Imágenes de páginas

“ HAVE YOU SEEN MY CERTIFICATES ?!* “ Have you seen my Certificates?” Such is the quently pored over, as frequently pored over they are, question put by every candidate on the occasion of a to be regarded as, on the whole, strikingly truthful, and vacancy in any public office,--and believing the ques. the deluded tyro fancies himself to have been criminally tion, and almost every thing else connected with the neglected, intermits study as of no use to such a genius, present system of certificates, to be manifestly absurd, and allous his whole mental man to run to seed. On we mean to make a few observations on the subject. the other hand, how are men of real talent positively

Suppose a given appointment to be vacant, the can- demeaned, when they are obliged to turn certificate. didate immediately sets to the manufacture of certifi- hunters ? Quantity, not quality, is the order of the day, rates, and he calls upon the man whom he supposes to and, to make up thin bulky tale, he must have recourse occupy the largest position in the eve of the electoral to the opinions of parties who know absolutely little or body, and he asks for a certificate, in a coolly bland, no hing of the science which he professes to expound, or and deferential way, just as he would ask to be helped the duties wirich he volunteers to perform. Leaving to an extra potato at dinner. Ile (loes not ask for it so candidates, and going to those who are asked for those much as a positive favour to be bestowed, but as one fulsome declarations, how often does an honourablywhich, if refused, would imply something like positive minded man shrink from giving a certificate, while vet rudeness.“ Professor - reasons he, “ got certificates he dare not openly refuse it. The candidate may bewhen he was a candidate for his chair,he has given come one of his own colleagues, and how awkwari them to others; and if he ever comes to seek after a more would that be! or his friends may be influential, and lucrative office himself, he may require to seek one from have power to arnoy, and what a consideration is that! me, why therefore should he think of refusing it?"

Then, again, what must for igners think of our ability Such is the reasoning and it is correct, so far as to judge of talent, when they find themselves so regulconventionalities are concerned-- but let us fall back on arly besieged for testimonials on all occasions of vacanfirst principles, and inquire what is really implied in cies in British appointments! The rage for continental asking a certificate. If A were to go to B, and say laudation would be ludicrous, were it not that it exposes bluntly, “ What do you think of me?- what is your a very weak point in national character to all the world opinion of my intellect ?- of the knowledge I presently abroad. Certificates in the vernacular are as dust in possess ? - and of my capacity for acquiring more !" A | the balance, -one French, German, or Italian panegyric would be set down as an impertinent coxcomb. But being, severally, equal to two, three, and four trumpetwhen A goes to B, and solicits a certificate, he does ings from indigenous performers. worse than this, for he does not say tell me what you Then, last of all, consider the effect upon those whose think of me," but he says, “write down all the good minds are expected to be influenced by certificates. qualities which, short of extravagance, you can say ap- Although patrons of all kinds are daily getting wiser, pertain to me, keeping out of sight all drawbacks.” there cannot be a doubt that, at 10 recent date, certifiThis is what is asked; and in order to show it, it is only cates, when puffed forth with hot-blast fury, have blown necessary to say, what is well known to all conversant many an undeserving person into high places; but even with the matter, that if B were to refer to the "sha. without dwelling on this, they are apt to puzzle those dows," as well as the “lights" in A's character; or even who have wisdom enough not to be absolutely misled by depict the "lights” themselves in anything short of them. Our old friend, A, may early have been on the rainbow-brilliancy, A would not condescend to call such outlook for preferment-in short, a “solicitor-general." a document a certificate, but would leave it out of his He gets his certificates, but loses his place. “ Very budget, and walk home an injured man. Now what is well,” he says to himself, “ keep a thing seven years, as the value of a testimonial so acquired? People are be Jack Sheppard did when he concealed the crow-bar that ginning to open their eyes to the pure, unmitigated hum- first took him out of Newgate;" and he locks past the bug involved in such a system ; and all our public documents. A second vacancy takes place, and then boards, or, at all events, the more sensible men who out they come with additions. Lost again. A third surround them, regard the masses of certificates with vacancy occurs, and again, like the big snow-ball, forth which they are duly inundated on all occasions when they issue obeser than ever. Lost again, however ; but they are called on to exercise their patronage, as pos. then for the fourth time A coines forward for a prize. sessed of no more veracity than the advertisements of, "Oh, but,” says an elector, “ Mr-- has such heavy quack medicine venders.

