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contains a few broken remains of Early English quarried glass, and seems to invite restoration by its noble proportions and massive yet symmetrical arrangement.
Beneath the Easternmost of the Arches dividing the Chapel from the Nave is an altar tomb, the one side being composed of slightly pointed Arches, the other of a series of triangles ; upon the tomb reposes the effigy of a Knight clad in chain armour, the legs crossed, and the feet resting upon an animal, which, may be either a wild cat or a lion.—Upon his left arm is the triangular shield of the 13th century; his right arm extending across his breast grasps the long straight sword, which doubtless in its reality had cloven many an infidels crest. The figure is of a man in full vigour, of ordinary size, and good proportion. His shield carries the arms of Giffard, gules, three-lions passant or; in chief, a label of five points azure; upon each point, two Fleur-de-lis of the second. This beyond all doubt is the effigy of Alexander Giffard, the Crusader mentioned in Matthew Paris, as we shall hereafter show.
In the centre of the Chapel there stands a small altar tomb of later and richer work than any portion of the Chapel.—It appears to have contained the body of a female, or child of high rank—the tomb is hollowed to form a coffin, 4ft. 1lin. in length.
The tomb would appear to be of the date of Edward III. and may very probably have contained the body of the last of the lordly Giffards, the Lady Margaret, whose death would coincide with the style of this tomb. The sides of this tomb are adorned with canopied niches, from which the figures, probably of alabaster, have been removed.
In the Chapel remain three sedilia and a piscina, still presenting the same mixture of Early English and Decorated Architecture, which peryades this part of the Church.
Returning into the body of the Church—we have to mention a North Chapel of Decorated structure, the North window is of three lights, with purely Decorated tracery above; there is a small niche in the Eastern side of the Arch which separates the Chapel from the Nave. A very magnificent slab of Purbeck Marble formed part of the floor of this Chapel, and contained the matrix of a very
superb brass, which seems to have been of a warrior, and from the canopy work the probable date would be of the reign of Edward II., or a little later. On removing this stone in the summer of 1853, for some repairs, a stone coffin was found, formed not of single but of several stones, and a skeleton nearly perfect, with the skull placed on one side of the body, as though the body had been decapitated.
It is hardly a rash conjecture that this Chapel was erected for the interment of the last male Giffard, who joining in the rebellion of Thomas Earl of Lancaster, in the reign of Edward II. was beheaded at Gloucester, and that the decapitated skeleton was that of the unfortunate Baron himself.
We now finish our survey with the Chancel.
This part of the Church partakes of the Early English style in its older portions, and of Perpendicular in the later features.
Three sections of the South side of the Altar are of Early English work, and in good preservation; the side windows are three small and very simple lancet windows on the North, and two on the South side.
In the window nearest the Altar are the arms of Giffard, in very ancient glass, and very perfect.
The East window is of Perpendicular construction, presenting no very remarkable features, but yet of good shape, and with graceful tracery in the upper part.
Two orifices in the Eastern wall were discovered by an ingenious antiquary, to whom the writer is largely indebted for information, the Rev. G. Southwell, Vicar of Yetminster.
The Southern orifice formed an aumbrye, the other probably the Credence Table.
Such is a general outline of a Church once singularly rich and beautiful iu its arrangements and general outline; but which from many combined causes has been allowed either to fall into decay, or when repaired, has been handled in a manner that makes the bystanders almost regret the reparation, but which we trust ere long will be restored to its former completeness and beauty.
On the Ornithology of Wilts.
No. 3.-ON THE STRUCTURE AND FACULTIES OF BIRDS.
