Imagens das páginas

are due to the zeal and ability of my colleagues. Thus, Mr. R. L. Jack has the merit of detecting and trac ng the Caradoc basin of the Lcadhills, and of working out the structure of that region which has been of so much service in the subsequent progress of the Survey. Mr. John Home has carried the lines lar into Galloway, and Mr. D. R. Irvine has traced them across a great part of Wigtownshire. Mr. H. Skae has mapped them across Dumfriesshire into Selkirkshire, while Mr. B. N. Peach, besides doing excellent service in the west, is now running them across the rest of the country towards the sea on the east.

Allow me also on the part of my colleagues, as well as for myself, to take advantage of this opportunity to thank Prof. llarkness for his most valuable and welcome papers, and to express our gratification that the labours of the Survey should have found so courteous an exponent, and one whose knowledge of the country which we have mapped is so minute and extensive. Arch. Geikie

The Huemul

In Vol. viii. p. 253 of your valuable journal, I find it noticed that the Chilian Exploring Expedition has taken a specimen of the Iluemul, an animal which had altogether been lost sight of, and fir.-t described by Molina under the name of Equus bisukus. This notice is not correct, as the animal has been described already in^iS-pS by Messrs. Gray and Gervais, in the Annates dtr scient. natur. iii. Ser. Tom. v. page 91, under the name of Cervus chilensis, and compared with C. antisiensis of D'Orbigny, as the species most nearly allied to the Huemul or Guemul or Guamel, different names for the same animal in different parts of the country. This first description was repeated the following year in the "Historia fisica y Politics de Chile," Zoology, vol. i. page 159, and accompanied by the figure of the animal (pi. 10, and its skull pi. n), from the only known specimen of a young male of half-grown size, brought to Paris by Mr. Gay. On the same specimen Mr. Pucheran has founded his description in his valuable monograph of the genus Ct rvus, published in the Archives du Museum, vol. vi. page 9G5 (1862), and from these two descriptions Mr. A. Warner has given a' combined extract in his "Saugethiere," &c. Tom. v. (supplement), page 382, under the same name of Cervus chilensis. Meanwhile Dr. J. E. Gray had described a species of deer, received by the Earl of Derby from Chili as Cerz'us Itucotis (Annals of Nat. Hist, ii., Jer. Tom. v. page 324, 1S40. and Proceed. Zool. Soc, 1849, page 64, pi. 12), which name he soon changed to Furcifer Huanul (Annals chr. iv. 427), and at last to Xenelaphus huamd, adding to his first description new notices, with the figures of the horns of the male (Proceed. Zool. Soc, 1S69, page 496), and the skull of the female, and stating that his Cervus leucotis is identical with the Cervus chilensis of Gay. This exposition proves that the Huemul or Guemul is already a very well known animal, and has by no means been overlooked by naturalists.

A young collector in Buenos Ayres, Mr. Franc Moreno, has lately received a pair of these animals from Patagonia, where they were caught by the Indian Pehnelches, who live on the western foot of the Cordilleras, near the sources of the rivers Negro and Colorado. These two specimens have been brought to the public Museum, where I have examined them carefully. The male is a younq one, with horns still covered by the skin, and only 3 in. long, without branches. I regret that therefore I can say nothing about the figure of the adult's horns, which arc according to the drawing given by my dear friend, Dr. Gray, very like that of the roebuck, although the specimen he has figured may be regarded as in an abnormal state, from the great difference between their two sides. Both sexes of the animal are of equal size—3 ft. high on back, and 4; ft. long, the head being 10 in. long, the ears and the neck 7 in. every one, and the body 3 ft. without the tail, which measures 7 in. with its hairs, but only 4 in. in the axis. Great naked lachrymal pits are seen below the eyes. The fur isof the same quality in each, but very different i n the cold and in the warm seasons ; then both skins are in the time of hairing, the female with the prevailing hair of the winter, and the male with the prevailing of the summer. Each ha;r is not entirely straight, but some are undulated, principally on the under half, and this undulated portion has a clear greyish-brown colour; over this clearer portion comes a broad dark-brown or black ring, and the end is clear reddish yellow, with a fine blackish tip, gem rally broken off in old fur. For the winter dress the hairs are 2 in. to 24 in. long, and of a less characteristic colour, being over the whole skin of an undistinguished

