Page:Natural History, Mollusca.djvu/54

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42
MOLLUSCA.


TEREDO.
years after they fortunately abandoned the dikes; but fearful of the return of an enemy more powerful than even the Grand Turk, who boasted that he would exterminate them with a host armed with spades and shovels, the Dutch offered a reward of value, to any one who should discover a remedy to ward off their attacks, and ointments, varnishes, and poisonous liquors, were recommended by the hundred. The exact amount of the damage done at this visitation—which Sellius, unable to discover any natural cause for it, says was sent by the Deity to punish the growing pride of the Hollanders—I have not been able to ascertain. Writers in general speak of it as "very great;" and Dr. Job Baster mentions the Teredo as an animal "which has done so many millions damage to these countries." In our own country it has done, and continues to do, extensive mischief. The soundest and hardest oak cannot resist these noxious creatures; but in the course of four or five years, they will so drill it as to render its