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currents in the water, like the pholades, and
brings her food within the reach of her
bearded feelers.

The cockles resemble the veneraciæ in
their habits. The resemblance, when viewed
sidewise, to hearts of all the cardiaceæ,
explains the Latin name. Cardium and the
Venus owe their name to the mythological
ideas of the ancient naturalists. Cockles
stilt upon their locomotive, as gentlemen do
who make stilts of their walking-sticks when
leaping. This movement accounts for the
derivation of the name cockles. After hopping
or stilting upon it rapidly, he digs with
it deftly, and skill and practice are necessary
to catch him before he can bury himself in
the sand. Difficulties have been imagined
respecting the means by which the cockle
excavates his burrow in the sand. The distension
of his narrow tapering foot is necessary
to enable him to do it. His foot, say certain
anatomists, is distended by means of a tube
which opens near his mouth, and runs along
the organ, arm, locomotive, or spade, usually
called a foot. There is no such tube. The
distension of the feet of cardium, pholas
mytelus, and their like, is performed by the
organ called the hyaline style. Anybody
who, instead of eating the first cockle which
comes to table, will open the foot of it by a
cut of a penknife, will see clearly the structure
of the foot. Running along it inside, he
will find an elastic gelatinous spring. Prior
to eighteen hundred and fifty-one, the use of
this gelatinous spring was entirely unknown.
It is the distender of the foot. This instrurnent
is the distender of the locomotive
This gelatinous spring gives its elasticity and
flexibility to the organ with which the
animal burrows in the sand. On taking a
cockle out of spirit to dissect it, I discovered
the origin of the error that the distension is
effected by water entering a tube. The
specimen, although only a year in the alcohol
did not contain the hyaline style. The alcohol
had dissolved it, and the void resembled a
water-tube. The anatomist who would escape
mistakes, must dissect his subjects the instant
after death, and before

                   "decay's effacing fingers"

have obliterated the divine inscriptions upon
the tablets of life.

On picking up dead shellfish, a frightful
procession of flat-worms is often seen issuing
out of them, having been interrupted in their
work of cleaning the seaside shells. Flat,
white, oval creatures, with fierce black eyes
and gaping mouths, when seen through
a magnifying glass, they look sufficiently
formidable little monsters. The flat-worms or
planaria possess some of the most extraordinary
endowments known in the worlds of
life. Sir John Dalyel was for a long time
the only British authority for the fact of
the divisibility of life in the flatworms. M.
Baer confirmed his observations, and M. Duges
of Montpellier discovered something like
polarisation in the physiology of the flat-
worms. When cut off, the tail of a planaria,
after recovering from its astonishment, finds
out the direction taken by the body, and
follows it with accuracy and speed.

CHIP.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY AND THE OLD MASTERS.

IN a recent number of this journal, we
endeavoured, in an article called "To Think, or
Be Thought For?" * to induce our readers
to form their own opinions on picturesespecially
in the case of pictures by Old Masters,
which might come under their observation.
And we ventured, at the same time, to own
that we doubted the sense and usefulness of
the principle upon which the national picture-
money is at present expended in stocking the
National Gallery with works of Art. Our
heretical opinions on this latter point, have
lately received a curious and unexpected
confirmation in the shape of a letter from Mr.
WILLIAM STIRLING (a recognised authority
n matters of Art), which has been published
in the columns of a weekly contemporary,
and which we beg permission briefly to refer
to in this place.

*See page one hundred and ninety–three of the present
volume.

The subject of the letter is a well-known
picture in the National Gallery, which is
described as a Boar Hunt, by Velasquez, and
the object of the writer is to settle how much
of this picture has been done by the dead
Spaniard, Velasquez, and how much by the
living Englishman (and skilled artist), Mr.
Lance. On this point, Mr. Stirling, the
constituted authority, and Mr. Lance, the skilled
artist, are at issue. Mr. Lance states before
a Committee of the House of Commons, that
he had made many extensive repairs in the
picture, and instances, as one of the chief of
these, the painting of a group of mules in the
foreground, "out of his own head." To this
startling statement he afterwards adheres
publicly, in a printed letter; adding that,
when he was before the picture in the
National Gallery, several of the committee
(apparently quite incapable of distinguishing
for themselves, which was old painter's work,
and which was new), asked him, by two or
three at a time (so eager was their thirst for
knowledge), and pointing all over the picture
(so bewildered were they as to the real
extent of the repairs), "Did you do this, Mr.
Lance? Did you do that, Mr. Lance?"—and
so on. Mr. Lance, an interval of twenty
years having elapsed since he made the
canvas presentable to the public eye, is naturally
unable to identify every touch of his modern
brush on the ancient picture. One thing,
however, he can tell the committee with
certaintythat he did six weeks' work upon it.

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