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Title: Charley's Museum - A Story for Young People
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charley's Museum - A Story for Young People" ***

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A Story





Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1855


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of

Charley's Museum.

Charley Carter was a bright, active lad, of twelve years old, the son of
a farmer, who lived a few miles distant from Philadelphia. He was a very
great favorite of his uncle Brown, his mother's brother, who was a
wealthy merchant in the city. He was also a favorite of another brother
of his mother, who had been, for many years a sea captain, sailing to
all parts of the world. So, you see, our Charley, with a kind father and
mother, and two such uncles, was very well provided for.

Charley was a lively, inquiring boy, who liked to find out all he could
about the animals he saw, whether they flew through the air, or swam
through the water, or walked on the ground, or crawled in the dirt.

[Illustration: MR. BROWN AND CHARLEY.]

Luckily for our Charley, his uncle Brown had had, from boyhood, the same
taste for Natural History, which our little friend was beginning to
have, and you can imagine how pleased his uncle was to see this taste in
his little nephew. Our sea captain was pleased also, and so was his
father, and all three of them together, determined that our little boy
should have the opportunity and the means to cultivate his taste.

So, as Mr. Carter had a big attic to his house, with two good sized
windows fronting the south, he got a carpenter and had a nice room made
for Charley, that should be his own Museum. Don't you think our Charley
was pleased, that his father was so kind to him? When the room was all
finished, uncle Brown, who had, for a long time, a bit of a Museum in
his own house, in the city, brought out, one day, a lot of shells to
begin our Charley's Museum, with. And now I must try to tell something
about these shells, and the creatures who used to have their homes in
them. (But first I must tell you one thing, if you hav'nt guessed it
already, that as soon as Charley began to lisp his words, his kind
mother took him in her lap and taught him to repeat the Lord's Prayer,
and, I can tell you, Charley, as he grew older, never went to sleep at
night, until he had addressed this prayer to the great, good Being, who
made and takes care of all of us. Remember this, boys, for it is of
more consequence than shells, or animals, or anything else.)

[Illustration: MONEY-COWRY.]

The first shell that Uncle Brown gave to Charley, was what is called a
"money-cowry." It is an elegant shaped and beautifully marked shell and
takes its name from the fact, that one species of them is used as money,
both in Bengal and Guinea, two places at a vast distance from each
other. The value of these shells is small, in comparison with that of
gold and silver, three thousand two hundred cowries amounting to a
rupee, which equals fifty cents of our coin.

Next came a shell that Charley thought had a very funny name, "the Royal
Staircase Wentle-trap." However, it was a very handsome shell, that
uncle sea captain brought to uncle Brown from the far off Chinese and
Indian seas, where the animals live. In old times this shell was prized
so highly, that one, two inches long, sold for five hundred dollars.
And, even now, a fine specimen brings from thirty to thirty-five
dollars. This shell Mr. Brown said, belongs to the class Turbo or
Turbinidæ. The fisherman call all of this class, whelks.


[Illustration: COMMON WHELK.]

After this, came another rather queer-named shell, the animal that lived
in it, being called the "Common Whelk," and belonging to a class of
creatures entitled Buccinidae, from the Latin name for _trumpet_,
because they were thought to look like a trumpet. These animals are very
plentiful all along the British coasts, and are sold like oysters, in
the London markets, besides being exported abroad for food. They have a
sort of proboscis, all full of sharp teeth, with which they bore through
the shells of other mussels and eat up the creatures inside.

"Persons who collect shells and form cabinets of them for their
amusement," said Mr. Brown, "are not naturalists. They care nothing
about the animal which lived in the shell, when it was in the sea. All
they wish for, is to have a pretty and complete collection, containing
as many different kinds and as rare shells as possible."

"I should like to have a pretty collection," said Charley.

[Illustration: MIDAS'S EAR.]

"So you will," said Mr. Brown, "but I hope you will learn as much as you
can of the natural history of the animals, to whom the shells wore once

"I will try," said Charley.

