« AnteriorContinuar »
tied the dogs down to knobs of ice, and built a sort bf screen from the wind for themselves. The berg drifted toward the south, and here, for a whole month, drifting, drifting along the coast-line of Baffin's Bay, dwelt these two hardy adventurers, wedged in ice, eating their walrus-meat, and sustaining life in spite of the intense cold. At length the iceberg grounded, and they contrived to make their way, on a sort of ice-raft, to the main land.
The story of Belshazzar may be found in the Bible, in the Book of Daniel, Chap. v.
The midnight hour was drawing on,
The king's cheeks flush, and his wild eyes shine;
He spoke the word, and his eyes flashed flame!
And, seizing a consecrated cup,
From his foaming lips leaps forth 'the cry,
I am Belshazzar, Babylon's kings"
When the king's heart shrank-with a secret dread:
Suddenly died the shout and yell, el A death-like hush on the tūmult fell.
And, lo! on the wall, as they gazed aghast,
At length, to solve those words of flame,
That night, by the servants of his train, · Belshazzar, the mighty king, was slain !
FROM TŅE GERMAN OF HEINE.
1. The skylark, which pours forth its animated song while floating high in the air, is an inhabitant of most parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but is not found in America. A lady, belonging to a family in the south-east of Ireland, has recorded some very interesting anecdotes of a pet skylark, to which the name of “ Tommy” had been given.
2. This little bird was so tame that, when the family were assembled at breakfast, he would fly upon the table, and walk round, picking up crumbs; and sometimes he would hop'up on a loaf, and actually allow a slice to be cut under his feet. It was curious to see him watching the operation of threading a needle. When the thread was put ever so little into the eye, he would seize the end of it, and dexterously pull it through.
3. Sometimes, when one of the three young ladies of the family had fastened her thread to her work, and continued sewing, he would make a sudden plunge at the thread, and pull it out of the needle, then fly out of reach, and chuckle over the mischief. Sometimes he would hop on an open work-box, and, seizing the end of a cotton thread, would ily with it to the other side of the apartment, unwinding yard upon yard from the revolving spool.
4. The second of the young ladies to whom we
allude was remarkable for the elegance and neatness with which her hair was always braided. This did not escape Tommy's observation, and he frequently made an attack upon it. He would take the end of a ringlet in his bill, and, fluttering before her face, would leave it in the most admired disorder. He would then again chuckle, as we have heard a magpie do after any act of mischief.
5. There was a gentleman, an intimate friend of the family, who, in his repeated visits, had made the acquaintance of Tommy. Whenever he made a morning call, he would say, “Ha! Tommy! good-morning to you. Are you ready for a game at shuttlecock?” The little creature would instantly fly to his extended hand, and suffer itself to be thrown into the air, like that toy, and fall again into his hand; and so the game would continue for several" minutes, until at length Tommy would fly to the ceiling, singing that splendid melody which, in his natural state, the lark pours forth as he ascends above the clouds.
6. Another game, which Tommy perfectly understood, was “hide-and-go-seek;" and for this he preferred, as his companion, the second of the three sisters. She would say, “ Now, Tommy, I'm going to hide;" and then, drawing the room door open, she would place herself behind it, and cry, "Whoop!" Tommy would immediately commence strutting up and down the floor, and, stretching out his neck, would peer under this, and behind that, as if he were seeking for her. At length, coming opposite to where she stood, he would give a loud scream, and fly up to attack her hair.
7. When this was over, and he had again become quiet, she would say, “Now, Tommy, it is your turn to hide." Immediately the bird would stand still under a table, and she would commence a diligent search, exclaiming, “ Where is Tommy? Did any one see Tommy?” In the mean time he would never give, by sound or movement, the least indication that he was in the room; but the moment she thought proper to find him he would again scream, and fly up to her.
8. The mistress of the house, a little advanced in life, wore spectacles, which he would frequently pull off, in his flights, and immediately let fall, as they were too heavy for him to carry; and after every feat of this kind he would chuckle at his success. In the long days of summer, when the dinner things were removed, and the dessert was brought on, it was his practice to come upon the table, and, going round it, he would do something amusing to each person.
9. He would bite the fingers of the master of the house, and give an exulting chuckle when the latter affected to be hurt. At another gentleman's knuckles he would strike like a game-cock, and pretend to be in a wonderful passion. Then he would take a sudden flight at a lady's cap, and, cătching the end of a ribbon, would gracefully flutter before her face, caroling a snatch of a song; and again he would visit his fair friend with the beautiful hair, and, plucking out her combs, would speedily demolish her glossy curls.
10. There remains one trait of sagacity, which those who recollect the entertaining little creature would scarcely pardon us if we omitted. The youngest of the three ladies was accustomed each night, before she retired, to take her candle over to Tommy's cage, to bid him good-night. He would instantly bring out his head from under his wing, and, standing up, sing one of the most beautiful little songs you could conceive it possible for a little throat like his to warble,a song, too, that he never gave forth on any other oc. casion.