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nitre, and James's powder given more frequently, and in larger doses than before. The pulse of the dog may be felt at the side. If the digitalis produces an intermittent pulse, which it should do, it should be given more cautiously, and in smaller quantities.
of chalk, ten grains of catechu, five grains of ginger, and a quarter of a grain of opium,made into a ball with palm oil; and this, for a middle sized dog, twice a-day.
When the "Twitchings" appear, a seton is necessary, and some stimulating embrocation, such as the tincture of cantharides,— may be rubbed along the whole course of the spine. Castor oil, syrup of buckthorn, and syrup of poppies, (in the proportion of three parts of the first, two of the second, and one of the last,) should be given morning and night, and a tonic ball at noon; but if the spasms spread over the animal, accompanied by a moaning, that increases to a cry, humanity demands that we should put an end to that which cannot be cured.
If the inflammation is conquered, or it should happen that there is none of any moment, and the huskiness still continues; if the discharge from the nose increases, and the animal loses flesh, and is becoming weak, -the treatment must be changed. Half the quantity only of the sedative and diuretic medicine must be given, and some tonic, as gentian, from ten to twenty grains; and ginger from five to ten grains, for a dose; be added. An emetic must be given occasionally, and the bowels must be kept open, but not purged. The dog must be urged to eat; and if he obstinately refuse, he must be forced with strong beef-jelly. If, notwithstanding this, the strength of the animal continues to decline, and the discharge from the nose be comes purulent and offensive, the fever medicine must be omitted, and the tonic balls, with from thirty to sixty grains of carbonate of iron in each, be given. If the dog begins to recover, the tonic balls may be continued without the iron; giving now and then an emetic if the huskiness threatens to return. Wholesome food and good country air, how-"nitrate of silver will be the sheet-anchor of the practitioner in this disease; and if used early, will seldom deceive him." We must never make too sure of the recovery of a distempered dog. It is a treacherous disease, and the medicines should be continued for a month at least after every symptom has disappeared. Palsy is sometimes the termination of Distemper, it is usually accompanied by Chorea; and is then, in the majority of cases, hopeless. ZIG-ZAG.
In the treatment of Chorea, (St. Vitus's dance) which is an occasional sequel of Distemper, a seton is the first thing. The bowels should be kept moderately open, and the nitrate of silver, (in doses of one-eighth of a grain, increased to one quarter of a grain, and made into a pill, with linseed meal) should be given morning and night.
ever, are the best tonics.
When the discharge from the nose is very offensive, the lips swelled and ulcerated, and the breath foetid, half an ounce of yeast may be given every noon, and the tonics morning and night. The mouth should be often washed with a solution of the chloride of lime. When fits appear early, give a strong emetic. Then bleed, and open the bowels with five or six grains of calomel, and a quarter of a grain of opium, and commence the tonic balls. If they occur at a later period, all that can be done is to give a strong emetic; open the bowels with castor oil; and give the tonic balls, with a quarter of a grain of opium in each.
In the treatment of the yellow disease, we shall seldom succeed. One large bleeding, opening the bowels with Epsom salts, and then giving one-grain doses of calomel twice daily in a tonic ball, sometimes produces a good effect.
Let it be remembered, that while costiveness must be obviated, there is nothing more to be dreaded in every stage of Distemper than Diarrhoea. The purging of Distemper will often bid defiance to the most powerful astringent medicines. This shows the folly of giving (as is often done) violent cathartics in Distemper. It is of the utmost consequence that, when purging arises, it should be speedily checked. First, give a good dose of Epsom salts, then twenty grains
Herein is comprised the best method of treatment for that fatal disease,--Distemper. All your correspondents will doubtless be glad to hear of a medicine which is often successful in Chorea. Youatt says,-
BIRDS OF SONG.*
THIS BEING the time of year when most birds are silent, or partially so, from the cold, we propose to introduce to our readers' notice such of the choristers as usually take the earliest part in the harmony of the season. Every successive week will now be telling of something new, something delightful.
