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Title: Curious Facts in the History of Insects; Including Spiders and Scorpions. - A Complete Collection of the Legends, Superstitions, - Beliefs, and Ominous Signs Connected with Insects; Together - With Their Uses in Medicine, Art, and as Food; and a Summary - of Their Remarkable Injuries and Appearances.
Author: Cowan, Frank
Language: English
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  Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865,
  by J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.,
  In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States
  for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



In the early part of the winter of 1863-4, having the free use of the
Congressional Library at Washington, I began the compilation of the
present work. It was my prime intent, and one which I have endeavored to
follow most carefully, to attach some fact, whatever might be its
nature, to as many Insects as possible, to increase the interest, in a
commonplace way, of the science of Entomology. I noticed the pleasurable
satisfaction I invariably felt when I came accidentally upon any
extra-scientific fact, and how the association fixed the particular
Insect, to which it related, ineffaceably upon my memory. To collect and
group, then, all these facts together, to remember many Insects as
easily as one,--was a natural thought; and as this had never been done,
but to a very limited extent, I undertook it myself.

The facts contained in this volume are supposed to be purely historical,
or rather not to belong to the natural history of Insects, namely, their
anatomy, habits, classification, etc. They have been collected mostly
from Chronicles, Histories, Books of Travels, and such like works,
which, at first view, seem to be totally foreign to Insects: and were
only discovered by examination of the indexes and tables of contents.

But are my facts _facts_?--it may be asked. They are; but I do not vouch
for each one’s containing more than one truth. It is a fact, or truth if
you will, that Pliny, Nat. Hist. xi. 34, says, “Folke use to hang
Beetles about the neck of young babes, as present remedies against many
maladies;” but that this statement is entitled to credit, and that these
Insects, hung about the necks of young babes, _are_ a present remedy
against many maladies, are two things which may be very true or far
otherwise. I confine myself to the fact that Pliny says so, and only
wish to be understood in that sense, unless when otherwise stated.

The classification of Mr. Westwood, in the arrangement of the orders and
families, I have followed as closely as was possible, except in one or
two instances: and where Insects have common and familiar names, they
have been given together with their scientific ones.

To Dr. J. M. Toner, of Washington, for his suggestions and assistance in
collecting material, I tender my thanks; the same also to N. Bushnell,
Esq., and Hon. O. H. Browning, of Quincy, Ill., for the use of their
several libraries.

I am much indebted, too, to Mrs. A. L. Ruter Dufour, of Washington, for
many superstitions and two pieces of poetry contained in this volume. I
beg her to accept my thanks.

      July 10th, 1865.


  AUTHORS QUOTED                                    9


  Coccinellidæ--Lady-birds                         17

  Chrysomelidæ--Gold-beetles                       23

  Carabidæ                                         23

  Pausidæ                                          23

  Dermestidæ--Leather-beetles                      24

  Lucanidæ--Stag-beetles                           24

  Scarabæidæ--Dung-beetles                         27

  Dynastidæ--Hercules-beetles, etc.                45

  Melolonthidæ--Cock-chafers                       47

  Cetoniidæ--Rose-chafers                          49

  Buprestidæ--Burn-cows                            50

  Elateridæ--Fire-flies, Spring-beetles, etc.      51

  Lampyridæ--Glow-worms                            55

  Ptinidæ--Death-watch, etc.                       58

  Bostrichidæ--Typographer-beetle, etc.            61

  Cantharidæ--Blister-flies                        62

  Tenebrionidæ--Meal-worms                         65

  Blapsidæ--Church-yard-beetle, etc.               65

  Curculionidæ--Weevils                            68

  Cerambycidæ--Musk-beetles                        72

  Galerucidæ--Turnip-fly, etc.                     74


  Forficulidæ--Ear-wigs                            76


  Blattidæ--Cockroaches                            78

  Mantidæ--Soothsayers, etc.                       82

  Achetidæ--Crickets                               92

  Gryllidæ--Grasshoppers                           98

  Locustidæ--Locusts                              101


  Termitidæ--White-ants                           132

  Ephemeridæ--Day-flies                           138

  Libellulidæ--Dragon-flies                       138

  Myrmeleonidæ--Ant-lions                         141


  Uroceridæ--Sirex                                142

  Cynipidæ--Gall-flies                            143

  Formicidæ--Ants                                 146

  Vespidæ--Wasps, Hornets                         170

  Apidæ--Bees                                     174


  Papilionidæ--Butterflies                        216

  Sphingidæ--Hawk-moths                           232

  Bombicidæ--Silkworm-moths                       234

  Arctiidæ--Woolly-bear-moths                     242

  Psychidæ--Wood-carrying-moth, etc.              245

  Noctuidæ--Antler-moth, Cut-worm, etc.           246

  Geometridæ--Span-worms                          248

  Tineidæ--Clothes’-moths, Bee-moths, etc.        248


  Cicadidæ--Harvest-flies                         250

  Fulgoridæ--Lantern-flies                        255

  Aphidæ--Plant-lice                              257

  Coccidæ--Shield-lice                            259


  Cimicidæ--Bed-bugs                              265

  Notonectidæ--Water-boatmen                      275


  Culicidæ--Gnats                                 278

  Tipulidæ--Crane-flies                           286

  Muscidæ--Flies                                  287

  Œstridæ--Bot-flies                              302


  Pulicidæ--Fleas                                 305


  Pediculidæ--Lice                                316


  Acaridæ--Mites                                  321

  Phalangidæ--Daddy-Long-legs                     321

  Pedipalpi--Scorpions                            321

  Araneidæ--True-spiders                          332

  MISCELLANEOUS                                   363

  INDEX                                           373


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DIAZ DEL CASTILLO, BERNAL. Memoirs and Disc. and Conq. of Mexico and New
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perfectum. Folio, Londoni, 1634.

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JOSEPHUS, FLAVIUS. Genuine Works. Tr. by William Whiston. Folio, London,

JOSSELYN, JOHN. Acct. of Two Voyages to New England. 16mo., London,

KALM, PETER. Travels into North America. Tr. by John R. Foster. 2 v.
8vo., London, 1859.

KIDDER, DANL. P., and J. C. FLETCHER. Brazil and the Brazilians. Royal
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KNOX, ROBERT. Hist. Relation of the Island of Ceylon. 4to., London,

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KORAN, THE: commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed. Tr. by Geo. Sale.
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LANGSTROTH, L. L. Prac. Treatise on the Hive and Honey-Bee. 3d edit.
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LAYARD, AUSTEN H. Disc. among the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon; with
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1842-1845. 2d edit. 8vo., London, 1853.

LINNÆUS, CAROLUS. Lachesis Lapponica; or, a Tour in Lapland. Tr. by J.
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8vo., New York, 1858.

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8vo., London, 1814.

MAGAZINE OF NATURAL HISTORY. Cond. by J. C. Loudon. 9 v. 8vo., London,

MARTYR, PETER. De Nouo Orbe; or, The Hist. of the West Indies. Tr. by R.
Eden and M. Lok. 4to., London, 1612.

MAYHEW, HENRY. London Labor and the London Poor. 4 v. 8vo., London,
1861, 1862.


MOFFAT, ROBT. Missionary Labors and Scenes in S. Africa. 8vo., London,

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The Lady-bird, _Coccinella septempunctata_, in Scandinavia was dedicated
to the Virgin Mary, and is there to this day called _Nyckelpiga_--Our
Lady’s Key-maid,[1] and (in Sweden, more particularly) _Jung-fru Marias
Gullhona_--the Virgin Mary’s Golden-hen.[2] A like reverence was paid to
this beautiful insect in other countries: in Germany they have been
called _Frauen_ or _Marien-käfer_--Lady-beetles of the Virgin Mary; and
in France are now known by the names of _Vaches de Dieu_--Cows of the
Lord, and _Bêtes de la Vierge_--Animals of the Virgin.[3] The names we
know them by, _Lady-bird_, _Lady-bug_, _Lady-fly_, _Lady-cow_,[4]
_Lady-clock_, _Lady-couch_ (a Scottish name),[5] etc., have reference
also to this same dedication, or, at least, respect.

The Lady-bird in Europe, and particularly in Germany, where it probably
is the greatest favorite, and whence most of the superstitions connected
with it are supposed to have originated, is always connected with fine
weather. At Vienna, the children throw it into the air, crying,--

    Käferl’, käferl’, käferl’,
    Flieg nach Mariabrunn,
    Und bring uns ä schone sun.


    Little birdie, birdie,
    Fly to Marybrunn,
    And bring us a fine sun.

Marybrun being a place about twelve English miles from the Austrian
capital, with a miracle-working image of the Virgin (still connected
with the Virgin), who often sends good weather to the merry Viennese.[6]

And, from the marsh of the Elbe, to this little insect the following
words are addressed:

                Flug weg,
                Stuff weg,
    Bring me morgen goet wedder med.


                Fly away,
                Hasten away,
    Bring me good weather with you to-morrow.[7]

In England, the children are wont to be afraid of injuring the Lady-bird
lest it should rain.

With the Northmen the Lady-bird--Our Lady’s Key-maid--is believed to
foretell to the husbandman whether the year shall be a plentiful one or
the contrary: if its spots exceed seven, bread-corn will be dear; if
they are fewer than seven, there will be an abundant harvest, and low
prices.[8] And, in the following rhyme from Ploen, this insect is
invoked to bring food:

    Marspäert (Markpäert) fleeg in Himmel!
    Bring my’n Sack voll Kringeln, my een, dy een,
          Alle lütten Engeln een.


