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NEW WORKS JUST OUT.
THE LAND AND THE BOOK; or, Biblical Illustrations Drawn from the
Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery of the Holy Land. By the Rev.
W. M. THOMSON, D.D., Twenty-five Years Missionary in Syria and Palestine.
One Volume Crown 8vo, 718 pages, price 7s. 6d. With Twelve Coloured Illus-
trations and Numerous Woodcuts.
*** By far the most interesting and valuable Work on the IHoly Land that has
appeared for many years.
From the Rev. W. LINDSAY ALEXANDER, D.D., Edinburgh.
"'The Land and the Book,' by Dr. W. M. Thomson, is not a mere book of travels
in the Holy Land, got up after a hasty survey under the usual disadvantages that
await travellers in the East. It is the result of many years' observation, and of re-
peated journeys throughout the length and breadth of that country, by one
thoroughly conversant with the language and the usages of the people, and by one
who, familiar with the Bible, was ever on the watch to gather from what he ob-
served materials for the illustration of the language, allusions, and descriptions of
he sacred volume. The variety, felicity, and importance of these illustrations con-
stitute the chief value of the book, whilst as a guide to the geography and topography
of Palestine in its present state, it surpasses nearly all the books of that kind I have
read. I may add that it is written in a lively style, and is adorned with many ad-
mirable illustrations of localities and objects of natural history."
THE PASTOR OF KILSYTH; or, Memorials of the Life and Times of the Rev.
Dr. Burns. With Special Reference to the Revival of 1839. By the Rev. ISLAY
BURNS, Dundee. One Volume, post 8vo, price 3s. Gd.
New Work by the Rev. Dr. Candlish.
THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS: "Love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, and thy Neighbour as Thyself." Illustrated in a Series of Discourses
on the 12th Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. By ROBT. S. CANDLISH, D.D.,
St. George's Free Church, Edinburgh. Crown 8vo, price 7s. 6d.
GLIMPSES OF OCEAN LIFE;
ft'R h-'Vans ftr f t U fssOmiS ftlg @Zac4
JOHN HARPER, F.R.S.S.A.
AUTHOR OF 'TITE SEA-SIDE AND AQUARIUM,' ED.M
WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR.
SArmado. How hast thou purchased thy experience ?
Moth. By my penny of observation.'
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
EDINBURGH ; AND NEW YORK.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
LORD BROUGHAM AND VAUX,
CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH,
SETC., EC., ETC.,
t THIS LITTLE VOLUME
1 A$ AS TRIPLING TOKEN OF RESPECTFUL ADMIRATION
UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED GREATNESS.
ON THE PLEASURES DERIVED FROM THE STUDY OF MARINE ZOOLOGY.
Introduction-Two classes of readers-Marine zoology as an amusement-
The botanist and his pleasures-Entomological pursuits-Hidden marvels
of nature-The little Stickleback-Conclusion, ... ... ... 17
A GLANCE AT THE INVISIBLE WORLD.
Microscopic studies-When to use the microscope-Modern martyrs of science
-Infusoria- Use of Infusoria-Distinction between plants and animals-
Vorticella-Rotatoria-Wheel animalcules-Mooring Thread of Vorticelle
-A compound species of Vorticella described-Zoothamnium spirale of
Mr. Gosse-Nature's scavengers, ... ... ... ... ... 27
Animal-flowers-A. mesembryanthemum-' Granny,' Sir J. Dalyell's cele-
brated anemone-Original anecdote-A. troglodytes- How to capture acti-
nie-A roving 'mess.'-An intelligent anemone-Diet of the actinie-
Voracity of these zoophytes-Defence of certain species-Actinim eating
crabs-Their reproductive powers -Size of the 'crass.'-The Plumose
anemone-Its powers of contraction, ... ... ... ... 45
EDIBLE CRAB-SHORE CRAB-SPIDER CRAB, ETC.
The Partane-Its character defended-Crustaceous demons-The wolf and
the lamb-Interesting anecdote-Reason and instinct-Anecdote of the
Shore crab-' The creature's run awa' A crustaceous performer The
Fiddler crab-A little prodigal-Singular conduct of the Shore crab-The
minute Porcelain crab Maia squinado Hyas araneus-Maia and C.
mcenas-Anecdote-The common Pea crab--Pinna and Pinnotheres-The
Cray fislh-Masticatory organs of crabs- Fishing for crabs-Crab fishers, 63
Enthusiastic students of nature-Aristocratic Hermit crabs -Swammerdam-
Hermit crab and its habits-Anecdote-The Hermit in a fright-Soldier
crab and Limpet-A crustaceous Diogenes-Prometheus in the tank-The
martyr Hermit crab -The author's pet Blenny-Anecdote, ... ... 89
EXUVIATION OF CRUSTACEA (THE PHENOMENA OF CRABS, ETC.,
CASTING THEIR SHELLS).
The Tower of London-A. crustaceous armory-The author's experience on the
subject-Reamur and Goldsmith-Rejected shells of crabs-Anecdote-
Hint to the young aquarian-Exuviation described from personal observa-
tion in several instances-Renewal of injured limbs-Frequency of exuvia-
tion-Effect of diet on crustacea-Exuviation arrested-Exuviation of the
Hermit crab-How the process is effected, ... ... ... ... 109
PRAWNS AND SHRIMPS.
Habits of the Prawn-The Common Shrimp-How to catch shrimps-Con-
clusion, ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... 135
*S'. rANAJL OLB8-SHIP-BARNACILES.
Y l aseH bed--Exuviation of the Balani-Anecdote-The
Geese, ... ... ... ... ... 143
SU LAXINOSA (THE LAMINATED NEREIS).
1 th s ea.hore-Laminated Nerels-Its tenacity of life-Its
r lthe squariam-How the young annelids are produced -
lifenh Paturalist, .. ... ... ... ... 151
r= I JAI-AXMPHITRITE.
ganum--How to accommodate this annelid in the tank
*Aaphitrlte, ... ... ... ... 159
,THE COMMON MUSSEL.
lA BoSsy-Habits of the Mussel-Marine 'at homes '-The
SIts habits-Enemies of the Mussel--Anecdote-Construction
(ir a Byssm)-Author's experience-Anecdote of the mussel-
heloa of Its foot-Threads of the beard-The bridge at Bideford
~h a Xssel tenacious of life-The beard not poisonous-M.
beds of Esnandes-Branchiae of the Mussel-Food of
0.. ... ... ... see .. .. 163
TEIRBELLA FIGULAS (THE POTTER).
the Potter-Its cephallc tentacula-Construction of its tubular
i Wsk UWtoralu-Curious anecdote-Branchial organs of this
S ... ... ... ... .. .. ... 189
ACALEPHB (XMDUSAB, OR JELLY-JISH).
Introduction- Jelly-fish-Whales' food Lieutenant Maury-Appearance of
the Greenland Seas-Sir Walter Scott-The girdle of Venus-The Berie
-Pulmonigrade acalephl Portuguese man-of-war-Hydra-tuba- Alter-
nation of generations-Dr. Reid-Modera-formoa-Cyanea capillata-Con-
clusion, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 201
DORIS EOLIS, ETC.
Anecdote-Young Dorides-Doris spawn-Nudibranchiate gasteropoda-Dr.
Darwin-Mr. Gopse-A black Doris-Bdches de mer-A Chinese dinner-
Bird's nest soup, and Sea-slug stew, ... ... ... ... 221
THE CRAB AND THE DAINTY BEGGAR.
Anecdote-The Pholas and Shore-crab-The hyaline styletl-The dainty beg-
gar-The gizzard of the Pholas-Of what use is the stylet? ... ... 233
THE PHOLAS, ETC. (ROCK-BORERS).
Pholades at home-Habits of the Pholas-P. crispata-The pedal organ-
Finny gourmands-How is the boring operation performed?- Various
theories on the subject-Mr Clark, Professor Owen-The Pholas at work-
The boring process described from personal observation-Author's remarks
on the subject-Pholas in the tank-Conclusion, ... ... ... 241
The Sea-mouse-Bristles of the aphrodite-Its beautiful plumage (?)-Its wea-
pons of defence-The spines described-Shape of the aphrodite, &c. ... 268
The Coral polypes-The Lily-stars--St. Cuthbert's beads-Pentacrinus euro-
peua-Rosy feather star Ophiuridce Brittle-stars Ophiocomo-rosula-
British asterida-e-Uraster rubens-Habits of this species-Submarine Dan-
dos-Sir John Dalyell--Professor Jones-Star-fish feeding on the oyster
-Bird's foot Sea-star- Luidia fragillissima Cushion-stars Professor
Forbes, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 269
Sea Urchins in the tank-Growth of the Echinus-Its hedgehog-like spines
-Suckers and pores- Ambulacral tubes- Professor Agassiz-Movements
of the Echinus Pedicellari&e-- Masticatory apparatus -Common Egg
Urchin-Echinus sphara-How to remove the spines-' Do you boil your
sea eggs?'-The Green-pea Urchin-The Silky-spined Urchin-The Rosy-
heart Urchin, ... .. ... ... ... ... 287
Its unattractive appearance out of water-Trepang-Several varieties eaten
by the Chinese- Common Sea Cucumber- Habits of the Holothurise-
Their self-mutilation and renewal of lost parts, ... ... ... 30
THE APLYSIA, OR SEA-HARE.
Anecdote-The Sea Hare plentiful at North Berwick-Its powers of ejecting
a purple fluid at certain times- Sea Hares abhorred by the ancients-
Professor Forbes-Spawn of the Aplysia, ... .. ... ... 307
SERPULA AND SABELLE.
Tubes of the Serpete --Dr. Darwin -The harbour of Pernambuco Its
wonderful structure-Reproduction of the Serpue-Babelk-Their sandy
tubes, tc. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 313
THE SOLEN, OR RAZOR FISH.
How it burrows in the sand-How specimens are caught-Cum grano sais-
Bamboozling the Spout Fish-Amateur naturalists, and fishermen at the
sea-shore, ... ... ... ... ... ... 321
A GOSSIP ON FISHES--INCLUDING THE ROOKLING, SMOOTH BLENINY, GUNNEL
FISH, GOBY, ETC.
Punch's address to the ocean-Old blue-jackets and the 'galyant' Nelson-
The ocean and its inhabitants-Life beneath the wave-Fishes the happiest
of created things-A fishy discourse by St. Antony of Padua-Traveller's
ne'er do lie ?-The veracious Abon-el-Cassim-Do fishes possess the sense
of hearing-Author's experience-An intelligent Pike fish-Dr. Warwick
-The Blenny in its native haunts-A Little Dombey' fish-Anecdote-
The Viviparous Blenny-The Gunnel fish-Five-bearded Rockling-Two-
spotted Goby-Diminutive Sucker-fish-Montagu's Sucker-The Stickle-
back-Its nest-building habits described-Conclusion, .. ... ... 327
ON TER FORMATION OF MARINE AQUARIA, ETC.
Mimic oceans-Practical hints on marine aquaria-Various tanks described
-The 'gravity bubble'-Evaporated sea-water-Aquaria in France-Sea-
water a contraband article across the Channel-An aquarium on a fine sum-
mer's day-The Lettuce Ulva-Author's tank-' Excavations on a rocky shore'
--Tank 'interiors'-Various centre pieces-New siphon-Aquaria difficult
to keep in hot weather-How to remove the opacity of the tank-New
scheme proposed-Conclusion, ... ... ... ... ... 353
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS..
... ... ... ...
H.- C- -g i 8- Nr t..)
XVI LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
DoRIS, ... ... ... ... ... *** ... 24
YOUNG Or DORs, ... ... ... ... ... ... 25
EOLIS, ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 26
THE PHOLAS, and Valves of its Shell, ... ... ... 27
THE BRITTLE STA, ... ... .. ... ... ... 28
COMMON CROSS-FISH, ... ... ... ... ... ... 29
COMMON SUN-STAR (with 14 rays), ... ... ... ... 30
PURPLE-TIPPED SEA-URCHIN, ... ... ... ... ... 31
PURPLE-TIPPED SEA-URCOIN, Spine of, ... ... ... 32
PURPLE-TIPPED SEA-URCHIN, Suckers of, ... ... ... 33
THE APLYSIr, or SEA-HAnE, ... ... ... ... ... 34
TEETH of the SEA-URCHIN (two views), ... ... ... 35
THE SEA-CUOUMBER, ... ... ... ... ... ... 36
SERPULJ attached to piece of rock, ... ... ... ... 37
THE SOLEN, or RAZOR FISH, ... ... ... ... ... 38
THE BLENNY, ... ... ... ... ... ... 39
THE VIVIPAROUS BLEiNY, ... ... ... ... ... 40
THE SPOTTED BLENNY, Or GUNNEL-FISH, ... ... ... 41
THE MONTAGU SUCKER-FISH (three views) ... ... ... 42
THE MONTAGU SUCKER-FISH, Sucker of (magnified) .. ... 43
On 1t easurts hkribtr from fe Suinb
d .o rinnm dioology.
