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The Illustrated London Reading Book by Various

Part 4 out of 8

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and prosaic; but he unbends from this graver strain of reflection to
tenderness, and even to playfulness, with an ease and grace almost
exclusively his own; and connects extensive views of the happiness and
interests of society with pictures of life that touch the heart by their
familiarity. He is no disciple of the gaunt and famished school of
simplicity. He uses the ornaments which must always distinguish true
poetry from prose; and when he adopts colloquial plainness, it is with
the utmost skill to avoid a vulgar humility. There is more of this
sustained simplicity, of this chaste economy and choice of words, in
Goldsmith than in any other modern poet, or, perhaps, than would be
attainable or desirable as a standard for every writer of rhyme. In
extensive narrative poems, such a style would be too difficult. There is
a noble propriety even in the careless strength of great poems, as in
the roughness of castle walls; and, generally speaking, where there is a
long course of story, or observation of life to be pursued, such
excursite touches as those of Goldsmith would be too costly materials
for sustaining it. His whole manner has a still depth of feeling and
reflection, which gives back the image of nature unruffled and minutely.
His chaste pathos makes him an insulating moralist, and throws a charm
of Claude-like softness over his descriptions of homely objects, that
would seem only fit to be the subjects of Dutch painting; but his quiet
enthusiasm leads the affections to humble things without a vulgar
association, and he inspires us with a fondness to trace the simplest
recollections of Auburn, till we count the furniture of its ale-house,
and listen to the varnished clock that clicked behind the door.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter H.]

Hagar and Ishmael departed early on the day fixed for their removal,
Abraham furnishing them with the necessary supply of travelling
provisions. "And Abraham arose up early in the morning, and took bread
and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her
shoulder, and she went away." The bottle here mentioned was probably
made of the skin of a goat, sewn up, leaving an opening in one of the
legs to serve as a mouth. Such skin bottles are still commonly used in
Western Asia for water, and are borne slung across the shoulders, just
as that of Hagar was placed.

It seems to have been the intention of Hagar to return to her native
country, Egypt; but, in spite of the directions she received, the two
travellers lost their way in the southern wilderness, and wandered to
and fro till the water, which was to have served them on the road, was
altogether spent. The lad, unused to hardship, was soon worn out.
Overcome by heat and thirst, he seemed at the point of death, when the
afflicted mother laid him down under one of the stunted shrubs of this
dry and desert region, in the hope of his getting some relief from the
slight damp which the shade afforded. The burning fever, however,
continued unabated; and the poor mother, forgetting her own sorrow,
destitute and alone in the midst of a wilderness, went to a little
distance, unable to witness his lingering sufferings, and then "she
lifted up her voice and wept." But God had not forgotten her: a voice
was heard in the solitude, and an Angel of the Lord appeared, uttering
words of comfort and promises of peace. He directed her to a well of
water, which, concealed by the brushwood, had not been seen by her. Thus
encouraged, Hagar drew a refreshing draught, and hastening to her son,
"raised him by the hand," and gave him the welcome drink, which soon
restored him. This well, according to the tradition of the Arabs, who
pay great honour to the memory of Hagar, is Zemzem, near Mecca.

[Illustration: HAGAR AND ISHMAEL.]

After this, we have no account of the history of Ishmael, except that he
established himself in the wilderness of Paran, near Mount Sinai, and
belonged to one of the tribes by which the desert was frequented. He was
married, by his mother, to a countrywoman of her own, and maintained
himself and his family by the produce of his bow. Many of the Arabian
tribes have been proud to trace their origin to this son of the
Patriarch Abraham.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter Y.]

Ye who have scorn'd each other,
Or injured friend or brother,
In this fast fading year;
Ye who, by word or deed,
Have made a kind heart bleed,
Come gather here.
Let sinn'd against, and sinning,
Forget their strife's beginning,
And join in friendship now;
Be links no longer broken,
Be sweet forgiveness spoken
Under the Holly-bough.

Ye who have loved each other,
Sister and friend and brother,
In this fast fading year;
Mother and sire and child,
Young man and maiden mild,
Come gather here;
And let your hearts grow fonder,
As Memory shall ponder
Each past unbroken vow:
Old loves and younger wooing
Are sweet in the renewing
Under the Holly-bough.

Ye who have nourish'd sadness.
Estranged from hope and gladness,
In this fast fading year;
Ye with o'erburden'd mind,
Made aliens from your kind,
Come gather here.
Let not the useless sorrow
Pursue you night and morrow,
If e'er you hoped, hope now--
Take heart, uncloud your faces,
And join in our embraces
Under the Holly-bough.


[Illustration: THE HOLLY CART.]

* * * * *


To us who dwell on its surface, the earth is by far the most extensive
orb that our eyes can any where behold; but, to a spectator placed on
one of the planets, it looks no larger than a spot. To beings who dwell
at still greater distances, it entirely disappears. That which we call
alternately the morning and the evening star, as in the one part of the
orbit she rides foremost in the procession of night, in the other ushers
in and anticipates the dawn, is a planetary world, which, with the
five others that so wonderfully vary their mystic dance, are in
themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflection; have fields, and
seas, and skies of their own; are furnished with all accommodations for
animal subsistence, and are supposed to be the abodes of intellectual
life. All these, together with our earthly habitation, are dependent on
the sun, receive their light from his rays, and derive their comfort
from his benign agency. The sun, which seems to us to perform its daily
stages through the sky, is, in this respect, fixed and immovable; it is
the great axle about which the globe we inhabit, and other more spacious
orbs, wheel their stated courses. The sun, though apparently smaller
than the dial it illuminates, is immensely larger than this whole earth,
on which so many lofty mountains rise, and such vast oceans roll. A line
extending from side to side through the centre of that resplendent orb,
would measure more than 800,000 miles: a girdle formed to go round its
circumference, would require a length of millions. Are we startled at
these reports of philosophers? Are we ready to cry out in a transport of
surprise, "How mighty is the Being who kindled such a prodigious fire,
and keeps alive from age to age such an enormous mass of flame!" Let us
attend our philosophic guides, and we shall be brought acquainted with
speculations more enlarged and more inflaming. The sun, with all its
attendant planets, is but a very little part of the grand machine of the
universe; every star, though in appearance no bigger than the diamond
that glitters upon a lady's ring, is really a vast globe like the sun in
size and in glory; no less spacious, no less luminous, than the radiant
source of the day: so that every star is not barely a world, but the
centre of a magnificent system; has a retinue of worlds irradiated by
its beams, and revolving round its attractive influence--all which are
lost to our sight. That the stars appear like so many diminutive points,
is owing to their immense and inconceivable distance. Immense and
inconceivable indeed it is, since a ball shot from a loaded cannon, and
flying with unabated rapidity, must travel at this impetuous rate almost
700,000 years, before it could reach the nearest of these twinkling

While beholding this vast expanse I learn my own extreme meanness, I
would also discover the abject littleness of all terrestrial things.
What is the earth, with all her ostentatious scenes, compared with this
astonishingly grand furniture of the skies? What, but a dim speck hardly
perceptible in the map of the universe? It is observed by a very
judicious writer, that if the sun himself, which enlightens this part of
the creation, were extinguished, and all the host of planetary worlds
which move about him were annihilated, they would not be missed by an
eye that can take in the whole compass of nature any more than a grain
of sand upon the sea-shore. The bulk of which they consist, and the
space which they occupy, are so exceedingly little in comparison of the
whole, that their loss would leave scarce a blank in the immensity of
God's works. If, then, not our globe only, but this whole system, be so
very dimunitive, what is a kingdom or a country? What are a few
lordships, or the so-much-admired patrimonies of those who are styled
wealthy? When I measure them with my own little pittance, they swell
into proud and bloated dimensions; but when I take the universe for my
standard, how scanty is their size, how contemptible their figure; they
shrink into pompous nothings!


* * * * *



Now strike the golden lyre again:
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain.
Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder.
Hark, hark, the horrid sound
Has raised up his head,
As awaked from the dead,
And amazed, he stares around.

Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,
See the Furies arise:
See the snakes that they rear,
How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand!
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,
And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain.
Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew.
Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods!
The Princes applaud, with a furious joy;
And the King seized a flambeau, with zeal to destroy;
Thais led the way,
To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,
While organs yet were mute;
Timotheus, to his breathing flute
And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.
At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame;
The sweet enthusiast, from the sacred store,
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds,
With nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown:
He raised a mortal to the skies;
She drew an angel down.


* * * * *


The Satin Bower-Bird was one of the earliest known species in the
Australian fauna, and probably received the name of _Satin Grakle_, by
which it was described in Latham's "General History of Birds," from the
intensely black glossy plumage of the adult male. But, although the
existence of this bird was noticed by most of the writers on the natural
history of Australia subsequent to Latham, it appears that no suspicion
of its singular economy had extended beyond the remotest settlers, until
Mr. Gould, whose great work on the "Birds of Australia" is known to
every one, unravelled the history of the _bowers_, which had been
discovered in many parts of the bush, and which had been attributed to
almost every possible origin but the right one.

