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THE PENNY CYCLOPÆDIA
THE SOCIETY FOR THE DIFFUSION OF
TITLES OF HONOUR are words or phrases which cer- of honour is that of knighthood. This dignity is of very tain persons are entitled to claim as their right, in con- antient origin, and, in the form in which we now see it, sequence of certain dignities being inherent in them. may be traced far into the depths of the middle ages, if it They vary in a manner corresponding to the variety of be not, as some suppose, a continuation of the Equites of the dignities, or, in other words, with the rank of the pos- Rome. Persons on whom this honour is conferred take sessor. Thus Emperor, King, Czar, Prince, are titles of rank above the gentlemen and esquires, and are entitled honour, and the possessors of the high dignities represented to the prefix Sir to their former name and surname. Their by these words are, by the common consent of the civilized wives also are entitled to prefix the word Dame, and to be world, entitled to be so denominated, and to be addressed addressed by the compellation Your Ladyship or My Lady. by such terms as Your Majesty and Your Royal Highness. The Knights of particular Orders, as of the Garter, the These are the terms used in England, and the phrases in Thistle, St. Patrick, the Bath, are a kind of select number use in other countries of Europe do not much differ from of the body of the knighthood, and the name of the Order them. In fact one European nation seems to have bor- to which they belong is ordinarily used by and of them, rowed from another, or all to have taken their titles of and thus becomes of the nature of a title of honour. The honour for this exalted rank from a common original ; so Bannerets of former ages were a class of knights superior that little of the peculiar genius of the European nations to the ordinary knight-bachelor, forming in fact an Order can be traced in the terms by which they show their intermediate between the knight, in its ordinary sense, and respect for the persons of highest dignity. But it is dif- the baron. The Baronet, which is quite a new dignity, ferent when we come to compare them with the Oriental not having been known before the reign of James 1, has, nations. In those seats of antient civilization the most besides its name, which is placed after the name and surextravagant terms of compliment are in use, and a little name of the person spoken of, the privilege of prefixing sovereign of a wandering tribe rejoices in titles of honour Sir; and their wives are entitled to the prefix of Dame, and numerous and inflated in the highest degree. In the series to be addressed as My Lady and Your Ladyship. of Roman emperors, the word Cæsar, originally the name Besides these, there are the ecclesiastical dignities of of a family, became a title of honour; Augustus was ano- Bishop and Archbishop, which bring with them the right ther; and Pater Patriæ a third.
to certain titles of honour besides the phrases by which the The five orders of nobility in England are distin- dignity itself is designated. And custom seems to have guished by the titles of honour, Duke, Marquis, Earl, sanctioned the claim of the persons who possess inferior Viscount, and Baron : and the persons in whom the dignities in the church to certain honourable titles or dignity of the peerage inheres are entitled to be de- compellations, and it is usual to bestow on all persons who signated by these words ; and if in any legal proceedings are admitted into the clerical order the title of Reverend. they should be otherwise designated, there would be a There are also academical distinctions which are of the misnomer by which the proceedings would be vitiated, just nature of titles of honour, although they are not usually as when a private person is wrongly described in an indict- considered to fall under the denomination. Municipal ment; that is, the law or the custom of the realm offices have also titles accompanying them; and in the guarantees to them the possession of these terms of honour, law there are very eminent offices the names of which beas it does of the dignities to which they correspond. They come titles of honour to the possessors of them, and which are also entitled to be addressed by such phrases as My bring with them the right to certain terms of distinction. Lord, My Lord Marquis, My Lord Duke, and they have All titles of honour appear to have been originally usually prefixed to their titles, properly so called, certain names of office. The earl in England had in former ages phrases, as High and Mighty Prince, Most Noble, Right substantial duties to perform in his county, as the Honourable, varying with the kind and degree of the dig- sheriff (the Vice-Comes or Vice-Earl) has now; but the nity possessed by them. The other members of the fami- name has remained now that the peculiar duties are gone, lies of peers have also their titles of honour. Thus the and so it is with respect to other dignities. The emperor lady of a peer has rank and titles corresponding with those or king, the highest dignity known in Europe, still perof the husband. All the sons and daughters of peers are forms the duties which originally belonged to the office, or Honourable, but the daughters of "earls and peers of a at least the most important of them, as well as enjoys the higher dignity are entitled to the distinction of being rank, dignity, and honours; and on the Continent there called Lady, and the younger sons of dukes and marquises are dukes and earls who have still an important political are by custom addressed as My Lord.
character. The orders of nobility in other European countries differ Some of these dignities and the titles correspondent little from our own. They have their Dukes, Marquises, to them are hereditary. So were the eminent offices Counts, Viscounts, and Barons. We cannot enter into the which they designate in the remote ages, when there were nice distinctions in the dignities of foreign nations, or in duties to be performed. Hence hereditary titles. the titles of honour which correspond to them.
