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the importations from America have been very tion, with a competent and comfortable living. large. The price, nevertheless, continued to af- I apprehend that this is very much the position ford a good return to dairy-farming at home. of affairs in the Old World, except that, under In 1878 there was a very sudden and a very great the system of letting land with the security of reduction. When I sailed for America, in the leases, and with definite stipulations, high farmend of May, it was at about the lowest point. A ing at home does often yield returns largely proffew days after I landed at New York I found that itable. I saw nothing in America which gave the farmers of New England were quite as much me the idea that anything like “high farming" alarmed as the farmers of Cheshire or of Ayr- was even known there. Prodigality of surface shire. There was a meeting of a Dairymen's does not induce or tempt one to bestow such Association at Utica, at which it was agreed that, pains on restricted areas of land. Strong local at the prices then ruling in the cheese market, attachment to a particular farm was spoken of this particular form of dairy produce did not pay as almost unknown. The owners were reprecommon interest on the capital invested in the sented as generally willing and anxious to sell if land and in the stock. The conclusion was en- a good profit could be made by doing so. And forced by a careful and elaborate calculation of a shrewd farmer, who crossed with me in the the money product of each cow, as compared Scythia, and who had emigrated from Scotwith the cost of her keep and the cost of dairy land early in life, spoke of this circumstance as labor. The result was, that the cost left a sur- fully accounting for the indisposition of farmers plus on each cow of only about thirty shillings, in America to publish or complain of the smallfrom which had to be deducted whatever might ness of their gains. Such complaints could only be the calculated proportion due for taxes and tend to damage their own property. In England, insurance, and outlay for repairs on buildings and he observed, similar complaints had exactly the machinery. On the whole, the conclusion was opposite effect, inasmuch as they aimed at and drawn “that, in the case of average cheese tended to the reduction of the price or rent for dairies, the product of the cows during the year which land was hired. In this difference lay, 1878 was scarcely sufficient to pay for their own according to him, the real secret of the difference support.” The association consequently recom- between the farmer of the Old World and the mended its members to “go in " rather for the farmer of the New, in times when agricultural supply of butter and of fresh milk, and to give depression was equally oppressing both. If there up a manufacture which had ceased to pay. On was much shrewdness, there was also some cynisending this report home to some of my friends cism in this observation of my Scotch friend, for in Scotland, I found it made no impression what- undoubtedly the exceptionally bad harvests which ever. There is nothing so impregnable to attack have lately affected the wheat-producing districts as the human mind under the influence of a pre- of England and of Scotland have had a very vailing fear. But, within two months of my re- severe effect, greatly aggravating the results of a turn to England, there was a rise in the price of mere fall in price. But the agricultural interest cheese, even more sudden and violent than the has had many times of depression quite as serious previous fall. In one week, in consequence of before. Rents will necessarily adjust themselves telegrams from New York, intimating a great to any permanent change either in climate or in limitation of production, both from the voluntary price. For my own part, I believe in neither. abandonment of the manufacture and from the Of one great pleasure I derived from my short scorching effects of a hot summer on the pas- visit to America I must say a word. Those who tures, the price of American cheese rose ninety have never cared for any department of natural per cent. But, although the depression of prices science can form no idea of the intense delight was very severely felt in America, it was spoken and refreshment of seeing for the first time a of and treated there, as all similar depressions of fauna or a flora which is entirely new. This can trade ought to be treated—a matter to be dealt only be felt in perfection by passing direct from with by those concerned-and remedied, in so Europe to the tropics. The temperate regions far as it admitted of remedy, by changes in the of all the great continents of the globe present direction of agricultural industry. I must add only varieties of one and the same general aspect. that the universal testimony I heard, in regard to But, as regards my own favorite pursuit, that of farming in America, so far at least as regards all ornithology, the passage from Europe to any part the Eastern or Atlantic States, was to the effect of the American Continent is the passage to a that it was a business in which nobody expected new world indeed. One may be quite sure that, to make, or ever did “ make money," in the sense with very few exceptions, every bird one sees is of realizing even a moderate fortune. It was a bird one has never seen alive before. One gets represented as an industry in which men were out of “sparrowdom," or, at least, one