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THE GLORIES OF THE SEA BROUGHT rocks, and with a hammer and chisel chip off HOME.
a few pieces of stone, covered with growing
sea-weed. Avoid the common and coarser SUMMER and the sea-side. To many kinds which cover the surface of the rocks, thousand dwellers in the islands, summer for they give out under water a slime, which and the sea-side are so inseparably asso
will foul your rase; but choose the more ciated, have so natural a combination, both delicate species which fringe the edges of in anticipation and in converse, that to think of one without the other would be a corralline, the dark purple ragged dulse,
every pool at low-water mark--the pink heresy. How could we possibly go on with the Carrageen moss, and, above all, the comout our annual trip the coast? The year monest of all, the delicate green ulva, which would come to a stop; we could not exist in you will see growing everywhere in wrinkled any plight fit to be looked at, if defrauded fan-shaped sheets, as thin as the finest silver of our natural rights to the sea. No, certainly not; could you, dear young lady; paper. The smallest bits of stone are sufil
cient, provided the sea-weeds have hold of Never! it is a thing not to be thought of them, for they have no real roots, but adhere twice with any degree of respectability, so by a small disc, deriving no nourishment from we dismiss the heinous supposition at once. the rock, but only from the water. Take We must have our short summer at the
care meanwhile that there be as little as sea-side. But then, when escaped from the possible on the stone beside the weed itself
, vast city, free from the breathless turmoil
, Especially scrape off any small sponges, and the hard-working gaiety of the London see that no worms have made their twining season, the sea-side gained, and all the lazy tubes of sand among the weed-stems; if they hours our own to stroll on sand or beach, or ramble among rocks, feeling a freshening and as surely spoil all
, by sulphuretted
have, drag them out, for they will surely die, life upon our faces, a lightsome sense of hydrogen, blackness, and evil smells. leisure in our walks,—then, having gained the freedom coveted so eagerly, how long them at the bottom; which last, some say,
Put your weeds into your vase, and settle does our satisfaction last ? But brief, we should be covered with a layer of pebbles ; fear, for most of us; the hours of ennui but let the beginner leave it as bare as pos. gather day by day as novelty wears off, sible, for the pebbles onlytempt cross-grained and weary us with the reiterated question, annelids to crawl under them and die, and "what to do next?” And to those who haply retain their early of the vase is bare, you can see a sickly or
spuil all by decaying: whereas, if the bottom delight in nature,
dead inhabitant at once, and take him out “Who love old Ocean with a child-like love, (which you must do) instantly
Let your And joy in all her beauties, all her pride," weeds stand quitely in the vase a day or two they, too, have their private discontent, before you put in any live animals; and even that the weeks pass on, and bring them then, do not put any in if the water does not nearer to the day when this glad pastime appear perfectly clean; but lift out the must end, and the glories of the sea be left weeds and renew the water ere you replace behind.
them. Yet not all, for we can tell them of a Now for the live stock. In the crannies flower-garden and fairy lake, with minia- of every rock you will find sea anemones, and ture subaqueous forests, gorgeous and fan- a dozen of these only will be enough to contastic, which they may take away to their vert your little vase into the most brilliant inland home, a treasured souvenir of the of living flower-gardens. There they hang wondrous water-world. And as for the ques- upon the other side of the ledges, apparently tioners of “What to do next >" they like- mere rounded lumps of jelly: one is of a dark wise may find here a fitting answer. purple, dotted with green; another, ot a rich
Buy at any glass-shop a cylindrical glass chocolate; another, of a delicate olive; anjar, some six inches in width, and ten in other, sienna yellow; another, all but white. height, which will cost you from three to Take them from their rock; you can do it four shillings; wash it clean, and fill it easily by slipping under them yourfinger-nail with clear salt water, dipped out of any pool or an ivory paper-knife. Take care to tear the amongst the rocks, only looking first to see sucking base as little as possible (though a that there is no dead fish or other evil matter small rent they will darn for themselves in in the said pool, and that no stream from a few days easily enough), and drop them the land runs into it.
