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Leaves from the Book of Nature: Descriptive Narrativę,&e.

A THOUSAND AND ONE STORIES FROM NATURE.

ORIGINAL AND SELECTED.

| BY THE REV. F. 0. MORRIS, B.A., RECTOR OF NUNBURNHOLME, YORKSHIRE, AND CHAPLAIN TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF CLEVELAND, AUTHOR OF A “HISTORY OF BRITISH BIRDS (DEDICATED BY PERMISSION

TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN), ETC., ETC.

THE PARTRIDGE.

wings, though not soliciting food, uttering at CXII.

the same time a plaintive sound, something In the spring of this year (1867), my son like the whistle of the golden plover, but softer brought from India a tame (?) red-legged hill and much more prolonged. Though shy with partridge, which now runs about our garden, strangers, it is very fond of being noticed and and is in very deed lord of the domain, for it caressed by those to whose presence it has drives all four-legged intruders out of its been accustomed. In the same garden there adopted territory. The moment our pet terrier are three lapwings, a blue-backed gull, and a runs down the lawn, out rushes “Tetah” curlew. The plovers are often seen with the (Hindustani for partridge), and attacks her buzzard sitting in the midst of them showing with such persistent pugnacity that, although no signs of caution or apprehension, but seem the dog sometimes attempts to assert an equal as if they were listening to a lecture delivered right to the turf by knocking the bird over by him. The gull frequently retires into the with her paws, still “Tetah,” nothing daunted, garden house, probably to enjoy the society of quickly returns to the charge, and, in the end, the buzzard. The garden is not the garden of invariably comes off the conqueror-a feat pro- Eden, and yet these birds, of different natures, claimed by a loud “chuck-a-chuck,” repeated habits, and dispositions, appear to live in percontinuously till the enemy is out of sight, fre- fect harmony, peace, and good fellowship with quently pursuing " Motè,"* the dog, upstairs to each other.

THE Ass. the very top of the house. Some large Persian kittens, too, share the same fate, having hastily to decamp whenever “Tetah” catches a glimpse

At Ostend, when the market women, who of them.

are there particularly kind and lenient to their My son tells me that on the voyage home donkeys, come from the country with vegetables this courageous bird asserted a similar right and other articles for sale on a market day, to supremacy on deck, his especial object of these donkeys are put altogether into a barn or attack being a large gander, which was always large stable; and when the door is opened, compelled to beat a retreat, and, ostrich-like,

after the market is over, they all scamper away, push his head into a place of safety, regardless

and never stop till they reach each its proper of his tail, which was left exposed to the pec

owner in the market place, ready and willing cant propensities of his red-legged enemy.

to carry their mistresses home, and whatever 1. T. H., Hoddesdon.

else they may choose to lay on their backs. THE HONEY BUZZARD.

THE BLACKBIRD.
CXIII.

CXV. Of all the birds of prey with which I am Mr. Shand, merchant, Dufftown, has a black. acquainted the honey buzzard is apparently bird, got last season, from a nest in his garden, the gentlest, the kindest, and the most capable

which whistles several tunes with extraordinary of attachment; it seems to possess little of

clearness and accuracy. In particular, he the fierceness of that tribe. It will follow me whistles “ The Quaker's Wife” in a style that round the garden, cowering and shaking its

attracts the attention of the passers-by. The Hindustani for Jewel.

bird is as sensible as he is gifted; for the other

CXIV.

Songs of the Garden.

BY MRS. ELLIS, AUTHORESS OF THE

WOMEN OF ENGLAND."

X.

The First to Die.

Sad Tidings.
ELOVED and lovely are the flowers that

NCE more, my garden friends, I come

to bring fall,

My heart's sad burden and distress to At once struck down by autumn's early

you. chill;

Cease, little birds, I would not hear you sing; Of the fair garden sisters, first of all

I only want to sit beneath the yew, To feel the hand whose icy fingers kill.

And see, far off among the walks and bowers, Beloved and lovely are the first who die

The graceful wreathing of my favourite While noonday sunshine lingers soft and flowers. warm,

I want to breathe my sorrow, all unheard, While darkening clouds rest in the distant sky,

Save by those silent listeners-friends of old: Nor wakes the anger of the sleeping storm. I cannot bear the warble of the bird, We deem then lovelier, that no eye may see

Who never knew a joy or grief untold: The wasting of their petals, one by one.

