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there is a deeper lesson in this proverb. The ox kicks back against the goad with which he has been intentionally pricked in order to bring him into the right path, or to prompt him to the necessary activity, just as that plowboy is constantly guiding and stimulating his team. To kick back, therefore, is not merely impotent and injurious folly, but it is rebellion against him who guides. This is the precise lesson which our Lord intended to teach, and which heathen poets and moralists have drawn from the proverb, or rather from the basis in agricultural life which suggested it.
But our journey lags, and we shall need the goad ourselves to remind us that pleasant discourse will never bring us to Shefa 'Amer. It has an imposing appearance, with its large castle and houses of white stone.
Is there any mention of this place in the Bible?
None that I know of; nor has it yet been identified with any historic name. In old Arabic authors it is written Shefr-am, and this looks like that Kefraim which Eusebius says was six miles north of Legio. May it not also mark the site of that Hafraim which was assigned to Issachar?? If it was none of these, then I know nothing about its history. The remains of an old church, and those of some other buildings near it, indicate both antiquity and importance, and so do the tombs in the rocks. The situation is conspicuous, and the surrounding country delightful. The inhabitants may number two thousand—a mingled population of Druses, Moslems, Jews, and Christians, who not only farm these hills and valleys, but trade with other towns, and with the Arab tribes of the Desert. This oak wood extends northward beyond the district of Shaghûr, and southward to the plain of Sharon, and is one of the largest forests in the country. It also abounds in ancient sites. Beit Lahm, Yafa, Semmûnia and many others, which we may visit hereafter. At present we must return to Acre.
These days of bright warm weather have wakened up the instinct of the wild geese, and prompted them to set out rather early on their annual migration to the north. Milton
i Josh. xix. 19.
MIGRATION OF BIRDS.
introduces this custom of certain birds in that divine conversation on the creation, book seven:
"The eagle and the stork
With mutual wing
the air Floats as they pass, fanned with unnumber'd plumes.' This is natural, beautiful, and even accurate. The eagles still on cliffs their eyries build, and storks on cedar-tops; and in their migrations, the storks loosely wing the region, as you saw this morning in that immense disorderly caravan that passed over Acre, going to tempt the frozen north quite too early in the season ; and here these noisy geese, more wise, ranged in figure, wedge their way. These migrations always interest me, particularly those of the storks. They come in countless flocks; the air floats as they pass, fanned by unnumbered plumes. But that they or any other birds ease their flight with mutual wing, is more than I am prepared to believe. As to the stork, concerning which the tale is generally told, it is simply impossible. They are a strange bird, however, as any one can learn by looking into their history. They take a prodigious range in their migrations. In the year 1846, a stork, becoming weary on its return from the distant south, alighted on that mountain near Safed, and was captured. Great was the astonishment of the captors to find a silver locket suspended round its neck. They took it to the governor, and he sent it to the Pasha of Acre, who forwarded the locket to our consul in Beirût. It was a letter from Octavia, a young countess of Gotzen, in Germany, to the effect that this stork had for several
years built its nest on an old turret of her castle; that this year the turret fell and injured the bird. She had it kindly cared for, and, when well enough to follow its companions, let it go, with the locket on its neck. The inclosed letter contained a request that whoever found the bird or the locket should send the writer word at any cost,
as she had a great curiosity to trace it in its wanderings. The consul wrote to the young lady, giving all the particulars, for which, in due time, he received a handsome acknowledgment. All this is simple fact, of which I myself was cognizant. The poor stork died, and perhaps it had never recovered entirely from its misforturne at Octavia's castle, and this compelled it to halt at Safed, where it was captured. These singular birds do not breed in Syria, but pass over it to Asia Minor, and into Northwestern Europe, where they not only build in fir and pine trees upon the mountains, but also enter cities and villages, and make their nests on houses, castles, and minarets. I saw multitudes of them in Brusa, which, indeed, seemed to be a favorite resort. Many stories are told in regard to their intelligence, their partiality to Moslem towns, where they are held sacred, and also about their fidelity, kindness to the old, the sick, etc. Take the following anecdote for a specimen: A stork built on a house in or near Brusa, and the owner put the egg of a duck in the nest. Great was the consternation and indignation of all storkhood in the place when the unknown duck was hatched. They assembled in noisy conclave round the nest, and, after a boisterous debate, not only the duckling was condemned to death, but the poor female stork also, on suspicion of improper conduct, was tórn to pieces by the virtuous members of the community. I give the story as I heard it, without vouching for its truth. It is certain, however, that they are very strict, and even jealous in their domestic habits. It is also true that they are partial to the Moslem villages; indeed, they are themselves a sort of Moslems more ways than merely in their annual pilgrimages toward Mecca. They are a solemn, austere bird; stand for hours in one position, as if immersed in deep meditation, and do not hesitate to strike their sharp bill into any thing or person that disturbs them. They are of a dull white color, with blackish feathers in various parts, have a slender body perched on tall legs, and a sharp bill at the end of a long neck, adapting them to wade in reedy marshes, and dive to the bottom to seize their prey. They live
STORKS AND THEIR HABITS.
on frogs, mice, lizards, snakes, and all kinds of reptiles, which they seize with the rapidity of lightning. Owing to their diet, their flesh is coarse and unsavory, and it was no great loss to the Jews to have it forbidden, as it is in Leviticus xi. 19 and Deuteronomy xiv. 18. The Druses, howev
er, and some few others, do eat it, but by the great majority of the country it is rejected. The habits of this bird were known to David, who taught Milton that it built its eyries in “cedar-tops." And Jeremiah says, The stork in the
| Ps. civ. 17. VOL. I.-Y
heaven knoweth her appointed times, and so do the turtle, and the crane, and the swallow;' and this is still true. But these birds, "intelligent of seasons," have no settled calendar, and are very liable to be deceived by early warm weather. The poor little swallows were chattering about some days ago, and they will certainly find that they are quite too early.
While on the subject of birds and their migrations, let me inquire to what particular thing the author of Job refers when he asks, Doth the hawk fly by Thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south ? I suppose this variety of hawk migrates like other birds; but why particularize only their return south, and not their going to the north?
There is a very singular reason for it. I have often seen them returning south during the latter part of September, but never saw them migrating northward. I can only account for this by supposing that in going they straggle along in single pairs, and at no particular time, or else by some distant interior route, but that when their young are grown they come back southward in flocks; but even then they do not fly in groups, as do cranes, geese, and storks, but keep passing for days in straggling lines, like scattered ranks of a routed army. Here and there, as far as eye can reach, they come, flying every one apart, but all going steadily to the south. Job therefore states the fact just as he had seen it, and as you may also, on Lebanon, next September. i Jer. viii. 7.
2 Job xxxix. 26.