Imágenes de páginas
PDF

ternal; whilst moss, wool, fine hair, and form the warm internal part of these the softest animal and vegetable downs, commodious dwellings:—

Of vernal songsters—some to the holly hedge,
Nestling, repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble offspring: the cleft tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Their food its insects, and its moss their nests:
Others apart, far in the grassy dale
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave :
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms or shaggy banks,
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs soothe them all the livelong day,
When by kind duty fixed. Among the roots
Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes,
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis naught
But restless hurry through the busy air,
Beat by unnumbered wings. The swallow sweeps
The slimy pool, to build the hanging house
Intent : and often from the careless back
Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills
Pluck hair and wool; and oft, when unobserved,
Steal from the barn a straw; till soft and warm,
Clean and complete, their habitation grows. Thomson.

The cavern-loving wren sequestered seeks
The verdant shelter of the hollow stump,
And with congenial moss, harmless deceit,
Constructs a safe abode. On topmost boughs
The glossy raven, and the hoarsevoiced crow,
Rocked by the storm, erect their airy nests.
The ousel, lone frequenter of the grove
Of fragrant pines, in solemn depth of shade
Finds rest; or 'mid the holly's shining leaves,
A simple bush the piping thrush contents,
Though in the woodland concert he aloft
Trills from his ". throat a powerful strain,
And scorns the humbler quire. The lark too asks
A lowly dwelling, hid beneath a turf,
Or hollow, trodden by the sinking hoof;
Songster of heaven who to the sun such lays
Pours forth, as earth ne'er owns. Within the hedge
The sparrow lays her skystained eggs. The barn,
With eaves o'erpendant, holds the chattering tribe:
Secret the linnet seeks the tangled copse:
The white owl seeks some antique ruined wall,
Fearless of rapine; or in hollow trees,
Which age has caverned, safely courts repose:
The thievish pie, in twofold colours clad,
Roofs o'er her curious nest with firmwreathed twigs,
And sidelong forms her cautious door; she dreads
The taloned kite, or pouncing hawk; savage
Herself, with craft suspicion ever dwells. Bidlake.

NATURALISTS' cALEN DAR
Mean Temperature . . . 43 87.

@pril 4.

CHEAP WEATHER GUIDE. To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Cornhill, March, 1826.

Sir, The following observations on the leechworm were made by a gentleman who kept one several years for the purpose of a weather-glass:

A phial of water, containing a leech, I kept on the frame of my lower sash window, so that when I looked in the morning I could know what would be the weather of the following day. If the weather proves serene and beautiful, the leech lies motionless at the bottom of the glass, and rolled together in a spiral form.

If it rains, either before or after noon, it is found crept up to the top of its lodging, and there it remains till the weather is settled. If we are to have wind, the poor prisoner gallops through its limped habitation with amazing swiftness, and seldom rests till it begins to blow hard.

If a storm of thunder and rain is to succeed, for some days before it lodges, almost continually, without the water, and discovers very great uneasiness in violent throes and convulsions.

In the frost, as in clear summer weather, it lies constantly at the bottom; and in snow, as in rainy weather, it pitches its dwelling upon the very mouth of the phial.

What reasons may be assigned for these circumstances I must leave philosophers to determine, though one thing is evident to every body, that it must be affected in the same way as that of the mercury and spirits in the weather-glass. It has, doubtless, a very surprising sensation; for the change of weather, even days before, makes a visible alteration upon its manner of living.

Perhaps it may not be amiss to note, that the leech was kept in a common eight-ounce phial glass, about threequarters filled with water, and covered on the mouth with a piece of linen rag. In the summer the water is changed once a a week, and in the winter once a fortnight. This is a weather-glass which may be purchased at a very trifling exp. and which will last I do not know

ow many years.

- I am, &c
J. F.

NATURALISTS CALENDar. Mean Temperature . . .44 - 82.

Øpril 5. Swallows IN 1826.

Our friend J. H. H. whose letter on wildfowl shooting, from Abbeville, is in vol. i. . 1575, with another on lark shooting in France in the present volume, p. 91, writes from Southover, near Lewes, in Sussex, on this day, 1826, “How delightful the country looks 1 I shall leave ou to imagine two swallows, the first I ave seen, now preening themselves on the barn opposite, heartily glad that their long journey is at an end.” The birds come to us this year very early.

Pump with two Spouts.

In a letter of the 5th of April, 1808, to Dr. Aikin, inserted in his “Athenaeum,” Mr. Roots says, “In the year 1801, being on a tour through the Highlands of Scotland, I visited the beautiful city of Glasgow, and in passing one of the principal streets in the neighbourhood of the Tron church, I observed about five-and-twenty or thirty people, chiefly females, assembled round a large public pump, waiting their separate turns for water; and although the pump had two spouts for the evacuation of the water behind and before, I took notice that one of the spouts was carefully plugged up, no one attempting to fill his vessel from that source, whilst each was waiting till the rest were served, sooner than draw the water from the spout in question. On inquiry into the cause of this proceeding, I was informed by an intelligent gentleman residing in the neighbourhood, that though one and the same handle produced the same water from the same well through either of the spouts, yet the populace, and even better informed people, had for a number of years conceived an idea, which had been handed down from father to son, that the water when drawn from the hindermost spout would be of an unlucky and poisonous nature; and this vulgar prejudice is from time to time kept afloat, inasmuch, as by its being never used, a kind of dusty fur at length collects, and the water, when suffered from curiosity to pass through, at first runs foul; and this tends to carry conviction still further to these ignorant people, who with the most solemn assurances

[blocks in formation]