greyish-brown colour ; but in rile summer dress the hairs: sure no more than 1J in. or yf in., and all their colours are cleaner and better pronounced./Therefore the animal is darker arvi more distinguished in colour in the summer than in the winter. The hairs on the face are very short, as are those on the outside of the ears, somewhat longer on the legs, but nearly a? short an tbe under half part of the extremities. The breast and the tail rta^e the longest hairs. Different in colour are the nake 1 nose and upper lip, both entirely black ; the breast is dark blackish-brown, the genital region to the tail, with the inside of the hinder upper legs being white. The same colour also pervades the irtuie of the ears, which are coated with long hairs ; the bcti's are blaek. No tinge of the particular stripe of longer hairs on the tarsus of the hinder legs is conspicuous in either «i; but I find, with Dr. Gray, a large tuft of longer hairs oa the hock, an the inside behind, which makes this part of the legs very thick.

The animal lives principally in the valleys of the Cordilleras, but on both sides, the eastern and the western, and rarely eUc_down to the flat country of the Argentine pampas. Its proper range is between 35" and 45°. It is well known by the Indians, who not only make use of its strong skin for wardress, and its meat for food, but also tame young animals, using them for domestic employment, like the Guanaco, which lives in the same territory, but is much more common, and therefore almost the only animal used for hunting by the same people.

Buenos Ayrea, Sept. 20 Dr. Burmeister

The Diverticulum of the Small Intestine considered as a Rudimentary Structure

I Must claim the opportunity of reply to the article which appeared in your number of October 16 (vol. viii p. 509), entitled "On the Appendix Vermiformisand the Evuluti in Hypothesis'' which the writer offers as a commentary on my little paper at the recent meeting of the British Association, "On the Diverticulum of the Small Intestine considered as a Rudimentary Structure."

The writer seems to have been misled by newspaper reports^ None of these were furnished by me, or submitted to me before publication, and in those which I sawafter their publication both tlie anatomy and the argument were grossly and indeed aV>urdly blundered. This applies not only to my paper and remarks but to the remarks made by those who spoke on my paper. It was, perhaps, too much to expect newspaper reporters not to get confused among scientific terms, and I may have erred in not having the usual abstract of my little paper ready to hand to the repot ters.

Newspaper reports may be passed without notice, but I cannot allow an article in a scientific periodical to pa=s in which the writer uses such language as the following, with which the article in your columns concludes :—

"To quote the words of one of the greatest of our physiologists, it can only bring ignominy on the bo ly of scientific workers if they are supposed to countenance such an argument as that uf Prof. Struthers, which assumes that because one or two indivi. duals have died from the impactation of cherry-stones in the appendix vermiformis, therefore there is no God!"

The "no God " was certainly not in my paper or in anything I have ever written or spoken, and the accusation i; to me so offensive that I repudiate it wi h indignation. How anyone should suppose that the evolution hypothesis implies that there is "no God" I am at a loss to understand. I supposed it to be well understood that, on the contrary, that great hypothesis enables us to rise to higher conceptions, the only question being the mode of proceeding.

