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were to be at once annihilated by that extensive and melancholy view of desolation and despair in which the expectations of the moderate, and the wishes of the sanguine, were to be so soon engulfed.
The horrors of the day were much augmented by the melancholy exclamation of every voice, and the energetic expression of every hand : some of which were uplifted in acts of execration; some wiped the tears that were flowing from the eye; while others considering whence the vibration came, were seen to strike their breasts, as if to chide the groans which it was impossible to restrain. An uncommon silence reigned around : it was the
pause of consternation : it was a dumb oratory, that said more, much more than any tongue could utter. The first sounds proceeded from the most patient of nature's creaturesfrom the melancholy cow that had lost its calf, and with frequent lowings invited its return; from the mother ewes that with frequent bleatings recalled their lambs, which were frisking out of sight unconscious of danger, and unmindful of food: and which solemn and pathetic invitations, after such a night, the contemplation of such a scene, and the disposition of the mind to receive pathetic impressions, came home with full effect to those who had suffered, but who wished not to complain.
If the distresses of the feathered tribes be taken into this description ; if their natural timidity, their uncertainty of food and shelter and domestic protection, be duly considered; triling as these observations may appear, they certainly help to swell the catalogue of distress, to awaken that sigh of sensibility, and to teach us, that their existence and their end are in the hands of the same Creator.
The morning of the fourth of October presented us with a prospect, dreary beyond description, and almost melancholy beyond example; and deformed with such blasted signs of nakedness and ruin, as calamity, in its most awful and destruc. tive moments, has seldom offered to the desponding observation of mankind. The face of the country seemed to be entirely changed: the valleys and the plains, the mountains and the forests, that were the day before most beautifully clothed with verdure, were now despoiled of every charm; and to an expected abundance and superfluity of grain, in a few hours succeeded sterility and want; and every prospect, as far as the eye could stretch, was visibly stricken blank with desolation and horror. The powers of vegetation appeared to be at once suspended; and instead of nature and her works, the mind was petrified by the seeming approach of fate and chaos.
The country looked as if it had been lately visited by fire and the sword; as if the tornado had rifled Africa of its sands to deposit their contents upon the denuded bosom of the hills; as if Etna had scorched the mountains, and a volcano had taken possession of every height. The trees were uprooted, the dwellings destroyed; and in some places not a stone was left to indicate the use to which it was once applied. Those who had houses, could hardly distinguish their ruins ; and the proprietor knew not where to fix the situation of his former possessions. The very beasts, of all descriptions, were conscious of the calamity: the birds, particularly domestic pigeons, were most of them destroyed : and the fish were driven from those rivers and those seas of which they had before been the peaceful inhabitants. New streams arose, and extensive lakes were spread, where
rills were scarcely seen to trickle before; and ferry-boats were obliged to ply where carriages used to travel with safety and convenience. The roads were, for a long time, impassible among the mountains : the low lands were overflowed, and numbers of cattle were carried away by the depth and impetuosity of the torrents, while the boundaries of the different plantations were sunk beneath the accumulated pressure of the inundation.- Mirror.
The Devastations of Sin.
What havoc hast thou made, foul monster, Sin !
Of temper so transcendently malign,
38. Of Birds. In'finitely; endlessly. Nu'merous ; abundant. Dif'ferent; various. Designed'; intended.
Solitary ; lonely. Fac'ulty; power, means. Admirably; surprisingly. Adapted; suited. Exter'nal; outward. Grad'ually; by degrees. Ter’minating ; ending. Buoy'ant; light. Secu’rity; safety. Fur'nished ; supplied. Array'ed; arranged. Per'fectly; compietely, Nour'ishment; nutriment, food.
Birds are infinitely more numerous in their different kinds than quadrupeds; but still less so than fishes. They seem designed by providence for a solitary life; and though inferior to the brute creation in the powers of attack and defence, they possess a greater faculty of escape; and the greater part of them immediately elude their enemies of the quadruped and reptile nature, by an aerial escape, for which all parts of their bodies seem admirably adapted : the external form of the body being sharp before, swelling gradually, and terminating in a large spreading tail, which renders it buoyant, while the fore part cleaves the air. · The clothing of these animals 'is exactly suited to their manner of life. The feathers all tend
backwards, and neatly and closely fold over each other, which answer the triple purposes of warmth, speed, and security. Those placed next the skin are furnished with a warm soft down; while the exterior ones are arrayed with double beards, longer at one end than the other, and which consist of thin little laminæ, disposed in regular lines, and perfectly even at their edges. The shaft of each feather is formed of a thin hollow tube, which answers the purposes of strength and lightness; the upper part being filled with a soft pith, to afford nourishment to the beards. They are so placed, that the largest and strongest, as those of the wings and tail, have the greatest share of duty to perform in flight. The upper external side of each single filament, in the beard of the feather, is furnished with hairs on its edges, which lock into those of the next filament, and thus form an entire, but light smooth surface. Birds are also furnished with certain glands upon their rumps, which contain a quantity of oil, which they press out with their beaks, and rub over their feathers, in order to smooth them, and enable them to turn off the water. Aquatic birds, as the duck, goose, &c. have a greater quantity of this oil; but those who live principally under cover, and seldom expand their wings, have a less proportion of it; as the common hen, whose feathers are impervious to every shower of rain.
The wings of birds are placed in the most advantageous situation for flight, and may be considered as answering to the two fore legs in quadrupeds. Each wing is furnished with an appendage at the end, like a finger, called the bastardwing, in which the largest and strongest feathers are situated; the shafts of which are very deep in the skin.