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even the simplest, humblest lichen, haste after hardly visible, faintly colored, where no reindeer is ever seen, and jelly-balls ! even the polar bear finds no longer com- But, for othe purposes, also, there is fort, there the sea is still covered with incessant travel going on in the ocean's fuci and confervæ, and myriads of mi- hidden realm. Water is the true and nute anjinals crowd its life-sustain- proper element of motion. Hence, we ing waves Naturally, the purest spring- find here the most rapid journeys, the waler is not more limpid than the water most constant changes from zone 10 zone. of the ocean; for it absorbs all colors No class of animals travel so much and save that of ultramarine, which gives it so regularly as fish, and nowhere, in the the azure hue vying with the blue of vast household of nature, do we see so heaven. It varies, to be sure, with every clearly the close relation between the glearn of sunshine, with every passing wants of man, and the provision made for cloud, and when shallow, it reflects the them by a bountiful providence. The color of its bed. But its brightest tints, first herrings that appeared in the waters and strange-t colors, are derived from in- of Holland, used to be paid for by their fusoria and plants. In the Arctic Sea, a weight in gold, and a Japanese nobleman bru al band of opaque olive green, passes spent more than a thousand ducats for a righ through the pure ultramarine; and brace of common fish, when it pleased off the Arabian coast, we are told, there his Japanese majesty to order a fish dinis a strip of green water so distinctly ner at his house in the depth of winter, marked, that a ship has been seen in blue when all fish leave the coasts of bis and green water at the same tiine. The country. Vermillion Sea of California, has its naine Now singly, now in shoals, fish are frorn the red color of vast quantities of constantly seen moving through the infusoria, and the Red Sea of Arabia ocean. The delicate mackerel travels changes from delicate pink to deep scar- towards the south, the small, elegant sarlet, as its tiny inhabitants move in dine, of the Mediterranean, moves in thicker or thioner layers. Other masses spring westward, and returns in fall to of minute creatures tinge the waters the east. The sturgeon of northern seas, ruond the Maldives black, and that of sails lonely up the large rivers of the the Gulf of Guinea, white.
continent of Europe, and has been found When Captain Ross, in the Arctic in the very heart of Germany, under the Sea explored the bottom of the sea, and shadow of the famous cathedral of Strasdropped his lead to a depth of 6,000 feet, burg. Triangular masses of salmon press he still brought up living animalculæ ; up nearly all northern rivers, and are and, ered at a depth exceeding the height sometimes so numerous, so closely packed, of our loftiest mountains, the water is that they actually impede the current of alive with countless hosts of diminutive, large rivers. Betore their arrival, countpła-sphoric creatures, which, when at- less millions of herrings leave the same tracted to the surface, convert every waters, but where their home is, man wave into a crest of light, and the wide has not yet fonnd out. Only in the ocean into a sea of fire. It is well known spring months there suddenly appear t.at the abundance of these minute be- vast banks of this remarkable fishi, two ingx, and of the animal matter supplied or three miles wide, and twenty to thirty by their rapid decomposition, is such, miles long, and so dense are the crowds, that the sea water itself becomes a nu- so great their depth, that lances and hartritions fluid to many of the largest poons, even the sounding lead-thrown dwellers in the ocean. Still, they all at rahdom amongst them, do not sink, have their own homes, even their own but remain standing upright. What means of locomotion. They are not numbers are devoured by sharks and bonnd to certain regions of that great birds of prey, is not known; what imcountry below the ocean's waters. They mense quantities are caught along the travel far and fast; currents, unknown coast, to be spread as manure on the to man, carry them, in vast masses, from fields inland, is beyond all calculation ; the Pole to the Equator, and often from and yet, it has been ascertained that Pole to Pole, so that the whale must over a thousand millions alone, are antravel, with locomotive speed, to follow Dually salted for winter consumption ! the inedosæ of the Arctic to the seas of Alike gigantic is the life of the ocean the Antilles, if he will not dispense with in its dimensions. Whales of a hundred hid daily food. How strange a chase! feet length and more, are the largest of The giant of thz seas racing in furious all animals on earth, five times as long as the elephant, the giant of the firm land. for miles and miles. Most of them, howTurtles weighing a thousand pounds, are ever, love the coast, or, at least, a firm found in more than one sea.