"Now here is one," said Mr. Brown taking the shell from his pocket,
"called the Bulla Ampulla." Observe it.

It is shaped much like an egg, though somewhat round, and is beautifully
spotted with white, plum-color and reddish. It is said to exist in both
the Indian and American Oceans. What you see here is only the empty
shell or covering of the animal.

[Illustration: BULLA VELUM. (TWO VIEWS.)]

It once contained a living animal, and the shell was formed by the
hardening of the soft material of its body. It grew just as your hard
finger nails grow. Here is another Bulla. This is the Bulla Velum. You
see its general shape is much like the other; but the markings are

"How beautiful it is!" said Charley. "Dear uncle, I can never repay you
for your kindness in giving me such elegant things as these. And some of
them are very costly too."

"They cost me nothing," said Mr. Brown. "They were brought and presented
to me by sea captains, and supercargoes in my service. Even that
Wentle-trap was a sea captain's gift; and when I told its real value, he
insisted the more on my keeping it But most of the shells are
cheap.--But that is of no consequence.

"I will tell you, Charley," continued Mr. Brown, "how you can repay and
gratify me. It is by industry and good conduct.

"I wish you to grow up to a first-rate man, you must begin by being a
first rate boy. When I am out here, and happen to remember any thing
that has, in any way, done me good in my life time, I will tell it to
you, if you will promise to try to keep it in mind and to act upon it.
Will you promise?"

"Oh yes, uncle, I will promise to try to remember and do what you tell

"Well, then, I'll tell you one thing now, that happened when I was a
school-boy, two or three years younger than you are even now. Our Master
was a very good teacher and a very good man, and he liked to have his
scholars go on learning and improving out of school, as well as in, and
to behave well also. So he told all the boys and girls, except the
little ones, to do, every week, two things, and let him see, each
Monday, which had done them best.

"One of these was to keep a diary. Do you know, Charley, what a Diary

"I believe, uncle, I have seen the word somewhere, but I do not know
what it means."

"Well, the Master meant this, that each scholar should have a blank
book, and every evening should write down what they had seen and heard,
and done and thought and felt during the day, at least as much as they
could remember, that was of any consequence. He said, that by doing this
carefully, they would improve the memory, and also learn to express
their thoughts well, either by writing or in speaking.

"So we did what he told us as well as we could, and used to carry what
we had put down, through the week, for the master to examine, on Monday
morning. Some of the scholars didn't write much or write it very well,
but, I am pretty sure even that little was a benefit to them. I know,
that it did me a great deal of good, which I found the advantage of, all
my life. The President, John Quincy Adams, kept one of these Diaries,
from the time he was a boy, till he died, over eighty years old, and
you have read what a wise and good man he was. Now I want you, Charley,
to begin now and keep a Diary. Will you?"

"As I told you before, uncle, I'll try."

"Well, my dear boy, if you will try in real earnest, you will do well
enough, I am very sure. And, to help you start, I will bring you out the
very first pages I wrote, when I was only ten years old."

"Do, uncle, I shall be very glad to read what you wrote, when you were a
little boy."

"Well, Charley, I told you there was one more thing the master told us
to do, out of school. This was, when we went to church, on Sunday, to
listen very carefully to the minister's sermons, and when we got home,
to put down the text and all the rest we could remember, and bring to
him, on Monday morning, to be examined. He said this would improve us in
the same ways, as keeping diaries would. We obeyed him, and some of the
scholars became so skilful, that they could remember and write down more
than half of both sermons. I think I have some of my notes, still left,
and if so I'll let you see them. Perhaps they will help you to make a
beginning in this too. Now, Charley, I want you to try this, as well, as
the other. Will you, for the sake of pleasing uncle Brown?"

"As sure, as I live, uncle, I will, and I'll begin the very next Sunday,
and see what I can do; and if I don't make out very well at first, I'll
keep trying till I can do better."

"Thank you, my boy. And now I won't tell you but one more of these
things, at present, but leave them till other occasions. You don't know
one of the strongest reasons, why I wish you to have a Museum, and to
get a knowledge of natural history."

"What is the reason, uncle? Won't you tell me?"

"It is, Charley, to prevent you, at least while you are so young, from
forming the habit of reading the kinds of novels and stories, which are
so plentiful now-a-days. I mean those, which are filled with all sorts
of wild, horrible things. Reading such books would be very likely to
make your mind sick, as taking poison would your body, and then you
would'nt like to study or to read at all, books that would make you
wise and good. Why, sometimes such stories drive people actually crazy."

"I'll tell you something, that happened to me once, when I was quite a
small boy, that made me almost crazy, for a while, and it is a wonder,
that it didn't make me quite so.

"I heard a story told, one day, which of course was the same thing as
reading it. This story was, that a traveller, being once on a journey
through a wild country, full of woods and rocks, came by a large cave,
in the side of a hill and partly under ground, and for some reason went
into it. He found there a horrible looking creature, a woman, as tall as
a giant, down to the waist, and the lower part of her a long,
monstrously large snake.

"I felt quite frightened, when I heard the story, and all the rest of
the day, I couldn't help thinking uneasily of that gigantic woman snake.
I was more frightened than ever, when the time came for me to go to bed
at night. I slept then in the attic and used to go to bed without a
light, for I had never been afraid of the dark. I went pretty slowly, I
tell you, till I got to the attic door, and there I stopped awhile,
afraid to open it for fear of seeing something horrid. But my father
called to me to go to bed instantly. I opened the door, and there I saw
the woman snake, part reaching into the dark above. I saw her as
plainly, as I see you now, and was terrified almost out of my senses.

"But my father called to me again, and I shut my eyes and rushed up
stairs. Of course I didn't hit any thing for there was no such creature
there. It was my fright at hearing the story, that made me see what
didn't exist.

"Now, Charley, do you think you had better read books, that can have
such an effect as that?"



Uncle Brown had in his Museum, a great many Birds, as well as shells. I
don't mean living birds, but stuffed birds. In the old countries there
is a class of men, who, having been taught how to do it well, make it
their regular trade to procure birds, and after having taken off their
skins, with all the feathers on, to stuff them with some soft substance.
They are exactly as if alive, and of the same size.

There are some of these Taxidermists (as they are called) in this
country, though not, I believe, very many. Uncle Brown got most of his
birds from Europe, by means of uncle sea-captain, when he came home from
his voyages.

Uncle Brown going out one day, to Charley's father's, carried several of
these birds with him, which were so pretty, that Charley was greatly


The first he showed him was called "the Emerald Bird of Paradise," and
was about as large as a jay. Its home is New Guinea and some other
parts of the hot regions of Asia. Its body, breast, and lower parts are
of a deep, rich brown; the front is covered thickly with black feathers,
mixed with green; the throat is of a splendid golden-green; the head is
yellow; and the tail is made up of long, downy plumes of a soft yellow,
together with a pair filaments almost two feet long.

"The bird is so vain of its beautiful plumage, that it will not let a
speck of dirt stay on it; but is continually examining its feathers to
see that they are perfectly clean. When wild, it always flies and sits
facing the wind, lest its elegant plumes should get ruffled.

"It lives partly on insects, such as grasshoppers, which it will not
touch, unless it has killed them itself, but chiefly on the seeds of the
teak tree and a kind of fig.

"There were once a great many strange stories about this bird. As the
natives of Guinea used to cut off their legs, and dry them, and sell
them, of course they reached Europe without feet. So the people there
got up a report that the bird lived always in the air, floated by, its
light feathers; that it used its shoulders for its nest; that it rested
only by hanging from a branch by its tail-filaments; that its food was
morning dew; with other reports as droll as these. There are several
kinds of Birds of Paradise, but the one in the cut is the most common,
and is that of which these fables are told."

