puzzling, truly. I shall be very glad if these pages help you somewhat toward solving the puzzle.
We shall agree at least that the study of Natural History has become now-a-days an honourable one. A Cromarty stonemason was till lately - God rest his noble soul! - the most important man in the City of Edinburgh, by dint of a work on fossil fishes; and the successful investigator of the minutest animals takes place unquestioned among men of genius, and, like the philosopher of old Greece, is considered, by virtue of his science, fit company for dukes and princes. Nay, the study is now more than honourable; it is (what to many readers will be a far higher recommendation) even fashionable. Every well-educated person is eager to know something at least of the wonderful organic forms which surround him in every sunbeam and every pebble; and books of Natural History are finding their way more and more into drawing-rooms and school-rooms, and exciting greater thirst for a knowledge which, even twenty years ag