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suctorial roots and tooth-like leaves. The latter are hollow, and are entered through a narrow aperture by many kinds of small animals. These seem to be entangled in protoplasmic exudations within the leafcavity, find exit impossible, die, decompose, and are absorbed." Even more remarkable is Mr. Thomson's account of the carnivorous proclivities of the butter wort. This plant secrets "a copious viscid acid secretion to entrap its victims." "This serves as 'insect lime;' but, besides retaining the unwary midges, it finally digests them. Drops of rain may fall on the leaves, or pebbles may land there, but without noteworthy effect; a small insect, however, stimulates a copious flow of the fatal secretion. But there is also movement; for, when an insect is caught, the margin of the leaves slowly curl inwards for an hour or two, thus surrounding the booty, or shifting it nearer the centre, in any case exposing it to more glands. After digestion, the results and the surplus exudation are absorbed, leaving finally the undigested skin of the insect on the more or less dry leaf-surface." It will be noted that this, in miniature, is almost exactly the process adopted by the Nicaraguan carnivorous creeper. If the species of insect-eating plants were very few in number, and were very sparsely found, it might be possible to regard them as mere lusus naturæ. There are, however, known to be several hundred dicotyledons which, in some way or other, catch and live on animal food. From such a basis the evolution of a giant and man-eating dicotyledon is within the bounds of possibility. We cannot help hoping very much that the story of the vampire vine will turn out to be true, for if it does, the botanists will be able to try some very curious experiments as to how these vegetables, which are half animals, digest, and whether their movements can properly be regarded as muscular movements. It is true that Darwin administered extremely homoeopathic doses (000095 of a milligramme) of nitrate of ammonia to a sundew, and found the plant responded to the drug exhibited; but it would be far easier to conduct experiments on a larger plant. Even as it is, we know that the insect-eating plants secrete not only an acid, but a "peptonizing ferment" for the purposes of digestion. They also feed, like animals, "on substances at a high chemical level." More than a hundred and fifty years ago, Linnæus noted that the Lapps "used the butterwort for curdling milk, a property due to a rennet-like ferment which the plant has in addition to the digestive or
peptic." Again, we are told that Dr. Burdon Sanderson has "detected electric currents similar to those observed in the neuro-muscular activity of animals." The borderland between animal and plant life occupied by the insect-eaters is, indeed, one of the most curious and interesting fields of biological study; and if a plant as large as the vampire vine could be obtained to experiment with, discoveries of enormous importance to science might very likely be made. The vampire vine would doubtless stand a grain of calomel after a heavy meat meal without damage or annoyance.
From The Saturday Review. MANX HUMOR.
IF it be said that between Manx and Scotch humor there is a strong family resemblance, the resemblance fails in this point, that man has had no Dean Ramsay. Yet there is room for one.
In the Isle of Man, as in Scotland, much of the humor depends upon odd turns of expression. "If aver I get to Heaven, pass'n (parson)," said an old parish clerk, "it'll be under your patronage." The notion here is funny enough, giving a vivid glimpse of the future state as depicted by a man who had seldom been outside his own parish. Or, the humor may consist merely in the unexpected use of some particular word. A queer old character who had been given a new muffler and kept it carefully wrapt up in paper instead of using it, replied to all remonstrances, "I'm not goin' fur to make a hack of it at all." Upon another occasion he remarked to a visitor who had been much benefited in health by residence in the island, "You iss a much batter gentleman now till you wass when you came;" with which may be compared the courtly minister's "who putteth her Ladyship's trust in Thee." To those who took his words literally, another expression of his would sound amusing. Describing a former mistress, he said, "We wass fallin' out reg'lar the first two years, but after that I could manage her." Yet all he meant by the last phrase was that matters had run more smoothly.
Even narrow-mindedness has its humorous side. "He's nice enough," said an old farmer, a staunch Churchman, speaking of an acquaintance, "but he's a Methodist. Not that he's on the 'plan' at ail, but he's next door to it." The degrees of comparison suggested here are delicious. The old fellow had no intention of being
amusing, yet was not by any means destitute of humor, as the following advice, full of worldly wisdom, which he gave to a pedlar and local preacher will testify. "I wass tellin' him," said he, with a twinkle in his grey eyes, "people would be thinkin' far more of him and his things if he joined the Church, and maybe the bishop himself would buy somethin'." His sectarianism was apt to show itself in a very pronounced form; but, nevertheless, he was almost a freethinker compared with a neighbor who had been in the habit of reading Spurgeon's sermons, and who gave it up because he was told that Spurgeon was suffering from the gout, an ailment which he had heard was caused by drinking port. Few Manxmen would go to this extreme.
Some funny stories are told about the marriage service. One of them relates how an old man brought rather unwillingly to the altar could not be induced to repeat the responses. "My good man," at length exclaimed the clergyman, "I really cannot marry you unless you do as you are told." But the man still remained silent. At this unexpected hitch the bride lost all patience with her future spouse, and burst out with, "Go on, you old toot! Say it after him just the same as if you wass mockin' him." The same difficulty occurred in another case. The clergyman, after explaining what was necessary and going over the responses several times without the smallest effect, stopped in dismay, whereupon the bridegroom encouraged him with, "Go ahead, pass'n, go ahead! thou'rt doin' bravely." Upon another occasion it was, strangely enough, the woman who could not be prevailed upon to speak. When the clergyman remonstrated with her, she indignantly replied, "Your father married me twice befoor, and he wasn't axin' me any of them imperent questions at all.”
Sometimes, as here, this unconscious humor is apt to be a little disquieting to the person to whom it is addressed. A certain author, having explained the nature of his occupation to an old Manx woman, was hardly prepared for the comment, "Well, well, what does it matter so long as a body makes his livin' honestly;" the words being evidently meant to put him on better terms with himself. But worse still fared an English clergyman, for some years vicar of a Manx parish, and, from ignorance of the people and their ways, not a very popular one. Having received preferment elsewhere, he started on a round of farewell visits, but without hearing a single regret that he
was going. At last one old woman told him she was "mortal sorry." In his delight the vicar let curiosity outrun discretion, and he asked for her reason. 'Well," said she with touching candor, "we've had a lot o' pass'ns over here from England, and each one has been worse than the last, and after you're gone I'm afeard they'll be sen'in' us the Devil himself." The vicar left hurriedly.
Still, he may not have been quite as black as he was painted at least, if any weight be attached to the opinion of an old Manxman who stoutly maintained there was some good in everybody. A clergyman, taking, in fun, the opposite view, asked, "Then what do you say to Satan?" Quick as lightning, the old fellow tapped him on the shoulder, and replied, "Hush, hush, pass'n, it isn't for you to speak agen him at all. Doesn't he give you the very coat on your back?" Equally smart was the retort of a Mr. Teare to Bishop Hill, who had told him there were no tears in Heaven. "The Plains of Heaven I know, my Lord," said he, alluding to Martin's famous picture so-called, and painted from Manx scenery, "but I have never heard of a hill there." This readiness of tongue is found at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places. A local preacher, who was dividing his sermon into an interminable number of heads, was interrupted by a shout from one of the congregation, impatient for the more solid matter of the sermon itself: "Mate (meat), man; give us mate! It's mate we've come here to get." Without a moment's hesitation the preacher replied, “Then houl' on till I've done carvin'." Then who would look for humor in an advertisement? Yet, take the following announcement from the proprietor of a certain new road who had reason to feel hurt because a lawsuit about a right of way had gone against him: "In order to prevent, if possible, the said road from being hereafter stolen by the public, I also give notice to jurymen, setting quests, and others whom it may concern, there was no footpath where the said road now runs up which a man, drunk or sober, could have driven a cart and pair of horses; and no old woman has been known to ride, or has been heard to boast that she has ridden on a cow, horse, pig, donkey, or other animal, or on a broomstick, over the said road." Many other instances could be quoted; but enough surely have been given to show that, in spite of Board Schools, Manx humor still exists with a rich, full-bodied flavor of its own.
"ALL THE RIVERS."
