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William, his case was not singular. It may be found in the expérience of multitudes. Who of you cannot recognize in him the prominent features of some wellremembered acquaintance or friend? May I not go farther, and ask, who of you cannot discern in him some traits of your own character, and some events of your own history? Let me caution you to beware of what the world terms happiness; and above all, beware of flattery, as the most poisonous of all draughts. It is a potion, which multitudes, like William, have found to contain the seeds of dissipation, disease, and death. Let your lives be spent in the sober pursuits of knowledge, virtue, and piety. Then you will escape the terrors of William's death-bed. Then you may expect to lay your heads down calmly in the grave, and to sleep quietly through the night of death; and, on the moroing of the resurrection, you will rise to behold the splendors of immortal day.
The corals themselves, as far as we can undertake to describe them, may be understood generally from the descriptions aud figures which we have given; but they are objects wbich, from their beauty and singularity, are well known even to those who have never paid any attention to natural history. We need not describe all the species which are engaged in these operations, nor, indeed, are they all known, any more than the economy of each individual. It will be sufficient for our purpose to give a general notion of any one, as the general habits, forms, and actions of the whole are fundamentally the same, however the external appearance of their produce or habitation may differ.
It appears that each coral, whatever it be, is a solid calcareous structure, somewhat resembling a vegetable in the general progress and increase of its parts, inhabIted by numerous similar animals, which are precisely the same for each individual coral, but different in the different species. Each of these corals. may thus be
conceived to form a colony, and the inhabitants are disposed in minute cells, where they reside and carry on the operation of extending their habitations. In these operations, however independently each seems to act in the production of its own cell, or in the extension of its own immediate neighbourhood, the whole are regulated by some common mysterious principle, by which they all concur towards the production of a structure thai would rather seem to have been directed by one mind. Now nothing very analogous to this takes place in the animal creation, except in the case of the gregarious insects that form a common habitation for breeding ; such as the bees and the ants. In these there is a possibility of personal communication; and that there is such, is proved by the accurate researches of many naturalits. No such communication can take place among the coral animals, because each is fixed and rooted in its cell, of which it forms a part. It may
be considered, indeed, that the whole of the colony are parts of the structure which they inhabit, just as flowers are of a plant.
To take the inhabitant of the madrepore as an example of the animal itself, it may be considered as formed of three parts, the shell, the head, a centre, and the feet or hands. The latter are very numerous, and are divided, or split at the extremities, while they surround the body of the animal in the form of a circle. Each of these feet or hands embraces a lamella of the star of the madrepore, so that they serve both for the construction of the cell, and for fixing the animal in it. The pedicle, or single part of the hand, appears to be a muscular body, and is fixed in a cylindrical tube, which is properly the body of the animal. Within this is a stellated body, which is supposed to be the head, quick in its motions ; while the rays seem to be the tentacula by which it feeds itself.
Nearly all the islands that lie on the south of the equator, between New Holland and the western coast of America, derive either the whole, or a great part of their structure, from these animals. The whole of that sea, and, indeed, of some others, abounds in coral rocks
and reefs, which are in a state of daily and rapid increase, and which are probably destined, at some future day, to elevate themselves to the level of the water; to become the seats of vegetation, in process of time the habitations of man; and ultimately, perhaps, to produce scarcely less than a continent in this extensive ocean.
Among other places, these reefs abound particularly between New Holland, New Caledonia, and New Gui. nea; and they are well known to exist in great abundance in the seas of the Indian Archipelago, as at Chagos, Juan de Nova, Cosmoledo, Assumption, Cocos, Amirante, and the Laccadive and Maldive islands. They are also numerous on the east side of the Gulf of Florida, and it is well known that they form a daily increase ing impediment to the navigation of the Red Sea.
