The building had been burnt to the ground, and the guardsman began the process of sifting through the ashes.
The arches bear on the convex outer side the delicate arborescent gills, and on the concave inner side develop a membranous septum with vermicular perforations, a special sifting or filtering contrivance through which the water absorbed by the mouth has to pass before reaching the respiratory organs of the branchial apparatus.
The resulting " classification is based on the examination, mostly autoptic, of a far greater number of characters than any that had preceded it; moreover, they were chosen in a different way, discernment being exercised in sifting and weighing them, so as to determine, so far as possible, the relative value of each, according as that value may vary in different groups, and not to produce a mere mechanical ` key ' after the fashion become of late years so common " (Newton's Dictionary of Birds, Introduction, p. 103).
He worked, therefore, upon more assured ground; his sifting of authorities was more thorough and his method less restricted.
The voters were to choose one-tenth of their number (notabilities of the commune); one-tenth of these would form the notabilities of the department; while by a similar decimal sifting, the notabilities of the nation were selected.