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specimen was useless. The Picked Dog- in the shape of flesh, gristle, or bone could fish is also provided with two short, sharp withstand them. Their capacity, too, is spines—one on each dorsal fin. Many equal to their powers, for a pair of jaws other fish are furnished with spines, either taken from a shark of not more than nine upon the fins or as horns, or in sharp pro- feet long has been known to be passed down jections from the gill-covers. The spines over the shoulders and body of a man six of the Greater and Lesser Weaver inflict feet high without inconvenience. It was most painful wounds, and cause such thought to be an act of very unusual agony that it is commonly reported they strength and dexterity on the part of the are in some way venemous. This has Emperor Commodus to cut a man in two been denied, and demonstrated to be im- at one blow, but the jaws of the white possible; yet it seems difficult to account shark find no difficulty whatever in executfor the following facts upon any other hy. ing that feat. The vast number of teeth pothesis. Sir W. Jardine, in speaking of contained within the shark's jaw has been the greater weaver, says,
accounted for by some writers on the hy“ It is much dreaded by the fishermen pothesis that they are erected when the on account of its sharp spines, which are shark seizes its prey, at all other times lying usually considered as venomous, but with- flat on their sides. It is now, however, out any sufficient reason, as they are quite more generally admitted that the shark only devoid of all poisonous secretion. Mr. employs the outer row of teeth, and that Couch states that he has known three the inner ones are a provision of nature men wounded successively in the hand by against an accident which is, and must be the same fish, and the consequences have in a very common one when the implements a few minutes been felt as high as the shoul- are considered, and the force with which der."
they are employed—namely, the breaking Again, in treating of the lesser weaver, of a tooth. In this case the corresponding “If trodden on by bathers, as frequently tooth on the inside becomes erect, and is happens, it inflicts,” says Dr. Parnell, “a by degrees pushed forward into the place severe and painful wound, causing the part of the broken one-a wondrous and very to swell and almost immediately to assume necessary provision to keep so delicate and a dark brown appearance, which remains powerful an apparatus as the shark's jaw alfor five or six hours."
ways in order. The voracity of the shark In the teeth of the confident assertion of forms an endless resource for the writers great authorities it would be rash to say on the marvelous whose bent lies towards that any poisonous secretion exists. But natural history. Whole ships' crews have if the above facts be quoted as proofs or been devoured by sharks ere now, while instances of the absence of venom, they their omnivorousness is extraordinary. This would appear to be singularly infelicitous is well exemplified by the observation once ones.
made to me by an old tar, who was diPerhaps one of the most formidable wea- lating on the variety of objects he had pons possessed by any fish is the natural found at one time or another inside the and terrible pair of shears formed by the bellies of sundry sharks. “ Lord love ye, jaws of the Shark. The only parallel wea- sir," quo' Ben, “ there bain't nothin' as you pon of offense that can be cited as used by mightn't expec' to find in the insides u'a man would, perhaps, be the spiked port- shirk, from a street pianny to a milecullis, but the future may present us with stone.” steam shears with blades ten feet long, and Continuing the description of the variety intended to receive cavalry-who knows? of weapons exemplified in fishes, we have There is no telling where the ingenuity of a rival of that terrible scourge, the knout, modern inventors in the destructive line in the tail of the Thresher, or Fox-shark may lead us. But there are not many in- (Alopias Vulpes.) The upper lobe is trestruments so efficient for their purpose as the tooth of a shark. It is difficult to han- very well told in the “Shipwreck Series of the
Witness the story of the Magpie schooner, dle one freely without cutting one's fin- Percy Anecdotes. This vessel was capsized in a gers; and when we consider the tremen- squall
, and most of the crew took refuge in a boat, dous leverage of a shark's jaws employed which was upset by over-crowding. They were against each other like scissors, armed with surrounded by sharks at the time, and every man,
save two, who managed to right the boat and es. rows of lancets, it is evident that nothing cape, was devoured by the sharks.
