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NEW AFRICAN BIRD.
This new form in birds (Balæniceps Rex) has lately been obtained by Mansfield Parkins, Esq., from the upper part of the White Nile, towards the centre of Africa.
Two specimens were procured, which appear to be male and female. In size, the bird is equal to a large marabou, or adjutant, exceeding four feet in height. It is the most extraordinary form that has been discovered for many years. Its structure differs from that of any known bird. Its head and bill are extremely large : the construction of the former indicates an affinity to the pelican's, while the body resembles that of a stork. The toes (which are very long) are entirely deficient of the slightest trace of interdigital membrane. In this peculiarity it differs from the storks, cranes, herons, and boatbill. The food of this bird is said to be large lizards and fish. The sharp-cutting edges and powerful terminal hook of its bill admirably adapt it for the acquisition of such prey.
A short time since, this bird was described and figured to the Zoological Society, by Mr. Gould, the ornithologist to whom we are indebted for the present opportunity of illustrating this new acquisition.--Illustrated London News.
PENNY-WISE AND POUND-FOOLISH. “What is extravagance, mamma ?” asked a little girl one day, as she sat diligently plying her needle.
“Extravagance is buying a penny-worth of cakes, when you only want a half-penny worth, my dear," replied her mother.
"Or buying a two-penny arrow, when a penny one will answer the same purpose;" added papa, for the benefit of a curly headed little fellow, notorious for extravagance in this item.
The conclusion to this simple matter-of-fact logic was so obvious, that little Julia mused on awhile in silence. Presently she enquired again, “ What is parsimony, mamma ?”
" Borrowing your neighbour's pencils or umbrella, because you are too miserly to buy pencils, or umbrella, for yourself;" said mamma, in this instance adopting her reply to both her listeners.
“ Then, mamma,” pursued Julia, “ Can the same person be both extravagant and parsimonious—as I heard Mrs. Young say just now about some one?-they seem such opposite qualities."
“ As you grow older, my dear, you will often observe such strange unions, and find that many apparently opposite qualities, such as economy and generosity, pride and humility, vanity and servility, are very nearly related, and frequently characterize the same individuals."
Mamma was called away here, and Julia, though not much of a metaphysician, treasured up her mother's observations, and in future life had frequent occasion to recur to them. Herbert also, the buyer and loser of arrows, was more than once saved from making ruinous bargains, by the remembrance of the above-mentioned definition of extravagance.
Perhaps Julia was disposed to scrutinize other people's characters too much, but her judicious parents gradually succeeded in fixing her attention upon her own failings; engaging her vigorous effort to subdue them, while they not only sought Divine help on her behalf, but taught her to pray for herself.
We are not about to betray any secrets of the confessional, but we may pourtray some of the guises under which extravagance or parsimony sometimes beguiled Julia and her brother into indiscretions.
At an early age they were allowed a little pocket moneytrifling sums at first, but regular in their income, and some portion dependant upon proper attention to small duties, suited to their respective circumstances; and both were required to keep an exact account of their expenditure.
“ What does it signify with such small sums as I spend at school, father?” pleaded Herbert in excuse for the blanks on the debit side of his neatly ruled memorandum book:“When I have to deal with tens, and hundreds of pounds, of course I shall keep a stricter look out as to my expenses.”
“Nay, Herbert, if the habit be not formed when you are first entrusted with money of your own, I fear it will never be acquired; therefore I must insist upon having an exact report by the next vacation."
It was some time ere the weekly pence amounted to a shilling; or the shillings to a crown, in either purse; for Herbert was perpetually losing his knife, shuttle cock, or cricket ball; and Julia was not proof against the temptation of steel and gilt beads for her fancy work, or pretty little nic-nacs from the bazaar; while both could not help grudging the needful purchase of paper and pencils, cotton and needles; and felt secretly, half-vexed, that the collections for various religious and benevolent objects came round so often, though they liked to see their names on the subscription lists belonging to their school auxiliaries. Their companions were perplexed by their conflicting qualities, for they would lavish presents and favors upon any one to whom they “ took a fancy,” while they were remarkably indifferent to the claims of all beside! Yet their presents were not always welcome! It is true they were often costly, but so ill adapted to the recipient's wants or wishes, so inappropriate to the taste, or an article so perfectly undesirable, that the gift seemed rather a proof of the donors' wealth, than of their anxiety to please.
After they had left school, this propensity excited serious apprehension in the minds of their parents, who foresaw how injuriously it would influence their own character, and how materially it would mar the happiness of those around them.
One day, when Julia was confined at home with some slight indisposition, her mother embraced an opportunity of leading to the subject.
“ I cannot think how I caught this cold, mamma ?” remarked Julia. “ It is very provoking to see the bright spring flowers in the garden and not be able to enjoy a walk !"
My love,” replied her mother, “ I fear you can only blame your own imprudence in walking out with thin shoes this unsettled weather: Why did you not wear more suitable ones ?"
“ Because I have none, mamma!”
“ There are plenty at the shoemaker's, so why have you not procured some ?"
“I had not money enough, mamma.”
“ Not money enough, Julia ! Your papa paid you your quarterly allowance only a fortnight ago. How was it that you could not afford yourself such necessary articles as thick shoes ?”
My allowance will not buy all I want, mamma.” “Not all you wish for, perhaps, Julia; but it is amply sufficient to supply all your real wants, and leave a surplus for charity or the promotion of religion. The same amount used to suffice me at your age, when clothing bore a higher price than it does now; and it is enough to enable your cousins to maintain a genteel appearance, and gratify all their innocent recreations and laudable benevolence. Now, tell me how you have spent
your cash !"
“ Well, mamma, you must know that my worked book muslin dress and new broach encroached sadly on my funds. Then I could not help relieving that poor girl whose story nobody would believe; but I cannot help being too generous when I am interested !"
dear Julia, excuse me if I am rather sceptical as to the generosity in this case.'
“Oh, mamma, what else could it be? Poor young thing! I felt so very sorry for her, I only wished I had more to bestow.
“ Is it not possible, my love, that what you fancied was a generous feeling, might have been in reality the yielding to the same extravagance which prompted the purchase of a more costly dress than your circumstances required, or could even justify ?"
“I cannot tell how that could be, for I was only anxious to relieve the poor girl's distress, and was quite surprised no one had done so before; and as to the dress, it was pretty. I wanted