« PreviousContinue »
NE who has only I, therefore, prefer the canary as a cagedwelt within the bird, both to our wonderful mocking-bird bricks and mortar and to the sweetest of the singers of the of a crowded city Old World. Having long ago forgotten and whose ear has the traditions that told of the leafy homes become deaf to the of his ancestors and the wild free life hum and din of the they used to lead, he knows no home but
street, knows merely a cage, and no care nor trouble, save that the dryest pages of nature's prose. But now and then a rival singer will taunt the gilded cage and the sweet tropic flow- him from a neighboring cage—then his ers that adorn his library or parlor show little eyes will flash angrily as he tries the longing for the poetry of nature that in vain to reach and silence his enemy; still survives in human breast. The or when a cruel owner neglects the little bird of the wild-wood and the flower of bird whose life is in his hands and who the Nile have come to live with man, so depends upon at least ten minutes' daily long as he remains on the earth.
In the estimation of the public, per- Canaries are classed according as they haps, the three greatest of the bird musi- are bred for song, for form or for color. cians, in the order of their excellence, are Crosses from one class to another are not the American Mocking-bird, the English uncommon; but the highest prized are Nightingale and the Song Canary. those that come under one of those
But, if you have listened, as I have, to heads. the most gifted of nature's songsters, the The Scotch, the French and the Beimocking-bird, in his own Southern home, gians breed chiefly for form. First-class perched in early spring upon the topmost Belgian birds are worth small fortunes to bough of some budding tree; if you have their owners; they have poor voices, and heard his morning carols from an almost ordinary canary colors only: pale yellow bursting throat, and have seen the ecstatic and mottled; but the long and slender joy of the bird as he suddenly bounds form, tapering evenly from the shoulder into the air a few yards, only to return to the tip of the tail, with a head almost with quivering wings and vibrating tail at right angles to the body, is considered to his perch again, all the while sending the acme of grace in figure. The French forth unceasingly his varied notes, you breed is a less exaggerated type of the can never fully enjoy the song of this long canary, and has a ruffed or frilled bird in captivity. A pity would fill your breast. A perfect Scotch bird is crescentheart as you heard the plaintive melody shaped. broken by a wild-wood note that would In color-breeding the English lead. bring from memory's treasures the image Their birds, moreover, are far þetter of the glad singer in his native freedom, musicians than the long variety. The and you would be unable to bear the Manchester Copy is the giant of the sight of the restless captive, that is sing- canary race," and looks more like a yeling because nature made him to sing; low pigeon. The Norwich bird, with singing, ever singing, for a mate that its deep gold and green and black, never can come.
and the gold and silver-spangled lizards The same objection, too, holds against in their beautiful coats throw the modthe nightingale as a cage-bird. Philomel estly-clad German canary in the shade; is more chary of his sweet and mellow and with their loud, clear voices drown song than either the mocking-bird or the the sweeter melody of the Hartz Mountcanary. Nor does cage-life agree so well ain birds. Then, if you wish to hear with him as with the latter. He cannot the real song-canary, you must go to forget the hedge where he was reared, Andreasberg, a village in Germany nestnor the wild life of his parents; and when ling among the Hartz Mountains. There winter comes he is restless to join his only will you find the highest type of kindred across the Southern sea.
this songster, which a bird importer has
not inaptly named “the Campanini.” thanks from your finger! You must, These are modest little fellows, clad in however, continue to notice and to pet simple suits of almost every color worn him, or else he will soon grow wild again. by canaries, but always rather pale; Whenever my wife enters the room sometimes wearing a crest.
in which she keeps her pair of breedTo be appreciated, these Campanini ing canaries, with their food, she seats canaries must be heard. If you are a herself on the rug before the hearth; lover of bird-music and have not heard and without invitation sixteen canaries him, you have yet to know the sweetest fly to her, alight on her shoulders, head, of bird-songs. The low ripple of the well- lap, everywhere, and tug and quarrel trained St. Andreasberg's song, swelling over the chickweed until they can eat gradually into a burst of melody that no more, when they go about their busnever hurts the most sensitive ear, and iness, trying to unravel the carpet, drawing gradually to a perfect close, al- or tear the paper from the wall, while ways strikes the new listener with won- Jinks, the paterfamilias, perched on his der and delight. Not long ago an old mistress' knee, sings a sweet song of gentleman who had traveled all over the thanks. United States heard my Campanini for I must relate here some things about the first time. The other canaries had been this Jinks, as they illustrate the intelligiving us a concert, apparently unno- gence of the canary. At the time I ticed by my venerable friend, when, sud- bought him he was extremely wild, but denly, as if by common consent, all were now he can almost talk. One day I resilent listening to one of Campanini's ceived a beautiful game-hen. As she best efforts. The old gentleman ceased was ill, I took her to my room to be talking, and turned and gazed on the little doctored. Jinks had the liberty of the musician until the song was over; then room then, and soon spied the wheat in he said: “I have heard birds sing in the the hen's box, and no sooner was she North and South, in the East and West, out than he was in testing the contents. but I never heard one equal to that. When he had made a full meal, I closed There is not a harsh note nor break the box and left the room. On my rein his song-perfect continuity of sweet- turn after three hours, Jinks met me at
