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have the same opportunities of improvement, and the fame assistances with our predecessors; why do we not make use of them? The microscope which has discovered to them so many wonders, till then ununknown, has equal wonders in store for us. That instrument withdraws the veil, which conceals nature from our eyes, and makes, if we may use the expression, an elephant of a fly, by exhibiting it to us sixteen millions of times larger than it really is.
These reflections on. the discoveries that still remain to be made in the world of insects are the fruit of my experience. For many years I have applied myself to this study. I have observed those minute animals sometimes with the assistance of nature alone, and sometimes with the aids which art had procured me ; but I was always convinced that the subject was Dot exhausted. In this belief I do not hesitate to present this work to the public, notwithstanding sq many others have preceded it. Among the great number of new remarks I have made there may b« some that will not be displeasing to my readers.
This work will therefore be composed of my own observations, and of those of others, which mutually support each other. When mine do not appear sufficient, I shall call those of others to my aid. In this cafe I shall endeaveur to borrow with discretion and fidelity. For this end I shall follow the authors who are most exact, and most to be depended on; and I shall mention to whom I am indebted for my obser-. vations. As to method, I will not follow that of any
author .author whatever. It is well known that some, aster having distinguished insects into several classes, have divided their work into as many parts as there are different species. Others have been content to give their observations just as they occurred without any other arrangment then chance suggested. I shall begin by making an exact and general division of insects; after which I shall treat in detail of their parts and qualities, instead of confining myself to a mere Natural history3 and I will endeavour to dispose my readers to attribute to God, all those miracles that il shall lay before them.
But a compleat history of insects, must not be expected here; the thing is impossible. How is such an amazing number of small animals to be investigated? •How many swim on the surface of the sea, or lurk at the ibottom of the deep that we can form no idea of; who can tell the number of those that swarm in the bottom of rivers, in marshes and stagnant waters, and ■which never appear on the surface? How many unknown insects may there not be in those countries into which no traveller has hitherto entered ? So true is the remark of the son of Sirach!" The diversity "of animals, is one of the most incredible and woja"derful works of the Creator. However much we "may speak of them, we shall never declare them all. f Many things are hidden, greater than those we "know, and we have only seen a part of his works."
INSECTO - THEOLOGY*
Ot THE C&EATION AND GENERATION Of iNiECTS^
XHERfi i8 nothing in the universe which does hot owe its existence to some cause different from the universe itself. To this cause must be attributed the: different forms of things, and their existence in ond form, rather than in another. This cannot be denied* without obliging us to maintain, that every thing in nature, sprang from nothing. But to what would such an absurd opinion lead? 8urely to two contradictions equally palpable. The first, that nothing had produced something at the very time when it was not what if was necessary it should be, in order1 to its1 producing; the latter that some one thing had produced itself; which supposes it to have existed before its own formation.
D a A*
As Infects make a part of those bodies that corrr-' pose the universe, they are subjected, in common with every other, to this general law. 'lhey have a principle of existence distinct from themsel\©s, a principle from which they receive their nature and form, and which retains them constantly in that very form, though ft is easy to conceive that they might have had a different one. For in the same way as a painter, who works from fancy, may represent Insects whose possible existence is only imaginary, and animals of uncommon shapes; grasshoppers for instance, like those in the Apocalypse, v<ith the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the teeth of a lion, the tail of a scorpion, or any thing still more incongruous which his imagination can suggest ; in the same Way might the insects which exist in nature have received from the creative principle a forriV, dffferent from that they actually have, and which distinguishes them from every other living creature
Now the question is to know what this principle' is, which hath formed insects such as they are; whether it resides originally in themselves, or if it emanates from some extrinsic power. It cannot be said to reside in themselves; in that Case they would be the authors and masters of their own existence; they might change their form at pleasure, they could also make themselves immutable and immortal. But far from possessing this independance they are fo subjected to the laws of their species, that a flea can never produce a wasp, nor a bee a grasshopper; that the parts they are composed of grow impotent through use, change and perish; and that if by any accident they lose a limb they cannot repair that loss, by giving themselves another.
We are acquainted only with two orders of substances, one material, the other immaterial. The material*