SWoe to the man-
SWho studies nature with a wanton eye,
Admires the work, but slips the lesson by.'
As every fresh branch of investigation in natural
history has a tendency to gather around it a rapidly
accumulating literature, some explanation may pro-
bably be looked for from an author who offers a new
contribution to the public. And when, as in the
present instance, the writer's intentions are of an
humble kind, it is the more desirable that he should
state his views at the outset. Nor can the force of
this claim be supposed to be lessened, from the grati-
fying fact, that the present writer has already re-
ceived a warm welcome from the public.
But, before entering upon any personal explana-
tions, it may not be out of place, in an introduc-
tory chapter such as the present, to bring under
review some of the objections which have been, and
still continue to be urged against this, in common
with other departments of study, which are attempted
to be made popular. No branch of natural history
has been subjected to more disparaging opposition,
partly, it must be owned, from the misplaced enthu-
20 TWO CLASSES OF READERS.
siasm of over zealous students, than that of marine
There are two classes of readers, different in al-
most all other respects, whose sympathies are united
in dislike of such works as this. The one, repre-
sented by men distinguished for their powers of
original research, are apt to undervalue the labours
of such as are not, strictly speaking, scientific writers.
There is another class who, from the prejudice of
ignorance, look upon marine zoology as too trivial,
from the homeliness and minuteness of its details.
The wonders of astronomy, and the speculations
suggested by geological studies, nay, the laws of
organization as exhibited in the higher forms of
animal life, are clear enough to this class of readers;
but it is not easy to convince them that design can
be extracted from a mussel, or that a jelly-fish ex-
hibits a marvellous power of construction.
Now, in my belief, the opposition of the better
educated of these two classes of readers is the more
dangerous, as it is unquestionably the more ungene-
rous. If Professor Ansted, when treating of the
surprising neglect of geology, could thus express him-
self-' How many people do we meet, otherwise
well educated, who look with indifference, or even
contempt on this branch of knowledge,'-how much
oftener may the student of the humble theme of
marine zoology bewail the systematic depreciation of
persons even laying claim to general scientific ac-
MARINE ZOOLOGY AS AN AMUSEMENT. 21
quirements. This may be illustrated by an obser-
vation, made in a northern university, by a celebrated
professor of Greek to a no less celebrated professor
of natural history. The latter, intently pursuing his
researches into the anatomy of a Nudibranche lying
before him, was startled by the sudden entrance of
his brother professor, who contemptuously advised
him to give up skinning slugs, and take to more
There is one light in which the study of marine
zoology may be regarded, without necessarily offend-
ing the susceptibilities of the learned, or exciting
the sneers of the ignorant. The subject may be
pursued as an amusement-a pastime, if you will;
and it is in no higher character than that of a
holiday caterer, that the author asks the reader's
company to the sea-side. No lessons but the simplest
are attempted to be conveyed in this little volume,
and these in as quiet and homely a style as
Even in the light of an amusement, the author
has something to say in behalf of his favourite study.
He believes it to be as interesting, and fully as
instructive as many infinitely more popular. For
example: The sportsman may love to hear the
whirr of the startled pheasant, as it springs fi-om the
meadow, and seeks safety in an adjoining thicket.
I am as much pleased with the rustling of a simple
crab, that runs for shelter, at my approach, into a
THE BOTANIST AND HIS PLEASURES.
rocky crevice, or beneath a boulder, shaggy with
corallines and sea-weed. He, too, while walking
down some rural lane, may love to see a blackbird
hastily woo the privacy of a hawthorn bush, or a
frightened hare limp across his path, and strive to
hide among the poppies in the corn-field; I am
equally gratified with the sight of a simple razor-fish
sinking into the sand, or with the flash of a silver-
bodied fish darting across a rock-pool.
Nay, even the trembling lark that mounts upwards
as my shadow falls upon its nest among the clover,
is not a more pleasant object to my eye, than the
crustaceous hermit, who rushes within his borrowed
dwelling at the sound of footsteps. In fact, the
latter considerably more excites my kindly sym-
pathies, from its mysterious curse of helplessness.
It cannot run from danger, but can only hide itself
within its shelly burden, and trust to chance for
Neither the botanist nor the florist do I envy.
The latter may love to gather the 'early flowrets of
the year,' or pluck an opening rose-bud, but, although
very beautiful, his treasures are ephemeral compared
Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.'
But I can gather many simple ocean flowers, or
'Look like flowers beneath the flattering brine,'
whose prettily tinted fronds will 'grow, bloom, and
ENTOMOLOGICAL PURSUITS. 23
luxuriate' for months upon my table. They do not
want careful planting, or close attention, or even-
'Like their earthly sisters, pine for drought,'
but are strong and hardy, like the pretty will
flowers that adorn our fields and hedge-rows. In
the pages of an album, I can, if so disposed, feast
my eyes for years upon their graceful forms, whilst
their colours will remain as bright as when first
transplanted from their native haunts by the sea
The entomologist delights to stroll in the forest
and the field, to hear the pleasant chirp of the
cricket in the bladed grass, to watch the honey
people bustling down in the blue bells, or even to
net the butterfly as it settles on the sweet pea-
blossom, while I am content to ramble along the
beach, and watch the ebb and flow of the restless sea-
'So fearful in its spleeny humours bent,
So lovely in repose-'
or search for nature's treasures among the weed-clad
rocks left bare by the receding tide.
A disciple of the above mentioned branch of
natural history will dilate with rapture upon the
wondrous transformations which many of his favourite
insects undergo. But none that he can show sur-
passes in grandeur and beauty the changes which are
witnessed in many members of the marine animal
kingdom. He points to the leaf, to the bloom upon
the peach, brings his microscope and bids me peer in,
24 HIDDEN MARVELS OF NATURE,
and behold the mysteries of creation which his in-
strume it unfolds. 'Look,' he says, pointing to the
verdaiu leaf, 'at the myriads of beings that inhabit
this simple object. 'Every atom,' he exultingly ex-
claims, 'is a standing miracle, and adorned with
such qualities, as could not be impressed upon it by
a power less than infinite Agreed. But has not
the zoologist equal reason to be proud of his science
and its hidden marvels? Can he not exhibit equal
miracles of divine power?
Take, as an example, one of the monsters of the
deep, the whale; and we shall find, according to
several learned writers, that this animal carries on
its back and in its tissues a mass of creatures so
minute, that their number equals that of the entire
population of the globe. A single frond of marine
algee, in size
'No bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,'
may contain a combination of living zoophytic beings
so infinitely small, that in comparison the 'fairies'
midwife' and her 'team of little atomies' appear
monsters as gigantic, even as the whale or behemoth,
opposed to the gnat that flutters in the brightest
Again: in a simple drop of sea-water, no larger
than the head of a pin, the microscope will discover
a million of animals. Nay, more; there are some
delicate sea-shells foraminiferaa) so minute that the
THE LITTLE STICKLEBACK. 25
point of a fine needle at one touch crushes hundreds
'Full nature swarms with life; one wondrous mass
Of animals, or atoms organized,
Waiting the vital breath when Parent Heaven
Shall bid his spirit flow.'
Lastly, How fondly some writers dwell upon the
many touching instances of affection apparent in the
feathered tribe, and narrate how carefully and how
skilfully the little wren, for example, builds its nest,
and tenderly rears its young. I have often watched
the common fowl, and admired her maternal anxiety
to make her outspread wings embrace the whole of
her unfledged brood, and keep them warm. The cat,
too, exhibits this characteristic love of offspring in a
marked degree. She will run after a rude hand that
grasps one of her blind kittens, and, if possible, will
lift the little creature, and run away home with it in
her mouth. Now, whether we look at the singular
skill of the bird building its nest, the hen sitting
near and protecting its brood, or the cat grasping
her young in its jaws, and carrying them home in
safety, we shall find that all these charming traits
are wonderfully combined in one of the humblest
members of the finny tribe, viz., the common stickle-
back,-the little creature that boys catch by thou-
sands with a worm and a pin,-that lives equally
content in the clear blue sea or the muddy fresh
The author now finds that lie has been much
too prolix in these preliminary observations to leave
himself space for a lengthened explanation of his
reasons for again intruding upon the public. These
are neither original nor profound. But he cannot
help expressing an earnest hope that he may get
credit from old friends, and perhaps from some new,
for wishing to show that the book of nature is as
open as it is varied and inexhaustible; and that,
however jealously guarded are many of the great
secrets of organization, a knowledge of some of the
most familiar objects tends to inspire us alike with
wonder and with awe.
SThere is a great deal of pleasure in prying into this world of wonders, which
Nature has laid out of sight, and seems industrious to conceal from us. . . It
seems almost impossible to talk of things so remote from common life and the
ordinary notions which mankind receive from the blunt and gross organs of sense,
without appearing extravagant and ridiculous'-ADDIsoN.
IT is hardly possible to write upon marine zoology
without either more or less alluding to those many
objects, invisible to the naked eye, which call for the
use of the microscope; and it seems equally difficult
for any one who has been accustomed to this instru-
ment to speak in sober terms of its wonderful reve-
lations. The lines of Cowper, as the youngest student
in microscopic anatomy will readily acknowledge,
present no exaggerated picture of ecstasy:-
'I have seen a man, a worthy man,
In happy mood conversing with a fly;
And as he through his glass, made by himself,
Beheld its wondrous eye and plumage fine,
From leaping scarce lie kept for perfect joy.'
It is proper, however, to notice that a serious
objection has been urged against the use of the
microscope by young persons, namely, the injurious
effects of its habitual use upon the eyesight.
So far as my experience goes, I cannot deny that
this objection is well founded. Since I have begun
to use the instrument, I am obliged, if I wish to
WHEN TO USE THE MICROSCOPE.
view distinctly any distant object, to distort my eyes
somewhat to the shape of ill-formed button-holes
puckered in the sewing. Some individuals, I am
aware, foolishly affect this appearance, from the notion
that it exhibits an outward and visible sign of their
inward profundity of character. In my own case
this result may have arisen from my having worked
principally at night or in the dusk. 'As to the
sight being injured by a continuous examination of
minute objects,' writes Mr. Clark, a most scientific
naturalist, 'I can truly say this idea is wholly with-
out foundation, if the pursuit is properly conducted;
and that, on the contrary, it is materially strength-
ened by the use of properly adapted glasses, even of
high powers; and in proof I state, that twenty years
ago I used spectacles, but the continued and daily
examination of these minutiae (foraminifercc) has so
greatly increased the power of vision, that I now
read the smallest type without difficulty and without
aid. The great point to be attended to is not to use
a power that in the least exceeds the necessity; not
to continue the exercise of vision too long, and never
by artificial light; and to reserve the high powers
of certain lenses and the microscope for important
investigations of very moderate continuance. The
observant eye seizes at a glance the intelligence
required; whilst strained poring and long optical
exertions are delusive and unsatisfactory, and pro-
duce those fanciful imaginations of objects which
MODERN MARTYRS OF SCIENCE. 31
have really no existence. The proper time for re-
search after microscopic objects is for one hour after
breakfast, when we are in the fittest state for
Mr. Lewes, again, speaking to the same point, viz.,
the eyes being injured by microscopic studies, says:-
On evidence the most conclusive I deny the accu-
sation. My own eyes, unhappily made delicate by
over-study in imprudent youth, have been employed
for hours daily over the microscope without injury
or fatigue. By artificial light, indeed, I find it very
trying; but by daylight, which on all accounts is
the best light for the work, it does not produce more
fatigue than any other steadfast employment of the
eye. Compared with looking at pictures, for in-
stance, the fatigue is as nothing.'
In spite of the foregoing assertions, I feel it my
duty to caution the student against excess of labour.
Let him ride his hobby cautiously, instead of seeking
to enrol his name among the martyrs of science, of
whom the noble Geoffry St. Hilaire, M. Sauvigny,
and M. Strauss Duirckheim, are noted modern ex-
amples. Each member of this celebrated trio spent
the latter part of his existence in physical repose,
having become totally blind from intense study over
the microscope. But setting aside the evils of
excess, we must bear witness to the intense de-
light which this pursuit affords when followed with
''Tis sweet to muse upon the skill displayed
(Infinite skill!) in all that He has made:
To trace in Nature's most minute design
The signature and stamp of power divine,
Contrivance intricate, expressed with ease,
Where unassisted sight no beauty sees."
