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'great in the production of the smallest animals,
* such as ants, flies, gnats, and other infects, which we f know better by fight than by name. The fame 'power and the fame wisdom are remarkable in all.'
* It is without reason, says Terrullian, that you ? despise those animals, whole minuteness the great
* workman of Nature has recompenced by endow. « ing them with industry and strength. By this he 'has shewn that greatness may be found in the smal'lest things, as well as strength in weakness, to use
* the words of an apostle. Imitate, if you can, 'the structures of the bee, the granaries of the ant, i the webs of the spider, and the threads of the siik 'worm! Put your patience to the proof, by en5 deavouring to support the insults of those ani
* inals which attack you even in your beds, the 'poison of the cantharides, the sting of the wasp,
* and the proboscis of the gnat! What might not 'larger animals do. when such as these can ei< ther serve or injure you! Learn then to respect i the Creator, even in those works that appear ta ! you the most vile.'
The enlightened among the heathen thought in the fame way with the fathers of the church, f It does not become a reasonable man, says Aristotle, f capriciously to blame the study of insects, nor to
* take a distaste at it from the trouble it occasions. 'Nothing in nature is mean; every thing is fubJ lime, every thing worthy of admiration.'
Pliny expresses himself on the same subject in terms sti'l stronger, and what he fays deserves particular attention. * It is easy, fays, he, to conceive
how Nature has given to bulky bodies the qualities 'we see them possess. Enough of matter enters into 'the mass, to contribute without ciifsiculty to the
* formation of the various faculties with which she 'has endowed them; but it is otherwiie with those
* which by their smallness seem to be almost nothing. 'It is in them we discover the persection of wisdom 4 and of power. How could space enough be found 'in the body of a gnat, not to speak of other animals 4 still more minute, for those organs, that are the 4 instruments of so many different sensations? Where
* could Nature sind room for the organs of tight; 1 where for those of taste and smell? Where could 4 she sind matter for the organ of sound, sa 4 shrill and so acute in that little animal? With 'what art has she not supplied the wings and the 4 members, formed a stomach and intestines greedy
* of blood, especially of the blood of man? With 'what industry has she not provided the means of 4 satisfying its appetite? . She has surnished it with 4 a weapon, and as if this instrument, though al4 most imperceptible, was capable of variety of 4 forms, she has bestowed on it a sharp point, 'and has hollowed it, that it might serve as an 4 instrument for piercing, and a pump for sucking 'at the same time. What teeth has she not given 4 to the Teredo? Of this we may judge by the noise 4 it makes when grinding the wood, it has destined f for food. The size of the elephant astonishes us; * we view with admiration towers built on the back
* of that animal; we are surprised at the strength in 'the neck of an ox, and at the weight he can raise 'with his horns; the Voracity of tigers amazes us, 'and we wonder at the mane of the lion. But it is 'not in these instances that Nature appears most
* admirable. Her wisdom is no where more con'spicuous than in her smallest works. There stie 'unites herself as it were into a single point, and 'there she concentrates herself wholly. I beg there'fore of such of my (readers* who despise those 'things, not to disdain the account I give of them; 'let them remember, that in nature there is nothing
* inconsiderable, nothing superfluous.'
What would one think of an artist who mould be able to reduce all the wheels and movements of a watch into so small compass, that the whole might be set in a ring like a diamond? One would admire it without doubt; and indeed such a masterpiece would be worthy of admiration and would be prized far above a watch of the common size. The same thing may be said of animals. The power and wisdom of the Creator seem particularly conspicuous in the formation of the most minute. Can we, then, justly neglect such a call upon our worship and adoration! However small these creatures are, even those which are with difficulty discovered by the aid of the microscope, they have all the parts that are necessary for them; they have all articulations, muscles, and nerves; and all are covered with a Ikin suited to their condition.
Galen supports with much found fense the reifr soning I here use, and persectly justisies the conclusion. That great man fays, that the smaller thing's are, the greater is their value, and that workman is the most to be prized, who can make in smdl compass what others cannot make but in large; He relates to this purpose, the instance of a sculptor of his time who represented, on a ring, the sigure of Phaeton in a chariot drawn by four horses. The work was executed with so much delicacy, that the verv reins of the horses were to be seen, and although their limbs were not larger than those of a flea, the teeth in their mouths were visible. From this Galen takes occasion to remark the insinite distance between the power of the creature, and that of the Creator, between the wisdom of the Being who formed the flea, and the skill of the sculptor, who had represented herses so very minute.
I know that the study I am to treat of is subject to many inconveniences. Insects sre not always to be found, many ?ppcar cr.ly at a particular time of the year, and that is so short, that they are often gone before we -are aw are. Seme escape Us by the velocity of their flight; others shew themselves only at night, and oblige us to watch for them at that season. Some live in places which are of difficult access or which we cannot at all reach: others make their abode in substances which we see but seldom. One may be within our power but its volume is so diminutive, that the best microscope cannot discover all its parts j or its poisonous <ous nature will not allow us to become familiar with it. Besides, with what difliculty do we attempt to explore the interior structure of their bo>dies? The instruments which anatomy has- invented for dissection become useless when we prepare to enter into a detail of the minute parts of the greater animals. How then is it possible to observe with precision, the viscera, the veins, the arteries, the sibres, and muscles of creatures so small, and so delicate as insects ? But these difficulties, however great they may appear, ought not to discourage the Naturalist* nor prevail over the reasons that should urge him to prosecute his researches. Those I have already mentioned, deserve his attention; those I shall enumerate in, the sequel, are not less important; and I flatter myself, that if, free from prejudice, he will deign to weigh them maturely, fie will not condemn my attempt. Far from classing me with that Emperor who spent his lise in catching flies, he will allow that the study of insects, in which I have engaged, is not piworthy my character as a Clergyman..
It will easily be imagined that T must have had con. siderable assistances to enable me to prosecute this study, which has for its object, the greatness and majesty of the Divine Being. It was necessary in the sirst place to consult the sacred Scriptures, and in the next, to penetrate into the bosom of Nature, to disco, ver in that treasure those marks of goodness, of wisdom and power which his hand has there so richly.lavished. It is true, that in this last part of my work, I have trode in the steps of many wise and illustrious men, and I