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that sprung, tall and graceful, from behind | stooped and put him off his shoulders, with the feathery birches, a little pouch-shaped an egg in each hand. nest, whose outside was curiously filigreed “You see,” said Howard,
" the COWwith bits of mosses, gray and green, on a bunting is a bird that hasn't a right to any foundation of thin strips of birch-bark, sort of consideration. She never builds a twined round and round, and glued firmly nest, or takes care of her eggs after she lays at the top, across the angle of the maple- them. She just leaves them round on charity, spray.
to be hatched or not, as it happens ; and it's “ There's what I've been looking for all no robbery to take them wherever you find day,” said Howard. “A vireo's nest. And them. In fact, it's a kindness to the other you're just the boy to get the first peep into poor birds that get so imposed on. I think it.”
we've had uncommon luck for one day,” he “I don't see how,” said Johnnie. “Un continued, as Steenie came up with the box, less I could fly.”
and received the double addition to their “Brains are a match for wings somè- gains. “A thrush, three cedar-birds, a times ; and for a good many other things, partridge, a vereo, and a cow-bunting !” that for that reason we needn't have the “If we don't get any more, we can't ditrouble of," said Howard. “See here! Can vide 'em even,” said Steenie. “ Three into you climb up on my shoulders ?”
seven goes twice, and a cow-bunting over ! He knelt down for a moment, while John Who'll have that ?” scrambled up, as if for a ride “ pickback," "Suppose we wait till we find out whe. and seated himself astride. Howard held ther we are to get a couple more partridge him by the legs, and raised himself, with eggs, and then we shall each have one of some effort, to his feet again, thus bringing them, and a cedar-bird's; and we'll draw Johnnie comfortably up to the necessary lots for the choice of the others.” height for grasping and bending down the “That's it!” cried Stephen. “Bully for branch. Which having done, he peeped you, Howard !” eagerly into the soft interior of the pretty They kept on, across the little runnel of nest, lined with grass and dry pine-leaves, “yarb tea,” and around through the woods, and reported four eggs.
that were thinning now, towards the fields, “Four !” exclaimed Howard. “Are you and came out as Howard had proposed, a sure ?"
little beyond the old oak with the withered Yes, sure,” replied John. “But they're branch, near which he had found the nightnot all alike. Three of 'em are beauties,— hawk's eggs a few days before. white, with two or three little brown spots Along by the rye-field they met Farmer on.one end; the other is bigger, and speckled Simmons. all over, like the thrush's egg."
“Well, boys,” said he,“ been eggin' ? It's “ Good !” cried Howard. “That's a cow- astonishin' what takes the youngsters, all bunting! Out with it, and one of the vireo’s at once and all together! Here's my boy
comes to me, chock-full of it, a week or two “ Two ?” asked Johnnie. “ Shall I?” ago,—the fellers up at the 'cademy started
“Yes, to be sure ; and make haste," said the idee,-an' now here's a chap, all the way Howard, who had played Atlas almost long from New York, sharp-set after the same enough.
identical thing! Wonder how they teleJohn slid down to the ground as Howard | graph it round!
DWELLERS IN THE DEEP..
BY GEORGE ST. CLAIR, F.G.S., &c.
CHAPTER V.—THE CUTTLE-FISH, NAUTILUS, &c. (Class CEPHALOPODA.)