We are just entering upon a month, in which there is little observable, day by day,
*Under this head (See our FIRST and SECOND VOLUMES), all our most popular Birds of Song are being treated of in turn. There has been a very great demand for the separate Treatises; but it is not our present intention to publish them otherwise than in the columns of OUR OWN JOURNAL. ED. K. J.
towards the return of spring. Yet do we already mark among the thrushes and the blackbirds an increased activity; and certain peculiarities in their approaches towards each other, and in their "delicate attentions," which convince us they will all "mate" at a very early day.
We were busy musing at the remote end of our garden, a few days since, immediately under the shade of some lofty firs-and in the close proximity of the holly and the laurel, well-known sounds" saluted our ear, which we recognised as the notes of dalliance. Several pairs of thrushes and several pairs of blackbirds were busily agitating the brushwood, and flitting restlessly along the whole length of a hollyhedge; pursuing each other, as these birds do, even at this early season of the year. All this gives the note of preparation for early incubation.
We have observed, too, certain incipient signs of approaching familiarity between cock-robin and his intended associate. The courtship of these birds is completely sui generis. They meet en avance, and as quickly retire en derrière; repeating these preparatory interviews from morning till night. They then separate altogether. They go through the same observances on the morrow, and the day following; and when their flirtations are completely over, the "proposal" is made, the "offer" considered, and the happy redbreast made a worthy husband for the season. His trammels are then thrown offa divorce is mutually agreed upon, and both parties once more retire to "Liberty Hall." We note these little episodes as we go on; for the innocence of birds, and their winning ways, cannot be too closely scrutinised and admired.
The robins and the blackbirds are among the very first of the feathered tribe to bestir themselves for the provision of a family. Ere the trees have any clothing, you may see, in a private garden, nidification commencing at the very beginning of February.
The blackbird of last year arrives at maturity in the following spring; assuming, with the change of season, a jet-black, glossy livery, and a bill as yellow as gold. The orbs of the eye, too, become bright yellow; and the whole figure bold and dauntless. The hen is of a dusky, dark brown color, and her eyes less brilliant than those of the male.
The instinct of the blackbird is by no means remarkable. There are very few birds indeed so palpably obtuse; for they build their nests in situations which, for the most part, expose them to certain robbery by idle boys and iron-hearted men. Hence the quantities of young birds exposed for sale at the commencement of March. We would
remark, en passant, that as this bird is very prolific, it is just possible Nature might have given it a limited instinct, with a view to an excess of numbers being thereby prevented. It is quite certain, that if these birds were not thinned in some way, their race would multiply to an alarming extent. They suffer greatly during the winter by the "rough practice" of the "cockney sportsman," who contrives to wound many hundreds, whilst perhaps he kills only one; and that, by the merest accident.
With all the slaughter, however, dealt out amongst them during the winter months, we always find plenty of survivors left to greet us from the top of the highest tree, at the earliest dawn of spring. number in our own immediate precincts at We can already least a dozen; and twice that number of thrushes-with wrens, robins, and tit mice, ad libitum. Sacred is our rural dwelling to the happiness and perfect enjoyment of these melodious rogues. snug in the bosom of their affectionate Secure from pursuit, families, and in the midst of plenty, with us all the feathered tribes are in safeguard. Woe be to him who levels a hollow tube, "big with mischief," at any of the settlers on our ground, who come to share the rites of our hospitality-we mean if we should catch him in the act! Once or twice lately, we have heard a neighbor's gun in active discharge" of its enjoined duties; but we trust that, after this "notice," it will be put by for the season. 'Cruelty" is indefensible any plea. his vernal songs, just let us take a "peep Whilst the blackbird is busily rehearsing at the construction of his nest. The materials used are-1 fibrous roots, green moss, and similar matters; the inside being plastered, or cased, with damp mould, and subsequently sometimes a thick bush, sometimes a laurel, lined with dry grass. The site chosen is and occasionally it is placed on the side of a exceeds five. These are covered with brown bank. The number of eggs laid seldom spots at the larger end. The period of incubation is fourteen days.
Whilst we now write, the blackbirds in our immediate neighborhood are full of life and energy; and we can ever and anon catch the harmony (still low) of their sweet voices. Their love is already declared, their suit has been pressed, their "acceptance" made sure, their "happiness" perfected. With such a mutual compact formed-how faithfully and religiously will it be kept! We may speedily expect the vernal melody to commence in earnest.
