this passion, every realm of Nature has been put under contribution.
Earth has been mined and seas have been explored, and both have yielded
lavishly of their bounty. Among all the products which have been
contributed by the latter, the Pearl stands
pre-eminent and unrivalled for native beauty. Indeed, we find that from
the very earliest times, Pearls have attracted the regard of man, and
have been employed by him for purposes of personal adornment.
whatever light Pearls may be regarded by the naturalist or man of
science — whether as redundant deformities, the result of special and
fortuitous circumstances, with which the Pearl-bearing oyster may be
surrounded, or as the legitimate production of a function inherent in
the mollusc—they are undoubtedly ranked by those skilled in precious
stones, as costly products rivalling in value and surpassing in beauty
the choicest gems of rock or water-course. By the fortunate possessors
of wealth and beauty, they are highly esteemed as a means of
judiciously investing the one, and of chastely yet elegantly
heightening the charms of the other.
Poets and philosophers too, have in all ages, recognized in Pearls the emblems most fitted to