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THE SKYLARK.

But his eye is still fixed where his wing shall repose ;

And though heavenward his fight (Alauda arvensis. LINNÆUS.)

He upholds with delight, The beautiful notes of this delightful songster must Yet with rapture he darts to the spot whence he rose. have struck upon the ears of every one who has taken

Tobin. a walk into the fields at this season of the year. It is one of the very few birds that sing while flying. It

THE TOAD EMBEDDED IN A TREE. mounts perpendicularly into the air, and continues for a long time singing almost over the same spot. It

I REMEMBER some years ago getting up into a mulberry often soars so high, that the music vibrates upou the

tree, and finding in the fork of the two main branches ear long after the musician has disappeared, and from

a large toad, almost embedded in the bark of the tree, these circumstances it has been used as a theme by the

which had grown over it so much that he was quite poet, and as an incentive tu devotion by the divine.

unable to extricate himself, and would probably in It is said to begin its song before the morning dawns ;

time be completely covered over with the bark. ' Into this Milton alludes in his L'Allegro :

deed, as the tree increased in size, there seems to be no

reason why the toad should not in process of time be“ To hear the lark begin his flight, And singing startle the dull night,

come embedded in the tree itself, as was the case with From his watch-tower in the skies,

the end of an oak rail that had been inserted into an Till the dapple dawn doth rise."

elin tree, which stood close to a public footpath. This, And also Shakespeare:

being broken off and grown over, was, on the tree

being felled and sawn in two, found nearly in the centre “ The gentle lark, weary of rest,

of it. The two circumstances together may explain the From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,

curious fact of toads having been found alive in the And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast The sun ariseth in his majesty.”

middle of trees; by showing, that the bark having once This harmony it continues several months; generally

covered them, the process of growth in the tree would

annually convey the toad more nearly to the centre of beginning it in May, and ending in September

it, as happened with the oak rail; and by showing that The lark forms a genus in the Linnæan system, but the British species are only two; the subject of this

toads, and probably other amphibia, can exist by the

absorption of Auids on the skin alone. This is conpaper, and the wood-lark. The general characteristics

firmed by the following fact. A gentleman informed of the skylark, are as follows. “ The length seven me, that he put a toad into a small flower-pot, and inches, bill dusky; the feathers on the top of the head

secured it so that no insect could penetrate into it, and are dusky, bordered with reddish brown; they are

then buried it in the ground at a sufficient depth to rather long, and capable of being raised in form of a short

protect it from the influence of frost. At the end of crest; on the upper parts of the body the feathers are reddish brown, darker in their middle, their edges pale;

twenty years he took it up, and found the toad increased

in size, and apparently healthy. Dr. Townson, in his the under parts are dirty buff colour, darkest on the

tracts on the respiration of the amphibia, proves, I think neck and breast, which parts are streaked with dusky; satisfactorily, from actual experiment, that, while those the tail is dusky brown, the two middle feathers darkest,

animals with whose economy we are best acquainted with light reddish margins ; legs dusky in old birds,

receive their principal supply of liquids by the mouth, but lighter in young ; claws dusky; the hind one very

the frog and salamander tribes take in theirs through long and straight.”

the skin alone; all the aqueous fluid which they take in This bird builds on the ground, amongst grass or being absorbed by the skin, and all they reject being corn ; its nest is formed of dry grass, and other vegetable stalks, lined with fine dry grass.. The eggs are

transpired through it. He found that a frog absorbed

nearly its own weight of water in the short time of an four or five in number, of a dirty white, blotched and

hour and a half, and that by being merely placed on spotted with brown.

blotting, paper well soaked with water; and it is beIn the winter, larks assemble in large Aocks, when

lieved that they never discharge it, except when they they are taken in great numbers, and" are found to be

are disturbed or pursued, and then they only eject it to very fat. Far greater numbers are taken in Germany,

lighten their bodies, and facilitate their escape. That where a duty is levied upon them; this paid at Leipsic, the moisture thus imbibed is sufficient to enable some according to Dr. Latham, amounts to 12,000 crowns

of the amphibia to exist without any other food, there per annum (about 2,8001. sterling); at the rate of

cannot I think be a reasonable doubt; and if this be grosch, or two pence halfpenny for sixty larks.

admitted, the circumstance of toads being found alive These birds are common to almost all parts of this

in the centre of trees, is accounted for by this and the kingdom, especially where coro abounds." Mr. Rennie says (Colonel Montague's Dict.), “In the beginning

preceding facts related.—Jesse's Gleanings in Natural

History. of September they are seen in great nuinbers in Egypt about Cairo, and continue sume days; they are supposed

FEROCITY OF THE CAT. to come from Barbary, and are called in Egypt Asfour Dsjebali, or Mountain Birds.”

