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the elephant, the giant of the firm land. Turtles weighing a thousand pounds, are found in more than one sea. The rocky islands of the southern Arctic alone, furnish a yearly supply of a million of sea-lions, sea-cows, and seals. Huge birds rise from the foam-covered waves, their homes never seen by human eye, their young ones bred in lands unknown to man. Islands are formed, and mountains raised, by the mere dung of generations of smaller birds. And yet nature is here also greatest in her smallest creations. For how fine must, for instance, be the texture of sinews and muscles, of nerves and blood-vessels, in animals that never reach the size of a pea, or even a pin's head!

The ocean has not only its mountains and plains, its turf moors and sandy deserts, its rivers and sweet springs, gushing forth from hidden recesses, and rising through the midst of salt water, but it has also its lofty forests, with luxuriant parasites, its vast prairies and blooming gardens; landscapes, in fine, far more gorgeous and glorious than all the splendor of the firm land. It is true that but two kinds of plants, algae or fucus, prosper upon the bottom of the sea, the one a jointed kind, having a threadlike form, the other jointless, and containing all the species that grow in submarine forests, or float like green meadows in the open sea. But their forms are so varied, their colors so brilliant, their number and size so enormous, that they change the deep into fabulous fairy gardens. And, as branches and leaves of firm, earth-rooted trees, tremble and bend on the elastic waves of the air, or wrestle, sighing and groaning, with the tempest's fury, so "the seaweed, slimy and dark, waves its arms, so lank and brown," and struggles with the ocean, that pulls at its roots, and tears its leaves into shreds. Now and then the mighty adversary is victorious, and rends them from their home, when they wander homeless and restless, in long, broad masses, towards the shores of distant lands, where often fields are found so impenetrable, that they have saved vessels from shipwreck, and many a human life from the hungry waves.

These different kinds of fucus dwell in various parts of the ocean, and have their own, well-defined limits. Some cling with hand-like roots so firmly to the rocky ground that, when strong waves pull and tear their upper parts, they often lift up gigantic masses of stone, and drag them, like huge anchors,

for miles and miles. Most of them, however, love the coast, or, at least, a firm sea bottom, and seldom thrive lower than at a depth of forty fathoms. Still, they are found in every sea; the most gigantic, strangely enough, in the two Arctics, where they reach the enormous length of 1,500 feet. Occasionally, they cover vast portions of the sea, and form those fabulous green meadows on deep, azure ground, which struck terror in the hearts of early navigators. The largest of these, called Sargossa Sea, between the Azores and the Antilles, is a huge floating garden, stretching, with a varying width of one to three hundred miles, over twentyfive degrees of latitude, so that Columbus spent three hopeless, endless weeks, in passing through this strange land of ocean-prairies!


Take these fuci out of their briny element, and they present you with forms as whimsical as luxuriant. They are, in truth, nothing more than shapeless masses of jelly, covered with a leathery surface, and mostly dividing into irregular branches, which occasionally end in scanty bunches of real leaves. The first stem is thin and dry; it dies soon, but the plant continues to grow, apparently without limit. A few are eatable. Ireland grows the Carraghen-moss, with gracefully shaped and curled leaves, which physicians prescribe for pectoral diseases. Another kind of sea-fucus furnishes the swallows of the Indian Sea with the material for their world-famous edible nests. The sugar-fucus of the Northern Sea is broad as the hand, thin as a line, but miles long; well prepared, it gives the so-called Marma-sugar.

The Antarctic is the home of the most gigantic of all plants of this kind. The bladder-fucus grows to a length of a thousand feet in the very waters that are constantly congealing, and its long variegated foliage shines in bright crimson, or brilliant purple. The middle ribs of its magnificent leaves are supported underneath by huge bladders, which enable them to swim on the surface of the ocean. Off the Falkland Islands a fucus is found which resembles an appletree; it has an upright trunk, with forked branches, grass-like leaves, and an abundance of fruit. The roots and stem cling by means of clasping fibres to rocks above high-water mark, from them branches shoot upwards, and its long pendent leaves hang, like the willow's, dreamy and woe-begone, in the restless waters.

