Page images
PDF
EPUB

sounds emitted, while, on the other, bladder can be transmitted to them. hand, they entirely ceased when various Weber, in consequence, then, regarded substances, such as bits of kid glove, had the air-bladder as an organ for the reinbeen stuffed between the pharyngeal forcement of the sounds transmitted to teeth - those dents-en-velours, as Cuvier the body of the fish by the surrounding termed them, which, like a gin, jealously medium. From experiments made upon guard the approaches of the gullet. It the barbel and meunier (Cyprinus domust be noted that the branchial arches bula), M. Dufossé concludes — differ from those of most of the mackerel a. That the sounds emitted by these family in having their mucous lining not fish are voluntary, because the animal clothed with a softish cartilaginous cush- can open or close at pleasure little valves ion, but encrusted inside with calcareous in the duct of the air-bladder, which conplates, and carrying tooth-like organs of trol the escape of gas from this recepthe hardness of enamel. The various taclé - an act essential to the production muscles, too, of the hyoidean apparatus of sound. (that which mainly influences the move- B. That the function of the air-bladder ments of the bones carrying the lower and duct, in addition to any other which pharyngeal teeth) are relatively largely they may discharge in common with developed. It was further found that these organs in other fishes, is “ to prowhen the fish was examined in a vessel duce a certain quantity of gas, and to exfilled with sea-water, the sounds emitted pel the same with the speed necessary were not accompanied by the liberation for the formation of sounds of expresof a single bubble of gas from any of the sion ;” and that the principal agent in natural openings of the body, nor did the propulsion of this gas is, through its the fish come to the surface to swallow anatomical relations, the posterior lobe the least mouthful of air.

of the air-bladder. The sounds emitted b. By the friction of densely hard prom- by the loach have a greater intensity, and inences from the jaws, playing the part present greater varieties. of intermaxillary teeth, noises being thus produced which resemble the grinding We now come to the second and most of the teeth of pigs, or of certain rumi- important section of the second category. nants. Only one fish is as yet known to This includes sounds having the followemploy such mechanism, namely the ing character. Their timbre is more or sunfish (Orthragoriscus mola), which less sweet and soft, and never excites has two hard prominences, one on each such sensations as are produced by the jaw, fulfilling the function of intermax- grinding of teeth. It is, moreover, subillary teeth.

ject to an extraordinary degree of change,

varying frequently, and even changing We now come to the second division, during the extent of a sound. Such which comprises all kinds of blowing sounds can be appreciated musically; sounds,“ bruits de souffle.” Many fishes are, in other words, “ commensurable." produce such sounds, among them being Let the reader place a finger in each the carp tribe and the Silurus glanis; ear, and then set his teeth” hard. but the most remarkable effects have After hearing a dull low murmur, like the been noticed in the loach (Cobitis), the rumbling of a distant chariot, he may barbel, and the carp. All these fishes possibly exclaim, in the language of Cahave an air-bladder provided with a duct, tullus — which communicates with the gullet, and

-sonitu suopte which is, moreover, divided, in the carp Tintinant aures.* tribe, into two chambers, which, however, communicate, by a transverse con

Not so. Such sound is of a totally difstriction. In the loach this organ lies in ferent kind. The sound in question is front of and out of the abdomen, in

due to a vibration caused by the contracbox formed for it by bony plates derived tion of his temporals and masseters — from the sides of the second and third those “aldermanic” muscles, as we bevertebræ. According to the researches of lieve they have been termed - and has Weber, which have been confirmed by been investigated by many observers, Bréchet and others, the air-bladder in among them the celebrated Wollaston, the barbel and loach is brought into re

and has in consequence received many lation with the organs of hearing through

* "Upon my ear a noisy nothing rings." — Keats the medium of a chain of bones, so that (Endymion). the slightest vibrations of the wall of the βομβεύσιν δ' ακοαί μοι. - Sappho.

a

names, e.g: Wollastonian vibration, agi- | not the totality of the fleshy bundles of tatio spiritum (Grimaldi), bruit de rota- the intracostals which contract to protion (Lænnec), trémulation musculaire duce sound, but only that portion of the (Dugès), &c. Wollaston essayed to muscular surface which is in immediate count the vibrations of these sounds, and contact with the air-bladder; and that, found only from 14 to 36 in a second, so under these circumstances, whatever orthat they can hardly be regarded as gans, whether bony or otherwise, are

commensurable,” i.e. musical sounds, if acted upon by these muscles, come only Dupré's recent conclusions be correct, into play as accessories to the production that a sound composed of less than 32 and propagation of sound. vibrations per second cannot be appre- Let us now briefly consider the second ciated musically: Now M. Dufossé has of the two methods of the production of discovered that in many fishes the sounds "commensurable" sounds. Here the produced by them are essentially of an air-bladder is itself “a generator of analogous nature, and that the vibrations sounds, as completely independent of into which these may be analyzed can be the rest of the organism of the fish as measured by appropriate instruments. any other apparatus of 'psophosis,' * or Further than this, he has shown that even of phonation with which the animal there are two methods of the causation may be endowed.” After placing a garof such sounds — 1, by the contraction nard on its baek, making a long incision of muscles lying in close contiguity to in the abdominal walls, and carefully the air-bladder, so that the latter fulfils drawing aside any viscera which may obthe office of an instrument of reinforce-struct the view, if the tip of a finger be ment of sound, in other words, a kind of held in contact with the air-bladder, sounding-board ; 2, by the contraction vibration will be felt exactly synchronous of muscles which are part and parcel of with, and having the same intensity as the air-bladder itself. So then this lat- the sounds produced by the fish. This ter may be regarded in toto as an instru-can be further proved by means of a ment of music, and not merely as playing stethoscope applied to this organ. Fura secondary rôle. The mailed gurnard, ther than this the air-bladder will be seen, marlamat (Trigla cataphracta, Linn.), of- during the emission of such sounds, to fers a good instance of the first of these be affected by movements which may methods. In the abdomen of this fish, either throw the organ into folds or subarched over by the ribs and lying within ject it to a greater tension in various the so-called "lateral” muscles of Cuvier, parts ; and this even to such a degree as may be seen on either side a muscle somewhat to alter its general shape. which runs along the whole length Having isolated the organ as much as of this cavity. This muscle is attached possible by delicate yet rapid manipulaposteriorly to certain fibrous internal tion from the rest of the body, with the aponeuroses, and, after increasing in size exception of the vessels and nerves which and becoming cylindrical anteriorly, pass to it, let a stethoscope, provided at splits into two slips, the shorter of which its mouth with a diaphragm of goldis attached by a tendon to the so-called beater's skin, be applied to the anterior "humeral” element of the pectoral fin, part of the organ; then let the nerves while the other terminates at the back which pass to the latter be severed, of the skull. These muscles are fur- first on one side and then on the other, ther conspicuous by their red colour, when it will be found that the sound first have moreover the characters of vol- decreases in intensity, and finally ceases untary muscles, in that their ultimate altogether. From this and other experifibrils are transversely striped, and are ments M. Dufossé concludes that the airsupplied by special branches from the bladder, in the majority of the gurnard third pair of cervical nerves, - nerves family which in other gurnards pass to the

a physiological organ, which, “intrinsic” muscles of the air-bladder.* whatever, may be its other functions, is M. Dufossé has established the curious a generator of sounds. fact that, in the majority of cases, it is B. That its “intrinsic " muscles, by y. That other muscles, by their con- It would have been interesting, had the traction, can alter the shape of the organ, limits of this article permitted it, to have and thus modify the quality of the sounds considered more fully the phenomena of emitted.

