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In confirmation of this statement, Mr. Thompson informs us that Lord Roden's keeper, by ranging the country for some miles around Tullymore Park, and by robbing nests, and shooting and trapping old birds, destroyed during the half year of 1836 above 730 eggs and magpies. The species, from whatever quarter first derived, has been long common over all Ireland. Its congener the Jay (Garrulus glandarius) occurs only in the
Although Ireland is not destitute of fine timber, it is by no means an arboreal country, and we consequently find that woodpeckers are rare, as we know them to be in North Britain, where none have been ever ascertained to breed. The great spotted species (Picus major) is of accidental occurrence in Ireland. The green woodpecker (P. viridis) is reported to have bred in some well-wooded districts; but this fact requires confirmation. The cuckoo is a regular spring visitant over Ireland, and all the British swifts and swallows are also found there. The kingfisher is distributed, though sparingly, throughout the island. The nightjar is of more local occurrence.
The great order called Rasores (or Gallinaceous birds,) includes among our native species pigeons, pheasants, partridges, and grouse. Ireland possesses all the British pigeons, except a woodland species of stock-dove (Columba anas) found in the midland counties of England, and as yet unknown to Scotland. The turtle-dove (C. turtur) is more frequent in Ireland than in the northern parts of our own island.
Of game birds, the pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) though originally not even a European species, has been long introduced to, and is now well spread over various wooded parts of Ireland. The period of its importation is unrecorded, but so far back as 1589 old Payne remarks, that "there be great store of pheasantes" in the island, and Fynes Moryson, who lived there from 1599 till 1603, states that there are "such plenty of pheasants, as I have known sixty served up at one feast, and abound much more with rails, but partridges are scarce." From the quantity of insect food devoured by these birds, it is the opinion of many, notwithstanding the great agricultural outcry regarding game, that they do more good than harm to the farmer. The capercaillie or cock of the wood (Tetrao urogallus) though once well known, has been extinct in Ireland. for nearly a century. The name is supposed to be derived
* Observations on Game and the Game Laws. By J. Burn Murdoch, Esq. It may be here noted, that the present Secretary of State for the Foreign Department, formerly addressed an epistle on this subject to the late Secretary of State for the Home Department. See Letter from the Earl of Malmesbury to Sir George Grey," On the Revision of the Game Laws," 1848.
Quails permanent in Ireland.
from the Celtic cappulcaille, which we understand to signify horse of the woods, in reference no doubt to the bird's supereminent size; just as people still talk of horse-mackerel, horseflies, horse-leeches, and, when the expression of merriment is somewhat uncontrolled, horse-laughter. The black-cock (Tetrao tetrix) notwithstanding its abundance on the opposite coast and neighbouring isles of Scotland, is not an Irish species. The natural constitution of the country would seem well adapted to its habits, but it may be presumed that the bird thinks otherwise. Various attempts have been made by Lords O'Neil, Courtown, and others, to naturalize them by means of birds brought over from Scotland, but hitherto without success. They are seen to remain for a time in the district where they have been placed, but they diminish instead of increasing in numbers, and ere long entirely disappear. Our common redgrouse or moor-game (T. Scoticus) is well known over many the extensive heathy districts of the sister isle. The whitegrouse or ptarmigan (T. Lagopus) as formerly stated, is quite unknown. We believe it is now extinct in both England and Wales.* The partridge is found pretty generally distributed over cultivated grounds and their vicinity, but is much less abundant than in Britain, and has been gradually decreasing till within these last few years, during which this agricultural kind of game has begun to rally.
We shall conclude the rasorial order with a word or two on quails, the history of which is somewhat peculiar in Ireland. It is well known alike to naturalists and sportsmen, (of late years we have rejoiced to see several examples of the character of both combined,) that the quail is a migratory bird, arriving in spring, and spreading, prior to the breeding season, over a great portion of England, and, though much more sparingly, our own country. We have ourselves traced it in many parts of Scotland, but not further north than the side of Loch Achilty, in Ross-shire. The great majority of European quails retire to Africa in winter. The islands of the Archipelago are covered by them, as resting places during certain seasons of the year. Early in autumn such quantities are captured in the island of Capri, near Naples, as in former times to have afforded the Bishop so great a portion of his revenue, that he was called in consequence the Bishop of Quails. On the other hand, in spring, such flights arrive on the western shores of the Neapoli
* As the ptarmigan is a very hardy species, and does not occur in warm countries except at great heights, near the line of perpetual snow, it may be that the more southern position of Ireland makes that country too hot to hold it. We presume that the Island of Islay is the most southern locality in which the species is now found in the British dominions.
tan kingdom, that one hundred thousand have been taken in a day. The species is widely spread over Asia Minor, along the shores of the Red Sea, and is well known in India. Now as it migrates in such prodigious numbers, and is the only species of the genus ascertained to do so, additional interest attaches to it as the probable means by which the Israelites were fed in the wilderness.
"He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea; and he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations."-Psalm lxxviii. 27, 28.
