29 DECEMBER 1866, Page 3

A French chemist has discovered a poison for whales, which

-kills them within a quarter of an hour of the firing of the shell which contains a cartridge of the poison. It is a mixture of -the Indian poison called curare, or woorali, with strychnine, the former a poison which excessively relaxes the muscular system, 'the latter one which tightens it. The two together appear to put the system into such a horrible dilemma that it gives up altogether, and dies. Ten whales in a recent voyage have been destroyed by these poisoned shots, of which four were not secured, or not thought worth cutting up ; and nervous people at dinner parties ,are beginning to look anxiously at their neighbours before touch- ing their fish, lest perchance it should have eaten any dead fish which, say in the twentieth remove, had eaten part of the poisoned whale, and died of poison. We suppose it would be universally denounced as a crime to poison shells in war with woorali and strychnine, though the intention clearly is to kill. Yet nobody seems to feel any sort of compunction about whales, except as to the possible indirect results to the fish on the dinner-table. Why, as Artemus Ward remarks, is this thus ?