But the still flowers, their songs are soft and In the lone darkness, and the mystery

low, Of midnight silence, death's cold work is done. In tones of beauty answering to my woe. Perchance with them the evening sun went down My brother-he of radiant look and mien, In cloudless splendour, smiling to his rest,

Who played beside you when a laughing boy, Tinging with glory many a flowery crown,

Who loved the garden walks, the woods of And scattering gold o'er many a starry crest.

green,

And echoed back their summer songs of joySo passed the heliotrope, unseen in death: My brother sleeps far off, where palm trees wave

Twilight had left her blooming on her bed; In fitful shadows o'er his lonely grave.
So her last sigh of almond-scented breath

His foot, that lightly trod the shining ways Floated away, and morning found her dead.

Of life, too little caring where it strayed, So the tall dahlia bowed her head and died ; Will never more, as in those early days, And we who had not praised her charms Seek the home garden,-rest beneath its before,

shade, When the first frost of autumn smote her pride,

Or spring elastic o'er some flowery bed, Told of her beauty, though she bloomed no

Eager to follow where the sunshine led.

My brother died alone. The friend who kept Thus, when the light of human life and love

Untiring watch within his humble cot, Fades in a moment, ah, how bright it seems!

O’er wearied, for a few brief moments slept, In memory's pictures beautiful, above

Then woke, and called him, but he answered All that the minstrel sings, or poet dreams.

not:

Yet sure he thinks those blessed words had Gone from the flowery paths-for ever gone! come, And yet we never knew them less than fair!

"Enter, poor prodigal, thy Father's home." We never saw the dismal grey steal on, To scatter ashes o'er their sunny hair.

My brother's grave is on a far-off coast;

But, since I know at evening there was light, Call not such partings sad. The first to die I cannot call our loved one dead or lost,

May be the meetest for the marriage-feast; Only gone from us in the silent night; Wakeful, and ready for the midnight cry, Gone in his beauty, like the flowers that lie

May pass unquestioned in, a welcome guest. Struck down by early frost-the first to die.

more.

he says,

the “ useful milk-tree,” or, as more recently negroes and natives are then seen hastening called, Brosimum utile. Its discoverer states from all quarters, furnished with large bowls that while staying at the farm of Barbula in to receive the milk, which grows yellow and the valleys of Aragua,

we were assured that thickens at its surface. Some empty their the negroes of the farm, who drink plentifully bowls under the tree itself, others carry the of this vegetable milk, consider it a wholesome juice home to their children.” aliment; and we found by experience during Mr. D. Lochart also visited the cow-trees in our stay that the virtues of this tree had not the Caraccas, and drank of the milk from a been exaggerated. When incisions are made tree which had a trunk seven feet in diameter, in the trunk, it yields abundance of a glutinous and measured one hundred feet from the root milk, tolerably thick, devoid of all acridity, to the first branch. Sir R. K. Porter also paid and of an agreeable and balmy smell. It was them a visit, and his observations confirm those offered to us in the shell of a calabash. We already recited. The colour and consistency,” drank considerable quantities of it in the

were precisely those of animal milk, evening before we went to bed, and very early with a taste not less sweet and palatable; yet in the morning, without feeling the least in- it left on the tongue a slight bitterness, and jurious effect. The viscosity of this milk alone on the lips a considerable clamminess; an renders it a little disagreeable. The negroes

aromatic smell was most strongly perceptible and the free people who work in the planta- when tasting it.” tions drink it, dipping into it their bread of Other trees are known which possess similar maize or cassava. The overseer of the farm properties to a greater or less extent. One of told us that the negroes grow sensibly fatter these is the “Tabayba dolce" of the Canaries during the season when the Palo de Vaca (Euphorbia balsamifera). Here again we have furnishes them with most milk. This juice, a plant belonging to a different natural exposed to the air, presents on its surface order from any of the others, namely, the membranes of a strongly animalized substance, Euphorbiacece, and one containing a large yellowish, stringy, and resembling cheese. number of plants with acrid and purgative The people call it cheese. This coagulum be-juices. Leopold von Buch states that the juice comes sour in the space of four or five days." of this plant is similar to sweet milk, and, This extraordinary tree appears to be pecu.

thickened into a jelly, is eaten as a delicacy. liar to the Cordillera of the coast, particularly A species of Cactus (C. mamillaris) also yields from Barbula to the Lake of Maracaybo. At a milky juice equally sweet and wholesome. Caucagua the natives call the tree that furnishes It now constitutes the type of a genus called this nourishing juice, the “milk-tree(arbol del Mamillaria. The milk is affirmed to be much leche). They profess to recognize, from the inferior in its quality to the majority of the thickness and colour of the foliage, the trunks above. that yield the most juice; as the herdsman It would scarcely be advisable for us to enter distinguishes, from the external signs, a good here upon the subject of the chemical composimilch-cow.

