Imágenes de páginas

worldly dross, we may be made meet to be partakers of the glorious inheritance prepared for God's people, through Him who has loved us, and given himself for us, and died for us, that we might live for ever. "Finally, brethren, farewell! be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you."

(Food concluded.)

THE jaws of insects are admirably adapted to their intended services; some sharp and armed with spines and branches for tearing flesh; others hooked for seizing, and at the same time hollow for suction; some calculated like shears for gnawing leaves; others more resembling grindstones, of a length and solidity sufficient to reduce the hardest wood; and this singularity attends the greater part of these insects, that they possess, in fact, two pairs of jaws, an upper and an under pair, both placed horizontally, not vertically; the former, in most cases, for the seizure and mastication of their prey; the latter, when hooked, for retaining and tearing, while the upper masticate it previously to its being swallowed.

For the most part, insects feeding on animal substances, will not touch vegetables, and vice versa. But to this rule there are some exceptions.

Vegetables seem to be the staple food of earwigs, but they have shown on some occasions, not only carnivorous, but cannibal propensities: thus a brood of young ones, reared by Baron de Geer, ate the dead body of their own mother, as well as the bodies of several of their brethren, which chanced to die.

Of house-crickets, White of Selborne says, "As one would suppose, from the burning atmosphere which they inhabit, they are a thirsty race, and show a great propensity for liquids, being frequently found dead in pans of water, milk, broth, or the like. Whatever is moist they are fond of, and, therefore, they often gnaw holes in wet woollen stockings and aprons that are hung to the fire. These crickets are not only very thirsty, but very voracious; for they will eat the scummings of pots, yeast, bread, and kitchen offal, or sweepings of almost any description.

The family of the cockroaches are very voracious. A small species occasionally met with about London, swarms numerously in the huts of the Lapland

ers, and will sometimes, in conjunction
with a sort of carrion beetle, devour, in a
single day, their whole store of dried fish.
There is a singular creature called the
praying mantis (mantis oratoria.)
name is derived from its attitude, which
is nothing more than the posture in
which it patiently lies in wait for its
prey; for, having once set its eyes upon
an insect, it rarely loses sight of it,
though it may require some hours before
it can make a capture. Should the insect
be over-head, and beyond its reach, it
slowly erects its long neck, and elevates
itself on its hind legs. If this bring it
within reach, it throws open the last
joint of its fore-paws, and snaps the
insect between the spines, set in rows on
the second joint. Should it prove un-
successful, it does not retract its paws,
but holds them stretched out, and waits
again, till the insect is within its reach,
when it springs up, and seizes it. Should
the insect go far from the spot, it flies or
crawls after it slowly on the ground, like
a cat; and, when the insect stops, it
erects itself as before.

These creatures may be described as cannibal insects; and they show their savage habits in the earliest stage of their existence. Their eggs are placed in an oblong bag, of a thick, spongy, imbricated substance, and fastened lengthwise to the branch of a plant. Roset, being desirous of observing the development of the insects, placed one of these egg-bags in a close glass, into which, when the young appeared, he put different sorts of plants. But vegetable food not suiting their taste, they preyed upon one another. This determined him to supply them with insect food, and he accordingly put several ants into the nurseglass. Then however, they betrayed as much cowardice as they had previously showed barbarity; for the instant the ants were observed, the mantes attempted to escape in every direction, evidently from instinctive fear of a natural enemy. Afterwards, he tried them with some of the common house-flies, and these they seized with eagerness, and tore to pieces. But notwithstanding their apparent fondness for flies, they continued to destroy each other through savage wantonness. Roset, despairing at last, from their daily decrease, of rearing any to the winged state, separated them into small parcels, in different glasses; but here, as before, the strongest of each community destroyed the rest. Having subsequently

received several pairs of the same insects, | arrived at their full growth, Roset, profiting by his former experience, separated them, placing a male and female together, in different glasses; but they, even in this arrangement, exhibited the most ferocious enmity, which neither age nor sex had any effect in softening. No sooner did they observe each other, than they threw up their heads, brandished their fore-legs, and each waited an attack. They did not remain long in this posture, for the boldest, throwing open his wings with the velocity of lightning, rushed at the other, and tore it in pieces. Roset compares the onset to a combat between two hussars; for they dexterously guard and cut with the edge of the fore claws, as the hussars do with their sabres, and sometimes, at a stroke, one of them cleaves the other through, and severs its head from its body, the conqueror always devouring his antagonist. M. Pairet made similar experiments to those of Roset, by putting a male and female mantis into a glass. The female instantly made an attack upon her companion, seizing him between the sharp points of her claws, with which she soon cut off his head. As they are very tenacious of life, he continued to appear lively for a considerable time; but the female ended by devouring him.

Of the white ants of Ceylon, Percival says: "In the space of a night, they will demolish and eat up all the boots, shoes, and bottoms of trunks, which come in their way, or are left on the ground. This is never done but by the carelessness of the black servants. In camp, the furniture of the tents is placed on inverted bottles, with their necks planted in the ground, which, on account of the slippery nature of the glass, cannot be climbed up by the ants. In the dwelling-houses, the trunks, chairs, and bed-posts, are for the same reason placed in tin vessels full of water. I have frequently seen the large beams of a house almost eaten through by these insects, and ready to tumble down on the heads of the inhabitants.

"This destructive insect, however, is not without the most singular utility, and is made by the Creator to serve the same benevolent purposes which are conspicuous in every part of His plan. In the immense forests which they inhabit, and which are never subject to the hand of cultivation, the constant accumulation of decayed timber would in time greatly impede, if not

entirely choke vegetation, were not these animals employed by Providence continually to devour it."

