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is, he fancied the man, and his soul had a certain cognation and similitude of temper and inclination. For in all things where there is a latitude, every faculty will endeavour to be pleased, and sometimes the meanest persons in a house have a festival : even sympathies and natural inclinations to some persons, and a conformity of humours, and proportionable loves, and the beauty of the face, and a witty answer, may first strike the flint and kindle a spark, which if it falls upon tender and compliant natures may grow into a flame; but this will never be maintained at the rate of friendship unless it be fed by pure materials, by worthinesses which are the food of friendship: where these are not, men and women may be pleased with one another's company, and lie under the same roof, and make themselves companions of equal prosperities, and humour their friend; but if you call this friendship, you give a sacred name to humour or fancy; for there is a Platonic friendship, as well as a Platonic love: but they being but the images of more noble bodies, are but like tinsel dressings, which will show bravely by candle-light, and do excellently in a mask, but are not fit for conversation and the material intercourses of our life. These are the prettinesses of prosperity and good-natured wit; but when we speak of friendship, which is the best thing in the world (for it is love and beneficence, it is charity that is fitted for society), we cannot suppose a brave pile should be built up with nothing ; and they that build castles in the air, and look upon friendship as upon a fine romance, a thing that pleases the fancy but is good for nothing else, will do well when they are asleep, or when they are come to Elysium ; and for aught I know in the meantime may be as much in love with Mandana in the Grand Cyrus, as with the Infanta of Spain, or any of the most perfect beauties and real excellencies of the world : and by dreaming of perfect and abstracted friendships, make them so immaterial that they perish in the handling and become good for nothing.

But I know not whither I am going : I did only mean to say that because friendship is that by which the world is most blessed and receives most good, it ought to be chosen amongst the worthiest persons, that is, amongst those that can do greatest benefit to each other. And though in equal worthiness I may choose by my eye, or car, that is, into the consideration of the essential, I may take in also the accidental and extrinsic worthinesses ; yet I ought to give every one their just value : when the internal beauties are equal, these shall help to weigh down the scale, and I will love a worthy friend that can delight me as well as profit me, rather than him who cannot delight me at all, and profit me no more : but yet I will not weigh the gayest flowers, or the wings of butterflies, against wheat ; but when I am to choose wheat, I may take that which looks the brightest. I had rather see thyme and roses, marjoram and July flowers, that are fair and sweet and medicinal, than the prettiest tulips that are good for nothing: and my sheep and kine are better servants than race-horses and greyhounds. And I shall rather furnish my study with Plutarch and Cicero, with Livy and Polybius, than with Cassandra and Ibrahim Bassa ; and if I do give an hour to these for divertisement or pleasure, yet I will dwell with them that can instruct me, and make me wise and eloquent, severe and useful to myself and others. I end this with the saying of Lælius in Cicero : “ Amicitia non debet consequi utilitatem, sed amicitiam utilitas.” When I choose my friend, I will not stay till I have received a kindness: but I will choose such a one that cap do me many if I need them : but I mean such kindnesses which make me wiser, and which make me better: that is, I will, when I choose my friend, choose him that is the bravest, the worthiest, and the most excellent person ; and then your first question is soon answered. To love such a person, and to contract such friendships, is just so authorised by the principles of Christianity, as it is warranted to love wisdom and virtue, goodness and beneficence, and all the impresses of God upon the spirits of bravo men.

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29.-THE BRITISH HIRUNDINES.

GILBERT WAITE. (Who has not heard of The Natural History of Selborne,'—one of the most delightful books in the English language! The author was the Reverend Gilbert White, who for forty years lived in the retirement of his beautiful native village, Selborne, in Hampshire, diligently observing the appearances of nature, and recording them in letters to his friends. He was the first to take Natural History out of the hands of the mere classifiers, and to show how full of interest is the commonest object of creation, when carefully examined, and diligently watched through its course of growth, of maturity, and of decay. Mr. White was born in 1720, and died in 1793.]

THE HOUSE-Martin.— In obedience to your injunctions I sit down to give you some account of the house-martin, or martlet; and, if my monography of this little domestic and familiar bird should happen to meet with your approbation, I may probably soon extend my inquiries to the rest of the British hirundines—the swallow, the swift, and the bank-martin.

