Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

path. Still it was a tremendous effort. One unfortunate Armenian, baving advanced so far that his exhausted mules were unable either to advance or to return, was compelled to leave his merchandise on the road. Amid all these difficulties and dangers, one ridiculous circumstance occurred to amuse such as were capable of enjoying amusement.

• A fat and avaricious Turk, returning from Kutaiah to Boursa, unwilling to hire a sufficient number of guides of his own, had taken advantage of the opportunity, and, with his servants, had followed our footsteps. The men whom I had hired, and to whom he tenaciously refused to give even a few paras, did not interfere with him until he had got near the summit, and in the most dangerous part, when they drew up on each side of the path, and peremptorily insisted on his leading the way. He refused to advance; but the youth from whom I had hired the horses, put his carbine to his breast, and threatened to shoot him if he did not instantly comply. He accordingly spurred his horse, but had not gone twenty yards before the animal sunk up to the ears in the snow, and in endeavouring to extricate itself, over. turned the unwieldy rider, who lay half-smothered for several minutes. They then went to his assistance, and he at last consented, with reluctance, to open his heart, and make them a present of five piastres.

March 7th, Mr. Kioneir reached Boursa, the ancient Prusa, the capital of Bithynia, which he considers as one of the most populous and prosperous cities in the Turkish empire. Its mosques are not fewer than three hundred and sixty-five, and some of them are extremely superb. The Bezestein and Bazars are extensive, and filled with articles of traffic, the Khans and Colleges are numerous and respectable, and the baths are commodious and in great repute. The population may amount to forty thousand. During Mr. K.'s stay of two days, ' many thousand died of the plague, which raged with such violence, that he found it necessary to einploy attendants armed with sticks, when he went into the streets, to prevent passengers from touching him.' The ravages of the pestilence in this place, will not surprize our readers when they learn, that the streets are in some parts so narrow that you might leap from one house into the other. The Greek Patriarch bere was held in great veneration by his flock. At Modania, Mr. Kinneir was so much exhausted as to be unable to proceed, and during several days which were passed in a cold and comfortless lodging, his servant despaired of his life. At length, having gained a little strength, he was carried down to the beach, and embarked for Constantinople; but the wind being high and contrary, the rowers could make no way; they were obliged to land at the wretched village of Armalli, and here his situation was almost the extreme of misery.

• I could procure no lodging, and was reduced to the necessity of either remaining in the boat, which had no deck to protect us from

the snow and rain, or of taking possession of a ruinous house, inhabited by a poor Greek, his wife, and two children. To increase my discomfort the plague was raging in the place, and had destroyed most of its inhabitants. The only room in the house consisted of an apartment about ten feet square; but even in this the windows were broken, and the wind and snow beat through the crevices of the wall. The Greek and his family, my servant and myself, were weather-bound in this hovel for four days, and never, in the course of a life spent amidst the storms of fortune, can I remember having experienced such distress.* The fever did not quit me for an instant; I had no medicine or comfort of any kind ; I was continually immersed in the fumes of tobacco, and in momentary expectation of being infected with the plague. The storm having abated on the fifth day, I sent to a neighbouring village, and hired horses to carry me across the peninsula which divides the gulfs of Modania and Nicomedia. Weak as I was, I rode five hours over a mountainous tract knee-deep with snow. Thie cold was excessive, and the north wind blew keenly in our faces. I suffered such agony during the greater part of this journey that I was frequently tempted to thruw myself off my horse, and perish at once in the snow.'

To aggravate his misery, he was refused, at about half the distance mentioned above, a lodging on the sea shore, and at the end of this day of suffering, took up his lodgings in a deserted house in a town depopulated by the plague. The next morning he reached Angori, on the gulf of Nicomedia, embarked with a fair wind, and passing under the three lofty and beautiful Princes Islands, once the place of exile for persons of that rank, landed that evening at Pera, where, in the hospitable mansion of Mr. Liston, then our ambassador at the Porte, and in the society

of many old and kind friends,' he regained his health and his appetite for travelling.'

We have now conducted our readers not quite through half the volume. The details of a yet inore interesting journey re. main to be given, which we must reserve for a future Number.

Art. II. An Introduction to Entomology ; or, Elements of the Natural History of Insects : with Plates. By Wm. Kirby, M.A. F.L.S. Rector of Barham; and Wm. Spence, Esq. F. L. S. Vol. II. 8vo.

pp. 529. Price 185. London. 1817. IN the midst of our more serious labours, the perusal of the I amusing volume, which stands at the head of this article, has tended not a little to refresh our spirits. We are unwilling that our readers, who have to follow us through many a page of

* " The author of this work entered the army at the early age of • twelve years, and has almost ever since been employed on active • service.' :

- solid discussion and sober criticism, should be altogether deprived of some portion of the entertaininent which we have derived from this interesting volume ; although it has doubtless, before this time, found its way to the studies of many of them. We shall not, therefore, content ourselves with barely stating, that it fully sustains the creditable character so well earned by its Authors, in the publication of the preceding volume; but, in continuation of our former plan,* we shall make some copious extracts, wbich cannot fail to speak satisfactorily for themselves. · The contents of the present volume occupy twelve letters ; in the course of which the following subjects are treated. 1. The imperfect and perfect Societies of Insects. 2. The means by which Insects defend themselves. 3. The motions of Insects. 4. The noises produced by Insects. 5. Luminous Insects. 6. The hybernation of Insects. 7. The instinct of Insects. , - The social habits of Insect tribes, are connected with some of the most wonderful of their instincts, and open to us the richest field of Entomological research. In the development of these habits, they frequently exhibit functions strikingly analogous to those of human beings. The perfect order which prevails in these little communities, is truly astonishing; the skill with which they construct their habitations and store-houses, is often such as to afford no small labour to the Philosopher who attempts to give a rational account of them ; while the prudence and diligence displayed by their countless myriads, have been marked by inspired writers, as a lesson of practical wisdom for the children of men.

