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is at hand : directed by unerring instinct, day, that if at work, they become impaas though it anticipated the assumption tient to such a degree, that it is often of structural perfection, and the com- necessary to suspend their labour : this mencement of a new mode of existence, estrus lays its eggs on the lips and about it creeps out of the water, and fixes it- the nose of the horse ; when the larvæ self on some plant or stalk, and waits its are excluded, they attach themselves to change; the outer envelope splits, the the inside of the lips and the tongue, head and body emerge; the wings, as yet and gradually pass down the æsophagus incomplete, are drawn from their cases, into the stomach, where they fasten and the legs, from their former tegu- themselves to its lining membrane often ments; and the old covering of the ani- in great numbers, clustered in a bunch mal is left a useless relic. As yet the together, and living upon the mucous wings are small, soft, and crumpled; fluid secreted. soon, however, they expand, the ner- But let us visit the shores of the vures harden ; the animal vibrates them, ocean; and when the heat of midday is as if to try their strength; and then, past, and the refreshing sea breeze inexulting in its powers, it rapidly soars, vigorates the exhausted frame, wander and commences its aërial career of de- along the beach, and pursue our observstruction.
ations on the various objects which are Mark how the cattle, oppressed by the there to be seen, many of which are full heat, have sought the grateful shade; of interest. The seashore is the last some are standing in the pool, enjoying place in which the lover of nature can the luxury of the water, others are re- be idle; such a multiplicity of beings, clining beneath the adjacent trees, re-varying in form and character, in habits minding us of the beautiful lines of and manners, and in the design of their Thomson
existence, here surround him, as fully to On the grassy bank
employ his time and his attention. Yet Some ruminating lie; while others stand how many annually visit the sea, some Half in the flood, and often bending sip
for the sake of health, some for amuseThe circling surface. In the middle droops The strong laborious ox, of honest front,
ment and pleasure, who leave it, without Which incomposed he shakes; and from his sides having examined the natural produc
tions with which it teems, an investigaAt this season of the year cattle are tion of which would have well filled up much annoyed by insects; but their ter- many an hour of ennui, and afforded rible enemy is the gadfly, (Estrus both gratification and instruction. Bovis,) the female of which deposits her The retiring tide has left bare a low eggs beneath the skin of the ox, by cluster of weed-covered rocks, with little means of a boring instrument, or natural pools between ; let us approach them; auger, composed of four tubes, entering we are sure of finding there something one within the other, and armed, at the worthy our scrutiny: How numerous is extremity, with three hooks and two ad- the flower-like actinia, a species of polyp, ditional parts for piercing. The instru- which, from the radiation of its tentament, thus adapted for boring into the cula, has been called sea anemone, sea :skin, the ovipositor of this fly, and by sunflower, and other names, indicative of its means the insect deposits an eggin every its similarity. The actinia (see the puncture. The larva, when hatched, finds itself lodged in a sack, filled with a purulent fluid, which constitutes its nourishment; this sack enlarges with the growth of the larva, the presence of which is to be known by the tumours on the skin of the ox, indicating its ravages beneath. The appearance of a single gadfly is sufficient to terrify the whole herd, and send them scouring over the fields.
Another species of oestrus now abounds, which proves very tormenting to horses, by trying to enter their nostrils and lips. In some wooded districts these flies are so numerous, and so much distress the engraving) consists of a soft fleshy horses, especially during the heat of the cylindrical body, attached by its base to
The troublous insects lashes with his tail."