A few house-martins begin to appear about the sixteenth of April ; usually somo few days later than the swallow. For some time after they appear, the hirundines in general pay no attention to the business of nidification, but play and sport about, either to recruit from the fatigue of their journey, if they do migrate at all, or else that their blood may recover its true tone and texture after it has been so long benumbed by the severitics of winter. About the middle of May, if the weather bo fine, the martin begins to think in earnest of providing a mansion for its family. The crust or shell of this nest seems to be formed of such dirt or loam as comes most readily to hand, and is tempered and wrought together with little bits of broken straws to render it tough and tenacious. As this bird often builds against a perpendicular wall without any projecting ledge under, it requires its utmost efforts to get the first foundation firmly fixed, so that it may safely carry the superstructure. On this occasion the bird not only clings with its claws, but partly supports itself by strongly inclining its tail against the wall, making that a fulcrum ; and, thus steadied, it works and plasters the materials into the face of the brick or stone. . But then, that this work may not, while it is soft and green, pull itself down by its own weight, the provident architect has prudence and forbearance enough not to advance her work too fast; but by building only in the morning, and by dedicating the rest of the day to food and amusement, gives it sufficient time to dry and harden. About half an inch seems to be a sufficient layer for a day. Thus careful workmen when they build mud-walls (informed at first perhaps by this little bird) raise but a moderate layer at a time, and then desist lest the work should become top-heavy, and so be ruined by its own weight. By this method in about ten or twelve days is formed an hemispheric nest with a small aperture towards the top, strong, compact, and warm ; and perfectly fitted for all the purposes for which it was intended. But then nothing is more common than for the house-sparrow, as soon as the shell is

IST QUARTER.

finished, to seize on it as its own, to eject the owner, and to line it after its own

manner.

After so much labour is bestowed in erecting a mansion, as nature seldom works in vain, martins will breed on for several years together in the same nest, where it happens to be well sheltered and secure from the injuries of weather. The shell or crust of the nest is a sort of rustic work full of nobs and protuberances on the outside: nor is the inside of those that I have examined smoothed with any exactness at all ; but is rendered soft and warm, and fit for incubation, by a lining of small straws, grasses, and feathers; and sometimes by a bed of moss interwoven with wool.

As the young of small birds presently arrive at their full growth, they soon become impatient of confinement, and sit all day with their heads out at the orifice, where the dams, by clinging to the nest, supply them with food from morning to night. For a time the young are fed on the wing by their parents ; but the feat is done by so quick and almost imperceptible a sleight, that a person must have attended very exactly to their motions, before he would be able to perceive it. As soon as the young are able to shift for themselves, the dams immediately turn their thoughts to the business of a second brood ; while the first flight, shaken off and rejected by their nurses, congregate in great flocks, and are the birds that are seen clustering and hovering on sunny mornings and evenings round towers and steeples, and on the roofs of churches and houses. These congregatings usually begin to take place about the first week in August ; and therefore we may conclude that by that time the first flight is pretty well over. The young of this species do not quit their abodes all together; but the more forward birds get abroad some days before the rest. These, approaching the eaves of buildings and playing about before them, make people think that several old ones attend one nest. They are often capricious in fixing on a nesting-place, beginning many edifices, and leaving them unfinished; but, when once a nest is completed a sheltered place, serves for several seasons. Those which breed in a ready-finished house get the start, in hatching, of those that build new, by ten days or a fortnight. These industrious artificers are at their labours in the long days before four in the morning : when they fix their materials they plaster them on with their chins, moving their heads with a quick vibratory motion. They dip and wash as they fly sometimes in very hot weather, but not so frequently as swallows. It has been observed that martins usually build to a northeast or north-west aspect, that the heat of the sun may not crack and destroy their nests: but instances are also remembered where they breed for many years in vast abundance in a hot stifled inn-yard, against a wall facing to the south.

Martins are by far the least agile of the four species ; their wings and tails are short, and therefore they are not capable of such surprising turns and quick and glancing evolutions as the swallow. Accordingly they make use of a placid easy motion in a middle region of the air, seldom mounting to any great height, and never sweeping long together over the surface of the ground or water. They do not wander far for food, but affect sheltered districts, over some lake, or under some hanging wood, or in some hollow vale, especially in windy weather. They breed the latest of all the swallow kind : in 1772 they had nestlings on to October the twentyfirst, and are never without unfledged young as late as Michaelmas.

As the summer declines the congregating flocks increase in numbers daily by the constant accession of the second broods, till at last they swarm in myriads upon myriads round the villages on the Thames, darkening the face of the sky as they frequent the aits of that river, where they roost. They retire, the bulk of them, I mean, in vast locks together about the beginning of October : but have appeared of late years

in a considerable flight in this neighbourhood, for one day or two, as late As November the third and sixth, after they were supposed to have been gone for more than a fortnight. They therefore withdrew with us the latest of any species. Unless these birds are very short-lived indeed, or unless they do not return to the district where they are bred, they must undergo vast devastations somehow, and somewhere ; for the birds that return yearly bear no manner of proportion to the birds that retire.

THE CHIMNEY-SWALLOW.— The house-swallow, or chimney swallow, is, undoubtedly, the first comer of all the British hirundines, and appears in general on or about the thirteenth of April, as I have remarked from many years' observation. Not but now and then a straggler is seen much earlier ; and, in particular, when I was a boy I observed a swallow for a whole day together, on a sunny warm Shrove Tuesday; which day could not fall out later than the middle of March, and often happened early in February

It was worth remarking that these birds are seen first about lakes and mill-ponds; and it is also very particular, that if these early visitors happen to find frost and snow, as was the case of the two dreadful springs of 1770 and 1771, they immediately withdraw for a time,-

,-a circumstance this, much more in favour of hiding than migration ; since it is much more probable that a bird should retire to its hybernaculum just at hand, than return for a week or two only to warmer latitudes.