The bower, as will be seen by the Illustration, is composed of twigs
woven together in the most compact manner, and ornamented with shells
and feathers, the disposition of which the birds are continually
altering. They have no connexion with the nest, and are simply
playing-places, in which the birds divert themselves during the months
which precede nidification.

[Illustration: BOWER BIRDS.]

The birds themselves are nearly as large as a jackdaw. The female is
green in colour, the centre of the breast feathers yellowish; the
unmoulted plumage of the male is similar: the eyes of both are brilliant

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter T.]

The fountain and pool of Siloam, whose surplus waters flow in a little
streamlet falling into the lake Kedron, is situate near the ancient
walls of the city of Jerusalem. Mr. Wild tells us "that the fountain of
Siloam is a mineral spring of a brackish taste, and somewhat of the
smell of the Harrowgate water, but in a very slight degree." It is said
to possess considerable medicinal properties, and is much frequented by
pilgrims. "Continuing our course," says he, "around the probable line of
the ancient walls, along the gentle slope of Zion, we pass by the King's
gardens, and arrive at the lower pool of Siloam, placed in another
indentation in the wall. It is a deep square cistern lined with masonry,
adorned with columns at the sides, and having a flight of steps leading
to the bottom, in which there was about two feet of water. It
communicates by a subterraneous passage with the fountain, from which it
is distant about 600 yards. The water enters the pool by a low arched
passage, into which the pilgrims, numbers of whom are generally to be
found around it, put their heads, as part of the ceremony, and wash
their clothes in the purifying stream that rises from it." During a
rebellion in Jerusalem, in which the Arabs inhabiting the Tillage of
Siloam were the ringleaders, they gained access to the city by means of
the conduit of this pool, which again rises within the mosque of Omar.
This passage is evidently the work of art, the water in it is generally
about two feet deep, and a man may go through it in a stooping position.
When the stream leaves the pool, it is divided into numbers of little
aqueducts, for the purpose of irrigating the gardens and
pleasure-grounds which lie immediately beneath it in the valley, and are
the chief source of their fertility, for, as they are mostly formed of
earth which has been carried from other places, they possess no original
or natural soil capable of supporting vegetation. As there is but little
water in the pool during the dry season, the Arabs dam up the several
streams in order to collect a sufficient quantity in small ponds
adjoining each garden, and this they all do at the same time, or there
would be an unfair division of the fertilizing fluid. These dams are
generally made in the evening and drawn off in the morning, or sometimes
two or three times a day; and thus the reflux of the water that they
hold gives the appearance of an ebb and flow, which by some travellers
has caused a report that the pool of Siloam is subject to daily tides.

[Illustration: THE POOL OF SILOAM.]

There are few towns, and scarcely any metropolitan town, in which the
natural supply of water is so inadequate as at Jerusalem; hence the many
and elaborate contrivances to preserve the precious fluid, or to bring
it to the town by aqueducts.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter A.]

Ah! little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, pow'r, and affluence surround--
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah! little think they, while they dance along
How many feel this very moment death,
And all the sad variety of pain:
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame! how many bleed
By shameful variance betwixt man and man!
How many pine in want and dungeon glooms,
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs! how many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery! Sore pierced by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty! How many shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse,
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the Tragic Muse!
Even in the vale where Wisdom loves to dwell,
With Friendship, Peace, and Contemplation join'd,
How many, rack'd with honest passions, droop
In deep retired distress. How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish! Thought fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life--
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in its high career would stand appall'd,
And heedless, rambling impulse learn to think;
The conscious heart of Charity would warm,
And her wide wish Benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise, the social sigh,
And into clear perfection gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter R.]

Really winter in Canada must be felt to be imagined; and when felt can
no more be described by words, than colours to a blind man or music to a
deaf one. Even under bright sun-shine, and in a most exhilirating air,
the biting effect of the cold upon the portion of our face that is
exposed to it resembles the application of a strong acid; and the
healthy grin which the countenance assumes, requires--as I often
observed on those who for many minutes had been in a warm room waiting
to see me--a considerable time to relax.

In a calm, almost any degree of cold is bearable, but the application of
successive doses of it to the face by wind, becomes, occasionally,
almost unbearable; indeed, I remember seeing the left cheek of nearly
twenty of our soldiers simultaneously frost-bitten in marching about a
hundred yards across a bleak open space, completely exposed to a strong
and bitterly cold north-west wind that was blowing upon us all.

The remedy for this intense cold, to which many Canadians and others
have occasionally recourse, is--at least to my feelings it always
appeared--infinitely worse than the disease. On entering, for instance,
the small parlour of a little inn, a number of strong, able-bodied
fellows are discovered holding their hands a few inches before their
faces, and sitting in silence immediately in front of a stove of such
excruciating power, that it really feels as if it would roast the very
eyes in their sockets; and yet, as one endures this agony, the back part
is as cold as if it belonged to what is called at home "Old Father

As a further instance of the climate, I may add, that several times,
while my mind was very warmly occupied in writing my despatches, I found
my pen full of a lump of stuff that appeared to be honey, but which
proved to be frozen ink; again, after washing in the morning, when I
took up some money that had lain all night on my table, I at first
fancied it had become sticky, until I discovered that the sensation was
caused by its freezing to my fingers, which, in consequence of my
ablutions, were not perfectly dry.


Notwithstanding, however, this intensity of cold, the powerful
circulation of the blood of large quadrupeds keeps the red fluid, like
the movement of the waters in the great lakes, from freezing; but the
human frame not being gifted with this power, many people lose their
limbs, and occasionally their lives, from cold. I one day inquired of a
fine, ruddy, honest-looking man, who called upon me, and whose toes and
instep of each foot had been truncated, how the accident happened? He
told me that the first winter he came from England he lost his way in
the forest, and that after walking for some hours, feeling pain in his
feet, he took off his boots, and from the flesh immediately swelling, he
was unable to put them on again. His stockings, which were very old
ones, soon wore into holes; and as rising on his insteps he was
hurriedly proceeding he knew not where, he saw with alarm, but without
feeling the slightest pain, first one toe and then another break off, as
if they had been pieces of brittle stick, and in this mutilated state he
continued to advance till he reached a path which led him to an
inhabited log house, where he remained suffering great pain till his
cure was effected.

Although the sun, from the latitude, has considerable power, it appears
only to illuminate the sparkling snow, which, like the sugar on a bridal
cake, conceals the whole surface. The instant, however, the fire of
heaven sinks below the horizon, the cold descends from the upper regions
of the atmosphere with a feeling as if it were poured down upon the head
and shoulders from a jug.


* * * * *


The idea of constructing a machine which should enable us to rise into
and sail through the air, seems often to have occupied the attention of
mankind, even from remote times, but it was never realised until within
the last sixty or seventy years. The first public ascent of a
fire-balloon in France, in 1783, led to an experiment on the part of
Joseph Mongolfier. He constructed a balloon of linen, lined with paper,
which, when inflated by means of burning chopped straw and coal, was
found to be capable of raising 500 pounds weight. It was inflated in
front of the Palace at Versailles, in the presence of the Royal family,
and a basket, containing a sheep, a duck, and a cock, was attached to
it. It was then liberated, and ascended to the height of 1500 feet. It
fell about two miles from Versailles; the animals were uninjured, and
the sheep was found quietly feeding near the place of its descent.

Monsieur Mongolfier then constructed one of superior strength, and a M.
de Rozier ventured to take his seat in the car and ascend three hundred
feet, the height allowed by the ropes, which were not cut. This same
person afterwards undertook an aerial voyage, descending in safety about
five miles from Paris, where the balloon ascended. But this enterprising
voyager in the air afterwards attempted to travel in a balloon with
sails. This was formed by a singular combination of balloons--one
inflated with hydrogen gas, and the other a fire-balloon. The latter,
however, catching fire, the whole apparatus fell from the height of
about three-quarters of a mile, with the mangled bodies of the voyagers
attached to the complicated machinery.


A Frenchman named Tester, in 1786, also made an excursion in a balloon
with sails; these sails or wings aided in carrying his balloon so high,
that when he had reached an elevation of 3000 feet, fearing his balloon
might burst, he descended into a corn-field in the plain of Montmorency.
An immense crowd ran eagerly to the spot; and the owner of the field,
angry at the injury his crop had sustained, demanded instant
indemnification. Tester offered no resistance, but persuaded the
peasants that, having lost his wings, he could not possibly escape. The
ropes were seized by a number of persons, who attempted to drag the
balloon towards the village; but as, during the procession, it had
acquired considerable buoyancy, Tester suddenly cut the cords, and,
rising in the air, left the disappointed peasants overwhelmed in
astonishment. After being out in a terrible thunder-storm, he descended
uninjured, about twelve hours from the time of his first ascent.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter A.]