As to the scientific argument, it seems hopeless to at'empt to unravel the confusion into which newspaper reports and my critic have brought it, except by rc-slating my argument. But this is for the most part unnecessary after your publication of myabstiact in the number following that in which the article of which I complain appeared. It cannot be absolutely proved that the appendix vermiformis is useless, though a survey ot the facts in comparative anatomy and development leads to the inference that it is a rudimentary structure. But my paper was on the diverticulum, the appendix bring referred to only collaterally, and more for the sake of clearing away the most unnece sary teleology with winch it has been encrusted, than with the view of resting the argument on it. The diverticulum, like the appei.dix, has glands and muscular layers, secreting and expelling ; it has villi, actively absorbing; and it is large, which ;he appendix is not. Yet, notwithstanding all this elaborate construction and this activity, who will maintain that this unclosed bit of the vitelline duct has been left unclosed in some of us for use? But one is sometimes met with the remark that, if these rudimentary and variable structure' are useless, they are at any rate not inj jrious. But is it so? May they, and do they, not become injurious under disease or accident? There is the male mamma, for instance, which we have sometimes occasion to excise for disease. Whatever may be the law which rebates the evolution ol the sexual organs, no "use" theory can account for the presence of that rudimentary organ. But the diverticulum is a possibly injurious structure nn merely as a tissue, but in addition, specially, as forming, if I m\y use the word, a kind- of trap, by lodgment or by strangulation. Thus we find that we bare, whether we will or no, reached the conclusion that there are parts in the animal bxly which are not only useless but warse than useless because dangerous.

I do not see any reply 10 this in my critic's remark that it proves too much for the argument, that, for instance, because some people have died from wounds of the scalp, therefore the head might be dispensed with. For, however much the head may vary among us, it is not a rudimentary structure. No argument can affect the fact that the diverticulum is not only a useless structure, but worse than useless because dangerous. The object of putting it thus emphatically is both to establish and to call attention to the conclusion that there are such things in animal bodies as rudimentary structures, things which are of no use to the animal body which contains them, and which can be understood only by referring to other animal bodies in which they are in full play ; and that we must therefore rise to higher conceptions of the mode in which these things are regulated. It was carefully stated in my paper that the consideration of such parts as the diverticulum does not carry us further than to clear away the old argument, but that, on taking a survey of rudimentary structures generally, we are led on to the c inclusion that the evolution hypothesis is the more probable one in regard to the mode of origin of animal bodies.

The nature of the diverticulum and its sources of danger are well known to the readers of Meckel, Monro, Lawrence, Rokitanski, and Cruveilhier. I may be allowed to mention that nearly twenty years aj;o I published (Edin. Med. and Surg. Journal, April 1854) twenty ca;es of diverticulum, with a drawing of each. In three 01 these it was the cause of death, and I referred to some other cases in which it caused death as reported by previous writers. Anyone in Lonrion who is desirous of seeing a case in which it caused death, may do so by looking into the museum of St. Bartholomew's Hospiul. There is, I may mention, a diverticulum, at the usual place, in a subject now being dissected in my anatomical rooms. If my critic will come to Aberdeen I will show him a large collection of them, and also of specimens showing the various positions and conditions of the appendix vermiforrais, and, indeed, many other interesting rudimentary structures and variations w'lich, I infer, he has not yet se=n.

My critic's objection that such discussions are unnecessary, that the true theory will ultimate.y prevail from its own intrinsic value, might be urged against all discussion; and I differ from him very much if he thinks that the question does not require to be stirred among and by the teachers of human anatomy iu this country. The cause of my little paper, in fact, was my having, not long before, heard a teacher of human anatomy, at a < meeting, ca'.l in question the whole argument from ru.lirn-ntary structures. I attribu'.ed no imporance to my pa;-ex further than that, in bringing forward the diverticulum, it submi'ted an illustration for the argument which does not admit ol civil.

Aberdeen, Nov. 22 John Stkuthuks

both as to extent and emce-icy, with that of Paris, effective as the latter Is.

The system is employed in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Dublin. R. S. Culley

Engineer-in-Chief of Postal Telegraphs

General Post Office, Nov. 29

The Atmospheric Telegraph

Will you permit one of your subscribers who is interested in the credit of the English telegraphic system, to supplement your article of November 27 by a few remarks?

The distribution of telegraphic messages by means of air was introduced by Mr. Latimer Clark, and had been employed by the Electric Telegraph Company long before it was adopted either in Berlin or Paris.