would contented with a pleasant and healthy occupa- have got out of it completely in America, if our old and forward little friend, the Passer domesti- from Niagara to the heights of Queenstown. The cus, had not been, of malice prepense, introduced sharp wings and swift, powerful flight of a bird into the States, and had not bred and flourished of dark steel-blue color had often attracted my there with a success and an impudence in pro- curiosity before I knew that I had before me the portion to the care which has been expended on purple martin (Progne purpurea), the largest his welfare. In all the Eastern cities of the Union and handsomest of all the Hirundinæ. It was breeding-boxes are provided for the sparrow in with no little surprise that I saw in the seething the trees which line the streets, and the park at waters of the pool below the great Falls, and in Boston is almost disfigured by the hideous minia- the whirlpool, some miles farther down the river, tures of houses and cottages which are stuck up one of the Colymbidæ, which was, I believe, everywhere for the accommodation of this fa- the American representative of our own blackvored representative of the old country. If the throated diver (Colymbus arcticus). In the calmsparrow is to be educated in architecture, I wish er waters of the Lake of Beauport I saw one of our American friends would take more care as the birds common to the two sides of the Atlanto the models set before him. Cocoanut-shells, tic, but now comparatively rare in Britain, that or any other similar vegetable production, or even splendid bird the great northern diver (Colymbus clay bottles, would be better than the painted glacialis). In the forests of the Restigouche, sections of street houses which are too generally dense, stifling, and almost impervious, my ear provided. But, at least, when we get outside the caught endless notes of warblers and of tits, and cities we get outside of sparrowdom. The whole of finches, which were wholly new to it, and had avifauna of America is fresh to an English eye. generally a ventriloquistic character that seemed There is indeed that strange likeness in the midst to render sound useless as a guide to sight. I of difference which is one of the mysteries of obtained specimens of the lovely American redcreation when it is seen in lands separated by start (Setophaga ruticilla), of the indigo-bird several thousand miles of ocean. The swallows (Cyanospiza cyanea), and of that curious family are all obvious swallows, but with one excep- Vireo-Sylvia, which constitutes a link between tion * they are all different from the swallows of the Flycatchers and the Warblers. In the evenEurope. The starlings are obvious starlings, ings, high over head, I watched with delight the but with scarlet epaulets. The very crows have buoyant and beautiful evolutions of long-winged a flight in which one detects a difference. The goat-suckers or night-hawks (Chordeiles Podegreat order of the Flycatchers is represented by tue), feeding on high-flying lepidoptera, and chasforms much more conspicuous and larger than ing them with at home. The handsome king-bird (Tyrannus
“Scythe-like sweep of wings that dare carolinensis) was one of the first that attracted my eye from the railway-carriage. The large
The headlong plunge through eddying gulís.” belted kingfisher (Ceryle Alcyon) was passing In the forest on the banks of Cascapediac with a jay-like flight over the creeks and marshes River our carriage dashed into a covey of the soof the Hudson. On looking out of my window called Canadian partridges, a species representing in the morning at the glories of Niagara, I was the widespread and beautiful genus Tetrao, or hardly less interested by seeing the lovely Ameri- grouse (Tetrao canadensis). One of our party can goldfinch (Chrysomitris tristis) sitting on attempting to catch some of the young chicks the low wall which guards the bushy precipice was attacked by the mother with heroic dash, under the hotel. A golden finch indeed! the which effected so good a diversion that her obwhole body of richer yellow than any canary, ject was fully attained, and at the imminent risk with black wings and cap. The family of the of her own capture she effected the escape of Warblers was first indicated to my eye by the every one of her brood. The exquisite pattern beautiful Dendroica æstiva among the overhang- of rich browns and russets which marked her ing vegetation of the same place. It reminded plumage was beautifully displayed when her tailme much of our own willow-wren in movement feathers were expanded in the fury of her attack. and in manners, although it is much less shy- Near the same spot I saw a fine example of the being common among the trees in the streets of close analogies of coloring which prevail in cerMontreal. The azure of the bluebird, with the tain groups of birds both in the Old and in the strange song and piebald appearance of the bob- New World. We all know that several of the olink (Dolichonyx orygivorus), enlivened our drive gray linnets of Britain are adorned in the breed
ing-season by the assumption of crimson feathers * The exception is curious—it is the common bank on the breast and forehead. But in the kindred swallow, or sand-martin (Cotyle riparia), which is one of the shortest winged of the whole tribe, and the least
or allied species of America the same coloring capable of establishing itself by migration on each side pervades the whole plumage, and the purple of the ocean.
