23 JUNE 1894, Page 15


[To urn EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR?'] ZiR,—I hold with your remarks about the "Average Woman" in the Spectator of June 16th. Coming home in a steamer 'from Colon, a passenger caught a finch, nearly famished, and .put it in the binnacle. It sturdily stood on the compass, regarding us all as intruders,—viz., the passenger, his family, and myself, who were eagerly looking on. We offered it food in abundance, but it would not accept it ; the watching was -far too important. It was darting its gaze here and there, inclined to suspect us as foes. A little while later the male finch was caught, and put in the binnacle too,—the one that was taken before being the female. The poor little waif was pleased with her mate. She nestled quite close to his side, all thought of the enemy gone. The duty of guard- ing them both was his, it appeared, which he did with exertion and will. She put her head under her wing, in perfect repose, and peacefully died in an hour. There was nought we could do to revive her. To have sent -them away unrestored, would have insured them a worse -death still. The male lived a day and then died. It was 'touching to witness the trust of the female bird, and the act of the male bird, too, in taking the guard, though why, is a mystery to me ; for all owe their birth to their mothers, whether animal or man. It is an instinct of Nature, I think, that the female trusts and the male protects.