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NOTES ON THE MONTH. .
delights us, as we pass through leafless By a Naturalist,
groves, and along hedgerows, ruddy NOVEMBER
with the clustering berries of the hawSay not that the present month, thorn, we, at least, hear the piping gloomy as it may be, is destitute of call notes of troops of birds, expressive interest to the loyer of nature; he deems of contentment, mingled with the caw "all seasons fair,"
of the rook, whose black squadrons are
scattered over the fields; and the chat“ And finds in winter many a view to please :
tering of the restless magpie. The morning landscape fring'd with frost-work
At this season, many birds, which The sun at noon seen through the leafless, trees, during the summer were only associThe clear calm ether at the close of day.”
ated in pairs, now collect into flocks November, however, is a month of fogs of considerable numbers, and thus rove and mists; and “driving sleets deform
the country in quest of food. Of this the day:" the leaves which, seared and singular law, the skylark is an instance. withered, still remained on the branches These well-known songsters, to whose of the forest, are now stripped off by varied and delightful minstrelsy no one the rude wind, and covering deep the can listen without pleasure, now contender shoots and the various plants that gregate in immense troops, spreading love the woodland glade, form a natural over ploughed lands and turnip fields, matting to protect them from the severi- searching for grain seeds, and tender ties of the season; and then decaying leaves. All are not natives of our island, as spring comes on, become resolved for the pumbers are increased by accessions into a light mould for their nutriment from the northern parts of the contia wise and beautiful arrangement. nent, driven from their own countries But the vegetable world is neither by the inclemency of the season.
Be. dead, nor are the tuneful mute, as poets ing greatly esteemed as delicacies for feign. The trees have indeed lost, or the table, hundreds are now devoted to are quickly losing their foliage ; but slaughter: the gun thins their ranks, but new buds, embryo leaves folded up, the net still more so; and whole flocks, and protected by a close envelope, have while sleeping, unsuspicious of danger, been pushed forth, waiting for the breath are captured during the darkness of of spring to develope them; the stalks the night. From the neighbourhood of and leaves of some plants have perished, Dunstable, (and also from Holland,) the but the roots remain housed in the bo- London markets are supplied. Great, som of the earth, as if dormant, till however, as is the destruction of these warmer suns restore their vital energies. birds at this season, there is no perOthers indeed, like the frail insects of ceptible diminution of them during the the summer, the ephemera and the spring and summer; we may then walk butterfly, have passed away ; but not through the corn fields and clover lands, until they had scattered their seeds and hear and see them in abundance. abroad, which are waiting to fill, in Another beautiful bird, which now colFlora's kingdom, as it is called, the place lects into flocks, is the yellow hammer, which their parent plants had occupied : (Emberiza citrinella,) which may be and thus, in the vegetable world, is pro- observed flitting along the hedgerows, vision made for the safety and non-ex- and crowding the farmer's stack yard, tinction of species. Shall we then say, attracted by the scattered corn. The that death reigns, at this season, over chaffinch (Fringilla celebs) is another the meads and woodlands ? It is only example; but it is remarkable that the a needful repose, the quiescence of hy- males of this species form flocks distinct bernation. But are the tuneful mute ? from those of the females; the latter The swallow, it is true, no longer twitters being very few in number, most having
on the straw-built shed;" the thicket migrated, while the males are stationary no longer resounds with the melody of with us. This curious fact is noticed I the nightingale, and the strains of the in few works of ornithology; Mr. Selby, thrush and the blackbird have ceased. however, distinctly mentions it: “ All But listen : the song of the robin is the British ornithologists," he says, clear and lively; the short, shrill pipe scribe this species (the chaffinch) as perof the wren occasionally breaks upon manently resident with us, and nowhere the ear; the sparrows on the eaves are subject to that separation of the sexes, and chirping ; and if no full chorus of music | the consequent equatorial movement of
the females, which is known to take place place in hard weather chiefly, and thicken
Among the rarer birds which now There is reason to believe that this visit our coast, may be noticed the separation of the sexes, and migratory great northern diver, (Colymbus glacimovement of the females, takes place in alis.) This beautiful species, so deother species.
