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fact of its rarity, except in plantations, renders and thus points to the probability that the it exceedingly doubtful whether it ever was same order of change took place in other parts indigenous in Great Britain. When our peat of Western Europe. These changes did not bogs, then, first began to accumulate, the take place at the same period of time in each Scotch fir and sessile oak were abundant in country, but would seem to be more advanced this country; whether the fir preceded the in the southern than in the northern parts of oak, we are unable to say, but analogy would the continent. If such was th

case, they lead us to think it did ; at any rate, nothing must have been the effects of some common proves the contrary. A few centuries since or causes acting over a large area of no tree flourished so well as the pedunculated country; what those causes really are it is oak, but its numbers have been greatly very difficult to say. * lessened, not so much from the encroachments In the animal world something of the same of other kinds of trees, as from the demands nature is apparent ; but before we endeavour of man having exceeded its powers of increase. to give illustrations of the fact, we would The beech tree is to all appearances a recent

mention a few remarkable instances of the immigrant in these islands, and, indeed, its fluctuations in the numbers of recent species, progress can be faintly traced out. It first arising from causes which may have been appeared in Europe, as far as we know, at the mainly influential in bringing about the disbase of the Alps and Pyrenees, at the end of placement of one species and the introduction the tertiary epoch. It exists in the high hills of another in former times, in the same part of Corsica and Sicily, but not in the higher of the world. If a comparison is made of the elevations of Sardinia. It is concluded from known fauna of this country for about the last this that the beech was established in those two thousand years, the inquirer will become islands before they were separated from the cognisant of great fluctuations in the number mainland, an event which is believed to have of recent species ; and of the gradual diminubeen subsequent to the elevation of the Alps, tion and extinction of others. Much of this an event comparatively recent in geological change is clearly traceable to the influence of time. From the points indicated, the beech mankind, either directly or indirectly, but it spread westward and northward to Holland, is not improbable that something may be due Normandy, the British Isles, and Denmark. to those causes which were the agents in According to De Candolle it was not known in controlling the numbers and in shortening the Holland when that country was conquered by 'existence of species before man's predominance, the Romans, and it is believed that it has since wbich time the effects of the natural been introduced into Holland and England agency have been obscured by those resulting since the Romans first saw those regions. In from human influence. The wolf and the the midland counties of England, however, it wild boar were certainly exterminated by seems to have established itself. In them it human foes, but it is questionable whether the occupies extensive tracts as a natural forest to beaver was thus banished from our island. the exclusion of other trees ; when once it Perhaps a clearer idea may be formed of acquires possession of the soil, its power of how one animal may die out and be supoccupancy is such as to prevent the growth or planted by another if we just glance at some interference of trees which might be thought phenomena of every-day occurrence. In more iikely to flourish. At the present time France, some few years back it was customary the tree is gradually invading the north ; it is for farmers and others to wage war against working its way into the forests of Denmark certain birds which, as they wrongly thought, and Germany, and slowly supplanting the did them more harm than good, and conifers, the birches, and the oaks. Simul- vigorously was the warfare carried on that taneous with this extension of its area in one some kinds of birds became greatly reduced in direction, there seems to be faint evidence of numbers. Not knowing that these creatures its retraction in another ; we refer to its dis- were their friends in keeping down the too appearance in the South of France, in the rapid increase of many of the enemies of Pyrenees from whence it disseminated itself plants, it so happened that their crops suffered originally. It would be an interesting inquiry very severely from the ravages of insects, to trace out the progress of the Scotch fir in In the second series of Max Müller's "Lectures on the Europe.

Science of Language" (London, 1864), there is a chapter

on the words employed by various nations to indicate the This examination then into the fluctuations fir, oak, and beech. In it the author treats the above subject

from a philological point of view. He attempts to show that and wanderings of a few selected trees, seems the Anglo-Saxon word vir is the same as the Latin quercur ; faintly to indicate that in a few of the and notices that while phegos in Greek meant oak, in Latin

it took the form fagus, and meant becch. From this he concountries of Western Europe such trees suc- cludes that these mutations in the word may be the waif ceeded each other in a certain definite order,

indicating the replacement of the fir by the oak, and the latter by the beech.

