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It is obvious from this account, the accuracy of which is undoubted, that the swallows must have discovered and worked up a sort of clay or earth which would stand heat; that instinct alone would not have taught them to do this: and that on returning to the kiln on the second and third years, they must have kept in their recollection not only the fact, that the earth they commonly used to build their nests with would not stand heat, but must also have remembered the sort of earth or clay which was requisite, and the necessity of their making use of it in that particular place. A pair of swallows built their nest against one of the first-floor windows of an uninhabited house in Merrion Square, Dublin. A sparrow, however, took possession of it; and the swallows were repeatedly seen clinging to the nest and endeavouring to gain an entrance to the abode they had erected with so much labour; all their efforts, however, were defeated by the sparrow, who never once quitted the nest. The perseverance of the swallows was at length exhausted: they took flight but shortly afterwards returned, accompanied by a number of their fellows, each of them having a piece of dirt in its bill. By this means they succeeded in stopping up the hole, and the intruder was immured in total darkness. Soon afterwards the nest was taken down and exhibited to several persons with the dead sparrow in it. In this case there appears to have been not only a reasoning faculty, but the birds must have been possessed of the power of telling their resentment and their wishes to their friends, without whose aid they could not thus have avenged the injury they had sustained.
ALONE but with unbated zeal,
The horseman plied the scourge and steel;
And all but won that desperate game:
O'er stock and rock their race they take.
The Hunter marked that mountain high,
And deemed the Stag must turn to bay,
Measured his antlers with his eyes;
There while, close couched, the thicket shed
Close on the hounds the Hunter came,
Scott's "Lady of the Lake."
THE OCEAN AND THE RIVERS.
THE Rivers, having long paid their just and voluntary tribute to the Ocean, were at length spirited up to opposition by some stagnant pools, which being formed into canals, had found their way to the grand reservoir of waters. These upstart gentlemen, with a characteristic pride, began to exclaim, "What! shall we, who have been collected with so much care, and conducted hither
with so much expense and art, lose our freshness in the briny wave? Were we mighty Rivers like the Danube, the Nile, the Ganges, and the Plata, we would soon teach the Ocean to be a little more reasonable and polite; and instead of converting everything to its own filthy purposes without acknowledgment, we would make it know to whom it is indebted for the consequence it assumes. For our parts we are ashamed of such tameness. Does not the Ocean deprive us of our sweetness and purity, and yet monopolize the gratitude of surrounding nations, which is due to us alone? If it will not allow us to assert our natural rights in the scale of social union, we are determined immediately to withdraw our support from the thirsty abyss that swallows us up, without mercy and without thanks.”
From this mean source the murmurs of discontent arose, and the collected puddles had influence enough to spread their disaffection among the noble streams. Some of the Rivers hoped to usurp the dominion of the whole, and therefore sided in the quarrel. Each had his private views in what he did or wished to do. Committees were formed, resolutions were passed, and deputations appointed.
Memorials, remonstrances, and all the usual modes of attack, were determined to be played off against the venerable head of the water.
The Ocean heard of these meditated attacks; but heard them unmoved. It knew the general good; even the order of nature had sanctioned and would maintain its supremacy; and on this account it did not fear the blind malice of ignorant and vain opposition. When deputations, however, arrived from the principal Rivers to`state grievances and to demand redress, they were respectfully received. The firmness that will not yield to idle murmurs of discontent, and the pride that despises them, are very different qualities, and should be differently appreciated.
Having patiently listened to useless and unmeaning
complaints, the mighty chief thus attempted to silence them:"Gentlemen," said the Ocean, "after having so long enjoyed the uninterrupted liberty of falling into my bosom-where, by my chemical power, I preserve you from corruption, and render you not only harmless, but useful in promoting the intercourse of nations—it is with surprise I hear your claims. Were I to refuse taking you under my protection what would be the consequence? You must in that case overflow your banks, and deluge the countries you now beautify and delight. Your streams would run counter one to the other-you would soon become tainted-and mankind would be destroyed by your unbridled violence, or by your pestilential odour."
"What is mankind to us?" exclaimed a little scanty stream. "Hold!" replies the Ocean, "it is useless, I see, to waste words. If argument and mildness cannot bring you to reason, force, however unpleasant to me, must. Till you agree to flow in your accustomed channels, I will cut off every secret communication that supplies your springs, and thus feeds your pride. Know, ye are entirely in my power: the favours, I receive from you, are amply and gratefully repaid. From me at first you come; and to me you must again return."-Dr. Mavor.
DESCRIPTION OF MENAI BRIDGE, NEAR
THE suspension bridge erected over the Menai Straits, and which unites the island of Anglesey to the mainland, is one of the most attractive objects, as a work of art, that now adorn the British dominions.
At the edge of the water are erected two towers 160