Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]


" When in my youth, I loved to shed my blood, With the history of the eminent in

Both for my king and for my country's good;

But in my age my joy it was to be dividual just named, many are familiar, Soldier to Him who shed his blood for me." yet a sketch of it may not be unaccept- As a Christian warrior he was found faithable to others. At a very early age, he ful. · Constantly rising at four o'clock in determined on following a military life. the morning, he devoted two hours to the The tears of his pious mother, whose exercises of reading, meditation and prayjudgment and affection he much valued, er. If at any time he was obliged to opposed his wishes; and to these were leave his room earlier than usual, he rose added the entreaties of his nearest friends, an hour sooner and sometimes two. He but he could not be turned from his also retired for an hour in the evening, purpose. At the age of fourteen, he and thus diligently aimed to be “in the had an ensign's commission in a Scottish fear of the Lord all the day long." regiment in the Dutch service ; and two The death of his beloved mother was years after he received one from queen one of the greatest trials he was ever Anne.

called to experience, but he bore it with In the battle of Ramillies, he was true resignation. He was united in wounded in the mouth by a musket ball; marriage to lady Frances Erskine, daughbut though some think he was the sub- ter of the earl of Buchan; the greatest ject of serious impressions, yet on his imperfection in whose character, he said, recovery he plunged into the folly and was, “she valued and loved him more dissipation of the world. He proved, than he deserved.” Of her, and his eldhowever, that “the way of transgressors est daughter, he took what proved to be a is hard;" and often thought that the life final leave at Stirling Castle. On lady of a brute was preferable to his own. Gardiner being more than usually af

Unable to forget the entreaties and fected at their separation, he asked her prayers of his mother, and condemned

the reason, and on her assigning the by his own conscience, he had many very natural cause of her distress, he obstacles to surmount in his course replied, “We have an eternity to spend of profligacy, which was terminated at together.”. He was mortally wounded length by his conversion to God, under in the battle of Preston Pans; and soon very remarkable circumstances. He after laid down together the weapons could now fully sympathize with that of his worldly and spiritual warfare. eminent man who directed the following An engraving of his residence, Bankinscription to be placed on his tomb :- ton House, is placed at the head of this



Or what achievements of immortal fame




over and

article ; his history is traced by a not all: the earthworm absolutely raises master-hand in the memoir of him by the surface of the soil, and that very raDr. Doddridge. But enough has now pidly, insomuch that stones and other been said to show that “wisdom's ways" objects, which cumber the ground, bealone 66

are ways of pleasantness ;" that come in a few months (or if large, piety may be displayed in scenes of years) buried beneath an accumulation active life ; that religious instruction of rich mould, the nutrimen rejectum, in early days may ultimately tend to the of myriads of these beings, the effect of production of lasting good; and that the whose agency is to level and smooth, Christian is “the highest style of man." and fit the soil for herbage. Worms War, it

may be added, is attended by then are pasture makers. It is by their incalculable evils ; but there is a con- means that a stony, sterile field becomes flict, in which we desire every reader to a uniformly grass-covered mead; that be engaged. It is that of the man who, the stones disappear beneath the turf, fearing God, knows no other fear: and that a light and porous surface

is perpetually maintained. In the mulAsk him, indeed, what trophies he has raised,

titudes of these creatures, then, we see He purposes, and he shall and ever-None. the wisdom of the Almighty, who has His warfare is within. There unfatigued destined them, feeble ministers as they His fervent spirit labours. There he fights, And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself, are, for the promotion, in a remote And never-withering wreaths, compared with sense, of man's interest ; for though he The laurels that a Cæsar reaps are weeds.

feeds not on the grasses of the meadow, his cattle pasture there, his herds and

his flocks; and how far these, the pecuNOTES ON THE MONTH.

niæ* of the earth, are connected with his By a Naturalist.

interests, we need not labour to explain.

