during the night. The eggs are de We do not learn, either from Mr. posited in layers, no two being suffered Gilbert's account, or that of captain to lie without a division between them. Grey, whether, as in the case of the They are about the size of a fowl's egg, brush turkey, several combine to conand are white, very slightly tinged with struct a common mound, or the conred. The natives are exceedingly fond trary. But from the statement that of them, and rob the mounds two or when the nest is robbed, the bird lays three times in a season ; they judge of again, we conclude, that though she the probable number of eggs in the trusts her eggs to be hatched by the heap, by the quantity of feathers lying warmth of the mound, (caused partly around. If these are abundant, they by the heat of the sun, and partly by the know that the hillock is full, when they decomposition of the vegetable matters immediately open it, and take the whole; mingled with or lining it) she does upon which the bird will again com not forsake them, but watches over them, mence laying, to be robbed a second time, remaining near the spot in attendance and she will frequently lay a third time. till

the young are excluded. “Upon questioning one of the men Judging from analogy, we infer that attached to Mr. Moore's expedition, he the brush turkey does the same. Whegave me a similar account of its habits ther in the case of the ngow-00,

the and mode of nidification ; and added, eggs are placed upright, or not, does that in all the mounds they opened, not appear. they found ants almost as numerous as Here, then, we have well-attested inin an ant hill. In many instances, that stances of two birds belonging to the part of the mound in which the lower gallinaceous order, not incubating, as portion of the eggs was imbedded, had do birds in general, but constructing become so hard, that they were obliged mounds for the reception of their eggs; to chip round them with a chisel to get which are hatched in them by artificial them out. The insides of the mounds heat, not by the heat of the parent. were always hot."

In reflecting on this singular fact, Captain Grey, who had been recently we are naturally led to inquire, whether engaged in an expedition along the any other birds adopt a similar mode, north-west coast, gave Mr. Gould a and also whether any other oviparous similar statement.

animals do the same. “ The farthest point north,” says cap The ostrich has been long believed tain Grey," at which I have seen the to bury her eggs in the sand, in order breeding places of this bird, is Gan- that the heat of the sun may hatch theaume Bay.

The natives of King them ; but this has been denied. In George's Sound say that the same, or South Africa, the ostriches lay their a nearly allied species, exists in that eggs in a shallow cavity scraped in neighbourhood. I have never fallen in the sand, with an elevated rim around with its nests ; but in one description it, and several females unite in forming of country, namely, when the soil was a common nest ; upon these eggs they dry and sandy, and so thickly wooded sit, the females relieving each other with a dwarf species of leptospernum, during the day, the male taking his that if you stray from the native paths, turn at night. But though the ostrich it is almost impossible to force your the Cape incubates like other way through. In these close scrubby birds, it appears that within the torrid woods, small glades occasionally occur, zone the females lay their eggs in the and here the Ngow-00 constructs its sand, where the heat of the sun is sufnest, composed of a large heap of sand, ficient to hatch them, the female somewith dead boughs and grass, and at times sitting upon them during the least nine feet in diameter and three in night. In this instance, however, the height. I have seen them even larger bird does not sit, because there is no than this.

necessity for it, the sun being powerful “Upon one occasion only, I saw eggs enough to bring the chick to maturity. in those nests; they were placed at But with regard to the two birds we have some distance from each other, and described, we find that they construct an buried in the sand. I am not sure of artificial depository of vegetables, or of the number; but the account given by vegetables and sand, so as to constitute the natives led me to believe that at a hot bed, by the heat of which the eggs tirnes large numbers were found.” are duly hatched. The principle, if we


may so express ourselves, upon which

I DON'T CARE." these two gallinaceous birds act, is “MAMMA,” said my cousin Mortimer's therefore different from that of the eldest little girl, “what does don't care ostrich. Did they merely lay their mean ?” eggs in the sand, and there leave them, I think, Ellen, it never means any they would, speaking figuratively, com- good; and generally a great deal of mit an error in judgment, which would harm. you were running along the result in the eggs losing their vitality. towing path, by the side of the river, and

Still, in the instance of the estrich, I were to say to you, Take care, Ellen, as far as we know, we have the nearest what do you think I should mean ?" approach as respects the point in ques “ That I should mind, and not go too tion to the brush turkey and the ngow-00. near the edge.”