Among the worthies of this country who, after a successful and
honourable employment of their talent in life, have generously consulted
the advantage of generations to come after them, few names appear more
conspicuous than that of Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of Gresham
College, and of the Royal Exchange, London. He was born in that city
about the year 1518, the second son of Sir Richard Gresham, who served
the office of sheriff in 1531, and that of Lord Mayor in 1537. He
received a liberal education at the University, and is mentioned in high
terms as having distinguished himself at Cambridge, being styled "that
noble and most learned merchant." His father at this time held the
responsible position of King's merchant, and had the management of the
Royal monies at Antwerp, then the most important seat of commerce in
Europe; and when his son Sir Thomas succeeded him in this responsible
appointment, he not only established his fame as a merchant, but secured
universal respect and esteem. After the accession of Queen Elizabeth,
his good qualities attracted the peculiar notice of her Majesty, who was
pleased to bestow on him the honour of knighthood; and at this time he
built the noble house in Bishopsgate-street, which after his death was
converted to the purposes of a College of his own foundation.

In the year 1564, Sir Thomas made an offer to the Corporation of London,
that, if the City would give him a piece of ground, he would erect an
Exchange at his own expense; and thus relieve the merchants from their
present uncomfortable mode of transacting business in the open air. The
liberal offer being accepted, the building, which was afterwards
destroyed in the Great Fire of London, was speedily constructed, at a
very great expense, and ornamented with a number of statues. Nor did
Gresham's persevering benevolence stop here: though he had so much to
engross his time and attention, he still found leisure to consider the
claims of the destitute and aged, and in his endowment of eight
alms-houses with a comfortable allowance for as many decayed citizens of
London, displayed that excellent grace of charity which was his truest

In person Sir Thomas was above the middle height, and handsome when a
young man, but he was rendered lame by a fall from his horse during one
of his journeys in Flanders. Sir Thomas Gresham's exemplary life
terminated suddenly on the 21st of November, 1579, after he had just
paid a visit to the noble building which he had so generously founded.

[Illustration: SIR THOMAS GRESHAM.]

* * * * *


Let the enlargement of your knowledge be one constant view and design in
life; since there is no time or place, no transactions, occurrences, or
engagements in life, which exclude us from this method of improving the
mind. When we are alone, even in darkness and silence, we may converse
with our own hearts, observe the working of our own spirits, and reflect
upon the inward motions of our own passions in some of the latest
occurrences in life; we may acquaint ourselves with the powers and
properties, the tendencies and inclinations both of body and spirit, and
gain a more intimate knowledge of ourselves. When we are in company, we
may discover something more of human nature, of human passions and
follies, and of human affairs, vices and virtues, by conversing with
mankind, and observing their conduct. Nor is there any thing more
valuable than the knowledge of ourselves and the knowledge of men,
except it be the knowledge of God who made us, and our relation to Him
as our Governor.

When we are in the house or the city, wheresoever we turn our eyes, we
see the works of men; when we are abroad in the country, we behold more
of the works of God. The skies and the ground above and beneath us, and
the animal and vegetable world round about us, may entertain our
observation with ten thousand varieties.

Fetch down some knowledge from the clouds, the stars, the sun, the moon,
and the revolutions of all the planets. Dig and draw up some valuable
meditations from the depths of the earth, and search them through the
vast oceans of water. Extract some intellectual improvement from the
minerals and metals; from the wonders of nature among the vegetables and
herbs, trees and flowers. Learn some lessons from the birds and the
beasts, and the meanest insect. Read the wisdom of God, and his
admirable contrivance in them all: read his almighty power, his rich and
various goodness, in all the works of his hands.

From the day and the night, the hours and the flying minutes, learn a
wise improvement of time, and be watchful to seize every opportunity to
increase in knowledge.

From the vices and follies of others, observe what is hateful in them;
consider how such a practice looks in another person, and remember that
it looks as ill or worse in yourself. From the virtue of others, learn
something worthy of your imitation.

From the deformity, the distress, or calamity of others, derive lessons
of thankfulness to God, and hymns of grateful praise to your Creator,
Governor, and Benefactor, who has formed you in a better mould, and
guarded you from those evils. Learn also the sacred lesson of
contentment in your own estate, and compassion to your neighbour under
his miseries.

From your natural powers, sensations, judgment, memory, hands, feet,
&c., make this inference, that they were not given you for nothing, but
for some useful employment to the honour of your Maker, and for the good
of your fellow-creatures, as well as for your own best interest and
final happiness.


* * * * *


The enterprising traveller, Moorcroft, during his journey across the
vast chain of the Himalaya Mountains, in India, undertaken with the hope
of finding a passage across those mountains into Tartary, noticed, in
the district of Ladak, the peculiar race of sheep of which we give an
Engraving. Subsequent observations having confirmed his opinion as to
the quality of their flesh and wool, the Honourable East India Company
imported a flock, which were sent for a short time to the Gardens of the
Zoological Society, Regent's Park. They were then distributed among
those landed proprietors whose possessions are best adapted, by soil and
climate, for naturalising in the British Islands this beautiful variety
of the mountain sheep. The wool, the flesh, and the milk of the sheep
appear to have been very early appreciated as valuable products of the
animal: with us, indeed, the milk of the flock has given place to that
of the herd; but the two former still retain their importance. Soon
after the subjugation of Britain by the Romans, a woollen manufactory
was established at Winchester, situated in the midst of a district then,
as now, peculiarly suited to the short-woolled breed of sheep. So
successful was this manufacture, that British cloths were soon preferred
at Rome to those of any other part of the Empire, and were worn by the
most opulent on festive and ceremonial occasions. From that time
forward, the production of wool in this island, and the various
manufactures connected with it, have gone on increasing in importance,
until it has become one of the chief branches of our commerce.

[Illustration: THIBETAN SHEEP.]

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter O.]

On being told the number and size of the sails which a vessel can carry
(that is to say, can sail with, without danger of being upset), the
uninitiated seldom fail to express much surprise. This is not so
striking in a three-decker, as in smaller vessels, because the hull of
the former stands very high out of the water, for the sake of its triple
rank of guns, and therefore bears a greater proportion to its canvas
than that of a frigate or a smaller vessel. The apparent inequality is
most obvious in the smallest vessels, as cutters: and of those kept for
pleasure, and therefore built for the purpose of sailing as fast as
possible, without reference to freight or load, there are many the hull
of which might be entirely wrapt up in the mainsail. It is of course
very rarely, if ever, that a vessel carries at one time all the sail she
is capable of; the different sails being usually employed according to
the circumstances of direction of wind and course. The sails of a ship,
when complete, are as follows:--

The lowermost sail of the mast, called thence the _mainsail_, or
_foresail_; the _topsail_, carried by the _topsail-yard_; the
_top-gallant-sail_; and above this there is also set a _royal_ sail, and
again above this, but only on emergencies, a sail significantly called a
_sky-sail_. Besides all this, the three lowermost of these are capable
of having their surface to be exposed to the wind increased by means of
_studding_ sails, which are narrow sails set on each side beyond the
regular one, by means of small _booms_ or yards, which can be slid out
so as to extend the lower yards and topsail-yards: the upper parts of
these additional sails hang from small yards suspended from the
principal ones, and the boom of the lower studding-sails is hooked on to
the chains. Thus each of the two principal masts, the fore and main, are
capable of bearing no less than thirteen distinct sails. If a ship could
be imagined as cut through by a plane, at right angles to the keel,
close to the mainmast, the _area_, or surface, of all the sails on this
would be five or six times as great as that of the section or profile of
the hull!

The starboard studding-sails are on the fore-mast, and on both sides of
the main-top-gallant and main-royal; but, in going nearly before a wind,
there is no advantage derived from the stay-sails, which, accordingly,
are not set. The flying-jib is to be set to assist in steadying the

The mizen-mast, instead of a lower square-sail like the two others, has
a sail like that of a cutter, lying in the plane of the keel, its bottom
stretched on a boom, which extends far over the taffarel, and the upper
edge carried by a _gaff_ or yard sloping upwards, supported by ropes
from the top of the mizen-mast.

All these sails, the sky-sails excepted, have four sides, as have also
the sprit-sails on the bowsprit, jib-boom, &c.; and all, except the sail
last mentioned on the mizen, usually lie across the ship, or in planes
forming considerable angles with the axis or central line of the ship.
There are a number of sails which lie in the same plane with the keel,
being attached to the various _stays_ of the masts; these are triangular
sails, and those are called _stay-sails_ which are between the masts:
those before the fore-mast, and connected with the bowsprit, are the
_fore stay-sail_, the _fore-topmast-stay-sail_, the _jib_, sometimes a
_flying jib_, and another called a _middle jib_, and there are two or
three others used occasionally. Thus it appears that there are no less
than fifty-three different sails, which are used at times, though, we
believe, seldom more than twenty are _set_ at one time, for it is
obviously useless to extend or set a sail, if the wind is prevented from
filling it by another which intercepts the current of air.

The higher the wind, the fewer the sails which a ship can carry; but as
a certain number, or rather quantity, of canvas is necessary in
different parts of the ship to allow of the vessel being steered, the
principal sails, that is, the _courses_ or lower sails, and the
top-sails, admit of being reduced in extent by what is termed _reefing_:
this is done by tying up the upper part of the sail to the yard by means
of rows of strings called _reef-points_ passing through the canvas; this
reduces the depth of the sail, while its width is unaltered on the yard,
which is therefore obliged to be lowered on the mast accordingly.



[Illustration: LOOSED SAILS.]

