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SOME OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING QUAIL.
BY J. CYPRESS, JR.
OCTOBER has arrived, and has entered into the kingdom prepared for him by his summery brethren, departed. A kingdom, truly, within a republic, but mild, magnificent, pro bono publico, and full of good fruits ; so that not a democrat, after the strictest sect of St. Tammany, but bows the knee. Hail ! O King! His accomplished artists are preparing royal palaces among the woods and fields, and on the hill-sides, painting the mountains and arching the streams with glories copied from the latest fashion of rainbows. His keen morning winds and cool evening moons, assiduous servants, are dropping diamonds upon the fading grass and tree-tops, and are driving in the feathery tenants of his marshes, bays, and brakes. Thrice happy land and water lord! See how they streak the early sky, piercing the heavy clouds with the accurate wedge of their marshalled cohorts, shouting peans as they go-and how they plunge into well-remembered waters, with an exalting sound, drinking in rest and hearty breakfasts! These be seges of herons, herds of cranes, droppings of sheldrakes, springs of teals, trips of wigeons, coverts of cootes, gaggles of geese, sutes of mallards, and badelynges of ducks; all of which the profane and uninitiated, miserable herd, call flocks of fowl, not knowing discrimination! Meadow and upland are made harmonious and beautiful with congregations of plovers, flights of doves, walks of snipes, exaltations of larks, coveys of partridges, and bevies of quail.* For all these vouchsafed com
* Stow. Strippe. Hakewell.
forts may we be duly grateful! But chiefly, thou sun-burned, frost-browned monarch, do we thank thee that thou especially bringest to i gorous maturity and swift strength, our own bird of our heart, our family chicken, tetrao coturnix.
The quail is peculiarly a domestic bird, and is attached to his birthplace, and the home of his forefathers. The various members of the anatic families educate their children in the cool summer of the far north, and bathe their warm bosoms in July, in the iced-water of Hudson's Bay; but when Boreas scatters the rushes where they builded their bedchambers, they desert their fatherland, and fly to disport in the sunny waters of the south. They are cosmopolites entirely seeking their fortunes with the sun. So, too, heavy-eyed, wise Master Scolopax fixeth his place of abode, not among the hearths and altars where his infancy was nurtured, but he goeth a skaaping where best he may run his long bill into the mud, tracking the warm brookside of juxta-capricornical latitudes. The songsters of the woodland, when their customary crops of insects and berries are cut off in the fall, gather themselves together to renew their loves, and get married in more genial climates. Even black-gowned Mr. Corvus,-otherwise called Jim Crow,-in autumnal fasts contemplateth Australian carcases. Presently, the groves so vocal, and the sky so full, shall be silent and barren. The“ melancholy days" will soon be here. Only thou, dear Bob White—not of the Manhattanwilt remain. Thy cousin, tetrao umbellus,* will be not far off, it is true ; but he is mountainous and precipitous, and lives in solitary places, courting rocky glens and craggy gorges, misandronist. Where the secure deer crops the young mosses of the mountain stream, and the bear steals wild honey, there
* The ruffed grouse, or partridge.