testimonials.” “Has he,” says A, " who has he, that I If a foolish thing were barmless, one might be dis- have not? Baron -- so have I. Chevalier --! posed to let it alone; and if nothing beyond absurdity | so have I. M. de ---- ! so have I. Principal --! were connected with certificates, assuredly we should not so have I. Professor --- ? so bave I. Dr -- ! s0 have interfered with them on the present occasion, but have I. Mr --? so have I.” And the honest patron the system is pernicious to all and sundry concerned. is bewildered, not immediately perceiving that A's cerIt engenders conceit on the part of many weak young tificates are the accumulations of years, and that they men, who obtain certificates. Although they know that are of a general cast, having no bearing on the office these documents are so many “ Arabian facts,” yet such that is vacant for the time being. is the deceitfulness of human vanity, that some two or How, then, is all this to be remedied? Simply by : he three-score pages of flattering incense, come, when fre- exercise of self-denial and common sense on the part of those who are connected with the system. The electors, eminence in his vocation, present himself fearlessly beto public offices could at once put it down, by announ. | fore his judges, and tell them that if so minded he could cing their determination not to read certificates; and if collect certificates as well as his brother competitors, they tell us that they are unable to decide without assis. but that he declines doing so, because of their fallacy, tance, as to the comparative merits of candidates, our | and, instead of them, he refers to what he has done or answer is, get that assistance if you will, but get it in a written, as well as to the testimony, which they can, if manly and efficient manner. Call upon, or write to, the required, get for themselves more impartially than he parties on whose judgment you can rely, and ask them can get for them, of those qualified to decide on his for a conscientious opinion, to be received by you as ability to fill the situation to which he aspires. Let him strictly private and confidential. This is what is done do this, and if he do not succeed in the object of his every day in commercial life, in the equally delicate ne wishes, he has this satisfaction, that he has lost all savo gotiation of discovering mercantile stability.

-honour. Lastly, those who are applied to for certifiBut really respectable candidates should themselves cates should calmly but firmly decline giving them; and do something; and we are convinced that a little moral if they do so, they will not only save themselves the discourage on their part would not only go far to rid the charge of a troublesome and disagreeable species of world of an acknowledged nuisance, but would pave the labour, but will also benefit the applicants themselves, way for their own elevation. Let a man of admitted | and confer a positive boon on society,


Polyglot Syntar, A.M., B.D., D.D., LL.B., M.D., Mus. D., and Ph. D.

(AS CANDIDATE FOR THE PROFESSORSHIP OF LOGIC IN THE UNIVERSITY OF BALAAM.) (The following certificates, found in the repositories of the late Dr Syntax, have just been handed to us, and so appropriately illustrate the above remarks, that we cannot resist appending them.) No. I.

the poet or the painter, an old scragged tree is more pic

turesque in the landscape than a trim box or holly,--as a We, the Senatus Academicus of the U. of E., unani

goat skipping in its fantastic hairy dress over the rocks, is mously bear testimony that Dr Syntax has, for a long

more beautiful than a fat South Down wedder grazing in a period of years, proved himself the most punctual of all

rich meadow,-as an ass revolving its long ear on the pivot students in attending the various lectures of the University,

of its skull, and chewing a thistle with a look expressive of of which fact, besides ocular observation, we have full

mind and sagacity is an infinitely finer object than a dull evidence from his having given in cards of attendance which

fat dray-horse--so was Syntax,-the spare, meagre, fantaswould fill a bushel. From this, his punctual attendance, we

tic, and philosophic Syntax,-to a wilderness of commonconclude, for we take no other means of ascertaining, that

place men. I undoubtedly think, that he, and none other, he cannot have failed to have profited by what he has heard

should grace the chair of Logic. As to his mere acquireand seen ; and, therefore, we deem him a most fit person

ments, I know not, nor care not much. He may not be a to fill the proposed chair of logic, or, indeed, any chair

deep and profound student of metaphysical books, but he within the circle of the sciences. Signed, &c.

