power as to strike the air with great force ; whilst their
tails act like the rudder of a ship, so that they can direct their
course at pleasure with the utmost ease.

The internal structure of a bird also is such as to help it to
sustain itself in, and to fly quickly through, the air. Its lungs
are pierced with large holes, which allow air to pass into cavities
in the breast, and even into the interior of the bones. It is thus
not only rendered buoyant, but.is enabled to breathe even while
in rapid motion. Two sparrows, it is said, require as much air
to maintain their breathing properly as a guinea-pig.

In many other ways the skill-and goodness of God are seen in
the ‘fowl of the air.’ Their neck and beak are long and very

iH
1i4 GLEANINGS IN

moveable, so that they may readily pick up food and other
objects from the ground. The muscles of their toes are so
arranged that the simple weight of the body closes them, and
they are able in consequence to sit on a perch a long time with-
out fatigue. Even in a violent wind a bird easily retains its
hold of the branch or twig on which it is sitting. Their bills
are of almost all forms: in some kinds they are straight: in
others curved, sometimes upwards and sometimes downwards ;
in others they are flat ; in some they are in the form of a cone,
wedge-shaped, or hooked. The bill enables a bird to take hold
of its food, to strip it or divide it. It is useful also in carrying
materials for its nest, or food to its young ; and in the birds of
prey, such as the owl, the hawk, the falcon, eagle, etc., the beak
is a formidable weapon of attack.

The nostrils of birds are usually of an oval form, and are
placed near the base of the beak. Their eyes are so constructed
that they can see near and distant objects equally well, and
their: sight is very acute. The sparrow-hawk discerns the
small birds which are its prey at an incredible distance. No
tribe of birds possesses an outward ear, except those which
seek their food by night ; these have one in the form of a thin,
leathery piece of flesh. The inside ear, however, is very large,
and their hearing is very quick.

Another admirable feature in the structure of birds consists
in their feathers. These are well adapted for security, warmth,
and freedom of motion. The larger feathers of the body are
placed over each other like the slates on the roof of a house, so
that water is permitted to run off and cold is kept out. The
WATURAL HISTORY. 115

down, which is placed under the feathers, is a further protection
against the cold ; and hence it is most abundant in those species
that are found in northern climates. ‘The feathery covering of
birds forms their peculiar beauty : on this in the warm climates
Nature bestows her most delicate and brightest colours.

Another point which sets forth the resources of Infinite
Wisdom, is the structure and uses of the wings of birds. The
size of the wings is not always in proportion to the bulk of
their bodies, but is accommodated to their habits of living
Accordingly, birds of prey, swallows, and such birds as are
intended to hover along in the air, have much longer wings, in
proportion to their size, than hens, ducks, quails, etc. In some,
such as the ostrich, the cassowary, and penguin, the largest
quill-feathers of the wing are entirely wanting.

Then, again, how varied is the flight of birds! The falcon
soars above the clouds, and remains in the air for many hours
without any sign of exertion. The swallow, the lark, and other
species, sail long distances with little effort. Others, like the
sparrow and the humming-bird, have a fluttering flight. Some,
as the owl, fly without any noise ; and gome, like the partridge,
with a loud whirr.

* Around the head
Of wandering swain, the white-wing’d plover wheels
Her sounding flight, and then directly on
Tn long excursion skims the level lawn,
To tempt him from her nest.’?

How graceful are the motions of the hawk, sweeping higher
and higher in circles, as he surveys far and wide the expanse of
fields and meadows below, in which he hopes to espy his prey.

H2
116 GLEANINGS IN

We have not space to say even a little about the roosting,
the swimming or running, the migration, the habits and instincts,
the varied notes and pleasant songs, of the endless species of
birds. All these subjects are well worthy of being carefully
studied ; for they all show how full of meaning was that. word
of God, on the fifth day, when He said, ‘‘ Let the waters bring
forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl
that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”


NATURAL HISTORY. 117

THE GOLDEN EAGLE.

HE Eagle has been raised, by the popular voice, to the
ake rank of the noblest and most courageous of the birds of
prey. Its natural fierceness is such, that it has seldom been
employed for the purposes of the chase, like the falcon ; it has
rarely been rendered so docile as to obey its keeper. It soars to
a greater height than any other bird, from which circumstance
the ancients called it the “messenger of Jove,” the loftiest of
their imaginary deities. Its power of sight is astonishing.
Even in a captive state, it lives for a great length of time. A
gentleman says that he kept one nine years, having received it
from a person who had had it in his possession thirty-two.

The principal -species are,

1. The Imperial Eagle. This is the largest known. It is
stouter than the common eagle. The high mountains of the
middle of Europe are its chief resort.

2. The Golden Eagle. This fine bird measures, from the
point of the bill to the tips of the toes, upwards of three feet,
and from tip to tip of its wings above six, It weighs from
twelve to eighteen pounds. The bill is of a blue colour, the
eyes are large, deep sunk, and covered with a, projecting brow.
Its general hue is a deep brown mixed with tawny on its head
and neck ; the quills are chocolate, with white shafts ; the tail is
black, spotted with ash colour: the legs yellow, the toes very
118 GLEANINGS IN

scaly, and the claws remarkably large. It is found in various
parts of Europe, and of North America. In the latter country»

however, it is rare.


NATURAL HISTORY. 119

3. The Common or Ring-tailed Eagle. This is said by some
to be the young of the variety just described. The same nests
are made use of by these eagles for a succession of years.
They are, in fact, of great bulk, and of such durable materials
as to be almost indestructible. They are built, in dry and
inaccesible situations, of large twigs, lined with several layers
of reeds or brainbles ; of a flat form, several feet in breadth, and
of such strength as to support not only the eagles and their
young, but the large quantity of food they provide for them.

4, The White-tailed Eagle. This species is not so large as
the Golden Eagle. It inhabits the far north, and is extremely
ferocious. Its food is principally fish, and it builds its nest
upon lofty trees. It is known by its black bill, and white tail.

5. The Great Eagle of Guiana. This creature is furnished
with a terrible beak and claws. Its size is larger than that of
the Common Eagle, and it is said to be so powerful as to be

_ able to kill a man by a blow of its beak. Its usual food is the
sloth, though it sometimes carries off fawns. It is furnished
with long plumes, which form a black tuft on the back of the
head, and can be raiscd, giving it somewhat of the appearance
of an owl.

6. The Bald Eagle. This is the most distinguished of the
North American species. It is common to both continents,
chiefly frequenting the neighbourhood of the sea, and the shores’
and cliffs of lakes and large rivers. The nest of this bird is
usually found on a lofty tree, in a swamp or morass ; and, being
repaired and increased every season, it becomes of a surprising
size. Its materials are sticks, sods, hay, moss, etc. Few of the
120 GLEANINGS IW

feathered tribe provide more abundantly for their young than
the Bald Eagle. Fish are carried to the eaglets in such numbers
that they sometimes lie scattered round the tree, so that the
smell of thé nest may be perceived at the distance of several
hundred yards.

The Golden Eagle, though occasionally seen in the southern
counties of England, is more commonly found in Scotland,
and its western and northern isles. It also inhabits Iceland,



Scandinavia, Russia, and Germany. In France it is said to be
not uncommon in the forests of Fontainebleau, and in the Alps
and Pyrenees. It is met with also in Sicily, in Asia Minor,
and several parts of India.

The flight of this bird is described by those who have
witnessed it as very majestic. From the great strength of
which it is possessed, it preys with ease on lambs, hares, and
other game, seldom feeding on fish or carrion, and rarely on
NATURAL HISTORY. 121

anything which it finds dead. A gentleman states that on one
occasion, when he was out hunting among some mountains in
Ireland, an eagle of this kind appeared above the hounds as
they came to a fault, or lost the track, on the ascent to the
highest of the chain. As they came on the track again and
were in full chase, the eagle for a short time kept still above
them, but at length made a rush and carried off the hare, when
at a distance of three or four hundred paces before the hounds.
In Sicily a pair of these birds have been seen to hunt together
for small animals. This they do in the following manner : one
of them makes a loud rustling noise by a violent beating of its
wings against bushes and shrubs, while the other remains in
ambush at a short distancé, watching for anything that may
appear. A rabbit or a hare, if driven out, is immediately
pounced upon, and the prey thus obtained is shared with its
companion


122 GLEANINGS LN

THE OWL.

