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on the head, with the lasteful and artistic hats of, it is, that nothing more ridiculous can be conceived, Oakford. Thus ends this disquisition on dress, than would be a President, a Senale, or a Supreme which, believe me, is no trifle; and the evidence of Court in puris naturalibus.
THE CAT.BIRD. The Cat-Bird is one of our earliest morning song- darken the air. He probably winters in Florida, sters, beginning generally before break of day, and from whence he reaches Georgia early in March. hovering from bush to bush with great sprighiliness In the following month he appears in Pennsylvania. when there is scarcely light sufficient to distinguish His nest is generally finished by the beginning of him. His favorite note is the one from which he May. The place is usually a hawthorn fence, a takes his name, and is known to every farmer's boy small tree, briers, brambles or a thick vine. The in the United States. It so exactly resembles the female lays four eggs, of a greenish blue color, and mewing of a kitten as to be invariably taken for it sometimes raises three broods in a season. In affecby the uninitiated; and wben a number of these birds tion and attention to their young the Cat-Bird is unget togetber it is difficult to resist the impression that surpassed. The cry of man imitating their brood all the feline residents of an entire village are gravely will frequently throw her apparently into fits; and in discussing some important subject. But in addition their defence both male and female often risk their to this rather singular tone, the Cat-Bird has a variety lives. He boldly attacks the black-snake, striking of others, made up, it is true, mostly of imitations, him on the head with his bill, until the baffled reptile but blended together with considerable strength and is glad to withdraw from the coveted nest. It is melody. The Cat-Bird is indeed no mean songster, rare that the female forsakes her eggs, even after and when listened to attentively is capable of at they have been handled by man. If one or two be once pleasing and interesting. He is one of the most broken she continues to sit upon the others; and if familiar of the feathered race, seeming to have very strange eggs are put in she, with the assistance of little dread of man, and building his nest in every her mate, turns them out. If the nest be removed 10 garden hedge. His confidence is but too often repaid another situation she follows it and continues to sit with death; and notwithstanding his friendly habits as before. he is persecuted with singular and unrelenting pre- The Cat-Bird is nine inches long, of a deep slate judice by every inmate of the farm-house. It must color above, which fades into a lighter tint on the be acknowledged that he sometimes revenges him- breast and throat. The legs, bill and tail are black, self by drafts upon the strawberry-beds and cherry- with some red about the latter. He is sometimes trees.
domesticated, and in the cage will eat fruit, insects, The Cat-Bird one of the most prolific of the bread, cakes, and nearly every kind of vegetable. feathered race, and were he to fly in flocks would He is fond of the water, and, when wild, frequently
dashes through it with great velocity. The species quently the advantage of the farmer, by snatching off is said to reach as far north as Kamschatka.
the first fruits of these delicious productions; and the The author of the American Ornithology thus phi- farmer takes revenge by shooting him down with his losophizes on the ungrounded antipathy against this gun, as he finds old hats, wind-mills, and scare-crows harmless and interesting bird :
are no impediments in his way to these forbidden “Even those by whom it is entertained, can fruits; and nothing but this resource—the ultimatum scarcely tell you why; only they 'hate Cat-Birds;" of farmers as well as kings-can restrain his visits. as some persons tell you they hate Frenchmen, they The boys are now set to watch the cherry-trees with hate Dutchmen, etc., expressions that bespeak their the gun; and thus commences a train of prejudices own narrowness of understanding and want of libe- and antipathies, that commonly continue through rality. Yet, after ruminating over in my own mind life. Perhaps, too, the common note of the Cat-Bird, all the probable causes, I think I have at last hit upon so like the mewing of the animal whose name it some of them; the principal of which seems to me bears, and who itself sustains no small share of preto be a certain similarity of taste, and clashing of in- judice, the homeliness of its plumage, and even his terest, between the Cat-Bird and the farmer.
familiarity, so proverbially known to beget con“ The Cat-Bird is fond of large, ripe garden-straw- tempt, may also contribute to this mean, illiberal and berries; so is the farmer, for the good price they persecuting prejudice ; but with the generous and the bring in the market; the Cat-Bird loves the best and good, the lovers of nature and rural charms, the conrichest early cherries; so does the farmer, for they fidence which the familiar bird places in man, by are sometimes the most profitable of the early fruit; building in his garden, under his eye, the music of the Cat-Bird has a particular partiality for the finest, his song, and the interesting playfulness of his manripe mellow pears; and these are also particular ners, will always be more than a recompense for all favorites with the farmer. But the Cat-Bird has fre- the little stolen morsels he snatches.