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which increased in numbers as the birds the European fly drives away our own, and as diminished.

the clover kills our fern, so will the Maories In fact, there is a perpetual balancing in | disappear before the white man himself.” the organic world, or rather, an ever active The Norwegian rat has taken the place of the tendency to come to an equilibrium, which is native species, and grows to a very large size ; ever striven after, but never attained. A but, strange to say, it is itself driven out of plant or animal depends for its existence as the houses into the fields by hordes of much upon the character and proportional European mice. When Captain Cook landed numbers of the living world around it, as on at New Zealand, he left a few pigs on the the various circumstances of climate, station, island. These soon increased in number, and &c. It does not grow where it chooses to now they exist wild in such vast herds that it grow, but where its neighbours will let it. seems almost impossible to destroy them, or to

Illustrations of this law are constantly dispossess them of the large tracts of country occurring when some common weed or plant of which they have fairly taken possession to is introduced from one continent to another. the exclusion of man.

Such is their preThe aboriginal fauna and flora exist side by dominance, that men are actually paid by the side without undergoing any remarkable fluc- large station-holders at the rate of sixpence a tuations, simply because they have so nearly 'tail for killing the pigs on their runs. They balanced each other that what changes do occupy ground which the sheep-farmer wants occur are superinduced by abnormalities of for his flocks, and during the lambing climate, or the prevalence of disease, or some season they inflict a great loss on him by other cause of more than average mortality in ' devouring the poor lambkins as soon as they a certain species. On introducing a hardy make their appearance. The boars are said to stranger among them, a fresh vigour is given be remarkably large, and to be provided with to the struggle, and in many cases several of enormous tusks, such as have been previthe aboriginal species are entirely extinguished, 'ously seen only on the savage primitive stocks or so reduced as to be represented by a few of wild boars in Europe. This innovation of individuals only.

species, which is far more extensive than we In our own country the anacharis is a good have indicated, and which is being so actively example of a foreign plant having established promoted by the Acclimatization Societies of itself in a locality distant from its native both hemispheres, cannot but have a material place. In New Zealand, a country enjoying influence on the character and local distribua somewhat similar climato to our own, our tion of the members of the organic world : in common English weeds or plants are sup- our opinion it should form not the least implanting the native flora at a most extra- portant part of the business of such societies ordinary rate. The water-cress of our brooks to study thoroughly the probable effect which has, from its abundance and vigour of growth, each species they import from one place into become a positive nuisance to the New another may exercise upon the new condition Zealander ; indeed the rivers of the country of things amidst which they are plunged. threaten to be choked up by the intruder. Before such vigorous opponents as the pigs, One stream, called the Avon, is so filled with the flies, the water-cress, &c., of Europe, a water-cress that the annual cost of keeping the large number of the native species have river free from the weed and fit for purposes succumbed. One of the most remarkable of navigation is said to exceed 3001. a-year. features in this struggle for life is the fact The stems grow to a length of twelve feet, that the species which have attained the and a diameter of three-fourths of an inch ; predominance on the European and African from this it would seem that the climate of area readily establish themselves in Australia New Zealand suits it much better than that of and America, while few plants from any other England. It seems difficult to understand continent have become weeds in Europe. how the anacharis can have occupied our waters Therefore we think that had New Zealand so extensively without displacing other species ; been left to its pristine occupants not one and we doubt not a careful inquiry would tithe of all this change would have taken show this to have been the case.

place in the same space of time, and also As it is with plants so is it with animals. believe it probable that what man has been In this country, as is well known, the brown the unintentional agent in superinducing in rat has nearly extirpated the native black rat. the course of a few years, is somewhat analoIn New Zealand the same process is going on, gous to what has been done by nature in the and so evident is it, that the natives, or course of a long period of time by the agency Maories, have a saying, “ that, as the white of various causes. man's rat has driven away the native rat, so In the earlier part of this paper we drew

can see

attention to the slow succession of one tree to aurochs, the European bison, the beaver, wolf, another in Western Europe. Amongst animals &c., as in the Swiss lake villages ; but we we find a similar replacement of one species, have also a few species not found in Switzeror rather groups of species, by another species land ; these, however, are rather indications or group, is constantly recurring.

of differences of station and climate than of Thus within the historical period various time. Thus the seal (Phocu gryppus) occurs species of animals have ceased to be ; we can frequently, but is now very rare on the Danish trace the gradual way in which they were coast, and the auk is very common, a bird extinguished one after another ; we

believed to be entirely extinct now. As in how for a time they each flourished over a the Swiss lakes, the horse is rare in the large area ; how each grailually diminished in mounds. numbers, such diminution generally com- So, if we look over the remains of animals mencing on the outer boundaries of its dis- | found in deposits believed to be still older, we trict ; how this gradual process of decay come upon new species. The studies of the proceeded faster in the outlying islands ; how geologist have led him to the conclusion that a at length the stronghold of the species was certain group of animals characterises a certain confined to one or two small spots of land, period of time ; that the species did not all where lingering for, it may be, centuries, it become extinct simultaneously ; but that one has finally disappeared. This is the story died out and then another, in a general definite told by the European bison, the elk, the order; and hence some, as M. Lartet, have bear, the beaver, the ibex, &c., some of attempted on this basis to construct a palæonwhich are extinct in Western Europe, or on tological chronology. He considers that the the point of becoming so. On receding back recent geological age, or quaternary period, to the period when the inhabitants of Switzer- may be divided into four groups ; the first land built villages on piles driven into the being characterised as the period of the aurochs beds of lakes, in the same way as similar or European bison, the second as that of the villages are built in the present day by the reindeer, the third as that of the elephant and inhabitants of Borneo, we learn from the rhinoceros, and the fourth as that of the cave researches of archæologists, that the fauna bear ; in this chronology the first period menthen was slightly different from that which tioned is the most recent. From such evidence prevails now. These villages, as is the case as we have, the following appoars to be the with modern villages, belong to different order in which some of the principal mammalia periods of time. From the remains of animal survived each other, as far as Western Europe life left on the site of the older villages, the is concerned. The urus (Bos primigenius),

( presence of the urus (Bos primigenius), the the aurochs (Bison europæeus), the reindeer aurochs or European bison (Bison europæus),(Cervus taranda's), the musk ox (Ovibos mosthe elk (Cervus alces), the stag (Cerous elaphus), chatus), the Irish elk (Megaceros hibernicus), and the wild boar (Sus scrofa ferus), in the hippopotamus (Hippopotamos major), the Switzerland is clearly indicated, whereas now woolly-haired rhinoceros (Rhinoceros tichorthey are not to be found there ; while the hinus), the mammoth (Elephus primigenius), beaver, the brown bear, the wolf, the ibex, the cave tiger (Felis spelwa), and the cave bear and other animals were represented by larger (Ursus spelwa). numbers and in more localities, and the Of these all but the first two are believel varieties of dog and sheep were very few, as

to have become extinct before the time of the far as can be judged from bones only; the Swedish shell mounds or the Swiss lake habihorse would appear to have been hardly tations. They usually occur in the caverns, known. In comparing these animals with as at Wookey Hole, the Engis cavern, the those of other times, it must be remembered Brixham cavern, and numerous others. that they probably represent only those which few caverns, as in Kirkdale, Durdham Downs, were either domesticated or caught for the and Cefn, bones of another kind of elephant, sake of their flesh, and we have referred to known as Elephas antiquus, are found. This them as a contrast with the present, to show species is believed to have died out before its that some species existed in Switzerland then congener, Elephas primigenius. It is found in

some of the most recent gravel-terraces lining A somewhat similar collection of creatures the valleys of English and French rivers, as is found in the shell mounds of Denmark, or the Thames, Seine, Oise, &c. These gravels mounds composed mainly of the shells of are situated in the lower part of the valley oysters, cockles, &c., which had been thrown slopes ; but there are others which occur away by some of the earlier inhabitants of the

nearer the top, and therefore known as the country. Here also we find the urus, the 1 high-level gravels. These are older than those

In a

and not now.

Death exposes

at the lower level ; and have fossils which materials may subsequently rise up above the depart more in their character from the present level of the sea, so as to form new continents fauna than do those of the low-level gravels. and islands ; we know that as the land shifts, But before these old gravels were deposited the terrestrial animals must shift with it, or yet a third kind of elephant, E. meridionalis, die; we know that in past times changes in the is believed to have lived and to have become animal world have been going on simultaextinct. Its remains are found in the old neously with the redistribution of dry land; forest bed of Cromer, Norfolk, in the Norwich and it is exceedingly probable that these crag, in the deposits of Val d'Arno, and in changes in the inorganic have had a material those of St. Prest, near Chartres. In associa- influence on the changes in the organic world. tion with this elephant at St. Prest, we have Man himself is quite unable to make a con. species different from those which occur in the tinent arise at his bidding, but he can and gravels in association with E. antiquus. We does exercise great influence, not by planting have the remains of Rhinoceros leptorhinus, new lands, but by transferring animal and several species of deer, Megaceros carnutorum, vegetable life from one region to another. a large ox, and several others, believed to be This power ought to be used with a judgment new and yet undescribed. Before the Cromer' and caution in proportion to its magnitude forest was flourishing on the old land of and importance.

A. R. Norfolk, a large proboscidean, Mastodon arvernensis, characteristic of the Norwich crag,

THE PERFECT GENERAL SECRETARY. appears to have died out.

As in space we find that in two neighbouring THE English visitor to Paris, picking out areas there exist faunas very similar to each his way (as English visitors mostly do) to that other, inasmuch as a large proportion of each ghastly little shop on the Seine bank where is composed of the same species, while the small

his wares, will probably pass by proportion consists of species peculiar to each another little magazine equally mysterious and district ; so in time we have periods in which almost equally foreign to our notions, known the same general assemblage of animals belongs by the thrilling name of “The Tomb of all to the period before or the period after ; Secrets." What a library of romance in three during the lapse of time, a steady and constant volumes is contained in these few words ! succession of different forms follow each other, But be not alarmed, reader ; far be it from us so that of the thousand kinds of animals which to chill your blood with tales of ancient horexist in the first period, only nine hundred, rors, with stories of bricked-up nuns ; of misery say, will be living in the second, eight hundred left to perish in oubliettes ; of prisoners so long in the third, and so on ; while the deficiency immured in dank and dismal dungeons that in varieties of form will be made up by species their very existence had been forgotten. of another kind. This everflowing tide of Despite its melodramatic name, the Tomb creation is, to our mind, one of the most has, we will hope, only milder secrets hidden marvellous truths which the labours of the in its mysterious bosom. In fact, a first zoulogist, the palæontologist, and the geologist casual glance at the Tomb, as we sit on the have revealed to us.

tree-shadowed bench immediately opposite to If we had devoted our attention to any it, lazily contemplating it through the haze of other part of the world, we should have seen an after-breakfast cigarette, is calculated to a similar stream of life, and a similar ladder of produce impressions of meanness rather than of changes. We have takeu a glance at the way mystery. Lying almost in the shadow of the in which the operations of man have tended to Tower of St. Jacques de la Boucherie is a mingle up these streams, and so to destroy small wooden hut; except that it is more many of their distinctive features. What may finished, perhaps not unlike those which conhave been the aggregate change which his tractors set up near their great works, and influence has brought about it would be hard against which, towards the close of the week, to

say, but it must have been something the burly forms of gigantic navvies lounge, as very great, considering that he has been an they await in files their turns to take their active agent for thousands of years. We

But it is clear that the destination of might form some idea of its magnitude from this little hut is quite different. The visitors knowing that the destruction of forests lessens to it come singly, and remain some time carethe amount of moisture available for plants, fully shut off from the outer world ; the closed and ultimately may produce barrenness. We door seems, indeed, to be received as a notifiknow that continents are being ground down, cation to fresh comers to abstain from entering and their materials being deposited in the the Tomb ; a dapper little soldier, after inspecdepths of ocean ; we know that perhaps these tion of the entry, has come over to my bench,


