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feared to look at lest she should something, or try what she can do for be offended, smiled approvingly; Louis," said Mamma; she did not patted the shoulder of Agnes as she think how impossible it would be to passed her, left "her love for the do anything for Louis, until Louis other poor child," and went away. graciously accepted the service; nor Mrs. Atheling looked after her with indeed, that the only thing the young a not unnatural degree of compla- man could do under his circumstancency. "Now, I think it very likely ces was to trust to his own exertions indeed that she will either leave them solely, and seek service from none.
CHAPTER XXXV.-A GREAT DISCOVERY.
The visit of Miss Rivers was an early one, some time before their midday dinner; and the day went on quietly after its usual fashion, and fell into the stillness of a sunny after noon, which looked like a reminiscence of midsummer among these early October days. Mrs. Atheling sat in her big chair, knitting, with a little drowsiness, a little stockingthough this was a branch of art in which Hannah was found to excel, and had begged her mistress to leave to her. Agnes sat at the table with her blotting-book, busy with her special business; Charlie was writing out a careful copy of the old deed. The door was open, and Bell and Beau, under the happy charge of Rachel, ran back and forwards, out and in, from the parlour to the garden, not omitting now and then a visit to the kitchen, where Hannah, covered all over with her white bib and apron, was making cakes for tea. Their merry childish voices and prattling feet gave no disturbance to the busy people in the parlour; neither did the light fairy step of Rachel, nor even the songs she sang to them in her wonderful voice they were all so well accustomed to its music now. Marian and Louis, who did not like to lose sight of each other in these last days, were out wandering about the fields, or in the wood, thinking of little in the world except each other, and that great uncertain future which Louis penetrated with his fiery glances, and of which Marian wept and smiled to hear. Mamma sitting at the window, between the pauses of her knitting and the breaks of her gentle drowsiness, looked out for them with a
trouble," was nearest of all at that moment to her mother's heart.
When suddenly a violent sound of wheels from the high-road broke in upon the stillness, then a loud voice calling to horses, and then a dull plunge and heavy roll. Mrs. Atheling lifted her startled eyes, drowsy no longer, to see what was the matter, just in time to behold, what shook the little house like the shock of a small earthquake, Miss Anastasia's two grey horses, trembling with unusual exertion, draw up with a bound and commotion at the little gate.
And before the good mother could rise to her feet, wondering what could be the cause of this second visit, Miss Rivers herself sprang out of the carriage, and came into the house like a wind, almost stumbling over Rachel, and nearly upsetting Bell and Beau. She did not say a word to either mother or daughter, she only came to the threshold of the parlour, waved her hand imperiously, and cried, "Young Atheling, I want you!
Charlie was not given to rapid movements, but there was no misunderstanding the extreme emotion of this old lady. The big boy got up at once and followed her, for she went out again immediately. Then Mrs. Atheling, sitting at the window in amaze, saw her son and Miss Anastasia stand together in the garden, conversing with great earnestness. She showed him a book, which Charlie at first did not seem to understand, to the great impatience of his companion. Mrs. Atheling drew back troubled, and in the most utter astonishment-what could it mean?
little tender anxiety. Marian, the "Young Atheling," Atheling," said Miss only one of her children who was "in Anastasia abruptly, "I want you to
give up this business of your father's immediately, and set off to Italy on mine. I have made a discovery of the most terrible importance: though you are only a boy, I can trust you. Do you hear me?-it is to bring to his inheritance my father's son !"
Charlie looked up in her face astonished, and without comprehension. "My father's business is of importance to us," he said, with a momentary sullenness.
"So it is; my own man of business shall undertake it; but I want an agent, secret and sure, who is not like to be suspected," said Miss Anastasia. "Young Atheling, look here !"
