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to a high mountain and has shown us the wonders of the earth. 'Come with me,' He now says, 'and I will show you the glories of the heavenly hills.' Would we, if we could, refuse this summons?"

And so he comforted her, and as the heavy-footed hours limped painfully by she grew slowly reconciled. His strong soul held her drooping spirit up, and would not let it go. Ever he pointed up the narrow path, and ever she strove with faltering steps to follow him.

Bit by bit they grew weaker in mind and body. Hunger and cold sapped their strength and deadened their perceptions. They sat and dreamed strange dreams, half of this world and half of the next. Their souls strayed out and wandered into far-off lands where Time stood still. Vague fancies floated and swayed across their glimmering ken. Life was a dim web through which they looked at a bright world beyond, where, in starry meadows gay with rainbow-coloured flowers, they saw themselves wander hand in hand with the friends of other days. Their dazed brains, like dumb brutes, walked loyally in the accustomed round. And still that which was deepest in their thoughts came uppermost, and still their lives ran in the remembered ways. All night they heard the noise of snow and ice falling around them, with a dull thud like earth thrown heavily upon a coffin-lid. Towards morning a mass of snow precursor of the patient avalanchebroke with a hoarse roar from its perch, and, just missing its prey, thundered by the frail hut that trembled as it passed.

At the sound Rainer's spirit, restored to life, awoke, and returning over who knows what countless leagues of time, came to the sur

face with "Adsum" on its lips. In the grey dawn he sat up dazed and bewildered and looked around, and as he did so some dim thought out of the infinite appeared to work in his soul. His eyes seemed to look through the walls of the hut, and to see things unseen. As he sat there striving to grapple with his environment, and vainly trying to reconcile it with his loosening hold, a well-remembered sound struck dimly upon his wavering sense. Up from the valley below floated, low yet clear, the tinkle of the village bell calling the people to prayer in the little rustic church, and the sound recalled him to himself. As it ceased he struggled to his feet and stood erect. The girl meanwhile stirred not, but lay without sign of life. She still breathed, but her spirit took no note of what went on.


"Let us sing the first three verses of the fiftieth paraphrase to the glory of God," he said. paused as if waiting for the choir to begin, then, with a look of surprise, he took up the air and sang them to the end. When he had finished he closed his eyes. "Let us pray," he said.

"Lord God," he prayed in wellremembered words, 66 we desire anew upon this Thy Sabbath to thank Thee for all Thy loving kindness to us.

We thank Thee for the precious gift of life, and for all that makes it beautiful— for the bright sunshine, for the flowers, the trees, and the song of birds.

We thank Thee for the good things which Thou dost abundantly bestow upon us, and for the capacity to enjoy them. Lord, remember, we beseech Thee, those who are in sorrow or want. Feed all those who hunger for earthly food, and teach them to hunger rather after heavenly bread. Remember, O Lord, the dying and

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God's world is a sermon on such a day as this. Go out into the sunny fields and worship Him there. Go and listen to the birds and the brooks and the bees. What are they trying to say? They are trying to speak the name of God with all their might. Go and do likewise, and let your hearts join in the universal praise."

Again he was silent for the space of a minute, during which a look of great seriousness overspread his features. Then he spoke again.

"It is borne in upon me that one of our number is at this moment in imminent peril in the mountainous places of the Alps. His name is not vouchsafed to me, nor may we know the day or hour

Let us not

of his departure. refuse our prayers that he and those with him may be enabled to accept the summons of the Lord with cheerful hearts."

"Almighty God," he prayed once more, "who hast created the mountains and valleys of the earth, and hast spanned them with Thy rainbow in token of Thy loving care, we supplicate Thee earnestly on behalf of those whom Thou art about to call away. In the midst of life we are in death. We are as the grass of the fieldto-day green, and to-morrow withering on the ground, cut down by the sickle of death. Strengthen them, we beseech Thee, to receive cheerfully Thy holy will. Lord, be with them in their time of trial, and bear them up in their hour of need. Take them by the hand and lead them to Thy mansion, that they may be with Thee for ever."

