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BY MARY CLEMMER AMES.

CHAPTER XIV.

THE OPERA.

as new."

when young Wodehouse had strayed down the hill with grow more lively than you have been lately. But do Rose, out of sight of the seniors of the party, and though decide on something, Aggie, for I must get down to the all his active apprehensions on that score had been calmed office.” down by Edward's departure, yet he was too wise not to

How could she tell him that she felt a half-sickeniny perceive that there was something in Mrs. Wodehouse's disjointed talk more than met the eye at the first glance. fear to decide on anything, let it should cost 100 (To be continued.)

much, - more than he could just now afford, more than he would feel willing to pay. And the thought struck through her with a pang, as it does through many

women's hearts : “ Why haven't I something my very HIS TWO WIVES.

own! then I would buy both dresses, and please him.”

Cyril thought of telling her to buy the two ; but the

after-thought, ever ready, reminded him that his funds AGNES AT

CIRCE were rather low; yet it did not remind him also that SUTHERLAND.

they had been lowered by new and unwonted ex

penses in which his family had no share. By this time Those who have been graduated from a contriving he was dreadfully bored.' What delighted him in dress school rarely outlive the result. Pinching poverty in was its effect; the process by which that effect might youth projects its trace into later life, leaving its vic- l be reached worried him, as it does most men. He tims to betray it according to their dispositions. Some liked to see a lady glide before him as harmonious to show it in lavish expenditure, vulgar display ; others his eyes as her music might be melodious to his hearin small, pinching economies when such economies have ing, but of the care and pains that wrought that harceased to be necessary.

Agnes, in her girlhood the dependent on proud but mony, the choosing and cost of it, he wished to know not over-rich relations, could not remember the time nothing; if he did, it was harmony no longer.

He had praised the silver gray costume so unreservwhen she had not “ to contrive” in order to make her edly, that Agnes wanted it just for the pleasure it would scanty wardrobe pretty as well as cheap. She early

give his eyes.

“If he could only tell me to take both, learned with deft fingers to turn garments upside down for the gray would be of no service alone,” she said inside out, to rip, to renovate, and to make over “ good to herself. He did not, so she resolutely turned her

She had by no means escaped the feeling eyes from it, and in a low voice told the salesman that that this must be done still. With his past indelibly she would take the black silk. stamped upon brain and heart, she could not disasso

The momentous question decided, Cyril accompanied ciate from Cyril the idea of impending want.

He was

her to a picture gallery. Her intention was to spend poor when she married him. He was not rich now. the remainder of the day going in and out among the The ample income derived from his profession had few artists’studios and art galleries that she knew, lookbeen sorely taxed by the expenses of his election and ing over books and engravings. Later in the afternoon the never-ceasing demands of political life. She had Cyril was to meet her at Goupil's ; then they were been long sick — and the baby! Babies were expensive going to the Brevoort, where she was to don the new blessings, there was no denying that.

The future was

silk, dine with Cyril, and then uncertain, and — “I must deny myself,” said Agnes at

It was an epoch in Agnes' days when she could go the conclusion of her meditation on what the new dress to the opera. There was no affectation in her love for should be. It must be strong enough to bear some it. She was conscious of the ludicrous aspect of singing wear and tear, fine enough to be seen in the city, sober certain sentences which could so much better be said, enough to be not out of place on the cars - and not nevertheless she enjoyed the opera

childish zest. expensive. All these unaffiliating qualities were to With its lights, melody, flowers, and gala dresses, to meet in one garment, for with their present expenses, her it meant how much more — youth, romance, love! she thought she could not afford two.

In the heyday of these she visited it first. In the first All this was settled in Agnes' mind, before she sat month of her marriage she saw for the first time the with Cyril on the upper floor of Stewart's, surveying interior of the Academy of Music. It opened upon her the costumes with which, in endless varieties, an oblig- unaccustomed eyes like a temple of enchantment. To ing salesman was draping the staring " form” before her, a neophyte in the gay world's delights, every obher.