sea bottom, and seldom thrive lower than islands of the southern Arctic alone, at a depth of forty fathoms. Still, they furnish a yearly supply of a million of are found in every sea; the most gigansea-lions, sea-cows, and seals. Huge tic, strangely enough, in the two Arctics, birds rise from the foam-covered waves, where they reach the enormous length their homes never seen by human eye, of 1,500 feet. Occasionally, they cover their young ones bred in lands unknown vast portions of the sea, and form those to man. Islands are formed, and moun- fabulous green meadows on deep, azure tains raised, by the mere dung of gene- ground, which struck terror in the hearts rations of smaller birds. And yet nature of early navigators. The largest of these, is here also greatest in her smallest cre- called Sargossa Sea, between the Azores ations. For how fine must, for instance, and the Antilles, is a huge floating garbe the texture of sinews and muscles, of den, stretching, with a varying width of nerves and blood-vessels, in animals that one to three hundred miles, over twentynever reach the size of a pea, or even a five degrees of latitnde, so that Columnpin's head!
bus spent three hopeless, endless weeks, The ocean has not only its mountains in passing through this strange land of and plains, its turf moors and sandy de- ocean-prairies! serts, its rivers and sweet springs, gushing Take these fuci out of their briny forth from hidden recesses, and rising element, and they present you with forms through the midst of salt water, but it as whimsical as luxuriant. They are, in has also its lofty forests, with luxuriant truth, nothing more than sbapeless massparasites, its vast prairies and blooming es of jelly, covered with a leathery surgardens; landscapes, in fine, far more face, and mostly dividing into irregular gorgeous and glorious than all the splen- branches, which occasionally end in dor of the firm land. It is true that but scanty bunches of real leaves. The first two kinds of plants, algæ or fucus, pros- stem is thin and dry; it dies soon, but per upon the bottom of the sea, the one the plant continues to grow, apparently a jointed kind, having a threadlike form, without limit. A few are eatable. Off the other jointless, and containing all the Ireland grows the Carraghen-moss, with species that grow in submarine forests, or gracefully shaped and curled leaves, float like green meadows in the open sea. which physicians prescribe for pectoral But tbeir forms are so varied, their colors diseases. Another kind of sea-fucus furso brilliant, their number and size so nishes the swallows of the Indian Sea enormous, that they change the deep with the material for their world-famous into fabulous fairy gardens. And, as
edible nests. The sugar-fucus of the branches and leaves of firm, earth-rooted Northern Sea is broad as the hand, thin trees, tremble and bend on the elastic as a line, but miles long; well prepared, waves of the air, or wrestle, sighing and it gives the so-called Marma-sugar. groaning, with the tempest's fury, so "tho The Antarctic is the home of the most seaweed, slimy and dark, waves its arms, gigantic of all plants of this kind. The so lank and brown," and struggles with bladder-fucus grows to a length of a the ocean, that pulls at its roots, and thousand feet in the very waters that are tears its leaves into shreds. Now and constantly congealing, and its long variethen the mighty adversary is victorious, gated foliage shines in bright crimson, or and rends them from their home, when brilliant purple. The middle ribs of its they wander homeless and restless, in magnificent leaves are supported underlong, broad masses, towards the shores neath by huge bladders, which enable of distant lands, where often fields are them to swim on the surface of the ocean. found so impenetrable, that they have Off the Falkland Islands a fucus is found saved vessels from shipwreck, and many which resembles an appletree; it has an a human life from the hungry waves. upright trunk, with forked branches,
These different kinds of fucus dwell in grass-iike leaves, and an abundance of various parts of the ocean, and have fruit. The roots and stem cling by their own, well-defined limits. Some means of clasping fibres to rocks abovo oling with hand-like roots so firmly to high-water mark, from them branches the rocky ground that, when strong shoot upwards, and its long pendent waves pull and tear their upper parts, leaves hang, like the willow's, dreamy they often lift up gigantic masses of and woe-begone, in the restless waters. stone, and drag them, like huge anchors, Besides the countless varieties of fucus,
the bottom of the sea is overgrown with impenetrable armor, and sinks slowly the curled, deep purple leaves of the sea- downward ; the playful little fish disaplettuce, with large, porous lichens, and pear among the branches of the macromany-branched, hollow algæ, full of life cystis; lobsters hide under the thick, and motion in their rosy little blad- clumsily-shapen roots, and the young ders, thickly set with ever-moving, tiny walrus alone turns boldly round, and arms.