Selby asserts, that it does structive among fishes, is a native of in the case of the snow bunting, (Em- the polar regions, and also of Norway, beriza nivalis,) which visits us from Sweden, and Russia ; and it is a rethe north in winter; and he asserts that markable circumstance, that the indithe first flights of woodcocks which ar- viduals which are to be found in the rive, (and which stay only a few days bays of Scotland, and the northern porto recruit their strength, and then pass tions of our island, are all, or nearly southwards,) consist almost exclusively all, the young of the year, in that state of females, while the later flights of of plumage in which it was considered woodcocks, (which remain with us dur- by the older naturalists to be a distinct ing the winter,) are as exclusively com- species, and to which they gave the posed of males. This curious point in scientific title of Colymbus immer. Adult ornithology requires farther elucidation : birds, characterized by the plumage of an attention to it on the part of field the upper parts being tessellated with naturalists, and of persons who have op- square white spots on a black ground, portunities of making the requisite ob- are very seldom to be seen. The Frith servations, may lead to very interesting of Forth is a favourite resort of these conclusions.
young divers, in consequence of the shoals It may be asked, Why do birds which of herrings which congregate there, and live only in pairs during the summer, which furnish a sumptuous repast to these congregate at this season of the year ? and other oceanic birds, which are apA satisfactory answer is not easy, and pointed to thin their numbers. The prostill less so would be an answer to the pensity of the young to wander to a question, Why, in some species, do the greater distance, than do the adults, from sexes form distinct flocks, of which those their native shores, which is remarkable composed of males live with us through in the instance of the northern diver, is the winter, while those consisting of common to many other oceanic species. females migrate southwards ? With re- It might be supposed that with an gard to the first question, it occupied exhaustless supply of food around them, the attention of the ingenious author and clothed as they are with deep, of the “ Natural History of Selbourne, warm, waterproof plumage, that none but he comes to no conclusion. “As of our indigenous oceanic birds would these animals," he observes, “. are actu- migrate to more southern regions: many ated by instinct to hunt for necessary of them, however, do so, visiting more food, they should not, one would sup- congenial seas during the winter, and pose, crowd together in pursuit of sus- returning in spring to their old haunts tenance, at a time when it is most likely for the purpose of breeding and rearing to fail ; yet such associations do take their young. Such is the case with the
curiosity to be seen from ten in the posite the elephant and giraffes, somemorning till six in the evening."
times regarding them, and sometimes In a very short time, I directed my leaning my head backwards to admire steps to the Cosmorama, in Regent the painted ceiling, whereon the fall of Street, where the enormous head was Phaeton, and the synod of heathen gods, to be seen. There I gazed on the pro- are beautifully painted. digy, and much did it excite my won- Youth, maturity, and age, all press der.
The proprietors were French- forward to see the British Museum. men, and many were the dreams of There is a perfect throng now upon the imagination in which they indulged. staircase. Holiday ‘and cheerfulness It was thought the head might have may be seen in almost every face. A belonged to a bird, for the beaklike pleasant sight it is to witness human formation of the projecting bones gave happiness ! some colour to such a possibility ; but, Here is a room crowded with cuthen, had such a monster lived, kitelike, riosities, once the property of savage on other birds, he would speedily have tribes, living thousands of miles apart depopulated a space equal to a whole pa- from each other! The Esquimaux, the rish, ay, a whole county of its feathered new Zealander, the Otaheitan, and the tribes. It was suggested by one, that South American Indian have all conit might have belonged to a fish; but tributed to the collection. Implements the circumstance of it being found so of labour, fishing tackle, warlike weadeep in the earth, and so far from the pons, and instruments of music sea, threw a difficulty in the way of this ranged around. The spear, the javelin, suggestion. It was intimated by an- the shark-tooth saw, the club, the toother, as no improbability, that it be- mahawk, and the scalping knife, are longed to a reptile, a gigantic lizard ; mingled with bows and arrows, canoes, and to such a creature, supposing that sledges, fish hooks, harpoons, bowls, he sustained himself by vegetation, and calabashes. Here is a screen made shrubs and bushes must have been as of the feathers of an eagle; there, a grass, and young oaks and elms as a dancing dress of the fibres of cocoa nut pleasant sort of asparagus. In short, bark, and yonder are ugly idols, bracefrom the conversation I had with these lets of boars' tusks, mirrors of black foreigners, it was clear that in their ap- slaty stone, necklaces of seeds and shells, prehension, the eagle might be but a and wooden coats of armour. lark, the whale but a minnow, and the Nor are the trophies of war formammoth but a mite, compared to the gotten; the scalps of the vanquished in creatures that once inhabited the air, battle may here be seen, a species of the ocean, and the earth in the ages that spoil that is too dear to the cruel and have longed winged their way to eter- implacable spirit of savage men. How nity.