ject which she contemplated gave her the pleasant Anything that really satisfies one's taste is sure to

thrill of a new sensation : the boxes rising tier on tier, be beyond one's means,” said Agnes to Cyril. “To with their curtains of lace and amber satin looped back find anything that will do for street-dress, reception to show the bedecked and living beauty within ; the dress, and evening-dress all in one, will be impossible, rose-tinted galleries upborne by white goddesses, packed I fear. This silver gray poplin is elegant. I want it, with people to the lofty ceiling; the fluttering audience Cyril, because you like it; but if I get it, I'll have to about her ; the shimmer of fans; the running ripple buy another to save it. On the whole, don't you think of talk; the melodious boy-voices in the aisles, calling I had better take this plain black silk? It won't look out “Opera-book !” “ Buy an opera-book !” the flower out of place anywhere, and will be good enough for any venders moving and peering up and down-one in occasion where I shall be likely to wear it.”

particular, an old Italian, his hands crowded with his “ You don't forget that you are going to Washing- fragrant merchandise, regulation bouquets of red and ton, do you?”

white which never varied. How these sights and sounds Oh, no. But it does not seem as if I should go out had stamped themselves upon her impressionable brain, much there. Do you think I will, Cyril ?”

she never knew till in hours of convalescence they “ I'm sure I don't know. You won't unless you came thronging in upon her memory, and through the

darkened room floated the boy-voices calling “Opera1 Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1874, by H. O. Hough. TOX & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Wasbiogton.

book !” the swell of the orchestra, “ Martha's “ Last

- the opera.

with a

Rose of Summer," the music of “Norma,” the airy ! whose occupants were visible from every part of the songs of Cherubini, while she inhaled again the subtle house. The central object in it was a lady whose flower-scent wafted from the old Italian's hand. All / white Turkish mantle, embroidered with gold, was these had been hers in the dimness of her chamber, when thrown back, revealing gauze-veiled arms, shoulders, it had seemed as if she could never enter the bright and throat gleaming with jewels. She wore a small Academy again ; yet here she was.

tiara of brilliants in her hair, which flashed out afar, No shadow had fallen upon that day. The autumnal | She sat like a queen amid courtiers and her aspect was splendor of the metropolitan streets had given her a royal. But not more so than Cyril's, for whom now all new sense of buoyancy, till she fancied she felt like others made way. There was another lady in the box, Guido's Aurora moving above the clouds. The new an elderly one, to whom the remaining gentlemen adpictures had fed her æsthetic sense, the new books she dressed themselves while Cyril seated himself by the found had filled her mind with new thoughts and emo- | beauty's side. tions. Not least, the black silk suit had proved itself a Agnes, alone, with no one to speak to, tried to fix marvel, did not fit ill, and had received Cyril's approval. / her eyes on the libretto in her hand, but could not; She had dined alone tête-à-tête with him, and here she they would rise to the sight that confronted ber! Could was by his side, — the glow, the splendor, the murmur that man be Cyril, who a moment before had sat so and music of the Academy about her once more. silent by her side. He was radiant with animation

All the burden of life seemed at once to roll from her now. What a pair they made, he and the unknown heart. She was Agnes Darcy, the girl, again. She beauty. Poor Agnes ! she could not help seeing that knew no doubt nor fear, nor anything but bliss beside also. Who could help seeing it? Not many, as was her lover.

proven by the innumerable glasses directed toward the “Oh, Cyril !” she whispered, “I know that it is / box. The whole Academy outside could not show so ridiculous, but I believe my idea of perfect happiness is superb a pair. to forget every pain and be with you at the opera." I “ How handsome he is !” said Agnes as she gazed,

“ After all, what a child you are, Aggie!” with a while her breath seemed going. She marked the broad, touch of superiority in the tone.

lofty shoulders and the haughty head with its rings of “ That's what I'd like to be always. It tires me so, closely clinging yellow hair; the keenly cut features ; makes me feel so old, to think and to feel.”

the eyes Hashing like sapphires. And she -- this “On dreary subjects — yes. If you'd only devote woman beside him! Why had God made her so beaumore time to agreeable themes.”

tiful ? The masses of purple black hair; the magnolia “I'll try, I'll try, Cyril.”

skin with its rose-leaf tinge; the long, drooping, heavily “ That's right; that's what you ought to do” – with fringed eye-lids, with the eyes half lifted, large, black, a sudden turn of his head and a swift change of coun and alluringly soft - she saw all, for her glass was tenance.

