Page:The Pathfinder of the Seas.djvu/107

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73
HIS PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA

water. The currents of the sea ministered to this little insect—they were its hod carriers. When fresh supplies of solid matter were wanted for the coral rock upon which the foundations of the Polynesian Islands were laid, those hod carriers brought them in unfailing streams of sea water, loaded with food and building materials for the coralline. The obedient currents thread the widest and deepest seas. They never fail to come at the right time, nor refuse to go; for, unless the currents of the sea were employed to carry off from this insect the waters that have been emptied by it of their lime, and to bring to it others charged with more, it is evident the little creature would have perished for want of food long before its task was half completed. But for currents, it would have been impaled in a nook of the very drop of water in which it was spawned; for it would soon have secreted the lime contained in this drop of water, and then, without the ministering aid of currents to bring it more, it would have perished for the want of food for itself and materials for its edifice; and thus, but for the benign currents which took this exhausted water away, there we perceive this emptied drop would have remained, not only as the grave of the little architect, but as a monument in attestation of the shocking monstrosity that there had been a failure in the sublime system of terrestrial adaptations—that the sea had not been adapted by its Creator to the well-being of all its inhabitants. Now we do know that its adaptations are suited to all the wants of every one of its inhabitants—to the wants of the coral insect as well as to those of the whale. Hence we say we know that the sea has its system of circulation, for it transports materials for the coral rock from one part of the world to another; its currents receive them