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that occurs, the whole swarm are apprised of it, and immediately resume their architectural labours. While some are engaged in removing the earth below, others are employed in building an additional story on the top; the masons inaking use of the materials furnished by the miners. The plan of the cells and partitions is first traced in relief on the walls, which are seen gradually to arise, leaving empty spaces between them. The beginnings of pillars indicate the situation of the future halls; and the rising partitions show the form of the intended passages. Upon the plan thus traced they continue building, till they have arrived at a sufficient elevation. Masses of moistened earth are then applied at right angles to the tops of the walls, on each side, and continued in a horizontal direction till they meet in the middle. The ceilings of the larger chambers are completed in the same manner; the workers beginning from the angles of the walls, and from the tops of the pillars which have been raised in the centre. The largest of these chambers, which might be compared to the town hall, and is frequently more than two inches in diameter, is completed with apparently as much ease as the rest. This busy crowd of masons, arriving in every direction laden with materials for the building, hastening to avail themselves, of, the rain to carry on their work, and yet observing the most perfect order in their operations, present the 'most interesting and amusing spectacle. They raise a single story in about seven or eight hours, forming a general roof as a covering to the whole ; and they go on, adding other stories, so long as the rain affords them the facility of moulding the materials. When the rain ceases, and is succeeded by a drying wind, before they have completed their work, the earth ceasing to adhere together, and crumbling into powder, frustrates all their labours : as soon as they find this to be the case, they, with one accord, set about destroying the cells which they had begun, but had not been able
to.cover in, and distribute the materials over the upper story of what they had completed. ... i
In tracing the design of the cells and galleries, each ant appears to follow its own fancy. A want of accordance mușt therefore frequently take place at the point where their works join; but they never appear to be embarrassed by any difficulties of this kind. An instance is related, by M. Huber, in which two opposite walls were made of such different elevations, that the ceiling of the one, if continued, would not have reached above half way of the height of the other. An experienced ant arriving at the spot seemed struck with the defect, and immediately destroyed the lower ceiling, built up the wall to the proper height, and formed a new ceiling with the materials of the former. : .di
The food which ants appear to relish above all others, is an exudation from the bodies of several species of aphis, insects which abound on the plants in the vicinity of ant hills. This species of honey is absorbed with great avidity by the ants, and apparently without the least detriment to the insect that yields it. This fact had already been noticed by Boissier de Sauvages; but several very interesting particulars, as to the mode in which this excretion is procured, have been brought to light by M. Huber. He informs us, that the liquor is voluntarily given out by the aphis, when solicited to do so by the ant, who, for that purpose, strikes it gently, but repeatedly, with its antennæ, using the same motions as it does when caressing its young. He is led to believe, from observation, that the aphis retains this liquor for a longer time when the ants are not at hand to receive it. A single aphis is sufficient to supply in this way many ants with a plentiful meal, Even those among them who had acquired wings, and could therefore have easily escaped from the ants, if they had been so disposed, yielded this honey as freely as the others, and with as little appearance of fear or constraint. . Most insects become torpid when their temperature is much reduced. When it approaches the freezing point, they fall into a deep lethargy, and in' that state require no food. Ants present a remarkable exception to this rule; for they are not benumbed till the thermometer has sunk to 27° of Fahrenheit, or 5 degrees below the freezing point. They therefore have need of a supply of provisions during the greatest part of the winter; although it is true that they are satisfied with much less than in summer. Their principal resource, however, under these circumstances, is still the same, namely, the honey of the aphis; which' natural secretion appears to be expressly designed for the subsistence of ants. ? What confirins this view of the intentions of nature is, that the aphis becomes torpid at precisely the same temperature as the ant; a coincidence which it is hardly possible to attribute to mere chance. The winter haunts of the aphis, which are chiefly the roots of trees and shrubs, are well known to their pursuers; and when the cold is not excessive, they regularly go out to seek their accustomed supply from these insects. Some species of ants have even sufficient foresight to obviate the necessity of these journies; they bring these animals to their own nests, where they lodge them near the vegetables on which they feed; while the domestic ants prevent them from stirring out, guarding them with great care, and defending them with as much zeal as they do their own young.. .