finches of Canada and the Northern States are
among the handsomest of American birds (Car- frequently to be seen on the same river, I never podicus purpureus). On the Cascapediac also I observed it to be followed or molested by the saw, what I did not see on the Restigouche, num- eagle. On another day one of these magnificent bers of the night-heron (Nyctor dea Gardeni), a birds lighted on a blasted pine, which overhung bird reminding one of the graceful bird at home, the river at the height of about five hundred feet, but, on the whole, a less conspicuous and a less and from that elevation he watched one of our ornamental species. Of one celebrated American party playing a salmon, an operation which he bird—the white-headed eagle (Haliaëtus leuco- seemed to regard with great curiosity, and probcephalus)I must vindicate the character. He ably with some longing to take his part in the has been accused on high authority of living by sport. The pure white head and the equally piracy, not fishing for himself, but basely using pure tail of this fire eagle, in contrast with the his superior weight and strength to compel the dark chocolate-brown of the rest of the plumage, osprey or professional fishing-eagle (Pandion make it one of the handsomest of its tribe. carolinensis) to give up its prey. On this ground The provinces of North America have one no less a man than Benjamin Franklin expressed great advantage which is not possessed by any his regret that this eagle should have been chosen part of Europe. They are in unbroken land as the national emblem of the United States. connection with the tropics. There is no transThe great American ornithologists, Audubon and verse range of mountain, there is no region of Wilson, both repeat the same story, and neither desert sands, no strait even of narrow sea, to imof them appears to have ever seen a white-headed pede the most delicate forms of the southern eagle capturing his finny prey from the water, fauna from traveling northward with the sumexcept, indeed, on one occasion, when an eagle mer sun. It is wonderful how many tender was seen in most unaquiline fashion wading in creatures make out their passage to our own some shallow pool and picking out redfins with shores with the returning spring; but in Britain his bill. But I had the good fortune on the Res- there are none which come from a farther distigouche to see a fine white-headed eagle catch a tance than that limited belt of the African Consalmon for himself, by what seemed a bold and tinent which lies between the Atlas and the almost a dangerous manquvre. About a thou- Mediterranean. Very many of them pass their sand yards below our encampment the river dis- winters no farther off than the sunny banks of appeared round a sudden bend, with a very sharp the Riviera. Last winter I found the olives at current. The eagle appeared coming up stream Cannes full of blackcaps and willow wrens, while round this bend, and flying slowly about thirty the whitethroat and the Sardinian warbler somefeet above the level of the water. Over the sharp- times serenaded us from the roses which climbed est part of the current he hovered for a moment, around our windows. But no bird from tropical and then dashed into the stream. With a good Africa can cross the desert and the Atlas. These glass I saw him buried deeply in the water, hold- great transverse barriers in the path of migration ing his neck well above it. It was evident he are barriers not to be overcome. In America, had some difficulty in getting out of it again. A on the other hand, there is no such impediment few heavy and laborious flaps of his immense in the way of an uninterrupted passage from the and powerful wings lifted him at last, but with lowest southern to the highest northern latitudes. empty talons. Very tired, apparently, he flew to The consequence is, that even Canada, whose an adjacent bank of gravel and sat there for soil is fast bound in ice for some five months of some minutes to rest. But his countenance and the year, is the resort in summer of a joyous attitude were those of restlessness, eagerness, and company from the far south, who find upon their disappointment. He then rose and returned to way a perfect continuity in the supply of food, exactly the same point in the air, and thence and in their final goal, even amid a very different made a second plunge. It was beautiful to see vegetation, a summer heat which is fitted for the his bearing in the stream, with the water break- rearing of their young. It is due to this that the ing against his great brown chest, and his arched woods of North America are illuminated with the neck keeping his snowy head clear of its turbu- brilliant coloring of not a few species which allence. This time the difficulty in emerging was most seem to contrast unnaturally with the folimuch greater, for his talons were fast in a fine age of birch and pine. Foremost among these salmon. With a strong effort, however, his pin- visitants from the far south I knew that Canada ions again lifted him and his prey, which it seemed was visited every year by a single species of that as much as he could do to carry to the same wonderful family of birds which is one of the bank of gravel, where the struggles of the fish glories of nature—the humming-birds. It was were soon put an end to by the eagle's terrific one of my great expectations in crossing the Atclutches and his powerful beak. This was all lantic that I might see the rubythroat (Trochilus honorable work, and, although the osprey was colubris). Everywhere I asked about it—wheth