The cat in its wild state is a very fierce and destructive animal: when wounded it has been often known to attack its pursuers, and it will always defend itself

with desperate resolution, when driven to extremities, ON THE LARK.

At Barnborough, a small village between Doncaster and From the green waving corn

Barnsley in Yorkshire, there is a tradition extant of a The lark spreads his wings,

conflict that once took place between a man and a wild And hails as he sings

cat. The fight is reported to have begun in an adjaThe fresh glow of the morn.

cent wood, and to have been continued from thence into With pinions replenish'd, he hovers on high,

the porch of the church, where it ended fatally to both And so far sends his song from the blue vaulted sky, combatants. A rude painting in the church commeYon would think the shrill note, as he soars from your morates the event; and the natural red tinge of some of view,

the stones, is considered as stains of blood which still To his dear native earth bade for ever adieu !

remain.

CHRISTIAN WARFARE.

READING AND STUDY.
Soldier, go !-- but not to claim
Mouldering spoils of earth-born treasure,

By Dr. HickeS.
Not to build a vaunting name,

Some persons have so much time on their hands, that Not to dwell in tents of pleasure.

they know not how to spend it: it is a burthen and a Dream not that the way is smooth,

charge; and so, like prodigals, they rather fling it away, Hope not that the thorns are roses ;

than take pains to improve it. I counsel you, therefore, Turn no wishful eye of youth,

to set aside some hours for reading; it is a handsome Where the sunny beam reposes.

diversion, and conveys profit through pleasure. The Thou hast sterner work to do,

intellect is a grateful soil; but then, like a field, it reHosts to cut thy passage through:

quires cultivation. By reading you join past ages to Close behind thee gulphs are burning — Forward !- there is no returning.

the present; you travel into Asia, Africa, and America,

without expense, without danger, nay, without walking Soldier, rest! - but not for thee

out of your closet. Sensual pleasures rather stupify Spreads the world her downy pillow;

than delight; they play upon the organ, and dull the On the rock thy couch must be,

appetite ; they are often brutal, and seldom innocent: While around thee chafes the billow.

but those of the understanding shine brighter; they are Thine must be a watchful sleep,

of a more refined metal, free from dross, and void of Wearier than another's waking ;

repentance : they extend the faculty, and render it Such a charge as thou dost keep

more rational; they rather whet desire thau glut it, and Brooks no moment of forsaking.

screw man's noblest prerogative, reason, up to the Sleep, as on the battle-field,

highest pitch. A man furnished with reading, can Girded - grasping sword and shield :

never be at a loss to set on foot and carry on a handThose thou canst not name nor number,

some conversation : he is always well stocked, and car. Steal upon thy broken slumber.

ries his provisions about him; whereas others are Soldier, rise ! -- the war is done :

forced to fetch matter from the kennel or the stable, Lo, the hosts of hel! are flying ;

and too often from worse sources. 'Twas thy Lord the battle won ;

I would not have you upon all occasions discourse Jesus vanquish'd them by dying.

in syllogism, nor deliver your thoughts in mood and Pass the stream — before thee lies

figure: but time your subject. Good things spoken All the conquer'd land of glory;

out of season lose their value. Discourse must be Hark! what songs of rapture rise,

adapted to the company; and it takes more when it These proclaim the victor's story.

naturally slides in, ihan when drawn in by head and Soldier, lay thy weapons down,

shoulders. In a word, enrich your understanding by Quit the sword, and take the crown;

the knowledge of things that become your quality; Triumph! all thy foes are banish’d,

and when you are doubly equipped (I mean with a Death is slain, and earth has vanish'd.