There was the silence of death in the hut, but outside a low roar shook the still air. He did not hear it, but raised his hand.

"May the blessing of God rest upon us now and for ever!"

As he spoke, like a deep “Amen” thundered from heaven's gates, the crash of the avalanche broke in upon him, and Chaos was




THE science of ornithology has been much advanced by histories of the avifauna of the different counties, written by those best acquainted with them, and many such have been published of late years. Francis Willoughby of Middleton, Warwickshire, was, we believe, the first who wrote work of this kind. His 'Ornithologiæ' was published in 1676, four years after his death, by John Ray, himself a noted ornithologist, who studied the science in Staffordshire, and had been Willoughby's friend and tutor during the years 1668-69. Dr Plot of Oxford, who was induced to live in the county of Staffordshire by Walter Chetwynd of Ingestre in order that he might write its natural history, published his wellknown work in Oxford in the year 1686. This was rather a compilation of facetious and amusing stories of birds which the author considered to be rare, than any systematic account of the avifauna of Staffordshire. He wrote, how ever, a famous description of the colony of black-headed gulls at Shebden Pool.

The latest of these works which deal with special local areas, and certainly the most interesting and beautiful, is the one now under notice. We have two handsome royal octavo volumes in which are twenty-four exquisite photogravures by Mr A. Thorburn, who now stands foremost in the art of drawing bird-life. There is something in the process of photograv

ure that is in singular keeping with his atmospheric effects and poetic environments, both of which are perfect in detail, yet full of a certain mysterious attraction not to be exactly defined. No other bird-artist gets that peculiarly lifelike expression of the eye of each different species. The "Bittern in a Reed - bed" standing by a frozen pool is marvellously good; the group of tufted pochards is inimitable; and what could be better than the "Wild-fowl dropping into the Decoy," drawn from Lord Lilford's own decoy, which he constructed on his estate? But where all seem to be perfect in their way it is difficult to select any for special notice. The "Woodcock at the Spring-head " and "An Autumnal Fall" are exquisite pictures. Then we have forty-three most accurate and interesting wood - engravings designed and engraved by Mr G. E. Lodge, a past-master in his art. "The Night Heron at Rest" is a wonderfully minute and beautiful presentment of bird-life. plumage of the various species is given in every case with almost microscopic accuracy.


With the exception of Morton's 'Natural History of Northamptonshire,' there has been, we believe, until the publication of these two volumes, no work on the avifauna of that county. The situation of the Lilford estate, through which the Nen runs on its way to the Wash, is a most favourable one for the purposes

[As these pages were going through the press, we received with regret the sad intelligence of the death of Lord Lilford, whose last contribution to the science in which he was so pre-eminent forms the subject of the following pages.ED. B.M.]

of observation. Vast numbers of birds pass over on their migratory flight. And then its owner, by his kindly and sympathetic nature, has the goodwill of all in the district, and events in bird-life have for years been recorded and communicated to him by his fellow countymen. His own lifelong observations and notes are, however, specially valuable. Although many would have us believe that enough has been written on British ornithology, those who know most about the subject are aware that we have still much to learn, and that above all personal observations and experiences are of the highest value.

When Lord Lilford, now the President of the British Ornithologists' Union, was a child, he was asked by his grandfather, the third Lord Holland, what he would like best in the world? "To live in a den with a good-natured animal," was the ready reply, which was rewarded by the gift of a black Shetland pony. Many a day was spent by the boy nest-hunting in the ample demesne of Holland Park, then the centre of a rural district.

It was at Holland House that his grandmother, Lady Holland, first introduced the dahlia into England as a permanent species. Some roots had previously been imported by Lady Bute, but they had failed. The first seeds brought from Spain to Holland House failed also, but Lady Holland procured more from Holland, and these were a complete success. She reared them in her own flower-garden. This was in 1824. Her daughter, Lady Lilford, used to tell her son about a splendid blue bird which had been brought from Spain by her father, and lived for many years in a disused conservatory, but unfortunately it

had the ill fate to be shot at last in the shrubbery by an Italian servant, who, when blamed for it, declared that he thought it was a "blacka-cocka." The "blue bird" had long been forgotten when, some time after Lord Holland's death, Lady Lilford recognised in the collection at Lilford one of the purple gallinules (Porphyrio cœruleus) as identical with the famous and mysterious "blue bird" of her childhood. As a girl she had spent much time at Ampthill, in Bedfordshire, the seat of her uncle, the last Lord Ossory, whose fine collection of stuffed birds was eventually left to her son, the present Lord Lilford.