has studied the stars and the blue sunny sky, and the tide Note by the P.-I fully concur in the above ; and where

of human life, from his elevated garret in the High Street, as it might be objected that a man of such varied talent,

O many are the calm and half-sleepy musings which must and an aspirant for so many offices, might be superficial in

have filled up his solitary lion-like sequestered den there, most, and profound or useful in none, I am of opinion

and many are the glares and sparkles, and fire-circles, as of that the more a man undertakes, the more inclination he

a stick of glowing charcoal swung quickly round in a beauhas to extend the sphere of his pretensions.

tiful and brilliant circle, which must have irradiated his Individual Testimonials.

fanciful brain, as he sat after the labours of preparing and

eating his solitary supper, before his stockings or his best No. II.

day shirt were pulled off, or he had plunged into his cold I have been for many years familiar with the visage

wintery bed! Alas, the poetry and the fantastic images of Dr Syntax in my class. He has ever proved him of College life will be extinguished, when dies a Syntax or self a most diligent listener to tupto, tupso, tetupha, and has a Sir Peter Nimmo ! uniformly declined the Greek nouns. Indeed, his medi

No. V, tative taciturnity has always been so great, that I know As we make an invariable rule to grant no certificates not whether he most excels in the Ionio, Doric, or Eolic

to any aspirant professors whatever, we are precluddialects. I have no doubt, however, but he would make a ed from honouring Dr Syntax with a recomiendation, good professor of Logic.

We regret this, for we consider Dr S. as the most extraorNo. III,

dinary organism that ever entered our museum. He is like Dr Syntax has been familiar to me for the last quarter

the Plesiosaur or Pterodactyle-a nondescript, neither fish of a century. His staid demeanour, and imperturbable

nor flesh, but perhaps something better. We would class quiescence, early suggested him to me as a fit person

him somewhere between the genus homo and the chimfor a monitor, and I have no doubt he would have had a

panse,-- an intermediate organism, passing by slow vespractical effect upon the class, had he not been carried

tiges up to man; but in the mean time, developing a good away by a variety of other ideas quite foreign to the pro

instinct for Logic per business of the class. His pencilled maps of the city

No, VI. of Rome, as well as delineations of classion! Ciceronian Dr Syntax has been frequently a pupil of mine. It heads, would have adorned any work on ancient literature may be doubted whether he possesses the Psyche, Ens, or or art. I have no hesitation in recommending him.

Ego of metaphysicians. His intellect is rather objective No, IV.

than subjective. He has a taste for form, and perhaps colI have had much pleasure in calling Dr Syntax my our, and makes frequent use of the pencil. His cranium friend and pupil for many years. Often has his strik is not very largely developed, and on that account, I would ing figure enlivened the monotony of my benches. As to presume a priori that he should have a great and com

manding intellect. As it is, however, I have no doubt that great note of the sermon, joining audibly in the psalmody. he might comprehend a syllogism and evolve sense out of | In consideration of this, and also from the high character of mysticism,

your foreign testimonials, we have no hesitation in assurNo. VII.

ing you, that you may depend on the patronage and counDr Syntax has for many years punctually attended my tenance of the whole dixsenting party, Oli and Free, in the rooms, and I believe my father's lectures too. I know

Council. few students who have had such opportunities of acqui

No. XII. ring a general knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and we have repeatedly observed you a standing pillar of pathology, laying out of view all particular and minute the Estad lielament, and more especially now, in times when systematic knowledge of the same. He is a goodi ana- 1 scorners say that the Establishment needs a pillar to stand tomist, I doubt not, and has some taste for the fine arts too. upon. We are als) deeply impressed with the character of He is deficient or oblivious as a feer however.

your forelu t*wtimonials, and having also received fresan No. VIII.

ing lette in froin high quarters, you may rest assured on Dr S. has attended the Law classes with diligence. our standing stanch by you. He has a profound knowledge of min and trouse, and

No. XIII. is not amiss at conveyancing. He has also got a polish I have had considerable hesitation in making up my in the civil law. If unsuccessful in his present views, his mind with regard to your canvass. There are many in literary habits and taste in the fine arts, would admirably 'the field, all good men, but I have difficulty in pointing fit him for an editor of any important work, where the du- out who is worst, or who is best, we know them all too faties could be done by deputy.

milarly, and no man is a hero or a philosopher to his valet,

You, we know little about, except by report, and ownerForrign Certificates.

to in promedinisico, is a maxim we learned long ago at the No. IX.