              Marspäert, fly to heaven!
    Bring me a sack full of biscuits, one for me, one for thee,
              For all the little angels one.[9]

In the north of Europe it is thought lucky when a young girl in the
country sees the Lady-bird in the spring; she then lets it creep about
her hand, and says: “She measures me for wedding gloves.” And when it
spreads its little wings and flies away, she is particular to notice the
direction it takes, for thence her sweetheart shall one day come.[10]
The latter part of this notion obtains in England; and it has been
embodied by Gay in one of his Pastorals, as follows:

    This Lady-fly I take from off the grass,
    Whose spotted back might scarlet red surpass.
    Fly, Lady-bird, north, south, or east or west,
    Fly where the man is found that I love best.
    He leaves my hand, see to the west he’s flown,
    To call my true-love from the faithless town.[11]

In Norfolk, too, where this insect is called the Bishop Barnabee, the
young girls have the following rhyme, which they continue to recite to
it placed upon the palm of the hand, till it takes wing and flies

    Bishop, Bishop Barnabee,
    Tell me when my wedding be:
    If it be to-morrow day,
    Take your wings and fly away!
    Fly to the east, fly to the west,
    Fly to him that I love best.[13]

Why the Lady-bird is called Bishop Barnabee, or Burnabee, there is great
difference of opinion. Some take it to be from St. Barnabas, whose
festival falls in the month of June, when this insect first appears; and
others deem it but a corruption of the Bishop-that-burneth, in allusion
to its fiery color.[14]

The following metrical jargon is repeated by the children in Scotland to
this insect under the name of Lady Lanners, or Landers:[15]

    Lady, Lady Lanners,
    Lady, Lady Lanners,
    Tak’ up your clowk about your head,
    An’ flee awa’ to Flanners (Flanders).
    Flee ower firth, and flee ower fell,
    Flee ower pule and rinnan’ well,
    Flee ower muir, and flee ower mead,
    Flee ower livan, flee ower dead,
    Flee ower corn, and flee ower lea,
    Flee ower river, flee ower sea,
    Flee ye east, or flee ye west,
    Flee till him that lo’es me best.

So it seems that also in Scotland, the Lady-bird, which is still a great
favorite with the Scottish peasantry, has been used for divining one’s
future helpmate. This likewise appears from a rhyme from the north of
Scotland, which dignifies the insect with the title of Dr. Ellison:

    Dr. Dr. Ellison, where will I be married?
    East, or west, or south, or north?
    Take ye flight and fly away.

It is sometimes also termed Lady Ellison, or knighted Sir Ellison; while
other Scottish names of it are Mearns, Aberd, The King, and King Galowa,
or Calowa. Under this last title of dignity there is another Scottish
rhyme, which evinces also the general use of this insect for the purpose
of divination:

    King, King Calowa,
    Up your wings and flee awa’
    Over land, and over sea;
    Tell me where my love can be.[16]

There is a Netherlandish tradition that to see Lady-birds forebodes good
luck;[17] and in England it is held extremely unlucky to destroy these
insects. Persons killing them, it is thought, will infallibly, within
the course of the year, break a bone, or meet with some other dreadful

In England, the children are accustomed to throw the Lady-bird into the
air, singing at the same time,--

    Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home;
    Your house is on fire, your children’s at home,
    All but one that ligs under the stone,--
    Ply thee home, lady-bird, ere it be gone.[19]

Or, as in Yorkshire and Lancashire,--

    Lady-bird, lady-bird, eigh thy way home;
    Thy house is on fire, thy children all roam,
    Except little Nan, who sits in her pan,
    Weaving gold laces as fast as she can.[20]

Or, as most commonly with us in America,--

    Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home,
    Your house is on fire, and your children all burn.

The meaning of this familiar, though very curious couplet, seems to be
this: the larvæ, or young, of the Lady-bird feed principally upon the
aphides, or plant-lice, of the vines of the hop; and fire is the usual
means employed in destroying the aphides; so that in killing the latter,
the former, which had come for the same purpose, are likewise destroyed.

Immense swarms of Lady-birds are sometimes observed in England,
especially on the southeastern coast. They have been described as
extending in dense masses for miles, and consisting of several species
intermixed.[21] In 1807, these flights in Kent and Sussex caused no
small alarm to the superstitious, who thought them the forerunners of
some direful evil. They were, however, but emigrants from the
neighboring hop-grounds, where, in their larva state, they had been
feasting upon the aphides.[22]

The Lady-bird was formerly considered an efficacious remedy for the
colic and measles;[23] and it has been recommended often as a cure for
the toothache: being said, when one or two are mashed and put into the
hollow tooth, to immediately relieve the pain. Jaeger says he has tried
this application in two instances with success.[24]

In the northern part of South America--the Spanish Main--a species of
Lady-bug, Captain Stuart tells me, is extensively worn as jewels and
ornaments. He may, however, refer to some species of the
Gold-beetles--_Chrysomelidæ_, next mentioned.

Hurdis, who has frequently, in his Poems, availed himself of the modern
discoveries in Natural History, has drawn the following accurate and
beautiful picture of the Lady-bird in his tragedy of Sir Thomas More:


           What d’ye look at?


  A little animal, that round my glove,
  And up and down to every finger’s tip,
  Has traveled merrily, and travels still,
  Tho’ it has wings to fly: what its name is
  With learned men I know not; simple folk
  Call it the Lady-bird.


                         Poor harmless thing!
  Save it.


           I would not hurt it for the world;
  Its prettiness says, Spare me; and it bears
  Armor so beautiful upon its back,
  I could not injure it to be a queen:
  Look, sir, its coat is scarlet dropp’d with jet,
  Its eyes pure ivory.


                       Child, I’m not blind
  To objects so minute: I know it well;
  ’Tis the companion of the waning year,
  And lives among the blossoms of the hop;
  It has fine silken wings enfolded close
  Under that coat of mail.


                           I see them, sir,
  For it unfurls them now--’tis up and gone.[25]

Southey, also, in his lines addressed to this insect under the name of
the Burnie-Bee, has thus elegantly described it:

    Back o’er thy shoulders throw thy ruby shards,
      With many a tiny coal-black freckle deck’d;
    My watchful eye thy loitering saunter guards,
      My ready hand thy footsteps shall protect.

    So shall the fairy train, by glow-worm light,
      With rainbow tints thy folding pennons fret,
    Thy scaly breast in deeper azure dight,
      Thy burnish’d armor deck’d with glossier jet.[26]


In Chili and Brazil, the ladies form necklaces of the golden
_Chrysomelidæ_ and brilliant Diamond-beetles, with which their countries
abound, which are said to be very beautiful.[27] The wing-cases of our
common Gilded-Dandy, _Eumolpus auratus_, the metallic colors of which
are pre-eminently brilliant and showy, have been recommended as
ornaments for fancy boxes, and such like articles.[28] A closely allied
species, I have seen upon the finest Parisian artificial flowers.


In some parts of Africa, a rather curious benefit is derived from a
large beetle belonging to this family, the _Chlænius saponarius_, for it
is manufactured by the natives into a soap.[29]


The etymology of the word _Pausus_, Dr. Afzelius imagines to be from the
Greek παυσις, signifying a pause, cessation, or rest; for Linnæus, now
(in 1796) old and infirm, and sinking under the weight of age and labor,
saw no probability of continuing any longer his career of glory. He
might therefore be supposed to say _hic meta laborum_, as it in reality
proved, at least with regard to insects, for Pausus was the last he ever


In one of the stone coffins exhumed from the tumuli in the links of
Skail, were found several small bags, which seemed to have been made of
rushes. They all contained bones, with the exception of one, which is
said to have been full of beetles belonging to the genus _Dermestes_.
Both the bag and beetles were black and rotten.[31]

Four species of _Dermestes_ were found in the head of one of the mummies
brought by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson from Thebes--the _D. vulpinus_ of
Fabricius, and the _pollinctus_, _roei_, and _elongatus_ of Hope.[32]

It is a remarkable coincidence that two peoples should bury beetles of
the same genus with their dead, and much the more so, when they differ
so widely, as did the ancient Britons and Egyptians. Was it for the same
reason--the result of any communication?

At one time the ravages of the _Dermestes vulpinus_ were so great in the
skin-warehouses of London, that a reward of £20,000 was offered for an
available remedy.[33]


The etymology of the word Lucanus, as well as its application to a
species of insect, it is interesting to notice. The ancients gave the
name of _Lucas_, _Lucana_, to the _ox_ and elephant. It is said that
Pyrrhus had thus named the elephant the first time that he saw it,
because this word signified ox in his own language, and that he thus
gave it the name of the largest animal which he had ever before seen.
According to Pliny, who employed the word _Lucani_, in speaking of the
Horn-beetles, Nigridius was the first who gave the name to these
insects; and this he did, most probably, from their large size, and the
resemblance of their mandibles to horns. Dalechamp, however, thinks that
the name _Lucanus_ was given to the Horn-beetle only because this insect
was very common among the Lucanians, a people of Italy. But it is
probable, after what has been above said, that the Lucanians themselves
were thus named, in consequence of the great numbers of oxen which they
reared. The common name, _Flying-bull_, given to this insect in
different languages, corresponds very well with that given by

A popular belief in Germany is, that the Stag-beetle, _Lucanus cervus_,
carries burning coals into houses by means of its jaws, and that it has
thus occasioned many fearful fires.[35]

In the New Forest of England, the Stag-beetle by the rustics is called
the _Devil’s Imp_, and is believed to be sent to do some evil to the
corn; and woe be to this unfortunate insect when met by these
superstitious foresters, for it is immediately stoned to death. A
writer, in the Notes and Queries,[36] states that he saw one of these
insects actually thus destroyed.