opposed to the fierce hostility and reWell! I lost sight altogether of this lentless revenge of the untutored Indian, “ Enormous Head” for some years, and is the merciful injunction, “ Love your did not expect to see the like again, un- enemies, bless them that curse you, do til one day visiting this place I saw the good to them that hate you, and pray two heads' now before me, one that of for them whieh despitefully use you, and the Spermaceti whale, (Physeter ma- persecute you,” Matt. v. 44. And yet crocephalus,) the other the skull and the time will come, for the mouth of the lower jaw of the northern whalebone Holy One has declared it, when this whale, (Balæna mysticetus.) The Christian command shall run through strong resemblance of the latter con- the wigwam and through the world, vinced me that the “Enormous Head” when the javelin of the savage shall be was nothing more than the head of a broken, his bow be snapped in sunder, whale.
and his scalping knife be guiltless of his I have entered my name in the book, fellow's blood. kept in the hall, for the purpose of In the centre of the room, in a glass receiving signatures of visitors : given case, lies the far famed Magna Charta, a glance at the gilded idol, and the mys- wrung from a tyrannous monarch by the terious impression made by his foot, armed hands of his barons; and many ascended the staircase, paused a moment a prying eye pores over the time-worn opposite the musk ox, polar bear, and document with curiosity and wonder. gigantic fernsprays, and am now op- | It takes us back to the days when king
John, a treacherous and false-hearted and dangerous rock on the farm, to deking, made, as it were, the land “ deso- stroy the nest of a glede, (kite.) Great late because of the fierceness of the op- was his amazement, when the first arpressor, and because of his fierce anger, ticle taken out of the nest, was the missJer. xxv. 38. But his tyranny prevailed ing yellow silk handkerchief; then the not. What a fine burst of language is broad blue bonnet, with three eggs most that, in which the prophet Isaiah rebukes comfortably ensconced in it; next apthose who are fearful of the oppression peared an old tartan waistcoat, with toof man, and yet forgetful of the good-bacco in one pocket, and Orr's Almaness of God!
“Who art thou, that nac, for 1839, in the other, the almanac thou shouldest be afraid of a man that having the words, scarcely legible, ‘J. shall die, and of the son of man which Fraser,' written upon it; then came shall be made as grass; and forgettest a flannel nightcap, marked with red the Lord thy Maker, that hath stretched worsted, “D. c. * J. ;' a pair of old forth the heavens, and laid the found white mittens, a piece of a letter with ations of the earth; and hast 'feared green wax, and the Inverness postcontinually every day because of the mark, an old red and white cravat, and fury of the oppressor, as if he were a miscellaneous assortment of remains ready to destroy ? and where is the of cotton, paper, and other things. This fury of the oppressor ?” Isaiah li. 12, 13. bird had, indeed, been a daring robber,
The painted ceilings by Charles de la and had carried on his extensive larFoss, and the splendid groupes of flow- cenies for a long time with impunity.” ers, by James Rousseau, are admirable Herculaneum and Pompeii have sent productions. They remind me of the of their long buried stores to add to vivid pencillings of Le Brun, in the the costliness of this extended treasure palace of Versailles. The more I look house. Greek and Roman antiquities on them, the more I like them.
are here, and numerous idols of metal, To describe the animals, birds, rep- stone and wood ; terracottas, sculptiles, fishes, and insects, the shells, mine- tures, vases, jars, and urns; with busts rals, fossils, petrifactions, and antiqui- and figures, coins and medals, rings ties of this place, would be impossible ; and curious seals. There are also beaufor there is not one department that tiful specimens of precious stones, of would not furnish amusement for a all the kinds that are known, so that week. They are all classed in a scien- almost every shade of disposition may tific manner; the carnivorous animals find something that will add to its gratiare separated from those that are gra- fication. nivorous; and the birds of prey from One of the most costly curiosities of the aquatic and those that sing. From the place, is the Portland Vase ; for the diminutive humming bird to the two hundred years, it was the principal stately ostrich ; the feathered creation ornament of a palace: it was found in may here be seen in all their varied the road between Rome and Frascati. forms and gaudy plumage. The kite By far the greater number of visitors in the glass case there, reminds me of pass this by, as a thing of little value, an anecdote that has just been related to yet thousands of pounds would not pur
chase it. “A respectable farmer in Scotland, What a number of mummies are after a walk over his farm, at the be- here, and ornamented mummy cases ! ginning of this year's lambing season, and yet this is London, and not Egypt. and on a very warm morning, fell asleep They set one thinking of the pyramids, on a high hill. On awaking, he found of the statue of Memnon, and Thebes that his broad blue bonnet, and a yellow with her hundred gates, of the idols, silk handkerchief, which he had placed Orus, Apis, Isis, and Osiris. Here is beside him, were both missing. At first, a splendid mummy case, half opened, he suspected they had been taken away and the embalmed mummy half unin sport by some person on the farm; swathed. but, on inquiry, every individual on the farm and neighbourhood, who could “And thou hast walked about how strange a
story! possibly have approached the spot, de
In Thebes' streets, three thousand years ago, nied all knowledge of the missing articles. When the Memnonium was in all its glory, Some weeks after, our correspondent
And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous, and a party were ascending a very steep Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
CHRIST'S COMMISSION TO THE APOSTLES--BLISSFUL ANTICIPATION.
