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in the eye.
Those who possess this natural | The revelations are sometimes terrific. The sovereign essence rule as lords or lions among confession of a low, usurping devil is there men by native privilege, with heart and tongue made ; and the observer shall seem to feel conquering all.99*
the stirring of owls and bats, and horned The great Chatham must have had this look hoofs, where he looked for innocence and simin an eminent degree. “ The lightning of his plicity.” eye was not to be endured,” one of his What the New England Transcendentalist biographers relates ; and this was the case, says here regarding the boldness of American even to the latest hour of his life, when worn eyes, which “ wait for no introduction," and down by sickness and age. Frederick the have no respect for anything, points to the Great had the same commanding expression. most salient feature in the national character “ His large eyes dart the most piercing look," of our Transatlantic brethren-a total want of says the poet Gleim, “but tempered with cle- reverence, arising from intense egotism, and mency.” Lavater, in speaking of Frederick, consequent impatience of all restraint. The quotes from a French writer a passage on the greatest defect in the American people, says peculiar look of great men. “This mark, General Scott, is their want of patience ; and which nature has imprinted on the face of this fatal want is clearly owing to that unevery great man, is superior to every advantage bounded freedom from all restraint which they of figure, and transforms a Socrates into a have enjoyed since the declaration of American handsome man. Whoever has received this Independence. Outward freedom is good for distinctive mark feels indeed that he is in- a nation only in proportion to the amount of vested with it ; but is ignorant of its seat, inward culture it has received. Unless accomwhich is infinitely various." Upon the latter panied by a strong sense of justice, or an point, however, the Swiss physiognomist does earnest conviction of duty, political freedom not agree with the Frenchman. “I have i becomes a curse rather than a blessing. The always found this mark,” says Lavater, “in emancipation of the American people from the contour of the eyelid, between the eye- those restraints of law and conventionalism to brows, or near the ro
of the nose.
It is which their ancestors were subjected has not in the last place that it distinctly appears been accompanied by a corresponding amount in our hero”—Frederick the Great. Judg- of mental and moral culture, and the result ing from the best portraits of the Prussian is painfully visible in that reckless expression monarch, I think that the mark of greatness of the eyes to which Emerson refers. The was not confined to one feature, but was communication by the glance,” as he tells us, visible in the firm expression of the mouth, “is, in the greatest part, not subject to the no less than in the penetrating glance of the control of the will." This, of course,
is a eyes.
question of degree ; of more or less power over Emerson makes some notable remarks, in
the feelings. Eyes which respect neither his “Conduct of Life,” on the marvellous pheno- learning nor power, nor virtue, nor sex, are mena of our spiritual being, as it shows itself not under the control of reason, but of passion at the “ windows of the soul,” which are or impertinent curiosity, which is too much well worthy of study, on account of the clear the case with the sovereign people of America. light they throw upon the impulsive, undis- The right government of the eyes cannot be ciplined character of the American people in achieved without the proper discipline of the general :
soul ; and such regimen is not willingly sub“Eyes are bold as lions—roving, running, mitted to by men who have been taught from leaping here and there, far and near. They infancy that absolute freedom is the highest speak all languages. They wait for no intro- earthly good. duction ; they are no Englishmen ; ask no “ leave of age or rank; they respect neither Bacon, “to wait upon him with whom you poverty nor riches, neither learning nor power, speak with your eye, as the Jesuits give it in nor virtue, nor sex, but intrude, and come precept ; for there be many wise men that again, and go through and through you in a have secret hearts and transparent countemoment of time. The communication by nances : yet this would be done with a demure the
eye is, in the greater part, not subject to abasing of your eyes sometimes, as the Jesuits the control of the will. It is the bodily also do use.” As the Jesuits are exceedingly symbol of identity of nature. We look into cunning, they naturally adopt this demure the eyes to know if this other form is another aspect for the purpose of concealing their own self ; and the eyes will not lie, but make a thoughts as closely as possible, while they are faithful confession what inhabitant is there. all the while trying to read the inmost soul of * “Kæmp's Essay on Temperaments.”
