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saluting" the shower with its broad, green blades : and so they "go through the motions" in all weathers; and so, as Market Reporters have it,“ we have movements to note.”
A tree down in the corner-know it well enough “ by sight”-stands shivering from orming till night; it is big enough to be braver; a pert little Quince by the south window is for ever a nod, nod, nodding,” no matter what is said, or who says it; while a Sweet Brier, that has snugged up to the north wall, amuses itself with Spiritual Rappings' upon the window-sill; a Maple, a little way off, rolls up in the wind its great billows of green, and looks, sometimes, as if it would toss itself into Heaven, and its glorious verdure be blent with the Blue of the Blest.
A great Tree, its one column rising solemnly out of the earth, and its branches flung up into the sky, is a noble piece of architecture, and none but God can build it. Such a tree stands on the other side of the road, and so, as I have said, do its great swells of foliage roll up in the blast. And when, sometimes, Noon, like a worn warrior in armor of gold, lies breathless upon the plain, there is a rustle still, a song and a cool breath still, amid its mighty recesses of shade. When they “lay the axe at its root," and
it shivers to its green coronal with the strokes, and it comes down with the rushing of a great banner, and the roaring of a great gun, one would almost think the blue air must retain the form that had filled it so beautifully and long; that its semblance in aerial outline should not
pass for ever away. But when I think it is not so,
Don't be alarmed, unless you are a mouse, or a chicken, or some such tit-bit. I've turned OWL;Minerva's bird—I've made a descent upon the Heuroost; I've pounced upon an idea, such as it is ; an idea in feathers.
A Hen is a foolish thing--hasn't a grain of sense, for that's a grain not found in gizzards. Her head is pierced exactly through the middle for a couple of
eyes, and a small head at that, so there is no room for sense.
As for the eyes, they must be excellent optical instruments, for she can discover “a hawk” where we couldn't distinguish it from handsaw ;" but then they have about the expression of a brace of brass buttons at a shilling a gross. There isn't much poetry about Hens; there isn't much romance in Hendom. Hens are speckled, grizzled, and gray; white, copper-colored, and blue-all blue in “ the Jerseys ;" there are the old-fashioned hens and the Bantams; those heavenly hens, the Shanghais and Cochin Chinas; hens with no tails, short tails, and pretty much all tails; hens in feathered pantaloons—whew! and June too!-and hens with Camwood-colored pantalettes—the very kind for the table; hens with Hussar-caps; hens with huge back-combs, like our Grandmothers; hens with very delicate side-combs, like our Sweethearts.
The grand “Movement" in feminine humanity is by no means endemic, inasmuch as strong-minded hens are far from being anomalies now-a-days. They quarrel, and crow, and act, as near as possible, like veritable Chanticleers; shouldn't be surprised to see a Bantam out in Bloomer any morning ; some of them wear spurs already. Progressive Hens! A propos
of spurs; 1 have an interest in, that is, am part owner of—sole estate, real and personal—a magnificent Cochin China Cock. He is not knighted yet; he wants the spurs; but he'll make a sensation when he gets them, and sign himself “F. M.”-Field-Marshal the Cochin China, with as good a grace, and as much of it withal, as the “Iron Duke.” He has a voice already that would be music to THOR, the Saxon Thunderer; and he crows, but “not an ultra” crow; in fact, a "judicious, discriminating" crow, when there are no veteran rivals of the old school in the
Never mind; he is rehearsing for "sharp practice” one of those days.
Socrates—we read—requested, among the last things, that a Cock might be sacrificed to Esculapius
confirmation strong” that it was no Cochin China ; else, what a sacrifice!
Hens are like folks ; look, act, and talk like folks that is, a great many folks that you and I know. There's one now,
with precisely two feathers in her tail, by actual inventory; and the two stick directly up, like a couple of oars in a fishing smack. She's a fussy little body, and goes clucking around with one chicken about the size of a wren, quite unconscious of the figure she cuts, and the ridicule she provokes,
wherever she goes. Who doesn't know some body as like her “as two peas ?” She's every where, in every thing; has “
a word in season,” and out, and for that matter the 'outs' have it. Nothing going on, that she isn't there, and hasn't something to say, with her short steps but a great many of them. Only glance at that wonderful chicken of hers, and she's all of a clutter; ruffles her feathers, and looks so she thinks very formidable. She is too tough to eat, or she would have been guillotined long ago.
That gray individual is older than “Mack," and he's a dozen ; the Meg Merrilies of the Roost. Quite a Malte Brun is she in her way, for what she does not know about the Geography of Corn-cribs, Cornfields, Cherry trees, Melon patches, and rare picking generally, isn't worth knowing. Posted in all that pertains to nestling, scratching, and roosting places, she unites in her venerable self the Mrs. Partington and the Paul Pry of Hendom. Not a brood of chickens does some more favored sister lead triumphantly off, but she sets up an apology for a cluck, spreads her tail, puts on an extra frill, and, looking as matronly as possible—who would think it ?-lays claim to half the chickens—the only thing, by the by, she can lay. Having outlived her youthful weaknesses, she has