« AnteriorContinuar »
buried it to a considerable depth with the fiery materials thrown from the crater. Day was turned to night," says a classic author, "and night into darkness; an inexpressible quantity of dust and ashes was poured out, deluging land, sea, and air, and burying two entire cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, whilst the people were sitting in the theatre.”
POMPEII - APARTMENT IN "THE HOUSE OF THE HUNTER.”
Many parts of Pompeii have, at various times, been excavated, so as to allow visitors to examine the houses and streets; and in February, 1846, the house of the Hunter was finally cleared, as it appears in the Engraving.
This is an interesting dwelling, and was very likely the residence of a man of wealth, fond of the chase. A painting on the right occupies one side of the large room, and here are represented wild animals, the lion chasing a bull, he. The upper part of the house is raised, where stands a gaily
painted column —red and yellow in festoons; behind which, and over a doorway, is a fresco painting of a summerhouse, perhaps a representation of some countryseat of the proprietor: on either side are huntinghorns. The most beautiful painting in this
room represents a Vul
can at his forge, PORTABLE KITCHEN, FOUND AT POMPEII.
assisted by three
dusky, naked figures. In the niche of the outward room a small statue was found, in terra cotta (baked clay). The architecture of this house is singularly rich in decoration, and the paintings, particularly those of the birds and vases, very bright and vivid.
At this time, too, some very perfect skeletons were discovered in a house near the theatre, and near the hand of one of them were found thirtyseven pieces of silver and two gold coins ; some of the former were attached to the handle of a key. The unhappy beings who here perished may have been the inmates of the dwelling. We know, from the account written by Pliny, that the young and active had plenty of time for escape, and this is the reason why so few skeletons have been found in Pompeii.
In a place excavated at the expense of the Empress of Russia was found a portable kitchen (represented above), made of iron, with two round holes for boiling pots. The tabular top received the fire for placing other utensils upon, and by a handle in the front it could be moved when necessary
THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOWWORM.
A Nightingale that all day long
A something shining in the dark,
with music, I with light,
THE INVISIBLE WORLD REVEALED BY THE
A Fact not less startling than would be the realisation of the imaginings of Shakespeare and of Milton, or of the speculations of Locke and of Bacon, admits of easy demonstration, namely, that the air, the earth, and the waters teem with numberless myriads of creatures, which are as unknown and as unapproachable to the great mass of mankind, as are the inhabitants of another planet. It may, indeed, be questioned, whether, if the telescope could bring within the reach of our observation the living things that dwell in the worlds around us, life would be there displayed in forms more diversified, in organisms more marvellous, under conditions more unlike those in which animal existence appears to our unassisted senses, than may be discovered in the leaves of every forest, in the flowers of every garden, and in the waters of every rivulet, by that noblest instrument of natural philosophy, the Microscope.
To an intelligent person, who has previously obtained ageneral
A The body ani head of the larTa (magnlfied). idea of the nature of the objects spiratory apparatus, situated in the tall, o Natural size.
B The re
about to be submitted to his inspection, a group of living animalcules, seen under a powerful microscope for the first time, presents a scene of extraordinary interest, and never fails to call forth an expression of amazement and admiration. This statement admits of an easy illustration : for example, from some water containing aquatic plants, collected from a pond on Clapham Common, I select a small twig, to which are attached a few delicate flakes, apparently of slime or jelly; some minute fibres, standing erect here and there on the twig, are also dimly visible to the naked eye. This twig, with a drop or two of the water, we will put between two thin plates of glass, and place under the field of view of a microscope, having lenses that magnify the image of an object 200 times in linear dimensions.
Upon looking through the instrument, we find the fluid swarming with animals of various shapes and magnitudes. Some are darting through the water with great rapidity, while others are pursuing and devouring creatures more infinitesimal than themselves. Many are attached to the twig by long delicate threads, several have their bodies inclosed in a transparent tube, from one end of which the animal partly protrudes and then recedes, while others are covered by an elegant shell or case. The minutest kinds, many of which are so small that millions might be contained in a single drop of water, appear like mere animated globules, free, single, and of various colours, sporting about in every
direction. Numerous species resemble pearly or opaline cups or vases, fringed round the margin with delicate fibres, that are in constant oscillation. Some of these are attached by spiral tendrils ; others are united by a slender stem to one common trunk, appearing like a bunch of hare-bells ; others are of a globular form, and grouped together in a definite pattern, on a tabular or spherical membranous case, for a certain period of their existence, and ultimately become detached and locomotive, while many are permanently clustered together, and die if separated from the parent mass. They have no organs of
progressive motion, similar to those of beasts, birds, or fishes; and though many species are destitute of eyes, yet all possess an accurate perception of the presence of other bodies, and pursue and capture their prey with unerring purpose.
MantelVs Thoughts on Animalcules.
HAIR, GKEATLY MAGNIFIED.
THE CANARY. This bird, which is now kept and reared throughout the whole of Europe, and even in Russia and Siberia, on account of its pretty form, docility, and sweet song, is a native of the Canary Isles. On the banks of small streams, in the pleasant valleys of those lovely islands, it builds its nest in the branches of the orange-trees, of which it is so fond, that even in this country the bird has been known to find its way into the greenhouse, and select the fork of one of the branches of an orange-tree on which to build its nest, seeming to be pleased with the sweet perfume of the blossoms.
The bird has been known in Europe since the beginning of the sixteenth century, when a ship, having a large number of canaries on board destined for Leghorn, was wrecked on the coast of Italy. The birds having regained their liberty, flew to the nearest land, which happened to be the island of Elba, where they found so mild a climate that they built their nests there and became very numerous. But the desire to possess such beautiful songsters led to their being hunted after, until the whole wild