into a basket of wet sea-weed; when you So much for your vase; now to stock it. get home drop them into a dish full of water
, Go down at low tide to the nearest ledge of and leave them for the night, and go to
look at them to-morrow. What a change! | dirt and patience; for the moment it is The dull lumps of jelly have taken root and touched, it contracts deep into the rock, and flowered during the night, and your dish is all that is left of the daisy-flower, some two filled from side to side with a bouquet of or three inches across, is a blue knot of half chrysanthemums; each has expanded into the size of a marble. But it will expand a hundred-petalled flower-crimson, pink, again after a day or two of captivity, and purple, or orange; touch one, and it shrinks well repay all the trouble which it has cost. together like a sensitive plant, displaying The other is Dianthus, which you may find at the root of the petals a ring 'of brilliant adhering to fresh oysters, in any dredger or turquoise beads. That is the commonest of trawler's skiff, a lengthened mass of olive, all the sea anemones; you may have him pale rose, or snow-white jelly. The rose when and where you will; but if you will and the white are the more beautiful; the search those rocks somewhat closer, you will very maiden-queens of all the beautiful find even more gorgeous species than him. tribe. If you find one, clean the shell on See in that pool some dozen noble ones in which it grows of everything else (you may full bloom, and quite six inches across leave the oyster inside if you will), and some of them. If their cousins, whom we watch it expand under water into a furbefound just now, were like chysanthemums, lowed flower, furred with innumerable delithese are like quilled dahlias. Their arms cate tentacula ; and in the centre a mouth are stouter and shorter in proportion than of the most brilliant orange; altogether one those of the last species, but their colour is of the loveliest gems with which it has equally brilliant. One is a brilliant blood- pleased God to bedeck his lower world. red, another, a delicate sea-blue, striped But you will want more than these anewith pink; but most have the disc and the mones, both for your own amusement and innumerable arms, striped and ringed with for the health of your vase. Microscopic various shade of grey and brown. Shall animals will breed, and will also die, and we get them? By all means, if we can. you need for them some such scavengers as
Where is he now? Gone! our poor friend Squinando. Turn, then, a Vanished into air or stone! Not quite. You few stones which lie piled on each other at see that knot of sand and broken shel. lying extreme low-water mark, and five minutes' on the rock where your dahlia was one mo- search will give you the very animal you ment ago. Touch it, and you will find it want, a little crab, of a dingy russet above, leathery and elastic. That is all which re- and on the underside like smooth porcelain. mains of the live dahlia. Never mind; get His back is quite flat, and so are his large your finger into the crack under him, work angular fringed claws, which, when he folds him gently but firmly out, and take him them up, lie in the same plane with his home, and he will be as happy and as gor- shell, and fit neatly into its edges. Comgeous as ever to-morrow. Let your actiniæ pact little rogue that he is, made especially stand for a day or two in the dish, and then, for sidling in and out of craeks and crannies, picking out the liveliest and handsomest, he carries with him such an apparatus of detach them once more from their hold, drop combs and brushes as Isidor or Floris never them into your vase; right them with a bit dreamed of; with which he sweeps out of of stick, so that the sucking base is down the sea-water at every moment shoals of wards, and leave them to themselves hence- minute animalcules, and sucks them into forth.