mendously elongated, being nearly as long sion, and are used as oars, by the aid of as the body of the fish, and amazingly which the octopus manages to progress muscular. It is curved like the blade of a through the water with considerable rapidscythe in shape, and the blows which it ity. Mr. Wood, in his popular natural hiscan and does inflict with this living flail tory, treats on this point as follows: “ All can be heard at a great distance. A herd the squids are very active, and some speof dolphins are scattered as though they cies, called 'flying squids' by sailors, and were mere sprats by one stroke of the ommastrephes by naturalists, are able to thresher's tail, and stories of the combats dash out of the sea and to dart to considerbetween the whale on the one side and a able distances;” and he quotes Mr. Beale combination of threshers and sword-fish on to show that they sometimes manage to the other are too common to need more propel themselves through the air for a disthan a reference here. The form of battle tance of 80 or 100 yards, the action being usually consists in the sword-fish stabbing likened to a something which might be the whale from beneath, and so driving achieved by a live corkscrew with eight him up to the surface, when the fox-sharks prongs. In the account given in Bennett's spring upon him, and with resonant blows Whaling Voyage they are often spoken of from their fearful knouts drive him below as leaping on board the ship, and even again upon the weapons of their allies. clear over it into the water on the other
The lasso is a weapon of some efficacy side. Nature has also furnished the cephaamongst various people. A form of lasso lopod with another curious weapon of ofwas even used by the Hungarians, and fense, or defense rather, in the shape of a with great effect in the War of Indepen- bag of black fluid, or sepia, commonly dence. It consisted of a kind of long-lash- termed by fishermen the ink-bag; and ed whip, with a bullet slung at the end of what a dreadful weapon of offense or dethe lash. And we have a sort of living las- fense ink may be, in many cases, there are so in the foot of the Cephalopod. The few of us unaware. The cuttle when closecephalopods are the polypes of Aristotle, ly pursued sends out a cloud of it to hide and belong to the molluscs. They are of him from view, and escapes under cover of the first order of invertebrate, or spineless it. animals. Mollusca Cephalopoda is the style Some of the cephalopods possess extraorand titles of the family Cephalopoda, in dinary powers of muscular contraction, as English meaning “foot-headed"—that is, the common squid, for example, which is its organs of locomotion, or the greater spread out at one moment in a body and part of them, are attached to its head, volume larger round than a large man's whence they radiate for the most part in fist, and the next moment will contract itlong, tough, and pliant tentacles or arms, self so that it can easily pass through the of great muscular powers. On these ten- cork-hole in a boat or the neck of a winetacles are placed rows of suckers of very bottle. Great sensational attraction has singular construction, which singly or si- been directed to the octopus by the tremenmultaneously adhere with great tenacity dous description of the combat in Victor to any object they come in contact with. Hugo's Toilers of the Sea. No doubt a The arms are extended in all directions large octopus, such as are found in the Pawhen seeking prey. In the centre of them, cific and elsewhere, and which sometimes in the middle of the stomach as it were, is have arms of eight or nine feet in length, the mouth of the creature, which is fully could drown a man with the greatest ease, as curious as the rest of its anatomy, and if he had no weapon and was caught by consists of a large and strong hooked beak, one under water. From remote ages the similar to a hawk's or parrot's. A fish or deeds of the polypus have been chronicled other creature comes within reach, and is by poets and writers of strong imaginative instantly lassoed by one of the tentacles, powers; and thus we have, probably, the the others winding around it also to secure partially fabulous story of the Lernæan it in their folds. It is compressed tight- hydra, which, if it ever existed at all, had ly and drawn down to the beak, which its origin no doubt in the impossible deeds rends and devours it at leisure, escape from of some improbable octopus. Then there these terrible folds being almost impossi- is the story of the king's daughter and the ble.
noble diver, who dived for a gold cup and The arms are also the means of propul- the love of his princess, but profited by nei. ther, since he never came up again, being would certainly seem to confirm Mr. supposed to have been lassoed by some Couch's supposition. monster octopus at the bottom of the whirl- Of the tremendous powers which can be pool, and many other well-known stories. given off in one shock it may be stated The beast forms a very great attraction at that Faraday, having made experiments the Crystal Palace aquarium, where the la- with the specimen which was shown sevedies, of course, insist on calling him “the ral years ago at the Adelaide Gallery, esDevil Fish” (but that distinguished title be- timated that an average shock emitted as longs to another fish ;) and where he great a force as the highest force of a Leyis poked up daily for their inspection, it den battery of fifteen jars, exposing 3500 being one of his diabolical tendencies to inches of coated surface. dwell" under ebon shades and low-browed There are five different fish endued rocks." What a life for a poor devil who with electrical powers. Of the torpedo wants nothing but solitude and retirement, there are two species—the old and new to be a show devil and at the beck and call British torpedo; one of the Gymnotus elecof the ladies !
