Imatges de pÓgina

hollow ball, having one small opening in to the trunk of a tree, and then skillfully the side, as is shown in the engraving; this covers it with the leaves and twigs of the opening answers for both door and window, various parasitical plants that may cluster and is so well protected that neither cold about the stem to which it is fastened; and nor rain can penetrate to the interior. A this is done with so much art that the screen, delicately contrived of downy feath- whole structure has the appearance of ers, is placed before the door of the nest, being merely a part of the bark. When

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and is so pliant as to allow ingress and these little creatures have thus endeavored egress, while at the same time it is capable to fortify themselves against enemies the of excluding the weather.

dwelling is taken possession of, and the But the above is not the whole extent of tender broods are reared, to protect which the careful bird's devices. Owing to its so much care lias been exercised. small size it feels itself a tempting prey to Every bird does not exhibit as much inmany enemies, and so endeavors to make genuity in the construction of its nest as up for its lack of strength by stratagem. the titmouse, it is true, but each one builds In order to conceal its inest, it attaches it according to its circumstances and wants and the perfect adaptation to the use in- world of good by way of turning your tended is always the same, from the simple thoughts into anotter channel. And the indentation in tbe barren sand to the better you treat your bird the better he swinging castle in the air, so skillfully treats you; or, in other words, the handfashioned out of down and feathers. somer he grows, the sweeter he sings, and

But if birds attract us wlien in a wild the more tame and affectionate he bestate by their beauty and song, now much comes. He will evince a pleasure at your more do they win admiration and affection coming which shows that he is lonely in when they are our daily companions, look- your absence, and will testify in a hundred ing at us with fearless eyes, and playing, little ways his preference for you, while at with a pretty semblance of temper, with the same time he will be likely to be very our outstretched fingers ! The canary shy of the advances of a stranger. stands first, we believe, as a household pet Some people subject their birds to privaand universal favorite, being prized for its tions, let them eudure cold and heat, hunbeauty, intelligence, and charining song. ger, thirst and uncleanliness, and then No prettier sight can be seen to add to the complain that they do not sing, and are attractiveness of a room than one or more not healthy and lively. It is easy to see of these little warblers hopping about in a that they are themselves the only ones at cage, contentedly picking at the various fault, and should be sorry for their own dainties, or amusing itself and all around cruelty, instead of attributing the blame to it by those wonderful trills and gushes of the much-abused little prisoner, which melody which seem to convey one to the would reward its owner in many ways for summer woods with all their charming a kindly attention to its comfort and minstrelsy.

convenience. Many articles have been written on the Although we have particularly mentioned remarkable docility and teachableness the canary, there is scarcely any variety of shown by the canary, and it is not our pur- the smaller birds that would not furnish pose to write at length on a subject so well agreeable pets for the household. Not a and generally understood. But it is a fact few of our readers, doubtless, have read within our own experience that the pleas- Grace Greenwood's beautiful little story of ure to be derived from the preseuce of “ Kobin Redbreast,” in her " History of these graceful, grateful and beautiful little my Pets,” and though not every robin creatures in the house is far greater than equals that sweet bird, probably many a that resulting from many other luxuries. Robin Redbreast would do as well under Do you wake to find the blue sky no longer an etficient teacber. And here we are reblue, but gray, and the wind sighing its minded of Mrs. Browning's pet " Doves,mournful intipation of a coming storm? of which she sings so tenderly: No matter; when you descend the stairs and pass into the breakfast-room, you are

My little doves have left a nest

Upon au Inuian tree, greeted by a perfect shower of gay music

Whose leaves fantastic take their rest from yellow-breasted canary, who peeps

Or motion from the sea; down at you with his bright little black eyes, and sings the louder if you give him

For, ever ibere, the sea-winds go

With sunlit faces to and fro. a pleasant word of praise. Already the morning seeins brighter, and the smile you