Besides the countless varieties of fucus,

the bottom of the sea is overgrown with the curled, deep purple leaves of the sealettuce, with large, porous lichens, and many-branched, hollow algæ, full of life and motion in their rosy little bladders, thickly set with ever-moving, tiny


These plants form sub-marine forests, growing one into another, in apparently lawless order, here interlacing their branches, there forming bowers and long avenues; at one time thriving abundantly until the thicket seems impenetrable, then again leaving large openings between wold and wold, where smaller plants form a beautiful pink turf. There a thousand hues and tinges shine and glitter in each changing light. In the indulgence of their luxuriant growth, the fuci especially seem to gratify every whim and freak. Creeping close to the ground, or sending long-stretched arms, crowned with waving plumes, up to the blessed light of heaven, they form pale-green sea groves, where there is neither moon nor star, or rise up nearer to the surface, to be transcendently rich and gorgeous in brightest green, gold, and purple. And, through this dreamlike scene, playing in all the colors of the rainbow, and deep under the hollow, briny ocean, there sail and chase each other merrily, gaily painted mollusks, and bright shining fishes. Snails of every shape creep slowly along the stems, whilst huge, grey-haired seals hang with their enormous tusks on large, tall trees. There is the gigantic Dugong, the siren of the ancients, the sidelong shark with his leaden eyes, the thickhaired sea-leopard, and the sluggish turtle. Look how these strange, ill-shapen forms, which ever keep their dreamless sleep far down in the gloomy deep, stir 'themselves from time to time! See, how they drive each other from their rich pastures, how they seem to awaken in storms, rising like islands from beneath, and snorting through the angry spray! Perhaps they graze peacefully in the unbroken cool of the ocean's deep bed, when lo! a hungry shark comes slily, silently around that grove; its glassy eyes shine ghost-like with a yellow sheen, and seek their prey. The sea-dog first becomes aware of his dreaded enemy, and seeks refuge in the thickest recesses of the fucus forest. In an instant the whole scene changes. The oyster closes its shell with a clap, and throws itself into the deep below; the turtle conceals head and feet under her

impenetrable armor, and sinks slowly downward; the playful little fish disappear among the branches of the maerocystis; lobsters hide under the thick, clumsily-shapen roots, and the young walrus alone turns boldly round, and faces the intruder with his sharp, pointed teeth. The shark seeks to gain his urprotected side. The battle commences; both seek the forest; their fins become entangled in the closely interwoven branches; at last the more agile shark succeeds in wounding his adversary's side. Despairing of life, the bleeding walrus tries to conceal his last agony in the woods, but blinded by pain and blood, he fastens himself among the branches, and soon falls an easy prey to the shark, who greedily devours him.

A few miles further, and the scene changes. Here lies a large, undisturbed oyster bed, so felicitously styled, a concentration of quiet happiness. Dormant though the soft, glutinous creatures seem to be, in their impenetrable shells, each individual is leading the beautiful existence of the epicurean god. The world without, its cares and joys, its storms and calms, its passions, good and evilall are indifferent to the unheeding oyster. Its whole soul is concentrated in itself; its body is throbbing with life and enjoyment. The mighty ocean is subservient to its pleasures. Invisible to human eye, a thousand vibrating cilia move incessantly around every fibre of each fringing leaflet. To these the rolling waves waft fresh and choice food, and the flood of the current feeds the oyster, without requiring an effort. Each atom of water that comes in contact with its delicate gills, gives out its imprisoned air, to freshen and invigorate the creature's pellucid blood.

Here, in the lonely, weary sea, so restless and uneasy, we find, moreover, that strangest of all productions, half vegetable and half animal, the coral. From the tree-shaped limestone, springs forth the sense-endowed arm of the polypus; it grows, it feeds, it produces others, and then is turned again into stone, burying itself in its own rocky home, over which new generations build at once new rocky homes.

