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suspended by the claws of its hind feet, and closely enveloped in the membranes of the fore feet. Dormice, squirrels, water-rats, and field-mice, provide a large stock of food for the winter season.
On every sunny day through the winter, clouds of insects, usually called gnats (tipulæ & empedes), appear sporting and dancing over the tops of evergreen trees in shrubberies; and they are seen playing up and down in the air, even when the ground is covered with snow. At night, and in frosty weather, or when it rains and blows, they appear to take shelter in the trees.
Little work is done by the farmer, out of doors, in this month; his cattle demand almost all his attention and assiduity.
We shall now take leave of our readers with some pleasing reflections on WINTER, and the SEASONS in general; from the pen of an admired and elegant essayist'.
Severe and rigorous as WINTER usually is, its various scenes, however, cannot fail to suggest many subjects of gratitude to the contemplative philosopher. Few minds are so devoid of sensibility, as not to experience the most grateful emotions, when the inexhaustible bounties of the Supreme Being bloom around in spring, in beautiful profusion; delight the eye in summer with maturing promise; and ripen in autumn into rich and exquisite perfection.
In general, even in minds not unsusceptible in other respects, we seldom find a disposition to grateful admiration, when they behold the ravages in the creation; the orchards stripped of their golden fruits; and harmony extinct in the groves, when
See the Contemplative Philosopher,' 2 vols. 12mo, one of the most fascinating books ever published. We know of no work on the various objects of Nature, which may be perused with equal advantage by persons of either sex, and of every age.
No mark of vegetable life is seen,
No bird to bird repeats his tuneful call,
Save the lone red-breast on the moss-grown wall.
But the benign Governor of the universe, who has subjected his creatures to the rigours of this season, has graciously enabled them to mitigate its severity by a variety of resources. The woods, which, in spring, crowned the hills with majestic verdure, now contribute to erect the comfortable mansion; or, added to what is extracted from the bowels of the earth, afford us the unspeakable blessing of fire. The flocks, which no longer gladden our plains, nor, to the poetic eye, revive Arcadian scenes, have given us their summer fleeces to protect us from the piercing cold; and the fruits with which autumn adorned our orchards, are now laid up, with its golden har vests, for our nourishment and support. In a word, the devout mind may have reason, even in winter, to exclaim with the Psalmist, O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all the earth is full of thy riches.
Had it been given to us mortals to comprehend the connexion of every thing in nature, with what fervour of admiration should we adore the wisdom and goodness of the great CREATOR! But although we are incapable of forming an idea of the plan and extent of his wondrous works (those works which display infinity in the two extremes of magnitude and minuteness), we may yet perceive enough to convince us, that, with respect to the happiness of the whole, every thing in nature must be ultimately ordered for the best.
The felicities of the golden age are beautiful in poetic vision. A youthful fancy is delighted with fruits and blossoms blushing, in social sweetness, on the self-same bough.' It wanders, with ecstasy, through groves adorned with perennial verdure, while
Favonian gales perfume the ever-smiling skies. But these are the enchanted reveries of fiction, not the sober representations of truth. The human mind, which seems ever anxious for new gratifications, would revolt at the idea of perpetual sameness and uniformity, even in the most beautiful scenes and the most exquisite enjoyments. One can have no idea of happiness, when it does not, in some degree, result from comparison: for not only variety contributes much to our sense of happiness, but not unfrequently a recollection of former calamities, or of some recent suffering. That degree of ease which we scarcely regard in the full enjoyment of health, is ecstacy itself, when pain has taught us how to prize the inestimable blessing. In the moral world, how sweet are the uses of adversity," which best instruct us how to estimate and how to enjoy prosperity!
In like manner, the recollection of the frowning skies of winter will make us rejoice in the return of that spring, in whose flowery walks, if perpetual, we should have trod with languor and indifference. More cheerily will the heart then dance to the music of the groves, when it recollects how recently their tuneful haunts were dumb. Brighter, then, will be the verdant robes which the woods assume, contrasted with their late leafless and inhospitable appearance; and, as hope waits upon the flowery prime,' the fruits and flowers, when they bud, will delight the fancy, in sweet anticipation, with all the pride of summer, and all the riches of autumn. The rigours of departed winter will be forgotten in that all-enlivening renovation of Nature.
In fine, our hearts, then attuned to cheerfulness and gaiety, will confess this important truth, that, as Providence has made the human soul an active being, always impatient for novelty, and struggling for something yet unenjoyed with unwearied progression, the world seems to have been entirely adapted to
this disposition of the mind: it is formed to raise expectation by constant vicissitudes, and to obviate satiety by perpetual change.'
THESE, as they change, ALMIGHTY FATHER! these
1814, 1815, 1816, and 1817.
The Roman numeral i, refers to the Volume for 1814; ii, for 1815;
Accession of king George III,
Adelung, J. C. anecdote of, iv,
Advent Sunday, i, 290; ii, 303;
Swallows,' an Elegy, iv, 127
mon against glory, iv, 163
Alexandrian library burnt, iv, 3
All Souls, i, 279; ii, 300; iii,
Angler, lines descriptive of, iii,
66-lines on, 67, note-in
Animal kingdom, popular sur-
Apiaries floating, in France, i, 73
April, explanation of, i, 77;