Page:Omniana.djvu/222

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204
OMNIANA.

the reason is, because those in parchment are usually without pasteboard. — On the other hand they are far more susceptible of damp. I have found some of them with their covers black and rotten after a voyage, though packed in the midst of a chest, where the books around them were perfectly uninjured by the sea.

Books which have these covers should never have them stiffened with any kind of boards, they cannot otherwise be read near the fire without inconvenience or injury. In the old fashion parchment is the lightest, cheapest, cleanest, and most durable form of binding, and if vellum be substituted, the most beautiful.


101. The Carpenter Bird.

Herrera (10.4. 11) describes a curious bird in the province of Chiapa, a sort of turdus which they called the Carpenter. This bird fed solely upon acorns, which it used