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animalcules, they will lead the micograph to
wrong conclusions. In experiments in which
M. Pouchet had employed no more than from
four to six animalcules, carefully counted, he
obtained false resurrections that were greater
in number than the individuals whom he had
submitted to a short desiccation. He has seen
four young rotifers on a glass, which, after
two days' drying, resuscitated to the number
of five. He has also exposed six rotifers to a
real drying; on moistening them again, he only
obtained six corpses of those animals, andone
very little live anguillule, which certainly was
not amongst them beforehand. In the first of
these cases, there was a fresh hatch; in the
second, an animalcule which, in the egg, had
resisted a degree of drought insupportable by
the animalcule after once it had left the shell.

Students who observe multitudes of infusoria,
are aware how difficult is the determination of
their species: and therefore, to remove all
doubt on this point, M. Pouchet had recourse to
Ehrenberg himself. On receiving, in a letter,
a pinch of sand obtained from the gutters of the
cathedral of Rouen, the illustrious zoologist of
Berlin moistened it, and, to use his own words,
"resuscitated the animalcules which were not
dead." He recognised the rotifers to be, almost
all, specimens of the Callidina triodon, and the
tardigrades of Macrobiotus Hufelandii. The
main characteristic of these experiments is their
extreme simplicity; any one who chooses can
repeat them. The moss is gathered from a roof,
removing with it the vegetable mould on which
it grows. This moss almost always contains a
certain number of rotifers, anguillules, and tardigrades.
In the greater part of M. Pouchet's
experiments, he made use of the tufts of moss
found in the gutters of the cathedral, or on the
roof of one of the hospitals at Rouen. The
mode of obtaining the animalcules is very simple.
The mould hanging to the moss is slightly moistened;
by squeezing it gently between the
fingers, a drop or two of water are made to
exude, which are received in a watch-glass.
When the moss is inhabited by a certain number
of animalcules, this drop of water always contains
several. They are recognised by the help
of the most ordinary microscope, and are carefully
counted. This done, if the quantity of
mould contained by the droplet of water
does not appear sufficiently abundant, a little
sand is let fall into the water, for the sake
of conforming to Spallanzani's directions. This
sand is the object of great attention, in order to
avoid its being said that its composition has had
any effect on the animalcules. M. Pouchet
selects it as pure as possible; then he brings it
to a red heat; then he submits it to the action
of chlorhydric acid; afterwards, it is well washed,
dried, and passed through a silken sieve.

The number of animalcules having been registered,
the date and the temperature noted, the
watch-glass is covered with another glass; and
in order that the drying may be more gradual,
the watch-glasses are placed beneath a small
bell-glass, and in the shade. Spallanzani proclaims
that the grand point to ensure success is
to operate with sand; the unfailing result of
his experiments, he says, was that the animalcules
never returned to life unless they were in
places where there was sufficient sand.

The mummies are manufactured; what is to
become of them? All the resurrectionists agree
in stating that the rotifers, which will resuscitate,
are easily distinguished from those that are
dead for good and all; which is perfectly true.
Because, as has been already remarked, those
which will come to life again are still impregnated
with a slight amount of moisture, and the
fluid remaining in their tissues renders them
transparent; whilst those which are really dead,
having really arrived at the state of desiccation,
are yellow and opaque. And that is the whole
of the mystery.

John Hunter said that there was no great
anatomist who had not had great quarrels; a
similar destiny appears to be allotted to zoologists.
Nevertheless, we are justified in assuming
that, all the world over, vitality is governed
by the same laws. The volume of an animal's
body has nothing to do with the question. If a
mummified atom can be resuscitated, why not a
mummified shellfish, a mummified insect, or a
mummified mammoth? The vacuum under an
air-pump's receiver, which has been vaunted as
such a searching test of dryness, does not in the
least affect or dry the animalcules, protected as
they are by an impermeable envelope. It is just
as if you were to place under the receiver an
india-rubber bladder filled with water.

The phenomena of false resurrection last for a
much shorter time than is generally stated. If
the mould experimented on, forms a heap, its
hygroscopicity (that is, its power of absorbing
and retaining water) allows the animals, or their
progeny, to remain a long while in the midst of
it, without drying, and consequently without
perishing. But if the mould is spread out excessively
thin upon a plate of glass, the animalcules
are dried more rapidly, and perish in summer
in less than two months.

The false resuscitating animalcules are endowed
with a great power of vital resistance, which is
in accordance with the sudden changes they experience
in their dwelling-place. M. Pouchet's
experiments prove that they will bear an abrupt
leap in temperature of 100° centigrade, without
in the least affecting their reviviscence.

In order to avoid all illusion, and to come to a
positive result as to facts, it is requisite, first, to
see the creatures living; next, to see them die;
and lastly, to see them come to life again. It is
then perceived that, far from being capable of
reanimation several times, not a single animalcule
that is once dry and dead is ever resuscitated.
The animalcules which some philosophers
have endowed almost with immortality, have
been believed by others to enjoy a not less prodigious
incombustibility. It has been pretended
that several of them could undergo, without
perishing, a temperature of 120°, and even 150°
centigrade; that is, half as hot again as boiling
water. It is a fact which ought to be struck off

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