Ships are principally distinguished as those called merchantmen, which
belong to individuals or companies, and are engaged in commerce; and
men-of-war, or the national ships, built for the purposes of war. The
latter receive their designation from the number of their decks, or of
the guns which they carry. The largest are termed ships of the line,
from their forming the line of battle when acting together in fleets;
and are divided into first-rates, second-rates, third-rates, &c.
First-rates include all those carrying 100 guns and upwards, with a
company of 850 men and upwards; second-rates mount 90 to 100 guns, and
so on, down to the sixth-rates; but some ships of less than 44 guns are
termed frigates.



[Illustration: REEFING TOPSAILS.]


There are three principal masts in a complete ship: the first is the
main-mast, which stands in the centre of the ship; at a considerable
distance forward is the fore-mast; and at a less distance behind, the
mizen-mast. These masts, passing through the decks, are fixed firmly in
the keel. There are added to them other masts, which can be taken down
or raised--hoisted, as it is termed at sea--at pleasure: these are
called top-masts, and, according to the mast to which each is
attached--main, fore, or mizen-topmast. When the topmast is carried
still higher by the addition of a third, it receives the name of
top-gallant-mast. The yards are long poles of wood slung across the
masts, or attached to them by one end, and having fixed to them the
upper edge of the principal sails. They are named upon the same plan as
the masts; for example, the main-yard, the fore-top-sail-yard, and so
on. The bowsprit is a strong conical piece of timber, projecting from
the stem of a ship, and serving to support the fore-mast, and as a yard
or boom on which certain sails are moveable.

According as the wind blows from different points, in regard to the
course the ship is sailing, it is necessary that the direction of the
yards should be changed, so as to form different angles with the central
line or with the keel; this is effected by ropes brought from the ends
of the yards to the mast behind that to which these belong, and then,
passing through blocks, they come down to the deck: by pulling one of
these, the other being slackened, the yard is brought round to the
proper degree of inclination; this is termed bracing the yards, the
ropes being termed braces.

* * * * *


When Hercules was in that part of his youth in which it was natural for
him to consider what course of life he ought to pursue, he one day
retired into a desert, where the silence and solitude of the place very
much favoured his meditations. As he was musing on his present
condition, and very much perplexed in himself on the state of life he
should choose, he saw two women, of a larger stature than ordinary,
approaching towards him. One of them had a very noble air, and graceful
deportment; her beauty was natural and easy, her person clean and
unspotted, her eyes cast towards the ground with an agreeable reserve,
her motion and behaviour full of modesty, and her raiment as white as
snow. The other had a great deal of health and floridness in her
countenance, which she had helped with an artificial white and red; and
she endeavoured to appear more graceful than ordinary in her mien, by a
mixture of affectation in all her gestures. She had a wonderful
confidence and assurance in her looks, and all the variety of colours in
her dress, that she thought were the most proper to shew her complexion
to advantage. She cast her eyes upon herself, then turned them on those
that were present, to see how they liked her, and often looked on the
figure she made in her own shadow. Upon her nearer approach to Hercules,
she stepped before the other lady, who came forward with a regular,
composed carriage, and running up to him, accosted him after the
following manner:--

"My dear Hercules!" says she, "I find you are very much divided in your
thoughts upon the way of life that you ought to choose; be my friend,
and follow me; I will lead you into the possession of pleasure, and out
of the reach of pain, and remove you from all the noise and disquietude
of business. The affairs of either war or peace shall have no power to
disturb you. Your whole employment shall be to make your life easy, and
to entertain every sense with its proper gratifications. Sumptuous
tables, beds of roses, clouds of perfume, concerts of music, crowds of
beauties, are all in readiness to receive you. Come along with me into
this region of delights, this world of pleasure, and bid farewell for
ever to care, to pain, to business." Hercules, hearing the lady talk
after this manner, desired to know her name, to which she answered--"My
friends, and those who are well acquainted with me, call me Happiness;
but my enemies, and those who would injure my reputation, have given me
the name of Pleasure."

By this time the other lady was come up, who addressed herself to the
young hero in a very different manner:--"Hercules," says she, "I offer
myself to you because I know you are descended from the gods, and give
proofs of that descent by your love of virtue and application to the
studies proper for your age. This makes me hope you will gain, both for
yourself and me, an immortal reputation. But before I invite you into my
society and friendship, I will be open and sincere with you, and must
lay this down as an established truth, that there is nothing truly
valuable which can be purchased without pains and labour. The gods have
set a price upon every real and noble pleasure. If you would gain the
favour of the Deity, you must be at the pains of worshipping Him; if the
friendship of good men, you must study to oblige them; if you would be
honoured by your country, you must take care to serve it; in short, if
you would be eminent in war or peace, you must become master of all the
qualifications that can make you so. These are the only terms and
conditions upon which I can propose happiness."

The Goddess of Pleasure here broke in upon her discourse:--"You see,"
said she, "Hercules, by her own confession, the way to her pleasures is
long and difficult; whereas that which I propose is short and easy."

"Alas!" said the other lady, whose visage glowed with passion, made up
of scorn and pity, "what are the pleasures you propose? To eat before
you are hungry; drink before you are athirst; sleep before you are
tired; to gratify appetites before they are raised, and raise such
appetites as Nature never planted. You never heard the most delicious
music, which is the praise of one's-self; nor saw the most beautiful
object, which is the work of one's own hands. Your votaries pass away
their youth in a dream of mistaken pleasures, while they are hoarding up
anguish, torment, and remorse for old age. As for me, I am the friend of
gods and of good men; an agreeable companion to the artizan; an
household guardian to the fathers of families; a patron and protector of
servants; an associate in all true and generous friendships. The
banquets of my votaries are never costly, but always delicious; for none
eat or drink of them who are not invited by hunger or thirst. Their
slumbers are sound, and their wakings cheerful. My young men have the
pleasure of hearing themselves praised by those who are in years; and
those who are in years, of being honoured by those who are young. In a
word, my followers are favoured by the gods, beloved by their
acquaintance, esteemed by their country, and after the close of their
labours honoured by posterity."

We know, by the life of this memorable hero, to which of these two
ladies he gave up his heart; and I believe every one who reads this will
do him the justice to approve his choice.


* * * * *



The remains of Strata Florida Abbey, in South Wales, are most
interesting in many points of view, more especially as the relics of a
stately seminary for learning, founded as early as the year 1164. The
community of the Abbey were Cistercian monks, who soon attained great
celebrity, and acquired extensive possessions. A large library was
founded by them, which included the national records from the earliest
periods, the works of the bards and the genealogies of the Princes and
great families in Wales. The monks also compiled a valuable history of
the Principality, down to the death of Llewellyn the Great. When Edward
I. invaded Wales, he burned the Abbey, but it was rebuilt A.D. 1294.

Extensive woods once flourished in the vicinity of Strata Florida, and
its burial-place covered no less than 120 acres. A long list of eminent
persons from all parts of Wales were here buried, and amongst them David
ap Gwillim, the famous bard. The churchyard is now reduced to small
dimensions; but leaden coffins, doubtless belonging to once celebrated
personages, are still found, both there and at a distance from the
cemetery. A few aged box and yew-trees now only remain to tell of the
luxuriant verdure which once grew around the Abbey; and of the venerable
pile itself little is left, except an arch, and the fragment of a fine
old wall, about forty feet high. A small church now stands within the
enclosure, more than commonly interesting from having been built with
the materials of the once celebrated Abbey of Strata Florida.

* * * * *



In the warm summer months a thin kind of petticoat constitutes the sole
bodily attire of the Kaffir Chiefs; but in winter a cloak is used, made
of the skins of wild beasts, admirably curried. The head, even in the
hottest weather, is never protected by any covering, a fillet, into
which a feather of the ostrich is stuck, being generally worn; and they
seldom wear shoes, except on undertaking a long journey, when they
condescend to use a rude substitute for them. The bodies of both sexes
are tattooed; and the young men, like the fops of more civilized
nations, paint their skins and curl their hair. Their arms are the
javelin, a large shield of buffalo-hide, and a short club.

The women exhibit taste in the arrangement of their dress, particularly
for that of the head, which consists of a turban made of skin, and
profusely ornamented with beads, of which adornment both men and women
are very fond. A mantle of skin, variously bedecked with these and other
showy trinkets, is worn; and the only distinction between the dress of
the chieftains' wives and those of a lower rank consists in a greater
profusion of ornaments possessed by the former, but of which all are
alike vain. There is no change of dress, the whole wardrobe of the
female being that which she carries about with her and sleeps in, for
bed-clothes they have none.

The grain which they chiefly cultivate is a kind of millet: a small
quantity of Indian corn and some pumpkins are likewise grown; but a
species of sugar-cane is produced in great abundance, and of this they
are extremely fond. Their diet, however, is chiefly milk in a sour
curdled state. They dislike swine's flesh, keep no poultry, are averse
to fish, but indulge in eating the flesh of their cattle, which they do
in a very disgusting way. Although naturally brave and warlike, they
prefer an indolent pastoral life, hunting being an occasional pastime.

