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that very ambiguous creature, the ornithorynchus paradoxus, or Platypus of New South Wales, are excellent. Besides the stuffed birds, the eggs, and the nests, there are several well set-up skeletons for comparative anatomy; which were prepared by Dr. Witt of Bedford. Appended to these is a large variety of shells and corals, from many parts of the globe; together with echini both fossil and recent.
In the vegetable world, a very useful hint might be derived from the attention here given to having wax or wooden models made of any fine, curiouslyshaped, or anomalous fruits or roots which are produced in the surrounding grounds :-fac-similia of specimens worth preserving, but of too perishable a nature in themselves, thereby furnishing mementoes which may prove useful for subsequent comparisons. Such are the large Hartwell apples, the prize potatoes, and a fungus (agaricus campestris) found at Stone, of no less than eleven inches in diameter. Nor are these models entirely confined to this neighbourhood, as there are several casts of fruit and tuberous roots from Bedford; and among the more curious is the encephalartus coffee, or zamia cycadia, from Chatsworth, which bears several hundred almonds in a single cone.
The botanical department is also enriched with some fine talipot leaves from Ceylon, the nut called vegetable ivory, and a collection of sea plants. There are likewise the zamia gigas with its head and leaves, a state in which it is rare; and an enormous specimen of the lycoperdon proteus, or puff-ball, often used for fumigating bees.
The mineral cabinets are well stored with geological fragments of rocks, lavas, obsidians, agates, opals, chalcedonies, jaspers, asbestus, lignites, and various curious crystals, which rather require to be examined than described. But attention should be called to a few of the more singular or beautiful among them. The specimen which perhaps deserves to head the list in the mineral kingdom, as extra-mundane, is the black meteoric stone that fell at Launton, in Oxfordshire, on the 15th of February, 1830; because it long constituted one of the very few whose time and place of descent are well authenticated. This was distinctly seen : the light and explosion alarmed many people, as the noise was loud enough to be heard even at Twyford, a distance of four miles. It weighs thirty-six ounces and a quarter avoirdupois, with a specific weight of 3.625, water being unity. The form is lumpy and parallelogrammatic, with the edges irregularly rounded off; and the surface is smooth, with a dull lustre. It is further described in my Cycle of Celestial Objects, vol. i. page 163. There are also some meteoric fragments which fell at the Cape of Good Hope in 1839, where they were collected by Mr. Maclear, who attends to all the phenomena of the southern hemisphere.
In the next place we may mention some crystallized metals, chiefly from the northern parts of Europe, such as the fine octohedral iron from Fahlun, and some splendid striated pieces of cobalt from the same country. The garnets, chalcedonies, opals, agate pebbles, and tourmalines are remarkable for selection; and there are many varieties of asbestos, as well as a fine specimen of Iceland spar. No. 219 of the Catalogue is a sample of the true horn-stone of Linnæus, but a new variety, brought by Dr. Lee from Sweden, and therefore named Leelite by Dr. E. D. Clerke, the well-known Professor at Cambridge: and, among the mineral stores, may be named some slices of the orbicular sienite of Corsica, brought by me from the Mediterranean; and which has since obtained the less descriptive name of Napoleonite, from the circumstance of its occurring principally near Ajaccio. There are also various specimens of the several strata composing the island of Sardinia, as well as those of Sicily, which last are chiefly from the Etnean region, and consist of lava, obsidian, specular iron, scoriæ, and volcanic ashes and sand.
Next in order come the fossils, in which this collection is especially rich; for, independent of those from other parts of the British Empire, and from foreign countries, the genius loci has attracted an uncommon number and variety into the substrata of the Hartwell estate. Thus the limestone is actually so hérissée with conchological admixture, that not a building-stone is taken from the quarries without its containing univalves, bivalves, astrex, and fragments of all sorts of marine exuvia. The abundance of ammonites I have already mentioned (see pages 23—27), and here will be found some of those alluded to,
especially that supposed to be caught in the fact of devouring a crab: there are, however, evidences that the ammonites did not themselves escape assault, as well as that the smaller assailants had still smaller assailing them, so that the modern saw would have held good even in ante-diluvian times :
“ That lesser Aleas have fleas to bite 'em,
And fleas bite fleas ad infinitum !”