I was an useless reed; no cluster hung
My brow with purple grapes, no blossom flung
The coronet of crimson on my stem;
No apple blushed upon me, nor (the gem
Of flowers) the violet strewed the yellow heath
Around my feet, nor Jessamine's sweet wreath

Robed me in silver: day and night I pined
On the lone moor, and shiver'd in the wind.
At length a poet found me. From my side
He smoothed the pale and withered leaves, and dyed
My lips in Helicon. From that high hour
I spoke! My words were flame and living power,
All the wide wonders of the earth were mine,
Far as the surges roll, or sunbeams shine;
Deep as earth's bosom hides the emerald;
High as the hills with thunder clouds are pall'd.
And there was sweetness round me, that i. dew
Had never wet so sweet on violet’s blue.
To me the mighty sceptre was a wand,
The roar of nations peal’d at my command;
To me the dungeon, sword, and scourge were vain,
I smote the smiter, and I broke the chain;
Or tow'ring o'er them all, without a plume,
I pierced the purple air, the tempest's gloom,
Till blaz'd th’ Olympian glories on my eye,
Stars, temples, thrones, and gods—infinity.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Pulci.

Sermon AT St. ANDREw's.

For the Every-Day Book.

SAINTs.

Our old acquaintance with the saints is not broken: but they are sad intruders on the beauties of the world, and we part from them, for a little while, after the annexed communication of an attempt to honour them.

The following anecdote, under the article “Black Friars,” in Brand's “History of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,” as a specimen of the extreme perversion of mind in the Romish clergy of former times, is curious, and may amuse your readers as much as it has me. Prolific gales Warm the soft air, and animate the vales. Woven with flowers and shrubs, and freshest green, Thrown with wild boldness o'er the lovely scene A brilliant carpet, of unnumbered dyes, With sweet variety enchants the eyes. Thick are the trees with leaves; in every grove The feathered minstrels tune their throats to love.

Richard Marshall, who had been one of the brethren, and also prior of the house, in the year 1521, at St. Andrew's, Scotland, informed his audience there, that Pater noster should be addressed to God and not to the saints. The doctors of St. Andrew's, in their great wisdom, or rather craftiness, appointed a preacher to o: this tenet, which he did in a sermon from Matt, v. 3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” “Seeing,” says he, “we say good day, father, to any old man in the street, we may call a saint, pater, who is older than any alive: and seeing they are in heaven, we may say to any of them, “hallowed be thy name;' and since they are in the kingdom of heaven, we may say to any of them “thy kingdom come :' and seeing their will is God's will, we may say, “thy will be done,’” &c. When the friar was proceeding further, he was hissed and even obliged to leave the city. Yet we are told, the dispute continued among the doctors about the pater. Some would have it said to God formaliter, to the saints materialiter; others, to God principaliter, to the saints minus principaliter; or primario to God, secundario to the saints; or to God strict?, and to the saints late. With all these distinetions they could not agree. It is said, that Tom, who was servant to the subF. of St Andrew's, one day perceiving his master in trouble, said to him, “Sir, what is the cause of your trouble?” The master answered, “We cannot agree about the saying of the pater.” The fellow replied, “To whom should it be said but to God alone?” The master asks,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

On this day in the “Perennial Calendar,” Dr. Forster observes, that it may be proper to notice the general appearance of the wild and less cultivated parts of nature at this time. In the fields, the bulbous crowfoot, ranunculus bulbosus, begins to blow. Daisies become pretty common, and dandelions are seen here and there by road sides, and in fields, on a warm soil, are pretty abundant. The pilewort, ficaria verna, still decorates the thickets and shady green banks with its bright yellow stars of gold. It may be observed generally, that the flowers found at this time belong to the primaveral Flora; those of the vernal being as yet undeveloped. By the sides of rivers, streams, and ponds, along the wet margins of ditches, and in moist meadows, and marshes, grows the marsh marigold, caltha palustris, whose golden yellow flowers have a brilliant effect at a small distance.

Domestic ANTIQUITIES,
and a
LETTER of Lord Thurlow's.

A gentleman indulges the editor with the following account of a singular household utensil, and a drawing of it, from whence a correct engraving has been made; together with a letter from the late lord chancellor Thurlow, which from his distinguished hand on a singular occurrence, merits preservation.

Kleist.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Aprit 3, 1826.

Sir, I shall be happy to communicate any thing in my power, connected with antiquities to the Every-Day Book, which I have taken from the beginning, and been highly pleased with ; and, first, I send you a drawing for insertion, if you think it worthy, of a carving, in my possession, on an ancient oak board, two feet in diameter.

Øntitut Carbing. It represents the letters 3. 5. c. in the centre, surrounded by this legend, viz.

“An harte that is wyse wyll obstine from sinnes and increas in the workes of God.”

As this legend reads backward, and all the carving is incuse, it was evidently intended to give impression to something; I imagine pastry.

An original letter is now before me, from lord chancellor Thurlow, to a Norfolk farmer, who had sent him a hare, and two and a half brace of partridges, enclosed in a large turnip of his own growth. The farmer had not any p. knowledge of his lordship, but,

ing aware he was a Norfolk man, he rightly conceived that his present would be looked upon with more interest on that account. The following is a copy of the chancellor's letter:

- Bath, Dec. 31, 1778. Sir, I beg you will accept of my best thanks for your agreeable present. It gave me additional satisfaction to be so remembered in my native country; to which I, in particular, owe every sort of respect, and all the world agrees to admire for superiority in husbandry. I am, Sir, Your most obliged And obedient servant, Thurlow. Having transcribed his lordship's answer, you are at liberty to do with that, and the drawing of my carving, as you please; with this “special observance,"

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »