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olive grove. A Mr. Drummond describes an
Australian fungus with similar properties; and
another very interesting one is noticed by Mr.
Gardner, in his Travels in Brazil. " One dark
night," he says, "about the beginning of December,
while passing along the streets of the Villa de
Natividade, I observed some boys amusing
themselves with some luminous object, which I at
first supposed to be a kind of large fire-fly; but,
on making inquiry, I found it to be a beautiful
phosphorescent fungus, belonging to the genus
Agaricus, and was told that it grew abundantly
in the neighbourhood on the decaying leaves of
the dwarf-palm. Next day I obtained a great
many specimens, and found them to vary from
one to two-and-a-half inches across. The whole
plant gives out at night a bright phosphorescent
light of a pale greenish hue, similar to that
emitted by the larger fire-flies, or by those
curious soft-bodied marine animals, the
pyrosomae; from this circumstance, and from growing
on a palm, it is called by the inhabitants
' Flor do Coco.' The light given out by a few
of these fungi in a dark room was sufficient to
read by. It proved to be quite a new species,
and, since my return from Brazil, has been
described by the Rev. M. J. Berkeley, under the
name of Agaricus Gardneri, from preserved
specimens which I brought home." The genus
Rhizomorpha, which vegetates in dark mines, is
remarkable for its phosphorescence. In the coal
mines near Dresden these fungi are described
as covering the roof, walls, and pillars, their
beautiful light almost dazzling the eye, and
giving a coal mine the air of an enchanted castle.
It is said by some authorities that the luminosity
of funguses is increased by exposure to
oxygen gas, the process being in reality a slow
spontaneous combustion; while, according to
others, it is referable to the liberation of
phosphorus from some of its combinations in the


"GROWLER, throw the window open and let
us have a good solid whiff of the river."
Growler and I were having a quiet little dinner
at Greenwich. "It isn't everybody has such
a bouquet as that to sniff at every day, and
whitebait is nothing without it now."

It was an unpardonable eccentricity on the
part of Growler, but nothing could soothe him.
The whitebait hadn't done it; the punch had
apparently induced a contrary effect; Chablis
was powerless towards that end, and claret only
productive of irritability. The fact is, that
Growler had been "County Courted." (" To
County Court," I may observe in parenthesis, is
a verb only admissible into dictionaries of recent
date.) "Come, Growler," I said once more, "let
me admire the benevovolence of a Government
which lias furnished a noble edifice for our
disabled seamen like that"— and I pointed with
pride to the Hospital, which we could admire
from the window—"and speak no more about
these County Courts."

"But I must, sir," said Growler, rather
subdued, but frightfully dogmatical since the river
had come into the conversation—"I must speak
my mind about them. The County Court, sir,
is an abominable institution, worthy only of
Naples and that wretched old tyrant who lay
in state there the other day. It should be
banished out of the land, and all the Judges
boiled to death. I hold in my hand, sir," said
Growler, diving into the recesses of his coat-
pocket, and, before I could interfere, flourishing
before my eyes the most dreadful looking
pamphlet I ever beheld— " I hold in my hand, sir, a
return which shows me that the number of
persons of both sexes committed to prisonto
prison, sir, you will observeby the County
Courts during the year one thousand eight
hundred and fifty-eight, was eleven thousand five
hundred and one! I am in a position to state,"
proceeded Growler, " that Captain Hicks, of the
Whitecross-street Prison, has said that ' daily
labourers, and men in the most abject poverty, even
in rags, were constantly imprisoned there under
the sentences of Metropolitan County Courts
for sums varying from a few shillings to twenty
pounds, and sometimes for a debt as low as two
shillings. That he had had in his own custody,
between September, 1857, and September, 1S58,
no fewer than one thousand one hundred and
sixty County Court prisoners of both sexes,
every one of them committed for debts under
twenty pounds, very many of them for debts
under twenty shillings, and one woman for a
debt of twenty pence'"

"Growler, that river is very offensive."

"'For a debt of twenty pence,' " proceeded
Growler, " ' which she had reduced from nine
shillings and twopence to that amount by hard
work and great sacrifices, and for which she was
after all sent to prison by the Judge of a
Metropolitan County Court.'"

"I am very unwilling to believe it, Growler,"
I said; " there must be some check upon these

"No, sir, there is not," said Growler. " They
are all Alexander Selkirks, or Robinson Crusoes,
or Juan Fernandezes, or whoever he wasall
monarchs of all they survey, sir, when they sit
inside the court and have a good batch of debtors
before them."

"But, my dear fellow," I said, "they are
all very respectable men, these County Court
Judges; barristers of seven years' standing;
at least, I know, of unexceptionable character.
It must be the system which is at fault and not
the men."

"We'll, sir, perhaps it is, and you have pretty
good authority for saying so. " The Chief Baron,
in a published letter, says: ' My remarks at
Bedford' (and pretty strong remarks they were, sir)
'were not at all directed against the mode in
which any County Court Judge has exercised his
power, but against the power itself..... I
alluded to no particular case as one of injustice
and oppression on the part of the Judge, but as
illustrating the folly and absurdity and the
mischievous results of the system. Judges differ