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objects are much more defined, and small and distant ones are much less distinctly seen when the air ceases to take up the moisture. Thus, vision becomes a sort of weather-glass ; and if, in the course of fine summer weather, distant objects and the distant horizon become more distinctly visible, it is a sure sign of “pluvial precipitation" or rain.
So much for the “mirage;"' now for a few on dits about birds, flowers, and such other natural things. About the middle of August the swift, or black martin, as some call it (hirundo apus), is missed in its usual haunts. The great body of these birds migrate at once, so that we are struck with their absence about the old steeples of churches and other edifices which they usually inhabit, and from whence they sally forth on rapid wings each morning and evening in search of food, whirling round and round, and uttering a very loud, piercing, and peculiar cry, wherefore they are called squeakers. For the last month past I have seen these birds flying in lofty gyrations in the air over Richmond Park, seemingly exercising their wings and preparing for future flight. It is not precisely ascertained to what countries they go when they leave Europe.
Insects still continue to swarm and to sport in the sun from flower to flower. It is very amusing to observe in the bright sun of an August morning the animation and delight of some of the small winged insects. That beautiful little blue butterfly, papilio argus, is then all life and activity, flitting from flower to flower in the grass with great activity. There seems to be a constant rivalship and contention between this beauty and the not less elegant little beau, papilio phlæas. Frequenting the same station, attached to the same head of clover or of horse bell, whenever they approach, mutual animosity seems to possess them, and darting on each other with
courageous rapidity, they buffet and contend until one is driven from the field or to a considerable distance from his station, perhaps many hundred yards, when the victor returns to his post in triumph ; and this contention is renewed as long as the brilliancy of the sun animates their courage. When the beautiful evening of this season arrives we again see the bat.
The bat begins, with giddy wing,
His circuit round the shed and tree;
A summer night's serenity.
It is a pleasant thing to see at the close of a fine August day the weary traveller, having reached some road-side inn, seated at the cool arbour at the side of the door, enjoying the fresh air and a glass of Lockwood's crystal ale by the side of Boniface, while children are playing on the grass, and the pump behind is heard jangling with that best of all ale" Adam's ale”—and the “hum” of bees and the "buzz" of the village festival make all delightful.
Something abont the Barse.
“ Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder ? the glory of his strength is terrible. He poweth in the valley, he rejoiceth in his strength : he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affriglited. He swalloweth "the ground with ficrceness and rage. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha ; and he smelleth the battle afer off.” - JOB.
F all animals the horse is one of the most beautiful.
creation. His motions are full of ease, grace, and dignity. There is nobleness in his disposition, docility, and love, and, above all things, the most intrepid courage. The dog has been called the friend of man, and the horse may well
be designated the servant of man; man—who often abuses him, and cruelly beats him in life, and degrades him in death by turning him into cats' mcat or sausages.
From the earliest periods we read of the horse; in the oldest Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures we see him depicted. The first mention of him in the oldest writings is found in Genesis, where it is said, that Joseph gave them (the Egyptians) bread in exchange for horses. In the time of Joshua we find horses more common and frequently alluded to. They seem to have been originally introduced from the Tartarian plains, and from Persia; and the first
breaking-in of them for riding is attributed by some authors to the Læpithe, a people of Thessaly, and is alluded to by our old schoolfriend, Virgil. From the writings of another old school-friend, Homer, as I learned from Mr. Mitford, who pointed out to me the metaphor in the fifteenth book of the Illiad, we find the strength of Ajax, bounding from ship to ship, compared to that of a horseman on a strong steed. I wish that my young friends would turn to