Professor Bradley, of Cambridge, mentions the following remarkable
instance of insect strength in a Stag-beetle. He asserts that he saw the
beetle carry a wand a foot and a half long, and half an inch thick, and
even fly with it to the distance of several yards.[37] Linnæus observes,
that if the elephant was as strong in proportion as the Stag-beetle, it
would be able to tear up rocks and level mountains.[38]

Bingley has the following marvelous story of the supposed rapacity of
the Stag-beetle, which, it has been remarked, if not gravely stated by
the reverend editor of the Animal Biography, as related to him by one
of his own intimate and intelligent friends, might have been supposed by
the general reader to have been borrowed from the Travels of the
veracious Munchausen. “An intimate and intelligent friend of the editor
informed him that he had often found several heads of these insects
together, all perfectly alive, while the abdomens were gone, and the
trunks and heads were left together. How this circumstance took place he
never could discover with any certainty. He supposes, however, that it
must have been in consequence of the severe battles that sometimes take
place among the fiercest of the insect tribes; but their mouths not
seeming formed for animal food, he is at a loss to guess what becomes of
their abdomens. They do not fly till most of the birds have retired to
rest, and indeed if we were to suppose that any of them devoured them,
it would be difficult to say why the heads or trunks should be

Moufet says: “When the head (of the Stag-beetle) is cut off, the other
parts of the body live long, but the head (contrary to the usual custom
of insects) lives longer. This is said to be dedicated to the moon, and
the head and horns of it wax with the moon, and do wane with the moon,
but it is the opinion of vain astrologers.”[40]

The mandibles of the Stag-beetle were formerly employed in medicine,
under the name of Horns of Scarabæi. This remedy was administered as an
absorbent, in case of pains or convulsions supposed to be produced by
acidity in the _primæ viæ_.[41] This is the insect most probably alluded
to by Pliny, when he says, “Folke use to hang Beetles about the neck of
young babes, as present remedies against many maladies.”[42] The
_Scarabæus cornutus_ of Schröder (v. 345) is also, perhaps, the _Lucanus
cervus_. We learn from this gentleman that it has been recommended to be
worn as an amulet for an ague, or pains and contractions of the tendons,
if applied to the part affected. He tells us also, that if tied about
the necks of children, it enables them to retain their urine. An oil,
prepared by infusion of these insects, is recommended by the same
author, in pains of the ears, if dropped into them.[43]

The _Cossus_ of the Greeks and Romans, which, at the time of the
greatest luxury among the latter, was introduced at the tables of the
rich, was the larva, or grub, of a large beetle that lives in the stems
of trees, particularly the oak; and was, most probably, the larva of the
Stag-beetle, _Lucanus cervus_. On this subject, however, entomologists
differ very widely, for it has been supposed the larva of the _Calandra
palmarum_ by Geoffroy and Keferotein; of the _Prionus damicornis_ by
Drury; but of the _Lucanus cervus_ by Roesel, Scopoli, and most others.
The first two, being neither natives of Italy nor inhabiting the oak,
are out of the question. But the larva of the _Lucanus cervus_, and
perhaps also the _Prionus coriarius_, which are found in the oak as well
as in other trees, may each have been eaten under this name, as their
difference could not be discernible either to collectors or cooks.
Linnæus, following the opinion of Ray, supposed the caterpillar of the
great Goat-moth to be the cossus.[44]

Pliny tells us that the epicures, who looked upon these _cossi_ as
delicacies, even fed them with meal, in order to fatten them.[45]

Our children, who call the Stag-beetles and the _Passalus cornutus_,
oxen, are wont to hitch them with threads to chips and small sticks,
and, for their amusement, make them drag the wood along as if they were


The _Coprion_, _Cantharus_, and _Heliocantharus_ of the ancients were
evidently the _Scarabæus (Ateuchus) pilurarius_, or, as it is commonly
called, the Tumble-dung, or one nearly related to it, for it is
described as rolling backward large masses of dung; and in doing this
it attracted such general attention as to give rise to the proverb
_Cantharus pipulam_. From the name, derived from a word signifying an
ass, it should seem the Grecian beetle made, or was supposed to make,
its pills of _asses’_ dung; and this is confirmed by a passage in one of
the plays of Aristophanes, the Irene, where a beetle of this kind is
introduced, on which one of the characters rides to heaven to petition
Jupiter for peace. The play begins with one domestic desiring another to
feed the Cantharus with some bread, and afterward orders his companion
to give him another kind of bread made of _asses’_ dung.[46]

Illustrative of the great strength of the Tumble-bug, the following
anecdote may be related: Dr. Brichell was supping one evening in a
planter’s house of North Carolina, when two of these beetles were
placed, without his knowledge, under the candlestick. A few blows were
struck on the table, when, to his great surprise, the candlestick began
to move about, apparently without any agency, except that of a spiritual
nature; and his surprise was not lessened when, on taking one of them
up, he discovered that it was only a chafer that moved.[47]

In Denmark, the common Dung-beetle, _Geotrupes stercorarius_, is called
_Skarnbosse_ or _Tor(Thor)bist_, and an augury as to the harvest is
drawn by the peasants from the mites which infest it. The notion is,
that if there are many of these mites between the fore feet, there will
be an early harvest, but a late one if they abound between the hind

In Gothland, where Thor was worshiped above and more than the other
gods, the _Scarabæus (Geotrupes) stercorarius_ was considered sacred
to him, and bore the name of Thorbagge--Thor’s-bug. “Relative to this
beetle,” says Thorpe, “a superstition still exists, which has been
transmitted from father to son, that if any one finds in his path a
Thorbagge lying helpless upon its back, and turns it on its feet, he
expiates seven sins; because Thor in the time of heathenism was
regarded as a mediator with a higher power, or All-father. On the
introduction of Christianity, the priests strove to terrify the
people from the worship of their old divinities, pronouncing both
them and their adherents to be evil spirits, and belonging to hell.
On the poor Thorbagge the name was now bestowed of Thordjefvul or
Thordyfvel--Thor-devil, by which it is still known in Sweden Proper.
No one now thinks of Thor, when he finds the helpless creature lying
on its back, but the good-natured countryman seldom passes it without
setting it on its feet, and thinking of his sin’s atonement.”[49]

A common symbol of the Creator among the Hindoos (from whom it passed
into Egypt, and thence into Scandinavia, says Bjornstjerna) was the
_Scarabæus (Ateuchus) sacer_, commonly called the Sacred-beetle of the
Egyptians.[50] Of this insect we next treat at length.

Of the many animals worshiped by the ancient Egyptians, one of the most
celebrated, perhaps, is the insect commonly known as the
Sacred-scarab--_Scarabæus sacer_. This name was given it by Linnæus, but
later writers know it as the _Ateuchus sacer_.[51] The insect is found
throughout all Egypt, in the southern part of Europe,[52] in China, the
East Indies, in Barbary, and at the Cape of Good Hope.[53]

The _Ateuchus sacer_, however, is not the only insect that was regarded
as an object of veneration by the Egyptians; but another species of the
same genus, lately discovered in the Sennâri by M. Caillaud de Nantes,
appears to have first fixed the attention of this people, in consequence
of its more brilliant colors, and of the country in which it was found,
which, it is supposed, was their first sojourn.[54] This species, which
Cuvier has named _Ateuchus Ægyptorum_, is green, with a golden tint,
while the first is black.[55] The _Buprestis_ and _Cantharus_, or
_Copris_, were also held in high repute by the Egyptians, and used as
synonymous emblems of the same deities as the Scarabæus. This is further
confirmed by the fact of S. Passalacqua having found a species of
Buprestis embalmed in a tomb at Thebes.[56] But the _Scarabæus_, or
_Ateuchus sacer_, is the beetle most commonly represented, and the type
of the whole class; and the one referred to in this article under the
general name of _Scarabæus_, unless when otherwise particularly

The Scarabæus, according to the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, was
sacred to the Sun and to Pthah, the personification of the creative
power of the Deity; and it was adopted as an emblem or symbol of--

1. The World.--According to P. Valerianus, the Scarab was symbolical of
the world, on account of the globular form of its pellets of dung, and
from an odd notion that they were rolled from sunrise to sunset.[57]

2. The Sun.--P. Valerianus supposes this insect to have been a symbol of
the sun, because of the angular projection from its head resembling
rays, and from the thirty joints of the six tarsi of its feet answering
to the days of an (ordinary) solar month.[58] According to Plutarch, it
was because these insects cast the seed of generation into round balls
of dung, as a genial nidus, and roll them backward with their feet,
while they themselves look directly forward. And as the sun appears to
proceed in the heavens in a course contrary to the signs, thus the
Scarabæi turn their balls toward the west, while they themselves
continue creeping toward the east; by the first of these motions
exhibiting the diurnal, and by the second the annual, motion of the
earth and the planets.[59] Porphyry gives the same reason as Plutarch
why the beetle was considered, as he calls it, “a living image of the
sun.”[60] Horapollo assigns two reasons for the Scarab being taken as
an emblem of the sun. He tells us there are three species of beetles:
one of which has the form of a cat, and is radiated;[61] and this one
from a supposed analogy the Egyptians have dedicated to the Sun,
because, first, the statue of the Deity of Heliopolis (City of the Sun)
has the form of a cat![62] In this, however, Wilkinson asserts, that
Horapollo is wrong; for the Deity of Heliopolis, under the form of a
cat, was the emblem of Bubastis, and not of Rê, a type of the sun; and
the presence of her statue is explained by the custom of each city
assigning to the Divinities of neighboring places a conspicuous post in
its own temples; and Bubastis was one of the principal contemplar
Deities of Heliopolis.[63] The second reason of Horapollo is, that this
insect has thirty fingers, which correspond to the thirty days of a
solar month.[64]

3. The Moon.--The second of the three species of beetles, described by
Horapollo, has, according to this writer, two horns, and the character
of a bull; and it was consecrated to the moon; whence the Egyptians say,
that the bull in the heavens is the elevation of this Goddess. This
statement of beetle “with two horns” (the _Copris Isidis_) consecrated
to the moon, Wilkinson says is not confirmed by the sculptures where it
is never introduced.[65]

It is said the Egyptians believed that the pellet of the Scarabæus
remained in the ground for a period of twenty-eight days. May not this
have some connection with their choosing the insect as a symbol of the
moon which divides the year into months of twenty-eight days each; or,
of the month itself (of which we shall notice it was also a symbol) for
the same reason? I have seen, too, a Scarabæus engraved upon a seal, the
joints of whose tarsi numbered but twenty-eight.

