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guardians would be instructed through literature approved by experts in our Councils) protection of the objects which certain sections of all classes of the community seem ever willing to destroy. For a few paltry pounds, village greens, open spaces in towns, commons, pleasant groves, time-honoured trees lovingly protected by our ancestors through many a troublous time, are handed over to the tender mercies of that brigand, the jerry builder, who, with his brick-thick houses and his tinfoil pipes, preying on the savings of the working man, has the audacity to prate of the improvements wrought by him in his own neighbourhood -a neighbourhood in which, within the memory of man, country lanes and paths and real stiles, hedgerows with flower-strewn banks, and trees with live birds in them, existed and contributed to the wholesome recreation of townspeople.
All we have to do in the Selborne Society is, having good reasons for the truth that is in us, to strive unceasingly to increase our numerical strength, and then use it firmly, but with judgment. As long as we can get good volunteer guardians it does not matter twopence whether ihey subscribe or not. We want Selbornites everywhere, ever on the watch, always striving to prevent unnecessary destruction, and ready to call in the aid of the Society, and through it, other societies able to accomplish that which a few protestants, however earnest, cannot succeed in doing.
Now is the lime for enlisting subscribers to the Selborne Society for 1891. The subscriptions will be due on New Year's Day. Non-subscribers are not entitled to receive the organ of the Society, therefore it is desirable that full members should circulate NATURE Notes and other literature published by the authority of the Society amongst them. Furzebank, Torquay.
GEORGE A. MUSGRAVE. The Bird-Pictures of H. Stacy Marks, R.A.-All lovers of birdsand what true Selbornian is not fond of birds ?-should visit Mr. Stacy Marks's
poultry show”.-as his exhibition of bird pictures is sometimes irreverently called. To those who went to the exhibition of last year it will be sufficient to say that this, as a whole, is in no wise inferior. The popularity of these little pictures is evinced by the large number of them to which is affixed already the legend “sold.” The various humorous groups of penguins will be found to be amongst the popular favourites. The wondersul amount of individual character and expression that the painter is capable of imparting to his presentments of these birds must be seen to be believed. One of the best of these is, perhaps, the picture entitled “Romeo and Juliet.” The comical figures of the gentle Romeo below and the tender Juliet on her balcony are delicious in the extreme. In “The Cut Direct " the title accurately describes the contemptuous indifference shown by one of these birds to his fellow. “A Peace Maker” depicts a trio of penguins, the centre figure obviously interposing between the other two in the interests of peace. Some of the portraits are so wonderfully human in their expression that they resemble people we all know. One, for instance, purporting to be an eagle, is a particularly striking likeness of the “grand old nian,” as characteristic as any Mr. Furniss has given us in the pages of Punch. Whether the Banksian cockatoo was purposely hung by the side of the old gentleman revelling in a rare edition on ornithology I know not, but the facial resemblance is very noticeable. No 96, “ The New Neighbour,” is more highly finished than the majority. The inquiring attitude of the Adjutant gazing inquisitively at the Cape sea lion, newly introduced into the neighbouring enclosure, is very provocative of mirth. The sea lion, rather alarmerl, is keeping well out of the reach of the investigating beak of his neighbour. No. 48, “ Pallas's Sand Grouse” will give those who have not seen this rare visitor to our shores an opportunity of making his acquain
As before, Mr. Stacy Marks has painted for us in all their glorý, some of the more brightly coloured of the birds. The skilled artist revels in rendering these rich-plumaged gems of the air. Take, for example, the vivid colouring of the red and yellow macaws (primary colours, O South Kensington !) or No. III “ Heads, Military, Hyacinthine, and Blue and Orange Macaws.” In a most interesting and racy preface to the catalogue Mr. Stacy Marks, while showing that he is no rabid sentimentalist, takes occasion to refer to the wholesale destruction of rare birds caused by the demand for the adornment of ladies' caps, bonnets and even dresses.
The readers of NATURE NOTEs may be glad to know that Mr. Stacy Marks is an active member of the Selborne Society, and has been instrumental in adding to our ranks some influential members, amongst the number being Mr. Justice Denman and Mr. Justice North.
