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tions of the membrane, including a added that the strongest confirmamass of germ-cells ; and as a conse- tion is to be read in the admirable quence of this imperfect discrimina- Memoir on the Cerianthus—an anition, subsequent writers and ana- mal allied to the Actinia --- by M. tomists have described the convoluted Jules Haime, in the Annales des bands as the ovaries. Mr Teale does Sciences Naturelles, 1854 (4leme série, so, if I understand the account given tome i.), which, on my return home, by Dr Johnston.

I found to contain accurate and deIt is needless here to enter into the tailed descriptions of the same disdisputes on this point. The statement position of ova and spermatozoa I of Wagner that he had discovered detected in the Actiniæ. This paper spermatozoa in the convoluted bands may rob me indeed of some claim to has made several writers dubious priority, should the fact be substantirespecting the ovarian function of ated, but I can very tranquilly waive those bands ; but by a subsequent that, and rejoice in the discovery. discovery I am able to explain, I The excellent plates which illustrate think, the origin of Wagner's error, the Memoir by M. Jules Haime, as well as to revolutionise the current make it very important for the reader theories of reproduction in the ane to consult, if he desires an accurate mones, bringing that process under idea of the structure in question. much simpler categories. That Wag We thus return to the point from ner did see the spermatozoa, may whence we started, and find in the readily be admitted ; but although he anemone a very simple structure, and thought they were in the convoluted a consequent simplicity in its reproband, I venture to say that they ductive process. Instead of separate were in the ovary, a portion of which sexes, and elaborate apparatus of orhe had removed unconsciously with gans, we find an accumulation of germthe convoluted band; for let any one cells and sperm-cells taking place snip off a portion of the band as it in certain indeterminate parts of the lolls out of the mouth, and he will lining membrane of the envelope, find nothing like ova or spermatozoa and the union of these cells in these there. On the discovery of the loca- parts, much in the same way as in the tion of the spermatozoa, which I simpler plants. made at Tenby in July last, I must speak with less confidence than on that of the ovaries : the difficulty of Charles Lamb, in one of his exthe observation, and the conscious- quisitely humorous letters, refers to ness that I was guided by an a pri- the probable feelings of Adam, purori conviction that the spermatozoa chasing a pennyworth of apples from would be where I sought them, to- an applewoman's stall, “ in Mesopogether with the fact that since then tamia,” and thinking of his former I have had few opportunities of re- plenty in Paradise ; and Dr Johnson peating the observation, make me said, that never but once in his life besitate before announcing as abso- had he found himself possessor of as lute, what is at present only a very much wall - fruit as he could eat. strong conviction in my mind. Let These two lingering retrospects of me say then that I believe the sper- former abundance appeal to us matozoa lie imbedded in the same forcibly; for although in the particumembranous sac which encloses the lar case of apples, a matured taste, ova; the two lie intermingled, pro- fortified by philosophy, and modified bably isolated by a delicate investing by dyspepsia, may pardonably be inmembrane, but at any rate enclosed in different-and although also in the the same organ. I believe that it is particular case of wall-fruit, the unhere the fertilisation takes place, and physiological mind, terrified by abthat the fertilised ovum passes by surd rumours as to choleraic infludehiscence of the membrane into the ences supposed inevitably to issue general cavity, where its subsequent from plums, peaches, nectarines, and development takes place. On my apricots, may think limitation rather next visit to the coast I hope to clear a benefit than an injury ; yet every up this point; meanwhile it may be mind must recognise the general significance there lies in a noble, pro- summer, all its blooming companions digal, unstinted abundance. Books, having been dissected long ago; and for example—can we have too many my thoughts take wing to Ilfracombe of them, provided always they are and Tenby, where footpans, piewell selected ? Dogs-can they be dishes, soup-plates and vases were too populous in our court-yards? or crowded with specimens of every horses in our stables ? or friends—at variety of form and colour. I think convenient distances ? or children- of that paradisaic abundance, and in the nursery ? or creditors ?-no, not sigh over this one unhappy animal, creditors, except in a general catas- the mere pennyworth in Mesopotrophe or cataclysm. In a word, is not tamia, not simply because I love a abundance in and for itself a grand liberal prodigality in all things, and advantage ? Painfully this obtrudes fret against niggardly limitations, itself upon me as I sit eyeing the soli- but also because only with abundtary anemone which mopes in a single ance can one hope to get at more vase upon my table, the last rose of "New Facts about Sea Anemones."

