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discovered the true use of the grape? How drunk
he must have got in making his immortal
preliminary experiments! How often his wife
must have begged him to consider his health
and his respectability, and give up all further
investigations! How he must have shocked
his family with perpetual hiccups, and puzzled
the medical men of the period with incurable
morning headaches! To the health
of that marvellous, that magnificent, that
inestimable human being, the first Toper in
the world! The patriarchal Bacchus quaffing
in his antediluvian vineyard! What a
picture, gentlemen; what a subject for our
artists! Scumble, my dear friend," continues
Endless, breathlessly, feeling that Mr. Spoke
Wheeler has got his topic again, and anxious
to secure assistance in preventing that
persistent gentleman from making any use of
the stolen property—"Scumble, your pencil
alone is worthy of the subject. Tell us, my
prince of painters, how would you treat

The prince of painters has his mouth full
of turkey, and looks more puzzled than
flattered by this complimentary appeal. He
hesitates, and Mr. Spoke Wheeler darts into
the conversation on the subject of drunkenness,
forthwith; scatters Mr. Scumble's ideas,
if he has any, on the pictorial treatment of
the patriarchal Bacchus; stops the burst of
eloquence on the topic of Art with which
the brilliant Endless was about to delight the
company; and produces a fresh pause, after
having added to the conversational enjoyment
of the evening by remarking that intoxication
is very much on the increase, and that
delirium tremens is, in the large majority of
instances, an incurable complaint.

Will even the most indiscriminate of the
surviving admirers of Endless, and of the
great talkers generally, venture to assert that
he, or they, could have shown off with the
slightest approach to success in the company
of Mr. Spoke Wheeler, or of Mrs. Marblemug,
or of Colonel Hopkirk, or of any of the
other dozens on dozens of notorious talk-
stoppers whose characters I refrain from
troubling the reader with? Surely not!
Surely I have quoted examples enough to
prove the correctness of my theory that the
days when the eminent professors of the Art
of Conversation could be sure of perpetually-
attentive audiences, have gone by. Instead
of mourning over the loss of the great
talkers, we ought to feel relieved (if we have
any real regard for them, which I sometimes
doubt) by their timely departure from the
scene. Between the members of the modern
generation who would not have listened to
them, the members who could not have listened
to them, and the members who would have
confused, interrupted, and cut them short,
what extremities of compulsory silence they
must have undergone if they had lasted until
our time! Our case may be lamentable
enough in not having heard them; but how
much worse would theirs be if they came
back to the world now, and tried to show us
how they won their reputations!


THE wrack, or seaweed, thrown up by the
tide at high water-mark is often full of sand-
hoppers. When the tidal waves disturb
them, they leap about in swarms, and look
like a creeping mist. As the edges of the
waves ripple among the wrack, they bound a
foot high into the air, and form a line of
dancing mist upon the sandy shore, receding
with the ebbing, and advancing with the
flowing, tides. Sand-hoppers have been
called sea-fleas, although they have not the
wings which aid the leaps of their
namesakes. Feeding upon decaying organic
matter, their habitat is the wrack. When
the wrack is left high and dry upon the
beach, great numbers of these little crusted
animals are found under it. When the
wrack is caught in the highest rock-pools,
these tiny crustaceans skip about at the
surface of the water with surprising agility.
Having feet adapted both for leaping and
swimming, they are called amphipoda.
However, their swimming is rather skipping on
their sides in the shallow water than swimming.
These Lilliputian shrimps can leap up
into the air twenty times, and skip under the
surface of the water at a bound, forty times
their own length. At the bases of their feet
are leaf-like gills: hence they are called gill-
feet, or branchiopoda. Every lofty leap in the
air, and every sidelong skip in the water, gives
them oxygen to revive their blood in an
extraordinary degree. The thorax consists of six
or seven segments, with a pair of feet to each,
segment. The gill-feet have mouths furnished
with jaws and a pair of jaw-feet. The
female is provided with appendages for keeping
her egg under her body. The gill-feet of
the wrack most common upon the coasts of
the British channel are called by the savans,
Talitrus saltator and Orchestia. Talitrus saltator
is a translation into Latin of the French
popular name, chiquenaude, the animal who
jumps with a fillip, or movement like a
jerk of the finger let go from the thumb.
Orchestia signifies the violent little fellow.
Orchestia is distinguished from his comrade
Talitrus by a claw-like hand at the end of
his second pair of feet. The fillip-jumper
and the violent-bounder can both hide
themselves in the sand in a trice. Wherever they
arein the sand, or under the wrack, or in
the highest pools, and whatever may be their
names, gill-feet, sand-bounders, side-skippers,
fillip-jumpers, or violent agitatorsthe wrack
shrimps are always the neighbours of the sea-
acorns, limpets, and periwinkles.

The periwinkles, like their comrades the
limpets, forsake their brown pastures, and
betake themselves to the dry rocks, when the
ground-swell announces a storm. Periwinkle

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