Conformable to this supposition, the following quotation may be given
from that chapter of the Treasvrie of Auncient and Modern Times devoted
to the “Many meruailous (marvelous) properties in sundrie things; and to
what Stars and Planets they are subjected naturally,” where we find
mention of the Scarab as being subject to the moon: “The _Scarabe_,
which is otherwise commonly called the Beetle-flye, a little old
Creature, is maruelously subject to the Moon, and thereof is found both
written, and by experience: That she gathereth or little pellets, or
little round bals, and therein encloseth her young Egges, keeping the
Pellets hid in the ground eight and twenty daies; during which time the
Moone maketh her course, and the nine and twentieth day shee taketh them
forth, and then hideth them againe vnder the Earth. Then, at such time
as the Moone is conioyned with the Sunne, which wee vsually tearme the
New Moone: they all issue forth aliue, and flye about.”[66]

4. Mercury.--The third of the three species of beetles, described by
Horapollo, has one horn, and a peculiar form; and it is supposed, like
the Ibis, to refer to Mercury.[67]

5. A Courageous Warrior.--As such they forced all the soldiers to wear
rings, upon each of which a beetle was engraved, _i.e._ an animal
perpetually in armor, who went his rounds in the night.[68] Plutarch
thus alludes to this custom: “In the signet or seal-ring of their
martial and military men, there was engraven the portraeture of the
great Fly called the Beettil;” and assigns this curious and ridiculous
reason, “because in that kinde there is no female, but they be all
males.”[69] The custom is also mentioned by Ælian;[70] and some Scarabs
have been found perfect, set in gold, with the ring attached.[71] The
Romans adopted this emblem and made it a part of some legionary

6. Pthah, the Creative Power.--Plutarch says, that in consequence of
there being no females of this species, but all males, they were
considered fit types of the creative power, self-acting and
self-sufficient.[72] Some, too, have supposed that its position upon the
female figure of the heavens, which encircles the zodiacs, refers to the
same singular idea of its generative influence.[73]

7. Pthah Tore, another character of the creative power.[74]

8. Pthah-Sokari-Osiris.--Of this pigmy Deity of Memphis, it was adopted
as a distinctive mark, being placed on his head.[75]

9. Regeneration, or reproduction, from the fact of its being the first
living animal observed upon the subsidence of the waters of the

10. Spring.[77]

11. The Egyptian month anterior to the rising of the Nile, as it appears
first in that month.[78] It also may have been a symbol of a lunar month
from an above-mentioned belief, namely, that its pellets remain
twenty-eight days in the ground. It is sometimes found with the joints
of its tarsi numbering but twenty-eight instead of thirty, hence the
supposition is that it was held as a symbol of a lunar, as well as a
solar, month.

12. Fecundity.--Dr. Clarke informs us that these beetles are even yet
eaten by the women to render them prolific.[79]

13. With the eyes pierced by a needle, of a man who died from fever.[80]

14. Surrounded by roses, of a voluptuary, because they thought that the
smell of that flower enervated, made lethargic, and killed the

15. An only son; because, says Fosbroke, they believed that every beetle
was “both male and female.”[82] Was it not because they imagined these
insects were all males, as above stated upon the authority of Plutarch,
and hence the analogy in a family of an only son since it could be but
of the masculine gender?

The Scarabæus was also connected with astronomical subjects, occurring
in some zodiacs in the place of Cancer; and with funereal rites.[83]

To no place in particular, as the dog at Cynopolis, the ichneumon at
Heracleopolis, was the worship of the beetle confined; but traces of it
are found throughout the whole of Egypt. It is probable, however, it
received the greatest honors at Memphis and Heliopolis, of which cities
Pthah and the Sun were the chief Deities.[84] The worship is also of
great antiquity, for in many of the above-mentioned characters, the
beetle occurs upon the royal sepulchers of Biban-el-Moluc, which are
said to be more ancient than the Pyramids.[85] Scarabæi are, in fact, to
be retraced in all their monuments and sculptures, and under divers
positions, and often depicted of gigantic dimensions. Mr. Hamilton tells
us that in the most conspicuous part of the magnificent temple which
marks the site of the ancient Ombite nome, priests are represented
paying divine honors to this beetle, placed upon an altar; and, that it
might have a character of more mysterious sanctity, it was generally
figured with two mitered heads--that of the common hawk, and that of the
ram with the horn of Ammon.[86] It may be remarked here, that the
Scarabæus, when represented with the head of a hawk, or of a ram, is
meant to be an emblem of the sun; and as such emblem it is most commonly
found. It often occurs in a boat with extended wings, holding the globe
of the sun in its claws, or elevated in the firmament as a type of that
luminary in the meridian. Figures too of other Deities are often seen
praying to it when in this character.[87]

In the cabinet of Montfaucon, there is a Scarabæus in the middle of a
large stone, with outspread feet; and two men, or women, who are perhaps
priests, or priestesses, stand before it with clasped hands as if in
adoration.[88] This gentleman also has remarked that on the Isiac table,
there is the figure of a man in a sitting posture, who holds his hands
toward a beetle which has the head of a man with a crescent upon it.[89]
On this table there is another Scarab with the head of Isis.[90] Besides
these Scarabæi with the heads of hawks, rams, men, and the goddess Isis,
Mr. Hertz has in his possession a small Scarabæus in stone with the
head of a cow.[91]

The mode of representing the Scarabæi on the monuments was frequently
very arbitrary. Some are figured with, and some without the scutellum;
and others are sometimes introduced with two scutella, one on either
clypeus. An instance of this mode of representation, of which no example
is to be found in nature, occurs in a large Scarabæus in the British

Among the ideographics of the hieroglyphic writing, the Scarabæus is
found under several forms: seated with closed and spread wings upon the
head of a god, it signifies the name of a god--a Creator;[93] and with
the head and legs of a man, it is emblematic of the same creative power,
or of Pthah. Another emblem of Pthah is supported by the arms of a man
kneeling on the heavens, and surmounted by a winged Scarab supporting a
globe or sun.[94]

The Scarabæus likewise belongs to the hieroglyphic signs as a syllabic
phonetic; and with complement a mouth, signifies type, form, and
transformation: flying, to mount--a phonetic of the later alphabet, with
sound of H in the name of Pthah. Another phonetic of the later alphabet,
belonging to the XXVI. dynasty, of the time of Domitianus and Trajanus,
was a Scarabæus in repose.[95]

The Scarabæus entered also into the royal scutcheons. It first appeared
in the XI. dynasty, and is found afterward in the XII., XIII., XIV.,
XVIII., XIX., XX., XXI., XXII., XXIII., and XXX.[96]

The most important monuments of the great edifice of Amenophis--the
so-called Palace of Luxon,--in an historical sense, are said to be four
great Scarabæi. They contain statements as to the frontier of the
Egyptian empire under Amenophis at the time of his marriage with Taja.
Rosellini has given copies and explanations of two of them. A third, now
in the Louvre, states that the King, conqueror of the Lybian Shepherds,
husband of Taja, made the foreign country of the Karai his southern
frontier, the foreign land of Nharina (Mesopotamia) his northern. The
inscription of the other Scarabæus, now in the Vatican, states that in
the eleventh year and third month of his reign, King Amenhept made a
great tank or lake to celebrate the festival of the waters; on which
occasion he entered it in a barge of “the most gracious Disc of the
Sun.” This substitution, by the King, of the barge of the Disc of the
Sun for the usual barge of Amun-Ra, is the _first_ indication of an
heretical sun-worship.[97]

Such historical Scarabæi, Champollion and Rosellini have happily
compared to commemorative coins; and, in fact, those which record the
names of the kings might perhaps be considered as small Egyptian

Besides being ensculped upon monuments and tablets, Scarabæi, as images
in baked earth, are found in great numbers with the mummies of Egypt.
These little figures also present an intermingling of several animal
forms; for some are found with the heads of men, others with those of
dogs, lions, and cats, and others are figures entirely fantastical.
Father Kirker says, they were interred with the dead to drive away evil
spirits; and there is much probability, he continues, that these were
put here for no other purpose than to protect their relatives.[99] The
largest of these rude images of Scarabæi, thus used for funereal
purposes, frequently had a prayer, or legend connected with the dead,
engraved upon them; and a winged Scarabæus was generally placed on those
bodies which were embalmed according to the most extensive process.[100]
These latter are found in various positions, but generally upon the eye
and breast of the body.[101] Placed over the stomach, it was deemed a
never-failing talisman to shield the “soul” of its wearer against the
terrific genii of Amenthi.[102]

A small, closely cut, glazed limestone Scarabæus has been found tied
like a ring by a twist of plain cord on the fourth finger of the left
hand. This has occurred twice. Another has been found fastened around
the left wrist.[103]

It has been remarked before that the Scarabæus was connected with
astronomical subjects. Donovan tells us that “when sculptured on
astronomical tables, or on columns, it expressed the divine wisdom which
regulated the universe and enlightened man.”[104]

From another point of view we will look now upon the worship of the
Scarabæus. When the hieroglyphics of the _ancient_ Egyptians, by reason
of their antiquity, became unintelligible, and, in consequence, to the
superstitious people, sacred, they were formed into circles and borders,
after the manner of cordons, and engraved upon precious stones and gems,
by way of amulets and trinkets. It is thought this fashion was coeval
with the introduction of the worship of Serapis by the Ptolemies.[105]
In the second century, that sect of the Egyptians called the
Basilidians, intermingling the new-born Christianity with their
heathenism, introduced that particular kind of mysterious hieroglyphics
and figures called Abraxas, which were supposed to have the singular
property of curing diseases.[106] These abraxas are generally oval, and
made of black Egyptian basalt. They are sometimes covered with letters
and characters, fac-similes of the ancient hieroglyphics, but more
commonly with the inscriptions in the more modern letters. Besides these
inscriptions, figures of animals and scenes were also frequently
represented; and among the animals, one of frequent occurrence was the
Scarabæus. For this insect the Basilidians had the same great veneration
as their forefathers; and they paid to it almost the same divine honors.
This appears in many abraxas, and particularly in one in the cabinet of
Montfaucon, where two women are seen standing before a beetle, with
uplifted hands, as if supplicating it to grant them some favor. Above is
a large star, or, more probably, the sun, of which the beetle was the
well-known symbol.[107] On another abraxas, figured by Montfaucon, there
are two birds with human heads, which stand before a Scarab. These
figures are surrounded by a snake the ends of which meet. Upon the other
side is written in Greek characters the word φρὴ (Phre or Phri), which
in the Coptic or Egyptian language signifies the sun.[108] Chifflet has
figured an abraxas which contains a Scarabæus having the sun for its
head, and the arms of a man for legs.[109] Another, in the cabinet of M.
Capello, is remarkable for having a woman on its reverse, who holds two
infants in her arms.[110] Montfaucon has also figured two others, given
by Fabreti; and Count Caylus has engraved one, which represents a
woman’s head upon the body of a Scarab. The head is that of Isis.[111]
As these beetles differ much in form, it may be there are several
species. To the abraxas succeeded the talismans, which were of the
highest estimation in the East.