Ree appearance of Owls is so singular, that when once seen
they are not readily forgotten, They have but little



















































































































































THE HORNED OWL.
NATURAL HISTORY. 123

beauty of form. The head is large, the body bulky, the plumage
soft and downy. They seek their prey during the twilight of
morning and evening, and probably through a good part of the
night, when the moon or the state of the atmosphere affords
sufficient light for the purpose. By superstitious people, owls
have been considered birds of ill-omen, and by some as
messengers giving notice of the approach of death. This is no
‘doubt owing to their habit of flying by night, the strange look
occasioned by the arrangement of the feathers of the face, their
peculiar hollow tone of voice, and to the circumstance that many
of the species choose lonely ruins, deserted buildings, and the
retired parts of woods, as places of resort, because of the
solitude and protection which are there afforded them. To one
who has never before heard it, the hooting of an owl by night is
startling ; when several answer each other while in the gloom
they scour the woodsin search of mice and small birds, a stranger
to their cries may almost be forgiven, especially if he be alone,
for a moment's timidity. _
These birds appear to be very sensit've to light: and in the
day-time, the eyes of several varieties of them are either shut
entirely, or are protected by an inner eyelid, which they are able
to let down or raise with great rapidity. Their faculty of
hearing ‘is probably more acute than that of many other birds ;
the opening towards the ear isin some specics very large, and
furnished with a covering which is moveable at pleasure. ‘Their
flight is easy and light, but not rapid ; and from the softness of
their feathers, even those of the wings, they fly without noise.
They vary greatly in size; the larger ones devour small animals,
{24 GLEANINGS IN

birds, reptiles, and sometimes fishes, while the smaller kinds
feed upon beetles and moths that fly in the twilight.
Owls are usually arranged by naturalists in two principal


















qi ih Ff nit a paint t ik (nlés ES He ey i, "€
Hy a i) i A, A ly “« | ve :

- Wiese Nes Sx ONG

TIE GREAT EAGLE OWL.

groups, or families ; one, in which all the species have two tufts

of feathers on the head: which have been called horns, or egrets 3
NATURAL HISTORY. 125

another, in which the heads are smooth and round without

tufts.
The Eagle Owl which is one of the largest species of the



THE BARN OWL.

family, inhabits the North of Europe generally, but is not often
seen in this country. Its food consists of game, such as fawns,
hares, grouse, etc., as well as birds, It pounces on these
126 GLEANINGS IN

creatures upon the ground, seizing them with its feet, and
seldom advances its head towards its victims till their struggles
are over. The nest of this bird is placed among rocks or the
walls of old ruins, the materials collected for it being spread over
a surface of several square feet.

The White, or Barn Owl, is found in this country all the year
round ; it is remarkable for the colour of its plumage, and is
probably the best known of all the British species of owls. It
inhabits churches, barns, old malting-kilns, or ruined buildings
of any sort, and also takes up its abode in holes in decayed trees.
If not molested, the same haunts are frequented, either by parent
birds or their offspring, many years in succession. It is an
active destroyer of rats and mice, for which service they are
by some strictly protected. They seldom leave their retreat
during the day ; and if their place of concealment be approached
with caution, and a view of the bird be obtained, it will generally
be observed to have its eyes closed, as if asleep.

About sunset a pair of these owls, particularly when they have
young ones, issue forth in quest of food, and may be seen
flapping gently along, searching lanes, hedge-rows, orchards and
small enclosures near out-buildings. They feed on young rats,
_ mice, shrews, small birds, and insects. Sometimes they even
succeed in catching fish. A gentleman residing in Yorkshire,
having observed some scales of fishes in the nest of a pair of
these birds, which had built near a lake on his premises, was
induced one moonlight night to watch their motions. To his
surprise he saw one of them plunge into the water, and seize a
perch, which it bore away to its nest, whence it was afterwards
NATURAL HISTORY. 127

taken. This species is said, when satisfied, to hide the
remainder of its meat like a dog.

Owls have been noticed for an extraordinary attachment to
their young. An instance of this was witnessed by a Swedish
gentleman, who lived several years on a farm near a steep
mountain, on the summit of which two Eagle owls had built
their nest.

One day in the month of J uly a young bird, having quitted
the nest, was caught by the servants. This bird was, considering
the season of the year, well feathered ; but the dowu appeared
here and there between those feathers which had not attained to
their full growth. After it was caught, it was shut up ina large
hen-coop when to the captors’ surprise, on the following
morning, a fine young partridge was found lying dead before the
door of the coop. It was immediately concluded that this
provision had been brought there by the old ones, which no
doubt had been making search in the night time for their lost
young one. And such was, indeed, the fact; for night after
night, for fourteen days, was the same mark of attention
repeated. The game which the old birds carried to the captive
consisted chiefly of young partridges, for the most part newly
killed, but sometimes a little spoiled. On one occasion a moor-
fowl was found, so fresh that it was still warm under the wings ;
at another time a lamb that had been dead a considerable time
was brought,
128 GLEANINGS IN

SWALLOWS.

e HE Swallow,” says Sir Humphry Davy, “is one of my

favourite birds. He cheers my sense of seeing as much
as other birds my sense of hearing. He is the glad prophet of
the year, the harbinger of the best season. He lives a life of
enjoyment amongst the loveliest forms of nature. Winter is
unknown to him ; and he leaves the green meadows of England
in autumn for the myrtle and orange groves of Italy, and for
the palms of Africa.”

I think most children know something of the swallow, as it
is not corifined to the country, like some other birds. Although
seen to most advantage when sweeping over hill and dale, across
the meadows, and now and then skimming with graceful, rapid
wing some sheet of water, yet they are also inhabitants of our
towns, and in some of our busiest streets they may occasionally
be seen hurrying along, eluding all enemies by their power of
wing. Ever since I was a child myself, a feeling of gladness
has been excited in my mind on catching a glimpse of the “first
swallow.” I remember, afew years ago, standing on a rock
jutting out into the sea, and gazing on the placid waters, when
suddenly there darted past me a swallow, the first I had seen
thatseason ; and on my uttering an exclamation of pleasure, alittle
maiden by-my side gravely remarked that “one swallow does
not make summer.” She repeated the proverb, but probably did
not understand what gave rise to it. So I will tell you.
NATURAL HISTORY. 129

It is well known that these beautiful birds prefer their old
homes and haunts, which they have previously occupied, and
where the young birds have been hatched. If, on arriving on
our shores, they do not find themselves in their old neighbour-





























































































G sat

Z hype
<


130: GLEANINGS IN

hood, they only rest long enough to recover from the fatigue of
their long flight, and then are off again ; and sometimes those that
belong to the place may not make their appearance for a week
or two afterwards. Still, if we see a straggler or two, we know
the others are not far off, and that our eyes will soon be delighted
with their rapid and graceful motions.

“ Welcome, welcome, feather’d stranger !
Now the sun bids nature smile ;
Safe arrived, and free from danger,
Welcome to our blooming isle !
Still twitter on my lowly roof,
And hail me at the dawn of day ;
Each morn the recollected proof
Of time that ever fleets away !

“ Fond of sunshine, fond of shade,

Fond of skies serene and clear ;

Even transient storms thy joys invade,
In fairest seasons of the year.

What makes thee seek a milder clime ?—
What bids thee shun the wintry gale ?—

How knowest thou thy departing time ?
Hail! wondrous bird ; hail, swallow, hail!

“ Sure something more to thee is given
Than myriads of the feather’d race +
Some gift Divine, some spark from heaven,
That guides thy flight from place to place!
NATURAL HISTORY, 181

Still freely come, still freely go,
And blessings crown thy vigorous wing ;
May thy wide flight meet no rude foe
Delightful messenger of Spring.”

After the swallows have arrived, and recruited their strength,
they begin to prepare their nests, in which ‘are to be deposited
their tiny eggs, and which is to be the home of the future young
ones.

You will like to hear something of the way in which they
build, and we will select for this purpose the one called the
House Martin. I think I cannot do better than quote from that
delightful naturalist, White of Selbourne. He says :—“ The
crust, or shell, of thisnest seems to be forthed of such dirt or
loam as comes most readily to hand, and is tempered and
wrought together with little bits of broken straws, to render it
tough and tenacious. As this bird often builds against a per-
pendicular wall, without any projecting ledge under, it requires
its utmost efforts to get the first foundation firmly fixed, so that
it may safely carry the superstructure. On this occasion tho
bird not only clings with its claws, but partly supports itself
by strongly inclining its tail against the wall, making that a

- fulcrum [or support] ; and thus steadied, it works and plasters
the materials into the face of the brick or stone. But then, that
this work may not, while it is soft and green, pull itself down
by its:own weight, the provident architect has prudence and
forbearance enough not to advance too fast ; but, by building
only in the morning, and by dedicating the rest of the day to

12
132, GLEANINGS IN

food and amugement, gives it sufficient time to dry and harden.
About half an inch seems to be a sufficient layer for aday. By
this method, in about ten or twelve days is formed an hemi-
spheric nest, with a small aperture towards the top, strong,
compact, and warm, and perfectly fitted for all the purposes for
which it is intended. These industrious artificers are at their

































































































































































































































































fabours in the long days before fourin the morning. When they
fix their mateiials, they plaster them on with their chins,
moving: their heads with a quick vibratory motion. It has been
observed that martins usually build on a north-east or north-.
west aspect, that the heat of the sun may not crack or destroy
their nests.” - 2 :
NATURAL HISTORY. 133

I do not wish now to tell you much more about the swallows,
because I should like you to find out for yourselves, by reading
and observation, all their habits. You may learn lessons of
early rising and industry from them, and some others also, if
you think over the little I have told you.

One of the pictures represents a gathering of the swallows
just before leaving us for the winter. They frequently fleck
together in this manner for a day or two, and seem as if they
were laying their plans, and arranging the mode of their flight,
with other matters connected with the long journey they have
before them. They come to us in April, and mostly leave about
the end of October; so, if you will carefully watch, you may,
perhaps, have the pleasure of seeing one of these gatherings,
and hearing their pleasant twitterings.