But the worm has its enemies, its apThe winter is not yet passed; the pointed enemies ; and one is now most rains are not

gone;" yet we

busily at work, we mean the mole. See

how cannot but perceive that a change is be

many fresh molehills cover the ginning to manifest itself over the face meadow, - last night's work, for the mole of nature. February is usually called a

is a nocturnal miner. A talented natudreary month, a month of clouds, and ralist observes, that the labours of the mist, and heavy rain, when

mole are not confined to the galleries,

and passages, and vaults which it ex“ Driving sleets deform the day delightless;"

cavates ;

" but in lands, newly sown, nevertheless, it is a busy month to the surface of which is consequently light and gardener and the farmer; and full of in- yielding, after moderate rain, which has. terest to the naturalist, and him who brought the earthworms to the surface, walks through the world with his eyes the mole follows them, and pursues its open. The days have begun sensibly to chase along the superficial layer of the lengthen ; the sun has acquired some soil, digging a shallow continuous trench, power, and now and then breaks forth, in which work it advances with great ralighting up the scene with a gladsome, but pidity." These shallow trenches being transient glow of brightness. Let us only just beneath the surface, their course avail ourselves of the welcome opportu- may be often traced by a slight elevation, nity, and, though the lanes are miry, the animal having arched up the roof

ways be foul,” and the meadows of the winding gallery, by the pressure soaked with water, boldly venture forth. of its own body, as it forced its way He who would observe nature in all her through the yielding soil. " The dismoods, must take the rough with the trict or domain to which an individual smooth, norshrink from trifling obstacles. mole confines himself, may be termed its Come then, for why should we delay ? encampment.

Within its limits, or at See how busy the earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) is on every side, its earth

* The Latin word pecunia, primarily an estate, casts cover the lawn and the meadow.

secondarily money or property in general, is de

rived from pecus, sheep; these animals anciently Great is the utility of this animal ; by were the wealth of men. In Homer we read of a its operations it loosens the soil, thereby account of the riches of Job, and of the Patriarchs; rendering it more porous, and susceptible and how they were used (as by Abraham in the of the infiltration of water, so essential purchase of the well) as money, by which word we to the nutriment of plants. But this is thing represented.

now understand the representative, and not the


'the 56

least in immediate communication with | been most probably on a visit to his store this district, all the labours of the animal of nuts, acorns, and beech mast, for a are pursued. It consists of a habitation meal. The squirrel does not pass the or fortress, from which extends the high winter in a state of hybernation, but clad road by which the animal reaches the in warm fur braves its severity. Inopposite extremity of the encampment, stinct-directed he accumulates various and of various galleries or excavations little magazines of food, snugly hidden, opening into this road, which it is con- lest the thievish jay should discover and tinually, extending in search of food, pilfer his treasure. At this season they and which, in fact, constitute its hunting are his great, if not entire source of ground.” The fortress is formed under dependence; and who that finds in some a large raised hillock. These animals chink or cranny, the store thus wisely seldom intrude upon each other's hunt- (so to speak) accumulated, would scatter ing ground; but should two meet in the it, and rob the Ariel of the woods of his same excavation, one must retreat, or a just possession ? fierce battle ensues, which proves fatal to The hybernating animals are beginthe weaker of the combatants. In the ing to bestir themselves. The dormouse mole the appetite of hunger amounts to is roused by the fitful sunshine to peep frenzy, and hence, with the exception of forth and take a little food; for though about six hours' rest in the middle of the it passes the severer months in a state of day, it is incessantly on the chase. torpidity, it awakens when a warmer day Worms constitute its staple food, which than usual intervenes ; and during the it pursues, during the frosts of winter, to present month, a sunshiny day is almost their deepest retreats; nevertheless, it sure to call it from its dormitory ; but it also eats the larvæ of coleopterous in- will return to its repose when the sun sects; and even mice, birds, lizards, begins to decline, and the air becomes and frogs. But surely you are ready to again chilly and depressing. The hedgesay, Is it not in danger of being drowned, hog, however, sleeps more soundly, and during the floods of February, and in- will not yet appear; rolled up in a comdeed of other months ? Not at all. In pact ball, and invested with moss and addition to its excellences as a miner by leaves, beneath the covert of some brake, trade, it is a most admirable swimmer; or under the roots of some old hollow and for the act of swimming its hands tree, it waits for the warmer months to and feet are as well adapted as for ex- call forth the creeping things” on cavating. “Surprised in its encamp- which it feeds, before its profound trance ment,” says the writer referred to, “by will pass away, The hedgehog stores the floods, it seeks its safety by this up no food; indeed it cannot, from the means; and, a friend of mine, residing very nature of its food, (slugs, snails, at Waltham Abbey, assures me, that he insects, lizards, etc.,) and therefore, were has seen moles swimming very featly, it to awake, it would awake to famish: when the marshes of that neighbourhood there is therefore wisdom and mercy in have been inundated. But it is not the law which ordains its late hybernaonly when driven to it, as a means of tion. escape from danger, that it employs this Strange to say, the common bat (Vesmode of travelling. It will not hesitate pertilio pipistrellus) occasionally appears to cross a brook, or even a broad river, on the wing, even during the present to change its hunting ground, or to emi- month; and still more frequently during grate from a district which has ceased to March. This species is the latest and yield it sufficient nourishment; and oc- earliest on the wing of the British bats, casionally it would appear to take the having been seen alert and flying even as water merely for the purpose of enjoying late as December. A warm sunshiny the luxury of a bath. -Bell's Brit. day is sure to rouse it. Its food consists Quad. The mole has his enemies, and of gnats, which the same warm sunshine man amongst the number. The mole- also calls forth, and thus it awakes to catcher has already begun to set his food prepared as it were for its reception. traps.

