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the mother. "No," answered the child; "but I love her because she sent me this beautiful present." "My child," said the mother, "you told me the other day that you could not love God, because you had never seen Him. And yet you love this kind lady, whom you have never seen, because she has given you a present. Now you have all around you the presents which God has given you. Why cannot you love Him for His presents?"


EALS are a tribe of flesheating animals, that live at their pleasure on the land or in the water. In their construction they exhibit a beautiful example of the adaptation of living creatures to the station appointed them by their Creator. While the rest of the great family to which they belong are confined to the land, on which they find their prey, the species of which the Seal is a member are natives of the water, where they pursue fishes and other marine creatures as their food. Their limbs are short, and so inclosed in their skin as to give them the power of

creeping only, and that with great awkwardness, when they move from place to place on the land; but as their feet are webbed, they serve admirably the purpose of oars; and such is their natural use. In fact, these animals pass a great portion of their life in the sea, only coming occasionally on shore to bask in the sun, or to suckle their young. In form, their body is long and tapering; the spine very flexible, and provided with muscles, which bend it with great force. Their fur is smooth and close, lying against the skin.

The teeth of the Seal show that its proper food is flesh. The feet have five toes; on the fore feet these diminish gradually from what is called the "thumb" to the last; but on the hind feet, the "thumb" and the last are the longest. The tail, which is short, is placed between the hind paws or "flippers," which are directed backwards. The head resembles that of a shortmuzzled dog, and has an expression of great intelligence and mildness, agreeing with its actual character; for the Seal is easily tamed, and becomes much attached to its master. The tongue is smooth; the nostrils are furnished with a


kind of valve, which is shut the rocky coasts of Scotland when the animal dives; the and Ireland, and is abundant ears, which open behind the along the northern shores of eyes, are also capable of being Europe and America; and either closed, so as to prevent the the same species, or one very entrance of water. like it, is found in the Caspian The COMMON SEAL inhabits Sea, and in the fresh-water

lakes of Russia and Siberia. Its usual length is about five feet; its colour yellowish grey, dappled with brown and yellow; the lips are furnished with long, stiff whiskers; and it has no outward ears.

The Seal is gregarious-that is, living in herds-in its habits. It frequents the deep recesses and caverns on the shores of northern seas, where during winter it brings up its young. The female takes its cubs, which are usually two, into the water, and displays great solicitude for their safety: she teaches them to swim and pursue the fish on which they prey, and when they are tired, carries them on her back.

When a Seal is surprised basking on the shore, its first effort is to make for the water, in which it feels at home; on land it is defenceless, moving along very clumsily, though it sometimes manages to overturn an inexperienced assailant. From the nature of its food, it has a fishy smell; and it is said that when collected in numbers on the shore, the odour can be perceived at a considerable distance. Its voice when old is a hoarse, gruff bark; when young, a plaintive whine.

To the Esquimaux and Green

landers this animal is of the utmost importance; indeed their main subsistence may be said to depend upon their success in capturing it. Its pursuit is

therefore with them a serious

occupation. In his boat, or kajak, which consists of the skin of the Seal stretched over a slight frame-work of wood, the Greenlander in his sealskin dress braves the violence of the northern seas, and every peril of the deep, in the ardour of the chase.

"There, tumbling in their seal-skin boat,

Fearless, the hungry fishers float,
And from teeming seas supply
The food their niggard plains deny."

The flesh of this creature, says a naturalist named Crantz, "supplies the natives with their most palatable and substantial article of diet. The fat furnishes them with oil for lamp-light, chamber and kitchen fire; and whoever sees their habitations, presently finds that even if they had an abundance of wood, it Iwould not be of much use; they can use nothing but trainoil in their habitations. They also soften their dry food, mostly fish, in the oil; and, finally, they barter it with the traders for all kinds of necessaries.

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fibres of the Seal's sinews, than with thread or silk. Of the skins of the internal parts they make their windows, curtains for their tents, and even shirts. Of the skins of Seals they stand in the greatest need, because they must cover with them both their large and small boats, in which they travel and seek their provisions. They must also cut their thongs or straps out of them, and cover their tents with them, without which they could not subsist in summer. Therefore no man can pass for a right and true Greenlander who cannot catch seals. This is the great end to which they aspire in all their labour from their childhood upwards." make himself a useful or good member of the community on the dreary shores of Greenland, the art of capturing this animal, dangerous and difficult as it is, must be perfectly learned by every native.


Though not so important to us as to the poor Greenlanders, still Seals are much sought after, both for their skins, which are articles of commerce, and for the oil which they yield in considerable abundance. They are, therefore, not only hunted in the way represented in the Cut, but are followed into the

hollows in the rocks and caverns in which, at certain times, they collect in great numbers. This is done in the months of October and November, at night by torch-light. The hunters being properly stationed, and armed with clubs, alarm the poor animals by shouts and noises; when, terrified by the uproar, and confused by the light, they hurry from the ledges of the rocks and places where they rest, and tumultuously endeavour to escape. The work of slaughter now begins, their pursuers knocking them on the head with their clubs, so as to stun them, or kill them outright.

The Seal, though the ears are cropped close to the head, has a most delicate sense of hearing, and delights in musical sounds, a fact not unknown to the ancients. In an account of a voyage to Spitzbergen, it is stated that a number of seals would surround the vessel, and follow it for miles when a violin was played on deck.

Among many instances of the taming of this creature, and its use in fishing, I select the following anecdote, with which I will close this description of it. "In January, 1819, a gentleman in the neighbourhood of Burntisland, in the county of

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