The distinction which the possession of titles of Another dignity which brings with it the right to a title honour gives in society has always made them objects of P. C., No. 1552.
ambition; and it may be questioned whether, as far as with the hard-billed and granivorous birds, where they are there has been any feeling in operation besides that of a generally stationed. Here,' says Mr. Vigors in continuasense of duty, the great exertions which are made in the tion, it may also be observed that they form part of one service of the country are not stimulated less by the ex- of the extreme families of the tribe, and are immediately pectation of pecuniary reward, than by the hope of receiv- connected with a group of the preceding family of the ing one of these titles of honour which shall descend to a Sylviado?, which passes on to the Conirostres, the succeedman's posterity. They cost nothing; and hence it is that ing subdivision of the order. They thus are brought into titles of honour have been called “ the cheap desence of contact with the tribe to which the strength and the coninations.'
cal structure of their bill indicates a conformity; while at Whoever wishes to study this subject in all its details the same time they maintain their station among the will do well to resort to two great works : one, the late groups where their manners and general economy would • Reports of the Lords’ Committees on the dignity of the naturally place them. The Pari, which thus introduce us Peerage;' the other, the large treatise on Titles of into the present family, lead us on to the more typical Honour,' by the learned Selden. The latter was first groups of the Linnean Pipr@, with which they bear an acprinted in 4to., 1614; again with large additions, folio, 1631. knowledged affinity in manners and general appearance.
TITMICE, Paridæ, a natural family of Perching The genus Pardalotus, Vieill., which is the representative
of the latter group in Australasia, appears to connect these Linnæus, in his last edition of the Systema Nature, placed two allied groups of the Old and the New World, by the genus Parus between Pipra and Hirundo, in his order exhibiting the nearly divided foot of the one, and the parPasseres.
tially curved bill of ihe other. Here come in the Rupicola, Latham arranges it also at the end of the same order. Briss., and PHIBALURÁ, Vieill. And here, as I have already
Pennant too gives it a place in the Passerine section, observed, when speaking of the Thrushes [Merulid, vol. between the Warblers and the Swallows.
XV., p. 121], I apprehend that all those groups will be M. de Lacépède places it immediately before the Larks ; | found to assemble, which, connected with Ampelis, Linn., M. Duméril in the eighth family of the Passeres (Subus are generally denominated Berry-eaters and Chatterers; lirostres, or Raphioramphes), in company with the Mana- such as Bombycilla, Briss., the true Ampelis of authors, kins, Larks, and Bec-fins ; M. Meyer, in the third suborder Casmarhinchus, Temm., and Procnias, Ill. To these the (Subulate) of his fifth order (Oscines), between Alauda and genus Querula of M. Vieillot may, I think, be added. This Regulus ; Illiger, at the head of the Passerini, among the group, the type of which is the Muscicapa rubricollis of Ambulatores, immediately before Alauda ; Cuvier, among Gmelin, is strongly allied by its bill to the foregoing gethe Conirostres, directly after the Larks ; Vieillot, in the nera, while its habits equally ally it to the family of Musfamily of Ægithales in the tribe Anisodactyli; Temminck, CICAPIDE, which follows. The interval between the present in the order Granivores, between the Larks and Buntings; groups and those of the Pari, where we entered on the and Latreille in the family Conirostres, also between the family, appears to be filled up by a race of birds peculiar Larks and the Buntings. Selby arranges it between the to New Holland, and hitherto uncharacterized, of which same two forms.
the Muscicupa pectoralis, Lath., is the type.