the surface of the rock, the opposite ex- , panded mouth, which opens to engulf tremity having a mouth, or oral aperture, it. The work of digestion is rapid ; but surrounded by several rows of tentacula, the shell and hard portions of the vicor arms, which are capable of being ex- tim, after the softer parts are dissolved, are panded or contracted, or moved about as regurgitated through the mouth. Voramay be required. When the tentacula cious as the actinia is, and rapid as are are fully expanded, the appearance of the its digestive powers, it endures long ab, actinia is very beautiful, and the effect is stinence without apparent inconvenience, increased by the fine colours which these though it is probable that the animalcules, arms often assume, and which vary in which abound in the water it tenants, different individuals. The structure of may contribute, in some slight degree, the actinia is much superior to that of to its nourishment. However this may most other polyps: the body is furnished be, actiniæ may be preserved in a vessel with uistinct muscular fibres, highly con- of sea water (duly changed) for upwards tractile;
their digestive and aërating of a year, without having visible food; organs are complicated ; and the young but woe to the muscle or crab that is are produced from eggs, which are in offered for their reception ! A crab, as clusters, on a membrane of a riband- large as a hen's egg; or two muscles, like form, in the respiratory chambers. shells included, will serve one for a
These curious animals are endowed meal; in two or three days the shells with the highest sensibility, contracting will be disgorged, not a particle of the not only when touched, however deli- soft contents remaining. cately, but even when a dark cloud With regard to the structure of the passes over the sky, as if apprehensive actinia, its external part consists of bunof impending danger from the sudden dles of muscular fibres, running in variobscuration of the light. If a person ous directions, some perpendicularly, some endeavours to disengage them from the transversely, and the intervening spaces rock to which they are attached, by their between these fibres thus interlaced, are sucker-like base, they forcibly contract numerous small granular bodies, apparthemselves into a firm round mass, with ently of a glandular nature, which are unia slimy surface, and are not easily to be versally distributed, except upon the suckremoved without injury. They are not, ing base or disc. Over this musculo-glanhowever, so fixed that they cannot ular tissue is a mucous layer, forming a change their situation ; they can slowly species of outer skin or epidermis, which glide upon the surface of the rock, or appears to be thrown off at intervals they can detach themselves entirely, and and renewed. The tentacula, which are filling themselves with water, so as to be hollow, have the same structure. The come nearly of the same specific gravity as stomach is a simple membranous sac, their native fluid, suffer themselves to be which appears to be a continuation of the carried by the current, to another spot; external tissue, but modified in structure. and it has been asserted, but on very The tentacula, as above noticed, are doubtful authority, that they can turn tubular with a minute orifice at their exthemselves, and crawl along by means of tremity; and their interior communitheir tent es. They can elongate their cates with a compartment, between the bodies, and turn, with expanded arms, stomach and the external tissue, or wall from side to side, either to enjoy the rays of the body; a compartment not single, of the sun, or in quest of prey.
however, but divided by longitudinal The actinia is very voracious; it seizes membranous partitions into numerous and swallows animals, with which it chambers, between which there is a free might appear to be totally unfit to con- communication. This chambered, or tend, such as crabs, and other crustacea, divided cavity, is the aërating receptacle, and shellfish; and for these it waits and is filled with the sea water taken in with expanded tentacles, ready to grapple through the tubular tentacula, and ex. them, at the moment of contact. In pelled, when the animal contracts, through clear water it may be watched thus en- the same tubes, a fresh supply being abgaged; and it is curious to see how in- sorbed on the dilation of the body. The stantaneously the wandering crab, brought respiratory apparatus appears to be thus by chance within the grasp of the ani- under the creature's volition; and it has mal's tentacles, is seized, and how perti- been observed, of examples kept in vesnaciously it is grasped, the arms closing sels, that as the fluid, in which they are gradually around it, and by their con- confined, becomes deficient of air, and traction forcing the prey within the ex. 'consequently less fitted for the purpose
of aquatic respiration, they fill them- or cliffs overhanging the sea ; but others, selves with it almost till they burst, re- as the lesser black-backed gull, (Larus sembling an inflated bladder ; and this fuscus,), and the herring gull, make evidently because it is only in a great choice of low, flat, and exposed rocky volume of such fluid that the quantum islands, which they sometimes almost of air necessary for the support of life, cover with their nests. The black(and which a much smaller volume of headed gull (Larus ridibundus) retires unexhausted water would supply,) is now from the sea far inland to breed, making contained.