As my aim is merely to give the reader a taste of
the subject, and whet his appetite for its more exten-
sive pursuit at other sources, I shall confine my re-
marks to a few of those creatures which are readily
to be found in any well-stocked aquarium. The
number of animalculh and microscopic zoospores of
plants, invisible to the naked eye, with which such a
receptacle is filled, even when the water is clear as
crystal, is truly marvellous. These animals mostly
belong to the class Infusorica, so called from their
being found to be invariably generated in any infu-
sion, or solution of vegetable or animal matter, which
has begun to decay. Now, the water in an aquarium
which has been kept for any length of time neces-
sarily becomes more or less charged with the effete
matter of its inhabitants, which, if allowed to ac-
cumulate, would soon render the fluid poisonous to
every living thing within it. This result is happily
averted by the Infusoria, which feed upon the decay-
ing substances in solution, while they themselves be-
come in their turn the food of the larger animals.
Indeed, they constitute almost the sole nutriment of
many strong, muscular shell-fish, as pholas, mussel,
cockle, &c.; and doubtless help to maintain the life of
others, such as actinie, and even crabs, which, as is
USE OF INFUSORIA.
well known, live and grow without any other ap-
parent means of sustenance. Thus the I presence of
Infusoria in the tank may be considered a sign of its
healthy condition, although their increase to such an
extent as to give a milky appearance to the water,
is apt to endanger the well-being of the larger,
though delicate creatures. The peculiar phenomenon
alluded to arises from decaying matter, such as a dead
worm or limpet, which should be sought after and
removed with all possible speed. The whereabouts
of such objectionable remains will be generally indi-
cated by a dense cloud of Infusoria hovering over the
spot. The milkiness, however, although it may look
for the time unsightly, is ofttimes the saving of the
aquarium 'stock.' When these tiny but industri-
ous scavengers have completed their task of purifica-
tion, they will cease to multiply, and mostly disap-
pear, leaving the water clear as crystal. I believe it
is the absence or deficient supply of Infusoria that
sometimes so tantalizingly defeats the attempts of
many persons to establish an aquarium. Pure deep-
sea water, although never without them, often con-
tains but very few, hence great caution is necessary
not to overstock the tank filled with it, otherwise the
animals will die rapidly, although the water itself
appears beautifully transparent.
Of Infusoria there are many species. They are
nearly all, at one stage or other of their existence,
extremely vivacious in their movements; so much so,
34 DISTINCTION BETWEEN PLANTS AND ANIMALS.
indeed, that it becomes a matter of difficulty to ob-
serve them closely. Some have the power of dart-
ing about with astonishing velocity, others unceas-
ingly gyrate, or waltz around with the grace of a
Cellarius; while not a, few content themselves by,
slug-like, dragging their slow length along. The
last are frequently startled from their propriety and
aplomb by the rapid evolutions of their terpshicorean
neighbours. Some, again, grasping hold of an object
by one of their long filaments, revolve rapidly round it,
whilst others spring, leap, and perform sundry feats
of acrobatism that are unmatched in dexterity by any
of the larger animals.
I may here observe that the motions and general
structure of many of the microscopic forms of vegeta-
tion, so much resemble those of some of the infusoria,
that it has long puzzled naturalists to distinguish be-
tween them with any degree of certainty. The
chief distinction appears to lie in the nature of their
food. Those forms which are truly vegetable can
live upon purely inorganic matter, while the animals
require that which is organized. The plants also
live entirely by the absorption of fluid through the
exterior, while the animalcule are capable of taking in
solid particles into the interior of the body. Their mode
of multiplication, and the metamorphoses they under-
go, are much alike in both classes, being, during one
stage of their existence, still and sometimes immov-
ably fixed to stones, sea-weed, &c., and at another
freely swimming about. Notwithstanding the simi-
larities here stated, the appearance of certain of the
species is as various as it is curious. One of the
commonest species of the Infusoria (Paramecium
caudatum) is shaped somewhat like a grain of rice,
with a piece chipped out on one side, near the ex-
tremity of its body. It swims about with its un-
chipped extremity foremost, rotating as it goes.
During the milky condition of the water (before
alluded to), these creatures swarm to such a degree,
that a single drop of the fluid, when placed under
the microscope, appears filled with a dense cloud of
dancing midges. Another (Kerona silurus) may be
said to resemble a coffee-bean, with a host of cilia,
or short bristles, on the flat side. These are used
when swimming or running. But perhaps the most
singular and beautiful of all the infusorial animalcules
are the Vorticellae, which resemble minute cups or
flower-bells, mounted upon slender retractile thread-
like stalks, by which they are moored to the surface
of the weeds and stones. They are called Vorticelle
on account of the little vortices or whirlpools which
they continually create in the water, by means of a
fringe of very minute cilia placed round the brim of
their cups. These cilia are so minute as to require
a very high microscopic power to make them
visible, and even then they are not easily detected,
on account of their extremely rapid vibration, which
never relaxes while the animal is in full vigour. On
36 ROTATORIA OR WHEEL-ANIMALCULES.
the other hand, when near death, their velocity
diminishes, and ample opportunity is afforded for ob-
serving that the movements consist of a rapid bend-
ing inwards and outwards, over the edge of the cup.
This is best seen in a side view. The action is repeated
by each cilium in succession, with such rapidity and
regularity that, when viewed from above, the fringe
looks like the rim of a wheel in rapid revolution.
A similar appearance, produced by the same cause,
in another class of animalcula, of much more com-
plex structure than the Vorticellse, has procured for
it the name of Rotifera, or wheel-bearers. The
result of this combined movement of the cilia is,
that a constant stream of water is drawn in towards
the centre of the cup, and thrown off over the sides,
when, having reached a short distance beyond the
edge, it circles rapidly in a small vortex, curling
downwards over the lips. These currents are ren-
dered evident by floating particles in the water. The
possession of these vibratile cilia is not peculiar to
this class of animals; indeed, there is good reason to
believe that there is scarcely a living creature, from
the lowest animalcule, or plant germ, up to man
himself, that is not provided with them in some part
or other. In many of these Infusoria the cilia con-
stitute the organs of locomotion ; while in the higher
forms they serve various other purposes, but chiefly
that of directing the flow of the various internal
fluids through their proper channels. But the pecu-
MOORING THREAD OF VORTICELLA. 37
liar and perhaps most wonderful organ of the Vorti-
cella, is its stalk or mooring thread. This though
generally of such extreme tenuity as to be almost
invisible with ordinary microscopes, yet exhibits a
remarkable degree of strength and muscular activity
in its movements, which apparently are more volun-
tary than those of the cilia. Its action consists of
a sudden contraction from a straight to a spiral
form with the coils closely packed together, by
which the head or bell is jerked down almost into
contact with the foot of the stalk; after a few seconds
the tension seems gradually relaxed, the coils are
slowly unwound, and the stalk straightens itself out.
This action takes place at irregular intervals, but it
is seldom that more than a minute elapses between
each contraction. It (the contraction) invariably
happens when the animal is touched or alarmed, and
is, consequently, very frequent when the water
swarms with many other swimming animalcula.
When it takes place the flower-bell generally closes
up into a little round ball, which opens out again
only when the stalk becomes fully extended. From
this we might almost infer that some animalcule, or
other morsel of food, had been seized and retained
within the cup; moreover, that the contraction of the
stalk assisted in securing or disposing of the prey.
This, however, is uncertain.
The motions of the Vorticella do not seem much
affected by the stalk losing hold of its attachment;
but the result of such an accident taking place is
that the cilia cause the animal to swim through the
water, trailing its thread behind it, and the contrac-
tion of the latter merely causes it to be drawn up to
There are various species of Vorticellse. That just
described is the simplest, consisting merely of a
hemispherical ciliated cup, attached to a single thread.
It is barely visible to the naked eye. But there is
a compound species which I have this year found to
be extremely abundant in my aquarium,-whose
occupants, both large and small, it excels in singu-
larity and beauty. In structure it is to the simple
Vorticella what a many-branched zoophyte is to
an Actinia. My attention was first drawn to
the presence of this creature by observing some
pebbles and fronds of green ulva thickly coated
with a fine flocculent down. On closer inspection
this growth appeared to consist of a multitude of
feathery plumes, about one-sixteenth of an inch in
height, and individually of so fine and transparent a
texture as to be scarcely discernible to the unassisted
sight. On touching one with the point of a fine
needle it would instantly shrink up into a small but
dense mass, like a ball of white cotton-scarcely so
large as a fine grain of sand. In a few seconds it
would again unfold and spread itself out to its origi-
nal size. By carefully detaching a specimen with
the point of a needle or pen-knife, and transferring
A COMPOUND SPECIES
OF VORTICELLA DESCRIBED. 39
it, along with a drop of water upon a slip of glass,
to the stage of the microscope, a sight was presented
of great wonder and loveliness :-
The more I fixed mine eye,
Mine eye the more new wonders did espye 1 '
Let the reader imagine a tree with slender, grace-
fully curved, and tapering branches thickly studded
over with delicate flower-bells in place of leaves.
Let him suppose the bells to be shaped somewhat
between those of the fox-glove and convolvolus, and
the stern, branches, bells, and all, made of the purest
crystal. Let him further conceive every component
part of this singular structure to be tremulous
with life-like motion, and he will have as correct
an idea as words can give of the complex form of
this minute inhabitant of the deep. Moreover, while
gazing at it through the microscope, the observer is
startled by the sudden collapse of the entire structure.
The lovely tree has shrunk together into a dense ball,
in which the branching stem lies completely hidden
among the flower-bells-themselves closed up into
little spherules, so closely packed together that the
entire mass resembles a piece of herring-roe. This
contraction is so instantaneous that the mode in
which it is accomplished cannot be observed until
the tree is again extended. As the re-extension
takes place very slowly, we are enabled to observe
that each branchlet has been coiled in a spiral form,
like the thread of the simple Vorticella previously
40 A COMPOUND SPECIES
described; and also that the main stem, above the
lowest branch, was coiled up in the same way, but
not so closely, and that the part below the lowest
branch had, curiously enough, remained straight.
Sometimes, in large and numerously branched speci-
mens, one or two of the lowest members do not
contract at the same time with the rest, but do so
immediately afterwards, as if they had been startled
by the shrinking movements of their neighbours.
Sometimes these lowest branches will contract alone,
while all the others remain fully extended,-a fact
that would almost seem to indicate that they possessed
an independent life of their own.
In the accompanying engraving I have attempted
faithfully to portray one of these wonderful creatures.
Fig. 1 represents it fully extended, while Fig. 2 indi-
cates its collapsed form. There is another curious
circumstance which I have fortunately observed in
connection with this Vorticella, a description of which
will perhaps be interesting to the reader. I allude
to the casting off of what may be called the fruit of
the tree. When this event takes place, the buds (or
fruit) dart about with such rapidity, that it is almost
impossible to keep them in the field of view for the
briefest space of time. A represents the enchanted
fruit hanging on the tree; B shows it as it swims
Although not exactly fruit, it is, no doubt, the
means by which the Vorticellhe are propagated, for it
OF VORTICELLA DESCRIBED. 41
is known that many fixed zoophytes, and even some
plants, produce free swimming germs or spores, which
afterwards become fixed, and grow up into forms like
those which produced them. In some of the branch-
ing zoophytes (Coryne, Sertularia, &c.), the germs are
exactly like little medusae, being small, gelatinous
cups fringed with tentacula, by means of which they
twitch themselves along with surprising agility. In
this Vorticella, however, it is more like one of the
42 ZOOTHAMNIUM SPIRAL.
ciliated Infusoria. The first one that I saw attached
I conceived to be a remarkably large bell, with its
mouth directed towards me, but the cilia with which
it appeared to be fringed were unusually large and
distinct. The movements of these appendages being
comparatively slow, it was most interesting to watch
them as they successively bent inwards and rose
again, like the steady swell of a tidal wave, or an
eccentric movement in some piece of machinery,
making a revolution about twice in a second, and in
the opposite direction to the hands of a clock. Sud-
denly the tree contracted, when, to my surprise, I
observed the bell, which not an instant before ap-
peared attached, now floating freely in the water, its
ciliary movements not being in the least interrupted.