The final retirement of this species of Let us pass through the wood. The bat “ does not depend,” says Mr. Bell, squirrel is very busy and alert; how "exclusively upon temperature; for alnimbly he ascends the trunk of that fine though before the severe frosts set in, beech' tree; how soon he is hidden they continue to fly even when it is among the topmost branches. He has below the freezing point, they do not


again appear until the time above men- this is continued through the whole seationed, (March, but often even earlier,) son of incubation.” notwithstanding the thermometer may The thrush is loud in song; clear, have often arisen considerably above fifty bold, and varied are his notes: nor is degrees Fahr. This peculiarity is easy the blackbird silent. Listen to those of solution. The fondness of the animal two sharp notes, reiterated with harsh for different species of gnats has been emphasis; there flits the bird that uttered observed even from the earliest period, them among the willows by the brook ; and from the diminutive size of the it is the marsh titmouse, (Parus paluspipistrelle (common bat,) it is probable tris,) one of our early breeders: it that these little insects constitute its builds in the holes of pollard willows, principal food. These, and many other and the stumps of trees near its favourite dipterous insects, after having disap- haunts; and its nest is made of moss, peared during the ungenial fogs and mixed with the fine soft down which rains of the close of the autumn, often clothes the seeds of the willow. During make their appearance again in smaller the winter this active little bird associates numbers, on every fine warm day, until with others of its species in small famithe severe cold of the depth of winter lies, these are now breaking up, for the finally destroys the greater part of them. pairing season is at hand. The same impulse of hunger equally ac- There stands a heron in the flooded counts for the appearance of the pipis- brook, immovable, with its neck bent, trelle in the daytime, at this period of and drawn in between its shoulders ; its the year; as it is only at that time that beak ready to strike, and its eye intent the temperature is sufficiently elevated upon the water, watching for some unto summon into temporary activity its wary fish that may come within its insect food."

reach. Our approach has disturbed it; The feathered tribes are now in ac- away it sails on its ample wings, to some tivity ; the raven is preparing his nest, more sequestered spot. During the winand so is the crow; and the rook is not ter these birds roam far and wide in behind them. How full of bustle and search of open water; but at the latter animation is the rookery! Some are end of this month the scattered flock bringing sticks and twigs, with which to draw gradually towards their heronry ; repair their nests, which, thus patched and numbers may be seen collected toup, form the cradle for many a succes- gether, as if on a consultation previous sive generation; some are contending to the great business of the spring. In for the possession of a nest to which two some respects a heronry resembles a parties lay claim; we suspect the law of rookery; these birds building in commight is the law of right with them. pany together on the highest trees; their Some, too, are absolutely robbing their nests are made of sticks lined with wool, neighbours, despoiling their nests, for or other soft materials, and are large and the sake of furnishing their own with flat, and often in contact with each other little pains and labour. A rookery is a on the same branch, or tree. picture of human society, and pre- Our winter birds of passage, are now sents, at this season, a scene of turmoil

, beginning to move northwards, files of squabbling, and misrule. In a little wild geese may be seen high in the heatime, however, the various litigations vens; and many of the birds, which among the contending parties will sub- were driven from the inland parts of the side. “Rooks,” says Gilbert White, country to the coast, are now beginning

are continually fighting and pulling to return. Nevertheless, if severe weaeach other's nests to pieces: these pro- ther comes on, they retrace their way. cecdings are inconsistent with living in The severe February of 1838 was rensuch close community; and yet, if a pair dered remarkable from the number of offer to build on a single tree, the nest wild swans, by which various parts of is plundered and demolished at once. this kingdom were visited. In the MaSome unhappy pairs are not suffered gazine of Natural History, for 1838, p. to finish any nests till the rest have 333, is the following communication from completed their building. As soon as a correspondent at Blackburn, Lancathey get a few sticks together, a party shire: "The present dreadfully severe comes and demolishes the whole. As weather has driven to the estuary of, and soon as rooks have finished their nests, even high up the river Ribble, a flock of the males begin to feed the females, and I wild swans, originally twenty-seven in

