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SECTION IV.

THE LOCUST.

The lo'cust is of a brownish colour, sometimes va'ried with flesh colour or blue. Its body is some'What of the shape of a cyl'in-der, and about two or tree inches in length; its head is rather prom'i nent; its hind legs are very long, like those of the grasshopper ; and of its four wings, the upper pair are long and narrow, the under pair broad'ish and plaited.

Locusts are very de-structive insects, both from their numbers and their hab'its. They often fly in such numbers as to darken the sun like a thick cloud : one flight has been known to occupy three or four hours in passing over a certain spot. They make a loud rushing noise with their wings, and a harsh sound, like that made by a saw, when nib'bling the corn, grass, or leaves, on which they feed. The country, after their passage, has the appearance of having been burned. The regions in which they de-pos'it their eggs, suffer not only from the old : insects, but still more from the young which they

leave behind, and which, as usual, devour much and greedily.

Every method is tried to get rid of them; but their numbers can only be lessened, not de-stroyed'. Nat'ur-al causes sometimes op'er-ate for their de struction, such as heavy rains, which kill them, or strong winds, which drive them into the sea, where they are drowned. In these cases,

In these cases, when their bodies become pu'trid, they give rise to the plague. It is re-la'ted, that, at the end of last century, there was an army of locusts in South Africa, so great as to cover a space of two thousand square miles. They remained for some years, and at last perished in the sea. Their dead bodies were thrown upon the coast, forming a bank three or four feet high, and nearly fifty English miles in length.

These in'sects seem chiefly to come from Africa. Europe has been at times vis'it-ed by them. At different peri-ods they have overspread Poland and Russia, and in the year 1748, some of them were seen in England, which caused the utmost a-larm' among the people. But northern climates are too cold for them. When they attack the countries of Europe, the hav'oc which they make is terrible, because they not only eat up every thing that veg'etates, but the crops which they consume cannot be renewed till the following year, so that fam’ine or scar'ci-ty must be the con'se.quence ;-whereas the rap'id growth, which takes place in warmer comtries, soon repairs the dam'age that has been sus, tained.

QUESTIONS

What is the colour of the locust? What is the shape of its body? Can you describe its head, legs, and wings? What makes locusts so destructive? How do they often dy ? How long has a flight of them been known to take in passing a certain spot? What sort of noise do they make : From what do the places where they deposit their eggs suffer? By what are they sometimes destroyed ? To what disease do great swarms of them dead sometimes give rise ? What is related respecting an army of locusts at the end of last century? How did they at length perish? What size of a bank did their dead bodies form? From what quarter do locusts appear to conie ?

What countries in Europe have they sometimes overspread? What is it that makes the havoc which they produce in Europe so great?

THE NIGHTINGALE,

The Night'in-gale, so famous among the feathered tribe for its song, is about six inches long. Its plu'mage is of a pale tawny colour on the upper parts, with redder and darker wings and tail, and on the under parts of grey brown. It makes its appearance in England about the beginning of A'pril, and takes its flight in Aug'ust. It is found, however, only in the soutlı’ern parts of the kingdom; in Scotland, Ireland, and North Wales, it is seldom

It vis'its places farther north in Swe'den and Germany. It abounds in Asia, where, as well as in Europe, its mel'o-dy is highly prized. This enchanting warbler mod'u-lates its tones into the softest and most delightful strains, and sends forth such a plaintive and expressive mel'o-dy, that no one can listen to it and remain unmoved. Its favourite haunts are in low cop'pi-ces and thick hedges ; it is fond of sol'i-tude ; it is seldom seen flying about ; its song is mostly heard du’ring the stillness of night ; and for weeks together, if not disturbed, it will re-main' on the same tree. It feeds chiefly on small worms and insects, but sometimes on berries.

or never seen,

The nightingale pre-pares' its nest about the commence'ment of May. Its nest is com-posed' of moss, leaves, and grass, lined with hair or down, fixed on a low hedge or bush, and sometimes on the ground, and carefully covered with leaves. The fe'male alone sits; and the male perches near, and soothes and amuses her the whole time with his delightful song ; and if he apprehends any danger, he gives her warning by short pauses in the notes. When the young are hatched, he ceases to sing. The eggs are four or five in number, and of a green'ish brown: and in warm countries, three or four broods are produced in the year. The young ones may be brought up from the nest, and will, if well managed, sing during the whole year, except the season of moulting. It has been observed, that the song of the nightingale, when kept prisoner in a cage, is by no means so sweet and pleasing, as when it is allowed to warble in its free and natural state.

QUESTIONS

About what time of the year does the nightingale make its appearance in England ? In what countries is the melody of this little bird highly prized ? What are its farourite haunts ?

Of what is it fond? When does the nightingale prep nest? How does the male give notice to the female proaching danger? When does he coase to sing ?

THE FOX AND THE CROW.

The fox and the crow,

In prose, I well know,
Many good little girls can re-hearse ;

Perhaps it will tell,

Pretty nearly as well,
If we try the same fa'ble in verse.

In a dairy a crow,

Having ventured to go,
Some food for her young ones to seek,

Flew up in the trees,

With a fine piece of cheese, Which she joyfully held in her beak.

A fox who lived by,

To the tree saw her fly,
And to share in the prize made a vow;

For, having just dined,

He for cheese felt inclined,
So he went and sat under the bough.

She was cunning, he knew,

But so was he too,
And with flattery a-dapted his plan ;

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