134 NATURAL HISTORY,

THE KINGFISHS

(y\HE Kingfisher is one of the most beautiful of British birds,
L and will bear a comparison with many of those which are
brought from climates thought more favourable to the production
of brilliant colours. It is found, pretty generally, throughout
the British Islands, but does not seem to be numerous anywhere.
It inhabits the banks of rivers and brooks, sometimes fixing its
abode in the vicinity of fish-ponds ; and the bird is most fre-
quently seen when flying along near the surface of the water.
Its food consists of water-beetles, leeches, minnows, sticklebacks,
and probably any other small fish which it can seize upon by
surprise. For this purpose the kingfisher takes a station near
the water, sitting on the branch of a bush or tree overhanging
the stream, or on arail by the water-side, whence it darts in-
stantancously upon any passing prey. Sometimes it hovers on
the wing, watching for a plunge which is to secure its victim.
When it catches a fish or a water-beetle, it is with its beak only.
So true is its aim, that it seldom fails to gain the fish it strikes
at; which, when caught, is brought to the usual waiting-place,
and is always swallowed head-foremost.

Kingfishers are solitary in their habits. A pair will take
possession of a hole already formed by some burrowing animal,
by the river-side, often but little above the level of the water.
Sometimes they build their nests among the roots of an old tree,
NATURAL HISTORY, 135

They have been found also in a bank frequented by sand-
martings, at a distance from water; and a nest was once dis-
covered in a gravel-pit, close to a public foot-path. There were
six eggs in the nest, which was made of small fish-bones, and
was placed about two feet in the bank, The young ones do not
leave the hole in which they are hatched till they are fully
fledged, and are able to fly ; when, seated on some neighbouring
branch, they may be known by their clamorous twittering,
greeting the old birds as they pass to and fro over the surface
of the stream. In a short time, however, they begin to fish for
themselves, and take the plumage of a full-grown bird.

The kingfisher flies rapidly, with a quick action of his short
wing's, and is a difficult bird to shoot when in motion. It is
said to have a shrill piping note, and is known to quit waters
inland when the frosts of winter approach, visiting, for a time,
the flat shores of the sea. In form it is bulky, and heavy for
its size and length. Its beak is about an inch and a half long.
I have not space to tell you all the colours which distinguish
this beautiful bird. Tints of orange, red, brown, green, and
blue are mixed with black, white, chestnut, and buff, in different
parts of its body. Darting along in the sunshine, it seems a
mass of brilliant blue and green. Its extreme length is seven
inches. It is found in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and
Sicily, as well as in the northern parts of Africa, and in Asia
Minor. Some are met with in Scotland, but more in Ireland.

It was formerly believed that during the time the “halcyon,”
or kingfisher, was engaged in hatching her eggs, the water
remained so smooth and calm, that the mariners might venture











NATURAL HISTORY. ; 137

on the sea without fear of being exposed to storms and
tempests. This period was therefore called the “‘haleyon days.”
Thus an old Greek poet says,—

“ May halcyons smooth the waves and calm the seas ;”

and Cowper, who, you know, lived in the last century, has the
couplet,—

“ As firm as the rock, and as calm as the flood,
Where the peace-loving haleyon deposits her brood.”

Of course there is no truth in such fancies, and the phrase
“haleyon days” is now only used by poets occasionally as
meaning times of peace and unbroken happiness.

I have seen two or three specimens of this handsome bird
in the course of an afternoon’s holiday-ramble. One has
scarcely time to discover its beauty before it is fled, so rapid
are its motions. But once seen, you may probably get
another sight of it by lingering a little on the same spot ; for
it flies up and down the stream which it frequents without
wandering very far from the bank in which its nest is laid and -
the young ones are reared. What a pity it is that idle people
stroll about with guns, shooting at every bird they see, and
depriving the secluded stream, and the pleasant copse-wood on
its margin, of one of their chicf attractions. This is called
“sport ;” but I, for one, would far rather, if I could have
holidays again, spend them in some pleasant ramble, enjoying
the flight of the wild fowl, the song of the feathered choristers
of the groves, and the flitting beauty of the thrush, the jay, and
the kingfisher in their native freedom.
138 GLEANINGS IN

THE JACKDAW.

S OISY as a jackdaw ;” yct this bird, let me confess, is
quite a favourite of mine. Perhaps he would be a
favourite of yours too, if you were familiar with his history and
ways. Let me then tell you a few things about him which I
think will interest you,
Jackdaws, in some of their habits, are very much like rooks,
for which they are by inattentive observers often taken. They
live together in considerable numbers throughout the year.
Whether seeking for food, building their nests, or rearing their
young, perfect harmony appears to prevail among them. They
are even more bold and familiar than rooks, approaching the
dwelling of man, and sometimes taking shelter under the same
roof with him. There is also an air of greater cheerfulness
than in the bird which in general appearance they so much
resemble. The jackdaws seem to prefer cultivated districts,
frequenting and building in church-towers, belfries, and steeples.
A great number of them constantly inhabit the higher parts of
Windsor Castle. Sometimes they make their nests in hollow
trees; they have been frequently found in rabbit-burrows ;
and on the sea-coast they occupy cavities in high cliffs, or
perpendicular rocks. “In Cambridgeshire,” says a naturalist,
‘“jackdaws build very much in chimneys, which are sometimés —
quite stopped up from the quantity of sticks brought together.
Neither do they appear to mind smoke, as I have known them
NATURAL HISTORY. 139

attempt to build in the chimney of a room in which there was a
fire kept pretty regularly from day to day.” Wool, and other
soft substances, are the materials used in lining their nests.

These birds are very numerous at Cambridge, on account of
the abundant accommodation for their nests which the various
churches ‘and college-buildings supply. The Botanic Garden
there has three of its sides enclosed by thickly-built parts of the
town, and has five parish-churches and five colleges within a
short flight of it. The jackdaws discovered that the wooden
labels used in the garden, to indicate to visitors the names of
plants, would serve well enough for their nests instead of twigs
from trees. They found out, too, that they possessed the
greater convenience of being prepared ready for use, and
placed very near home. A large part of the labels were made
out of deal laths, being about nine inches long and one inch
broad. To these the jackdaws helped themselves freely when-
ever they had an opportunity, and the size of the garden made
it easy for them to carry them off without being detected. The
trouble which they thus gave was, as you may readily suppose,
yery great. People could not tell the exact names of shrubs,
plants, and flowers somewhat resembling one another; and.
when the labels were carried off from spots at which seeds had
been sown, the annoyance was quite serious. The number of
labels removed in a year must have been very large ; for, from
the shaft of one chimney, no less than two hundred and sixteen
were once taken out, and carried to the gentleman who had the
care of the garden. I- scarcely think the jackdaw was a
favourite bird of his.
140 - GLEANINGS IN






















































































































































































NATURAL HISTORY. 141

At Saunby Church, near Gainsborough, a pair of jackdaws
began to build their nests in a spiral staircase, the steps of
which are narrow and steep. Finding they could not get a firm
base, so that the nest should be flat, and fit to sit on, the birds
brought sticks until they had piled them up five or six steps,
after which came a landing ; and then they finished their work
securely.

Young jackdaws are easily tamed, and become much attached
to those who feed them. They soon learn to imitate the human
voice, and exhibit other amusing qualities. Their food consists
of insects, seeds, or grain, and eggs; on the sea-shore they
search for shell-fish and the remains of other kinds of fish.

These birds are not confined to Great Britain. They are
found in the northern parts of Europe and Asia; and in
Germany, France, and Italy, and the northern shores of Africa.
They are very common in Holland. In America the jackdaw
is not known ; nor in India.

The beak is black and short ; the crown of the head black ;
the whole of the neck behind, and on the sides, smoke-grey ;
the whole of the ‘back, wings, and tail, black; the wings
exhibit a shining blue colour ; all the under surface of the body
rusty black ; legs, toes, and claws, shining black. The whole
length of a'male bird is fourteen inches i

While I have been writing, the humorous verses entitled
“The Jackdaw,” written by William Cowper, one of England’s
most admired poets, have been present to my mind. I learned
them off by heart many years ago, and very likely you will do
the same if I here place them before you,
142

GLEANINGS IN

“THERE is a bird, who, by his coat,
And. by the hoarseness of his note,
_ Might be supposed a crow ;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where, bishop-like, he finds a perch,
And dormitory too.
“ Above the steeple shines a plate,
That turns and turns, to indicate
From what point blows the weather s
Look up—your brains begin to swim,
Tis in the clouds—that pleases him,
He chooses it the rather.

“Yond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The bustle and the raree show
That occupy mankind below,
Secure and at his ease.

“You think, no doubt, he sits and mused

_ On future broken bones and bruises,

If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,
Or troubles it at all.
“Tc sces, that this great roundabout,
The world, with all its motley rout,
Church, army, physic, law,
NATURAL HISTORY. 143

Its customs, and its bus’nesses,
Is no concern at all of his,
And says—what says he ?—‘ Caw.’
“Thrice happy bird! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men ;

And, sick of having seen ’em,
Would cheerfully these limbs resign
For such a pair of wings as thine,

And such a head between ’em.'


144 GLEANINGS IN -

SONG BIRDS.

ss IRS, birds! ye are beautiful things,
With your carth-treading feet, and your cloud-
cleaving wings ;
Where shall man wander, and where shall he dwell,
Beautiful birds, that ye come not as well? —
Ye have nests on the mountains, all ruge¢ed and stark,
Ye have nests in the forest, all tangled and dark:
Ye build and ye brood neath the cottagers’ eaves,
And ye sleep on the sod ’mid the bonnie green leaves,
Ye hide in the heather, ye lurk in the brake,
Ye dive in the sweet flags that shadow the lake ;
Ye skim where the stream parts the orchard deck’d land,
Ye dance where the foam sweeps the desolate strand.
Beautiful birds! ye come quickly around,
When the bud’s on the branch, and the snow’s on the
ground ;
Ye come when the richest of roses flush out,
And ye come when the yellow leaf eddies about.
Beautiful birds ! how the school-boy remembers
The warblers that choroused his holiday tune ; °
The robin that chirp’d in the frosty Decembers,
The blackbird that whistled through flower-crown’d June,
That school-boy remembers his holiday ramble,
NATURAL HISTORY. 145

When he pull’d every blossom of palm he could see ;
When his finger was raised, as he stopp’d in the bramble,
With, ‘ Hark! there’s the cuckoo ; how close it must be.