his tiny mouth. Mr. Gosse will tell you These two species (Mesembryanthemum more of this marvel in his Aquarium. and Crassicornis) are quite beautiful enough Next, your sea-weeds, if they thrive as to give a beginner amusement; but there they ought to do, will sow their minute are two others which are not uncommon, and spores in millions around them; and there, of such exceeding loveliness, that it is worth as they vegetate, will form a green film on while to take a little trouble to get them. the inside of the glass, spoiling your prosThe one is Bellis, the sea daisy, of which pect; you may rub it off for yourself, if there is an excellent description and plates you will, with a rag fastened to a stick; but in Mr. Gosse's “Rambles in Devon." "It is if you wish at once to save yourself trouble, common at Ilfracombe and at Torquay; and and to see how all emergencies in nature indeed everywhere where there are cracks are provided for, you will set three or four and small holes in limestone or slate rock. live shells to do it for you, and to keep your In these holes it fixes
its base, and expands subaqueous lawn close mown. its delicate brown grey starlike flowers on This last word is no figure of speech. the surface ; but it must be chipped out with Look among the beds of sea-weed for a few hammer and chisel, at the expense of much of the bright yellow or green sea-snails, or
conical tops-especially that beautiful pink to quote Mr. Gosse once more, "thousands one spotted with brown, which you are sure of tiny globules forming on every plant, to find about shaded rocky ledges at dead and even all over the stones where the inlow tide, and put them into your aquarium. fant vegetation is beginning to grow; and For the present they will only nibble the these globules presently rise in rapid sucgreen ulvæ, but when the film of young cession to the surface all over the vessel, and weed begins to form, you will see it mown this process goes an uninterruptedly as long off every morning, as fast as it grows, in as the rays of the sun uninterlittle semicircular sweeps, just as if a fairy's rupted. Now these globules consist of pure scythe had been at work during the night. oxygen given out by the plants under the And a scythe has been at work-none other stimulus of light; and to this oxygen the than the tongue of the little shell-fish. A animals in the tank owe their life. The description of its extraordinary mechanism difference between the profusion of oxygen (too long to quote here, but which is well bubbles produced on a sunny day and the worth reading) may be found in “Gosse's paucity of those seen on a dark cloudy day Aquarium.”
is very marked.”. Choose, therefore, a south A prawn or two, and a few minute star- or east window, but draw down the blind, fish, will make your aquarium complete; or throw a handkerchief over all, if the heat though you may add to it endlessly, as one become fierce. The water should always glance at the salt-water tanks of the Zoolo- feel cold to your hand, let the outside temgical Gardens, and the strange and beautiful perature be what it may. forms which they contain, will prove to you Next, you must make up for evaporation sufficiently.
by fresh water. A very little
will suffice, as You have two more enemies to guard often as in summer you find the water in against-dust and heat. If the surface of your vase sink below its original level, and the water becomes clogged with dust, the prevent the water from getting too salt; for communication between it and the life- the salts, remember, do not evaporate with giving oxygen of the air is cut off; and the water ; and if you left the vase in the then your animals are liable to die, for the sun for a few weeks, it would become a mere very same reason that fish die in a pond brine-pan. which is long frozen over, unless a hole be But how will you move your treasures up broken in the ice to admit air. You must to town! The simplest plan is an earthen guard against this by continually stirring jar. You may buy them with a cover which the surface (it should be done once a day if screws on, with two iron clasps. If you do possible), and by keeping on a cover. A not find such, a piece of oilskin tied over the piece of muslin tied over will do; but a mouth is enough. But you do not fill the better defence is a plate of glass, raised on pan full of water; leave about a quarter of wire some half-inch above the edge, so as the contents in empty air, which the water to admit the air. I am not sure that a sheet may absorb, and so keep itself fresh; and of brown paper laid over the vase is not the any pieces of stone or oysters which you best of all, because that, by its shade, send up, hang by a string from the mouth, guards also against the next evil, which is that they may not hurt tender animals by heat. Against that you must guard by put- rolling about the bottom. With these ting a curtain of muslin or oiled paper be- simple precautions, anything which you are tween the vase and the sun, if it be very likely to find will well endure forty-eight fierce, or simply (for simple expedients are hours' travel, best) by laying a handkerchief over it till What, if the water fail, after all? the heat is past. But if you leave your vase
Then Mr. Gosse's artificial sea-water will in a sunny window long enough to let the form a perfect substitute. You may buy water get tepid, all is over with your pets. the requisite salts (for there are more salts Half-an-hour's boiling may frustrate the than “salt” in sea-water) from any chemist care of weeks. And yet, on the other to whom Mr. Gosse has intrusted his dishand, light you must have, and you can covery, and, according to his directions, hardly have too much. Some animals cer- make sea-water for yourself. Mr. Bolton, tainly prefer shade, and hide in the darkest chemist, of 146, Holborn-bars, London, will crannies; and for them, if your aquarium furnish the materials. is large enough, you must provide shade, by One more hint before we part. If, after arranging the bits of stone into piles and all, you are not going down to the sea-side caverns. But without light, your sea-weeds this year, and have no opportunities of testwill neither thrive nor keep the water ing the wonders of the shore, you may still sweet. With plenty of light, you will see, study Natural History in your own drawing.
