Imágenes de páginas

i villes. La societé y est fi generale et fi “ mělée qu'il ne reste plus d'asile pour la " retraite, et qu'on est en public jusques s chez soi. A force de vivre avec tout le “ monde en n'a plus de famille, à peine “ connoît-on ses parens ; on les voit en " etrangers, et la simplicité des moeurs

domestiques s'eteint avec la douce fa

miliarité qui en faisoit le charme. C'est " ainsi qu'on suce avec le lait le gout des " plaisirs du siecle et des maximes qu'on " y voit regner.” Rousseau, Emile.

Cultivation of the female mind, is not of great importance in a republic, where men pass little of their time with women. Such cultivation, where polygamy is indulged, would to them be a deep misfora tune, by opening their eyes to their miserable condition. But in an opulent monarchy, where polygamy is prohibited, female education is of high importance ; not singly with respect to private happiness, but with respect to the society in general.





Concerning Propagation of Animals, and

Care of Progeny.

T HE natural history of animals, with

respect to pairing and care of progeny, is susceptible of more elucidation, than could regularly be introduced into the sketch itself, where it makes but a single argument. Loth to quit a subject that eminently displays the wisdom and benevolence of Providence, I embrace the present opportunity, however sight, to add what further occurs upon it. M. Busson, in many large volumes, bestows scarce a thought on that favourite subject; and the neglect of our countrymen Ray and Derham is still less excusable, considering that to display the conduct of Providence was their fole purpose in writing natural history.

The instinct of pairing is bestowed on every species of animals to which it is necessary for rearing their young; and on no other species. All wild birds pair : but with a remarkable difference between


such as place their nests on trees, and such as place them on the ground. The young of the former, being hatched blind and, without feathers, require the nursing care of both parents till they be able to fly. The male feeds his mate on the nest, and cheers her with a song. As soon as the young are hatched, singing yields to a more necessary occupation, that of providing food for a numerous issue, a talk that requires both parents.

Eagles and other birds of brey build on trees, or on other places difficult of access. They not only pair, but continue in pairs all the year; and the same pair procreate together, year after year. This at least is the case of eagles : the male and female hunt together ; and during incubation the female is fed by the male. A greater number than a single pair never are seen in company.

Gregarious birds pair, in order probably to prevent discord, in a fociety confined to a narrow space. This is the case particularly of pigeons and rooks. The male and female fit on the eggs alternately, and divide the care of feeding their young. During incubation, the male raven

is always at hand to defend the female against birds of prey. No sooner does a kite appear than he gets above it, and strikes it down with his bill.

Partridges, plovers, pheasants, seafowl, grouse, and other kinds that place their nests on the ground, have the instinct of pairing; but differ from such as build on trees in the following particular, that after the female is impregnated, the completes her task without needing any help from the male. Retiring from him, the chufes a safe place for her nest, where the can find plenty of worms and grass-seed at hand. And her young, as soon as hatched, take foot and seek food for themselves. The only remaining duty incumbent on the dam is, to lead them to proper places for food, and to call them 10gether when danger impends. Some males, provoked at the desertion of their mates, break the eggs if they happen to find them. If a Turkey hen die during hatching, the cock takes her place in the nest; and after the young are hatched, he tends them as a hen does. Not only fo, but when the female is engaged with a new brood, the cock takes care of the for


mer brood, leads them about for food, and acts in every respect as the female did before. Eider ducks pair like other birds that place their nests on the ground; and the female finishes her nest with down plucked from her own breast. If the nest be destroyed for the down, which is remarkably warm and elastic, she makes an. other nest as before. If she be robbed a fecond time, she makes a third nest ; but the male furnishes the down. A lady of fpirit observed, that the Eider duck may give a lesson to many a married woman, who is more disposed to pluck her husband than herself. The black game never pair : in spring the cock on an eminence crows, and claps his wings; and all the females within hearing instantly resort to him *.

Pairing birds, excepting those of prey, flock together in February, in order to chuse their mates. They foon disperse ; and are not seen afterwards but in pairs.

Pairing is unknown to quadrupeds that feed on grass. To such it would be use

* A hen that had hatched several broods of ducklings, carried her own chickens to the water, thrust them in by force, and tested not till they were ali drowned. Such is the force of custom, even against nature.


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