A. J. WESTERN. Guinea Pigs Rampant. -A most amusing“ tempest in a tea-pot” has been raging on this subject during the last month. It took its rise in a ludicrous misapprehension of a passage in Mrs. Brightwen's charming book, Wild Nature won by Kindness, which we are much pleased to hear has attained a very wide circulation. As everyone who has read the book knows, it does not contain a description of classes of animals, but a series of charming biographies of individual pets of the writer. Two guinea pigs, Jamrach and Fluff, are mentioned therein. Under peculiar circumstances of confinement, Fluff led a most inactive lise, and was about as amusing as a stuffed animal would be. Of him, and him only, Mrs. Brightwen says :- -“ He is the only instance of any animal I ever knew who seemed to be literally without a single habit, apparently without affection, without a temper, good or bad, with no wishes or desires except to be let alone to doze away his aimless life.” This sentence (with its proper limitation to the individual Fluff) we quoted last month in a review of Wild Nature in NATURE NOTES. This review had the honour of being made the basis of one of the delightful paragraphs in the Daily News which are so dear to Nature lovers. The D. N. paragrapher clothed its dry bones with flesh and breathed into it his own spirit; but in the process possibly some of the precision of the original was lost, and the imperfections of the unfortunate Fluff seemed to careless readers as if they were set down as the badge of all his tribe. At any rate at once the din of war arose on all sides ; letters poured in from outraged “guinea-piggers,” who fiercely protested that cavies in general had been grossly libelled. For many days members of the National Cavy Club inundated the columns of the Daily News and other papers with details of their pets.
Many striking instances were giren of their qualities, which assuredly prove that they have habits-some of them most unpleasant habits; they are not without temper—for the tempers of many of them are horribly bad. On the authority of a leading Cavian, we ar assured that “they will fight tooth and nail with their dearest friend; they will take a piece out of your finger without the slightest provocation.” Of a guinea pig with the innocent nanie of “ Babe” it is asserted that she will“ bite you sharply and spring up into the air with a comical twist of her little body and loud squeaks. À Rugby Schoolboy hastens to announce that he possesses a guinea pig who can when necessary “make a delightful noise after the manner of the cat !” None of these statements appear to us to go very far in the rehabilitation of the guinea pig as an amiable member of society, but even if it could be proved that he was possessed of the highest intellect and all the virtues under heaven, it would have nothing whatever to do with Mrs. Brightwen's statement. She had two guinea pigs; one of them happened to be an extremely dull and uninteresting little beast, and Mrs. Brightwen, with her usual candour, mentions the fact. The construing of this statement into an "attack upon guinea pigs ” is one of the most absurd misapplications of ex uro disce omnes we have ever heard. Just imagine what results this mode of argument would lead to if acted upon in other cases. In one of Mr. Black's novels there is represented a rollicking Scotchman who has the greatest objection to be paid for his pictures, and who, when the money is forced upon him, displays quite a profligate anxiety to lend it to others. In the same book there is a calm, philosophical, water-drinking Irishman, who cultivates literature on a little oatmeal, and spurns with disdain the offer of a loan from the aforesaid Scotchman, We have never heard that Mr. Black has been violently attacked for his misrepresentation of national character, or has been persecuted with indignant letters assuring him that there were other Irishmen and other Scotchmen who did not answer to the description given in his book. To take a humbler instance : did it happen (we are of course perfectly certain it never could happen) that some one member of the National Guinea Pig Association had fallen so far below the N. G. P. A.'s standard of propriety as to eat peas with his knife or to pull his mother-in-law's nose, can we suppose that all the other members of the Association would consider it their duty to write letters to the paper immediately to assert that they understood the use of their forks, and that their mother-in-laws' noses were still intact ?
But it is perhaps hardly fair to jest upon a subject of such national importance as guinea pigs, and to speak lightly of a correspondence which conveys so serious a moral. The moral is that before rushing wiidly into print to repel imaginary attacks it would be well to ascertain whether the attacks had ever been made. We do not grudge the members of the N. G. P. A. the gratuitous advertisement which they have manufactured for themselves; but we think the least they can do now is to procure Mrs. Brightwen's book, to read what is written therein (which they plainly have not done hitherto), and thus see for themselves how absolutely without foundation is the charge by which they have gained a brief notoriety: As it is evident that they have not learned to look before they leap, we trust that before they enter into any similar causeless crusades they will remember a word of warning, which might well be the motto of their society
THE WRITER OF THE REVIEW IN NATURE NOTES. Sea and Sky Signs.--We congratulate all lovers of Nature on the action of the London County Council in the matter of sky signs. It will doubtless lead to early legislation for the suppression of these horrors. Miss Agnes Martelli sends us a quotation which shows to what dire results sky signs may lead from utilitarian, as well as æsthetic point of view : “ The terrible danger of these structures in case of fire is apparent, and it is easy to imagine how the horrors of the fire of a day or two ago would have been increased had a tottering, swaying sky.sign threatened at any moment to crash down among victims and rescuers. The likelihood of lightning being attracted by their many angles is another very obvious peril, while their staunchest defenders—the makers and inventors—have not ventured to deny in the least degree the supreme hideousness of the cumbrous constructions.' Miss Martelli also calls our attention to an equal, if not greater, abomination—the signs which are now displayed upon the sails of many fishing and pleasure boats, and so make the ocean, instead of a thing of beauty to the dwellers at our watering places, a hideous remembrancer of all the ills that Hesh is heir to, by bearing on its bosom innumerable advertisements of quack medicines. Miss Martelli sends us an amusing correspondence from the Times newspaper, between Mr. Arthur Severn, the well-known painter, and Mr. Beecham, the far too well-known purveyor of patent pills. From it we extract the following pathetic appeal from Mr. Severn:-“Nature belongs to me quite as much as to Mr. Beecham--indeed, more to me, as I am a painter of nature.
