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deltoid accumulations at the mouth. Where is now that river with its multitudinous spoils ? Where the land from whose springs its waters were fed? All we can say with confidence is, that it was Atlanticwards, that it enjoyed a higher temperature than any part of modern Europe, that it was specially rich in vegetation, and crowded with inhabitants the like of which are no longer on earth. It is especially noteworthy, that among them was a microscopic genus, built on a cold-climate type, showing that however warm as a whole, there were lofty ranges, near the snow line of which those little creatures had appropriate homes, before the floods swept them down to the river. Strange, though so long dead, they still speak, giving unmistakable lessons on physical geography !
This brought them to the subject of food. of learning what sort of table a gentleman keeps, is occasionally to dine with him. That we cannot do with the Iguanodon, as he rides a “sulky," and neither gives nor receives invitations to pot-luck. Another is to go among his butchers and bakers, &c., and learn what they are accustomed to send to his house ; and the third is, to examine the bones in the cinder heap, to which the cook throws the sweepings of the kitchen. That we can easily do with the Iguanodon, who fortunately was buried in his own ash-pit, in fact “grounded on his own beef-bones.” His teeth demonstrate that he was a strict vegetarian ; while the fragmentary specimens scattered around him as “he lies in his glory,” show the normal productions of the country on whose treasures he fed. The recipe for his everyday salad prescribed several strong, rank grasses, rushes, and waterflags, with gigantic fern trees, pines, and abietites bearing cones more than a foot long, and an incomprehensible species of dragon's blood asparagus, on the pine-apple type (Clathraria Lyelli), some of the remains of which are too heavy for a man to lift. A hundred-weight each of these, mashed carefully in a hogshead of water, “and when taken to be well shaken.” On grand cccasions there were at least 74 others, the unmouthable names of which are familiar to geologists. Nor did they seem to disagree with his digestion ; at any rate they did not stop his growth, made no Tom Thumb of him, despite any possible qualms of dyspepsia. His precise age when he died is not known, though probably certain assertions hazarded thereon about
a “thousand years,” are not as proofless as is sometimes imagined. Another very important question is the time when he lived. That is difficult to be determined, not from any fault in the parish register, but from our not having a convenient measurer for expressing it. Suppose a geographer wished to give you an idea of the size of the Pacific or Mediterranean : would it help you to be told that it contained so many gallons or drops? Would it not rather be absurd—nay, positively impertinent—to talk of drops or gallons in such a connection? Not a whit less impertinent to talk of centuries when trying to fix the Iguanodon era. Put a row of closely-packed numerals extending from John-o'-Groats to Lands-end, and ask Sir C. Lyell if they go back to the Wealden. He will answer“ very possibly, but I can't be sure.” If you must have some number, say “ten times ten hundred thousand million of centuries," or anything else you please, so long as we can attach no meaning to it. The geologist will be the last to contradict you, as he no more thinks of calculating it by centuries, than a merchant does of selling sugar by the particle, or an astronomer of tabulating the milky way by à pocket microscope. Be it ever so long, there was still anterior to it a GoD-filled eternity, of which it is not even an algebraical fraction.
A rapid glance was now taken of the Iguanodon's contemporaries. There were countless multitudes of shells of above 40 different kinds, allied to still existing land or fresh-water forms. Crustacæa were numerous individually, but limited in species, the chief being an aquatic woodlouse, and a diminutive Cyclops with only one eye in the middle of its head. With these are found above 30 sorts of insects, belonging mostly to the beetle, grasshopper, gnat, dragon-fly, and the bug. Fishes also were nunierous, and extending over a wide range of species, the nearest living representatives of which are the sturgeon and the shark.
The estuary of the Wealden, however picturesque, was hardly to be recommended as a bathing-place. Everywhere it abounds with teeth horribly reminiscent of poor Red Riding Hood, or the Dragon of Wantley! His real companions must be looked for among the reptilia, the undoubted aristocracy of the day. At the bottom of the scale came hosts of marine and fresh-water turtles and tortoises ; but as these were only 3 or 4 feet long, it is enough to mention
them. Next appeared crocodiles innumerable (Teleosaurs and Steneosaurs) with elongated snouts, like the Gavial of the Ganges, bristling with long lines of teeth, specially adapted for fish-hunting. These were the Arabs of the coast line—“and round about the cauldron stout they danced right merrily." Among those approaching his own rank stood first the terrible fish-like lizard, called Ichthyosaur, from 40 to 60 feet long, with four strong paddles, and a back as flexible as that of an eel. Anatomiste tell us his speed in the water must have equalled our best carrier pigeons. ' Such was the size of the eyes, that it requires à string of 5 feet to surround the cavity of one in the British Museum. Next, the crane-like lizard Plesiosaur, of which 17 species are known. This Cuvier thought the most heteroclite of all known animals, possessing the trunk of a quadruped, a neck resembling the body of a serpent, the head of a lizard, the stomach of'a shark, and the ribs of a chameleon. He reminded the lecturer of a celebrated politician, described as an “American-Jew-Greek of Scottish extraction brought up in Ireland !" Alongside these appeared the sea-horse lizards, known as the Pleiosaurs, of still enormously greater size, and making their home farther out in the sea; and next to them, the great whale lizards or Cetiosaur, about whose size or shape the lecturer feared to be particular, lest the audience should pronounce him gone clean daft. He was, in fact, the veritable sea-serpent of science, having a crocodile's' head, a shark's tail, a whale's body, the legs of an otter, and a digestive apparatus that would fill a good-sized church. On land, reptiles were equally predominant. The heavens were actually full of flying dragons. Of the Pterodactyle alone, or wing-fingered lizard, there were 8 well-known species. This hideous creature was equally fitted for flying, running, climbing escarpments, diving in deep water. Never was another such a “Jack-of-all-Trades !" We picture him as a sort of Hippogrif alligator; and a more fearful vision, “sailing with obscene wing (more than 18 feet from tip to tip) åthwart the moon," it would be difficult to imagine. He was no fit companion for man.
Father Adam did well to wait till such folks were out of the way. Still higher in rank stood the stupendous Hylæosaur, or lizard of the weald, a little less crinolined in the trunk, but quite as long as the Iguanodon. We reach the climax in the awe-inspir
ing Megalosaur-the very Bluebeard of comparative anatomy, probably the most formidable creature that ever appeared on the earth. This was a kind of panther lizard, Or, if you like the combination better, a wolf-like boa constrictor, a fierce land flesh-eater, at once singularly agile and massive, to whose rapacity there seemed no limits.
Think of encountering such a spectre, “ beneath the abbey walls," "shimmering in the pale glimpses of the moon !" As a watch-dog for Gog and Magog, he might have done admirably; but he was decidedly too much of a good thing for his degenerate descendants--worse than Byron's Tiglath Pelezer in the halls of Oxford. “ Dread Tyrant, go where glory waits thee !"—to the tombs of the Capulets. We prefer thy room to thy company.
After these preliminaries, the audience were asked to fetch out their Pegasus, and dash backwards in time, thinking no more of centuries than a telegraphic message does of the sand dust over which it flashes. Having promised them“ a day with the Iguanodon,” he would now "call his spirit from the vasty deep," and put them as livingly as possible in mesmeric rapport with his worship for the remainder of the evening. A long and humorous, but most carefully-drawn word-picture was then given, of his awaking at sunrise, with a growl-grunt like the muttering of a young earthquake, and tramping off to the forest for breakfast, where, after gulping a waggon-load in the “Robin-aBobbin-a-Bilbery-Hen" fashion, he still complained he had not enough. He then goes down to the river side, and watches the carnage going on among the sharks and crocodiles, “ thick as leaves in Val Ambrosa.” A Pterodactyle pounces on a Pike—a Teleosaur on the Pterodactyle--a Plesiosaur on the Teleosaur, &c., in glorious Donnybrook fair scramble. Next he climbs the top of a mountain“sich a getting up stairs,”—whence he has a view of the politic ocean. Encrinites munched by a Pycnodontavenged by a Port Jackson cestraciont, and reavenged by the Icthyosaur, who swallows the swallower as a pilule. After him starts the Pleiosaur, and after the Pleiosaur the almost unimaginable Cetiosaur, whose great shark-shaped tail, many fathoms behind, rocked and plunged like a locomotive run mad! A little before sunset the Iguanodon comes down to dinner. On his way he meets the Hylaceosaur, to whom he gives battle, the particulars of which could be described only by the “genius of Homer, or Nebuchadnezzar and mighty Obrian to boot." The Hylaceosaur failing in weight rather than pluck, is got under, when a horrible Megalosaur with a tiger-like spring leaps on the back of the Iguanodon, and at a stroke buries his fangs deep in the vertebræ ! See what a rent the envious Casca made! With the suddenness of a pistol shot, the story is over. Alas! poor Yoric is dead! The wheel of destiny moves onwards. Mighty Samson Agonistes, fare-thee-well! “ Nunc dimittimus." The reptile reign is closed—that of the mammal dawns !
And all the birds of the air fell to sighing and sobbing,
THE HISTORICAL PLAYS OF SHAKSPERE.
REV. F. N. Y. KEMBLE.
T HE LECTURER commenced by speaking of the boldness
of any person selecting Shakspere as the subject of a lecture ; but as he was not prompted by a spirit of criticism, but simply with the desire still further to extend the poet's wide-spread fame, he should not lay himself open to the charge of presumption. Some of the most eminent literary men of modern times had shown themselves inadequate to the task of criticising Shakspere: far be it from him, then, to intrude his infant strength within the arena where giants had been vanquished. His design did not go beyond the gratification of his audience, and to diffuse more widely the knowledge of that great poet. He would not venture to discuss his merits, for he felt himself utterly disqualified to do so ; and he regretted, for their sakes, his incapacity to set the subject before them with that power of language and elevation of sentiment of which the subject was so worthy. He had undertaken to lecture upon the Historical Plays ; but as they were ten in number, he should confine this lecture to that of “ King John.” Aware that he who tried to represent Shakspere by select quotations would succeed like the pedant in Hierocles, who, when