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bodies writhe and swell with exertion and Pribilof Islands soon after the adult rage ; furious lights gleam in their eyes ; bulls, and endeavor to land upon the their hair flies off into the air, and their rookeries, but are always driven off by blood streams down. All this combined the old males, and are obliged to esmakes a picture so fierce and so strange tablish themselves in separate comthat, from its unexpected position and its
munities. Here they pass their time novelty, this is one of the most extraor
sleeping, wandering about, and making dinary brutal contests man can witness.
occasional trips into the sea, never As, moreover, besides continually missing to pay their attentions to a fighting, the bull never leaves his sta- stray female, if an opportunity affords tion during the three months of the itself. It is this phenomenon of the breeding season, or takes any food entire separation of the younger wales whatever during that period, it may be from the breeding bulls that gives the imagined that he has rather a bad time much-desired occasion for obtaining the of it, and departs from the island lean pelts of the fur-seal without seriously and miserable after his long fast. But interfering with the breeding herd. next year, after his migration to the During the “ killing season,” as it is south, where abundance of food is called, which lasts about four months found, he returns to his station thickly in the year, a certain number of bachenveloped in blubber and as strong and elor seals are driven every day away vigorous as ever.
from the rookery a short distance inThe female fur-seal, which is only land, to grounds specially set apart for about one-fifth of the size of the adult the purpose. Here the “ killable” seals male, brings forth her single young one are carefully selected, those of three shortly after landing on the rookery, and four years of age being preferred, where she is jealously guarded by the as having the best fur, while the rebull to whom she belongs. After a few mainder are allowed to return into the days' nursing she goes off to seek fool, water and to rejoin their compavions leaving her pup on the rookery, and, in the rookery. In this manner, since according to the testimony of experi- 1870, when the Pribilof Islands were enced observers, often wanders a long first leased by the United States govdistance in search of sustenance. It is ernment to the Alaska Commercial said that nursing females have been company, one hundred thousand sealtaken as much as a hundred miles and skins were taken annually during the over from the breeding islands. The months of June, July, September, and pups, as bas been already stated, are October, up to 1890, when the quantity born on the breeding-grounds in the was reduced on account of the falling months of June and July, and for the off in the numbers of the herd. That first six or eight weeks of their life do this reduction of numbers was an unnot enter the water. After this period doubted fact is admitted by both the they gather together in groups called British and American commissioners “pods,” and work their way gradually in their joint report. It is likewise down to the beach, where they learn to admitted by both parties that the dimswim, and pass an amphibious life until inution was the result of “excessive their departure, south, about the mid- killing by man,” but, as will be presdle of November.
ently seen, the commissioners of the The ways of the adult males, females, respective governments are quite at vaand young have now been shortly de- riance as to what sort of " killing by scribed, but there remains a fourth and man” has caused the diminution. most important class to be spoken of. When the breeding season is entirely This is that of the “ bachelors” or non-over, and the pups are grown up and breeding male seals, ranging in age able to swim, the whole herd leaves the from one to six years, after which they Pribilof Islands. The bulls after enpass into the class of “bulls." The tering the ocean remaiu in the waters bachelors arrive at their home in the south of the Aleutian Islands, but the
remainder of the herd — cows, bache- | are females.” Worse than this, accordlors, and pups — pass ou eastward and ing to the same authorities, they are appear off the coast of California about principally females heavy with young. the close of the year. Thence they Thus for every seal of this kind taken turn northwards along the coast of two lives are sacrificed. Moreover, as British Columbia in a long, irregular the seal, if shot dead, sinks quickly body, returning to their breeding quar- below the surface, many of the bodies ters, through the eastern openings of are altogether lost, and another considthe Aleutian Islands, in the following erable element of wastefulness is thus May and June. It is during their prog- attached to “ pelagic” sealing. ress northwards along the coast that Now, let me ask, what owner of a what the American commissioners terın deer forest in Scotlaud would consent " the pelagic sealing” – which in their to his hinds being killed, especially opinion has caused such havoc in the during the breeding season ? Is it not nunibers of the fur-seals — takes place. likewise on a grouse moor absolutely From a remote epoch the native In- forbidden to shoot grey lens at any dians along the coast have been accus- time? In these, and in numerous other tomed to spear a few seals from their instances which might be mentioned, canoes, and thus to procure a certain the sanctity of female life is univernumber of skins for the market. Of sally recognized. On the other hand, late years, however, American and the fur-seal being polygamous, males Canadian schooners have taken up the may be killed to a large extent without same trade, using vessels with crews of fear of injury to the herd, for, although from twenty to twenty-live men, and nearly equal numbers of both sexes approvided with small boats for hunting. pear to be born, one adult male is suffiFormerly these vessels were manned cient for twenty or thirty females. But almost exclusively by Indian crews, the selection of males from females, who adhered to the use of the spear. and especially of males of the age reOf late years, however, since the trade quired to make the best skins, can only has become more profitable and attained be effected on land, where the assemlarger dimensions, the spear has been bling together of the younger male fursuperseded by firearms. It is of course seals on particular spots presents the very difficult to ascertain the exact necessary opportunity. I think, therenumber of seals obtained by the “pe- fore, that if the fur-seal is to be prelagic sealers ;” but, according to the served for the use of posterity, every American commissioners, the number true naturalist will agree with the Amerhas been gradually advancing during ican commissioners that“ pelagic" sealthe past ten years, so that in iting ought to be altogether suppressed amounted to at least sixty thousand. in the first place because it necessarily The vice of 66 pelagic” sealing does involves the destruction of female life ; not, however, depend only upon the and in the second place because of its numbers captured. If there were no wastefulness through the frequent failother reasons to the contrary, it would ure to recover seals shot at sea. It may be quite as fair that the “pelagic” seal- be very true, and probably is, as coners should catch sixty thousand seals in tended by the English commissioners, the open Pacific, as that the American that the Americans, of late years, have officials should slaughter the same num- worked their seals rather hard, and ber in the Pribilof Islands. But in the have unduly reduced the number of former case there is, of course, no pos- males. But this is a matter for the sibility of making a selection of age or Americans themselves to regulate, and
pelagic ” hunter kills every looking to the great value of the furseal he can come across, whether male, sealeries, they will no doubt reduce the female, or young. According to the quantity of skins taken, if necessary. American commissioners, " at least It is hardly likely that they will “ kill eighty per cent of the seals thus taken the goose that lays the golden egg.
But in order to attain this desirable , royalty" thus levied would no doubt object our American friends will have increase the price of seal-skin jackets. to come to terms with other nations. But seal-skin jackets are not a necessary Without going into the diplomatic ques- luxury, and an additional pound added tion of what rights passed to the United to their cost would not be of material States by the cession of Alaska, I have consequence to the ladies who wear sufficient confidence in the common them. As a naturalist, therefore, I sense of the arbitrators now sitting at think that the fur-seal should be consid. Paris to believe that they will never ered in the light of a domestic animal, give in to the argument that Behring's and that all “ pelagic sealing " should Sea is a mare clausum, and that Amer- be stopped, while the owners of the ica, by the cession of Alaska, has ac- sealeries should at the same time pay to quired the right to keep all other nations the other nations interested a reasonout of it. This is a position that can able compensation for the valuable hardly be maintained in the face of the privileges thus obtained. British evidence to the contrary. The
P. L. SCLATER. absolute prohibition of pelagic" seal- Secretary of the Zoological Society. ing which is demanded by the Ameri
and which ought to be carried out P.S. — Since this article was written in order to ensure the continued exist. I have been able to consult the “ Apence of the fur-seals, can only be ob- pendix” to the “United States Case" tained by mutual arrangement among on the Behring's Sea Arbitration Questhe parties interested. The fur-seal of tion, which for some reason bas not Alaska (practically now the only re- been reprinted in the series of bluemaining member of the group of fur- books presented to Parliament, although seals) should be declared to be, to all it contains the documents and evidence intents and purposes, a domestic ani- on which the “ Case” is based. I find, mal, and its capture absolutely prohib- with great satisfaction, that some of the ited except in its home on the Pribilof most distinguished zoologists of Europe Islands. Looking to the great value of who have been consulted on the subthe privilege thus obtained, America ject (M. A. Milne-Edwards of Paris, might well consent to pay to Great Dr. G. Hartlaub of Bremen, Dr. R. ColBritain and her colonists some compen- lett of Christiania, Professor Lilljeborg sation for the loss of the right of “pe- of Stockholm, Dr. A. T. von Middenlagic sealing; the amount of this dorf of Dorpat, Count T. Salvadori of compensation would be fairly based Turin, and Dr. Giglioli of Florence) upon the number of fur-seals annually agree nearly with me in the views put killed on the Pribilof Islands. The forward in this paper. — P. L. S.
THE COLORATION OF PRESERVED Foods. tity is quite small, only a few milligrammes - The time-honored method of imparting in a hundred grammes, the author is disa beautiful green color to preserved foods posed to tolerate the practice. The green consists in treating the articles to be colored coloring matter of leaves, etc., is extremely with a solution of copper sulphate, which is sensitive both to light and to acids of every quickly poured off and the last traces re- kind. In order to hinder its decolorization, moved by repeatedly washing with water ; sodium carbonate is commonly added to the preserved articles are then boiled and green vegetables before cooking, by which the vessels containing them are soldered treatment free acids are neutralized, and up. The coloration results from the for- also such salts as potassium acid oxalate. mation of the copper salt of an acid derived Not only is the action of the acids upon the from phyllocyanin. This body is very inert, chlorophyl thus prevented, but a relatively is insoluble in water, hydrochloric acid, and stable sodium salt, green in color, is formed, acetic acid, soluble in alcohol, and indif- enhancing the effect. ferent to the action of light. As the quan
CONTENTS. I. THE INTERSTELLAR ETHER. By Pro fessor Oliver Lodge, F.R.S.,
Fortnightly Review, II. AT THE SIGN OF THE EAGLE. By Gilbert Parker,
National Review, III. THE CRAVING FOR FICTION. By Herbert Maxwell,
Nineteenth Century, .
V. H.R.H. THE DUKE OF YORK, K.G., New Review,
279 290 307
A MINISTERING SPIRIT,
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A MINISTERING SPIRIT.
The coltsfoot has shod him anew with gold I WANDERED far into the spring, and met Which he dug from the mines below; A shining one.
And pennyworth rich looks out of the ditch, “ Art come, the soul of rose or violet,
And spreads all her coins in a row. That earth with flame-like fragrance may The daffodil wheels and whirls in the wind
In a rapture of ecstasy,
Crying, “Spring will be here by and by.” wet. " Or art thou that sweet spirit of the trees
The buttercup brings her lordly dish,
Like Jael, in days of yore, To flush their tips, till, to the warmer And some day when we sleep, her root will breeze,
strike deep, Leaflets are spread ?”
And we'll dream of the Spring once Young leaves, like woodland sunbeams, crowned her head.
The warrior whin shakes his doublet green “Pilot of floating cloud, hast left the blue, From Winter's tears and so ’Lighting to play?
On his timid guest he is smiling his best ; Or wind-wraith that with wings of sunrise
With a button on every foil. flew
Dandelion has promised he won't show his From gates of day?
teeth She passed in sun and shade, now grave,
Lest he frighten our lady love ; now gay.
And if he must roar, he shall practise it “Or this glad song the birds are piping o'er, forth
Till he roar like a sucking dove. Didst thou inditeThy very beauty is of music's worth, Oh ! Spring set sail for our northern land, Child of delight ?”
Nor linger by southern seas ; Her voice brought memories of tears and Knee deep in the strand the paddock-pipes mirth.
And pipe for a favoring breeze. “I come from God, to give in weary eyes New light on everything ;
The windflower has lent her sails of snow, I am the Joy of Spring.
For Spring is coming at last; I teach the heart of man to leap, and bring The woodruffe her wheel to guide the ship's Him fancies fair and holy prophecies."
And the reed lent his emerald mast, Who comes, who comes in her golden ship
And leaps to the arms we extend ?
Is it sorrow or joy? or a little blind boy? A SPRING SONG.
Or Death saying low, “'Tis a Friend.'' THE daisies twinkle their silver stars
ELIZABETH M. JOHNSTONE. On a velvet sky of green ;
She only knew the birth and death Till it shame the winter snow;
Of days, when each that died For spring is near, and the brooklet clear Was still at morn a hope, at night Is pausing to glass the show.
A hope unsatisfied. Come, hyacinths, chime your sapphire bells, The dark trees shivered to behold Toll ai, ai no more ;
Another day begin ; Let the primroses spill custards sweet on She, being hopeless, did not weep the hill,
As the grey dawn came in.