[Illustration: TOCO TOUCAN.]

The next bird Uncle Brown showed Charley, was a very curious looking
one, named the Toco Toucan, a native of the American tropics. It has, as
you see, a monstrous sized bill, though it is not nearly so heavy, as it
looks, being mostly of a honey comb make. This bill seems to have in
it a great many nerves and so to be very sensitive, as the bird
scratches it with its foot, and also appears to enjoy holding meat and
fruits, with its tip, both of which prove the bill to have feeling in
it. It feeds on all sorts of eatable things, but is especially fond of
mice and little birds, which it kills by a strong squeeze, and then
tears to pieces and devours.

The topmost branch of a tall tree, called the Mora, when dead, is the
favorite resort of the Toucan, where it cannot be reached by the
gunner. It seems to fancy itself more beautiful, when its tail is
trimmed, and it therefore uses its beak to do this, as the barber
employs his scissors to trim our hair. When asleep, the Toucan takes
great care of its bill, covering it nicely with the back plumage, so
that the whole bird looks like a great round ball of feathers. Its body
is about eighteen inches long.

Next uncle Brown showed Charley a bird, called the Parrakeet. It was a
very pretty one, with a green body, a red bill, and a rose-colored band
round its neck, from which it is sometimes named the Rose-ringed

[Illustration: RINGED PARRAKEET.]

This bird is often tamed, and, from its gentle disposition and pleasant
ways, is a great favorite. It seems very fond of ripe walnuts halved,
and while picking out the meat, makes a little clucking noise, showing
that it is pleased.

It is soon taught to repeat words and short sentences and to speak quite
plainly. Sometimes, when angry, it screams loudly, and seems to practise
any new accomplishment when it thinks that nobody can hear it.

Another Bird, added to our Boy's Museum, was called the Brush Turkey,
because it is found mostly in the thick brush-wood of New South Wales.
The gentleman, who first made it known to the public, tells also of a
very curious way, in which the bird makes its nest. It never uses its
bill, as other birds do, but tears up grass and dirt and sticks with its
foot and flings it backward into a heap, and thus clears the ground, for
some distance round, so thoroughly, that hardly a grass blade or leaf is

[Illustration: A BULLA AMPULLA. (TWO VIEWS)]

Having finished the pile and waited till it has become heated enough
it lays its eggs, not side by side, as in common cases, but places them,
with the large end upwards, from nine to twelve inches apart, perfectly
upright and buried at nearly an arm's length. The eggs are covered up,
as they are laid, and left until the heat hatches them. Sometimes a
bushel of them are found in one heap, and are very fine eating. When
this Turkey is disturbed, it runs swiftly through the under-brush, or
springs upon the low branch of some tree, and leaps from limb to limb
till it reaches the top.

Another bird, called the Mound Making Megapode, from its big feet, is
somewhat like the Brush Turkey, laying many eggs; it digs holes five or
six feet deep and deposits the eggs at the bottom. The natives gets
these eggs by scratching up the earth with their fingers--a very hard
task, since the holes seldom run straight. Some of these mounds are
enormously large, one of them being found to measure fifteen feet in
height and sixty feet round the bottom. These birds live in the close
thickets on the sea-shore and are never found far inland.


Besides these birds Mr. Brown presented Charley with a glass case
containing a number of different kinds of Humming Birds stuffed so as to
look alive and some of them perched on artificial trees, and others
attached to concealed wires, so as to appear as if they were flying.
(_See frontispiece._) This case of Humming Birds was the chief ornament
of the Museum; greatly was Charley's delight at being its possessor.