lifted now, though she was unconscious when she did “ What, what is the matter, darling? you look as it. “Such eyes, melting on him, on Cyril, my husif you were going to faint.”

band! And he! He looks as if there were not another * But I'm not;" after an instant's pause, “ I've had on earth but she. Why did I come here? was it for a number of such turns lately," and he spoke the truth. this?” And Agnes' glass fell from her hand, while the “ It's gone now. Thank Heaven, there's the bell;” and great Academy and the vast throng swam before her the curtain rose. There was the scene so well re eyes like a wreck at sea, and she drifted out with it, membered: the chamber in Count Almaviva's castle, where, she knew not, cared not. Figaro measuring the room, Susanna trimming a hat “Pray, is the lady whom you have just left Mrs. with flowers. With many touches of healthy sentiment, King? If so, I trust we are soon to become acquainted. “ The Marriage of Figaro,” like the majority of operas, It is scarcely fair that I should know her husband so is far from being wholly pure in tone. But Agnes did much better than I do herself,” said Circe Sutherland. not know it. She did not follow the libretto, nor always “Yes, that is Mrs. King;” with visible embarrassunderstand the action. She would shut her eyes and ment. “ This is the first time that she has been able to listen to the music; it was all in all to her. When the visit the Academy in a long time. If you should ever curtain fell at the close of Figaro's song, she opened favor Lotusport with another visit, it will give her great her eyes and came back as from another world, to look pleasure to call upon you." around the old one.

" Oh, can't I call upon her in the morning, before she “ Cyril, it must be imagination,” she said, “but it leaves town? Why didn't you send me word that she seems as if that lady, that one in the first box to the was in town, naughty man? Then I could have called right, - how beautiful she is ! — is aiming her glass to-day, and had the happiness of your both spending the straight at me. It must be a fancy. Of course she night at Sutherland house." can't be looking at litile me in all this dazzling throng, * Because it had been so long since she had been but she has seemed to be, so long, I can't help speaking able to get into town, she had commissions which kept of it. Isn't it strange, Cyril, that it should seem so ?” her out all day, and you would have missed her,” said

“ She is looking, Aggie, directly here,” said Cyril, Cyril, with the fact obtruding itself into his mind that making an effort to speak naturally. “Strange I did until afternoon Agnes had no dress in which he would not see her sooner. She is Mrs. Sutherland, who visits have thought her presentable to Circe Sutherland. at Mrs. Beekman's. I was introduced to her there. Now he glanced into the parquette, where she sat I must go and speak to her before the curtain rises. such a little way off, still trying to obey his wish, with Amuse yourself with the libretto, Aggie. You know her face bent over the libretto. How plain she looked ! how often I have told you that you ought to read it;”. how much plainer in her dark attire than any who sur. and before she could take in what he had said, he was rounded her. He was sorry now that he had not told gone, and she sat alone.

her to get the pearl gray dress with its satin trimmings ; In a moment he appeared in the conspicuous box / that would have shone out and reflected a little lustre

upon her, and with a bright ribbon would have given he expected. She neither cried nor accused him ; thus some color. Now her dress was lady-like, certainly, he had no excuse for reprimanding her. She was cold, but how dark and dull. How utterly without “air” cold as a stone; that at least was an offense. she looked, sitting there! And she was his wife, and I see that you are offended, Aggie,” he said. “You must be looked at and judged as such.

can't be such a little rustic as to be angry because I Only he had not the slightest expectation that she went between acts to speak with a friend. See ! there would be looked up and judged by Circe Sutherland - is scarcely a gentleman in his seat. In Europe the fall not that night. Because he heard Mrs. Sutherland say of the curtain is a signal for every man to rise and gaze that “ The Marriage of Figaro " was on the off night,” | about, or to go off to chat with his friends, leaving his and because he knew that on the “ off night” she wife to do the same.” seldom bestowed upon the Academy the splendor of her “ Perhaps unfortunately your wife could not do the presence, he had chosen that evening as the one in same,” said Agnes. which to take Agnes.

