Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 132.djvu/322

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316
DR. SCHLIEMANN'S DISCOVERIES AT MYCENÆ.

from his nightly wanderings, his life would not be worth a farthing. "Here," adds Mr. Smiles, "it appeared, was to be the end of his labors in natural history."

To get wherewithal to pay the doctor and the bills that had accumulated during his illness, his only hope lay in the sale of his third collection. Accordingly it went, as the others had done. "Upwards of forty cases of birds were sold, together with three hundred specimens of mosses and marine plants, with other objects not contained in cases. When these were sold Edward lost all hopes of ever being able to replenish his shattered collection." But a measure of strength returned, and not only did he, to some extent, replenish his stock, but he won honors in a new field. He had been introduced to Mr. Spence Bate, who, in conjunction with Mr. Westwood, was engaged in writing the account of the "Sessile-eyed Crustacæ," and to the Rev. Mr. Merle Norman, a well-known zoologist. In order to aid them, he was led to devote himself more particularly to marine zoology. He had no trawling or other gear, but he set traps in the pools at the seaside; he went along the shore and picked up the wreck from the wave; he sent his daughters for miles along the coast to get the waste from the fishermen's nets and lines, which, after much importuning, they had promised to keep for him. As the record of many falls and bruises conclusively tells that no cliff or scaur was left unsealed when he was in chase of a much-wanted specimen, so now no pool, however deep, could stop his way when he wanted a rare crab, or fish, or fish-parasite. The value of the contributions which he was able to make to science in this particular department are fully recognized in the valued works of Messrs. Bate and Westwood and Mr. Norman. In recognition of his services to science, a few years ago, he received the honor of an associateship of the Linnean Society, and was made a member of one or two other scientific societies in Scotland. Various efforts were at one time or other made to get some unimportant scientific post for him: he tried photography; applied even for a berth as a police-officer, or tide-waiter. None of these things were successful. The only tangible recognition of his scientific merits is the curatorship of the Banff Museum with a salary of £4 per annum. In face of the ignorant perversities of others, he has done good service in preserving some of its most valuable antiquities — of which the "Auld Been," which has a history, is not the least prominent.

Mr. Smiles does not need to apologize for writing the life of such a man because he still lives. His own, shyness and modesty have prevented him from gaining the recognition and reward which he might have secured, and surely no liberal-minded man will grudge him the benefit of being "put into a book." He well deserves the exceptional honor. We sincerely trust that the Banff folk will pleasantly disappoint his over-modest expectations, and buy many copies; and that in later editions it will hardly be correct to end the volume with the words that conclude the present edition: —

"Here I am still on the old boards, doing what little I can, with the aid of my well-worn kit, to maintain myself and my family; with the certainty that, instead of my getting the better of the lapstone and leather, they will very soon get the better of me. And although I am now like a beast tethered to his pasturage, with a portion of my faculties somewhat impaired, I can still appreciate and admire as much as ever the beauties and wonders of nature, as exhibited in the incomparable works of our adorable Creator." H. A. Page.




From Nature.

DR. SCHLIEMANN'S DISCOVERIES AT MYCENÆ.

Of all the archaeological discoveries which this nineteenth century has witnessed, that which Dr. Schliemann has just reported from Mycenæ will certainly be regarded as among the most important. Indeed, as throwing a light on those early days of Greece, the glories of which are reflected in the Homeric poems, it will stand pre-eminent, and cast even the researches made by the same ardent explorer at Hissarlik into the shade. There was in that case always some degree of uncertainty, and even his most sincere admirers and sympathizers could not but feel that among the successively disinterred cities it was doubtful which, if indeed any, was the Troy of the Iliad, and whether "the treasure of Priam" was in reality that of the unburied father of Hector.

At Mycenæ, on the contrary, the claim of the ruins which bear that "name to be regarded as the representatives of the ancient city founded by Perseus, the mas-