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floating around us, they with great caution avoided not only the sides of the vessel, but also any object thrown in their way. Numerous aphrodites and valellæ* rose occasionally to the surface, and both the beroe idya and cephea papuensis floated round us in vast quantities.
I can never take up one of these animals without associating with it the name of Cuvier, because it reminds me of what wonders he achieved in this department of comparative anatomy, and how great reward it in return heaped upon its votary, for it was this knowledge that raised the poor tutor of Normandy to a rank seldom equalled in the annals of scientific literature. It was this knowledge that rescued animals from their supposed vegetable existence—this it was that called a fossil world into being, and that could alone have enabled him to tell the organization, and build up the figure of an animal from the mere inspection of its footsteps—this it was that placed him on that high pinnacle from which he took so grand and comprehensive a view of the animal kingdom, that formed a classification not since surpassed, and confessed to be the purest we may in all probability ever have. And what was his reward ? Famerank—wealth-honours, and the united homage
* The two plates that form the skeleton of this singular little animal resemble very much the substance called the pen of the calmar, (sepia logigo.)
of the whole scientific world; fortunately for him, he belonged to a country whose government cherishes science, and where the wealth of talent can purchase rank, and the labour of discovery and research is rewarded by even the highest offices of the state. Alas ! like many other great men, he died but too early for the cause of science-a peer of France-a counsellor of state--and the greatest zoologist of the age. The band of weeping friends that knelt around his dying couch, told of the private worth and domestic endearments of the man, in whom Paris lost the brightest jewel that glittered in her literary coronet. of his country followed him to his grave; but no funeral oration need have been pronounced at his tomb, for the mourning voice of science sung his requiem.
In the evening the wind moderated, and as the sea goes down nearly as rapidly as it rises, we were enabled to continue our course towards Malta.
As night set in, a large shoal of dolphins surrounded us. I have seldom witnessed a scene of greater interest and excitement than the moonlight gambol of cetaceæ, and the sport of miniature whaling. Our schooner holding on her course in gallant style, a steady breeze—a rippled phosphorescent sea—a cloudless sky, and “ the watch” on deck, or in the rigging, anxiously waiting for the dart of the harpoon from the boatswain, who
stands upon the martingal before the cutwater. Hundreds of dolphins (delphinus delphis) dash through the water, diving under the vessel, bounding in graceful curves above the surface, and by the flakes of light that break from the disturbance of thousands of marine productions, showing every line of their beautiful forms. Sometimes they follow in our wake, then deploy on either side of us, as if to try our rate of sailing-pass us, and again fall back alongside. All is breathless expectation on board ; at last, a large one came immediately in front, and the barbed steel entered deep into its chest. It instantly dived, taking with it a coil of rope attached to the head of the harpoon ; then came to the surface to blow, and dived again several times, the yacht still holding on her course. At last exhausted, it was hauled to the vessel's side, puffing and splashing in a most terrific manner. Then a bowling knot is slipt over its tail.
“ All hands on deck,” and some six or eight stout fellows drag the creature over the bows. It was about eight feet in length, and its dissection occupied me the two next days.
January 6th. On awaking this morning we found ourselves snugly moored within the harbour of La Valetta ; but our joy was soon marred, by the information that a twelve days' quarantine had been imposed upon us.
Except, however, the * For some remarks upon the mode of suckling in cetaceæ see Appendix H.
disappointment of not going on shore, this had the less effect upon our spirits, as a day or two was the most we intended to have remained, and that only to have taken in the necessary stores and provisions, before we set forward on our voyage towards Egypt and Syria.
Malta has been well, and often described. I can only speak of it from the water view, where on one side a row of stores, custom-houses, and healthoffices, fronted a handsome quay; over these the houses of the town rose in terraces; the narrow steep streets, plainly visible from our position, the turrets of the governor's palace, and the steeples of the numerous churches, breaking up the monotony of dead walls and house-tops. On the other side of this magnificent harbour all was fort, battery, tiers of cannon, red coats, and perpendicular walls of dazzling whiteness.
This was a holiday, so the ringing of bells never ceased from morning to night; it certainly shows no small degree of liberality in our government to bear with a nonsensical ceremony that is pronounced a nuisance even in the most Catholic cities of the Continent.
Although not allowed to land we were not without amusement; hundreds of boats passing and repassing with the Maltese ladies in their black valdetts; the vessels of the English fleet moored on all sides of us, and with the good cheer afforded us of fish, fresh milk, game, lamb, peas, Tangerine
VOYAGE TO EGYPT.
oranges, and fruit of all kinds, we made up for the pleasures of a bad hotel, and in the evening the bands of the men-of-war playing the airs of old England was particularly delightful.
On the 7th we left Malta, a light wind stealing us gradually out of its landlocked harbour, to the great annoyance of some score boats that had hoped to be employed to tow out “my lord Inglese,” a term applied to all the English who travel with any degree of comfort through the Levant, and always applied to the owner of a yacht. These harpies were the only sailors I ever met who seemed to have no liking for a wind.
On the 10th we were near the shores of Candia, but could only distinguish the “ loom of the land.”
Next day Mount Ida was visible, and on the 13th land was recognizable from the mast-head.