Well, you could if you hadn't been sick so much, He saw the enchantress the instant she entered the and eternally shut away from everybody. But for box. What a start it gave him. How the color fled | Heaven's sake don't look so ! you are a sight for everyfrom his face, and Agnes saw it go. How suddenly body, with such an ashen face !” exclaimed Cyril, torthe Academy and all the world was changed for him in tured with the consciousness that Circe Sutherland's the light of this one presence.

lorgnette was that instant turned upon them. He was He lingered till the last moment. But seconds to also conscious that Agnes had deeper cause for pain him, his absence seemed hours to Agnes. Her will than his mere absence from her in the box, and this kept her from fainting; had this been weaker, when the consciousness made him conciliatory. very Titans and goddesses sprang from their founda- “Let me tell you about Mrs. Sutherland, Aggie; tions, and with their tiers on tiers of humanity shot then you will be more reasonable. She is a good friend into space, she would have passed into unconsciousness to me — really did more than you can realize to inand have made “a scene" for which Cyril would never sure my election. She was in Lotusport, visiting Mrs. have forgiven her. The knowledge that he never Beekman when you were sick ; so you could not meet would, doubled her self-control, but did not deaden her her. She spoke very kindly of you just now wants misery.

to call upon you and to become acquainted with you." He was doing no unusual thing. The aisles and " I don't wish to become acquainted with her.” boxes were full of gentlemen who had left their seats “ Then it will be your own loss, Aggie. You see to pay their respects” to their friends. Many of these | how beautiful she is. She has musical genius, and a did not accompany ladies, those who did left their com- voice that I never heard equalled. She might have panions laughing and chatting with acquaintances. made fame and fortune in opera, if she had wanted But she was alone. In all the vast assembly she rec

either. When you hear her sing your ire will vanish.” ognized no one. There was nobody to come and speak

“ Where is her husband?". with her. She must not look at them again ; she could “ He is dead. He was her first cousin, and bore the not, she thought, without fainting and attracting painful

She was married to him when she was attention to herself. She was mistaken. For as she fifteen, by her father, in order to combine two estates. tried again to follow the words of the libretto the Her father was a Scotchman, a younger son of the letters all ran together, and she could not distinguish great Scotch family. He went to New Orleans and one sentence from another, while some fatal fascination into trade. Her mother was a Creole, a great heiress seemed to draw her eyelids upward and to fix her gaze and beauty. She is all a Creole — all curves and softupon the two in the box. Will quelled emotion. ness; the effect of climate as well as temperament. Passion faded from perception, leaving it unerring in She grew up in a Southern atmosphere. She has

never known anything but wealth and luxury. “ Linda has made me unhappy," said the prescient drudging American life she has no comprehension.” spirit ; " I now behold for the first time the woman who “I think she shows that in her face,” said Agnes has the power in herself to rob me utterly. I know it.” calmly, turning her eyes toward the box and passively

The curtain had risen upon the antechamber in the surveying its central occupant. castle, and the countess, sitting alone, was singing her

“ Yes, she is a perfect Creole,” Cyril went on, waxdoleful ditty,

ing fluent and almost happy at Agnes' apparent ac

quiescence, “ always lingering in the past yet perfectly Couldst thou, Love, one hope restore me,

conscious of the present; full of sentiment, yet alert Calmed were sorrow, and lulled my sigh. Teach a spouse the faith he swore me,

in perception; soft in temperament, and vivacious in Or an outcast heart to die,”

response, with eyes for form and color never surpassed,

and that sense of art which is instinct, for it can only when Cyril returned to his vacant seat.

He had ex- be born in one.” pected to see a deprecating face, silent, slow-dropping Where did you become so well acquainted with tears; and was all ready to meet them with his most this lady ? at Mrs. Beekman's ? ” annihilating manner and tone. Instead, he saw a stony “I met her there frequently, and - I have called face such as he had never seen before on Agnes. Her at her house in New York." features looked gray, pinched, and shrunken, as if she “ Oh! she lives in New York ? " And Agnes' had grown years older in a few moments. She asked mind, acutely alert, went back to the Tuesday evening no questions, made no allusions to the one he had left, before, with absolute certainty now, that Cyril's “imeven when the curtain fell at the second act.

portant business” and “positive engagement " was at Cyril felt at once that his premeditated grandeur of Mrs. Sutherland's house. manner went for naught, and that he was placed at “ Yes, she has a house in New York, and since her disadvantage. Agnes did not act at all like a child, as father and mother's and husband's deaths she has lived

same name.

its gaze.