The Titrus article of November 15 deals with the undertaking of the Pneumatic Despatch Company for the conveyance of parcels an 1 goods, not messages. The writer incidentally mentions the transmission of messages, but scarcely seems to have been aware of the extent of the Lond <n message sys'em.

If I might encumber your valuable space by >ta istics, I could I show that the pneumatic system of the Postal Telegraphs, or even that of the Electric Telegraph Company at the lime of the transfer of their undertaking to the State, will bear comparison, 1

SEXSATION IS THE SPINAL CORD THE principle which I endeavoured some years *■ ago to get recognised as the directive principle of research in Nerve Physiology, was that everywhere identity of Tissue carried with it identity of physiological Property, and that similarity in the structure and connections of Organs involved corresponding similarity in Function. Although these premisses were almost truisms, the conclusion drawn— that all nerve-centres must have a common Property, and similar Functions—was too much opposed to the reigning doctrine, to find general acceptance. Especially was it resisted in its application to the functions of the Spinal Cord; and this because of the t.vo hypotheses current, namely, that Reflex Action did not involve Sensibility, and that the Brain was the sole Organ of the Mind. Following in the track so victoriously opened by Pflu*er, I brought forward what seemed to me decisive evidence of the sensational and volitional functions of the Spinal Cord; but this evidence has not been generally deemed conclusiveby those whoseverdict is authoritative. Neither inGermany nor in England have the majority of physiologists consented to regard the actions determined by tthe Spinal Cord in the absence of the Brain as sensitive actions.

This is not the place to examine the insufficiency of the evidence which is held to exclude sensation from Reflex Action, nor to exhibit the irrationality of the conception of the Brain as the Organ of Mind—which, as I have elsewhere said, is not more acceptable than would be the parallel conception of the Heart as the Organ oi Life. The purpose of the present paper is restricted to the examination of the most striking experimental evidence against the sensational function of the Spinal Cord, which to my knowledge has hitherto been advanced. I had intended reserving the criticism for its aopropriate place in the '" Problems of Life and Mind," but an article by Mr. Michael Foster which has just appeared {Journal of Anatomy and Physiology, Novemb ?r),on the Effects of rise of Temperature on Reflex Action, induces me to bring the subject before the readers of Nature, in the hope that some of them may re-investigate it and record their results.

I will merely remark that the microscopic investigations which have recently been msde with greatly increased powers and better methods of preparation, have more and more confirmed my assertion of the histological identity of Spinal Cord and Brain. On the other hand the experiments of Goltz [Functional derNervenccntrcndcs Frosches, 1869, p. 128; seem to supply direct evidence against the identity of property; and this evidence cannot be ignored.

Goltz observed that a frog, when place i in water the temperature of which is slowly raised towards boiling, manifests uneasiness as soon as the temperature reaches 25* C, and becomes more and more agitated as the heat increases, vainly struggling to get out, and finally, at 420 C, dies in a state of rigid tetanus. The evidence of feeling being thus manifested when the frog has its brain, what is the case with a brainless frog? It is absolutely the reverse. Quietly the animal sits through all the successions of temperature, never once manifesting uneasiness or pain, never once attempting to escape the impending death. "The spinal soul sleeps, perhaps; it takes no heed of the danger. One must waken it. I touch with acid the skin of its back in that part which is raised above the surface of the water. Swiftly and surely the hind paw is brought to bear on it, and the acid on tlu irritated spot is ■wiped away J then the leg resumes its comfortable position." The water grows hotter and hotter, but the brainless frog never moves, till, at 56° C, it expires in a state of tetanus. This contrast is assuredly marked enough, and most readers will be disposed to admit that if the brainless animal can endure, without manifesting even uneasiness, what in the normal animal produces every sign of intense pain, the conclusion that the brainless animal feels nothing, and therefore that his Spinal Chord is not a sensational centre, is irresistible. This conclusion I altogether reject. Not that I question the facts, for I have verified their accuracy; and Mr. Foster, who has repeatedly verified them, only points to the new difficulty which they raise, namely, why the brainless frog is not excited to reflex action by the stimulus of hot water? It is, therefore, the interpretation of the facts to which attention must be drawn; and to make this complete, let me here note counter facts which my experiments presented.