Presently, however, they became brisker, the bell
turned over on its side, and, ere the tree had again
expanded, darted out of view, not, however, before I
had remarked that it was not a bell, but a sphere
flattened on one side, and having its circular ring of
cilia on the flat side, with only a slight depression in
the middle of it. There also appeared to be a small
granular nucleus immediately above this depression,
the rest of the body being perfectly transparent. I
afterwards saw several others attached to the tree,
each seated about the centre of a branch; but none
of these were so fully developed. They were like
little transparent button mushrooms, and had all
more or less of a nucleus on the side by which they
were attached. On only one of these did I detect
Mr. Gosse, in his 'Tenby,' gives a picture of an
animal exceedingly like what I have described; but
from his account of it, there seems to be some
doubt of their identity. He calls it 'Zoothamnium
spirale' because the insertions of the branches were
placed spirally around the main stem, like those of
a fir-tree. In my specimens the branches were set
alternately on opposite sides of the main trunk, and
the whole was curved like a drooping fern leaf or
an ostrich feather, the bells being mostly set on the
In conclusion, let me mention that it is an error
to suppose, as many persons do, that putrid water
alone contains life. Infusoria occur, as before hinted,
in the clear waters of the ocean, in the water that
we drink daily, and also in the limpid burn that
flows through our valleys, or trickles like a silver
thread down the mountain side.*
Where the pool
Stands mantled o'er with green, invisible,
Amid the floating verdure millions stray.
Each liquid too, whether it pierces, soothes,
Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste,
With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream
Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air,
Though one transparent vacancy it seems,
Void of their unseen people. These, concealed
By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape
The grosser eye of man.'
Ehrenberg states that Infusoria are in a higher state of organization when tahen
fiom pure streams than from putrid waters
44 NATURE'S SCAVENGERS.
Let it be remembered, too, that Infusoria, when
found in either do not themselves constitute the
impurity of fresh or salt water; they merely act as
' nature's invisible scavengers,' whose duty it is to
remove all nuisances that may spring up; and most
unceasingly do these tiny creatures labour in the per-
formance of their all-important mission of usefulness.
"The living flower that, rooted to the rock,
Late from the thinner element,
Shrunk down within its purple stem to sleep,
Now feels the water, and again
Awakening, blossoms out
All its green anther-necks'
I Sir J.G. Dalyell's celebrated ACIINIA. ,A ,, r IFrom Nature '. Ih-
5 CAVE DWELLER "4':,~iA .A A.
~-c~~~sy, - ~~dC ),,
~r .j"x~j ri~~
No marine objects have become more universally
popular of late years than Sea Anemones. Certainly
none better deserve the attention which has been,
and is daily bestowed upon them by thousands of
amateur naturalists, who cannot but be delighted
with the wondrous variety of form, and the
beauteous colouring which these zoophytes possess.
A stranger could scarcely believe, on looking into
an aquarium, that the lovely object before him, seated
motionless at the base of the vessel, with tentacula
expanded in all directions, was not a simple daisy
newly plucked from the mountain side, or it may be
a blooming marigold or Anemone from some rich
parterre-instead of being, in reality, a living, moving,
One great advantage which the Actinice possess
over certain other inhabitants of the sea shore, at
least to the eye of the naturalist, is the facility with
which specimens may be procured for observation
and study. Scarcely any rock-pool near low water
mark but will be found to encompass a certain num-
ber of these curious creatures, while some rocky
excavations of moderate size will at times contain as
many as fifty. Should the tide be far advanced,
the young zoologist need not despair of success, for,
by carefully examining the under part of the
boulders totally uncovered by the sea, he will
frequently find specimens of the smooth anemone,
contracted and hanging listlessly from the surface
of the stone, like masses of green, marone, or crimson
The Actiniae, and especially examples of the above
mentioned species, are extremely hardy and tenacious
of life, as the following interesting narrative will
The late Sir John Dalyell writing in 1851, says,
'I took a specimen of A. mesembryanthemum (smooth
anemone) in August 1828, at North Berwick, where
the species is very abundant among the crevices of
the rocks, and in the pools remaining still replenished
after the recess of the tide. It was originally very
fine, though not of the largest size, and I computed
from comparison with those bred in my possession,
that it must have been then at least seven years old.'
Through the kindness of Dr. M'Bain, R.N., the
writer has been permitted to enjoy the extreme
pleasure of inspecting the venerable zoophyte above
alluded to, which cannot now be much under thirty-
eight years of age !
A CELEBRATED ANEMONE. 49
In the studio of the above accomplished natura-
list, 'Granny' (as she has been amusingly christened)
still dwells, her wants being attended to with all
that tenderness and care which her great age
Sir J. Dalyell informs us that during a period of
twenty years this creature produced no less than
344 young ones. But, strange to say, nearly
the fortieth part of this large progeny consisted of
monstrous animals, the monstrosity being rather
by redundance than defect. One, for instance, was
distinguished by two mouths of unequal dimensions
in the same disc, environed by a profusion of ten-
tacula. Each mouth fed independently of its fellow,
and the whole system seemed to derive benefit
from the repast of either. In three years this monster
became a fine specimen, its numerous tentacula were
disposed in four rows, whereas only three charac-
terize the species, and the tubercles of vivid purple,
regular and prominent, at that time amounted to
From the foregoing statement we learn that this
extraordinary animal produced about 300 young
during a period of twenty years, but, 'wonder of
wonders!' I have now to publish the still more
surprising fact, that in the spring of the year
1857, after being unproductive for many years, it
unexpectedly gave birth, during a single night, to
no less than 240 living models of its illustrious self!
50 9 GRANNY DESCRIBED.
This circumstance excited the greatest surprise
and pleasure in the mind of the late Professor Flem-
ing, in whose possession this famous Actinia then
Up to this date (January 1860) there has been
no fresh instance of fertility on the part of Granny,
whose health, notwithstanding her great reproductive
labours and advanced age, appears to be all that
her warmest friends and admirers could desire. Nor
does her digestive powers exhibit any signs of weak-
ness or decay; on the contrary, that her appetite is
still exquisitely keen, I had ample opportunity of
judging. The half of a newly opened mussel being
laid gently upon the outer row of tentacula, these
organs were rapidly set in motion, and the devoted
mollusc engulphed in the course of a few seconds.
The colour of this interesting pet is pale brown.
Its size, when fully expanded, no larger than a half-
crown piece. It is not allowed to suffer any annoy-
ance by being placed in companionship with the
usual occupants of an aquarium, but dwells alone in
a small tank, the water of which is changed regularly
once a week. This being the plan adopted by the
original owner of Granny, is the one still followed
by Dr. M'Bain, whose anxiety is too great to allow
him to pursue any other course, for fear of accident
thereby occurring to his protegee.
A portrait of Granny, drawn from nature, will
be found on Plate 2.
A. trogli)dyrtes* (cave-dweller) is a very common,
but interesting object. The members of this species
are especial favourites with the writer, from their
great suitableness for the aquarium. They vary
considerably in their appearance from each other.
Some are red, violet, purple, or fawn colour; others
exhibit a mixture of these tints, while not a few are
almost entirely white. There are certain specimens
which disclose tentacula, that in colour and character
look, at a little distance, like a mass of eider-down
spread out in a circular form. A better comparison,
perhaps, presents itself in the smallest plumage of a
bird beautifully stippled, and radiating from a centre.
The centre is the mouth of the zoophyte, and is
generally a light buff or yellow colour. From each
corner, in certain specimens, there branches out a
white horn that tapers to a very delicate point, and
is ofttimes gracefully curled like an Ionic volute, or
rather like the tendril of a vine.
In addition to the pair of horns alluded to, may
sometimes be seen a series of light-coloured rays,
occurring at regular intervals around the circumfer-
ence of the deep tinted tentacula, and thereby produc-
The above mentioned Actinia is extremely abundant on the shores of the Frith
of Forth. Sir J. Dalyell terms it A. explorator. Local amateur naturalists fre-
quently reject the specific name of 'Troglodytes,' and adopt the more musical
appellation of Daisy-Anemone.' Such error seems very pardonable, when we re-
member the close resemblance which the creature when expanded bears to the daisy
of the field. In no single instance have I met with specimens of the true A. bellis
at the above named locality, nor do I think any have ever been found by previous
52 HOW TO CAPTURE ACTINIAE.
ing to the eye of the beholder a most pleasing
As a general rule, never attempt to capture an
anemone unless it be fully expanded, before com-
mencing operations. By this means you will be
able to form a pretty accurate estimate of its appear-
ance in the tanks. This condition of being seen
necessitates, of course, its being covered with water,
and, consequently, increases the difficulty of capturing
your prize, especially when the creature happens to
have taken up a position upon a combination of
stone and solid rock, or in a crevice, or in a muddy
pool, which when disturbed seems as if it would
never come clear again.
It is, in consequence, advisable to search for those
situated in shallow water, the bottom of which is
covered with clean sand. When such a favourable
spot is found, take hammer and chisel and commence
operations. Several strokes may be given before any
alarm is caused to the anemone, provided it be not
actually touched. No sooner, however, does the
creature feel a palpable vibration, and suspect the
object of such disturbance, than, spurting up a stream
of water, it infolds its blossom, and shrinks to its
smallest possible compass. At same time apparently
tightens its hold of the rock, and is, indeed, often
enabled successfully to defy the utmost efforts to
After a little experience, the zoologist will be able
A ROVING 'MESS.' 53
to guess whether he is likely to succeed in getting his
prize perfect and entire; if not, let me beg of him not
to persevere, but immediately try some other place,
and hope for better fortune.
Although apparently sedentary creatures, the Actinim
often prove themselves to be capable of moving about
at will over any portion of their subaqueous domain.
Having selected a particular spot, they will ofttimes
remain stationary there many consecutive months.
A smooth anemone that had been domesticated for
a whole year in my aquarium thought fit to change
its station and adopt a roving life, but at last
'settled down,' much to my surprise, upon a large
mussel suspended from the surface of the glass.
Across both valves of the mytilus the 'mess.,' attached
by its fleshy disc, remained seated for a considerable
length of time. It was my opinion that the mussel
would eventually be sacrificed. Such, however, was
not the case, for on the zoophyte again starting off
on a new journey, the mollusc showed no palpable
signs of having suffered from the confinement to
which it had so unceremoniously been subjected.
The appearance of this anemone situated several
inches from the base of the vessel, branching out
from such an unusual resting-place, and being swayed
to and fro, as it frequently was, by the contact of a
passing fish, afforded a most pleasing sight to my
eye. Indeed, it was considered for a while one of
the 'lions' of the tank, and often became an object
54 AN INTELLIGENT ANEMONE.
of admiration not only to my juvenile visitors, but
also to many children of larger growth.'
There is a curious fact in connection with the
Actiniae which deserves to be chronicled here. I
allude to the apparent instinct which they possess.
This power I have seen exercised at various times.
The following is a somewhat remarkable instance of
the peculiarity in question.
In a small glass vase was deposited a choice A.
diant1' hs, about an inch in diameter. The water in
the vessel was at least five inches in depth. Having
several specimens of the A plysice, I placed one in
companionship with the anemone, and was often
amused to observe the former floating head down-
ward upon the surface of the water. After a while
it took up a position at the base of the vase, and
remained there for nearly a week. Knowing the
natural sluggishness of the animal, its passiveness
did not cause me any anxiety. I was rather
annoyed, however, at observing that the fluid was
becoming somewhat opaque, and that the Dianthus
remained entirely closed, and intended to find out the
cause of the phenomena, but from some reason or other
failed to carry out this laudable purpose at the time.
After the lapse of a few days, on looking into the tank,
I was delighted to perceive the lace-like tentacula of
the actinia spread out on the surface of the water,
which had become more muddy-looking than before.
I soon discovered that the impurity in question
DIET OF THE ACTINIC. 55
arose from the Aplysia (whose presence in the tank
I had forgotten) having died, and its body being
allowed to remain in the vessel in a decaying state.
The deceased animal on being removed emitted an
effluvium so intolerably bad that it seemed like the
concentrated essence of vile odours. The water, of
course, must have been of the most deadly character,
yet had this most delicate of sea anemones existed
in it for several consecutive days.
In order further to test how long my little captive
would remain alive in its uncongenial habitation, I
cruelly refused to grant any succour, but must own
to having felt extremely gratified at perceiving, in
the course of a few days, that instead of remaining
with its body elongated to such an unusual extent,
the Dianthus gradually advanced along the base,
then up the side of the vessel, and finally located
itself in a certain spot, from which it could gain easy
access to the outer atmosphere.
After this second instance of intelligence (?) I
speedily transferred my pet to a more healthy
Having procured a small colony of Actinime, you
need be under no anxiety about their diet, for they
will exist for years without any further subsistence
than is derived from the fluid in which they live.
