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onychoteuthis), the suckers on whose two and stored up in an ink-bag lying along the long arms are furnished with hooks at their lower part of the body. That ink is the edges, has been known to attain the length proper name for it, you will acknowledge, of six feet. It is much dreaded by the when I state that it was used by the ancients natives of the Polynesian Islands, who are for writing, while the moderns prepare from said to have been attacked by it when diving it their Indian-ink, and the well-known for shell-fish. Pérou saw, near Van Die-colour Sepia. This instrument of war can man's Land, a cuttle-fish as big as a tun, also be employed while the animal is out of rolling about in the waters, its enormous the water, as was once rather amusingly arms having the appearance of frightful exemplified in the experience of an officer snakes. Each of these organs, it is said, referred to by Mr. Wood. The officer was was at least seven feet long, and measured searching the coast for objects of marine seven or eight inches round the base. The natural history, and after awhile came uninhabitants of some of the islands in the expectedly on a cuttle, who had taken up Indian Archipelago are said to affirm that his abode in a convenient recess. The cuttle cuttle-fish are often seen twelve feet broad has a pair of very prominent eyes, and for a over their centre, with arms fifty-four feet short time the cuttle looked at the officer, long; and are stated to provide themselves and the officer at the cuttle. Presently, the with axes, whenever they go out in boats, cuttle became uneasy, and taking a good from their fear of being seized by these aim at his military visitor, shot his charge monsters. These dimensions seem to border of black ink with so true a range, that a on the fabulous, and no doubt you will consider the colossal cuttle-fish mentioned by with the sable fluid, and rendered entirely
pair of snowy white trousers were covered Pernetti, as climbing up the rigging and
unpresentable. overturning a three-masted ship, as some
Besides picking up sea -grapes on the what too large to be swallowed.
Wonderful, yet not past sober belief, is shore, you may often find an oval shelly the account given by Sir James Ross, that plate, called the cuttle-bone. Along the on one occasion a number of cuttle-fish not
eastern shores of the Mediterranean, they only fell upon the deck of his ship, which may be seen heaped up by the waves into a was fifteen or sixteen feet above the water, ridge, which fringes the sea for miles. but even bolted right over the entire breadth you reside inland you may procure a speciof the vessel, like a sportsman over a five
men at the perfumers' shops : formerly it barred gate. We have already seen that
was used in medicine, but now it is emcephalopods swim by the forcible expulsion ployed for the formation of pounces. It is of water through a tube, which has the the shell of the cuttle-fish-an internal effect of sending them in a backward direc. shell, enclosed within the substance of the tion. Those which have long bodies and mantle, and falling out when the latter is strong muscles may, therefore, perform this split open. It is a wonderful structure, conmovement with such violence as to shoot like sisting almost entirely of pure chalk, and arrows through the water, or even like the carrying on one of its surfaces a multitude flying-fish, perform a long curve through
very thin plates arranged in layers, kept
apart by minute pillars, which require a It has before now been suggested that microscope to distinguish them. Owing to the enemies of England should be discom- this structure, it is so light as to float in fited by the discharge of vessels which, on
water, so that it must impart some buoyancy their bursting, should generate noxious gases
to the animal. poisonous to breathe. By a sort of antici
We must next give attention to an expation of this mode of warfare, the cuttle tremely interesting family, the Belemnites, fish, when alarmed; suddenly discharges whose remains abound in several of the from his funnel'a volume of fluid of intense older rocks, especially the Lias and Oolite. blackness, which is manufactured by himself They are familiar to most people by the
name of “thunderbolts”—long cylindrical them alone; it is by no means uncommon bodies, composed of calcareous spar, pointed to find them measuring three feet in at one end, and slightly hollowed at the diameter, and occasionally they are as much other, not unlike an elongated Minié bullet. as four. More than five hundred species of They are named belemnites from their these shells have been described, and it resemblance to a spear-head, from the Greek appears that many of these were very widely word belemnon, a dart or javelin. These distributed. Thus, two species of ammonites fossil remains furnish us with a series of found in the Himalaya mountains, at a historical documents, attesting the great height of 16,000 feet above the sea, are age of Mother Earth. What are the ruins exactly like species which are common near thirty or forty centuries old, that speak of Lyme, in Dorsetshire. These animals must the vanished glories of extinguished empires, have been very important agents—their to these wonderful medals of creation that carnivorous habits being duly considered lead our thoughts a thousand times further in keeping the balance among the other back, and tell of what was