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rect. Accommodated ; fitted. Polity; form of government. Succeed'ed; followed. Assem'ble ;, meet. Decamping; setting off. Arrange'; set in order. Revers'ed ; turned the opposite way.
THE migration of birds, which is common to the quail, the stork, the crane, the fieldfare, the woodcock, the cuckoo, the martin, the swallow, and various others, is justly considered as one of the most wonderful instincts of nature. Two circumstances are remarkable in this migration : the first is, that these uninstructed creatures should know the proper time for their passage, when to come, and when to go, departing while others arrive; and, secondly, that they should know which way to steer their course, and whither to go.
Birds of passage are all peculiarly accommodated by the structure of their parts, for long flights; and it is remarked that, in their migrations, they observe a wonderful order and polity; they fly in troops, and steer their course, without the aid of a compass, to vast unknown regions. The flight of wild geese, in a wedge-like figure, has often been observed ; and it has been noticed that the three foremost, who are the soonest tired, retreat behind, and are relieved by others, who are again succeeded by the rest in order. At the approach of winter, the wild ducks and cranes of the north fly in quest of more favourable climates, They all assemble, at a certain day, like swallows and quails, decamping at the same time. Their flight is highly curious: they generally arrange themselves in a long column, like an I; or in two lines, like a V reversed. It is observed by Shaw, in his travels, that about a fortnight before they pass
from one country to another, they constantly resort together from all the circumjacent parts, to a certain plain, and there forming themselves into a sort of deliberative assembly, determine the exact time of their departure, and the places of their future abode.
Swallows have often been observed, in innumerable flocks, on churches, rocks, and trees, previously to their departure from Great Britain, and their return in apparently equal numbers, has been witnessed in a variety of instances. In Sweden, the starlings, after the middle of summer, finding that worms are less plentiful, go annually into Germany and Denmark. The female chaffinches, every winter, about Michaelmas, go in flocks to Holland; but as the males stay in Sweden, the females come back in the spring, except such as do not choose to breed any longer. In the same manner the female Carolina yellow-hammer, in the month of September, while the rice on which she feeds is laid up in the granaries, goes towards the south, and returns in spring to seek her mate.
The aquatic birds of the north are forced by necessity to fly towards the south every autumn before the water is frozen. Thus the lakes of Polland and Lithuania are filled with swans and geese in the autumnal season, at which time they go
in great flocks, along many rivers, as far as the Black Sea. In the beginning of spring, however, as soon as the heat of the sun molests them, they return back, and again frequent the borders of the springs and lakes, where the females deposite their eggs; for there, and especially in Lapland, a vast abundance of gnats, insects that live in the water before they get their wings, afford them an excellent nourishment. By these migrations, birds become useful to many countries, an are distributed over almost every part of the glob d
Wonders of the Universe.
Oh, Children of the islands,
Of the glorious and the free!
A proud old ancestry.
Your homes by day or night,
The oppressor may not smite.
Your names were known of yore;
In the light of ancient lore.
Are known beyond the isle;
In each cathedral pile.
The rivers that roll by,
Have histories old and high.
In battle for the right;
12. The Stork. Confine'; limit. Remark'able; singular, worthy of notice. Species; sort, kind. Domes'tic; belonging to the house, tame. Haunt'ing; frequenting. Unconcern'edly; carelessly, with indifference. OĦal ; refuse, waste meat. Nox'ious ; hurtful, injurious. Reptiles ; creeping animals. Protec'ted; defended from harm. Venera'tion; respect. Ex'piated ; atoped for. Savage ; cruel, fierce. Reside'; dwell, abide. Grave; solemn. Mourn'ful; melancholy, dejected. Vis'age; countenance, aspect. Roused; excited.
OF this bird we shall confine ourselves to the most remarkable species, namely, the white stork, the length of which is about three feet. The bill is nearly eight inches long, and of a fine red colour : the plumage is wholly white, except the orbits of the eyes, which are bare and blackish; some of the feathers on the side of the back, and on the wings, are black: the skin, the legs, and the bare part of the thighs are red.
The white stork is half domestic, haunting towns and cities, and in many places stalking unconcernedly about the streets in search of offal and other food. They remove noxious filth, and clean the fields of serpents and reptiles. On this account they are protected in Holland, and held in high veneration by the Mahometans; and so greatly were they respected in times of old by the Thessalonians, that to kill one of those birds was a crime only expiated by death.
The disposition of this bird is mild: neither shy nor savage; it is easily tamed, and may be trained to reside in gardens, which it will clear of insects and reptiles. It has a grave air and a mournful visage ; yet when roused by example, it shews a certain degree of gaiety, for it joins the frolics of children by imitating them.
Storks are birds of passage, and observe great exactness in the time of their autumnal departure from Europe to more favourable climates. They are seldom seen farther north than Sweden ; and though they have scarcely ever been met with in England, they are so common in Holland as to build every where on the tops of the houses, where the good natured inhabitants provide boxes for them to make their nests in, and are careful that the birds suffer no injury, always resenting this as an offence committed against themselves. This bird bestows much time and care on the education of its young, and does not leave them till they have sufficient strength for defence and support. When they begin to flutter out of the nest, the mother bears them on her wings: she protects them from danger, and will sometimes perish rather than forsake them.- Natural History.
The Soldier's Widow.
Wo! for my vine-clad home!
That I should ever come,
Lead on! my orphan boy!
May bring to thee a joy;
He will not meet thee there
He will not call to prayer.-