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mercy of God, I have reached this place

VI. in safety, and as I know your anxiety Dear Daughter,–Our neighbour on my behalf, I hasten to send a line. Mrs. has just called in to say that The post closes in a few minutes, so she saw you yesterday, and that you I cannot enter into particulars, but shall

were quite well, but that you seemed devote the first leisure hour I can com- rather unsettled in your place, and that mand to write more fully. My love to you had a mind to go where more serall friends ; pray let me hear from you vants were kept, and where perhaps you

It comforts me in absence to might get higher wages, and have less know that


to do. This makes us very uneasy: you Your dutiful son. now live in a quiet, respectable family,

where you have many advantages, and

you may easily go farther and fare worse. MY DEAR MOTHER, — Within the Those are true proverbs, “A rolling

bird in last day or two, baby has had a cough. stone gathers no moss”. As the hooping-cough is very prevalent, the hand is worth two in the bush." I have thought that it may prove to be

* The dog that grasped at a shadow lost that. It would be a great satisfaction the substance. "I was well, would to me to know what plan you would be better, took physic, and died.”. So, recommend me to adopt; whether she dear Sarah, we hope you will think welí should be kept entirely within doors ? about it, before you make any move, whether any difference should be made with a notion of bettering yourself. At in her diet or clothing ? and whether it any rate, we should like to have a letter will be necessary to give her any medi- from you before you take any step: a cine ? What a comfort this

letter now goes all the way for a penny.

penny postage is ! It seems to bring us so

Let us know if there is any difficulty in much nearer together. Do let us hear your place, more than we are aware of, of your health and welfare as often as

and why it is you wish to change. Then time will allow. We are both well, and

we will write and give you our best unite in best love,

advice; but pray do not go hastily and Your affectionate daughter.

fling yourself out of good bread. 'Jane

came over to see us last week. She V.

has plenty of work to do; but she says

it is every day becoming more and more MY DEAR Boy,--I have just heard easy to her. Her mistress gives her that R. T. is going to-morrow to a good character for being steady and to live with a Mr.

in willing to learn. So we hope she will street. I lose no time in dropping you do well. This comes with kind love a line to warn you against forming any from acquaintance with him, as he is a young

Your loving parents. man whose society would do you no good. He is one who breaks the sab

VII. bath, and shames his father and mother, DEAR HENRY, -I often lament our Prov. xxviii. 7. It grieves me to write being so far apart, and that it is so exthus of a neighbour's son; and you know pensive and uncertain to send a parcel. I would not do it, but from a sense of It is one comfort that we can now send duty to my own absent child. Your letters as often as we like, and I hope dear mother desires her kindest love to we shall neither of us be disposed to you, and charges you constantly to bear leave the other long in anxiety about in mind Prov. xiii. 20. She is attend- our health and welfare. Half a sheet ing to all your requests, and will make of paper, half a dozen lines and a penny, up a parcel for you in two or three is a cheap offering for the comfort of days; but was anxious that not a single an absent brother or sister. Then when post should be lost in giving you this time allows, we can write more fully, caution, lest if an acquaintance had once and thus keep up that sort of acquaintbeen claimed by either yourself or your ance with each other, which absence so fellow townsman, it might have proved sadly interrupts. We can only think a snare to you before you were aware. of each other, as we were when we May the Lord bless you, and keep you, parted; but a frequent interchange of prays

letters, will make us familiar with the Your affectionate father. progress of each other's mind and pur.

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suits. If we gain a piece of valuable / me with a line; and I shall conscienknowledge, we can impart it before it tiously withhold my mind from decision, is forgotten by ourselves, and lost to while I believe they are imploring for our friends; and if one should be taking me that guidance that cannot err. I up, an erroneous sentiment, the other remain, with sincere respect, will have an opportunity of correcting

Truly yours, it before it takes a very deep hold of the mind. But it is just post time, and

IX. I am reminded that I did not take up MY DEAR FRIEND, -I rejoice in the my pen to sentimentalize on the advan- prosperity that has attended your entertages of a cheap postage, but to tell you prizes through the past year, and entreat that I have just met with a delightful you to take into your serious considerlittle book, entitled, “The Young Man ation the two following texts :-“What from Home.” I am sure you will be shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the equally delighted with it, and profited whole world, and lose his own soul ?” by it. As by taking off the covers, 1 Mark viii. 36. 6. Honour the Lord with can inclose it in this letter, and send thy substance, and with the first fruits it all the way to you (three hundred of all thine increase, Prov. iii. 9. miles and more) for sixpence, or with

Faithfully yours. the neat binding for eightpence, I do

X. so; last year it would have cost seventeen shillings and four pence.

MY DEAR FRIEND, --I have just Your affectionate sister. heard of your heavy calamity, and deeply P.S.—I shall think of you in the sympathize with you. I hope to write

a few lines to-morrow. intervals of worship on Lord's day, as

Meanwhile, reading the book, and recalling your cheer up, and remember Heb. xii. 6.

