The Natural History of Selborne, Volume 1

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Page 280 - ... to dislike ; nay, even frequenting exposed seaport towns, and making little excursions over the salt water. Horsemen on wide downs are often closely attended by a little party of swallows for miles together, which plays before and behind them, sweeping around, and collecting all the skulking insects that are roused by the trampling of the horses
Page 335 - ... cruel anguish, and threatened with the loss of the use of the limb. Against this accident, to which they were continually liable, our provident forefathers always kept a shrew-ash at hand, which, when once medicated, would maintain its virtue for ever. A shrew-ash was made thus: — Into the body of the tree a deep hole was bored with an auger, and a poor devoted shrew-mouse was thrust in alive, and plugged in, no doubt, with several quaint incantations long since forgotten.
Page 334 - ... it is supposed that a shrew-mouse is of so baneful and deleterious a nature, that wherever it creeps over a beast, be it horse, cow, or sheep, the suffering animal is afflicted with cruel anguish, and threatened with the loss of the use of the limb.
Page 250 - The white owl does indeed snore and hiss in atremendous manner; and these menaces well answer the intention of intimidating: for I have known a whole village up in arms on such an occasion, imagining the church-yard to be full of goblins and spectres. White owls also often scream horribly as they fly along; from this screaming probably arose the common people's imaginary species of screech-owl, which they superstitiously think attends the windows of dying persons.
Page 326 - A pound of common grease may be procured for four pence; and about six pounds of grease will dip a pound of rushes ; and one pound of rushes may be bought for one shilling ; so that a pound of rushes, medicated and ready for use, will cost three shillings.
Page 316 - ... these apterous insects should that day take such a wonderful aerial excursion, and why their webs should at once become so gross and material as to be considerably more weighty than air, and to descend with precipitation, is a matter beyond my skill. If I might be allowed to hazard a supposition, I should imagine that those filmy threads, when first shot, might be entangled in the rising dew, and so drawn up, spiders and all, by a brisk evaporation into the regions where clouds are formed : and...
Page 320 - These two incongruous animals spent much of their time together in a lonely orchard, where they saw no creature but each other. By degrees an apparent regard began to take place between these two sequestered individuals. The fowl would approach the quadruped with notes of complacency, rubbing herself gently against his legs : while the horse would look down with satisfaction, and move with the greatest caution and circumspection, lest he should trample on his diminutive companion.
Page 118 - NATURE'S works, the curious mind employ, Inspire a soothing melancholy joy : As fancy warms, a pleasing kind of pain Steals o'er the cheek, and thrills the creeping vein ! Each rural sight, each sound, each smell, combine ; The tinkling sheep-bell or the breath of kine ; The new-mown hay that scents the swelling breeze, Or cottage-chimney smoking through the trees. The chilling night-dews fall :— away, retire ! For see, the glow-worm lights her amorous fire ! J Thus, ere night's veil had half obscured...
Page 330 - WE had in this village, more than twenty years ago, an idiot boy, — whom I well remember, — who, from a child, showed a strong propensity to bees ; they were his food, his amusement, his sole object. And as people of this cast have seldom more than one point in view, so this lad exerted all his few faculties on this one pursuit.
Page 30 - Forest in succession for more than a hundred years. This person assures me that his father has often told him that Queen Anne, as she was journeying on the Portsmouth road, did not think the forest of Wolmer beneath her royal regard. For she came out of the great road at Lippock...

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