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Art. I. TROPICAL ORNITHOLOGY. By John Esaias WARREN, Esq., ...... 291
II. THE MYSTERY OF LIFE AND DEATH. By Miss JOSEPHINE BLOODGOOD, . . 305 III. RUNNING A BLOCKADE IN THE LAST WAR. BY `Ned BUNTLINE,' . .. 306 IV. STANZAS: WEEP NOT FOR THE DEPARTED, ........... 309 V. THE OREGON TRAIL, OR A SUMMER OUT OF BOUNDS. NUMBER Two,. 310 VI. EPIGRAM ON AN UGLY WOMAN SITTING FOR HER DAGUERREOTYPE, 316 VII. THE VOYAGE: A CONNECTICUT BALLAD. By J. HONEYWELL, ..... 317 VIII. THE HOUSE-HUNTER'S FAMILY: A TALE OF NEW-YORK, ...... 319 IX. STANZAS: MEMORIES OF THE DEAD, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
X LETTERS FROM THE GULF-STATES. NUMBER Two, . . . . . . . . . 325 XI. OF WHAT USE IS A DANDY? ................... 332 XII. LINES ON THE DEATH OF THE LATE LAMENTED MISS CANDA, ... 333 XIIL DOLCE FAR NIENTE.' BY THE LATE WILLIS GAYLORD CLARK, . ..... 334 XIV. THE ST. LEGER PAPERS. PART SECOND: NUMBER THREE, ....... 334
XV. STANZAS: SPRING-TIME. By H. W. ROCKWELL, Esq., . . . . . . . . .341 XVI. THE GULF-STREAM: ITS CHARACTER AND PROBABLE SOURCE, ... 342 XVII. A LAY OF THE HEART. By Mrs. MARY E. Hewitt, .......... 347 XVIII. OUR COUSIN, THE SCHOOL-MISTRESS. By Felix LIMBER, ...... 348 XIX. MORNING: A FRAGMENT. BY WILLIAM THOMPSON BACON, ....... 358
1. DRISLER'S AND PICKERING'S GREEK LEXICONS,' ......... 359 2. ELOCUTIONARY MANUAL: MR. CHARLES WHITNEY'S READINGS, . . . 362 3. GRISWOLD'S PROSE WRITERS OF AMERICA,' ........... 364 4. COOKE'S .FROISART BALLADS, AND OTHER POEMS,' ........ 366 5. AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE, .............. 367
1. NAVAL SKETCHES FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO. NUMBER Two, ... 368
IN A COMET. 2. PROFESSIONAL JOKES AND JOKERS. 3. 'SIMPLICITY IN DOMESTIC
5 LITERARY RECORD: BRIEF NOTICES OF NEW PUBLICATIONS, ... 388
NOTICE. COUNTRY SUBSCRIBERS who are in arrears should recollect to make returns for what we send them. Remittances to be made to
New-York. MR. T. P. Williams is our Agent to receive the names of Subscribers in the West and South. Editors and others kindly interested in the circulation of this Magazine, will oblige us by facilitating his designs.
0. D. Davis and John STOUGHTON, Jr., are canvassing for subscribers to this work in the state of New-York.
Entered, according to the act of Congress, in the year 1847,
BY JOHN ALLEN. In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District of New-York.
MEMBER AND OTYICIAL LECTURER 07 TAZ TROY LYCEUM OF NATURAL DISTORY.
* Each brilliant bird that wings the air is seen ;
In short, all rare and beauteous things that fly
It has been wisely remarked, that · There is neither waste nor ruin in nature. Every thing that constitutes a part in the wonderful economy of the material universe, however insignificant it may be, according to our delusive ideas of comparison, or limited in its immediate influence upon surrounding objects, has nevertheless an essential service to perform in the chain of being, which has been absolutely established by its beneficent MAKER, and to which its mysterious instincts direct. The path and duty of all animals are circumscribed within certain narrow limits; which bounds are impassable by them, and consequently they continue the same throughout successive generations. They are not creatures of social change. The beaver builds its dam, and the birds their nests, in precisely the same manner as they were accustomed to do a thousand years ago. The progressive principle belongs to man alone, and is the great prerogative of his superiority ; indeed it is the line of demarcation between mind and instinct.
To the ignorant, that which dies and decays appears to be forever lost; whereas the very decomposition which fills them with apprehension and dread is not the symbol of annihilation, but the natural process of transition from one state of existence to another; and it is as certain that the original particles with which a body in one
state was composed will in future be employed again, as that the mighty laws of nature are unchangable : that matter does not die, but is merely changed, may conclusively be demonstrated by chemical analysis. As we gradually advance in the delightful study of nature's works, we are more and more struck with the increasing magnificence of creation, and the perfect adaptation of all its minute and subservient parts. New objects of interest arrest our attention at every step, as with redoubling zeal and ardor we press forward. The appearance of the different quadrupeds gives us strange emotions of pleasure; the beauty of the flowers and their sweet perfume, the splendor of the birds and their bewitching melody, fill us with delight; and as we gaze upon the enchanting landscape which is stretching with its flowery fields far beyond our mental horizon, we begin to realize that this is a beautiful world ; that its sources of true pleasure are fruitful, and that not a bird nor an insect, nor even a single greeu blade of grass, is made in vain.
