A Short History of Birds & Beasts, for the Amusement and Instruction of Children by Anonymous

book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)

FRONTISPIECE.

[Illustration: THE LION.]

The Lion, the King of all Beasts, How famous for Courage is he! And you, as the King of Good Boys, To learn your Book diligent be.

A SHORT HISTORY OF _BIRDS & BEASTS_, FOR THE Amusement and Instruction OF CHILDREN.

Adorned with Cuts.

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WELLINGTON: Printed by F. Houlston and Son.

Price One Penny.

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THE COCK.

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The _Cock_ doth crow to let you know, If you be wise, what time to rise.

There is no bird treated with so much cruelty as the _Cock_; for he, poor thing, (without the least offence,) is tied to a stake, and thrown at by a set of idle, wicked, barbarous fellows, till he is beaten in pieces. This is a custom the very heathens would blush at; and therefore I hope you, who are a christian, will never be guilty of any thing so inhuman.

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THE PARROT.

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The _Parrot_ prates he knows not what, For all he says is got by rote.

The _Parrot_ is a chattering bird, he talks a great deal, yet knows not what he says; and is therefore not unlike some silly boys, who prate without thinking, and learn their lesson without looking at their book.

THE CUCKOW.

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The _Cuckow_ tells a merry tale, Upon the hill and in the vale.

There’s the pretty _Cuckow_! This good-natured bird comes a long journey once every year to see all his friends, and sing them a song. And after he has obliged them with his company about three months, he takes his leave, and returns to his own country again.

THE COW.

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Early the _milkmaid_ to the meadow hies, And the _red Cow_ her empty pail supplies.

This is the good-natured _Cow_ to which we are all so much obliged. She comes, poor thing! in the morning, and brings her udder full of milk for our breakfast, and the same at night for our supper. To her we are indebted for our custards, cheesecakes, curds and cream, as well as for our milk, butter, and cheese.

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THE NIGHTINGALE.

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The _Nightingale_ doth sweetly sing, To welcome in the cheerful spring.

What a pretty bird the _Nightingale_ is! How sweetly she sings! I could wish ’twas summer all the year for the sake of her good company.

THE LAMB.

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The little _Lamb_ doth skip and play, Always merry, always gay.

See the little _Lamb_! how innocent he looks! he never did any harm, and therefore is beloved by every body: but the fox and the wolf, who are always in mischief, are hated and despised.

THE LION.

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The _Lion_ ranges round the wood, And makes the lesser beasts his food: Thus tyrants on their subjects prey, And rule with arbitrary sway.

Though the _Lion_ is such a strong devouring creature, yet _Daniel_ was thrown into a den among several of them, and received no harm. For he was punished on account of his religion and virtue, he prayed unto God, and the Lord delivered him.

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THE WHALE.

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The _Whale’s_ the monarch of the main, (As is the lion of the plain): He keeps the lesser fish in awe, And, tyrant-like, his will’s his law.

When the prophet _Jonah_ attempted to fly over sea from the presence of the Lord there arose a great storm, and he being cast into the deep, was swallowed by this great fish, in whose belly he repented sincerely, and prayed unto God; wherefore the Lord commanded the fish, and he swam to shore, and cast him upon dry land.

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THE BUTTERFLY.

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The _Butterfly_ in gaudy dress, The worthless coxcomb doth express, Who not regarding whence he rose, Is proud of what?--of his fine clothes.

This gaudy _Butterfly_ owes its being to a poor worm, and has nothing to boast of but his fine wings, which perhaps will be lost the first frosty day: and then his case will be much like the coxcomb’s, who having lost his fine hat and bag wig, has nothing to support him but a head full of emptiness.

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THE CROCODILE.

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The _Crocodile_, with watery eyes, O’er man and every creature cries, Then feeds with pleasure on his prey; So hypocrites their friends betray.

This terrible creature is said to weep over his prey before he devours it, as if he was unwilling to destroy any thing; but in truth, that whining is only to bring other creatures to see what’s the matter, that Mr. _Crocodile_ may get another snap for his belly.

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THE ASS.

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The _Ass_, tho’ mean, will by his bray Oblige your _horse_ to run away.

Though this animal makes such a mean figure, yet _Sampson_, with the jawbone of an _Ass_, slew a thousand men. But then the Lord was with him, and God Almighty can do any thing.

THE ANT.

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The little _Ant_ no labour spares, Wisely preventing future cares; For ere the hoary frost comes on, Her stock’s laid up, and business done.

This little creature was a great favourite with the wise king _Solomon_, who much admired her industry and carefulness, and recommends her to the consideration of every idle person.

‘Arise thou sluggard, go to the _Ant_, consider her ways, and be wise.’

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The HISTORY of SIR RICHARD WHITTINGTON and HIS CAT. Price 1_d._

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TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE:

Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.