the door and began to scold and to beg. While the canary is not so docile as At first I would not notice him. But as some other cage-birds, yet he is far more he flew to the back of my chair, and tractable and lovable than most persons prevented me from reading, I turned think. It is an easy matter to win the and looked at him to discover, if I confidence of this little pet, so that he will could, what the trouble was. No sooner take seed from your lips and trill his did he see that he had my attention than sweetest when perched upon your shoul- he flew to the box containing the wheat der. But you must be very gentle and and began to beg anew. I returned to kind, and, above all, you must love him. my book, and he to my chair. This was
As has been said of a higher order of repeated several times, and whenever he animals, so it can be said of birds, that saw that I was looking, he would fly to the shortest route to the heart is down the the wheat; so, convinced that he was throat. Teach your bird to look to you begging for some of that, I went to the for his food. If he is timid and flutters box and opened it. As I approached, in terror about the cage whenever you he hopped aside and watched in silence; put your hand in, withhold his seed for but before I regained my chair, he was two hours, and then stand close to his busily eating. little prison until he has eaten all he We sometimes find it convenient to wishes. Take the seed-cup away for an- confine Jinks to his cage, and while beother two hours, and do not allow him hind the bars, he often asks my wife for to eat until he will take his food from a bath by dipping his head in his cup the cup while you hold it toward him. and scolding whenever she would not Follow this plan and you will soon be de notice him. As soon as supplied with lighted with having your pet take his his tub of water, he bathes and is con
eakfast from your hand, and sing his tented again.
He is, moreover, the only canary I it. “Hybrid-breeding," says Holden, “is ever knew that could be trusted out of fascinating, and has great charms, as its the house. When his mate was sitting, results are so uncertain; the probabilities I have known him to fly far into the are, that all the males will be dark, ordinwoods out of sight of home, always, ary-colored birds; the possibilities are, however, returning voluntarily, and nev- there may be among the nest of fledger attempting to enter the house by lings a single brilliant-colored bird any way except through the window of bird whose wealth of white and gold is the room in which his cage was hung. worth years of experiments to obtain." One rainy day his mate escaped from the There are, however, laws governing house, and left a newly-hatched brood. these combinations of blood, color and When an hour passed and she did not song well worth the seeking. Here is a return, I opened the window and Jinks rich field ready for the young investigator, immediately went to search for his where he may spend years of labor and spouse.
He flew about in the trees and not uncover Nature's secret, or she may sang at the top of his voice, and it was yield to patient, thorough, systematic, not long before she answered and joined scientific experiment, and crown the seekhim. In a short time he had led her er with a wreath of immortelles. slowly back to their young.
She could Canary-keeping, however, is no excepnever find her way back from an out- tion to the truth in the old proverb: door excursion, alone; and finally when rose without its thorns"; for, even should Jinks became tired of her and married our little pet be so lucky as to escape the another, he permitted her one day, when cat or the rat, or accidental neglect of his he was escort to some half dozen others, owner, he will, after giving to us his everto wander off and get lost.
sweet song for twelve or fourteen years, While breeding for form or for color yield to nature and pass away. Then, requires knowledge and skill on the part while some birds will sing every day of of the breeder, it is perhaps easier to the year, others will remain silent durobtain the desired form or color than ing the moulting season-two months it is to produce the highest quality of or more. Yet these latter will usually, song The forms or colors of the off- when they do begin again, make up for spring are pretty accurately determined lost time. by those of the immediate ancestors; As intimated before, the cat and the but the song is only partly inherited. rat are the canary's greatest enemiesThe best songsters, however, come from a always excepting a careless owner. A line of fine singers; but they must not strong close cage will effectually protect only be prevented from hearing any the bird from rats. But cats will quickly harsh-singing bird, but must hear first- thrust their paws through the wires of class singers of their own species, and also any ordinary cage, and in a few seconds those of other species. Trained in this wound its fluttering inmate past recovway the young canary will execute well ery. As these treacherous animals are his natural song, and is even likely to incapable of being taught to restrain their add to it some of the best notes of natural appetites, you must, if possible, the nightingale or of any other sweet- banish the whole feline race from your singing bird he has had the opportunity premises. But, as your neighbor may of listening to.