197


146 GLEANINGS IN

Most of our: young readers are familiar with some kind of
song-bird, since we frequently meet with birds in cages, in which
they. are-kept for the pleasure of their owners, in large towns as
well as in the country. We pity these poor little prisoners ;
and, although dearly loving the “music of birds,” it makes us
melancholy to listen to them singing in their gilded prisons, or,
as is more frequently the case, in such coarse, narrow cages,
they have scarcely room to flutter about. We love to listen to
them when they warble in their own wild freedom ; where they
enjoy the existence God has given them ; and where, without
restraint, they pour out their joyous notes,—evidently to their
own delight, and certainly to the great enjoyment of many a
wanderer among woods and meadows, in the sweet spring and
summer time.

In the preceding picture, we see a variety of song-birds. I
wonder how many of them you know, and could tell their names ?
I think I can recognise the blackbird. Have you ever heard its
rich, full note, as it sings its best during a warm April shower?
It is shy, and restless, and watchful, and yet no stranger to
lovers of the country, as it is to be found almost everywhere
scattered over our island.

And there, also, is the song-thrush ; a great favourite with
country children. Many a time, in the cool of a quiet summer
evening, have I paused to listen to its delicious song, as it sat
in some neighbouring tree. Every district, not entirely destitute
of wood, in this country provides a home for this delightful
songster. Ihave read a very nice anecdote about the thrush,
which I will tell you. I think children might learn a lesson
NATURAL WISTORY, 147

from it. The writer says:—‘ We observed two common thrushes
frequenting the shrubs on the green in our garden. There was
an’ association and friendship between them that called our
attention to their actions. One of them seemed ailing, or feeble
from some bodily accident ; for though it hopped about, yet it
appeared unable to obtain sufficiency of food. Its companion,
an active, sprightly. bird, would frequently bring it worms or
bruised ‘snails, when they mutually partook of the banquet ; and
the ailing bird would wait patiently, understand the actions,
expect the assistance, of the other, and advance from its asylum
upon the approach of its mate. This procedure was continued
for some days; but, after a time, we missed the fostered bird,
which probably died; or, by reason of its weakness, met with
some fatal accident.”

Surely we all may learn a lesson of patient tenderness, and
active kindness, from this little incident.

There, too, we have robin-redbreast, with which most of us
are familiar ; its song so sweet and plaintive. “This bird is
considered part of the naturalist’s barometer. On a summer
evening though the weather be unsettled, it sometimes takes its
stand on the topmost-twig that looks up to the sky, or on the
housetop, singing cheerfully and sweetly. Whenthis is observed,
it is an unerring promise of succeeding fine weather.” Then,
you know, in winter, when the weather is cold and frosty, how
often robin is seen hopping about near to our windows, as if
begging for a. few cruinbs to satisfy its hunger. I daresay
many of you have read the story of the “ Babes in the Wood,”
in which robin-redbreast is immortalized for its kindness in

kK 2

4
148 GLEANINGS IN -

covering the poor children with leaves after they had died of
cold and hunger.

We must not forget the “cuckoo.” Who has not heard of it,
even if hée has not himself listened to the two notes of which its
song is composed, and which has such a fascination for all who
heariv? Many of you will remember the piece beginning with
“Tail! beauteous stranger of the grove.” The beauty, however,
existed only in the poet’s imagination, as the cuckoo is by no
means a handsome bird; and, indeed, when flying, looks very
clumsy. I have generally seen it attended by a smaller bird in
its flights. It seems to be of a lazy disposition, too ; never
building a home of its own, but depositing its eggs in the nest
of some other bird. But, with all its faults, we dearly love its
notes, the harbinger of spring ; and which tell of bright sunny
days to come, with green meadows, and waving trees and
country enjoyments,—whien a holiday has been earned by good
hard work.

But above and beyond all, is our sweetest singer, the nightin-
gale. Who that has once heard its song can ever forget it? I
recollect one very warm spring in Kent, when these birds were
in such numbers as to make each bush and brake seem vocal
with their song. One used to come and sit in an old appletree
in our garden, and far into the night we lingered and listened to
its delicious, liquid notes; sometimes pouring out a whole
volume of rapid, hurried song, as if in a very ecstasy of
enjoyment ; and again changing its strain, as if in appealing
plaintiveness. K

Another had taken up its abode amongst the trees close by
NATURAL HISTORY. 149

che ruins of an old castle ; and here, in the stillness of midnight,
I have heard its melancholy ditty, as though it was mourning the
departed glories of the place.

We cannot now speak about all the birds in this picture : but
we hope you will yourselves try to find out their names and their
histories. I£ you study them carefully, I am sure you will come
to the conclusion that God is very good in giving us so many
sources of instruction and pleasure in the works His hands have
made. He might easily have given us useful things only ; but
He has kindly given us all beautiful things as well ; beautiful to
the eye, and pleasant to the ear; beautiful things for our
thoughts to dwell upon when we are deprived of seeing or
hearing them. Try to cultivate a taste for pure and innocent
pleasures; and the more you study God’s works,—even the
smallest of them,—the more you will be led to admire the good-
ness and the wisdom which has planned them all. I think I
must finish this paper with a pretty piece of poetry, which some
of you will, perhaps try to commit to memory. It is called—

A CuHILD’s WISIIES.

“J wisu I were.a little bird,
To fly so far and high,
- And sail-along the golden clouds, ~
And through the azure sky.
I'd be the first to see the sun
Up from the ocean spring ;
And, ere it touch’d the glittering spire,
His ray should gild my wing.
GLEANINGS IN

“ Above the hiils ’'d watch him still,

Far down the crimson west,

And sing to him my evening song,
Ere yet I sought my rest.

And many a land I then could sec,
As hill and plain I cross’d ;

Nor fear through all thé pathless sky,
That I should e’er be lost.

“Td fly where, round the olive bough,

The vine its tendrils weaves ;

And shelter from the moonbeams seck
Among the myrtle leaves.

Now, if I climb the highest hill,
IIow little can I see!

O had I but a pair of wings,
How happy should I be!”

Repty.

“ Wings cannot soar above tlie sky,

As thou, in thought, canst do ;

Nor can the veiling clouds confine
Thy mental eye’s keen view.

Not to the sun dost thou chant forth
Thy simple eyening hymn ;

Thou praisest Him before whose smile
The noonday sun grows dim.
NATURAL MISTORY. 151

“But thou may’st learn to trace the sun

Around the earth: and sky,

And see him rising, setting still,
Where distant oceans lie.

To other lands the bird may guide
His pinions through the air:

Ere yet he rests iis wings, thou art
In thought before him there.

“Though strong, and free, his wing may droop,

Or bands restrain its flight ;

Thought, none may stay,—more fleet its course
Than swiftest beams of light.

A lovelier clime than birds can find,
While summers go and come,

Beyond this earth remains for these
Whom God doth summon home.”


152 GLEANINGS 1N

THE CUCKOO.

HERE is a charm in the word “ cuckoo” to ears old as well
ac as young. It is not the bird itself we seem to love, so
much as its sweet note. Perhaps we all love the lark and the
robin-redbreast better ; but no note is like that of the cuckoo, in
our ears. Tt tells us of winter over and gone; of bright sunny
days to come ; of morning air, fresh and life-giving, and evening
rambles in the woods and lanes.

‘Tar, beauteous stranger of the grove,
Thou messenger of Spring,
Now heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome ring.

“What time the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear ;
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year ?

“ Delightful visitant ! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
From birds among the bowers.

“The school-boy, wandering through the, weod,
To pluck the primrose gay,
Starts, thy curious voice to hear,
And imitates thy lay.
eo

NATURAL HISTORY. 1d:

“ What time the pear puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest the vocal vale,
An annual guest, in other lands
Another Spring to hail.



THE DEAD CUCKOO AND PIPIT.
154 GLEANINGS IN

“ Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear ;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.

“OQ! could I fly, P’'d fly with thee ;
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o’er the globe,
Companions of the Spring.”

The cuckoo is fourteen inches long; four times as large
as the lark, and yet its eggs are no larger. There is no
special beauty about it, with its slaty-grey feathers ; but it has
some very curious habits.

The cuckoo does not live long in our country. It comes to
us iit the middle of. April, and in July it takes its flight to the
warm and sunny south.

Perhaps most of our young readers know that it never builds
a nest, but leaves its eges in another bird’s nest; and so the
little cuckoos are not hatched and brought up by their own
mothers. One ege only is left in a nest; and it is surprising
that so many good-natured birds are found to nourish and
cherish the little stranger. It is related that when the young
cuckoo is strong enough, if there is not sufficient room for it to
be comfortable in the nest, it turns out one or two little sparrows
or robins, to make itself at its ease.