This bird is also known as the Black-capt Tit. | tering, which renders their places of haunt easy of mouse. It is an active, hardy animal, abounding in discovery. the Northern and Middle States, Canada, and as far The Chicadee builds in the hollows of trees, the north as ihe 60th parallel. It is a familiar and amus- nest being constructed of moss, feathers, and simiing bird, often making its appearance in our cities in lar soft materials. The eggs are from six to a fall or winter, and approaching near to man, in order dozen in number, white, speckled with red. They to glean from his bounty or carelessness a supply of rear two broods in a season. The young are strong food. During the same seasons large flocks scour and lively, requiring little assistance from the old the fields and woods in search of insects, larvæ, ones, but living with them, as one family, through seeds and berries. Kernels containing oil, and the the fall and winter. fat of animals are greedily devoured by them. When Beside the usual chicking note of this bird, from all these fail, they enter barns, sheds, and the roofs whence its name, it has a harsh angry tone, to exof houses, clearing them of moths, eggs of insects, press anger or fright, and a kind of melancholy wail, spiders and wood-worms. They appear to be very approaching a song. Sometimes its voice is said 10 little affected by extreme cold, being provided with resemble the noise produced by sharpening a saw. thick downy feathers, and a constitution naturally " These birds," says Wilson, "sometimes fight viorobust. In winter, numbers collect on a snow-bank, lently with each other, and are known to attack and swallow small pieces, either to slake thirst or young and sickly birds that are incapable of resistfor pleasure. On such occasions, and generally ance, always directing their blows against the skull. when collecting food, they keep up a continual chat- | Being in the woods one day, I followed a bird for some time, the singularity of whose notes surprised The Chicadee is five and a half inches in length, me. Having shot him from off the top of a very tall and six in extent. The whole upper part of the head tree, I found it to be the Black-Headed Titmouse, and neck is black, and the body a mouse-color. It with a long and deep indentation in the cranium, the has often been confounded with the European Marsh skull having been evidently at some former time Titmouse, but there seems good reason to consider drove in and fractured, but was now perfectly this as an error. The foreign bird is never seen in healed. Whether or not the change of voice could flocks, frequents streams or water-courses, and has a be owing to this circumstance, I cannot pretend to note quite different from that of the Chicadee. It is decide.” The unnatural practice of destroying their also an inch shorter. sick is however denied of these birds by late writers.
ARIEL IN THE CLOVEN PINE.
BY BAYARD TAYLOR.
Now the frosty stars are gone:
The lark is flickering in the light;
I must feel the vile bat creep
In the gnarled and cloven Pine
OR AUNT ABBY'S PINCUSHION.
BY EMMA C. EMBURY.
READER, do you love old houses, old books, old , soft, silken hair, its golden clasps are dimmed with pieces of furniture, old chairs, in short, all ihe relics age, but the hair still wears its rich sunshiny lustre, of antiquity which fashionable people usually discard though she who bestowed it as a parting gift to a and despise ? If so, there is a bond of sympathy be- sister, has been long a tenant of the tomb. What is iween us, and I shall not be afraid to rake among the this, folded so carefully and so closely, like one of cold ashes of the past for some unconsumed remnant the mummied mysteries of the pyramids ? A curl, a of other days, even though I find only trifles to re-thick, dark curl_not the long flowing tress that ward my search. The very table on which I write, might have floated over woman's graceful neck; black with age, and wearing a polish which nothing these crisped and glossy tendrils tell of the strength but years and years of manual labor could have given and beauty of manhood. A faint perfume rises from it, owes its peculiar favor in my eyes to the fact of the inner folds of the envelope—the ashes of a rose its being more than a century old. What stories are there enclosed. And this is all! But what a could it not tell of days gone by; what reminiscences tale do these scanty memorials of a by-gone love imof tea-drinkings, and christenings, and weddings, and part 10 the beholder! What matters it that the details funerals must be imbedded in every pore of th
old the story are forgotten? What matters it whether inahogany!
