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the coast of Nova Scotia, for it is given their nippers. Further, this escaping of on his authority that he once witnessed the conquered from the fisherman's a terrible battle between two armies of pots helps us to realize that lobsters are lobsters, and that they fought with not the stupid creatures some would such fury that the shore was strewn have us believe. Evidently they know with their claws.

all the conditions of the trap man has If in the pursuit of food only these so skilfully made for their capture, and bitter battles are fought by these crea- how to get in and out of it when it tures, we can imagine the nature of suits their purpose; and also that their some combats when the females are to being ensnared by him comes from an the front and the most beautiful undesigned act of theirs, viz., by lifting claimed by the conquerors.

what appeared to them to be the sea. It seldom happens that in these food bottom and themselves gently to the fights one lobster actually kills another. surface by a string, a fact of which No fisherman in this neighborhood has they had no conception, for what lobever seen death on these lines; the loss ster could imagine that what appeared of a limb being the extent of the injury to be the foundations of the great deep done to the defeated. Is it possible there could be so quietly moved ? Again, can be such ideas as those of order and another fact connected with their fighthonor among lobsters, and that in this ing habits presents itself to us. I refer strife for sustenance there is to be no to the statement that our fishermen biting or striking below the head or have never known one of these creaclaws; and that the marvellous facility tures attempt to taste the fresh sweet they have of healing a wound in an arm of a defeated foe, which clearly instant, by casting off the limb at the shows that lobsters have no cannibal last joint and throwing a film or cica- propensities. trix over the wound, thus preventing I will now consider the acts of mimicbleeding and further injury to the crea- ry in lobsters. Their enemies are all ture,' is known to the race and is acted the skates, congers and larger cuttles, upon in these contentions; while strik. with possibly the great crab. The ing below the head and fighting to the former violently hunt for them amongst death is only allowed in their more the rocks, and with their ong fierce and violent life battles, when quickly turn them out of the crevices they are contending, perhaps, for the and often swallow them whole. best home caverns and the society of The Octopus vulgaris hunts them in the best females? That this is the case like manner; and with its spider-like seems probable from the fact that arms and strong suckers will drag them when first brought face to face with out from any fissure; and, when hunger that rare monster, Man, they are des- presses, it has been known to force perate, and will instantly kill each itself between the rods or the strong other other to escape from his presence wicker stores of the fisherman, and de. and power; so much so that he has to vour them without mercy. tie their claws, or cut the higher ten- To evade these the lobsters can-acdon, which prevents them from opening cording to the grounds they are onassume all the colors shading between spiders were weak and shaky on their a dark blue, through brown, to a whit- legs, but really it is not so. They are ish cream-color, mostly by a mott!!pg well adapted for climbing up the long process; and as in deep water the bot- stems of the laminarian sea-weeds and tom is much spotted in some places running over and foraging among their with quantities of dead-white sea-shells tangled leaves. and cream-colored corallines, the util- Even the fisherman's net is often used ity of these colors in this form, in the in the same manner when hanging from lobster, is apparent, as it puts them in the boat to the sea-bottom; for, when harmony with the above conditions. seeking or leaving food they will run Near the shore the umbrageous, palm- over it as easily as a mason will his like laminarian forests cover the dark, ladder, or a spider its web. rocky bottom; under this shade at mid- And when it comes to the getting of day it is only twilight, and in the cav- the fish from the net, they are the most erns and caves it has the darkness of violent of all the crabs; for with these night; here in the day their dark-blue apparently weak nippers, they will color beautifully blends with their sur- cleave the net as clean as though it roundings; and in the night we are cer- were cut with scissors, and carry away tain they are safe from the eyes of their portions of it with their stolen food. pursuers.


7 The

of any

& See White's British Crustacea, p. 103.

least prick through the shell crustacean will cause it to bleed to death quickly. I have often seen this happening without the creature knowing it, so slight was the wound. Seeing death approaching it so stealthily, I have sometimes frightened the creature by dart

Ing a sharp instrument into the toe of the injured limb. This greater pain has made it quickly thmw off the now doubly-injured limb, when at the same moment it covered the orifice with a film, and in this manner saved its own life.

