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by the dearth of bird-life in the enormous pine forests as well as on the large lakes. We were delighted, therefore, to find a great many interesting birds breeding on these marshes. Two of these, the bar-tailed godwit" and the dusky redshank,1' especially attracted our attention, because it had been the privilege of but a very few ornithologists to see these birds in their breeding haunts. On arriving at the largest marsh, which was a fivemile trudge from our camp, we arranged to work it systematically. However, we had scarcely gone a hundred yards before a strange bird rose from the ground. We shot it and found with delight that it was a male bar-tailed godwit in a beautiful summer plumage—a dark-brown back and a rich salmon pink breast. A long search near the place from which the bird had risen was unproductive—neither its nests nor the eggs or young could be found. Then we began to search the marsh rather excitedly, and some way off we put up the female—not nearly so brilliant a bird, with a buff rather than salmon-colored breast. Still we could find neither eggs nor young, but at this were not very surprised, as these marshes or bogs are profusely overgrown with a multitude of creeping plants, such as dwarf birch and many kinds of berry-bearing plants besides thick moss and grass. That day we found many other birds but saw no more godwits. On the next day, however, we carried out our plan of a systematic search and were successful in finding two more pairs of godwits. The male bird of one of these pairs was evidently in charge of young ones. He flew round us in a very excited way, and although he did not hover about quite near us, like the sandpipers and reeves, he often swooped over our heads with a rush and then retired to a tree-top and quivered his wings and M Umosa lapponlca.
called loudly. We kept as quiet as the flies would allow, and after a time I saw four young birds running on the ground at some distance. I rushed madly to them; they separated, and I managed to keep only two in view. These I caught, but the" other two had hidden themselves so cleverly and quickly that although we knew just where they must be we could not discover them, and of course nothing would make them budge now that danger threatened. Young birds which run as soon as they are hatched know well the value of lying flat and keeping as still as stones. My friend afterwards found a brood on another marsh, but these he failed to catch. In each case the male bird was evidently attending to the young as the female was found at some considerable distance. These young godwits were only a few days old, and were beautifully clothed with soft down. They were great prizes, and, as far as I know, were the first young in down of the bar-tailed godwit to be obtained, although Mr. H. L. Popham has told me that he had seen them on the Yenesi in Siberia but had been unable to secure any.
The dusky or spotted redshanks which we discovered on several marshes were an even greater find than the godwits, because since the days of Wolley, fifty years ago, our knowledge of their breeding haunts has scarcely increased. Unfortunately, however, we were unable to discover either eggs or young of these birds notwithstanding hours of watching and searching. One day I watched a pair for two hours without success, so wary were the birds. When I was in view they flew wildly about uttering an incessant rattling alarm note. Then when I got well hidden they kept quiet, and my hopes of their visiting the nest or young revived. I waited. Meanwhile the mosquitoes gathered in thicker and
thicker swarms. My veil getting disarranged touched the back of my neck, and immediately a cluster of mosquitoes settled on the place. A slight exclamation and an incautious movement were impossible to prevent, and the •ever-watchful redshanks saw me and began their fuss and clamor again. I had to change my hiding-place and wait again, but the mosquitoes and the redshanks always got the best of it in the end, and at last I came to the conclusion that my patience was insufficient for the task.
The majority of wading birds have a larger and richer plumage in summer than in winter, and these redshanks were of a very handsome sooty-black color spotted with white. Their beaks were dark, but their legs were of a rich crimson, which looked very bright against their black breasts.
To find these two species in their breeding haunts was especially interesting to us, because both birds visit the shores of England on their migrations in spring and autumn.
Harry F. Witherby, F. Z. 8.
GOOD BREEDING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
Two things lie at the root of good manners as they are taught in the New Testament. The first is self-suppression,—the consciousness in the individual that he is part of a community whose welfare is of more importance than his capacity to do what he will with his own; and the second is sympathy,—the power to be "all things to all men." To be without the first unfits a man for social life altogether; to be without the latter forces him to live his life, as it were, among foreigners, unable himself to speak any language but his own. Three writers in the New Testament concern themselves with courtesy—St . James, St . Paul, and St. Peter—and from their letters something like a philosophy of good breeding might be built up.
