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be excited to perform by a noise having a
slight resemblance to his own melodious
organ. One of my tree-frogs commenced his
song in answer to the sound of a carpenter's
saw, who was fitting a new shelf into a closet.
The experiment was repeated with gratifying
success. The voice is not emitted so much
from the lungs as from the pouch of skin
beneath the chin, which is swollen out into
enormous balloon-like proportions. The
balloon, in fact, fulfils the office of the bag in a
bag-pipe, or the bellows in an organ. It must
have been the sight of the Hyla croaking
whieh suggested to Æsop his fable of the
proud frog swelling himself out to the size of
the bull. In fact, the fable is not a pure invention
utterly devoid of foundation in nature.

Professor Forbes admits the Hyla viridis
as a member of the British Fauna. There is
so little difference between the climate of our
southern counties and that of the haunts of
my Verdants, that it would be surprising if
they were not to be found in England, as in
France, in greater actual numbers than the
human natives suspect. When Great Britain
and the continent of Europe were one,
tree-frogs would naturally abound in Kent and
Hampshire, as well as in Pas-de-Calais and
Somme. The slight separation caused by the
Straits of Dover would simply fix the terrestrial
inhabitants on the spot where they
happened to be at the time.

The establishment of a colony of
tree-frogs in an English park is an enterprise in
which there would seem to be no difficulty
wherever there was a sufficiency of bushes for
cover and hunting-ground, and stagnant
water for breeding, with a fair amount of
summer warmth. In France, the late severe
winters have not diminished the number of
the Verdants. In captivity, the grand
desideratum is live flies, of which we have often
many more than enough. I should like to
offer a prize for the best cage for tree-frogs
contrived on the principle of their being
self-supplied with preya sort of fly-trap, in short.
There must be holes through which flies of
various sizes, from a green-bottle downwards,
may find an easy entrance, without allowing
any exit on the part of the frogs. A
blue-bottle is as big as an infant Verdant, and
where that could get in, the frogling could
get out. There must be the means of luring
in the insect poultry in such abundance that
froggy may live like an independent gentleman,
with enough for himself, and something
to give away amongst his indigent neighbours.
Such a mode of thinning the summer plague
of flies would be much more humane than
the atrocious system of converting flies into
Stickytoes by means of glutinous sheets of
paper, sold in the streets under the name of
"Catch 'em alive!" The commissariat is the
principal difficulty in domesticating Mr.
Verdant. He is very fond of spiders; but
what properly regulated house will own to
harbouring them? Several were collected in
a paper-bag for some tree-frogs which are
thriving pretty well in a small Fernery, and
into this they were put, bag and all. Next
morning two of the frogs were foundlike
gluttons as they are when tried with
spider-diet, inside the bagwithout a
vestige of the spiders to be seen.

With being made torpid in winter
(perhaps by burying them alive in a bottle), we
may succeed in making Stickytoes an
established pet, as his prettiness and oddity
deserve that he should be made.


THE encouraging notion first sent abroad
by the great Napoleon, that every soldier
carries a bâton de maréchal in his knapsack,
has a less figurative signification than would
at first sight appear. It is true that the
proportion of the marshals to the body of the
armyin the ratio of about a dozen to some
half a millionrender it highly probable
that the private will have to bear about this
ideal bâton to the end of his days. He
himself well knows that there is but slender
prospect of the tempting bauble ever leaving
that corner of his knapsack, and taking
appreciable shape. But he knows, besides, that
he carries in that same store of his other
more tangible badges of distinction, such as
the sous-officier's golden epaulette, the laced
hat of the General of Division, and the Grand
Cross of the Legion of Honour. These are
prizesall within his graspfor which the
maréchal's bâton stands but as a figure.

In our own army, on the other hand, it is
an old complaint, of which men are almost
weary, that such glittering trophies may be
looked for in vain among the soldiers'
furniture. Not even in that metaphorical shape
of the phantom maréchal's bâton, which
would be some poor encouragement. This
grievance is now in process of being
redressed; but it is certain that until the date
of this Napoleonic saying, the French army,
under Bourbon handling, was in more cruel
plight than ever were British forces in the
worst days of Crimean confusion. Had but
Egalité, or other obstructive of those times,
prayed for a commission of enquiry into the
management of the war-office, what marvellous
disclosures would have been sent forth!
The famous Livre Rouge, with its crimson
type and list of mysterious pensions, could
scarcely have caused more astonishment. The
worldthe reforming world especiallyis
apt to forget this fact when it points so
triumphantly to the perfect arrangement of
our alliesto their smooth roads to
promotion, to their ingenious fashions of cooking,
hutting, and the like; and, above all,
to the pleasing addition to the soldiers'
necessaries before-mentioned, the bâton
in nubibus, carried about in the knapsack.