Much light was thrown on the condition and future prospects of this
people in 1835, by some papers relative to the Cape of Good Hope, which
were laid before the English Government. From these it appeared that a
system of oppression and unjustifiable appropriation on the part of the
whites, have from time to time roused the savage energies of the
Kaffirs, and impelled them to make severe reprisals upon their European
spoilers. The longing of the Cape colonists for the well-watered valleys
of the Kaffirs, and of the latter for the colonial cattle, which are
much superior to their own, still are, as they have always been, the
sources of irritation. Constant skirmishes took place, until, at length,
in 1834, the savages poured into the colony in vast numbers, wasted the
farms, drove off the cattle, and murdered not a few of the inhabitants.
An army of 4000 men was marched against the invaders, who were driven
far beyond the boundary-line which formerly separated Kaffirland from
Cape Colony, and not only forced to confine themselves within the new
limits prescribed, but to pay a heavy fine. Treaties have been entered
into, and tracts of country assigned to the Kaffir chiefs of several
families, who acknowledge themselves to be subjects of Great Britain,
and who are to pay a fat ox annually as a quit-rent for the lands which
they occupy.

Macomo, one of the Kaffir Chiefs, is a man of most remarkable character
and talent, and succeeded his father, Gaika, who had been possessed of
much greater power and wider territories than the son, but had found
himself compelled to yield up a large portion of his lands to the
colonists. Macomo received no education; all the culture which his mind
ever obtained being derived from occasional intercourse with
missionaries, after he had grown to manhood. From 1819, the period of
Gaika's concessions, up to the year 1829, he with his tribe dwelt upon
the Kat river, following their pastoral life in peace, and cultivating
their corn-fields. Suddenly they were ejected from their lands by the
Kat river, on the plea that Gaika had ceded these lands to the colony.
Macomo retired, almost without a murmur, to a district farther inland,
leaving the very grain growing upon his fields. He took up a new
position on the banks of the river Chunice, and here he and his tribe
dwelt until 1833, when they were again driven out to seek a new home,
almost without pretence. On this occasion Macomo did make a
remonstrance, in a document addressed to an influential person of the
colony. "In the whole of this savage Kaffir's letter, there is," says
Dr. Philip, "a beautiful simplicity, a touching pathos, a confiding
magnanimity, a dignified remonstrance, which shows its author to be no
common man. It was dictated to an interpreter."


"As I and my people," writes Macomo, "have been driven back over the
Chunice, without being informed why, I should be glad to know from the
Government what evil we have done. I was only told that we _must_ retire
over the Chunice, but for what reason I was not informed. It was agreed
that I and my people should live west of the Chunice, as well as east of
it. When shall I and my people be able to get rest?"

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter O.]

Of the difficulties which occasionally baffle the man of science, in his
endeavours to contend with the hidden secrets of the crust of the earth
which we inhabit, the Kilsby Tunnel of the London and North-western
Railway presents a striking example. The proposed tunnel was to be
driven about 160 feet below the surface. It was to be, as indeed it is,
2399 yards in length, with two shafts of the extraordinary size of sixty
feet in diameter, not only to give air and ventilation, but to admit
light enough to enable the engine-driver, in passing through it with a
train, to see the rails from end to end. In order correctly to
ascertain, and honestly to make known to the contractors the nature of
the ground through which this great work was to pass, the
engineer-in-chief sank the usual number of what are called "trial
shafts;" and, from the result, the usual advertisements for tenders were
issued, and the shafts, &c. having been minutely examined by the
competing contractors, the work was let to one of them for the sum of
L99,000. In order to drive the tunnel, it was deemed necessary to
construct eighteen working shafts, by which, like the heavings of a
mole, the contents of the subterranean gallery were to be brought to the
surface. This interesting work was in busy progress, when, all of a
sudden, it was ascertained, that, at about 200 yards from the south end
of the tunnel, there existed, overlaid by a bed of clay, forty feet
thick, a hidden quicksand, which extended 400 yards into the proposed
tunnel, and which the trial shafts on each side of it had almost
miraculously just passed without touching. Overwhelmed at the discovery,
the contractor instantly took to his bed; and though he was justly
relieved by the company from his engagement, the reprieve came too late,
for he actually died.

The general opinion of the several eminent engineers who were consulted
was against proceeding; but Mr. R. Stephenson offered to undertake the
responsibility of the work. His first operation was to lower the water
with which he had to contend, and it was soon ascertained that the
quicksand in question covered several square miles. The tunnel, thirty
feet high by thirty feet broad, was formed of bricks, laid in cement,
and the bricklayers were progressing in lengths averaging twelve feet,
when those who were nearest the quicksand, on driving into the roof,
were suddenly almost overwhelmed by a deluge of water, which burst in
upon them. As it was evident that no time was to be lost, a gang of
workmen, protected by the extreme power of the engines, were, with their
materials, placed on a raft; and while, with the utmost celerity, they
were completing the walls of that short length, the water, in spite of
every effort to keep it down, rose with such rapidity, that, at the
conclusion of the work, the men were so near being jammed against the
roof, that the assistant-engineer jumped overboard, and then swimming,
with a rope in his mouth, he towed the raft to the nearest working
shaft, through which he and his men were safely lifted to daylight, or,
as it is termed by miners, "to grass."

The water now rose in the shaft, and, as it is called, "drowned the
works" but, by the main strength of 1250 men, 200 horses, and thirteen
steam-engines, not only was the work gradually completed, but, during
day and night for eight months, the almost incredible quantity of 1800
gallons of water per minute was raised, and conducted away. The time
occupied from the laying of the first brick to the completion was thirty


* * * * *


While lying in Little Killery Bay, on the coast of Connemara, in her
Majesty's surveying ketch _Sylvia_, we were attracted by a large fin
above the surface, moving with an oscillatory motion, somewhat
resembling the action of a man sculling at the stern of a boat; and
knowing it to be an unusual visitor, we immediately got up the harpoon
and went in chase. In the meantime, a country boat came up with the poor
animal, and its crew inflicted upon it sundry blows with whatever they
could lay their hands on--oars, grappling, stones, &c.--but were
unsuccessful in taking it; and it disappeared for some few minutes, when
it again exhibited its fin on the other side of the Bay. The dull and
stupid animal permitted us to place our boat immediately over it, and
made no effort to escape. The harpoon never having been sharpened,
glanced off without effect; but another sailor succeeded in securing it
by the tail with a boat-hook, and passing the bight of a rope behind its
fins, we hauled it on shore, under Salrock House, the residence of
General Thompson, who, with his family, came down to inspect this
strange-looking inhabitant of the sea. We were well soused by the
splashing of its fins, ere a dozen hands succeeded in transporting this
heavy creature from its native abode to the shore, where it passively
died, giving only an occasional movement with its fins, or uttering a
kind of grunt.

[Illustration: SIDE VIEW OF SUN FISH.]

[Illustration: FRONT VIEW OF SUN FISH.]

This animal, I believe, is a specimen of the Sun-fish (_Orthagoriscus_).
It has no bony skeleton; nor did we, in our rather hasty dissection,
discover any osseous structure whatever, except (as we were informed by
one who afterwards inspected it) that there was one which stretched
between the large fins. Its jaws also had bony terminations, unbroken
into teeth, and parrot-like, which, when not in use, are hidden by the
envelopement of the gums. The form of the animal is preserved by an
entire cartilaginous case, of about three inches in thickness, covered
by a kind of shagreen skin, so amalgamated with the cartilage as not to
be separated from it. This case is easily penetrable with a knife, and
is of pearly whiteness, more resembling cocoa-nut in appearance and
texture than anything else I can compare it with. The interior cavity,
containing the vital parts, terminates a little behind the large fins,
where the cartilage was solid, to its tapered extremity, which is
without a caudal fin. Within, and around the back part, lay the flesh,
of a coarse fibrous texture, slightly salmon-coloured. The liver was
such as to fill a common pail, and there was a large quantity of red
blood. The nostril, top of the eye, and top of the gill-orifice are in
line, as represented in the Engraving. The dimensions are as under:--

Eye round, and like that of an ox, 2-1/4 inches diameter. Gill-orifice,
4 inches by 2-1/4 inches. Dorsal and anal fins equal, 2 ft. 2 in. long,
by 1 ft. 3 in. wide. Pectoral fins, 10 in. high by 8 broad. Length of
fish, 6 ft. Depth, from the extremities of the large fins, 7 ft. 4 in.
Extreme breadth at the swelling under the eye, only 20 in. Weight, 6
cwt. 42 lb.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter O.]

Of Nelson and the North
Sing the glorious day's renown,
When to battle fierce came forth
All the might of Denmark's crown,
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;
By each gun the lighted brand,
In a bold determined hand--
And the Prince of all the land
Led them on.

Like Leviathans afloat
Lay their bulwarks on the brine;
While the sign of battle flew
On the lofty British line;
It was ten of April morn, by the chime,
As they drifted on their path:
There was silence deep as death,
And the boldest held his breath
For a time.

But the might of England flush'd
To anticipate the scene;
And her van the fleeter rush'd
O'er the deadly space between.
"Hearts of Oak!" our Captains cried; when each gun
From its adamantine lips
Spread a death-shade round the ships,
Like the hurricane eclipse
Of the sun.

