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THE Cockatoo, or Crested Parrot is a native of the Molucca Islands, and is distinguished from the common parrot by a crest of long feathers, which it can erect at pleasure, and which gives the bird a fine striking appearance. It has a short tail, and often repeats the word
“Cockatoo," whence it has its name. It seeks damp and marshy situa
tions, usually near rivers or brooks, delighting to bathe frequently in the water. It chiefly subsists on vegetable substances, and in confinement is excessively fond of sweetmeats. Like the rest of the tribe, it may be taught to repeat a word or a phrase. The colour throughout is a pure white, except the crest, of which the longer feathers are bright yellow. It is remarkably intelligent, and becomes attached to those who treat it with kindness.
What wonderful creatures the Almighty has made to inhabit and adorn our world ! In every variety of them we see a new display of his creating power and goodness. But you, my young friend, are a more wonderful creature than any of these. You have a soul within you which will live for ever, and which the Son of God came down from heaven to save and bless for ever! Never forget that.
LOVE TO A FATHER. THE following remarkable and beautiful instance of filial affection appeared in the Herald of Limba (Peru), to which it was communicated by the Alcalde of Callao :
Gentlemen,-There having passed in my office (Justice of the Peace) a scene of great interest and most rare at any time and place, I cannot refrain from communicating the same to you, believing that you will concur with me in the opinion that an act so honorable and worthy the best qualities of human nature, deserves to be commemorated by means
of the press.
About eight o'clock this morning, a tumultuous assembly of people invaded my house, bringing in with them a venerable looking man. They inquired for the Justice. On demanding of them the reason of a semi-riotous collection, they all began to speak at once, so that I was for a time unable to comprehend what was the true state of the case. Having, however, at last obtained silence, the old man addressed me thus :
“Mr. Alcalde, having buried my wife, the mother of these four lads, I ordered this one, named Jose Maria, to take charge of the other three, who have already made choice of their elder brother's profession. These two, Antanacio and Dionisio, are both married; the youngest, Julian, although single, supports himself by his labours as a fisherman. Ever since the mother of the boys was taken away from me, I have been living with my elder son in the interior; but have never failed to receive care and attention from the other three. Desirous of coming to Callao, Jose Maria wrote to Julian in order that he should provide for me--which injunction has given offence to Antanacio, who declares that being the second son, the future care of me belongs of right to him. I would like to divide myself into four parts, so as to give each of my children a portion of my body, but as that cannot be, we have come before you, Mr. Alcalde, in order that you should decide which of these young men is to be preferred."
The father had hardly finished speaking when the generous dispute commenced.
Antanacio, the second son, said, that his father having been hitherto living with his elder brother, it was now his turn to have possession of him by order of birth. Dionisio contended that his brother Antanacio could not be with his father be. cause he had a great deal to do, and could not give his father the attention he required. The fourth son, Julian, represented to me that it properly belonged to him to support his father, as he was the youngest and unmarried.
In truth I knew not what to resolve, my heart was so affected by this extraordinary picture presented to me. As I contemplated this scene, the old man, Clemento, said; “My dear children, my heart overflows with satisfaction in witnessing your disputes respecting which of you shall take charge of your old father. I would gladly give consent to you all, and therefore propose that I be permitted to breakfast with one, dine with another, sleep in the house of the third, and thus keep changing from day to day; but if you do not consent to this, let his honour, the judge, determine what shall be done with me."
The young men unanimously rejected this proposition, because they said their father would lead an idle, errant, unquiet life. I then proposed to write on separate pieces of paper the names of the sons, and let the decision of chance settle the question. While I wrote these papers and doubled them, and put them into the hat of Clemento, which served as a ballot box, a death-like silence prevailed, and there was plainly to be seen expressed in the countenance of each of the sons his hopes of being the lucky receiver of the desired prize. The old man put his tremulous hand into the hat and drew out the name of Antanacio, the second son! My friends, I hardly know how to express to you the new scene which then broke in upon me! Antanacio, upon hearing his name called out, broke into praises to the Omniscient for according him such a boon. With his hands clasped and eyes directed to heaven, he repeated over and over his thanks, then fell upon his knees before his venerable parent, and bathed his sandaled feet with tears of frantic joy.
The other brothers followed his example, and embraced the feet of the good old patriarch, who remained like a statue, oppressed with emotions to which he knew not how to give vent.
Such a scene as this melted all who witnessed it, among whom were the lieutenant of police, the Alcalde Don Altano, and some other friends. The brothers then retired, but soon returned with a fresh demand-which was that I should command that since Antanacio had been favoured by lot with the charge of the father, they should not be deprived of the pleasure of taking the old man out to walk by turns in the afternoon, which order I gave magisterially, in order to gratify these simple, honest people, and they then retired contented.
This humble family of Indian extraction is named Villiavicencio. They are natives of the valley of Chorillo, but at present reside at Callao.
I repeat, gentlemen, that if this imperfect but true relation be deemed worthy of publication, you are at liberty to give it a place in the columns of your journal.
Your very humble servant,
ANTUNIO 4 DEL VILLAR, Alcalde of Callao.
LUTHER'S DAUGHTER MAGDALENE. LUTHER and his wife Katherine were not without their share of domestic affliction. In his letters, frequent allusions are made to their own personal illnesses, to the sickness of their domestics, by which their house was sometimes almost converted into an hospital. Of the six children which God had given them, they lost two by death. Their eldest daughter Elizabeth died about the beginning of August, 1528, within less than a year after her birth. Their second daughter Magdalene died at the age of fourteen years, in 1542; and this was perhaps the severest domestic affliction which they sustained. The night before the death of this beloved child, Katherine dreamed that there appeared to her two beautiful youths, in elegant attire, who asked her daughter in marriage. On the morrow she told her dream to Luther, and to Philip Melancthon, who had come to visit them.