, fishes, which belong to the vertebrated consisting of carbonate of lime (or chalk), (or back-boned) sub-kingdom of animals, usually deposited in a crystalline condition; and with the crustacea and the vermiform the animal part being composed of layers of classes, members of the sub-kingdom articu- membrane alternating with the chalk, and lata, we have now to do with the molluscous of cells enclosing the chalk. sub-kingdom, soft-bodied . creatures, com- With the exception of the argonaut, all monly denominated shell-fish. You may molluscs possess a very small rudimental think that oysters and mussels, cuttle-fish shell before being hatched, though afterand snails, are not worth discoursing about, wards it may exhibit a very different form but if that be your view, I can contidently and colour, or be early shed and never resay
that you have not read Edward Forbes's placed. Where the shell is entirely absent, article on
“ Shell-fish : their Works and the mollusc is said to be naked; and some Ways,” in the Westminster Review for Janu- that are not naked are but imperfectly pro
tected, having the shell generally concealed To say nothing of the living molluscs, a in a fold of the mantle; whilst in others collection of shells is a beautiful and sur. again it completely envelopes the body when prising sight: beautiful, since more exquisite the animals desire to withdraw themselves examples of elegance of form and brilliancy under its protection. Some molluscs in of colour cannot be found through the wide coiling their shells obey the most exact georange of natural objects ; surprising, when metrical rules, whilst others twist and twirl we consider that all these durable relics them into fantastic likenesses of cornucopiæ were constructed by soft and fragile animals, and trumpets, without regard to symmetry among the most perishable of living crea- or direction. Yet every one of the fifteen tures. Still more surprising is such an thousand and more kinds has a rule of its assemblage, when we reflect upon the endless own, a law which every individual of each variations of pattern and sculpture which it kind implicitly obeys. displays; for there are known to naturalists The Little cells engaged in forming the more than fifteen thousand distinct kinds of shell are none of them larger than oneshells, each presenting some peculiarity of hundredth of an inch in diameter, and in shape or ornament distinguishing it from most cases are less than one two-thousandth every other sort.
of an inch. In the cavities of these microIt would be a mistake, however, to sup- scopic chambers is deposited the crystalline pose that the shell is always a safe guide to carbonate of lime, which gives compactness the character of the creature within. Very to the beautiful dwelling-house, or rather similar shells are often produced by animals coat of mail, that protects the tender molextremely unlike each other; while others luse. “How astonishing,” says Forbes, “that possessing little resemblance may be the myriads of exactly similar and exceedingly work of animals closely allied. Molluscs minute organs should so work in combinaare enclosed within a soft, flexible skin, tion, that the result of their labours should called the mantle, which is chiefly interest present an edifice rivalling, nay exceeding, ing as being the portion of the body con- in complexity, yet order of details and percerned in the formation of the shell. Shells fection of elaborate finish, the finest palaces are formed, like bones, of a combination of ever constructed by man !” A similar train of thought ran through the mind of Mr. | said that the depth has a very marked in. Lewis, when standing on the Capstone Auence on the colour of shells,—that where Parade, at Ilfracombe, he looked towards the light can scarely penetrate the colours Lantern Hill, surmounted by an old bit of wax faint,—and that even individuals of the building which was once a convent, but same species, taken at different depths, ex. which looked to him as if it were the habi-hibit a marked difference in their intensity tation of some huge mollusc that had se- of colour. As Edward Forbes makes the creted its shell from the material of the statement, and Sir J. Herschel repeats it, it rock. After moralizing for awhile, he ought to be true ; but Mr. Gosse gives some concludes that whatever other advantages facts on the contrary side. our habitations may have over those of In many of the mollusca the shell is cominsects and molluscs, it is clear they have posed of a single piece, which is usually a not the advantage in architectural beauty spiral tube, open at one end, and gradually subservient to utility. “Consider man increasing in size towards the open extremity, from a distance-look at him as a shell- from which the animal protrudes itself when fish—and it must be confessed that his in action. Shells of this description are habitation is surprisingly ugly. Only after called univalves, or shells with one valve : a great many intermediate steps does he an ordinary whelk-shell may serve you as an contrive to secrete here and there a palace instance of the class. In others the shell or a Parthenon which enchants the eye.” is composed of two pieces, or valves, attached The same apparatus which enables the ani- to each other at one point by a hinge, furmal to construct the original shell, suffices nished with a spring to open the valves, and also for the execution of repairs, should any with muscles to keep them closed. Such accident render them necessary. The chalky shells are called bivalves, or shells of two matter being deposited by the mantle, re- valves : an oyster will suffice to show you pairs can only take place where the mantle what is meant. is, that is to say within the shell. Accord. It would be difficult to describe the shape ing to Mr. Woodward, there is an ammonite of the living mollusc itself. Unlike men, (a fossil shell resembling the nautilus) in and cows, and crabs, and insects, which the British Museum, evidently broken and have their limbs arranged in pairs, so that repaired during the life of the animal, which one side of the body is the counterpart of shows that the shell was deposited from the other, we find them almost destitute of within.