Mr. Wilson, the great ornithologist, says, "I have seen the humming
bird, for half an hour at a time, darting at those little groups of
insects that dance in the air, on a fine summer evening, retiring to an
adjoining twig to rest, and renewing the attack with a dexterity that
set all other fly-catchers at defiance." Their feet are small and
slender, but having long claws, and, in consequence they seldom alight
upon the ground, but perch easily on branches, from which also they
generally suspend themselves when sleeping, with their heads downwards.
Their tail is broad. Their nests, about an inch in diameter, and as much
in breadth, are very compactly formed, the outer coat of grey lichen,
and lined with the fine down plucked from the stalks of the fern and
other herbs, and are fixed to the side of a branch or the moss-grown
side of a tree so artificially, that they appear, when viewed from
below, mere mossy knots, or accidental protuberances. They are bold and
pugnacious, two males seldom meeting on the same bush or flower without
a battle; and the intrepidity of the female, when defending her young,
is not less remarkable. They attack the eyes of the larger birds, when
their needle-like bill is truly a formidable weapon; and it is
affirmed, that if they perceive a man climbing the tree where their
nests are, they fly at his face, and strike him also in the eyes. Most
of the species lay only two eggs, and some of them only one. They have
been tamed--a female, with her nest and eggs, brought from Jamaica to
England, was fed with honey and water on the passage, and the young
ones, when hatched, readily took honey from the lips of the lady to whom
they were presented, and one, at least, survived two months after their



After uncle Brown had gone home, Charley determined he would begin to be
industrious at once. So he went up to his room, and began to arrange
his shelves, which his father had put up for the purpose. As he put each
one in its place, he examined it very carefully, and tried to recall
every thing his uncle had told him about it, so that it might be fixed
fast and clear in his memory, for he wished to tell his father and
mother and his favorite playmates the wonderful things he had heard. He
looked sharp too, to find in them other curious things, which his uncle
Brown hadn't mentioned, that he might ask him about them when he came
out again, or hunt them up in the books his uncle was to bring him.

As fast, as he put up a bird or shell, he wrote down, on a slip of stout
paper, in a large, neat hand (for he was quite a nice penman) the place
and name of the bird, or animal, that once lived in the shell, and where
was its native place, and fastened it with tacks above it.

Though he worked very steadily, it occupied all his spare time, out of
school, for several days.

Next he asked his father to get him a good sized blank book to make a
catalogue of his Museum, which his father did very willingly. Then
Charley wrote down in this the name and the native place of each of his
birds, and under this he recorded all his uncle told him about them. He
left besides, under each name, a page or two blank, so that he might
have room to set down whatever else he might find out about them.

All this took his spare hours for several days more, and after finishing
his labels on his Museum and his Catalogue, he felt quite proud of their
orderly and neat appearance and he had good reason to feel satisfied
for they made a very pretty show. Then he invited his father and mother
to walk up and see what he had done, for he had before requested them
not to come up, till he got ready for them. They were both very much
pleased with all his doings, and praised him a good deal. They said,
they hoped that he would be as neat and orderly in all he did, as he had
been here, for it would help him very much in his studies or in his
business matters. They told him there was a good saying, which he had
better write down and put up over his little desk, so that he could
often see it, "A place for every thing, and every thing in its place."
They said, too, it was an excellent plan to write down, as he had in his
catalogue, all the particulars he knew about anything, for he could
understand and remember them better, when they had once been all put on



"Now, Charley," said Mr. Brown at his next visit, "I've got some new
curiosities for your Museum; that is, stuffed animals. You know I told
you, about your birds, that the skin was taken off carefully and filled
out plumply with some dry, soft substance. Just so it is with these


Here, first, look at this Ermine, which, for a very long while, has been
so famous for its beautiful fur, that kings and nobles have paid a
high price for it to trim their robes, This fur in summer is dark
colored, but in winter it is an elegant white, except on the tip of the
tail, where it is jet black.

The Ermine lives in the northern parts of the Old and New Worlds, and it
preys on hares and rabbits and almost every other creature it is strong
enough to master.

I will tell you a story about the Ermine. Mr. Sturgis, of Boston, was
formerly engaged in trading with the natives on the north west-coast of
America, for furs.