be a cat fancier, and as you wish to keep That the canary will often mate with the peace, you may be compelled to act a bird of a different sort is another only on the defensive. In such a case, item in his favor. In such matings, how- hang your cages where the cats cannot ever, the female should be the canary, as climb, and, if you give your bird a room, she makes a surer and safer mother than you may not only keep the enemy out, the wilder females of the finches. Some- but effectually guard against the accitimes these canary-finch hybrids are most dental escape of a bird by fitting each excellent songsters, and often are very door and window on the outside with a beautiful. Whoever succeeds in raising frame of galvanized wire-netting. The a white hybrid with a good voice has a wire-doors should be made to close tightly prize well worth the care it took to gain with a spring. In the heat of summer all doors and windows, except those of wire, after such a cold plunge he would always should remain open, as this will add much fly to the hearth and there, before an oldto the comfort of the birds. It is not, how- fashioned wood-fire, lie on his side with ever, so much the heat of summer as the tail and wings spread, enjoying the heat cold of winter that may harm our feath- intensely as it penetrated his ruffled ered pets. But, if they are free from feathers. currents of cold ir, they will be happy After having arranged some evergreen and sing gaily in a well-lighted room in an trees tastefully in your aviary and placed
atmosphere of from 50 to 60 degrees Fah. therein a drinking-fountain or two, do The aviary should be guarded against not forget to cover the floor with clean extremes of temperature. Hence, in the sand. And, if you wish to make your birds North, a steam pipe should run through love you and fly to you, keep always a the bird-room, lest the night be too cold box of lettuce, chickweed and rape grow. for its inmates after a bright sunny win- ing in their room ; but keep this treat ter's day. Yet I once forgot to take in at covered with a wire-frame, so that the sunset a choice pair of canaries, and they birds can enjoy it only when you remore passed a cold night in January on the the cover. This you should do two or porch, and the morning found them as three times a week. Soon the birds will bright as ever, though their water-cup know you, and will perch on the box or was broken by the ice. Again, I have on your hand while they feast on the frequently seen Jinks, when at liberty in green dainties. the room, bathe in freezing water, but
Jesse Talbot Littleton.
BEAUTIFUL birds have plumage,
Beautiful gems lie hidden Beautiful thoughts have wings;
Under the fold of earth; Stars shine high above the sigh
Even the slime hides a thought sublime Of earth's vague whisperings.
Till the time of the lily's birth. Under the earth's broad bosom
Even the birds went creeping Never a beauty lies
Wingless and featherless, But shall burn its way to the rim of day, Till plume by plume, like the roses' bloom.
And flash to our wondering eyes. They borrowed the singer's dress.
Beautiful birds have plumage,
Beautiful thoughts fly high;
Its track is the boundless sky.
Never a wing unfurled
The Workingman and Dynamite. It is an encouraging sign of the times, The large number of letters of approval however, that the honest workingman is from all classes of citizens, rich and poor, showing less disposition to associate with educated and uneducated; the free discus- movements that have in view the overturnsion of the question by the newspaper press; ing of society by violence, or with movethe great amount of abuse that has reached ments that have only visionary objects. In this office from optimists, fanatics, and those a word, the laborer, having almost passed who in one form or another are in sympathy through one of the periodical cycles of diswith a revolution in social institutions—ail content, is once more becoming practical. these are the very gratifying results of the He is philosophically recognizing the fact publication of the first part of the forcible that in every community there will necessaarticle on Anarchy and Dynamite Warfare, rily be evils; that nothing can be perfect in which appeared in the May issue of The this world; and that the best, the only way AMERICAN MAGAZINE. The letters are a towards a betterment of his condition is by study in themselves, particularly those evi- industry and economy. He is beginning to dently from honest, hard-working men, who appreciate the fact that no system of strikes, appear especially solicitous that prompt and boycotts nor similar agencies can improve effective measures shall be immediately taken the condition of the employé when the emfor the suppression of anarchy and dyna- ployer is not doing a prosperous business ; mite.
and he is coming to the point of seeing that The question is certainly one that requires the labor market, like all other great marimmediate legislative attention. If the evilskets is controlled by the inexorable law of that are so graphically described in the supply and demand; that if the demand for article are merely imaginary; if the Anarch- labor is good and the supply light, the price ists are so cowed by the swift justice that must advance; and if the supply is large and overtook their Chicago brethren last year, there is little demand, wages must decline. that they will remain quiet for a time, there The spread of such a feeling among the is no reason why laws should not be imme- laboring classes is perhaps one of the strongdiately enacted and enforced that will pre- est barriers that can be interposed against vent any outbreaks in the future. He is a the contagion of anarchy throughout the poor general who waits for an attack to be laboring classes; but as the sentiment and made before making preparation to resist it; sympathies of the ignorant wage-earners can and it is not only an obviously unwise, but it be so easily inflamed, it certainly is the part is a criminal policy for the lawmakers of any of wisdom for the Legislature to prevent the nation to allow a condition of affairs to exist possibility of a Commune in America, by that menaces the lives and property of a large adopting the sage advice, “In time of peace number of citizens. Nearly every vessel prepare for war.” that arrives brings from foreign shores a number of malcontents, to whom govern
What Is Thought ? ment in any form is a bugbear that must be The French materialism which taught overthrown; and these fresh recruits, filled that “ Thought is a secretion of the to the brim with “ wrongs of the working- brain as bile is of the liver” would seem as men," render it only a question of a short sound philosophy as that essayed by Col. time when the country will be treated to a Robert G. Ingersoll in the recent debate on second and enlarged edition of the Chicago “ Toleration" before the Nineteenth Centmassacre in one of the Anarchists' strong- tury Club. General Woodford, on the same holds, New York, Chicago, Cincinnati or occasion, said, truly, that Mr. Ingersoll's St. Louis.
fatal error was in making thought the neces