“The tropic flowers looked up to it, could not refuse to the pretty inusician

The tropic stars lookeu dowu, lingers on your lips long afterward. Are

And there my little doves did sit, you sad or out of sorts in any way, so that

With feathers softly brown, the world seems unusually gloomy? Canary does not see the use of long faces, and

And glittering eyes that showed their right

To general nalure's deep uelight. 50 he sings his song, eats his seeds, and turns his bead over to look at you in a “And God thein taught, at every close knowing way, making of himself so pretty Of murmuring waves beyond, and cheery a sight that you cannot but And green leaves round, to interpose choose to unbend a little, and address a Their choral voices fond; iew caressing words to hiin, which le Interpreting that love must be seemns to appreciate, and which do you a The meaning of the earth and sea.

“My little doves were ta'en away

From that glad nest of theirs,
Across an ocean rolling gray,

And tempest-clouded airs.
My little doves !-who lately knew
The sky and wave by warmth and blue!
"And now, within the city prison,

In mist and chillness pent,
With sudden upward look they listen

For sounds of pas: content-
For lapse of water, swell of breeze,
Or nut-fruit falling from the trees.
“ The stir without, the glow of passion,

The triumph of the mart,
The gold and silver as they clash on

Man's cold inetallic heart,
The roar of wheels, the cry for bread-
These only sounds are heard instead.
“Yet still, as on my human hand

Their fearless heads they lean,
And almost seem to understand

What human njusings mean,
(Their eyes with such a plaintive shine,
Are fastened upwardly to miue !)
“ Soft falls their chant as on the nest,

Beneath the sunny zone;
For love that stirred it in their breast

Has not a weary grown,
And neath the city's shade cau keep
The well of inusic clear and deep.
“And love that keeps the music, fills

With pastoral weinories;
All echoings from out the hills,

All droppings froin the skies,
All Bowings from the wave and wind,
Remembered in their chant I find.
“So teach ye ine the wisest part,

My little doves! to move
Along the city-ways with heart

Assured by holy love,
And vocal with such sougs as own
A fouulaiu lo the world unknown.”

Perbaps it is not generally known that birds of lofty tlight, as the coudor, eagles, vultures, and carrion-seeking prowlers of the feathered race, have telescopic vision, and are thus enabled to look down and discover their unsuspecting victiips. As they approach noiselessly from above, the axis of vision changes-shortening, so that they see just as distinctly within one foot of the ground as when at an elevation of one mile in the air. This fact explains the balancing of a fish-bawk on its pinions half a mile abuse a still pond, walcuing for tish.

When one is selected, down the savage hunter plunges, the focal axis, varying as the square of the distance, giving the hawk a distinct view of its prey always. As they ascend, the axis is elongated by a curious muscular arrangement. so as to see far again. Snails have their keen eyes at the extremities of flexible horns, which they can protrude or draw in at pleasure. By winding the instrument round the edge of a leaf or a small stalk, they can see how matters stand on the opposite side. The hammer-headed shark has its wicked looking eyes nearly two feet apart. It can bend the thin edgings of the head on which the organs are located so as to examine the two sides of an object of tbe size of a fullygrown codfish.

Flies have immovable eyes. They stand out from the head like half an apple, exceedingly prominent.

Instead of being smooth hemispheres, they bave an iminense number of facets, resembling old-fashioned glass watch-seals, each one directing the light directly to the optic retina. This explains why they cannot be approached in any direction without seeing what is coming.

A gentleman who is a great admirer of birds wr.tes of swallows as follows:

“I passed a great part of my leisure one summer in watching a pair of swallows. After much consideration and reflection, they commenced building their nest under the projecting roof of a barn, then suddenly stopped, held a sort of consultation, and began a new nest under the same projection, but in another place. At tirst I could not understand why they did this; but upon examination I found that over the first nest there was a space between two boards through which dust sifted from the hay that rested on them. Of course this would inconvenience the young housekeepers, and so they chose a better place. House swallows usually leave but one small opening for ingress and egress, a necessary precaution against storms and wind; but this pair of swallows found these precautionary measures unnecessary, for they left the nest quite open. When the young swallows bad growu large and strong, they often mounted to the border of the west to await the coming of their parents. It was curious to see the anxious mother or father drive them from their dangerous position, and hasten to fill up the outer openings of their dwelling."