its nest among the herbage of fresh In these respiratory compartments water pools and marshes. are the eggs, arranged in clusters on a There skims a flock of terns or sea delicate convoluted membrane; and it swallows, the “Hirondelles de mer" of appears, that on the detachment of the the French. Of this genus several eggs from this membrane, they either species annually visit our coasts, to pass, by means of a minute orifice, into breed, and of these, one of the most the bottom of the stomach, whence they frequent along our eastern and southern escape, or are transmitted through the shores, is the arctic tern, (Sterna arctentacula. This point, however, re- tica,) which tenants, in great numbers, mains unsettled. It is said, by some the Fern Islands; to which others of the authorities, that the eggs are hatched in species also resort. The flight of the ternally, the young being extruded; by tern, and its general appearance on the others, that the eggs are hatched after wing, reminds the observer of the swal. expulsion. There is, indeed, much in the low or swift, and is strong, rapid, and economy of these animals to be investi- enduring. We have seen them, in gated. The actinia may be divided with rough weather, sweeping over the rollimpunity, each part becoming a per- ing waves, and occasionally plunging in fect animal ; but when transversely cut with such force as to disappear for asunder, the basal portion is about two several seconds : it is thus that they take months in gaining its rows of tentacula. their prey, which consists of small fishes, Some traces of a nervous system ap- upon which they dart, when within a pear to have been seen in the actinia ; certain distance from the surface. The but on this subject nothing has been terns, like the gulls, congregate in large positively demonstrated.
flocks during the breeding season, and Such then is a sketch of the actinia, of make their nests close together, so that which thousands gem the rocks of the it is sometimes impossible to cross the low water near the shore ; an animal ground they occupy without breaking the curiously organized, and interesting from eggs, or treading upon the young. Low its habits and instincts.
solitary islands, along the coast, are their From the water let us turn to the air: | favourite localities. see how the sea gulls are wheeling and But mark the returning tide ; slowly hovering around; how easy and buoyant and gradually, but surely, are the waters their flight; every few minutes one may of the ocean advancing, and we must rebe observed to sweep down to the sur- tire. How grand is the roar of the rollface of the water, and rise again into the ing billows ! how sublime, from its imair, having most probably picked up mensity, the spectacle presented by the some luckless fish, some marine mollusk, mighty sea, stretched out till its dim outor some putrescent morsel. Several are line blends with the horizon,-image of lightly floating on the curling waves; eternity! Yet mighty in its force, terrible though they thus swim, they do not in its storms, and overwhelming as the dive, but merely collect their food from ocean is, there is One, who is "mightier the surface, or search for it on the shore, than many waters,” than “the mighty when the tide has retired: some of the waves of the sea ;' it is the Maker and species, as the common gull, (Larus Preserver of the universe, who has ap. canus,) often fly inland to a considerable pointed the ocean its limits, and said, distance, and feed upon earthworms, "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no fur. grubs, snails, etc. The birds of this ther: and here shall thy proud waves be group are eminently gregarious, breed stayed,” Job. xxxviii.“ 1). ing together in large companies ; but then, see Him, the Creator and Lord of each species has its peculiar situation. all, both in the great ocean, and in the The kittewake gull, for example, (Larus living creatures with which it teems, and rissa,) selects the narrow ledges which thus “look through nature, up to najut from the face of perpendicular rocks, 'ture's God."
seum has now stood about two thousand The first thing, among the antiquities years. Its walls were battered by the war of Rome, that usually strikes the travel. engines of Vandals and Goths, when the ler in coming from Naples, after he has proud city of the Cesars had to open her once passed within the walls of this re- gates to those northern hordes. During nowned city, is the Colosseum. It is the middle ages, the various factions said to have derived its designation from sought protection within its impregnable its colossal size. This edifice is altogether sides. At a later period, entire palaces, the most imposing structure that remains and not a few of the most distinguished at Rome, among all the various monu- mansions, in modern Rome, were reared ments of other times. I may truly say, from materials torn from its walls. And that no relic of former greatness, no yet the Colosseum, at this moment, stands monument of human art, no memorial before you in such perfection, and in of ages that have gone, ever spoke more such vast and gigantic dimensions, that forcibly to my heart than did this massive you are led to wonder to what height it pile. There is an air and majesty about must have towered, and in what majesty the whole structure, that I cannot de- it must have shone, when, from the scribe. It strikes you as an emblem of foundation to the cope-stone, all was enruined grandeur. Time has overspread tire and unmarred. On one side, porits massy walls with rich hues. The tions of the top of the walls have been Colosseum stands apart from modern quite broken off. Over these broken Rome in solitary greatness, surrounded