Yet strange as the statement will appear to many
persons, the Actinim are generally branded with the
character of being extremely greedy and voracious.
D6 VORACITY OF THE ACTINIE.
'Nothing,' says Professor Jones, 'can escape their
deadly touch. Every animated thing that comes in
contact with them is instantly caught, retained, and
mercilessly devoured. Neither strength nor size, nor
the resistance of the victim, can daunt the ravenous
captor. It will readily grasp an animal, which, if
endowed with similar strength, advantage, and
resolution, could certainly rend its body asunder. It
will endeavour to gorge itself with thrice the quan-
tity of food that its most capacious stomach is
capable of receiving. Nothing is refused, provided
it be of animal substance. All the varieties of the
smaller fishes, the fiercest of the crustacea, the most
active of the annelidans, and the soft tenants of
shells among the mollusca, all fall a prey to the
This is a sweeping statement, and, although corro-
borated by Sir J. Dalyell and others, is one that
requires to be received with a certain degree of
caution. It most certainly does not apply to A.
bellis, A. parisitica, A. dianthus, troglodytes, or any
other members of this group ; and to a very limited
extent only is it applicable to A. coriacea or A.
As may readily be conceived, the writer could not
keep monster specimens, such as are often found at
the sea shore; but surely if the statement were
correct that, as a general 'rule, the actinia eat living
crabs, the phenomenon would occasionally occur with
DEFENCE OF CERTAIN SPECIES.
moderate-sized specimens, when kept in companion-
ship with a mixed assembly of crustaceans. Yet in
no single instance have I witnessed a small crab
sacrificed to the gluttony of a small anemone.
With regard to A. mesembryanthemum, A. bellis,
and A. dianthus, they get so accustomed to the
presence of their crusty neighbours, as not to retract
their expanded tentacula when a hermit crab, for
instance, drags his lumbering mansion across, or a
fiddler crab steps through the delicate rays, like a
sky terrier prancing over a bed of tulips.
Thus much I have felt myself called upon to say
in defence of certain species of Actiniae; but with
regard to A. crassicornis, I must candidly own the
creature is greedy and voracious to an extreme
Like many other writers, I have seen scores of
this species of Actiniae that contained the remains of
crabs of large dimensions, but at one time considered
that the latter were dead specimens, which had
been drifted by the tide within reach of the Actiniae,
and afterwards consumed. That such, indeed, was the
correct explanation in many instances I can scarcely
doubt, from the disproportionate bigness of the crabs
as compared with the anemones, but feel quite con-
fident, that in other instances, the crustacea were
alive when first caught by their voracious com-
To test the power of the 'crass.,' I have fre-
58 ACTINAE EATING CRABS.
quently chosen a specimen well situated for obser-
vation, and dropped a crab upon its tentacula.
Instantly the intruding animal was grasped (perhaps
merely by a claw), but in spite of its struggles to
escape, was slowly drawn into the mouth of its
captor, and eventually consumed. In one case, after
the crab had been lost to view for the space of three
minutes only, I drew it out of the Actinia, but
although not quite dead, it evidently did not seem
likely to survive for any length of time.
In collecting Actinike great care should be taken
in detaching them from their position. If possible,
it is far the better plan not to disturb them, but to
transport them to the aquarium on the piece of rock
or other substance to which they may happen to be
affixed. This can in general be done by a smart
blow of the chisel and hammer.
Should the attempt fail, an endeavour should be
made to insinuate the finger nails under the base,
and so detach each specimen uninjured. This ope-
ration is a delicate one, requiring practice, much
patience, and no little skill. We are told by some
authors that a slight rent is of no consequence, since
the anemone is represented as having the power of
darning it up. It may be so, but for my part I am
inclined in other instances to consider the statement
more facetious than truthful. In making this
remark, I allude solely to the disc of the animal, an
injury to which I have never seen repaired. On the
REPRODUCTIVE POWERS. 59
other hand, it is well known that certain other parts
may be destroyed with impunity. If the tentacula,
for instance, be cut away, so great are the repro-
ductive powers of the Actinia, that in a compara-
tively short space of time the mutilated members
will begin to bud anew.
'If cut transversely through the middle, the lower
portion of the body will after a time produce more
tentacula, pretty near as they were before the opera-
tion, while the upper portion swallows food as if
nothing had happened, permitting it indeed at first
to come out at the opposite end; just as if a man's
head being cut off would let out at the neck the bit
taken in at the mouth, but which it soon learns to
retain and digest in a proper manner.'
The smooth anemone being viviparous, as already
hinted, it is no uncommon circumstance for the
naturalist to find himself unexpectedly in possession
of a large brood of infant zoophytes, which have
been ejected from the mouth of the parent.
There is often an unpleasant-looking film sur-
rounding the body of the Actinie. This 'film' is
the skin of the animal, and is cast off very fre-
quently. It should be brushed away by aid of a
camel hair pencil. Should any rejected food be
attached to the lips, it may be removed by the same
means. When in its native haunts this process is
performed daily and hourly by the action of the
waves. Such attention to the wants of his little
SIZE OF THE ( CRASS.'
captives should not be grudgingly, but lovingly per-
formed by the student. His labour frequently meets
with ample reward, in the improved appearance
which his specimens exhibit. Instead of looking
sickly and weak, with mouth pouting, and tentacula
withdrawn, each little pet elevates its body and grace-
fully spreads out its many rays, apparently for no
other purpose than to please its master's eye.
A. mesembryanthemrumn (in colloquial parlance
abbreviated to 'mess. '), is very common at the sea-
shore. It is easily recognized by the row of blue
torquoise-like beads, about the size of a large
pin's head, that are situated around the base of the
tentacula. This test is an unerring one, and can
easily be put in practice by the assistance of a small
piece of stick, with which to brush aside the over-
A. crassicornis grows to a very large size. Some
specimens would, when expanded, cover the crown of
a man's hat, while others are no larger than a
'bachelor's button.' Unless rarely marked, I do not
now introduce the crass.' into my tanks, from a
dislike, which I cannot conquer, to the strange pecu-
liarity which members of this species possess, of
turning themselves inside out, and going through a
long series of inelegant contortions. Still, to the
young zoologist, this habit will doubtless be interest-
ing to witness. One author has named these large
anemones quilledd dahlias;' and the expression is so
felicitous, that if a stranger at the sea-side bear
it in mind, he could hardly fail to identify the 'crass.,'
were he to meet with a specimen in a rocky pool.
Not the least remarkable feature in connection with
these animal-flowers, is the extraordinary variety of
colouring which various specimens display.
A. troglodytes, is seldom found larger than a florin.
Its general size is that of a shilling. From the
description previously given, the reader will be able
to make the acquaintance of this anemone without
any trouble whatever.
A. dianthus (Plumose anemone), is one of the most
delicately beautiful of all the Actinim ; it can, more-
over, be very readily identified in its native haunts.
Its colour is milky-white,-body, base, and tentacula,
all present the same chaste hue. Specimens, how-
ever, are sometimes found lemon-coloured, and
occasionally of a deep orange tint. Various are the
forms which this zoophyte assumes, yet each one is
graceful and elegant.
The most remarkable as well as the most common
shape, according to my experience, is that of a lady's
corset, such as may often be seen displayed in
fashionable milliners' windows. Even to the slender
waist, the interior filled with a mass of lace-work,
the rib-like streaks, and the general contour, sug-
gestive of the Hogarthian line of beauty, the likeness
When entirely closed, this anemone, unlike
62 ITS POWERS OF CONTRACTION.
many others, is extremely flat, being scarcely more
than a quarter of an inch in thickness ; indeed, so
extraordinary is the peculiarity to which I allude,
that a novice would have great difficulty in believing
that the object before him was possessed of expansive
powers at all, whereas, in point of fact, it is even
more highly gifted in this respect than any other
species of Actinie.
*With a smart rattle, something fell from the bed to the floor; and disentangling
itself from the death drapery, displayed a large pound Crab. .... Creel Katie mado
a dexterous snatch at a hind claw, and, before the Crab was at all aware, deposited
him in her patch-work apron, with a Hech, sirs, what for are ye gaun to let gang
siccan a braw partane ? '-T. HooD
I EDIBLE CRAB. 4 COMMON SHORE-CRAB.
2 EDIBLE CRAB, casting its shll,. fromNature, 5 MINUTE PORCELAIN-GRAB
3 SPIDER CRAB.
THE foregoing motto, extracted from a hum orous tale
by' dear Tom Hood,' which appeared in one of his
comic annuals,-or volumes of 'Laughter from year
to year,' as he delighted to call them,-may not
inaptly introduce the subject of this chapter.
The term partan! is generally applied in Scotland
to all the true crabs (B_,r,i'a ). An esteemed
friend, however, informs me that in some parts it is
more particularly used to denote the Edible Crab
(Cancer livjuraus), which is sold so extensively in
the fishmongers' shops. However that may be, there
is no doubt it was a specimen of this genus that
Creel Katie so boldly captured.
Now this crab, to my mind, is one of the most
interesting objects of the marine animal kingdom,
and I would strongly advise those of my readers who
may have opportunities of being at the sea-side to
procure a few youthful specimens. Its habits, ac-
cording to my experience, are quite different fi'om
those of its relative, the Common Shore-Crab (Carcinus
66 CHARACTER OF THE PARTANE.
mcenas), or even the Velvet Swimming-Crab (Portunus
puber). Unlike these, it does not show any signs of a
vicious temper upon being handled, nor does it scamper
away in hot haste at the approach of a stranger. Its
nature, strange as the statement may appear to many
persons, seems timid, gentle, and fawn-like.
On turning over a stone, you will perhaps perceive,
as I have often done, three or four specimens, and,
unless previously aware of the peculiarity of their
disposition, you will be surprised to see each little
fellow immediately fall upon his back, turn up the
whites of his eyes, and bring his arms or claws
'As if praying dumbly,
Over his breast:'
making just such a silent appeal for mercy as
a pet spaniel does when expecting from his master
chastisement for some faux pas. One of these crabs
may be taken up and placed in the hand without
the slightest fear. It will not attempt to escape,
but will passively submit to be rolled about, and
closely examined at pleasure. Even when again
placed in its native element, minutes will sometimes
elapse before the little creature can muster up courage
to show his 'peepers,' and gradually unroll its body
and limbs from their painful contraction.
Most writers on natural history entertain an opi-
nion totally at variance with my own in regard to
the poor Cancer pagurus, of whom we are speaking.
By some he is called a fierce, cannibalistic, and re-
morseless villain, totally unfit to be received into
respectable marine society. Mr. Jones relates how
he put half a dozen specimens into a vase, and on the
following day found tlat, with the exception of two,
all had been killed and devoured by their companions;
and in a trial of strength which speedily ensued be-
tween the pair of 'demons in crustaceous guise,' one
of these was eventually immolated and devoured by
his inveterate antagonist. Sir J. Dalyell mentions
several similar instances of rapacity among these ani-
mals. Now, these anecdotes I do not doubt, but feel
inclined, from the results of my own experience, to
consider them exceptional cases.
When studying the subject of exuviation, I
was in the habit of keeping half a dozen or
more specimens of the Edible Crab together as com-
panions in the same vase; but except when a 'friend
and brother' slipped off his shelly coat, and thus
offered a temptation too great for crustaceous nature
to withstand, I do not remember a single instance of
cannibalism. True, there certainly were occasionally
quarrelling and fighting, and serious nocturnal broils,
whereby life and limb were endangered; but then such
mishaps will frequently occur, even in the best regu-
lated families of the higher animals, without these
being denounced as a parcel of savages.
Compared to Caincer pI:j ul's, the Shore-Crab ap-
pears in a very unamiable light. When the two are
68 THE WOLF AND THE LAMB.
kept in the same vase, they exhibit a true exempli-
fication of the wolf and the lamb. This, much to
my chagrin, was frequently made evident to me,
but more particularly so on one occasion, when I
was, from certain circumstances, compelled to place
a specimen of each in unhappy companionship. Here
is a brief account of how they behaved to each other:
The poor little lamb (C. pa arus) was kept in a
constant state of alarm by the attacks of her fellow-
prisoner (C. m i.s) from the first moment that I
dropped her in the tank. If I gave her any food,
and did not watch hard by until it was consumed,
the whole meal would to a certainty be snatched
away. Not content with his booty, the crabbie
rascal of the shore would inflict a severe chastise-
ment upon his rival in my favour, and not unfre-
quently attempt to wrench off an arm or a leg out
of sheer wantonness. To end such a deplorable state
of matters, I very unceremoniously took up wolf,
and lopped off one of his large claws, and also one of
his hind legs. By this means I stopped his rapid
movements to and fro, and, moreover, deprived him
somewhat of his power to grasp an object forcibly.