A sail (as every one knows) is one of the most beautiful objects the eye can rest on, especially that of the dear old fishing boat. How am I, or any other artist, to tell its story, its wonderful story, of trial and strength and colour, if Mr. Beecham insists on telling his ugly story of suggested stomach ache and pills? If the nuisance of this kind of advertisement is not stopped, there is no saying where it will end. Nothing will be sacred ; our rocks, our houses, our streets, our sky--all are being spoiled ; and soon, I suppose, a way will be found to advertise on the clouds ! Then, indeed, my occupation as a sunset painter will be gone, and my children perhaps crying out for bread.”
Cheddar Cliffs.-If Miss Dangar, or any other member of the Selborne Society, would care to see commercial enterprise triumphant, I should advise a visit to that stretch of the Wye known as the Long Reach, about a mile above Chepstow Castle. The left bank of the river is here formed by a lofty range of gray limestone cliffs, from the base of which a steep wood formerly sloped down to the water's edge. The rocks were once the home of the buzzard, the raven, and the kestrel, and the wood gave shelter to numerous plants, including such rarities as Geranium sanguineum, Sedum rupestre and Carex digitata. A secluded path used by the boatmen, and hence called the Fisherman's Walk, led through the wood to the church of the tiny parish of Llancant, where Sunday evening service was still held in summer till about twenty years since. This wood has now almost entirely disappeared under the hands of the same agent of civilization, whose advent at Cheddar is apprehended—the quarryman. I may add that the artist will find a pleasing contrast of colour between the uncompromising reds of the recent excavations, and the sombre grays of the untouched cliff above them. Westward Ho, Devon.
H. A. EVANS. [We have been informed that “E. D. S.-IV.," whose letter on the above subject we quoted last month, is a constant reader of this magazine. It is all the
OFFICIAL NOTICES, &c.
more wonderful that he was unaware that the Selborne Society “included the preservation of beautiful scenery among their other efforts.” If in future he will address any complaints on the subject to the Editorial Department of NATURE Notes, we can promise that his views will be fully ventilated. It was only by chance that we heard from Miss Dangar of his letter to the Globe last month. The matter was, as we promised, laid before the Council of the Selborne Society at its last meeting, and has been taken up by the Bath branch. See next page.]
A Correction.—We find that the name in the paragraph, “ Imitations of the Notes of Birds” last month, which we read as “ Blanche Pechele” was that of Mrs. Hervey Pechell, a member of the Rape of Lewes Branch.
WORK OF BRANCHES, OFFICIAL NOTICES, &c.
The object of the Selborne Society is to unite lovers of Nature for common study and the defence of natural objects (birds, plants, beautiful landscapes, &c.) against the destruction by which they are constantly menaced. The minimum Annual Subscription (which entitles the subscriber to a monthly copy of the Society's Magazine) is 2s. 6d. All particulars as to membership may be obtained from the Secretary of the Selborne Society, 9, Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C.
The List of Branches given in the last number of NATURE Notes shows how widespread are the ramifications of the Selborne Society, but shows also how many districts are, as yet, without organisation. We have since received, as the result of the appeal for new organisers and secretaries, some kind offers from volunteers, which will be laid before the Council, and in most cases, no doubt, gladly accepted.
It is the earnest desire of the Council that the Branches should be represented at its meetings, and that they should communicate accounts of the work which is going on in many quarters, for insertion in the Society's organ. It would be of immense advantage to the Selbornian cause if many of our Branches would imitate the example of the Rev. Herbert Bull, of the Southampton and New Forest Branch. When kindly sending us an account of the combined concert and lecture arranged by him, he says, “It was a parochial affair and the audience were Milford people only, but we hope to extend the • Plan of Campaign’to other villages in the district comprised by our Branch." We heartily wish Mr. Bull's “ Plan”
every success, and hope that it may be carried out in hundreds of parishes, and that many other clergymen in various counties may be found to follow the example of those at Milford, who are plainly animated by the same enthusiastic love of Nature which was apparent in the Hampshire worthies, Gilbert White, Keble, and Gilpin.
