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employed in conversation; and another, that increases the glaring culpability of their negligence, is, that the animals themselves are every where to be seen in common life. That I may not, however, detain the attention of your readers from the more important matter of this essay, I shall proceed to describe these hitherto unnoticed beings; premising, indeed, that as they are all natives of England, and that, as I am writing for the information of the English reader, I shall not describe them in contracted Latin words, nor give those who may honour this essay with their perusal an opportunity of doubting whether it is a physician's prescription, or a Rosicrucian recipe for the philosopher's stone. * To commence then, Sir—the animals of which I am about to speak, are birds birds which, although constantly in the habit of living amongst men, are yet neither domestic, useful, nor agreeable. The first, and by far the most formidable, of these non-descript monsters is the gallows bird ;'an animal 'which possesses more rapacity than the eagle, more obstinacy than the ostrich, and in fact more bad qualities than all the rest of the winged creation combined together. For a long time I was seriously at a loss to discover the order to which this strange bird belongs. From its rapacity I at first conjectured it must be a condor, which, as we are informed by credible authors, is in the habit of carrying of sheep and lambs in its talons; wherein, by the bye, its example is closely followed by the subject under consideration; but, on more minute inspection, I found many circumstances which forbad my placing him under that genus. In fine, Sir, without mentioning my various doubts and hesitations on this important affair, I hasten to display his characteristic properties.
The outward appearance of the gallows bird presents the reverse of every thing agreeable; his head is usually rugged, patched, and plastered, in consequence of the many combats in which he is engaged with his diabolical companions; his eyes are red and glaring, his mouth slimy and 'filthy, and his breast, legs, feet, &c. &c. are almost always torn, dirty, and disfigured-s0 that he may literally be considered as a true emblem of profligacy and misery.
Nor are the habits of this hitherto undescribed bird less worthy of consideration. His voracity is amazing. Condamine relates, as a sort of miracle, that the condor of Peru will fly away with a deer, and even a young calf; but how trifling does this wonder appear when an animal is discovered which generally carries off at once a herd of cattle or a whole flock of sheep. Nor is his rapacity confined to sheep and oxen; gold, plate, and precious stones are particularly welcome to him. And indeed, such is his desire of appropriating every thing to himself, that there is tiothing which he is not eager to obtain.' These spoils when seized he usually conceals in certain bags and pouches with which he is furnished; and when he has obtained complete possession of any article, by a faculty which distinguishes him from every other bird hitherto discovered, he metamorphoses it into food and gin, a liquor with which he is particularly delighted. Like the cuckoo, this bird has no nest of its own, and like the magpie, and various others of the featliered tribes, he takes the greatest pleasure in robbing the nests of his fellow creatures. Although possessed of the qualities of many classified birds, it would be futile to attempt to ascertain the order to which this extraordinary animal belongs. He cannot boast of sufficient courage to claim
ffinity with the eagle or the condor: he is too keen and active to rank with the vulture; and, althoagh his cunning and his propensity to robbery seem to associate him with the pies, yet his constant residence among men naturally refer's him to the order of domèstic birds, and indeed his common appellation would persuade those who have not inspected him, that he is the Phasianus Gallus which, like himself, is seen wandering among filth, and searching every corner for prey; and, like himself, is often beheld stretching his neck upon high places. But many distinguishing marks in shape and habits overrule this surmise; the haunts of the gallows bird for the most part are low ale-houses, alleys, and places of similar description, and wherever beheld, his presence is considered extremely ominous. Instances are not wanting to shew that, after this disgusting being has been observed lurking near a house, or other repository of valuables, on the very following night, and even sooner, the dwelling has been gutted by thieves, or the passengers near the spot have been forced to stand and deliver. Some persons even go so far as to assert that his appearance portends work for the hangman. The gallows bird, like the owl, usually seeks for prey during the night, yet he does not appear to possess the peculiar conformation of the eyes that distin. guishes that nocturnal depredator. Another extraordinary circumstance connected with the gallows bird, which will no doubt excite the curiosity of foreign tourists. is that those who devote their lives to hunting him, frequently acquire large fortunes in the pursuit, although his corse when killed is of no service to them; in fact, it is usually presented to a certain famous inquisitor, who, after dissecting it and pronouncing many hieroglyphical and mystical words over its different parts, presents them as offerings, after the manner of the Egyptians, to several animals which he preserves in niches in a temple near Blenheim steps.
