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truth she will prove with these children, is,
that Bedouins don't make good followers of
fashion, and that nature is stronger than the
artificial rules and restraints of society."

The doctor's advice was followed, and the
treatment succeeded.


BIRDS, says M. Toussenelsome of whose
curious fancies about quadrupeds we have
already citedlive more in a given time than
any other creatures. For, to live, is not only
to love; it is also to move, act, and travel. The
hours of the swift, which in sixty minutes can
reach the distance of eighty leagues, are
longer than the hours of the tortoise, because
they are better occupied, and comprise a
greater number of events. Men of the
present day, who can go from Europe to America
in little more than a week, live four times as
much as men of the last century, who took a
mouth to make the passage. People who
are now fifty years of age have still a longer
time before them than Michael Angelo and
Voltaire had, at the moment when they were
laid in the cradle. Independently of birds
thus enjoying more of life than all other
beings in the same given number of years,
time seems to glide over them without
leaving a trace of its effects; or rather, time
only improves them, reviving their colours
and strengthening their voices. Age increases
the beauty of birds, while in men it brings on

A bird is a model ship constructed by the
hand of God, in which the conditions of
swiftness, manageability, and lightness, are
absolutely and necessarily the same as in
vessels built by the hand of man. There are
not in the world two things which resemble
each other more strongly, both mechanically
and physically speaking, than the carcase and
framework of a bird and a ship. The breast-
bone so exactly resembles a keel, that the
English language has retained the name.
The wings are the oars, the tail the rudder.
That original observer, Huber the Genevese,
who has carefully noticed the flight of birds
of prey, has even made use of the metaphor
thus suggested to establish a characteristic
distinction between rowers and sailers. The
rowers are the falcons, who have the first or
second wing-feather the longest, and who are
able, by means of this powerful oar to dart
right into the wind's eye. The mere sailers
are the eagles, the vultures, and the buzzards,
whose more rounded wings resemble sails.
The rowing bird is to the sailing bird what
the steamer that laughs at adverse winds is
to the schooner, which cannot advance against

The bones of highflyers, as well as their
feathers, are tubes tilled with air, communicating
with a pulmonary reservoir of prodigious
capacity. This reservoir is also
closely connected with the air-cells which lie
between the interior muscles, and which are
so many swimming-bladders by aid of which
the bird is able to inflate its volume, and
diminish its specific gravity in proportion.
In birds that are laden with a heavy burthen
of head, Nature has interposed so decided a
gap between skin and flesh, that there results
an almost complete detachment of the skin.
Consequently, they can be stripped of their
coating just as easily as a rabbit can. ln
man, and other mammifers, the blood, in the
act of breathing, advances ready to meet the
air; in birds, air enters to find the blood, and
comes in contact with it, everywhere. Hence
an ubiquity of respiration and a rapidity of
haematosis, which explains the untirability of
the wings of birds. The muscles do not get
fatigued, because they receive new vigour
every second from the influence of the ever-
revivified blood. A stag or a hare drops at
last, when hunted, because its lungs, rather
than its legs, are tired.

Between the different members of a bird's
body there exists a sort of equilibrium and
balance, which prevents any one organ from
obtaining undue development without another
losing in the same proportion. Thus,
exaggerated length of wing generally coincides
with very small feet and legs. Examples:
the frigate-bird, the swift, and the humming-bird.
Feathered feet and legs are mostly
short, as in pigeons, bantams, ptarmigan, and
grouse. Nature always contrives to economise
out of one part of a bird's body the
material which she has too lavishly expended
upon another. Good walkers are bad flyers,
and good flyers are bad walkers. First-rate
runners and divers are deprived of the power
of rising in the air. Half-blind individuals,
like owls, are astonishingly quick of hearing.
Creatures clad in plain costume are recompensed
by the powers of song. The lark and
the redbreast, victim species (both being
greedily eaten in France), have the gift of
poesy bestowed upon them to console them
for their future sorrows.

The most exquisite sense a bird possesses,
is sight. The acuteness and sensibility of
the retina are in direct proportion to the
rapidity of wing. The swift, according to
Belou's calculation, can see a gnat distinctly,
at the distance of more than five hundred
yards. The kite, hovering in the air at a
height beyond our feeble vision, perceives
with ease the small dead minnow floating
on the surface of the lake, and is cognisant
of the imprudence of the poor little field-
mouse as it timidly ventures out of its hole.
All God has done and made, He has thoroughly
well done and made. If He had not exactly
proportioned the visual powers of the bird of
prey, or the swallow, to its dashing flight,
the mere extreme velocity of the bird would
have only served to break its neck.
Partridges constantly kill themselves against the
iron wires of electric telegraphs; and nothing
is more common than to find thrushes and