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fragments of masonry, threading our way through sorrow, from a man at work there, that the poor the shattered palace of the Moors, we unexpectedly little fish were nearly boiled alive in the miniature arrive at a heap of arms and legs, bodies without lake, in which scores of them had grown from infancy heads resting by the side of others whose faces are to a goodly maturity. And now we are at the spot so battered and bemauled, that recognition is im- whereon the Mammoth-tree stood, known to possible; some are clad in chain-mail, others are botanists as Wellingtonia gigantea. It was the bark draped in priestly vestments, and very many are not only that represented the tree which stood when clad at all. By a little play of fancy we might easily alive, in California, and was about 400 feet in suppose all the statues must have recently gone in height. I have often stood beneath the shadows for a sanguinary battle, and that we had stumbled of these forest monarchs in California. The upon the remains of the fallen, gathered together, best plan to realize mentally the average height and awaiting the grave-digger. We find, however, on size of these stupendous trees, is to look at the inquiry, the workmen bring all the odds and ends monument on Fish Street Hill, and picture in your they discover, and deposit them at this spot. mind what a grove of trees must look like, every
A short distance further down the ruin, brings us one of which is taller, and many of them equal to beneath the two colossal figures from the Temple of the Monument in girth. When Lady Franklin Rameses the Great, at Aboo Simbel, in Nubia. visited California, only a few years since, ArchTowering sixty feet above our heads, their monstrous deacon Wright read the morning service to a features, never very comely, are so altered by the numerous congregation ; his church was the stump action of fire, that one might readily suppose two of a single tree, this stump is sometimes used as a sinful giants had been made to suffer death by fiery ball-room on festive occasions. Each tree has some martyrdom. A friend of the writer's, who was pre- fanciful name bestowed upon it :-Hercules is 326 sent at the time these figures were partially burnt, feet high, and 97 in girth; the Hermit is 320 feet observed a column of flame pour through the tops high, and 60 in girth; the Old Maid, a substantial, of their heads, giving to them the quaint semblance portly lady, is 266 feet high, and 60 feet round her of wearing plumes of fire. We scramble past the waist. Addie and Mary are buxom damsels each in avenue of Sphinxes, or rather where it was once height about 300 feet, and in circumference over 60 shaded by plants of the stately Papyrus, the leaves fect. The most forlorn looking of the group, with of which, in bygone times, supplied the Egyptians, rents in his bark, and a general air of seediness and as well as other nations, with sheets whereon their shabbiness, is the Old Bachelor, 300 feet high, and manuscripts were inscribed; here, where we now 70 feet in girth. We fear this representative tread, grew the Sabal Palmetto, Cocos, Wine Palms, of the Mammoth-trees, burnt in the Crystal Palace, Date Palms, Cabbage Palms, immense ferns, the will never be replaced. The cost of removing the Cinnamon, Peruvian Bark, and Tea-tree.
bark in narrow bands, or rings, was enormous; and likewise remember the silvery-leaved Looking-glass the transport of so bulky a matter from California plant, and the graceful Black Bamboo, a shoot of to the United States, and thence to England, was which has been known to add twelve inches to its far greater than any company or individual will be height in a single day. Not far from us, the great likely ever to outlay a second time. Palm-tree, from the Isle of Bourbon, forty feet high, Not far from the site of the tree, just a little to spread its feathery fronds alike over the Ficus our left, the brilliantly-plumaged Cockatoos and Ruxburgii, which bears its figs on the stem close to Macaws passed their lives, dividing their time the ground, and the Mahogany-tree from Honduras. pretty equally betwixt screaming, eating, and coaxWe may not tarry to recall many other species of rare ing philanthropic visitors to scratch and tickle them. and beautiful plants, mostly of Eastern growth, no How very sad to recall the fact to our minds that trace of which remains save the black dust beneath these poor birds were literally, and not in mere our feet. Where is the Nineveh Court? Why, all that