bi-lateral (two-sided) symmetry. Neither Remembering that there are thousands of do we find many traces of that circular dissorts of molluscs, and that the individuals position of organs around the mouth which of many kinds are to be numbered by mil. is characteristic of star-fishes and their lions, as any oyster-bed will remind us, we relatives. The mollusc is an epicurean in perceive that the sea from which they get philosophy, not caring generally to look the materials for their shells is a great lime- much about him, and still less to trouble quarry. Lieutenant Maury has pointed out himself with travelling ; but being possessed that the withdrawal of so much solid matter of a good digestive apparatus, he lies shapefrom the waters destroys the equilibrium of lessly in his shell, and says to his soulthe whole ocean, and serves the useful pur. “Take thine ease : eat, drink, and enjoy." pose of setting mighty currents in motion. The higher mollusca, however-the cephalo
The shells of the Indian Seas and the poda—of which we have presently to speak, Eastern Archipelago are prized by collec-are superior to their relatives in several tors for their . exceeding beauty, brilliancy respects. We shall find that they possess of colour, and elegance of form. It is in tentacula, or feelers, which they make active these seas that the pearl fisheries are con- use of, eyes resembling those of fishes, and ducted, the true pearl oyster being confined even organs of smell and hearing, and these to them, though pearls of inferior quality are disposed symmetrically, on or in the are to be had elsewhere. It is sometimes head.
The Cephalopoda, or head-footed animals, | the said fishermen made a fire on the supderive their name from their most character posed island, the kraken, not liking the istic peculiarity, which is that the front of burning coals, has extinguished the fuel and the body, which forms a well-marked head, drowned the men by a sudden subsidence. carries numerous fleshy arms, which you Availing himself of such exaggerations, M. may mistake for legs if you like, which are Victor Hugo, in the “Toilers of the Sea," effective for seizing and holding the living has represented his hero as carrying on a prey on which the animals feed, and are life and death struggle with an enormous also used for the purpose of crawling. These octopus in a cave of the Douvres rocks. But arms being furnished on their inner surface doubtless poulps do sometimes attain very with numerous sucking-cups, the animal is considerable dimensions: M. Sander Rang enabled to take a firm grasp of any object. mentions one, which he saw, of the size of a The cephalopods are scattered in countless large cask. numbers over the whole ocean ; some, like Another eight-armed creature, of which the argonaut, constantly frequenting the we have both facts and fables to present, is high seas; others, like the common octopus, the Argonaut, commonly called the paperinvariably clinging to the coasts. All the nautilus, from the whiteness and delicacy species are carnivorous and ferocious, and of its shell. In the mere possession of an most of them choose the darkness or the external shell it is distinguished from many twilight as the period of their activity. cephalopods, while it differs from the true
The Octopus, or Poulp, is a creature of nautilus in not having the shell chambered. strange and uncouth aspect; its long, flexible The argonaut has been celebrated by the arms moving and curling in all directions, poets, ancient and modern, as the model and its large eyes, which stare with fixed from which man took the first idea of navigaze, rendering it even repulsive. Even a gation. Two of the arms of the argonaut cursory observer would predict it to be are expanded so as to present a wing-like ferocious and carnivorous ; and its actual form, and it was said that when pursued by character harmonises with its appearance. its cruel foe, the trochus, it ascended to the The common poulp has arms six times the top of the water, spread these out as sails length of his body, and each arm is furnished to catch the breeze, and rowing with its six with 120 pairs of suckers. Woe to the fish remaining appendages, scudded along like a that is enfolded within the tenacious grasp galley in miniature. But it is now known of these arms! Resistance is vain, for the that this is altogether a fiction, and that suckers may sooner be wrenched off than the expanded membranes are kept closely unfixed. Closer and closer to the mouth wrapped round the shell, which they secrete the victim is brought; until, being firmly in the first instance and can mend if injured. secured as in a vice, the work of demolition By the action of the arms, and squirting commences. Denys de Montfort has repre- successive jets of water from its syphon, the sented an enormous poulp in the act of argonaut can swim backwards in the same engulphing a three-mast vessel, an manner as other octopods; and it can also being twisted round each of the masts, and creep along the bottom of the sea, exactly reaching nearly to the top! This was for as a large spider might be supposed to do. the purpose of ridiculing the notions cur. The Calamary, or Squid, is a long, slenderrent among navigators with regard to the bodied creature, with two of its arms much size and power of these creatures. It has longer than the other six, being, in one been gravely alleged by Pontoppidan that genus, no less than six times the length of the disappearance of islands may be ex- the body. In place of a shell it has a horny plained on zoological principles. Fishermen plate, something resembling in shape the are said to have landed on a poulpor head of a spear, or the feather of a large kraken, as the Norwegians term it—a mass pen, from which circumstance it is somea quarter of a mile in diameter, with a back times called the sea-pen.
