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rites and incantations. It bears a very slimy white berry, of which birdlime may be made, whence the Latin name viscus. It is one of those pl ints which do not grow in the ground by a root of their own, but fix themselves upon other plants; whence they have been humorously styled parisitical, as being hangers-on or dependants. It was the misletoe of the oak that the Druids particularly honoured.
William. A little further on I saw a green woodpecker fly to a tree, and run up the trunk like a cat.
Tutor. That was to seek for insects in the bark, which they live. They bore holes with their strong bills for that purpose, and do much damage to the trees by it.
William. What beautiful birds they are!
Tutor. Yes: they have been called, from their colour and size, the English paridt.
William. When I got upon the open heath, how charming it was! The air seemed so fresh, and the prospect on every side so free and unbounded! Then it was all covered with gay flowers, many of which I had never observed before. There were at least three kinds of heath, (I have got them in my handkerchief here,) and gorse, and broom, and bell-flower, and many others of all colours, of which I will beg you presently to tell me the names.
Tutor. That I will, readily.
IVillia». I saw, too, several birds that were new to me There was a pretty grayish one, of the size of a lark, that was hopping about some great stones ; and when he flew, he showed a great deal of white above his tail,
Tutor. That was a wheat-ear. They are reckoned very delicious birds to eat, and frequent the open downs in Sus-sex, and some other counties, in great numbers.
William. There was a flock of lapwings upon a marslıy part of the heath, and amused me much. As I came near ihem, some of them kept flying round and round just over my head, and crying pewit so (listinctly, one might almost fancy they spoke. I thought I should have caught one of them, for lie flew as if one of his wings was broken, and often tumbled close to the ground; but as, I came near, he always contrived to get away.
Tutor. Ha, ha! you were finely taken in, then! This was all an artifice of the bird's, lo entice you away from its
nest: for they build upon the bare ground, and their nest would easily be observed, did not they draw off the attention of intruders, by their loud cries and counterfeit lameness.
William. I wish I had known that, for he led me a long chase, often over shoes in water. However, it was the cause of my falling in with an old man and a boy, who were cutting and piling up turf for fuel; and I had a good deal of talk with them, about the manner of preparing the turf, and the price it sells at. They gave me, too, a creature I never saw beforc—a young viper, which they had just killed, together with its dam. I have seen several common snakes, but this is thicker in proportion, and of a darkei colour than they are.
Tutor. True.. Vipers frequent those turfy, boggy grounds pretty much, and I have known several turf-cutters bitten by them.
IVilliam. They are very venomous, are they not?
Tutor. Enough so to make their wounds painful and dangerous, though they seldom prove fatal.
William. Well-I then took my course up the windmill on the mount. I climbed up the steps of the mill in order to get a better view of the country round. What an extensive prospect! I counted fifteen church steeples; and I saw several gentlemen's houses peeping out from the midst of green woods and plantations; and I could trace the windings of the river all along the low grounds, till it was lost behind a ridge of hills. But I'll tell you what I mean to do, if you will give me leave.
Tutor. What is that?
William. I will go again, and take with me Carey's county map, by which I shall probably be able to make out most of the places.
Tutor. You shall have it, and I will with take my pocket spying-glass.
William. I shall be very glad of that. Well a thought struck me, that as the hill is called Camp-mount, there inight probably be some remains of ditches and mounds, with which I have read that campswere surrounded. And I really believe I discovered something of that sort running round one side of the mount.
Tutor. Very likely you might. I know antiquaries have described such remains as existing there, which some sup
pose to be Roman, others Danish. We will examine them
William. From the hill I went straight down to the
Tutor. I can tell you what that bird was a kingfisher, the celebrated halcyon of the ancients, about which so many tales are told. It lives on fish, which it catches in the manner you saw. It builds in holes in the bank; and is a shy, retired bird, never to be seen far from the stream where it inhabits.