These, Mr. Vigors places the genus Parus among the Piprida, uniting many external characters, at least, both of the in his order DENTIROSTRES. In his paper On the Natural Berry-eaters and Fly-catchers, exhibit also in general apAffinities that connect the Orders and Fumilies of Birds,* | pearance a considerable resemblance to the Pari, and will he remarks that the true Wrens of the Sylviadæ, a family be found, I conjecture, to be the connecting bond between which in his arrangement immediately precedes the all these groups. The affinity between this last family of PiPrid.x, display in their general appearance and habits so the tribe and the Muscicapide, which first met our attenclose a similarity to Parus, Linn., the Titmouse of our tion as we entered it, has already been observed when I naturalists, that we may at once acknowledge the affinity spoke of the separation of the broad-billed Chatterers from þetween the latter family and that of Pipridæ, upon which the Thrushes. And thus equally, as in the former tribe, he enters by means of the Pari. “And who is there,' he we may recognise the completion of a circular succession asks, that has not been attracted by the interesting man- of affinities between all the families of the Dentirostres.' ners of both these familiar visitors of our domestic haunts, The uncharacterized group above alluded to was afterand at the same time has not been struck with their resem- wards formed into the genus Pachycephala, Sw. blance ?' The Penduline Titmouse, Parus pendulimus, Mr. Swainson (Classification of Birds) enters among the Linn., with its bill longer and more slender than that of Titmice by the American genus Seiurus, remarkable for the Pari in general, seems to him to be the connecting the motion of its tail. One species, Seiurus aquaticus, link between the families. That species, he observes, is Sw., frequents the sides of streams and runs upon the immediately met by the genus Tyrannulus of M. Vieillot, ground, whilst another, S. aurocapillus, Sw., is, he observes, which in the name of Roitelet Mesange (Titmouse-Wren), confined to damp woods and runs along the low branches conferred by Button on the American species of which it of trees. Here Mr. Swainson sees a change of economy; is composed, happily illustrates the affinity which he has which, he says, plainly shows that nature has assumed a pointed out. It is pleasing, he remarks, to trace in new form; and as the habit of running along branches of groups which bear a general affinity to each other in their trees is the chief faculty of the Scansorial birds, or of their more essential characters, an affinity also in less consequen- representatives, so, he remarks, we may suppose that the tial particulars, and he calls attention to the fact that this group next in succession to the Motacilline would possess is the case in the conterminous groups of Wrens and Tit- something of the same characters. These he finds manimice with respect to their mode of nidification ; for the tested in the genus Accentor, and he adverts to an unpubgreater portion of both make their nests in holes of trees, lished rotice which he heard read at a meeting of the but those groups which most nearly approach each other, Linnean Society of London, relating to the habits of an viz., Regulus, Tyrannulus, and Parus pendulinus, suspend Accentor which was killed near one of the public buildings theirs from the branches, leaving the orifice at the centre, at Oxford, and which was seen to climb so adroitly round and interlacing the materials of which it is composed with the steep abutments of those buildmgs as to baffle for a corresponding ingenuity and elegance. Mr. Vigors goes considerable time the aim of the person who shot it. He on to remind his readers that the affinity between these also states that he has seen the common Hedge-sparrow birds has been acknowledged by scientific as well as by com- frequently hop along the whole length of a strong oblique mon observers; and yet the former have generally ranked branch, pecking into the crevices of the bark so as to rethe Pari in a different tribe, and some indeed have even mind the observer of a scansorial creeper, or of a Woodarranged them in a different order from the Sylviada, in pecker: and he makes the Titmice à subfamily of the consequence of their more conical bill and the absence of SylviaD.E, with the genera and subgenera which will be the mandibular notch. A rigid deference to those parti- found in that article. (Vol. xxiii., p. Hl.] culars which form the characteristics of the conterminous He remarks that this subfamily may be said to comsubdivisions would, he admits, certainly exclude the Pari mence with the genus Accentor, which stands at the confrom the tribe of Dentirostres ; but the nature of their food, fines of that group which contains the most scansorial which consists chiefly of insects, and the similarity of their warblers in the family of the Sylviade. The short, habits, give them, he thinks, a more natural connection stout, and nearly conic bills of these active little climbers' with the families among which he has placed them, than says Mr. Swainson, are admirably adapted for pecking * Linn. Trans.,' vol. xiv,
into the bark of buds, and thus extracting the small insects
that there lie concealed. Of the five types of form, or | Megistina, Vieill.; Tyrannulus, Vieill.; Sphenostoma,
In this article we shall confine ourselves to those cognate
EUROPEAN TITMICE. the Brazilian Titmice (Hylophilus, Temm.), and Egithnia, Vieill. Parus and igithalus, he remarks, are distin
The following species are found in Europe : guished by their conic, sharp-pointed, and entire bills,
The Great Tit, Parus major; the Sombre Tit, Parus while the ihree aberrant types have that organ notched; lugubris; the Siberian Tit, Parus Sibericus; the Toupet but he points out that in all five the feet, so constantly Tit, Parus bicolor; the Azure Tit, Parus cyaneus; the employed in the great exertion of climbing, are particu- Blue Tit, Parus cærulous: the Coal Tit, Parus ater; the larly strong and muscular; and that the hind-toe also, Marsh Tit, Parus palustris ; the Crested Tit, Parus crisupon which all climbing birds depend so much for as