In spite of his mutilations, he still exhibited the
same antipathy to his companion, and, as far as pos-
sible, made her feel the weight of his jealous ire.
Retributive justice, however, was hanging over his
crustaceous head. The period arrived when nature
compelled him to change his coat. In due time the
mysterious operation was performed, and he stood
forth a new creature, larger in size, handsomer in
appearance, but for a few days weak, sickly, and
defenceless. His back, legs, and every part of his
body were of the consistency of bakers' dough. The
lamb well knew her power, and though much smaller
in size than her old enemy, she plucked up spirit
and attacked him; nor did she desist until she had
seemingly made him cry peccavi, and run for his life
beneath the shelter of some friendly rock. Without
.wishing to pun, I may truly say the little partane
came off with eclat, having my warmest approbation
for her conduct, and a claw in her arms as token of
her prowess. I knew that when wolf was himself
again there would be a scene. Reprisals, of course,
would follow. Therefore, rather than permit a con-
tinuance of such encounters, I separated the crabs,
and introduced them to companions more suited to
the nature of each.
The difference exhibited in the form and develop-
ment of the tail in the ten-footed crustacea (Deca-
poda)-as. for instance, the crab, the lobster, and the
hermit-crab-is so striking that naturalists have very
appropriately divided them into three sections, dis-
tinguished by terms expressive of these peculiarities
of structure: 1st, Brachyura, or short-tailed deca-
pods, as the Crabs; 2d, Anomoura, or irregular tailed,
as the Hermit-crabs; 3d, Macroura, or long-tailed, as
Lobster, Cray-fish, &c.
REASON AND INSTINCT.
It is to a further consideration of a few familiar
examples of the first mentioned group that I propose
to devote the remainder of this chapter.
Few subjects of study are more difficult and ob-
scure than such as belong to the lower forms of the
animal kingdom. However carefully we may observe
the habits of these animals, our conclusions are too
often apt to be unsound, from our proneness to judge
of their actions as we would of the actions of men.
As a consequence, an animal may be pronounced at
one moment quiet and intelligent, and at another
obstinate and dull, while perhaps, if the truth were
known, it deserves neither verdict.
For my own part, the more I contemplate the
habits of many members of the marine animal king-
dom, the more am I astounded at the seeming intelli-
gence and purpose manifested in many of their
actions. Prior, apparently, must have been impressed
with the same idea, for he says, speaking of ani-
'Vainly the philosopher averc
That reason guides our deeds, and instinct theirs.
How can we justly different causes frame
When the effects entirely are the same?
Instinct and reason, how can we divide?
'Tis the fool's ignorance, and the pedant's pride "
This train of thought has been suggested to my
mind by viewing the singular conduct of a Shore-Crab,
whom I kept domesticated for many consecutive
months. Three times during his confinement he cast
ANECDOTE OF THE SHORE-CRAB.
his exuvium, and had become nearly double his original
size. His increased bulk made him rather unfit for my
small ocean in miniature, and gave him, as it were, a
loblolliboy appearance. Besides, lie was always full of
mischief, and exhibited such pawkiness, that I often
wished lie were back again to his sea-side home.
Whenever I dropped in a meal for my Blennies, he
would wait until I had retired, and then rush out,
disperse the fishes, and appropriate the booty to him-
self. If at all possible, he would catch one of my
finny pets in his arms, and speedily devour it.
Several times he succeeded in so doing; and fearing
that the whole pack would speedily disappear, un-
less stringent measures for their preservation were
adopted, I determined to eject the offender. After
considerable trouble, his crabship was captured, and
transferred to a capacious glass.
The new lodging, though not so large as the one
to which for so long a time he had been accustomed,
was nevertheless clean, neat, and well-aired. At its
base stood a fine piece of polished granite, to serve
as a chair of state, beneath which was spread a carpet
of rich green ulva. The water was clear as crystal ;
in fact, the accommodation, as a whole, was unex-
ceptionable. The part of host I played myself,
permitting no one to usurp my prerogative. But in
spite of this, the crab from the first was extremely
dissatisfied and unhappy with the change, andl for
hours together, day after day, he would make frantic
72 ( THE CREATURE'S RUN AWA.'
and ineffectual attempts to climb up the smooth
walls of his dwelling-place. Twice a day, for a
week, I dropped in his food, consisting of half a
mussel, and left it under his very eyes; nay, I often
lifted him up and placed him upon the shell which
contained his once-loved meal; still, although the
latter presented a most inviting come-and-eat kind
of appearance, not one particle would he take, but
constantly preferred to raise himself as high as pos-
sible up the sides of the vase, until losing his balance,
he as constantly toppled over and fell upon its base.
This behaviour not a little surprised me. Did it
indicate sullenness? or was it caused by disappoint-
ment? Was he aware that escape from his prison
without aid was impossible, and consequently ex-
hibited the pantomime, which I have described, to ex-
press his annoyance, and longing for the home he
had lately left?
Thinking that perhaps there was not sufficient
sea-weed in the glass, I added a small bunch of I.
edulis. Having thus contributed, as I believed, to
the comfort of the unhappy crab, I silently bade him
bon soir. On my return home, I was astonished by
the servant, who responded to my summons at the
door, blurting out in a nervous manner, '0 sir!
the creature's run awa!' 'The creature-what
creature ?' I inquired. 'Do ye no ken, sir ?-the wee
crabbie in the tumler !'
I could scarcely credit the evidence of my sight
A CRUSTACEOUS PERFORMER.
when I saw the tumler' minus its crustaceous oc-
cupant. The first thought that occurred to me was
as to where the crab could be found. Under chairs,
sofa, and fender, behind book-case, cabinet, and
piano, in every crevice, hole, and corner, for at least
an hour did I hunt without success. Eventually
the hiding-place of the fugitive was discovered in the
following singular manner: As I sat at my desk, I
was startled by a mysterious noise which apparently
proceeded from the interior of my 'Broadwood,'
which, by-the-by, I verily believe knows something
about the early editions of' The battle of Prague.'
The strings of this venerable instrument descend
into ill-disguised cupboards, so that at the lower
part there are two doors, or, in scientific language,
'valves.' On opening one of these, what should
I see but the poor crab, who, at my approach,
'did' a kind of scamper polka over the strings.
This performance I took the liberty of cutting short
with all possible speed. On dragging away the per-
former, I found that his appearance was by no means
improved since I saw him last. Instead of being
ornamented with gracefully-bending polypes, he was
coated, body and legs, with dust and cobwebs. I
determined to try the effect of a bath, and presently
had the satisfaction of seeing him regain his usual
comely appearance. The next step was to replace
him in his old abode; and having done so, I felt
anxious to know how the creature had managed to
74 THE FIDDLER-CRAB.
scale his prison walls. The modus operandi was
speedily made apparent; yet I feel certain that, un-
less one had watched as I did, the struggles of this
little fellow, the determination and perseverance he
exhibited would be incredible.
After examining his movements for an hour, I
found, by dint of standing on the points of his toes,
poised on a segment of weed, that he managed to
touch the brim of the glass. Having got thus far,
he next gradually drew himself up, and sat upon the
edge of the vessel. In this position he would rest
as seemingly content as a bird on a bush, or a school-
boy on a gate.
My curiosity satisfied, the C. moamas was again
placed in the vase, and every means of escape re-
Here let me mention that I still had a Fiddler-
Crab in my large tank, who had formerly lived in
companionship with the shore-crab above mentioned.
With 'the fiddler' I had no fault to find; he was
always modest and gentle, and gave no offence what-
ever to my Blennies. He never attempted to em-
brace them, nor to usurp their lawful place at the
table, nor even to appropriate their meals. On the
contrary, he always crept under a stone, and closely
watched the process of eating until the coast was
clear, when he would scuttle out, and feed, Lazarus-
like, upon any crumbs that might be scattered around.
Although so modest and retiring, I soon discovered
A LITTLE PRODIGAL. 75
that this little crab possessed an ambitious and rov-
ing disposition. This made him wish to step into
the world without, and proceed on a voyage of dis-
covery-to start, indeed, on his own account, and be
independent of my hospitality, or the dubious bounty
of his finny companions. Taking advantage on
one occasion of a piece of sandstone that rested on
the side of the aquarium, he climbed up its slanting
side, from thence he stepped on to the top of the
vessel, and so dropped down outside upon the room
floor. For nearly two days I missed his familiar face,
but had no conception that he had escaped, or that
he wished to escape from his crystal abode. It was
by mere accident that I discovered the fact.
Entering my study, after a walk on a wet day,
umbrella in hand, I thoughtlessly placed this useful
article against a chair. A little pool of water im-
mediately formed upon the carpet, which I had no
sooner noticed, than I got up to remove the ,o ra jpl ie
to its proper place in the stand, but started back in
surprise, for in the little pool stood the fugitive fiddler
moistening his branchike.
Taking up the little prodigal who had left my pro-
tection so lately, I soon deposited him in a vase of
clear salt water. After a while, thinking it might
conduce to the happiness of both parties, I placed
him in companionship with his old friend, Carcinus
mcenas. This, like many other philanthropic pro-
jects, proved a complete failure. Both creatures,
76 SINGULAR CONDUCT OF THE SHORE-CRAB.
once so harmless towards each other, seemed suddenly
inspired by the demon of mischief. Combats, more
or less severe, constantly occurring, in a few days I
The 'fiddler' I placed in the large tank, where he
rested content, and never again offered to escape-
evidently the better of his experience. Not so his
old friend, who still continued obstinate and miser-
able as ever. In his case I determined to see if a
certain amount of sternness would not curb his
haughty spirit. For two days I offered him no
food, but punished him with repeated strokes on his
back, morning and evening. This treatment was
evidently unpleasant, for he scampered about with
astonishing rapidity, and ever endeavoured to shelter
himself under the granite centre-piece. When I
thought he had been sufficiently chastised, I next
endeavoured to coax him into contentment and
better conduct. My good efforts were, however, un-
availing. Every morning I placed before him a
newly-opened mussel, but on no occasion did he
touch a morsel. All day he continued struggling,
as heretofore, to climb up the side of his cham-
ber, trying by every means in his power to escape.
This untameable disposition manifested itself for
about a week, but at the end of that time, on look-
ing into the vase, I saw the crab seated on the top
of the stone, his body resting against the glass. I
then took up a piece of meat and placed it before
THE MINUTE PORCELAIN-CRAB.
him. To my surprise he did not run away as usual.
Having waited for some minutes, and looking upon
his obstinacy as unpardonable, I tapped him with a
little stick-still he never moved. A sudden thought
flashed across my mind; I took him up in my hand,
examined him, and quickly found that he was stiff
There is a little crab, Porcellana longicornis, or
Minute Porcelain-Crab, frequently to be met with
in certain localities.
The peculiarity of this creature is the thickness
and the great disproportionate length of his arms,
as compared with the size of his pea-like body. He
possesses a singular habit which I have not observed
in any other crustaceans. He does not sit under a
stone, for instance, but always lies beneath such object
with his back upon the ground; so that when a
boulder is turned over, these crabs are always found
sitting upon it, whereas the shore-crabs, when the
light of day is suddenly let in upon them, scamper
off with all possible speed; or if any remain, it ap-
pears as if they had been pressed to death almost,
by the weight of the stone upon their backs.
The colour of P. longicornis is that of prepared
chocolate, shaded off to a warm red.
Another crab, equally common with those already
mentioned, is to be met with when dredging, and in
most rock pools. At Wardie, near Edinburgh, I
78 MAIA SQUINADO.
have seen hundreds of all sizes hiding beneath the
rocks at low tide. Its scientific name is Hyas ara-
neus, but it is better known as one of the Spider-Crabs.
It claims close relationship with that noted crustaceous
sanitory reformer, Maia squinado. Although this
H. araneus is a somewhat pleasant fellow when you
get thoroughly acquainted with his eccentricities, ap-
pearances are sadly against him at starting. Speak-
ing with due caution and in the gentlest manner
possible, consistent with truth, I must say that this
crab is, without exception, one of the dirtiest-look-
ing animals I have ever met with in my zoological
researches. At a by no means hasty glance, he ap-
pears to be miraculously built up of mud, hair, and
grit on every part, except his claws, which are long
and sharp as those of any bird of prey.