High Schoul. If not a foreiyner, you have a foreign nalle (Translation.) We, the professors of the 1-ni-yersity' --Svntax, that is the numit de guerre of a man who wrote of Gottingen, esteem it a high honour, and peculiar grd some qiroll books, and was known anong the London tification to have an opportunity of speaking of the more I publishers. Well, you are a conservative I believe too,than European fame of Dr Syntax, Welave heard his name and as I have determined to act a decided straightforward sounded in many mouths, and have diligently perured all part, and, I may adi, have ever done and thought so, if the great works he ever wrote. We would feel but too your merits are on the whole equally on a par with your happy could Dr 8. crogs the Channel, and become one of competitors, I shall take you by the hand, in case it should our confrerer, and be created at same time, by our Sovereign, ! be in the most remote degree surmised that I have party an Aulic councillor. We envy the British nation such a leanings. Send me your testimonials too, especially your profound logician.

i continental ones, although I am too old to be caught with No. X.

chaff; yet they inay be of use. Madame B. of the Hospice de la Jarernite de Paris

No. XIV. bas beheld Dr Syntax's beautiful portrait drawn by himself, DEAR SIR,--You know that on your appointment to any with extreme admiration, and has perused his letter full salaried or lucrative situation, your annuity, paid by – of self-encomiums. She would be overwhelmed with joy immediately ceases and determines, in terins of the deed to see Dr S. at the establishment here, where his philosophy | and agreement, p. 305. We are most anxious that you and logical acumen wauld have a wide and curious field should obtain this Logic chair. I have done my utmost to speculate upon, “ de omnibus rebus naturæ et quilus both by oral meetings and letters, as many of the above dan aliis,"

certificates, and my own account by and bye, will show. I Certificates of City Councillors, dc.

have strong hopes of your success. Ding it, man, that you

was not a foreigner, or even an Englisher-but never mind, No. XI.

Syntax is a good name to conjure with. Let me know the We, the undersigned, have had much pleasure in ols' moment you get advice of appointment, that I may score serving Dr S. Sunday after Sunday, sitting, or rather you off the annuity roll, and make up accounts.--Yours, standing under the minister, under whom we sit, taking



THE WAEFUL BRIDAL. “O spread for me po bridal led,"

“ Long, long and fondly have we loved, The pale, pale Bride did cry;

In weal and sorrow tried:
“ But spread for me my winding sheet,

And long looked for the happy day,
Till I lay me down and die.

When she should be my bride.
Cauid, cauid 's my heart and dim my e'en; ' “ The morning comes in sunny prime,
I strive to lightsome be;

But dark the mid-day gloom:
But something bodes within this breast,

Yon raven croaks its boding note,
The hand o death 's on me."

And flaps its sable plume.”
Amazed the anxious Bridegroom looks;

She leant her head upon the couch,
The friends stand pitying by;

Laid lowly on the ground;
And mutely waits the holy Priest,

And parting back her flowing hair,
The bridal knot to tie.

She piteous gazed around.
“ O haste thee, haste thee, holy man,

“O weep not, weep not, mother dear,
Our plighted hands to join;

O weep not, sisters three;
Tho' cruel death should snatch the prize,

But calın and cheer my lone bridegroom,
In death she'll still be mine.

For death comes fast on me."
“ 'Twill be my hope when she is gone,

Then, stretching forth her clay-cold hand,
If both now may not die,

The hurried prayers are said;
That, past this lanesome state of woe

And he knelt and kissed her pale, pale lips-
We'll meet in Heaven high.

But the spirit of life had fled.


Oscillatoria. One species described by Mr Thompson, DESCRIPTION OF NOSTOCHINEÆ.

