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It seems extraordinary that the captors were
not aware of the value of the oil, for they cut
the great masses of blubber off and spread it
as manure over the fields. The fin which is
placed by the side of the animal is remarkable;
it contains four fingers, like human
fingers, not, however, all separated one from
the other, but enclosed in the skin of the
fin, which looks like that of an ordinary fish.
Imagine a human hand inserted into a hedge-cutter's
glove, and wax poured round it, and
you have (minus the thumb, of which the
whale has no trace) an exact model of the
whale's fin.

When the whale found himself on shore,
he roared loudly, as the proprietor described
it to us. This noise was probably produced
by the whale expelling air through his
spiracles or blow-holes. A man went into
the water with an anchor, and rope attached,
by way of a harpoon; twice, with all his
force, did he dig the anchor into the fat
blubber of the beasttwice did the beast by
his tremendous struggles tear the weapon
out again; but, the third time the anchor
luckily turned, and thus caught about two
feet of the skin in one of its flukes, and thus
was the whale secured. The three gaping
tears in the skin are plainly visible. The
operator, however, had a dangerous task; for
the whale, in his agonies, struck right and
left with his tail, nearly drowning his enemy
in the whirlpool caused thereby.

Its gigantic mouth is placed wide open by
means of props, and a moderate sized man
can stand upright in it. This mouth is by
far the most curious part of the exhibition,
for in it can be seen in their natural position
the plates of whalebone, or baleen, so much
used: not only in the arts, but by ladies in
almost every portion of their dress: and of
which they would greatly feel the loss should
all the whales suddenly become extinct, and
the supply of bone in consequence cease.
Now, true bone it really is notput a bit of
so-called whalebone by the side of the bone
of a leg of mutton, and the difference will be
perceived. There are three hundred and
eighty plates on each side of the mouth; on
the right side, the foremost hundred and
twenty are of a beautiful milk-white, the
rest being nearly black. This is simply a
variety; some whales have been killed
entirely whitethey answer to the Albinos
in the human species. Whalebone is composed
of a substance of a horny appearance
and consistence; internally it is of a fibrous
texture resembling hair; and the external,
surface consists of a smooth enamel capable
of receiving a good polish. It answers the
purpose of teeth to the whale, and is placed
in the position where teeth are usually found
in other animals, in the upper jaw; none
whatever are found in the lower jaw, which
is covered by a hard firm gum, as polished
and as smooth as a mahogany table. Along
each side of the jaw are found plates or
layers of this whalebone. These can be
counted from the outside, looking like the
portions of a Venetian-blind when half
opened; inside they cannot be counted,
because they appear to be covered with hair.
This hair is in reality nothing more than the
actual substance of the baleen, unravelled as
it were. If the reader wishes to prove this,
let him take a thin bit of whalebone, boil it
well, and soak it well, and then beat it with
a wooden mallet. The result will be a bundle
of coarse hair like horsehair. This hair hangs
in thick masses inside the beast's mouth; in
the specimen we saw, it gave us exactly the
idea of the silky white beard of an old man.
This is a thing which cannot be seen in any
museum, and of which a picture would convey
but an erroneous idea.

Upon going to the College of Surgeons we
found but few specimens of the baleen, but
those very interesting. The indefatigable
John Hunter, it appears, dissected a bottle-nosed
whale which was cast ashore from the
Thames in seventeen hundred and eighty-three.
Its skeleton is now suspended from
the roof of the new and magnificent room of
the museum, and sections of its baleen are
preserved in bottles. It appears from his
observations that the baleen, like the teeth
of rodent animals, is endowed with perpetual
growth, and that material is supplied from
above, as it is worn away from belowmore-over,
it is composed of three parts; the
centre portion being secreted from a soft
cone becomes hair; the external portions
become horn inclosing the hair; these three
appear solid; but, when the baleen has grown
to a certain extent the two external walls
become worn off, and, as a matter of necessity,
leave the hair exposed, so that, as said
before, the mouth appears to be lined with
hair. Aristotle has remarked this fact, for
he writes: "The whale has hairs inside his
mouth in the place of teeth like the bristles
of a pig." A superficial observer, looking at
our Whitechapel whale, would probably make
exactly the same remark. In a picture we
have of the Rorqual there is drawn a tuft of
hair projecting from the anterior end of the
upper jaw. There is no real tuft there, but
upon examining our specimen we perceived
how the mistake originated. The baleen at
this part consists entirely of hair, unconfined
at either side by the side portions as above
described. When the animal is in the water
this would probably float upward, giving
the appearance of a tuft of hair on the tip of
the nose.

Now for its use. It has been aptly
remarked by a learned dean lately deceased,
that the whale, being the largest of warm-blooded
animals, and requiring a vast quantity
of food to support its huge carcase, would
have starved to death if, like other creatures
which have hearts and lungs, and not gills
like fish, it had been sent to sustain itself on
land either in the form of a carnivorous or