Abbildungen der Seite

or six times ; and then from the Nympha, or Caterpillar State, turns to an Aurelia, or Chrysalis, from which last State, they come out Papilios, or Butterflies. [The Author, by the by, makes the Nyonpha, and Aurelia State to be one and the same thing ; bur Dr. Derbam, and The l--it's ochers, make the Nympha State that of their obferv. first State after they are hatched, viz, the Vermicular, or Caterpillar.]

The Chevalier being highly entertained with this general Account of Insects, would fain have persuaded the Count to have gone on with his Narrative; but notwithstanding the young Gentleman's eager Desire, it is put off to another Day. In the next Conversation the Chevalier's first Question is, Whether the In-"Conv, II: FeEt really dies at its putting on the Aurelia State, and before it comes out a Butterfly. Here the Count, without hesitation, decides that the Insect TRULY DIES at its putting on the Au- p: 36. relia, and endeavours to prove it by all possible Arguments. But, in the fame Breach, the Count, (remembring how contrary the Generation of . the next State, viz. the Butterfly, is to the Principles he had laid down in his first Conversation, that anomalous Generation is in itself against Experience and impossible, which however must prove false, if the Infect truly dies at its putting on the Aurelia;) the Count, I say, owns there remains in the Aurelia a Fætus, filled with a Liquor that contributes, by little and little, to bring it to perfection; and notwithstanding this Concession, the Count assures that the firft Animal truly dies, to give place to the next succeeding one.

AFTER this general Description of Insects, and their various Changes, the Chevalier inquires into the Matter out of which they spin their Şilk. The Countess now joins the Company,


;" P. 39.

who were in an Arbour in the Garden, and the

Count pursues his Discourse, and acquaints the 300 Sorts Chevalier, that there are above 300 Kinds of of Caterarse Caterpillars, which, like the Silk-worm; have

a certain Number of Feet, by nieåns of which they walk, and cling fast to Twigs during their Sleep. Almost all these emit Threads, which they spin from a liquid Gum in their Bodies. By these they let themselves down in case of Danger from Birds, or some other Causes; gluing first one End to the Bough they fall from. Some have long Hairs that secure them against any hurt from a Fall. Some again are of a Colour that deceives the Spectator's Eye ; the Caterpillar that feeds upon Buckthorn, being of the Colour of the Buckthorn, &c. left the Birds,

which are fond of such Meats, should eat them: Their food. As to their Food, every Kind of Caterpillar has 8:45. its proper Aliment adapted to it ; which, if it

were not, would be a very great Annoyance to Mankind. The Ghevalier considering the waste occasioned by them, asks what need there is of

them ? they might, he thinks, be well enough Their De- fpared. But the Prior and the Count both anftination. swer this Objection, and shew they are appoin

ted mostly for the Nurture of Birds : for, fays the Count, Birds are not hatched, till Infects are. Before April there are no Caterpillars, nor Brood of Birds, after July neither of these are to be

found. [The Author mistakes here again, I Bhe jo-it's humbly presume; some kinds of Caterpillars Observa

continuing till the End of September, and the Middle of Otober, some being now actually upon my Table.] Insects (and other noxious Animals), on the other hand, may be a Scourge in the hands of the Almighty, to punish Mar for his Crimes; and a Means to instruct him.


Towards the Close of the Summer Season, the Caterpillars being faciated with eating, prepare for the Aurelia State, in different manners de- p.50. scribed here. At the sight of an Aurelia, the Chevalier asks whether there be any Life in it? The Count shews him that upon pressing it gent- .. Jy, between one's Fingers, one perceives it to move ; (which plainly contradicts what he had afferred p. 36, where he contends for an actual The J--It's Death] and when they come out Butterflies from their Aurelias,' they lay their Eggs upon the very Plants, or some of much the same nature, that nourished them in their Nympha State.