Anabainu ? spiralis, and which I have named in honour By A. HILL HASSALL, E.L.S., &c. in Hist. of British Fresh Water

of its discoverer, Spirillum Thompsoni, imparted its colour Algæ. Lond. 1845.

to the entire of an extensive lake, Ballydrain, which exThe Nostochineæ form one of the most natural and tends over about twenty acres of ground near Belfast. beautiful of the families of freshwater Alge. The fila- | The Oscillatoria æruyescens of Drummond in like manner ments are simple, of uniform diameter, elegantly moni imparted its rich green colour to an extensive lough in liform, resembling strings of pearls, in the highest de- the north of Ireland, Glaslough, whose waters seemed gree flexible, and of exceeding lubricity. The species of greened as though by the reflection of trees. Leaving which it is composed naturally arrange themselves into the limits of our own country, MM. Engelhardt and two divisions: in the one the filaments are free, and in Treschel have described a minute Alga, which they have the other imbedded in a mucous matrix, which some named Oscillutoriu rubescens, and which tinges with a red times assumes a definite form,

colour the lake of Morat, in Switzerland; assuming At intervals, in the course of the filaments, are ob- | sometimes a very beautiful arrangement, depending served cells larger than those which compose the thread upon the motion of the water in which it is immersed. itself: these, in the genus Anabaina are more or less of But it is not in freshwater merely that the producan oval or elongated form; while in the genus Nostoc tions of this family are found; they likewise have been they are exactly spherical. They are generally supposed noticed to occur in vast quantities in the sea, in differto be connected with reproduction; but hitherto no pre ent parts of the world; and it has been ascertained that cise observations have been made upon them. In most, the Red Sea owes its name to the periodical developand perhaps in all the species of Nostoc, many of these ment of a species of this family, the Trichodesmium Elenlarged cells are scattered singly and detached through renbergii Montagne. out the mucous matrix : they have doubtless become “During the year 1823," observes M. Ehrenberg, “ I separated from the filaments of which originally they made a stay of many months at Tor, upon the borders formed a link.

of the Red Sea, close to Mount Sinai. On the 10th of If a Vosioc, in the first period of its development, be December I there saw the surprising phenomenon of the examined, it will be observed to consist of a single mon blood-red coloration of all the bay which forms the port iliform tlıread, short, and but little curved, immersed in of that city. The ligh sea, without the boundary of the a mucous nidus. In each of the fully developed speci corals, preserves its ordinary colour. The short waves mens of most of the Nostocs, however, threads innum of a tranquil sea bring upon the banks during the heat erable present themselves. Now the question arises, in of the day a mucilaginous matter of a blood-red colour, what way are those threads multiplied! First, and and deposit it upon the sand, in such a manner as that chiefly, I conceive, by the separation or dislocation of in the course of a good half hour, all the bay, with the the enlarged cells, whereby each filament is divided into receding tide, is surrounded with a red border of many other shorter filaments; and, in the second place, prob feet in depth. I removed from the water some speciably by the growth of those vesicles themselves; but on mens with glasses, and carried them to a tent which I this point nothing positive is known. Independently of had near the sea. It was easy to perceive that the colthese two modes of multiplication of the threads in each oration was due to little tufts, scarcely visible, often frond, no other conceivable method exists. The fila greenish, and sometimes of an intense green, but for the ments in every example of a true Nostoc, whether young most part of a deep red: the water upon which they or old, present one uniform diameter; there are no gra floated was always colourless. This very interesting dations of size. It cannot therefore be supposed that phenomenon, sufficient to afford a reason for the etymethe threads are increased in number by the effusion of logy of the name which this sea has received (an etythe minute contents of the cells.