tion of any of these vegetable juices, or to show “ Amidst the great number of curious pheno. their connection with those lactescent fluids mena which I have observed in the course of

which harden upon exposure, and then are my travels,” continues the discoverer quoted known as india-rubber or caoutchouc. Al. above, “I confess there are few that have though none of the cow-trees enumerated yield made so powerful an impression on me as the

a true india-rubber, that substance, or one aspect of the cow-tree. A few drops of vege- greatly resembling it, is afforded by some of table juice recall to the mind all the powerful. their allies. It is curious to observe how, when ness and the fecundity of nature. On the failing to serve mankind in one direction, these barren flank of a rock grows a tree with coria- trees become important servants in another. ceous and dry leaves. Its large woody roots How forcibly this reminds us of the quaint can scarcely penetrate into the stone. For lines of George Herbertseveral months in the year not a single shower

" More servants wait on Man, moistens its foliage. Its branches appear Than he'll take notice of; in every path dead and dried; but when the trunk is pierced

He treads down that which doth befriend him, there fows from it a sweet and nourishing When sickness makes him pale and wan. milk. It is at the rising of the sun that this Oh, mighty love! Man is one world, and hath vegetable fountain is most abundant. The Another to attend him.”

Songs of the Garden.

BY MRS. ELLIS, AUTHORESS OF THE “WOMEN OF ENGLAND,”

X.

The First to Die.

ELOVED and lovely are the flowers that

fall, At once struck down by autumn's early

chill; Of the fair garden sisters, first of all

To feel the hand whose icy fingers kill. Beloved and lovely are the first who die While noonday sunshine lingers soft and

warm, While darkening clouds rest in the distant sky,

Nor wakes the anger of the sleeping storm. We deem them lovelier, that no eye may see

The wasting of their petals, one by one. In the lone darkness, and the mystery

Of midnight silence, death's cold work is done. Perchance with them the evening sun went down

In cloudless splendour, smiling to his rest, Tinging with glory many a flowery crown,

And scattering gold o'er many a starry crest. So passed the heliotrope, unseen in death:

Twilight had left her blooming on her bed; So her last sigh of almond-scented breath

Floated away, and morning found her dead. So the tall dahlia bowed her head and died; And we who had not praised her charms

before, When the first frost of autumn smote her pride,

Told of her beauty, though she bloomed no

Sad Tidings.
NCE more, my garden friends, I come

to bring
My heart's sad burden and distress to

you. Cease, little birds, I would not hear you sing;

I only want to sit beneath the yew, And see, far off among the walks and bowers, The graceful wreathing of my favourite

flowers. I want to breathe my sorrow, all unheard,

Save by those silent listeners-friends of old: I cannot bear the warble of the bird,

Who never knew a joy or grief untold: But the still flowers, their songs are soft and

low, In tones of beauty answering to my woe. My brother-he of radiant look and mien,

Who played beside you when a laughing boy, Who loved the garden walks, the woods of

green, And echoed back their summer songs of joyMy brother sleeps far off, where palm trees wave

In fitful shadows o'er his lonely grave. His foot, that lightly trod the shining ways

Of life, too little caring where it strayed, Will never more, as in those carly days, Seek the home garden, —rest beneath its

shade, Or spring elastic o'er some flowery bed,

Eager to follow where the sunshine led. My brother died alone. The friend who kept

Untiring watch within his humble cot, O’er wearied, for a few brief moments slept, Then woke, and called him, but he answered

not: Yet sure he thinks those blessed words had

come, * Enter, poor prodigal, thy Father's home." My brother's grave is on a far-off coast ;

But, since I know at evening there was light, I cannot call our loved one dead or lost,Only gone

from us in the silent night; Gone in his beauty, like the flowers that lie

Struck down by early frost-the first to die.

more.

Thus, when the light of human life and love

Fades in a moment, ah, how bright it seems! In memory's pictures beautiful, above

All that the minstrel sings, or poet dreams. Gone from the flowery paths-for ever gone!

And yet we never knew them less than fair! We never saw the dismal grey steal on, To scatter ashes o'er their

sunny

hair, Call not such partings sad. The first to die

May be the meetest for the marriage-feast; Wakeful, and ready for the midnight cry,

May pass unquestioned in, a welcome guest.

The Home Library.