Among the plants from the coal basins are neat stigmaria, sigillaria, calamites cannæformis, and other members of the flora of the carboniferous epoch; and the shales contain a profusion of leaves and stems of carbonized vegetables. The other English fossils consist of trigoniæ, echini, dentalia, , pentacrinites, belemnites, terebratulæ, and encrinites; and the fossilized substance called septariæ is in large fragments. There is, moreover, the cast of a paddle of one of the plesiosaurian tribe, of a new variety. It was discovered in a bed of Oxford clay which crops out near Bedford, in the summer of 1833; and was modelled in situ by Mrs. Smyth. It is tolerably perfect, and measures forty-five inches in length, whence Dr. Buckland, on a close scrutiny, considered that the creature to which it was attached, must have been no less than thirty feet long More of the relics were about to be moulded; but the bones of the corresponding paddle were stolen by the country-people in the evening, from their having seen the care with which the mould was made, and therefrom estimating a fanciful money-value. Besides the two paddles, there were also many of the vertebræ, and several yards away were indications of a head. An extraneous stony substance was found in contact with the back, as if of petrified flesh. Our good friend, Professor Sedgwick, who inspected the site, first pronounced this to be a new species of saurian reptile; and that it belonged to the lower part of the thick stratum in which it was imbedded.
Other interesting glimpses of former denizens of the earth are afforded by a complete ichthyosaurus about seven feet long, a perfect paddle of a larger individual, some vertebræ, the lower jaw of a teleosaurus from Whitby, and several other osseous fragments.
Among the specimens of petrified wood, are two thin slices from a fossil palm which I brought from Sardinia, and which is now in the Museum of the United Service Institution. This is sufficiently rare and curious to have excited the especial attention of Mr. Robert Brown, our celebrated botanist, and also of Dr. Von Martins, the botanist of Munich, as described in my account of Sardinia, page 76. There are also samples of fossilized wood found at Hartwell, in a stream impregnated with carbonate of lime: one is a monocotyledon, bearing an analogy to the palms and arborescent ferns, whence it was named endogenites erosa, by Dr. Gideon Mantell.
In concluding this section, we may remark, that, among the various specimens of building-stone and mineral substances of England, there is a box containing squared samples of the materials used in making that magnificent floating harbour, the Bute Docks, under my inspection, at Cardiff in South Wales. The box is of the timber from which the lock-gates are constructed, and the contents are
Besides manuscripts, the square room at the west end of the Museum contains also, historically and chronologically speaking, one of the choicest of the Ilartwell treasures; and this consists in the noble collection of ancient coins and medals therein deposited. There is, moreover, a large cabinet of excellent casts of celebrated cameos, intaglios, and other engraved gems of Egyptian, Persian, Etruscan, and classical art: it is fitted with drawers for the reception of four thousand four hundred specimens, selected from the best collections in Europe, and disposed in order of time and style. Hence the reference to facts, dates, portraits, costumes, arms, and matters of taste, is at once most extensive and trustworthy.
A well-selected series of coins and medals forms the most appropriate and powerful adjunct which a library can receive; since they make an agreeable and faithful key to instruction for the student of the Greek and Latin historians, poets, geographers, and philosophers; as well in unequivocally certifying events and dates, as in illustrating ancient arts, emblems, and monuments without misrepresentation. It is true that a mere furor numismaticus may often exhibit the trifling acquisitiveness of sciolous enthusiasts; but such a possibility should never be allowed to tamper with the approaches to useful knowledge. The true antiquary will steer equally clear of a puerile attachment to, and an ignorant prejudice against medals,-feelings which have long formed the very Scylla and Charybdis of numismatology. Men of profound learning have found reason to regret a want of knowledge in medals, while very expert numismatists have often yearned for scholarship; yet, instead of rowing together, the man of dactyls and spondees holds the collector to be a trifler, and the latter returns his superciliousness by deriding the pedantic book-worm.
Now in order to illustrate the progress of man from early ages, erudition and knowledge must unite their forces to arrive at satisfactory results: the one class may be consciously proud of inductive endowment, and the other value itself on perseverence and experience; but, as Sharon Turner has impressively expressed it,—“Intellect and industry are never incompatible. There is more wisdom and will be more benefit in combining them than scholars like to believe, or than the common world imagine. Life has time enough for both, and its happiness will be increased by the union.” The argument in hand may be briefly summed up; for, though the writings, marble columns, and other public memorials of early ages, have suffered terrible ravages, many of the mutilations are supplied, and all former details illustrated, by the monies which have escaped barbarism. In numerous instances, these diminutive but infallible vouchers have outlived the states that struck them; and many are the once