fair estate and a good fund of learning), what can you CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH. desire more, but an ordinary stock of prudence to lay

them out at advantage? ON THUNDER. TAUNDER is excited by a sudden kindling of sulphureous exhalations. Its cause long puzzled the philoso

ARABIAN SUPERSTITIONS. phers, and various hypotheses were formed for remov. BURCKHARDT, the African traveller, in 1815, mentions ing the difficulty ; but the ingenious Dr. Franklin of that Yambo (on the Red Sea) was then desolated by the America has solved the problem by showing, that it is plague, and he describes a curious ceremony of a canel nothing more than the electric fluid, darting from the covered with all sorts of ornaments, bells, feathers, &c., clouds in which it is collected. The distance the thunder is from us, may nearly be estimated by the in.

being led in procession through the city, and afterwards

slaughtered at the burial ground, and its flesh thrown terval of time between our seeing the lightning and to the vultures and dogs ; the Arabs, who are very hearing, the thunder; for as the motion of light is so

superstitious, hoping the plague would take refuge in very quick, that the time it takes up in coming to us

the body of the camel, and that by killing the animal from the cloud is not perceptible, and as that of sound

they should get rid of the disorder. is about 1000 feet in a second; allowing 1000 feet for

Bruce, about sixty years ago, mentions something every second that passes between our seeing the one, of a similar nature iaking place after a violent quarrel and hearing the other, we have the distance of the

in the town. The belligerent parties seized a camel, cloud (pretty nearly) whence the thunder comes.

loaded it with reproaches, accused it of having been the Thus we see, O mortal man ! by what this terrific noise

cause and origin

of the dispute, and at lengih, putting originates; but I ask what power it is that causes so

an end to its life, amicably settled their misundergreat convulsion in the heavens! It is, O sinner! the

standing Ruler of the universe : it is the hand of the Most High, There seems something of the nature of the scape which hurls the thunderbolt. Nature rests in his

goat of the Israelites in this singular ceremony. hands, he preserves and blesses, and at his almighty word the heavens and the earth are convulsed. The thunder roars; how dreadful is the stormy sky. The

London : Priuted and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppin's Court, lightning flashes, the thunderbolt is shot. Ó God! how Fleet Street, to whom all Communicatious for the Editor (post paid) great art thou, and how terrible is thy power! God should be addressed ; -- and sold by all Booksellers and Newsmen in the

United Kingdom. directs the thunder ; the sinner hears and trembles :

Hawkers and Dealers Supplied on Wholesale Terms, in London, by STBILL, scarce does he dare to lift up his eyes towards Him Paternoster Row, and BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand. whose voice seenis to threaten him with death. O Brighton, by SAUNDERS & Son. Nottingham, WRIGHT. Christian ! let not the majesty of thy God affright thy

Bristol, WESTLEY & Co. Portsea, HORSEY, Jun.
Manchester, ELLERBY.

Worthing, CARTER. soul, when he sits in the stormy clouds, when the Macclesfield, WRIGHT. mighty sound of thunder terrifies the wicked.-W.E. H. of whom may we had any of the previous Parts or Numbers.

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DRUIDS. Dr. BOOKER, the vicar of Dudley, nearly thirty years ago, we heard deliver an interesting sermon at St Philip's church, Birmingham, before several “Friendly Societies,” called DRUIDS, on one of their festivals. The reverend Doctor contrasted the pagan with the Christian condition of Britain, under the domination of the ancient Druids, taking for his text, 1 Pet ii, 9, 10. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: who in times past were not a people, but are now the people of God."

We were most deeply interested with the learned preacher's portraiture of Druidism in Britain ; and we have reason to believe that our young readers, who have been privileged with a Christian education, will feel equal pleasure in contemplating the same subject.

THE NAMES AND RANK OF THE Druids. - The Druids, Druidæ, or Druides, were the Philosophers

Vol. I.

and Priests of the ancient Gauls, Germans, and Britons. Some derive their name from the Hebrew word Drussim, which they translate contemplores, men given to meditativd: while others say they were so called from Drus, the Greek word for an Oak, on account of their dwelling and offering sacrifices under that kind of noble trees : but others suppose they were so called from the old British word Drus, the same as the Greek, and signifying a Magician.