Sermons preached at King's Lynn. By the late choose what the righteous God has chosen, and crush

Rev. E. L. HULL, B.A. Third Edition. down the hesitation of self-will, and do what He has London: James Nisbet and Co.

willed, although the whole universo stood as His foe;

it is to have the whole body, soul, and spirit conRefinement of style, freshness of thought, trolled by the love, and baptized in the purity, of the beauty of expression, and force of reasoning; Eternal. will make these sermons attractive to all “ But in that absolute and literal sense there never readers. But the spirit of sanctified experience has been, nor can be, a righteous man upon earth, and which pervades them, and the power with

hence the question returns, In what sense is man the which the writer grasps and grapples with sinner made righteous? In what way does he become those metaphysical difficulties which serve so

so ? The answer brings in that great paradox of largely to make up some men's discipline of

Christianity which contains in itself one great secret probation, give them a special value. The

of the present concealment of the glory of the godly.

Man becomes righteous by denying his own righteousauthor, it appears, died at the early age of

ness, and accepting that of another. So long as a one-and-thirty.

His manuscripts were not man claims any fragment of righteousness in himself, revised by himself, and the sermons are partly as his own, he will find his trusted virtues fade into reported from notes only. These disadvantages, the withered rags of self-glory, and his fancied power however, have not deprived the sermons of a

melt before the first great tenptation that flashes on distinct and unbroken line of thought, and his way. It is when he feels that he is nothing, has have rather added to that reality and closeness nothing, and can do nothing; it is when, under that of appeal which more scholarly preparation

crushing sense of shameful impotence, he catches sight might have hindered. The closing sermon is

of Christ crucified, and commits himself utterly to a very remarkable one, and the retired-we

Him, that he begins to be fighteous and holy. The

old mystery, 'I am crucified with Christ: neverthemight almost say unknown-career of the

less I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me'-in gifted preacher affords a striking illustration its intense utterance of self-renunciation and trust in of the truth which it enforces.

another, expresses the secret of all the righteousness An extract from this sermon will show that that can ever live in a human soul. For it is by that our high opinion of the volume has not been act of self-renouncing faith that the heavenly power too strongly expressed. The text is, Then of Christ enters a man's spirit. “He lives in me,' shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in

such a man may say, 'and, therefore, by renouncing the kingdom of their Father." The argument,

my own might, I have a might that can dash every turning on the word " then,” is thus stated :

temptation from my career. I own myself dead, and

then, looking on Him, His living Spirit streams into “Our Saviour seems to imply that until then the my nature, and the holy, tender, victorious life of glory of the righteous must be, in a measure, con

Jesus becomes manifest in my mortal flesh. By feelcealed. He appears to teach us that in this world ing that I have nothing, I begin to have all things ; righteous men are seen imperfectly-clouded by their and God, whose far-seeing eye reads in that new life frailties, and veiled in the garment of the flesh; and of faith the germ of a perfect and eternal purity, that it is only then, when the story of the world has declares me to-day a righteous man.' ended, that the light which is in them shall break “ Taking that as the Christian idea of the nature of forth in all its splendour."

righteousness, you will perceive at once why the

glory of the righteous is so greatly hidden now.' Our After pointing out how truly this conceal- faith is, as yet, only the germ of a new creation, and ment of the glory of the righteous is a reality, often it is cradled in tears, and made strong by storms. the author proceeds to inquire into the reasons The very cares and duties attending our existence on of the concealment. Two reasons are advanced, this earth will tend sometimes to lessen our believing the one rising from the nature of righteous

surrender to Christ; ayd we maintain it only by reness in man; the other from the discipline by

sisting their power. It is hard to maintain that upwhich it is perfected. We give the treatment

ward look at the Saviour by which we grow righteous; of these two reasons:

we are tempted to look into our own experiences, and,

trusting them, our purity ceases to grow. We fancy, "(1.) We find the first reason in the nature of the in our hours of excited emotion, that we are strong only true righteousness ir man.

enough to meet temptation; we try, and we fall, and "To perceive this, start the question, What is the learn, through bitter tears, how hard it is to keep that righteous man? In the absolute sense of the word, constant self-renunciation by which alone we become to be righteous is to have so strong a sympathy with right and true. Slowly, very slowly, through struggle that which everlastingly right and true, that no and through storm, are we changed by faith into temptation to the wrong could make the man swerve righteous men; and who, then, can marvel if, amid aside, though it were backed by all the allurements of that life-long conflict, our glory is but dimly seen ? the world and all the forces of hell; it is indeed to The germ of the golden grain is within the believer

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