the person to whom they are speaking. This
10 "It is a point of cunning,” says Lord
in the eye.
is quite as bad as the reckless, roving expres- dual nature, but it is one to which we shall
" Eat and where the cunning expression has been pro- drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not duced by other causes. “ The greatest hypo- with thee.” Singleness of heart is equally crite I ever knew,” says Hlaizt, t "was a little visible in frankness of ocular expression. “My demure, pretty, modest-looking girl, with eyes
sooner fixed upon his,” says John timidly cast upon the ground, and an air soft Dunton, “but through that perspective I as enchantment. The only circumstance that could see the inward virtue of his soul, which could lead to a suspicion of her true character immediately produced a veneration in my was a cold, sullen, watery, glazed look about breast, and I soon found our hearts beat mo the eyes, which she bent on vacancy, as if to one another.” How much of our enjoydetermined to avoid all explanation with yours. ment in social intercourse arises from such I might have spied in their glittering, motion sympathy is well expressed by Emerson. less surface, the rocks and quicksands that “ Vain and forgotten are all the fine offers awaited below." This, however, is only a and offices of hospitality, if there is no holiday one-sided view of the affair. What would the
How many furtive inclinations "little, demure, pretty, modest-looking girl” are avowed by the eye, though dissembled by have said about the expression of Hazlitt's own the lips. A man comes away from a company eyes ? Had she been able to express her feel- in which, it may easily happen, he has said ings in as fine words as he used, we might nothing, and no important remark has been have had as repulsive a picture of him as he addressed to him, and yet, if in sympathy has drawn of her. Patmore tells us that with the society, he shall not have a sense of Hazlitt's eyes were neither fine nor brilliant ; this fact, such a stream of life has been flowing and as for expression, “there was a furtive into him, and out from him, through the eyes. and, at times, a sinister look about them, as Nor is this enjoyment altogether owing to the they glanced suspiciously from under their felicitous temper of the individual himself. overhanging brows, that conveyed a very The company of sympathetic souls has the unpleasant impression to those that did not effect of a powerful cordial upon a sinking know him. And they were seldom directed heart. It soon raises it up to a higher level; frankly and fairly towards you, as if he were and this all the more effectually from the afraid that you might read in them what was unconscious nature of its operation. When passing in his mind concerning you.” Who we see “ holiday in the eye,” we do not need can wonder that the “ modest-looking girl” to care much about what the tongue says. should have felt afraid to look him frankly
T. BALLANTYNE. in the face ?
Hazlitt ought to have remembered the fundamental law which reigns through all
SIR OLAF. physiognomical relations, that like begets like. If your eyes wear a habitually suspicious or (FROM THE GERMAN OF HEINRICH HEINE.) jealous expression, you may be sure that they will call forth a corresponding look in the eyes
Nigh the church two inen are standing, of most people with whom you come in con
Each in scarlet mantle shrouded, tact. On the other hand, if your eyes have One the king, with brow o'erclouded, an open, frank, and cheerful expression, as if And the headsman is the other. a good-natured soul were looking out of the window, you will find most people responding
To the headsman speaks the monarch,
“ When the priests have ceased their cbanting, to your hearty greeting in the same pleasaut Ceased the chant, the bridal ending, ocular dialect. Marvellous also is the power Keep, oh! keep tby good axe ready." which one soul exercises over another through the eyes, iu imparting whatever passion or
Bells ring out, deep swells the organ,
Out of church the throng is streaming, feeling predominates at the moment. This is
Bridal train of festive seemingcertainly one of the greatest mysteries of our In the midst the bride and bridegroom.
Pale as corpse, and trembling, weeping,
See the king's fair child appearing,
Bold and proud, as nothing fearing, Gaily smiling, walks Sir Olaf.
" I bless the land, and I bless the sea,
The flowers the earth entwining ; I bless the violets, sweet that be
As my wife's blue eyes so shining.
