Peile & Nicholson Directory of Whitehaven 1864

DISTINGTON

Removed to Distington in 1842; but owing to the proprietor’s connection with the newspaper known as the “Manx Liberal” so little time could be devoted to the completion of the collection, that it was not open to the public till the autumn of last year. It embraces numerous and rare examples from every class of the Animal Kingdom, and is rich in Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia and Crustacea. The collection of shells is large, both recent and fossil; the latter embracing the whole series of strata, from the tertiary to the mountain limestone. The fishes although not so extensive in number as some of the classes above enumerated, present many curious instances of the ‘wild and wondrous forms,’ which

‘The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear,’

Nor are the corals, corallines and sponges, although lower in the scale of created beings much less worthy of notice. They afford ample proof that the glorious author of nature limits not His boundless mercy and fancy to the more important denizens of the earth, but that the testaceous home of the mollusc, and the carved and fretted chamber of the polype, are as worthy of His thoughts as the mighty ocean they inhabit, or the suns and stars which throw their radiance upon it. A room in the museum is entirely occupied by the weapons, dresses, tools, ornaments, and utensils of the Polynrsian Islanders, and the least civilized of our species from every part of the world. Many of these possess an elegance of design and an elaboration of workmanship, when the imperfect tools by which the work has been done is considered, which might make us pause before we heap upon their makers, with such unsparing virulence, the terms of heaten and savage. The cases in the museum devoted to the Chinese works will be found amply stored with articles illustrative of the manners, productions, and the state of the arts amongst that peculiar people. The collection of minerals is more varied than extensive; it embraces, however, the principal gems and precious metals. The antiquities, coins, and miscellaneous curiosities, which do not class themselves under any particular head, will not be found unworthy of observation. It is stated that the collection, altogether embraces upwards of 10,000 specimens. In many…


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