7 APRIL 1832, Page 21


Last week, in noticing " Jesse's Gleanings," we recorded a curious circum- stance of a robin building in a parson's knocker ; but in Loudon's Magazine for this month is a still more extraordinary fact in nidification, in the case of a tomtit. Some years ago, a man of the name of Toni Otter murdered his sweetheart, at a place called Tirinsey Nook, in Lincolnshire. The assassin suffered the extreme penalty of the law, intl was gibbeted near the place where he committed the fatal decd. It appears, that whilst the carnivorous tomtit was feeding on the flesh of the malefactor, he had an eye to a comfortable habitation in the vicinity of so much good cheer ; and as there was no hole in the gibbet-post to suit his pur- pose, he actually took possession of the dead man's mouth, and he and his mate brought forth a brood of young cannibals' and more than that, they built there the next year, and were equally successful in rearing their young.

VALUE OF LIFE IN AFRICA.—The Landers in Africa were dreadfully tor- mented by the rude curiosity of the natives, who ahnost suffocated them by crowding to and about their tents. On complaining of this nuisance to the chief of one place, he said, " Take your gun and kill a few: you have my full leave to slaughter as many as you please. After you have cut off the heads of some of theni, the rest will not molest you."

WnAnr.s.—Cuvier estimates the longevity of the whale at a thousand years. Dr. Jenner tasted the milk of a whale ; and was of opinion that it contained more cream than that of quadrupeds, and is exceedingly nutritious, rich, and well-flavoured. We recommend the project of making whale-cheese to the speculative. In the times of joint stock, a dairy for whale-cheese, on an exten- sive scale, in Spitzbergen (a nice cool place), would have taken wonderfully.

BRIT1s11 FREEnovr.—In England, children are independent at eight, and hanged at twelve.— Tour of a German Prince.

PENNY PAPERS.—Every thing; in this country, at this moment, seems to be falling between two stools. The 'Theatre is going to the ground, between mo- nopoly and contraband plays : so are the gloves, they say, and commerce gene- rally. Trade languishes, because we have neither Reform nor Anti-Reform; and even Cholera assumes no decided character,—it seems to be dying between the true Asiatic and the real English. The Tories tell us the Constitution is getting a fall between the two Houses of Parliament ; and assuredly the Press is going to the flogs between the stamped and the unstamped publications. The expensive newspapers are to be ruined in sale on account of their dearness, and the low-priced papers are good for nothing by reason of their cheapness. Thus the superior papers will not be able to pay good writers because they are under- sohl, and the inferior papers can only sell a very inferior commodity at a non- remunerative price. This is the race of ruin; arid if the present Government are not to be blamed for any thing else, this mischief must at least be laid at their door, until they have put into accomplishment their former promises in re- gard to the Press.—New Monthly Magazine.

FELINE SPORTSMAN.—A correspondent of London's Magazine saw a cat at Dorkingilast summer, which pursued mice with true sportsmanlike feeling. He never ate his game, but uniformly laid it at the feet of the first person he found of the family; and haying drawn attention to his trophy, walked away, with an air of proud satisfaction, to the performance of fresh exploits.

DOMESTIC DISCIPLINE or nu Durcir.—There are two things of a pe- culiar character in Holland, which deserve to be noticed. One is the enact- ment authorizing husbands, wives, and children, to be imprisoned in a house of correction'Sdapart for the chastisement of offences. against the laws by which the relations of social life are governed. The other, a contrivance for compelling the incorrigibly idle to work. At one end of the room is a pump, and a stream of water runs in from the ceiling; so that unless the prisoner labour continually, he must inevitably be drowned.—Elliot's North of Europe. - SING ta.Aft HEAD GEAR.—When the Landers, in their journeyings in Africa, fell short of presents, they gave away the tin cases containing spoiled portable soups, and other savory matters. The labels attracted the attention of the na- tives, and they used the cases as ornaments. In one instance, the travellers were highly diverted by seeing a fellow strutting about with " Concentrated Gravy" stuck on his head in no fewer than four places.

