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July, 1793.

Take, then, sweet Girls, a Friend's advice,
Who always sung his best to please you,
Be not too vain, nor idly nice;
Nor let Dorinda's whimsies teize you.
Think, sadly think-when youth has pass'd,
In heartless dressing and flirtation,
What wilful maids endure, at last,

In loneliness and tribulation.

Neglect not in your rosy prime
To make your hay in sunny weather;
And choose a proper switch in time,
When Love and Beauty dance together.*

The time of representation, in this tale, is about the middle of George the 2nd's reign. The manners even of the better orders, such as they are painted in authentic contemporary records, and by our best novelists and dramatic writers, were then, in many particulars, still tinctured with the prejudices and coarseness of the preceding century. This failure in courtesy was evinced in a degree of coldness, neglect, and derisive behaviour to unmarried ladies of a certain age. Fortunately this rudeness, so disgraceful to that period, has almost wholly disappeared before the advance of good feeling and true politeness. Females, who, from circumstances over which they have no control, or from inclination, a love of retirement and quiet independence; a timid disposition; or a religious sentiment, live in a single state, form an estimable portion of the community in the United Kingdom. In this class there are numbers distinguished for talents, elegant accomplishments, a cheerful good temper, and the exemplary practice of the Christlan virtues. It is not necessary to cite names from a past age. It is enough to mention, in our own time, Miss Edgeworth, Miss Anna Maria Porter, and the late Hannah More. Many unmarried ladies, from their having few household cares to occupy them, become an ornament and a blessing to society; of almost every public institution for the improvement, or advantage of the poor, or for general purposes of charity and piety, they are active and liberal supporters. There are, also, many, on whom nature has bestowed tender domestic affections, and every qualification to render a matrimonial union happy, who are deterred from changing their condition by the too frequent instances of most obsequious and fervent adorers before the bridal ceremony, who, shortly after, are transformed into domestic tyrants and libertine husbands. Others live single from a conscientious dread of having a young family, without adequate means for their suitable education and establishment. To these prudential and virtuous motives for celibacy, more, as just and laudable, might be added.

The preceding remarks prove the satiric touches, in the tale, are aimed at an injurious practice, not at any particular individual. "The Switch" was not written to abet a senseless, vulgar prejudice, or cast a ridicule on any class. The author intended, as a sincere friend, to show those very young ladies, who, with good hearts, without any ill intention, are not sufficiently considerate, through a want of experience, thoughtlessness, or a levity of temper, the folly of wasting the flower of their years in coquetry, flirtation, and the rejection of good offers, contrary to the affectionate advice of their parents and friends. A discreditable marriage, at the age of a grandame, with every chance of unhappiness, is no uncommon result of these early errors, He has, always, looked upon the natural endowments and social qualities of the Fair Sex with esteem and admiration. Woman was the "last and best gift" of the Almighty, and she may be fairly valued as the golden link between man and his Creator. Man comparatively boasts of his virtues. Woman practices hers, unobtrusively, without profession. In the breast of a true wife and mother, there are inexhaustible treasures of purity, resignation, fortitude, and disinterested affection, which family misfortunes only call into action with more force and splendour. It is then seen that her attachment is devoid of selfishness. When the world falls away from her partner, her tenderness increases; and she redoubles her kind offices. Her voice is that of a consoling angel to his drooping spirit; her presence as a beam of light from heaven to guide his steps in the dark night of adversity. The heroism of Warriors is rarely free from some alloy of personal acquisition, aggrandisement, or false glory. But history furnishes abundance of examples, which show that the heroism of woman, whether called forth by the love of country, or by conjugal or maternal love, is a sublime emotion, which, at once, elevates her above the weakness that "flesh is heir to." In such instances, when her consort or little ones are in danger, she loses all thought of her own safety, and faces the dens of wild beasts, the sword of violence, the rage of fire and flood, all extremities of peril, even instant death itself, in their defence.