Charlie looked, but not with enthusiasm. The book she handed him was an old diary of the most commonplace description, each page divided with red lines into compartments for three days, with printed headings for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and so on, and columns for money. The wind fluttered the leaves, so that the only entry visible to Charlie was one relating to some purchase, which he read aloud, bewildered and wandering. Miss Anastasia, who was extremely moved and excited, looked furious, and as if she was almost tempted to administer personal chastisement to the blunderer. She turned over the fluttered leaves with an impetuous gesture. "Look here," she said, pointing to the words with her imperative finger, and reading them aloud in a low, restrained, but most emphatic voice. The entry was in the same hand, duly dated under the red line-" Twins-one boy-and Giulietta safe. Thank God. My sweet young wife."
directions. I will make your fortune, boy; you shall be the richest pettifogger in Christendom. Do you hear me, young Atheling-do you hear me! He is the true Lord Winterbourne - he is my father's lawful son!"
"Now go-fly!" cried Miss Anastasia, "find out their birthday, and then come to me for money and
To say that Charlie was not stunned by this sudden suggestion, or that there was no answer of young and generous enthusiasm, as well as of professional eagerness in his mind, to the address of Miss Rivers, would have been to do him less than justice. "Is it Italy?—I don't know a word of Italian," cried Charlie. "Never mind, I'll go to-morrow. I can learn it on the way."
The old lady grasped the boy's rough hand, and stepped again into her carriage. "Let it be to-morrow," she said, speaking very low; "tell your mother, but no one else, and do not, for any consideration, let it come to the ears of Louis-Louis, my father's boy!-But I will not see him, Charlie; fly, boy, as if you had wings!-till you come home. I will meet you to-morrow at Mr. Temple's office-you know where that is-at twelve o'clock. Be ready to go immediately and tell your mother to mention it to no creature till I see her again."
Saying which, Miss Rivers turned her ponies, Charlie hurried into the house, and his mother sat gazing out of the window, with the most blank and utter astonishment. Miss Anastasia had not a glance to spare for the watcher, and took no time to pull her rose from the porch. She drove home again at full speed, solacing her impatience with the haste of her progress, and repeating, under her breath, again and again, the same words. "One boy - and Giulietta safe. My sweet young wife !"
NEW FACTS AND OLD FANCIES ABOUT SEA ANEMONES.
SINCE the British mind was all sioned this sudden enthusiasm for alive and trembling with that zoolo- anemones; lovely, indeed, but by no gical fervour which the appearance of means the most lovely, and certainly the hippopotamus in Regent's Park not the most interesting wonders of excited for many months, no animal the deep. Mr. Gosse by his pleasant has touched it to such fine issues books, and Mr. Mitchell by his tanks and such exuberant enthusiasm as in the Regent's Park Zoological the lovely sea-anemone, now the or- Gardens, have mainly contributed to nament of countless drawing-rooms, the diffusion of the enthusiasm ; and studies, and back parlours, and the now that enterprise has made a delight of unnumbered amateurs. commercial branch of it, we may In glass-tanks, and elegant vases of consider the taste established, for at various device, in finger-glasses, and least some years. One good result of common tumblers, the lovely creature this diffusion will be an extension of may be seen expanding its coronal of our knowledge, not only of this, tentacles, on mimic rocks, amid mimic but of many other of the simpler forests of algae, in mimic oceans of animals. For many years the writpump-water and certain mixtures of ings of zoologists have given a place chlorides and carbonates, regulated to observations on the anemones; by a "specific gravity test." Fairy but the observations have been infingers minister to its wants, remov- complete, and all hand-books and ing dirt and slime from its body, treatises which repeat these observafeeding it with bits of limpet or raw tion are, very naturally, crowded beef; fingers, not of fairies, pull it with errors. To give the reader an about with the remorseless curiosity of idea of the state of current opinion science, and experiment on it, accord- on this one topic, it is enough to ing to the suggestion of the moment. mention that on the_second_page At once pet, ornament, and "sub- devoted by Professor Rymer Jones* ject for dissection," the sea anemone to a description of the habits of the has a well-established popularity in anemone, there are six distinct erthe British family circle; having the rors: yet this is no fault of his; he advantage over the hippopotamus of states what all preceding writers being somewhat less expensive, and state, and his excellent summary of less troublesome, to keep. Were sea- what is known bears the date of cows as plentiful as anemones, one 1855. If the habits have been so could not make pets of them with imperfectly observed, you may guess the same comfort. There would be what a