Of our

When you

your face.”

there chiefly, with her aunt, the other lady in the box. | pulled the skirt of her dress tightly round her ankles in a But she often goes South, and has spent years in

tremendous flurry, and as well as she could slid down the Europe, studying music and art. She is passionately ladder. By the time she reached the bottom Troy was fond of France, the home of her mother's ancestorsther How fortunate I am to have dropped in at this mo“She looks as I fancy French women whom I have

ment!” exclaimed the sergeant. read about did - the women who lived for pleasure She found her voice in a minute. “ What! and will you even in art."

shake them in for me?” she asked, in what, for a defiant " It is your Puritan mind that judges her this mo- girl, was a faltering way ; though, for a timid girl, it would ment. She could not be a Puritan in aspect; I doubt

have seemed a brave way enough. if she could in any phase comprehend one.

“ Will I !” said Troy. “Why, of course I will. How meet her, through your æsthetic nature you will like blooming you are to-day!” Troy Aung down his cane and " I shall never like her, Cyril ; you know that is im- *** But you must have on the veil and gloves, or you'll be

stung fearfully!” possible. I couldn't if I would. I-I am afraid of “ Ah, yes. I must put on the veil and gloves. Will you her !” and suddenly the cold still voice quivered again kindly show me how to fix them properly?". with its burden of unshed tears.

" And you must have the broad-brimmed hat, too; for · Late as it was when the opera ended, Cyril and your cap bas no brim to keep the veil off, and they'd reach Agnes took the midnight train home. * Poor little mouse ! ” murmured Circe Sutherland,

“ The broad-brimmed hat, too, by all means.".

So a whimsical fate ordered that her hat should be taken repeating unconsciously in her waking midnight dream

off — veil and all attached — and placed upon his head, upon her luxurious couch the ejaculation of Evelyn Troy tossing, his own into a gooseberry bush. Then the Dare in the front door of her log-house. “ Poor, half- veil' had to be tied at its lower edge round his collar, dead litile mouse! what a stony stare she gave me. and the gloves put on him. I'm sure I wish her no harm. I'd rather not hurt her. He looked such an extraordinary object in this guise that, But how preposterous for such a woman to suppose

flurried as she was, she could not avoid laughing outright. that she can possess wholly such a man. The sooner

It was the removal of yet another stake from the palisade slie finds out that she cannot, and makes up her mind

of cold manners which had kept him off.

Bathsheba looked on from the ground whilst he was busy to bear it, the better it will be for her.”

sweeping and shaking the bees from the tree, holding up (To be continued.)

the hive with the other hand for them to fall into. She made use of an unobserved minute whilst his attention was absorbed in the operation to arrange her plumes a little.

He came down holding the hive at arm's-length, behind FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD. which trailed a cloud of bees.

“Upon my life,” said Troy, through the veil, “ holding CHAPTER XXVII.

up this hive makes one's arm ache worse than a week of

sword-exercise." When the manœuvre was complete he The Weatherbury bees were late in their swarming this approached her. “ Would you be good enough to untie me year. It was in the latter part of June, and the day after and let me out ? I am nearly stifled inside this silk cage." the interview with Troy in the hayfield, that Bathsheba To hide her embarrassment during the unwonted process was standing in her garden, watching a swarm in the air of untying the string about his neck, she said, and guessing their probable settling-place. Not only were “ I have never seen that you spoke of.” they late this year, but unruly. Sometimes throughout a « What?" whole season all the swarms would alight on the lowest at- “ The sword-exercise." tainable bough — such as part of a currant-bush or espalier “ Ah ! would you like to?" said Troy. apple-tree; next year they would, with just the same una- Bathsheba hesitated. She had heard wondrous reports nimity, make straight off to the uppermost member of some from time to time by dwellers in Weatherbury, who had by tall, gaunt costard, or quarrington, and there defy all invad- chance sojourned awhile in Casterbridge, near the barers who did not come armed with ladders and staves to

racks, of this strange and glorious performance, the swordtake them.

exercise. Men and boys who had peeped through chinks This was the case at present. Bathsheba's eyes, shaded or over walls into the barrack-yard returned with accounts by one hand, were following the ascending multitude of its being the most flashing affair conceivable; accouagainst the unexplored stretch of blue till they ultimately trements and weapons glistening like stars — here, there, halted by one of the unwieldy trees spoken of. A process around yet all by rule and compass. So she said mildly was observable somewhat analogous to that of alleged for- what she felt strongly : miations of the universe, time and times ago. The bustling “ Yes; I should like to see it very much." swarm had swept the sky in a scattered and uniform haze, " And so you shall ; you shall see me go through it.” which now thickened to a nebulous centre: this glided on “No! How?" to a bough and grew still denser, till it formed a solid black “Let me consider." spot upon the light.

“Not with a walking-stick — I don't care to see that. The men and women being all busily engaged in saving It must be a real sword.” the hay — even Liddy bad left the house for the purpose of “Yes, I know ; and I have no sword here ; but I think I lending a hand Bathsheba resolved to hive the bees her- could get one by the evening. Now, will you do this ? " self, if possible. She had dressed the hive with herbs and Troy bent over her and murmured some suggestion in a honey, fetched a ladder, brush, and crook, made herself low voice. impregnable with an armor of leather gloves, straw hat, and “Oh no, indeed!” said Bathsheba, blushing.

" Thank large gauze veil — once green, but now faded to snuff-color you very much, but I couldn't on any account.'

and ascended a dozen rungs of the ladder. At once she heard not ten yards off, a voice that was beginning to She shook her head, but with a weakened negation. have a strange power in agitating her.

“ If I were to," she said, “ I must bring Liddy, too. Might “Miss Everdene, let me assist you ; you should not I not?attempt such a feat alone."

Troy looked far away. “I don't see why you want to Troy was just opening the garden gate.

bring her," he said coldly. Bathsheba Aung down the brush, crook, and empty hive, An unconscious look of assent in Bathsheba's eyes be

HIVING THE BEES.

Surely you might? Nobody would know.”

scene.

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(To be continued.)

races.

trayed that something more than his coldness had made her Even the powder not unknown to ladies of fashion is also feel that Liddy would be superfluous in the suggested one of Nature's beautifying means. That which is left on

She had felt it, even whilst making the proposal. the hands of the ruthless boy when he has caught a butterWell, I won't bring Liddy - and I'll come. But only fly is a common instance; but there are birds, such as the for a very short time,” she added; a very

short time." large white cockatoo, which leave a wbite powder on the It will not take five minutes,” said Troy.

bands. An African traveller speaks of his astonishment on a rainy day to see his hands reddened by the moist plumage of a bird he had just killed. The most ordinary way, however, in which the pigment is found is when it

exists in the depths of the tissues, reduced to very fine COLOR IN ANIMALS.

particles, best seen under the microscope. When scat

tered, they scarcely influence the shade; but when close The variety of coloring in animal life is one of the mar- together, they are very perceptible. This explains the vels of nature, only now beginning to be studied scientific- color of the negro: under the very delicate layer of skin ally. It is vain to say that an animal is beautiful, either which is raised by a slight burn there may be seen abunin symmetry or diversity of color, in order to please the dance of brown pigment in the black man.

It is quite human eye:

Fishes in the depths of the Indian seas, superficial, for the skin differs only from that of the Eurowhere no human eye can see them, possess the most gor- pean in tone; it wants the exquisite transparency of fair geous tints. One thing is remarkable : birds, fishes, and

Among these, the colors which impress the eye do insects alone possess the metallic coloring ; whilst plants not come from a flat surface, but from the different depths and zoophytes are without reflecting shades. The mollusca of layers in the flesh. Hence the variety of rose and lily take a middle path with their hue of mother-of-pearl. tints according as the blood circulates more or less freely; What is the reason of these arrangements in the animal hence the blue veins, which give a false appearance, bekingdom? It is a question which cannot be satisfactorily cause the blood is red ; but the skin thus dyes the deep answered; but some observations have been made which tones which lie beneath it; tattooing with Indian ink is throw light on the subject. One is, that among animals, blue, blue eyes owe their shade to the brown pigment the part of the body turned towards the earth is always which lines the other side of the iris, and the muscles paler than that which is uppermost. The action of light seen under the skin produce the bluish tone well known is here apparent. Fishes which live on the side, as the to painters. sole and turbot, have the left side, which answers to the The chemical nature of pigment is little known; the back, of a dark tint; whilst the other side is white. It may sun evidently favors its development in red patches. Age be noticed that birds which fly, as it were, bathed in light, takes it away from the hair, when it turns white, the colordo not offer the strong contrast of tone between the upper ing-matter giving place to very small air-bubbles. The and lower side. Beetles, wasps, and flies have the metallic brilliant white of feathers is due to the air which fills them. coloring of blue and green, possess rings equally dark all Age, and domestic habits exchanged for a wild state, alter round the body; and the wings of many butterflies are as the appearance of many birds and animals; in some species beautifully feathered below as above.