Again! again! again!
And the havoc did not slack,
Till a feeble cheer the Dane
To our cheering sent us back--
Their shots along the deep slowly boom:
Then ceased, and all is wail
As they strike the shatter'd sail,
Or, in conflagration pale,
Light the gloom.

Out spoke the victor then,
As he hail'd them o'er the wave,
"Ye are brothers! ye are men!
And we conquer but to save;
So peace instead of death let us bring.
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet,
With their crews, at England's feet,
And make submission meet
To our King."

Then Denmark bless'd our chief,
That he gave her wounds repose;
And the sounds of joy and grief
From her people wildly rose,
As Death withdrew his shades from the day,
While the sun look'd smiling bright
O'er a wide and woeful sight,
Where the fires of funeral light
Died away.

Now joy, old England, raise!
For the tidings of thy might,
By the festal cities' blaze,
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light;
And yet, amidst that joy and uproar,
Let us think of them that sleep,
Full many a fathom deep,
By thy wild and stormy steep--

Brave hearts! to Britain's pride,
Once so faithful and so true,
On the deck of fame that died
With the gallant, good Riou--
Soft sigh the winds of Heaven o'er their grave:
While the billow mournful rolls,
And the mermaid's song condoles,
Singing glory to the souls
Of the brave.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter C.]

Cannon took their name from the French word _Canne_, a reed. Before
their invention, machines were used for throwing enormous stones. These
were imitated from the Arabs, and called _ingenia_, whence engineer. The
first cannon were made of wood, wrapped up in numerous folds of linen,
and well secured by iron hoops. The true epoch of the use of metallic
cannon cannot be ascertained; it is certain, however, that they were in
use about the middle of the 14th century. The Engraving beneath
represents a field-battery gun taking up its position in a canter. The
piece of ordnance is attached, or "limbered up" to an ammunition
carriage, capable of carrying two gunners, or privates, whilst the
drivers are also drilled so as to be able to serve at the gun in action,
in case of casualties.

[Illustration: TAKING UP POSITION.]

Having reached its destination, and been detached or "unlimbered" from
the front carriage, we next see the action of loading; the ramrod having
at its other extremity a sheep-skin mop, larger than the bore of the
piece, and called "a sponge." This instrument, before loading, is
invariably used, whilst the touch-hole or "vent" is covered by the thumb
of the gunner especially numbered off for this important duty; and the
air being thus excluded, the fire, which often remains within the bore,
attached to either portions of cartridge-case or wadding, is
extinguished. Serious accidents have been known to occur from a neglect
of this important preliminary to loading; as a melancholy instance, a
poor fellow may be seen about the Woolwich barracks, _both_ of whose
arms were blown off above the elbow joint, whilst ramming home a
cartridge before the sponge had been properly applied.

[Illustration: LOADING.]

[Illustration: FIRING IN RETREAT.]

If it is deemed essential to keep up a fire upon the enemy during a
temporary retreat, or in order to avoid an overwhelming body of cavalry
directed against guns unsupported by infantry, in that case the limber
remains as close as possible to the field-piece, as shown in the
Engraving above.

Skilful provisions are made against the various contingencies likely to
occur in action. A wheel may he shattered by the enemy's shot, and the
gun thereby disabled for the moment: this accident is met by supporting
the piece upon a handspike, firmly grasped by one or two men on each
side, according to the weight of the gun, whilst a spare wheel, usually
suspended at the back of "the tumbril," or ammunition waggon, is
obtained, and in a few moments made to remedy the loss, as represented

[Illustration: DISABLED WHEEL.]

[Illustration: DISMANTLING A GUN.]

The extraordinary rapidity with which a gun can be dislodged from its
carriage, and every portion of its complicated machinery scattered upon
the ground, is hardly to be believed unless witnessed; but the wonder
is increased tenfold, on seeing with what magical celerity the
death-dealing weapon can be put together again. These operations will be
readily understood by an examination of the Illustrations. In that at
the foot of page 175 the cannon is lying useless upon the earth; one
wheel already forms the rude resting-place of a gunner, whilst the other
is in the act of being displaced. By the application of a rope round the
termination of the breech, and the lifting of the trail of the carriage,
care being previously taken that the trunnions are in their respective
sockets, a very slight exertion of manual labour is required to put the
gun into fighting trim. That we may be understood, we will add that the
trunnions are the short round pieces of iron, or brass, projecting from
the sides of the cannon, and their relative position can be easily
ascertained by a glance at the gun occupying the foreground of the
Illustration where the dismantling is depicted. To perform the labour
thus required in managing cannon, is called to serve the guns.

[Illustration: MOUNTING A GUN.]

Cannon are cast in a solid mass of metal, either of iron or brass; they
are then bored by being placed upon a machine which causes the whole
mass to turn round very rapidly. The boring tool being pressed against
the cannon thus revolving, a deep hole is made in it, called the bore.

* * * * *


The ordinary mode in which the Kangaroos make their way on the ground,
as well as by flight from enemies, is by a series of bounds, often of
prodigious extent. They spring from their hind limbs alone, using
neither the tail nor the fore limbs. In feeding, they assume a
crouching, hare-like position, resting on the fore paws as well as on
the hinder extremities, while they browse on the herbage. In this
attitude they hop gently along, the tail being pressed to the ground. On
the least alarm they rise on the hind limbs, and bound to a distance
with great rapidity. Sometimes, when excited, the old male of the great
kangaroo stands on tiptoe and on his tail, and is then of prodigious
height. It readily takes to the water, and swims well, often resorting
to this mode of escape from its enemies, among which is the dingo, or
wild dog of Australia.


Man is, however, the most unrelenting foe of this inoffensive animal. It
is a native of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land, and was first
discovered by the celebrated navigator Captain Cook, in 1770, while
stationed on the coast of New South Wales. In Van Diemen's Land the
great kangaroo is regularly hunted with fox-hounds, as the deer or fox
in England.

The Tree Kangaroo, in general appearance, much resembles the common
kangaroo, having many of that animal's peculiarities. It seems to have
the power of moving very quickly on a tree; sometimes holding tight with
its fore feet, and bringing its hind feet up together with a jump; at
other times climbing ordinarily.

* * * * *

In the island of Java a black variety of the Leopard is not uncommon,
and such are occasionally seen in our menageries; they are deeper than
the general tint, and the spots show in certain lights only. Nothing can
exceed the grace and agility of the leopards; they bound with
astonishing ease, climb trees, and swim, and the flexibility of the body
enables them to creep along the ground with the cautious silence of a
snake on their unsuspecting prey.

In India the leopard is called by the natives the "tree-tiger," from its
generally taking refuge in a tree when pursued, and also from being
often seen among the branches: so quick and active is the animal in this
situation, that it is not easy to take a fair aim at him. Antelopes,
deer, small quadrupeds, and monkeys are its prey. It seldom attacks a
man voluntarily, but, if provoked, becomes a formidable assailant. It is
sometimes taken in pitfalls and traps. In some old writers there are
accounts of the leopard being taken in trap, by means of a mirror,
which, when the animal jump against it, brings a door down upon him.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter D.]

Did sweeter sounds adorn my flowing tongue,
Than ever man pronounced or angel sung;
Had I all knowledge, human and divine
That thought can reach, or science can define;
And had I power to give that knowledge birth,
In all the speeches of the babbling earth,
Did Shadrach's zeal my glowing breast inspire,
To weary tortures, and rejoice in fire;
Or had I faith like that which Israel saw,
When Moses gave them miracles and law:
Yet, gracious Charity, indulgent guest,
Were not thy power exerted in my breast,
Those speeches would send up unheeded pray'r;
That scorn of life would be but wild despair;
A cymbal's sound were better than my voice;
My faith were form, my eloquence were noise.


Charity, decent, modest, easy, kind,
Softens the high, and rears the abject mind;
Knows with just reins, and gentle hand, to guide
Betwixt vile shame and arbitrary pride.
Not soon provoked, she easily forgives;
And much she suffers, as she much believes.
Soft peace she brings wherever she arrives;
She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives;
Lays the rough paths of peevish nature even,
And opens in each heart a little heaven.

Each other gift, which God on man bestows,
Its proper bounds, and due restriction knows;
To one fix'd purpose dedicates its power;
And finishing its act, exists no more.
Thus, in obedience to what Heaven decrees,
Knowledge shall fail, and prophecy shall cease;
But lasting Charity's more ample sway,
Nor bound by time, nor subject to decay,
In happy triumph shall for ever live,
And endless good diffuse, and endless praise receive.

As through the artist's intervening glass,
Our eye observes the distant planets pass,
A little we discover, but allow
That more remains unseen than art can show;
So whilst our mind its knowledge would improve,
Its feeble eye intent on things above,
High as we may we lift our reason up,
By faith directed, and confirm'd by hope;
Yet are we able only to survey
Dawnings of beams and promises of day;
Heav'n's fuller effluence mocks our dazzled sight--
Too great its swiftness, and too strong its light.

But soon the mediate clouds shall be dispell'd;
The Son shall soon be face to face beheld,
In all his robes, with all his glory on,
Seated sublime on his meridian throne.