These venerated priests were the most distinguished order among the Gauls and Britons, chosen out of the principal families; and the honours of their birth, considered with their office, procured them the highest reverence among the people.

The Druids were divided into several classes, Vacerri, Bardi, Eulages, Semnothii, and Saronidæ : they were, however, considered chiefly under three ranks, Bards, or Poets; Vates, or Priests, and Naturalists; and Druids properly, who embraced the studies of both nature and morals with their religion. The Druids have been represented as the same among the ancient Gauls and Britons, as the Philosophers among the Greeks, the Magi among the Persians, the Bramios

0

It was

anong the Indians, and the Chaldeans among the As- as a charm, and as a medicine. This extraordinary egg syrians.

was formed, as they pretended, by a great number of

serpents interwoven and twined together. When THE DOCTRINES TAUGHT BY THE DRUIDS.- At- formed, it was raised up in the air by their hissing, tempts have been made, but in vain, to collect the and was to be caught in a clean white cloth before it opinions of the Druids, and form them into a system. fell to the ground. The person who caught it was Cæsar, in his " Commentary on the Gallic War," obliged to ride a swift horse, and to ride with full gives many particulars relating to them ; and says, speed across a river, which stopped the serpent, that that “their chief principle is, that souls do not die pursued hiin with great fury. The method of trying with the body, but that after death they pass from the genuineness of this egg was extraordinary. It was one body to another, which doctrine they consider es- to be enchased in gold, and thrown into a river, and if pecially to inspire the people with courage and con- genuine it would swiin against the stream. tempt of death : besides, they inculcate upon their about the size of an apple, and was worn, as Pliny youth many things concerning the stars and their testifies, as the “insignin, or badge of distinction of the motions, the magnitude of the world, the nature of Druids.Some suppose that this contrivance of the things, and the power of the immortal gods.” — “Mer- serpent's egg was a mere fraud, invented by the cury they worship as their chief god; of whom they Druids to impose upon the iguorant and procure their have many images. They esteem him the inventor of admiration. *Others imagine that it was only an em. all arts, and their guide in all their journeys and under- blematical representation of the creation of the world: takings; they regard hiin as having particular influence the serpents denoting the Divine Wisdom forming the over nierchants and profits in trade. Next to him they universe, and the egg representing the world formed esteem Apollo, then Mars, Jupiter, and Minerva, of by that Wisdom. The virtue ascribed to it, of giving whom they entertain the same notions as other nations. those who possessed it a superiority over others, and They think that Apollo can cure diseases; that Minerva endearing them to great men, was intended to represent first instructed men in arts and manufactures; that Ju- the natural effects of learning and philosophy. piter is the ruler of heaven; and that Mars presides over war.” They were ignorant of the only self-existent and Religious CEREMONIES OF The Druids. - Cæsar ever-blessed God, the Creator of heaven and earth! remarks, “ To the Druids belong the direction of

As to the moral doctrines of the Druids, some of divine things, of the public and private sacrifices, and them are too shocking to mention in this place : but the interpretation of their religion. The whole counwe cannot refrain from inserting the following passage try is much addicted to superstition.” The Druids from Cæsar. The men have the power of life and performed their sacred rites in groves, and esteemed death over their wives and children ; and when any the oak as peculiarly the residence of the divinities: nobleman dies, his near relations assemble to investi- chaplets of it were worn both by the priests and the gate the occasion of his death, and if there arise any people ; and its leaves were strewed around their altars. suspicion, they have the power to bring his widow to Misletoe, growing on the oak, was sought with dilitrial in the most servile manner, and if the guilt be dis- gence, as it was considered a sovereign remedy against covered, to burn her alive. Their funerals are con- evil spirits, and a preservative from ghosts and disducted in the most sumptuous and magnificent manner,

It was accounted sacrilege for any one to cut according to their quality : every thing dear to the de- it besides a priest. On the discovery of it, the Arch. ceased while living, even his animals, being cast into druid, assisted by his inferiors in the priesthood, cut the funeral fire: and formerly, their vassals and clients, the bush of it, with a consecrated golden knife; when who were most beloved, were obliged to submit to the two white bulls, which had been fastened by the horns sacrifice of burning within the same fire with their to the tree, were sacrificed to the gods, to secure their lords."

