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Some, however, can raise themselves in the air by means of limbs considerably elongated, and connected by extensible membranes. Others, again, have their limbs so much shortened that they can move with facility in the water only; but these circumstances by no means deprive them of the essential characters of the class to which they belong.
The most essential differences of the mammalia among themselves are, first, in the organs of touch, on which the dexterity of the animal mainly depends; and secondly, in those of mastication, which determine the nature of the aliment proper to every species. On these essential characters is founded the division of the mammalia into orders. Everything relating to the digestive functions is closely connected with these characters. The degree of perfection of the organs of touch may be estimated according to the number and moveableness of the fingers, and according to the greater or less proportion of depth in which their extremity is enclosed in the claw or hoof. A hoof which completely envelops that part of the extremity which would otherwise touch the ground, blunts the power of tact, and renders such extremity incapable of seizing anything. The opposite extreme to this is, when a nail forms a single lamina on one side of the end of the finger or toe only, leaving to the other all its sensibility. The nature of the diet may be judged of by the cheek-teeth, to the form of which the articulation of the jaws invariably corresponds.
For cutting flesh, the cheek-teeth are trenchant like a saw, and the jaws are fitted together so as to move in the manner of a pair of scissors, and are incapable of any other motion than that of simply opening and closing again in a vertical direction. The cheek-teeth adapted for the mastication of grains or roots, have a flattish round upper surface, or rather the shape of a flat coronet, and the jaws possess the capacity of horizontal motion. That the surface of such cheekteeth should keep that sort of inequality peculiar to a millstone, their substance is composed of unequal hardness, some of which parts wear sooner than others. The hoofed animals are all of necessity herbiverous, and possess teeth of this description, because the conformation of their feet will not permit them to seize a living prey. Animals with unguiculated fingers or toes are susceptible of great variations in their modes of subsistence. Independently of the form of the cheekteeth, these animals differ materially among themselves in the power of touch, and the facility with which the fingers or toes can be put in motion. There is one characteristic which has a prodigious influence on the dexterity of the animals possessed of it, and multiplies greatly, or varies, its modes of action. It is the faculty of opposing a thumb to the other fingers, and of being thus enabled to seize with facility the smallest objects. This it is which constitutes what is properly called a hand, which is found in its highest degree of perfection in the human species, among whom the
anterior extremities are altogether at liberty, and are thus capable of being more effectually employed in the act of prehension. These different combinations, which strictly determine the nature of the various animals of this class, have given rise to their divisions into orders.
NIGHT OF MARVELS.
In such a marvellous night, so fair
And full of wonder strange and new, Ye shepherds of the vale declare
Who saw the greatest wonder ? Who?
FIRST. I saw the trembling fire look wan.
SECOND. I saw the sun shed tears of blood. THIRD. I saw a God become a man.
FOURTH. I saw a man become a God.
O wondrous marvels! at the thought,
The bosom's awe and reverence move; But who such prodigies has wrought ? What
gave such wonders birth ? 'Twas love!
What call'd from heaven that flame divine,
Which streams in glory from above;
And bless us with its brightness ? Love!
Who bid the glorious sun arrest
His course, and o'er heaven's concave move In tears, the saddest, loneliest,
Of the celestial orbs? 'Twas love!
Who raised the human race so high,
Ev'n to the stormy seats above, That, for our mortal progeny,
A man became a God? 'Twas love!
Who humbled from the seats of light
Their Lord, all human woes to prove; Led the great source of day-to night;
And made of God a man ? 'Twas love!
Yes! love has wrought, and love alone,
The victories all,—beneath,—above : And earth and heaven shall shout, as one,
The all-triumphant song of love.
The song through all heaven's arches ran,
And told the wond'rous tales aloud,
The weeping sun behind the cloud.
FROM THE SPANISH.
THE VARIOUS USES OF TREES AND PLANTS.
Mediterranean contributing husbandry stupendous considerable constructed specimens
sustenance employed different
fabricated description subservient
medicinal extracted accommodating implements
instrument TREES, those stupendous specimens of creative art, spread not their wide-extended roots nor lift their lofty heads in vain. Beneath their cooling shades our flocks and herds find a comfortable asylum from the scorching rays of the summer sun. The wild stragglers of the forest have a place of refuge among their woods and thickets; whilst the feathery songsters of the grove build their little dwellings in security, and sing among their branches: “ as for the stork, the fir-trees are her house.” But in what a variety of respects, besides affording the inhabitants of warm climates an agreeable shelter from the mid-day heat, do those, and the different members of the shrubby race, yield their services, or are made subservient to the use of man! The bread-fruit-tree of the Pacific Ocean, the date-palms, which wave along the coasts of the Mediterranean; the calabash of the West Indies, and cocoa-nut-tree of the East Indies, the cabbage-tree of East Florida, and the magney or mati-tree of New Spain, and the accommodating