It is a sparrow’s nest that the old cuckoo generally seems to
prefer. A young cuckoo is much larger than a young sparrow ;
and it has a back very singularly formed, so that it seems just

°
NATURAL HISTORY. 155

fitted for its purpose. It gets the poor sparrow on its back,
and clambers up the side of the nest, and then jerks it down to
the ground. It is very odd that the old sparrows or robins, and,
indeed, other birds, seem quite proud to -have-this cruel little
stranger for their guest, and feed, and care for it as for their own.
The old cuckoo is followed by many little birds. Those who
study the habits of birds tell us, they are so devotedly fond of a
cackoo, that they would almost die for one.’

A well-known naturalist states that, one day, when he was
out shooting, collecting birds to stuff, he shot at, and wounded,
a cuckoo, which fell dead on a hedge with its wings outstretched.
The attendant bird, which was following, was a pipit ; and when
he came up to its dead friend, it was found standing on its body.
We give you a picture that represent this singular circumstance.

We wonder if the other birds love the note of the cuckoo, as
it rings through the woods. One would almost guess this must

be the reason for the curious attachment.


156 GLEANINGS IN

THE WOOD-PIGEON.

HE Wood-pigeon, or Ring-dove, so called from the white

feathers which form a portion of a ring round its neck,
is the largest wild pigeon known in this country, and, indeed, in
Europe. It is a constant resident in the warm and temperate
districts of the Continent, as well as in all the wooded and
enclosed parts of the British Islands ; but it is less numerous in
the high northern regions, where it appears only as a visitor
during the summer. In this country this kind of pigeon is also
called the Cushat and the Queest, the latter name having
reference to the tone of sadness which pervades its note; the
term being perhaps derived from, or allied to, the Latin word,
questus, which signifies a lamentation or complaint.

Doves were sacred among the priests of antiquity. They
drew the car, it is said, of the celestial Venus, and were the
messengers of the will of the gods. It was a ‘“dove”’—ever
since sacred to peace—that brought the olive-lcaf to the ark of
Noah ; and in the Christian world the Holy Spirit is often set
forth under the mystic emblem of a “dove:” in St. Matthew’s
Gospel we read, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up
straight-way out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened
unto Him, and He” (both Jesus and John the Baptist) “saw
the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon
Him.”
NATURAL HISTORY. 157

The fecling in favour of doves and pigeons in general is
indicated further by the habits of the natives of some countries.
A writer in the ‘ Naturalist” says :—“The common pigeon swarms
in the city of St. Petersburg, and in the country ; it is esteemed
and called ‘God’s bird’ by the Russians, from the circumstance
of the Holy Spirit assuming that form when He descended upon

Sees

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our Saviour. To kill and eat it is considered an act of profana-
tion. I had one day an opportunity of observing, myself, how
the respect for the pigeon prevails amongst the lower orders.
J shot six, away from a village, at one shot, and brought them
home, with the intention of obtaining a pigeon-pie, When I
threw them on the table, a Russian servant, who was near, after
152 GLEANINGS IN

several ejaculations against my impiety and brutality, snatched
up one of the dead birds, and, bursting into tears, commenced
kissing and fondling it.”

The plaintive notes. of the ‘Woodpizenn may be heard
almost incessantly: through the months of March and April, in
most of our thick woods and plantations, particularly those of
closely-set firs, in which they delight to build. The nest consists
of a few sticks laid cross-wise, so loosely put together that the
eggs or young may sometimes be distinguished through them.
This structure is usually placed sixteen or twenty feet above tlic
ground, and it is sufficiently broad to afford room for both
parents and their young. Two eggs are laid, which are oval and
white, measuring one inch eight lines in length, by one inch two
lines in breadth ;* these are hatched in sixteen or seventeen
days.

The old birds feed during the spring and summer on green
corn, young clover, grain of all sorts, with peas in particular ;
during autumn and winter they subsist on acorns, beech-nuts
berries, and turnip-leaves. In cold weather they fly in flocks,
roosting at night on high trees of ash and oak in the retired parts
of woods. Wood-pigeons are held in considerable estimation as
an article of food, and one of the fowler’s modes of obtaining
them is to be in waiting for them under the trees upon which
they come to roost. Like the pigeon-tribe in general, they are
birds of remarkable power of flight; and when on the wing may
be recognised at a great distance. Much pains has been taken

* A line is one-tenth of an inch,
NATURAL HISTORY. 159

by different individuals to domesticate this kind of pigeon ;
but it generally happens that as soon as the. young birds aro
able to fly, and have learned to feed themselves, they take their
departure for their natural haunts.

The Wood-pigeon is found as far south as the latitude of
Maderia, and goes castward to Sicily and Crete, and as far
northward, in summer, as the southern parts of Siberia and
Russia. It is met with also, in summer, in Denmark and
Sweden, but not in Norway or Lapland. The whole length of the
bird is seventeen inches. The female does not differ much in
appearance from the male, except that she is a little smaller in
size.

The Ring-dove, or Wood-pigeon, is sometimes confounded
with the Stock-dove, but the birds are really two different species,
the latter having a disagreeable grunting note, quite unlike the
musical “coo” of the Cushat. One of our best poets, however,
puts the note of the one for the other when he says,—

“While all the tuueful race,

Smit by afflictive noon, disorder’d droop

Deep in the thicket ; or, from bower to bower,

Responsive, force an interrupted strain ;

The Stock-dove only through the forest cooes,

Mournfully hoarse; oft ceasing from his plaint,

Short interval of weary woe! Again

The sad idea of his murder’d mate,

Struck from his side by savage fowler’s guile,
- Across his fancy comes ; and then resounds

A louder song of sorrow through the grove.”

It 1s pleasant to know when we hear the soft “coo” of the
Ring-dove as we wander through the lonely woods, that its
160 GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY.

plaintiveness is not the effect of any such loss as the poet here
fancies, but its natural note; which the bird feels as much
pleasure in uttering, doubtless, as the loud-voiced ‘thrush its
whistle in the shrubbery, or the merry skylark its carol in its
flight towards the clouds.


NATURAL HISTORY. 162

THE QUAIL.

UAILS are mentioned twice in Scripture. Not long after

the people of Israel came out of Egypt, they began to
murmur against Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘ Would to God we
had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when
we sat by the fiesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full ;
for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this
whole assembly with hunger.” Moses told them that their
murmurings were really against God, Whose servants he and
Aaron were. The Lord also “spake unto Moses, saying, I have
heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto
them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye
shall be filled with bread, and ye shall know that I am the
Lord your God.” This word of God was at once fulfilled.
“And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and
covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about
the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold,
upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing,
as small as the hoar frost on the ground.” This was the first
appearance of the manna, with which God miraculously fed the
people of Israel during their many years’ wandering afterwards
in the wilderness, (See Exodus xvi.)

About a year after the evening when God gave the Israclitcs
quails for food, He sent these birds in great numbers among
them again, but for a very different purpose ; as you will see

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162 GLEANINGS IN

































by reading the history given in theeleventh
chapter of the Book of Numbers. “The
s|, children of Israel,” we are told, “wept
again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to
eat? We remember. the fish, which we
= did eat in Egypt freely ; the cucumbers,

a Ss and the melons, and the leeks,-and the
onions, and the garlick: but now our soul is dried away: there
is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.” This
conduct was very wicked. They thus declared that they distrusted
NATURAL HISTORY. 163

God’s-power, and His care over them, of which so many proois
had been given. “The anger of the Lord was kindled greatly.”
God had before sent quails to His murmuring people: now He
sends them that they may be punished for their sin by their
eating them immoderately, as He knew they would do. “There
went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the
sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey
on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side;
round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high.” But
what was the result? Fearful to relate, “ While the flesh was
yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the
Lord was kindled against the people, and -the Lord smote the
people with a very great plague.” A pestilence | broke out
among them, the effect of their gluttony and intemper ance.
God had been graciously pleased in a great measure to overlook
their first murmuring, because they were then onl y lately come
out of Egypt, were in great straits, and were really pinched with
hunger ; but now that they were fed with bread from heaven,
they cried for meat, from mere wantonness. The Lord therefore
visited their wickedness with severe chastisement, and by means
‘of the very “flesh” for which they had so much crayed.

The quail is closely allied to the partridge ; indeed, it differs
from it only in being smaller, and having a more delicate beak,
shorter tail, and no spur on its legs. It is found in every
country from the Cape of Good Hope, the most southern part
of Africa, to the North. Cape, the extreme northern point» of
Europe. These birds are reckoned excellent food by the moderns,
but the ancients had a prejudice against them. They thought

L2
1st . QLEANINGS IN

they fed upon hellebore, a plant which, although useful in
medicine, is not suitable for food.

The quail is about seven inches long ; the feathers of the
head are black, edged with arusty brown. The hinder part of
the neck and crown of the head are divided by a long pale
yellow line ; the breast is of a yellowish red, spotted with black ;
the scapulars* and feathers of the back are marked with a pale
yellow line in their middle.

The quail constructs her nest in May; this is made on the
ground, and generally at the foot of a tuft of grass, that
‘shelters and conceals it. The materials employed in its con-
struction are leaves and dry grass. About the beginning of
September the young birds nearly attain their full growth, and
associate in coveys of vatious sizes. Then their enemies,
sportsmen and trappers, obtain them in great numbers. These
birds migrate in large flocks. It is said that all the islands in
the eastern part of the Mediterranean are at certain seasons of
the year covered with them. The quails which God directed
miraculously to fall round about the camp of the Israelites
probably came from Southern Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and
directing their flight up the gulf of Akabah, and so into Arabia
Petra, the “wilderness” in which the children of Israel then
were. It is said that they came up “at even,” and “from the
sea :” the quail still flies in vast flocks by night, and takes the
same course as in the time of Moses, thousands of years ago.