Carved Scarabæi of all sizes and qualities are quite common in the
cabinets of Europe. They were principally used for sets in rings,
necklaces, and other ornamental trinkets, and are now called Scarabæi
gems,[112] though some suppose them to have been money. All of these
gems, Winkleman says, which have a beetle on the convex side, and an
Egyptian deity on the concave, are of a date posterior to the
Ptolemies; and, moreover, all the ordinary gems, which represent the
figures or heads of Serapis, or Anubis, are of the Roman era.[113]
According to C. Caylus, the Egyptians used these gems for amulets, and
made them of all substances except metal. They preferred, however, those
of pottery, covered with green and black enamel. Cylinders, squares, and
pyramids were first used; then came the Scarabæi, which were the last
forms. They now began to have the appearance of seals or stamps, and
many believe them to have been such. The body of the beetle being a
convenient hold for the hand, and the base a place of safety and
facility to engrave whatsoever was wished to be stamped or printed. Many
of these characters are as yet unintelligible. These seals are made of
the most durable stones, and their convex part commonly worked without
much art.

The Egyptian form of the Scarabæus, which somewhat resembled a
half-walnut, the Etruscans adopted in the manufacture of their gems.
These scarcely exceed the natural size of the Scarabæus which they have
on the convex side. They have also a hole drilled through them
lengthwise, for suspension from the neck, or annexation to some other
part of the person. They are generally cornelians. Some are of a style
very ancient, and of extremely precious work, although in the Etruscan
manner, which is correctness of design in the figures, and hardness in
the turn of the muscles.

The Greeks also made use of the Scarabæus in their gems; but in the end
they suppressed the insect, and preserved alone the oval form which the
base presented, for the body of the sculpture. They also mounted them in
their rings.[114]

Several Egyptian Scarabæi were among the relics discovered by Layard at
Arban on the banks of the Khabour; and similar objects have been brought
from Nimroud, and various other ruins in Assyria.[115]

Layard has figured a bronze cup, and two bronze cubes, found among the
ruins of Nimroud, on which occur as ornaments the figures of Scarabs.
Those on the cubes are with outstretched wings, inlaid with gold. The
cubes have much the appearance of weights.[116]

The Scarabæus was not only venerated when alive, but embalmed after
death. In that state they are found at Thebes. It, however, was not the
only insect thus honored, for in one of the heads brought by Mr.
Wilkinson from Thebes, several others were discovered. These were
submitted to Mr. Hope for examination; and the species ascertained by
this gentleman, Mr. Pettigrew has enumerated as follows:

1. Corynetes violaceous, _Fab._

2. Necrobia mumiarum, _Hope_.

3. Dermestes vulpinus, _Fab._

4. ---- pollinctus, _Hope_.

5. ---- roei, _Hope_.

6. ---- elongatus, _Hope_.

7. Pimelia spinulosa, _Klug_?

8. Copris sabæus? “found by Passalacqua; so named on the testimony of

9. Midas, _Fab._

10. Pithecius, _Fab._

11. A species of Cantharis in Passalacqua’s Collection, No. 442.[117]
The House-fly has also been found embalmed at Thebes.[118]

       *       *       *       *       *

Concerning the worship in general of the Scarabæus, many curious
observations have been made besides the ones above recorded.

Pliny, in the words of his ancient translator, Philemon Holland, tells
us “The greater part of Ægypt honour all beetles, and adore them as
gods, or at leastwise having some divine power in them: which
ceremoniall devotion of theirs, Appion giveth a subtile and curious
reason of; for he doth collect, that there is some resemblance between
the operations and works of the Sun, and this flie; and this he setteth
abroad, for to colour and excuse his countrymen.”[119]

Dr. Molyneux, in the conclusion of his article on the swarms of beetles
that appeared in Ireland in 1688, makes the following allusion to the
worship of the Scarabæus by the Egyptians: “It is also more than
probable that this same destructive Beetle (Hedge-chafer--_Melontha
vulgaris_) we are speaking of, was that very kind of _Scarabæus_ the
idolatrous _Ægyptians_ of old had in such high veneration, as to pay
divine worship to it. For nothing can be supposed more natural, than to
imagine a Nation addicted to Polytheism, as the _Ægyptians_ were, in a
Country frequently suffering great Mischief and Scarcity from Swarms of
devouring Insects, should from a strong Sense and Fear of Evil to come
(the common Principle of Superstition and Idolatry) give sacred worship
to the visible Authors of these their Sufferings, in hopes to render
them more propitious for the future. Thus ’tis allowed on all hands,
that the same People adored as a God the ravenous Crocodile of the River
Nile; and thus the _Romans_, though more polite and civilized in their
Idolatry, _Febrem ad minas nocendam venerabantur, eamque variis Templis
extructis colebant_, says Valerius Maximus, L. 2, c. 5.”[120]

It is curious to observe how the reason is affected by circumstances.
The mind of Dr. Molyneux being long engaged upon the destruction caused
by insects, worked itself insensibly into certain grooves, out of which
it was afterward impossible to act. The same may be remarked of Mr.
Henry Baker, as appears from his article, “On a _Beetle_ that lived
three years without Food.” In conclusion, this gentleman says, “As the
_Egyptians_ were a wise and learned people, we cannot imagine they would
show so much regard to a creature of such a mean appearance (as the
Beetle) without some extraordinary reason for so doing. And is it not
possible they might have discovered its being able to subsist a very
long time without any visible sustenance, and therefore made it a symbol
of the Deity?”[121]

In parts of Europe the ladies string together for necklaces the
burnished violet-colored thighs of the _Geotrupes stercorarius_ and such
like brilliant species of insects.[122]

Under _Copris molossus_, in Donovan’s Insects of China, it is mentioned
that the larvæ of the larger kinds of coleopterous insects, abounding in
unctuous moisture, are much esteemed as food by the Chinese. “Under the
roots of the canes is found a large, white grub, which, being fried in
oil, is eaten as a dainty by the Chinese.” Donovan suggests that perhaps
this is the larvæ of the _Scarabæus (copris) molossus_, the general
description and abundance of which insect in China favors such an

Insects belonging to the family Scarabæidæ have been used also in
medicine. Pliny says the green Scarabæus has the property of rendering
the sight more piercing of those who gaze upon it, and that hence,
engravers of precious stones use these insects to steady their

Again, he says: “And many there be, who, by the directions of magicians,
carrie about them in like manner,” _i.e._ tied up in a linen cloth with
a red string, and attached to the body, “for the quartan ague, one of
these flies or beetles that use to roll up little balls of earth.”[125]
We learn from Schroder (v. 345) that the powder of the _Scarabæus
pilurarius_ “sprinkled upon a protuberating eye or prolapsed anus, is
said to afford singular relief;” and that “an oil prepared of these
insects by boiling in oil till they are consumed, and applied to the
blind hæmorrhoids, by means of a piece of cotton, is said to mitigate
the pains thereof.”[126] Fabricius states that the _Scarabæus (copris)
molossus_ is medicinally employed in China.[127]

We quote the following from Moufet: “The Beetle engraven on an emerald
yeelds a present remedy against all witchcrafts, and no less effectual
than that moly which Mercury once gave Ulysses. Nor is it good only
against these, but it is also very useful, if any one be about to go
before the king upon any occasion, so that such a ring ought especially
to be worn by them that intend to beg of noblemen some jolly preferment
or some rich province. It keeps away likewise the head-ach, which,
truly, is no small mischief, especially to great drinkers....

“The magicians will scarce finde credit, when foolishly rather than
truly, they report and imagine that the precious stone Chelonitis, that
is adorned with golden spots, put into hot water with a Beetle, raiseth
tempests.” _Pliny_, _l._ 37, _c._ 10.

“The eagle, the Beetle’s proud and cruel enemy, does no less make havock
of and devour this creature of so mean a rank, yet as soon as it gets an
opportunity, it returneth like for like, and sufficiently punisheth that
spoiler. For it flyeth up nimbly into her nest with its fellow-soldiers,
the Scara-beetles, and in the absence of the old she eagle bringeth out
of the nest the eagle’s eggs one after another, till there be none left;
which falling, and being broken, the young ones, while they are yet
unshapen, being dashed miserably against the stones, are deprived of
life, before they can have any sense of it. Neither do I see indeed how
she should more torment the eagle than in her young ones. For some who
slight the greatest torments of their own body, cannot endure the least
torments of their sons.”[128]

Pliny says that in Thrace, near Olynthus, there is a small locality, the
only one in which the beetle[129] cannot exist; from which circumstance
it has received the name of “Cantharolethus--Fatal-to-the-Beetle.”[130]

Dynastidæ--Hercules-beetle, etc.

