Abbildungen der Seite

way, where yet the stars are not very The mottled appearance of the sun is small, they are so crowded, that in the owing to an inequality in the level of year 1792, August 22, I found by the the furface. gages that, in forty-one minutes of time, The sun is equally mottled at its no less than 258 thousand of them had poles and at its equator ; but the motpassed through the field of view of my tled appearances may be feen better atelescope.

bout the middle of the disc than toward It seems, therefore, upon the whole, the circumference, on account of the not improbable that, in many cases, stars fun's spherical form. are united in such close systems as not The unevenness arising from the eleto leave much room for the orbits of vation and depression of the mottled planets, or comets ; and that conse. appearance on the surface of the sun, quently, upon this account also, many seems, in many places, to amount to as stars, unless we would make them mere much, or to nearly as much, as the deuleless brilliant points, may themselves pression of the penumbræ of the spots be lucid planets, perhaps unattended by below the upper part of the shining subsatellites.

stance, without including faculæ, which

are protuberant. The following observations, which The lucid substance of the sun is neiwere made with an improved apparatus, ther a liquid, nor an elastic fluid ; as is and under the most favourable circum- evident from its not instantly filling up stances, should be added to those which the cavities of the spots, and of the unhave been given. They are decisive evenness of the mottled parts. It exwith regard to one of the conditions of ists, therefore, in the manner of lucid the lucid matter of the sun.

clouds swimming in the transparent atNovember 26. 1794. Eight spots mosphere of the fun; or rather, of luin the sun, and several subdivisions of minous decompositions taking place them, are all equally depressed. within that atmosphere. The sun is mottled





Stone Curlew.

descend in the night to streams and ON the 27th of February 1788, meadows, perhaps for water, which Stone Curlews were heard to pipe ; their upland haunts do not afford them. and on March ist, after it was dark, The smallest Willow Wren. some were palling over the village, as The smallest uncrested or Willow might be perceived by their quick short Wren, or chiff chaff, is the next early note, which they use in their nocturnal summer bird which we have remarked ; excursions by way of watchword, that it utters two sharp piercing notes, so they may not Aray and lose their com. loud in hollow woods as to occasion an panions.

echo, and is usually first heard about Thus, we see, that retire whither. the 20th of March. soever they may in the winter, they Fern Owl, or Goat Sucker. return again early in the spring, and THE

country people have a notion are, as it now appears, the firlt fum- that the fern-owl, or churn-owl, or mer birds that come back. Perhaps eve-jarr, which they also call a puckethe mildness of the season may have ridge, is very injurious to weanling quickened the emigration of the curlews calves, ' by inflicting, as it strikes at

them, the fatal distemper known to They spend the day in high elevated cow-leeches by the name of puckefields and sheep-walks ; but seem to ridge. Thus does this harmless, ill


this year


fated bird fall under a double imputa- of which there are several forts ; and tion, which it by no means deserves; exhibited on the occasion a coinmand of in Italy, of fucking the teats of goats, wing fuperior, I think, to that of the whence it is called caprimulgas; and swallow itself. with us, of communicating a deadly When a person approaches the haunt disorder to cattle. But the truth of the of fern-owls in an evening, they conmater is, the malady above-mentioned tioue flying round the head of the ob. is occasioned by the aftrus bovis, a dip. truder, and by striking their wings toterous insect, which lays its eggs along gether above their backs, in the man. the chines of kine, where the maggots, ner that the pigeons called smitters, when batched, eat their way through are known to do, make a smart snap: the hide of the beast into the Ach, and perhaps at that time they are jealous for grow to a very large size. I have just their young; and this noise and gesture talked with a man, who says, he has are intended by way of menace. more than once stripped calves who Fern-owls have attachment to oaks, have died of the puckeridge ; that the no doubt on account of food; for the ail or complaint lay along the chine, next evening we saw one again, several where the mesh was much fwelled, times, among the boughs of the fame and filled with purulent matter. Once tree; but it did not skim round its stem I myself saw a large rough maggot of over the grass, as on the evening before. this sort squeezed out of the back of a In May these birds find the scarabaus

These maggots in Effex are called melolontha on the oak; and the jcarawornils.

beus folftitialis at Midsommer. "These The least obfervation and attention peculiar birds can only be watched and would convince men, that these birds observed for two hours in the iwenty. neither injure the goat-herd nor the four ; and then in a dubious twilight, grazier, but are perfe&tly harmless, an hour after sun-set and an hour before and subsift alone, being night birds, sun rise. or night infects, such as scarabai, and On this day, (July 14, 1789,) a phalane ; and through the month of woman brought me two eggs of a ternJuly mostly on the scarabeus folslitialis, owl, or eve-jarr, which the found on which in many districts abounds at that the verge of the hanger, to the left of season. Those that we have opened, the hermitage, under a beechen shrub. have always had their craws stuffed with This person who lives just at the foot large night-moths and their eggs, and of the hanger, seems well acquainted pieces of chaffers : nor does it anỹwise with these nocturnal swailows, and says appear how they can, weak and unarm- she has often found their eggs near that ed as they seem, inflict any harm upon place, and that they lay only two at a kine, unless they possess the powers of time on the bare ground. The eggs animal magnetism, and can affect them were oblong, dusky, and streaked fomeby fluttering over them.

