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when bees retire hastily into their hives: we have Feafgn to dread the fame, when anTs conceal their egg?, wiien gnats biie severely, when bu'terflies do not rife very high in the air, and when worms come out from their holes.
Infects purify the air from noxious vapours and exhalations. They are like natural fpunges, which, attract them, as has been remarked in dried toads. Mankind have ukd them as a means of defence cn certain occasions. I leco'lcct a very singular thing, which happened at Hohenllein, in 1525. In the time of the war, the peasants having collected together, went to pillage the house ot Elend, a clergyman. He, having u$ed all his eloquence to dissuade them from their design in vain, sent his servants into the garden, with orders to bring out his hives of bees, which being thrown in the midst of the assailants, put them instantly to flight. Infects are used as bait by anglers, who not oniy fix earth worms on their hook, but various flies, and the larva: of the Ephemera. Eels are observed to be remarkably fond of this last insect. The Lacedemonians used small pieces of wood, eaten by infects, to impress their signatures on wax.
Of The Us-e Of Insects In Theolocy.
If we consider with attention and without prejudice what has been already laid, we shall be obliged to acknowledge knowledge that these minute animals raise our ideas to the knowledge of the Creator of" the universeHad they no o;her use but that of enabling us to go back to the first cause, would not we have reason to conclude that those insects which we consider as noxious are of infinite use to the man who is willing to .contemplate the works of G-qd?
In order to manifest his dominion over infects God ordained that the first fruits of honey should be presented to him. He did not desire it as an offering by lire, but he required it to be placed on the altar, as an oblation of first fruits for a sweet savour. Lev. ii. it. 12. We find also th>t the Hebrews acquitted themselves of this duty, and that they offered the first fruits of honey. "The Children of Israel," (says the author of the second Book of Chronicles,; " brought in abundance, the first fruits of corn, wine and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field."
Insects are a scourge in the "hand of God to chastise the wicked. "The vengeance of the wicked, says the son of Sirach, f is fire and the worm."-— Eccles. vii. 17. Accordingly he threatens those who refuse to obey his will, to employ insects to punish them for their disobedience. Thus Moses exprefies himself on the same subject. ,( l'hou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shale gather but little in, for the locust shall consume it. Thou &alt plant vineyards and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes j for the worms shall eat them." Deutr. xxiii,
Experience has often justified the accomplishment of ttiis threat. There is no creature hpw despicable soever it may be, of which God cannDt'fbtm armies superior to all the force of man, and capable
Cc cf of chastising the wicked in a dreadful manner. Men can oppose and resist armies of men; but they cannot face an army of infests, In vain would they employ against such an host their most formidable weapons; neither fire nor the sword could avail. The vilest insects have been known. to take possession of a country, and to banissi the inhabitants.
Qf The Use Of Insects In Jurispuoenci^;
As a good or a bad use may be made of insects* Magistrates have been obliged to make laws to regulate their possession. Lawyers, considering the advantages obtained by Bees, have made certain regulations to secure the possession of them to the proprietors. Although they fly hither and thither to procure their food, the property in them, remains to the possessor of the hive. "When they swarm they belong to him as long as he can follow them, and prove that they are his. This is the decision of the Roman Law. That of the Saxon code is quite different. The proprietor loses, the possession of them as soon as they are out of the hive. Some lawyers pretend however that the law permits the proprietor to follow the swarm and to, take it on the possession of his neighbour: but if he "- ■ neglect. neglect to pursue it, it becomes the property of him who seizes it. Whoever steals a hive is punished With death.
Lawyers have also examined this question, whether a tenant who in his contract has renounced in general terms all accidents, is obliged to support the loss caused by an army of locusts, or if the Lord of the Manor ought to sustain it? It has been decided thus; If the accident which happens, is of such a nature that it could neither be foreseen nor prevented, the Lord of the Manor must bear the loss: in every other case, the tenant must suffer it. Very rigorous laws have likewise been made against certain persons wicked enough to poison their fellow creatures with the hairy caterpillars called Pithyocampæ. Every body knows that when there is an unusual number of caterpillarSj locusts or other insects of that kindj it is the duty of the Magistrate to order their defr truction, and to point out the best means of accomplishing it- There have been nations that made use of insects to punifli criminals. The jews for instance, employed either ants or bees in the punishment of adulterers^ They put them naked into an ant-hillj or exposed them to the stings of a swarm of bees*
The use of insects in medecine is hot so common as that of other animals, because physicians have not Get givea
given themselves To much trouble m investigating the properties of the former, as they have done with regard to the latter. 1 sl itter myself however 1 shall be able to shew that they aio not without their Use in that science.
In vegetable physiology for example, there are infects that make the skeleton of a leaf in the highest degree of persection; they gnaw and devour the substance of it, leaving nothing but the sibre3 and serves through which the nourishing juices are conveyed. This operation is fe well performed, that man with all possible care and pains could hardly imitate it.
Insects are as usesul in Osteology, If we wish to slave the skeleton of any of the smaller animals, we have only to take off their skin, anoint them with honey, and bury them in an ant-hill, or expose them to the voracity of some other insects. . They will, by degrees, eat away the flesh and entrails of those animals, and they will remove from the bones, the most minute parts of the flesh which adhere to them. But as they cannot penetrate the tendons, on account of their hardness, these will remain intire, and continue to connect the whole bones to one another. It is thus, that, by the affistsnee of insects, we can, without trouble, procure skeletons of all the smaller animals, made with the greatest possible neatness.
They have likewise contributed to enrich anatomy. It is by means of an Indian insect, called Ni.ua, (Pulex penetrans,) that anatomists have had an opportunity ot discovering the error os a very general opinion. It was believed formerly, that the blootl tcd'C its course from the extremities of the arteries, to enter into the veins; bat this insect has taught us the contrary. It insiauates itself into the skin, where it