The natives had no currency. But the skin of the Ermine, found in
limited numbers upon the northern part of the continent, was held in
such universal estimation, and of such uniform value, among many tribes,
that it in a measure supplied the place of currency. The skin of this
little slender animal is from eight to twelve inches in length,
perfectly white, except the tip of the tail, which is jet black.

Urged by some Indian friends, in 1802, Mr. Sturgis obtained and sent
home a fine specimen, with a request that a quantity should be ordered
at the annual Leipsic fair, where he supposed they might be obtained.
About five thousand were procured, which he took out with him on the
next voyage, and arrived at Kigarnee, one of the principal trading
places on the coast, early in 1804. Having previously encouraged the
Indians to expect them, the first question was, if he had "clicks," (the
Indian name for the Ermine skin) for sale, and being answered in the
affirmative, great earnestness was manifested to obtain them, and it was
on that occasion that he purchased five hundred and sixty prime
sea-otter skins, at that time worth fifty dollars a piece at Canton, in
a single fore-noon, giving for each five ermine skins, that cost less
than thirty cents each in Boston. He succeeded in disposing of all his
ermines at the same rate, before others carried them out--but in less
than two years from that time, one hundred of them would not bring a
sea-otter skin.

[Illustration: PINE MARTEN.]

And here is a Pine Marten, which, as you see, has also very beautiful
fur, which brings a high price. Notice what a long, slender body, short
muzzle, and sharp teeth it has. It is a great robber, and kills rabbits,
birds, chickens, and young ducks in great numbers, creeping slyly up to
them, darting at them, and piercing their necks with its sharp teeth. It
is found almost all over the world. Here is a story about the Marten
which I have copied from a book.

There is another strong instinct which the Marten evinces even when
tamed. It has an implacable hostility to cats, and lets slip no
opportunity of springing upon them and giving them a mortal wound. In
the forests, diminutive as it is in comparison, it battles stoutly with
the wild cat; and we shall venture to quote from "The British
Naturalist" an account of one of these battles, as from an eye witness.
"In the year 1805, a gentleman, on whose veracity we can depend,
witnessed one of those combats in the Morven district of Argyleshire. In
crossing the mountains from Loch Sunart southward, he passed along the
bank of a very deep wooded dell, the hollow of which, though it
occasionally showed green patches through trees and coppice, was one
hundred and fifty or two hundred feet from the top. The dell is of
difficult access, and contains nothing that would compensate the labor,
and thus it is abandoned to wild animals, and, among others, to the
Marten, which, though the skin fetches a high price, is not so much
hunted there as in more open places; because, though they might succeed
in shooting it from the heights above, they could not be sure of
removing the body. Thus it is left to contend with the mountain cat for
the sovereignty of this particular dell, and both are safe, except when
they approach the farm-house at the bottom of the hill. The contest then
lasted for more than a half an hour, and both combatants, were too
intent on each other's destruction to shun or fear observation. At last,
however, the Marten succeeded in falling upon the right side of the
cat's neck, and jerking his long body over her, so as to be out of the
reach of her claws; when, after a good deal of squeaking and struggling,
by which the enemy could not be shaken off, the martial achievements of
puss were ended in the field of glory."

Next comes a Ruffed Lemur, as it is called from the half-circle of white
hair, which you see on each side of its face. Notice, too, Charley, the
big patches of white on its back and sides, and its long bushy tail,
longer even than its whole body.

[Illustration: RUFFED LEMUR.]

"It is a native of Madagascar, which, you see on your map, is an island
south-east of Africa. It lives in the thick woods, and sleeps all day,
but when night comes, it starts forth after its food, which consists of
fruits, insects, and small birds. It is a little bigger, you see, than a
common cat. The Lemur, of which there are several varieties, is a good
deal like a monkey in his habits and some of them look like monkeys.

