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mals in general, and of insects in particular; and that he hath destined them to serves some one purpose, some another. It is not chance then that hath made insects useful, but the eternal degrees of providence ; and man hath only turned to his use what
was originally intended for his service.
I observe in the first place that there are many insects which are used as food by the human race. It is said that there are in India people who commonly eat worms raw or prepared, and consider them as a delicacy. Some make the fame use of what are called Sea-stars. Both ancient and modern historymention a species of locust, common in the eastern countries, whole flesh is as white as that of a crab,* and which as it is said, has an exquisite taste. The people of these countries prepare these in a particular way. Some boil them, others dry them in the Sun before they use them. Dampier in his voyages relates, that this is practised among those people at this day. This navigator fays that in some islands of* the Indian ocean, there are locusts an inch and a half long of the size of ones little singer, blackish, having broad and thin wings, with long and slender legsi of these the inhabitants catch great numbers. They expose them to heat in an earthen vessel, by which means the wings and legs fall off, but the head and body become red like those of boiled lobsters and are excellent food. The fame author relates that in the kingdom of Tonquin there issues annually from the earth, in the months of January and February, a fort of locusts which are there in great request as food. The inhabitants rich and poor gather as many as they can, broil them on the coals or salt them that they may keep. This food is very wholesome. In the year 1693, wnen an army of such insects overspread Germany, some persons tried to eat them. The celebrated J. Ludolph, who had travelled so
much much in the East, having found them the same spe-r cies which the Orientals esteem so much, made them be drest'ed in their way. He made some be boiled like lobsters and seasoned others with pepper and, vinegar. One of his servants having eaten ot them without any harm, he ate of them himself, and one day regaled with the dim the Magistrates of Frankfort.
Every body knows the delicious and useful substance furnished by bees. They collect it from various things, lhe dew which falls on flowers asfords them honey j the flowers themselves are the princiipal source from which they draw it. We .see them hovering to obtain it above all sorts of flowers, in gardens, .meadows, orchards, woods, &c. 'I hey even extract this juice from bitter plants, such as thyme, and from roses, whence spiders fuck poison. It is pleasant in a sine day to see this humming cloud of Bees come forth to repair to the sields. There they go from flower to flower, luckins; from the nectaria, the dew of the morning, ;asting every herb, bending down the leaves and extracting the sweets. One part serves them for food, and the remainder is digested into a small receptacle destined for that purpose. Upon their return their sirst care is to empty the receptacle and to lodge its contents in iheir combs.
There are two sorts of bees, the wild and the domestic. 1 he former require no care. They fly freely every where, and deposit their honey sometimes in the cavity of a rock, sometimes in tht hollow of a tree, or in places of that nature. For this reason the produce of their hives has been called wild honey. The latter are domesticated, and kept in hives where they remain.
The best honey of Europe is, in France, that of frovence and Languedoc, particularly in the environs frons of Narbonne: and in Switzerland, that of Appenzel. There are three forts of honey: 1. that which drops of itself from the combs; 2. that which is pressed from them; and 3. what is boiled and afterwards pressed. The antients made great use of honey for culinary purposes, and at table. The ease with which sugar is now a days procured, makes'hoyiey of less general use than it was formerly. It is still however an object of importance in economy.
It is with honey that the Ruffians make the drink known by the name of Hydromel. The operation is performed in this manner. A certain quantity of good white honey is taken, and eight times as much veil water. The water is gently heated in a vessel of tinned copper, and then the honey is put in, and the mixture is allowed to boil. It must be caresully scummed and boiled into one third of the quantity, The great art consists in its being boiled neither too much nor too little. It is known to be enough when a fresh egg will swim in it. It must moreover be observed that Hydromel ought to be more or less boiled, according to the quality of the honey employed. The best need not remain so long on the sire as the worst kind. While it is still warm it is passed through a fearce to purify it, and then it is put inio a cask in which there has formerly been wine. This cask is afterwards exposed for sive or six weeks to the Sun, or behind a sun.ace, or on a baker's oven, that the hydromel may be well sermen'ed. When all these precautions are taken, it is put into the cellar. In places where there is plenty of honey, a liquor of an inserior quality is made with water, which has been used to wash the wax, and vessels where honey has been kept. It is given to servants. 1 he peasants sometimes mix good new wine with excellent honey which affords them a beverage much to their taste. Formerly another kind of drink was made,.composed of verjuice and honey.
Some insects surnish us "with stuffs for our raiment. It is well known that the silk worm draws from its own body long and touiih threads in which it wraps itself up. After having for a time been as it were buried here, it leaves its sepulchre for the use of man, who uses the materials to clothe and adorn himself. This insect and its web have been known in the earliest times, among the Seres a people who inhabited the country now possessed by the Chinese, the Siamese, and Tartars. Even at this day there are to be found in China, in the province of Canton, silkworms in a wild state, which without any care being taken of them, make in the woods a kind of silk which the inhabitants afterwards gather from the trees. It is grey without lustre, and is used to make a very thick and strong cloth named there KicnTcheon. It may be washed like linen cloth, and it does not stain. Silk however was exceedingly rare in iiirrope for a long time. Many circumstances contributed to this at sirst. The proper instruments were wanting for spinning and weaving it, and there was no intercourse with the people of the countries where it grew. Can we then be surprised it silk was rare and dear? It is said that in the days of sulomon, a woman of the isle of Co, named Pamphila, was skilled in weaving and making cloth of silk which came from the country of the Seres. It is probable that this woman had not received srom that country the animal, but only its thread. Had it been otherwise, how could silk itusfi in the time os the Romans have been so dear, anu ht.w could that high price continue till the reign of the Emperor Juitiiiian? In his time two monks brought from the Indies to Constantinople some eggs ot the silk worm. From that place they were carried into Italy, .ma ai'er
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wards into Spain, and other European countries. The silk however that was gathered in Europe was not in such quanjity as to supersede the importation ot that from Peisia. Besides much time would neceiiarily be wanting to bring the manufacture of it to a proper decree of perfection. The stuffs fabricated were of two kinds ; the first were wholly silk: these were so precicus and dear, that the Emperors al< ne were in poff flion ot them. Now-a-days things have totally changer, ana they are become se common that every body has them. The second fort consisted of two different threads, the warp was silk, the woof of-some other substance. Polydor Virgil givea this the name of satin of Bruges.
Sorue inventive geniuses have endeavoured to draw from the threads of spiders, a substance similar to fhoie of the silk worm. This was attempted by Mt Bon, fust President at Montpellier. He carried the attempt so far, as to make a suit which he presented to Louis XIV. The thing well deserves to be throughly investigated, li it could succeed, clothes might be made which would prevent the money usually exported in the purchase of silk.
What I have just said shews that insects contribute to wealth and to the advancement of commerce. The merchandize of silk-Ruffs occasioned for a long time the export of vast iims front France, Germany, and other countries, to Italy and the Levant. Things began to wear a different face in France in 1494 undtr the reign of Charles VIII. The trench imported white mulberies from Naples, planted many, fed silk worms, and made silk. He;.ry iV. encouraged these manufactures, and Louis XlV.brought them to the highest degree of perfection, in consequence of several grants. The Germans were the |ast to think of the vast profits which might accrue