The Hercules-beetle, _Dynastes Hercules_, is four, five, or even
sometimes six inches long, and a native of South America. It is said
great numbers of these immense insects are sometimes seen on the
Mammæa-tree, rasping off the rind of the slender branches by working
nimbly round them with their horns, till they cause the juice to flow,
which they drink to intoxication, and thus fall senseless to the
ground! These stories, however, as the learned Fabricius has well
observed, seem not very probable; since the thoracic horn, being bearded
on its lower surface, would undoubtedly be made bare by this

Col. St. Clair, though he confesses he never could take one of these
insects in the act of sawing off the limbs of trees, or ascertain
what they worked for, gravely repeats the above old story, and says
that during the operation they make a noise exactly like that of a
knife-grinder holding steel against the stone of his wheel; but a
thousand knife-grinders at work at the same moment, he continues,
could not equal their noise! He calls this beetle hence the

The Goliath-beetle, _Dynastes Goliathus_, is said to be roasted and
eaten by the natives of South America and Africa.[133]

The enormous prices of £30, £40, and even £50 used to be asked for these
latter beetles a piece; fine specimens for cabinets even now bring from
five to six pounds.[134]

The large pulpy larva of a species of Dynastidæ--the _Oryctes
rhinoceros_, called by the Singhalese _Gascooroominiya_--is,
notwithstanding its repulsive aspect, esteemed a luxury by the Malabar

Immediately after mentioning the above fact, Tennent records the
following interesting superstition respecting a beetle when found in a
house after sunset:

“Among the superstitions of the Singhalese arising out of their belief
in demonology, one remarkable one is connected with the appearance of a
beetle when observed on the floor of a dwelling-house after nightfall.
The popular belief is that in obedience to a certain form of incantation
(called _cooroominiya-pilli_) a demon in shape of a beetle is sent to
the house of some person or family whose destruction it is intended to
compass, and who presently falls sick and dies. The only means of
averting this catastrophy is, that some one, himself an adept in
necromancy, should perform a counter-charm, the effect of which is to
send back the disguised beetle to destroy his original employer; for in
such a conjuncture the death of one or the other is essential to
appease the demon whose intervention has been invoked. Hence the
discomfort of a Singhalese on finding a beetle in his house after
sunset, and his anxiety to expel but not kill it.”[136]

The _Dynastes Goliathus_, Moufet says, “like to beetles (_Ateuchus
sacer_), hath no female, but it shapes its own form itself. It produceth
its young one from the ground by itself, which Joach. Camerarius did
elegantly express, when he sent to Pennius the shape of this insect out
of the storehouse of natural things of the Duke of Saxony; with these

    A bee begat me not, nor yet did I proceed
    From any female, but myself I breed.

For it dies once in a year,” continues Moufet, “and from its own
corruption, like a Phœnix, it lives again (as Moninus witnesseth) by
heat of the sun.

    A thousand summers’ heat and winters’ cold
    When she hath felt, and that she doth grow old,
    Her life that seems a burden, in a tomb
    O’ spices laid, comes younger in her room.”[137]


The family of insects, commonly called _Cock-chafers_, _Hedge-chafers_,
_May-bugs_, and _Dorrs_ (from the Irish _dord_, humming, buzzing, or
from the Anglo-Saxon _dora_, a locust or drone) have been included by
Fabricius in the genus _Melolontha_,--a word which retains an odd notion
of the Greeks respecting them, viz., that they were produced from or
with the flowers of apple-trees. It is a name also by which the Greeks
themselves used to distinguish the same kind of insects.

In Sweden the peasants look upon the grub of the Cock-chafer,
_Melolontha vulgaris_, as furnishing an unfailing prognostic whether the
ensuing winter will be mild or severe; if the animal have a bluish hue
(a circumstance which arises from its being replete with food), they
affirm it will be mild, but on the contrary if it be white, the weather
will be severe: and they carry this so far as to foretell, that if the
anterior be white and the posterior blue, the cold will be most severe
at the beginning of the winter. Hence they call this grub
_Bemärkelse-mask_--prognostic worm.[138]

An absurd notion obtains in England that the larvæ of the May-bugs are
changed into briers.[139]

The following quotation is from the Chronicle of Hollingshed: “The 24
day of Februarie (1575), being the feast of Saint Matthie, on which dai
the faire was kept at Tewkesburie, a strange thing happened there. For
after a floud which was not great, but such as therby the medows neere
adioning were covered with water, and in the after noone there came
downe the river of Seuerne great numbers of flies and beetles
(_Melolontha vulgaris_?), such as in summer evenings use to strike men
in the face, in great heapes, a foot thicke above the water, so that to
credible mens judgement there were seene within a paire of buts length
of those flies above a hundred quarters. The mils there abouts were
dammed up with them for the space of foure daies after, and then were
clensed by digging them out with shovels: from whence they came is yet
unknowne but the daie was cold and a hard frost.”[140]

Such another remarkable phenomenon is recorded to have occurred in
Ireland, in the summer of 1688. The Cock-chafers, in this instance, were
in such immense numbers, “that when,” as the chronicler, Dr. Molyneux,
relates, “towards evening or sunset, they would arise, disperse, and fly
about, with a strange humming noise, much like the beating of drums at
some distance; and in such vast incredible numbers, that they darkened
the air for the space of two or three miles square. The grinding of
leaves,” he continues, “in the mouths of this vast multitude altogether,
made a sound very much resembling the sawing of timber.”[141]

In a short time after the appearance of these beetles in these immense
numbers, they had so entirely eaten up and destroyed the leaves of the
trees, that the whole country, for miles around, though in the middle of
summer, was left as bare as in the depth of winter.

During the unfavorable seasons of the weather, which followed this
plague, the swine and poultry would watch under the trees for the
falling of the beetles, and feed and fatten upon them; and even the
poorer sort of the country people, the country then laboring under a
scarcity of provision, had a way of dressing them, and _lived upon them
as food_. In 1695, Ireland was again visited with a plague of this same

In Normandy, according to Mouffet, the Cock-chafers make their
appearance every third year.[143] In 1785, many provinces of France were
so ravaged by them, that a premium was offered by the government for the
best mode of destroying them.[144] During this year, a farmer, near
Blois, employed a number of children and the poorer people to destroy
the Cock-chafers at the rate of two liards a hundred, and in a few days
they collected fourteen thousand.[145]

The county of Norfolk in England seems occasionally to have suffered
much from the ravages of these insects; and Bingley tells us that “about
sixty years ago, a farm near Norwich was so infested with them, that the
farmer and his servants affirmed they had gathered eighty bushels of
them; and the grubs had done so much injury, that the court of the city,
in compassion to the poor fellow’s misfortune, allowed him twenty-five

The seeming blunders and stupidity of these insects have long been
proverbial, as in the expressions, “blind as a beetle,” and


A very pretty species of the _Cetoniidæ_, the _Agestrata luconica_, is
of a fine brilliant metallic green, and found in the Philippine
Islands. These the ladies of Manilla keep as pets in small bamboo cages,
and carry them about with them wheresoever they may go.[147]


Many species of the _Buprestidæ_ are decorated with highly brilliant
metallic tints, like polished gold upon an emerald ground, or azure upon
a ground of gold; and their elytra, or wing-coverings, are employed by
the ladies of China, and also of England, for the purpose of
embroidering their dresses.[148] The Chinese have also attempted
imitations of these insects in bronze, in which they succeed so well
that the copy may be sometimes mistaken for the reality.[149] In
Ceylon[150] and throughout India,[151] the golden wing-cases of two of
this tribe, the _Sternocera chrysis_ and _S. sternicornis_, are used to
enrich the embroidery of the Indian zenana, while the lustrous joints of
the legs are strung on silken threads, and form necklaces and bracelets
of singular brilliancy. The _Buprestis attenuata_, _ocellata_ and
_vittata_ are also wrought into various devices and trinkets by the
Indians. The _B. vittata_ is much admired among them. This insect is
found in great abundance in China, and thence exported into India, where
it is distributed at a low price.[152]

Mr. Osbeck saw in China a _Buprestis maxima_, which had been dried, and
to which were fastened leaden wings so painted as to make them look like
the wings of butterflies. This artificial monster, he adds, was to be
sold in the vaults among other trifles.[153] The _B. maxima_ is set up
along with Butterflies in small boxes, and vended in the streets of
Chinese cities.[154]

So many species of the _Buprestidæ_ are clothed with such brilliant
colors, that Geoffroy has thought proper to designate them all under
the generic appellation of _Richard_. The origin of this name is as
singular as its application is fantastical. It was originally given to
the Jay, in consequence of the facility with which that bird was taught
to pronounce the word.[155]

Modern writers have been much divided in their opinion as to what genus
the celebrated _Buprestis_ of the ancients belongs. All indeed have
regarded it as of the order Coleoptera, but here their agreement ceases.
Linnæus seems to have looked upon it as a species of the genus to which
he has given its name. Geoffroy thinks it to be a _Carabus_ or
_Cicindela_; M. Latrielle, to the genus _Melöe_; and Kirby and Spence to

Of this Buprestis, Pliny says: “Incorporat with goat sewer, it taketh
away the tettars called lichenes that be in the face.”[157] And Dr.
James says that insects of this family “are all in common, inseptic,
exulcerating, and (possess) a heating quality; for which reason, they
are mixed up with medicines adapted to the cure of a Carcinoma, Lepra,
and the malignant Lichen. Mixed in emollient pessaries, they provoke the
Catamenial discharges.”[158]

The Greeks, it is said, commended the Buprestis in food.[159]

Elateridæ--Fire-flies, Spring-beetles, etc.