Thus it is that the many-shaped, farbranched coral-tree grows; only where the plants of the upper world bear leaves and flowers, there germinates here, from out of the stone, a living, sensitive animal, clad in the gay form and bright colors of flowers and adorned with

phosphorescent brilliancy. As if in a dream the animal polypus awakens in the stone for a moment, and like a dream it crystallizes again into stone. Yet, what no tree on earth, in all its vigor and beauty ever could do, that is accomplished by these strange animal trees. They build large, powerful castles, and high, lofty steeples, resting upon the very bottom of the ocean, rising stone upon stone, and cemented like no other building on this globe.

For they are a strange, mysterious race, these "maidens of the ocean," as the old Greeks used to call them. Their beauty of form and color, their marvellous economy, their gigantic edifices, all had early attracted the attention of the curious, and given rise to fantastic fables, and amusing errors. For centuries the world believed that these bright-colored, delicate flowers, which, out of their element, appeared only humble, brown stones, were real, fragile sea-plants, which the contact with air instantaneously turned into stone. Even the last century adhered yet to this belief, and only repeated and energetic efforts succeeded in establishing their claim to a place in the animal kingdom. Charles Darwin, at last, in the charming account he has given us of his voyages, set all errors aside, and made us familiar with this most wondrous of all creatures.

Now we all know their atolls and coral-rings, filling the warm seas of the tropics with the green crowns of slender palm-trees waving over them in the breeze, and man living securely in their midst. For in vain has he himself tried to protect his lands against the fury of the ocean, in vain has he labored and pressed all the forces of nature, even allpowerful steam into his service. But the minute polypi work quietly and silently, with modest industry, in their never-ceasing struggle with the mighty waves of the sea. A struggle it is, for, strangely enough, they never build in turbid, never in still waters; their home is amid the most violent breakers, and living force, though so minute, triumphs victoriously over the blind, terrible might of furious waves. Thus they build, year after year, century after century, until at last their atolls inclose vast lakes in the midst of the ocean, where eternal peace reigns, undisturbed by the stormy waves and the raging tempest. But when their marvellous structure reaches the surface, it rises no further, for the polypi are true children of the

sea, and as soon as sun and air touch them they die.

Like enchanted islands, these circular reefs of the corals bask in the brightest light of the tropics. A light green ring incloses a quiet inland lake, the ground is white, and being shallow, shines brilliantly in the gorgeous floods of light, whilst without the dark, black billows of the ocean are kept off by a line of breakers, rushing incessantly in white foam against the cliffs; above them an ever pure, deep blue ether; and far beyond, the dark ocean and the hazy air blending at the horizon and melting harmoniously into one another. The effect is peculiarly grand and almost magical, when the coral rings are under water, and the huge, furious breakers toss up their white crests in vast circles around the still, calm waters within, whilst no land, no rock is seen to rise above the surface of the ocean.

Frequently large reefs, richly studded with graceful palms, surround on all sides lofty mountains, around whose foot there grows a luxuriant, tropical vegetation. Inside of these reefs the water is smooth and mirror-like, basking in the warm sunlight; without, there is eternal warfare; raging, foaming surges swell and rush in fierce attack against the firm wall, besieging it year after year, century after century. Thus, the tiny polypi protect proud man on his threatened island against the destructive flood: polypi struggling boldly against the unmeasured ocean! and if all the nations on earth united, they could not build the smallest of these coral reefs in the ocean -but the corals build a part of the crust of the great earth! For their islands count alone in the South Sea by thousands; all but a few feet above the surface of the sea, which, around, is unfathomable; all ring-shaped, with peaceful lake in the centre; all consisting of no other material but that of still living corals. These islands, built by the industrious polypi under water, are planted and peopled by the same waves, by whom they were raised above highwater mark. The currents bring seed and carry large living trees from distant shores; lizards dwelling in their roots, birds nestling in their branches, and insects innumerable arrive with the tree, and water-birds soon give life to the scanty, little strip of newly made land.