The gaol bird is evidently but a species of gallows bird, as his form, manners, &c. &c. are exactly the same; or at least they merely differ inasmuch as he is inferior in strength and courage to the animal we have just described. In fact, I almost venture to doubt whether the gaol bird be in reality a distinct species, or whether he is only a variety of the gallows bird. Thus far is certain, that the gaol bird does sometimes so increase in power and fierceness that he is taken for the gallows bird, and treated accordingly.
Having now treated on these terrible animals, we will turn our attention to another, which although infinitely more valuable, is yet held in almost as much contempt. The mud lark differs from all others of the same denomination, for while the sky lark finds its greatest delight in soaring to the clouds, the mud lark places its principal enjoyments in nuzzling in the mire. În appearance he is, as may easily be imagined, dirty and filthy in the extreme: yet, by clearing the streets of their feculencies, he is evidently of infinite service to the community:
When I began this essay, I intended to have discours.. ed largely on certain other animals which are hitherto unnoticed; the bug bear, the bugabo, and the humbug,
all deserve a particular description : but, that I may not tire the patience of my reader, I will here conclude; assuring him that, at some future period, I shall again take up my pen to describe, not only these formidable beings, but also various others, unknown, or but imperfectly characterized. I am, Sir, your humble servant,
MY PORTFOLIO; Or, ORIGINAL HINTS, SKETCHES, and ANECDOTES.
“A thing of shreds and patches."
No.7. COMPARISON OF SATAN. IN the second book of Paradise Lost, Satan holds conference with Chaos, " the anarch old,” after which he proceeds on his journey to the newly-created world. Milton beautifully describes him as springing
“upward, like a pyramid of fire, Into the wide expanse.”. The commentators have made various remarks on this passage ; but I do not remember that any one of them has noticed that the simile was probably drawn by the poet from the flight of a rocket. The hrilliancy, the figure, the suddenness and rapidity of motion of an ignited rocket, are all admirably depicted in the passage which I have quoted. I know of no other luminous body so well calculated as a large rocket, to form an object of comparison with the rushing ascent of the arch fiend, into the gloomy void around him. The rising of a common flame, to which some of the commentators have alluded, has neither grandeur nor swiftness ei
MEMORIALS OF FRIENDS. THE ingenuity of mankind has, in almost all ages, heen exercised in finding the means of preserving from total decay the whole, or at least some part, of those who were beloved while living. Hence mummies, embalmed bodies, funeral urns containing the ashes of
the dead, and the humbler, but more pleasing, memo. rial of a ringlet of hair. In modern times, the aid of anatomical and chemical science has been invoked to preserve, even in death, the freshness and bloom of life. An eminent surgeon, residing, I believe, in the metropolis, is said to possess the remains of a dearly-loved female friend, which are so admirably injected, and secured from corruption, that she appears to be only wrapped in a gentle slumber. Messieurs Parmentier and Deyeux, in their memoir on the blood, published about twenty years ago, in the Journal de Physique, suggest a new mode of giving duration to a part of the human frame. It is well known that the blood contains a considerable portion of iron, from which, indeed, it is supposed to derive its colour. Menghini, who has written on this subject, estimates the weight of iron at nearly three ounces troy for each person; and he ludierously remarks, I do not despair of seeing nails, and swords, and all kinds of iron instruments fabricated from human blood.” Availing themselyes of this idea, the two French authors make the following observations :-- “As iron is the symbol of strength, the whole that is contained in the blood of a man, if employed in eternalizing the memory of his talents and virtues, would excite lively emotions in the mind of sensibility. Becher had a similar idea, in recommending to friendship the vitrification of the bones of the deceased : but the precious relics of humanity would he too fragile in this form. Iron would constitute a much more durable memorial : with this a medal might be struck, bearing the effigies of him to whom it once belonged. With what sentiments of veneration would kinsmen, friends, and fellow citizens, be inspired at the sight of such a relic!” If the scheme of Mengbini could be carried into effect, they who had spent their lives in doing mischief, might enjoy the malignant gratification of hoping for a posthumous continuance of their meritorious labours. Half a dozen inquisitors might be converted into a thumb-screw, or a part of a rack; a single assassin into a stiletto; and an army of soldiers into a train of artillery. Looking at the fair side of the thing, it will be seen that a notable sempstress might thus be bequeathed to her daughters, in the shape of a