In beginning this paper on the structure of birds, it will be well to premise that I am not going to enter into any learned disquisition on their internal economy; or start any new theory regarding their shape or their functions. I propose merely to give a plain statement of their formation, whereby such persons as are either commencing this delightful study, or are not very proficient in it, may gain some insight into the subject. But before we examine their general structure, let us for one moment consider the position which birds were formed to hold in animated nature, and the element they were fitted to people : then, when we proceed to consider their formation, we shall notice how admirably it is adapted to that end, how exactly suited to that purpose. We are told in the history of their creation, that they were formed out of the water, and that they were made "to fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.”—That then is their own proper sphere, that the domain allotted to them to occupy. It is true that we find some continually remaining in the element from which they first derived their origin, passing almost all their time in the water; others again there are which seldom leave the surface of the earth, and are neither formed for swimming nor for flight; but the great majority of species are essentially denizens of the air; soaring high above our heads, skimming here and there, floating with expanded wings,"cleaving with rapid pinions the vast aerial expanse.” Now it is clear that to enable them to do this, the general formation of their bodies must be extremely different from that of the Mammalia, though to a certain extent there are strong resemblances and analogies between them and their respective orders: as there are carnivorous quadrupeds, so there are rapacious birds, and both are equally fierce, sullen, unsociable and solitary in their habits, possessed of great strength, and often of considerable courage: as there are herbivorous quadrupeds, so there are granivorous birds, and both of these are gentle and gregarious in their habits, a mild and tractable race, and easily domesticated. There are also birds as well as beasts of an amphibious nature, having organs suited to their habits, and these live chiefly in the water, and feed on aquatic productions: and there are many similar resemblances. Like the quadrupeds too, they are warm-blooded and vertebrate; but unlike them, they are oviparous; and instead of fur, are usually clothed almost entirely with feathers; while instead of fore-feet, they are furnished with wings: and we shall presently see that there are many other striking points of difference in structure between them. Unlike the heavy bodies of the Mammalia, which are formed to live on the surface of the earth, the bodies of the birds are light and buoyant. They each possess externally head, neck, body, tail, legs and feet; but instead of the large head, the heavy neck, the deep chest, the wide shoulder, and the sinewy legs of the quadrupeds, the observant Bewick bids us note “the pointed beak, the long and pliant neck, the gently swelling shoulder, the expansive wings, the tapering tail, the light and bony feet of birds:" every one of these seem formed to combine, as far as possible, the least weight with the greatest strength: there is no superfluous bulk in the structure of a bird: compared with its dimensions, and the width of its expanded wings, how trifling and insignificant a proportion does the body seem to occupy: how every part seems to conduce towards lightness and buoyancy. The plumage too with which they are clothed is soft and delicate, and yet so close and thick as to form an admirable protection against the intense cold of the atmosphere through which they wing their way, and to which their swift movements must necessarily expose them: the feathers which compose it are attached to the skin, somewhat after the manner of hair, and are periodically moulted or changed, and nothing can exceed the beauty, and often brilliancy of their colouring, as nothing can be conceived more adapted to combine the two objects of extreme warmth and excessive lightness. With such an airy framework, and clothed with a plumage in specific gravity but little exceeding the air itself, we are at no loss to understand the ease with which birds mount from the earth and soar among the clouds ; but to enable them to pass quickly through the air, to progress rapidly and without fatigue, no instruments could be desired more excellent than the wings with which they are provided; so light and yet so vigorous; furnished with such strong muscles; so spacious when extended in flight, and yet so compact when closed in rest. By the help of these oars or sails they can strike the air so forcibly, and with such a succession of rapid and powerful strokes, as to impel forward their bodies with wonderful velocity: the greater the extent of the wings, in proportion to the size of the bird, the greater is the facility with which it can sustain itself in the air, and the greater the rapidity of its flight: as an example of this, compare the stretch of wing and the proportionate speed of the common swift and the common sparrow. Almost all species can fly with exceeding swiftness, but the progress of some is so very rapid, as rather to rival the velocity of the arrow from the bow, than the movements of any other creature: yet, with such amazing power, what can be lighter than the materials of which the wings are formed? the bones hollow and filled with air, the muscles strong and unincumbered by flesh: the feathers large like sails, and of exceeding buoyancy. Then again in like manner, what can be more perfect than their tails? these too are only composed of feathers, but they serve as rudders, enabling them to steer their course through the air at pleasure with the greatest ease and with the greatest accuracy,
Thus when we look at the external formation of a bird, we can but admire its symmetry and elegance, the buoyancy and lightness of its frame, so admirably adapted for flight: but not less perfect nor less calculated to excite our admiration in its internal structure. Is a bird furnished with bones and muscles so absolutely necessary to its aerial evolutions ? but mark how thin and light are the bones, how delicate the muscles, those only excepted which are adapted for moving the wings. Then again observe the lungs: small indeed they are, but so placed, and the air so introduced into them from the windpipe, that in passing it is conveyed into certain