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grass or wheat.
" though the ground in general was" mentioned in my former letters, a
* * * Trees in leaf have such " young one and a female with young, a vast proportion more of surface “ both of which I have preserved in " than those that are naked, that, in brandy. From the colour, shape, size,
theory, their condensations should " and manner of nesting, I make no
greatly exceed those that are stripped“ doubt but that the species is nonde" of their leaves ; but as the former" script. They are much smaller and imbibe also
great quantity of" more slender than the Mus domesticus moisture, it is difficult to say which“ medius of Ray; and have more of the drip most.” Pages 205, 206.
squirrel or dormouse colour : their We have left ourselves, so little room “belly is white ; a straight line along for quotations, that we must in most of their sides divides the shades of their our instances of plagiarism refer simply back and belly. They never enter to the books. In page 130 of the “into houses ; are carried into ricks and
Naturalist," an account of the hedge. “ barns with the sheaves; abound in hog, is made up from page 77 of WHITE " harvest, and build their nests amidst and vol. 1. 134 of Pennant, Brit. Zool.," the straws of corn above ground, and excepting a particular account of the “ sometimes in thistles. They breed as spines of the little animal, which may many as eight at, a litter, in, a little or may not be a copy from some other “round nest composed of the blades of author. Pages 84 and 85 of“ Natura-"
One of these nests I list” compare with pages 509 and 533" procured this autumn most artificially of WHITE. P. 118 compare
platted, and composed of the blades STILLINGFLEET.
Tracts. In p. 134,“ of wheat; perfectly round, and about we have this account of the harvest “ the size of a cricket-ball, with the
aperture so ingeniously closed, that "" The harvest mouse (Mus Messo-' there was no discovering to what part rius) in some seasons is common it belonged, It was so compact and
with us, but, like other species of " well filled, that it could roll across "mice, varies much in numbers found." the table without being discomposed,
I have seen their n'ests as late as the “ though it contained eight little mice, middle of September, containing" that were naked and blind." eight young ones, entirely filling the And, in page 39, he says :little interior cavity. These nests “ As to the mice, I have further to
vary in shape, being round, oval, or "remark, that though they hang their “ pear-shaped, with a long neck, and "nests for breeding upamidst the straws are to be distinguished from those of “ of the standing corn, above ground; any other mouse, by being generally yet I find that in winter, they burrow suspended on some growing veget- deep in earth, and make warm beds in able, a thistle, a bean-stalk, or some grass : but their grand rendezvous " adjoining stems of wheat, with which“ seems to be in corn-ricks, into which "it rocks and waves in the wind; but they are carried at harvest." to prevent the
young from being dis- Mr. Pennant seems to have heard of lodged by any violent agitation of the this niouse only from Mr. White, for “plant, the parent closes up the en- he evidently takes his communication, * trance so uniformly with the whole and says that this animal abounds in
fabric, that the real opening is with Hampshire. The “ Naturalist," howdifficulty found.”
