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enormous consumption of some thousands of tons annually, yet still the good old quill cannot be equalled by the most laboured attempt of art, though, in justice to our manufacturers, it must be allowed, that the flexibility and softness of these steel pens are wonderful; but the quill seems nature's pen, and the steel that of art.

I have remarked above, my dear children, that man has not enlisted the bird or fish into servitude, but there are some few exceptions to this rule; some hundreds of years since, before gunpowder was in common use, the falcon and the hawk were trained in this country and on the continent to take game; and so greatly did this custom prevail, that one of the highest officers of the palace was called the Grand Falconer ; but it was a cruel sport, though then even ladies of rank much enjoyed it. In our day, also, the carrier pigeons (the sort your young friend E. H. has,) have been employed on any great occasion, when swiftness was needed to carry letters; but the journey is so uncertain, that this plan is rarely used; and now, in this age of wonderful invention, the electro-telegraphic communication seems to leave behind all other means.

There is something very interesting connected with the flight of the raven and the dove, in the history of Noah, after the ark rested on Ararat. The raven, it is said, was first sent out; and went and returned, and went again, going and returning until the waters were


* This Telegraph is used on some of the Rail-Roads.

dried up. Seven days elapsed, and Noah sent out the dove, but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and was taken in: again seven days elapsed, and Noah sent forth the dove, and lo! in the evening it returned with an olive leaf plucked off; so Noah knew that the waters had abated. I do not attempt to unfold these scriptures, but it is a fact of great interest, that a tradition seems to prevail among many nations that the dove is the emblem of mercy, and the olive-branch, a sign of peace. I think it is Mungo Park, who relates in his travels in Africa, that one day he met an ambassador and his escort; he was going from the king his master to some neighbouring prince; he had no written communication, but his message was strikingly set forth in two emblems, always carried before him—an olive branch and a sword; and our countryman was told, that the form of delivering the message was this:-on reaching the prince, the ambassador was to stretch out the olive-branch; if he received it, there was PEACE; but if he declined it, the sword was put before him, and there

was war.

There is also in the history of Norway a most interesting incident connected with the raven, which Montgomery, with great beauty, interweaves into his admirable poem of “Greenland.” A Norwegian noble, from some political cause, fled his country ; and, embarking with a number of his vassals, launched out to sea; they took (as it should seem was then the custom) a raven with them; after beating about some days, discovering no land, they loosed the raden ; instantly

it ascended on high, and on seeing land, darted towards it, and became, as the poet most eloquently describes it

“A living compass, through a chartless sky."

The frail bark followed the raven's flight, and soon after they discovered Iceland, and found a home there.

But we will now, my dear children, look at the creation of the fifth day in the order in which it is mentioned in the scriptures. First, considering the inhabitants of the deep, and secondly, the fowl of the air.


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Under this head there are two great divisions, most plainly established in the first of Genesis, "and God made great whales," marking the First order, “and every living creature that moveth which the waters brought forth abundantly,” the Second. The most celebrated writers on Natural History have in their works preserved this arrangement, and therefore we will thankfully take advantage of their laborious researches.

LINNÆUS, the great Swedish Naturalist, being generally followed, * and his system being the most simple, we cannot do better for the

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Linnæus flourished in the early part of the last century; his first work was published in 1735, and in 1766, a TWELFTH edition appeared; and in twenty-one years after Professor Gmelin sent forth one revised and enlarged.

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present, than follow his arrangement; and though the names of the classes and orders may at first sight seem difficult to remember, yet, as I remarked to you in the letter on the atmosphere, the terms of science all carry their meaning in their etymology; and when once engraved on the memory, are never effaced; therefore, when we know the class and order to which any animal referred to belongs, instantly its conformation, food, habits, companions and all, present themselves to the mind after a most pleasing and easy manner.

The first great division above alluded to, is arranged by Linnæus, under the order of “ Cete,” which means Whales.

CETE. The animals comprised under this order are:—the Whale, the Cachalot or Sperm Whale, the Grampus, Porpoise, Narwhal or Sea Unicorn, and the Dolphin; all these, though inhabitants of the deep, are civiparous, that is, they bring forth their young alive; they also suckle them, and respire through lungs, like quadrupeds.

The GREAT WHALE.— The word great may indeed be applied, with all justice, to this giant of the deep, for he has been known to reach between ninety and a hundred feet in length. I was but a lad when I saw one for the first time, and the sight is still fresh in my memory. Just imagine a garden or lane a hundred feet in length, and then realize a whale as stretched out to that enormous extent.

There are many different species of whale :--the principal are the

common, the pike-headed, the round-lipped, and the beaked; but as in their great features they are alike, we will only look at the former, i. e. the common whale.

The Whale is, to look at, of an unwieldy shape, the head being one-third the size of the whole body; the colour is not uniform, but generally of dark and dingy shades; the eyes are very small in proportion to its size, not being larger than those of an ox, but they are placed far back in the head, so that the animal enjoys a very wide range of vision; there are two orifices, or holes, in the middle of the head, through which it spouts out the water, (unavoidably taken into its mouth as it feeds,) as from a fountain, to an amazing height, and sometimes with great noise; the tail is in shape something like a crescent-drawn in at the centre. That substance called whalebone, the properties of which I have already explained to you, is found on the upper jaw, and is composed of thin parallel layers, some of them twelve feet in length. Its use is to strain from the water the minute animals on which the whale subsists.

The food of the whale is a small molluscous animal about an inch long, called the Clio Borealis.

The whale is fond of domestic happiness, and is faithful to his mate, who returns an attachment that manifests itself even unto death; instances of this have been witnessed in the female* whale, who,

Goldsmith, in his “ Natural History," vol. iii. p. 443, relates a striking fact in proof of this. “Two whales were sailing together, a male and female, one of

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