William. I must try to get another sight of hin., for I never saw a bird that pleased me so much. Well, I followed this little brook till it entered the river, and then took the path that runs along the bank. On the opposite side, I observed several little birds running along the shore, and making a piping noise. They were brown and white, and about as big as a snipe.
Tutor. I suppose they were sand-pipers, one of the nu. merous family of birds that get their living by wading among the shallows, and picking up worms and insects.
William. There were a great many swallows, too,
I observed many of them go in and out of holes, with which
Tutor. Those were sand-martins, the smallest of our
four species of swallows. They are of a mouse colour above, and white beneath. They make their nests, and · bring up their young in these holes, which run a great depth, and by their situation are secure from all plunderers.
William. A little further I saw a man in a boat, who was catching eels in an odd way. He had a long pole, with broad iron prongs at the end, just like Neptune's trident, only there were five instead of three. This he pushed straight down into the mud, in the deepest parts of the river, and fetched up the eels sticking between the prongs.
Tutor. I have seen this method. It is called, spearing of eels.
William. While I was looking at him, a heron came flying over my head, with his large flagging wings. He alighted at the next turn of the river, and I crept softly behind the bank to watch his motions. He had waded into the water as far as his long legs would carry him, and was standing with his neck drawn in, looking intently on the stream. Presently he darted his long bill as quick as lightning into the water, and drew out a fish, which he swallowed. I saw him catch another in the same manner. He then took alarm at some noise I made, and flew away slowly to a wood at some distance where he settled.
Tutor. Probably his nest was there, for hierons build upon the loftiest tree they can find, and sometimes in 50ciety together, like rooks. Formerly, when these birds were valued for the amusement of hawking, many gentlemen had their heronies and a few are still remaining.
William. I think they are the largest wild birds we have.
Tutor. They are of a great length and spread of wing, but their bodies are comparatively small.
William. I then turned homewards across the meadows, where I stopped awhile to look at a large flock of starlings, which kept flying about at no great distance. I could not tell at first what to make of them; for they rose altogether from the ground as thick as a stvarm of bees, and formed themselves into a kind of black cloud hovering over the field. After taking a short round they settled again, and presently rose again in the same manner. I dare say thero were hundreds of them.
Tutor. Perhaps so; for in the fen ny countries, their flocks are so nunierous, as to break down whole acres of reeds, by settling on them. This disposition of starlings to fy in close swarms, was remarked even by Homer, who compares the foe flying from one of his heroes, to a cloud of starlings retiring dismayed at the approach of the hawk.
William. After I had left the meadows, I crossed the cornfields in the way to our house, and passed close by a deep marl pit. Looking into it, I saw, on one of the sides, a cluster of what I took to be shells; and upon going down, I picked up a clod of marl, which was quite full of them; but how sea shells could get there, I cannot imagine.
Tutor. I do not wonder at your surprise, since many philosophers have been much perplexed to account for the same appearance. It is not uncommon to find great quan. tities of shells and relics of marine animals, even in the bowels of high mountains, very remote from the sca.
William. I got to the high field next to our house just as the sun was setting, and I stood looking at it till it was quite lost. What a glorious sight! The clouds were tinged with purple and crimson, and yellow of all shades and hues, and the cicar sky varied from blue to a fine green at the horizon. But how large the sun appears just as it sets! I think it seems twice as big as when it is over head.
Tutcr. It does so; and you may probably have observed the same apparent enlargement of the moon at its rising. William. I have; but pray what is the reason of this?
Tutor. It is an optacle deception, depending upon prin. ciples which I cannot well explain to you, till you know more of that branch of science. But what a number of new ideas this afternoon's walk has afforded you? I do not wonder that you found it amusing; it has been very instructive too. Did you sce nothing of all these sights, Robert?
Robert. I saw some of them, but I did not take parti. cular notice of them.
Tutor. 'Why not?
Robert. I do not know. I did not care about them; and I made the best of my way home.
Tutor. That would have been right, if you had bcen sent on a message ; but as you only walked for amusement, it would have been wiser to have sought out as many sources