tricus, or electric eel, as it is called; and Amongst other offensive powers com- two of the Malapterurus-namely, M. elecmanded by fish and men alike is the very tricus of the Nile, called Raash, or thunder remarkable one of electricity; it is slightly fish, by the Arabs, and the Malapterurus used in warlike as well as useful purposes. Beninensis—the smallest of the electrical But the possible uses to which we may put fishes, found in the Old Calabar River, electricity ourselves hereafter as an offen- which falls into the Bight of Bénin sive weapon we can not at present even on the coast of Africa. The latter fish is guess at. It is a powerful agent to seve- a comparatively recent discovery, having ral kinds of fish, and yet ichthyologists are been known to us only some fifteen or sixgreatly at fault to settle the exact purpose teen years. We have no very good acfor which it is given to them—whether it count of either of these latter fish. A be for the purpose of killing the animals specimen of the last was sent to me three they prey on, or of facilitating their cap- or four years ago. It is a curious little fish ture, or whether it be intended to render about five or six inches in length, and very them more easy of digestion.
much resembles the Siluridæ in general Mr. Couch, in speaking of the proper appearance, about the head especially. It ties of electricity and the digestive capa- has long barbules, three on each side of bility of the Torpedo, has the following: the mouth, and has a very bloated, puffy “ One well-known effect of the electric appearance, caused, it is to be presumed, shock is to deprive animals killed by it of by the electric apparatus, which is deposittheir organic irritability, and consequently ed between the skin and the frame of the to render them more easily disposed to fish. In the torpedo the electric battery is pass into a state of decomposition, in which placed in two holes, one on either side of condition the digestive powers more speed. the eyes. Here a number of prismatic ily and effectively act upon them. If any cells are arranged in the fashion of a honeycreature more than others might seem to comb, the number being regulated by the require such preparation of its food, it is age of the fish. These represent the jars the cramp ray, the whole canal of whose in the battery, and they are capable of givintestine is not more than half as long as ing out a terrible shock, as many an inthe stomach.” This is certainly very cu- cautious fisherman has experienced to his rious, and if it should be found that the cost. We may trust also that the torpedos same deficiency in point of digestive ac- with which our coasts and harbors are likecommodation exists in the gymnotus and ly to be thronged, will be capable of giv. the other fishes of electric powers, the hy- ing off even a severer shock; and though pothesis would be converted almost into a gunpowder and gun-cotton will be the certainty. In hunting up authorities to shocking agents in these cases, yet electriverify this curious fact, we find in the arti- city will play no unimportant part in their cle on the gymnotus in Chambers's Ency- process. Formerly quacks galvanized their clopædia, that “all the gymnotidæ are re- patients by the application of the natural markable for the position of the anus, torpedo, applying it to the joints and limbs which is so very far forward as in the elec- for gout, rheumatism, etc. That the electrical eel to be before the gill openings," which tricity is true electricity has been proved by a host of experiments. The electrome- one were to attempt to set down all the ter has shown it, and needles have been strange and various considerations which magnetized just as if a battery had been come under cognizance in this subject, employed.
they would soon swell the matter much There are many other points of similar- beyond the limits of a magazine article. ity which might be enlarged upon; but if
[From Frazer's Magazine.
THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF A PHAETON.
BY WILLIAM BLACK, AUTHOR OF “A DAUGHTER OF HETH,” ETC.
to go; or is he to hang on in the hope of THE WHITE OWLS OF GARSTANG.
altering Bell's decision? I fancy the young “As she fled fast through sun and shade,
man would himself prefer to leave us I The happy winds upon her played,
don't think he is in a comfortable posiBlowing the ringlet from the braid:
tion." She looked so lovely, as she swayed
My Lady appeared a trifle embarrassed The rein with dainty finger-tips, A man had given all other bliss,
-was there some dark secret between And all his worldly wealth for this,
these two women ? To waste his whole heart in one kiss
“A young man,” she says, with a little Upon her perfect lips."
hesitation," is the best judge of his own This state of affairs could not last. chances. I have asked Bell; and I really
"Look here," I say to Queen Titania, can't quite make her out. Still-you know “We must cut the Lieutenant adrift." -a girl sometimes is in a manner frighten
“As you please,” she remarks, with a ed into saying 'no,' the first time she is sudden coldness coming over her manner. asked—and there might be-" “Why should we be embarrassed by the
She stopped. freaks of these two young creatures ! All “ You think the Lieutenant should ask the sunshine has gone out of the party her again ?" since Bell has begun to sit mute and con- “No, I don't,” says Tita, hastily, “but strained-her only wish apparently being it is impossible to say—she had nothing to to show a superhuman courtesy to this urge against Count Von Rosen-only that perplexing young Prussian.”
Arthur would consider himself unjustly “You very quickly throw over any one treatedwho interferes with your own comfort,” “So-ho! Is that the reason ?" says my Lady calmly.
No, no, no !" cries the small woman, “ I miss my morning ballad. When one in an agony of fright. “Don't you go reaches a certain age, one expects to be and put any wrong notions into the young studied and tended-except by one's man's headwife."