The accounts given of ants inhabiting other climates, sufficiently show what formidable power they acquire when the efforts of numbers are combined. M. Malonet mentions, in his account of his travels through the forests of Guyana, his arriving at a savannah, extending in a level plain beyond the visible horizon, and in which he beheld a structure that appeared to have been raised by human industry. M. de Prefontaine, who accompanied him in the expedition, informed him that it was an ant hill, which they
could not approach without danger of being devoured. They passed some of the paths frequented by the labourers, which belonged to a very large species of black ants. The nest they had constructed, which had the form of a truncated pyramid, appeared to be from fifteen to twenty feet in height, on a base of Thirty or forty feet. He was told that when the new settlers, in their attempts to clear the country, happened to meet with any of these fortresses, they were obliged to abandon the spot, unless they could muster sufficient forces to lay regular siege to the enemy: This they did by digging a circular trench all round the nest, and filling it with a large quantity of dried wood, to the whole of which they set fire at the same time, by lighting it in different parts all round the circumference.' While the entrenchments are blazing, the edifice may be destroyed by firing at it with cannon; and the ants being by this means dispersed, have no avenue for escape, except through the flames, in which they perish. The narrations of Mr. Smeathman (Phil. Tran. vol. lxxi, p. 139), relative to the white ant of Africa, are also calculated to raise our ideas of the magnitude of these republics of insects, which must surpass the largest empire in the numbers of their population'.
The maritime plants which flower in July are the club rush (scirpus maritimus), bearded cat's tail grass (phleum crinitum), bulbous fox tail grass (alopecurus bulbosus), the reflexed and creeping meadow grass (poa distans and maritima), the field eryngo (eryn. gium campestre), parsley water drop-wort (ænanthe pimpinelloides), smooth sea-heath (frankenia lævis ), and the golden dock (rumex maritimus); all of which are to be found in salt marshes.
1 For much curious information relative to the manners and habits of ants, see M. Huber's Recherches sur les Maurs des Fourmis Indigènes, Paris, 1810; and a very able analysis of this work, in the Edinburgh Review, vol. xx, p. 143.
On sandy shores may be seen the sea•mat weed Carundo arenaria), upright sea-lime grass (elymus arenarius), the sea lungwort (pulmonaria maritima), the sea bind-weed (convolvulus soldanella), saltwort (salsola), sea-holly (eryngium maritimum): prickly samphire (echinophora spinosa), and the sea-lavender (statice limonium), are found on maritime rocks;, and the sea pea (pisum maritimum) on rocky shores.
About the middle of this month, pilchards (clupea pilchardus) appear in vast shoals off the Cornish coasts. In August 1808, the greatest abundance of fish ever known, particularly pilchards, were caught in Mount's Bay. Upwards of 10,000 hogsheads were landed at St. Ives, and sold for ten-pence the cart. load, for manure. Turbot fetched only from one penny to two-pence per pound, and the inferior fish were not worth catching. In September 1811, upwards of 1200 hogsheads of fine, pilchards were caught off Fowey; a large quantity has also been taken in Whitsund Bay, adjoining Plymouth. The glut was so great, that they sold at three-pence per hundred. The Seans at Mevagessey, in September 1812, inclosed a thousand hogsheads, and one boat at Newlyn had six hundred hakes on board, which sold for two shillings and nine-pence, a burn, of twentyone fish. Pilchards form a great article of food when corn is scarce, and are very extensively used as a manure : they also furnish a large quantity of oil. This fish disappears at the approach of winter. I
The farmer's labours, in this month, are various and important. In the southern parts of the island, the corn harvest commences ; but August is, generally, dedicated to this grateful employment; though, in some districts, the work of the sickle is protracted till September or even October. The hay-harvest in the north is generally completed in July. Flax and hemp are pulled in this month.