* A scapular is a, feather which springs from the shoulder of the wing, and
lies along the sides of the back,
NATURAL IISTORY. 165

THE BLACK OR GREAT OSTRICH.

HIS species of Ostrich measures from seven to nine feet

from the top of the head to the ground: from the back,
however, it is seldom more than three or four feet, the rest of
its height being made up by its extremely long neck. The head
is small, and, as well as the greater part of. the neck, is covered
only with a few scattered hairs. The feathers of the body are
black and loose ; those of the wings and tail are of a snowy
white, waved and long, having here and there a tip of black.
The wings are furnished with spurs: the thighs are naked; and
the feet strong, and of a gray-brown colour.

The sandy and burning deserts of Africa and Asia are the
only native homes of the Black Ostriches. Here they are seen
in flocks so large as sometimes to have been mistaken for distant
troops of soldiers on horseback.

There are many circumstances in the form and habits of this
animal which show it to be peculiarly different from the rest of
the feathered race. It seems to form one of the links of union
in the great chain of nature, connecting the winged with the
four-footed tribes. Its strong, rebust lees, and (if we may
venture so to call them) cloven hoofs, are well adapted both for
speed and defence. The wings and all its feathers are insufficfent
to raise it from the ground. Its voice is a kind of hollow,
mournful lowing, and it grazes on the plain with the zebra and
other animals.
166 “GLEANINGS IN .

The ostriches frequently do great damage to the farmers in
the interior of Southern Africa. They come in flocks into their
fields, and destroy the ears of wheat so completely, that in a
large tract of land it often happens that nothing but the bare
straw.is left behind. The body of the bird is not higher than
the corn ; and when it devours the ears, it bends down its long
neck ; so that it cannot be seen ; but on the least. noise it rears
its head, and generally contrives to escape before the farmer gets
within gunshot of it.

When the ostrich runs, it has a proud and haughty look ; and
even when in extreme distress, never appears in great haste,
especially if the wind is with it. Its wings are frequently of
use in aiding its escape, for when the wind blows in the direction
that it is pursuing, it always flaps them. In this case the swift-
est horse cannot overtake it; but if the weather is hot, and
there is no wind, or if it has by any accident lost a wing, the
difficulty of out-running it is not so great. Dr. Livingstone
estimates its greatest speed as equalling an ordinary train, or
twenty-six miles an hour.

This bird itself is chiefly valuable for its plumage, and the
Arabians have reduced the chase of it to a kind of science.
They hunt it, we are told, on horseback, and begin their pursuit
by a gentle gallop ;. for should they, at the outset, use the least
rashness, the speed of the bird would immediately carry it out
of their. sight, and in a very short time beyond their reach ; but
when they proceed gradually, it makes no great effort to escape.
It does not go in a straight line, but runs first to one side, then
to the other. This its pursuers take advantage of, and, by
NATURAL HISTORY 167

rushing directly.onward, save much ground. In a few days, at
most, the strength of the animalis much exhausted, and it thea






































































































































































































































































168 GLEANINGS. IN

either turns on the hunters, and fights with the fury of despair,
or hides its head and tamely receives its fate.

Frequently the natives conceal themselves in the skin of
one of these birds, and by that means are able to approach near
enough to surprise them.

Some persons keep ostriches in flocks, for they are tamed
with very little trouble, and in their domestic state few animals
can be rendered more useful. Besides the valuable feathers
they cast, and the eggs which they lay, the Arabians value them
for their skins, which are used as a substitute for leather. Their
flesh is esteemed by many as excellent food.

In a tame state it is very pleasant to observe with what
dexterity they play and frisk about. In the heat of the day,
pauticularly, they will strut along the sunny side of a house
with great pomp, fanning themselves with their expanded wings,
and seeming at every turn to admire their own shadows. During
most parts of the day, in hot climates, their wings are kept in
a kind of quivering motion, as if designed principally to fan
the body.

Ostriches will swallow with the utmost eagerness, rags,
leather, wood, or even stones. “I saw one at Oran,” says Dr.
Shaw, “that swallowed, without any seeming uneasiness or
inconvenience, several leaden bullets, as they were thrown upon
the floor scorching hot from the mould!”

This bird is mentioned in the book of Job (xxxix. 13, and
five following verses). ‘‘Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the
peacocks ? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? Which
leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and
WATURAL HISTORY. 169

forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast
may break them. She is hardened against her young ones, as
though they were not hers. . . . What time she lifteth up
herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.”

Several of the habits of this strange bird are here noted by
the ancient inspired writer. One of its practices is to lay from
thirty to fifty eggs in the sand, not placing them on branches of
trees, or in clefts of the rock, as many other birds do. ‘“ Upon
the least distant noise,” writes a traveller in Eastern countries,
“she forsakes her eggs or her young ones, to which perhaps she
never returns; or, if
she does, it may be tac
late, cither to restore
life to the one, or to
preserve the life of the
other.” The Arabs
meet sometimes with
whole nests of these
eggs undisturbed, some
of which are sweet and
good, others spoiled. FOOT OF OSTRICH,

At times they also meet with young ones, no bigger than well-
grown pullets, half-starved, straggling about, and moaning, like
so many distressed orphans, for their mothers. The ostrich may
thus be said to be “ hardened against her young ones, as though



they were not hers.”
Job also mentions this bird in another passage, (ch. xxx. 29,)
saying, in his deep sorrows, that he is “a brother to dragons,
170 GLEANINGS 1% -

and a-companion to. owls” (or ostriches, as we read in the
margin.) And Micah says, (ch. i. 8,) “Iwill make a wailing like
the dragons,:and mourning as the owls,” or ostriches. The
allusion here is to the mournful voice of this bird. Dr. Shaw
states that ‘during the lonesome part of the night they often
make a doleful and hideous noise, which sometimes is like the
roar of a lion; at other times it resembles the hoarser voices of
other quadrupeds, particularly of the bull and the ox. I have
often heard them groan, as if they were in the greatest agonics.”
Dr. Livingstone also says, “The silly ostrich makes a noise as
loud [as the lion] ...I have been careful to inquire the
opinions of Europeans who have heard both, if they could
detect any difference between the roar of a lion and that of an
ostrich ; the invariable answer was, that they could not when
the animal was at any distance. To this day I can distinguish
between them with certainty only by knowing that the ongicl
roars by day, and the lion by night.”

It was predicted both by Isaiah (ch. xiii. 21) and by Jeremiah
(ch. 1. 39) that “owls,” ostriches, should dwell at Babylon.
This strongly marks the silence and the desolation that should
reign there, and in the whole region in which the proud and
busy city stood. The bird of the desert still stalks over the
plains through which the Euphrates runs. ay;

The ostrich is the largest of existing birds: specimens have
been seen eleven feet in height. One was exhibited in London
which took its food from a beam eleven feet from the ground.
NATURAL HISTORY. 171

THE APTERYX.

HE extraordinary creature represented in the wood-cut is

the “ Apteryx,” or “ wingless bird”? of New-Zealand. It
was not known to European naturalists till of late years, and
for a long time the accounts which the natives of New-Zealand
gave of it were discredited. A specimen of it, preserved in
brine, was, however, brought to this country, and a full de-
scription of the bird given. The kiwi-kiwi, as the New-
Zealanders call it, stands about two feet high. Its wings are so
small that they can scarcely be called wings, and are not easy
to find under the general plumage of the body. Its nostrils,
strange to say, are at the tip of the beak. The toes are strong,
and well adapted for digging, the hind one being a thick, horny
spur. To add to the singularity of this creature, it has no tail
whatever. The kiwi-kiwi conceals itself among the extensive
beds of fern which abound in the middle island of New-Zealand ;
and it makes a nest of fern for its eggs in deep holes, which it
hollows out of the ground. It feeds on insects, and particularly
worms, which it disturbs by stamping on the ground, and seizes
the instant they make their appearance. Night is the season
when it is most active, and the natives hunt it by torch-light.
When pursued, it elevates its head, like an ostrich, and runs
with great swiftness. It defends itself, when overtaken, with
much spirit, inflicting: dangerous blows with its strong spur-
armed feet. In this instance, as in all others, God has wisely
172 GLEANINGS IN








































7 i \\

adapted the very shape and limbs of the creature to the habits
by which it was intended to be distinguished. “ Let everything
that hath breath praise the Lord.”
NATURAL HISTORY. 173

STORKS AND HERONS.

RANES, Storks, and Herons all belong to one family of
birds, that of cloven-footed piscivorous (that is, “ fish-
eating”’) water-fowl. ‘These have very long necks ; their bills
also are long and strong, ending in a sharp: po‘ht to strike fish,



THE NUMIDIAN CRANE.
and fetch them from under stones, ete.; long legs to wade in
rivers and pools of water; very long toes, especially the hind
toe, to stand more firmly in streams ; large crooked talons, and
the middle gne notched like a saw on the inside, to hold eels

~
174 _ GLEANINGS IN

and other slippery fishes the faster, and to assist them in sitting
on trees; and they have lean bodies.” This family of water-
fowl is sometimes called the “waders.” The herons, as a
whole, are the most beautiful of this tribe of birds. They build
in societies, but generally feed and live solitary. Like the king-
fishers, the greater part of the species watch for their prey from
a fixed station; a sheltered nook by the side of ariver, or a
jutting rock by the sea-side, over deep water, frequently serves
them as a post of observation. Here they look out for passing
fish, which they dextrously spear or transfix by means of their
long and sharp bill. Some of these birds are of a gigantic size,
others are very small ; but all have a long neck, covered more
or less by strong and loose feathers.