figure of speech, roasted alive whilst chained to remains of it is to be found in that heap of fragments their perches; we can almost in fancy, even now, hear before us. The stupendous winged bulls, with their the piercing screams of the imprisoned Monkeys, uncannie faces and impossible beards, are now and the frantic cries of the Chimpanzee, as they blackened, headless, wingless trunks ; and the clutched hold of, and in desperate agony hurled giants, together with the lions they were for ever themselves against, the iron bars of their cages until strangling, lie buried beneath the gorgeous ceilings, the iron grew too hot to hold, and suffocation put richly painted cornices, and sculptures graven with an end to their miseries. Here, too, resided the arrow-headed inscriptions, that covered the walls of “happy family” of opposites; in one cage, living the Assyrian hall. As we cross over to the opposite amicably together, were cats, rabbits, Guinea pigs, side of the ruin, we note that Monti's fountains are and the delicate musk-deer Java-as they had not so very seriously damaged, although the pond lived so they died, to the last unable to part comsurrounding them is dry and filled with dirty pany. Nightingales that were wont to make the rubbish-broken glass and iron; and we learn with building vocal on summer evenings with their
mellow notes, together with Mocking-birds from
ON THE EXAMINATION OF MELICERTA the States; Canary birds direct from their native islands ; Finches, rare and curious, from Australia
WITH HIGH POWERS. and Tasmania; Grosbeaks from North America; Sparrows from a variety of localities ; a case of My attention was drawn to these interesting
objects for the microscope by finding, in Doves presented by the late Lola Montes; the
October last, a colony of them on some weed, taken Zebra, and other exquisitely-plumaged Paroquets,
from a pond in the Hampstead Fields, near the talking Parrots, together with the ingenious little
Swiss Cottage. A bath, 3 inches by 2, and I inch weaver-bird, were alike devoured by the greedy wide, was constructed for their accommodation, and flames. A few only were set at liberty, the greater placed on a shelf in the window, in front of a number are burnt ; Blondin's present, a Florida binocular, provided with a l-inch power. The Parrot, was saved from death by smoke and fire
intention was to watch their reproduction; but through the kind interference of his Grace the
though they increased rapidly, and the commenceDuke of Sutherland. The baby Hippopotamus bad
ment of the tube was frequently seen, in other his residence not far from where we now stand;
respects this effort was unsuccessful. the most strenuous efforts were made to rescue the quaint little beast, though in vain ; the fire ruthlessly did its work, until at length the floor of the animal's dwelling gave way with a crash, and through it went the half-roasted hippopotamus; we can see for ourselves where its remains were subsequently dug out. The poor little fellow was discovered lying on a printing-press, its appearance bearing a comical resemblance to that of a huge sausage overfried.
We could willingly have lingered very much longer “amidst the ruins,” but time and space forbid. We could have contemplated with interest the remains of the class-room and its adjoining orangery, where 110 orange-trees grew and throve, some of them 400 years old, once the property of the late Louis Philippe, and originally brought from his château of Neuilly, their loss is irreparable. The school of art, the reading-room, and library, wherein was burnt a valuable collection of rare books, the rarest of them all, perhaps, the copy of "Das
grę Neue Testament,” which was printed in 1851 for the King of Prussia, 25 copies only of which were ever
Fig. 26. Melicerta ringens. Front View of the Disc. struck off. The ruins of the Byzantine court, too, would have amply repaid us, could we have rambled
A fine specimen very near the front glass formed over its remains to recall and chat about the many
an inducement to try a to, but it proved just beyond interesting incidents connected with the statues,
the focus; so a smaller bath was made, having a models, and various works of high art that flourished
front of thin microscopic glass, and a space of from the 6th to the 15th centuries. Every part of
about of an inch between the slides. this splendid court was replete with interesting relics, now little other than charred, broken, shapeless fragments, destroyed by the withering flames beyond every possibility of restoration.