er any had been seen, and if so, where ? Every- perhaps the mountain-ash, the sloe, or the birdwhere I was told that they were more or less cherry. One of our party in search of rare birds common, but that they had not come that season saw a strange outline on the topmost twig of a yet, or that they were only to be seen in the even- withered pine, and on shooting it found, by the ings or that they only come out on very hot help of the Indians, that he had killed a “rubydays—or that they never came except to honey- throat.” It brought home to me how secondary, suckle in the verandas. My eyes searched in in the distribution of animals, is the mere effect vain round every horse-chestnut tree in blossom, of climate and of vegetation. This hummingunder every “piazza" with baskets of flowers, bird could evidently live quite as well in the and over the surface of every wall bedecked with woods of Scotland as in the woods of the Resticreepers. The rubythroat, like Wordsworth's gouche, so far as climate or food is concerned. cuckoo, was “still longed for, never seen.” At If the Trochilidæ existed in any part of the Old last, in walking one day up the mountain behind World, and had an uninterrupted path of migraMontreal, I leaned over a paling which inclosed tion, we should doubtless have them every sumthe water reservoir of the city. Below me there mer in England as surely as we have the swallow, was a steep bank of grass, facing the south, and or as Canada has the rubythroat. But this parrich in the common flowers of such grass in Eng- ticular form of bird has been born, or created, land. Suddenly there emerged from it what first or developed in the New World alone; and to struck me as a very large but also a very narrow- that one sole area of distribution it is limited by shaped beetle, which flew with the straight, rapid, surrounding oceans. and steady flight of the larger Coleoptera. As On the other hand, the ornithologist from in them, the wings were not distinctly visible, but Europe recognizes in the birds of North America were represented by a sort of vibratory haze. I a great number of species so closely allied to was speculating on this extraordinary object, those at home that they have precisely the same when a clearer light revealed, projecting from habits and the same general aspect. The comthe head of my supposed beetle, a long, slender, mon thrush of America (Turdus migratorius), and curved proboscis or bill. In an instant it which the first colonists absurdly called the robin, was flashed upon me that I was looking for the for no other reason than that it has a russet-colfirst time on the flight of a humming-bird in its ored breast, is so like our own common thrush wild and native state. I have often read of the or blackbird that there is no generic difference insect-like habits and appearance of these birds. whatever. Its alarm-notes combine those of the But until I saw it I had formed no distinct con- fieldfare and the blackbird. The bluebird (Siception of this curious feature in their appear- alia sialis) is the real representative of our robin, ance. Its flight was not in the least like that of though it has not the same habits of familiarity a bird. Nor was its gorgeous but partial bril- with man. But it is not one or two species liancy of coloring on the throat visible to me. merely that exhibit this likeness. There is an The metallic green of the back of this particular obvious cousinship and correspondence between species, which was turned toward me, being in the great bulk of the species which can not be shadow, produced a very dark effect upon the mistaken, and the closeness of which would be eye. But there it was—this gem of creation- unaccountable if their original centers of origin this migrant from the far south-this representa- had been separated, as the habitats now are, by tive of a group of birds whose headquarters are three thousand miles of ocean. Naturalists are, in the dense forests or among the luxuriant blos- therefore, now coming to trace the cause of this soms or on the lofty volcanic cones of tropical near relationship between the European and the America—there it was living and flying among North American fauna to that ancient connection trees which might have been English trees, and which the two continents had at the time when over grass which was indistinguishable from Eng- the regions, which are now under Arctic condilish grass. I was not so fortunate as to see one tions, were in the enjoyment of a climate comother specimen alive in any part of Canada or patible with a rich development of both animal the States. I heard of them, indeed, everywhere. and vegetable life. In that mysterious Miocene At one place my informant had seen one a few age when abundant forests, like the forests of evenings before in his own garden. At another Japan, flourished in Greenland, and in all probaplace one had visited that morning some flowers bility elsewhere within the Arctic Circle, the Old in a window or a veranda. But, strange to say, and the New Worlds may have been united, so where one other specimen was seen was near our to speak—as, indeed, they almost now are-in encampment, thirty miles up the forests of the their northern roots. One thing is quite certain, Restigouche, where there was no garden, not a that if the near likeness to each other of different single cultivated flower, and not even among the organic forms is the index of a common origin, woods a single blossoming tree or shrub, except if, in short, closely related species can not have been created or developed in widely separated