what in the manner of the plumage of the A fern owl, this evening, (August parent bird, and were equal in size at 27.) showed off in a very unusual and each end. The dam was-ltting on the entertaining manner, by hawking round eggs when found, which contained the and round the circumference of my great the rudiments of young, and would spreading oak, for twenty times follow- have been hatched perhaps in a week. ing, keeping mostly close to the grass, From hence we may see the time of but occalionally glancing up amid the their breeding, which correfponds pretty boughs of the tree. This amusing bird well with that of the swift, as does also was then in pursuit of a brood of some the period of their arrival. Each species particular phalæna belonging to the oak, is usually seen about the beginning of


eggs were full of

May. Each breeds but once in a April 9, 1793.

A sober hind af. summer ; each lays only two eggs.

sures us, that this day, on Wishhanger July 4, 1740. The woman who common, between Hidleigh and Frinbrought me two fern-owls eggs last year sham, he saw several bank-martins play, on July 14, on this day produced me ing in and out, and hanging before two more, one of which had been laid some nest holes in a fand-hill, where this morning, as appears plainly, be. these birds usually nestle. 'cause there was only one in the nest the

This incident confirms my suspicions, evening before. They were found, as that this species of hirundo is to be lalt July, on the verge of the down a- seen first of any; and gives great reason bove the hermitage under a beechen to suppose, that they do not leave their shrub, on the naked



wild haunts at all, but are secreted a. those

young, and just mid the clefts and caverns of those aready to be hatched.

brupt cliffs where they usually spend These circumstances point out the their summers. exact time when these curious nocturnal The late severe weather considered, migratory birds lay their eggs, and it is not very probable that these birds hatch their young.

should have migrated so early from a Fern-owls, like snipes, stone curlews, tropical region, through all these cutand some other birds, make no nest. ting winds, and pinching frosts : but it Birds that build on the ground do not is easy to suppose, that they may, like make much of nests.

bats and flies, have been awakened by Sand Martins.

the influence of the sun, amid their March 23, 1788. A GENTLEMAN secret latebræ, where they have spent who was this week on a visit at Wa. the uncomfortable foodless months in a verley, took the opportunity of exa- torpid state, and the profoundest of Nummining some of the holes in the sand- bers. banks, with which that district abounds. There is a large pound åt WishAs there are undoubtedly bored by hanger, which induces these fand-mara bank-martins, and are the places where tins to frequent that district. For I they avowedly breed, he was in hopes have ever remarked that they haunt they might have lept there also, and near greac: waters, either rivers, or that he might have surprised them just lakes. as they were awaking from their win. Congregating, and Disappearance of ter slumbers. When he had dug for

Swallows. fome cime, he found the holes were DURING the severe winds that often horizontal, and serpentine, as I had prevail late in the spring, it is not easy observed before ; and that the nests to say how the hirundines sublift : for were depolited at the inner end, and they withdraw themselves, and are had been occupied by broods in former hardly ever seen, nor do any insects apfummers : but no torpid birds were to pear for their support. That they can be found. He opened and examined retire to rest, and sleep away these una. about a dozen holes. Another gentle. comfortable periods, as the bats do, is man made the same search many years a matter rather to be suspected than ago, with as little success.

proved : or do they not rather spend These holes were in depth about two their time in deep and sheltered vales, feet.

near waters, where insects are more March 21, 1790.

A single bank likely to be found ? Certain it is, that or sand-martin was seen hovering and hardly any individuals of this genus playing round the sand pit at Short- have at such times been seen for several. heath, where iņ the summer they do days together. bound.

September 13, 1791. The congre Vol. LVIII.



Eating flocks of hirundines on the These swallows looked like young Church and tower are very beautiful ones. and amusing. When they fly off all

Wagtails. together from the roof, on any alarm While the cows are feeding in moist they quite swarm the air. But they low pastures, broods of wagtails, white foon settle in heaps, and preening their and grey, run round them, clofs up to feathers, and lifting up their wings to their

noses, and under their very bellies, admit the fun, feem highly to enjoy the availing themselves of the flies that setwarm situation. Thus they spend the tle on their legs, and probably finding heat of the day, preparing for their e. worms and larvæ that are roused by migration, and as it were consulting the trampling of their feet. Nature is when and where they are to go. The such an economist, that the most inconflight about the church seems to consist gruous animals can avail themselves of chiefly of house-martins, about 4co in each other ! Interest makes strange number; but there are other places of friendships. rendezvous about the village, frequented

Wryneck. at the same time.