ever, finds it “common in some seasons In Waite, page 33, we have a full with us." He gives us a graphic sketch description of this mouse in his 12th of it and of its nest, and so far we are letter to Mr. PENNANT, who, in his under obligation to him. British Zoology, gives us the same de- Page 145. The hair and fur of ani. scription in the very words of Mr, mals compare with Dr. Derdam's Phy, WHITE: namely,
sico-theology, vol. 1. p. 314 note. “ I have procured some of the nice Pages 151 to 153 about the mgration of
" the young
birds is a confused jumble, which may “ with their captures to their young : be found better expressed in the several “ the constant supply which they bring, notes of White, 139, 146, Stilling-“ the celerity with which it is given and Fleer, 108, and the appendix to Pen-" received, and the activity and evoluNANT; all, except the hypothesis, that, “ tions of the elder birds, present a the soft-billed birds migrate to Eng- pleasing example of industry and land as a breeding-place for the sake of " affection !" a compounded food for their young. This But unfortunately, we had before he supports in no rational way; gives us read, in Mr. White's book. no reason to 'suppose that the mothers " The progressive method by which can find for their young here what they
" are incannot find in other climates from “ troduced into life is very amusing : which they come to us. It is an in- l“ first, they emerge from the shaft with teresting subject, but one that requires " difficulty enough, and often fall down to be elucidated by facts in conjunction into the rooms below : for a day or so with reasons, and not by loose suppo- they are fed on the chimney-top, and sitions. In the “ Naturalist,” compare " then are conducted to the dead leaf. pages 161 and 162 with White 105, “ less bough of some tree, where, situpon the hard life of the little insect " ting in a row, they are attended with eating birds during our winters. In “ great assiduity, and may then be page 183, he says:
called 'perchers. In a day or two “ I have repeatedly known districts, “ more they become flyers, but are still “ from which during the winter season “ unable to take their own food ; there
every blackbird, thrush, gold and bull. “ fore, they play about near the place “ finch, had been killed, yet in the en- " where the dams are hawking for flies ;
suing spring observed their places and, when a mouthful is collected, at “ filled by others, and the song in the a certain signal given, the dam and
grove, and nesting in the brake, as "the nestling advance, rising towards “ harmonious and as plentiful as usual. “ each other, and meeting at an angle ;
Many sportsmen know that killing “ the young one all the while uttering “ down their game does not universally " such a little quick note of gratitude prevent a supply in the ensuing sea- “ and complacency, that a person must
“ have paid very little regard to the It is a bold man that can so positively “ wonders of Nature that has not often on the word of a Naturalist,” assert “ remarked this feat." P. 170. that he had repeatedly known every one In page 206 and 207, we find the of these several kinds of birds killed in Aycatcher thus characterized: the groves and brakes, even when so " We have perhaps no bird more atclose about himn : and we do not think “ tached to peculiar situations than the that it is many sportsmen who do think"
grey flycatcher (Muscicapa Gris«la) ; that the killing of all their game is com- one pair, or the descendants, frequent patible with the usual stock of it : un- year after year the same hole in the less, indeed, that be next to none at all. “ wall, or the same branch on the vine The “Naturalist” is a bold asserter, and “ or the plun.
*. *This flycatcher these facts are indisputably his own. In “ delights in eminences. The naked page 197, he gives us this amusing de-" spray of a tree, or projecting stone in scription of the assiduity of birds towards a building, or even a tall stick in the
very middle of the grass-plot, is sure “ It is a very amusing occupation, for “ to attract its attention, as affording an
a short time, to attend to the actions“ uninterrupted view of its winged “ of a pair of swallows or martens, the “ prey; and from this it will be in con
family of which have left the nest, “ stant activity a whole summer's day, “ and settled upon some naked spray, capturing its food, and returning to
or low bush in the field, the parents “ swallow it.” cruising around, and then returning In WHITE, p. 104.:
their young :
"" The flycatcher is, of all our sum- “ this morning witnessed a rick of bar. “ mer birds, the most mute and the most “ ley, standing in a detached field, en“ familiar; it also appears the last of " tirely stripped of its thatching, which
any. It builds in a vine, on a sweet- “ this bunting effected by seizing the "briar, against the wall of a house, or "end of the straw, and deliberately “ in the hole of a wall, or on the end of" drawing it out, to search for any grain
a beam or plate, and often close to the j" the ear might yet contain ; the base post of a door where the people are “ of the rick being entirely surrounded going in and out all day long." " by the straw, one end resting on the And in p. 28 of WHITE,
" ground, the other against the mow “ There is one circumstance charac. (mow !), “ as it slid down from the sum“ teristic of this bird which seems to“ mit, and regularly placed, as if by " have escaped observation, and that is," the hand; and so completely was the " it takes its stand on the top of some thatching pulled off, that the imme“ stake or post, from whence it springs
“ diate removal of the corn becaine ne" forth on its prey, catching a fly in the" cessary." " air, and hardly ever touching the To inatch this story exactly, one must
ground, but returning still to the have another such "Naturalist ; " but same stand for many times together.' we will do our best to keep him in coun
As far as our own observation goes, tenance. In White, p. 106, we find : the stake out in the “
very middle of
" The great titmouse, driven by stress the grass.plot," is the least likely of all " of weather, much frequents houses, places for the flycatcher : for there are " and in deep snows, I have seen this the fewest of the winged insects on “bird, while it hung with 'its back which it feeds. Under a willow over- “ downwards (to my no small delight hanging a rivulet, and on a post or stake " and admiration), draw straws lengthin the bank or hedge in this situation,“ wise from out the eaves of thatched we have observed this little bird very houses, in order to pull out flies that active as WHITE describes, swinging were concealed between them, and round in a very narrow circle, appa
" that in such numbers that they quite rently without doing more than open its “ defaced the thatch, and gave it a ragwings, and seeming to catch something “ged appearance." every time.