faces the intruder with his sharp, pointThese plants form sub-marine forests, ed teeth. The shark seeks to gain his growing one into another, in apparently urprotected side. The battle commenlawless order, here interlacing their ces; both seek the forest; their fins bebranches, there forming bowers and long come entangled in the closely interwoven avenues; at one time thriving abun- branches; at last the more agile shark dantly until the thicket seems impene- succeeds in wounding his adversary's trable, then again leaving large openings side. Despairing of life, the bleeding between wold and wold, where sinaller walrus tries to conceal his last agony in plants form a beautitul pink turf. There the woods, but blinded by pain and & thousand hues and iinges shine and blood, he fastens himself among the glitter in each changing light. In the branches, and soon falls an easy prey to indulgence of their luxuriant growtlı, the shark, who greedily devours him. the faci especially seem to gratify A few miles further, and the scene erery whim and freak. Creeping close changes. Here lies a large, undisturbed to the ground, or sending long-stretched oyster bed, so felicitously styled, & con arms, crowned with waving plumes, up centration of quiet happiness. Dormant to the blessed light of heaven, they form though the soft, glutinous creatures seem pale-green sea groves, where there is nei- to be, in their impenetrable shells, each ther moon nor star, or rise up nearer to individual is leading the beautiful existthe surface, to be transcendently rich ence of the epicurean god. The world and gorgeous in brightest green, gold, without, its cares and joys, its storms and purple. And, through this dream- and calms, its passions, good and evillike scene, playing in all the colors of the all are indifferent to the unheeding oysrainbow, and deep under the hollow, ter. Its whole soul is concentrated in briny ocean, there sail and chase each itself; its body is throbbing with life other merrily, gaily painted mollusks, and enjoyment. The mighty ocean is and bright shining fishes. Snails of subservient to its pleasures. Invisible every shape creep slowly along the to human eye, a thousand vibrating cilia stems, whilst huge, grey-haired seals move incessantly around every fibre of hang with their enormous tusks on large, each fringing leaflet. To these the rolltall trees. There is the gigantic Dugong, ing waves waft fresh and choice food, the siren of the ancients, the sidelong and the flood of the current feeds the shark with his leaden eyes, the thick- oyster, without requiring an effort. haired sea-leopard, and the sluggish tur- Each atom of water that comes in contle. Look how these strange, ill-shapen tact with its delicate gills, gives out its forins, which ever keep their dreamless imprisoned air, to freshen and invigorate sleep far down in the gloomy deep, stir the creature's pellucid blood. themselves from time to time! See, Here, in the lonely, weary sea, so resthow they drive each other from their less and uneasy, we find, moreover, that rich pastures, how they seem to awaken strangest of all productions, half vegein storms, rising like islands from be- table and half animal, the coral. From neatb, and sporting through the angry the tree-shaped limestone, springs forth spray! Perhaps they graze peacefully the sense-endowed arm of the polypus; in the unbroken cool of the ocean's deep it grows, it feeds, it produces others, and bed, when lo! a hungry shark comes then is turned again into stone, burying slily, silently around that grove; its itself in its own rocky home, over which glassy eyes shine ghost-like with a yel- new generations build at once new rocky low been, and seek their prey. The homes. sea-dog first becomes aware of his Thus it is that the many-shaped, fardreaded enemy, and seeks refuge in the branched coral-tree' grows; only where thi kest recesses of the fucus forest. In the plants of the upper world bear leaves an instant the whole scene changes. The and flowers, there germinates here, from oyster closes its shell with a clap, and out of the stone, a living, sensitive anithrows itself into the deep below; the mal, clad in the gay forin and bright turtle conceals head and feet under her colors of flowers and adorned with
phosphorescent brilliancy. As if in a sea, and as soon as sun and air touch dream the anitaal polypus awakens in the them they die. stone for a moment, and like a dream it Like enchanted islands, these circular crystallizes again into stone. Yet, what reets of the corals bask in the brightest no tree on earth, in all its vigor and light of the tropics. A light green ring beauty ever could do, that is accom- incloses a quiet inland lake, the ground plished by these strange animal trees. is white, and being shallow, shines brilThey build large, powerful castles, and liant in the gorgeous floods of light, high, lofty steeples, resting upon the very whilst without the dark, black billows bottom of the ocean, rising stone upon of the ocean are kept off by a line of stone, and cemented like no other build- breakers, rushing incessantly in white ing on this globe.