The whole natural kingdom is divided by Cuvier into four great divisions, the first of which is termed · Animalia Vertebrata,' and includes all animals having a skeleton or frame-work of bone. This great division is again divided by the same distinguished naturalist into four classes, which are severally styled Mamalia, Birds, Fishes and Reptiles. To the second of these we propose devoting our attention in this essay; but as the order is very extensive, we shall confine our remarks mainly to the consideration of those birds which inhabit the torrid zone, only noticing those which are remarkable for beauty of plumage, or other extraordinary characteristic.
The fecundity of life in the tropics is truly wonderful. The lakes and rivers teem with fish, and the balmy groves are enamelled as it were with gorgeous flowers and flying gems. Indeed, every grove and copse seems here to be animated with beauty, perfume and song. It is almost impossible to give the stranger an adequate idea of the magnificence of the forests in these generous climates. The trees generally are large, and of singularly variegated forms, interlaced together with creeping vines and ornamented with brilliant parasites, even in their topmost branches. Palms of prodigious height and of imposing appearance may be seen towering above and amid the luxuriant wilderness of perennial verdure, while on almost every bough we see some bright-winged bird. Sometimes we are startled by the sudden whirr of a gay-crowned manakin, or the emerald or ruby glare of some beauteous humming-bird. If on Brazilian soil, we may occasionally hear the metallic notes of the Uraponga, or bell-bird, breaking the silence of the sylvan shades with its solemn and imposing sound. This bird is extremely solitary in its habits, and is remarkable for having a curious fleshy pendule under its chin, as well as for the singularity of its note, which when heard in the forest somewhat resembles the tones of a distant bell. It belongs to the genus Ampelis, which includes several other species, of the most splendid plumage. The predominant tints of this genus are white and claret color, ultramarine-blue and purple, glistening brown and richest scarlet, which are pleasingly contrasted in the several species of 'pompadora,' 'cotinga' and 'carnifex.' From the noise which they make while feeding, these birds have been called “chatterers,' by which name they are well known among English and American naturalists. Their principal food consists of a kind of berry, which is found abundantly in some parts of the forest; but they are often seen in large flocks, carrying on a destructive warfare against the shining insects which are continually flitting in myriads through the air.
But of all the various genera of birds which inhabit the forests of tropical America, none are more wonderful in form, more splendid in plumage, or more interesting in their habits, than the • Ramphastos,' or Toucans. These singular birds, on account of their confinement to tropical America, the extreme timidity which characterizes them in their natural state, and the solitude of their haunts, have been, until of late years, but little known to naturalists. The genus has about twenty species, which have been separated into the two sections of Toucans and Aracarès, according to their general color, which in the former is black, and in the latter, green. The great peculiarity of the Toucan is the vast size of its bill, which in some species is nearly nine inches in length. This enormous member is very thin and cellular, and consequently much lighter than its appearance to a stranger would be likely to indicate ; and what is exceedingly curious in its formation is, that those parts calculated for giving it strength are not solid bone, but two very thin laminæ ; thus giving the maximum of strength in the minimum of substance.' How strikingly is the wisdom of nature manifest in this wise construction!
Of this genus the 'Ramphastos Brazileuris' is the largest species, which, when full-grown, is about twenty-seven inches in length, from the tip of its tail to the extremity of its bill. Its general color is black, but under the throat the feathers are fine, and of pure white. Its bill is of the largest class, and is richly marked with red and yellow, beautifully blended together. The exquisite lustre of this curious member, however, fades shortly after the death of the bird, no artificial means having as yet been devised for preserving it.
The Toucans derive their principal sustenance from fruit, but when in a state of captivity, they learn to eat flesh of all kinds. Their favorite food is the Assahy berry, and their mode of eating it is exceedingly curious. They first seize the berry in the extremity of their beak, and by a sudden twitch throw it several feet into the air; as it falls they catch it again, and swallow it entire, without the slightest effort at mastication. They confine themselves mostly to lofty trees, where they sit with their beaks directly facing the wind, thus overcoming a power, which if exerted on their broadside, might considerably disturb their comfort and equanimity. Their flight is straight forward from one place to another, and it is seldom that they make a curve while on the wing. Their eyes are so constructed that they cannot see distinctly ahead, yet their vision on the side is