difficulties in applying to it the theory of excluportions of the globe, then there must have been sive centers of creation. These difficulties are at some former time some close connection be- so great that to a naturalist so eminent and so tween Europe and America which does not exist competent as Agassiz they seemed insuperable. at present. It is to be observed, however, that The counter-hypothesis, which I have here sugthe impossibility of separate origins for forms gested, does not exclude the probable effects of alike, or even identical, is a mere assumption external conditions in modifying forms which are, which may not be true. Although it figures nevertheless, mainly due to the laws of internal largely in the theory of development as pro- growth. And, perhaps, in some combination of pounded by Mr. Darwin and by Mr. Wallace, it these hypotheses the most probable solution may is no necessary part of the idea of creation by be found. The birds of North America present birth or by evolution. It is an assumption found- some cases of multiplied variety that suit very ed on another assumption-namely, that the nat- well the theory which dwells principally on the ural variations of form which occur from time effect of surrounding conditions. But, on the to time (and which are the supposed origin of other hand, there are many cases in which it does species) are variations which can never be iden- not seem to fit the facts at all. The boundless tical in two separate places; and this assumption forests of that country, for example, seem admirests again upon a third-namely, that varieties rably adapted to encourage the establishment of are really accidental, and not due to any internal variety in such a family as that of the Picidæ or law of growth inherent in all forms of life. But woodpeckers. And, accordingly, we do find a this is an assumption which not only may be, very large variety of kindred forms, one of them but probably is, contrary to fact. Mr. Darwin scarcely distinguishable from its cousin in Euhas never pretended to account for variations. rope. I saw at least three or four distinct species He assumes that, as a matter of fact, they do in the very limited distance I could penetrate into occur, and that once they have occurred they are the forests of the Restigouche. But, on the other preserved or rejected according as they do or do hand, let us see how the same expectation is not fit well into surrounding conditions. This disappointed in another remarkable family of may be quite true, and yet it may be equally true birds—the Alcedinidæ or kingfishers. If there that these variations are not accidental, but are is one feature which more than another distindetermined by a law of which we know nothing, guishes the North American Continent, it is its but which is as definite and certain in its opera- wealth of waters. Mighty rivers, with every detion as the law determining the primary and the gree of rapidity and of stillness, smaller streams derivative forms of crystals. In this case the in every measure of size, and with every variety same or closely similar forms may have arisen at of character, lakes in millions which are mere widely different parts of the globe ; and the ne- ponds, and lakes so large that the navigator upon cessity of any geographical connection between them loses sight of land, creeks and lagoons of land-surfaces now widely separated would be every shape and form, marshes fringed with either disposed of altogether or would be pushed wood, and marshes on the bare and open coastback to such primordial times as to be incapable and all this immense variety of aqueous surface of being traced. I am not now propounding this swarming with fish, and with crustaceans, and supposition as one which can be verified. It with every form of creature that “ inhabiteth the would certainly throw the whole subject of the waters under the earth.” Yet, in spite of all this distribution of species and genera into great con- wealth of external conditions, this vast hot-bed, fusion. But, then, it is a kind of confusion which as one might have supposed, for the growth of closely corresponds with the apparent confusion variety in that peculiar family of birds which is which actually prevails in nature. The assump- specially adapted for the capture of fish, there is tion that identical or almost identical forms can but one solitary species—the belted kingfisher. not arise at any place but one is an assumption If the family were wholly unrepresented upon the which has a most attractive simplicity about it. American Continent, this absence of variety would It rests, however, upon nothing except upon the be less remarkable. But the stock exists. It has doctrine of chances. But if the work of creation thrown off no varieties-one solitary species fishes and development is not a work subject to chance in the boundless waters of North America from at all, but has been due to the evolution of germs the Delaware to Baffin's Bay. I may mention having potential energies of a fixed and definite here that, on examining a nest of this fine bird in kind, then the doctrine of chances does not apply, a gravel-bank on the Restigouche River, we found and would be of little avail against the probabil- that the eggs were laid not on fish-bones, but on ity of similar forms appearing in regions very far the broken shells of crawfish-which was the first apart. It is well known that the existing distri- intimation we had of the existence of these freshbution of species is such as to involve the utmost water crustaceans in the stream.