Cuttle-Fish, or Sepia, L. a remarkable genus of the finny tribe: the bones of a particular species, called the Officinal Cuttle, are frequently thrown out by the sea on (he British shore, but the fish itself very rarely.
This curious fish, when frightened or pursued, emits a black liquor, which is supposed to have been used by the ancients, instead of writing-ink. It was also esteem-ed by them as a delicacy, but at present is relished only by the Italians. Its porous and laminated bones were formerly employed in medicine as an absorbent.; and are still kept in the druggist-shops. They are hard on one side, but soft and yielding on the other, so that very neat impressions from medals, etc. may be easily made upon them, and then serve as moulds for casting metallic figures representing the original. These bones, in a calcined state, are farther useful, not only for cleaning and polishing silver, but chiefly for absorbing the acidity and tartness of wines, which, if not completely spoiled, may thus be restored to their former briskness.