Yours affectionately. own leaving home.

VIII. MY DEAR Friend,--I am placed in circumstances of much perplexity, as to the path of duty respecting

By a Naturalist. For my encouragement, I lay hold on the gracious permission : “If any


you To the dreary rains of February, suc. lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that ceed the sharp winds of March, felt giveth to all men liberally, and up- often more severely than the cold of braideth not," James i. 5. ". In all thy mid-winter; yet are they not without ways acknowledge Him, and he shall

their utility. direct thy paths,” Prov. iii. 6. I trust

- These cruel seeming winds I do in sincerity seek that direction, and

Blow not in vain. For hence they keep repress'd that it will be my privilege to receive it; Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharg'd but then I know it must be sought in

with rain,

That o'er the west Atlantic hither borne, the use of means, and one mean is the In endless train would quench the summer blaze, counsel of judicious Christian friends. And cheerless, drown the crude unripen'd year.' Permit me to solicit yours; and, since “the effectual fervent prayer of a right- “A BUSHEL of March dust is worth a eous man availeth much," James v. 16, king's ransom, so says an old proverb. you will not think me enthusiastic if Were the heavy rains of the previous Í say that I this night avail myself of month continued throughout the prethe new facility of communication with sent, the seeds committed to the earth absent friends to write to yourself and and already germinating, would perish; five others, each of whom I believe pos- and the industry of man become frussesses that sacred interest in the court of trated. Hence, though March is a try. Heaven, and entreat not only their own ing month, as it is often termed, on the best judgment on the case, but also their character it assumes, (reference being fervent prayers that in this important made more particularly to our island,) step I may be preserved from mistake depend the fulness of summer, and the and guided in the way wherein I should riches of autumn. Let us, then, thankgo. I shall hope that in the course of ful that He who “tempers the winds to a week, each of my friends will favour the shorn lamb," has ordered all things



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quarters. Gilbert White

says, “Snakes attempt to bend it: hence its specific title, lay chains of eggs in my melon beds fragilis. It is much smaller than the every summer, in spite of all that my common snake, and seldom exceeds twelve people can do to prevent them ; which or fourteen inches in length. Insects, eggs do not hatch till the spring follow- slugs, and earth worms constitute its food; ing, as I have often experienced.” We the undilateable character of its mouth have found their eggs in cucumber beds, preventing it from swallowing frogs or and in heaps of stable manure, Frogs, similar animals. Mr. G. Daniel (see toads, lizards, snails, the eggs of small Bennett's edition of White's Selborne) birds, and nestling birds, together with says, “ A blind-worm that I kept alive mice, and even young rats, are the food for nine weeks, would when touched, turn of the snake; and in the pursuit of the and bite, although not very sharply; its latter, it is bold and active : indeed the bite was not sufficient to draw blood, but strength of the snake is much greater it always retained its hold until released. than might be anticipated from its form, It drank sparingly of milk, raising its nor is its courage less, when opposed to head when drinking. It fed upon the natural enemies ; at the same time it little white slug (Limax agrestis, Linn.) is easily rendered tame and familiar. so common in fields and gardens, eating We know of an instance, in which one six or seven of them, one after the other; was kept for the space of eleven years but it did not eat every day. It invari. by a gentleman, to whom it manifested ably took them in one position. Elevatgreat attachment.

A lady of consider- ing its head slowly above its victim, it able repute in the literary world, in- would suddenly seize the slug by the formed the writer, that she knew a lady middle, in the same way that a ferret or of somewhat eccentric habits, who, much dog will generally take a rat by the loins; to the annoyance of her friends, domes, it would then hold it thus for sometimes ticated a host of snakes, as pets : they more than a minute, when it would pass recognized her, and would come when its prey through its jaws, and swallow the called, and wreathe themselves around slug head foremost. It refused the her arms or neck; and indeed, often larger slugs, and would not touch either around those of her visitors, to their young frogs or mice : snakes kept in the terror and amazement. Another of our same cage took both frogs and mice. British reptiles, which now makes its The blind-worm avoided the water; the re-appearance, (and which is to a natu- snakes, on the contrary, coiled themselves ralist an interesting animal, as belong- in the pan containing water, which was ing to a form intermediate between cer- put into the cage, and appeared to delight tain of the saurian reptiles (lizards) on in it. The blind-worm was a remarkably the one hand, namely, those of the genera fine one, measuring fifteen inches in Scincus, Chalcides, and Seps, and on length. It cast its slough whilst in the other, the true snakes,) is the blind- my keeping; the skin came off in sepaworm, (Anguis fragilis.) The blind- rate pieces. When at liberty, however, worm, or slow-worm, is common through the slough of this species, as is the case out most parts of Europe, and is gentle with the common snake, is thrown off