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time in our lives, prompted her to rise and “Miss LEGMOND," said the housekeeper, follow Roberts down. putting her head through the balf-open Alsie McKensie, as it happened, was door, “there's a woman below, whom holding at that moinent a smart altercation Barbara has let in unawares, asking to see at the foot of the stairs with the little

French maid Marie, one jabbering in broad The room was full of warm spring sun- Scotch, the other in detestable English, shine. It was on its soft carpet, and and neither understanding a word beyond French furniture, and damask draperies. their own in the matter. The woman was Outside a bluebird sang in a budding tall and approaching middle age, with a maple tree. Inside came a continual sound strong heavy face, and a display of lawdry of voices and busy clatter from Miss Ler- finery in her dress, that Marie was noticing mond's dressing-room. Miss Lermond her- with Parisian eyes. She made a deep self, half buried in an easy-chair, sat lean- courtesy as Nathalie appeared, then looked ing listlessly back, listening to that bluebird, at her closely from head to foot. with her hands crossed on her lap, and the “God's mercy!" she muttered; "she's dark lashes just touching her pale cheeks. as fair-favored as the ither! I am Alsie On the white counterpane of the bed lay McKensie from Coltonsleigh, and I ha' e'en something whiter still, from which she cam' to speak wi' the leddy o' the Hallkept her eyes turned steadily away-a

she that's to be a bride to-inorrow." dress of white satin and point lace, flung Nathalie, motioned the woman to follow down there like a srow-wreath, a pair of her beyond the prying eyes of Marie. dainty satin slippers, and a bridal veil. “And now," she said, quietly, “what The toilet table was covered with bridal business have you with me, Alsie ?" gifts, one-a small exquisite casket of Alsie twisted the fringe of her shawl nercarved wood, stood open, and coiled upon vously round ber broad hand. its velvet cushiou lay, in the glittering sun- “I bided a spell at the cot wi' the ould light, a magnificent set of Indian opals, mither, and then I walked on here. There's St. Maur's gift. To-morrow Nathalie would been something sair upon my mind these be a bride.

mony days. Is it true that ye go to kirk At the sound of Mrs. Roberts's voice in to-morrow wi' the master o' the Fields ? the doorway she started, but did not turn. “I shall be married to-morrow,” assent

“Who is it?" asked the listless voice. ed Nathalie, dimly wondering who this "Sbe says her name is Alsie McKensie,

woman could be. and that she's come from Coltonsleigh. I Ye ba’ heard, perhaps, how I was at told her to go away and not disturb you

the Hall in the first leddy's time?” Alsie that you were making ready for the wed- went on. Nathalie nodded. ding in the morning.”

“Aweel, I kenned St. Maur then, and I "And has she gone ?” quickly.

ken him now, and I waun say to ye, were “ Not she,” said Roberts; "she's got they my last words, that it is e’en better Scotch blood in her veins-stubborn as a

for ye to go to kirk in a shroud than wi’ St. mule-they all are. She's waiting still.”

Maur for your bridegroom." Coltonsleigh-McKensie; surely Natha- A lush of latent anger crimsoned Nathlie had heard those names before. What alie's cheek. She looked haughtily into could the woman want of her? Some la- the woman's strong and earnest face. tent curiosity, born of one of those ryste- “ Have you come from Collonsleigh,” rious instincts which come to us all some

she demanded, “ to tell me this ?” {Eatered according to act of Congress, in the year 1965, by THOMES & TALBOT, Buston, Mass., in

the Odlice of the Librarian of Congress, Waowinglou.]

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“I havc, my leddy."

“Eis name?" she said. “And does St. Maur know of your “I dinna ken," answered Alsie, grim as coming ?”

an ogress. “ God forbid !" answered Alsie, looking Nathalie paused on the hearth with around with a start of alarm.

stormy dark eyes. Then,'

," said Nathalie, “let me under- Here is your answer,” she said, dropstand you. Why should I not wed him ? ping the letter, with its seal unbroken, upIf you have aught to say to me, say it on the glowing coals; “take it back with quickly."

you to Coltonsleigh !'' "Ah,” answered Alsie, shaking her head, “And is that all?" asked Alsie. I canna say more. Ye maur take warn- “All!" ing by this I canna break an oath !"

“ Then I maur be gone.” “Is the woman dazed ?" thought She drew her shawl around her with an Nathalie.

unchanging face. Nathalie followed her “ But," Alsie went on, with strange to the door, leaving a handful of gray ashes vehemence, “I can swear to ye that I speak among the sea.coal. truly. He is a braw callant, but a false- “I wauld wish ye joy o' the morrow,” hearted one, and no fit inate for such as said Alsie, looking at her wistfully, “if I ye. I will e'en kneel and swear it, an' ye did na ken it wauld be turned to sorrow. will bear."

It was woe enow for the first leddy o' the “No!"' cried Nathalie.

Hall, but it will be greater woe still for ye.” “Ah, ye dinna believe me !" cried Alsie, With the words of the woman ringing in searching her face. “Lo'e is e'er blind. her ear, Nathalie fled back to her own Aweel, will ye ken this and believe it, I chamber. She was bewildered-sick. wouder, in place o' an old woman's Turn back? It was too late. She stood words?"

face to face with her doom now, helpless, She tlashed out something suddenly from and with soine such vain despair at lier beneath the folds of her shawl, and dropped heart as some hunted wild creature might it into Nathalie's passive hand. It was a feel circled closer and closer round by the letter sealed and directed, with no t crossed, toils of the hunter. Flinging lierself prosno i dotted.

trate upon the bed, beside the fleecy bridal O, the fierce momentary struggle for draperies, Nathalie wept such tears as no calmuess under Alsie's keen eyes! She heart ever weeps but once. All that makes took the letter, white to the very lips. life worth the having she had lost forever. “Who gave you this ?" she cried.

St. Maur called at twilight, but no NathAlsie's face as expressionless as alie appeared. It was well that he could stone.

accommodate himself so readily to the “A gentleman that rowed ower from the whins of bis betrothed, for their name was lighthouse yestereen, tine and weil-favored. legion. A bunch of rare queenly camellias, He asked for Alsie McKensie, and bade me from the conservatory of the fields, with a gi'ye this if I cam to Hendee this day.” cross of blood-red Indian rubies dropped

A thousand thoughts were coursing like into their waxen hearts, he left behind liglilning through Nathalie's brain. She him-the last of many princely gifts. turned the lelter over in her hand, her face Marie, going with it in search of her misgrowing hard and bitter. All thoughts of tress, found her wandering about, like a St. Maur-of everything but pride and ghost, in the gathering twilight of the wrong, were banished. How dared le- gallery. how dared he, the perjured, the falsc- The sun had set low down belind the learted-perhaps the husband of another budding beech-wood. few stars were out -write to her?

already in the sky, and the dull thunder of “I am to take the answer back to Col- the sea booined drearily up the shore. tonsleigh, and he will come for it to-night,” Marie lifted a lamp in the niche at the said Alsie.

head of the staircase, and departed noiseThere was a fire burning in a grate at the lessly. further end of the room. Nathalie 'rose And Nathalie ? She had thrown herself from her seat, and walked slowly towards into a seat at the window, and sat there it.

looking out into those same beech-woods.


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