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At first nothing is seen but an aqueous niafter, a little time however discovers in the middle, a dark point which afterwards becomes the infect. In this it is entirely enclosed, but it cannot be perceived without the aid of a good microscope. Under the hard fhell of the egg is found a pellicle, fine and delicate, in which ihe insect is wrapt up as in a matrix. It ie there rolled up with so much art, that notwithstanding the finallness of its apartment it has abundance of room, and is furnished with all the members it ought to have. When we view the furprising compactness and difpofition of the whole, we cannot sufficiently admire the wisdom of him who has confined fo much matter in so little space. The insect as I have already said remains in this itate till having be. come larger it acquires strength 'susficient to burst its prison walls and to come förth.
The little care which infects rake of their eggs de ferves the reader's attention. After having deposited them, they leave them, and go away without any further concern ; they resign the labour of hatching them to the nature of the place where they are laid, and to the heat of the sun. In due time the caterpil. lars issue from the eggs without any defence against the injuries of the air. By this they are distinguish. ed from the rest of all other animals. A woman nourishes and protects the child in her womb for nine months; the females of quadrupeds do the same with their young; birds lay their eggs in nesls, and hatch them with the most diligent and painful incubation, Fishes alone in this respect resemble insects; they lay their spawa upon the fhore without any other precaution than that of chusing a place they think the most proper for depositing it in ; they then abandon it, and the young are brought forth without the affistance of their parents. '
co bring into two poops which Nebune comparilon
As insects produce such a number of eggs it is easy to conceive that there must be a proportionable number of the animals themselves. It is no doubt for this Teason that the Scriptures compare numerous armies to iniects. The author of the Book of Judges in order to give an idea of the multitude of Midianites, and Amalekites, fays, that “ they came with their “ cattle as grasshoppers for multitude, and they en“ tered into the land to destroy it."--JUDGES vi. 5. The Prophet Jeremiah makes the same comparison in speaking of the troops which Nebuchadnezar was :0 bring into Egypt. " They shall come against her u with axes, as hewers of wood. They shall cut “ down her forelt, laith the Lord, though it cannot “ be searched, because they are more than the grasshop. “ pers, and are innumerable.” CAP: XLVI. 22,23, The miseries that were to aflict Nineveh the great, are represented by Nahum under emblemis drawn from insects. • Make thyself many, says that Pro. • phet, as the canker-worm, make thyself many as
the locusts. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants,
above the stars of Heaven ; the canker-worm fpoi• leth and flieth away. Thy crowned are as the low • cufts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, ' which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but 5 when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place • is not known.' CHAP. III. 15,16,17.
i down heres; as hewers. They halebuchadieaparilon
One thing which contributes greatly to the prodi. gious multiplication of insects is the little time they require from their exclusion by the parent female to their being capable of laying eggs themselves. This is so rapid as to have given occasion to a vulgar saying that the louse may be in four and twenty hours a mother, a grand-mother and a great grand mother. We must not therefore be surprised that insects multiply so remarkably, and that such pains are requisite to destroy them,
What I have said in this Chapter might furnil a: bundant matter for reflection. It is allowed that in: sects are destitute of reason, the wisdom therefore of their conduct, the juftness of their precautions, and in a word every thing they do which is agreeable to reason, does not proceed froin themselves. From whom then do they derive it? Who hath taught them the season and the manner of propagating their species? Who hath directed them to lye with such compactness in their eggs without being in the lcast, uneasy? How do they know the precise moment when it is proper to issue from their eggs? Who hath prescribed to each species the number of eggs it is to lay? Who hath endowed them with the power of re. filting the inclemencies of the weather and of coming forth without incubation? One must be wilfully blind not to acknowledge in these traces the hand of an all powerful Being whose wisdom is unsearchable. Who but he could have made them capable of so many different functions, and have endowed them with inftinct to perform thenı ? A great number of eggs of insects perish, and animals devour another part. Had not providence supplyed the loss by the promp. titude with which they encrease and their great fertility, the various species would have been in danger of perilhing, or at least would not have been produa ced in sufficient quantities to feed the other animals that depend on them.
CH A P. VII.
CHA P. VII.
OF THE TRANSFORMATION OF INSECTS.
The subject I am to treat of in this Chapter is so fingular, that it is peculiar to insects alone ; and as there is nothing relembling it among the other ani. måls, it deserves our particular notice ; and the ra. ther because if we are not attentive to the transfor, mations of infects, and do not know exactly all the forms which the same individual succeffively affumes, . we shall be in danger of making two or more insects of one and the same animal.
It is not the actual substance of the insect which undergoes a transformation ; it is merely the exter. nal form which is changed. The parts it is composed of, after its metamorphosis, are enveloped and masked as it were under different skins, from which the animal disengages itself, successively, as it grows in bulk, and at last appears with all the members ne. cessary for it in its lait state. When the period of transformation arrives we often fee caterpillars quiting the leaves and plants they have hitherto fed on, and transporting themselves to a more commodious place. Some however do not abandon their first fituation, but attach themselves to the stems or branch. es of the plant which has formerly afforded them protection and support. Then as if loathing the food they had at first greedily devoured, they cease altoge
ther to eat. So strict a sast is undoubtedly necessary to prepare them for the change they are about to undergo: and this seems the more probable as they discharge all the fæces their intellines are filled with, before they attempt the change.
The metamorphoses of all insects do not resemble one another, but are generally divided into four dif. ferent classes. The first comprehends those insects which after being formed in their egg, without the aid of food, and which after having taken, by the en vaporation of the superabundant humidity, the necessary consistence, quit that state and iffue from the fhell under the form they are to retain during life, without undergoing any other transformation. To this class belong spiders, lice, fleas, the onisci, the \uli, &c. The transformation of the second class confists in this, that the insect which was enclosed under a disguised form in an egg, and without food, after having been fortificd by the evaporation of the superabundant humours, leaves the shell and appears under the forın of an Infect without wings with all its other appropriate members; which in this state eats and grows till having entred a second time into 'what is called the Nymph state, it issues from that state with wings and is capable of propagating its species. I include in this division, ants, dragon flies, grasshoppers crickets, the mole-cricket, cimices, aquatic flies, &c. In the third transformation, the animal, after having issued from the egg where it allo lay in a disguised thape, and without food, appears under that of an infect which eats and grows, while the members of the animal into which it is to change, are formed under its skin, which it at last quits, and becomes a nymph or chrysalis; and then after the evaporation of the superfluous humidity, is transformed into its last ftate, which is that of a perfect insect. This class includes bees of all soits, gnats, beetles, butterflies,