There is much diversity of opinion about the cause of birds singing. Why there should be more than one opinion, we know not. Birds sing, as we sing-because they are
The late MACGILLIVRAY, a writer with whom we are by no means altogether pleased (for he recommends the indiscriminate and murderous slaughter, on certain ocaasions, of our small harmless choristers), has drawn a pretty and correct sketch of the blackbird. He has regarded him in the light of a happy parent in esse, or in expectancy; for he sings in both cases equally well. A right joyous fellow is he; we love him dearly. But now for a poetical description of his abandon to the inspiration of his muse.
"It is not," remarks MACGILLIVRAY, "in the wild valley, flanked with birchen slopes, and stretching far away among the craggy hills, that the music of the blackbird floats upon the evening breeze. There you may listen, delighted to the gentle song of the mavis; but here, in this plain, covered with corn-fields and skirted with gardens, sit thee down on the green turf by the gliding brook, and mark the little black speck, stuck, as it were, upon the top twig of that tall poplar. It is a blackbird; for now the sweet strain, loud, but mellowed by distance, comes upon the ear, inspiring pleasant thoughts, and banishing care and sorrow. The bird has evidently learned his part by long practice, for he sits sedately and in full consciousness of superiority.
"Ceasing at intervals, he renews the strain; varying it so that, although you can trace an occasional repetition of notes, the staves are never precisely the same. You may sit an hour, or longer, and yet the song will be continued; and in the neighboring gardens, many rival songsters will sometimes raise their voices at once, or delight you
with alternate strains.
"And now what is the purpose of all this melody? We can only conjecture that it is the expression of the perfect happiness which the creature is enjoying, when, uncarked by care, conscious of security, and aware of the presence of his mate, he instinctively pours forth his soul in joy, and gratitude, and love. He does not sing to amuse his mate, as many have supposed-for he often sings in winter, when he is not yet mated; nor does he sing to beguile his solitude, for now he is not solitary; but he sings because all his wants are satisfied, his whole frame glowing with health, and because his Maker has gifted him with the power of uttering sweet
There are very few of us, indeed, who know how to enjoy the charms of a country life, that can help anticipating the vernal treats so ready to burst upon us at an early day. Nor do we envy those who
"In populous cities pent," can say they are happy, and want for nothing. Smoke and dirt, dust and noise, barter and anxiety, speculation and uneasiness, may sit easily on some shoulders. We have known much of such enjoyments' ourself; but now--books and flowers, birds and pure air, are the only solace in which we care to take refuge. If ever happiness may be lawfully sought, it is in the fields or gardens, on a fine morning in spring. There we listen to our hero singing his early matins, and we exclaim with one of our modern poets—ADAMS—
Methinks, methinks, a happy life is thine,
Thou hast thy noontide canticle of praise,
Where blooming hedge-rows screen the rustic throng:
Thy life's a ceaseless prayer, thy days all Sabbath days.
We have already spoken of the small modicum of " instinct "inherent in the blackbird. When we were boys, we used (boylike, naturally "cruel!") to "draw" the nests of these birds. When we found four eggs, we removed three. To the odd one, the poor hen blackbird would lay another. This we again removed, and so on for a number of days; until, Nature exhausted, the ill-fated bird would die on its nest! Oh that we could write with a pen of iron, on the heart of every thoughtless youngster, the wickedness, the cruelty of such a wanton act! How often have we shuddered whilst contemplating these indefensible acts of ours in early childhood! We record it with shame, hoping that it will fall with a salutary effect on the conscience of others, who may even now be contemplating some similar act of early spoliation. We need hardly add, that most birds, when they find their locus in quo is discovered, immediately decamp to other quarters. The genus "school-boy liketh them not.
In our next, we will go into matters of detail with respect to the proper treatment of a blackbird,—or at least the best mode of treatment for " a bird in confinement." It is a sad "duty" indeed to perform!
Whilst viewing this noble, happy fellow in the country-and listening to his mellow, joyous song from the top of a lofty tree, we feel we could write "up" to him with spirit; but as we shall have to treat of him as a
prisoner immured in a dungeon, we shall also, malheureusment, have to write "down" to him. It is, however, a self-imposed task, and we shall not shrink from it. We shall, assuredly, plead hard for him; and entreat that his life may be made as happy as it can be under existing circumstances.