foam against the cliffs ; above them an For they are a strange, mysterious ever pure, deep blue ether; and far berace, these “ maidens of the ocean," as yond, the dark ocean and the hazy air the old Greeks used to call them. Their blending at the horizon and melting harbeauty of form and color, their marvel- moniously into one another. The effect lous economy, their gigantic edifices, all is peculiarly grand and almost magical, had early attracted the attention of the when the coral rings are under water, curious, and given rise to fantastic fables, and the huge, furious breakers toss up and amusing errors. For centuries the their white crests in vast circles around world believed that these bright-colored, the still, calm waters within, w.silst no delicate flowers, which, out of their ele- land, no rock is seen to rise above the ment, appeared only humble, brown surface of the ocean. stones, were real, fragile sea-plants, Frequently large reefs, richly studded which the contact with air instantaneous- with graceful palms, surround on all ly turned into stone. Even the last cen- sides lofty mountains, around whose foot tury adhered yet to this belief, and only there grows a luxuriant, tropical vegetarepeated and energetic efforts succeeded tion. Inside of these reefs the water is in establishing their claim to a place in smooth and mirror-like, basking in the the animal kingdom. Charles Darwin, warm sunlight; without, there is eternal at last, in the charming account he has warfare; raging, fvaining surges swell given us of his voyages, set all errors and rush in fierce attack against the firm aside, and made us familiar with this wall, besieging it year after year, century most wondrous of all creatures.
after century. Thus, the tiny polypi Now we all know their atolls and protect proud man on his threatened coral-rings, filling the warın seas of the island against the destructive flood: tropics with the green crowns of slender polypi struggling boldly against the unpalm-trees waving over them in the measured ocean! and if all the nations breeze, and man living securely in their on earth united, they could not build the midst. For in vain has he hinself tried smallest of these coral reefs in the ocean to protect his lands against the fury of -but the corals build a part of the crust the ocean, in vain has he labored and of the great earth! For their islands pressed all the forces of nature, even all- count alone in the South Sea by thoupowerful steam into his service. But sands; all but a few feet above the surthe minute polypi work quietly and si- face of the sea, which, around, is unlently, with modest industry, in their fathomable; all ring-shaped, with a never ceasing struggle with the mighty peaceful lake in the centre; all consist waves of the sea. A struggle it is, for, ing of no other material but that of still strangely enough, they never build in living corals. These islands, built by the turbid, never in still waters ; their home industrious polypi under water, are is amid the most violent breakers, and planted and peopled by the sarno waves, living force, though so minute, triumphs by whom they were raised above highvictoriously over the blind, terrible water mark. The currents bring seed might of furious waves. Thus they
and carry large living trees from distant build, year after year, century after cen- shores; lizards dwelling in their roots, tury, until at last their atolls inclose vast birds nestling in their branches, and inlakes in the midst of the ocean, where sects innumerable arrive with the treo, eternal peace reigns, undisturbed by the and water-birds soon give life to the stormy waves and the raging tempest. scanty, little strip of newly made land But when their marvellous structure Thus they meet below, plant and anireaches the surface, it rises no further, mal; the pale, hueless fucus twining its for the polypi are true children of the long, ghasily arms around the bright scarlet coral, and through their branches luxuriant sea-lettuce spreads its broad, glides the nautilus with wide-spread elegant leaves, a rich pasture for peacesails. Every ray of light that falls on ful snails and slow turtles. Between the surface, changes hue and tinge below. them shine the gigantic leaves of the But the deep has lights of its own. Irides in brilliant scarlet or delicate pink, There is the glimmer of gorgeous