網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

«ach according to its species, for passing from ons state to another? How do they know that in order to "desend themselves, they have need of a cone more or less strong according to the greater or less degree of delicacy in their constitution? Whence comes it that these animals, without the aid of Teason, are found folded in their cones, with so much art, that however narrow their, mansion, they have enough of room, although were their members extended, three times the space would not be sufsicient to contain them? From whom do they receive that sagacious foresight, which prompts them to take the proper measures for securing themselves against external injuries? Who hath instructed them to choose the most sase and proper places for undergoing their changes? What artist has taught therm to weave their various webs, in which the chrysalis is as softly laid as if it were on down? By what means are they insormed of the precise time when it is necessary to construct their habitations and to retire to them. Whence comesi it that the period of remaining in their cones is so regulated that they never leave them except in the season when they are sure to sind food ? I cannot but acknowledge in all this, distinct traces of the boundless wiluom of the Creator. No, a blind cause could not operate such wonders; it must be insinite, and sovereign intelligence: and since insects are incapable of so many persections, it can be no other than a Deity who has created them, and who governs them by bis Providence.

[ocr errors]

i

CHAP. VIIL

Of The Sexes Of Insects,

^jodern philosophers as 1 have already remarked have well observed that insects are produced by generation. The experiments they have made qn this subject, have even taught them to distinguish the males' from the semales, and they have described the marks by which they are to be known. The detail of these marks is the subject of this Chapiter.

In the sirst place the male is distinguished from the semale by its size. He is generally shorter and more slender than the semale, which is undoubtedly the effect of wisdom in the Creator. The semales being obliged to carry a great number of eggs, it was necessary that they should be larger and thicker than the males that they might have room to lodge their eggs.

They are also distinguishable by their antennas. Those of many males are pectinated, of the semales plain. Lister observed that the males of spiders have eight eyes with knobs at the extremities of the antenna: which the semales have not. The antennæ of some other insects are distinguished in the fame way. Those of the male are smaller, fliorter, and more opposite to each other. . -•

• The

The w'nS8 are a ^hd discriminating mark be•>-• m J male. In some species the

male cnly is furnished with them, the semale either wants them altogether or has them very short. In other species where bosh sexes have wings; there are some which bear on those wings the characters of their sex. On those of the male are perceived small spots which are not found on those of the semale.

Insects which insert their eggc into she bark of trees, into the earth, into the substance of leaves, or into other insects, are furnished wiih a tube longer or shorter for the purpose of penetrating to the place where they wish to deposit them. This tube, which serves as a passage to the eggs, affords another mark of distinction between the sexes. As the male has no occasion for it, the Creator has bestowed it only on the semale.

"Wi discover the sexes likewise often by their co* lours. The beauty of the male generally exceeds that- of the semale, his colours being more brilliant and fhewy. This rule however is not v. ithout exception, for the semales are sometimes more beautiful than the males.

Lastly, they are distinguishable by the sound of their voices. This seems to have been bestowed on some insects solely to procure theni the means of approaching each other for the purpose of generation: and therefore the male alone has organs proper for producing a small sound in order to attract the semale. This rule however like the former is not general. There are species of insects in which both sexes are provided with the organs necessary for producing this found.

: It

tt is not without reason that God has thus impres4 sed marks of distinction on the disserent scxe§ of animals. He has provided in this way for their multiplication, to which the male as well as the semale are incited by an instinct so natural, that they suffer if they do not indulge it. It cannot be doubted that this is the immediate operation of the Deity, on this point the Scripture is decisive. After having related the creation of man, it adds that " God crea"ted them male am) semale, that he blessed them, "and commanded them to increase and multiply, "and replenish the earth." Gen* i,27,28. Shall we say that this law respects man only, and that insects are excepted from it, because there is no mention made of them ? the contrary will appear evident from the seventh Chapter of the same book. God irritated against the human race, resolved to destroy them by the waters of the deluge. But as this could not be done without exterminating, at the fame time, all the terrestrial animals, he commanded Noah to take a pair bf each species that they might replenish the world anew. "Of every clean beast, says "he, thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male "and his semale; and of beasts that are not clean "by two, the male and his semale. Of fowls' "also of the air by sevens, the male and the female." and why?" to keep seed alive upon the face of all "the earth." Gen. vit. 2,3. That insects are comprehended in the number of these animals is evident. 'In the seventeenth day of the second month 'Noah and his family entered into the ark; they

* and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle

* aster their kind, and'every thing that creepeth upon

* the. earth after his kind, and every fowl after his

* kind, every bird of every fort. And they went in

* unto Noah, into the ark, two and two of all flesh, 'wherein is the breath of lise. And they that went 'in, went in male and semale of all flefo as God

K 'had 'had commanded.' Gen. vii. Ii-i6\ tnsecrs therefore are not excepted from this general law. God hath made them to" preserve their species by the intercourse of male with semale; God hath endowed them with the proper organs for this purpose. God in short, hath blessed them like the other animals that they maj multiply and replenish the earth* The effect of .this benediction has subsisted for thousands of years without our being able to observe any alteration. What exalted idea ought not this to give us of the power and wisdom of him who hath established so permanent a regulation, and which • has not suffered any interruption in the course of so long a succession of ages!

CHAP. IX.

Of The Abode Of Injects.'

T-here is hardly any substance in nature whichdoes not afford a lodging place for insects. Of this I mean in the present Chapter to convince my readers.

Water is not an element proper for every fort of animal. Those who are not furnished with organs that sit them to inhabit it, perish in a short time, when by any accident they fall into it. If it had not pleased God to form creatures capable of sustaining lise in that element it would have been desert; but besides sishes of every kind, he has created-a great number of insects to inhabit the water?. As among those there are many which cannot live but in salt water, so among these there are many

which

« 上一頁繼續 »