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In entering on this class, one cannot but feel that the stork is in some degree injured by being excluded from it. It seems to be scarcely with justice classed among birds of prey. It is in fact a public benefactor, as it does not appear to be injurious to any creatures except those which are generally esteemed themselves injurious; however, its subsisting on reptiles has given it a place among birds of prey, and there we must leave it, though it is both gentle and affectionate in its disposition, and free from that ferocious voracity which characterizes birds of prey in general.
The Crane. The crane is a remarkably tall bird. Its legs are very long, and it appears to stand in nearly an erect posture. Its colour is dingy, on the upper part yellowish, and of an iron colour, and the breast and lower part of the body of a dirty white. Its beak is long and sharp-pointed, and its feet and claws are cloven. The crane does not, like the stork, live on impure and venomous creatures, but chiefly subsists on fruits and seeds. Hence it was reckoned among clean birds, and permitted to the Jews for food. In other respects the crane in its character and modes of life very nearly resembles the stork. Cranes are birds of passage, and remarkably accurate in observing their appointed time; they discover also great sagacity in arranging their bands, and in conducting their long and fatiguing march or flight. In their migrations, they are observed to keep close together, and arrange themselves in a triangular form, the more easily to cut against the adverse winds that would impede their fight; they ascend to so great a height, as to be nearly imperceptible to the naked eye, but even at so great a distance their note is distinctly heard. No bird is more noisy than the crane, or utters a harsher note, yet mingled with a dull complaining expression.
In both these characteristics the sacred writers refer to the crane. 1. To the instinctive sagacity of its migrations, in which it is a reproach to the senseless Jews, who forgot the mighty works of the Lord, and were unmindful of His teachings and commands, Jer. viii. 7. 2. The pious king Hezekiah, describing his melancholy feelings under dangerous sickness, uses the plaintive moan or loud scream of the crane, to express his anguish, Isa. xxxviii. 14. Ah! how little can the outward distinctions of life do in shield. ing against, or relieving under, the afflictions incident to human nature. Even royalty is not exempt froni sickness, nor can palaces shut out death. A few days' sickness brought down the mighty king of Judah, from uttering the voice of command to obedient servants, or addressing his sentinents to listening senates with eloquence and authority, to moan in his