The first specimen I ever saw, seemed as if he had
been dipped in a gum pot, and then soused over
head and ears in short-cut hair and filth.
The second specimen, although equally grimy, had
some redeeming points in his personal appearance,
for at intervals every part of his back and claws
were covered with small frondlets of ulva, dulse,
D. sanguiea, and other beautiful weeds, all of
which were in a healthy condition. After keeping
him in a vase for a week, he managed, much against
my wish, to strip himself of the greater part of these
Instead of minute algae, we read that these crabs
are sometimes found with oysters (Ostrea edulis) at-
tached to their backs. Mr. W. Thompson mentions
two instances where this occurs, with specimens of H.
araneus, to be seen in Mr. Wyndman's cabinet.
Speaking of these, he adds, 'The oyster on the large
crab is three inches in length, and five or six years'
old, and is covered with many large Balani. The
shell, a carapace of the crab, is but two inches and a
quarter in length, and hence it must, Atlas-like, have
born a world of weight upon its shoulders. The pre-
sence of the oyster affords interesting evidence that
the Hyas lived several years after attaining its full
For days after I had brought him home, my
second specimen appeared as if he were dead, and it
was only by examining his mouth through a hand
lens that I could satisfy myself as to his being
alive. When I pushed him about with an ivory
stick he never resisted, but always remained still
upon the spot where I had urged him.
This species of acting he has given up for some
time, and at the present moment I rank H. araneus
among my list of marine pets, for he does not appear
any longer to pine for mud with which to decorate
his person, but is quite content to purge and live
cleanly' all the rest of his days.
The ancients imagined that Maia squinado pos-
sessed a great degree of wisdom, and further be
lived him to be sensible to the divine charms of music.
THE COMMON PEA-CRAB.
and saw it glue itself, as usual, to the glass; but,
singular to state, the creature always left a larger space
between its foot and the circumference of the shell on
the side at which the crab was seated, than on the
opposite one, seemingly from a wish to accommodate
its crustaceous friend. This space, moreover, let me
observe, was larger than was absolutely necessary,
for, as the shell was not air-tight, I was enabled to
thrust my camel-hair pencil teazingly upon the crab,
and was much amused to watch him clutch at the
intruding object, and, at times, move about with it
in his grasp, thus proving that he was by no means
uncomfortably 'cabin'd, cribb'd, confined.'
For a whole week the crab remained in his favo-
rite lodgings, and only resigned occupancy thereof
when his friend gave up the shell-and died.
There is a certain species of crab, Pinnotheres
pisum, or common Pea-Crab, frequently found in
Mytilus edulis, the Oyster, and the Common Cockle.
Indeed, one gentleman states, that on his examining,
on two occasions, a large number of specimens of the
Cardium edule, he found that nine out of every ten
cockles contained a crab. Still, in no other instance
than the one my own experience furnishes, have I
ever heard of the Shore-Crab, or, indeed, of any other
crustacean, becoming the guest of Patella.
The classical reader will not fail to remember
Pliny's statement (somewhat analogous to that above
narrated) of a small crab, Pinnotheres veterum,
THE PINNA AND PINNOTHERES. 83
which is always found to inhabit the Pinna,-a large
species of mussel. This latter animal being blind,
but muscularly strong, and its juvenile companion
quick-sighted, but weak of limb, the crab, it is said,
always keeps a sharp look-out, and when any danger
approaches, he gladly creeps into the gaping shell for
protection. Some writers assert, that when the
bivalve has occasion to eat, he sends forth his faithful
henchman to procure food. If any foe approaches,
Pinnotheres flies for protection with his utmost speed
to the anxious bosom of his friend, who, being thus
warned of danger, closes his valves, and escapes the
threatened attack. When, on the contrary, the crab
loads himself with booty, he makes a gentle noise at
the opening of the shell, which is closed during his
absence, and on admission, this curious pair frater-
nize, and feast on the fruits of the little one's foray.
For those of my readers who may prefer verse to
prose, I here append a poetical version of this fable-
equally pretty, but, let me add in a whisper, equally
opposed to fact, at least in its principal details:-
In clouded depths below, the Pinna hides,
And through the silent paths obscurely glides;
A stupid wretch, and void of thoughtful care,
He forms no bait, nor lays no tempting snare;
But the dull sluggard boasts a crab his friend,
Whose busy eyes the coming prey attend.
One room contains them, and the partners dwell
Beneath the convex of one sloping shell:
Deep in the watery vast the comrades rove,
And mutual interest binds their constant love;
That wiser friend the lucky juncture tells,
When in the circuit of his gaping shells
84 THE CRAY-FISH.
Fish wandering enters; then the bearded guide
Warns the dull mate, and pricks his tender side.
He knows the hint, nor at the treatment grieves,
But hugs the advantage, and the pain forgives:
His closing shell the Pinna sudden joins,
And twixtt the pressing sides his prey confines.
Thus fed by mutual aid, the friendly pair
Divide their gains, and all their plunder share.'
There is one singular feature in the Crustacea
which it may prove interesting to dwell a little
upon. I allude to their power of living apparently
without food, or at least without any other suste-
nance than is afforded by the animalcule contained
in the water in which they dwell. One accurate
observer states that he kept a Cray-fish for a
period of two years, during which time the only
food the animal received was a few worms,-not
more than fifty altogether. This statement I have
often had ample means of verifying. Yet, on the
other hand, strange to say, the crab is always on
the hunt after tit-bits; and nothing seems to give
him greater delight than a good morning meal, in
the shape of a newly opened Mussel, Cockle, and
above all-a Pholas. Let a youthful crustacean
cast its shell, and rest assured, unless its companions
have had their appetites appeased, they will endea-
vour to fall upon and devour the defenceless animal.
This, to my chagrin and annoyance, I have known
to occur repeatedly. When nothing else can be
procured, not only the Lobster Crabs, but any
Brachyurous Decapods who may be at hand, will set
to work, and industriously pick off and eat the Acorn-
MASTICATORY ORGANS OF CRABS.'
Barnacles attached to any object within reach.
These facts show that the asceticism of the crab is
not voluntary, and that when opportunity occurs, he
is as fond of a good dinner as are animals possessed
of a higher degree of organization.
It will be gratifying if other observers are able to
verify the circumstance which I shall allude to here-
after, and which would seem to show that the
exuviation of crustacea is expedited by affording
specimens an unlimited supply of food.
'The organs for pursuing, seizing, tearing, and
comminuting the food of the Brachyurous Decapods,'
says Professor Bell, 'are carried to a high degree of
development; . .. these appendages consist of six
pairs, of which some are actual organs of mastication,
as the mandibles or the true jaws, the foot jaws or
pedipalps, generally serving to keep the food in con-
tact with the former, whilst it is being broken up
'The buccal orifice in the Brachyura occupies the
interior face of the cephalic division of the body, and
is bounded anteriorly by a crustaceous lamina of
determinate form, which has been termed the upper
lip, and posteriorly by another, termed the lower lip.
The mandibles occupy the sides of the opening.
After these, and external to them, are the first, and
then the second pair of true jaws, followed by the
three pairs of pedipalps or foot jaws, the last of
which, when at rest, close the mouth, and include
86 MASTICATORY ORGANS OF CRABS.
the whole of the preceding ones. In the Macroura
the pedipalps are very different in their forms, and
have the aspect of very simple feet.
'The means of comminuting the food are not re-
stricted to the complicated machinery above referred
to, for the stomach itself contains a very remarkable
apparatus, consisting of several hard calcareous pieces,
which may be termed gastric teeth. They are attached
to horny or calcareous levers, fixed in the parietes of
the stomach; they are moved by a complicated
system of muscles, and are admirably adapted to
complete the thorough breaking-down of the aliment,
which had already been to a considerable extent
affected by the buccal appendages. These gastric
teeth may be readily seen and examined in the larger
species of Decapoda, as in the large eatable crab and
the lobster ; and it will be readily perceived how
perfectly the different pieces are made to act upon
each other, and to grind the food interposed between
Having been on a certain day at the sea-side col-
lecting, I was amused to observe the movements of
two ragged little urchins, who approached near to
where I stood, bottle in hand, examining some
beautiful zoophytes by aid of a pocket lens. One
of them had a short iron rod, with which he very
dexterously hooked out any unfortunate crab who
happened to have taken up its quarters in some
crevice or beneath a boulder. Having captured a
specimen, it was handed over to his companion, who
quickly tied it to a string which he held in his hand.
I had seen many a rope of onions, but this was
the first time I had seen a rope of crabs. On in-
quiry, I learned that the boys had taken two dozen
animals in about two hours. When any of the
green-bellied crabs happened to be poked out, they
were allowed to escape back again as quickly as
With poor Cancer lpagu'rus the case was different,
-every specimen, as soon as caught, being strung up,
and doomed to 'death in the pot.'
The above, I need scarcely state, is not the usual
manner of fishing for crabs, the approved plan being
to take them in what are termed crab-pots, 'a sort
of wicker-trap made, by preference, of the twigs of
the golden willow (salex vitellina), at least in many
parts of the coast, on account, as they say, of its
great durability and toughness. These pots are
formed on the principle of a common wire mouse-
trap, but with the entrance at the top; they are
baited with pieces of fish, generally of some other-
wise useless kind, and these are fixed into the pots
by means of a skewer. The pots are sunk by stones
attached to the bottom, and the situation where
they are dropped is indicated, and the means of raising
them provided, by a long line fixed to the creel,
or pot, having a piece of cork attached to the free
end of the line; these float the line, and at the same
FISHING FOR CRABS.
88 CRAB FISHERS.
time serve to designate the owners of the different
pots-one, perhaps, having three corks near together
towards the extremity of the line, and two distant
ones-another may have one cork fastened crosswise,
another fastened together, and so on. It is, of
course, for their mutual security that the fishermen
abstain from poaching on their neighbour's property;
and hence we find that stealing from each other's
pots is a crime almost wholly unknown amongst
'The fishery for these crabs constitutes an im-
portant trade on many parts of the coast. The
numbers which are annually taken are immense; and,
as the occupation of procuring them is principally
carried on by persons who are past the more labori-
ous and dangerous pursuits of general fishing, it
affords a means of subsistence to many a poor man
who, from age or infirmity, would be unable without
it to keep himself and his family from the work-
Bell's Brit. Crus.
'Finding on the shoar
Som handsome shell, whose native lord of late
Was dispossessed by the doom of Fate,
Therein he enters, and he takes possession
Of th' empty harbour, by the free concession
Of Nature's law-who goods that owner want,
Alwaies allots to the first occupant.'
SCOMMON HERMIT-CRAB .'. 'bemrha ;s) in shell of common Whelk.
2 D0 D out of she!'
S SH I P r',\ i, A I F.
TWICE in every twenty-four hours the waters of the
ocean ebb and flow. Twice only in each month,
however, do the spring-tides occur. For there are
few dangers that the ardent student of nature
would not encounter. Lord Bacon tells of a certain
bishop who used to bathe regularly twice every
day, and on being asked why he bathed thus often,
answered, 'Because I cannot conveniently bathe
three times.' The zoologist, like the 'right reverend
father' alluded to, would willingly undergo what
appears to others much hardship and trouble, not
only once or twice, but even three times daily, in
pursuit of his favourite studies, did Nature but offer
the kind convenience.
On these occasions the zoologist can pursue his re.
searches at the shore, at a distance beyond the usual
tidal line. Numerous boulders and rock-pools, during
many days covered by the sea, being then laid bare
and exposed to his eager, searching hands and eyes,
he is frequently able to discover many rare objects, or,
at least, common ones revelling in almost giant-like
proportions, and wonderful profusion.
The Soldier or Hermit-Crabs (to an account of
whom we intend to devote this chapter), offer a most
remarkable proof of this. Occupying the centre of a
rocky excavation, I have repeatedly found several dozen
of these comical creatures, each inhabiting the cast-
off shell of a defunct Whelk (Buccinum undatum),
which measured not less than five or six inches in
length. To my surprise these aldermanic crustaceans
possessed no companions of a smaller growth; while
at a few yards nearer shore, as many shells would be
found congregated together as in the more distant
pool,-the largest, however, being no bigger than a
damson, while the smallest might be compared to an
infantile pea, or cherry-stone.
I cannot explain this appearance otherwise, than
by supposing that the Anomoura become prouder,
or, it may be, more cunning, as they grow older, and,
having arrived at their full development, they fit
themselves with their final suit; thereafter, in a
spirit of aristocratic exclusiveness, they retire to
fashionable subaqueous residences, distant as far as
possible from the homes of the canaille, who inhabit
the common, littoral boundaries of the shore.