Although the quail is in general a bird of passage, certain exceptions seem to occur even in Europe. It is said to remain throughout the year in Portugal, and there is now no doubt of the singular fact that it does so in Ireland,-a curious coincidence, these two countries being the most western of the European territories, lying in the same longitude, and being equally under the influence during winter of the ameliorating effect of the great Atlantic waters. There is, in truth, so little frost in Ireland, that these birds may easily obtain their food all the year round, and it is the deficiency of food rather than the fear of cold which seems to influence the movements of many migratory species. From 120 to 300 brace of quails have been killed in Ireland by single sportsmen during the winter season. In regard to the occurrence of the species in Portugal during that season, although we think it highly probable, we do not state the fact upon our own knowledge, but on the authority of Colonel Montagu, (Supplement to Ornithological Dictionary,) who obtained his information from Captain Latham. We know too little of the ornithology of the great western peninsula of Europe. If the quail is actually found in Portugal all winter, it is certainly singular that it should not be so in Gallicia, (its natural continuation,) the most northern province of Spain, and politically rather than physically distinct from Portugal. In the only work we have at hand relating to that part of Spain, the quail is said to be," Comun en toda Galicia. Se presenta in primavera, y emigra en estio.”*
Two important and productive orders, the shore-birds or waders, (Grallatores,) and the web-footed or swimming-birds, (Natatores,) still remain to be considered; but the unforeseen length to which this article has already extended, requires that we should postpone their exposition to a future Number.
* Catalogo de las aves observadas en las cercanias de Santiago, y otros puntos de Galicia. Por D. Francisco de los Rios Naceyro. See Memorias de la Real Academia de Ciencias de Madrid, tom. i. p. 110.
Liturgical Reform in the Church of England.
ART. III-Scriptural Revision of the Liturgy, a Remedy for Anglican Assumption and Papal Aggression. A Letter to the Right Honourable Lord John Russell, M.P. By a MEMBER of the MIDDLE TEMPLE. London, 1851.
THE Book of Common Prayer is the very kernel of the Church of England. The Liturgy has probably no rival in the affections of the English nation. The exquisite beauty and majesty of its language, the simplicity and dignity of its ritual, the richness and sweetness of its melody, the touching harmony of its cadences, the depth, warmth, and elevation of its devotional spirit, have for ages soothed the feelings, stimulated the piety, and earned the reverence of a great and religious people. We cannot wonder at the exhibition of such phenomena. The Liturgy is the precious tradition of the religious feeling and most exalted aspirations of many centuries of Christianity. All that the most saintly men, under every circumstance of human life and human emotion, have felt in the depth of their souls and poured forth to the God of their adoration—all that the bitterness of the keenest penitence, or the resignation of the profoundest suffering, or the fervour of Christian hope, or the exultation of triumphant faith, or the submission of the sincerest humility, or the intensity of the most earnest prayer has conceived and uttered, is here treasured up for the sustaining of Christian life and perpetuating of Christian feeling during unnumbered generations.
It is a striking testimony to the intrinsic excellence of the Liturgy, and to the fidelity and purity with which it expresses the genuine spirit of Christianity, that though descended from such remote antiquity it has lost none of its original freshness. It is as serviceable for the present generation, as thoroughly adapted to the utterance of our profoundest, as also of our most varied and delicate feelings, as if it had been composed in our own day. Nay, it is more so; for without meaning any disrespect to Archbishops of Canterbury, who, it may be confidently asked, on hearing the occasional prayers put forth from time to time by the authority of the Queen in Council, has not been struck by the very perceptible discord between the new and the old, and has not found the additions of modern composition to fall short in power and beauty of language as well as in depth and simplicity of feeling?
The musical and rhetorical excellence of the Liturgy will excite greater surprise, when it is remembered that, for the most part, it consists of translations from Latin. What other work can be placed by its side, in which a literal version from a foreign
tongue is felt to surpass native and original compositions in harmony, richness, dignity, and variety of expression? What English prose will venture to challenge a comparison with the majesty and melody of the collects? Shakespeare and Milton may have equalled them by the happiest efforts of their genius: we know of no prose writing that could bear such a trial.
The cause of the superiority is plain. The Liturgy is the choicest selection of what has been proved to be best during a long lapse of time. Its litanies and its collects are the fruit of the most sublime piety and the noblest gifts of language, tested by long sustained trial. Had they not sprung from the inmost depths of human nature, thoroughly penetrated and christianized by religion, they never would have retained their pre-eminence in public worship, much less have continued to be a living fountain of devotion for the nineteenth as truly as for the sixth century. No single generation could have created or could replace the Liturgy. It is the accumulation of the treasures with which the most diversified experience, the most fervent devotion, and the most exalted genius, have enriched the worship of prayer praise during fifteen hundred years. Who, then, can overestimate its influence in perpetuating the sacred fire of Christian love and Christian faith amongst a whole people, or exaggerate its power in conserving the pure and apostolical type of Christian worship?
Nevertheless, the Liturgy is a work of mortal origin; and, be it never forgotten, must bear the impress of human frailty. We must not be idolaters even of what is good and holy; for idolatry is the ruin of the soul. The reverence felt for saintly piety has often betrayed admiration into extenuating, and not seldom into imitating, the failings which accompanied it. An indiscriminate veneration for a Liturgy may easily become the parent of fearful evil, by perpetuating and consecrating in extensive churches errors both of feeling and doctrine. The higher the image of Christian virtue the more imminent is the danger incurred by undiscerning admiration. The Liturgy, though a genuine emanation from the pure spirit of Christianity, has not been endowed with the infallibility of inspiration. The manner of its construction has exposed it to inevitable detriment. It was impossible that the effusions of a long series of worshippers should not be tinged by the colour of thought of the ages in which they lived. No man can escape wholly the influence of his time. The philosophy and doctrinal views of each passing century could not fail to imprint their stamp on the language even of prayer, much more on that of creeds and declarations of doctrine. It is no dishonour to the Liturgy that it is subject to the universal law of humanity. English clergymen, indeed, often speak of it