tatus ; the Long-tailed Tit, Parus caudatus of authors sistance, is large and powerful. The discovery of the genus Oriles); the Bearded Tit, Parus biarmicus (genus five subgenera of Parus,' says Mr. Swainson in continua- Calamophilus); the Penduline Tit, Parus pendulinus of tion, independent of the verification they afford by their authors (genus Ægithalus). perfect analogy to the correctness of the corresponding
Of these, the Great Tit, the Blue Tit, the Crested Tit, types of the genus Sylvicola, subsequently detailed, is of the Coal Tit, the Marsh Tit, the Long-tailed Tit, and the much importance, since this discovery enables us to prove,
Bearded Tit are British. beyond all reasonable doubt, that neither the long-tailed
There is little doubt that the Tits are the Aίγιθαλοί nor the bearded tits (Parus caudatus and biarmicus) are (Ægithali) of Aristotle. The Great Tit, the Long-tailed types either of genera or subgenera. We have already Tit, and the Blue Tit are referred by Belon to the aiy.Balós, alluded to the station in which, after the most minute the aiyıbalóç ëtepos, and the spiros aiziałóg of that author, analysis, we have placed the Parus biarmicus,* which is and, we think, with good reason. only an aberrant species of the restricted subgenus Parus,
The Great Tit, the Blue Tit, the Coal Tit, and the Marsh as the latter now stands: from this bird always living in Tit are too well known to require description; but a the vicinity of water, it becomes that species which repre- / sketch of their habits may not be unacceptable.' White, sents the natatorial type; while in the greatly developed speaking of the English Tit, says :— Every species of tittail of Parus caudatus it is easy to perceive another aber-mouse winters with us: they have what I call a kind of rant species typifying the Rasores. We have repeatedly intermediate bill between the hard and the soft, between remarked that groups preeminently typical in their own
the Linnæan genera of Fringilla and Motacilla. One circle, almost invariably present us with these variations species alone spends its whole time in the woods and fields, in the form of their aberrant species. The restricted never retreating for succour in the severest seasons to genus Parus is precisely of this description: it is the pre- houses and neighbourhoods ;* and that is the delicate eminent type of an entire subfamily; and hence, like Long-tailed Titmouse, which is almost as minute as the Corvus, Lanius, Sylvia, and a great number of other genera Golden-crowned Wren; but the Blue Titmouse or Nun holding the same rank in their own circles, it contains a (Parus cæruleus), the Coal-Titmouse (Parus ater), the greater variety of modifications in the form of its species Great Black-headed Titmouse (Fringillago), and the Marsh than genera which are not preeminently typical. The
Titmouse (Parus palustris), all resort at times to buildings, whole of the subgenera of Parus are distinguished from and in hard weather particularly. The Great Titmouse, those of Sylvicola by characters the most simple and beau- driven by stress of weather, much frequents houses ; and, tiful. They all have that peculiar strength of foot so con
in deep snows, I have seen this bird, while it hung with spicuous in our native examples, and their wings are inva- its back downwards (to my no small delight and admirariably rounded ; that is to say, the first quill is short, and tion), draw straws lengthwise from out the eaves of thatched the second and third so graduated that the fourth becomes houses, in order to pull out the flies that were concealed the longest. The bill also is short and thick, generally between them, and that in such numbers that they quite more or less conic, and sometimes (as in the types) very The Blue Titmouse, or Nun, is a great frequenter of houses,
defaced the thatch, and gave it a ragged appearance. strong: the upper mandible may be said to be entire, for
very in the only genus (Parisoma) which has the culmen arched, and a general devourer. Besides insects, it is the notch is so small that it may be termed obsolete.' Mr. of flesh; for it frequently picks bones on dunghills:'it is a Swainson then remarks that we are thus enabled to dis- vast admirer of suet, and haunts butchers' shops. When tinguish the whole from the neighbouring group, Sylvicola, a boy, I have known twenty in a morning caught with which he then enters upon.
snap mouse-traps baited with tallow or suet. It will also Notwithstanding the discovery here claimed, and the pick holes in apples left on the ground, and be well enterassumed proof that neither the Long-taileil nor the tained with the seeds on the head of a sun-flower. The Bearded Tits are types either of genera or subgenera, we
Blue, Marsh, and Great Titmice will, in very severe weather, shall presently find that ornithologists, in their publica- carry away barley and oat straws from the sides of ricks. tions subsequent to that of Mr. Swainson, are not convinced ;
(Selborne.) but, on the contrary, still regard these two interesting count of this admirable observer relative to the straw
We can confirm, if confirmation were needed, the acforms as generic types.
Mr. Yarrell places the Paride, or True Tits, between the extracting labours of the Great Tit. The thatch of a root-
The Prince of Canino (Birds of Europe and North Ame-catching; they are small-bird murderers, and frequently
The Great Tit, without any compass to speak of, is a
! Au temps d'Antonne il y a des mesanges,
En utand loison, qui l'antent par les boss,
Et font des ceufs douze ou quinze par fois.
Oyseaux petits et qui chantent comme anges.'
The habits of the Blue Tit are recorded by White with line: the Parine, according to him, consist of the fol- cqual truth: this is the bird that fights so stoutly pro lowing genera:
aris et focis, hissing like a snake or an angry kitten when Egithalus, Vig.; Melanochlora, Less. ; Parus, Linn.; her nest in the hollow of some decayed tree is invaded by a • Classification of Animals,' pp. 270, 271,
* But see post, description of that species.