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traction and retraction. The nostrils, situated on prominences, which the animal has the power of raising,* on the upper part of the broad and massive muzzle, are short oblique slits, guarded by two valves, which can be opened and closed spontaneously like the eyelids. The movements of these apertures are most conspicuous when the beast is in his favorite element. The wide mouth is chiefly remarkable for the upward curve of its angles towards the eyes, which gives a quaintly comic expression to the massive countenance. The short and small milk tusks project a little, and the minute deciduous incisors appear to be sunk in groves or pits of the thick gums; but the animal would not permit any close examination of his teeth; withdrawing his head from the attempt, and then threatening to bite. The muzzle is beset with short bristles projecting at pretty regular distances; several of them appearing to be split into tufts or pencils of short hairs. Extremely fine and short hairs are scattered all over the back and sides, which are not very obvious except upon a close inspection. The tail is short, rather flattened, and generally tapering to an obtuse point. 1
“ After lying quietly about an hour, now and then raising its head and swivelling its eyeballs towards the keeper, or playfully opening its huge mouth and threatening to bite the leg of the chair on which the keeper sat, the Hippopotamus rose and walked slowly about its room, and then uttered a loud and short harsh snort, four or five times in quick succession, reminding one of the snort of a horse, and ending with an explosive sound like a bark. The keeper understood the language, and told us that the animal was expressing its desire to return to its bath. The beast at this time was in one of the compartments of the wing of the giraffe house, on the opposite side to that in which its bath is prepared. It carries its head rather depressed, and reminded me of a huge prize hog, but with a breadth of muzzle and other features peculiarly its own. The keeper opened the door leading into the giraffe's paddock, and walked through that to the new wing containing the bath, the Hippopotamus following like a dog, close to his heels. On arriving at the bath-room, the animal descended with some deliberation the flight of low steps leading into the water, stooped and drank a little, dipped his head under, and then plunged forwards. It was no sooner in its favorite element, than its whole aspect changed, and it seemed inspired with new life and activity; sinking down to the bottom, and moving about submerged for a while, it would suddenly rise with a bound, almost bodily out of the water, and splashing back, commenced swimming and plunging about with a cetaceous or porpoise-like rolling from side to side, taking in mouthfuls of water and spurting them out again, raising every now and then its huge grotesque head, and biting the woodwork at the margin of the bath. The broad rounded back of the animal being now chiefly in view, it looks a much larger animal than when out of the water. After half an hour spent in this amusement, it quitted the water at the call of its keeper, and followed him back to the sleeping room, which is well bedded with straw, and where a stuffed sack is provided for its pillow, of which the animal, having a very short neck, thicker than the head, duly avails itself when it sleeps. When awake it is very impatient of any absence of his favorite attendant, rises on its hind legs, and threatens to break down the wooden fence, by butting and pushing against it, in a way strongly significative of its great muscular force. The animal appears to be in perfect health, and breathes when at rest, slowly and regularly, from three to four times in a minute. Its food is now a kind of porridge of milk and maize-meal. Its appetite has in no respect diminished by the confinement and inconvenience of a sea voyage, or by change of climate. It is more than half-weaned from the milk diet, which, it is said, created a scarcity of that article at Cairo, * owing to the enormous supply which the cravings of the young animal required, whilst under the fostering care of our excellent Chargé d'Affaires, the Hon. Mr. Murray; to whom, after the princely donor, Abbas Pasha, zoologists at home are chiefly
* This fact may serve as a specimen of the advantages likely to arise to science from the possession of a living specimen. In ancient paintings these prominences are sometimes so exaggerated as to present almost the appearance of horns on each side the muzzle--a peculiarity which, in the absence of evidence, was likely to be referred only to the caprice of the artist. See our volume for 1826, p. 183.-ED.
We should be glad to know how this animal was supplied on board ship? Strange statements are abroad as to the actual quantity of milk consumed by it; for which the arrangements made for that purpose, extraordinary as they were, are inadequate to account.
indebted for the present opportunity of studying this most remarkable and interesting African mammal, of which no living specimen has been seen in Europe since the period when they were last exhibited by the third Gordian in the Amphitheatre of Imperial Rome.”
COLORED SPECTACLES. MR. DEACON having injured his eyes, found it requisite to employ some expedient which should lessen the painful stimulus which light produced upon them. As in such cases it is impossible to determine the exact shade which shall have the desired effect, a variety of colored spectacles were sent home for his approval. Two or three of his children were in the library when the optician's assortment arrived, and they watched the examination, and tried how the glasses would suit their own vision, with considerable interest. Accustomed to be scrupulously careful of other people's property, their father did not deem it necessary to check their curiosity, but while regarding their proceedings with parental amusement he bethought himself how to render profitable the series of questions, he foresaw were accumulating for his sagacity.