The associations of Insects bave been judiciously viewed by our Authors, under two divisions, perfect, and imperfect. Imperfect societies are those in which the association is only during a part of their existence; Perfect societies are those in which Insects are associated in all their states, live together in a common habitation, and unite their labours for the promotion of a common object. Of imperfect societies we have familiar examples in the Tipulidæ, which, even when the snow covers the ground, float upon the wintry sun-beain, weaving the mazy dance in sheltered situations. Who is there that has pot, in the Autumn, observed. the infinite myriads of Ephemera, disporting in choral dances over the surface of the stream ? In May and June, countless hosts of little black flies of the genus Empis, 'wheel in aëry ' circles over stagnant waters.'

• The individuals of Thrips Physapus, the fly that causes us in hot weather such intolerable titilation, are very fond of each other's company when they feed. Towards the latter end of last July, walking

* See Ecl. Rev. N. S. Vol. V. p. 572.

through a wheat-field, I observed that all the blossoms of Convolvulus arvensis, (common bindweed] though very numerous, were interiorly turned quite black by the infinite number of these insects, which were coursing about within them,' p. 14.

The associations of the Gryllus migratorius approach mich nearer to perfect societies. Our Authors are, however, unwilling to allow the correctness of the old Arabian fable, (hastily adopted by travellers,) that Locusts are conducted in their flights by a leader or king. In regard to this position, some reasonable doubts are suggested; we do not, however, include the following among them.

• The absurdity of the supposition, that an election is made, will appear from such queries as these, at which you may smile-Who are the electors? Are the myriads of millions all consulted, or is the elective franchise confined to a few? Who holds the courts and takes votes? Who casts them up and takes the result? When is the election made?'

But we shall quit this subject, for an example of the Perfect Societies; which shall be selected from the Termites, or White Ants, a tribe of Neuropterous Insects. In these Associations, the Larvæ are the workers, the Neuters form the soldiers of the communiiy, while the males and females are exempted from all the labours which occupy the rest of the colony.

• The first establishment of a colony of T'ermites takes place in the following manner. In the evening, soon after the first tornado, which at the latter end of the dry season proclaims the approach of the ensuing rains, these animals, having attained to their perfect state, in which they are furnished and adorned with two pair of wings, emerge from their clay-built citadels by myriads and myriads, to seek their fortune. Borne on these ample wings, and carried by the wind, they fill the air, entering the houses, extinguishing the lights, and even sometimes being driven on board the ships that are not far from the shore. The next morning they are discovered covering the surface of the earth and waters ; deprived of the wings which enable them to avoid their numerous enemies, and which are only calculated to carry them a few hours.... Insects, especially ants, which are always on the hunt for them, leaving no place unexplored; birds, reptiles, beasts, and even man himself, look upon this event as their harvest, and, as you have been told before, make them their food; so that scarcely a single pair in many millions get into a place of safety, fulfil the first law of pature, and lay the foundation of a new community. The workers, who are continually prowling about in their covered ways, occasionally meet with one of these pairs, pay them homage if they are elected to be king and queen, or rather father and mother, of a new colony : all that are not so fortunate, inevitably perish; and, considering the infinite host of their enemies, probably in the course of the following day.' pp. 34, 35.

not being sof sufficient the exit of the Sea

The ruling pair are soon enclosed, by the workers, in a palace of clay. Here they exist in a state of perpetual confinement; not being suffered to leave their kingdom, the avenues to which are only of sufficient dimensions to admit the workers and Deuters; consequently, the exit of the governing powers, (whose corporeal magnitude corresponds to the dignity of their station) becomes impossible. The female soon begins to supply the coJony with inhabitants. At the period of oviposition, it has been calculated that she produces 80,000 eggs within twentyfour hours! The subterrancan labours of the working Termites, are carried on in the most wonderful manner. In the immediate superficial neighbourhood of the nest, little bustle will be seen; it is necessary, for the preservatiou of the race from their numerous enemies, that every process should be carried on underground. They are admirable miners and engineers! Thousands of streets, and lanes, and shafts, and levels, are excavated about three feet below the nest, by which a communication is kept open with every part of their populous city. If a comparison be instituted between the physical powers of these little insects, and the magnitude of their operations, as contrasted with those of man, how do the proudest monuments of human art dwindle into insignificance, provided we confine our consideration to the vast accumulation of the effects of individual labour! While some of the pipes which they drive through the ground do not much exceed the dimensions of their bodies, there are others the diameter of which is equal to the bore of a large cannon. What is the largest tunnel, by which human labour has perforated the solid strata of our globe, when compared with insect works like these? Their food consists of gums and the inspissated juices of trees, formed into little masses like raspings of wood, and stored up in cells of clay.

So much for Neuropterous Societies. We wish we could find room for some detailed extracts respecting the habits of the four tribes of Social Insects of the Order Hymenoptera, namely, Ants properly so called (Formica of Linné,) Wasps and Hornets, Humble-Bees, and the Hive-Bee. It is not, however, our design to anticipate the contents of this volume, by such a lengthened detail as might tend to supersede the perusal of the work itself: our extracts are given rather to excite the desire of our readers for further information, than to satiate it; we shall, therefore, limit ourselves to a few miscellaneous quotations.

Communities of insects, like associations of men, are subject to have the harmony of their societies interrupted by discord. Apts, it should appear, are peculiarly litigious and ferocious animals; and while historians are busy in recording the strifes of man, Entomologists find employment in handing down to

« ElőzőTovább »