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THE COTOT. -

POLITICAL GOSSIP. --

loXTERATURB AMD THE ARTS.…

SPORTS AND PASTIMES. -—♦—

HINTS UPON GARDENING. -------

TOPICS OF THE WEEK. --+-

RAVEN SUPERSTITIONS.

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RAVEN SUPERSTITIONS. All poetical writers have agreed in giving to the raven, which may be called the king-bird of the crow tribe, somewhat of a mysterious and unearthly character. To the superstitions of every land it is a bird of fear and evil omen; when divination formed a part of religion, its every tone of voice, and attitude, and motion, had some peculiar significance; its asso- ciations are of "battle, and murder, and sudden death," and all sights and sounds of arhastliness and horror. In Germany the gibbet, -b--p swing the bones of murderers, is the Sabenstein (Baven-stone.) The raven sits On the raven-stone, And his black wing flits O'er the milk-white bone. To and fro, as the night winds blow, The carcase of the assassin swings; I And there alone, on the raven-stone, The raven flaps his dusky wings." Disobedient children are told that Ravens shall peck out their eyes, And eagles eat the same." And thus, even in childhood, there is implanted a kind of loathing fear of the bird, which frequently re- mains through life. The feeding of Elijah by ravens at the brook Cherith, as recorded in Scripture, serves, in some measure, to retrieve the character of gloom which attaches to this bird-the oreb of the Hebrews a term implying blackness of colour, from oreb, evening. The raven has a character, too, of strength and dauntleasness. The object of fear in others, he seems to have no fear himself. He it was that first ventured forth out of the sheltering ark ere the waters of the flood had subsided; he la th e haunter of all places of Ion eli- 'ness, and desolation, and death; no scene of witchcraft and foul incantation is complete without him. Whet the steel, the raven croaks," said the Saxon warrior, as he prepared for slaughter and destruction. Odin, the chief of the Gothic deities, and the god of war, obtained his insight into futurity by means of a raven sent to him by Shalda, one of the Fates and,"according to Scandinavian mythology, Thea, wandering in the infernal region, is made to say- "Amid the tortured ghosts of murderers Forlorn I dwell; no silver-sounding voice Melodious warbles to my gloomy soul. The sooty raven sails around my head, And harshly chants her hoarsest desoant there." In short, this bird of harsh voice and uncleanly habits, and ebon plumage, does not certainly stand high iu public estimation, notwithstanding the halo thrown around it by the geimis of Dickens, and the many attempts, made by Watlrton and others to de- fend its character.—" Wild Flowers, Birds, andlmecU of the Month."

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