mology up to the present time buried in complete obThe multiplication of the threads in a frond having | scurity) -attracted all my attention, and I examined it been, as it seems to me, satisfactorily accounted for, the at leisure with all the care of which I was capable. manner of the formation of new fronds remains to be During many days I observed also the colouring matter deterinined When a Nostoc has arrived at the full with the microscope ; the tufts were formed of little and last period of its development, the pellicle formed bundles of filaments of an Oscilatoria; they were fusiby the inspissation of the mucous matrix bursts : the form and elongated, irregular, having rarely more than the mucous contents and the filaments are effused : these diameter of a line, and were contained in a sort of mulast become disarticulated, so as to form short frag cilaginous sheath; but neither the filaments taken sepments, each of which retains about it a portion of mu arately in each fleech, nor the fleeches themselves, recus, so that in this state it corresponds with a Nostoc senabled each other. When the sun shines in the honin the first period of its development. In this mode of izon, I observed, moreover, that these last maintained multiplication, remarkable as it is, there is nothing ge themselves upon the surface of the water in the glasses nerically peculiar. A Conferva multiplies itself ccca which I had brought with m', and that during the night, sionally by the disarticulation of the filaments. The only and when I shook the vessel, they reached the bottom. difference between the case of the Nostoc and the Con Some time afterwards they remounted to the surface. , ferra is, that the process in the first is natural, and in The phenomenon of the Red Sea was not permanthe second artificial. While, however, the separation of ent, but periodical. I observed it three other times, the the primary filaments accounts amply and satisfactorily 25ch and 30th of December, 1823, and the 5th of Janfor the multiplication, not only of the threads of a frond, uary, 1824." but also for the increase of a number of the fronds them “ The same phenomenon of the coloration of the Red selves, it falls short of explaining the first development Sea, although on a scale infinitely more surprising, has of the first thread. The species of the genus Nostoc, occurred also more recently to other observers, especilike the freshwater Algæ in general, are short-lived: in ally to M. Evenor Dupont. The letter of M. Dupont is the course of a few months they pass through the stages so very circumstantial and satisfactory, and corroborative of their development; they die, disappear ; the fila of Ehrenberg's account, that its introduction cannot but ments themselves are destroyed; and then are seen no be approved of. It is addressed to his friend M. Isidore more until the advent of another season.

Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire. The Nostochineæ of the first section are mostly of a " You demand of me certain details in reference to lively and exquisitely delicate green colour. They are the circumstances in which I gathered the Cryptogamic wonderfully prolific, increasing to such an extent fre- plant which I sent you from the Red Sea, and which quently as to impart their beautiful colour to extensive you told me appeared a new species. They are as foltracts of water, as also do occasionally certain species of

The 8th July last (1843), I entered into the Red | had on board, and who for twenty years traversed that Sea by the Strait of Babelmandel, upon the steam-boat sea. This idea unhappily presented itself too late." the Atalanta, belonging to the Indian Company. I de Numerous other navigators and naturalists have nomanded of the captain and the officers, who for a long ticed the coloration of different portions of the ocean, time navigated in these latitudes (parages) what was the but these, for the most part, have not determined the origin of this ancient name of the Red Sea; if it was exact nature of the cause, most of them attributing the owing, as some have pretended, to sands of that colour, phenomenon to minute animals, Crustacea and Molor, according to others, to rocks. None of these gentle. lusca. Two English naturalists, in describing it, have men could reply to me; they never, they said, remarked distinctly stated the cause to be an Alga, the species of anything to justify this denomination. I observed then which, however, they did not determine. The first of for myself as we advanced: whether the ship approach these, Mr Darwin, observed the phenomenon in the Ated by turns the Arabian coast or the African const, the lantic Ocean near Brazil, and not far from the Isles of red was in no part apparent. The horrid mountainous Abrolhos. The other, Dr Hinds, of H. M. ship Sulphur, barriers which border the two banks, were uniformly of encountered the same Alga at the same spot in which it a blackish brown, except where in some places the was originally discovered by Mr Darwin, and again obappearance of an extinct volcano had left long white served it in the month of April 1837, while at anchor at streams. The sands were white, the reefs of coral were Liberty, near San Salvador, upon the western coast of white also; the sea of the most beautiful caerulean blue. America, latitude 14° north. Mr Hinds on both occasI had given up the hope of discovering my etymology. ions remarked that the plant emitted a strong and pene

On the 15th of July, the burning sun of Arabia trating odour, and many persons on board experiencing a woke me suddenly by shining all at once from the an irritation of the eyes, followed by an abundant secrehorizon without spot, and in all its splendour. I turned tion of tears, attributed the affection to the presence myself mechanically towards the window of the poop to around the ship of the Alga. Mr Hinds took the preseek a remnant of the fresh air of the night before the caution to preserve specimens of his plant, some of which ardour of the day had devoured it. What was my sur were entrusted to Mr Berkeley for publication, who forprise to behold the sea tinted with red as far as the eye warded them to Dr Montagne, who ascertained that, could reach! Behind the ship, upon the deck, and on though belonging to the genus Trichodesmium, the plant all sides I saw the same phenomenon.

