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in hope that robbers and burglars would come in and give me an opportunity to develop some wonderful acts of courage or présence d'ésprit ;no, I did not wish for robbers to come, but I did wish for somebody; and I had a strong presentiment that somebody would come, that I should not remain alone the whole evening. I felt sure that I should have a visit-a visit that could not but become of importance either to me or to somebody else. Then, anybody that would come in this evening must feel my influence must experience something uncommon from the very volume of life that rolled in my veins, and that I would roll on him or her. A thousand feelings-a thousand thoughts were in my heart and mind. But I walked silently to and fro in the rooms, now and then looking curiously down the street. Our house was a corner house : at the corner of the house opposite hung a streetlamp, not very bright nor brilliant, but still shedding a light, clear enough on the spot under it, and on the objects nearest around. Right under the lamp hung, and swung in the evening wind, a huge red wooden glove (a glovemaker's sign), with the forefinger (a very long forefinger) pointing right down. The snow fell in large flakes round the lamp and the red glove on the frozen white ground. Now and then came persons mostly men—wrapped up in their cloaks, passing right under the lamp and the red glove, and were, as they passed, lighted up by the former. I thought I recognised friends or acquaintances in some of them, and often it would seem as if they steered their way directly towards my house, but then again they were wrapped up in the darkness, and the great red glove swung, and the lamp shed its light, and the snow fell fast over the solitary spot—and again I paced the carpets of the drawing-rooms. No matter : it was yet good time for visiting, it was early yet, and a visit. I should certainly have that night; and many a face passed in the camera obscura of my mind-many a vision of my expected visitor. First, I saw one that had been very kind to me, but that I had been less kind to; one of these that we esteem, but can neither like nor love, but now, this night, if that person would come, I should be so kind, 80 -it would not be my fault if that person did not feel amiable and loveable. And then there was somebody who had wronged me, and made me suffer. Oh! that she might come, that I might do her good instead-that I might make her rich and happy; it would give me the greatest pleasure. And then there was a man that was more to me than I to him that I liked; a brilliant, interesting man,
that did not like me, but who was interested by me, liked to talk with me, and was a friend of mine. Oh! if he should come; he would love me, perhaps fall in love with me that evening! There was in me so much of that fire which makes everything light up and radiate. Was he quite fireproof? Well, still his spirit would light up by the light of mine ; I knew it, and we would have such a talk about stars and showers of stars ; about Copernicus, and Taylor, and Newton; and about electricity, and alchemy, and Berzelius : we would have such a great intellectual treat and conversation! And then there was another man, that liked me well, and would offer me heart and hand, if I would like him. Like him I could not ; but feel very kindly, respectfully, almost tenderly for him, that I could I did ; and then he was a very good and very stately gentleman, and of a rank and fortune that well could flatter a little worldly vanity, and I had my share. Ah! if he should come this evening, and ask the question, I fear that I should not find heart to ask delay to consider, and so forth; I fear I should say “Yes," at once, and fix my destiny before I was sure it was well. My heart was too warm to be wise. I almost feared that he would come and ask me. But then there was an elderly married man, and a genius, that I loved as young women love elderly gentlemen who are geniuses, and are kind to them-adoringly, passionately. Oh! that he might come. No danger of his asking dangerous questions; no danger of becoming engaged to him, and fixing one's destiny before the heart was right fixed. If he should but come--what a delight to indulge looking at him--to give vent to the flow of thoughts and feelings with such a mind to be inspired, and foolish, and nonsensical, in a sublime sense, as well he could be to hear the effusions of that great heart, great as the world. He never had quite understood me; I never had been quite myself with him ; this evening I should be so, he should know my heart. May-be he would ask me to do something for him—to give my purse, every shilling I possessed, to some poor persons what a delight! And how I should treat him with tea, and wine, and cake, just as Hebe did Jupiter; and how he should enjoy it. Dear me, what an Olympian treat it would be! And then I saw a lady, whose very shadow on the wall I loved. Oh! that if she would but come, my dear, my bosom friend! What a delightful time we should have together, with tea and chat, and the outpourings of the heart. I would tell her everything: she would counsel mo
