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And each filmy cloudlet crossing drifted

From Knowledge. like a scarlet feather

THE SWIFT'S NIGHT-FLIGHT. Torn from the folded wings of clouds, while he settled down.

During June and July, dwellers in places where the swift abounds may investigate

its

recently It is significant that one of the very

discovered sweetest lyrical passages in Miss Inge- habit of soaring upward at evening low's poetry has a terrible context. For and (apparently) spending the night in the milking-song that my "sonne's wife,

the sky. This interesting incident Elizabeth,” sings in “The High Tide on

may be observed in June more easily the Coast of Lincolnshire” is the last than in July, because the evening sky her lips make before the tide, deaf to is clearer in the former month than in the mad ringing of Boston church bells,

the latter. It was just ten years ago sweeps over the pasture. This is how that observers in England first noticed Elizabeth sung:

this extraordinary behavior the

part of a diurnal British bird; and dur"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling

ing that cloudless Jubilee June three Ere the early dews were falling,

persons were watching, night after Farre away I heard her song.

night, the soaring swifts. “Cusha! Cusha!” all along

One of these observers was Mr. Where the reedy Lindis floweth,

Aubrey Edwards, son of the vicar of Floweth, floweth; From the meads where melick groweth,

Orleton, R. S. O., . Herefordshire, who Faintly came her milking song

often saw the swifts from Orleton Church depart upward at night; and

he, with his father and brother, “Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!" calling "For the dews will soon be falling;

mained in the churchyard until 10.30, Leave your meadow grasses mellow,

or even 11 o'clock, watching for the Mellow, mellow;

birds, which did not return. There Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow; were about forty of these ascending Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Light- swifts, which Mr. Edwards justifiably foot,

conceived to be males; and other Quit the stalks of parsley hollow.

swifts remained in the nests. Hollow, hollow;

In the Come up Jetty, rise and follow,

same month Mr. Douglas From the clovers lift your head;

Brodie, of Croydon, was making simCome uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Light- ilar observations on the colony of foot,

swifts which lived under the eaves of Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow, the houses in the centre of that townJetty, to the milking shed.”

as appears from his reply to a query

of the writer at a later date. “A cerSuch verse is not great, but it is tain number of the colony, after the pleasant. Much of Miss Ingelow's rest have gone to roost, go soaring up poetry speaks from the heart; particu- in circles with a peculiar quivering of larly is this true of the verse which we

the wings, till they go clean out of will quote in conclusion:

sight. With field-glasses I have seen

them nearly a minute longer." O my lost love, and my own, own love,

On the 10th of June, 1887, the writer And my love that loved me so!

was watching a large flock of swifts Is there never a chink in the world above from a garden halfway up Stroud Hill, Where they listen for words from in Gloucestershire. The air was very below?

clear, and the swifts whirled across Nay, I spoke once, and I grieved thee sore,

and across the sky. The sun had set, I remember all that I said,

but the birds did not descend. They And now thou wilt hear me no moreno

finally went right up out of sight. On Till the sea gives up her dead.

[graphic]

the 21st the swifts at Stroud exhibited

more

was

a

SO

the same wonderful behavior, which downward, and finally plunges headwas recorded.

long. The swishing sound produced Since then I have every year by the descending swifts can be heard watched for the upward night-flight of at a considerable distance. The purthe swifts; but as the flights occurred suer mounts again, almost vertically, at a rather inconvenient time for ob- and renews the assault. This goes on servation, there were often several for some time, and when it ceases successive evenings on which nothing many of the swifts have already reof the kind was seen. Often, also, the tired to the nests. The others begin to birds would fly away : towards the pursue each other in noisy groups, at horizon, though when they did this late about the level of the housetops, and ir the evening their course gen- this game is kept up for a quarter of erally an upward one. They were, an hour or longer, the birds traversing however, no less inclined to a lofty a wide area, and being sometimes out flight on a cloudy night than on a clear of sight for several minutes. Then one; and I often saw them vanish into they continue the same sport at the clouds. But this never happened higher level, no longer descending so when the air was very thundery. low as the roofs.