was specifically distinct therefrom, and named it T. I interrogated the officers anew. The doctor pre Hindsui. tended that he had already observed this fact (which The sudden and periodical coloration of vast extents was, according to him, produced by the fry of fich float of the sea, has been, to uninformed minds, in early ing on the surface) the others said that they did not re times, a subject of superstition and dread, these appearcollect having seen it before. All seemed surprised that ances having been regarded by the ignorant as Divine I should attach such interest to it.

manifestations of anger or impending calamity; and that If it be necessary to describe the appearance of the they should have been so regarded in days in which nasea, I should say that its surface was covered with a tural science was all but unknown, is scarcely surprising. compact stratum of but little thickness, but of a fine The true explanation of the cause of these sudden and texture, of a brick red, slightly tinged with rouge; saw remarkable appearances, while it removes all feelings of dust of this colour, of mahogany, for example, would superstition or dread, does not banish those of amazeproduce very nearly the same effect. It seemed to me, ment and admiration which indeed supplant them. and I said at the time, that it was a marine plant. No We add the following appropriate observations of one seemed of my opinion; so with a pail tied at the end Montagne. of a rope, I was able to gather, with one of the sailors, “ The singular phenomenon of the coloration proa certain quantity of the substance. This, with a spoon, duced on the surface of the Red Sea,--a coloration in I introduced into a white glass bottle, thinking that it which we have seen the waters themselves do not parwonld be the better preserved. The next day the sub ticipate, has been, each time that it occurs, a new substance had become of a deep violet, and the water had ject of astonishment for the people who have witnessed it. taken a pretty pink tinge. Fearing that the immersion It cannot be doubted, moreover, that the jugglers and would hasten the decomposition instead of preventing it, charlatans, after having probably calculated in advance its I emptied the contents of the bottle upon a piece of cot periodical return, made use of it to govern the multitude ton (the same which I remitted to you). The water by the menace of an approaching calamity, of which they passed through it, and the substance adhered to the failed not to present this sign as the undoubted precurtissue. In drying it became green, as you actually saw sor. It is also to a cause, if not altogether similar, at it. I ought to add, that on the 15th of July, we were least very analogous, that is to be attributed, according by the side of the town of Cosseir; that the sea was red to many naturalists, in the number of whom figures M. the whole day; that the next, the 16th, it was the same Ehrenberg, those rivers, waters, and lakes changed into until near mid-day, the hour at which we found ourselves blood in one of the plains of Egypt,--an explanation before Tor, a little Arabian village, the palms of which which M. Morren considers somewhat hazardous, alw? perceived in an oasis on the border of the sea, be though not improbable. As to the phenomenon of the how the chain of mountains which descends from Sinai, Red Sea, by the fact that its extent has impressed upon even to the sandy shore. A little after mid-day, the it a character of majesty calculated to affect strongly 16th, the red disappeared, and the surface of the sea the imagination of the vulgar, it ought to produce still became blue as before. The 17th, we cast anchor at more sensation. Since now we know the origin of it, if Suez. The red colour had consequently showed itself we compare together the immensity of this phenomenon from the 15th of July, towards 5 o'clock in the morning, and the infinite smallness of the being which produces up to the 16th, nearly an hour after mid-day; that is to it, one cannot divest oneself from a profound sentiment say, during thirty-two hours. During this interval the l of admiration for the Omnipotence which effects such steam-boat, making eight knots an hour, as said the great ends with such feeble means." sailors, had traversed a space of 256 miles, or 85 leagues and a third.

In the different works relative to Egypt and the Red
Sea which I have had occasion to read, I do not recol-

(Protococcus miralis ) lect to have found mention made of a similar fact: it This curious little plant, which, under the name of appears to me, nevertheless, but little probable that it Red Snow, has excited so much interest among botanists, has not been observed by others. I reproached myself | is usually found in this country in the form of a thin, stain: for not having questioned the Arabian pilot whom we like stratum on the surface of rocks, or investing decay

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