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and having asked for fire, puffs harmoniously closely than I had been able to do in the at my side, evidently awaiting a sortie of the Tomb of All Secrets, took me on to the quays garrison. The visitors to this hut, the deposi. among the “ dentists of the people," and the tors in this bank with an unlimited ability of old book-stalls. A very slight search and a keeping secrets, are generally persons of a very small sum of money procured me a fat, humble class ; trim women with grey dresses, squat volume, stitched in the orthodox yellow and heads so neat that I regret that any of cover, and printed on paper compared with them should wear caps, and so bare, even which the roughest blotting paper presents a when they have this slight protection, that for remarkably fine and even surface. But the difsome days after my arrival from a damper ficulty of reading the “Perfect General Secreatmosphere, I feel certain they must be always tary” is amply repaid by the wonderful example catching cold. Sometimes a robust lady, it furnishes of what is called Organisation in evidently from the halles, will be closeted ; Daily Life. The work seems to have taken acsometimes a workman, whose fair hair and count of all the varied relations of humanity. skin point him out as an Alsatian, while Its author addresses letters from persons in every his whitened blouse teils you that he is a grade and position to other persons in every mason, who is doing his share in the marvels grade and position, on every possible topic. that rise round you as if by magic. He has Letters and verses for fête days are given for come hither to get a letter written to his all degrees of relationship, although, indeed, distant native province, to his father, to whom the author has refrained from inditing a he will send part of his wages ; or he wauts to sonnet, as he informs us other (inferior) authors marry, and although half-way through the have done, from a coachman to his master, as usual span allotted to humau life, he must he thinks the employer would not be pleased either have the consent of his parents, or sup- by the discovery that he had a poet to drive ply its place by a certain number (regulated by him. law) of “respectful summonses,” or he may be “With one auspicious, and one dropping eye,” writing to the mayor of his commune for his we follow the varied fortunes of French letter“papers,” equally indispensable at this in- writers; we pass from tears of condolence on teresting crisis.

page 100, to dry eyes, smiles, and hearty conFor in truth this little wooden box is, as gratulations over-leaf. All styles are equally the acute reader guessed long ago, neither at the author's command, the curt address of more nor less than the establishment of a the business man, the bluff tone of the soldier public letter writer, who, as a card hanging out- ' (who mentions, as if quite by accident, that a side informs the world, is at his post from seven remittance would not be ungrateful), the reso'clock in the morning till nine at night, to pectful accents of humility beseeching a “ make ” letters, petitions, complaints (I hope favour ; the fond whisper of the domestic this branch is not extensive), memorials, copies, affections. The nurse is told in what words requests for situations, bills of exchange, pro- to announce to delighted parents that their curations, and many other things besides, and child has cut its first tooth, and other models not finding these branches sufficient, are furnished to the same person to complain charges himself equally” with the letting of of irregular payment and of absolute non-paylands, investment of money, representation of ment. The husband is told how, on an interpersons before all tribunals, translations, &c., esting occasion, to inform his friends that &c. Really a most active, versatile man, mother and child, or neither, or both, are seemingly, this public writer ; in no other place as well as could be wished. that I know of is such a varied amount of But it is naturally on the love department business transacted in so very small a space.

that the author has lavished his skill. The I may confess that I have entered the lover is informed that he may with propriety Tomb, and without violating its secrecy,


may use rose-coloured or blue paper, which may state that within its dread portals I found a very even be perfumed, but under no circumstances inoffensive and very snuffy little man seated must an engraving appear at the head, as a before a desk covered with writing materials. well-bred woman would laugh with pity” on Ranged round him on shelves were a number receiving a declaration of love over which of volumes, between the leaves of which were figured two hearts transfixed with a dart. inserted, at irregular distances, slips of paper Your love-letter may be folded in a thousand for convenience of reference, On hearing an

ways, according to circumstances, but the explanation of your errand, he will at once mark of a finger which should not be of irreopen at the right page, for these volumes are proachable cleanliness would ruin your brightthe polite letter-writers of France.

est hopes. The width of margin to be allowed, Curiosity to see one of these volumes more and the way of closing the letter being deter


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