The admirable influence of woman on the manners and morals of nations, cannot be too highly appreciated. The more she is honored and esteemed, the higher is man raised in intellectual dignity and public and private virtue. On the contrary, in the most inclement regions of the habitable globe, where man is sunk into the lowest barbarism of the savage state, one leading characteristic of his brutal degradation is his contemptuous and cruel treatment of woman. In all the wild tribes, however, they may differ in other revolting and ferocious habits and customs, there is found a disgusting agreement in their debasement of the women into servile drudges, driven, like beasts of burden, by threats

AN OUTLINE OF THE BRITISH MUSTELADE.

BY SHIRLEY PALMER, M. D.

THE genus Mustela, of Linnæus, comprehending the Otters, the Martens, and Weasels, has, by modern zoological writers, been converted into a family, under the title of MUSTELADE. From this, the Lutra, or Otter genus, which exhibits very wide differences of structure and economy, has been very properly excluded. The family, therefore, as now constituted, includes only two British genera, Mustela and Martes. Of the five British species belonging to these genera, I propose to trace such an outline, as may direct, and stimulate to further investigation, the student in zoology. To the specific descriptions will be appended such notices of the haunts and habits of the respective animals, as I may be enabled to supply from personal observation and experience. The best and most accessible sources of literary and iconographical* information will also be duly cited.

The distinguishing characters of the Mustelada are: Body long, about the thickness of the head. Legs short: toes five, sepa

and blows, and inured to the severest labour, hardships, and privations. Shakspeare conveyed his exalted opinion of the sex in the following sentence

"When the women of Rome were chaste, the men were heroes."

The sentiment shows he was fully sensible of the reciprocal moral influence, which the sexes exercise on each other; and that the noble example of woman moulds the highest character of man. After the swarm of barbarians had subverted the Roman empire, the worse than Egyptian darkness, which overspread the intellectual world for centuries, was gradually dispelled by this reciprocal influence. The first light of civilization, which slowly followed this long barbarism, dawned from the eyes of Beauty. The spirit of chivalry imbibed, from the pure mind of this fair and lovely Being, an abhorrence of the violence, plunder, and bloodshed, which, every where, rendered life and property insecure. Under this slow and happy melioration, the elements of social harmony gradually reappeared. The orders of Knight Errantry were instituted, in consequence of the preceding change, and the Troubadours kept alive the generous enthusiasm. The songs of love and heroism fired the youth of the time, with a high sense of valour, justice, and moral virtue. To woman, then, we owe the softened manners and romantic character of the middle ages. To her influence, also, we may justly add, we are very largely indebted for the high state of our present refined civilization. This is not the language of a young enthusiast, but of one, who, having lived nearly three quarters of a century, read the world as a library and human nature as a book, derived the brightest sunshine of life from one inestimable woman, his lamented "better half;" and may be considered to speak the honest conviction of no very limited experience.

*This is a new and most convenient term introduced into science, from the Greek, by French writers. I, therefore, transcribe from the manuscript of my "Dictionary of Terms" now in progress of publication, and of which honourable mention has already been made in "THE ANALYST," the article illustrative of its etymology and meaning:

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"ICONOGRAPHIE, s. f.,—¿¡xovoypapia (ɛixovoypapew, to represent by pictures),— iconographia, f. L.,-bilderbeschreibung, F. G.,-iconography: the art of representing objects by pictures, or engravings. ICONOGRAPHIQUE, adj.,— EXOVOYpapos,-iconographicus,-bilderbeschreibend, iconographic, iconographical pertaining to Iconography. See the exquisite Iconographic du Règne

:

Animal, of Baron Cuvier, by Guérin, of Paris."

February.-VOL. II. NO. VII.

D

rate, on each foot. Teeth, six incisor above, erect, acute, distinct; six, below, more obtuse and thickly set: one bruising grinder, termed tuberculeuse, by Cuvier, in the upper jaw. Short intestines: no cœcum. They are arranged, by Blumenbach,* in the Class, Mammalia, Order, Digitata, Sub-order, Fera; by Cuvier,† in the Mammifères, Carnassiers, Carnivores, and, as treading only on the extremities of the toes, in the tribe of the Digitigrades.