doing on our dwellers in the deep, by preventing the planet before man came to be its chief inha- excessive multiplication of crustacea, and bitant? The fossil, as usually found, is but perhaps of other molluscs, and of fishes. a part of the shell as it once existed : in its From the very earliest times down to a general form it resembles the “pen ” of the comparatively recent epoch, animals of this squid, having a conical-chambered portion sort abounded in our seas. Yet from some inserted into the part usually found. In the causes, of which we are at present ignorant, last or largest chamber of the cone, distinct so many species have become extinct that remains of an ink-bag have been frequently the well-known pearly Nautilus is almost met with, from which we may conclude that the only living representative. The nautilus the animal resembled the cuttle-fish in some -that is, the animal itself—is exceedingly particulars. I have in my possession some rare: it lives at great depths, and we have words written with this fossil ink, from a no positive evidence that it ever visits the belemnite found at Lyme Regis. This surface, except when driven up by storms. reminds me that from one of the fossil Nevertheless, the empty shells abound in
bags found at Lyme Regis, and which the Coral Sea, and are cast ashore in such had belonged to a belemnite, or some other profusion that many tons' weight are colspecies of the same order, Dr. Buckland lected at New Caledonia and the Feejee sent some solidified ink to his friend Sir Islands, and conveyed to Sydney, where Francis Chantrey, who executed with it a they sell for three half-pence each ; or to small drawing, which a painter pronounced the Navigator and Friendly Islands, where, most excellent sepia. These fossil bags not living, they are worth one shilling a assisted the cephalopods of antiquity in piece. On the Moluccas and New Guinea, concealing themselves from their formidable though many shells are cast ashore, Dumont enemies, the huge saurians or lizards now d'Urville found it impossible to obtain a also extinct, though still seeming to live in single living specimen, though not sparing the grounds of the Crystal Palace, where of gifts and promises to the islanders. they have been invested with a new exist- The nautilus is a cephalopod of a very ence by Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins.
peculiar kind. Here, instead of mighty Side by side with the belemnite lived in cup-bearing or sharp-clawed arms, we find the old, old days the Ammonite, so called be- a great number of contractile and slender cause its spiral shell resembles the horn tentacula. The handsome pearl-mother and represented on the temple of Jupiter Ammon. spirally - wound shell, though presenting Ammonites, commonly called snake-stones, nothing remarkable externally, is found, are among the most abundant of fossils, when its interior is examined, to be divided especially in the Lias, Chalk, and Oolite into chambers, by a large number of transrocks. In some places, they are so numerous verse partitions of shelly matter. The animal that the rocks seem almost composed of takes up its abode in the foremost and
largest ; but sends a communicating tube or have their place in creation, their means of syphon through a perforation in the centre enjoyment while they live, and their limits of each partition to the very extremity of beyond which they cannot pass. With the the spirally-wound shell. Although the exception of the poulp, which leads a soli. history of the growth of the nautilus cannot tary life on rocky coasts, they love the be positively stated (on account of the society of their kind, and wander in troops uncommon rarity of the animal) there is along the shores and in the deeper ocean. every reason to believe that, at the usual They destroy on shallow banks the hopes period for the enlargement of the shell, the of the fisherman, devour on the high seas creature adds to the edges of the outer countless myriads of young fish and naked chamber, in such a manner as to prolong molluscs, and kill, like the tiger, for the and widen it; and that it then throws a mere love of carnage. Thus they would new partition across its lower or inner part, become dangerous to the equilibrium of the
to form an additional chamber. seas, if nature, to counterbalance the effect Hence, the number of chambers would be of their destructive habits, had not provided greater according to the greater age of the a great number of enemies for the thinning animal ; and this is found to be the fact. of their ranks. They form the almost exThe tentacles or feelers of the nautilus are clusive food of the sperm-whales and dolmore than a hundred in number, and phins ; and various sea-birds love to skim instead of being furnished with suckers, as them from the surface of the ocean. Tunnies in the poulps and cuttle-fishes, are more or and bonitos devour them in vast numbers, less distinctly annulated, or divided into the cod consumes whole shoals of squids, rings. Of the habits of the nautilus little and man catches many millions to serve is known. It is said to creep along the him as a bait for this valuable fish. But it bottom of the sea, and probably feeds upon may be said of any particular individual of the crustacea which it finds there, as the the class that it is only appointed to him specimen dissected by Professor Owen con- once to die ; and if he enjoys himself while tained portions of a small crab.
