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2. It is extremely interesting to see flock after flock performing exactly the same evolutions which had been traced as it were, in the air, by a preceding flock. Thus should a hawk have charged on a group at a certain spot, the angles, curves, and undulations that have been described by the birds, in their efforts to escape from the dreaded talons of the plunderer, are undeviatingly followed by the next group that comes up. Should the by-stander happen to witness one of these affrays, and, struck with the rapidity and elegance of the motions exhibited, feel desirous of seeing them repeated, his wishes will be gratified, if he only remain in the place until the next group comes up.
3. As soon as the pigeons discover a sufficiency of food to entice them to alight, they fly around in circles, reviewing the country below. During their evolutions, on such occasions, the dense mass which they form exhibits a beautiful appearance, as it changes its direction, now displaying a glistening sheet of azure, when the backs of the birds come simultaneously into view, and anon, suddenly presenting a mass of rich purple.
4. They then pass lower, over the woods, and for a moment are lost among the foliage, but again emerge, and are seen gliding aloft. They now alight, but the next moment, as if suddenly alarmed, they take to wing, producing by the flapping of their wings a noise like the roar of distant thunder, and sweep through the forests to see if danger is near.
5. Hunger, however, soon brings them to the ground. When alighted, they are seen industriously throwing up
the withered leaves in quest of the fallen mast. The rear ranks are continually rising, passing over the main body, and alighting in front, in such rapid succession, that the whole flock seems still on wing. The quantity of ground thus swept is astonishing, and so completely has it been cleared, that the gleaner who might follow in their rear would find his labor completely lost.
J. J. AUDUBON.
LIX. - JUSTICE.
1. During his march to conquer the world, Alexander the Macedonian came to a people in Africa who dwelt in a remote and secluded corner in peaceful huts, and knew neither war nor conqueror. They led him to the hut of their Chief, who received him hospitably, and placed before him golden dates, golden figs, and bread of gold.
“ Do you eat gold in this country?” said Alexander. “I take it for granted,” replied the Chief, “ that thou wert able to find eatable food in thine own country. For what reason, then, art thou come among us?” “ Your gold has not tempted me hither,” said Alexander, “but I would willingly become acquainted with your manners and customs." “So be it,” rejoined the other; “sojourn among us as long as it pleaseth thee.”
3. At the close of this conversation two citizens entered as into their Court of Justice. The plaintiff said,
“I bought of this man a piece of land, and, as I was making a deep drain through it, I found a treasure. This is not mine, for I only bargained for the land, and not for any treasure that might be concealed beneath it; and yet the former owner of the land will not receive it.” The defendant answered, “I hope I have a conscience as well as my fellow-citizen. I sold him the land with all its contingent as well as existing advantages, and consequently the treasure inclusively.”
4. The Chief, who was at the same time their supreme Judge, recapitulated their words, in order that the parties might see whether or no he understood them aright, then after some reflection said, “ Thou hast a son, friend, I believe ?” “Yes !” “And thou,” addressing the other, “ a daughter?” “Yes!” “Well then, let thy son marry thy daughter, and bestow the treasure on the young couple for their marriage-por
5. Alexander seemed surprised and perplexed. “ Think you my sentence unjust ?” the Chief asked him. “Oh, no,” replied Alexander, “but it astonishes me.” “And how, then,” rejoined the Chief, “would the case have been decided in your country ?” “To confess the truth,” said Alexander, “we should have taken both parties into custody, and have seized the treasure for the King's use.”
6. “For the King's use!” exclaimed the Chief, now in his turn astonished. “Does the Sun shine on that country?” “Oh, yes !” “Does it rain there ?” “ Assuredly.” “Wonderful! but are there tame animals in
the country that live on the grass and green herbs ?” “ Very many, and of many kinds.” “Ay, that must be the cause," said the Chief: “for the sake of those innocent animals, the All-gracious Being continues to let the Sun shine and the rain drop down on your country.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
At midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk lay dreaming of the hour
Should tremble at his power.
In dreams, his song of triumph heard;
Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,
Heroes in heart and hand.
In old Platæa's day;