room, by looking a little into the wonders of Glaucus ;” take them down as companions the pond.
over rock and beach and sands, and this I am not jesting; a fresh-water aquarium, year's summer and the sea-side will be though by no means so beautiful as a salt- remembered with a satisfaction unknown water one, is even more easily established. before. To Mr. Kingsley we are indebted A glass jar, floored with two or three inches for most part of these last few columns, and of pond mud (which should be covered with they give the best illustrations of his easy fine gravel, to prevent the mud washing and fascinating manner of instruction of up),; a specimen of each of two water-plants, Mr. Gosse's books we may say truly, endorswhich you may buy at any good shop in ing Mr. Kingsley's appreciation, there is Covent-garden, Vallisneria spiralis (which a playful and genial spirit in them, a brilis said to give to the canvas-backed duck of liant power of word-painting, combined with America its peculiar richness of flavour), deep and earnest religious feeling, which and Anacharsis alsinastrum, that magical makes them as morally valuable as they are weed which, lately introduced from Canada intellectually interesting.” among timber, has multiplied, self-sown, to such a prodigious extent, that it bids fair in a few years to choke the navigation, not
SUMMER-TIME. only of our canals and fen-rivers, but of the I FEEL a great deal of pity for those Thames itself: these for oxygen breeding honest but mis-guided people who call their vegetables, and for animals the pickings of little spruce suburban towns or the shaded any pond. A minnow or two, an eft; some streets of their inland cities, the country; of those caddis-baits (walking tubes of and I have still more pity for those who straw, sticks, and shells), and water-crickets, reckon a season at the summer resorts, which you may find under any stone; a few country enjoyment. I thank heaven every of the delicate pond-snails, unless they de- summer day of my life that my lot was vour your vallisneria too fast; water-beetles humbly cast within the hearing of romping of activity inconceivable, and that wondrous brooks, and beneath the shadow of the oaks. one, the notonecta, who lies on his back all And from all the tramp and bustle of the day, rowing about his boat-shaped body, world into which fortune has led me in with one long pair of oars, in search of these latter years of my life, I delight to animalcules, and the moment the lights are steal away for days and for weeks together, out turns head over heels, rights himself, and bathe my spirit in the freedom of thé and opening a pair of handsome wings, old woods, and to grow young again lying starts to fly about the dark room in company upon the brook side, and counting the with his friend the water-beetle, and I sus- white clouds that sail along the sky, softly pect to catch flies; and then slips back and tranquilly, even as holy feelings go demurely into the water with the first streak stealing over the heaven of life. of dawn. These animals, their habits, their I am deeply thankful that I could never wonderful transformations, as the caddis- find it my heart so to pervert truth as to baits appear at the top of the water as alder- call the smart villages (after the pattern of flies and sedgeflies, and the water-crickets the town just at the other end of the line), as duns and drakes of the most delicate with their two-year-old avenues, and garden beauty, which might give many an hour's plots measured by the foot, the country. I quiet amusement to an invalid; laid on a like these in their way, they are an advance sofa or imprisoned in a sick room, and de- out of the smoke; but I love far better to barred from riding, unless by some such leave them behind me, and to dash boldly means, any pages of that great green book out to where some out-lying farmhouse outside, whose pen is the finger of God, keeps its own quiet presence under the whose covers are the fire kingdoms, and the shelter of wooded hills, or nestles in the lap star kingdoms; and its leaves the heather- of a calm valley. bells, and the polypes of the sea, and the In the town, small as it may be, and gnats above the summer stream.
darkened as it may be with the shadows of And now, if there is any further interest trees, you cannot forget men. Their voice awakened in this subject; if there exists and strife and ambition come to your eye the design to secure in practical efforts the in the painted pailing in the staring delightful
source of amusement it promises; signboard of the tavern, and, worst of if there is the desire to know more of thé alì, in the bright brass plate upon the “wonders of the sea and shore,” procure iron gate, “Mr. Flayer, Solicitor.” two pretty books of the present season, Even the 'little milliner's shop, with its "Gosse's Aquarium” and Kingsley's meagre show of jaunty-fashion-plates (copy
done in life by the barmaid at the corner), heated clucks. A speckled turkey, with an its pink and yellow patterns, with black astonished brood at her heels, is eyeing wafer-buttons, crisped off here and there by curiously, and with earnest variations of the mid-day sun, is a sad epitome of the the head, a full-fed cat, that lies curled up great and conventional life of a city neigh- and dozing upon the floor of the cottagebourhood.