he lives, and disappears from life without Thus have we taken a rapid glance at the the pain of a lingering disease, what has he cephalopoda - the highest class of the to complain of ? molluscous animals—and found that they
THE EVIDENCE SKULL.
A TALE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
FOUNDED ON PACT.
century, or shortly after the commence- first sight of our hostess, one could not help ment of the reign of the “ merry monarch,” being struck with her lively and bustling Charles the Second, there dwelt in the pre- appearance, but on a closer inspection there cincts of Smithfield a good-natured, kind- was a something about her features inde. hearted man, of the name of Job Parley, scribably forbidding. Yet she enjoyed the the proprietor of an inn then known by the reputation of being what the world would name of the “ Swan and Bottle.” In those call a "good wife,” and an active business days the bar, or room from which the liquors woman. She was about thirty years old, were served forth, stood open, facing a large and some twenty years younger than her fireplace, from which was blazing on the better half, who, by good living and trifling hearth a rousing fire, chiefly of wood, and over-indulgences, had become almost a roaround which were sitting a number of the tundity. He had also an occasional visitant second sort of customers; the best room or the gout—which he used jocosely to term parlour being allotted to a superior class of his “old friend.” It may easily be inferred visitors, who used to meet every evening to from the above description of Job Parley, talk over the occurrences of the day. To or “honest Job,” as he was commonly describe the characters of the different indi- called, that he was not always on the best viduals who frequented the “ Swan and terms with his wife, who would now and Bottle” would be superfluous; suffice it to then discharge a volley of abuse, which say they were the principal tradesmen of the good-natured' man took with as much the locality, among whom our worthy host patience as his namesake. Not being caplayed a conspicuous part. There was pable of much exertion, it was deemed another rather singular visitor in the person necessary that some one should be hired of Jacob Spader, the sexton of St. Andrew's. to assist in the business. It was not Jacob had passed the sixtieth year of his long before such
person likely to life, during the latter part of which he had suit the place was found in the person of been a regular attendant at the “Swan and Paul Barwell, a strong, athletic young man, Bottle," and had frequently in his occupa- and who was accordingly engaged to supertion performed the last sad offices by pre- intend the parlour, to act as a sort of proparing the earthy bed for many of the party tector to the house against turbulent cuswho had passed away during that period ; tomers, and in fact to make himself generally Jacob was, therefore, much respected useful. Paul Barwell was one of those
a sober, serious, and sensible man. self-sufficient animals that by only giving Besides, he a sort of locomotive him a little latitude would be certain to chronicle, and would give (so accurate was presume upon it. He had been in his new his memory) the date of any remarkable situation but a very short time before he
The landlady of the “Swan began to assume an authority not unusual and Bottle," and wife of our worthy host with that class of persons who could boast Job Parley, was a sharp, sprightly dame, a lengthened service as an excuse for their with a keen, piercing eye, and a hooked nose insolence; but here was a man who had not that breathed defiance to anything like sub- | been more than a week in office before he jection, and clearly indicated, in that in appeared more like the master than the stance, the truth of the adage that “the servant ; besides, it was not difficult to dis
cover that he had the ear as well as the soft Notwithstanding that everything appeared tongue of his mistress, who could use it at satisfactory, yet strange rumours got afloat times in a manner not always agreeable to respecting the sudden death of Mr. Parley, ears polite.