chaos the anatomy and objections to Potty in the drawing- physiology of this animal present. room. There would be embarrass- Such being the state of the case, we ments in the commissariat. There may hope that the wide diffusion of a would be insurgents among the taste for vivaria will in a little while domestics; for the best tempered furnish Science with ample material; Betty might find it impossible "to and meanwhile, as many of Maga's stand" the presence of such a pet, loving readers are possessors of and resolutely refuse to bring up his vivaria, actual or potential, and will water, and clean out his crib; where- certainly not content themselves with as, although the red-armed Betty blank wonderment, but will do their thinks you a little cracked when you utmost to rightly understand the introduce "them worm things" into anemones, even if they make no your house, she keeps her opinions wider incursions on the domains of within the circle of the kitchen, and the zoologist, I may hope they will consents to receive her wages with- be interested if I group together the out a murmur. results of investigations, pursued at Ilfracombe and Tenby during last
It is difficult to say what
*General Outline of the Animal Kingdom, p. 66.
summer, and, with less energy, fines of the animal and vegetable because with less prodigality of kingdoms, when all the while specimens, during the autumn and Nature knows of no such demarcatwinter at home. In the present ing lines. The Animal does not state of knowledge, the independent exist; nor does the Vegetable: both observations of every one who has are abstractions, general terms, such had any experience cannot but be as Virtue, Goodness, Colour, used to welcome. designate certain groups of partiIt must be assumed at starting culars, but having only a mental that the reader knows what a Sea existence. Who has been fortunate Anemone is, in aspect at least. No enough to see the Animal? We description will avail, in default of have seen cows, cats, jackasses, and direct observation; even pictures so camelopards; but the "rare monster" admirable as those in Mr. Tugwell's Animal is visible in no menagerie. charming little book,* only give an If you are tempted to call this metaapproximate idea; while to those physical trifling, I beg you to read who have seen neither picture nor the discussions published on the animal it will be of little use to de- vegetable or animal nature of Diatoclare that the "Actinia is a fleshy maceæ, Volvocinæ, &c., or to attend cylinder, attached by one extremity to what is said in any text-book on to a rock, while the free end is sur- the distinctions between animals and mounted by numerous tentacula vegetables, and you will then see arranged in several rows, which, there is something more than metawhen expanded, give the animal the phisics in my paradox. In the appearance of a flower." Assuming simpler organisms there is no mark then that you know the general which can absolutely distinguish the aspect of the Actinia, you may follow animal from the vegetable; and if my description of the animal's bear- in the higher organisms a greater ing and habits. How do I know that amount of characteristic differences it is an animal, and not a flower, may be traced, so that we may, for which it so much resembles ? Well, purposes of convenience, consider a to be perfectly candid, I do not certain group of indications as enknow it. Nobody does. No one titling the object to be classed under yet has been able to distinguish, in the Animal division, we must never the face of severe critical preci- forget that such classifications are sion, between the animal and plant- purely arbitrary, and as the philosoorganisation, so as to be able authori- phers say-subjective. tatively to say, "This is exclusively Now what are the characteristic animal." To distinguish a cow from marks of the Sea Anemone, which a cucumber requires, indeed, no pro- entitle it to be removed from the found inauguration into biological hands of the botanist, and placed in mysteries; we can "venture fearlessly those of the zoologist? Rymer Jones to assert" (with that utterly uncalled- assures us, that its animal nature "is for temerity exhibited by bad writers soon rendered evident," and he thinks in cases when no peril whatever is this evidence is the manifestation of hanging over the assertion) that the sensibility. "A cloud veiling the cow and cucumber are not allied- sun will cause their tentacles to fold no common parentage links them to- as though apprehensive of danger gether, even through remote relation- from the passing shadows." Unship; but to say what is an animal, happily, the fact alleged is a pure presupposes a knowledge of what fiction; and, were it true, would not is essentially and exclusively ani- distinguish the Actinia from those mal; and this knowledge unhappily plants which close their petals when has never yet been reached. Much the sun goes down. A fiction, howhot, and not wise, discussion has ever, it is, as any one may verify. occupied the hours of philosophers in If Actiniæ have been seen to fold up trying to map out the distinct con- their tentacles when a cloud has
* A Manual of the Sea Anemones commonly found on the English Coast. By the Rev. GEORGE TUGWELL.
