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on foot. Here I entered upon an en the serra, I was again reminded how, tirely different region,
-a dry, open under the most dissimilar circumplain, with scanty vegetation. The most stances, similar features recur everyprominent plants were clusters of cactus where in nature. I came suddenly upand curua palms, a kind of stemless, on a little creek, bordered with the low palm, with broad, elegant leaves usual vegetation of such shallow waterspringing vase-like from the ground. courses, and on its brink stood a sandIn these dry, sandy fields, rising grad- 'piper, which flew away at my approach, ually toward the serra, I observed in uttering its peculiar cry, so like what the deeper gullies formed by the heavy one hears at home that, had I not seen rains the laminated clays which are him, I should have recognized him by everywhere the foundation of the Ama his voice. zonian strata. They here, presented After an hour's walk under the again so much the character of ordinary scorching sun, I was glad to find myclay slates, that I thought I had at last self at the hamlet of Erreré, near the come upon some old geological forma foot of the serra, where I rejoined my tion. Instead of this I only obtained companions. It was already noon, and fresh evidence that, by baking them, they had arrived some time before. the burning sun of the tropics may pro They had, however, waited breakfast duce upon laminated clays of recent for me, to which we all brought a good origin the same effect as plutonic appetite. Breakfast over, we slung our agents have produced upon the ancient hammocks under the trees, and during clays, that is, it may change them into the heat of the day enjoyed the rest metamorphic slates. As I approached which we had so richly earned.
A BUNDLE OF BONES.
ones at that. How Owen must have lay, in disjecta membra, before the gloated over that treasure-trove ! Capastonished eyes of the first learned pala tain Kyd's buried booty would have ontologist who gazed, in wondering de been worse trash to him than Jago's light, on its strange proportions. As it stolen purse, beside this unearthed derears its ungainly form some eighteen posit of an antediluvian age. Its missfeet above us, Madam, you may gathering caudal vertebræ would outweigh some idea of what it was in its native now, in his anatomical scales, all the hidforests, I don't know how many hun- den gains of the whole race of pirates, dreds of thousands of years ago. You past, present, and to come. Think of need not snuggle up to me so, Tommy. those bones with all the original musThe creature is not alive, unless it is en cle upon them! Why, they would outjoying Sydney Smith's idea of comfort, weigh all the worthy members of the and, having taken off its flesh, is airing Boston Society of Natural History toitself in its bones. Megatherium was a gether, unless they are uncommonly very proper name for it, if not a very obese. Where could Noah have stowed common one ; for large animal it was, a pair of such enormous beasts, supposbeyond any dispute, and could scarcely ing that they existed as late as when have been much of a pet with the hu- the ark was launched ? Sloth, indeed ! man beings of old, unless there were I am inclined to think the five or six giants in those days,” and enormous tons of flesh these bones must have car.
ried round might reasonably permit the and wonder to what manner of creature bearer to rank, on a priori reasons, they belonged ? Or that, perched upon among the most confirmed of sluggards, the shelves of some museum in the even if Owen and Agassiz and Wyman year 500000, they may be treasures of had not so decided on strictly scientific, an unknown past to the Owens and anatomical grounds.
Wymans of that day? My dear Madam, does it ever occur to You wish I would not talk so? you, when you wonderingly gaze on the Well, Madam, let us leave this mausostrange relics around this hall, — these leum of the past, and come forth into stony skeletons, these silent remnants of the life of 1866; and let us see whether extinct races, that you are face to face all the disjecta membra of extinct being with rock-buried creatures, who lived are ranged around the walls of this clasand sported and mated, who basked in sic hall, or whether we may not find the sunlight and breathed in the air of something akin near our own snug and this world, hundreds of thousands of comfortable homes. I think I know years before
you were thought of? who some hardened hearts which have ossirested in the shade of the trees which fied around the soft emotions which in made the coal that warms you to-day? earlier years played therein. And, bless who trod the soft mud which now you, Madam, I meet every day, in my builds in solid strength the dwellings down-town walks, some strange animatwhich shelter you? who darted through ed fossils, more repellent than any I ever the deep waters that foamed over a bed beheld in the Natural History cabinet. now raised into snow-capped moun These bear the unfamiliar look which tains ? who frolicked on a shore now belongs to a fabulous age, and rest, piled with miles of massive rock? whose silent and unobtrusive, in their halfbones were petrifactions untold ages be- opened cerements. The others wear a fore the race was born which built the very familiar form, which belongs to Pyramids? Do you really understand our day, yet they are the exponents of how far back into antiquity these grim a dead life which animated the buried fossils bear you ? Can you really con bones of barbarism. The innocent Meceive of Nature, our dear, kind, gentle gatheria and Ichthyosauri crawled and mother, in those early throes of her ma- paddled and died in their day; but ternity which brought forth Megathe- these living fossils have the vital forms ria and