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water, wing, and yoke mosses. And in all
these different varieties the fructification, or
flowering, is so similar, that a single example
will suffice for all.

Mr. Wilson, in his admirable work upon
British Mosses, says, if the common cord
moss (Funaria hygrometrica), which is to be
found upon almost every bank, and easily
recognised, is examined in autumn or early
winter, previous to the appearance of young
fruit-stalks, reddish star-like flowers will be
found at the tops of the young shoots or
stems. These are the barren or male flowers;
and, on dissection in water, are found to
consist of a cluster of oblong bladders (antheridia)
mixed with jointed transparent filaments
(paraphyses), and surrounded by several
rows of spreading leaves. The oblong bladders
are at first filled with a jelly-like mass
of loose cellular tissue. In each cell of this
jelly-like mass there is a small grain of pollen
(spermatozoid), composed of a spiral fibre,
with a very small oval or roundish particle
attached to it, generally near the middle of
the spire. When ripe, the bladders burst
at the top, and the contents escape, with
more or less of explosive action. Soon afterwards,
the grains of pollen begin to whirl
rapidly within their cells, and at length
escaping from confinement, move about (in
the water) in various directions. This motion
is often continued for several hours. The
empty bladders are visible long afterwards,
and assume a reddish-brown colour.

At the same season, and on the same
individual, the fertile flower may be easily found
by dissection, at the tip of a young branch.
The fertile flower consists of slender flask-
shaped bodies (archegonia), mixed with
jointed filaments (paraphyses), and
surrounded by a cluster of erect leaves. The
flask-shaped bodies are somewhat longer
and considerably more slender than the
oblong bladders, and are thread-like, except
towards the base, where they are slightly
puffed up, and at the tip, where they are
slightly expanded. A central canal extends
from the tip to the swollen cavity near the
base, where is lodged the roundish germ of
the future fruit-stalk and capsule. In general
only one of the flask-shaped bodies comes to
perfection, the rest being ultimately found in
an abortive state attached to its base. The
perfect flask soon becomes enlarged and
distended by the increase in size of the germ,
and is at length torn asunder at an horizontal
fissure near the base, the upper portion being
converted into the hood or extinguisher
(calyptra), and the base into the cellular
sheath surrounding the base of the fruit-
stalk, called the vaginula. The rudimentary
germ is now converted into a fruit-stalk,
having its tapering base inserted and firmly
fixed in the sheath, and its tip sheathed by
the young hood. When the fruit-stalk has
attained its full length, and not before, its
tip swells and becomes changed into the
capsule. The capsule contains a central
column (columella), around which the seeds
(spores) are generated within a membranous
sac (sporular sac), which lines the cavity
formed by the internal walls of the capsule.
The mouth of the capsule is closed up at first
by the lid or operculum, and an intermediate
coloured ring (annulus), composed of large
cellular tissue, which by its hygrometric or
water-pressure action, causes the lid to fall
off from the ripe capsule, disclosing the
beautiful fringe of teeth (peristome) which
regulates the escape of the seeds. The fringe
of teeth is double, the outer one being a
continuation of the inner wall of the capsule
(called the thecal membrane), and the inner
one a continuation of the sporular sac. At
this period the short branch which bore the
fertile flower is much elongated, and overtops
and conceals the barren flower, now
apparently at the base of the stem. In this
example, the two kinds of flowers are
separated; but in many mosses the antheridia
and archegonia are intermixed in the same

In the classification of mosses, the structure
of the fringe of teeth is of the first
importance; after which come the form of
the extinguisher, and the insertion of the


BESIDE her father's cottage door
  A little maiden play'd,
With many a baby-treasure round,
  In careful order laid.

A parrot perch'd above her head
  Answer'd her merry chat;
And, on the bench beside her, purr'd
  The sleek old tabby cat:

Watching, with winking furtive glance,
  The petted kangaroo
That, with mild, deer-like, gentle face,
And movements quaint, yet full of grace,
  Hopp'd softly to and fro.

Newest and dearest prize, the doll,
  With doll-like primness sat;
Hollyhock leaves for parasol
  Shaded her silken hat.

For the cottage garden had shrub and root,
  And fair Home-flowers as well;
But the brightest and cheeriest blossom there
  Was blue-eyed little Bell.

Hers was the father's last fond kiss,
  Ere daily toil began:
The sound of her voice, the mother's bliss,
  Through the house, like music, ran.

Three other dear ones they had laid
  To rest in the far old land;
And the mother yearn'd to that hallow'd spot
  Where the thick dark yew-trees stand;
And the dial, beside the grey church wall,
  Points upward with its hand.