wisely, as she was wont to do. Dear soul, how right to this house; he enters the door! It I loved her; tears filled my eyes in thinking of must be he! how I felt my heart beat! I her, and that she would come to be sure she almost wished it was not he. And to be sure, was a hundred miles away, on her estate; but, if it were he who entered the house, he never no matter, it could very well happen that she came up the steps, nor opened the unlocked should come. She liked to surprise people, and door of my house and heart-no, not this time; come unawares upon them, like the Emperor and the half-dreaded, half-wished-for question, Nicholas. Very likely she would come this was not asked now. evening. My heart asked for it, and then I The next time I looked out of the window looked out of the window; the street-lamp the lamp was obscured by a lowering mist, flamed and flickered red; the great red glove and the great red hand was swinging--and swung to and fro, with the long forefinger black figures were seen passing under it, as pointing right out; the snow fell fast. I heard through a black veil—my heart began to feel sleigh-bells ringing-a carriage was coming a little low and sad. But-it was not too late may-be my friend in it. There it comes, right yet for a visit; some of our friends used to up against the house my house. The light of come very late; somebody would yet come! the lamp glances over it-how snow-covered ! Next time I looked again for my visitor, the Oh! I will kiss off the snow from her clothes-- mist had fully come down, and I could not see I will make her so comfortable and happy! a bit more of the lamp, nor the red glove, nor of
Away flew the carriage, with the lady and the mystical figures passing under it. But as the snow-cloak, and the merry jingling bells. I happened to look upwards, I saw that the But there, now, the great red glove stands sky had cleared, and that the stars shone still, and the long forefinger points right down bright and brilliant; the City of God stood on a man wrapped up in a big cloak! I am all in light over the earthly city, obscured by sure it is the genius, and he is coming to pay mist and darkness. I was struck by the sight me a visit. Dear great man! he comes right of a constellation that I had not seen before ; up to the house, --yes, no he comes not-he and the truth was, that taken up by earthly turns to the left hand, it could not be he, he objects since a time, I had forgotten to follow would not have passed me so! There, again up the study of the firmament, that I had the glove stands still, the finger points, and a begun, with the help of my friend the natuslender figure passes under it-how like my ralist. Now I took my map and globe, and friend the naturalist and he is coming right began to study; I put out the light in the here,--no, he is not-he turns to the right great drawing-room, so as to leave the starhand. And the light flickers, and the snow light alone, and made there my observatory. falls, and the glove swings over the now That side of the room looking towards a solitary spot,--and I am still alone, and walk square was a fine space of sky to range over ; up and down the soft carpets in the romantic and I began to range among the stars. After twilight.
a while, I ascertained the names of several of After all, how gaudily life wears away! the constellations new to me, and the names of why should we not make the best of it? why their brightest stars; I made the acquaintance not take the love and kindness that are offered, of several greater and smaller notabilities of and make happy those that we can make the higher sphere, and read about them what happy? why should we think so much of i wise men have thought and said. Then would ourselves alone, and be so afraid of not being come of themselves enlarging thoughts about so happy as happy can be ? we must think the connexion of our planet and its human also of others, and be content for ourselves beings, and those shining worlds where lights with a moderate share of happiness.
and shadows, and weight and measure, are the Well! if the friend so kind and noble-hearted, same as here, and who, consequently, are rewhose heart I can claim, now claims my hand, lated to us in soul and matter, in weal and this evening he shall have it, I believe! I | woe, and who tell us of it in lovely shining will make him happy, and his whole house | stars. All this gave me great pleasure. comfortable, and everybody about him! I must The servant came with the tea-tray; I was have something to do, to love, to live for! sitting alone, but had forgotten it. I enjoyed Well if he comes ! .... And then I looked my tea and sandwiches, but only to return out of the window. There now, this time the fresh to my study; and continued visiting forefinger of the red hand points most de among the stars, and making friends with cidedly down on a tall, stately figure,--and he them, till I felt bodily weary. I looked at the is coming-yes, he is certainly coming-coming watch,-it was near midnight; I sat down on
the sofa in the small drawing-room; the light | learned and adored, and so forgotten time, shone calmly and romantically as before ; and solitude, myself, earth and earthly wishes, I was as before-alone. Yet there was a and my expected visit. Oh! was it not pleasant calm--a feeling of plenitude and clear that I had had a visit after all-a visit, elevation in my soul-my heart was at rest. not from mortal friends, but from immortal? What was it that made me feel so well, though They had whispered to me, “Hereafter thou I had been disappointed in my visit? Left shalt never feel lonely when alone; then we alone, I had not felt lonely nor at loss; I had will come to thee." And I was glad and studied the works of the Great Father ; I had thankful !
BIRDS IN CAPTIVITY.
INTRODUCTORY. The immediate subject of consideration is | perplexity; a foreign authority knew nothing one of the most popular of the day the of our British song birds—(the sweetest in management in health and treatment under | the world !)—an English writer treated the disease of our indigenous and imported birds. German canary as if, instead of the stove
There cannot be a doubt of the increasing rearing among the miners, the dainty importainterest upon the subject of Natural History, tion had all its lifetime fed upon rank seeds various treatises teem from the press receiving and inhaled our fogs. Being for many years their impetus from the vox populi calling aloud the possessor of both home and foreign spefor wholesome food. Alack a day! the era of cimens, and bringing to the aid of my object fables has passed away ; wiser in our genera- | the results of inquiries personally instituted tion, the veriest toddler would lisp out its in- | among amateurs of every class, I may say I credulity on the subjects of “Red Riding have “ taken my degree," and shall, I trust, Hood” and “ Puss in Boots," were a nurse- | be found “ qualified" to furnish a desidemaid to be found daring enough to promulgate ratum, the absence of which I have too freany history less veracious than the predatory quently regretted. habits of the wolf, or the amiable instincts of I have found that the best informed upon the domestic cat.
the subject of birds in captivity, are those The opportunities afforded by the increase persons whose habits of life are sedentary ; of steam navigation, for the importation of their monotonous pursuits lead them to obserforeign birds, has an obvious tendency to induce vation, and a well-directed enthusiasm prothe scientific naturalist to write of their habits, ducing care, gentleness, and kindly feelings ; their instincts, and their homes; such his and it may be set forth as an axiom, that tories treating only of the subject in a wild where healthy and lively birds are found, their state, involve the serious considerations of possessors love their pets, and have their voluminous matter and great expense. Yet, advantage in the reflected gratification afforded while admitting the full merit of learned dis- by their meed of care, while others, only selfquisitions, I fearlessly assert the want of indulgent, weary of the charge. practical information for the management of I trust I may be able to induce a more our little helpless prisoners.
general acquaintance with the nature and A treatise adapted to the daily use of the habits of our little cheerful companions, to the possessor of a bird or birds, free from the errors advantage of both parties. It is an old saying, of prejudice and inexperience, is much required; and a good one, that “whatever is worth doing and this deficiency has suggested, through the at all is worth doing well;" and, when to this medium of a popular channel, the offer of a aphorism is added a consideration involving correct guide, for the preservation, in health animal suffering, or the contrary, I feel assured and in song, of our caged favourites, affording I shall not have spoken in vain, by trying to to the public the results of long observation serve that class in creation which more than and practice, together with tried and approved any other has a peaceful and holy influence on remedies, under the many ills, that even the our nature. A bird can only by mute signs feathered race are “heirs to." I write arec complain, but in its contentment has a voice of connaissance de cause ; there is no teacher like gladness and of praise. experience; the medical treatment of my Birds and flowers are among the inexpensive numerous dependents was once a source of clegances of life; their possession adds to the
pleasures of the rich, and the labours of the he will leave untouched one day the food that poor are refreshed from a purifying source. In the next he may enjoy. These little caprices proportion to the means of each class will be are in accordance with all animal nature. I found their several belongings. The gorgeous therefore enjoin it as a rule to give the regular bird, transplanted from his native land; the bill of fare daily, and withdraw in the evening gentle linnet, taken from the nest; the cap that portion liable to become objectionable. tured nightingale, that “ bears no rivalry," are Exercise, air, and cleanliness do more for each and all sufferers through ignorance-an birds than even an abundance of food. By the ignorance not wilful, but from the want of a former I mean suitable cages, and in some proper guide-a plain, practical adviser.
cases a flight about the room, under due preThe “ too much" or the “ too little" of advice caution from accidents; by the latter I am to must be ever a matter of opinion. I have be understood as advising well-cleansed cages very much to say about cage management, weekly, fresh sand or fine gravel, sometimes which must be reserved until brought under clay, every other day, water-fountains and the heads of the several birds to be discussed, baths renewed daily, the latter cold in summer, confining myself in this place to a few brief tepid at other seasons. hints as to the general care of hard-billed and The evils of an unnatural state of confinesoft-billed birds. The necessity for condensing ment can only be alleviated by our just and even a popular theme in the pages of a careful attendance; by these the owner of a periodical, as well as the consideration that little dependent being will find his rewardthe possessor of any particular bird would seek through the contrary, sad suffering must be its history and interests under its name, have the result. We are bound to foster and protect induced this arrangement.
the little creature whose life is at our mercy, The distinctive appellations of “hard and whose melody is at our service. A few minutes soft billed" have given rise to much error in each morning will serve to avert the merited the treatment of the former. Being styled reproach of cruel neglect; deaths by starva"granivorous," they are too frequently limited tion; bad feet, from soiled perches; parasites, to seed. The class so called includes Gros from unwashed cages; asthma and consumpbeaks, Finches, and Buntings. Of the first tion, from sour soft food, and withered vegetable named and the latter we have but few natives. matter, from exposure to draughts of air, an Each and all require, in addition to seed, soft uneven temperature, a broiling sun, or an food, as a substitute for the variety provided easterly wind, leaving the defenceless, unshelby nature. Canary, millet and hemp are tered bird in misery, leading on to death. Let common to the home and foreign birds; rape not my readers look lightly upon sufferings and flax are shunned by the latter, and inflicted upon that which is a portion of the paddie (or unshelled rice) avoided by the creation. “The sparrow on the housetop" is former. In an aviary these little variations are not despised of God! of no consequence, the supply being equal to The soft-billed birds are generally called the demand; but where each bird has its own Songsters, and embrace several genera. The habitat, the provision should be made accord LARK SPECIES may be pronounced as on the ingly.
outskirts, being to a certain degree granivorous; The soft food, to be given in glass, japanned the bill varies from both orders; the claw is tin, or zinc vessels, should be changed daily. peculiar; and these birds dust themselves, inBread and milk, (toast and milk is even better,) stead of bathing; the food must therefore German paste, chopped egg and crumbs of accord. For SKYLARKS it should be German roll or sweet bun, potatoes mashed alone or paste, mixed with crumb of roll, and occawith oatmeal added, bread and butter cut thin sionally hard boiled yolk of egg added ; also and finely chopped, and in most cases a little oats, varied by substituting groats—the former bit of scraped or chopped raw beef. A vessel being heating. Hempseed is given by some of new milk, and green food in season, (never | amateurs, and it is difficult to deprive the bird to be given during frost,) of which I consider afterwards of it; but it is objectionable. Fresh the small-leaved chickweed, salad, cresses, and water and sand, chopped cabbage and cress, grass-seeds the best. Lettuce and maw (or with a fresh sod of turf, a cheerful sunny poppy) seeds should be sprinkled over the aspect, without draughts of air, will, combined, vessel of bread and milk occasionally.
preserve both health and song. The cage best A little watchful care will soon point out adapted will be noted elsewhere. the preference shown by a bird to any par- The WOODLARK's food should consist of ticular supply; yet it frequently happens that German paste, crumb of roll' or sweet bun,
crushed hemp (one-fourth), and occasionally chopped egg; fresh water daily. Clay, dry, not too fine, is better than sand; their feet being delicate, it cuts like glass. A small sod of peat, in addition to a perch, is necessary.
The lark species, together with the bullfinch and chaffinch, are generally classed under the head “granivorous and insectivorous.” I am inclined to place the two latter birds with the seed-eaters, which, according to my rule, get soft food in addition. Larks eat ants and mealworms, and ant-mould improves their condition.
THRUSHES AND BLACKBIRDS are berry and insect eaters; but an artificial state of life brings them readily to prepared food. German paste, with bread crumbs, is the most nourishing; a little scraped raw beef, bread and butter, and occasionally chopped egg. Fruit, slugs, and mealworms, ad occasio, may form a desert. Many disorders may be averted by giving a change of food to soft-billed birds. To this hardy kind an alteration in diet once a week is desirable: crushed scalded hempseed, made into a paste with bread-crumbs, or beanmeal and potato, the latter blended, and the meal mixed through it; but observe if the thrush or blackbird will partake of these varieties; they are capricious - some disliking moist food, others loathing the dry. The latter has great advantages, giving strength, liveliness, and song. Fig-dust and crushed hemp are given to nestlings.
NIGHTINGALES were once a puzzle : they are too delicate for experiments, and the only suitable food is the yolk of a hard-boiled egg, pressed through an iron sieve, with an equal quantity of scraped raw beef, moistened with water. Ants, ants' eggs, and the mould in which they are found, are all desirable ; mealWorms occasionally, if ailing especially. When nightingales are not fat, (they become so generally in autumn,) the water may be omitted, prescribed for moistening the egg and beef. Apoplexy is threatened, when any soft-billed bird begins to totter; immediately change the food from dry to moist. Sand, water, cleanliness, and quiet management are essential. The skin of the nightingale is so porous, that a bath in winter would cause, death. At no time allow the water given for bathing to be below the temperature of the room.
ROBINS must also have a change of food at times : the best for general use is German paste, roll-crumbs, and hard-boiled yolk of egg, reduced to a pulp by a few drops of water, and a little raw scraped beef. A change may be made to German paste, bread crumbs, and bullock's liver grated fine and mixed : the latter
ingredient creates thirst, and the favour it once possessed is disappearing. These birds like bread and butter also, and mealworms entice them to great familiarity. They are wonderful bathers. At the spring season they droop, their feathers look ruffled, then clammy-before the last state emancipate a bird unfit for the cage, for the imprisonment of which its captors are doubly culpable; for this little friend of man volunteers his visits, and asks but liberty in return, for his merry bow and his song. One taken from London to the neighbourhood of Dublin was mercifully set free when the spring gladdened his little heart. Every day until the year following “Bob" paid his visit at the window ; he then introduced his wife; the cares of paternity caused a decline in his diurnal salutations, but I have no doubt the returning autumn will find him at his post. A white feather marked him above his kind ; indeed, he permitted "no (robin) near his throne."
Of the wholly insectivorous class it is here useless to write: they are the most delicate birds, mostly unfit for confinement, and their various treatment requiring separate heads. The wren family--the wagtail species--the redstarts, wheatears, blue-breasts, stone-chats, and black-caps are the true sylviade (warblers). In the proper place, I purpose giving to each bird its history, with all the attention and effects of research in my power. I cannot add much of personal experience in this most difficult division, for, with very few exceptions, I think the hand of man is fatal.
A chapter will be devoted to the “largebeaked birds :" a few words will in this place suffice.
PARROTS are as injudiciously treated as petted childreni : where any sensible management is shown them (the birds), they thrive well, and repay all care. Subject to many ailments, in consequence of an ill-adapted climate, want of exercise, and over-feeding, attention on the part of the owner should be directed to great simplicity of diet. Bread soaked in water or tea, and squeezed rather dry, with a few chillies throughout; 'a vessel containing biscuit, or, better still, toast, on which boiled milk has been poured. In a division of the feeding vessel place wheat, (new if possible,) Indian corn pounded, also canary seed; water to drink -(the most comical error has been bruited about that parrots do not drink, originating, I conclude, in some of the tribe inhabiting spots far from streams; but in a free state how juicy are the fruits they obtain !) Eschew hempseed; it is, as a dietary supply,