nd inoffensive, but at the same time entire, and turned inside out, like the very timid. Its general colour is light inverted finger of a glove, or as we see brown, having a gloss of silvery grey, and the skin stripped off an eel. Of the nuwith a dorsal line of dark or blackish merous specimens of this curious reptile dots ; several lines of a similar colour are which we have handled while alive, not carried along the sides : these markings one ever attempted to bite. are, however, by no means constant, and Few of our summer birds of

passage some examples are altogether destitute of have yet made their appearance, though them : the head is small and blunt; the most of our winter visitors have already tail short, and obtuse at its termination; taken their departure for the wide regions the eyes are small but brilliant, and have of the north. One species may be obtrue eyelids; the teeth are minute; the served flitting about on the common lands tongue is not very extensive, nor bifid as in and open pasture grounds, remarkable for the common snake. When under ap- the pure white of the lower part of the prehension of injury, this reptile contracts back, in contrast with the bluish-grey of its muscles, so as to render itself stiff, the rest of the upper parts, and the fawn and at the same time so brittle as to snap colour of the chest. "It is the wheatear in two by the slightest blow, or even an | (Saxicola oenanthe Bechst.) How quick,

restless, and uncertain are its movements, being ice-bound. As the spring sets in, as it fits from turf to turf, or from in March, earlier or later, according to stone to stone, and how nimbly it runs the weather, they mostly retire to the more along the ground ! On its first arrival, the elevated moorland tracts, and prepare wheatear is very fat, so much so that for their nidification. A few however we have seen examples shot, in which remain on the marshes or fenny lands of the fat oozing through the small orifices the lower and more southern parts of the made by the pellets of lead, completely island, there to breed. The piping call saturated the plumage : it is at this sea- of the male bird, which is always uttered son that the wheatear is prized as a deli- on the wing, may now be heard, accomcacy for the table, equal, if not superior, panied at times by a humming noise, to the ortolan, (Emberiza hortulana,) apparently produced, as Mr. Selby states, so esteemed in the south of Europe. by a peculiar action of the wings, as the Hence numbers are annually caught, on bird, whenever this sound is emitted, is the downs of our southern counties. The observed to descend with great velocity, mode of entrapping is by placing two and with a trembling motion of the pinturfs upright, at a sufficient distance from ions.” In winter, our native snipes reeach other to allow the bird to pass be- ceive additions to their number from tween; at each opening is fixed a horse- Norway, and other high regions of the hair noose secured to a peg of wood; the continent; these often appear in great bird attempting to enter in search of flights on our coasts, whence they disfood, (for it is in crevices and similar perse themselves over the more inland places where it finds the insects on which counties. it feeds,) or for shelter, is nearly sure of The woodcock, (Scolopax rusticola,) being caught; but if the first noose misses, which, except occasionally, does not stay the other, as it passes out, will probably in our island to breed, takes its departure entangle it. To what extent the capture during this month for higher latitudes, of this bird is annually carried on, we for Sweden and Norway, where these cannot ascertain; in Latham's time it birds are very abundant, and where their was very great, for he informs us that in eggs are considered as a delicacy for the the vicinity of Eastbourne, in Sussex, table, and collected in thousands, to the 1,840 dozens have been taken in one year. decrease, as sportsmen complain, of the It is remarkable that of the three British species ; for of late years thiş bird, so examples of the genus Saxicola, two, the esteemed a delicacy for the table, visits wheatear (S. oenanthe) and the whin- our island in less abundance than formerly. chat (S. rubetra) should be migratory, The bill of the woodcock and snipe is while the stone-chat (S. rubicola) should organized as a feeler, having a tissue of continue to reside on the open lands, nerves distributed over it, and particularly moors, and commons of this country, at its extremity, which is covered with a throughout the whole of the year. The soft pulpy skin, or substance in which whinchat seldom appears before the mid- the nervous filaments ramify in vast dle of April.