The brainless frog is not insensible to the heat, unless the insensibility be gradually produced. If its foot be dipped into the hot water the leg is violently retracted; and if the whole or greater part of the body be immersed, the frog struggles vehemently, and rapidly passes into a state of tetanus. The difference between the behaviour of a normal frog and a brainless frog when suddenly immersed in very hot water is not greater than might reasonably be anticipated between animals uninjured and animals with one great sensitive centre removed.

These facts are substantially confirmed by the facts brought forward in Mr. Foster's paper. He also finds the legs of a decapitated frog withdrawn by reflex action, as soon as the temperature of the water reaches a little over 300 C. "However slowly the water be heated, the feet are always withdrawn at a temperature of 350 or earlier." But he observes that when the whole body is immersed and the water gradually heated, no movement, or only the very slightest spasm of the muscles of the legs takes place. The point to which he draws attention is, that whereas the stimulus of hot water applied to the foot causes reflex action, applied to the whole leg or the whole body it causes none; his explanation is that the depressing influence of heat on the Spinal Cord destroys its reflex powers. This explanation seems to accord very well with all his observations, but is not in accordance with the fact mentioned by Goltz of the frog's wiping away the acid which is dropped on its back; a fact clearly manifesting the presence of reflex sensibility.

It is this fact which I should urge against Goltz, and all who share his views. It proves, to my mind, that although the frog remains motionless in the heated water and shows no sign of pain from the stimulus of heat, this is assuredly not because Sensibility in general is gone, but simply because Sensibility to temperature is gone. It is not necessary to refer to the many well-authenticated cases of analgesia without anaesthesia, of insensibility to pain or temperature without insensibility to touch ; 1 will parallel Goltz's case of the brainless frog suffering itself to be boiled without moving, by the case of the frog with its brain and other nerve centres intact, allowing its legs to be burnt to a cinder without moving. In a paper read at the Aberdeen Meeting of the British Association, I brought forward some experiments on frogs after their skins had been wholly or partially removed. (There were small patches of skin left on the head wherewith to compare the effects of stimuli). These frogs assuredly had not lost their Sensibility; they responded, as usual, to any stimulus applied to the patches of skin which remained; and as these responses were the responses of animals in possession of a brain, no one would explain them away as mere reflexes. Yet these sensitive frogs allowed their flayed limbs to be pinched, pricked, cut, burnt with acids, and even burnt to a cinder with the flame of a wax taper, yet remained motionless under all these stimuli, though a touch on the patch of skin would make them wince or hop away.

I did not try the experiment of boiling one of these frogs, but who can deny that the insensibility they presented with their brains and without their skins, is even greater than that presented by brainless frogs with their skins? The point urged is that the frog without its brain is incapable of feeling the stimulus of hot water, which, when the brain is intact, is felt intensely; and the conclusion drawn is that the spinal cord is not a sensational centre. But this point is blunted when we find that the frog is equally insensible to the heat, when its brain is intact and only the skin removed. Ought we to conclude that tbe skin is the sensational centre? The one conclusion would be as logical as the other.

Mr. Foster, who is only treating of the influence of temperature, asks why the sensations and centra! processes are not dulled in the same way as he supposes the spinal processes to be dulled by heat ?" The answer,'' he says, " is that a less intense sensory impulse is needed to call forth a movement of volition, that is, a movement carried out by the encephalon, than an ordinary reflex action, that is, a movement carried out by the spinal cord alone. The water as it is being warmed suggests a movement to the intelligent frog long before it is able to call forth an unintelligent reflex action. The very first movement of the frog, the removal of any part of his body out of the water, increases the effect of the stimulus ; for the return of the limb to the water already warm gives rise to a stronger stimulus than contact with the water raised to the same temperature while the limb is still in it; and thus one movement leads to another and the frog speedily becomes violent. It is nearly the same with the brainless frog when a movement has for some reason or other been started; only in the observations we have been dealing with this initial movement is wanting."