The common covered with a thicket of sea-weeds. When | British species is often thrown ashore after
high winds, and is used by the fishermen as animal being a combination of the vertebrate
and the mollusc, so utterly fantastic and Even a squid may prove an interesting abnormal, that (had not the family been study. Mr. Lewis says—“I go out on the among the commonest, from the earliest sands, and at my feet the tide throws a geographical epochs) it would have seemed calamary, with which I rush back to my a form almost as impossible as the mermaid, lodgings in great glee. A pie-dish of sea- far more impossible than the sea-serpent. water receives the welcome cephalopod; but After a gale at Tenby, Mr. Lewis was he is dead and will show none of his ways. returning to his lodgings carrying a large Yet what is this? The colour-specks are cuttle-fish in each hand, when some comcoming out on the skin, like stars appearing passionate sailors assured him, “Them's at night, and now the whole surface, which not good to eat, sir !” But the sailors were was pearly-white, is of a variegated hue. I had in error, for, to quote Edward Forbes, these heard of this before, but actual observation molluscs now, as in ancient times, consti. gives one very đifferent feelings from those tute a valuable part of the food of the poor of mere acquiescence in a fact. The colour in some countries. One of the most strikspecks continued to come and go, much to ing spectacles at night on the shores of the my puzzlement.”
Ægean is to see the numerous torches Sea-grapes so called, masses of dark soft glancing along the shores, and reflected by substance resembling purple grapes in size the still and clear sea, borne by poor fisherand shape, and often found on the shore, men, paddling as silently as possible over are the eggs of the cuttle-fish, one of the the rocky shallows in search of the cuttlecephalopoda. When the young cuttles come fish, which, when seen lying beneath the out, they are rather comical-looking indi- water in wait for its prey, they dexterously viduals. Mr. Wood was much amused with spear, ere the creature has time to dart with the perfect self-possession of one that was the rapidity of an arrow from the weapon hatched in his presence. It had not been about to transfix his soft but firm body. free from the egg-shell for one minute The people of those countries where çuttlebefore it began a leisurely tour of the vessel fishes are eaten, are furnished with an exin which it first saw the light, examining it cellent means of judging of their freshness, on all sides, as if to find out what kind of a
in the fact that for some hours after death place the world was after all. It then rose the tint of the skin is constantly changing. and sank many times in succession over The cuttle-fishes thus caught and eaten are different spots, and after balancing itself for only receiving the measure they previously a moment or two over one especial patch of meted to others. They chietly prey upon small sand, blew out a round hole in the sand, fishes and crustacea, and seem especially into which it lowered itself, and there lay destined to restrain the too rapid increase quite at its ease : it executed this move- of the latter. Winding their arms around ment with as much address as if it had the body and limbs of even a powerful crab, practised the art for twenty years.
and securing them all by fixing the suckers If you have been dredging along with upon the surface of the crustacean, they can Mr. Kingsley, you will perhaps capture pick the shell to pieces with their powerful (besides gobies, pipe-fishes, and other won- mandibles, and extract the contained flesh drous things) some small Cuttle-fish, which without fear of injury. The common cuttleyou may notice to be creatures of a white fish, and the calamaries or squids, are often jelly, mottled with brilliant metallic hues, very troublesome to tishermen, by following with a ring of suckered arms round their shoals of tish into the nets, devouring large tiny parrots' beaks, who, put into a jar, quantities of them, and watching an opporwill hover and dart into the water, as the cunity to dart away before they can them. sky-lark does in air, by rapid winnowings
selves be seized. of their glassy side-fins, while they watch Like the poulp, the cattle-fish attains a you with bright lizard-eyes; the whole very considerable size. One species (the