As a rule they are day feeders, and Bell, in his great work, "British Stalk- delight in the warmth of our shallow eyed Crustacea,” noted (and his obser- waters; and during hot summer weather vation was confirmed by Couch) that it is nothing uncommon to see them there is as much difference in the color lying in the crown of these palm trees of lobsters as there is between the of the sea, basking in the sunshine. white race and the African; and, from They are said to be the sweetest food it, concluded that lobsters do not wan- of all the crabs, but their exterior is so der far from certain localities, as each rough with spines and tubercles that situation impresses its own shade on

when in their finest form neither man the shells."

nor fish cares to have much to do with This comes very near our idea of them. In the moulting season, howmimicry in these creatures, but unfor- ever, all this is changed; for when they tunately it gives the credit of the are in this plastic condition nearly all change to the sea-bottom instead of to the predatory fishes are their enemies the lobster.

and are anxious to taste this dainty. Here I will look at the Maia squinado, The spider crab, seems to know this, or the

and when passing through this phase

of weakness falls back on a splendid SPIDER CRAB.

form of mimicry for protection, by These are found in all our western covering its exposed parts with seaand southern waters, and are plentiful weeds. These are entwined among off the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, the hairs and spines, and stuck in all where they are often found in crab the joints and crevices of the creature. pots, set for the capture of the great On looking carefully over several of crab, into which they are enticed by them I have doubted if the decoration the same bait.

were really adjusted by the wearers, It was thought that these stilted because weeds were growing beyond

* More especially the Alcyonium (Linn). This sponge-like coral, in some places on the sea bottom, is found in vast masses, I have seen as

many as sixteen in a square foot of the ocean bed drawn up on a fisherman's hook.

• See Bell's British Stalk-eyed Crustacea, p. 254.

the reach of their claws; hence I have concluded that after congress, knowing their unprotected state, the male had assisted in this important and needful act. When the males' troubles in connection with exuviation come on, the females perform the same kindness to their friends in danger. The weeds are of many kinds; among them I noted the Zostera marina, Chorda filum, Ulva latissima, Porphyra vulgaris, Enteromorpha compressa and intestinalis; and so well is this transformation accomplished that the ordinary eye cannot distinguish them from the sea-bottom. To the youngsters of the race they must be the veritable Santa Claus of the sea.

When in this disguised condition they are so fearless that they will often venture far out on the gray Sands in search of soft and suitable food, where they are often caught by the score in ground seines.

But when the carapace has hardened through age, these decorations are generally dispensed with; and their spines and color-mimicry are again trusted to for defence. Thus where the olive seaweed preponderates and its dark shades are thrown on the rocks, the creature assumes a reddish-brown hue which blends well with its surroundings; but The Contemporary Review.

in deep water on stony grounds, where a lighter color prevails, a brownishgray color is assumed throughout on claws and carapace, which harmonizes well with its environment.

Again, I have reasons for believing that all the species of spider crabs in British waters more or less mimic their surroundings.

Hayes araneus is so fond of this mimetical state that it always keeps itself fully dressed whatever its personal condition; and various algæ are piled on its legs and carapace in such quantities as to make it difficult to know it from a bouquet of weeds; while Pisa Gibbsii, which lives in deeper water, manages so to cover itself with sponges and corals that no one but the initiated would think a crab was underneath.

Again, in the West Indian seas the spider crab, Macropodia occidentalis, also acts on these mimetic lines, and imitates the colors and conditions of its vicinity by disfiguring itself with sea-weeds and sponges; and when in this form watches for its prey.10

In closing I may remark that I have not exhausted the subject of mimicry, having reasons for thinking that all the crabs on our coast delight in tricks, and more or less practice deception.

Matthias Dunn.