the feathers and fur grow white every year before falling On the other hand, mollusca which live in an almost off and being renewed; as in the ermine, in spring the fur closed shell, like the oyster, are nearly colorless; the larvæ which is so valued assumes a yellow hue, and after a few of insects found in the ground or in wood have the same months, becomes white before winter. whiteness, as well as all intestinal worms shut up in ob- It would, however, be an error to suppose that all the scurity. Some insects whose life is spent in darkness keep exquisite metallic shades which diaper the feathers of this appearance all their lives; such as the curious little birds and the wings of butterflies arise from pigments; it beetles inhabiting the inaccessible crevasses of snowy moun- was a dream of the alchemists to try to extract them. tains, in whose depths they are hidden. They seem to fly Their sole cause is the play of light, fugitive as the from light as from death, and are only found at certain sparkles of the diamond." When the beautiful feathers seasons, when they crawl on the flooring of the caves like on the breast of a humming-bird are examined under the larvæ, without eyes, which would be useless in the retreats microscope, it is astonishing to see none of the shades the where they usually dwell.

mystery of which you would penetrate. They are simply This relation between coloring and light is very evident made of a dark-brown opaque substance not unlike those in the beings which inhabit the earth and the air ; those of a black duck. There is, however, a remarkable arare the most brilliant which are exposed to the sun; those rangement; the barb of the feather, instead of being a of the tropics are brighter than in the regions around the fringed stem, offers a series of small squares of horny North Pole, and the diurnal species than the nocturnal ; substance placed point to point. These plates, of infinibut the same law does not apparently belong to the inbab- tesimal size, are extremely thin, brown, and, to all appearitants of the sea, which are of a richer shade where the ance, exactly alike, whatever may be the reflection they light is more tempered. The most dazzling corals are those give. The brilliant large feathers of the peacock are the which hang under the natural cornices of the rocks and on same; the plates are only at a greater distance, and of less the sides of submarine grottos ; while some kinds of fish brightness. They have been described as so many little which are found on the shores as well as in depths re- mirrors, but that comparison is not correct, for then they quiring the drag.net, have a bright red purple in the latter would only give back light without coloring it. Neither regions, and an insignificant yellow brown in the former. do they act by decomposing the rays which pass through Those who bring up gold fish know well that to have them them, for then they would not lose their iris tints under finely colored, they must place them in a shaded vase, the microscope. It is to metals alone that the metallic where aquatic plants hide them from the extreme solar plumage of the humming-birds can be compared; the efheat. Under a hot July sun they lose their beauty. fects of the plates in a feather are like tempered steel or

The causes to which animal coloring is due are very crystallized bismuth. Certain specimens emit colors very various. Some living substances have it in themselves, variable under different angles, the same scarlet feather owing to molecular arrangement, but usually this is not the becoming when turned to ninety degrees a beautiful case ; the liveliest colors are not bound up with the tissues. emerald green. Sometimes they arise from a phenomenon like that by The same process which nature has followed in the which the soap-bubble shows its prismatic hues ; sometimes humming-bird is also found in the wing of the butterfly. there is a special matter called pigment which is united It is covered with microscopic scales, which play the part with the organic substance. Such is the brilliant paint, of the featber, arranged like the tiles of a house, and takcarmine, which is the pigment of the cochineal insect, and ing the most elegant forms. They also lose their color the red color of blood, which may be collected in crystals, under magnifying power, and the quality of reflection separate from the other particles to which it is united. shows that the phenomena are the same as in feathers.

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