the lady or her lover were to blame? It was a But for real hearty enjoyment of such a taste for love tender and true, but yet unhappy, else where. homely antiquities, commend me to an old-fashioned fore the curl of raven hair so carefully cherished, and secretary, (that is the true name—bureau is but a the dead rose so reverently buried beside the more modern Gallicism,) with its desk, and pigeon-holes, life-like memento? The love which brings happiness and secret-drawers, especially if it have been an becomes diffusive in its expression, and the lovebeirloom in possession of a maiden aunt, who died a tokens of the youth and maiden are hidden, in afterspinster of seventy-two, or thereabouts. What stores days, beneath the accumulation of affection's later of relics it contains-locks of hair taken from the offerings. But when one flower becomes the treasure heads of pretty children, whom we only recollect as of a life-time; when one lock of hair is guarded like wrinkled old bodies that seemed never to have been the heart's pearl of price, then be sure that the halyoung; mourning-rings, with obituary inscriptions lowing touch of sorrow has been there. It is only of persons whose existence we should never have when grief and love go hand in hand, that trifles beknown but for this record of their death; golden come holy relics wherever they tread. Alas! do we knee-buckles and sparkling paste choc-buckles, re- not all wear upon our hearts a reliquary, in which, imminding us of the days when the dress of a gentle pearled with lears, and adorned with the fine gold of man was hopelessly inimitable to ihe rowdies and our best affections, we have enshrined some frag. loafers of the period; fragments of wedding-gowns, ment of the past, whose value we alone can tell ? carefully rolled in bils of linen, yellow with age- But I am growing sad, serious, and, of course, dull; preserved in order to impress the nexi generation yet the object which led me into this train of thought with due respect for some wizened-up, childish old was certainly not calculated to inspire any especial lady, who was once a belle, and was married in a exhibition of sentiment. I was rummaging in such dress of silver brocade.
a secretary as I have described, when I accidentally Perhaps, too, there are more tender memorials pulled out a round pincu-bion, banded with silver hidden in the secret drawer. Let us touch the spring, about the middle, and allached to a substantial silver and lo! what trophies of love's power are there. chain, which terminated in a broad hook, for the
purShall we pause to read these verses? The ink ispose of fastening it to the girdle of some thrifty almost faded out, the paper is falling to pieces in its housewife. On the heavily-wrought circlet which folds, and he who wrote, and she who with flutter- made the equinoctial line of the purple velvet globes ing heart first read those tender lines, have long since which had been doomed to do duty in so humble a been dust and as hes. Here is a quaint old ring—iwo capacity, were the initials “ A. L," and I al once hands clasped together, and within the circle an in- recognized it as the constant appendage of my rescription in old English characters-he single word, spected and venerated relative, Aunt Abby. “Forever.” She who once wore that ring was an I had just been reading a paragraph respecting the angel upon earth, and he who placed it there, lived female clubs in Paris, and the sight of this relic of and died “ as the beasts that perish ;" will their union old times, reminded me of the fact that poor Aunt be, indeed, forever? Look at that bracelet, woven of Abbey had lived just half a century too soon, for to the day of her death the old lady's favorite topic of remembrance of a somewhat similar conformation conversation was the “equality of the sexes.” How in the dental perfections of the only wild animal who would she have rejoiced in the modern attempts to has ever been accused of laughing-I mean the enfranchise woman from her thraldom! how would hyena. Not that Abby bore the slightest resemblance she have gloried in the idea of woman's equal rights to the disagreeable creature just named. But her of property! how would she have delighted in the smile certainly lacked that indefinable charm which prospect of political privileges for her sex! how she usually belongs to such pleasant demonstrations of would have expatiated upon the benefits of a female good humor. House of Representatives! Aunt Abby (my great As a specimen of the human animal Abby was aunt, by the by) was emphatically an advocate for perfect. The superb proportions of her well-rounded woman's “ standing alone,” (I believe that is the figure, her complexion, pure, fresh, and radiant with phrase among the reformers,) and certainly, though health, her firm step, quick, active motions, and she had a father, uncles, cousins, to say nothing great strength of frame, combined to make her a of a husband, she succeeded in “standing alone," model of " le grande e beau physique." Add to to a certain extent, all her life.