In former times, when the heron was much sought after in
the sport of hawking, and when the destruction of its eggs was
punished by a fine of twenty shillings,—a large sum in those
days,—it seems to have held a high place at the tables of the
great. Heron-plumes, too, were greatly valued.

The storks live in marshes, and feed principally on reptiles,
frogs and their spawn, on fishes, small animals, and birds. Their
migration takes place in large flocks. They are easily tamed.
All the species make a clattering noise with their bills.

The White, or Common Stork, represented in the picture, is

‘the best known of this class of birds. It approaches the
dwellings of men without fear, being assured by the kindness
with which it is treated on account of its services in clearing
the land of dead as well as living nuisances. In Holland and
Germany it is looked upon as a welcome guest. It annually


NATURAL ‘HISTORY. 175

returns to the nest on the steeple, or the turret, or the false
chimney that the Hollander has erected for it; in the box, or
on the platform, which the German has placed for its use. In

|





HERONS.

the woodcut you see two young storks in a nest, placed on the
top of a platform, or false chimney, which some ‘Hollander
176 GLEANINGS IN

built for the accommodation of these birds, perhaps generations
ago. In the Continental towns, domesticated storks, which
have been taken from the nest when young, may often be seen
parading about the markets, where they are kept as scavengers.
They clear the place of the entrails of fish, and other offal. In
some places people are considered fortunate when a stork selects
their roof for its periodical resting-place. Its nest is formed of
sticks, and other coarse materials, and is often of a huge size ;
one that I saw at Worms, in Germany, reminded me of a large,
old arm-chair. Storks are frequently seen resting for a long
time together upon one leg.

The full-grown stork has the beak red ; the bare skin around
the eye black ; the irides, or coloured rings round the pupils of
tlic eyes, brown ; the whole of the plumage white, except a few
of the larger feathers, which are black; legs and toes red ,
the claws brown. The entire length three feet six or eight
inches. Young birds have the quill-feathers dull black; the
beak and legs dark brownish-red. The stork generally lays
three or four eggs, which are white, slightly tinged with buff-
colour, and about the size of those of a goose.

The arrival of this bird in Europe takes place in the spring.
In Seville, in Spain, it is common ; but it is very rare, and only
an accidental visitor, near Rome. Though so common in
Holland, it is seldom met with in Great Britain ; yet it regularly
visits Sweden and the north of Russia, and breeds there. The
winter is passed by the bird in the more genial climates of Asia,
and in the northern part of Africa, Egypt especially. Those
who have seen storks in the act of migration, speak of their
NATURAL HISTORY. 177
numbers as very large. One writer says that they are never
seen in flocks, except when they are in the air; and he relates
that, when he was at Abydos, in Asia Minor, in the month of



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178 : GLEANINGS IN

August, a great flight of them came from the north ; and that
when they reached the commencement of the sea, they made
many circuitous turns, and then dispersed into smaller com-
panies. When Dr. Shaw, the Eastern traveller, was journeying
over Mount Carmel, he saw the annual migration of those
which had quitted Egypt ; and he states that each of the flocks
was half a mile in breadth, and occupied three hours in passing.

Some gigantic species of storks are foundin the East. They
are nearly seven feet high, and have the head and neck almost
bare. They also have a kind of pouch, which hangs in front of \
the neck, as well as a portion of skin at the back of the neck, ©
which can be inflated by the bird at pleasure. These extra-
ordinary and uncouth-looking creatures are natives of Africa
and the eastern parts of Asia, and have only been known to
naturalist’ inrecent times. They all furnish the beautiful plumes,
superior in estimation even to those of the ostrich, known by
the name of “ marabous,” from the species so called in Senegal.
The African marabous, however, are not so distinguished for
their beauty as those found in Java and Sumatra.

Among the ancients, to kill a stork was considered a crime,
which, in some places, was punished with death itself ; and,
like the Ibis, these birds became objects of worship. They are
remarkable for ‘their great affection towards their young, and
for the attention they give to their parents in old age. It is
related that when the town of Delft, in the Netherlands, was
destroyed by fire, a female, after repeated and unsuccessful
efforts to carry off her young, chose rather to remain and perish
with them in the general ruin, than to leave them to their fate.
NATURAL HISTORY, 179

WATER-FOWL.
DUCKS.

UCH of our readers as are familiar with country life, have
often seen what the Woodcut represents. A hen has
hatched a brood of ducks ; and, to her consternation, no sooner
have the little creatures got out of their shells, than they have
betaken themselves to the first pond of water they could find.
“Here they dart merrily about, paddling to and fro in high glee,
while the old hen, thinking them to be in the utmost danger of
being drowned, stands flustered on the bank, trying to call them
back by her cackling to the firm land.

Her efforts are altogether fruitless. The fledglings have
found their element ; they feel it easier to swim than to walk.
In the water they have discovered a use for their webbed feet
which was not called for on dry ground, and it is a pleasure
thus to employ them. So the hen, who would rather be picking
up corn for them about the Larn-door, must patiently wait till
her truant charge have had their fill of enjoyment in the pond.
By and by they. will be willing for a time to gather themselves
again under her wings; though, after all, it will not be long.
before they will take leave altogether of their foster-mother, and
in the fulness of duckhood be quite independent of her care and
protection. Her alarm at seeing them trust themselves to an
element in which she herself would be helpless, and in which
she would soon perish if she ventured into it, is doubtless great ;
180 GLEANINGS IN

"yet she will after a time be reconciled to their strange ways. In
the end she will leave the ducklings to their own course of life,
and return to her rambles in the farm-yard and the meadows by
day, and to her perch in the hen-roost at night. After a few
months she will nct be able to recognize in the full-grown duck,
with its solemn waddle, its broad bill, its stately sweep on the
pond, and its “quack, quack,” the nimble, chirping ball of
downy feathers which just now gives her so much anxiety.
She will have found, in fact, that a hen is a hen, and a duck a
duck, all the world over.

And, indeed, the family of ducks, about which I took up my
pen to write, is a very numerous one. It is found in all parts
of the globe. Naturalists are, in fact, puzzled to tell us exactly
how many species, or sorts, of ducks there are. Thirty-two
kinds inhabit Europe, aud thirty-one North America ; of these,
twenty-one are found in both continents, leaving ten peculiar
to America, and eleven to Europe.

The mallard, or common wild duck, is found both in Europe
and Amcrica. This is the original stock of the domesticated
duck, such as we see in our farmyards. It is met with in every
river. and fresh-water lake of the United States, in winter, but
seldom frequents. the sea-shores or salt marshes. During the
summer, it-resides.in the North, along with the immense flocks
of other water-fowl that go thither for the purpose of bringing
up their young. ‘The nest is usually in the most retired recesses
of a marsh or bog, among coarse grass, reeds, and ruslies, and
contains from twelve to sixteen eggs, of a dull greenish white..

The flesh of the wild duck is held in general estimation, and
NATURAL HISTORY. 181.

various methods. are cmployed in order to obtain these birds in
large- numbers. In Picardy, in France, many are taken in.
decoys, and sold in the Paris markets, where, in one season,

upwards of eleven hundred pounds have been paid for the
produce of a small lake, called St. Lambert. ‘They also abound
in our own country, in- Lincolnshire, and are there caught in




182 GLEANINGS IN

great quantities, by almost the same means as in Picardy. The
nuwnber taken. in ten decoys, in one winter, amounted to thirty-
two thousand two hundred. ba

In America several simple but effective contrivances are
employed for the capture of these wary birds. In some ponds
frequented by them, five or six wooden figures, cut and painted
so as to represent ducks, and made to float at the usual depth,
are anchored within reach of shot from a gun. These catch the
attention of the passing flocks, which alight, and thus expose
themselves to destruction from the concealed sportsman.

In winter, some of the sportsmen on the Delaware paint
their boats white, and, laying themselves flat in the bottom,
direct them cautiously near a flock of ducks, before they have
found out that they are not floating pieces of ice. On land,
another device is used, and often with success. A strong hogs-
head is sunk in the marsh, or mud, near the place where the
birds are accustomed to feed at low water, and where, otherwise,
there is no shelter.. The edges and top are artfully concealed
with tufts of long, coarse grass, and reeds or sedge. From
within this the sportsman watches his collecting prey, and
frequently makes great havoc amongst them.

The Muscovy Duck approaches nearly to the size of a goose.
It has obtained its name from a strong smell of musk, which
proceeds from its body, and not because it comes from Russia,—
which formerly was sometimes called Muscovy,—as has been
supposed. This kind of duck is tamed in great quanties in tne
West Indies. They are found wild in Guiana, where they nestle
‘on the trunks of trees close upon the water's edge. They feed
; NATURAL HISTORY. 183

i

in the morning upon a plant called wild rice, and seldom can be
approached within gun-shot.