Of all oviparous animals, birds alone “But suppose you did not mind, and sit on their eggs, or incubate. All the did go too near the edge ?” reptiles and fishes trust their eggs, as “Perhaps I should fall in and be a general rule, to the heat of the sun, drowned.” whether in the water or on land, for “Yes, Ellen; and something else, becoming hatched. Many, however, whether or not you should fall into the bury them; and some, as the common water.' snake, in places where other heat be “ I should be disobedient, mamma.” sides that of the sun may influence Yes, my child; that would be the them ; as, for example, in hot beds and worst of it; because disobedience is a heaps of decomposing manure. If, sin.' however, any cases approaching that of “Mamma, when I was at play, last the brush turkey are to be found amongst night, with Louisa Parry, she climbed up the cold blooded, oviparous animals, a ladder, and gathered some grapes ; and we may naturally expect to find it in her maid begged her to come down, lest the highest of the reptilia. Tortoises she should break her neck: besides, she and turtles bury their eggs in the sand, told her she must not gather grapes withand there leave them to the action of out leave, her mamma_would be very

Crocodiles do the same; but angry with her ; but Louisa said, 'Í they watch over the places in which don't care,' and went on doing it." the eggs are deposited, and the females “ I am very sorry, my dear, that Loutake the young under their own charge. isa should have acted so improperly; One species, however, the pike-nosed and very sorry

that should have witalligator, (Alligator lucius,) which in- nessed her conduct. But as you have habits the Mississippi, North America, seen and heard it, I hope you will reand the lakes of New Orleans, is said member that it is very foolish not to take to deposit its eggs in layers, separated care at all times : those who do not, are from one another by partitions of mud. likely to fall into mischief and danAzara also states that the Yacaré alli- ger. It is more than foolish, it is gator, (A. sclerops,) of South America, very sinful indeed, for a child not to deposits its eggs in the sand, and covers take care to obey her parents, and not to them with dry grass or vegetable mat care whether they are pleased or disters; but, in both these cases, they are pleased. I hope my dear little Ellen will hatched by the solar heat alone.

never utter such an expression, or cheIn the construction, then, of hot beds rish such a feeling.' as depositories for their eggs, the brush The conversation between my cousin turkey and the ngow-00 stand isolated and her little daughter recalled to mind among the feathered race; nor do we an old spelling book, used by Frank and find a true parallel among the oviparous myself, which contained a notable story animals of other classes.

of a disobedient careless boy, who used It may be asked, What end is an to treat both command and admonition swered by this singular departure from with the insolent defiance, “I don't the general rule among birds ? Our reply care." I forget the various stages of is, We cannot tell. In every department vice and misery through which he passed ; of nature, we are presented with facts but he was at length torn to pieces by a which baffle our endeavours to account lion, into whose power he was thrown for ; with laws, and exceptions to laws, by some act of headstrong disobedience, the why and wherefore of which are be- This tragical scene was rudely depicted yond our comprehension.

M. at the commencement of the story, which

the sun.



ended with the moral, “ Don't care al- phrase, in defiance of authority. ways comes to an ill end at last.” The daring is he, that he commonly goes spelling book has long since become ob- among us by the name of Dreadnought, solete, and I am not sure that the warn He is the most ingenious inventor, and ing was based upon sound principles ; for, the most daring perpetrator of mischief; in the moral tales of that day, obedience, and when engaged in his rebellious frodiligence, and good conduct, were made lics, if some more timid transgressor, invariably to conduct to wealth and though perhaps an admiring spectator of honour; while idleness and vice as in- his boldness, interposes the caution, variably led to disgrace and ruin. This, 'Oh, take care! Hark! there's master though' in accordance with the general coming! You'll surely be caught !' tendency of things, is not, in point of his reply always is, “What do I care ! fact, always immediately and visibly veri- let him come:' and it is really astonishfied; and if it were, policy is but a poor ing,"continued Frank, “how frequently ground on which to build morality. He he does come off harmless.” who does right, merely because he thinks “No, Frank,” said my uncle, “not he shall fare the better by so doing, will, harmless. Such daring spirits may, and at best, do it but partially and super- often do escape the immediate infiction ficially; and will, in all probability, be of disgrace and punishment, which they come the easy prey of temptation, which are apt to consider the only harm that comes baited with a plausible representa- can result from their offences. But they tion of greater advantage to be derived do not escape moral harm; nor do they by pursuing an opposite course. How- escape the guilt of inflicting it on others. ever, without at present too nicely scan I have known more than one lamentable ning that point, I know that the closing instance, of a spirited young rebel, such sentiment of the tale was deeply lodged as you describe, who, by the success and in my mind; and that I always con- impunity, which generally attended his sidered it a very alarming thing to say, feats of youthful mischief, and especially " I don't care.

by the admiration and applause poured The question of little Ellen led to a upon him, (perhaps by misguided conversation on the subject; and long parents,) for the cleverness which outafter the child had returned to her play-witted, or the courage which defied a things, we were enumerating instances in master, has lost all moral susceptibility, which this unguarded phrase is often used. and become hardened, in defiance of all

Arthur Longley was referred to as adopt- authority, human and Divine. The ining it, in a tone of listless indifference. fluence too, of such an example, is most Frank, who was his schoolfellow, com- injurious on others. The hero and his plained that more than one holiday had feats became objects of emulation to those been wasted by his frittering, undecided who have not equal abilities; and, like way. When asked if he would join in a some of the weaker animals, they learn to walk, or a game at cricket, or whatever make up in cunning what they want in else the projected recreation might be, strength and courage : and thus a lad, his reply was, “I don't care if I do ;" who, perhaps, prides himself on his or, if two things were proposed for frankness, generosity, and honour, forms choice, he would say, “I don't care a host of servile imitators to characters which ;" and still loiter away the time of meanness and artifice.”. in indecision, until he was too late to en “Yes, uncle," replied Frank; “I joy either.

have seen something of this in the influ“We never, now," said Frank, “in- énce of my schoolfellow. Though he is clude him in our consultations; but reckoned a hero himself, his satellites form a plan the day before, and make all are generally mean spirited, cringing, ready, so that we have the whole time to and cowardly; and though he generally spend on active recreation. If Arthur comes off himself with flying colours, he joins us, he is welcome; but then he often leads others into terrible scrapes. must act upon our motto, Work while I don't mean ungenerously on his part; you work, and play when you play.' We but merely as he stimulates them by his shall not again suffer him to cheat us out example. I wish he could be induced to of our pleasure by his dilatory 'I don't consider the real consequence of his excare.'

ploits, both on himself and others, and “ Another of our boys,” continued then, I think, he would not be so ready Frank, “is continually adopting the I to say, 'I don't care.''

very words,

Do not imagine," said Mrs. Morti- | ance of God: and they that resist, shall mer, " that all the mischief, or all the receive to themselves condemnation,' hardihood of youth, is confined to the Rom. xiii. 1, 2. Don't you think, Sanobler sex. I can assure you, school- muel, that this makes it a serious ofgirls have quite as much of it in their fence, to despise any who, in the providway. The challenge may often be heard ence of God, are set over us?" among them, as applied to some trans Yes, indeed, it does, uncle. I think gression of the established laws of the my schoolfellow cannot know this, or school, • Dare you do so and so ? I cannot have thought of it, or he would dare.' I sometimes smile to recollect the not dare to say that he does not care for serious tone and manner with which a anybody but the master.” steady, little, old-fashioned girl used to “ I have known some young people inreply,

dulge, and even express as rebellious and • I dare do all that may become a man, contemptuous a spirit against their paWho dares do more, is none.'

rents, whose authority certainly comes Perhaps there was a degree of pomposity next to that of God. I can think, at in the appropriation of the phraseology; this moment, of at least two young perbut it would be well for school girls and sons, who, when the choice of their school boys too, if their daring were society, or the change of a situation, or kept within the range of the sentiment. the selection of a partner for life, was Then, there was a ditty in vogue among under discussion, on being admonished, school girls in my day, which seems to

• But your parents will not approve of intimate that "Don't care' is a phrase it;' have replied in the spirit, if not in adopted by those who practise eye ser


I don't care for that; I vice. I am afraid it is so, whether am old enough now to be my own masamong pupils or servants. It is this, ter. I shall choose for myself, and do * Follow my dame on tip-ti-toe,

as I please. I don't care whether I work or no;

And, uncle, what became of them ?” I can work, or I can play,

“ You may well ask, Samuel, as if you Or I can throw my work away.'”

were afraid to hear. I could tell you “I think,” said my uncle, “Don't melancholy tales of the consequences recare' is often used as an expression of sulting from filial irreverence and discontempt of delegated authority. I have obedience; but I cannot tell

you known servants, who, though they would young person, who did not care for the receive with all obsequiousness the direct wishes, the feelings, and the counsels of command of a master, would spurn at his parents, on whom the blessing of God the same command if communicated was seen to rest; or who became, in any through the medium of a fellow servant, respect, eminent and honourable.” and say, 'I don't care for him.'