SWALLOWS ENTRENCHED.—A pair of martins had built their nest in the corner of my window. I did not remark any thing particular during the time they were so employed, excepting that I perceived oneof them was the same which had 'visited the same place the previous year. I knew it again, from a remarkable white feather in one of its wings. As soon, however, as all seemed finished, my attention was arrested one day by a great noise and bustle St the nest, caused by a stranger of the smile family of birds trying to, force its way into the nept, at the time the two rightful tenants were within ; and, notwith- standing their united efforts, he succeeded in entering, and .driving them out. This saine. warfare and similar expulsions took place daily, for a week or more. One day Unmarked, that the two rightful owners of the nest were very busy outside, and I soon perceived that they were engaged in lessening the entrance into the same; in fact, they soon reduced it so much, that they could scarcely force themselves into it singly.. As soon as done, one or other constantly placed itself at the hole, with its bill protruding visibly without; and though the in- truder made regular attacks upon them for a week or more, he never afterwards made any:impression on them.— Correspondence of London's Magazine.

Yr-rarity or SEEDS.—It is a curious fact, that the vital principle Of some vegetables will lie dormant, under certain circumstances, for long and indefinite periods, without being extinguished. Seeds have been made to grow in this country, hich were brought from Herculaneum, after having been buried for more than seventeen centuries, but Width, having during all thateriod been deprived of air, had been prevented from vegetating.—Library of Entertaining Knowledge: Vegetable Substances. - THE WANT OF ACCOMPLISHMENT IN ACTORS.—It IS a striking fact, that the pretenders to public approbation on our stage, seem none or them, or with few exceptions, educated to their profession : the Stage is a kind of pis alter— when either man or woman can do nothing better, and will do nothing worse, they become an actor or actress. This is owing to an unjust, and indeed absurd odium, which lingers about the theatre, from the nature of its origin in England, and its supposed connexion with the Devil. If people were brought up to the theatre as to any other profession, as they might be without discredit, and with the hopes of a livelihood, they would. know more than one thing, and that imperfectly. The instant it were decided that a child should be brought up to the Drama, the education of the form, and the voice, and the countenance, should immediately be begun so that at nineteen or twenty we might expect to see an artist,' instead of an escaped apprentice or a rejected dressmaker. If an actress can sing now-a-days, she can never dance; if she can dance, she can neither sing nor speak-it seems as if the liberty of the toes threw a con- straint upon every other organ of the frame : and, on the other hand, if the author, under aaulea that his heroine would be able to exhibit grace of form as well as sweetness of voice, introduced a dance, it is always on our stage turned over to some one else, awkwardly enough-almost as awkward as it is to see Wrench, who never sang a note, play Count Alinaviva, and get his valet to sing for him. In the " Belle's Stratagem," the heroine is expected to dance a kiud of minuet in the masquerade-now, though Letitia Hafly is represented as a most accomplished actress of real life at all points, and Doricourt, her lover, the pink of all perfection, it always turns out on the stage that one or the other cannot dance, and a substitute is to be sought among the tigurantes. The time will come when young persons will be as regularly bred to the stage as the bar, and when there will be as little evil reputation at one as at the other. We throw a load of rubbish on a piece of vegetation, and then wonder that it does not flourish ; the stage has sprung up in spite of obstacles, but it is with a twist- just as the acanthus did under the tile that t'as placed over the pot in which it grew, and from which the idea of the capital of a Corinthian column is said to have been taken.-New Monthly Magazine.

PET SH EEP. -Sheep here (Jadoo) are regarded with as much partiality, and treated much in the same manner, as ladies' lap-dogs are in England. Great care is taken to keep them clean and in good condition : they are washed every morning in soap and water, and so greatly attached to their masters or mis- tresses, that they are constantly at their heels from town to town, and in all their peregrivatums.-Lander's Niger.

A Lovsit's INGENIOUS EXCUSE FOR NEGLECT. -I found your letter at home, with all sorts of affectionate reproaches for my neglect of our own in- terests fbr indifferent things. Even were this sometimes the case, you must not think that my heart is the less filled with you. The rose, too, sometimes yields a stronger, sometimes a weaker perfume; nay, sometimes there is nut a flower on the bush : in their season they bud and blossom again ; but the nature of the plant is always the Caine.- Tour (f a German Prince.