their vibration, aided and intensified by The anatomist Stannius mentions, among other the rest of the organs, are the agerts of branches of the pneumogastric nerve, certain which run inter membranas vesicæ natatoriæ. Inde ab æsophago

such sounds. in ductu ad vesicam decurrentes hanc ipsam adse- This is a word coined by Dugès. It appears to be quuntur. Fibræ he nerveæ omnen colore niveo ceteris excellunt." (Symbolæ ad Anatomiam piscium. Ros- darived from pupos (Lat. strepitus), any articulate tochii : 1839.)

sound, as opposed to Ouvn.

a. Is

sound just described, from a musical and

physical point of view ; but as the subWhat part the internal partition or ject has in these pages been regarded “diaphragm” takes in modification of rather from a biological stand-point, I sounds does not seem to be clearly es- would fain leave the more mechanical tablished, except that, in the maigres, part of it - one fraught with great interat any rate, where it is fairly developed, est, and most fully and ably discussed by it does no more than play a very second-M. Dufossé — to the consideration of ary part — “un effet bien accessoire, the physicist and scientific musician, for bien peu important dans l'émission de "la vibration musculaire," as this writer ces phénomènes acoustiques.” Space well observes, "attend encore son hisunfortunately will not permit us to con- torien ; le savant qui, au moyen de resider the interesting modifications of the cherches expérimentales assez multiair-bladder, and the concomitant varia- pliées, pour faire une étude bien appro. tions in vocal phenomena deducible there fondie, bien complète de ce fait naturel, from, which are met with in the maigre, l'élevera au rang des phénomènes les umbrina, the dorees and the dactylopte- plus intéressants de la biologie.” rus; but mention must not be entirely It appears that out of more than 3,000 omitted of the fact that in one of the species of fishes, no more than 52 are at sea-horses (Hippocampus brevirostris) the present known to produce sound. This mechanism of the production of sounds contrasts most singularly with that which is reduced to its simplest expression, happens among the other four vertebrate being merely the vibration of voluntary classes, containing at least 12,000 species; muscles reinforced by an air-bladder hav- for here every individual possesses a ing neither duct nor diaphragm, nor larynx - in other words, an organ of "intrinsic” muscles, both sets of organs voice --- and out of these those that are being no better developed than in fishes incapable of exercising the functions of which do not produce any sound what this organ are in a very small minority: ever.

Not only is there every reason to beAs space further fails us for a proper re- lieve that the majority of sounds proview of the gamut of the piscine orches-duced by fishes are not casual uttertra, we must content ourselves with one ances, but are truly voluntary; but there example. We will take the maigres, a is among such as give vent to them description of whose musical perform a most remarkable development of the ance has been already quoted at the be- organs of hearing in all essential parginning of this article. The sounds ticulars — e.g. in the semicircular canals, emitted by these fishes are notable prin- otoliths and nerves * - correlative with cipally for their length, having a mean of the degree of perfection of the instru25 seconds, and for their uniformity, "qui ment. Further than this, as the sounds va jusqu'à la monotonie la plus fati- generally excel in frequency and intengante." The timbre varies very much, sity at the breeding season, it will not be the most common being that of a common unreasonable to regard them - granting, reed-organ or the reed of a flageolct. as we do, that the chirp of the cricket Another pretty frequent timbre resembles and the croak of the frog is each in its that of the largest string of a violoncello, way an alluring serenade - as nuptial sometimes passing to that of the bourdon hymns, or, to use language ascribed to of a contra-basso. Some sounds are, Plutarch, as “deafening epithalamia.” | however, less sweet, and may have some More than this ; seeing that the carp, and likeness to the tone of a hurdy-gurdy or rattle, while others are clear and pure, * See Retzius' "Anatomische Untersuchungen, resembling in their timbre those produced 1ste Lief iste Abth.: Das Gehörlabyrinth der Knochenby a hautboy, harmonica, or accordion.fische" (Stockholm, 1872); and the beautiful preparaM. Dufossé would limit the range of Curator, in the Museum of St. Thomas' Hospital,

tions, made, we believe, by Mr. Charles Stewart, the sounds produced by the maigres, from London. the most acute to the deepest, to three or Sirens had its origin in the utterances of shoals of

