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A NUMBER of years ago a party of English undulating stretch of country that seemed, in the naturalists, with several native attendants, pene- opinion of the officer in charge, favorable for the trated a previously unexplored portion of India for object of their trip; so a halt was ordered, the brush the purpose of establishing stations, and eventually was cleared away, great patches that might have opening up a country very rich in natural advan- concealed the deadly cobra were burned, and the tages. To the ordinary observer, the slow progress tents were pitched. In a few days the workmen of the party and the evident caution taken in the had commenced their task of erecting a substantial march would have seemed unnecessary except in building. It was necessary to have a large and time of war and when proceeding against a vigilant deep cellar for the reception of certain stores, and enemy; but the mission was one of peace, and all in a short time a deep excavation was made. their care and precaution were taken to guard The earth was dry and sandy, and was worked against the dangerous animals that infested the with ease. The absence of large stones was jungle. The most dreaded of all were the tiger noticed ; indeed, there was found no hard suband the cobra, and so common were these foes, that stance that would have interested a geologist. But even in the neighborhood of the towns and cities late in the afternoon of the first day's work, one of thousands of persons annually fell victims to them. the natives struck his pick against a resisting sub
For days they had been penetrating a wooded stance. Another blow, and the implement broke region, but one evening they came upon a clear, through into a hollow space. The earth being scraped away, a large smooth object was exposed, ing to an age long past. The work progressed of so strange an appearance that the attention rapidly; and though when exposed to the sun of the commanding officer was called to it. He some parts broke in pieces, the entire shell was at once pronounced it a bone of some kind. successfully uncovered and finally a complete res
The fact that they had come upon the grave of toration of it was made. a strange animal created great excitement, and all The shell was that of a land-tortoise (called hands went to work clearing away the sand. As by naturalists Colossochelys Atlas). Hundreds of they progressed, their wonder and amazement thousands of years ago the monster had lived and increased also; their discovery began to assume died ; — and the dust, sand, and vegetation had the shape of a dome, and appeared to be rounded gradually covered it up and preserved it as a monuoff. Finally, when four feet or more of sand had ment of the animal wonders of that ancient time. been cleared away, they saw a hut-shaped object, So enormous was the shell that when the sand that seemed, through the hole made by the pick, to and dirt were removed, several of the men crawled be partly hollow. The natives one and all there- into it; in fact, it might have been used as a upon declared it a hut, or house, built by some of house, and on a subsequent occasion was so used
their ancestors, that had in course of time been by a party which took refuge in it during a sudden covered by the earth. Others thought it one of shower. Unfortunately, a heavy storm finally dethe dwelling-places of a strange people who lived stroyed the great turtle-shell. Others, however, under the earth; but to the English naturalists were discovered in different localities, and from there was a more simple explanation, for the curi- one a restoration was made which was placed in the ous house was the shell of a gigantic turtle belong- collection of the British Museum. It represents the shell of a young land-tortoise, and measures one of them is approached, it draws in legs, head, ten feet in length, twenty-five feet in horizontal and tail, and falls with a loud hiss. If now the circumference, and fifteen feet in girth in a verti- captor is disposed to ride, as was Mr. Darwin, he cal direction.
can mount upon the turtle's back, and be carried The Colossochelys was a land-turtle that fed along at a fair rate of speed. upon vegetation, and in the Galapagos Islands, Though the great land-tortoise was the largest its modern representatives, at least in regard to turtle of India, there has been found in our own size, are found to-day. These islands, numbering country the remains of a sea-turtle that may have about fifteen in all, are situated in the Pacific exceeded it in point of size. It was found near Ocean, directly under the equator, and about six Fort Wallace, in western Kansas. The discoverer hundred miles west of Ecuador. They were first first observed the large bony shields projecting discovered by the Spaniards in the beginning of the from a bluff near Butte Creek. They were care
sixteenth century; and from the numbers of gi- fully taken out and brought to Philadelphia, where gantic turtles found there, those early voyagers the restoration was made. The fore-flippers alone named the group“Galapago,” which is the Span- were nearly five feet long, while its expanse from ish name for tortoise. All over the islands are the tip of one extended flipper to another was many extinct craters, some being mere elevations, about seventeen feet. The accompanying illuswhile others are miles in circumference.
tration gives an ideal view of this giant. But Next to the craters, the visitor is attracted by the how did this sea-turtle become buried in a bluff network of trails, paths, or lanes that lead over in the State of Kansas ? A natural supposition many of the islands. These are the tracks of the would be that Kansas is in the bed of a former great turtles, of which there are five totally differ- ocean, and so it is. Ages ago, in what is called ent species, living upon different islands.
by geologists the Cretaceous Period, that part of By following up the paths, these turtles are the world was the bed of a great sea, in which the easily found - great domed fellows, perhaps twelve great turtle swam, together with other monsters feet long from head to tail, with shells six feet long, of curious shape and appearance. Gradually the and weighing six or seven hundred pounds. When crust of the earth was raised, the water fell back, or became inclosed, and left the inhabitants of surface; and it could raise its head to the distant the Cretaceous Sea high and dry, to be covered air for a breath, and therf, withdrawing it, could by the earth and preserved for us to study ages explore the depths forty feet below, without alterafterward.