It is convenient to watch the skifts At about forty minutes after sunset from a somewhat elevated spot,

(whether in June or July) the group of that they may be kept within view as swifts begins to whirl round and round continuously as possible, since, if they like a mob of rooks; but again and pass out of the field of vision at al dis- again the cluster breaks up in a purtance, it is almost impossible to find suit and a mad noisy rush across the them again. It is also desirable to sky. Yet the birds are gradually athave a support to lean upon, for withi- taining a higher position, and their out this the constant gazing towards screaming becomes the less noticeable. the zenith becomes very tiring. espe- Their wings have often a tremulous cially if field-glasses are used. It is motion, reminding one of the flight of not often that the birds can be seen an ascending skylark. Still, there is during the whole of the upward tlight; no deliberate upward flight-only they generally swing around in wide succession of swoops and rushes tercircles for some time, and pass out oi minating at increasing distances from sight towards the horizon, after which the ground. The birds keep fairly tothe repeated cry, swce ree, first indi- gether, and not one descends to the cates their return. The whole inci- houses; but it may be that the cluster dent, as it generally occurred, may be is joined by another group, coming described as follows:

you know not whence. Dusk is begin. The sun has set, and most of the ning to fall, and even the sparrows are small birds have retired for the night, silent; but the cries of the swifts can though the sparrows are still noisy in yet be faintly heard. The birds may the creepers on the house. Most of the now be easily lost sight of altogether, swifts are flying low over the mead- especially if there be no white fleecy ows, but some are in the sky; and of clouds high overhead to throw into rethese a few are chasing others, and lief the whirling black dots in the sky. performing those magnificent swoops Now is the time to use a field-glass or by which it appears that the males a small telescope, and, having drive the females to their nests. Cer- found the birds with it, to keep them tain it is that the pursuing birds (al- within the field as long as possible. ways acting singly) chase particular The peculiar skylark-like motion of individuals, whose course they follow the wings is now almost continuously at a greater altitude, but always with maintained, and the birds, instead of the intention of finally descending in whirling round in a cluster, seem to a falcon-like stoop at the lower bird, prefer to lie head to wind. Against who, anticipating the attack, swerves the loftiest white clouds their move.

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ments may yet be clearly traced: up flecks of cloud, which, at an immense and up they go, appearing smaller each height, are yet snowy in the sunshine. moment, till even the power of the This charming incident of bird life glass is overcome, and the tiny specks can not be observed from all towns vanish for the night.

and villages with equal certainty. At As you drop your arms wearily you Stroud I used to see it often, but in my find that the dusk has fallen, the bats present neighborhood swifts

not are out, and the evening mists are ris- very plentiful, and only one two ing; but the swifts must

be have been seen to go up at nightfall. nearly on a level with those remote

CHARLES A. WITCHELL.

are

or

now

con

or

Gambling for Bibles.-On Tuesday, an ordinary table placed in the centre in accordance with the annual custom, aisle. there occurred at the ancient town of Briefly, this is how the ceremony is St. Ives, in the County of Huntingdon, performed nowadays: At about nine a ceremony which, if not absolutely o'clock in the morning the vicar or his unique, is as curious a relic of ancient curate appears with the church wardtimes as may be found in a march of ens in the centre aisle. Some ordinary many days. On first thought it seems little table is procured from a neighborthat the sight of six little boys and six ing cottage; then in file six nice little little girls dicing in a parish church to boys and six nice little girls, who take win a prize of a Bible must be unique, up positions near the table. The sig. both in the past and in the present. It nal is given, and three boys begin cons is certainly unique enough at present, peting with three boys and then half but for the satisfaction of historical the girls compete with the other half accuracy it must be said that,

in like manner. Each competitor nected with the Church of St. Law- throws the dice three times, and the rence, 'at Reading, there existed at one church wardens keep the counts. The time a dicing ceremony for the encour- unsuccessful six then go on trying unagement of good maidservants. But til they win, and although one might the rattle of the dice has so long become a very old “boy'' “girl” ceased at Reading that St. Ives can before that happened, fortune is never claim to stand alone in the present, known to have frowned on any of the The queer old custom started in this dicers for longer than five years. The way: As far back as the year 1675 a successful six, who are presented, acbequest of fifty pounds, invested in cording to the price stipulated, with land, was made by an eccentric Dr. seven-shilling Bibles, strongly bound Robert Wild, of Oundle, Northampton- in leather, are expected to attend dishire, for the purpose of distributing vine service in the evening, when the six Bibles yearly among twelve chil- vicar, of course, improves the occasion. dren. It was stipulated that six boys Near the church is situated a patch of and six girls should cast dice for the land still known as “Bible Orchard." Bibles during divine service every The Church of All Saints, in which the Whitsun Tuesday morning. When the ceremony takes place, is an interesting custom was first carried out in 1693 the structure and contains a great quantity dice were rattled on the altar. This of Norman work, the original building was done for many years; but about having been erected by the abbots of. half a century ago the incongruity of Ramsey, who also constructed the the thing was too much for the reign. aucient bridge which still crosses the ing vicar, and during his time and ever sluggish bosom of the Ouse.St. since the throwing has been done on James's Budget.

