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for the Robins, and for all sorts of little birds. Here is the book; now, will you help us to find where it is that the Robins are mentioned in it, and let us reach what is said about them?”.
With both of Richard's requests Mrs. Paulett immediately complied; and the consequence was, that I had the very agreeable satisfaction to hear; not only how much the worthy gentleman in question used to prize us Robins; but, also, what pains he used to take to please birds of my feather, and to see them when they were pleased; and especially to tickle their palates with the article of cheese. The passage which, Richard read was contained in a letter to the gentleman's grandson (part of which letter I had formerly heard read, and have already made allusion to), and ran in such words as these :-"You must know, Adam, that I am very fond of these nice little birds; and often take crumbs of bread and scatter them under the windows, that they may come and pick them up; and once I put a stick in the ground before the parlour-window, with a cross-stick on the top of it, just like your letter T, that you have been learning in your A B C, and often would I lift the window, and cry, ‘Bobby, Bobby; and the sweet Red-breast, so soon as he could hear my voice, would fly near the window, and sit on the cross-stick; then, I left the crumbs and bits of cheese, of which they are very fond, upon the ledge of the window; and when I had shut down the sash, then Bobby would come, and eat them all up.”
“ There is another part of that letter, my dear Richard,” said Mr. Paulett,“ which I should like you to read; because in it you will find the writer of the same opinion as myself, concerning the value of songbirds, and of beautiful birds, among other sources of
the pleasures of human life. I may take this opportunity of qualifying a remark which I lately made, as to the comparative absence, at least, of song-birds in uncultivated countries. In the northern wilds of North America, where the fur-bearing animals are hunted, and where three hundred and twenty species of birds, resident and migratory together, have been already counted; and even in other wild divisions of that continent; the melody of the song-birds is said to be profuse and exquisite:-But, now, pray read to us what follows the words, ‘I will give some of them to you, Adam, because I love you;'” - and Richard read accordingly:
“Now, my dear Adam, I much like these little birds. Is it because they have very beautiful feathers, and beaks, and legs; or because they sing so delightfully, run so fast, and fly so swiftly? All this, indeed, I love; but I love them most because it was the same good God who made them, that made myself; and he who feeds me, feeds them also, and takes care of them: and he made them beautiful, that you and I, and all people, might be pleased with their fine feathers, and sweet singing. Now, a man who has a great deal of money, may go to places where people sing for money, or (may] have music in the house, such as your dear Cecilia plays; but there are a great many poor people in the world, who have scarcely money enough to buy bread when they are hungry, or clothes to keep them warm in the cold weather. Now, my dear, these cannot hire people to sing, nor can they have music in the house, like your mamma, yet they love music; so, would it not be a pity that they should not have some also ? See, then, why the good God, who made you, formed so many fine birds, with
such sweet voices, to sing the sweetest songs! These are the poor man's music; they sing to him for nothing. They do not even ask a crumb of bread of the poor man; and, when he is going to work in the morning, they sing to encourage him; and when he is returning home in the evening, very weary, because he has worked very hard, then they sing again, that he may be pleased, and not grieve nor fret. Now, is not God very good, for making these pretty little musicians, to encourage and comfort the poor labouring man *p"—Here Richard finished his reading.
“We will next have something of the same sort in verse,” said Mr. Paulett; " for verse is usually more impressive,-more careful, and more sprightly in the expression, and more captivating to the ear-than prose; and the poets have uttered, at least, as many truths as prose-writers, and with an energy and beauty peculiar to themselves. Repeat, Emily, those pretty lines which you learned, yesterday, out of Thomas Warton's Ode, ‘The Hamlet;' where there is the same idea, as to the enjoyment of song-birds by the labouring poor, but in union with that of their pleasures from other luxuries of nature; particularly the odours of the flowers and berbage.”- Emily did as her papa bade her, and therefore repeated the following lines :
" When morning's twilight-tinctured beam
* Life of Adam Clarke, LL. D. F.S. A.
On green antrodden banks they view
For then the moon, with cloudless ray,
“ And now,” said Mr. Paulett, “ the plain English of all this is, that these sources of pleasure are as accessible, and at least as valuable, to the poor as to the rich. They are the inheritance universal of mankind. Milton gives them to Adam and Eve in Paradise:
“ Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
and how much he could enjoy them himself, appears by his placing them first on his list of mirthful
as well as in the vivacity with which he describes them, and among others, the singing of the lark before the rising of the sun :
“ To hear the lark begin his flight,
* The wild hyacinths of our English woods and hedge-rows, commonly called blue-bells.
for example, the recent or living writers of my cast of opinion (as Southey, Sir Walter Scott, and others), the tendency of whose works is to encourage unkindly or disrespectful feelings toward the poor; but that this is actually the tendency of the works of opposite writers, as of the strange enthusiast, Bysche Shelley, and so many others of his school. Again, we have the well supported testimony of the pretended American observer of our public men, whom I lately quoted, that none of them are so eager, or none more so, to take up the cause of the poor, to proclaim the misfortune of their large number, or to lament their sufferings, or to press for the discovery of national means of relief, as well as to contribute individual, as those of my own opinions ; of which truth he cites the recent instance, that it remained for one of our Bishops * to be the first to deplore in Parliament, and in the face of the country, that in the south-west of England, there are paupers harnessed to carts, like cattle. But, now, I will venture to finish my reply, by mentioning two instances of the show of feeling, in matters of taste, in the labouring poor, such as you avow yourself to think improbable among persons of their condition.
“My first case,” continued Mr. Paulett,“ is that of a Cumberland shepherd, with whom a tourist was once conversing upon the spoliations of the flocks, occasionally committed by the eagles in that moun. tainous part of England: “It is a pity,' cried the tourist, that the eagles are not all destroyed ! • Why,
* Dr. Law, Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells. The evil, however, is confined to the circumstance that these labourers are paupers ; and that, consequently, their labour is forced, and different from that which men willingly and usually andertake. In any other view, the substitution of human labour for that of cattle, would only be to feed and multiply men, instead of beasts.