Let us compare the energetic movements of the normal frog and the absence of movement in the brainless frog, with the energetic movements of a waking man in a suffocating atmosphere, and the absence of movements in the sleeping or stupefied man in the same atmosphere, and all the phenomena are clear. The waking man and normal frog are alert and alarmed. The sleeping man and brainless frog remain motionless. Instead of our being surprised at the brainless frog manifesting so little Sensibility when the gradually-increasing heat is threatening its existence, we ought to be surprised at its manifesting so much Sensibility as a thousand experiments disclose; especially when we see that if the heat be suddenly applied the Sensibility is manifested as equally energetic in normal and in mutilated frogs.

In conclusion, let it be observed that unnecessary obstacles are thrown in the way of rational interpretation when connotative terms such as Spinal Soul {Riickenmarkseele) are adopted. It is one thing to assign a general physiological Property, such as Sensibility, to the nervous centres; another thing to assign a term which is the abstract expression of the connexus of sensibilities, to any one centre. In saying that the Spinal Cord is a seat of sensation, it is not meant that it is the seat, nor that the sensations are specifically like the sensations of colour, of sound, of taste, of smell ; but they are as like these as each of these is like the other.

George Henry Lewes


""PHE late autumn of every year introduces to the public -1 a large supply of gorgeous volumes, "/got-up" in lavish fashion with handsome plates and lightly-written letter-press, which are generally spoken of as Christmas Books, and are intended to be the means for the material expression of the generous feelings which that season is

* "The Life and Habiti of Wild Animals," Illustrated by Desiims by J. Wolf. (Macmillan, 1873.) *'

supposed to evoke. The work to which we wish to call attention is not intended to be one of these, though its exterior appearance might, at first sight, be thought to warrant the supposition. It is a special work brought out under special circumstances, and, as we are told in the preface, the plates have been engraved for nearly seven years. We refer to it, and shall speak of some of the pictures in detail, as showing the service which Art can render to Science by a faithful representation of Nature. The more scientific Art is, the more successful and themore impressive she will be; only by a thoroughly scientific study of his subject and its surroundings can an artist hope to achieve complete success.

The book derives a special, though a painful interest, from the fact that it contains the last series of illustrations which will be drawn by a highly-talented German artist—Mr. Wolf—the previous productionsof whose penc:l are so well known to all who find pleasure in the'study of the animal world. The volume is illustrated by twenty plates, beautifully engraved by Messrs. J. W. and E. Whympcr, each of which depicts some stirring scene in the life of "our four-footed friends," or puts before us some picture of the life of birds, some of them representing in a terribly graphic manner the struggles which pervade the existence of beasts, and render its tenure so precarious. Witness the subject of plate iii.— one of the most powerful in the whole series—the deathgrip of the crocodile's cruel jaws upon the handsome head of the tiger drawn slowly and resistingly beneath the stream where the conqueror will make his banquet. There is no one who would not feel, in gazing at this picture, a strong sympathy with that most splendid of the feline tribe in this his death-agony. We do not select this plate as superior in draughtmansbip to its fellows; they are all of the same high order of merit, though some naturally arrest the attention more forcibly than others, in proportion as the feelings which connect man qud animal with his fellow-animals find fuller expression with regard to the nobler and higher specimens of animal life.

And here we would say that pictures like these—not mere passive delineations of the outward shapes, but illustrations of the habits of wild animals—have an instructive and suggestive value. They are pictures which set one thinking. There is a dramatic reality about them which leads the mind into the by-paths of contemplation as no still outline can—they irresistibly compel us to compare with ourselves these denizens of the forest and the prairie, of the river and the sea. We seem at once to be impressed with the consciousness of their irresponsibility, of their independence of ethical restraints, obeying as they do but one law—the law of their kind—which , incidentally leads them to the destruction of other kinds I inferior to their own. The half-human looking ape does' not allow us to predicate the conception of morality of any of its actions ; the care of its young which it evinces is but an exhibition of the instinct of self-preservation which pervades all species of the higher animal forms; it is difficult to realise that the gap between man and monkey is anything less than a so-called difference of kind. Many | other reflections are suggested by a sympathetic survey of such animated drawings as these, but we will not weary our readers with subjective digressions, which must neces- I sanly vary with the individuals who indulge in these | reflections; we are only eager to impress the superiority' in this regard of delineations of active life and habits over mere portraiture, however well executed, of indi-' vidua! forms ot life.