In the old times it was taken for would you have been? and its corollary. granted in literature, and presumably Since you owe everything to me, is it also in life, that children were under a not reasonable that you should display considerable obligation to their parents your gratitude by doing what I ask of for the bare fact of existence. Many you? Undoubtedly there was a good affecting appeals in drama from father deal of logic in the plea, though I canto child resolve themselves simply into not recollect that it was ever successthe following inquiry: But for me where ful. Still, the whole scheme of filial bring their children into the world; ural consequence, we deprecate rather and it dates back to an age when people than rejoice in what Tennyson called married explicitly in order to have "the torrent of babies." children, and when every man owed Still, there was always the old arguit to his family not to die vithout lin- ment to fall back on: if we did good to eage. Gradually, however, that change no one else, at least our children would came to pass which makes the dividing thank us for the original benefit of exline between the modern world and istence; and till this century the arguthe ancient-the change in the relations ment was never challenged. Edipus, between woman and man. The unit Job, or Swift, the famous unhappy, of society was no longer the family, might curse the day when they were but the individual, who sought his own born, but mankind regarded their utgood and his own completion, irrespec- terance as a startling paradox, a final tive of his family connections. The proof of their exceptional infelicity. bride assumed a new importance, a Now, pessimism has gradually pervalue in her own right, since man no vaded the air; and though men and longer demanded in marriage a woman, women cling more tenaciously to life but the woman; and, as romanticism than ever they did, and in order to go strengthened, the thought of issue in on breathing will submit to the permarriage receded further and further petuity of a German water-cure, the into the background. And so it has world at large is ready to question gone on. Shakespeare, in the Sonnets, whether life really is worth living. I utters his magnificent laudation of the believe the subject has been discussed “marriage of true minds;" but you also during the vacant months of one au. find him insisting on the notion that tumn by the Daily Telegraph, and that "of fairest creatures we desire in- clinches the evidence for the existence crease.” In Browning, who is your of pessimism. That being so, how is typical modern poet of love, the man a father to say “My son, you are inthinks of nothing in heaven or earth debted to me for your life," when he but the woman, the woman of nothing knows that his son may retort, “Sir, but the man. And to come down to I was never consulted in the matter"? prose, I would assert boldly that those The father has brought the child into of us who marry to please ourselves- the world; but suppose the child does which is, upon the whole, the usual not like the world when it gets there, proceeding-desire simply the society how is he to answer for it? He cannot of a certain person, with whom to live say that he married in order to confer out life, and accept the consequences, the blessing of existence upon other with or without enthusiasm. We do creatures; he cannot say that duty imnot feel that in bringing infants into pelled him to do so; and society will the world we are fulfilling a sacred not even applaud him for having given duty; we are inclined, perhaps, to look another subject to Her Majesty, Her upon them as the inevitable outcome Majesty's subjectsbeing already too of an arrangement which our lives thick upon the ground. The son's redemand. What is more, our neighbors tort, if it be made, seems to me unanare inclined to take the same view of swerable, and the father can only conthe matter. We know exactly the area fess that he has taken an unpardonable of the world's surface, and the statis- liberty with another human being. tics of population terrify us; we all Add to this that the propensity of realize how few places there are and the human mind to fatalism has flung how many seek them; and, by a nat- us into a blind belief in the unlimited

duty was based originally on the belief 10 See Linn. Trans., xiv., 335,

that it was very good of parents to British Crustacea, p. 13.

and White's

consequences of heredity. A child's all appearance a doomed man, refused ancestry, we are taught to believe by to break off the engagement, married our modern preachers, the dramatists him and, in a few years, brought him and novel writers, determines abso- back as strong as the rest of us. Howlutely not only the child's character, ever, the fact remains that to-day the but the events in his or her life. Con- morality of her action, as well as its sequently, for whatever misfortunes wisdom, would be questioned; halt a befall the child, for whatever misdeeds century ago she would have been hailed he may commit, the parents are respon- as a heroine. I do not know that public sible, who brought him inconsiderately opinion on this matter has yet become into the world; and especially the sufficiently ascertained to affect confather, since with him the business of duct, though I believe that in a short selection is still held chiefly to lie. time it will be difficult for any man or Take all these considerations together woman with insanity in the family to -I believe they exist, though obscurely get married. But I am sure that the and half realized, at the back of many sense of parental responsibility has minds—and can you wonder at the developed to an extraordinary degree apologetic attitude which the modern within the century that is just closing. parent assumes to the modern child? It A hundred years ago, or less, if parents is no longer, “My son, I am your saw that their children were in good father, and your mother is your mother, health, had proper food and dress, and and if you do not love, honor and obey acquired, in addition to their rudiments, us you are -an ungrateful dog." Rather the accomplishments necessary to their the poor man has the air of saying: station-a little French, music and “My dear boy, my constitution is not drawing for the girls, a little Latin and all it ought to be, and my great-grand- Greek for the boys-the parents were father committed suicide; what can I held to be amply fulfilling their duty. do to atone for the gout which will The duty of children, on the other certainly be your portion, and the he- hand, was equally plain: to learn their reditary bias which may probably in- lessons, to keep out of the way of their cline you to cut your throat? Take five elders when they were not wanted, and shillings a week pocket-money, and try to be cheerful, and not noisy, when to bear up.--My dear girl, your mother's they were encouraged to appear. Congreat-aunt ran away with the footman; sider, for a moment, in this connection and the worst is that I knew the fact the writings of Miss Austen, which I when I married.--Do not, I beseech maintain to be, among other things, a you, let me have to reproach myself series of invaluable documents for the more than I already do for having social history of her time. Miss Ausstarted you in life with this fatal pre- ten-I have it on the authority of the disposition to levity of conduct.”

"Dictionary of National Biography"Perhaps the state of mind which I loved children, and they loved her. But have described is rather inculcated than I confess I should never have guessed attained; perhaps not even doctors in- it from her writings, for in them “boys" quire with any accuracy into the medi- always rhymes to "noise," and the most cal pedigree of the young ladies whom frequent object of her satire is "the they desire to marry; and perhaps the injudicious mother," who does not keep world in general would still approve her children where they ought to be rather than reprobate the action of a in the nursery. Nowadays we are in a lady who, when her fiancé was ordered lamentable transition period. We still to South Africa with lung disease, to think our children a nuisance-for the

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