Before a man considers his attitude towards his neighbors he must consider his attitude towards himself. In this matter, St. Paul tells us, he ought to be just as possible. He is "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly." Evidently he is to avoid not only spiritual pride, but the fanciful self-accusations
so common among converts. Self-respecting individuals make honest communities, but if a society would spread it must avoid self-satisfaction, lest it become hidebound. "We are members one of another," writes St. Paul, therefore "let no man seek his own, but each his neighbor's good," for "no man liveth to himself." This theory the Apostle pushes very far, recommending his more cultivated converts to sacrifice to some extent their religious liberty rather than hurt the feelings of simpler people Early Christian communities were made up of very varied elements. Nobles, artisans, and slaves, superstitious adherents of a decaying mythology, devout Jews, and men of the world but newly dissatisfied with the cynical agnosticism in which they had been bred, met together to hear "the thing preached" and to eat a common meal in remembrance of a common Master. Without courtesy—a courtesy which would not stop short of sacrifice —these jarring elements could not have been kept within the bond of peace. We know; says the Apostle, writing to the Corinthians, "that an idol is nothing at all," and that the observance of certain days and the eating or abstaining from certain foods are in themselves of no consequence. He is persuaded that all meata are clean and "all days the same," but if any man thinks differently, he is none the worse Christian for his intellectual mistake. Good manners require of the wise man that he should neither "despise" nor "set him at naught"; indeed, he had better forego the tangible advantage of his superior wisdom when in company with the scrupulous person. If his faith is purer than his neighbor's, he must "have it to himself before God," for the end of the commandment is not knowledge but charity. Every man is exhorted to enter as far as possible into the point of view of his neighbor, and to show him sympathy to the extent of his power, even if it be only the sympathy of indignation. "Who is offended and I burn not," we read; and again, "Who is weak- and I am not weak." "Him that is weak in the faith," St. Paul goes on, "receive ye, but not to doubtful disputation." Disputations cannot avail to give peace to a weak man, but by entering into the pain of his doubt one man by his sympathy may possibly reveal to another the sympathy of God, and so teach him more about religion than if he could convince his intellect of all the articles of all the creeds.
With regard to conversation the New Testament lays down stringent Puritan rules. There is to be no "foolish talking" or "jesting which is not convenient"; no discussion of the conduct of those of whose doings "it is a shame to speak"; no wrangling or "clamor"; no fruitless argumentation, "dottngs about questions, and strifes of words." "Cheerfuiness" is continually enjoined; "murmuring," "bitterness," "malice," and "evil surmisings" are continually deprecated. "Courtesy" is to be observed at all times, and St. Peter ex
horts his friends not to forget it even during the fiery trials of persecution. Paul remembered it before his judges when, after wishing that Agrippa were a Christian, "and altogether such as himself," he added "except these bonds." He remembered it also on another notable occasion, when by his reassuring words he stopped the suicide of the jailor whose death might have meant his own escape.
"How near to good is what is fair," said Ben Jonson. Morals and manners are indeed inextricably interwoven, and it is often impossible to distinguish between charity! and courtesy. There is one man in the New Testament whose name has come down to posterity solely on account of what we may perhaps be allowed to call his gentlemanlike conduct towards St. Paul. "The Lord give mercy to the house of Onesiphorus," the Apostle writes, "for he oft refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain. But when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently and found me. The Lord grant that he may find mercy in that day." The reiterated suggestion that "that day" would be one of mercy and not of triumph' to the free man who was not ashamed to be seen with "the prisoner of the Lord" might make us suppose that St. Paul doubted if his friend belonged to the faith, and that he ascribed his action to his Christian courtesy rather than to his courteous Christianity.