Insects, indeed, tiny and insignificant as they may appear, are in such cases the principal scavengers of nature; and whereever decaying vegetable or animal substances abound, on land or in water, there myriads of insects are certain to be met with, greedily devouring what is most noxious in quality, and offensive to our senses. At the same time, the multiplication of their numbers, from this abundant supply of food, provides an almost exhaustless store of prey for those species of birds which feed upon insects.


CONTINUING our stay here till the carnival, we had an opportunity of seeing to what a pitch of craziness these people will proceed, and how even Neapolitan liveliness admits of caricature. Universal tom-foolery was now the order of the day: nor age, sex, nor rank made any difference, all seemed equally infected with the bedlamite mania. An ancient Roman saturnalia must have been a very dull formal affair, compared with the scaramouch doings here acted throughout the whole city. One might imagine that a congress was held of all the scaramouches, buffoons, clowns, and merry-andrews in the world; each striving who should distinguish himself by the greatest possible extravagances and absurdities. The most lunatic antics imaginable were played off in the streets by persons dressed up in preposterous disguises. The lowest of the mob seemed to have found their way into carriages on this occasion; for the company in those vehicles seemed as arrant buffoons as those on foot. Showers of bonbons, or rather hard pellets made of paste, and about the size of marbles, were flung on every side, to the no small danger of eyes, teeth, and noses, among those who did not wear masks. Royalty itself must needs put on motley like the rest not content with honouring these ceremonies by their august presence, the king and his brothers took a conspicuous part in them; and, dressed as sailors, were drawn in a wheeled machine made to resemble a large boat. On their commencing a broadside on the populace with their bonbons, they received some furious volleys in return. The pellets hissed about them like grape shots, and actually covered the deck of their vessel. Whether this was considered

particularly complimentary, I do not know; but I am sure the peppering they underwent, must have made them nearly black and blue all over, unless they adopted the precaution of casing themselves up in armour beneath their outward dresses, before they sallied forth on this expedition.

Undoubtedly here was plenty of" fun” going on during the carnival; but it seemed fun of the dullest and most stupid kindalmost too low for the taste of an English scavenger or coal-porter. So far from at all enlivening or exhilarating, it rather humiliates one by the degrading colours in which it sets forth human folly. Those who can be amused by such scenes, would not be disgusted by beholding a holiday in bedlam, when all the inmates were set at liberty, and allowed to play what tricks they pleased. For one thing, however, I felt grateful-that we had no carnivals in England.-Rae Wilson.


THE minds of studious and sedentary persons are liable to be overcast with melancholy, through the absence of that kind consenting play, which is kept up while the human frame enjoys a plenitude of health. In this case, reading aloud will be found a present and effectual remedy. The bible is best suited to this purpose, for in no other book are the grave, the sublime, the pathetic, and the interesting, so happily and so unaffectedly blended. The effect will be increased if the reader varies the pitch, loudness, and quality of the tones, in order to ascertain, by a series of experiments, with what inflections of the human voice the sacred lessons, in his own judgment, might be best conveyed.



DARKNESS in the minds of men, ignorance of God, his nature, and his will, was the original of all evil unto the world, and yet continues so to be. For hereon did Satan erect his kingdom and throne, obtaining his design, until he bare himself as the god of this world, and was so esteemed by the most. He exalted himself by virtue of this darkness (as he is the prince of darkness) into the place and room of God, as the object of the religious worship of men. For the things which the gentiles sacrificed, they sacrificed unto devils, and not unto God, 1 Cor. x. 21; Ps. cvi. 37.

Hereby he maintains his dominion to this day in many and great nations, and with individual persons innumerable. This is the spring of all wickedness and confusion among men themselves. Hence arose that flood of abominations in the old world, which God took away with a flood of desolation. Hence were the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, which he revenged with fire from heaven. In brief, all the rage, blood, confusion, desolations, cruelties, oppressions, and villanies with which the world hath been and is filled, whereby the souls of men have been and are flooded into eternal destruction, have all arisen from this corrupt fountain of the ignorance of God, Prov. i. 24-31.-Owen.


WHERE grace is, there will be no eminent mercy gotten with much struggling, but there will be a particular thankful remembrance of it a long while after, with much enlargement; and as prayer abounded, so will thanksgiving abound also. Great blessings that are won with prayer, are worn with thankfulness: such a man will not ask new, but he will withal give thanks for old. Thankfulness, of all duties, proceeds from pure grace. Prayer and thanks are like the double motion of the lungs the air that is sucked in by prayer is breathed forth again by thanksgiving, Eph. v. 20; Heb. xiii. 15; Ps. 1. 14.-Goodwin.


The WEEKLY VISITOR for 1835, will be published December 31, 1835, price 3s. 6d. boards, 5s. half-bound in calf. Also, at the same price, the Volumes for 1833 and 1834. The Three Volumes complete, 10s. 6d. boards, 15s. half-bound.

It is intended to continue this Work in Monthly Parts, to begin on the 1st of January, 1836, and to be entitled



Combining, with Scriptural and Religious
Instruction, some Pieces on the Works of
God, and General Knowledge. Price 3d,
Forty Pages octavo.
To be continued on
the First of every Month.

We hope to introduce various improvements in this work, for which a Monthly Publication will afford scope.

JOHN DAVIS, 56, Paternoster Row, London.

This is the territory of Satan, yea, the Price d. each, or in Monthly Parts, containing Five

power and sceptre of his kingdom in the minds of the children of disobedience.

Numbers in a Cover, 3d.

W. Tyler, Printer, Bolt-court, Fleet-street.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »