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means for the vindication of her good name—when she saw this storm coming upon her, she locked herself in her own house, and tried to keep herself out of your cruel hands—when her door was broken open, and you gave way to that barbarous usage that she met with, she protested her innocence, fell upon her knees, and begg'd slie might not go to gaol, and, in her innocent simplicity, would have let you swim her; and at her trial she declared herself a clear woman. This was her behaviour; and what could any of us have done better, excepting in that case where she complyed with you too much, and offered to let you swim her? “3. When you used the meanest of paganish and popish superstitions—when you scratch'd, and mangled, and ran pins into her flesh, and used that ridiculous tryal of the bottle, &c.—Whom did you consult—and from whom did you expect your answers? Who was your sather—and into whose hands did you put yourselves 1 And if the true sense of the statute had been turn'd upon you, which way would you have defended yourselves? 4. Durst you have used her in this manner if she had been rich: and doth not her poverty increase rather than lessen your guilt in what you did “And therefore, instead of closing your book with a liberavamus animas nosiras, and reflecting upon the court, I ask you, 5. Whether you have not more reason to give God thanks that you met with a wise judge, and a sensible gentleman, who kept you from shedding innocent blood, and reviving the meanest and cruelist of of all superstitions amongst us?”—[Ib.]

* Hutchison's Essay on Witchcraft.

Custom is the law of one description of fools, and fashion of another; but the two parties often clash ; for recedent is the legislator of the first, and novelty of the ast. Custom therefore looks to things that are past, and sashion to things that are present; but both of them are somewhat purblind as to things that are to come; yet of the two, fashion imposes the heavier burden; for she cheats her votaries of their time, their fortune, and their comforts, and repays them only with the celebrity of being ridiculed and despised; a very paradoxical mode of remuneration, yet always most thankfully received!— Fashion is the veriest goddess of semblance and of shade; to be happy is of far less consequence to her worshippers than to appear so; and even pleasure itself they sacrifice to parade, and enjoyment to ostentation. She requires the most passive and i it obedience, at the same time that she imposes a m ievous load of ceremonies; and the slighest murmur ould only cause the recusant to be laughed at by all other classes, and excommunicated by his own. Fashion builds her temple in the capitol of some mighty empire, and having selected four or five hundred of the silliest people it contains, she dubs them with the magnificent and imposing title of THE won LD ! But the marvel and the misfortune are, that this arrogant title is as universally accredited by the many who abjure as by the few who adore her; and this creed of sashion requires not only eakest folly, but the strongest faith, since it would ntain that the minority are the whole, and the majority nothing ! Her smile has given wit to dulness, and grace to deformity, and has brought every thing into vogue, by turns, but virtue. Yet she is most capricious in her favours, often running from those that pursue her, and coming round to those that stand still. It were mad to follow her, and rash to oppose her; but neither rash nor mad to despise her.—[Lacon.]

Laboured letters, written like those of Pope, yet apparently in all the ease of private confidence, but which the writer meant one day to publish, may be compared to that dishabille in which a beauty would wish you to believe you have surprised her, after spending three hours at her toilette.—[Ibid.]

POETRY

September.—CARLos Wilcox.

THE sultry summer past, September comes, Soft twilight of the slow-declining year;-All mildness, soothing loneliness and peace” The fading season ere the falling come, More sober than the buxom, blooming May, And therefore less the favorite of the world, But dearest month of all to pensive minds. Tis now far spent; and the meridian sun, Most sweetly smiling with attempered beams, Sheds gently down a mild and grateful warmth. Beneath its yellow lustre, groves and woods, Checkered by one night's frost with various hues, While yet no wind has swept a leaf away, Shine doubly rich. It were a sad delight Down the smooth stream to glide, and see it tinged o each brink with all the gorgeous hues, The yellow, red, or purple of the trees, That, singly, or in tufts, or forests thick, Adorn the shores; to see perhaps the side Qf some high mount reflected far below, With its bright colors, intermixed with spots Of darker green. Yes, it were sweetly sad To wander in the open fields, and hear, . Een at this hour, the noon-day hardly past, The lulling insects of the summer's night; To hear, where lately buzzing swarms were heard, A lonely bee long roving here and there To find a single flower, but all in vain; Then, rising quick, and with a louder hum, In widening circles round and round his head, Straight by the listener flying clear away, As if to bid the fields a last adieu ; To hear, within the woodland's sunny side, Late full of music, nothing, save, perhaps, The sound of nut-shells, by the squirrel dropped From some tall beech, fast falling through the leaves.

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WEEKLY ABSTRACT OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.

VOL. I.

NEW YORK, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1833.

NO. 24.

NATUR AL HISTORY.

(From Good's Book of Nature.)

on ZooLOGICAL SYSTEMS, AND THE DISTINCTIVE CHARActrers OF ANI MALS.

While every department of nature displays an unbounded scope to the contemplative mind,-a something on which it may perpetually dwell with new and growing improvement; we behold in the great division of the animal kingdom a combination of allurements that draw us, and fix us, and fascinate us with a sort of paramount and magical captivity unknown to either of the other branches of natural history, and which seem to render them chiefly or alone desirable and interesting, in proportion as they relate to animal life. There is, indeed, in the mineral domain, an awe, and a grandeur, and a majesty irresistibly impressive and sublime, and that cannot fail to list up the heart to an acknowledgment of the mighty Power which piled the massy cliffs upon each other, and rent the mountains asunder, and slung their scattered fragments over the valleys. There is in the realm of vegetables an immeasurable profusion of bounty and of beauty, of every thing that can delight the external eye, and gratify the desire; simple, splendid, variegated, exquisite. But the moment we open the gates of the animal kingdom, a new world pours upon us, and a new train of affections take possession of the bosom ; it is here, for the first time, that we behold the nice lineaments of feeling, motion, spontaneity; we associate and sympathize with every thing around us: we insensibly acknowledge an approximation (often indeed very remote, but an approximation nevertheless) to our own nature, and run over with avidity the vast volume that lies before us, of tastes, and customs, and manners, and propensities, and passions, and consummate instincts. But where shall we commence the perusal of this volume? the different pages of which, though each intrinsically interesting, lie scattered, like the sibyl leaves of antiquity, over every part of the globe, and require to be collected and arranged in order, to give us a just idea of their relative excellence, and to enable us to contemplate them as a whole. The difficulty has been felt in all ages; and hence multiplied classifications, or schemes for assorting, and grouping into similar divisions, such individuals as indicate “a similar structure, or similar habits, or similar powers, have been devised in different periods of the world, and especially in modern times, in which the study of zoology has been pursued with a searching spirit, unknown to the sages of antiquity.—And well has it deserved to be so pursued. “This subject,” observes M. Biberg, “is of so much importance, and of such an extent, that if the ablest men were to attempt to treat it thoroughly, an age would pass away before they could explain completely the admirable economy, habits, and structure even of the most imperceptible insect. There is not a single species that does not, of itself, deserve an historian.”* o Before we gird ourselves then to a critical indagation into any particular part of the immense theatre which this study presents to us, it may be convenient to con

* Amoenitates Academica Suecicae, vol. ii. art. 19, GEconomia Naturae.

template it upon that general survey which it is the object of such shemes or classifications to lay down; to travel over it and mark its more prominent characters by a map, anterior to our entering upon the country itself. And such are the humble pretensions of the present lecture, which will merely attempt to place before you a brief sketch of zoology, in regard to its bare outlines; for such a sketch is the whole that our time will allow; yet if it be found faithful, it will assuredly be sound beneficial; for if the outlines be correctly laid down, the picture may be filled up at our leisure.

The first physiologist who, we can say, with any degree of certainty pointed out the expediency of a methodical arrangement of animals, was Aristotle. His works upon this subject have reached us; yet while they prove that he took the same extensive and scientific view of it which he did of all other subjects to which he directed the wonderful powers of his comprehensive mind, they prove also, that the study of natural history in Greece had by no means in his day kept pace with a variety of other studies, and that he did not conceive, aided as he was by all the mighty patronage of Alexander the Great, and the concurrent exertions of every other physiologist, that he was in possession of a sus. ficiency of facts to attempt the same kind of systematic arrangement here, which he is so celebrated for having effected almost every where else. He modestly contented himself, therefore, with pointing out the important use of such an arrangement as soon as it could be accomplished, and with suggesting a few hints as to the principles upon which it should be constructed. He observes, that the distinctive character of animals might be taken from the nature of their food, from their actions, their manners, or their disserent structures; that their inhabiting land or water offers a distinction of another sort : and that of land animals, there are some kinds that respire by lungs, as quhdrupeds, and others that have no such kind of "...o. that some are winged, and others wingless; th me possess proper blood, while others are exsanguineous; that some produce their young by eggs, and these he named oviparous, while others bring them forth naked, and these he called viviparous; that quadrupeds, again, may perhaps be distinguished by the make of the foot, as being of three kinds, undivided, cloven, and digitated, or severed into toes or claws.”

These indeed were mere hints, and only intended as such; but they were truly valuable and important; for they roused zoologists to that general comparison of animal with animal which could not sail of very essentially advancing the cause of natural history, and which have in disserent degrees laid the soundation of almost every methodical arrangement which has since been of sered to the world.

To run over a list of these arrangements would be equally useless and jejune. The writers who have chiefly signalized themselves in this department, arc Gesner, Aldrovandi, Johnston, Ray, Linnaeus, Klein, Lacepede, Blumenbach, and Cuvier, and in particular sections of it, Lamarck, Bloch, Fabricius, Latreille, and Brogniart; all of whom have flourished since the middle of the sixteenth century; most of whom have contributed something of importance to a scientific method of

* Arist. Hist. Anim, lib. i cap. 1, cap. 3, cap. 6.

studying and distributing animals; and the most celebrated of whom are Ray, Linnaeus, and Cuvier. ... The system of Ray is derived, in its first outlines, from that recommendation of Aristotle which suggests an attention to the different structures of different descriptions of animal life, and his observation, that one of these differences consists in their possessing lungs and a sanguineous system, or their being destitute of lungs and exsanguineous. The !on method is, for the most part, built upon this general arrangement of Mr. Ray, especially in regard to quadrupeds; it is, however, an extension of it, and certainly an improvement. That of M. Cuvier, in its subordinate division, is founded upon both these; but in its primary and leading distinctions, upon the nervous or sensorial, instead of the respiratory and sanguineous systems; all animals, upon M. Cuvier's scheme, being primarily divided into vertebrated and invertebrated ; those furnished with a back-bone, or vertebral chain, for the purpose of enclosing the spinal marrow, and those destitute of such a chain: the secondary sections, consisting of vertebrated animals with warm blood, and vertebrated animals with cold blood; invertebrated animals with blood-vessels, and invertebrated animals without blood-vessels. All these, under his last modification, which is that subjoined to his Lectures on Comparative Anatomy,” are regarded as embracing nine distinct classes; as, 1. MAMMALs; and, II. BIRDs, which belong to the warmblooded vertebral division. III. AMPHIBIALs ; and IV. Fishes, which belong to the cold-blooded vertebral division; and the five following which fill up the division of invertebral animals. V. Molluscous, soft-bodied marine animals, or mostly marine animals, as oysters, limpets, whelks, cuttle-fish, pipe-worms or ship-worms, defended by a testaceous covering. VI. crustAceous; as crabs, various lobsters, shrimps, sea-spiders, and the monoculus tribes. VII. INSEcts; being all those ordimarily so denominated. VIII. won Ms; embracing, along with those commonly so called, leeches, and various sea-worms with bristles on the sides of the body, as aphrodites, terebels or naked ship-worms, serpules, amphitrites, nereids, tooth shells. IX. zoophy TEs; the term being used very extensively, so as to include, not only all the zoophytes or plant-like animals of Linnaeus and other naturalists, but all their infusory, wheel, or microscopic animals; their medusas or sea-nettles, actinias, or anemonies, and other efflorescent worms, urchins, and star-fishes; and thus largely infringing on the molluscous order of prior arrangéoents. Many of these classes have inferior sections and subsections, under which the genera that appertain to them are respectively marshalled. But in a general outline, it is not necessary to follow up the arangement more minutely. The common classification of zoological writers of the present day is still that of Linnaeus; and as such, it is that which I shall regularly follow up in the remainder of the present study, as being best adapted to popular purposes. It is probable, however, that the classifica. tion of Cuvier will ultimately take the lead of it; it is somewhat more abstruse, but considerably more definite, and offers a noble specimen of scientific ingenuity, applied to one of the noblest branches of scientific study; and I shall hence advert to this classification as we proceed, for a comparison with that of the justly celebrated Swedish naturalist. The Linnaeun system of zoology divides all animals into six classes, and each class into a definitive number of orders; every order consisting of an indefinite number of kinds or genera, and every kind or genus of an indefinite number of species: the individuals in each species being perhaps innumerable. The sixth classes are as follows: I. mammals, or

* Lecons d'Anatomie Comparee de G. Cuvier, 8vo. 4 tom Paris 1805,

suckling animals; II. birds; Il L. amphibials; IV. fishes; W. insects; WI. worms. We commence with the first and highest class– with that rank of animals which is most complicate in form and most competent in power. This class is chiefly distinguished by the possession of lungs, and an organ for suckling ; and most of its kinds possess four supporters in the shape of hands, or seet, or both. To this last character the class was formerly indebted for its classic name, which was QUADRUPEDs or four-rooted. As some of the kinds under it, however, in its modern arrangement, are possessed of no supporters of any sort, either hands or feet, others have four hands and no feet, and others, again, have two of each, the absurdity of retaining such a name must be obvious to every one; and hence it has been correctly and elegantly exchanged, by Linnaeus, for that of MAMMALIA, from the mammary or suckling organ which belongs to every kind of the class, as it stands at present, and to no kind whatever out of it; and which, as we have no fair synonym for it in our own tongue, I shall beg leave now, as I have on various other occasions, to render MAMMALs. The class is distributed into seven orders; the characters of which are taken from the number, situation, and structure of the teeth. The seven orders are as follows:-primates, bruta, serae, glires, pecora, bellua, cete. It is difficult to find English synonyms for these Latin terms, which, in several instances, are used in a kind of arbitrary sense, not strictly pointed out by the terms themselves. The following are the best that occur to me: chieftains, brute-beasts, savage-beasts, burrowing beasts, cattle, warriors, and whales. The F1RST or DER, PRIMATEs or chief TAINs, is distinguished by the possession of four cutting teeth in each jaw. This mark would also include the race of man ; and Linnaeus has actually included him in the order before us, as he is included in the class of Cuvier and most of the naturalists. From such arrangements, however, I shall take leave to differ. Man ought to stand by himself, he has characters peculiar to himself, which place him at an infinite distance from all other animals. With this exclusion, the entire class is reduced to three kinds: the simia or monkey, the lemur or maucauco, and the vespertilio or bat: kinds which can only be collectively entitled to the appellation of primates or chiefs, from their very slight resemblance to man in the general distribution of the teeth; for though a few of the monkey tribes have an approximation in their exterior and erect form, in the greater number this character is very inappreciate, while it is nearly lost in the lemur, and altogether so in the bat. Among the simia kind, the most singular species is certainly the ourang-outang, especially the grave, gentle, and very docile Pongo. I have only time to observe further upon this kind, that those without tails are denominated apes; those with short tails, baboons; and those with long tails, proper monkeys. Among the lemurs, the most curious, perhaps, is the volans, or flying maucauco, the galiopithecus volans, or flying colugo of Pallas and Shaw ; an action which he is able to accomplish from tree to tree by means of a strong leathery membrane that surrounds the body and reaches from the head to the fore-feet, hind-feet, and extremity of the tail; and which gives him an approach to the bat. Of the vespertilio or bat-kind, which is well known to fly only by night, and by means of an expansive membrane, instead of by wings, one of its most extraordinary faculties is that of a knowledge of the presence, and apparently of the approach, of objects, by some other sense or medium than that of vision; for when deprived of its eyes, this knowledge, and a consequent power of avoiding objects, seems still to continue. The vespertilio vampyrus, or ternate bat, an inhabitant of India and Africa, is said to be fond of blood, and occasionally to fasten on such persons as he finds asleep, and to suck their veins till he becomes bloated. He might hence, under proper management, be rendered an able and valuable substitute for the leech. In poetry he has often been introduced, under the name of vampire, as a most hideous and appalling monster.

ON THE SIGNS OF THE SEASONS IN RURAL PURSUITS.

“Our forefathers probably paid more attention to the periodical occurrences of Nature, as guides for direction in their domestic and rural occupations, than we of the present day are accustomed to do. They seem to have referred to the Book of Nature more frequently and regularly than to the almanack. Whether it were, that the one being always open before them, was ready for reference, and not the other, certain it is, that they attended to the signs of the seasons, and regarded certain natural occurrences as indicating, and reminding them of, the proper time for commencing a variety of affairs in common life.

The time was (perhaps it is not yet gone by) when no good housewife would think of brewing when the beans were in blossom. The bursting of the alder-buds, it was believed, announced the period at which eels begin to stir out of their winter quarters, and therefore marked the season for the miller or fisherman to put down his traps, to catch them at the wears and floodgates. The angler considered the season at which tench bite most freely to be indicated by the blooming of the wheat; and when the mulberry-tree came into leaf, the gardener judged that he might safely commit his tender exotics to the open air, without the fear of injury from frosts and cold. Then there was a variety of old sayings or proverbs in vogue, such as—

When the sloe-tree is white as a sheet,
Sow your barley, whether it be dry or wet.
When elder is white, brew and bake a peck;
When elder is black, brew and bake a sack.

People talked of “the cuckoo having picked up the dirt,” alluding to the clean state of the country at the time of the arrival of the cuckoo; and of “black thorn winds,” meaning the bleak north-east winds, so commonly prevalent in the spring, about the time of the blowing of the blackthorn. Virgil, in the recipe he gives in his Georgics for the production of a stock of bees, states that the process should be begun

Before the meadows blush with recent flowers, And prattling swallows hang their nests on high. And Shakspeare, in his Winter's Tale, speaks of

—Daffodils That come before the swallow dares, and take The winds of March with beauty.

The intelligent observer of nature from whose writings we have been permitted to make some extracts, has been greatly struck with coincidences of this kind; and he mentions with interest an idea suggested in the same work, of forming “a calendar, by which the flowering of a plant should acquaint us with the appearance of a bird, and the appearance of an insect tell us the flowering of a plant.”

Following up this idea, he annexes a plan of such a calendar, in which each month, except “dark December,” contains notices of these occurrences in nature. The grounds sor his remarks are extremely curious, and worthy of our observation. In associating the wasp with the hawthorn-leaf in April, the author says, “Wasps seem to delight in frequentieg hawthorn-hedges in the spring, as soon as the early foliage comes out. What is it that attracts them to these haunts? Perhaps they come in search of the larvae of other insects which feed on the hawthorn. That wasps, whose ordinary food seems to be fruit, occasionally devour insects, there

can be no doubt, as, even in summer, they may often be

seen to attack and devour the flies in the windows.When they make their first appearance in spring, there is no fruit for them; therefore they may at that season

resort to hawthorn-hedges, which abound with the larvae of various insects. The song of the cuckoo is found to occur at the time of the appearance of the Papilio cardamines, or orange-tipped butterfly. It is a common remark, that the cuckoo is seldom heard in July, and this papilio is rarely met with so late. In the end of November, the little winter-moth (Phalena brumaria.) is classed with the late-flowering asters.”—Saturday Magazine.

A S T R O N O M Y.

We have already presented a telescopic view of almost all the planets. Before proceeding further, it would be proper to introduce several additional views.

Seen through a Telescope, the celestial bodies appear very differently from their appearance to the naked eye. Venus, for example, does not appear round. The reason of this is, that we do not see the whole of the half on which the sun shines. Both Venus and Mercury have appearances similar to those of the Moon; different at different times. The cut below is a more full view of Venus than the one we have already given, and will serve to illustrate what we here state.

TELESCOPIC APPEARANCE OF VENUS.

Before proceeding to the superior planets, that is, those which are further from the sun than is the earth, we will attend to that important appendage of the earth,

THE MOON.

NExT to the Sun, the moon is to us the most interesting of all the celestial orbs. She is the constant attendant of the earth, and revolves around it in twenty-seven days eight hours, but the period from one new moon to another is about twenty-nine days twelve hours. She is the nearest of all the heavenly bodies, being only about 240,000 miles distant srom the earth. She is much smaller than the earth, being only 2180 miles in diameter, while that of the earth is about 7930. Her surface, when viewed with a telescope, presents an interesting and variegated aspect, being diversified with mountains, valleys, rocks, and plains, in every variety of form and position. Some of these mountains form long and elevated ridges, while others, of a conical form, rise to a great height from the middle of level plains; but the most singular feature of the Moon, is those circular ridges and cavities which diversify every portion of her surface. A range of mountains, of a circular form, rising three or four miles above the level of the adjacent districts, surrounds, like a mighty rampart, an extensive plain; and, in the middle of this plain or cavity, an insulated conical hill rises to a considerable elevation. Several hundreds of these circular plains, most of which are considerably below the level of the surrounding country, may be perceived with a good telescope, on every region of the lunar surface. They are of all dimensions, from two or three miles to 40 miles in diameter; and if they be adorned with verdure, they must present to the view of a spectator, placed among them, a more variegated, romantic, and sublime scenery than is to be found on the surface of our globe. An idea of some of these scenes may be acquired by conceiving a plain of about a hundred miles in circumference encircled with a range of mountains of various forms, three miles in perpendicular height, and having a mountain near the centre, whose top reaches a mile and a half above the level of the plain.

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central mountain, the whole plain, with all its variety of objects, would be distinctly visible, and the view would appear to be bounded on all sides by a lofty amphitheatre of mountains, in every diversity of shape, rearing their summits to the sky. From the summit of the circular ridge, the conical hill in the centre, the opposite circular range, the plain below, and some of the adjacent plains which encompass the exterior ridge of the mountains, would form another variety of view ; and a third variety would be obtained from the various aspects of the central mountain and the surrounding scenery, as

From the top of this l viewed from the plains below.

TELESCOPIC APPEARANCE OF THE MOON.

The lunar mountains are of all sizes, from a furlong to five miles in perpendicular elevation. Certain luminous spots, which o been occasionally seen on the dark side of the Moon, seem to demonstrate that fire exists in this planet; Dr. Herschel and several other astronomers suppose they are volcanoes in a state of eruption. The bright spots on the Moon are the mountainous regions: the dark spots are the plains, or more level parts of her surface. There may probably be rivers, or simall lakes, on this planet; but there are no seas or large collections of water. It appears highly probable, from the observations of Schroeter, that the Moon is encompassed with an atmosphere, but no clouds, rain, or snow, seem to exist in it. the light derived from the Moon, according to the experiments made by Leslie, is about 100,000th part of the illuminating power of the Sun.

The moon always presents the same face to us; which proves that she revolves round her axis in the same time that she revolves round the earth As this orb derives its light from the sun, and reflects a portion of it upon the earth, so the earth performs the same office to the moon. A spectator on the lunar surface would behold the earth like a luminous orb, suspended in the vault of heaven, presenting a surface about thirteen times larger than the moon does to us, and appearing sometimes gibbous, sometimes horned, and at other times with a round full face. The light which the earth reflects upon the dark side of the moon, may be distinctly perceived by a common telescope, from three to six or eight days after the change. The lunar surface contains about sixteen inillions of square miles, and is therefore capable

The illuminating power of

of containing a population equal to that of our globe, allowing only about sisty-three inhabitants to every square mile. That this planet is inhabited by sensitive and intelligent beings, there is every reason to conclude, from a consideration of the sublime scenery with which its surface is adorned, and of the general beneficence of the Creator, who appears to have left mo portion of his material creation without animated existences; and it is highly probable that direct proofs of the moon's being inhabited may hereaster be obtained. when all the varieties on her surface shall have been more minutely explored.—Dick's Christian Philosopher.

The moon was worshipped by the ancient heathen under various titles. It was sancied to be a goddess, and was denominated Luna and Diana by the Greeks and Romans. It was called Isis by the Egyptians. It was said by the former to be the twin sister of the sun, which they denominated Apollo. There were two most famous temples dedicated to it. That at Ephesus was one of the seven wonders of the world. The other was that of Taurica Cliersonesus, or the modern Crimea, in ancient Scythia ; at which place, human sacrifices were offered to it. Besides the foregoing titles, it had various others, according to the disserent offices which it was supposed to fill, such as Lucina, Ilythia, Juno Pronuba, Trivia, Agrotera, Orthia, Taurica, Delia, Cynthia, &c. It had several oracles, of which those of Egypt, Cilicia, and Ephesus are best known. It was fabled of this divinity, 1hat when Typhon waged war against the gods, she transformed herself into a cat, by which means she

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