CHRIST'S COMMISSION TO THE APOSTLES.
It may not be so with all, but it is fond of engravings, is a treat absolụtely with many, that the very sight of these inexhaustible. Historical subjects, landremnants of former ages, drives away scapes, seascapes, architectural designs, much of doubt, and brings much of portraits, animals, birds, fishes, insects, certainty to the mind. We do, in ge- trees, shells, fossils, fruit, flowers, and neral, but half credit the annals of an- ornaments by the most eminent artists, tiquity : we are, in a degree, sceptics, English and foreign, are kept in the while professing to believe the records nicest order. The connoisseur and amaof holy Writ; but these munimy cases teur may here revel in boundless vareprove us, and seem to say to us, “ See riety. The library is, perhaps, after all, and believe." While our sight and still more generally valuable than any senses are, beyond a doubt, convinced other part of the Museum, containing as it that these are the remains of ancient does, almost every book from which pleaEgypt, our faith is confirmed in the sure and information can be derived. The recorded verities of Scripture. Yes, it manuscripts are very numerous, and the is a truth, and we feel it as such, that persons in the reading room, where I “Joseph was brought down to Egypt; am making my closing remarks, sufficiand Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, ently testify by their numbers and busy captain of the guard, an Egyptian, attention, how highly they estimate the bought him of the hands of the Ish- advantages of the institution. melites," Gen. xxxix. 1. It is a truth that Joseph sent for his father Jacob to dwell with him in the land of Egypt, and that " when he saw the wagons
Our Lord's commission to the apostles which Joseph had sent to carry him, for preaching the gospel, was extenthe spirit of Jacob revived." «. It is sive as the human species. The middle enough,” said he; “ Joseph my son is wall of partition between Jews and yet alive: I will go and see him before Gentiles being demolished, those first I die," Gen. xlv. 27, 28. The mi- ministers of Christ were not only perracles that God performed for his peo- mitted, but required, as Providence gave ple, rise to our remembrance, and the opportunity, to proclaim the glad tidings plagues that were spread over the land, wherever they came, without any ex
When Moses stretched his wonder-working rod, ception of nations, of rank, or of cha-
wing, carnal descent from Abraham, the cove
racter. The prerogatives connected with Scourged the hard heart of the Egyptian king.
I have wandered from one piece of nant made at Sinai, and the Mosaic sculpture to another. Here the chisel economy, being all abolished, those amof Phidias, and there that of Praxiteles
bassadors of Heaven were commanded has been at work giving an inestimable through Jesus Christ, by faith in his
to publish pardon, and proclaim peace, value to stone. The Elgin marbles ; the relics of the Athenian temples; the
blood, among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem.-Booth. statues of Theseus, Illyssus, and the Fates; the frieze of the Parthenon ; the alto-relievo representations of the strifes
BLISSFUL ANTICIPATION. of the Centaurs and the Lapithæ; the How divinely full of glory and pleaTownley marbles, and the Egyptian sure shall that hour be, when all the collection of sculpture, have all been millions of mankind, that have been revisited, and I could now sit me down deemed by the blood of the Lamb of opposite this huge hieroglyphical sar- God, shall meet together and stand cophagus, and muse and moralize. The around him, with every tongue and temples of olden time; the artists of every heart full of joy and praise ! How genius and talent, whose works are be- astonishing will be the glory and the fore us, and those to whose fame they joy of that day, when all the saints have vainly sought to give immortality shall join together in one common song “ Where are they?" The mutilated of gratitude and love, and of everlasting marbles and time-worn inscriptions of thankfulness to this Redeemer ? With the most splendid works of art seem to what unknown delight, and inexpres. press on the reflective mind the lesson, sible satisfaction, shall all that are saved
Gratefully enjoy the things of time, from the ruins of sin and hell, address but forget not those of eternity.”
the Lamb that was slain, and rejoice The print room, to those who are l in his presence !-Dr. Watts,