Ichthyosauri, — when the “firm of the life above ground, while they bear and rock-built earth” was tilted into within the psychical peculiarities of exmountain ranges, wrinkled by earth- tinct beings. They creep about on the quakes, and ploughed by mighty hills of shores of time with the outward shapes moving ice? And yet in those distant of their fellows, and, when buried in its days, which have left their ripple-marks rising waves, will leave undistinguishand rain-drops in the weighty stone, able remains in their common tomb; there was life, warm, breathing, sen and future explorers will never trace tient life, which, dying, traced its own therein the evanescent peculiarities in epitaph on its massive tomb. Shake- which the two were so unlike. speare, Cæsar, Brahma, Noah, Adam, Bones! Why, the whole earth is a lived but yesterday compared with these big bundle of them. They are not oncreatures, whose stone-bound bones ly in graveyards, where “mossy marwere buried in the sands that drifted bles rest”; they are strewn, “ unknelled, on the shores of this world cent uncoffined, and unknown,” over the before the first man drew into his nos- whole surface of the globe, and lie emtrils the breath of life. Does the thought bosomed in the gulfs of the great, restever occur to you, that, ages hence, some
Who knows what untamed enthusiastic student of nature may puz
savage rests beneath us here? Don't zle his brains over the bones of some start, my dear Madam. such humble individuals as you and I, doubt that, when Tommy plays bo
I have no
peep round the big tree on the Com- he belonged to the Vertebrata, which, mon, he is tripping over the crania of Anglicized, meant backboned creatures. some Indian sachems. Goldsmith's And yet do you know that there are seat, “ for whispering lovers made," crowds of men and women whose framevery likely rested on some venerable, work would puzzle the good Professor, departed Roman; and many a May- with all his learning, - people who are pole has gone plump through the tho- utterly destitute of that same essential rax of some defunct Gaul. If the old
article ? Carry him the first old bone story be true, that, when we shudder, you may find, and, I warrant you, he somebody is walking over our grave, will tell, in a jiffy, to what manner of what a shaking race of beings our re- creature it belonged. But would n't he mote ancestors must have been !
look bewildered upon a cranium and a My dear Madam, down in the green pelvis which perambulated the earth fields, the flowery meadows, the deep without any osseous connection ? Backwoods, the damp swamps of the balmy bone is the grand fulcrum on which huSouth, are there not spread, to-day, in man life moves its inertia. But would grievous numbers, the bones of the no- n't Professor Rogers, facile princeps in ble, true-hearted heroes who went forth physics, rub his nose, and look in wonin their strength and manhood to meet der, to see peripatetic motion induced a patriot's fate? Will not the future without a sign of a fulcrum for the lever tread of those they ransomed be light of life to rest upon ? And yet these and buoyant in the long days of freedom anomalies are plentiful. They are evyet to come? What will they know of erywhere, - in houses, in churches, in the hallowed remains over which they stores, in town, in country, on land, at bound with glowing, happy hearts? sea, in public, in private, - extensive Some little Peterkin may find a bleached sub-orders of mammalian Invertebrata. remnant of their heroism, and the Cas- They crouch and crawl through the par of that day will surely say, “ It was world with pliant length. They wrig. a famous victory." Madam, you and I gle through the knot-holes of fear and would be content to have the children policy,when their stouter-boned brethren of the future gambol above us, if we oppose them. They creep into corners could know their blithesome hearts were and cracks when the giant, Progress, emancipated from thraldom by such de- strides before them, and quake at the posit of our poor bones under the ver- thunder of his tread. They cling, tremdant sod. The stateliest mausoleum of bling, to the old mouldering scaffolding crowned kings, the Pyramids that mark of the past, and look bewildered on the the resting-place of Egypt's ancient broad, rising arches of the new temple rulers, are not so proud a monument of thought. They stand quivering in as the rich, green herbage that springs the blast of opinion. And when Mrs. from the remains of a fallen hero, and Grundy passes by, they back, like herhides the little feet that trip over him, mit-crabs, into the first time-worn old freed by his fall. Let us rejoice, then, shell of precedent they can find, and Madam, that we belong to that nobler hide there, shaking with dread. race, which no curious explorer of the My boy, strengthen well your backfar future will rank with Megatheria bone, that it may bear you upright and and Ichthyosauri, or any of the soulless onward in your career. Walk erect in creatures of past geologic ages.
this world with the stature and aspect Backbone is a most important arti- of a man. Tread forth alone with fearcle, Tommy. Professor Wyman will lessness and conscious power. Bear tell you that backbone is the distinc- up your God-given intelligence with tive characteristic of the highest order unbending pride, that it may look afar of animals on this earth. When your over the broad expanse of nature, and father used to pry into all sorts of gaze with even eye upon the mountainbooks, years ago, he found out that heights of eternal truth. I am using words too big for you? Well, one of they could not know, their dead rethese days you will understand them mains have wakened in the minds of a all, when your little backbone has gath- far nobler race, which was not born ered more lime.