The water neut, page 316, compare The thrush is described by the “ Na- with Wüte, pages 50 and 58. The turalist
210 and in 249 and earth-worm, p. 343, compare with 250; and the passages may be found Waite, 216. In page 366, he says that in WHITE, pages 190 and 480; but we in the year 1927, the leaves of the sloe, have already gone so far beyond what whitethorn, crab, and some of the orwe intended, that we cannot quote the chard trees, were completely devoured long passages, and have scarcely room by caterpillars, and then he tells us, enough left for a short one or two that which we really cannot believe, thatwe cannot but point out.
“ The chief singularity in all this was In bold assertions our author abounds," the appearance of the sloe-bush, all and the following is a good specimen; "the foliage being consumed by insects, but even here we shall find that he has “ or crisped away by severe winds, leavfoundation for what he says, and the" ing the sprays profusely covered with astounding anecdote is clearly nothing “ the small young fruit, perfectly uninmore than an out-bidding of Wurte, “jured, and proceeding in its growth; whom he seems to think he has copied so that, by the time the foliage was long enough. We take it from p. 248,“ renewed in August, it had obtained where, speaking of the , bunting, he its usual size. This was the case, too,
“ with the crab, and some of the or“It could hardly be supposed that "chard fruits, presenting the unusual " this bird, not larger than a lark, is ca, sight of fruit growing on the boughs
pable of doing serious injury yet 1" without leaves i ”
We have frequently witnessed the de-the proprietor, of this work as well as vastations of caterpillars in this way, j of the Quarterly Review which recombut have invariably found, and always mends it so strongly to the public. heard, that the pest never arrives to such a height but a total failure of crop may be expected. One would think that a “ Naturalist," an “investigator," would
THE LEADING NEWSPAPER have had the precise date of these occur
PRESS. rences, and then we should probably
(From Cobbett's Magazine.) have found this work done so early in
THE EXAMINER. the spring that the young setting fruit have been as much the food of the ca
GENERALLY speaking, the Examiner terpillar as the leaf, and that, which is
is an excellent paper, both as to manner generally the case, all was eaten off at
and matter ; but it evidently proceeds the same time.
upon the belief, that the great changes As we said when we began this no
which are necessary in this country, tice, the book is a hash made up out of could be brought about by genile the writings of real naturalists, and we means, if the holders of the reins of think just the opposite of what is power were sincerely desirous of seeing thought by the reviewer when he
those changes effected. This is, doubt
says that it does not “interfere with the less, the reason why we find the talents History of Selborne ;” for a large part of the editor almost continually emof it is palpably taken from that unas
ployed upon matters which we consider suming and amusing work, in which we
of minor importance when put in comhave the name of the author, are
parison with those on which the permabrought almost into his company and nent interests of the country depend. that of his correspondents, and cannot
The Examiner is entitled to especial but give implicit credit to all that he approbation on account of all that part affirms; in which the language is as of it which is independent of politics
. unaffected as the writer's ways, and in
As a weekly newspaper, it contains the which we are never offended by a cox
best information, conveyed in the best combical phrase from the beginning to way: Its literary part is performed the end. In this respect, how different with “most ability and most genuiné is the author of the “little unpretending
taste. As a source of mere amusement, volume" so puffed off by the Quarterly it is far more rational than any of the Review! To take one instance: he rest; and, while it is never wanting in has stunbled upon the lucky discovery entertainment, it never condescends, in that the word obnoxious is not com
its representations of life, to bring monly used in its strict classical sense, Merry-Andrew or Jack-Pudding on the so he must use it properly, and he plies stage. us with it constantly throughout his
THE MORNING CHRONICLE. book : thus (page 148) “ When we We are afraid that this paper