porch. I like to be rid of them all, as I am rid As I sit thus watching through the interof them this midsummer's day. I like to stices of my leafy screen the various images steep my soul in a sea of quiet, with no- of country life, I hear distant mutterings thing floating past me, as I lie moored to from beyond the hills. The sun has thrown my thought, but the perfume of flowers and its shadow upon the pewter dial two hours soaring birds and shadows of clouds.
beyond the meridian line. Great creamTwo days since I was sweltering in the coloured heads of thunder-clouds are lifting heat of the city, jostled by the thousand above the sharp clear line of the western eager workers, and panting under the shadow horizon;, the light breeze dies away, and of bare walls. But I have stolen away; the air becomes stifling, even under the and for two hours of healthful re-growth shade of my boughs in the chamber widow. into the darling past, I have been lying this The white-capped clouds roll up nearer and blessed summer's morning upon the grassy nearer to the sun; and the creamy masses bank of a stream that babbled me to below grow dark in their seams. The sleep in boyhood. Dear old stream! un- mutterings that came faintly before, now changing, unfaltering, with no harsher spread into wide volumes of rolling sound, notes now than then-never growing old, sound, that echo again and again from the smiling in your silver rustle, and calming western heights. yourself in the broad, placid pools, I love I hear in the deep intervals the wen you as I love a friend!
shouting to their teams in the meadows; But now that the sun has grown scalding and great companies of startled swallows hot, and the waves of heat have come rock- are dashing in all directions along the grey ing under the shadow of the meadow oaks, roofs of the barn. I have sought shelter in the chamber of the The clouds have now well nigh reached old farm-house. The windows are unclosed, the sun, which seems to shine fiercer for his and some of them are twined about with coming eclipse. The whole west, as I look jasmine and honeysuckle, so that every puff from the sources of the brook to its lazy of the summer air comes to me cooled with drift under the moor that lies to the south, fragrance. A dimple or two of the sunlight is hung with a curtain of darkness; and steals through this flowery screen, and like swift working golden ropes that lift it dances as the breeze moves the branches toward the zenith, long chains of lightning upon the cool floor of the farm-house. flash through it, and the growling thunder
Through one little gap, indeed, I can see seems like the rumble of the pulleys. the broad stretch of meadow, and the I thust away my jasmine boughs, and workers in the field bending and swaying Aling back the window, as the sun and the to their scythes. I can see, too, the glisten- clouds meet; and my room darkens with ing of the steel as they wipe their blades, the coming shadows. For an instant the and can just catch, floating on the air, the edges of the thick masses of cloud are gilded measured song:
by the shrouded sun, and show gorgeous Here and there a lark, scared from his scollops of gold that toss upon the hem of feeding-place in the grass, soars up, bub- the storm. But the blazonry fades as the bling forth his melody in globules of silvery clouds mount; and the brightening lines of sound. Nearer by a tyrant bird is poised the lightning dart up from the lower skirts, on the topmost oak, and now and then he and heave the billowy masses into the dashes down, assassin like, upon some middle heaven. home-bound honey-laded bee, and then, The air freshens and blows now from the with a smack of his bill, resumes his pre- face of the coming clouds. I see the great datory watch. A chicken or two lie in the elms in the plain swaying their tops even sun, with a wing and a leg stretched out, before the storm-breeze has reached me, and lazily picking at the gravel, or relieving a bit of ripening grain upon a swell of the their ennui from time to time with a land waves and tosses like a billowy sea. spasmodic rustle of their feathers. An old
Presently I hear the rush of the wind, and matronly hen stalks about the yard with a the cherry and pear trees rustle through all sedate step, and with quiet self-assurance their leaves, and my paper is whisked away she utters an accasional series of hoarse and I by the intruding blast.