And, with lips so red and smiling.
To the gloomy king thus speaks he, “ Father of my wife, I greet thee, Though my head must pay the forfeit.
" Those eyes have cost my life to me,
Those violet eyes, love-lighted,
" I must die to-day, yet let me,
Only let me live till midnight,
That, with feast and dance by torchlight, I may celebrate my bridal ;
A CHAPTER ON BIRDS.
“Let me live till the last goblet
To the last drop I have drained,
Till the last wild dance is ended, Let me, let me live till midnight.”
And the king speaks to the headsman, “ To the bridegroom grant we respite,
But his life must end at midnight. Keep, oh! keep, thy good axe ready."
Sir Olaf sits at the festive board,
And close at his side
Sits the weeping bride, And the headsman stands in the doorway.
The dancing begins, the knight, in wild haste, Hath clasped his arm round his fair wife's waist,
And they dance the last dance
By the torches' glance,
Merry the viols' clear notes float by,
As the dancers draw near,
Each soul fills with fear, And the headsman stands in the doorway.
Nor the least interesting side of ornithology is a knowledge of the associations connected with birus. These, as a few specimens will show, are multitudinous, and range over many departments of learning. The classics, ancient history and mythology, mediæval manners and customs, sacred lore and modern æsthetics, have each of them a point where they come in contact with ornithology. Hardly a single bird that we see in our walks is without a relation to the past or some reference to the home life of our own days.
We will begin with our own British birds. Seldom as it is seen with us now, the eagle soaring amongst the clouds is still to the classical scholar Jove's bird that bore off Ganymede to Olympus. The peacock sunning its many-eyed tail on the terrace recalls the pomp and state of Juno. Minerva, goddess of the wisdom that loves silence and the night hours, has her noiseless winged owl, just as Venus delighted in her Paphian dores. Around the osprey (Pandion), the hoopoe, kingfisher (Halcyon), unhappy Philomela and the swallow (Procne), crystallises many a legend of the old mythology. The woodpecker (Picus), takes us back to the cradle of Romulus and Remus, while the vulture, of which two or three specimens have been taken in Great Britain, recalls the foundation of the Eternal City : geese are for ever associated with its capitol. How appropriately is the Orphean warbler named !
When spring brings back the cuckoo, and its attendant the cuckoo-maid (as country folks call the wryneck), who is not instantly transported to the sunny hills of Campania in Horace's time, and the vine-dresser vying with the passer-by in the rustic witticism of shouting “cuckoo' to each other? The cocks and hens in the farmyard tell us of the Indian jungles where their ancestors strutted ages ago, just as the very mention of a pheasant bears us off to Colchis, and shows us Medea brewing her unholy potions by the Phasis. Very suitably has the wren, with its small body and curious propensity for burrowing into hedge-bottoms, received the name of Troglodytes Europeus, carrying us away to Africa, the fairy-land of the old
And as through the quaking room they gliue, Sir Olaf whispers so low to his bride,
“My love for thee can never be told
The grave is so cold,”.
III. Sir Olaf, hark! the midnight bell,
For tbee shall rise no morrow; To love a king's fair child too well
Bringeth but shame and sorrow.
Chant, ye monks, a prayer for the dead,
The dismal block is ready, The headsman, wrapped in bis mantle red,
Poiseth his axe so steady.
Sir Olaf the castle yard doth reach,
Swords flash and lights are flaring, But boldly he maketh his dying speech,
And his lips a smile are wearing.
I bless the sun, and the moon, and each star
Its rays o'er the fair earth flinging, The birds that in the free air afar
Their joyful songs are singing.
