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The Battle of the Boyne, 1690.
Deep to the root
As January is the coldest, so July is the hottest month of the year. For though the direct influence of the sun is continually diminishing after the summer solstice, yet the earth and air have been so thoroughly heated, that the warmth which they retain more than compensates for a time the diminution of the solar rays. The effects of this increased temperature soon become very striking. The flowers of the former month quickly mature their seeds, shrivel, and fall; at the same time their leaves and stalks lose their verdure, and the whole plant hastens to decay. A new generation advances to supply their place, of plants which require the full influence of our summer suns to bring them to perfection, and which flourish most luxuriantly in situations and seasons when the warmth is most abundant: these are, particularly, many of the umbelliferous, as wild carrot and hemlock ; the aromatic, as wild thyme; the succulent, or thick-leaved, as the whole race of sedums and cotyledons; the aquatic and marsh
plants, as bulrush, waterlily, marsh St. John's wort, sun-dew, and Lancashire asphodel; and the compound flowered, as thistle, sow-thistle, hawkweed, bluebottle (Centaurea cyanus), marygold, goldenrod, camomile, and sunflower.
The animal creation seem oppressed with languor during this hot season, and either seek the recesses of woods, or resort to pools and streams to cool their bodies and quench their thirst.
On the grassy bank
The insect tribe, however, are peculiarly active and vigorous in the hottest weather. These minute creatures are for the most part annual, being hatched in the spring, and dying at the approach of winter. They have, therefore, no time to lose in indolence, but must make the most of their short existence ; especially as their most perfect state bears only a small proportion to the rest of their lives. All insects that live upon, or in the ground, undergo three changes, in each of which they are transformed to a totally different appearance. From the egg they first turn into caterpillars or maggots, when they crawl upon many feet, and are extremely voracious, several kinds of them doing much mischief in gardens, stripping the trees of their leaves, and sometimes devouring the herbage on the ground. This is their state in their spring. They next become aurelias or chrysalises, resembling an infant closely wrapped in swaddling clothes, being motionless, requiring no nourishment, and indeed having scarcely any appearance of life. From this state they burst forth into the perfect insect, shining in all its colours, furnished with wings, endowed with surprising activity, capable of propagating its species, and feeding for the most part on thin animal juices, or the honey of flowers. In this state they continue but a short time. The male impregnates the female, she lays her eggs,