arches, and dilapidated walls, the long with the ruins of the imperial city. It grass trails down; and here also bushes stands at the termination of the Sacred have sprung up, and, waving in the wind, Way, between the Cælian, Esquiline, present, in their verdure and foliage, the and Palatine hills, where the bases of appearance of a lofty hanging garden. these approach each other. Ruined tem- The Colosseum was built for an amples and triumphal arches are on every phitheatre. I believe it was commenced side of it. Dilapidated walls, broken by Vespasian, and finished by Titus, arches, and mighty fragments of granite A.D. 80. Its shape is oval or elliptical. columns, half buried in the earth, here The circular exterior wall which surand there meet the eye, and give increased rounds the whole consists of three rows effect to the emotions awakened by view of arches one above the other, with half ing this gigantic structure. The Colosa pillars between each arch. Still higher
than this was a fourth row of pilasters, convicted of renouncing idolatry, were with forty square windows, but without condemned to fight with wild beasts in arches. The Doric, Ionic, and Corin- the amphitheatre. When I first stood thian orders were successively employed and gazed upon this arena, I could not in the first three rows. The pilasters of but think of the thousands of martyrs the fourth row are also Corinthian. This who had bled and poured out life, on exterior wall rises up nearly two hundred this very spot, for the love of Christ
, feet in height. Within the outer walls while the arches above rung with shouts are two other concentric ones, not so of delight from the assembled thousands, high as the former. These three walls who thirsted for these scenes of cruelty constituted the framework of the build and blood. I could not but remember ing, and together formed a double row the fate of the sainted Ignatius, who was of porticoes running round the whole, brought from Antioch in the reign of which communicated with each other, Trajan, for the very purpose of being and received light from the outside thrown among wild beasts, upon
very The entrances were by eighty arches in spot. It was here that he met his fate the outer wall, which opened into the with such composure and firmness, sacrifirst portico. From thence the people ficing every thing for the love of Christ
. might pass, by as many arches, into the It will be recollected that this imsecond, where they found, at intervals, mense structure would seat more than staircases leading to the seats. All the one hundred thousand persons, and it spectators sat upon the bare stone, with was seldom opened for the exhibition of the exception of the senators. The seats, bloody sports when it was not crowded rising one above another from the bot- to the topmost seat. When it was first tom, only went as high as the third story, completed, it was opened one hundred above which were staircases leading to a days in succession, and it continued to gallery, in the fourth story, for the com- be filled day after day, during all this mon people. Though the ancient am- period. What was it that attracted such phitheatres usually had no canopy above immense crowds, not simply of the lower them but the heavens, there seem to be class of people, but of refined and cultivatfixtures and contrivances which show ed ladies, emperors, priests, vestals, sepathat an awning was, on some occasions, tors, magistrates, and all the various classes stretched over the heads of the people. of the higher orders of society ? It was
The size of the Colosseum is immense. this strange passion to witness scenes of Several guide books state, that it ex- strife and blood. Every body loves exceeds seventeen hundred feet in cir- citement; and the scenes acted by the cumference, being six hundred feet in gladiators meeting each other in deadly length, and five hundred in width. conflict in the amphitheatre, and the rage The space in the middle, where the of wild beasts maddened to desperation, shows were exhibited, is called the arena. encountering each other, or some naked It is said to have taken this name from human foe, furnished a kind of excitethe sand which was strewn over this ment that seemed suited to the Roman place to absorb the blood of the wild taste. These were scenes in which the beasts that were slain there in such vast inhabitants of this renowned city, in her numbers. The arena, like the outer proudest and most palmy days, sought wall, is oval in shape, being three hun- their favourite amusements. Notwithdred feet in length, and one hundred standing these spectacles were attended and ninety in width. Into this vast with cruelties sufficient to shock the arena, elephants, lions, panthers, bears, most abandoned mind, such
was the and all the various kinds of wild beasts passion for them, and so great the eagerfound in the deserts or forests of Asia ness to secure good seats and eligible and Africa, were introduced for sport. stations, that multitudes flocked to the When thus brought out before the peo- amphitheatre the evening preceding the ple they were irritated and maddened, day of these sports, and continued there and made to fight each other; or, what all night, that they might be present at afforded still higher sport to the Romans, the commencement of them, and witness to fight men, who often, unarmed, en- them without any obstruction. gaged with these infuriated beasts in As I stood at one end of the arena, desperate death struggles. This was a could not but recall, in imagination, the punishment frequently inflicted upon the scene that must often have been witnessearly Christians, who, after having been ed here, of more than one hundred thou