William Lawrence Uglow.

The history of insects online

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B A I L K Y & X V ! S . ':'..








And God made every thing (hit creep- V
eth upon the earth. Uentsis, I 25.



Observe the insect race ordained to keep,
The silent sabbath of a half year's sleep!
Entomb'd beneath the filmy web they lie,
And wait the influence of a kinder sky;
When vernal sunbeams pierce the dark

The heaving tomb distends with vital

heat ;
The full formed brood, impatient of

their cell.
Start from their trance and burst their

silken shell. Barbauld.



INSECTS are so called from a
separation in the middle of their
bodies, seemingly cut into two
parts, and joined together by a
small ligature, as we see in
wasps and common flies.

However small and contemp-
tible this class of beings may
appear, at first thought, yet,
when we come to reflect, and
carefully investigate, we shall
be struck with wonder and as-
tonishment, and shall discover,
that the smallest gnat that buz-
zes in the meadow, is as much
a subject of admiration as the

largest elephant that ranges the
forest, or the most huge whale
which ploughs the deep ; and
when we consider the least crea-
ture that we can imagine, myr-
iads of which are too small to
be discovered without the help
of glasses, and that each of their
bodies is made up of different
organs or parts, by which they
receive or retain nourishment,
&c. with the power of action,
how natural the exclamation,
" O Lord, how manifold are thy
works ! in wisdom hast thou
made them ail." Under these
considerations, that they are
the work of the same great,
good, and Almighty hand that
formed us, and that they are all
capable of feeling pleasure and

pain, surely every little child,
as well as older person, ought
carefully to avoid every kind of
cruelty to any kind of creature,
great or small.

The supreme court of Judi-
cature at Athens punished a boy
for putting out the eyes of a
poor bird ; and parents and
masters should never overlook
an instance of cruelty to any
thing that has life, however mi-
nute and seemingly contempti-
ble the object may be.

" I would not enter on my list of friends,
(Though grac'd with polish 'd manners

and fine sense,

Yet wanting sensibility,) the man
Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.* 1



This very troublesome little
animal multiplies very fast
among old rags, dirt, straw, and
litter, where hogs, cats or dogs
sleep ; and in the hair and bris-
tles of those creatures ; there-
fore, as a means of avoiding
such unwelcome neighbors, in
the spring the cleanly fanner
scrapes up the rubbish about his
wood-pile, and around his house
and barn, and removes it into
his field, where it also repays

him by manuring his lands.
They abound in warm coun-
tries, particularly in the southern
parts of France and Italy.

When examined by a micros-
cope, the flea is a pleasant ob-
ject. The body is curiously
adorned with a suit of polished
armor, neatly jointed, and bese*
with a great number of sharp
pins almost like the quills of a
porcupine : it has a sma'l head,
large eyes, two horns or feelers,
which proceed from the head,
and four long legs from the
breast ; they are very hairy and
long, and have several joints
which fold as it were one with-
in another.


Grasshoppers are too common
to need description, as they
abound almost wherever there
is green grass. One summer on-
ly is their period of life: they
are hatched in the spring, and
die in the fall ; previous to
which, they deposite their eggs
in the earth, which the genial
warmth of the next season
bring to life. They are food for
many of the feathered race.


Of these flies, which are cai-
led by many. Spindles, there
are various species. They all
have two lar^e eyes, covering
the whole surface of the head.
They fly very swiftly, and prey
upon the wing, clearing the air
of innumerable little flies. The
great c.ies live about water, but
the smaller are common among
edges, and about gardens.


This is one of the largest of
the insect tribe. It is met with
in different countries, and of va-
rious sizes, from two or three
inches to nearly a foot in length:
it somewhat resembles a lobster,
and casts its skin, as the lobster
does its shell.

Scorpions are common in hot
countries: they are very bold
and watchful: when any thing
approaches, they erect their
tails, and stand ready to inflict
the direful sting


In some parts of Italy and
France, they are among the
greatest pests that plague man-
kind: they are very numerous,
and are most common in old
houses, in dry or decayed walls,
and among furniture, insomuch
that it is attended with much
danger to remove the same:
their sting is generally a very
deadly poison, though not in
all cases, owing to a difference
of malignity of different ani-
mals, or some other cause.

In the time of the children of
Israel, scorpions were a plague
in Egypt and Canaan, as ap-
pears hy the sacred writings.
See Deuteronomy, viii. 15, and
other passages.


This is an extraordinary, curi-
ous, and remarkably industrious
little insect to which mankind
are indebted for one of the most
palatable and wholesome sweets
which nature affords ; and
which was one of the choice ar-
ticles with which the promised
land was said to abound.

In every hive of bees, there
are three kinds: the queen, the
drones and tlui laborers: of these
last, there aro by far the great-


est number: and r\s cold weath-
er approaches, they drive from
the hives and destroy the drones
that have not labored in summer
and will not let them eat in win-
ter. If bees are examined
through a glass hive, all appears
at first like confusion ; but on a
more careful inspection, every
animal is found regularly em-
ployed. It is very delightful,
when the maple and other trees
are in bloom, or the clover in
the meadows, to be abroad and
hear their busy hum.

" Brisk as the busy bee among learning'*

Employ thy youthful sunshine hours."


The Elephant-beetle is the
largest of this kind hitherto
known, and is found in South
America, particularly in Guinea,
about the rivers Surinam and
Oroonoko. It is of a black col-
or, and the whole body is cov-
ered with a shell, full as thick
and as strong as that of a small
crab. There is one preserved
in the museum that measures
more than six inches.

Of butterflies there are many
kinds. How wonderful the va-
rious changes of this class
of insects! The butterflies
lay their eggs: from these
hatch out worms or catter-
pillars, which change their skins
several times, and finally, be-
come aurelire, chrysales, or
silk-worms, out of which come
the beautiful butterflies.

M N O P a R
Y Z &.



Online LibraryWilliam Lawrence UglowThe history of insects → online text (page 1 of 1)