In the course of the conversation, Mrs. I recollected having frequently heard Mortimer remarked, that the phrase, “I one of my schoolfellows say, “I don't don't care, was often used as the excare for him ; he's only an usher:" who pression of foolhardiness. She mentioned looked upon it quite another thing, if it a fine young man, with whom Mr. Morcould be said to him, “But Mr. timer was acquainted, who was in the himself

says, You must do it; or, Leave habit of exposing his health in the most off doing it."

reckless and uncalled-for manner, in de“Ah," said my uncle," that is a very fiance of all admonition and remon

People forget that by strance. On one occasion, rather from their contempt of any legitimate authority, a spirit of bravado, than from any real however subordinate, they contemn the occasion to go at that particular time, he source of power, however exalted. A loyal would set off to walk, several miles, subject of any state dare not indulge a over a bleak unsheltered common, in the perverse or contemptuous spirit against the midst of pouring rain. His friends in meanest officer, who is the representative vain endeavoured to dissuade him. He of the sovereign. And in families and said, he did not care for being wet schools, as well as states, the Christian through ; nothing ever hurt him. Some law is, 'Let every soul be subject unto the one present reminded him of the homely higher powers. For there is no power adage, “ The pitcher may go often to the but of God: the powers that be are or well and be broken at last ;" but though dained of God. "Whosoever therefore he derided the warning, he verified it: resisteth the power, resisteth the ordin- for in that rash expedition he caught a vio

of one

common error.

lent cold, which settled on his lungs, and cost ? Is it not too expensive ? Can soon wasted his strength, and brought we afford to have it?' she only got some him down to the grave. During his rude reply, to mind her own affairs, and illness, he felt and acknowledged his fool- perhaps, “I don't care what its costs; I hardiness to have been a great sin ; and am determined to have it, let it cost what trembled at having to answer for the it will. What it costs is of no conseguilt of throwing away his life for a vain quence to you.' But,” continued my bravado.

uncle," the present embarrassed state of My uncle mentioned another lament- his affairs, and the darkened prospects able instance of the fatal results of fool- of his family, too painfully prove that hardiness. A youth, on being placed his habits of wanton, reckless expendiapprentice to a druggist, received from ture have been of serious consequence to his master repeated cautions, (rendered his wife, and to all connected with him. especially necessary by the inflammable Nor is it in pecuniary expenses alone that nature of many substances continually this person and others, who, like him, employed in their business,) to be very are bent on their own gratification, say, careful of fire; never to go into certain they don't care what it costs; they don't parts of the warehouse with a lighted care what restraints they break through ; candle; never to neglect snuffing a candle, they don't care what wounds they inflict lest a spark should fall from the over on those whom they ought to revere, grown snuff; and whatever other cautions love, and cherish; they don't care what he considered requisite. The youth was consequences they entail on themselves by for a time observant of his master's or their headstrong folly.

“Get it for me, ders; but, by degrees, he became remiss it pleases me well,” is the language of their and careless: and not unfrequently, turbulent passions; and, like him of old when reminded by a fellow servant that who uttered it, they generally find, as he was transgressing the master's in the result, that in pleasing their eager junction, and admonished of the dan- fancy they have plagued their hearts. I ger, he would reply, “ Nonsense! What think you were quite right in telling do I care for that ? there's no danger at little Ellen that · Don't care' is always all : I've done it scores of times, and no a bad word.” harm ever came of it.” Poor fellow! he did My conscience reproached me, as it once too often; for, in consequence of uncle made this remark, for my own exhis carelessness and presumption, in the perience confirmed the truth of his obvery matters in which he had been so servation ; happily it was in a comparaoften warned, his master's house was tively small matter. About four miles burned down, and several lives lost, in- from my uncle's residence, is high hill, cluding his own.

a part of which being excavated to a The like presumption is often seen in great depth, many marine productions, trifling with moral danger. “Oh,” says in a fossil state, are found bedded in the the thoughtless youth, " There's no dan- earth. I had long had a desire to collect ger, no harm in it; I've done it many some of these monuments of antiquity, times, and I am none the worse for it:' and one hot summer's day I obtained a and so, “because sentence against an evil basket from Mrs. Rogers, who did not work is not executed speedily, therefore question me as to the object of my exthe heart of the sons of men is fully set pedition, but supposed I was going to in them to do evil,” Eccles. viii. 11, and gather strawberries, or collect plants. they flatter themselves that there is no She, however, charged me to keep in the evil in sin.

shade, and not overheat myself. After "I don't care what it costs.” “That,” a toilsome walk, I reached the spot; observed Mrs. Mortimer, “is no un spent an hour or two in exploring the common phrase. I think, uncle, you have clift and collecting specimens, with which often been vexed to hear it."

I filled my basket, and placing it on my “Yes ; indeed I have. Horses, car head, returned with my cumbrous load. riages, paintings, whatever* he saw and With difficulty I reached home, and on fancied, was ordered home without con- setting down my basket, I sunk down, sideration. If his poor, meek, pensive completely overcome with heat and fawife presumed to ask, But what will it tigue. Oh, master Samuel ! master

Samuel ! What have you been doing ? Though my uncle did not name the party of Little did I think, when you came to me whom he spoke, there is no doubt he alluded to the Captain.

for the basket, what you were after. To

« ElőzőTovább »