Of the two British genera which this family comprehends, the Mustela, or Weasel genus is characterized by the presence of two false or tearing grinders in the upper,—and three in the lower jaw the carnivorous tooth,-carnassière, Cuv.-below, has no internal tubercle. Muzzle comparatively short and thick: tongue rough. Odour fetid, especially when the animal is irritated. The genus contains three British species:‡

1. Putorius,-Fitchet or pole-cat,-le Putoir of the French,Puzzola, of the Italian,-Putoro, of the Spanish, and der Ilk, Iltis, Stänkerratz, of the German writers. Specific characters: colour yellowish-black; mouth and tips of the ears paler. Length of body seventeen inches;-of the tail, which is uniform in colour, six inches. Brings forth six young at a time; and, in its burrowing habits, resembles the otter.

The

Remarks. This agile, sanguinary, and destructive animal was very common, in my younger years, in the country around Coleshill; and committed great depredations in the poultryyards and rabbit-warrens there. For the last twenty-four years, I have never met with a living specimen in the state of freedom. Reports of its capture or destruction at Hopwas-wood, in the vicinity of Tamworth, however, occasionally reach me. ferret,-le Furet, F.,-Furetto, It.,-der Frettel, G.,-described by some naturalists as a distinct species, under the title of Mustela furo, constitutes, I believe, only an albino variety of the Putorius. It was originally introduced into this island, from Africa; and breeds freely with the dark-coloured original. Its employment in the destruction of rats is well-known. When a boy, I have witnessed severe and long-protracted contests between individuals of the two species. The battle, however, invariably terminated in the destruction of the rat by its nimble and wily antagonist.

2. Erminea, Ermine or Stoat,-l'Hermine, F.,-Ermellino, It.,-Armino, Sp.,-das Hermelin, das grosse Wiesel, G. Spec. Char. Colour yellowish-brown above; yellowish-white, beneath

* See Blumenbach's Manual of Natural History-page 52-translated from the German, by Mr. Gore, of Bath. A very useful work.

† See Cuvier's celebrated Règne Animal. Vol. i. p. 142. Second edition.

See Pennant's British Zoology (8vo. edition of 1812), vol. i. p. 105, plates vi. and vii.; the Zoologist's Text-book, by Capt. Brown, vol. i. p. 70, vol. ii. pl. x.; and Palmer's Lectures on the Vertebrated Animals of the British Islands, p. 28.

§ Και γαλας αγριας ας η λύβυη φερει. Strabo, Liber 111.

--changing to white in the winter of northern regions:-tip of the tail, which is bushy, invariably black. Length of body ten inches, of tail, five or six. Number of young not exactly known. Much more common than the preceding species.

-

Remarks. The stoat subsists principally upon eggs, poultry and other descriptions of bird, rats, and putrid animal substances. It has been known to track a young hare by the scent with all the accuracy of the harrier.* The extent of its depredations in the rabbit-warren will be shewn by the following fact. One morning, in the early spring of 1832, while sitting at breakfast, at Packwood House, the residence of the late Col. Fetherston, I observed a large and apparently female stoat, rapidly vaulting, with arched back and bushy tail, through the tall herbage at the head of the pool which terminates the lawn. She carried something in her mouth, which I soon discovered to be a young rabbit. After having disappeared for a few minutes and deposited her burthen, the stoat retraced her steps with increased agility across the lawn; descended a steep bank into the neighbouring meadow, and plunged into a rabbit-burrow at the foot of an old oak which grew there. From this, she soon returned with another of the defenceless inmates in her mouth. Four times did the little animal renew her visit to the meadow with the same result. Thinking it high time, for the sake of his rabbits, to stop these predatory incursions, one of the members of the family now took up his gun, and stationed himself behind the oak, but the prey was gone; and the sagacious creature returned no more to the scene of her depredations. All our endeavours to discover the hiding-place of the stoat, with a view of obtaining possession, or at least ascertaining the number, of the young, for which she had, doubtless, been thus adventurously and actively catering, were unsuccessful.