effectual benediction upon the dedicated branch, as an

antidote to diseases, and as a charm against the power LEARNING OF THE Druids.-- As instructors of the of demons. people, Cæsar observes that “the Druids were exempted from the duties of war, and from the payment HORRIBLE CUSTOMS OF THE DRuids.-Human saof taxes; and they enjoy many immunities. For this crifices were common among the Druids. Cæsar in. reason many chose their profession, and were placed forms us, that "they who are dangerously ill, or daily under their tuition by their parents. They are reported conversant with the dangers of battle, either offer to have learnt a great number of verses (some writers human sacrifices, or devote themselves to the altar. say commonly 24,000); for the purpose of which many They have public offerings of this kind, which are comcontinued at study during a period of twenty years. mitted to the care of the Druids, who have large hollow They do not commit them to writing ; though they are images, bound about with osiers, into which they put not ignorant of letters, for in almost all other matters, men alive, and setting fire to the case, suffocate them. both public and private they use (Greek) letters. They Thieves, highway robbers, and other offenders, they seem to observe this method for two reasons — that believe are most grateful offerings to the gods : but they may not deliver their learning to the vulgar; and when honesty has rendered these scarce, the innocent that they may exercise more fully the memory of their are forced to supply their place." pupils."

Prisoners taken in battle were thus sacrificed in the Much has been said of the Arithmetic, Geometry, most barbarous manner. The victims, being stripped Astronomy, Mechanic arts, and Medical skill of the naked, and their heads being adorned with flowers, Druids : but it has been chiefly speculation : yet if the were tied to an oak, when the Arch-druid, invoking the remains of supposed Druid temples, especially Stone- gods, plunged the fatal weapon into their bowels, while henge, near Salisbury, were their work, they must the people shouted their horrid approbation ! have been well acquainted at least with some branches Sometimes a hundred wretched captives at a time of mechanics.

were enclosed in the dreadful wicker machine, which

was set on fire by the Arch-priest, while the shouts DRUIDS' Egos —Extravagant things have been re- of the multitude drowned the shrieks of the miserable ported concerning the miraculous eggs of the Druids. sufferers ! They were accustomed to wear them mounted in gold, This brief sketch of the ancient Druids, and their

eases.

principles and practice, would naturally lead us to in the cities of antiquity--in republican Athens, in immany serious and profitable reflections. What grati- perial Rome? The mountains of our country show tude is due to the God of our salvation, who by his their features as rough as they did two thousand years gospel has indeed “called us out of darkness into his ago — its torrents foam down their rocky beds with the marvellous light !” The following contrasted view of same violence as ever — the ocean around us, hoary ancient and modern Britain, by a good writer, places with storms, precipitates itself upon our shores with our obligations to the benign religion of Christ in a equal violence as in the days of Druidism. But how conspicuous point of view.

changed are the inhabitants of that country! Barba“What was the condition of our country in the time rism and cruelty have, like the snow before the sun, of the Romans! Look back and consider; —

- see its

disappeared before the beams of Christianity; the ancient tribes, brave indeed, but savage, fishing in its moral world has assumed a mild and genial aspect, the waters, or hunting upon its mountains--their bodies efflorescence of Christian virtue has burst out upon it, painted in all the fantastic colours of barbarism— their and the ancient song has been verified — The winter minds still more disfigured with the stains of cruelty, is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear impurity, and falsehood - the slaves of DRUIDICAL on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is coine IDOLATRY — bending the knee to some demon-hold- and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.'» ing their wives as the slaves of their caprice and tyranny--and sacrificing the children whom God had given them at the shrine of the devil! What is our

SCRIPTURE BIOGRAPHY. country now? Its inhabitants are settled into civilized and domestic life — the sciences cultivated - the arts

CAIN AND ABEL, THE SONS OF ADAM. advancing --industry, notwithstanding occasional stag