It would take a good-sized volume to contain a detailed account of all the treasures consumed in this disastrous fire. We have certainly one consoling thought as we shut the door upon the chaotic heaps
Fig. 27. Sheath-like character of the horn. and piles, and inextricable confusion of smashed glass, twisted iron, broken columns, masses of In this several bits of weed were placed; and masonry, and fragments from Moorish, Assyrian, when a specimen happened to be in a favourable and Byzantine structures, mixed with, and half- position, near the first glass, the worked excelburied in, the dust and débris of a miniature tropical lently. But the whole affair was clumsy; and it forest:-no human being perished in the blazing pile. was soon abandoned for another, formed entirely of
J. K. LORD, F.Z.S. thin glass, with a space of the ta of an inch between the surfaces, and with this success com- spinning motion of the pellet is set up and conmenced. A specimen, once inserted between the tinued. glasses, could be kept in good working order for The following drawings will serve to assist the several days, a power of employed, and the con- description :-Fig. 28; exhibits the inner row of densers brought to bear with great convenience. cilia, the action of which is indicated by the arrows. Added to this, the bath was readily reversed, and The finger-like valves are shown; and over the that without danger to the object. The slimness of mould is seen, in profile, the surface by which the the glass also proved of further value, as, in con- back current is produced. Fig. 29 gives a side view sequence of its flexibility, the sides could be brought of this surface (a), the direction of the current into contact without fracture !
being shown by the arrows; and the channel leading to the mould is seen at b.
direction of the currents.
It is very possible that all which has been described has been noticed before, but it is equally
possible that it has never been so clearly and conFig. 28. Disc of Melicerta ringens. The arrows show the
tinuously observed. Nothing that I have ever seen
has surpassed the definition of the mould under the On using the f, my attention was inmediately , assisted by the condenser; the eye seemed to drawn to the great extent of the ciliated surfaces; enter within its walls, and there to witness the the whole of the upper portion of the creature coming in of the first particles after a pellet had seemed to be alive with their action. Not only were been deposited. Curious, indeed, was the action of the lobes fringed with cilia, but a second row was the cilia, playing like fingers, with the nucleus, and found to exist on the inner surface of the two upper turning it first in one direction and then in another lobes, the action of which was for some time mis- till the rotatory motion was commenced. My taken for currents of water. This inner series is in pleasure was indeed of the highest degree; and this connection with the two finger-like valves, which paper is written with the hope that it may be the protect the entrance to the gullet; and its especial means of adding to the pleasure of others, and not office is to pass forward to them all particles only this, but that, while contemplating these brought within its influence; these are then in- wonders of creative power, our minds may bow in spected by the cilia covering the valves, and if silent adoration of that Great Being for whose considered fit, are allowed to enter the passage pleasure more especially they are and were leading to the gizzard. From this a ciliated surface created.” extends to the lintel or chin over the mould; its The manufacture of this kind of bath is so simple action creates a strong back current, by which all that a few instructions are added, by which any one that is unfit for food is thrown off, with the excep- of moderate ingenuity may make several in the tion of certain particles, which appear to be selected course of an hour or two. for the pellet; these are directed to a side-channel The requirements are a stock of thin glass, a leading to the mould. Here the cilia are again seen sharp writing diamond for cutting it, and a tin in full activity—its hollow may be said to be lined trough in which to melt some of the best red seal. with them; and it is by their action that the ing-wax. Cut first a piece of glass about 2 inches by l}, then another piece } inch narrower, the extra size of the first being required as a ledge, on which
RHIZOSOLENIA. to drop the water or rest the object previously to inserting it between the glasses. Now prepare a A CURIOUS genus of Diatoms was introduced piece of cardboard or cartridge-paper, half an incb
to notice by Mr. Brightwell in the sixth less in width than the length of the bath; this is to
volume of the Microscopical Journal,
This was be placed between the two glasses, and withdrawn
called Rhizosolenia, and with a view to its better after the bath is complete. Upon its thickness
acquaintance, we have given figures of two species, depends the depth of the water between the glasses;
and a brief summary of the rest. and, therefore, if a high power is to be employed,
Five British species are on record, and besides cartridge is better than cardboard.
the singularity of their forms, they are remarkable
of the hood-like cap which Fig. 30. Cell used in the observation of Melicerta with
ends the frustule. And high powers.
Rhizosolenia robusta is more When all is prepared, and the wax melted, the anomalous in its form, being edges of the glasses which project beyond the card- broad, somewhat sigmoid, board are to be dipped into the wax, which soon and terminating at each exforms a union between them; and in a few minutes tremity in a short bristly the card may be withdrawn, and the bath is ready point. The latter for use. It should then be filled with water by a
found by Mr. Norman in dipper, and a specimen selected for insertion.