Then constant Faith, and holy Hope shall vie,
One lost in certainty, and one in joy:
Whilst thou, more happy pow'r, fair Charity,
Triumphant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office, and thy nature still the same,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconsumed thy flame,
Shall still survive--
Shall stand before the host of heav'n confest,
For ever blessing, and for ever blest.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter S.]

Sardis, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Lydia, is situated on the
river Pactolus, in the fertile plain below Mount Tmolus. Wealth, pomp,
and luxury characterised this city from very ancient times. The story of
Croesus, its last King, is frequently alluded to by historians, as
affording a remarkable example of the instability of human greatness.
This Monarch considered himself the happiest of human beings, but being
checked by the philosopher Solon for his arrogance, he was offended, and
dismissed the sage from his Court with disgrace. Not long afterwards,
led away by the ambiguous answers of the oracles, he conducted a large
army into the field against Cyrus, the future conqueror of Babylon, but
was defeated, and obliged to return to his capital, where he shut
himself up. Hither he was soon followed and besieged by Cyrus, with a
far inferior force; but, at the expiration of fourteen days, the
citadel, which had been deemed impregnable, was taken by a stratagem,
and Croesus was condemned to the flames. When the sentence was about to
be executed, he was heard to invoke the name of Solon, and the curiosity
of Cyrus being excited, he asked the cause; and, having heard his
narrative, ordered him to be set free, and subsequently received him
into his confidence.

[Illustration: SARDIS.]

Under the Romans, Sardis declined in importance, and, being destroyed by
an earthquake, for some time lay desolate, until it was rebuilt by the
Roman Emperor Tiberius.

The situation of Sardis is very beautiful, but the country over which it
looks is almost deserted, and the valley is become a swamp. The hill of
the citadel, when seen from the opposite bank of the Hermus, appears of
a triangular form; and at the back of it rise ridge after ridge of
mountains, the highest covered with snow, and many of them bearing
evident marks of having been jagged and distorted by earthquakes. The
citadel is exceedingly difficult of ascent; but the magnificent view
which it commands of the plain of the Hermus, and other objects of
interest, amply repays the risk and fatigue. The village, small as it
is, boasts of containing one of the most remarkable remains of
antiquity in Asia; namely, the vast Ionic temple of the heathen goddess
Cybele, or the earth, on the banks of the Pactolus. In 1750, six columns
of this temple were standing, but four of them have since been thrown
down by the Turks, for the sake of the gold which they expected to find
in the joints.

Two or three mills and a few mud huts, inhabited by Turkish herdsmen,
contain all the present population of Sardis.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter A.]

At a time when there appeared to be good reason for believing that the
invasion of England was contemplated, the Government turned their
attention to the defence of such portions of the coast as seemed to
present the greatest facility for the landing of a hostile force. As the
Kentish coast, from East Were Bay to Dymchurch, seemed more especially
exposed, a line of Martello Towers was erected between these two points,
at a distance from each other of from one-quarter to three-quarters of a
mile. Other towers of the same kind were erected on various parts of the
coast where the shore was low, in other parts of England, but more
particularly in the counties of Sussex and Suffolk. Towers of this
construction appear to have been adopted, owing to the resistance that
was made by the Tower of Martella, in the Island of Corsica, to the
British forces under Lord Hood and General Dundas, in 1794. This tower
which was built in the form of an obtruncated cone--like the body of a
windmill--was situated in Martella, or Martle Bay. As it rendered the
landing of the troops difficult, Commodore Linzee anchored in the bay to
the westward, and there landed the troops on the evening of the 7th of
February, taking possession of a height that commanded the tower. As the
tower impeded the advance of the troops, it was the next day attacked
from the bay by the vessels _Fortitude_ and _Juno_; but after a
cannonade of two hours and a half, the ships were obliged to haul off,
the _Fortitude_ having sustained considerable damage from red-hot shot
discharged from the tower. The tower, after having been cannonaded from
the height for two days, surrendered; rather, it would appear, from the
alarm of the garrison, than from any great injury that the tower had
sustained. The English, on taking possession of the fort, found that the
garrison had originally consisted of thirty-three men, of whom two only
were wounded, though mortally. The walls were of great thickness, and
bomb-proof; and the parapet consisted of an interior lining of rush
matting, filled up to the exterior of the parapet with sand. The only
guns they had were two 18-pounders.

The towers erected between East Were Bay and Dymchurch (upwards of
twenty) were built of brick, and were from about 35 feet to 40 feet
high: the entrance to them was by a low door-way, about seven feet and a
half from the ground; and admission was gained by means of a ladder,
which was afterwards withdrawn into the interior. A high step of two
feet led to the first floor of the tower, a room of about thirteen feet
diameter, and with the walls about five feet thick. Round this room
were loopholes in the walls, at such an elevation, that the men would be
obliged to stand on benches in the event of their being required to
oppose an attack of musketry. Those benches were also used as the
sleeping-places of the garrison. On this floor there was a fire-place,
and from the centre was a trap-door leading downwards to the ammunition
and provision rooms. The second floor was ascended by similar means.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter C.]

Characteristically indolent, the fondness for a sedentary life is
stronger, perhaps, with the Turks, than with any other people of whom we
read. It is difficult to describe the gravity and apathy which
constitute the distinguishing features of their character: everything in
their manners tends to foster in them, especially in the higher classes,
an almost invincible love of ease and luxurious leisure. The general
rule which they seem to lay down for their guidance, is that taking the
trouble to do anything themselves which they can possibly get others to
do for them; and the precision with which they observe it in some of the
minutest trifles of domestic life is almost amusing. A Turkish
gentleman, who has once composed his body upon the corner of a sofa,
appears to attach a certain notion of grandeur to the keeping of it
there, and it is only something of the gravest importance that induces
him to disturb his position. If he wishes to procure anything that is
within a few steps of him, he summons his slaves by clapping his hands
(the Eastern mode of "ringing the bell"), and bids them bring it to him:
his feelings of dignity would be hurt by getting up to reach it himself.
Of course, this habit of inaction prevails equally with the female sex:
a Turkish lady would not think of picking up a fallen handkerchief, so
long as she had an attendant to do it for her. As may be supposed, the
number of slaves in a Turkish household of any importance is very great.


The position of women in Eastern countries is so totally unlike that
which they hold in our own happy land, that we must refer expressly to
it, in order that the picture of domestic life presented to us in the
writings of all travellers in the East may be understood. Amongst all
ranks, the wife is not the friend and companion, but the slave of her
husband; and even when treated with kindness and affection, her state is
still far below that of her sisters in Christian lands. Even in the
humblest rank of life, the meal which the wife prepares with her own
hands for her husband, she must not partake of with him. The
hard-working Eastern peasant, and the fine lady who spends most of her
time in eating sweet-meats, or in embroidery, are both alike dark and
ignorant; for it would be accounted a folly, if not a sin, to teach them
even to read.

Numerous carriers, or sellers of water, obtain their living in the East
by supplying the inhabitants with it. They are permitted to fill their
water-bags, made of goat-skins, at the public fountains. This goat-skin
of the carrier has a long brass spout, and from this the water is poured
into a brass cup, for any one who wishes to drink. Many of these are
employed by the charitable, to distribute water in the streets; and they
pray the thirsty to partake of the bounty offered to them in the name of
God, praying that Paradise and pardon may be the lot of him who affords
the refreshing gift.


The Dancing Dervises are a religious order of Mohamedans, who affect a
great deal of patience, humility, and charity. Part of their religious
observance consists in dancing or whirling their bodies round with the
greatest rapidity imaginable, to the sound of a flute; and long practice
has enabled them to do this without suffering the least inconvenience
from the strange movement.

In Eastern countries, the bread is generally made in the form of a large
thin cake, which is torn and folded up, almost like a sheet of paper;
it can then be used (as knives and forks are not employed by the
Orientals) for the purpose of rolling together a mouthful of meat, or
supping up gravy and vegetables, at the meals.

[Illustration: DANCING DERVISE.]

* * * * *


Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. The chief use
for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in
discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of
business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars
one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots, and marshalling of
affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time
in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation;
to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar. They
perfect nature, and are perfected by experience; for natural abilities
are like natural plants, that need pruning by duty; and studies
themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be
bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire
them, and wise men use them: for they teach not their own use, but that
is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not
to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted; not to
find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be
tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested:
that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but
not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and
attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of
them by others; but that should be only in the less important arguments,
and the meaner sorts of books; else distilled books are like common
distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a
ready man; and writing an exact man. And, therefore, if a man write
little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had
need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much
cunning, to seem to know that he doth not.


* * * * *


He who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled;
The first dark day of nothingness.
The last of danger and distress:
Before Decay's effacing fingers,
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers,
And mark'd the mild, angelic air,
The rapture of repose that's there;
The fix'd, yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek.

And, but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not--wins not--weeps not--now;
And, but for that chill, changeless brow,
Whose touch thrills with mortality,
And curdles to the gazer's heart,
As if to him it could impart
The doom he dreads, yet dwells upon:
Yes, but for these, and these alone
Some moments--ay, one treacherous hour--
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so softly seal'd,
The first, last look by death reveal'd.