fish in whilst along reef and cliff the dark olivegold and silver armor, the phosphorez- green fuci hang in rich festoons, and cent sheen of the milk-white or sky-blue half cover the magnificent sea-rose in its bells of brilliant medusæ, as they p:iss unsurpassed beauty. Like tall trees the through the purple-colored tops of lofty Laminaria spread about, waving in endfaci, and the bright, sparkling light of less broad ribbons along the currents, tiny, gelatinous creatures, chasing each and rising high above the dense crowd. other along the blue and olive-green Alaria send up long naked stems, which hedges of algæ and humbler plants. at last expand into a huge, unsightly When day fades, and night covers with leaf of more than fifty feet length. But her dark mantle the sea also, these fan- the sea-forest boasts of still loftier trees, tastic gardens begin to shine in new, for the Nereocysti rise to a height of inysterious light; green, yellow and red seventy feet; beginning with a coralflames are seen to kindle and to fade shaped root, they grow up in a thin, away; bright stars twinkle in every thread-like trunk, which, however, gradirection, even the darkest r, esses blaze dually thickens, until its clubshaped form up, now and then, in bright flashes of grows into an enormous bladder, from the light, and fitful rays pass incessantly to top of which, like a crest on a gigantic and fro in the wild, dark world beneath helmet, there waves proudly a large the waves. Broad furrows of flashing burch of delicate but immense leaves. light inark the track of the dolphins These are the palms of the ocean, and through the midst of the foaining waters. these forests grow, as by magic, in a fow Troups of porpoises are sporting about, months, cover the bottom of the sea and as they cut through the glistening with a most luxuriant growth, wither flood, you see their mazy path bright and vanish, only to reappear soon again with intense and sparkling light. There in greater richness and splendor. And also passes the huge moonfish, shedding what crowds of strange, ill-shapen, and a pale spectral light from every fin and unheard of inolluscs, fish, and shellfish scale, through the crowd of brilliant more among them! Here they are huge startish, whilst afar from the coast of balls, there many cornered or starlike, Ceylon are heard the soft, melancholy then again like long streaming ribbons. accents of the singing inussel, like the Some are armed with large, prominent distant notes ot an Æolian harp, and yet teeth, others with sharp saws, whilst louder than even the breakers on the a few, when pursned, make themselves rocky shore. But the great sea itself is invisible by emitting a dark vapor-like not silent. Listen, and you will hear fluid. Here, glassy, colorless eyes stare how the grey old ocean, heaving in a at you with dull, imbecile light, -there, gentle motion, sings in an undertone, deep blue or black eyes glare with almost chiming in with the great melody, until human sense and unmistakable cunning. all the sweet sounds of sea, earth, and Through bush and through thicket there air melt into one low voice alone, that glide the hosts of fierce, gluttonous murmurs over the weary sea and rises, robbers who fill the vast deep. But not singing eternal praise, to the throne of only the animals of the ocean pasture Him, who "is mightier than the noise and hunt there; man also stretches out of many waters, vev, than the mighty his covetous hand and demands his waves of the sea."
share. The great botanist, Schleiden, tells us Proud ships with swelling sails disdain how, off the coast of the island of Sitky, not to arrest their bird-like flight, to the bottom of the sea is covered with a carry off vast fucus-forests which they dense and ancient forests, plant grows have torn up from the bottom of the close to plant, and branch intertwines sea, in order to manufacture kelp or with branch. Below, there lies a closely iodine from the ashes, or to fish at the woven carpet of rich hues, made of peril of their lives for bright corals in coun:loss thrsads of tiny waterplants, the depth. In the streets of Edinburgh red confervæ and brown-rooted mosses, the cry of "buy pepper-dulse and tangle" each branching off into a thousand finely is heard in our day, and the Irish fishertraced leaves. On this soft couch the man boldly faces death to snatch a load