THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
also thinks that the excellence of the system has been abundantly proved by its success. To train great schools to govern themselves is a task of great responsibility, and mistakes will occur, as in all human government. He asserts that it would be easy to array a terrible catalogue of abuses or failures in the opposite system.
A number of other letters, pro and con, have been published, among them a card by Dr. Riddle, stating that the whole matter had been referred to the Governing Body, then in session, for examination and action. The decision, which we have not yet seen, was looked for with great interest when our correspondent wrote. It is probable that this discussion will result in a modification of the monitorial system, but we do not look for its immediate abolition. It is too characteristic of the English people.—The National Teacher.
|THE HORNED FROG.|
By FRANK BUCKLAND.
IN July, 1872, a sensational paragraph went the rounds of the papers that a "horned frog" had arrived at the Zoological Gardens; so I went to see it, and here, kind reader, you have a portrait of this celebrated animal.
In the first place, any one can see that the little beast, though carrying horns, is not a frog at all, but a lizard. It rejoices in the name of the "Crowned Tapayaxin" (Phrynosoma cornutum), from φρνος, a toad, and αωμα, a body. This is not a bad name when it is construed, for it really is very like a toad in general appearance. It belongs to a family of Saurian reptiles (Agamidæ), this species being widely distributed in Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America. Why Nature has made these little creatures so hideous, as some would call them—though I call nothing hideous—I do not know. The Moloch horridus of Australia is also covered with spines, and looks even more formidable than our friend the horned frog, and yet they are quite harmless, and will hurt nothing but insects. If the fly in the picture is not speedily off about his business, Mr. Horned Frog will snap him up before, as the Yankees say, "he knew what hurt him." Holland, the civil and obliging keeper at the reptile-house at the Zoological, took the horned frog out of his box, and, as he sat upon my arm, I made notes about him.
Imagine a large bug, about four inches long and two inches across, with a tapering tail, which he can cock up after the manner of a scorpion, or the beetle known as the "devil's coach-horse," and you have some idea of the "Crowned Tapayaxin." The body is very flat, though, I believe, he can blow himself out quite fat if he likes, like the