and many indiscreet tongues were heard It was at that festive season of the year boldly stating their belief that the landlord when every good heart rejoices--Christmas of the “Swan and Bottle” had not come to eve that a snug party had assembled at his death by fair means, which suspicions the “Swan and Bottle,” and were seated became heightened by the widow marrying around a roaring fire to enjoy the hospitality Paul Barwell, her waiter. All these unbe. of our worthy host, who was unanimously coming transactions were, as a matter of voted chairman for the evening, and amongst course, talked about in the neighbourhood, the company was his old friend Jacob Spader, but having served as a “nine days' wonder,” the sexton. The night was a right merry ceased to exist, or gave way to circumstances one;
the song and jest went round, the of a more gloomy character. glasses circled freely, and the bowl was kept It was in the summer of the year 1665, in one continuous flow until the roysterers when the plague of London, raging in all by midnight had had their quantum sufficit, its fury, swept away half the population of and one by one departed, as well as they the metropolis, causing an entire suspenwere able, to their homes, leaving our host sion of business. All was terror and disand the sexton to finish the last bowl. The may ; each one expecting in turn to fall excitement, the hilarity of the evening, or a sacrifice to the pestilence. Such was the an unusual dose of the exhilarating beverage, mortality that, during the scourge, one had made the equilibrium of Job extremely hundred thousand fell victims to the plague ; doubtful, and had certainly rendered his and it has been stated that many were articulation most imperfect. It was, there- hurried away while yet alive, and buried fore, as a dernier ressort that his friend with the mass. Carts went round the Jacob undertook the kind office of carrying town, morning and evening, to collect the him (no easy matter) up to bed, one of a newly-fallen victims, the men calling softer and warmer kind than those which he “Bring out your dead.”
No decency was accustomed to prepare. During this was or could be observed, no burial service onerous task he was followed by Mrs. Job took place, but the bodies were indiscriParley, who kept up a constant fire of epi- minately thrown into pits pell-mell, and thets not of the most endearing character, covered with quick-lime, in order to destroy such as, “ Ugh! you drunken beast,
;"“ filthy the contagion. Such was the awful state sot,” “I'll very soon alter this,” &c., all of of things in this year; which was lost upon the auricular of Job who fell martyrs to the plague was Paul Parley. The sexton too, he came in for his Barwell, leaving his wife, of the “Swan and share of abuse, with a gentle hint, “ that if | Bottle,” in her second widowhood. he visited less frequently in future the Swan The year following this direful epoch was and Bottle, it would be more agreeable.” no less remarkable for a great fire, which The following (Christmas) day the house began in Pudding Lane, near to London remained closed, and a report was generally Bridge, and ended at Pye Corner. The circulated that the landlord had died of a conflagration lasted three days and three surfeit from over-drinking. A jury was nights, reducing the greater part of London empannelled, who, after a close investiga- to ashes. tion, came to the determination that the de- “Time, that stays for no man,” still rolled ceased had died of apoplexy, and returned on, and our old friend the sexton, who had their verdict accordingly.
braved all the horrors of the plague, still The following week poor Job Parley was continued to live, aye, and to enjoy good consigned to his long home, and his good health, although at the advanced age of friend performed the last office by digging eighty (for twenty years had elapsed since the grave that was to receive his remains. he had ceased to visit the “Swan and