when they lay down and died. Bone has done some remarkable When travellers over far-reaching things in this world. There was that deserts are lost in the great waste that little feat of Samson, in which he flour- shows no friendly, guiding sign, they ished the grinding apparatus of a de- sometimes find, half buried in the shiftfunct donkey. It has always seemed ing sands, the bleaching bones of some to me, Madam, that that same jaw-bone poor creature which has fainted and must have been either prodigiously fallen, left to its fate by the companions strong and tough, or else the Philis- of its journey. Then, taking heart, tine crania must have been of very they cheerier move along, secure in the chartaceous texture. There are the forgotten path these silent relics show. bones of the eleven thousand virginsThus over life's drear desert do we - the remains of ancient * virtue, and move, seeking the path that leads us loveliness, and faith. Though, if all on direct, and often guided in our wanthe stories of travelled anatomists be dering way by the chance sight of lost true, there must have been some vir- and fallen ones, whose sad remains our gin heifers among them; for many of errant footsteps cross. Not always clad them are certainly of bovine, and not in soft, warm, beating life do our bones human, origin.
perform their noblest purpose. BeauAnd then, Madam, do not the poor ty may lure to ruin, but, the witching bones which have been strewn, for charm removed, decay may waken soages, over the rolling earth, play some- ber thought and high resolve. Poor times a nobler part in their decay than Yorick might have set King Hamlet's in their prime? The incrusted frag- table in a roar and been forgot, if, from ments, carefully treasured up in halls of his unknown grave, the sexton had not science, reveal to the broadening intel- brought him forth, to teach an unborn ligence of man the story of earth in its age philosophy. young days of mighty struggle, and tell My dear Madam, I am really getting of the sandy shores, the rolling waters, too serious, philosophic, and melanthe waving woods of a primeval time. cholic. I had no idea, when I asked Turning back the stony tablets time you down to the Natural History Sohas firmly bound, he views upon their ciety rooms to see the great Megathewrinkled sides its nature-printed fig. rium, that I was either to bury or reures, - relics that have there remained, suscitate you in imagination. But I locked in the rocky sepulchre, built of must have my moral, if I draw it from crumbling mountains, washed and worn such a lean text as crumbling bones. by tides that ebbed and Aowed a mil- Let us hope that what we leave behind lion years ago. Now, opened to the us, when our journey over the drear eye of human thought, their crumbling expanse of mortal life shall cease, may forms bring tidings of a distant, won- serve to guide some future wanderer in drous past, when they were all in all the devious way, and lead him to the o sentient life on earth. The thought bright oasis of eternal life and rest.
AN EXGLISHMAN IN NORMANDY.
commonplace thing; and mine about Caen approach more nearly to was not even a tour in Normandy. In the flatness, monotony, and dreary treethe six weeks which I spent there, I lessness of ordinary French and Gerdid not see as many sights as an or- man scenery. The air is pure and dinary English tourist sees in ten bracing, - especially in the little towns days, or an American, perhaps, in five. built on old castled heights. Why do Going abroad in need of rest, I ram- we not always build our towns, when bled slowly about, sojourning at each we can, on heights, in what Shakeplace as long as I found it agreeable, speare calls nimble and sweet air ? then moving on to another, avoiding The Norman towns are full of grand the railroads, the tyranny of the time- old churches, old castles, historic memtable, the flurry of packing up every ories, shadows of the past. In these, morning. My time was divided be- where I spent most of my holiday, there tween some seven or eight places; are no garrisons, no Zouaves, no fanand I stayed longest where there was fares, no signs of the presence of the least, according to the guide-books, to empire, except occasionally the abode be seen.
of a sous-préfet. The province retains Travelling in this way, you at all a good deal of its old character. In the events see something of the people ; great towns, such as Rouen and Caen, that is, if you will live among them and the people are French ; but in the counfall in with their ways.
try they are Normans still. The French Normandy - at least the sequestered are sensible of the difference, and do part of it in which most of my time was the Normans the honor (as, if I were a passed — is a good country for a trav- Norman, I should think it) of acknowleller minded as I was. The scenery is edging it by habitual flouts and sneers not grand. It does not exact the high- at the “heavy” race who inhabit “ the est admiration; but it is, perhaps, not land of cider.” on that account the less suitable for the If you do not mind outward appearpurpose of those who seek repose. The ances, - if you have the resolution to country is very like the most rich and penetrate beyond a very dirty entrance, beautiful parts of England. Its lanes perhaps through the kitchen, into the and hedge-rows are indeed so thor- rooms within, — you may make youroughly English, as to suggest that it self extremely comfortable in a little was laid out under influences similar Norman inn. You have only to beto those which determined the aspect have to your landlord and landlady as of the country in England, and unlike a guest, not as a customer, and you those which determined it in other will find yourself treated with the utparts of France. It is well wooded ; most civility and kindness. You will and as the trees stand not in masses, get a large, airy room, not so tidy as an but in lines along the hedge-rows, you English room, but with a better bed, see distinctly the form of each tree. and excellent fare, beginning with a This is one of its characteristic fea- delicious cup of café au lait in the eartures. The number of poplars inter- ly morning, – that is, if you choose to spersed with the trees of rounder out- breakfast and dine at the table d'hôte; line is another, and very grateful to the for, if, like many English travellers, you eye. The general greenness rivals that insist on living in English privacy, and of England. The valleys are wide, and taking your meals at English hours, the views from the hill-tops very ex- all the resources of the little estabtensive. I am speaking chiefly of the lishment being expended on the public