Thus they meet below, plant and animal; the pale, hueless fucus twining its long, ghastly arms around the bright

scarlet coral, and through their branches glides the nautilus with wide-spread sails. Every ray of light that falls on the surface, changes hue and tinge below. But the deep has lights of its own. There is the glimmer of gorgeous fish in gold and silver armor, the phosphorescent sheen of the milk-white or sky-blue bells of brilliant medusæ, as they pass through the purple-colored tops of lofty fuci, and the bright, sparkling light of tiny, gelatinous creatures, chasing each other along the blue and olive-green hedges of algae and humbler plants. When day fades, and night covers with her dark mantle the sea also, these fantastic gardens begin to shine in new, mysterious light; green, yellow and red flames are seen to kindle and to fude away; bright stars twinkle in every direction, even the darkest recesses blaze up, now and then, in bright flashes of light, and fitful rays pass incessantly to and fro in the wild, dark world beneath the waves. Broad furrows of flashing light mark the track of the dolphins through the midst of the foaming waters. Troops of porpoises are sporting about, and as they cut through the glistening flood, you see their mazy path bright with intense and sparkling light. There also passes the huge moonfish, shedding a pale spectral light from every fin and scale, through the crowd of brilliant starfish, whilst afar from the coast of Ceylon are heard the soft, melancholy accents of the singing mussel, like the distant notes of an Æolian harp, and yet louder than even the breakers on the rocky shore. But the great sea itself is not silent. Listen, and you will hear how the grey old ocean, heaving in a gentle motion, sings in an undertone, chiming in with the great melody, until all the sweet sounds of sea, earth, and air melt into one low voice alone, that murmurs over the weary sea and rises, singing eternal praise, to the throne of Him, who "is mightier than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty waves of the sea."

The great botanist, Schleiden, tells us how, off the coast of the island of Sitky, the bottom of the sea is covered with a dense and ancient forests, plant grows close to plant, and branch intertwines with branch. Below, there lies a closely woven carpet of rich hues, made of countless threads of tiny waterplants, red confervæ and brown-rooted mosses, each branching off into a thousand finely traced leaves. On this soft couch the


luxuriant sea-lettuce spreads its broad, elegant leaves, a rich pasture for peace ful snails and slow turtles. Between them shine the gigantic leaves of the Irides in brilliant scarlet or delicate pink, whilst along reef and cliff the dark olivegreen fuci hang in rich festoons, and half cover the magnificent sea-rose in its unsurpassed beauty. Like tall trees the Laminaria spread about, waving in endless broad ribbons along the currents, and rising high above the dense crowd. Alaria send up long naked stems, which at last expand into a huge, unsightly leaf of more than fifty feet length. But the sea-forest boasts of still loftier trees, for the Nereocysti rise to a height of seventy feet; beginning with a coralshaped root, they grow up in a thin, thread-like trunk, which, however, gradually thickens, until its clubshaped form, grows into an enormous bladder, from the top of which, like a crest on a gigantic helmet, there waves proudly a large bunch of delicate but immense leaves. These are the palms of the ocean, and these forests grow, as by magic, in a few months, cover the bottom of the sea with a most luxuriant growth, wither, and vanish, only to reappear soon again in greater richness and splendor. And: what crowds of strange, ill-shapen, and unheard of molluscs, fish, and shellfish more among them! Here they are huge balls, there many cornered or starlike, then again like long streaming ribbons. Some are armed with large, prominent teeth, others with sharp saws, whilst a few, when pursued, make themselves invisible by emitting a dark vapor-like fluid. Here, glassy, colorless eyes stare at you with dull, imbecile light,-there, deep blue or black eyes glare with almost human sense and unmistakable cunning. Through bush and through thicket there glide the hosts of fierce, gluttonous robbers who fill the vast deep. But not only the animals of the ocean pasture and hunt there; man also stretches out his covetous hand and demands his share.