The Birth of Cuin and Abel. nation, all astir-the fields waving with heavy corn We have surveyed the life of Adam, the common father the most ingenious manufactures produced—the human of all mankind. In that review, we beheld our first intellect acknowledging but one God all-gracious and parents in their state of primitive uprightness, holiness, mighty -- tyranny over the fernale sex abolished - and happiness; living in the sweet enjoyment of inti. and the cruel immolation of children altogether un. mate communion with God their Creator. And we known !

have seen them in circumstances lamentably different; “ How has this wonderful change been produced ? fallen from their original excellency and integrity; By the revelation of Jesus Christ. Human society will driven from the blissful presence of their Maker; and, no doubt of itself make some progress towards civili- by their criminal apostacy, their nature degraded and zation; but civilization without Christianity is barba. polluted, depraved and rendered mortal. rism. Is China civilized, with her infants exposed to But although our first parents had cast themselves the dogs or to the vultures ? Is Hindostan civilized, down from the high elevation of their creation, they with her widows self-iminolated with the bodies of their were not destroyed : sovereign mercy had interposed, deceased husbands, or her aged inhabitants exposed and they were still spared. As “ grace reigned,” they alive by their own children on the banks of the Ganges? were blessed and inade to multiply; that so, according Are Mohammedan countries civilized, with their fe- to the unchangeable purposes of Heaven, their children males kept in almost constant confinement, and made might multiply and fill the earth. Labour and sorrow the subjects of the most intolerable oppression ? la were the appointed lot of Adam and Eve, as the consenone of the countries where a false religion prevails, quence of their disobedience : yet by faith in the procan you ever find the hunnan mind in that healthful mised seed, intervals of sacred pleasure and seasons of condition which is necessary to the performance of any joyful hope would arise, to lighten the load of their thing that is truly great or noble. Even the much- oppressive cares, and sustain their weary spirits, while extolled nations of antiquity, although they exhibited they endured the grievous loss of Paradise, and filled the grandeur of intellect, did not exhibit the grandeur the number of their revolving years. of morals; and it is the union of the two which alone Cain was the eldest son of Adam, and the first man can elevate man to that dignified station which his that was born into ihe world. His birth is reckoned to nature was intended to occupy. It is the Gospel of have taken place in the second year of the creation. Jesus Christ which has softened the human heart, Adam and Eve naturally desired the fulfilment of the saving infants and widows and parents from prema- gracious promise of their Creator, and to be blessed ture death, and the female sex from bondage. It is with children; and Cain was beheld by his delighted the Gospel, which, emancipating man from the slavery parents with rapturous satisfaction. They regarded of false religion, and thus communicating a right direc- their first-born smiling infant as a token of the munition to his intellectual and moral energies, has become ficent kindness of their Maker, and as a special boon the parent of ingenuity, industry, learning, and happi- from indulgent Heaven. ness. Search the annals of the nations of antiquity, Remembering the Divine intimation of a Saviour, or of any country to which the Gospel is a stranger, who should arise from her seed, Eve seems to have imawhere, amongst them, do you find any provision for gined that her first-born was the “ Divine Man," who the poor, any

asylum for the destitute, any lazar-house would bruise the head of the serpent, and secure their for the sick, any refuge for the penitent profligate ? deliverance from degradation and evil: and therefore But see these monuinents of the spirit of the Christian she said, “I have gotten a man from the LORD:" or, religion scattered throughout our land - these trophies as some translate her exclamation, “I have gotten of her victory over the selfishness, or thoughtlessness, a man, the LORD.” Agreeably to this fond hope, his or cruelty of human nature! Were an ancient Greek parents called his name Cain, which signifies a possesor Roman, wrapping himself up in his scattered ashes, sion : but how grievously mistaken and disappointed to rise from the dead, and to demand a proof of the they were in their expectations, the character, history, blessings shed on Britain by the Gospel, I would point and actions of this wretched man afford an affecting to our hospitals, to our indirmaries, to our penitentia- proof. So far from being a comfort to his parents, ries; I would lead him to inspect our societies for Cain rendered himself an example of wickedness; and clothing the naked, for visiting the destitute, for re- for this reason he has been held forth by the inspired lieving the poor; and I would ask him, without fear of writers, as a warning to all future generations an answer in the affirmative, if such things were known I John iii, 12.

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