In an historical sense, the most interesting species of the family
_Elateridæ_ is the _Elater noctilucus_, a native of the West Indies, and
called by the inhabitants, _Cucujus_. From an ancient translation of
Peter Martyr’s History of the West Indies, we make the following
quotation, which contains many curious facts relative to this insect:

“Whoso wanteth _Cucuji_, goeth out of the house in the first twilight of
the night, carrying a burning fier-brande in his hande, and ascendeth
the next hillocke, that the _Cucuji_ may see it, and swingeth the
fier-brande about calling _Cucuji_ aloud, and beating the ayre with
often calling and crying out _Cucuji, Cucuji_.... Beholde the desired
number of _Cucuji_, at what time, the hunter casteth the fier-brande out
of his hande. Some _Cucuji_ sometimes followeth the fier-brande, and
lighteth on the grounde, then is he easily taken.... The hunter havinge
the hunting _Cucuius_, returneth home, and shutting the doore of the
house, letteth the praye goe. The _Cucuius_ loosed, swiftly flyeth about
the whole house seeking gnatts, under their hanging bedds, and about the
faces of them that sleepe, whiche the gnattes used to assayle, they seem
to execute the office of watchmen, that such as are shut in, may quietly
rest. Another pleasant and profitable commodity proceedeth from the
_Cucuji_. As many eyes as every _Cucuius_ openeth, the host enjoyeth the
light of so many candles: so that the Inhabitants spinne, sewe, weave,
and daunce by the light of the flying _Cucuji_. The Inhabitants think
that the _Cucuius_ is delighted with the harmony and melodie of their
singing, and that he also exerciseth his motion in the ayre according to
the action of their dancing.... Our men also read and write by that
light, which always continueth untill hee have gotten enough gnatts
whereby he may be well fedd.... There is also another wonderfull
commodity proceeding from the _Cucuius_: the Islanders, appoynted by our
menn, goe with their good will by night with 2 _Cucuji_ tyed to the
great tooes of their feete: (for the travailer[160] goeth better by
direction of the lights of the _Cucuji_, then if hee brought so many
candels with him, as the _Cucuji_ open eyes) he also carryeth another
_Cucuius_ in his hande to seeke the Utiae by night (Utiae are a certayne
kind of Cony, a little exceeding a mouse in bignesse.)... They also go a
fishing by the lights of the _Cucuji_.... In sport, and merriment, or to
the intent to terrifie such as are affrayed of every shaddow, they say
that many wanton wild fellowes sometimes rubbed their faces by night
with the fleshe of a _Cucuius_ being killed, with purpose to meete their
neighbors with a flaming countenance ... for the face being annointed
with the lumpe or fleshy parte of the _Cucuius_, shineth like a flame of

At Cumana, the use of the Cucujus is forbidden, as the young Spanish
ladies used to carry on a correspondence at night with their lovers by
means of the light derived from them.[162]

Captain Stedman tells us, that one of his sentinels, one night, called
out that he saw a negro, with a lighted tobacco-pipe, cross a creek near
by in a canoe. At which alarm they lost no time in leaping out of their
hammocks, and were not a little mortified when they found the pipe was
nothing more than a Fire-fly on the wing.[163]

An individual of this species, brought to Paris in some wood, in the
larva or nymph state, there underwent its metamorphosis, and by the
light which it emitted, excited the greatest surprise among many of the
inhabitants of the Faubourg St. Antoine, to whom such a phenomenon had
hitherto been unknown.[164]

When Cortes and Narvaez were at war with one another in Mexico, Bernal
Diaz relates “that one night in the midst of darkness numbers of shining
Beetles (_Elater noctilucus_) kept continually flying about, which
Narvaez’s men mistook for the lighted matches of our fire-arms, and this
gave them a vast idea of the number of our matchlocks.”[165] Thomas
Campanius tells us that one night the Cucuji frightened all the soldiers
at Fort Christina, in New Sweden (Pennsylvania?): they thought they were
enemies advancing toward them with lighted torches.[166] Another such
like story, which is not incredible by any means, is told us by Mouffet.
He says that when Sir Thomas Cavendish and Sir Robert Dudley first
landed in the West Indies, and saw an infinite number of moving lights
in the woods, which were merely these Elaters, they supposed that the
Spaniards were advancing upon them with lighted matches, and immediately
betook themselves to their ships.[167]

The Indians of the Carribbee Islands, Ogleby remarks, “anoint their
bodies all over (at certain solemnities wherein candles are forbidden)
with the juice squeezed out of them (Cucuji), which causes them to
shine like a flame of fire.”[168] And in the Spanish Colonies, on
certain festival days in the month of June, these insects are collected
in great numbers, and tied as decorations all over the garments of the
young people, who gallop through the streets on horses similarly
ornamented, producing on a dark evening the effect of a large moving
body of light. On such occasions the lover displays his gallantry by
decking his mistress with these living gems.[169]

At the present day, the poorer classes of Cuba and the other West India
Islands, make use of these luminous insects for lights in their houses.
Twenty or thirty of them put into a small wicker-work cage, and dampened
a little with water, will produce quite a brilliant light. Throughout
these islands, the Cucujus is worn by the ladies as a most fashionable
ornament. As many as fifty or a hundred are sometimes worn on a single
ball-room dress. Capt. Stuart tells me he once saw one of these insects
upon a lady’s white collar, which at a little distance rivaled the
Kohinoor in splendor and beauty. The insect is fastened to the dress by
a pin through its body, and only worn so long as it lives, for it loses
its light when dead.

The statement of Humboldt is, that at the present day in the habitations
of the poorer classes of Cuba, a dozen of Cucuji placed in a perforated
gourd suffice for a light during the night. By shaking the gourd
quickly, the insect is roused, and lights up its luminous disks. The
inhabitants employ a truthful and simple expression, in saying that a
gourd filled with Cucuji is an ever-lighted torch; and in fact it is
only extinguished by the death of the insects, which are easily kept
alive with a little sugar cane. A lady in Trinidad told this great
traveler, that during a long and painful passage from Costa Firme, she
had availed herself of these phosphorescent insects whenever she wished
to give the breast to her child at night. The captain of the ship would
not permit any other light on board at night, for fear of the

Southy has happily introduced the Cucujus in his “Madoc” as furnishing
the lamp by which Coatel rescued the British hero from the hands of the
Mexican priests:

    She beckon’d and descended, and drew out
    From underneath her vest a cage, or net
    It rather might be called, so fine the twigs
    Which knit it, where, confined, two fire-flies gave
    Their lustre. By that light did Madoc first
    Behold the features of his lovely guide.

Darwin says: “In Jamaica, at some seasons of the year, the Fire-flies
are seen in the evening in great abundance. When they settle on the
ground, the bull-frog greedily devours them, which seems to have given
origin to a curious, though very cruel, method of destroying these
animals: if red-hot pieces of charcoal be thrown toward them in the dusk
of the evening, they leap at them, and hastily swallow them, mistaking
them for Fire-flies, and are burnt to death.”(!)[171]

Beetles belonging to the family _Elateridæ_ have been so called from a
peculiar power they have of leaping up like a tumbler when placed on
their backs, and for this reason they have received the English
appellations of _Spring-beetles_ and _Skip-jacks_, and from the noise
which the operation makes when they leap, they are also called _Snap_,
_Watch_, or _Click-beetle_, and likewise _Blacksmiths_.

If a Blacksmith beetle enters your house, a quarrel will ensue which may
end in blows.

This superstition obtains in Maryland.


Antonius Thylesius Bonsentinus, following his elegant description of the
Glow-worm, gives a pretty fable of its origin. As translated in Moufet’s
Theater of Insects, his words are these:

    This little fly shines in the air alone,
    Like sparks of fire, which when it was unknown
    To me a boy, I stood then in great fear,
    Durst not attempt to touch it, or come near.
    May be this worm from shining in the night,
    Borrow’d its name, shining like candle bright.
    The cause is one, but divers are the names,
    It shines or not, according as she frames
    Herself to fly or stand; when she doth fly,
    You would believe ’twere sparkles in the skie,
    At a great distance you shall ever finde
    Prepar’d with light and lanthorn all this kinde.
    Darkness cannot conceal her, round about
    Her candle shines, no winds can blow it out.
    Sometimes she flies as though she did desire
    Those that pass by to observe her fire;
    Which being nearer, seem to be as great,
    As sparks that fly when smiths hot iron beat.
    When Pluto ravish’d Proserpine, that rape,
    For she was waiting on her, chang’d her shape,
    And since that time, she flyeth in the night
    Seeking her out with torch and candle light.[172]

The following anecdote is related by Sir J. E. Smith, of the effect of
the first sight of the Italian Glow-worms upon some Moorish ladies
ignorant of such appearances. These females had been taken prisoners at
sea, and, until they could be ransomed, lived in a house in the
outskirts of Genoa, where they were frequently visited by the
respectable inhabitants of the city; a party of whom, on going one
evening, were surprised to find the house closely shut up, and their
Moorish friends in the greatest consternation. On inquiring into the
cause, they found that some Glow-worms--_Pygolampis Italica_--had found
their way into the building, and that the ladies within had taken it
into their heads that these brilliant guests were no other than the
troubled spirits of their relations; of which curious idea it was some
time before they could be divested.--The common people of Italy have a
superstition respecting these insects somewhat similar, believing that
they are of a spiritual nature, and proceed out of the graves, and hence
carefully avoid them.[173]

Cardan, Albertus, Gaudentinus, Mizalduo, and many others have asserted
that perpetual lights can be produced from the Glow-worm; and that
waters distilled from this insect afford a lustre in the night. It is
needless to say these assertions are without foundation.[174]

In India, the ladies have recourse to Fire-flies for ornaments for
their hair, when they take their evening walks. They inclose them in
nets of gauze.[175] And the beaux of Italy, Sir J. E. Smith tells us,
are accustomed in the summer evenings to adorn the heads of the ladies
with Glow-worms, by sticking them also in their hair.[176]

Never kill a Glow-worm, if you do, the country people say, you will put
“the light out of your house,”--_i.e._ happiness, prosperity, or
whatever blessing you may be enjoying.

A Glow-worm, in your path, denotes brilliant success in all your
undertakings. If one enters a house, one of the heads of the family will
shortly die. These superstitions obtain in Maryland.