The Canvas-backed Duck is peculiar to America, and is highly
esteemed as an article of food. It is so called after the name
of the plant on which it feeds. These birds arrive in the United
States, from the north, about the middle of October, and
assemble principally in the numerous rivers in the neighbourhood
of Chesapeake Bay. On the Susquehannah they are called
canvas-backs ; on the Potomac, white-backs ; and on James's
River, sheldrakes. When they first arrive they are very lean ;
but having an abundance of their favourite food, they become
fat about November. They are sometimes found in such mul-
titudes as to cover several acres. The canvas-back is constantly
attended by another species, the widgeon, which manages to
make a good subsistence from its companion’s labours. This
bird is extremely fond of the roots-of that particular kind of
plant on which the former feeds. The widgeon, which never
dives, watches the moment when the canvas-back rises to the
surface of the water, and, before he has his eyes well opened,
snatches the dainty morsel from his mouth, and makes off.

There are many other species of ducks, but we have only
space to name two or three more. Oneis called the shoveller,
from the strange form of its bill. The pintail, or sprigtatt, is
remarkable for the form of its tail, A duck named the scoéer,
with some others which have a fishy flavour, is not forbidden to
Roman Catholics on certain days when they are required not to
eat flesh. This is because it is thought to partake of the nature
of fish, The harlequin duck, a magnificent species found in both
184 ~ GLEANINGS IN

America and Europe, owes its name to the singular character of
the markings and colours on its head, neck, and breast. Along
the coast of New England the male, from its fine appearance, is
called the lord. The longiailed duck is noted for the great
variety of colour in its plumage. This beautiful bird is not
often met with in England, but it is very plentiful in Orkney
and Shetland. It frequents the inlets or voes of those islands,
generally in large flocks, never going far from land, and feeding
upon small shell-fish and star-fish. When on the wing it utters
a musical cry, something like “ calloo,” which may be heard to
a great distance. The people there accordingly call it the
“Calloo.”







THE HARLEQUIN DUCK,
NATURAL HISTORY, 185

THE ALBATROSS.

HE Albatross is the largest of all the birds that frequent
ie the sea coast, and measures as much as three feet in
length, while its expanded wings are from nine to ten feet.
The common Albatross has been called the Cape sheep, by the
Dutch, on account of its extreme corpulence. The beak of this
bird is very powerful, but although so well provided with a
weapon of defence, it is naturally a cowardly creature, and
seldom acts except on the defensive. It getsrid of thesea-gulls,
who are constantly teasing it, in rather a singular manner,—by
descending rapidly through the air, and plunging its assailant into
the water.

Small marine animals, and the spawn of fishes, form the
chief food of the Albatross; but it also greedily devours all
descriptions of fishes, when it can obtain that food, and is so
voracious as to be taken with a hook and line baited merely with
a piece of sheep’s skin.

On account of their great weight, these birds have much ,
difficulty in raising themselves into the air, and are obliged to
assist themselves in doing this by striking the surface of the
water with their feet. But when they are once on the wing,
their flight is rapid, and apparently performed with great ease :
they appear to do little else than sway themselves in the air,
sometimes inclining to the left, and at others to the right, gliding































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































_ NATURAL HISTORY. 187

with great rapidity over the surface of the sca. It is only in
bad weather that their flight is at any great height. Their voice
is extremely harsh, and resembles the braying of an ass.

The principal resort of the Albatross.tribe, of which there
are four or five species, is the ocean in the vicinity of the Cape
of Good Hope, but they are found in all parts of the South
Seas. As an article of food, the Albatross is but little sought
after ; its flesh, on account of the nature of its food, being very
rank and disagreeable. It is, however, sometimes used by the
sailors, who, after skinning it, place it in salt for a few days,
and eat it with some strong seasoning.

About the middle of September the female builds a nest on
the sand, about three feet in circumference, and lays a
considerable number of eggs, of a greyish colour and speckled
black ; but a great portion of these are destroyed by birds of
prey, reptiles, etc. They are also much sought after by the
inhabitants of the Cape of Good Hope and Islands of the Indian.
Ocean, as an article of food, as they partake in a very slight
degree of the peculiar flavour of the flesh. of the birds
themselves,


188 GLEANINGS IN. |

THE PELICAN.

HIS water-bird, which is rather larger than a swan, isa

native of Africa, India, and the southern provinces of
Eastern Europe. It is common on the rivers Danube and Volga,
on the Jakes of Hungary and Russia, and on the Black Sea.
Naturalists tell us that it is found also on the coasts of Greece,
in Egypt, and at the Cape of Good Hope. They are rare in
France, and unknown in Great Britain. Look at that large
pouch which hangs down under its beak. In does not give a
very graceful appearance to the creature, but it is very useful,
as you will learn from the following description :—“ It: visits
Egypt in the middle of September, arriving in flocks, which
during their flight advance in a wedge-like form, high in the
air. It swims well, but, properly speaking, does not dive. We
have often seen these birds plunge their long beaks and necks
under water, and net the fish in their capacious pouches. In
their wild state they hover and wheel over the surface of the
water, watching the shoals of fish beneath. Suddenly they
sweep down, bury themselves in’ the waves, and then soar up
again, their pouches filled with the fish they have taken during
their short plunge. The number of fish thus taken may be
imagined, when it is stated that the pouch holds eight or ten
quarts of water. The bird has the power of wrinkling this
large bag under its beak, until it is scarcely to be seen.” But
NATURAL HISTORY. 189













































































































































































for this extraordinary net-with which God
has furnished ‘this bird, the fish on which
it is fitted to feed could not be caught.
: The good and all-wise Creator has adapted
all living things to the places and circum-
stances. in which He designs them to
' exist ; every kind of beast, bird, and fish
is found’in the earth just where it ought to be, and is provided
with the means of procuring its food agreeably to its habits.
The pelican chooses its home on remote and solitary islands,
190 GLEANINGS IN

lone rocks in the sea, and the borders of lakes and rivers. Its
nest, which is placed on the ground, is made of coarse grasses,
and the eggs, which are white, are two or three in number.
Sometimes it perches on trees along the margin of the water,
but rocky shores are its favourite haunts. In certain localities
they assemble in great numbers, along with other water-fowl, all
harmoniously living together. The traveller, Le Vaillant, on
visiting an island named Dassen Eyland, at the entrance of
Saldanha Bay, in South Africa, beheld an astonishing spectacle.
He says :—

“ After we had waded through the surf and clambered up
‘the rocks, all of a sudden there arose from the whole surface of
the island an impenetrable cloud, which, at the distance of
forty feet above our heads, formed an immense canopy,
composed of birds of every species and all colours: cormorants,
sea-gulls, sea-swallows, pelicans, and I believe the whole winged
race of this part of Africa, assembled on this spot. All their
voices mixed together, and formed such a horrid music that I
was every moment obliged to cover my head to gain a little
relief to my ears. The alarm which we spread among these
innumerable legions of birds was the greater, because we
principally disturbed the females, which were then sitting ; they
had nests, eggs, and young ones to defend. Their cries rendered
us almost deaf. They often flew so near to us that they flapped
their wings. in our faces, and though we fired our pieces
repeatedly, we were not able to frishten them. We could not
move one step without crushing either their eggs or their
young ; the earth was strewed with Ciemy eee
NATURAL HISTORY. 191

The young pelicans in the picture do not appear very
handsome, but the adults are really beautiful birds. Their
plumage is generally a pure white with aslight rose tinge. The
bill is yellowish, passing into red at the tip; which, as you
see, is hooked, so that it may easily hold the fish which it seizes.
Its length is nearly six feet, and when it is flying, its wings
stretch over a span of twelve or thirteen feet.

The pelican is mentioned several times in Scripture. In
Leviticus (xi. 18) and Deuteronomy (xiv. 17) it is classed among
the fowls which the Jews were not to eat, probably because they
were birds of prey. In Psalm cii. 6, the sacred writer in his
affliction says, ‘‘I am like a pelican of the wilderness,” where
he means that he is desolate and without friends, as if he
lived remote, as the pelicans do, from the abodes of man. The
prophet Isaiah (xxxiv. 11) foretells that the “cormorant” (or
pelican, see Margin) “shall possess” the land of Edom ; that is
it shall be utterly forsaken by human inhabitants ; “the owl,
also, and the raven shall dwell in it.” So also Zephaniah,
when he is speaking of God’s coming judgments upon Nineveh
says the “cormorant” (or pelican) “shall lodge” in it.

This bird is represented on ancient paintings foundin Egypt:
the Arabs at the present day call it the “river-camel.” Fondof |
fish as it is, it is capable of being trained, and sometimes is
employed to fish for its master. ;

In a poem, called “The Pelican Island,” by James Mont-
gomery, there is a description of two pelicans in pursuit of their
food. Some of my older readers may like to see put into verse
what I haye been just telling them about the habits. of these
192 , GLEANINGS IN NATURAL HISTORY.

birds. The poet describes them first of all as seated on the top
of a lofty cliff on the sea-side, and then says:

“They were as pictures pamted on the sky,
Till suddenly, aslant, away they shot,
Like meteors, changed from stars to gleams of lightning,
And struck upon the deep, where in wild play
Their quarry flounder’d, unsuspecting harm.
With terrible voracity, they plunged
Their heads among the affrighted shoals, and beat
A tempest on the surges with their wings,
Till flashing clouds of foam and spray concealed them,
Nimbly they seized and secreted their prey,
Alive and wriggling in the elastic net
Which Nature hung beneath their grasping beaks
Till swoln with captures, the unwieldly burden
Clogg’d their slow flight, as heavily to land
These mighty hunters of the deep return’d,
There on the cragged cliffs they perch’d at ease,
Gorging their hapless victims one by one;
Then, full and weary, side by side they slept,
Till evening roused them to the chase again.”









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