must “consider the many casualties to which be classed with the Examiner. There “old birds are obnoxious from their is an evident affinity between the minds “ tameness,” &c. : and in p. 343, “ Lit- of the conductors of the two. The “tle obnoxious to injury as this garden Morning Chronicle has, indeed, along “ snail appears to be," &c. In short, with the Examiner, supported the cause we see nothing in this little volume to of reform both honestly and powerfully: admire, except the paper, the print, and Honour, therefore, to whom honour is the plates (for, of the latter there are due. And, as the Morning Chronicle eleven very good ones) all to be attri- will, we fear, soon find that the present buted to the publisher, Mr. Murray; the men do not intend to propose the mea. only thing we have to say with respect sures indispensable for our full relief, to whom, is, that we wish he had not we are not without hope of seeing its been certainly the publisher and possibly energies, which are great, directed to
the accomplishment of those further that extension of corporeal length and reforms which the declarations of the breadth which afterwards gave the Ministers have made necessary. This newspapers the name of “ broad-sheet.” paper is eminently prone to abstract | Its thickness, of a purely spiritual kind, theory, and philosophical speculations. was always unbounded. The Morning Though it be true, that where there is Herald, we remember, first attracted smoke there will be fire also, we do, in this its modern readers by a series of police case, frequently find ourselves involved reports. They were too taking with a in the one without any flame from the certain class of people not to ensure a other bursting forth to enlighten our sale. Our respect for civility in landarkness. The editor, as a wit, is guage prevents us from expressing all sometimes happily sarcastic; as a man the disgust those " reports” excited in of reflection, he is not less sagacious, so The great want in the Herald is of long as he is content to explore his something to keep interest alive. In this proper element. See him out of that, it is more deficient than any other puband, though sometimes strikingly cor- lication we know. If you ever by chance rect, he is, more commonly, strangely meet anything in the Morning Herald erroneous. Like all divers in the deep, to rouse you above the medium of your he is apt to miss the precious object he spirits, its leaden “ leader” is sure to plunges for : the Chronicle's pearl, contain other matter of weight under when brought ashore, but too often which you must, unless naturally very turns out to be not worth a pean buoyant, be depressed to the bottom of
their scale. THE MORNING HERALD.
THE TIMES. The Herald is liked by many persons, because it is “ thorn in the side ” of As this paper always makes it a point the Times ; not only as a rival for profit, to be on tolerable terms with “ the but because it frequently performs the powers that be,” it is, of course, geneeasy task of exposing the cotradic- rally more or less iuforined as to what tions and absurdities of that paper. As is hatching. Thus we find it just now to its politics, if the writer knows what putting forth its feelers upon the subthey are, he has taken care (perhaps less ject of Church Reform; we find it prothrough art than innocence) to keep the claiming that the reform is to be of the secret to himself. He deals a great most searching kind. This is to satisfy deal, in general phrases, on the duties the clamorous for abolition of tithes, of governments, &c. &c., but is at pre- and to make an impression favourable sent entirely undecided as to any parti- to its patrons, as the advocates of recular side or party. We should say that torm; but as it really wishes to prehis ponderous columns would lean to- vent all reform, in order to conciliate wards the side of the Conservatives, if those who profit by abuse, it announces that party had not entirely destroyed that the rabble (that is, the working peoitself." That destruction, however, does ple) will be disappointed, for that no not necessarily exclude the probability diminution of the total amount of the of his Conservative bent: though the church revenue will be made. Even in impetus of his valour be not of that a matter of religion, in which the souls kind which made Bojardo's hero con- of the people are concerned, the Times, tinue to fight after he himself was slain, as in all others, thinks alone about that the Herald's powers of perceiving are big body which a repeal of the stamp such that it may consistently cry “ Let law would quickly reduce to a natural, live ! ” in defence of others defunct. size. The Times generally contrives to This paper, as respects comparative have two articles on the same subject, number in words and thoughts, appears the one .conveniently contradicting the to be about the extreme opposite of other; so that upon any subsequent multum in parvo.
The original cause emergency either can be referred to as of preference in its favour consisted in the case may require. Proteus has long.