A CHRISTMAS TALE.

How to account for this strange easily one can manage this in a ceradventure, or what explanation to tain frame of mind. put upon it, I cannot tell, but it It was rather a pretty countrybegan after a very prosaic fashion- especially when the sun came glancrather more commonplace even than ing down over it, finding out all the the circumstances under which the rain upon the leaves—when it was Laureate meditated his Legend of only I that found them out instead Godiva. After a long drive to a little of the sun. When pushing down a country station, I found, to my dis- deep lane, my hat caught the great may, that I had missed the train. overhanging bough of a hawthorn,

Missed the train ! There was not and shook over me a sparkling shower another till twelve o'clock at noon of water-drops, big and cool like so of the next day, and it was then the many diamonds. I cannot say that afternoon between two and three I entirely enjoyed the impromptu o'clock; for the place in which I baptism, and the wet matted brambles was so fortunate as to find myself, underfoot were full of treacherous surwas one of the smallest of country prises, and the damp path under that stations on a “branch line." It magnificent seam of red-brown earth, seems extremely odd, looking back which had caught my eye half a mile upon it, that there should have been off, caught my foot now with unexsuch an unreasonable time to wait ; ampled tenacity. Notwithstanding, but it did not puzzle, it only dis- the road was pretty; a busy little comfited me at the time

husbandman of a breeze began to And there was not even a single rustle out the young corn, and raise house, save the half-built little rail the feeble stalks which had been way house itself, where dwelt the "laid" by the rain; and everything station-master, at this inhospitable grew lustily in the refreshed and station; so I had to be directed by sweetened atmosphere, through which that functionary, and by his solitary the binds raised their universaltwitter. porter, how to get to Witcherley There appeared white gable-ends, bits villages which lar a mile and a half of onchant closely planted, a churchof across the tields. It was sum- spire rising through the trees, and mer, but there had been a great deal orer the next stile I leaped into the of rain, and the muds as I knew extreme end of the little village street hr mr morning's experience, were of Witcherler-a very rural little "hewry"-re I set off with singu- village indeed, Iying, though within lar equanimity on my journey across a mile and a half of a railway station, the fields Alounther I Rank the sure and quiet among the old Areabusiness very cutly, and made up dian fields my mind to it. It is astonishing how Facing me was a great iron gate

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extremely ornamental, as things were of very rural districts. I confess I made a hundred years ago, with a entered the Witcherley Arms with a minute porter's-lodge shut up, plainly little dismay, and no great expectaintimating that few carriages rolled tions of its comfort or good cheer. up that twilight avenue, to which The public room was large enough, entrance was given by a little postern- lighted with two casement windows, door at the side. The avenue was with a low unequal ceiling and a narrow, but the trees were great and sanded floor. Two sinall tables in old, and hid all appearance of the the windows, and one long one house to which they led. Then came placed across the room behind, with three thatched cottages flanking at a à bristling supply of hard highlittle distance the moss-grown wall backed wooden chairs, were all the which extended down the road from furniture. A slow country fellow in a the manor house gates; and then the smock frock, the driver of the cart, path made a sharp turn round the drank his beer sullenly at one of the abrupt corner of a gable which pro- smaller tables. The landlord loitered jected into it, the grey wall of which about between the open outer door was lightened by one homely bow- and the “coffee-room," and I took window in the upper story, but no- my seat at the head of the big table, thing more. This being the Witcher- and suggested dinner to the openley Arms, I went no further, though eyed country maid. some distant cottages, grey, silent, She was more startled than I exand rude, caught my eye a little way pected by the idea. Dinner! there on. The Witcherley Arms, indeed, was boiled bacon in the house, she was the hamlet of Witcherley-it knew, and ham and eggs were pracwas something between an inn and ticable. I was not disposed to be a farmhouse, with long low rooms, fastidious under present circumsmall windows, and an irregular and stances, so the cloth was spread, and rambling extent of building, which it the boiled bacon set before me, prewas hard to assign any use for, and paratory to the production of the which seemed principally filled up more savoury dish. To have a betwith long passages leading to closets ter look at me, the landlord came in and cupboards and laundries in a and established himself beside the prodigal and strange profusion. A bumpkin in the window. These few rude steps led to the door, with worthies were not at all of the ruffian in which, on one side, was a little kind, but, on the contrary, perfectly bar, and on the other the common honest-looking, obtuse, and leisurely : room of the inn. Just in front of their dialect was strange to my ear, the house, surrounded by a little and their voices confused ; but I plot of grass, stood a large old could make out that what they did elm-tree, with the sign swung high talk about was the “Squire." among its branches ; opposite was Of course, the most natural topic the gate of a farmyard, and the dull in the world in a place so primitive; walls of a half square of barns and and I, examining my bacon, which offices ; behind, the country seemed was not inviting, paid little attento swell into a bit of rising-ground, tion to them. By - and - by, howcovered with the woods of the ever, the landlord loitered out again manor-house ; but the prospect be- to the door ; and there my attenfore was of a rude district broken tion was attracted at once by a voice up by solitary roads, crossing the without, as different as possible from moorland, and apparently leading their mumbling rural voices. This nowhere. One leisurely country- was followed immediately by a quick cart stood near the door, the horse alert footstep, and then entered the standing still with dull patience, and room an old gentleman, little, carethat indescribable quiet conscious- fully dressed, precise and particular, ness that it matters nothing to any in a blue coat with gilt buttons, a one how long the bumpkin stays in- spotless white cravat, Hessian boots, side, or the peaceable brute without, and hair of which I could not say which is only to be found in the with certainty whether it was grey extreme and undisturbed seclusion or powdered. He came in as a

monarch comes into a humble cor- The landlord groaned again a sinner of his dominions. There could gular affirmative, which roused my be no doubt about his identity—this curiosity at once. Was it haunted ? was the Squire.

or what could there be of tragical or Hodge at the window pulled his mysterious connected with the gableforelock reverentially; the old gen- room ? tleman nodded to him, but turned However, I had only to make my his quick eye upon me—strangers acknowledgments, and accept with were somewhat unusual at the thanks the Squire's proposal, and we Witcherley Arms — and then my set out immediately for the manorboiled bacon, which I still only house. My companion looked hale, looked at ! The Squire drew near active, and light of foot-scarcely with suave and compassionating sixty—a comely well-preserved old courtesy : I told him my story-I gentleman, with a clear frosty comhad missed the train. The train was plexion, blue eyes without a cloud, entirely a new institution in this pri- features somewhat high and delicate, mitive corner of the country. The and altogether, in his refined and old gentleman evidently did not half particular way, looked like the head approve of it, and treated my deten- of a long-lived patriarchal race, who tion something in the light of a might live a hundred years. He piece of retributive justice. “Ah, paused, however, when we got to the haste, haste ! nothing else will please corner, to look to the north over the us nowadays," he said, shaking his broken country on which the sunhead with dignity : "the good old shine slanted as the day began to coach, now, would have carried you wane. It was a wild solitary procomfortably, without the risk of a spect, as different as possible from day's waiting or a broken limb; but the softer scene through which I had novelty carries the day.”

come to Witcherley. Those broken I did not say that the railway was, bits of road, rough cart-tracks over after all, not so extreme a novelty in the moor, with heaps of stones piled other parts of the world as in Witch- here and there, the intention of which erley, and I was rewarded for my one could not decide upon; fir-trees, forbearance. "If you do not mind all alone and by themselves, growing waiting half an hour, and walking singly at the angles of the roadhalf a mile," added the Squire im- sometimes the long horizontal gleam mediately, “I think I can promise of water in a deep cutting-someyou a better dinner than anything times a green bit of moss, prophetic you have here -- a plain country of pitfall and quagmire — and no table. sir, nothing more, and a visible moving thing upon the whole bonse of the old style ; but better scene. The picture to me was someThin honest Giles's bacon, to which what desolate. My new friend, howSee you don't take very kindly. ever, gazed upon it with a lingering will give you a good bed, though eye, sighed, did not say anything

clean comfortable bed. I have but, turning round with a little vehesland myself, sir, on occasion, at the mence, took some highly-flavoured tekerley Arms."