Such is the aspect of this shore;
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet--so deadly fair--
We start, for soul is wanting there:
Hers is the loveliness in death
That parts not quite with parting breath;
But beauty, with that fearful bloom,
That hue which haunts it to the tomb:
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,
The farewell beam of feeling past away!
Spark of that flame--perchance of Heavenly birth,
Which gleams, but warms no more its cherish'd earth!



* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter A.]

Attock is a fort and small town in the Punjaub, on the left or east bank
of the Indus, 942 miles from the sea, and close below the place where it
receives the water of the Khabool river, and first becomes navigable.
The name, signifying _obstacle_, is supposed to have been given to it
under the presumption that no scrupulous Hindoo would proceed westward
of it; but this strict principle, like many others of similar nature, is
little acted on. Some state that the name was given by the Emperor
Akbar, because he here found much difficulty in crossing the river. The
river itself is at this place frequently by the natives called Attock.
Here is a bridge, formed usually of from twenty to thirty boats, across
the stream, at a spot where it is 537 feet wide. In summer, when the
melting of the snows in the lofty mountains to the north raises the
stream so that the bridge becomes endangered, it is withdrawn, and the
communication is then effected by means of a ferry.

The banks of the river are very high, so that the enormous accession
which the volume of water receives during inundation scarcely affects
the breadth, but merely increases the depth. The rock forming the banks
is of a dark-coloured slate, polished by the force of the stream, so as
to shine like black marble. Between these, "one clear blue stream shot
past." The depth of the Indus here is thirty feet in the lowest state,
and between sixty and seventy in the highest, and runs at the rate of
six miles an hour. There is a ford at some distance above the confluence
of the river of Khabool; but the extreme coldness and rapidity of the
water render it at all times very dangerous, and on the slightest
inundation quite impracticable. The bridge is supported by an
association of boatmen, who receive the revenue of a village allotted
for this purpose by the Emperor Akbar, and a small daily pay as long as
the bridge stands, and also levy a toll on all passengers.

On the right bank, opposite Attock, is Khyrabad--a fort built, according
to some, by the Emperor Akbar, according to others by Nadir Shah. This
locality is, in a military and commercial point of view, of much
importance, as the Indus is here crossed by the great route which,
proceeding from Khabool eastward through the Khyber Pass into the
Punjaub, forms the main line of communication between Affghanistan and
Northern India. The river was here repeatedly crossed by the British
armies, during the late military operations in Affghanistan; and here,
according to the general opinion, Alexander, subsequently Timur, the
Tartar conqueror, and, still later, Nadir Shah, crossed; but there is
much uncertainty on these points.

[Illustration: THE FORT OF ATTOCK.]

The fortress was erected by the Emperor Akbar, in 1581 to command the
passage; but, though strongly built of stone on the high and steep bank
of the river, it could offer no effectual resistance to a regular
attack, being commanded by the neighbouring heights. Its form is that of
a parallelogram: it is 800 yards long and 400 wide. The population of
the town, which is inclosed within the walls of the fort, is estimated
at 2000.

* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter S.]

See through this air, this ocean, and this earth,
All matter quick, and bursting into birth.
Above, how high progressive life may go!
Around, how wide! how deep extend below!
Vast chain of Being! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see
No glass can reach; from Infinity to thee
From thee to Nothing.--On superior pow'rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours;
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where one step broken the great scale's destroyed
From Nature's chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth or ten-thousandth, breaks the chain alike.

And, if each system in gradation roll
Alike essential to th' amazing whole,
The least confusion but in one, not all
That system only, but the whole must fall.
Let earth unbalanc'd from her orbit fly,
Planets and suns run lawless through the sky;
Let ruling angels from their spheres be hurl'd,
Being on being wreck'd, and world on world,
Heav'n's whole foundations to the centre nod,
And Nature trembles to the throne of God:
All this dread Order break--for whom? for thee?
Vile worm!--Oh, madness! pride! impiety!

What if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread,
Or hand to toil, aspired to be the head?
What if the head, the eye, or ear, repined
To serve--mere engines to the ruling Mind?
Just as absurd for any part to claim
To be another, in this general frame:
Just as absurd to mourn the tasks or pains,
The great directing Mind of All ordains.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole
Whose body Nature is, and God the Soul:
That changed through all, and yet in all the same,
Great is in earth as in th' ethereal frame,
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns:
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all.

Cease then, nor Order Imperfection name:
Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.
Know thy own point: This kind, this due degree
Of blindness, weakness, Heav'n bestows on thee.
Submit--in this, or any other sphere,
Secure to be as blest as thou canst bear:
Safe in the hand of one disposing Pow'r
Or in the natal, or the mortal hour.
All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And, spite of Pride, in erring Reason's spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER is, is RIGHT.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter T.]

This celebrated statesman, who flourished in the reigns of Charles I.
and II., took a prominent part in the eventful times in which he lived.
He was not of noble birth, but the descendant of a family called Hyde,
which resided from a remote period at Norbury, in Cheshire. He was
originally intended for the church, but eventually became a lawyer,
applying himself to the study of his profession with a diligence far
surpassing that of the associates with whom he lived. In 1635, he
attracted the notice of Archbishop Laud, which may be regarded as the
most fortunate circumstance of his life, as it led to his introduction
to Charles I. In consequence of the ability displayed by him in the
responsible duties he was called to perform, that Monarch offered him
the office of Solicitor-General. But this Hyde declined, preferring, as
he said, to serve the King in an unofficial capacity. After the battle
of Naseby, Hyde was appointed one of the council formed to attend, watch
over, and direct the Prince of Wales. After hopelessly witnessing for
many months a course of disastrous and ill-conducted warfare in the
West, the council fled with the Prince, first to the Scilly Islands,
near Cornwall, and thence to Jersey. From this place, against the wishes
of Hyde, the Prince, in 1640, repaired to his mother, Henrietta, at
Paris, leaving Hyde at Jersey, where he remained for two years, engaged
in the composition of his celebrated "History of the Rebellion." In May,
1648, Hyde was summoned to attend the Prince at the Hague; and here they
received the news of the death of Charles I., which is said to have
greatly appalled them. After faithfully following the new King in all
his vicissitudes of fortune, suffering at times extreme poverty, he
attained at the Restoration the period of his greatest power. In 1660,
his daughter Anne was secretly married to the Duke of York; but when,
after a year, it was openly acknowledged, the new Lord Chancellor
received the news with violent demonstrations of indignation and grief.
Hyde, in fact, never showed any avidity for emoluments or distinction;
but when this marriage was declared, it became desirable that some mark
of the King's favour should be shown, and he was created Earl of
Clarendon. He subsequently, from political broils, was compelled to
exile himself from the Court, and took up his residence at Montpellier,
where, resuming his literary labours, he completed his celebrated
History, and the memoir of his life. After fruitlessly petitioning King
Charles II. for permission to end his days in England, the illustrious
exile died at Rouen, in 1674, in the sixty-fifth year of his age.


* * * * *


[Illustration: Letter I.]

It is now generally known that the Owl renders the farmer important
service, by ridding him of vermin, which might otherwise consume the
produce of his field; but in almost every age and country it has been
regarded as a bird of ill omen, and sometimes even as the herald of
death. In France, the cry or hoot is considered as a certain forerunner
of misfortune to the hearer. In Tartary, the owl is looked upon in
another light, though not valued as it ought to be for its useful
destruction of moles, rats, and mice. The natives pay it great respect,
because they attribute to this bird the preservation of the founder of
their empire, Genghis Khan. That Prince, with his army, happened to be
surprised and put to flight by his enemies, and was forced to conceal
himself in a little coppice. An owl settled on the bush under which he
was hid, and his pursuers did not search there, as they thought it
impossible the bird would perch on a place where any man was concealed.
Thenceforth his countrymen held the owl to be a sacred bird, and every
one wore a plume of its feathers on his head.

One of the smallest of the owl tribe utters but one melancholy note now
and then. The Indians in North America whistle whenever they chance to
hear the solitary note; and if the bird does not very soon repeat his
harmless cry, the speedy death of the superstitious hearer is foreboded.
It is hence called the death bird. The voices of all carnivorous birds
and beasts are harsh, and at times hideous; and probably, like that of
the owl, which, from the width and capacity of its throat, is in some
varieties very powerful, may be intended as an alarm and warning to the
birds and animals on which they prey, to secure themselves from the
approach of their stealthy foe.

Owls are divided into two groups or families--one having two tufts of
feathers on the head, which have been called ears or horns, and are
moveable at pleasure, the others having smooth round heads without
tufts. The bills are hooked in both. There are upwards of sixty species
of owls widely spread over almost every part of the known world; of
these we may count not fewer than eight as more or less frequenting this
country. One of the largest of the tribe is the eagle hawk, or great
horned owl, the great thickness of whose plumage makes it appear nearly
as large as the eagle. Some fine preserved specimens of this
noble-looking bird may be seen in the British Museum. It is a most
powerful bird; and a specimen was captured, with great difficulty, in

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