Greeks, wherein were monsters of all kinds, | escaped the evil eye of superstition ; a common dog-faced men, beings as high as one's fist, country name for it is “ deviling,” because it and lotus-eaters and troglodytes or
never sets its foot on the earth, and because of dwellers, “the swiftest of men, who feed its weird flight and shrill screaming as it careers on lizards and serpents.” A quail recalls round old church towers. Milton gives this ill Alcibiades and his pet ; we see Lesbia in our prominence to the cormorant, from its green impudent house sparrow; and echoes of some eyes and foul gluttony. All the crow family of Virgil's sweetest verses float to our enjoy a dark fame. The raven is the awe of his as the rock dove swoops out of its fastness by district, and a lesser degree of this feeling
attaches itself to the carrion crow. InnumerA truce to classic recollections : let us pass able are the proverbs in which jackdaws figure on to the middle ages. The birds most as popular examples of craft and forethought. endeared to the men of those days are the As for the gull, few birds are so quick-sighted, falcon family, especially the jer-falcon and and its name is an instance of etymology going the peregrine. Their glories fall on the heron, by contraries. Its inoffensiveness is the side but too often a victim to their skill. Indeed, of its character which comes out in our use hawking was a sport inseparably connected of the name for a silly person.
While speakwith the domestic and social life of our ances- ing of etymologies, how few there are who tors, and therefore colours all our pictures of suspect the origin of petrel is, as its scienmedievalism. Shakespeare draws, largely upon tific name shows (lhalassidroma), St. Peter's its technical terms, and Othello, whistling off bird. his love like a “haggard " down the wind to We need only make a passing allusion to prey on fortune, though that her jesses the many sacred associations connected with were my dear heart-strings,” only speaks intel- birds. The cross-bill, for instance, has its ligibly to those who have dabbled a little in name from a legend most readers will rememthe noble science. The pheasant, the peacock, ber. There is a very pretty Norwegian legend and the swan were birds held in peculiar too, about the manner in which the woodestimation in the middle ages, both on account pecker obtained the red feathers on its head. of their beauty and their value for the table. More striking still is the Breton reverence for In the Romances and fabliaux the peacock is
the redbreast. The confidence with which called the “ noble oiseau,” the “nourriture des this bird approaches our dwellings in winter amants." When Philip the Good was at endears it to us, but even this would hardly Lisle in 1454, a magnificent pageant was atone for its pugnacity and quarrelsome disexhibited before, him called the “ fête du position, were it not for our early reminisfaisan,” in which an image of that bird, form- cences of the part it played in the tragedy ing the central figure of a procession of mas- of the Babes in the Wood. A biri always quers and dancers, was introduced with much mythical and now only known by the fireceremony.
office to which it lends so appropriate a How large is the field that opens to us in title, the phoevix, was especially holy in speaking of the folk-lore connected with birds ! the eyes of the early Christian fathers, who We will begin with the wryneck, which, so almost without an exception use it as a symlong ago as the Roman times, used to be bol of the resurrection. The pelican is bound on a wheel and slowly turned round by another bird connected with Christian art, witches, who muttered meanwhile many an in- and so is the eagle, as our numerous eagle-leccantation to bring recreant lovers back to their terns testify. allegiance. It is to be hoped that just when Geology is not rich in associations of birds ; the owl family is beginning to be
still, as we look at the relics of the Dodo in amongst us, truer notions are prevailing, and the Ashmolean Museum, a bird which has people will no longer associate owls with death become extinct in the Mauritius during historic and bad fortune, much as the Oxenham family times, we are forcibly reminded of the dinornis, had a tradition of the white bird which used the gigantic extinct bird of New Zealand. to hover over its members before their death. There is a curious “feathered fossil,” too, In very many places, however, the night-jar still found in the lithographic stone of Solenhofen, has the credit of sucking the milk from cows. which differs in the arrangement of its bones The green woodpecker with its laugh, and the from all known birds ; interesting from having harsh scream of the missel-thrush, are in some puzzled palæontologists. It has soared in counties popular prognostics of rain. A whole pride of place far above the ken of the flightiest chapter of credulity might be written on the of them, we read, “not only in the structure origin of the bernicle gooso. Even the swift, of the tail, but in having two, if not three, the most curious of our swallows, has not digits in the hand.” No plain man need be
astonished after this if he lears it has “tipped” | associations to the ancients; with our poets % somebody “a fin."