We sat on the bank in the storm, In the steady fall of the snow,
"All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full." In the stinging hail and the howling gale,
ECCLESIASTES 1, 7.
THE mountain torrents hasten,
With cataract and roar, To reach the moaning ocean And break upon its shore. Their mystery and music,
Their laughter and their leap, Are lost within the bosom
Of the dark and sullen deep -
Athwart the purple moorland
They hurry to the river,
And the river to the main
Yet the sea is not full.
And the scorching sun, you know;
We cared for no kind of weather
What made us so mad was the fact that we had The whole of the kinds together.
THE upper skies are palest blue
Their shadows fly along the hill
From Blackwood's Magazine.
THE EGYPTIANS AND THE OCCUPATION. THE annual grumble against the presence of the British force in Egypt has found utterance this year in louder tones than ordinary through the usual channels, and has had as usual the same effect upon the policy of Britain and the sentiment of the powers. When no other pretexts are at hand for disquieting the sultan and exciting his suspicions of Great Britain and the central powers, the Russian ambassador to the Porte, backed up by his French colleague, points out to the sultan the reproach which the continued presence of the English in Egypt casts upon his suzerainty, and urges that her Majesty's government shall be called upon to put a term to their occupation. Simultaneously the French press begins to shriek upon the subject, a great deal of bad language is vented, canards are actively manufactured — and then the subject lies down until the next time it becomes convenient to revive it as a diplomatic pastime. As for the British government, the substantial progress which Egypt is making under its auspices renders it quite indifferent to any outcries abroad; and the best answer to either France or the Porte is to point to Egypt as it was before the occupation and to its condition now. Although Egypt has as yet only started upon a career of progress and improvement, no other justification of our presence there is required beyond such notes of material advance- based upon personal experiences among the fellaheen for the last eight years - - as we shall be able to rapidly indicate in the following pages.
In the whole range of history there is probably no greater contrast than that between ancient and modern Egypt. To the traveller in the Nile valley, to the student of history, and to the reader of the Bible, ancient Egypt is a synonym for majesty and grandeur. Pharaoh, in Dean Stanley's words, was not, like Saul, greater than his fellows from his shoulders and upwards, but from his ankles and upwards. "Say unto Pharaoh, whom art thou like in thy greatness?" "I am Pharaoh." "By the life of Pharaoh."
Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about her, whose rampart was the Nile, and her wall was from the river?" Homer knew of Thebes as the city of the hundred gates. It is still called " Il Luxor," or " The Palaces." The Sphinx, the Pyramids, the wonders of Memphis, the tombs of Beni Hasan, the paintings of Abydos, the giant wrecks of Thebes, the courts of Dendera, Esna, and Edfu, the graceful columns of Philæ, the sculptures of Bet-el-Wali, the majestic Colossi at Ipsamboul, and the countless other imperishable works in the valley of the Nile, surpass all the other antiquities of a corresponding age in the rest of the whole world. The mind is bewildered by trying to understand that long past of greatness, glory, and conquest. One never wearies of seeing and re-seeing those mighty ruins.
The monuments and hieroglyphics picture the ancient Egyptians in a very favorable light. You may survey scores of monuments and myriads of figures, and yet see no indelicacy till you come to Greek and Roman times. There is a dignity about the people which is very impressive. Their architecture may be called heavy as compared with the Greek, but they had to use a soft sandstone or a stubborn granite, while the Greeks had marble. So excellent is the work that an eminent American engineer offered a very considerable sum of money to any engi neer of modern days who would quarry granite blocks of the size of those of the temple of the Sphinxa temple of the very greatest antiquity and place the columns as truly vertical, the lintels as truly horizontal, and in as truly a straight line, without the aid of any mortar, so that a knife edge could not be inserted into any joint, and a large transit theodolite could not detect any deflection from the true north.
We have been accustomed to see the ancient Egyptian in his most unfavorable light. The religion of ancient Egypt was idolatrous, but their idea of God, of judg ment, of justice, and indeed of a future life, was almost Christian. We can no more hold the religion of ancient Egypt