We are glad to be able to reproduce one of the most pleasing of the plates which adorn Mr. Wolfs work—" The Island Sanctuary." There is a peaceful lonely beauty about this representation of the osprey's haunt, which at once arrests the attention and forms a strong contrast with the depictions of the more savage warfare of species against species, of panther j

against doe, of lion against deer, of wolf against boar, which are contained in the same volume with it The siesta of the jaguar (plate ix.) and the bath of the large pachyderms, elephants and hippopotami (plate x.), are two of the most striking drawings in this volume, the former especially we think inimitably excellent. There is an idyllic completeness in the representation of the largest of the American cats taking its ease during the midday heat on the branches which overhang the river. Without going into further detail concerning the separate plates, which require to be seen to be appreciated, we would mention one more, Catching a Tartar (plate xviii.), the most sensational in the series, very forcibly drawn, the dead or dying owl's wings have lost their motive power, but in their outstretched hugeness serve to break the rapidity of the descent and save the weasel, whose "cunning has proved more than a match for the strength of the more powerful" bird.

We speak in a somewhat popular strain of Mr. Wolf's work, not with any intention of treating it as one of the hastily concocted products of the winter season, which, as we have said, it is not meant to be, but rather from a belief that it will appeal to those who, without a special scientific or zoological training, have vet a genuine love of contemplating the varied phases of life in beast and bird, who believe with Coleridge, that

"He prayeth well who loveth well Both man and bird and beast," and to such as these we can say that this volume is of no common sort; the pictures are such as stir the imagination and please the taste, while, as justly remarked by Mr. Whymper in his preface, their value is greatly enhanced by the " power of delineating specific characters" which is displayed.

We must not omit to mention, in connection with Mr. Wolfs plates, the letterpress which accompanies them, and which is from the pen of Mr. Daniel G. Elliot, of the United States. It is, of course, in this case subservient to the drawings which it interprets. In bis outspoken preface, to which we have already referred, Mr. Whymper tells us that Mr. Elliot has laid aside the scientific treatment of his subject, for which he is fully capable, as bearing in mind that " the book is intended for the general public, and not for a class." Our American cousins are always masters of the art of depicting in animated and picturesque fashion all that is of interest in life and action, whether in man or in beast; and Mr. Elliot has not failed in the task set before him ; he has steered clear of fulsomeness, and cannot be accused of padding; his writing is instructive with respect to the habits of animals, and is not of that ejaculatory kind which too often accompanies pictures and seeks to impress the character of eloquence by a copious interlarding of interjections. We can give in one quotation a fair example of his portion of the work. Speaking of the gorilla he says :—" In the pathless tracts of those ancient woods, distant even from the primitive abodes of hardly less savage men, in company with the fierce inmates of the jungle, the gorilla dwells, surrounded by his family. Peacefully they pass the day, seeking the various fruits that in many a cluster hang from the lofty trees, paying generally but little attention to what is passing below them. But if any unusual sound breaks the stillness of the wo jds, or a strange form be seen approaching their vicinity, then the females, bearing their young clinging fast to them, flee away into the still deeper recesses of the forest; while the lather and protector of the small community, swinging himself rapidly from tree to tree, tearing loose the vines that stretch across his passing form, advances towards the object of their fears, and before imitating the rest in their speedy flight, satisfies himself in regard to its presence, and then with many a hideous grimace, and short hoarse call, demands to know, in impatient tone, Who comes here?"

[graphic][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »