« 上一頁繼續 »
slightly ascending at the extremity; the nostrils are placed on the base of the bill, and are patulous, though covered by the incumbent feathers; the tongue is short, cartilaginous, acute and bifid at tip; the tarsus scarcely exceeds the middle toe in length; the toes are separated almost to the base, and the middle one is the longest; the nails are moderate, pointed, hollow beneath, and sharp-edged, the hind one being generally longest; the wings are subeiongated, acute, the first primary short, third or fourth longest; the tail consists of twelve feathers. Four species of this genus, as at present restricted, are found in North America—the raven (C. corax); the crow (C. corone)', fish-crow (C. oss-ifragus); and Clark's crow (C. columbianus). These and other members of the genus are very extensively spread over the globe, and are almost equally distinguished for their remarkable sagacity, and the amount of mischief which they occasion where they are very numerous. The raven is by no means common in the Middle States of the Union, but is found in considerable numbers, in the vicinity of the northern lakes, and the interior of the Union. This is the largest species of its tribe, very little inferior in size to a com. mon cock, being 26 inches in length, and more than 3 feet from the tip of one wing to that of the other. The plumage is of a very glossy black, with some reflections of bluish purple on the back. The female is less purely black than the male, and a little smaller. The raven, when on the ground, marches at a grave and stately pace: his favorite haunts are the vast solitudes of rocks and forests, whence he seldom emerges except called by hunger, and then never in large flocks, like the crows. The ordinary food of the raven, and that which he prefers, is putrefying animal matter, which this bird discovers, by the acuteness of his sense of smelling, at great distances, and flies to the feast with unerring precision. When carrion is not attainable, the raven feeds on various fruits, insects, dead fish, &c. Judging by the habits of the crow and other kindred species, there is no question but the raven, when pressed by hunger, will kill small birds or other animals coming within its reach. They have been known to pluck the eyes out of the heads of lambs and sick animals unable to drive them away. Birds so voracious and destructive cannot be regarded otherwise than injurious in a poor country, though in a rich one, their services, as scavengers and destroyers of the larves of noxious insects,
might more than counterbalance their mischief* Like most of their tribe, ravens have a considerable talent for imitating sounds, and may be taught to pronounce words with remarkable distinctness. When domesticated, they become very bold and impudent, fearless of dogs or cats, and fighting fiercely with them when provoked: sometimes, indeed, their insolence renders them dangerous inmates, as they will wound children, and even grown persons, with their powerful bill. They also participate in the disposition common to most of their fraternity, to steal and hide pieces of money, plate, and other shining objects, which cannot be of the slightest use to the purloiner. The raven is a model of conjugal fidelity, having but one female, to whom he remains attached, most probably, for life. Observations were made on one pair by lord Ross, during 30 years, and there can be but little doubt, that the union was only interrupted by death. Their nests are commonly placed in chinks of rocks, lofty old walls, or the tops of tall, insulated trees, and are made externally of roots and branches of shrubs; a second layer is then formed of animal bones, or other hard materials, and this is covered with a bed of soft grass or moss. About the month of March, the female lays 5 er 6 palegreen and bluish eggs, speckled with very numerous spots and touches of a darker color. The incubation continues for 20 days, and both parents participate in it. The male also defends the nest courageously against the approach of hawks and other birds of prey, and provides for the subsistence of his companion. The young remain with the parents throughout the summer succeeding their hatching, -and, when able to provide for themselves, are sent off' to establish new colonies elsewhere. The flight of the raven is very lofty, and its power of wing great, so that it is able to pass over immense spaces in a short time.—Few birds are more numerous and annoying to the farmers of die Atlantic Stales than the common crow (C. corone), which, throughout a considerable part of the year, collects in astonishingly large flocks, and makes destructive descents upon newly-planted maize and other grain. In this species, it seems as if all the evil propensities of the race were united and augmented. Exceedingly cunning in de
* In England, the rook (C. fn/^legus) is not allowed to be killed, and a large rookery is considered a valuable appendage to an estate. The young arc obtained trom the nest, and considered very "line for the table.
tecting every contrivance intended for their destruction, they are rarely destroyed to any great extent, except in seasons of excessive and long-protracted cold weather. Then (as during the winter of 1828—9) vast numl>ers perish from starvation, since, the earth, brooks, rivers and bays being completely locked up, all their sources of supply are cut off. At such times, their hunger is so distressing as to force them to the most extraordinary exertions, and they devour substances, which nothing but excessive hunger could induce any animal to swallow. During the hard winter alluded to, immense flocks were observed passing from the direction of the famous roosting place in the vicinity of Bristol, Pa. '(particularly noted by Wilson), towards the shores of the sea and bay, and returning regularly in the afternoon. Thousands upon thousands, for several hours, moved heavily along in a broad, irregular line; and, from the numbers found dead in the fields, it is most probable that, during the severest weather, but little benefit resulted from their long diurnal pilgrimage. The common crow is voracious at all times, and nearly, if not quite, as omnivorous as the brown rat. Grain of all sorts, but especially Indian corn, insects, carrion, eggs, fish, young birds, the young of various domestic fowls, and even young pigs, ar;j sought for eagerly, and devoured with avidity. This species, from the peculiar excellence of its sight, smell and hearing, by which it is very early warned of approaching danger, is very audacious, frequently coming close to the farm-houses in search of prey, and persevering in efforts to rob the hens of their chickens, until successful. The writer has witnessed several times, in the state of Maryland, where crows are far too abundant, the pertinacity of one of these robbers in attempting to seize a young chicken, notwithstanding the fierce defence made by the hen. His approaches appeared to have in view the withdrawal of the hen to a little distance from the brood; then, taking advantage of his wings, he would fly suddenly over her, and seize the chick. "The same attempts were frequently made upon the goose, with a view to seize her goslins, but the vigilant gander, though sorely fatigued by his struggles, never failed to defeat a single crow: it was otherwise, however, when two or more united for the purpose of feasting on the young. It is not an uncommon thing for farmers to be under the necessity of replanting corn several times in the spring, and, when it is just rising above the ground.
to be obliged to keep several persons continually on guard in the fields. When the corn has shot up an inch or two above the surface, a host of these black-coated plunderers invade the fields, and, having posted sentinels in several commanding situations, march regularly along the cornrows, drawing up the grain, pulling skilfully by the shoot, and then swallowing the germinating corn. Among the most successful experiments made to prevent the crows from doing this mischief is that of coating the seed corn with a mixture of tar, oil, and a small quantity of slacked lime, in powder. The ingredients being mixed in a tub, the seed corn is stirred in it until each grain receives a thorough coating of the mixture. This preparation, as it necessarily keeps the grain from being readily affected by moisture, is found to retard the germination about three days. In the instance we witnessed of the trial of this preventive, it was fully successful; for, although the field w7as daily visited by hosts of crows, they were content with pulling up enough corn, in various places, to be satisfied that it was, throughout, equally unpalatable. During their breeding season, which is in the spring months, the flocks spread over a great extent of country, and build their nests of small, sticks, lined widi grass, in lofty trees, choosing die most remote and difficult of approach. The young, generally, are two in number, and, until fully fledged, are most solicitously protected by their parents. When the young crows first begin to receive lessons in flying, nothing is more remarkable and affecting than the efforts made to preserve them, by the parents, when a gunner approaches the vicinity. Every artifice is employed to call attention away from the young, which seem to comprehend the directions or calls of their parents, and remain perfectly silent and motionless. In the mean while, the father and mother fly towards the gunner, taking care not to remain an instant in one place, and, by the most vociferous outcries, deprecate his cruelty. These efforts being continued, their voluntary exposure, and the eagerness with which they fly about a particular spot, are almost always successful in withdrawing the sportsman from the place where the young actually are. As soon as they have succeeded in leading him to a sufficient distance, they cease their accents of distress, fly a little farther from their young, and from a lofty perch, which enables them to watch all around, utter an occasional cry, which one may readily im