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I. THE South AFRICA BUBBLE. By
Quæsitor,

Contemporary Review,
II. ON CONVERSATION. By James Payn, · Nineteenth Century,
III. THE BUSHMAN'S FORTUNE. By H. A.
Bryden,

Longman's Magazine,
IV. THE RESTORATION OF PAINTINGS. By
Maltus Q. Holyoake,

Chambers's Journal, .
V. GUSTAVE FLAUBERT. By Paul Pourget. Fortnightly Review,
VI. ENGLISH CLERGY IN FICTION. By C.
Fortescue Yonge,

Gentleman's Magazine,
VII. GOLF; ITS PRESENT AND FUTURE. Blackwood's Magazine,
VIII. MORALITY IN THIRTY HOURS. By

Francisque Sarcey, Translated for the
Living Age,

Les Annales
IX. THE LATEST ELDORADO,

Saturday Review,
X. ANIMALS IN FAMINE,

Spectator,

600 613

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TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. FOR SIX DOLLARS remitted directly to the Publishers, THE LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage.

Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office money order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, and money-orders should be made payable to the order of THE LIVING AGE CO.

Single copies of THE LIVING AGE, 15 cents.

THE CRICKET.

Let echoes of the heavenly praise Oh, to be a cricket,

Come still through earthly gladness; That's the thing!

The light that lies on lovelier ways

Be but half hid in sadness;
To scurry in the grass
And to have one's fling!

And of Thy grace the unseen power And it's oh, to be a cricket

Lift up with hope my passing hour. In the warm thistle-thicket

Good Words.

ROBERT KEMP. Where the sun-winds pass,

Winds a-wing,
And the bumble-bees hang humming,

HEART AND MIND.
Hum and swing,

If all the dead whom I have known alive And the honey-drops are coming!

Could rise unsheeted from their every It's to be a summer rover,

grave, That can see a sweet, and pick it

What is the question I would first contrive With the sting!

And which the friend whose answer I Never mind the sting!

would crave?

Not to the great philosopher or sage And it's oh, to be a cricket

My unreluctant tongue should be untied, In the clover!

Though in that hour I might believe an A gay summer rover

age In the warm thistle-thicket,

Of longing wonder could be satisfied; Where the honey-drops are coning, Not to the teacher of the ways divine, Where the bumble-bees hang humming, Nor preacher of the faith he held on That's the thing!

earthCHARLES G. D. ROBERTS,

These well might follow in an ordered

line As one by one the mind should give them

birth But, searching for one face, the heart

would call, LUCEM SPERO.

“Dost thou remember me, my all in all ?" The land I travel through is dark

John G. ROMANES, With fears, and cares, and shadows; No sun to wake the singing lark

Or fill with flowers the meadows; Myself, alas, my only light,

EQUATIONS. The sun by day, the stars at night. You so sure the world is full of laughter,

Not a place in it for any sorrow, O God eternal, Lord of love,

Sunshine with no shadow to come after,Whose power goes forth in pity,

Wait, О mad one, wait until to-morrow! To stir the sleeping fields and move The clouds from o'er the city,

You so sure the world is full of weeping,

Only gloom in all the colors seven, Breathe on my heart and let me know

Every wind across a new grave creeping,The gladness of the way I go.

Think, O sad one, yesterday was heaven!

O let me look on field and sky

In joy and endless wonder,
And love Thee for the lights on high

And flowers that blossom under,
And praise Thee for the fruits of earth
With cheerful toil and kindly mirth.

Young and strong I went along the high

way, Seeking Joy from happy sky to sky: I met Sorrow coming down a byway,

What had she to do with such as I ?

Teach me to lose myself, and live

In peace with men, their neighbor; To honor, help, endure, forgive,

And gladly rest and labor: () touch my heart and string my will. And all my life with Christ fulfil.

Sorrow with a slow detaining gesture

Waited for me on the widening way, Threw aside her shrouding veil and

vesture,Joy had turned to Sorrow's self that day:

HARRIET PRESCOTT SPOFFORD: From • In Titian's Garden."

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