From his grandfather author inherited author inherited an absorbing passion for Spain and for its literature. In August 1856 his first visit to that country was made: he sailed from Falmouth in the Royal Yacht Squadron's schooner Claymore, touching at Corunna, and thence, avoiding Portugal on account of the cholera then raging at Lisbon, sailed on to Cadiz, and visited all the principal Spanish ports on the Mediterranean, including Palma and Port Mahon in the Balearic Isles. During this cruise there was not much opportunity for the observation of birds, but during 1864 and 1865 Lord Lilford spent a much longer time in Spain. He gave the result of his experiences in the pages of the Ibis' in 1865 and

1866. Ornithologists who may not have read them will be much interested if they look up these papers, as well as those notes on the birds of European Turkey and Greece which were made between January 1857 and the end of July 1858.

There is an interesting experience in the present work relating to the kite in Spain. This bird, which

is unfortunately extinct in England, except perhaps in one district, which for wise reasons is not divulged, is very common in the southern and central parts of Spain, and, to quote from the notes referred to, is "constantly to be seen circling alone or in pairs about the villages, on the look-out for chickens, refuse, or materials for its nest, which is often built of very curious substances. A Spaniard, who accompanied me in my bird-collecting rambles in central Spain in 1865, assured me that he had once taken a purse containing nine dollars from kite's nest; and I first learned the news of President Abraham Lincoln's murder from a scrap of a Spanish newspaper found in a nest of this bird by my climber Agapo near Aranjuez." The record of these ornithological rambles in the company of his guide and assistant, Manuel, and the agile climber Agapo, makes highly entertaining reading.


They took a black or cinereous vulture's nestling in the same year from a nest near San Ildefonso, Old Castile. This bird is still alive at Lilford, and in perfect health, with a number of others of its family, in the large eaglehouse. It is now thirty years old, and on the morning we first made its acquaintance it very obligingly laid an egg, as though for our personal gratification.

Under the beautiful sky of Spain delightful days were spent by the traveller, followed by pleasant evenings in the different ventas, where he would listen to the stories of the native convives, and gather all he could about the haunts and habits of local birds. There were also, as he writes, "delicious summer nights in southern Spain, when all the louder sounds of human life were

hushed, and nothing broke the silence but the monotonous notes of the scops owl, and the 'wetmy-lips' of innumerable quails." Of the little kestrels he says, "The cry of these pretty birds is as certain to strike the ear in the towns of Andalucia as the twang of the guitar and the click of the castanets." Then there were the more exciting delights of driving the great bustards in Andalucia, in the peculiarly balmy but exhilarating air which, come from whatever quarter of the compass it may, "has blown for miles over wastes of rosemary, gum cistus, and thyme, or through pine-woods and orange-groves. It possesses an indescribable charm, and renders existence in itself more enjoyable here than in any other part of the world with which I am acquainted." In speaking of the remarkable cries that may be heard sounding in the air at times after nightfall, Lord Lilford says he has sometimes wondered how these strike others? Guy de Maupassant, alluding to the same subject, says poetically that "ce cri fuyant, emporté par les plumes d'une bête," seems to him like "un soupir de l'âme du monde.”

The peregrine is, next to the kestrel and the sparrow-hawk, the commonest diurnal bird of prey in Northamptonshire. From the many high old elms and ash-trees in the valley of the Nen between Thrapston and Oundle he has his look-out station, commanding fine stretches of meadow and arable land.

"I believe," says our author, "that the falcons follow the autumnal southward migrations of the duck tribe, as I have several times observed that

their first appearance hereabouts occurs exactly at the same time as that of our first autumnal wild-fowl, teal or widgeon, for the former of

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