3. Vulgaris, Common Weasel,-la Belette, F.,-Donnola, It.,-Comadreja, Sp.,-das gemeine Wiesel, G. Spec. Char. Colour yellowish or tawny-brown, above; white or yellowishwhite, beneath. A brown spot near the angle of the mouth. Length of body six or seven inches;-of the tail, which is neither bushy nor tipt with black, two inches. Number of young,

five or six. Its skin and excrements exhale an intolerable odour. Remarks. This animal, by far the smallest of the British weasels, and frequently named by ignorant observers, the stoat, subsists on the same food as the preceding species. It is very active, and uncommonly courageous for its size. I have frequently experienced great difficulty in driving the little creature from any article of prey, of which it has been my object to obtain possession. A few weeks ago, a professional gentleman, of Tamworth, in the vicinity of which the weasel is very common, observed an animal, of this species, crossing the road before him,

* See Fleming's History of British Animals, vol. i. p. 14.

and dragging along, with incredible rapidity, a remarkably fine specimen of the water-rat, Arvicola aquatica, which the weasel had apparently just destroyed. My friend dismounted from his horse to secure the prize. But so reluctant was the weasel to abandon its prey, that it repeatedly turned round on the successful competitor; shewed its teeth and chattered; and was only, at last, put to flight by repeated blows with his hand-whip. It is said sometimes to assume a white colour in winter; and, in this state, probably constitutes the M. nivalis, of Linnæus.

The Martes, or Marten genus, exhibits the same internal organization as the Mustela; but is distinguished from it, principally, by the following external characters: three false grinders in the upper and four in the lower jaw: carnivorous tooth, below, furnished with an internal tubercle. Muzzle more elongated and slender than in the weasel. Tongue smooth. Odour musky. Of this genus, there are two British species; the distinguishing characters of which, however, are very obscure and ill-defined.

1. Fagorum (M. martes, of Linnæus, and M. foina, of Blumenbach), Common Marten,-la Fouine, F.,-Faina, It.,-Fuina, Sp., der Hausmarder, Steinmarder, G. Spec. Char. Colour dark-brown, with a reddish tinge on the head: breast and throat white. Length of body eighteen inches;-tail, from ten to twelve. Number of young from four to six.

Remarks. This, the most elegant and beautiful of all the British Mammifera; preys upon poultry, game, and the smaller quadrupeds. It inhabits woods; forms its lodge in the hollow of trees; frequents the vicinity of the habitations of man; and is readily tamed. Formerly of common occurrence, it is now rarely seen in the midland districts of the island. About four years since, a fine specimen was killed in Hopwas-wood, near Tamworth; and is preserved in the collection of the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, at Drayton Manor, to whom a portion of that beautiful wood belongs.

2. Abietum (M. martes, of Blumenbach),-Pine Marten,-la Martre, F.,-Martora, It.,-Marta, Sp.,-der Baummarder, Edelmarder, Feldmarder, G. Spec. Char. Throat and breast yellow. Size less, and fur finer, than that of the preceding species. Number of young, seven or eight.

Remarks. By many naturalists, this species is considered as a mere variety of the common marten. In such opinion, I do not concur. The pine-marten is distinguished from its congener, by its smaller size; by the finer texture, and deeper hue, of its fur; and, more especially, by the yellow colour of the throat and breast. It is, also, a much more shy animal, and in England, at least, far less frequently seen, than the common marten. very rarely approaches the dwellings of man; and brings forth its young in the tops, not in the hollow, of trees. A fine specimen, said to have been killed in Gloucestershire, was, about four years ago, brought to me for inspection. It closely corresponded, in

It

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