"Well, papa !” remarked little Kate, “I should think you must be somewhat puzzled, which spectacles to choose among all these."
“ As I happen to need the correction of a particular defect, my dear Kate, it would be of little use to adopt a remedy, only intended for a very different imperfection, would it not ?"
“Yes, to be sure; and some of these spectacles magnify, and others lessen whatever I look at.”
" True !" replied Mr. D. “therefore, as I am neither nearsighted, nor needing a larger print, the help adopted for such infirmity will not suit me."
" Then we may as well shut up all these grandpapa-andgrandmamma-glasses at once,” said Jessie, closing one box, * You
may for the present, though doubtless, if my life be spared, I shall be very thankful for them in due time.”
“Oh! do have some of these pretty-colored glasses, papa," exclaimed Kate; “see! green, blue, and dark red! They are much prettier than those plain, no-color glasses."
“Well, which color shall it be, Kate, you must look through them before you decide.”
The little girl tried on a pair of green spectacles, and looked so droll, that her brother and sister laughed heartily, at the inappropriate appendage to her childish merry countenance.
“How pale you all look !" she added, " and the garden looks so cool, almost chilly!"
“Dear me! and these blue spectacles," said Edward, “ make every thing appear almost as if covered with snow! I should not like them at all."
“ The red glasses, too,” continued Jessie, “ tinge all with that sort of frightful glare which made us shudder at the diorama of the forest fire on the Prairie ; and the yellow glasses seem like dazzling sunlight."
“ Just look at the nosegays on the table, and the flowers in the garden, Jessie,” resumed Edward ; “ do the colors appear different to you through your red spectacles ?”
“Oh, very different indeed! scarcely a single leaf or blossom looks its right hue; how excessively odd! Dear papa, which pair shall you choose ?”
“ As the present diseased state of my eyes invests every object with a reddish tint,” replied Mr. Deacon, “and the ordinary white light of day is too powerful for me, I must select a color which will rectify my defects. These pale grey are best adapted to the purpose, I think, as in looking through them, the flowers, and the sky, and your faces and dress, are restored to their ordinary hues."
“I wonder how they make spectacle-glasses such different colors, papa,” said Jessie, as she replaced them in their several boxes.
“By mixing different ingredients with the sand and other materials of which glass is usually made.”
“ And when nothing extra is added, I suppose all is just clear and transparent."
“Nay, it seems that very great care in the manufacture, and a most accurate adjustment of material is requisite to produce a perfectly colorless article."
“Can the workmen tell exactly how to calculate the proportion for the sort of article he wants, papa ?”
“No, I believe he can only obtain a general expectation by means of calculation, as the heat of the furnace, and the skill of the superintending workmen, may greatly modify the result."
At this juncture, visitors were announced, and these were followed by a succession of others. The young people, after the customary salutations to their father's guests, modestly listened to the expression of very varied sentiments upon the topics of the day ;-political, benevolent and religious. Some young friends by and bye accompanied their parents, and wished to see the garden, whither all retired together.
In the afternoon they were engaged to join a party on a short excursion over the lake near their dwelling, to eat strawberries, and take tea in rustic style, after exploring the wooded hills which sheltered the romantic hamlet of their destination. Here each had an eye for some peculiar beauty. One admired the bold outlines of the craggy rocks, which at a distance bounded their eastern view; another dwelt upon the harmonious blending of tints in the spring landscape. The picturesque grouping of people or animals charmed one, while the next pointed out to her companions the half-veiled forms and exquisite contrivances of the minute flowers which enamelled the velvet turf. Nor were they insensible to the sweet sounds of nature, and they returned home, pleased and benefited, by the frank interchange of intelligent thought and rational feeling.
As is not uncommon, their curiosity upon optics was entirely forgotten, till the hour of study the next day, when once more assembled round their papa in the library, their thoughts immediately reverted to the subject.
“How do the spectacles answer, dear papa ?” enquired Jessie.
* So admirably," replied Mr. Deacon, “I find them a great relief, and can use my eyes almost as well as before they were hurt."
“I am very glad of that !” rejoined Edward. “I was going to ask you a great many more questions yesterday, when those gentlemen came in, and their conversation put it all out of my head. Papa, is it not very strange that so many wise and good men should have such very different opinions upon the same subjects ?"