“Madam,” I say to her, “recollect your“Well," says Tita, driven to desperation self. So far from wishing to interfere in by this picture of Von Rosen's departure, the affairs of these two young people, I “I warned you at our setting-out that these should like to bundle them both back to two would fall in love with each other and London, that we might continue our jourcause us a great deal of trouble.”
ney in peace. As for the Lieutenant's Who can say that this little woman is again proposing to marry Bell, I consider wanting in courage? The audacity with that a man who twice asks a woman to which she made this statement was mar- become his wife, forgets the dignity of his velous. She never flinched; and the sex.” brown, clear, true eyes looked as bravely Tita looks up--with the most beautifully unconscious as if she had been announcing innocent smile in her eyes—and says sweether faith in the multiplication table. There lywas no use in arguing the point. How " You did yourself." could you seek to thwart or influence the " That was different." firm belief that shone clearly and steadily “Yes, I daresay." under the soft eyelashes.
“I knew your heart would have broken “ Come,” I say to her, “is Von Rosen if I hadn't.”
“Oh!" she says, with her eyes grown poor man's property, and quietly driving appalled.
away without even offering compensa* In fact, it was my native generosity tion." that prompted me to ask you a second “It was Bell who did it,” I say. time; for I perceived that you were about " As usual. The old story repeated to ask me."
from the days of Eden downward. The “How many more ?" she asks; but I woman thou gavest me-of course, it is can not make out what mysterious things she who must bear the blame.” she is secretly counting up.
“Madam, your knowledge of Scripture “But no matter. There is little use in is astounding. Who was the first Attorrecalling these by-gone mistakes. Justice ney-General in the Bible?" is satisfied when a fool repents him of his “ Find out," says Tita; and the Lieuten
ant þursts into a roar of laughter, as if that At this moment Bell enters the room. was a pretty repartee. She goes up to l'ita, and takes both her “And where do we stop to-night?" says hands.
our North-country maid, looking away “You are laughing in a perplexed way. along the green valley which is watered by You must have been quarrelling. What the pretty Eller Brook. shall we do to him?"
“Garstang, on the river of Wyre." “ The falling out of faithful friends is “And to-morrow we shall really be in generally made up with a kiss, Bell,” it is Westmoreland ?" remarked.
“To-morrow we shall really be in West“But I am not in the quarrel,” says moreland. Wo-ho! my beauties! Why, Miss Bell, retreating to the window; and Bell, if you try to leap across Lancashire here there is a rumble of wheels outside, at a bound like that, you'll have us in a and the phaeton stands at the door, canal, or transfixed on a telegraph-post.
“ You two must get up in front,” says “ I did not intend it,” says Bell, “but Tita, as we go out into the white glare they are as anxious as I am to get north, of Ormskirk. “ I can watch you better and they break into a gallop on no provothere."
cation whatever." By this dexterous manoeuvre Bell and Indeed, the whole nature of this mad the Lieutenant were again separated. The girl seemed to have a sort of resemblance young lady was never loth to sit in front to a magnetic needle—it was continuously -under whatever surveillance it placed turning to the North Pole, and that in a her; for she liked driving. On this cool tremulous, undecided fashion, as if, with morning--that promised a warmer day, all her longing, she did not quite like to let after the wind had carried away the white people know. But at this moment she fleece of cloud that stretched over the sky forgot that we were listening. It was -she pulled on her gloves with great alac- really herself she was delighting with rity, and, having got into her seat, assum- her talk about deep valleys and brown ed the management of the reins as a mat- streams, and the scent of peat-smoke in the ter of course.
air of an evening. All the time she was “Gently!" I say to her, as Castor and looking away up to the horizon, to see Pollux make a plunge forward into the whether she could not make out some narrow thoroughfare. A handbarrow is lines of blue mountains, until Tita suddenjutting out from the pavement. She gives ly said a jerk to the left rein, but it is too late; one “My dear!" of our wheels just touches the end of the “Meaning me, ma'am ?” barrow, and over it goes—not with any “No, I mean Bell. Pray keep a firmer great crash, however,
hand on the horses-if a train were to “Go on," says the Lieutenant, from be- come sharply by at present-and you see hind, with admirable coolness. “There is the road runs parallel with the railway-line no harm done-and there is no one in for an immense distance." charge of that thing. When he comes, he “And so should we,” says Bell, lightly. will pick it up."
“There is no danger. The poor animals “Very pretty conduct,” remarks my wouldn't do any thing wicked at such a Lady, as we get out among the green time, just when they are getting near to a fields and meadows again, " injuring some long rest.”
NEW SERIES.- VOL. XVI., No. 3.