But, says the Count, the strongest Kind of de Caterpillar is that which has a double Change, coming out sometimes Flies, and sometimes Papilios ; but this phenomena however strange The J--it's it seems to the Count, is cleared up by the sagacious Dr. Derham, in his Phyfico-Theol. Lib. VIII. C. 6. Note n. Instances of which I likewise have seen myself.] The Lady then Thews the Chevalier in a Chest of small Drawers, several Kinds of Papilios, under which she has designed the Caterpillar or Worin each Genus comes from, and its Chrysalis; which affords great Pleasure..

Here the second Conversation ends: In the Con. III. next, the Count being absent about some Busi- p. 65; nėss, the Lady takes upon her to initiate the young Candidate farther into the Mysteries of Nature : and for that purpose begins with a Description of the Silk-worm, this being more properly her Province, having nursed a great many ever since she was a Child. The Lady says there are two Ways of bringing them up'; the ist, to let them range at pleasure on a Mul



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

berry-Tree, and the other to nurse them in a p.66. House, providing fresh Leaves for them every

day. The Prior, it seems, has tried the first Manner, which, says he, is in use in China, Tunguin, and other hot Countries, and has suca

ceeded very well. The Eggs are so well laid in The Silk- some place about the Mulberry-Tree, that worm.

they will abide even the hardest Frost. This Manner of bringing them up, says the Prior, is the safest for their Health, and gives one the least trouble, but is not to be practised in our Climate upon account of several unavoidable In

conveniencies which destroy them ; [notwith- standing which, the Priorit seems had had goodSuc

cess that way, tho’in this cold Climate] and, all

things considered, he concludes the best Way p. 68.

is to house them, and follow the Lady's Example; who now teaches them how they must be

ordered. The Prior afterwards gives an exact P:72: Account of the Anatomy of a Silk-worm ; in

doing of which, he observes it has under its Mouth two Holes, throʻ which it spins two Threads at a time, which, with the help of two of its fore Feet, it unites into one. The Lady, in order to shew into what Form the Silk-worm disposes of its Silk, offers the young Gentleman three or four Bags, or Cones. Upon his wondering to hear the Silk-worms are inclosed there, the Lady gives him all the Satisfaction she can, diffects them, and cutting open the Cone, the Worm changed into a Chrysalis drops into his hand. This done, the Lady's Pupil is instructed how all this comes about, and how they spin: and then how they make their way out of the Cone, in the Shape of a Butterfly. He is farther instructed, how the Silk is spun of the Cone, and the Prior informs him the Thread


of one Cone had measur'd nine hundred and p.89. twenty-four, and of another, nine hundred and thirty Feet, which weighed no more than two Grains and a balf.

Presently after this the Company breaks up, and as they first resolve that the Subject Matter of Discourse in the next meeting Mall still be about Spinning and Weaving, it is agreed, that the young Chevalier shall, against then, go and visit fome Weaver's Loom. · The next Conversation opens with the Chen

* Conv, III. valier's short Account of what he had seen,

1, p. 89. and the pleasure it had given him; and the Prior snews how necessary it would be for all Gentlemen to be acquainted, in some measure, with all Handycrafts, and Arts; nay, and know themselves how to work at them.

AFTER this the Spider comes under the 0.06. Prior's Consideration, whereof he reckons five The spider. forts. (Mr. . Ray reckon'd thirty sorts. Vid. Phil. Trans. Vol. III.] All Spiders are form’d The J--it's alike, some having eight beautiful Eyes, others

Obferv. fix. [Power, quoted by Dr. Derham, .says, The luft's that some have four, others fix, and others obf. eighi.] Their Eyes are immoveable. In the fore part of their Head they are armed with two Stings, or rather strong Forcipes,terminated with a hook'd Nail, resembling a Cat's, and this, at their will, clasps or opens in the manner of a Clasp-knife. Under this Nail is a small Aperture, thro' which they emit a very quick Poifon. The Prior goes on in his curious Description, wherein he fays, that when the Spiders walk upon any thing that is smooth, as for p.98. instance, Glass, &c. they press a kind of Spunge, which is in the Extremity of their Feet, • No XX. 1732.

and. 1. VOL. IV.

« ZurückWeiter »