1 M. Dufossé suggests that the song of the fabled four tones. They have generally a great maigres. It is probable that the latus -- that ** marvertendency " to degenerate into a humming lous morsel," as Athenæus termed it, caught in the sound," 'either from an excess or from a cures, was, as Rondelet and Cuvier suggested, none want of intensity.

other than the maigre.

others of the same family, have given un-, send enuff munny to pay me railwa and mistakable proofs of their aptitude to re-oi wull be wi you." ceive some rudiments of education, and A number of hideous stuffed monstrosin particular to perceive certain sounds, it ities were sent - cats with three heads, can yet be possible that the moral admoni- dogs with six legs, half-dog, half-cat, tions of a St. Anthony of Padua - by calves with six eyes, four eyes, and numany still regarded as a work of superero- merous other lusús naturæ; but the of. gation — may, no less than the amorous fice of the Exhibition had not been open twang of the vesical zither, after all not many months when an American gentlehave fallen upon totally deaf ears. man called to make a proposition of a

still more "advanced” description. He was the fortunate possessor of the embalmed body of Julia Pastrana a poor

creature, half-babcon, half-woman — who From Chambers' Journal. ECCENTRIC EXHIBITORS.

created a sensation in England a few

years before; and he thought that arThe International Exhibition at South rangements might be made with the Kensington has this year produced very Commissioners to show this dead wonlittle effect upon the public mind. The der at sixpence a head. He seemed novelty of such exhibitions is gone, and much astounded when his offer was rethe panderers to the public taste for fused. something new have introduced cat A lady wrote to say that she could proshows, donkey shows, and even exhibi- cure the identical shirt that Charles I. tions of bar-maids. King Koffee's um- was executed in. It was composed of brella, exhibited at the South Kensington the finest possible cambric, most elabMuseum, has received the palm in pop-orately worked, and had been handed ular estimation, partly because of its down to her from early ancestors ;, but cumbrous, unscientific formation, but unfortunately it was then in the hands of more probably on account of its novelty, the pawnbroker, who had advanced ten and of the parade made about it in the pounds upon it. If she could receive newspapers as the greatest trophy of the this sum, and a further amount sufficient Ashantee war. It has, however, been to buy a glass case for it, this would prove suggested that the eccentric exhibitors one of the greatest attractions in the Exwhose articles were rejected in the great hibition, and show how superior was the International Exhibition of 1862, should needle-work of that age to any produced now have an opportunity of showing to at the present time. the world the wonders of their imagina- Another lady sent a large sheet of cardtion or the peculiarities of their mind; board on which only black marks were and though with no desire to further this visible, without any outline that could be object, we give a few of the proposed understood. She wrote: “This gentlecontributions rejected by the Commis- man is done with charcoal - charcoal, no sioners of the 1862 Exhibition.

drawing-pencil, simply charred wood. I A lady sent a stuffed cat which she want it exhibited, to show to the world said lived to be fourteen years of age, that woman's mind is superior to circumand was known to have killed during his stances, and that I, a woman without life 3270 rats. It followed its mistress means, am superior to Michael Angelo." for miles, and would seize a rabbit now The Commissioners sent it back with the and then, and place it at her feet. curt remark : “ With thanks; but no

A man dating from Willenhall, Staf- space.” fordshire, whose name we withhold, A man who was evidently ahead of the wrote as follows: "Oi dont no if hane- time — for no one had then talked about mals is to be showd but if they be, oi got cremation – wished to exhibit an apparaa dog, a bull dog, has ansom has paant tus by which a hundred pounds of animal and he wul kill rots again ony hanimal matter could be reduced to dust by six the furrinners can bring - and there be pounds of charcoal, in a few hours, withchaps here has will fund money to back out causing an offensive smell.“ This," em — All oi wants his a chance at thim he said, labelling a small packet containfurrinners if they be goin to bring dogs ing a few ounces of dust," is all that reoi must bring em mysel and if you be mains of a large dog.” The Commissionready oi am -- he as kilt 60 rots in 20 ers were at a loss to see the utility of his minuts and that as moor on ony furrinner invention at that period, and therefore can do — you be save on backing a me — 'refused to allow him space.