agine to be intended for the direction and encouragement of their offspring. The most successful mode of destroying crows, is that of invading them in their extensive dormitories during the night When they have selected a pine thicket, or other dense piece of wood, for a roosting place, they repair thither with great regularity. Every evening, vast flocks come sailing to the retreat, and the trees are literally covered and bowed down. When the state of Maryland received crow scalps in payment of taxes, at three cents each, parties were frequently made to attack the crow roosts. Gunners were stationed at various parts, surrounding the roosts, and all those of one division fired at once; the slaughter was necessarily dreadful, and those remaining unhurt, bewildered by the darkness, the flashing and report of the guns, and the distressing cries of their companions, flew but to a little distance, and settled near another party of gunners. As soon as they were fairly at rest, the same tragedy was reacted and repeated, until the approach of day or the fatigue of their destroyers caused a cessation. The wounded were then despatched by knocking them on the head or wringing their necks, and the bill, with so much of the skull as passed for a scalp, was cut oft* and strung for the payment of the taxgatherer. The poor people, who had no taxes to pay, disposed of their crow scalps to the store-Jceepers, who purchased them at rather a lower rate. This premium has long been discontinued, and the number of these marauders is, in many parts of that state, quite large enough to require its reestablishment
Crown. In the early ages, when men were fond of expressing all their feelings by outward signs, a wreath of flowers or leaves was naturally one of the first emblems of honor or of joy. Such was the ornament of the priest in the performance of sacrifice, of the hero on his return from victory, of the bride at her nuptials, and of the guests at a feast. The ancient mythology, which gave every thing a distinct beginning and a poetical origin, ascribes the invention of wreaths to Prometheus, who imitated, with flowers, the fetters which he had borne for his love to mankind, whom he had created. According to Pliny, wreaths were first made of ivy, and Bacchus first wore them. In process of time, they were made of very different materials. Those worn by the Greeks at feasts in honor of a divinity, were made of the flowers of the plant consecrated to the god. Wreaths of roses afterwards
became very common. In some cases, wreaths were even made of wool. Wreaths of ivy and amethyst were worn, by the Greeks, on the head, neck and breast, at entertainments, with a view to prevent drunkenness. Mnesitheus and Callimachus, two Greek physicians, wrote entire books on wreaths, and their medical virtues. Corpses were covered with wreaths and green branches. Lovers adorned with wreaths and flowers the doors of their mistresses, and even captives, who were to be sold as slaves, wore wreaths; hence the phrase sub corona venire, or vender e. The beasts sacrificed to the gods were also crowned. Wreaths, in process of time, were made of metal, in imitation of flowers, or of the fillet which the priest wore round his head when he sacrificed, which was called &d%a. This attribute of distinction was early adopted by the kings, when they united in their persons the temporal and spiritual power. Among the various crowns and wreaths in use among the Greeks and Romans, were the following:
Corona agonoihetarum; the reward of the victor in the great gymnastic games.
Corona aurea (the golden crown); the reward of remarkable bravery.
Corona castrensis; given to him who first entered the camp of the enemy.
Corona civica (see Civic Croum); one of the highest military rewards. It was giv en to him who had saved the life of a citizen.
Corona convivalis; the wreath worn at feasts.
Corona mnralis; given by the general to the soldier who first scaled the enemy's wall.
Corona nataliiia; a wreath which parents hung up before the door at the birth of a child. It was made of olive-branches if the child was a boy, and of wool if a girl.
Corona navalls, the next in rank after the civic crown, was given to him who first boarded and took an enemy's vessel.
Corona nuplialis; a crown or wreath worn by brides. The bridegroom, also, and his relations, on the day of the wedding, adorned themselves with wreaths. At first, the corona nuptialis was of flowers; afterwards, of gold or silver and precious stones.
Corona obsidionalis; a reward given to him who delivered a besieged town, or a blockaded army. It was one of the highest military honors, and very seldom obtained. It was made of grass; if possible, of such as grew on the delivered place.
Corona triumphedis; a wreath of laurel
which was given, by the army, to the iniperator. He wore it on his head at the celebration of bis triumph. Another crown of gold, the material of which (coronarium aurum) was furnished by the conquered cities, was carried over the head of the general. The wreaths, conferred at the great games of Greece, wrere of different kinds; at the Olympic games, of wild olive; at the Pythian games, of laurel; at the Nemean games, first of olive, then of parsley; at the Isthmian games, a wreath of pine leaves, afterwards of parsley; subsequently pine leaves were resumed.
In the middle ages, crowns became exclusively appropriated to the royal and imperial dignity; the coronets of nobles were only borne in their coats of arms. (See Coronet, also Tiara.) From the Jewish king being called, in the Scriptures, the anointed of the Lord, a kind of religious mystery and awe became attached to crowned heads, which, in most countries, continues to the present day, though history has shown us abundantly that crowns often cover the heads of very weak or very wicked individuals, and that there is no great mystery about their origin; some having been obtained by purchase, some by crime, some by grants from a more powerful prince, some by contract, some by choice, but, on the whole, comparatively few in an honest way. The iron crown of Lombardy, preserved at Monza, in the territory of Milan, is a golden crown set with precious stones, with which in former times the Lombard Icings were crowned, and, at a later period, die Roman-German emperors, when they wished to manifest their claims as kings of Lombardy. An iron circle, made, according to the legend, out of a nail of Christ's cross, which is fixed inside, gave rise to the name. Agilulf, king of Lombardy, was the first person crowned with it (in 590). Charlemagne wras crowned with it in 774. Napoleon put it on his head in 1805, and established the order of the iron crown. In 1815, when Austria established the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, the emperor admitted the order of the iron crown among those of the Austrian empire.— Crown is used, figuratively, for die royal power, in contradistinction either to the person of the monarch, or to the body of the nation, with its representatives, interests, &c. Thus, in modern times, the word crown is used, on the European continent, to express the rights and prerogatives of the monarch considered as a part of the state, which includes all powers—the
legislative, judicial, &c. Thus the crown domains are distinguished from the state or national domains. In France, a difference is even made between the crown domains and the private domains of the king; the former are inalienable, and belong to the reigning monarch, whilst the second may be treated like any other private property. The distinction between crown and state, of course, does not exist in perfectly arbitrary governments.—Crownoncers are certain officers at the courts of European sovereigns. Formerly, when the different branches of government were not accurately defined, they were often, or generally, also state officers, as in the old German empire, and still in Hungary. The offices were generally hereditary; but, of late years, they are almost exclusively attached to the court, the title, in a few cases, being connected with military dignities, as, for instance, in France, where civil and military grand officers of the crown have always existed. (See Dignitaries.)
Crown, in commerce; a common name for coins of several nations, which are about die value of a dollar. (See Coins, Tabic of.)
Crown, in an ecclesiastical sense, is used for the tonsure, the shaven spot on the head of the Roman Catholic priests, where they received die ointment of consecration. (See Tonsure.)
Crown Glass, die best kind of window-glass, the hardest and most colorless, is made almost entirely of sand and alkali and a litde lime, without lead or any metallic oxide, except a very small quantity of manganese, and sometimes of cobalt. Crown glass is used, in connexion with flint glass, for dioptric instruments, in order to destroy the disagreeable effect of the aberration of colors. Both kinds of glass are now7 made, in the highest perfection, in Benedietbeurn (q. v.), where Reichenbach's famous manufactory of optical instruments is situated.