One' great

number. The capture of four of these It is the brimstone butterfly, (Gonephas come within my own observation ; teryx rhamni,) which precedes its race, the first was shot upwards of twenty and may be regarded as their harbinger. miles from the mouth of the river, on Here, too, is a film of gossamer, an inFebruary 7. The second was shot dex that some of the spiders are already near Walton-le-Dale, about two miles beginning to throw out their floating up the Ribble, above Preston; this being lines, --silken streamers. shot by a farmer, the Goth actually had Vegetation has made rapid advances, it plucked and roasted ! The third and several plants and shrubs are in was shot near Clitheroe, still higher up blossom. Of these we may count the the river. The fourth bird came into barren strawberry, (Fragaria sterilis ;) my possession, February 17, having the butcher's broom, (Ruscus aculeabeen killed near the embouchure of the tus ;) the coltsfoot, (Tussilago farfariver two days before." During the ra ;) the daffodil, the sweet violet, and same month, many specimens of wild the snowdrop. The filbert, and the willow, swans were shot on the Thames, and in too, hang out their flowers; and the the neighbourhood of London, which yew puts on a greener tint, and appears we had an opportunity of seeing. It is in blossom, remarkable, that in the same month, the Let us then inquire into some of the year before, after a severe storm of wind, phenomena resulting from the renewed a stormy petrel (Thalassidroma pela- activity of vegetable life. gica) was picked up on Preston moor result is the disengagement of oxygen, alive, but completely exhausted; it sur-effected by the sap circulating in the vived its capture two days, and would, leaves, when exposed to the action of most probably, have recovered; but was light, and in the decomposition of the killed for the purpose of mounting. The carbonic acid gas, brought to the leaves occurrence of this oceanic bird, inland, by the sap, or else obtained by absorption is very rare ; but sea gulls are often from the surrounding atmosphere. The driven by the winds to a considerable disengagement of oxygen, and the retendistance from the shore.

tion of carbon, an essential ingredient in Many of our native birds pair this the altered sap-essential to the nutrition month, besides those already noticed ; as and growth of plants; the reverse of the thrush, the missel thrush, the red what obtains in the aeration of the blood grouse, the partridge, the domestic of animals, to whom oxygen is the great pigeon ; and towards its close, the yellow pabulum vitæ, is wonderful and interesthammer, the goldfinch, and the ring- ing. Plants, therefore, nourish animals dove, (Columba palumbus) the largest in more ways than one. It is in the of the European wild pigeons.

green substance of leaves, the lungs of During the present month, many of plants, that this chemical decomposition the reptile tribes will awake from their of carbonic acid is effected. repose to activity. The viper (V. berus) markable discovery," says Dr. Roget, crawls forth to enjoy the sunshine. The "that oxygen is exhaled from the leaves ditches resound with the hoarse deep of plants during the day-time, was made croak of the frog, and the masses of by the great founder of pneumatic cheeggs, or spawn which the female depo- mistry, Dr. Priestley: to Sennebier we sits may be observed in great abund- are indebted for the first observation

From those eggs spring a tadpole that the presence of carbonic acid is reprogeny; a truly aquatic race, with quired for the disengagement of oxygen branchiæ, or organs of respiration, adapt- | in this process, and that the oxygen is ed to the fluid in which they as yet ex- derived from the decomposition of the clusively live, and with a rudder-like carbonic acid; and these latter facts have tail, their only organ of progressive mo- since been fully established by the retion. In a few weeks, however, the searches of Mr. Woodhouse of Pennsyllimbs will begin to be developed, the vania, and M. Theodore de Saussure and branchiæ will be obliterated, the lungs Mr. Palmer. They are proved in a very will expand, the tail vanish, and the me- satisfactory manner by the following extamorphosis will end by these little crea- periment of De Candolle. Two glass tures abandoning the water, and betaking jars were inverted over the same waterthemselves to the moist meadows and bath; the one filled with carbonic acid fields, in quest of food.

gas, the other filled with water containing See yonder a butterfly on the wing ! | a sprig of mint; the jars communicating

6. The re


« PreviousContinue »