The extent of these reels and islands is an object of great curiosity and surprise, when we consider the apparent feebleness of the means by which they are produced, and the minuteness of the agents. An instance or two of this will suffice for our present purpose. . One of the Tonga islands, the Tongataboo of Cook, is an irregular oval of twenty leagues in circumference, while its elevation above the level of the water reaches to ten feet. The soundings from which the thickness of this bed of rock might be estimated have not been given, but they are known to be deep in all this sea, and may safely be taken at not less than a hundred fathoms, so that the whole forms what may be considered an enormous stratum of organic limestone. But the largest which appears to have been ascertained, is the great reef on the east coast of New Holland, which extends unbroken for a length of three hundred and fifty miles; forming, together with others that are more or less separated from it and from each other, a nearly continuous line of one thousand miles or more in length, with a breadth varying from twenty to fifty miles. Before such a mountain of limestone as this, even the Apennine shrinks in comparison; and that such a mass should have been produced by such insignificant means, is a just subject of admiration to philosophical minds, and of wonder to those which have not considered the indefinite powers of units in endless addition,
NATURAL HISTORY: THE STORK-AN EXTRACT.
The white stork is of gentle manners, easily tamed, and manifests a sense of cleanliness, secreting its ordure in some sequestered corner. Although it has a pensive and even melancholy air, it occasionally indulges in gaiety and pastime, associating even with children, and partaking of their amusements. 66 I saw in a garden," says Dr. Hermann, “ in which the children were playing at hide-and-seek, a tame stork join in the party, run its turn when touched, and distinguish the child who was to pursue the rest so well, as along with the others to be on its guard.” Among the engaging attributes of these birds have been justly reckoned gratitude, conjugal fidelity, and filial and parental affection. They seem, in fact, to be very sensible of kind treatment, saluting, with a noisy flapping of their wings, the houses whose inmates had given them a friendly reception during the preceding season, and repeating the same ceremony on taking leave.
With wonderful constancy, the same pair return to the same haunts, and join in mutual and fond caresses after their long voyage. The tender affection which the stork manifests towards her young has been proverbial, even from remote autiquity. She feeds them for a very considerable period, nor quits them till they are strong enough to defend themselves, and to provide for their own subsistence. When they begin to flutter about the nest, she bears them on her wings and protects them from danger; and she has been known rather to perish along with them than abandon them to their fate, an affecting instance of which was exhibited in the town of Delf, in 1636, when a fire broke out in a house that had a stork's nest on it, containing young ones that were then unable to fly The old stork, returning with some meat for them, and seeing the danger to which they were exposed, the fire having almost reached the nest, made several attempts to save them, but finding all in vain, she at last spread her wings over them, and, in that endearing attitude, expired with them in the flames. Young storks, on the Contrary, have often beep observed to lavish the most
affectionate and assiduous cares on their aged and infirm parents; and the ancient Greeks, observant of this striking instinct, enacted a law, to compel children to support the authors of their existence, and the guardians of their infant years.
The stork is capable of sustaining a lofty flight, and of performing long journeys, even in tempestuous weather. When on the wing, it pushes its head straight forward, with the feet extending backward. It returns to Alsace about the end of February, to Switzerland in the course of March, and to Germany early in May; but it rarely visits England. If a pair, on their return, find their former nest deranged or demolished, they repair it with sticks, rushes, and other plants that grow in moist situations. It is usually placed on high roofs, the battlements of towers, and sometimes on the tops of tall trees, on the brink of streams, or on the projection of a precipitous rock. In France, it was formerly customary to lay wheels on the roofs of houses, to induce them to build on them, a practice which still subsists in some places. In Holland, boxes are placed on the roofs of houses for the same purpose. The hatch consists of two, three, or four
eggs, of a yellowish sordid white, longer than those of the goose, but not so thick. The male sits on them when the female is abroad for food. make their appearance in the course of a month, when the parents diligently search and carry to them the requisite aliment, which they disgorge from their gullet or stomach. Both of them never leave their charge at once, but, whilst one is foraging, the other keeps watch, standing on one leg, and its eyes fixed on its offspring The young are, at tirst, covered with a brown down, and drag themselves, in the nest, on their knees, their legs being too weak to support them. As their wings grow and acquire strength, the mother aids and trains them in their attempts to fly. At Bagdad, hundreds of the nests are to be seen about the houses, walls, and trees; and among the ruins of Persepolis, every pillar has its nest. The stork rests and sleeps on one leg, with its head bent backwards on its shoulders, in which attitude it frequently fixes its eye on the reptile which it singles