« ZurückWeiter »
We are also informed by Culpepper, in his 6 Fnglish Herbal Physician,” that these birds are excellent oculists; “ For, (says he,) if you put out the eyes of
swallows when they are in the nest, the old ones will recover their eyes again with this herb, (Celandine) This I am confident, for I have tried it, for if we mar the very apple of their éyes' with a needle, she will recover them again.”
The history of the wise elephant; the sagacious and wonderful beaver; the industrious bee; the indefatigable ant; the docile and friendly dog; the tractable and warlike horse; the cunning fox; and the generous lion, with many others, that deserve our most particular attention. Pope says,
Go, from the creatures thy instructions take:
And these for ever, tho' a monarch reign,
How much man is indebted to many of the beasts, birds, and fishes, for various discoveries in art, science, virtue, policy and good government, is well know to those who study the wisdom of God in the works of his creation. From the elephant to the ant, inclusive of the nautilus, the beaver, the horse, the dog, the bee, with hundreds more that stand unrivalled by man in their different works of ingenuity and industry. To the NAUTILUS are we indebted for one of the grandest and most useful inventions since the world began, namely the art of sailing and managing ships on the ocean.
Oppian Halieut. lib. 1. describes this fish in the following manner:-" They swim on the surface of the sea, on the back of their shells, which exactly resemble the hulk of a ship; they raise two feet like masts, and extend a membrane between, which serves as a sail; the other two feet they employ as oars at their side. They are usually seen in the Mediterranean.”
From what has been observed of brutes by some discerning men, they have admitted them the power of of discriminating objects, and without hesitation, ascribe to them abilities, in some degrees superior to those of men. Many of them give proofs of their prescience in various cases, (as we have already shown in the instance of Sir Henry Lee) particularly the weather; and those who pay necessary attention to them find they are infallible prognosticators. The few following lessons may serve as a specimen.
SIGNS OF RAIN.
When the heron or bitern flies low, the air is gross, and thickening into showers.
When kine view the sky, stretching up their heads, and snuffing the air, moist vapours are engendering: and the cause of their doing so is their sensibleness of the air's sudden alteration from dry to wet; and sudden rain will ensue, though at that time the sun may shine out.
The chattering of swallows, and their flying low about ponds and lakes, denote rain.
The frogs much croaking in the diiches and pools, &c. in the evening, fortells rain in a little time to follow.
The ants' removing their eggs,
denotes rain; for finding the air changed into much moisture, they carry them to a place of drier security.
The crows flocking in large flights, holding their heads upwards as they fly, and crying louder than usual, is a sign of rain; as also their stalking by ponds and rivers, and sprinkling themselves.
The often dropping and diving of waterfowls, foreshow that rain is at hand.
The Peacocks crying much, denote rain.
Cattle leaving off to feed, and hasting to shelter under hedges, bushes, trees, out-houses, &c. show sudden showers of rain are coming
We shall conclude these signs of rainy weather, with the following curious anecdotes.
A gentleman who travelled much, seeing a shepherd by the roadside tending his flocks, and other cattle, demanded of him, if it would continue as it then was, for the sun shined out? The shepherd looking on his caitle, told him it would rain very much in an hour, and extremely wet him, unless he got shelter: the gentleman smiled at this, and would vot believe him; but as he said, so it proved; for immediately a little cloud arising at souihwest, came driving on with the wind, and
, so that the sky was covered with prodigious darkness; and through the
gentleman rode hard to get to a town about 'five miles from him, the rain before he reached it, poured down so prodigiousły, that he waś wet to the skin; and remembering what the shepherd said, that upon his return finding him in the same place, he requested he would tell him how he came precisely to know the change of the weather. The shepherd at first refused it, but for half-a-crown (after much importunity)consented, and when the gentleman expected he should express himself in astrological terms, he only said, sir, do you see yonder pied colt, pointing to him? Well, said the gentleman, and what of that? Why, says the shepherd, when he runs his head into the hedge, and turns his posteriors to the weather guage, then it certainly betokens rain, though the weather promises at that time otherwise to those that are ignornorant of the skill in prognosticating.
The Indians were in the habit of pronosticating the mildness, or severity of the ensuing winter, from the quantity of provisions laid in by the beavers for their winter stock.