the-e personal attractions, her learning, and her doBut what, you will say, had a disciple of progress, mestie accomplishments, and one might almost fancy a defender of woman's rights, a declaimer against that Aunt Abby, in her younger days at least, came woman's slavery, to do with a pincushion? Let me near being sketch her portrait at full length, and then you will
" That faultless monster which the world ne'er saw " see how curiously she blended the duties and prerogatives of both sexes in her own proper person. What did she lack? you will ask. Certainly not
Abigal, or, as she was usually called, Abby Ley- virtues, for she abounded in them. No; ber defects burn, was the only child of a learned and eccentric were of a very different character. She had every clergyman, who, being disappointed in his hope of thing that one would consider desirable; but Aunt exercising his theories of education on a son, chose Abby lacked “one sweet weakness." There was to educate his daughter after the manner of a boy. the difficulty. She had no weaknesses. That magFortunately for him, the little girl possessed a sin- nificent person of hers was brimful of strong, slubgularly strong and quick mind. She grasped at know. born intellect. If she had a heart, it was only a piece ledge as most children would at playthings, and im- of mechanism, necessary to the workings of the bibed wisdom with as much zest as others would have human machine. The brain-the strong, massive, sucked an orange. Latin, Greek and Hebrew, mathe- abundant brain, which lay behind that immense forematics, moral philosophy, to say nothing of the head, was the only motive power which she aclighter accomplishments of botany, geology, and knowledged. Had she no benevolence, no kindly natural history, were among the young lady's acquire impulses, no yearning tenderness of soul, no sentiments. Her father had determined to make her a ment? Not an atom of either; yet she did the most second Madame Dacier, and he really seemed likely benevolent things in the world, lavished kindness to find her a sort of female Crichton. Nor were upon all who deserved it, was full of gentleness tothese all her acquisitions. The details of house. ward little children, and, if judged by her deeds, keeping, ihe thrift, management, and ridiness neces- would have seemed overflowing with the milk of sary to the comfort of American homes, was as easy humau kindness. But still it was the dictates of that as the alphabet 10 Abby. She could knit, and spin, cold despotic intellect which she obeyed. “People and sew; she could bake, and brew, and cook; she must be in want, and must be relieved by those who could milk, and churn, and make cheese; and no- had means. Humanity was full of suffering—the body could so effectually and rapidly “set things to healthy must look atier the sick. Little children are rights."
incipient men and women, therefore must be taken Beside all this, Abby Leyburn, at twenty years of care of. Sentiment was but the penumbra, the age, was one of the handsomest girls in the country. shadow of a shadow as unsubstantial as itself.” Such She was like nothing so much as the effigy of Bri- were among the apothegms of this singular woman. tannia on an English penny. Don't laugh, reader, Reversing the established axiom, that “there is nothe comparison is a highly complimentary one, but thing in the intellect which does not come by the lest you should not recollect the stately Mrs. Bull, I senses," she seemed to assert that “there was nowill describe my heroine. Abby was just six feet thing in the senses which did not come by the intelhigh, but magnificently proportioned, a perfect Juno lect." in form, with large black eyes, a high forehead, full As Mr. Leyburn held the office of president over red lips, and a chin as massive and as despotic in its one of the few institutions of learning then in America, expression as Napoleon's. Her profile was superb, Abby had ample opportunity for displaying her talents bold, strongly-marked, but beautifully classical. Her and beauty 10 the admiring eyes of sundry young abundant hair, usually worn back from her brow, and students. But Abby had no personal vanity; she gathered into a knot at the back of her head, was knew she was handsome, just as she knew she was black as the crow's wing. Her teeth were white, strong and robust, and she would have scorned the strong, and somewhat pointed in shape, a peculiarity idea of being a belle. The young men, although which rather impaired the softness of her smile, inas. belonging 10 that peculiarly inflammable species much as it was always associated with the beholder's known by the name of “College Boys," would as