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95.

THE BEE,

OR

LITERARY WEEKLY INTELLIGENCER,

FOR

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3. 1792.

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THE CUR FOX.
Many persons have heard of the fox who never

pia
saw one ; many a lady has had her hen roost robbed
by this crafty enemy, who never had the satisfaction
of knowing what sort of a creature he was. The
representation of that animal above given, being
very exact, may serve to satisfy that curiosity. In
size, it is nearly the same with that of an ordinary

VOL. xi.

cur dog. Its colour, a russet brown ; the hair never lies sleek to the skin. Its eyes are remarkably lively and brilliant, and very significant and expressive. Its tail is long and bushy, which it seems greatly to admire, and frequently amuses itself by endeavouring to catch it as it runs round. In cold weather, when it lie's down, it folds it about its head.

There are several varieties of foxes in Britain ; but that above described is the most common, and approaches nearest the habitations of mankind. It lurks about the out-houses of the farmer, and carries off all the poultry within its reach. It is remarkably playful and familiar when tamed ; but, like many wild animals half reclaimed, will, on the least of fence, bite those it is most familiar with ; and it is always of a thievish disposition.

The fox sleeps much during the day ; but during the night it is active in search of its prey, which it often obtains by surprising artifices; on which account the cunning of the fox has become proverbial; and numberlefs instances of it are related in all coun. tries. He will eat flesh of any kind, but prefers that of hares, rabbits, poultry, and all kinds of birds. Those that live near the sea coasts will, for want of other food, eat crabs, shrimps, muscles, and other shell fish. They are also fond of grapes, and do great damage in vineyards to which they can have access.

They are so greedy of honey as boldly to attack the wild bees for it; and frequently rob them of their stores, though much incommoded by the stinging of the bees.

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The fox sleeps sound; and, like the dog, lies in a round form. When he is only reposing himself, he stretches out his hind legs, and lies upon his belly. In this position he spies the birds as they alight on the hedges or places near him, and is ready to spring upon such as are within his reach. He rarely lies exposed; but chooses the cover of some brake, where he is pretty secure from being surprised. Crows, magpies, and other birds, which consider the fox as a common enemy, will often give notice of his retreat, by the most clamourous notes ; and frequently follow him a considerable way, from tree to tree, Tepeating their outcries.

Foxes produce but once a year, from three to six young ones at a time.

When the female is pregnant, she retires, and seldom goes out of her hole. She comes in season in winter ; and

young

foxes are found in the month of April. If she perceive that her habitation is discovered, she carries them off, one by one, to a more secure retreat. The young are brought forth blind, like puppies. They grow eighteen months, or two years, and live thirteen years. ,

There is so little difference between the dog and fox, that it is difficult to characterise them distinctly from each other. Yet the dog discovers a great antipathy to the fox, and pursues him with surprising keenness. Experiments have proved, however, that the fox and dog may be brought to breed together; though not without difficulty. Whether the progeny can again produce, or if they be infertile, like mules, seems not to have been yet fully ascertained.

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Hunting the főx is one of the most favourite rural diversions among people of high rank in England. For that purpose, many privileged covers are kept in different parts of the country, where foxes are suffered to breed without annoyance, to the great prejudice of the farmers around. Were it not for this circumstance, foxes, as well as wolves, would probably, have been long ago extirpated in England.

They shelter themselves, and breed in holes in the earth, or among rocks, where they can find them; but not being capable of digging, themselves, they often drive the badger out from the hole he has dug for: himself, and take possession of it, as a safe retreat for themselves, and a secure nest for their young,

ON THE INFLUENCE OF TASTE

ON DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE.

SOCIALI

Continued from p. 120..

“ Taste promotes the tranquillity and happiness of families and friends.". I at first divided my subject, concerning the influence: of taste, into the scopes of individual, of domestic, and social, or public happiness. I have in my last paper endeavoured to describe the natural weakness of hu. man nature,its tendency to the fruition of animal pleasure,---its disappointment in the expected continu. ance of young delights --its self abasement, disgust, and chagreen,--together with its various, but abortive attempts, to fill up that infinite vacuity, which is left in the rational soul, when man, rejecting intellectual nourishment, feeds upon garbage, leaving the

in

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or two to

ambrosia and nectar of Olympus, for the husks of the prodigal, and the muddy waters of Lethe.

Here, (good Mr. Editor,) I think I see some of your fair male or female readers, launching the Bee into eternity, by hurling it across the room like a. cock-chaffer, with a Heigh ho! what have we gotten here?. A. bore,ma twaddle-a cruel lounge of senti-. ment. · I always thought the Bee had too much of dull sçavez.

But now I expect week see it stuffed with extracts from Whitaker, against Gibbon, Blair's sermons, lord Hailes's defence of Christianity, or some such sad conundrums.

My dear friend ! no such matter, I assure you Do you really think I could expect a fashionable cream ture to sit and, meditate upon one's end for five mia nutes, when any thing clever was a doing? No, no';. But my dear! it is. Sunday, you know, and it rains like a duck day; all the prigs at church ! not a soul. on Princes's street, and Scratchoni the hair dresser won't be here this age ! Come, will you step into my study for a minute or two, and look at Sherwin's print of the death of lord Chatham?

So you have discovered, have you that your fac ther's park, and shrubbery, is not the garden of Eden, and that: neither. London nor Edinburgh are the new Jerusalem.

I am extremely sorry for you my dear! I remem, ber well being like to hang myself about twenty years ago, when I. made the same most notable dis.. covery

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