snuff from a small gold box, and he said this, some recollec- seemed, under cover of this innocent onsciousness came for an stimulant, to shake off some emotion. is the old gentleman's As he did so, looking back I saw the

and the landlord, who inmates of the Witcherley Arms at him, and who was also the door, in a little crowd, gazing at thered what seemed to him. The landscape must have been

ressed groan. The as familiar to him as he was to these and turned round good people. I began to grow very

curious. Was anything going to en is not other- happen to the old Squire? S said the old The old Squire, however, was of

do not say the class of men who enjoy conversaput this tion, and relish a good listener. He

led me down through the noiseless

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road, past the three cottages, to the which occupied almost the entire manorial gates, with a pleasant little mid-space of the apartment. These stream of remark and explanation, a three long dining - room windows little jaunty wit, a little caustic ob- looked out upon the lawn and the servation, great natural shrewdness, clipped yew-tree — the oriel looked and some little knowledge of the upon nothing, but was closely overworld. Entering in by that little shadowed by a group of lime-trees side-door to the avenue, was like casting down a tender, cold, green coming out of daylight into sudden light through their delicate wavering

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trees tall, old, and of luxuriant traits on the walls, old crimson hanggrowth. I did not wonder that his ings, - a carpet, of which all the worship was proud of them, but, for colours were blended and indistinmyself, should have preferred some- guishable with old age. The chairs thing less gloomy. The line was in the recess were covered with emlong, too, and wound upwards by an broidery as faded as the carpet ; irregular ascent; and the thick dark everything bore the same tone of foliage concealed, till we had almost antiquity. At the same time, everyreached it, the manor-house, which thing appeared in the most exemturned its turreted gable-end towards plary order, well-preserved and graceus, by no means unlike the Witcher- ful—without a trace of wealth, and ley Arms.

with many traces of frugality, yet It was a house of no particular undebased by any touch of shabbidate or character-old, irregular, and ness. And as the Squire placed himsomewhat picturesque-built of the self in the stiff elbow-chair in this grey limestone of the district, spotted pleasant little alcove, and cast his over with lichens, and covering here eye with becoming dignity down the and there the angle of a wall with an long line of the room, I could not but old growth of exuberant ivy-ivy so recognise a pleasant and suitable old, thick, and luxuriant, that there congeniality between my host and was no longer any shapeliness or dis- his house. tinctive character in the big, blunt, Presently a grave middle-aged glossy leaves. A small lawn before man-servant entered the room, and the door, graced with one clipped yew- busied himself very quietly spreadtree, was the only glimpse of air or ing the table --- the Squire in the daylight, so far as I could see, about mean time entering upon a polite the house ; for the trees closed in on and good-humoured catechetical exevery side, as if to shut it out entirely amination of myself; but pausing from all chance of seeing or being now and then to address a word to seen. The big hall-door opened from Joseph, which Joseph answered with without, and I followed the Squire extreme brevity and great respectwith no small curiosity into the fulness. There was nothing inquisinoiseless house, in which I could not tive or disagreeable in the Squire's hear a single domestic sound. Per- inquiries ; on the contrary, they were haps drawing-rooms were not in com- pleasant indications of the kindmon use at Witcherley—at all events ly interest which an old man often we went at once to the dining-room, shows in a young one unexpectedly a large long apartment, with an thrown into his path. I was by no ample fireplace at the upper end— means uninterested, meanwhile, in three long windows in one side, and the slowly-completed arrangements a curious embayed alcove in the cor- of the dinner-table, all accomplished ner, projecting from the room like an so quietly. When Joseph had nearafterthought of the builder. To this ly finished his operations, a tall pretty recess you descended by a single young fellow in a shooting-coat, step from the level of the dining- sullen, loutish, and down-looking, room, and it was lighted by a broad, lounged into the room, and threw Elizabethan oriel window, with a himself into an easy-chair. He did cushioned seat all round, fastened to not bear a single feature of resemthe wall. We went here, naturally blance to the courtly old beau beside passing by the long dining - table, me, yet was his son notwithstand

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