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Black-backed Gull's Nest, Cape Terawhiti.

not be friars if they were not. The tame ones that he kept showed great fondness for the piano and singing ; and it is remarkable that this should be so as their note is so unmusical. But after all, modern music is only gratification of a feeling, a refined feeling no doubt ; but it does not follow that because the music is what is called good that there is anything more in it than mere sounds. There may be, for instance, more real music in a wail for the honoured dead, a hymn of praise sung all out of tune by some cracked old voice, than in the most elaborated piece of orchestration of A.D. 1904. So it does not follow that because Larus Dominicanus loves music he is therefore saintly.

This gull is found all through the Southern Hemisphere, not being peculiar to any region, but classed as cosmopolitan, which is just what a Dominican should be.

The Larus Marlnus, or great Black-backed Gull known in England^ is a much larger bird, but otherwise very similar to the Southerner. They are all truly magnificent in appearance, the snowy white of their cowl and robe contrasting beautifully with the deep black of the cloak. The Northener, however, is much fiercer, and there is no doubt about his killing lambs and even weakly ewes ; he is also more solitary, getting away to the gloomy regions towards the

Pole, and not so common in England. Perhaps one is tempted to romance a bit over natural history, but it is such a relief to get away from the study of that very artificial product " man,'' to the domain of nature proper, where things are what they seem, and beings may be understood, and their power for evil is limited, and they are not too clever, only commonly cunning ! Yet even in this nature we find types of degenerate man, and we cannot ignore the significance of such as the Tui and Karoro. We have noted the descent of our Dominican from heaven to earth, but we must not leave him in the depths, for there is an element of nobility in him, even as in the eagle, for he can soar— leaving things of earth (after having well-dined), he can climb to such heights that the eye hardly distinguishes him. And in the pure refined air of those regions he can revel in sunshine and that exhilaration of spirits which is such a strange and delightful experience to all who mount from the plains to the hills ; there, one needs no lt Malvoisie " for " a world of woe I" The dwellers in plains may mope, but the Swiss mountaineer " yodels/ So having watched Larus Dominicanus soar to the heights, let us conclude that he came thence, that it is his real home, and there take leave of him.

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Bibliographic details

Black-backed Gull's Nest, Cape Terawhiti., New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, 1 March 1904

Word Count

Black-backed Gull's Nest, Cape Terawhiti. New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, 1 March 1904

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