Ere yet another fortnight shall have gone over our heads, we shall behold a wondrous change in the voices of the blackbird and the thrush. They rally wonderfully as the season for breeding approaches; and, while his cara sposa is sitting sedulously on her nest-fondly anticipating the result of her onerous task, loud and melodious falls the note upon our ear of her "only love!" Seated aloft, he seems to look down upon all that are beneath him with a feeling of pity, giving utterance to songs of melody that liberty could alone inspire:
Oh! blackbird, sing me something well;
So sings TENNYSON; and we echo chant.
THE AVIARY AND ITS OCCUPANTS.
(Continued from Vol. II., page 404.)
BUILDING A HOUSE IS TEDIOUS WORK. Day after day the operations go on, but with little or no present visible progress. Still, everything must have a beginning; and no house can be properly erected without first laying a foundation. Thus have we acted in the treatment of our subject-bearing in lively remembrance the notable remark of Mrs. Glass, of immortal memory, than whom we wish no brighter nor better example to imitate.
If we have, perchance, been dry, prolix, and precise in our matter-of-fact directions, it has been with the single view of paving the way for the better enjoyment, hereafter, of the work of our hands. The benefit deri vable from an attentive perusal of apparently minor matters of detail, will soon become evident, nor is the "marrow" of our subject
even now far distant.
We come now, pari passu, to the discussion of "How to store an aviary." This is a matter which requires no little judgment; for if birds, by nature quarrelsome, were ad mitted indiscriminately to congregate under one roof, the result would be anarchy, confusion, -bloodshed. The names of the principal intended "settlers," may be given as follows:-Aberdevines, bullfinches, chaffinches, canaries, goldfinches, linnets, redpoles, twites, yellow-hammers. hard billed, granivorous, or seed birds. The foregoing are
The soft-billed, or insectivorous birds, are thrushes, blackcaps, arbour-birds, cole-tits, blue (or Tom) tits, marsh-tits, garden-warblers, hedge-sparrows, nightingales, redstarts, reed-sparrows, stonechats, whinchats, titlarks woodlarks (no sky larks must be admitted), whitethroats, wagtails.
From the above list, it will be seen that blackbirds, the ox-eye, robin, and wren, are excluded. The three first are quite inadmissible,-blackbirds being spiteful and mali. cious; ox-eyes, or joe-bents, murderous assassins.* The latter often feel an inclination to look too closely into the phrenological development of There could be no reasonable objection to their neighbor's head. this, if it were done from a laudable curiosity, and" in a regular way. able modus operandi is, first to split the skull of their" subject" (á-la-woodpecker "tapping"); then to examine its contents; and finally, to devour it greedily. This remarkable operation, frequently repeated, would, we hardly need say, soon depopulate the aviary.
17 But their invari
The robin, or redbreast, must be regarded altogether as an alien-such is the ferocity of his natural disposition. Who would credit this, when viewing him seated aloft, on the highest twig of yonder tall tree; every nerve visibly agitated, and his little throat widely distended; while, in the joyousness of his nature he is pouring forth the "most eloquent music?" Does he not look a perfect paragon of harmlessness, virtue, and innocence?
Such is he NOT. In him may be traced the unerring principle of Nature. Every specimen of his tribe-in this "rule" there are NO "exceptions"-is invariably alike in disposition; tyrannical, despotic, jealous, sanguinarily cruel. When noticing the "habits of this bird, under its proper head, we shall have much that is interesting to dwell upon much to record that we have never heard of, nor seen noticed by naturalists. dearly love the rogue, aye, dearly; but, as a faithful historian, we dare not give him" false character."
The wren is excluded, because he is a very tender, delicate bird, in confinement; impatient, also, of the constant bustle and excitement inseparable from an aviary. If ANY of this tribe be admitted, let it be two or three willow wrens. They are an exquisitely-formed bird; minutely small, and the most lively of their race. The excess of numbers should be in favor of goldfinches, linnets, canaries, redpoles, and bullfinches. These birds are
"showy "as well as sprightly, and are scarcely ever "mopish" in an aviary. Thus do they, by their activity and playfulness, keep the inmates in a constant state of jollity.