Proud ships with swelling sails disdain not to arrest their bird-like flight, to carry off vast fucus-forests which they have torn up from the bottom of the sea, in order to manufacture kelp or iodine from the ashes, or to fish at the peril of their lives for bright corals in the depth. In the streets of Edinburgh the cry of "buy pepper-dulse and tangle" is heard in our day, and the Irish fisherman boldly faces death to snatch a load

of Carraghen-moss from the rapid carreut. The poor peasant of Normandy gathers the vast heaps of decaying fuci, which wind and wave have driven to his shore, in order to carry them painfully, miles and miles, as manure on his fields, and the so-called sheep-fucus sup ports the flocks and herds of cattle in many a Northern island in Scotland and in Norway, through their long, dreary winters. The men of Iceland and of Greenland diligently grind some farinaceous kind of fucus into flour and subsist, like their cattle, upon this strange wood for many months, whilst their wives follow Paris fashion, and rouge themselves with the red flower of the purple fucus.

Here, however, one of the great mysteries which the ocean suggests, startles the thinking observer. For whom did the Almighty create all this wealth of beauty and splendor? Why did He conceal the greatest wonders, the most marvellous creations of nature under that azure veil, the mirror-like surface of which reflects nearly every ray of light and mostly returns, as if in derision, the searcher's own face as his only reward?

But because all the varied forms, all the minute details are not seen, is therefore the impression, which the ocean produces on our mind, less striking or less permanent? We count not the stars in heaven, we see even but a small number of all, and yet the starry sky has never failed to lift up the mind of man to his Maker. So with the ocean. His way is in the sea, and His path in the great waters. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the Lord is upon many waters. From olden times the ocean has ever been to the nations of the earth the type of all that is great, powerful, infinite. All the fictions of the Orient and Eastern India, all the myths of Greece of the "earth embracing Okeanos," and even the Jewish tradition that "the earth was without form and void, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," speak of the sea as the great source of all life, the very dwelling-place of the Infinite.

There are nations who never see the ocean. How dream-like, how fantastic are their ideas of the unknown world! German poetry abounds with wild, fanciful dreams of mermaids and mermen, and even the sailor-nation has its favorite legend of the ancient mariner, and a Tennyson has sung of fabled mer

men and their foves. But truly has it been said that "they that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of Jehovah and his wonders in the deep."

Uniform and monotonous as the wide ocean often appears, it has its changes and is now mournful, now cheery and bright. Only when the wind is lulled and a calm has soothed the angry waves, can the ocean be seen in its quiet majesty. But the aspect is apt to be dreary and lonely; whether we see the dark waves of the sea draw lazily in and out of rocky riffs, or watch wearily "the sea's perpetual swing, the melancholy wash of endless waves." Away from the land there is nothing so full of awe and horror as a perfectly calm sea: man is spell-bound, a magic charm seems to chain him to the glassy and transparent waters; he cannot move from the fatal spot, and death, slow, fearful, certain death stares him in the face. He trem

bles as his despairing gaze meets the upturned, leaden eye of the shark, patiently waiting for him, or as he hears far below the sigh of some grim monster, slowly shifting on his uneasy pillow of brine. Fancy knows but one picture more dreadful yet than tempest, shipwreck, or the burning of a vessel out at sea: it is a ship on the great ocean in a calm, with no hope for a breeze. Wild and waste is the view. On the same sunshine, over the same waves the poor mariners gaze day by day with languid eye, even until the heart is sick and the body perishes.

At other times it is the gladsome ocean, full of proud ships, merry waves and ceaseless motion, that greets the eye. Then the wild, shoreless sea, on which the waves have rolled for thousands of years in unbroken might, fills the mind with the idea of infinity, and thought, escaping from all visible impression of space and time, rises to sublimest contemplations. Yet, the sight of the clear, transparent mirror of the ocean, with its light, curling, sportive waves, cheers the heart like that of a friend, and reminds us that here, as upon the great sea of life, even when the wrecked mariner has been cast among the raging billows, an unseen hand has often guided him to a happy shore. For He ruleth the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof rise, He stilleth them.

This sense of the Infinite, suggested and awakened by the vast expanse of restless and uneasy waters is, however,

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