Crown Office. The court of kings bench is divided into the plea side and the crown side. In the plea, side, it takes cognizance of civil causes; in the crown side, it takes cognizance of criminal causes, and is thereupon called the croum office. In the crown office are exhibited informations in the name of the king, of which there are two kinds: 1. those which are truly the king's own suits, and filed, ex officio, by his own immediate officer, the attorney-general; 2. those in which, though the king is die nominal prosecutor, yet some private person, as a common informer, is the real one: these
airy.) The pope considered the invasion of Asia as the means of promoting Christianity amongst the infidels, and of winning whole nations to the bosom of the church; monarchs expected victory and increase of dominion; the peasant, who, in the greater part of Europe, was straggling with wretchedness1 in the degrading condition of bondage, was ready to follow to a country which was pictured as a paradise. The East has* always had a poetical charm for the people of the West, which has by no means ceased in our time. The crusades, and the ardor with which whole nations engaged in them, must be attributed to the above causes. Peter of Amiens, or Peter the Hermit, was the immediate cause of the first crusade. In 1093, he had joined other pilgrims on a journey to Jerusalem. On his return, he gave pope Urban II a description of the unhappy situation of Christians in the East, and presented a petition from the patriarch of Jerusalem, in which he anxiously entreated the assistance of the Western Christians for their suffering brethren. The pope disclosed to the council which was held at Piacenza, in 1095, in the open air, on account of the number of people assembled, the message which Christ had sent, through Peter the Hermit, caused the ambassadors of the Greek emperor Alexius to describe the condition of Christianity in the East, and induced many to pronfise,their assistance tor the relief of their oppressed brethren. The sensation which he produced at the council assembled at Clermont, in 1096, where ambassadors from all nations were present, was still greater; he inspired the whole assembly so completely in favor of his plan, that they unanimously exclaimed, after he had described the miserable condition of the Oriental Christians, and called upon the West for aid, Deus vult (It is God's will)! In the same year, numberless armies went forth in different divisions. This is considered the first crusade. Many of these armies, being ignorant of military discipline, and unprovided with the necessaries for such an expedition, were completely destroyed in the different countries through which they had to pass before reaching Constantinople, which had been chosen for their place of meeting. A superficial knowledge of these holy wars throws a false glare round the character of the crusading armies. They contained, indeed, some men of elevated character; but the greater part consisted of crazy fanatics and wretches bent on plunder. A well con,vol. iv. 6
ducted, regular army, however, of 80,000 men, was headed by Godfrey of Boulogne, duke of Lower Lorraine, Hugh, brother to Philip king, of France, Baldwin, brother of Godfrey, Robert of Flanders, Raymond of Toulouse, Bohemond, Tancred of Apulia, and other heroes. WTith this army, the experienced commanders traversed Germany and Hungary, passed over the strait of Gallipoli, conquered Nice in 1097, Antioch and Edessa in 1098, and, lastly, Jerusalem in 1099. Godfrey of Boulogne was chosen king of Jerusalem, but died in 1100. The news of the conquest of Jerusalem renewed the zeal of the West, In 1102, an army of 260,000 men left Europe, which, however, perished partly on the march, and partly by the sword of the sultan of Iconium. The Genoese, and other commercial nations, undertook several expeditions by sea. The second great and regularly conducted crusade was occasioned by the loss of Edessa, which the Saracens conquered in 1142.. The news of this loss produced great consternation in Europe, and it was apprehended that the other acquisitions, including Jerusalem, would fall again into the hands of the infidels. In consequence of these fears, pope Eugene III, assisted by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, exhorted the German emperor, Conrad III, and the king of France, Louis VII, to defend the cross. Both, these monarch§_jobeyed the call in 1147, and led large bodies of forces to the East; but their enterprise was not successful, and they were compelled to withdraw, leaving the kingdom of Jerusalem in a much weaker condition than they had found it. When sultan Saladin, in 1187, took Jerusalem from the Christians, the zeal of the West became still more ardent than at the commencement of the crusades; and the monarchs of the three principal European countries—Frederic I, emperor of Germany, Philip Augustus, king of France, and Richard I, king of England—determined to lead their armies in person against the infidels (1189). This is regarded as the third crusade. Frederic's enterprise was unsuccessful; but the kings of France and England succeeded in gaining possession of Acre, or Ptolemais, which, until the entire termination of the crusades, remained the bulwark of the Christians in the East. The fourth crusade was conducted by the king of Hungary, Andrew II, in 1217, by sea. The emperor Frederic II, compelled by the pope, who wished for his destruction, to fulfil a promise made in early' youth, undertook the fifth crusade, and