As many persons will have particular tastes of their own to gratify, and prefer some birds before others, our hints as to numbers and selections, are, of course, merely suggestivenot arbitrary.
It would be advisable to have not fewer than four aberdevines, four chaffinches, four twites, and four yellow-hammers. One thrush will be sufficient, and he must be put in when a young nestling. After the first or second year, these birds get spiteful; and they then commit awful havoc among the small fry, despatching them with a coup de bouche; still, however, they sing so well, and pipe so melodiously, that one is worth the venture. We would not recommend more than one or two choice specimens of the black-cap, and two or three cole-tits, blue-tits, and marsh-tits; two garden-warblers, three hedgesparrows, one nightingale, three redstarts, three reed sparrows, two stonechats, two whinchats, two titlarks, two woodlarks, two larger and two lesser white-throats, and one pair of wagtails, grey or yellow.
With the single exception of the last-named pair of wagtails, we recommend no HEN birds whatever being introduced. With animals, as with the human race, a strict sense of propriety and moral rectitude must be observed; all conventional forms must be respected; and a Codex morum established, from which there can be "no appeal."
Dame Nature has been singularly cruel, arbitrary, and over-exact, in her organisation of the female character; but perhaps she has some good latent reason for it, into which it is not lawful for us mortals to pry. All we can say about it is-we cannot see it. It certainly does seem deplorably "odd," that when some two, three, or more of the gentle sex are met together, they can never be long in each others' company without there being a "row." A-hem! Just so was it with our colony. We thoughtlessly left the ladies and gentlemen together, and a row" was the consequence; nay more, the results were "awful." There were, day after day, flirtations, assignations, and elopements, of course; followed (also of course) by alienations of affection, heart-rendings, jealousies, duels, assassinations, bloodshed, murder. Good fun was it, however, if we may be allowed to jest a subject, to observe with what perfect abandon some of the "miserable offenders" would give themselves up to the honied voices and insinuating eloquence of their spruce betrayers. Oh, how sinfully "wicked" they did look at their less-favored and disappointed rivals! It was better than any play.
on so" serious
Being a man of rigidly-moral principles, we were not long in perceiving our error; and, when perceived, in rectifying it. Every "lady" bird-causa teterrima belli-was withdrawn; lovers' vows were frustrated;* and the gentlemen-vocalists left alone in their glory.
Of the soft-billed birds last particularised we must observe, that a close eye should be kept on the blue-tits and the hedge-sparrows. The former are habitually spiteful, if they cannot get an abundant supply of their most favorite food. Under such circumstances they will, sometimes, like our friend the oxeye, take a too close survey of their neighbor's head, break it open sans ceremonie, and swallow its contents!
The hedge-sparrow, although an object of just suspicion, is not uniformly quarrelsome. If, therefore, you observe in them no disposition to fight, you may give them the entrée. They are a sprightly bird, of a good presence, and have a rich mellow song.
The water-wagtail is another ferocious bird-first cousin in disposition to a robin. Two, therefore, of the male sex can never agree under any circumstances. If associated, one would speedily become disposed of. Try only one pair. They are beautiful showy birds, and will run round the margin in their movements like the titlark, the conof the fountain with untiring activity. Being stant vibration of their tails, and the bend of their graceful forms, become objects for unceasing admiration. They will nearly always be in, or on the fountain-water being their delight.
The nightingale being a bird of truly singular habits, we have suggested the propriety of admitting one only. If there were more, the chances are that none of them would sing. This bird never allows himself to be surpassed or outdone in song. If therefore his fellow sing louder than he, and more joyously, from that moment he would become dumb, mopish, and sulky. Alone, he will perhaps "awaken the groves" with his voice. The other "warblers we need not here comment upon. We shall have "lots" to say of them at a proper season.
By the way, it may not be irrelevant to call attention at this time to the "blue-tit,"
already noticed. He is a most diverting Our readers will find, as we did, that whenever the thrush picks out any choice morsel of food from the pan on the floor, and flies upwards with it, Master Tom will cling closely round the thrush's neck, allow himself to soar upwards with him in flight, and finally force, by "high pressure from his mouth, the said choice morsel of
"The course of true love never did run smooth."-Old Proverb.