ing the position of its body." The shores of this ancient ocean are easily found In other localities, huge shells have been and followed by geologists. Its extent has been found strewn about; in fact, during that ancient traced on our Western plains by the bleaching and disintegrating remains that have been found, upon and beneath the surface. Professor Cope, who has described many of the animals that lived and died in that great ocean, says:
“Far out on the expanse of this ancient sea might have been seen a huge snakelike form, which rose above the surface and stood erect, with tapering throat and arrow-shaped head, or swayed about, describing a huge circle above the water. Then, as it plunged into the depths, nought would be visible but the foam caused by the disappearing mass of life. Should several have appeared together, easily imagine tall, flexible forms rising to the height of the masts of a fishing-fleet, or, like snakes, twisting and knotting themselves together. This extraordinary neck — for such it was - rose from a body of ele- period all animal creatures seem to have atphantine proportions, and a tail of the serpent- tained gigantic proportions, and, like the great pattern balanced it behind. This creature was tortoise, to have been so large that their very a great sea-reptile. Like the snake-bird of Flor- unwieldy size may have caused their death and ida, it probably often swam many feet below the final extinction.
IDEAL VIEW OF GIGANTIC SEA-REPTILE, OF THE CHALK AGE.
FROM BACH TO WAGNER.
BY AGATHA TUNIS.
musician. Schumann now made his home at
Leipsic, where he attacked his work with ROBERT ALEXANDER SCHUMANN, great both great enthusiasm, practicing all day. In his as a composer and as a critic, was born at Zwickau, a anxiety to attain success, he invented a machine little village of Lower Saxony, June 8, 1810. His which was intended for the equal training of every father was a bookseller; he had some talent as a finger; by this contrivance, his third finger rewriter, and encouraged his son's love of art. His mained up in a vertical position, while he played genius showed itself early, and when only seven, with the others; but the tendons became so his father allowed him to study music under the strained that he lamed the troublesome finger, and church organist, who was very much impressed by all thought of a career as a pianist had to be put the child's power. In his eleventh year he was aside. Poor Schumann ! after all his struggles and sent to the high school, where he remained till sacrifices, was this to be the end? We can well imag1828, when he went to Leipsic to study law. His ine the gloom which oppressed him, as he felt that heart was absorbed in his music, but his father his brilliant hopes were crushed, and everything was dead and his mother would not consent to pointed to the law. But music claimed him ; he his adopting music as a profession. He found the could not escape, and now he began to compose. study of law very unattractive, and during his first He had always been rather self-willed, and suffered half year at school devoted his time to reading from having no one to guide his musical education. poetry and studying music. He made the acquain- Unfortunately he had almost neglected musical tance of a number of young men who, like him- composition, but now he set about to repair his misself, were devoted to music; they met in Schumann's take. He should have grown up in this part of his rooms every evening, where they discussed and per- art, and he was never quite compensated for the formed various compositions. In 1829 Schumann loss of early training. went to Heidelberg to study law, but here, too, In 1834, Schumann and some of his friends started all his time and enthusiasm were for his much a journal which was to be an aid to both music and loved music. He frequently practiced seven hours musicians. Its aim was to educate the public a day.
taste in music by encouraging everything that was The time had now come for Schumann to grad- good, and condemning everything that was bad in uate and determine his profession. Every emo- art. Schumann edited it for ten years, and wrote tion within him prompted him to adopt a musical many articles for it; he confirmed the reputation career, but his mother was determined he should of many artists whose works were already known, choose the law. She felt how few achieve success in and brought many composers, among them Chopin so difficultand uncertain a profession as music, and and Berlioz, to the notice of the public. His genshe feared her son would be unable to support him- erous encouragement of young artists was especially self. Schumann, on the other hand, feared nothing beneficial, and no musician possessed of talent was so much as to be untrue to his highest light, and too young or too obscure for his kindly notice. that light pointed steadily toward music. Money In 1836, Schumann fell in love with Clara was as nothing to him if only he could devote him- Wieck a beautiful woman and brilliant genius. self to his art; and he had faith in himself, he Her father objected to her marrying Schumann on felt that he should be successful. He knew that account of the uncertainty of his income. Schumann it would require steady and persistent toil, but he was as yet almost unknown to the people. His believed that in the end he would make a musician compositions were appreciated by a circle of artof himself. Finally, he persuaded his mother to ists, but he reached only to the few who were cultiplace the decision in the hands of Friedrich Wieck, vated enough to understand him. He now made a friend and a well-known musician, Schumann every effort to win a reputation. Clara Wieck's agreeing that if, after six years of work at the influence over him was already seen in his music, piano, he gave no sign of success, he would turn for he turned his attention to song-writing, and to the practice of law. Wieck, after warning wrote 138 songs, all of which he tells us were Schumann of the incessant and almost discour- inspired by her. In 1840 they were married, and aging work which lay before him, advised him, if he settled down to a quiet, beautiful life, brohe were willing to brave all this, to become a ken only by his ill-health. His wife appreciated