The peculiarity, to which I alluded, of the
Anomoura occupying shells that have formerly
belonged to other animals, is so strange that some
writers have not hesitated to express doubt upon
the subject. This denial of a fact, which can so
readily be proved, is one of the 'curiosities of litera-
ture.' Swammerdam, a Dutch naturalist contemptu-
ously observes, What an idle fable that is which is
established even among those who study shell-fishes,
when they show some kind of the crab kind in their
museums, adding at the same time, that they pass
from one shell to another, devour the animals that
lived in those shells, and keep them for their own
habitations. They dignify them with the high-sound-
ing names, and additions, as Soldiers, Hermits, and
the like; and thus, having no experience, they com-
mit gross errors, and deceive themselves, as well as
others, with their idle imaginations.'
That there is nothing mythical in the matter can
easily be made apparent to any person who chooses
to visit the sea-shore. At such locality he need have
no difficulty in recognizing the Hermit-Crab, or
meeting with numerous specimens for examination.
Supposing such a one is at a rock-pool, and, more-
over, that he knows by sight the Buckie (periwinkle),
and Common Whelk, he will probably in such case
be aware that the animals occupying these shells are
snail-like in construction, and that their locomotion
is consequently slow and formal. If, therefore,
when peering into any pool he sees the Buckie, for
instance, apparently change its nature, and instead of
'Dragging its slow length along,'
scamper off suddenly, or roll over and over from the
P. BERNHARDUS AND ITS HABITS.
top of an eminence to the bottom, he may rest as-
sured that the original inhabitant has departed, and
that its place is occupied by a Lobster-Crab.
The cause of his strange peculiarity I will briefly
In the true Lobster the tail forms a most valua-
able appendage. In the tail the principal muscular
power of the animal is seated; and by means of it.
too, the animal is enabled to spring to a considerable
distance, and also to swim through the water at
will. This important organ is well protected by a
casing consisting of a 'series of calcareous rings,
forming a hard and insensible chain armour.'
In the Lobster-Crab there is no such arrange-
ment. 'The abdominal segment of this singular
animal, instead of possessing the same crustaceous
covering as the rest of his body and claws, is quite
soft, and merely enveloped in a thin skin. To pro-
tect this delicate member from the attacks of his
voracious companions, the poor Pagurus is compelled
to hunt about for some Univalve, such as a Whelk
or Trochus, and having found this, he drops his tail
within the aperture and hooks it firmly to the colu-
mella of the shell. Why Providence has doomed the
poor Hermits to descend to such physical hypocrisy,
and clothe themselves in the left-off garments of
other animals, it is not easy to conjecture. No doubt,
besides the defence of their otherwise unprotected
bodies, he has some other object of importance in
view. Perhaps they may accelerate the decomposi-
tion of the shells they inhabit, and cause them sooner
to give way to the action of the atmosphere; and as
all exuvime may be termed nuisances and deformities,
giving to these deserted mansions an appearance
of renewed life and locomotion, removes them in
some sort from the catalogue of blemishes.'
Professor Jones, when treating of this class of
animals, forcibly remarks that 'the wonderful adap-
tation of all the limbs to a residence in such a dwell-
ing, cannot fail to strike the most curious observer.
The Chelce, or large claws, differ remarkably in size,
so that when the animal retires into its concealment,
the smaller one may be entirely withdrawn, while
the larger closes and guards the orifice. The two
succeeding pairs of legs, unlike those of the Lobster,
are of great size and strength, and instead of being
terminated by pincers, end in strong-pointed levers,
whereby the animal can not only crawl, but drag after
it, its heavy habitation. Behind these locomotive
legs are two feeble pairs, barely strong enough to
enable the Soldier-Crab to shift his position in the
shell he has chosen ; and the false feet attached to
the abdomen are even still more rudimentary in their
development. But the most singularly altered
portion of the skeleton is the fin of the tail, which
here becomes transformed into a kind of holding ap-
paratus by which the creature retains a firm grasp of
the bottom of his residence.'
96 THE SOLDIER CRAB AND ITS HABITS.
So great is the power of the animals to retain
hold of their shell, and so intense their dislike to be
forcibly ejected therefrom, that they will often allow
their bodies to be pulled asunder, and sacrifice their
life rather than submit to such indignity. This fact
I have proved on sundry occasions. But supposing
a crab to have taken a fancy to a shell, occupied by
some brother Pagurus, (a circumstance of frequent
occurrence), he quickly proceeds to dislodge the
latter. Curious to state, this process never seems
attended with any fatal result.
When watching the operation, it has appeared to
me as if the crab attacked preferred to yield rather
than be subjected to continuous annoyance, and the
discomfort of keeping for so long a time buried
within the inner recesses of his dwelling.
The contrast in appearance of the Hermit-Crab
when seated in his shell, and crawling about minus
such appendage, is great indeed.
This the reader will readily perceive by examin-
ing the Illustrations on Plate 4, which are drawn from
nature, and are truthful portraitures of this singular
I have already mentioned the extreme difficulty
there is in expelling a Lobster-Crab. This, be it
understood, applies only to the animal in good
health; for no sooner does he feel sick than he in-
stantly leaves his shell, and crawls about in a most
pitiable plight. He sometimes becomes convalescent
again by being placed solus in some fresh water, or
laid out in the air for a few moments. But he
ought, on no account, when in a sickly condition,
to be allowed to hide himself beneath any pieces of
rock or shadow of the Algme.
If he is out of sight, be sure not to let him
be out of mind; for, should he die in the tank,
and his body be allowed to remain for any length
of time, he will very soon afford you full proof
that such toleration on your part is anything but
Although, as already stated, this animal cannot
be drawn out of his shell except by extreme force,
the object can easily be obtained by aid of strategy.
Having been for some time at a loss how to give
certain young visitors a sight of the Hermit-Crab
in his defenceless state, I, by accident, hit upon the
following simple plan:-
With a piece of bent whalebone I lifted up a
Pagurus, shell and all, and allowed the latter to
drop upon the outer row of the tentacula of an
Actinia, which quickly stuck fast to the intruding
object. The crab at first did not seem fully alive
to his critical position. He popped out of his shell
and looked unsuspectingly around, until catching
sight of my face, he instantly retired from view
with a casket-like snap. In a minute he was out
again, and this time prepared to change his position.
For this purpose he gave several successive pulls, but
THE HERMIT IN A FRIGHT.
finding all his efforts to remove his carriage unavail-
ing, he unhooked his tail and scrambled down among
the pebbles. My purpose was thereby gained, for
the next moment he was resting in the palm of one
of my juvenile friends, who seemed quite delighted
with his prize. Twice afterwards, being in a mis-
chievous mood, I gave the crab a fright in the way
just mentioned; but it was quite evident, that what
might be sport to me was death to him, for he was
both annoyed and alarmed at my procedure. Even
when guiltless of any intention of touching the
creature, if I merely showed him the cane he
immediately hobbled away at the utmost rate of
speed he could muster. On several occasions I fol-
lowed after and brought him back to the edge of the
tank, although such conduct met with his strongest
disapproval, and caused him for some time to sulk
beneath an arch-way of rock work, away from the
reach of vulgar eyes.
Upon the side and near the base of my tank a fine
specimen of the Limpet was at one time attached.
From the centre of its shell a forest of sea-grass
waved gracefully, shadowing- a large colony of Bar-
nacles thickly clustered beneath. Soon the Patella
decided upon taking its usual morning stroll in
search of food, a task of little difficulty, standing as
the animal already did upon the inmrgil of a broad
meadow, richly coated with a verdant growth, com-
posed of the infant spores of the Ulva. Slowly
SOLDIER-CRAB AND LIMPET. 99
moving along, the Patella, with its riband-like band
of teeth, swept off the luscious weed in a series of
graceful curves, thus making an abundant and
healthful meal. Before proceeding far, however, he
was forced to bear the weight of a Soldier-Crab, who
had most unceremoniously climbed upon his back,
and taken up a position at the base of the latissima
There seemed so much nonchalance about the
Pagurus that I determined to watch his movements,
and, if possible, to see how he would manage to
descend from a position which, if the mollusc con-
tinued his mowing operations, would soon be un-
In about an hour the Limpet had reached the
level of the water in the aquarium, and there took
up his abode for the night. Next day and the next
there was no change of situation. The crab now
began evidently to perceive the danger of the posi-
tion in which he was placed, for he constantly moved
to and fro, and peered over into what must have
seemed to him an unfathomable abyss.
While I stood, the Patella made a sudden move-
ment of its shell-so sudden, indeed, as to startle
its companion, who quickly put out his claws to save
himself from falling. Unfortunately, in his spas-
modic gesture he allowed the tip of one of his claws
to intrude under the edge of the conical canopy, thus,
in fact, pricking the fleshy 'mantle' of the animal
SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS.
within, Vo instantly, of course, glued itself to the
glass with immoveable firmness. I suppose the
same thing must have frequently occurred without
my knowledge, for after a lapse of several days the
Pagurus and his bearer were still in the same spot. I
felt a growing alarm for the continued health of the
Hermit-Crab, from the fact of its being poised so
directly over the ever-expanded tentacles of a large
Anemone. To prevent any mishap, I went to lift
his crabship, with a view of transferring him to a
place of safety, when, no sooner did he perceive the
advancing forceps, than he rushed into his shell with
a sudden and audible 'click,' forgetting for the moment
that he stood on such ticklish ground. The conse-
quence was that, seeking to avoid Scylla, he fell into
Charybdis. In other words, he dropped plump upon
the well-gummed tenter-hooks of the Crassicornis,
which instantly closed and engulphed its prize. In
vain did I endeavour with all speed to pick out the
devoted Pagurus. The more I tried, the more firmly
did the Actinia hold him in its convulsive grasp.
With extremely few exceptions, the Hermit-Crabs
are always found to-be a prying, prowling, curious
class of animals, and are ever, like the husband of the
fair Lady Jane-
Poking their nose (?) into this thing and that.'
They will turn over each shell and pebble that comes
in their way, and examine it with profound atten-
tion, or industriously climb up and roll down hillocks
A CRUSTACEOUS DIOGENES.
Sand trees in the shape of small rocks and sea-weeds,
much to their danger.
I once possessed a Hermit-Crab, whose voracious
movements afforded considerable amusement to my-
self and my friends. My Diogenes-or, as the
SCockney news-boys used to pronounce the now
extinct comic periodical, Dodgenes-on a certain oc-
casion had climbed up a segmentally cut frond of
Irish Moss. On reaching the topmost point, his
weight became too great for the weed to bear; so,
finding he was losing his equilibrium, in great
alarm he made a clutch at the first object that stood
near, in order to save him from falling.
A mussel was moored hard by, to the side of the
vase by means of its silken byssus threads, and upon
this friendly bivalve the Pagurus leaped by aid of his
long taper legs. Unluckily the shell of the Mytilus
was open, and the crab unwittingly thrusting his toe
within the aperture, the intruding object was of
course instantly gripped by the mollusc. This ac-
cident put him in a terrible fright. His gestures
were most.excited, and no wonder. Let the reader
fancy himself hanging on to a window sill, at a height
say of twenty feet from the ground, with the sash-
frame fixed on his hand, and a huge iron foot-bath,
or some such object, attached to the lower part of
his body, and he will have a tolerably correct idea of
the painful position of our crustacean friend.
After curling and uncurling his tail, and trying
several times in vain to throw his tub upon the valve
of the mussel, he released hold of his encumbrance,
and allowed it to drop. Although still hanging, he
had no difficulty in rolling up his continuation,' and
elevating his body to the walls of his prison. Once
again upon solid ground, he laboured hard to get his
leg free. But unsuccessful in his efforts, he adopted
another course, and snapped it off in a rage.
Scarcely, however, was the act of mutilation
finished, when the stupid animal apparently seemed
anxious to recover his lost toe, (which I may
mention, had in reality fallen down among the
After scraping, then resting, and scraping again,
many successive times, he at last succeeded in diving
the points of his largest claw into the chasm formed
by the gaping mollusc. Of course, the member was
held as if by a powerful vice. Very soon his courage
deserted him, and he seemed to wait and weep
despairingly for fate to release him from the sad
predicament into which he had foolishly fallen. Alas!
he little knew the singular part that fickle fortune
had doomed him to play,--to become, if I may so
term it, a kind of Prometheus in the tank.
My pack of fishes, having been on short rations
for several days, had become exceedingly ravenous,
and consequently were keeping a sharp look-out
for scraps. Hence their intense delight on catch-
ing sight of the devoted 'Dodgenes' can readily