numbers. Thus endowed with discrimiObserve the flight of that bird which nating sensibility, the bill is further prorose from amongst the rushes; it is a vided with certain muscles, which, by snipe, (Scolopax gallinago.) How ir- compression of the basal portion of the regular and zigzag its first movements, bill, are brought into action so as to exhow suddenly it then mounted aloft, and pand the tips of both mandibles in such how abrupt its descent: snipe-shooting a manner as to enable them, inserted requires a quick and practised eye. This into the soft mud, to lay hold of the well-known bird is a permanent resident worm or insect which they feel, and draw in our island, changing its situation from it forth. The beautiful provision thus one locality to another, as the weather described for enabling these birds to feel may render necessary. During the au- the prey which they cannot see, to distumn and winter, these birds, scattered criminate it from other things which the over the low lands, frequent marshes, mud contains, and to secure it, is an bogs, and rushy grounds, which they instance of adaptive design, which cannot forsake during severe frosts, or when the escape the observation of even the most ground is covered with snow, for the unreflective. During this month, the fountain-heads of rivulets, and for springs lapwing or pewit (Vanellus cristatus) whose temperature preserves them from returns in small flocks to the moorland



tracts, in order to breed: the pairing lightless." To a short gleam of warmth season with them has commenced; and and sunshine, it often happens, during this period, their flight, particu- “ That frosts succeed, and winds impetuous rush, larly that of the males, is peculiar for a And hailstones rattle through the budding bush,

Then, night-fall'n lambs require the shepherd's variety of evolutions, in the course of which they dart upwards, sweep round, And gentle ewes that still their burdens bear;

Beneath whose sides to-morrow's dawn may see descend, and whirl about with great ra

The milk-white strangers bow the trembling pidity, their wings being so strongly and knee, quickly agitated as to produce a whistling At whose first birth the powerful instinct 's seen, or hissing noise. Amongst our native

That fills with champions the daisied green;

For sheep that stood aloof with fearful eye, birds, the red grouse and it is ex- With stamping foot, now men and dogs defy, clusively peculiar to the British islands) And obstinately faithful to their young,

Guard their first steps to join the bleating throng. breeds on the heath-covered hills and moors during the present month; the

March is a busy month for the huspairing time of this hardy and beautiful bandman, who sows that he may reap bird is in January ; its nest, if it deserves and gather into barns; and who, as he the appellation, consists of a few withered sees the sower stalk with measured step stems of heath or grass, placed by way along the newly ploughed ground, throwof lining in a shallow cavity of the ground ing into the earth the seed intrusted, as on the heath, and on this the eggs are it were, to its fostering bosom, there to deposited; these are eight, ten, or twelve germinate and assume a definite form in number, of a greyish white, blotched and character, “ it may chance of wheat with brown. The female only performs or some other grain,” but thinks on the the task of incubation ; but the brood revival of our mortal frames, “ sown in when hatched, are under the care of both

corruption, raised in incorruption,parents conjointly. The wild duck (Anas sown in dishonour, raised in glory,boschas) pairs in March ; and the male

sown in weakness, raised in power, and female continue associated till the

sown a natural body, raised a spiritual female begins the task of incubation, body," when the last trumpet shall sound, when the male deserts her, and joins and all shall rise to meet the Lord of others of his own sex, forming flocks by life and glory. Neither can we forget the themselves. The care of the young brood beautiful parable of our Saviour, “Beis exclusively the work of the female.

hold, a sower went forth to sow," (see The domestic goose may now be seen Matt. xiii. 3,) nor, if we are Christians, with her callow young; the common fowl help the expression of a heartfelt wish, lays eggs; the pastures are enlivened that not only the natural seed, which the by lambs, sporting playfully by the sides industrious husbandman scatters into the of their watchful mothers, who now

ground, but that the spiritual seed which become intrepid in the defence of their the ministers of God's word are scatterprogeny. The care which the ewes dis-ing in our own land, and in the lands of play towards their lambs, and the readiness with which each individual recognises bring forth fruit, thirty, sixty, nay a

pagan desolation, may spring up and its own, the lamb at the same time re- hundred fold.

M. cognising its parent among a displays of instinct often adverted to. Traits of instinct are always interesting, The horizon was strangely distorted and to admit the influence of instinct, is by refraction, and I anticipated some to admit of design in creation. He who violent change. Suddenly, myriads of has called all beings into existence, has white butterflies surrounded the ship, in wisdom and mercy given to each the in such multitudes, that the men exinnate desires, impulses, and modes or claimed, “It is snowing butterflies." ways of action, suited to its especial wants; They were driven before a gust from and hence it is, that instinct never mis- the northwest, which soon increased to guides, while reason often leads to error. a double-reefed topsail breeze, and were To the shepherd, March is an important as numerous as flakes of snow in the month, and his flock demands much at- thickest shower. The space they occutention and forethought, for the weather pied could not have been less than two is still often severe, and sudden changes hundred yards in height, a mile in width, of atmospheric temperature, and storms and several miles in length.- Captain of sleet and hail, "deform the day de- Fitzroy.



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