The smallest contribution which was changed its position, shewing the earth's declined was a penny loaf of the year rotation. 1801. The applicant for space to exhibit | One gentleman, a Frenchman, of a this loaf said that he believed it to be the poetic turn of mind, wished to put the oldest piece of bread in the world. He whole official catalogue into flowing verse, had offered it to the Commissioners for and to work up all the minutes, docuthe Exhibition of 1851, and he now of- ments, and decisions of the Commissionfered it to the Commissioners of 1862. ers into an epic poem. It was purchased by the applicant's father of the thousands of applicants for sixty years before, when wheat was sell- space, some professed to produce glass ing at a guinea a bushel; and for the eyes so true to nature that none could purpose of preserving it as a specimen believe them to be artificial ; others asof very dear bread, a string net was serted that they could produce wigs made, in which it had been encased ever superior to the natural hair, and that since.

whiskers and moustaches could be so A thoughtful friend of the Commis- fixed upon the face as to give a hirsute sioners sent a number of small physic appearance to the most barefaced indipowders all the way from Baden-Baden. viduals. There were coffins of the most They were as carefully directed as medi-indestructible character; and specimens cine packets usually are, and were in- were absolutely sent of embalmed bodies, tended to repair the exhausted constitu- to prove how mortal flesh can be pretions of the overworked officials. served from decay. Lastly, there was an

A Norwegian sent a chart of the earth, applicant for space who had the elixir of to prove that it was not round, but flat; life, and only wanted an opportunity of and asked that space may be given him some one dying suddenly within the Exto lecture in, when he would show how hibition building to prove the miraculous blind all the learned men had been on power of his mixture. this subject, and would teach the rising As to persons who had found out the generation truths that it would be worthy science of perpetual motion, there were of the Exhibition to unfold.

at least a score ; and of men who were One person, on the other hand, asked prepared to invent a system of flying that space should be given him to sus through the air, almost as many. One pend a pendulum by a link a hundred gentleman was so enthusiastic upon this and twenty feet long, and the said pen- subject, that he wished to exhibit an dulum should show the earth's diurnal aërial machine in action under one of the movement. This was to some extent great domes, where he thought he could carried out at the Paris International spring up and down like an acrobat in a Exhibition, where a pendulum weighing gigantic baby-jumper. When his offer upwards of a ton was suspended by a was politely declined, he as politely thick wire, with numerous swivels upon thanked the Commissioners, feeling that it; underneath, the hours for day and their object in refusing him permission night were marked, and the pendulum to exhibit was only to save him from being set going when the sun was at his making a great personal sacrifice in premeridian, it marked the time accurately, paring his machine. apparently changing its motion, but in We could give numerous other inreality continuing its action from north stances of would-be exhibitors, but have to south, by means of the swivels; the said sufficient to prove that it would presumption being that the surface had not be difficult to get up an exhibition of

their inventions all to themselves.

APART from the few miles of railway now power thus obtained is very considerable, for open in Japan, we hear that the extent to the kago with two porters only travelled thirty which, during the past three or four years, miles a day, whereas nowadays one man wheeled conveyances have come into fashion, draws the jinrikisha thirty-five miles in the is quite astonishing. Both in cities and along same time. It is said that a Japanese used to the high roads, where wheels can be used, the pay 5s. 6.1. for a day's journey in a kago, jinrikisha, or wheeled chair drawn by one whereas he can now have a jinrikisha for 3s. 6d., 'man, has been substituted for the old kago, or the prime cost of the conveyance being about litter carried by two men. The saving of 31. ios.

« PreviousContinue »