« PreviousContinue »
squeaks out like a hurt chicken ; and the hen hurries about, with hanging wings and bristled feathers, clucking to pro tect her injured brood. He runs over the quiverings of the canary, and the clear whistlings of the Virginia nightingale or red bird, with such superior execution and effect, that the mortified songsters feel their own inferiority, and become altogether silent, while he seems to triumph in
their defeat, by redoubling his exertions. ? This excessive fondness for variety, however, in the
opinion of some, injures his song. His elevated imitations of the brown-thrush are frequently interrupted by the crowing of cocks: and the warblings of the blue bird, which he exquisitely manages, are mingled with the screaming of swallows, or the cackling of hens; amidst the simple melody of the robin, we are suddenly surprised by the shrill reiterations of the whip-poor-will; while the notes of the kildeer, blue jay, martin, baltimore, and twenty
others, succeed with such imposing reality, that we look 8 around for the originals, and discover, with astonishment,
that the sole performer, in this singular concert, is the admirable bird now before us During this exhibition of his powers, he spreads his wings, expands his tail, and throws himself around the cage in all the ecstasy of enthusiasm, seeming not only to sing, but to dance, keeping time to the measure of his own music. Both in his native and domesticated state, during the solemn stillness of the night, as soon as the moon rises in silent majesty, he begins his delightful solo, and serenades us with a full display of his vocal powers, making the whole neighborhood ring with bis inimitable melody.
Why should a man, whose blood is warmvithin,
And when I ope any lips, let no dog bark !
The Children of the very
Poor.*_ANONYMOUS. 1 The innocent prattle of his children takes out the sting
of a man's poverty. But the children of the very poor do not prattle! It is none of the least frightsul features in that condition, that there is no childishness in its dwellings. Poor people, said a sensible old nurse to us once, do not bring up their children; they drag them up. The little careless darling of the wealthier nursery, in their hovel is transformed betimes into a premature reflecting person. No one has time to dandle it, no one thinks it worth while to coax
it, to sooth it, to toss it up and down, to humor it. There 2 is none to kiss away its tears. If it cries, it can only be
beaten. It has been prettily said that “a babe is fed with milk and praise.” But the aliment of this poor babe was thin, unnourishing; the return for its little baby-tricks, and efforts to engage attention, bitter ceaseless objurgation. It never had a toy, or knew what a coral meant. It grew up without the lullaby of nurses; it was a stranger to the patient fondle, the hushing caress, the attracting novelty, the costlier plaything, or the cheaper off-hand contrivance to
divert the child; the prattled nonsense, (best sense to it,) 3 the wise impertinences, the wholesome fiction, the apt
story intergosed, that puts a stop to present sufferings, and awakens the passion of young wonder. It was never sung to-no one ever told to it a tale of nursery. It was dragged up, to live or to die as it happened. It had no young dreams. It broke at once into the iron realities of life. A child exists not for the very poor as any object of dalliance; it is only another mouth to be fed, a pair of little hands to be betimes inured to labor. Jt is the rival, till it he the co-operator, for the food with the parent. It is
operatives in the manufactories in England are particularly
4 never his mirth, his diversion, his solace ; it never makes
him young again, with recalling his young times. The children of the very poor have no young times. It makes the very heart to bleed to overhear the casual street-talk between a poor woman and her little girl—a woman of the better sort of poor, in a condition rather above the squalid beings which we have been contemplating. It is not of toys, of nursery books, of summer holydays (fitting that age,) of the promised sight, or play: of praised sufficiency
at school. It is of mangling* and clear-starching, of the 5 price of coals, or of potatoes. The questions of the child,
ihat should be the very outpourings of curiosity in idleness, are marked with forecast and melancholy providence. It has come to be a woman, before it was a child. It has learned to go to market; it chaffers, it haggles, it envies, it murmurs; it is knowing, acute, sharpened ;-it never prattles. Had we not reason to say, that the home of the very poor is no home ?
How beautiful is night!
Breaks the serene of heaven:
Beneath her steady ray,
The desert circle-spreads,
How beautiful is night!
No station is in view,
The mother and her child;
They, at this untimely hour.
* Mangling, an operation with clothes used instead of ironing.
Death of Saul and Jonathan, and David's Lamenta
tion.-BIBLE. 1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, Saul's sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armor-bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith ; lest these uncircumcised come and
thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armor-bearer 2 would not : for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took
a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw, that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and filed; and the Phil
istines came and dwelt in them. And it came to pass on 3 the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain,
that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in Mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. And they put his armor in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.
And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul, all the val
iant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of 4 Saul, and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth
shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt thein there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.
Now it came to pass on the third day, that behold, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes rent and earth upon his head : and so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the earth, and did obeisance. And Da
vid said unto him, From whence comest thou? And he
said unto him, Out of the camp of Israel am I escaped. And 5 David said unto him, How went the matter ? I pray thee,
And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Sanl and Jonathan his son be dead ? And the
young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon Mount Gilboa, behold Saul leaned
spear; and lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And
when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto 6 me. And I answered, Here am I. And he said unto
me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I
pray me, and slay me : for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen : and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arın, and have brought them hither unto my lord. Then David took hold
on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men 7 that were with him : And they mourned and wept, and fast
ed until even, for Saul and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel ; because they were fallen by the sword.
And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul, and over Jonathan his son : The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places : how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon ; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of
the uncircumcised triumph. Ye mountains of Gilboa, let 8
there be no dew, neither let there be rain upon you, nor fields of offerings : for there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Sail, as though he had not been anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back, and the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided : they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with