The extreme parties now began to direct especial attention to propaganda in the army, with a view to destroying its cohesion and thus paralysing the action of the government.
Many points in the development and mechanism of the nematocyst are disputed, but it is tolerably certain (I) that the cnidocil is of sensory nature, and that stimulation, by contact with prey or in other ways, causes a reflex discharge of the nematocyst; (2) that the discharge is an explosive change whereby the in-turned thread is suddenly everted and turned inside out, being thus shot through the opening in the outer wall of the capsule, and forced violently into the tissues of the prey, or, it may be, of an enemy; (3) that the thread inflicts not merely a mechanical wound, but instils an irritant poison, numbing and paralysing in its action.
Romanes thought that the manner of stinging and paralysing their prey might be justly deemed the most remarkable instinct in the world.
They are all more or less poisonous, paralysing their prey before, or during the act of swallowing; the poison-fangs standing so far back in the mouth, these snakes cannot easily inflict wounds with them on man; moreover, the poison is not very strong and not available in large quantities.
The wealth and luxury of successive generations, the monotonous routine of life, the separation of the educated class from the higher work of the world, have produced their enervating and paralysing effect on the mainsprings of poetic and imaginative feeling.
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