The gulf existing between slaves and their masters in the first century was a difficult one for charity to bridge or courtesy to cover. The Apostolic attitude towards slavery is at first sight somewhat astonishing. The teachings of Christ strike at its roots; but with the possible exception of St. James, none of His immediate followers condemned slavery as an institution. St. Paul, it is true, declares that "in Christ" there is "neither bond nor free"; but in the same breath he adds "male nor female, Jew nor Greek." We are, therefore, constrained to accept his words metaphorically. That the Apostle perceived the evil effects of slavery upon character we cannot doubt. He not only congratulates himself upon being born free, but his advice to slaves shows an effort to initiate them into some sort of inward freedom, so that they may give to religion "the offering of a free heart." They are to forget as far as possible that they serve men, and by avoiding "eye service" arei to assume an honorable bondage to their own consciousness, and thus become "the slaves of Christ," and not "men pleasers." He warns them also not to despise their masters, because they are brethren; while all free Christians are bidden to "remember those that are in bonds as bound with them." That certain Christian Churches were apt to look down on slave members is suggested by St. James, who condemns those who keep their courtesy for the wearers of "gay clothing," and "have men's persons in admiration for the sake of advantage." That St. Paul regarded "graces and qualities of breeding" as things which "adorn the faith of Christ" is evident from his letters and his life. It is he who remembered and wrote down for us our Lord's saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," and it is characteristic of him that the sentence stuck in his mind. To receive was painful to him always, and independence the first necessity of happiness. He urges all men to work rather than be beholden to any, and he urges those who give, not to wound by their manner of giving the pride of him who is' obliged to take. Not only must they give without grudging, they must "give with simplicity." To give with simple generosity is not a very easy task. Many men never grudge, and yet fall into the subtler temptations which sur
round the giver to take the grace from his gift. Those who give for the sake of their own souls without knowing if they do good or harm cannot be said to give out of simple generosity, neither can those opposite characters who give their money in order to buy power. This latter error is, to our mind, by far the more excusable of the two. Indeed, if a man believes in his own judgment, likes power, and is determined to use it for the good of his neighbors, the temptation is almost unavoidable. It is often a duty to rule, and to "rule diligently," and who can rule a fool for his good without the means of coercion? Nevertheless, whoever gives with this end in view gives without grace, though he may often give to his neighbor's advantage. To "show mercy with cheerfuiness" Is a yet more difficult injunction to follow. If the man who shows mercy is too cheerfulmakes too light of his own magnanimity —the culprit is likely "to do it again." On the other hand, he may be more touched by the grace of the forgiveness than he could be by the most grievous reprimand. The better the man the more likely he is to be impressed by kindness, and perhaps wisdom should prompt us to give the best man the first chance.
The self-possession, courage, and detachment which enabled men working at an almost impossible task, and "standing in jeopardy daily," to give their minds to the refinements of courtesy and honor are not easy to account for. Something was given to the early Church which has been denied to later generations,—the power to "rejoice in hope." Nothing was too hard for them to do, nothing too great to expect. That they looked for the triumph of Christianity in their own generation no candid reader can doubt. A spiritual mirage brought near to them a goal now out of sight. But a mirage is a reflection of the truth, not a deception of the imagination, and the Church waits now as she waited then, if no longer rejoicing in hope, at least "patient in tribulation," "till we all come
unto a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fuiness of Christ,"— that is, till Christianity is not only the standard but the stamp of humanity.
THE ABSURDITIES OF THE ALMANACK.
It is said that this is the season when the compilers of almanacks set about to prepare their productions for the following year. I know not if this, is so; but if it is, and they happen to be afflicted with a sense of humor, they must laugh like Cicero's augurs when they consider the ineptness of our calendar. With a name derived, it is said, from the Roman Calends—by which we no longer reckon—it seems to have been carefully arranged to correspond to nothing either in nature, history, or convenience. As its last reformation took place in the Christian Era, the year might be supposed to begin with the Birth of the Founder of Christianity. But, while this took place—or at least is celebrated—on the 25th of December, the first day of the year is postponed to seven days later. The most natural day for the beginning of the year would, of course, be the spring equinox when the days first prevail over the nights, and Nature, as they used to say, awakens. Yet this date is entirely unmarked in our calendars, and it is only with some difficulty that we discover it to be the 21st of March. Nor ia the end of the year determined in a more rational manner than the beginning. The earth completes its revolution round the- sun in three hundred and sixty-five days, five hours and a fraction. But we have arranged the civil year so that it consists of three hundred and sixty-five days only, and we have therefore to intercalate an ex
tra day every fourth year to make up the difference. If we look at the names of the divisions of our year, we find ourselves confronted with a system so confusing to our modern ideas that it seems as if it must have been invented by mandarins. The days of the week are dedicated to the sun and moon, to the Saturn of the Roman mythology, to the Woden, Thor, and Freya of the Scandinavian, and to a seventh god so obscure that it is extremely difficult to discover any reference to him in any document of antiquity. The months are in like manner named after two Christian saints, Januarius and Februarius, the Roman Mars, a word which is said to refer to the annual opening of the earth, the nymph Mala, the goddess Juno, the first two Caesars, and— worst absurdity of all—the numbers seven, eight, nine, and ten, which we carefully apply to the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth months respectively. A large part of Christendom, although it accepts these heathen appellations, still enjoys a different arrangement of the year from the rest of it, so that the Russians and other nations belonging to the Orthodox Church celebrate Mars and the other heathen deities at a different time from ourselves. But the greatest inconvenience of all is the clumsy arrangement by which the days of the week and the days of the month fall to correspond from year to year, so that it requires much, calculation before we can ascer