Ascidians from the northern
Fig. 31. Fig. 32. Before doing this, it is advisable to remove as much coasts of England, the rest of the weed as possible, so that the piece which is
were all found by Mr. Brightwell. We should be left may be flat, or it will not pass between the
glad to hear from any of our correspondents who glasses. This is effected by first resting it on the are fortunate enough to meet with specimens of projecting ledge, and then moving it gently forward
these rare and singular Diatoms. with a needle or any thin object, till it is fairly positioned for observation. The water evaporates slowly, and must be renewed occasionally with the dipper. The peculiar advantage of this bath in the THE PLANE-TREE.- Pliny records the particulars case of Melicerta consists in the free supply of of several remarkable plane-trees, and tells us of water, as without this these delicate creatures will one in Lycia, that had a cave or hollow in the close or work so fitfully that sustained observations trunk, which measured $1 feet in circumference, in are impossible. It would also be found highly
which were stone seats covered with moss; and valuable for Zoophytes, or any creatures of a
that Licinius Mutianus, when consul, with eighteen similar character.
N. E. GREEN.
of his friends, used to dine and sup in the cavity of
the tree, the branches of which, we are told, spread [The above is an abstract of a paper read at the
to such an extent, that this single tree appeared like Quekett Microscopical Club.]
a grove; and this consul, says our author, preferred PLINY tells us that Cato of Utica was one time
sleeping in this hollow tree to his marble chamber, reproached for selling poison, because when dis- where his bed was composed of curious needle. posing of a royal property by auction he sold a quan
work, and canopied with beaten gold. - Sylva tity of Cantharides at the price of 60,000 sesterces.
tions of spines of Echini, &c., should be removed, FORAMINIFERA IN CHALK.
as the attrition of these hard bodies would greatly I
injure the delicate and beautiful little fossils. tised a simple method of obtaining Foramini- When the greater portion of the chalk has escaped fera, &c., from chalk.
through the cloth, much greater care must be used,
and at last the bag should be merely shaken, until the water which flows from it is almost clear; the contents of the cloth may then be transferred to a bottle of clear water, which should be violently shaken, the organisms occasionally allowed to subside, the milky fluid poured off, and fresh added : this operation to be repeated until the water remains clear when agitated. The white powder should be dried and sifted; the coarser will be found to consist of minute corals of great beauty, sponges, shells, and the larger foraminisera, &c., and the finer of the smaller foraminifera, &c.
So far from this apparently rough mode of proceeding injuring these delicate organisms, the majority of even the most fragile are quite uninjured: this, no doubt, is owing to the semifluid contents of the bag not being allowed to escape too quickly; if too coarse a cloth be used,
not only do the more minute fossils pass Fig. 33. Gravesend Chalk.
through, but the softer part of the chalk
being at the same time removed, the As many persons are desirous of obtaining a hard pieces of some portions of shells and spines good supply of these interesting objects, the fol. / would be brought into a more immediate contact lowing directions may prove useful.
Having procured a lump of fresh chalk, break it into pieces of about the size of a large walnut; then, with some heavy instrument, crush, not pound nor grind, these pieces into a coarse powder; when a sufficient quantity (say one or two pounds) has been thus prepared, either pass it through a sieve, or remove the large pieces, crush them, and return them to the powder; next procure a piece of stout calico, into which place the chalk, and tie it up as a housewife would a pudding. A large vessel of clean water should now be obtained, and the crushed chalk, having been allowed to become saturated with the fluid, the bundle should be kneaded, in the hands only: the contents will soon become a thick pasty mass, the milky water gradually ooze through, and the bulk of the chalk become considerably diminished. From time to time, after allowing the fluid to drain off, the cloth should be untied, and
Fig. 34. Chalk of Mendon. retied closer to the mass, and when the contents are reduced to about one-third, or less, with these minute bodies, and their inevitable of their criginal bulk, all large pieces of chalk, por- destruction would be the result. The operation is