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presented combinations of letters, in the word
"Myrtle," which tried his patience and his
fingers sorely, when he attempted to reproduce
them. Indeed, the result, in this case,
when he had done his best, was so illegible,
even to his eyes, that he wrote the word over
again in larger characters at the top of the
page, and connected it by a very wavering
line with the square which represented the
Myrtle Room. The same accident happened
to him in two other instances, and was
remedied in the same way. With the rest
of the names, however, he succeeded better;
and, when he had finally completed the business
of transcription, by writing the title,
"Plan of the North Side," his copy
presented, on the whole, a more respectable
appearance than might have been anticipated.
After satisfying himself of its accuracy by
a careful comparison of it with the original,
he folded it up along with Dr. Chennery's
letter, and deposited it in his pocket with a
hoarse gasp of relief and a grim smile of

The next morning, the garden-door of the
cottage presented itself to the public eye in
the totally new aspect of standing hospitably
ajar; and one of the bare posts had the
advantage of being embellished by the figure
of Shrowl, who leaned against it easily, with
his legs crossed, his hands in his pockets, and
his pipe in his mouth, looking out for the
return of the messenger who had delivered
Doctor Chennery's letter the day before.



COPROLITES are now identified with the
bezoar stones to which our forefathers
attributed many origins and many peculiar
virtues. Arab physicians taught that
the bezoar stones were bred in the eyes
of stags. The stag, they said, becoming
old, is plagued with worms, and as a cure
goes to the hole of a snake, sucks the snake
out with his breath and swallows it; but then,
to escape poisoning by the snake's venom, the
stag next betakes himself to water, and
having jumped into a stream, remains in it
for three days, with his head only above the
surface. During this time a gummy tear
has been collecting and enlarging in the
corner of each eye. The stag, having re-
turned safe to his old haunts with the worms
destroyed, finds that his eyelids are kept open
by the stones that have been forming; he therefore
breaks the stonesthe bezoar stonesoff
by rubbing his cheeks against the trees. The
fallen treasure are collected in the forests
as a costly article of trade. A common
statement as to the origin of the bezoar
stone, fully illustrated by the accounts of
Tavernier, was that the bezoar stones are
concretions formed within the stomach of a
certain buck (the Capricerva) found among
the rocks of the East Indies; but suspicion
was aroused by the fact that there was more
bezoar stone produced (by artificial means
it was thought, and, as to many specimens,
no doubt truly) in Europe than in India.

We are now well assured that the greater
number of the bezoar stones by which, in
old time, so much store was set, were the
smoothly-rounded pebbles known to us in
these days as Coprolitesthe petrified
excretions of past races of animals. The
true nature of such stones was first recognised
in the case of the coprolites found in the
Kirkdale cavern, in Yorkshire, among the
remains of hyenas, bears, tigers, oxen,
elephants, and other flesh-eating beasts.
The round masses contained bruised
fragments of bone that had escaped digestion.
The bezoar stones found in the neighbourhood
of Lyme Eegis and Whitby were soon
afterwards recognised as the fossil dung
of the Plesiosaurus, Ichthyosaurus, and other
inhabitants of the world before the flood. A
vast mass of these remains is to be found also
in the district about Westbury, Watchet, and
other towns upon the border of the Severn.
There is a layer of coprolites in the soil of
the environs of Bristol. Coprolites abound
also in the chalk formations of the Jura.
Coprolites of birds have been found in
America. Of the coprolites that abound in a
part of south-east Suffolk, a correspondent
living in the district writes:

They are like very dark oblong pebbles rounded and
polished by the water; they are very brittle, and the
interior is dullish brown, slightly tinged with yellow.
They emit no smell; some of them contain small
teeth and bones, which show that they have belonged
to some flesh-eating animal.

Coprolites were first discovered in this part of the
country about the year eighteen hundred and forty-six.
A celebrated manufacturer of artificial manure was
walking with a friend on Bawdsey beach, when he
picked up some coprolite that had been washed out of
the cliffs. Knowing that it would yield excellent
manure, the manufacturer instructed his friend to
employ children to collect it for him. They continued
to do this without attracting notice for about two
years; when, one day, the children having undermined
a piece of crag, it slipped and killed a little girl. An
inquest was held, and at the inquest the jury naturally
wanted to know what coprolite was. The consequence
of their being informed was, that the farmers, when
they found their crag-pits to be full of it, began
to dig, selling the produce to the manure-maker,
at about one pound per ton. The manufacturer had
taken out a patent; this being infringed, he brought an
action, and as he lost it, every one obtained a right of
manufacture. The result was that our coprolite
gradually rose in price to three pounds ten shillings.
It is very heavy; three pecks of it weigh about a
hundred-weight. Here was an inducement for all
people to raise it. Fine crops of wheat were dug up,
buildings were undermined, roads were broken into;
cottagers upset their gardens, clergymen the very
churchyards. Some farmers employed more than fifty
men upon this sort of mining; and, although we
imported many labourers, wages were raised fifty per cent.
Employers who had no coprolite upon their land
suffered severely. Some parts of the country had the