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journey southwards, over sea and land, to a very distant country?
But how do they find their way ? said William.
We say, answered his father, that they are taught by instinct ; that is, God has implanted in their minds a desire of travelling at the season which he knows to be proper, and has also given them an impulse to take the right road. They steer their course through the wide air, directly to the proper spot. Sometimes, however, storms and contrary winds meet them, and drive the poor birds about till they are quite spent and fall into the sea, unless they happen to meet with a ship, on which they can light and rest themselves. The swallows from this country are supposed to go as far as the middle of Africa to spend the winter, where the weather is always warm, and insects are to be met with all the year. In spring they take
another long journey back again to these northern countries. Sometimes, when we have fine weather very early, a few of them come too soon; for when it changes to frost and snow again, the poor creatures are starved for want of food, or perish from the cold. Hence arises the proverb,
One swallow does not make a summer. But when a great many of them are come, we may be sure that winter is over, so that we are always very glad to see them again. The Martins find their way back over such a length of sea and land to the very same villages and houses where 'they were bred. This has been discovered by catching some of them, and marking them. They repair their old nests, or build new ones, and then set about laying eggs and hatching their young. Pretty things ! I hope you will never knock down their nests, or take their eggs or young ones!
for as they come such a long way to visit us, and lodge in our houses without fear, we ought to use them kindly.
Charles Osborn, when at home in the holidays, had a visit from a schoolfellow who was just entered as a midshipman on board of, a man of war. Tom Hardy (that was his name) was a free-hearted spirited lad, and a favourite among his companions; but he never liked his book, and had left school ignorant of almost every thing he came there to learn. What was worse, he had got a contempt for learning of all kinds, and was fond of showing it. • What does your father mean,” says he to Charles, “ to keep you moping and studying over things of no use in the world but to plague folks ?- Why
cau't you go into his majesty's service like me, and be made a gentleman of? You are old enough, and I know you are a lad of spirit.” This kind of talk made some impression upon young Osborn. He became less attentive to the lessons his father set him, and less willing to enter into instructive conversation. This change gave his father much concern; but as he knew the cause, he thought it best, instead of employing direct authority, to attempt to give a new impression to his son's mind, which might counteract the effects of his companion's suggestions.
Being acquainted with an East-India captain, who was on the point of sailing, he went with his son to pay him a fare . well visit on board his ship. They were shown all about the vessel, and viewed all the preparations for so long avoyage. They saw her weigh anchor and unfurl
her sails; and they took leave of their friend amid the shouts of the seamen and all the bustle of departure.
Charles was highly delighted with this scene; and as they were returning, could think and talk of nothing else. It was easy therefore for his father to lead him into the following train of discourse.
After Charles had been warmly expressing his admiration of the grand sight of a large ship completely fitted out and getting under sail; I do not wonder (said his father) that you are so much struck with it:-it is, in reality, one of the finest spectacles created by human skill, and the noblest triumph of art over untaught nature. Near two thousand
years ago, when Julius Cæsar came over to this island, he found the natives in possession of no other kind of vessel than a sort of canoe, formed of wicker-work covered with hides, and