These birds appear on the grassIt is remarkable, that though most plots and walks ; they walk a little as of them fit on the battlements and roof, well as hop, and thrust their bills into yet many hang or cling for some time, the turf, in queft, I conclude, of ants, by their claws, against the surface of which are their food. While they hold the walls, in a manner not practised by their bills in the grass, they draw out them at any other time of their remain their prey with their tongues, which are ing with us.

so long as to be coiled round their The swallows seem to delight more heads. in holding their affe-mblies on trees.

Grofbeak. November 3, 1789. Two swallows Mr B. shot a cock grosbeak, which were seen this morning at Newton vi- he had observed to haunt his garden carage house, hovering and settling on for more than a fortnight. I began to the roofs and out-buildings. None accuse this bird of making sad havoc have been observed at Selborne since among the buds of the cherries, gooseOctober 11. It is very remarkable, berries, and wall fruit, of all the neighthat after the birundines have disap- bouring orchards. Upon opening its peared for some weeks, a few are oc- crop or craw, no buds were to be seen ; casionally seen again. Sometinies, in but a mass of kernels of the stones of the first week in November, and that fruits. Mr B. obferved, that this bird only for one day. Do they not with- frequented the spot where plumb-trees draw and flumber in some hiding place grow; and that he had seen it with during the interval? For we cannot somewhat hard in its mouth, which it suppose they had migrated to warmer broke with difficulty ; these were the climes, and so returned again for one stones of damsons. The Latin orniday. Is it not more probable that they thologists call this bird coccothraustes, are awakened from sleep, and, like the i. c. berry-breaker, because with its bats, are come forth to collect a little large, horny beak, it cracks and breaks food ? Bats appear at all seasons, through the shells of stone fruits for the sake of the autumn and spring months, when the feed or kernel. Birds of this fort the thermometer is at 50, because then are rarely seen in England, and only in phalænæ, moths, are stirring.



BY THE LATE 'ADAM SMITH, L. L. D. THE imitativé powers of dancing mental music, and are at least equal, are much fuperior to those of inftru- perhaps, fuperior, to those of any other



art. Like instrumental music, however, tative dancer to that of a good painter it is not necessarily or essentially imita- or ftatuary. The dancer, however, may tive, and it can produce very agreeable have a very considerable degree of meeffects, without imitating any thing. In rit, and his imitation perhaps may some. the greater part of our common dances times be capable of giving us as much there is little or no imitation, and they pleasure as that of either of the two consist almost entirely of a succession of artists. All the subjects, either of stasuch steps, gestures, and motions, regu- tuary or of history painting, are within lated by the time and measure of music, the compass of his imitative powers ; as either display extraordinary grace, or and in representing them, his art has require extraordinary agility. Even even some advantage over both the other some of our dances, which are said to Statuary and hiltory painting can have been originally imitative, have, in represent but a single instant of the acthe way in which we practise them al. tion which they mean to imitate : the most ceased to be so. "The minuet, in causes which prepared, the consequences which the woman, after passing and re. which followed, the situation of that palling the man several times, first gives single inftant are altogether beyond the him up one hand, then the other, and compass of their imitation. A pantothen both hands, is said to have been mime dance can represent distinctly originally a moorish dance, which em those causes and consequences ; it is not blematically represented the passion of confined to the situation of a single inlove. Many of my readers may have stant ; but, like epic poetry, it can refrequently danced this dance, and, in present all the events of a long story, the opinion of all who saw them, with and exhibit a long train and succession great grace and propriety, though of connected and interesting situations. neither they nor their spectators once It is capable therefore of affecting us thought of the allegorical meaning which much more than either statuary or paintit originally intended to express. ing. The ancient Romans used to shed

A certain measured, cadenced step, tears at the representations of their pancommonly called a dancing step, which tomimes, as we do at that of the most keeps time with, and as it were beats interesting tragedies ; an effect which is the measure of the music which accom- altogether beyond the powers of statupanies and directs it, is the essential ary or painting. characteristic which distinguishes a dance The ancient Greeks appear to have from every other sort of motion. When been a nation of dancers, and both their the dancer, moving with a step of this common and their stage dances seem to kind, and observing this time and mea, have been all imitative.

The stage fure, imitates either the ordinary or the dancers of the ancient Romans appear more important actions of human life, to have been equally fo. Among that he shapes and fashions, as it were, a grave people it was reckoned indecent thing of one kind, into the resemblance to dance in private societies ; and they of another thing of a very different kind: could therefore have no common dances. his art conquers the disparity which Among both nations imitation seems nature has placed between the imitating to have been considered as essential to and the imitated object, and has upon dancing. that account fome degree of that sort It is quite otherwise in modern times : of merit which belong to all the imita- thongh we have pantomime dances upon tive arts. This disparity, indeed, is the stage, yet the greater part even of not so great as in fome part of those our stage dances are not pantomime, arts, nor consequently the merit of the and cannot well be said to imitate any imitation which conquers it. Nobody thing. The greater part of our comwould compare the merit of a good imi. mon dances either never were panto

5 P 2 mime.

« ZurückWeiter »