"You've seen, Charley, tigers in the Menagerie. Notice how much this
animal resembles a tiger, being shaped and striped like it, but a good
deal smaller, and measuring three feet long and eighteen inches high.
You can perceive, then, why it is sometimes called tiger-cat, though its
most common name is Ocelet. It is a native of Mexico and Peru, and if
caught young, is easily tamed. When it is wild, it feeds mostly on
Monkeys, which it takes by its cunning.

[Illustration: AN OCELET.]

[Illustration: CANADA LYNX.]

"Here's one more animal for you, Charley, called the Canada Lynx, which
would make you laugh, if you could see it alive and moving. It doesn't
walk or run, but sticks up its back and jumps forward with all four feet
in the air at once. If you apply that measuring rule of yours to it,
you'll find it about three feet long. It is a native of North America,
and its skin is highly valued, so that eight or nine thousand of them
are carried, every year to England. Muffs and tippets are made of the
fur of the Lynx."

"I know that," said Charley, "for my mother's muff and tippet are made
of Lynx skin."

"You notice, Charley, that most of the animals, that have nice furs,
live in cold countries, some of them where is ice and snow through the
whole year. What, my boy, do you suppose is the reason for this."

"Is it not, uncle, because the people there need these warm furs to
keep out the terrible cold?"

"Certainly, Charley, that's one reason, and it shows how the good God
takes care of all the creatures he has made, wherever they are. But
isn't there another reason?"

"I don't think of any other, uncle?"

"Why, Charley, don't these animals want this nice, thick fur to keep
themselves warm?"

"Oh yes, yes, dear uncle, why didn't I think of that?"

"You see, then, Charley, that God provides for the animals he made, as
well as for men. So he gives fur to those living in very cold countries,
while he does not give it, at least very thick, to those of warmer
climates, because they would be uncomfortable with such a covering."

Here is a picture of a Caracal, which is a sort of Lynx.



When Mr. Brown next visited the farm, he brought another pocket full of
shells, for Charley's Museum. When he was by alone with Charley in the
little chamber where the Museum was to be formed, he began to take them
from his pocket one by one and describe them.

[Illustration: BULINUS.]

"The Bulinus Haemastona," said Mr. Brown, "is very pretty, as you see.
These animals live altogether on land. They feed on the tender leaves
of plants and are very fond of lettuces and cabbages. Through the day
they lie half asleep, and towards evening move about, especially if warm
and moist, and are evidently fond of moisture. In winter they lie
torpid, and in spring deposit their eggs about two inches beneath the
earth's surface.

[Illustration: BRUSH TURKEY.]

"You have heard of King Midas, Charley. This shell is called Midas's
Ear, or Auricula Midæ."

"I remember," said Charley, "that Midas was said to have ass's ears."

[Illustration: HALIOTIS.]

"Just so," said Mr. Brown, "all the Auriculas and Haliotises, are a
little turned in form. Here is a Haliotis, or Sea Ear. The shell was at
first called the Haliotis, but because it is a little twisted, and
looks, as you may see, something like the ear of an animal, it is now
generally named the Sea Ear. This animal has a kind of fleshy foot
projecting from its body, with which it helps itself to move about.
Some kinds of them are very beautiful. There are a great many shells
named Sea Ear, by fishermen and sailors; and they are classed by
naturalists with these two."

Mr. Brown went on taking more shells from his pocket and talking all the

[Illustration: SPINY CHITON.]

Next came a couple of handsome shells, the Spiny Chiton and the
Magnificent Chiton. The word Chiton, which in Greek means "shield,"
indicates the general shape of this shell, which resembles a shield.
"These animals are a good deal like common Limpets. Those found in our
northern seas are small, but in the tropic seas they reach a large size.
Their shell consists of several plates, which are arranged very
regularly behind each other by complicated ligaments and muscles.


"The Spiny Chiton is found in the south seas. It has a wide border, as
you may see, furnished with long, sharp, blackish spines.