The swallow, though called the chimney-swallow, by no means builds altogether in chimneys, but often within barns and outhouses against the rafters, and so she did in Virgil's time.

6 Antè

Garrula quàm tignis nidum suspendat hirundo." In Sweden she builds in barns, and is called ladu swala, the barn swallow. Besides, in the warmer parts of Europe, there are no chimneys to houses, except they are English-built : in these countries she constructs her nest in porches, and gateways, and galleries, and open halls.

Here and there a bird may affect some odd peculiar place ; as we have known a swallow build down the shaft of an old well, through which chalk had been formerly drawn

up for the purpose of manure : but in general with us the hirundo breeds in chimneys, and loves to haunt those stacks where there is a constant fire, no doubt for the sake of warmth. Not that it can subsist in the immediate shaft where there is a fire ; but prefers one adjoining to that of the kitchen, and disregards the perpetual smoke of that funnel, as I have often observed with some degree of wonder.

Five or six or more feet down the chimney does this little bird begin to form her nest about the middle of May, which consists, like that of the house-martin, of a crust or shell composed of dirt or mud, mixed with short pieces of straw, to render it tough and permanent; with this difference, that whereas the shell of the martin is nearly hemispheric, that of the swallow is open at the top, and like half a deep dish : this nest is lined with fine grasses and feathers, which are often collected as they float in the air.

Wonderful is the address which this adroit bird shows all day long in ascending and descending with security through so narrow a pass. When hovering over the mouth of the funnel, the vibrations of her wings acting on the confined air occasion a rumbling like thunder. It is not improbable that the dam submits to this inconvenient situation so low in the shaft, in order to secure her broods from rapacious birds, and particularly from owls, which frequently fall down chimneys, perhaps in attempting to get at these nestlings.

The swallow lays from four to six white eggs, dotted with red specks, and brings out her first brood about the last week in June, or the first week in July. The progressive method by which the young are introduced into life is very amusing : first they emerge from the shaft with difficulty enough, and often fall down into the rooms below: for a day or so they are fed on the chimney-top, and then are conducted to the dead leafless bough of some tree, where, sitting in a row, they are attended with great assiduity, and may then be called perchers. In a day or two more they become flyers, but are still unable to take their own food ; therefore they play about near the place where the dams are hawking for flies; and when a mouthful is collected at a certain signal given, the dam and the nestling advance, rising towards each other, and meeting at an angle; the young one all the while uttering such a little quick note of gratitude and complacency, that a person must have paid very little regard to the wonders of nature that has not often remarked this feat.

The dam betakes herself immediately to the business of a second brood as soon as she is disengaged from the first ; which at once associates with the first broods of house-martins ; and with them congregates clustering on sunny roofs, towers and trees. This hirundo brings out her second brood towards the middle and end of August.

All the summer long is the swallow a most instructive pattern of unwearied industry and affection ; for, from morning to night, while there is a family to be supported, she spends the whole day in skimming close to the ground, and exerting the most sudden turns and quick evolutions. Avenues and long walks under hedges, and pasture-fields, and mown meadows where cattle graze, are her delight, especially if there are trees interspersed ; because in such spots insects most abound. When a fly is taken a smart snap from her bill is heard, resembling the noise at the shutting of a watch-case ; but the motion of the mandibles is too quick for

the eye.

The swallow, probably the male bird, is the excubitor to house-martins, and other little birds, announcing the approach of birds of prey. For, as soon as a hawk appears, with a shrill alarming note he calls all the swallows and martins about him; who pursue in a body, and buffet and strike their enemy till they have driven him from the village, darting down from above on his back, and rising in a perpendicular line in perfect security. This bird also will sound the alarm, and strike at cats when they climb on the roofs of houses, or otherwise approach the nests. Each species of hirundo drinks as it flies along, sipping the surface of the water ; but the swallow alone, in general, washes on the wing, by dropping into a pool for many times together : in very hot weather house-martins and bank-martins dip and wast. a little.

The swallow is a delicate songster, and in soft sunny weather sings both perching and flying ; on trees in a kind of concert, and on chimney tops : is also a bold flyer, ranging to distant downs and commons, even in windy weather, which the other species seem much 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 play before \nd behind them, sweeping around, and collecting all the skulking insects that are roused by the trampling of the horses' feet; when the wind blows hard, without this expedient, they are often forced to settle to pick up their lurking prey.

This species feed much on little coleoptera, as well as on gnats and flies ; and often settles on dug ground, or paths, for gravels to grind and digest its food. Before they depart, for some weeks, to a bird, they forsake houses and chimneys, and roost in trees, and usually withdraw about the beginning of October ; thouglı some few stragglers may appear on, at times, till the first week in November.

THE SAND-MARTIN.—The sand-martin, or bank-martin, is by much the least of any of the British hirundines; and, as far as we have seen, the smallest known hirundo : though Brisson asserts that there is one much smaller, and that is the hirundo esculenta

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