The meeting was admirably reported both in the Lymington Chronicle and Hampshire Independent. From these papers we condense the following account, a much fuller one than could usually be given in NATURE Notes, as it may be useful for those who wish to set about similar undertakings :
“A concert was given at Milford on Thursday, October 30th, in connection with the local branch of the Selborne Society. The schoolroom was crowded some time before the hour announced for the commencement, and among the audience were Rev. H. M. Wilkinson, Vicar (in the chair), Mrs. Wilkinson, Lady Ann Cosserat, Colonel Jenrins, Rev. H. Bull, the Rev. A. R. Miles, and large parties from Mrs. Banks' school and the Rev. R. B. Matson's. Between the two parts a very interesting and practical address was given by the Rev. A. R. Miles. He commenced by speaking of the special clain which the Selborne Society had upon this county of Hants, for amongst Hampshire names we reckon Gilbert White, of Selborne, from whose village the Society takes its name; Gilpin, of Boldre, the author of Forest Scenery; Keble, whose sacred poems are so full of beautiful illustrations from natural objects, and whose work at Hursley is so well known. All these three were, like the lecturer himself, in Holy Orders. With such names as patterns this county ought to strive to keep up a reputation for the love of nature. It seemed a disgrace to civilisation that such a Society
should be needed, but civilisation is a great factor in the work of destruction continually going on. • Civilisation was doing away with many rare plants and animals. Great harm had been done even in that neighbourhood, and the Selborne Society wanted to preserve such objects not for the few, but for the many. The late Mr. Wise in writing his history of the New Forest was assisted by the Rev. H. M. Wilkinson. The book was published about 1862, and since then the peregrine falcon, then not uncommon, had become scarce. This was only an instance of how birds then common had now become uncommon. The honey buzzard was getting very scarce. The British public was always offering a great deal for rare birds' eggs, and he was afraid that the temptation put in the way of the Forest keepers to make money easily that way was sometimes too strong for them. The common buzzard was also now scarce. The kingfisher used to be frequently found at Queen's Bower, but was now seldom seen. The British public had invaded that part of the Forest, and possibly that had something to do with it. The osprey and the heron were less frequently seen. We should all do what we could to prevent them becoming rarer.
“With regard to the preservation of old buildings, ruins, &c., there were many interesting places in the neighbourhood well deserving of the attention of every Selbornian, notably Christchurch Priory, Beaulieu, Netley, and Romsey Abbeys. So far as concerned Beaulieu Abbey, that is in good hands, for the owner, Lord Montagu, is the President of the Selborne Society in this district. But no one can tell when such places may change hands or be threatened with destruction. Should such an event come to pass the Selborne Society must be up and doing.”
Judging from the account given in the local papers the large audience was most enthusiastic in its applause of the speakers and of an excellent musical entertainment. We commend this account to the notice of the very large number of clergymen who are members of the Selborne Society. They will find that such meetings will not only further a good cause, but afford pleasure and instruction to their parishioners. In connection with this subject, we would warmly recommend to our readers the important letter of Mr. Musgrave in another column on “The Selbornian Propaganda.”
From Bath we often receive interesting communications. It is one of the oldest, most active, and influential of the Branches of the Selborne Society, which always heartily co-operates with
the Central Council in any good work that has to be done. A resolution of that Branch has recently been received expressing its entire concurrence with, and approval of, the action taken by the Council with regard to what has come to be known as the “Grassholm outrage.” At the last meeting of the Council the question of the devastation of Cheddar Clisss was, on the principle of devolution, relegated to the Bath Branch, as being most capable of bringing local influence to bear on the matter. Mr. Wheatcroft, the Hon. Secretary, has already taken the matter up, and we have no doubt that every thing that it is possible to do in such a difficult matter will be done.
We may state here that we have received copies of the Bath Chronicle, containing the first of a series of papers on “Ornithology in connection with Agricul. ture and Horticulture,” by C. Parkinson, F.G.S. The idea is a good one, and the present specimen on “ Hawks and Falcons ” is most interesting to Selbornians, and well shows the utter folly of gamekeepers in their destruction of the kestrel hawk.
We frequently receive applications concerning back numbers of the Selborne Magazine ; in many cases we have been able to supply our correspondents with the numbers required, but have not been able to secure a copy for January, 1888, which is asked for by Dr. Evans, Treasurer of the Royal Society. Perhaps some of our readers may be able to help in this matter. It may be useful to state that Miss A. M. Buckton, Weycombe, Haslemere, has for sale two complete copies of the volume for 1889, and one copy each of February, September, and November, in the same year.
It is particularly requested that subscriptions and letters bearing on the general business of the Society should not be forwarded to the Editors, but to the Secretary of the Selborne Society, 9, Adam Street, Adelphi. Editorial communications should be addressed to the Rev. PERCY MYLES, I, Argyle Road, Ealing, W.