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to ripen, and remain till the harvest is over. In Scripture, the allusions to doves and pigeons are so numerous as to evince that they were equally common and equally valued in ancient times.* In Egypt also, now, as anciently, incredible numbers of these birds are kept, and in the villages, the dwellings made for them are at the least as conspicuous as those which man builds for himself.” We cannot definitely ascertain whether the pigeon was among the sacred birds of the ancient Egyptians.

Our account of the purpose for wbich pigeons are kept in such vast numbers in Persia recalls to mind

a passage of some difficulty in the Second Book of Kings, chap. vi. 25,-" and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung (sold) for five pieces of silver.” Was it for this as a manure that such multitudes of pigeons were annually kept in Syria and Egypt ? and is its use as such, a remnant of antique practice, still lingering in Persia ?

* Jeremiah thus alludes to the wild rock-dove. “O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove, that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole's mouth." Jer. xlviii. 23. Isaiah takes the following simile from the domestic or house-dove, of which great numbers were anciently kept in Palestine. “Who are these that iy as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows ?”—Isaiah 1x. 8.


Is the use of guano after all, an agricultural art of high antiquity? We will not trust ourselves to answer.

The following passage from the Pictorial Bible gives a compendium of all that has been mooted on the subject. “ The fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver. This was about half a pint for 12s. 6d. There has been much diversity of opinion about the dove's dung.' Some of the rabbins inform us that it was used for fuel. Josephus says, that it was purchased for its salt. Some think it means grain taken from the crops of pigeons, which could of course get out of the beseiged town and feed in the open country; many believe that it was wanted for manure, and Bochart, followed by most modern commentators, contends that, the name though literally dove's dung means an article of vegetable food. As he observes, the Arabs give the name of dove's dung to a kind of moss that grows on trees and strong ground, and also to a sort of pulse or pea


appears to have been very common in Judæa, and which may be the article here indicated. Large quantities of it are parched and dried and stored in magazines at Cairo and Damascus. It is much used during journeys, and parti

cularly by the great pilgrim caravan to Mecca ; and if the conjecture be correct, it may be supposed to have been among the provisions stored up in the besieged city, and sold at the extravagant price mentioned in the text. It is clear that if dove's dung be really intended, it could not be used as an article of food, and then we are thrown upon its use as manure. This use is best exemplified in Persia. These form such essential articles of food in some warm climates, that vast quantities are consumed, and in besieged towns persons who have been rather delicately brought up have been known to pine away and die for the want of such essential provisions, even when corn was abundant. On this point, Mr. Morier observes, “the dung of doves is the dearest manure which the Persians use, and as they apply it almost entirely to the rearing of melons, it is probably on that account that the melons of Ispahan are so much finer than those of other cities. The revenue of a pigeon-house is about a hundred tomauns per annum ; and the great value of this dung which rears a fruit that is indispensable to the existence of the natives during the great heats of summer, will probably throw some light on that passage in Scripture, where in the famine of Samaria, the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung was sold for five pieces of silver.' (Second Journey, p. 141.) We think that the alternatives lie between this explanation and that which Bochart has given, although neither of them seems entirely free from grounds of objection.”

the case.

If the cities of the east, such as Samaria, resembled modern London and Paris, the utility of manure for the growth of vegetables would be out of all question, but such was not

Detached houses, with surrounding gardens,-large spaces, used for the rearing of culinary vegetables—streets rather resembling lanes than the streets of a European city of the present day, and the whole surrounded by a wall of brick, or mud and stones, with towers at given distances, - such was, and such is still a city of Western Asia ; and when the uncouth catapult, the sling, and the bow were the only projectile weapons, these rude fortifications were more difficult to be carried than a town of modern Europe would now be (Vauban himself having fortified it) by a few thousand men with artillery, and the arts of modern warfare.

We may here leave the common dovecote, or farm-yard pigeon, and proceed to take a brief survey of the principal varieties, some of them of great antiquity, which naturalists generally agree have resulted from long culture in a state of domestication. These varieties are extremely numerous, and by inter-crossing, others are from time to time produced, to the delight or disappointment of the fancier, as he may succeed or fail in the accomplishment of his wishes.

The CARRIER, or HORSEMAN. We do not separate between these birds, because we know of no difference between them : at all events, if any originally existed, it has become lost, and we believe the terms carrier and horseman are by most fanciers of the present day used synonymously. The carrier exceeds most other varieties of domestic pigeons in size ; and is remarkable for the elegance of its shape. It is among pigeons, what the high- i bred racer is among horses, and has been long celebrated for its rapidity of flight. It is evidently of eastern origin, and was known to the ancients.

The plumage of the carrier is close and firm, and the quill feathers remarkably rigid ; the

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