CRUEL LOVE. -Being in the country, near Woking, Sorry, last week, I was witness to the curious fact of a female sparrow killiug her husband, not from either hatred or jealousy, but from love. The pair were in search of a place for building their nest ; and the male bird, finding a tempting hole among the tiles of the roof, got into it : unfortunately he became entangled in the broken mortar, and could not force his way back. The female saw his situ- ation, and after flying backwards and forwards several times, twittering, and apparently in great distress, she attempted to pull him out. Several birds were attracted by the accident, and came fluttering round, but were beaten off by the female sparrow. She then redoubled her own efforts to extricate the male ; and getting hold of his beak, above the nostrils, in her own beak, she pulled it so hard that she killed him. She did not, however, appear aware of the mis- chief she had done, but continued pulling at the dead body of her unfortunate mate, with as much perseverance as she had done while he continued alive. My man, who saw the whole transaction, at last drove her away, and with some difficulty extricated the dead bird. Its head was dreadfully mangled ; and the beak of its mate had evidently penetrated the brain. About an hour afterwards, I again passed the place, and saw a bird, which I supposed the female, sitting on the very spot where the accident had happened, crouched together, with her feathers all standing up, so as to give her the appeamnce of a ball, and certainly looking the very image of a disconsolate widow.- Correspondence of Loudon's Magazine.

INTRODUCTION OF THE BUG FAMILY INTO ENGLAND.-It is generally sup- posed that the bug was first introduced to this country in the fir-timber which was brought over for the purpose of rebuilding this metropolis, after the great fire of 1666. It is said that bugs were not known in England before that time ; and many of these insects were found almost immediately afterwards in the newly-erected edifices. This may probably be true, as in many of the remoter parts of the empire they are unknown to the present day,-or at all events extremely rare ; and it is pretty well known, that they generally attack newly-arrived visitants from the country with the greatest severity. The female lays about fifty eggs at a time. These eggs are white ; and at first are covered with a viscous matter, which afterwards hardens, and fixes them wherever they are laid. The young bugs come forth in about three weeks. The usual times of laying, are in the months of March, May, July, and Sep- tember. Two hundred young ones may be produced from every female bug that lives through the season. Thus it may be seen, what a numerous increase there may be of those disgusting vermin, when proper care is not taken to destroy them.- Griffith's Translation of Cuvier.

THE DELIGHTS OF AN AFRICAN VILLAGE. -Independent of the continual fluttering of pigeons, which roost close to our ears, the bleating of sheep and goats, and the barking of numerous half-starved dogs, we are still more seriously annoyed by the incessant clatter of women's tongues, which pursues us every- where, and which, I really believe, nothing less than sickness or death on their part can effectually silence. The shrillness of their voices drowns the bleating of the sheep and the yelling of the canine race ; and notwithstanding all my brother's exertions, seconded by those of our people, their noise in this town has constantly disturbed me during my illness.-Lander's Niger.

SKETCH or Ali IRIsH PEASANT.-Observe the half-clad peasant, breasting the storm with wiry sinews, his ragged coat streaming in the wind, travelling to some neighbouring market with a load on his shoulders. This load is a web of linen cloth, for which, should he be fortunate enough, he may obtain from 6d. to 10c/. a yard. And this trifling sum is all that this man obtains for a yard of cloth, after having grown his own flax, on land for which he must pay from thirty to eighty shillings per acre,-after the labour attending the pulling, watering, drying, crigging, dressing, spinning, weaving, and taking to market. Then with the proceeds of the sae of this cloth, together with the sale of his corn-for these men generally rent three or four acres of ground-he contrives to pay his rent : while himself and family live, or rather drag out a miserable existence, entirely on potatoes; for his ducks and fowls, geese and turkeys, are all brought to market to enable him to purchase something to cover his naked- ness with; nor will his utmost exertions enable him to procure better fare.- Loudon's Gardener's Magazine.