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stalk of the barnacle. The neck is described as being composed “ of a kind of filmy substance, round, and hollow, and creassed, not unlike the Wind-pipe of a Chicken ; spreading out broadest where it is fastened to the Tree, from which it seems to draw and convey the matter which serves for the growth and vegetation of the Shell and the little Bird within it.” Sir Robert Moray therefore agrees, in respect of the manner of nourishment of the barnacles, with the opinion of Giraldus already quoted. The author goes on to describe the “Bird” found in every shell he opened ; remarking that “there appeared nothing wanting as to the internal parts, for making up a perfect Seafowl : every little part appearing so distinctly, that the whole looked like a large Bird seen through a concave or diminishing Glass, colour and feature being everywhere so clear and neat.” The “Bird” is most minutely described as to its bill, eyes, head, neck, breast, wings, tail, and feet, the feathers being “everywhere perfectly shaped, and blackish-coloured. All being dead and dry," says Sir Robert, “ I did not look after the Internal parts of them," a statement decidedly inconsistent with his previous assertion as to the perfect condition of the “internal parts"; and he takes care to add, “ Nor did I ever see any of the little Birds alive, nor met with anybody that did. Only some credible persons,” he concludes, “have assured me they have seen some as big as their fist."

This last writer thus avers that he saw little birds within the shells he clearly enough describes as those of the barnacles. We must either credit Sir Robert with describing what he never saw, or with misconstruing what he did see. His description of the goose corresponds with that of the barnacle-goose, the reputed progeny of the shells; and it would, therefore, seem that this author, with the myth at hand, saw the barnacles only with the eyes of a credulous observer, and thus bebeld, in the inside of each shell—if, indeed, his research actually extended thus far—the reproduction in miniature of a goose, with which, as a mature bird, he was well acquainted.

This historical ramble may fitly preface what we have to say regarding the probable origin of the myth. By what means could the barnacles become credited with the power of producing the well-known geese? Once started, the progress and growth of the myth are easily accounted for. The mere transmission of a fable from one generation or century to another is a simply explained circumstance, and one exemplified by the practices of our own times. The process of accretion and addition is also well illustrated in the perpetuation of fables ; since the tale is certain to lose nothing in its historical journey, but, on the contrary, to receive additional elaboration with increasing age. Professor Max Müller, after discussing various theories of the origin of the barnacle-myth, declares in favor of the idea that confusion of language and alterations of names lie at the root of the error. The learned author of the “Science of Language” argues that the true barnacles

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were named, properly enough, bernacule, and lays stress on the fact that bernicle geese were first caught in Ireland. That country becomes Hibernia in Latin, and the Irish geese were accordingly named Hibernice, or Hiberniculce. By the omission of the first syllable-no uncommon operation for words to undergo-we obtain the name Berniculæ for the geese, this term being almost synonymous with the name Bernaculæ already applied, as we have seen, to the barnacles. Bernicle-geese and bernicle-shells, confused in name, thus became confused in nature ; and, once started, the ordinary process of growth

; was sufficient to further intensify, and render more realistic, the story of the bernicle-tree and its wonderful progeny.

By way of a companion legend to that of the Barnacle-tree we may select the story of the “ Lamb-tree” of Cathay, told by Sir John Maundeville, whose notes of travel regarding crocodiles' tears, and other points in the conformation of these reptiles, have already been referred to. Sir John, in that chapter of his work which treats “ Of the Contries and that ben bezonde the Lond of Cathay; and of the Frutes there," etc., relates that in Cathay “there growethe a manner of Fruyt, as thoughe it were Gowrdes : and whan thei ben rype, men kutten (cut) hem a to (them in two), and men fynden with inne a lytylle Best (beast), in Flessche in Bon and Blode (bone and blood) as though it were a lytylle Lomb (lamb) with outen wolle (without wool). And men eten both the Frut and the Best; and that,” says Sir John, “is a gret marveylle. Of that fruit,” he continues, "I have eten; alle thoughe it were wondirfulle”-this being added, no doubt, from an idea that there might possibly be some stay-at-home persons who would take Sir John's statement cum grano salis. “But that," adds this worthy“ knyght of Ingelond,” “I knowe wel that God is marveyllous in his Werkes.” And not to be behind the inhabitants of Cathay in a tale of wonders, the knight related to these Easterns "als gret a marveylle to hem that is amonges us; and that was of the Bernakes. For I tolde hem hat in oure Countree weren Trees that beren a Fruyt, that becomen Briddes (birds) fleeynge : and tho that fellen in the Water lyven (live); and thei that fallen on the Erthe dyen anon : and thei ben right gode to mannes mete (man's meat). And here had thei als great marvayle,” concludes Sir John, “ that sume of hem trowed it were an impossible thing to be." Probably the inhabitants of Cathay, knowing their own weakness as regards the lamb-tree, might possess a fellow feeling for their visitor's credulity, knowing well, from experience, the readiness with which a “gret marvayle” could be evolved and sustained.

Passing from the sphere of the mythical and marvelous as represented in medieval times, we may shortly discuss a question which, of all others, may justly claim a place in the records of zoological curiosities-namely, the famous and oft-repeated story of the “Toad from the solid rock," as the country newspapers style the incident. Regularly, year by year, and in company with the reports of the seaserpent's reappearance, we may read of the discoveries of toads and frogs in situations and under circumstances suggestive of a singular vitality on the part of the amphibians, of more than usual credulity on the part of the hearers, or of a large share of inventive genius in the narrators of such tales. The question possesses for every one a certain degree of interest, evoked by the curious and strange features presented on the face of the tales. And it may therefore not only prove an interesting but also a useful study, if we endeavor to arrive at some just and logical conceptions of these wonderful narrations.

Instances of the discovery of toads and frogs in solid rocks need not be specially given ; suffice it to say that these narratives are repeated year by year with little variation. A large block of stone or face of rock is detached from its site, and a toad or frog is seen hereafter to be hopping about in its usual lively manner. The conclusion to which the bystanders invariably come is, that the animal must have been contained within the rock, and that it was liberated by the dislodgment of the mass. Now, in many instances, cases of the appearance of toads during quarrying-operations have been found, on close examination, to present no evidence whatever that the appearance of the animals was due to the dislodgment of the stones. A frog or toad may be found hopping about among some recently formed débris, and the animal is at once seized upon and reported as having emerged from the rocks into the light of day. There is in such a case not the slightest ground for supposing any such thing; the animal may more reasonably be presumed to have hopped into the débris from its ordipary habitat. But, laying aside narratives of this kind, which lose their plausibility unde? a very commonplace scrutiny, there still exist cases, reported in an apparently exact and truthful manner, in which these animals have been alleged to appear from the inner crevices of rocks after the removal of large masses of the formations. We shall assume these latter tales to contain a plain, unvarnished statement of what was observed, and deal with the evidence they present on this footing.

One or two notable examples of such verified tales are related by Smellie, in his “Philosophy of Natural History.” Thus, in the "Memoirs of the French Academy of Science” for 1719, a toad is described as having been found in the heart of an elm-tree ; and another is stated to have been found in the heart of an old oak-tree, in 1731, near Nantz. The condition of the trees is not expressly stated, nor are we afforded any information regarding the appearance of the toads-particulars of considerable importance in view of the suggestions and explanations to be presently brought forward. Smellie himself, while inclined to be skeptical in regard to the truth or exactness of many of the tales told of the vitality of toads, yet regards the matter as affording food for reflection, since he remarks : “But I mean not to persuade, for I can not satisfy myself; all I intend is, to recommend to those gentle men who may hereafter chance to see such rare phenomena, a strict examination of every circumstance that can throw light upon a subject so dark and mysterious ; for the vulgar, ever inclined to render uncommon appearances still more marvelous, are not to be trusted."

This author strikes the key-note of the inquiry in his concluding words, and we shall find that the explanation of the matter really lies in the clear understanding of what are the probabilities, and what the actual details, of the cases presented for consideration. We may firstly, then, glance at a few of the peculiarities of the frogs and toads, regarded from a zoological point of view. As every one knows, these animals emerge from the egg in the form of little fish-like "tadpoles," provided with outside gills, which are soon replaced by inside gills, resembling those of fishes. The hind-legs are next developed, and the fore-limbs follow a little later ; while, with the development of lungs, and the disappearance of the gills and tail, the animal leaves the water, and remains for the rest of its life an air-breathing, terrestrial animal. Then, secondly, in the adult frog or toad, the naturalist would point to the importance of the skin as not only supplementing but, in some cases, actually supplanting the work of the lungs as the breathing organ. Frogs and toads will live for months under water, and will survive the excision of the lungs for like periods; the skin in such cases serving as the breathing surface. A third point worthy of remembrance is included in the facts just related, and is implied in the information that these animals can exist for long periods without food, and with but a limited suppiy of air. We can understand this toleration on the part of these animals when we take into consideration their cold blooded habits, which do not necessitate, and which are not accompanied by, the amount of vital activity which we are accustomed to note in higher animals. And, as a last feature in the purely scientific history of the frogs and toads, it may be remarked that these animals are known to live for long periods. One pet toad is mentioned by a Mr. Arscott as having attained, to his knowledge, the age of thirty-six years; and a greater age still might have been recorded of this specimen, but for the untoward treatment it sustained at the hands, or rather beak, of a tame raven. In all probability it may be safely assumed that, when the conditions of life are favorable, these creatures may attain a highly venerable age-regarding the lapse of time from a purely human and interested point of view.

We may now inquire whether or not the foregoing considerations may serve to throw any light upon the tales of the quarryman. The first point to which attention may be directed is that involved in the statement that the amphibian has been imprisoned in a solid rock. Much stress is usually laid on the fact that the rock was solid ; this fact being held as implying the great age, not to say antiquity, of the rock and its supposed tenant. The impartial observer, after an examination of the evidence presented, will be inclined to doubt greatly the justification for inserting the adjective “solid”; for usually no evidence whatever is forthcoming as to the state of the rock prior to its removal. No previous examination of the rock is or can be made, from the circumstance that no interest can possibly attach to its condition until its removal reveals the apparent wonder it contained, in the shape of the live toad. And we rarely, if ever, find mention of any examination of the rock being made subsequently to the discovery. Hence, a first and grave objection may be taken to the validity of the supposition that the rock was solid, and it may be fairly urged that on this supposition the whole question turns and depends. For, if the rock can not be proved to have been impermeable to and barred against the entrance of living creatures, the objector may proceed to show the possibility of the toad having gained admission, under certain notable circumstances, to its prison-house.

The frog or toad in its young state, and having just entered upon its terrestrial life, is a small creature, which could, with the utmost ease, wriggle into crevices and crannies of a size which would almost preclude such apertures being noticed at all. Gaining access to a


a roomier crevice or nook within, and finding there a due supply of air, along with a dietary consisting chiefly of insects, the animal would grow with tolerable rapidity, and would increase to such an extent that egress through its aperture of entrance would become an impossibility. Next, let us suppose that the toleration of the toad's system to starvation and a limited supply of air is taken into account, together with the fact that these creatures will hibernate during each winter, and thus economize, as it were, their vital activity and strength; and after the animal has thus existed for a year or two-no doubt under singularly hard conditions—let us imagine that the rock is split up by the wedge and lever of the excavator ; we can then readily enough account for the apparently inexplicable story of “the toad in the rock.” “There is the toad and here is the solid rock," say the

" gossips. “There is an animal which has singular powers of sustaining life under untoward conditions, and which, in its young state, could have gained admittance to the rock through a mere crevice," says the naturalist in reply. Doubtless, the great army of the unconvinced may still believe in the tale as told them, for the weighing of evidence and the placing pros and cons in fair contrast are not tasks of congenial or wonted kind in the ordinary run of life. Some people there will be who will believe in the original solid rock and its toad, despite the assertion of the geologist that the earliest fossils of toads appear in almost the last-formed rocks, and that a live toad in rocks of very ancient age-presuming, according to the popular belief, that the animal was inclosed when the rock was formed-would be as great an anomaly and wonder as the mention as an historical fact of an expresstrain or the telegraph in the days of the patriarchs. The reasonable


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