"The Magnificent Chiton grows five inches long, and is found in Chili,
often in very exposed places, fixed to wave-beaten rocks. The soft part
of all the Chitons, that is, you know, the animal when alive, is
furnished with a sucker on the under part, by which it sticks hard to
the rocks."

[Illustration: THORNY WOODCOCK.]

Uncle Brown next gave Charley one of the most beautiful shells, that,
he thought, he had ever seen. Our young readers will see whether Charley
was not right, by looking at the cut of it. It is called by several
different names, such as the Murex, Tenuispina, or Thin Spined Murex;
The Thorny Woodcock; and Venus's Comb. It lives in the Indian Ocean,
which, you know, is many thousand miles off from where we live.

[Illustration: OLD SHELLS.     YOUNG SHELLS.


With this he gave him four shells, two young, and two grown up ones,
which are called the Pteroceras Scorpio; and three others besides, one
young and two grown up ones, which go by the name of Cypraea Exanthema.

He told Charley to put all these shells together in his Museum, because,
in certain particulars, they are alike, and all have, besides their own
special names, the same generic name of Gasteropoda. They are so called,
because they have something like a foot proceeding from the body which
they use for moving about. Some of them have a distinct head, furnished
with feelers, and eyes, and some means of smelling and hearing. Commonly
the shell has but one valve, but sometimes more. Their shell is
secreted or made out of their skin, which is called a mantle. I ought to
tell you also, that all these shell-fish have another name, still more
general, which is Mollusca, or Molluscs.

[Illustration: ADULT SHELLS.      YOUNG SHELL.


The Scallop Charley must have read about before his uncle gave it to
him, for pilgrims to the Holy Land, many hundred years ago, used to wear
it, as a badge on their hats or caps. It has two valves, like the
oyster, which are united by a strong and very elastic hinge. It has also
a strong muscle, by which it can, as it pleases, open its valves or
keep them tightly shut. It helps to move itself about by rapidly opening
and closing its shell. It is found in the European seas and all along
the southern coasts of England.

[Illustration: SCALLOP.]

[Illustration: NAUTILUS]

"Here, Charley," said uncle Brown, "is a very beautiful shell for you,
called the Nautilus. The animal is very plentiful in the Mediterranean
Sea. It has several arms, which, people used to think, it stretched out
like the sails of a ship, and so skimmed over the water in its shell.
But this is a mistake, for it covers its shell with these arms, and in
fact makes the shell by a secretion from them. It pushes itself through
the water by throwing water from a tube, which it has.

"The shell is always elegant, but the colors of the living animal are
very beautiful."

"Oh uncle," cried Charley, "what wonderful and nice things you have
told me? Can I find such things in books."

"Certainly, you can," replied the uncle, "for it is there I got most of
what I have told you."

"Then," said, Charley, "I mean to read all the books, telling about
these things, that I can get, if father will let me, for I should like
to do that better, than to be a farmer or a merchant. Do you think,
uncle, father will be willing, that I should study and go to college,
like our minister Edward?"

"Why my lad," replied the uncle, "your father and I can manage it, if
you will be a good scholar and a well behaved boy. But remember, that in
order to do this, you cannot be idle and careless and too fond of play,
but you must be very industrious and study hard, for a good many years,
to be a good scholar, and you must also be careful of what you do and
say, and keep out of the company of mischievous and bad boys, or their
example will lead you astray and make you as bad as themselves. Do you
think you have resolution and perseverance enough for all these things?"

"I hope so uncle," answered Charley, "and I believe so. Certainly I'll

"Well, my boy, let us see you try. It will be three or four years,
before you will be old enough to go to college, but you are old enough
to begin to study now, in order to get ready to go. Now is the time to
form regular and industrious habits of study. Just at present, you had
better go on and form a pretty good Museum, and I will bring you some
more birds and shells for the purpose, and some books, that will tell
you much more about them than what I have."

How Charley found his Museum useful in improving his mind; and how he
went to college, and became a very distinguished scholar we will relate
to our young readers on some future occasion.


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