passed before the sun, this has been much in the same way as plants a coincidence, not a causal relation; assimilate the organic material difso far from light being the necessary fused through the soil and atmoscondition of their expansion, they are phere. Filter the water carefully, in perfect expansion in the darkness; and remove from it all growing vegeand if the venturous naturalist will tation, and you will find the animal imitate Mr. Tugwell, and, with the fasting, but speedily dying, however solemn chimes of midnight as accom- freely oxygen may be supplied. It paniment, take his lantern on the is on this account that when we rocks, he will find all the Anemones make artificial sea-water, it is nein full blossom. Then again, al- cessary to allow alge to grow in it though the Anemone entraps its prey, for some two or three weeks before or anything else that may come in putting in the animals; by which time contact with it tentacles, this is no the water has become charged with proof of animality, for the sensitive organic material. plant, known as the Flytrap of Venus (Dionaa muscipula), has a precisely analogous power; any insect, touching the sensitive hairs on the surface of its leaf, instantly causes the leaf to shut up and enclose the insect, as in a trap; nor is this all: a mucilaginous secretion acts like a gastric juice on the captive, digests it, and renders it assimilable by the plant, which thus feeds on the victim, as the Actinia feeds on the annelid or crustacean it may entrap. Where, then, is the difference? Neither seeks its food place the food within a line's breadth of the tentacles, or sensitive hairs, and so long as actual contact is avoided, the grasping of > the food will not take place. But you object, perhaps, that this mode of feeding is normal with the Actinia, exceptional with the Flytrap. The plant, you say, is nourished by the earth and air, the animal depends on what it can secure. I must contradict you; indeed I must, although with the profoundest respect. For granting what, in fact, I sturdily dispute that the Flytrap is in no way dependent upon such insect food as may fall into its clutch, we shall still observe the Actinia in similar independence. Keep the water free from all visible food, and the Actinia continue to flourish and propagate just as if they daily clutched an unhappy worm. The fact is well known, and is currently, but erroneously, adduced as illustration of the animal's power of fasting. But there is no fasting in the matter. In this water free from visible aliment there is abundance of invisible aliment, infusoria, spores, organic particles, &c., which the animal assimilates,
Mere sensibility and capture of food, therefore, are not the distinguishing marks we seek, since the plant is found to possess them as perfectly as the animal. Is spontaneous locomotion a sufficient mark? No; and for these two reasons: Some animals have no such power; some plants, and all spores, have it. There are animals which no botanist has ever claimed the Ascidians, for example, which can scarcely be said to exhibit any motion at all (the rhythmic contraction and expansion of their orifices not deserving the name,) while their whole lives are spent rooted to the rock or shell, as firmly as the plant is rooted in the earth. Nay, even with regard to the anemones, it is said by Dr. Landsborough, Dr. Carpenter, and others, that they will not move towards the water, should the vessel be gradually emptied, or the water evaporate, not even if their tentacles can reach its surface. This is incorrect; but I mention it as one of the difficulties which would meet the student in the way of distinguishing the anemone from plants. It is one of the many inaccurate statements, grounded on imperfect observation, which are repeated in hand-books. The original observer probably noticed an anemone some time out of the water, making no effort to return; had the observation been continued, the doubt would have been solved. Some anemones, especially the common smooth species (Mesembryanthemum) are accustomed daily to be left out of water by the receding tide, so that in captivity they may be supposed rather to enjoy an occasional air-bath. I have repeatedly seen mine crawl out of the water,