Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/295

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bright, illustrate the development and vicissitudes of art, from the rude efforts of archaic and provincial stampers to the finely finished medals of which those bearing the handsome features of Alexander the Great and those of the first Roman emperors may be taken as specimens. The base metal of which the coins of whole epochs were composed attests the antiquity of the dishonesty of "fiat money." The collection, which is offered for sale in this country, will be of great value to the institution that is fortunate enough to secure it.


Vegetation of the Catskill MountainTops.—Professor Charles H. Peck, of the Adirondack Survey, has recorded the fact that many swamp-loving plants grow on the higher mountains of the Adirondacks, where they find the conditions of moisture suited to their growth in the frequent rains, the general prevalence of clouds, and the low temperature, all operating as obstacles to evaporation. He has found on the open summit of Mount Marcy, 5,344 feet above the sea, seven species of swamp-plants, growing five hundred feet above the tree line, with no protection from the sun except what the vapors afford. Mr. E. P. Bicknell remarks, in his "Monograph on the Summer Birds of the Catskill Mountains" ("Transactions of the Linnæan Society of New York"), that the same fact is observable in that range, and is most strikingly illustrated by the white hellebore, which was noticed in low, damp woods in the valleys and along the streams, and growing in some profusion near the summit of Slide Mountain. "Close around the summit, too, were found, growing in abundance upon the carpeting of wet moss, plants which, at a less altitude, were rare or altogether absent, owing obviously to the scarcity of suitable swampy land. Thus, Coptis trifolia, which had not been noticed lower, was abundant; Viburnum cassinoides, elsewhere met with only in a small marsh at an elevation of about 1,900 feet, here reappeared, as well as Viola blanda (Willd), Carex intumescens (Rudge), and other plants less distinctly confined to wet and marshy situations." Mr. Bicknell also observes that in passing from the valleys into the mountains it was interesting to observe of plants of general distribution how much less advanced was their seasonal condition as the elevation increased. The extremes of this contrast, as shown by the vegetation at the summit of Slide Mountain and that of the valleys below, were most striking. Some species, which in the valleys had ceased flowering and were bearing green fruit, were still in full bloom at the mountain-tops; while others, in like condition in the valleys and on lower slopes, on the mountains had not advanced beyond their earliest buds.


Animal Revenge.—The active existence of a feeling like that of revenge and the possession of powers of memory of considerable definiteness and endurance in animals are illustrated in some anecdotes published in a recent number of "Chambers's Journal." Vixen and Viper were two dogs sent to hunt an otter. Only Vixen was able to attack the animal, and she was killed by him. Viper, who mourned for her intensely, went out in the night to hunt the otter; and the two were found on the next day clinched in death, with all the evidences of a desperate struggle around them. A Newfoundland dog was enraged by a traveler who, passing on horseback through the village, struck at him with his whip. A year afterward the traveler was passing through the same village, when the dog recognized him, and bit him through the leg. A friend of the owner of a dog, Tiger, set a stout bull-dog against him, and Tiger got the worst of the fight. He remembered the event, and watched faithfully at the neighbor's door for his opportunity. It came; the dog seized the man, and avenged his wrong. Afterward he tried to make friends with him, and to restore the relations as they had been before the offense was given. A servant-maid was accustomed to throw water upon a dog chained up during the hot weather, and for the best of motives—to cool him off. The dog, however, took the proceeding as an insult, and the first time he found himself loose sprang upon the girl and killed her. It was the duty of two dogs to take their turns at a turnspit. One of them shirked his task, slunk away, and hid. The other, when called upon to take his companion's turn as well as his own, led the people to where the truant was hid and killed him on the spot. A Newfoundland