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dingy pearls, just as there are handsome and
ugly men; the dark pearl being found on the
dark shell of the fish, the white brilliant one
upon the smooth inside shell. Going further
in the search, we find that the smooth glittering
lining upon which the fish moves, is
known as the nacre, and that it is produced
by a portion of the animal called the mantle:
and for explanation sake we may add, that
gourmands practically know the mantle as
the beard of the oyster. When living in its
glossy house, should any foreign substance
find its way through the shell to disturb the
smoothness so essential to its ease, the fish
coats the offending substance with nacre, and
a pearl is thus formed. The pearl is, in fact,
a little globe of the smooth glossy substance
yielded by the oyster's beard; yielded ordinarily
to smooth the narrow home to which
his nature binds him, but yielded in round
dropsreal pearly tearsif he is hurt. When
a beauty glides proudly among a throng of
admirers, her hair clustering with pearls, she
little thinks that her ornaments are products
of pain and diseased action, endured by the
most unpoetical of shell-fish.

Leaving the centre-room of the three in
the College roof, let us just glance at the
other two apartments. Upon entering one
we see the walls lined with boxes, something
like those in a milliner's shop, but, instead
of holding laces and ribands, we find them
labelled " Wolf," " Racoon," " Penguin,"
"Lion," " Albatross," and so on with names
of birds, and beasts, and fishes. On lifting
a lid, we find the boxes filled with the
bones of the different creatures named;
not a complete skeleton of any one, perhaps,
but portions of half-a-dozen. In this room,
the two students attached to the College
carry on dissections, under the directions of
the superior authorities. What they do is
entered in a book kept posted up, and this
affords another source for reference as to
anatomical facts. When they have laboured
here for three years, they have the option of
a commission as Assistant Surgeon in the
Army, Navy, or East India Company's
service, as a reward for their College work.

If the atmosphere of the two apartments
we have investigated was bad, that of the third
room was infinitely worse, though windows
and ventilators are constantly open. In this
place large preparations are kept, and all the
specimens are here put into the bottles required
for exhibition in the Museum. This third
room, like the first, has a curiously characteristic
look. It would make a fine original for
a picture of an alchemist's study. On one side
is a large structure of brickwork with pipes
and taps, conveying the idea of a furnace and
still, or of an oven. Alongside it is a bath and
a table, and the purpose of the whole is
for injecting large animals. This is a very
difficult operation, the object being to drive
a kind of hot liquid sealing-wax into every
artery of the body, even the most minute.
All things brought here, and capable of it,
are injected somewhat after this fashion before
they pass under the scalpel. Besides this
oven-looking structure there are pans, and
tubs, and casks; one containing a small
dromedary, another being " a cask of camel."
A painter's easel stands there ready for use, and
on the floor are some bones of a megatherium;
the tables are covered with bottles and
jars, and the walls are similarly decorated.
Strings of bladders hang about, and under
foot we see thin sheets of lead coated with
tin-foil; these latter being used for tying
down the preparation bottles so that they may
for years remain air-tight; a tedious and
somewhat difficult operation. In this place
every year they use scores, sometimes hundreds
of gallons of alcohol; one fact which
helps to show that museums on a large scale
are expensive establishments.

Here, as elsewhere, however, in our establishments,
whatever may be expended on
materials, the men who do the work of science
are but indifferently paid. But lucre is not
their sole reward. No mere money payment
could compensate (for instance) a man for
spending a lifetime in this College of Surgeons'
roof. Forget the object in view; ignore the
charm that science has for its votaries; and
this place becomes a literal inferno, filled with
pestilential fumes, and surrounded by horrible
sights. But they who fix the salaries know
how much the pursuit of science is a labour of
love; and so they pay the man of science badly,
not here alone, but in all the scientific branches
of the public service. But the science-worker
though he may feel the injustice, yet moves
on his way rejoicing, pleased with his unceasing
search into the secret workings of
nature, and exhilarated from time to time by
some discovery, or by the confirmation of
some cherished notion. And though the
glittering prizes of life be bestowed on strivers
in far different walks, the student of nature
holds on his cheerful and philosophic way,
rewarded by the glimpses he gets of the
power that made and sustains all terrestrial
things, and rewarded, moreover, by the holy
contact with that infinite wisdom seen at
work in the construction, the adaptation, and
the continuance of the marvellous and illimitably
varied works it is the business of his
life to investigate.


WE shudder at the cruelties practised upon
Strasbourg geese to produce the celebrated
pâtés de foie gras; but remorse would assuredly
afflict the amateurs of veal with indigestion, if they reflected on the tortures to
which calves are subjected to cause the very
unnatural colour of the meat which they so
much prize. The natural and wholesome
tint of veal is not white, but pink. An
ancient French traveller in England (1690)

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