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151 One day that the late duke of Montague attended the levee, for the first time after a visit to his daughter's family in Dalkeith house, his majesty, after the usual compliments, c. inquired of the duke after the health of his grandchildren. His grace, thanking his majesty, told him they were all well, and making a meal of oat-meal pottage every day. His majesty asked if they got good oat-meal. The duke told him that they had it excellent from a Mr James Mutter in Middle MiHs, near Lafwade, upon which his majesty desired the duke to commifsion some for him; and I believe the royal family are supplied with that article from the same mills.
When the lady of Sir John Clerk of Pennycuick was presented to the king after her marriage with Sir John, the king said to her that she was become mistress of a beautiful estate. Her ladyship begged to know how his majesty knew that; whereupon his majesty began at the source of the river Esk, and told the situation and appearance of every villa during its course, to her ladyfhip's no small surprise. He made very pertinent remarks, mentioning how such and such estates could be improved.
As the countess of Elgin was at court one day, his majesty came up to her and said, ' My lady, a've gotten a letter frae your son the day, and he's brawly.'
I understand his majesty takes pleasure in imitating the Scotch dialect.
ON THE FOIBLES OF GREAT MEN.
Unthought of frailties cheat us in the wise.'
Ir is even so; for who could suppose that the following pictures came, not from the pencil of malignity, but of truth? Who could imagine that Locke was fond of romances that Newton gave implicit credit to the dreams
May 30. ef judicial astrology? that Dr Clarke valued himself much more on his agility, than on his science? and that Pope was such an epicure, that when on a visit to lord Bolingbroke, it was his custom to lie whole days in bed, unless when his servant informed him there was stewed lamprey for dinner? Yet all these things were so.
The picture of human frailty may be extended, as the portraits are numerous. Queen Elisabeth was a coquette, and Bacon received a bribe! On the eve of an important battle, the duke of Marlborough was heard to chide his servant for lighting four candles in his tent, at a time. when he had an important conference with prince Eugene. Luther was so immoderately pafsionate, that he sometimes boxed Melancton's ears; and Melancton himself was a believer in dreams. Cardinals Richlieu and Mazarine were so superstitious as to employ and pension Morin, a pretender to astrology, who calculated their nativities. Tacitus, who appears in general superior to su perstition, was grofsly affected by it in particular instances. Dryden was also a believer in astrology, and Hobbes firmly believed the existence of goblins and spirits.
THE FATE OF GENIUS.
THE following fhort but melancholy list proves the justice of a remark which wounds sensibility, viz. that many a wise head and many a worthy heart, are doomed to live in misery and die in obscurity and want. Plautus turned a mill, Terence was a slave, Boethius died in a jail, Tafso was often distrefsed for five fhillings, Bentivoglio was refused admifsion into the hospital he himself erected, Cervantes died of hunger, Camoens ended his days in an almshouse, and Vaugelas left his body to the surgeons, to pay his debts as far as it would go !
THE GROUND SQUIRREL.
THE squirrel is an active little animal common in
temperate climates, though it be not a native of Scotland. These animals feed chiefly on grain and nuts; the fore teeth are strong, fharp, and well adapted to its food. There are numerous varieties of this clafs of animals which differ from each other considerably. But the most obvious characteristics of the whole class are, fhort muscular legs; toes long, and divided to their origin, of which there are four on the fore feet, with a claw behind, in some measure resembling the human thumb, by the help of which they lift their food from the ground, and feed themselves. VOL. ix.
There are five toes on the hind feet.
The tail is, in most of the varieties, strong and bushy; in some of them remarkably so.
The ground squirrel, of which an excellent figure is given above, inhabits the north of Asia; and is found in great abundance in the forests of North America. The nose and feet of this animal are of a pale red; the eyes are full, and the ears plain. The ridge of the back is marked with a black streak, and each side with a pale yellow stripe, bounded above and below by a line of black. The head, body, and tail, are of a reddish brown, and the breast and belly white.
This animal never runs up trees, unlefs when it is pursued, and cannot escape by any other means. burrows in the ground, and makes two entrances to its habitation, that if one should be stopped up it may have access by the other. Its hole is formed with great skill, having several branches from the principal passage, each of which is terminated by a storehouse, in which its winter food is deposited: In one is contained acorns, in another nuts, in a third maize, and in a fourth the chequapina chesnuts, its favourite food.
These animals seldom stir out during winter, nor so long as their provisions last: When these fail, they sometimes work their way into places where apples are laid up, or into barns where maize is stored, and make great havoc. During harvest, they fill their mouths so full with corn, that their cheeks are quite distended; and in this manner carry it to their concealed store. They give great prefezence to certain kinds of food; and if, after filling
their mouths with rye, they chance to meet with wheat, they discharge the one that they may secure the other.
These animals bite very hard, and are so extremely wild that they are tamed with difficulty. Its kin is of little value. Cats search for, and devour these like other vermin.
LETTER FROM ARCTICUS..
On rearing timber trees.
I CONGRATULATE both you and your subscribers, on the increasing interest of your fourth volume, which I have read with increasing pleasure; and think you may now safely adopt as a motto for the Bee, the chorus of the French revolution song, (ça ira, ça ira.) Nay, I will venture to predict, that if both go on as they do, it will in time be more applicable to the one than to the other.
However, there is one paper in the pleasing vo-` lume, which I must take the liberty of smiling at in my northern situation; I mean a grave difsertation P. 246, to convince the good lazy people of Scotland of the practicability of raising timber in their country, whilst we, in the latitude of sixty, surrounded with permanent frost and snow, which cover the earth for six months of the year, at least, and takes another to thaw, see the country around us covered with spontaneous forests, and the continual labour of the Rufsian boor, to dispute the soil with this..most predominant part of vegetation.