far brighter view predominates, it is with them Each locality and each season has its own the “merry nightingale," bird to the ornithologist. If summer in town
The light-winged Dryad of the trees is roughly represented by the martin and
That sings of summer in full throated-ease. chimney-swallow, many cherished reminiscences of coast scenery are flecked with the little Again, we always associate the swallow with black and white cliff swallows. We always
the return of spring, and when it leaves we connect the long mud flats of the Humber
wish good-bye to sunshine and summer ; it during winter with the presence of the Royston
was a bird full of sad associations to the pencrow, which spends that season with us in the
sive Greek, and even the practical Roman. The eastern counties of England. The sprightly
Rhodians welcomed it to their bright isle with water-ousel speaks of long sunny days by the
songs, much as our children imitate the cuckoo Devonshire rivers in spring. Who does not
in their glee. No greater contrast to our hate the shore-lark with its melancholy wail,
cheerful home life, where the swallow's twitter recalling those endless wet days at the sea
round its “ procreant cradles” is so delightful side, when in desperation one takes to read
to the early waker, can be found than in the ing Brudshaw. The wheat-ear is insepar
beautiful yet gloomy lines of Danteably connected in our mind with the ver
Nell' ora che comincia i iristi lai daut Welsh uplands where we first made its
La rondinella pressa alla mattina, acquaintance. Who could think of the fly
Forse a memoria de' suoi primi guai. catcher anywhere but by the boundary of his
The kindly feeling of modern social life has lawn,
little in common with the political life of the With the bean-flower's toon,
stirring days of the past; our very birds are And the black bird's tune,
affected by the change. Aud May and June.
In these few specimens of the varied modes Cicero's famous eulogy of literary pursuits different associations, we have said but littie
in which ornithology is bound up with far might be parodied to suit ornithology ; even at
on the thousand charms its study affords to a night the latter science is not forgetful of her
retired domestic life. Perhaps only they who rotaries, How often have we dallied with “ambrosial night” in the western counties, objects can thoroughly enter into the fascina
really appreciate country pursuits and country where the shadowy “combes” were flooded
tion of ornithology. To such an one, on bis with moonlight, listening to the distant chir
lawn, on the moor, by the murmuring beck, ring of the goat-sucker, or challenging the love
where the beetling crags are lashed for ever by lorn owl with “tuwhit, tuwhoo !” as he fitted
the sea, in the most solitary or the most past to woo the baker's daughter of whom
crowded places, are his friends. By frequent Shakespeare tells us.
we forget observation he can become wonderfully famiwakeful nights in the midland counties, every liar with their curious ways. A rookery, or minute of which was regularly numbered by
an old tower tenanted by jackdaws and starthe monotonous creaking of the lanılrail lings, is a constant source of delight to him. amongst the tedded hay on the hillside. Lin
It is quite possible for a city dweller to become colnshire, besides the flights of ducks and geese that rustle through the air on wintry Wordsworth’s poet
an ornithologist, but we prefer to liken him to nights, has its special charm in the wailing notes of the plover. High over head you
He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a shady grove ; hear their plaintive cries, and if they astonish
And you must love him, ere to you a stranger they may serve to remind him, if a
He will scem worthy of your love. scholar, of Homer's ghosts that flitted screaming through the shades, or of Celtic colonists With the melancholy Jacques his life should of Breton, who, according to Procopius, were be exempt from public haunt, but he should compelled to return in a disembodied state also, like Amiens, be able to after death for interment in Cornwall, and
Tune his merry note wailed as they passed over the Channel to
Unto the sweet bird's throat. their long sad home.
Another curious subject connected with orni- He must learn to recognise his feathered thology is the different impression some of our friends by their call, their flight, their gait; common birds make upon us from that which when this one comes, when that one goes ; they made upon the ancients. Take the night when this kind ceases to sing, when that family ingale for instance : it had only melancholy quits the fields for more domestic hauuts: such