Of the Glow-worm--_Noctiluca terrestris_, Col. Ecphr., i. 38--Dr. James
says: “The whole insect is used in medicine, and recommended by some
against the Stone. Cardan ascribes an anodyne virtue to it.”[177]

Mr. Ray, in his travels through the State of Venice, says: “A discovery
made by a certain gentleman, and communicated to me by Francis Jessop,
Esq., is, that those reputed meteors, called in Latin _Ignis fatui_, and
known in England by the conceited names of _Jack with a Lanthorn_, and
_Will with a Wisp_, are nothing else but swarms of these flying
Glow-worms. Which, if true, we may give an easy account of those
phenomena of these supposed fires, _viz._, their sudden motion from
place to place, and leading travelers that follow them into bogs and
precipices.”[178] It has been suggested[179] also that the mole-cricket,
_Gryllotalpa vulgaris_,[180] which in its nocturnal peregrinations was
supposed to be luminous, is this notorious “Will-o’-the-wisp.”

Pliny says: “When Glow-worms appear, it is a common sign of the
ripenesse of barley, and of sowing millet and pannick.... And Mantuan
sang to the same tune:

    Then is the time your barley for to mow,
    When Glow-worms with bright wings themselves do show.”[181]

Ptinidæ--Death-watch, etc.

The common name of _Death-watch_, given to the _Anobium tesselatum_,
sufficiently announces the popular prejudice against this insect; and so
great is this prejudice, that, as says an editor of Cuvier’s works, the
fate of many a nervous and superstitious patient has been accelerated by
listening, in the silence and solitude of night, to this imagined knell
of his approaching dissolution.[182] The learned Sir Thomas Browne
considered the superstition connected with the Death-watch of great
importance, and remarks that “the man who could eradicate this error
from the minds of the people would save from many a cold sweat the
meticulous heads of nurses and grandmothers,”[183] for such persons are
firm in the belief, that

    The solemn Death-watch clicks the hour of death.

The witty Dean of St. Patrick endeavored to perform this useful task by
means of ridicule. And his description, suggested, it would appear, by
the old song of “A cobbler there was, and he lived in a stall,” runs

                              ----A wood worm
    That lies in old wood, like a hare in her form,
    With teeth or with claws, it will bite, it will scratch;
    And chambermaids christen this worm a Death-watch;
    Because, like a watch, it always cries click.
    Then woe be to those in the house that are sick!
    For, sure as a gun, they will give up the ghost,
    If the maggot cries click when it scratches the post.
    But a kettle of scalding hot water injected,
    Infallibly cures the timber affected:
    The omen is broken, the danger is over,
    The maggot will die, and the sick will recover.

Grose, in his Antiquities, thus expresses this superstition: “The
clicking of a Death-watch is an omen of the death of some one in the
house wherein it is heard.” Watts says: “We learn to presage approaching
death in a family by ravens and little worms, which we therefore call a
Death-watch.”[184] Gay, in one of his Pastorals, thus alludes to it:

    When Blonzelind expired,....
    The solemn Death-watch click’d the hour she died.[185]

And Train,--

    An’ when she heard the Dead-watch tick,
      She raving wild did say,
    “I am thy murderer, my child;
      I see thee, come away.”

And Pope,--

    Misers are muck-worms, silkworms beaux,
    And Death watches physicians.[186]

“It will take,” says Mrs. Taylor, a writer in Harper’s New Monthly
Magazine, “a force unknown at the present time to physiological science
to eradicate the feeling of terror and apprehension felt by almost every
one on hearing this small insect.” She herself, an entomologist,
confesses to have been very much annoyed at times by coming in contact
with this “strange nuisance;” but she was cured by an overapplication.
“I went to pay a visit,” says she, “to a friend in the country. The
first night I fancied I should have gone mad before morning. The walls
of the bed-room were papered, and from them beat, as it were, a thousand
watches--tick, tick, tick! Turn which way I would, cover my head under
the bedclothes to suffocation, every pulse in my body had an answering
tick, tick, tick! But at last the welcome morning dawned, and early I
was down in the library; even here every book, on shelf above shelf, was
riotous with tick, tick, tick! At the breakfast table, beneath the
plates, cups, and dishes, beat the hateful sound. In the parlor, the
withdrawing-room, the kitchen, nothing but tick, tick! The house was a
huge clock, with thousands of pendulums ticking from morning till night.
I was careful not to allow my great discomfort to annoy others. I argued
what they could tolerate, surely I could; and in a few days habit had
rendered the fearful, dreaded ticking a positive necessity.”[187]

The Death-watch commences its clicking, which is nothing more than the
call or signal by which the male and female are led to each other,
chiefly when spring is far advanced. The sound is thus produced: Raising
itself upon its hind legs, with the body somewhat inclined, it beats its
head with great force and agility upon the plane of position. The
prevailing number of distinct strokes which it beats in succession is
from seven to nine or eleven; which circumstance, thinks Mr. Shaw, may
perhaps still add, in some degree, to the ominous character which it
bears. These strokes follow each other quickly, and are repeated at
uncertain intervals. In old houses, where these insects abound, they may
be heard in warm weather during the whole day.[188]

Baxter, in his World of Spirits, p. 203, most sensibly observes, that
“there are many things that ignorance causeth multitudes to take for
prodigies. I have had many discreet friends that have been affrighted
with the noise called a Death-watch, whereas I have since, near three
years ago, oft found by trial that it is a noise made upon paper by a
little, nimble, running worm, just like a louse, but whiter and quicker;
and it is most usually behind a paper pasted to a wall, especially to
wainscot; and it is rarely, if ever, heard but in the heat of summer.”
Our author, however, relapses immediately into his honest credulity,
adding: “But he who can deny it to be a prodigy, which is recorded by
Melchior Adamus, of a great and good man, who had a clock-watch that had
layen in a chest many years unused; and when he lay dying, at eleven
o’clock, of itself, in that chest, it struck eleven in the hearing of

In the British Apollo, 1710, ii. No. 86, is the following query: “Why
Death-watches, crickets, and weasels do come more common against death
than at any other time? _A._ We look upon all such things as idle
superstitions, for were any thing in them, bakers, brewers, inhabitants
of old houses, &c., were in a melancholy condition.”

To an inquiry, ibid. vol. ii. No. 70, concerning a Death-watch, whether
you suppose it to be _a living creature_, answer is given: “It is
nothing but a little worm in the wood.”

“How many people have I seen in the most terrible palpitations, for
months together, expecting every hour the approach of some calamity,
only by a little worm, which breeds in old wainscot, and, endeavoring to
eat its way out, makes a noise like the movement of a watch!” Secret
Memoirs of the late Mr. Duncan Campbell, 8vo. Lond. 1732, p. 61.[189]

Authors were formerly not agreed concerning the insect from which this
sound of terror proceeded, some attributing it to a kind of wood-louse,
others to a spider.

M. Peiguot mentions an instance where, in a public library that was but
little frequented, _twenty-seven folio_ volumes were perforated in a
straight line by one and the same larva of a small insect (_Anobium
pertinax_ or _A. striatum_?) in such a manner that, on passing a cord
through the perfectly round hole made by the insect, these twenty-seven
volumes could be raised at once.[190]


The Typographer-beetle, _Bostrichus typographus_, is so called on
account of a fancied resemblance between the paths it erodes and
letters. This insect bores into the fir, and feeds upon the soft inner
bark; and in such vast numbers that 80,000 are sometimes found in a
single tree. The ravages of this insect have long been known in Germany
under the name of _Wurm trökniss_--decay caused by worms; and in the old
liturgies of that country the animal itself is formally mentioned under
its common appellation, _The Turk_. About the year 1665, this pest was
particularly prevalent and caused incalculable mischief. In the
beginning of the last century it again showed itself in the Hartz
forests; it reappeared in 1757, redoubled its injuries in 1769, and
arrived at its height in 1783, when the number of trees destroyed by it
in the above-mentioned forests alone was calculated at a million and a
half, and the whole number of insects at work at once one hundred and
twenty thousand millions. The inhabitants were threatened with a total
suspension of the working of their mines, for want of fuel. At this
period these _Bostrichi_, when arrived at their perfect state, migrated
in swarms like bees into Suabia and Franconia. At length a succession of
cold and moist seasons, between the years 1784 and 1789, very sensibly
diminished the numbers of this scourge. In 1790 it again appeared,
however, and so late as 1796 there was great reason to fear for the few
fir-trees that were left.[191]


Many species of this family of insect possess strong vesicating powers,
and are employed externally in medicine to produce blisters, and
internally as a powerful stimulant. Taken internally, Pliny considered
them a poison, and mentions the following instance of their causing
death: Cossinus, a Roman of the Equestrian order, well known for his
intimate friendship with the Emperor Nero, being attacked with lichen,
that prince sent to Egypt for a physician to cure him; who recommended a
potion prepared from Cantharides, and the patient was killed in
consequence.[192] But there is no doubt, however, Pliny adds, that
applied externally they are useful, in combination with juice of
Taminian grapes, and the suet of a sheep or she-goat. They are extremely
efficacious, too, continues Pliny, for the cure of leprosy and lichens;
and act as an emmenagogue and diuretic, for which last reason
Hippocrates used to prescribe them for dropsy.[193]

The vesicatory principle of the Blister-fly is called _Cantharidine_,
and has been ascertained by experiment to reside more particularly in
the wings than in other parts of the body. Our officinal insect is the
_Cantharis vesicatoria_; and since the principal supply is from Spain,
we call them commonly _Spanish-flies_. In Italy, the _Mylabris
cichorii_, a native of the south of Europe, is used; and the _M.
pustulata_, a native of China, is used by the Chinese, who also export
it to Brazil, where it is the only species employed. In India also a
species of _Meloe_ is used,[194] possessing all the properties of the

At one time in Germany, the genus Meloe--Oil-beetles (so called from
their emitting from the joints of the legs an oily yellowish liquor,
when alarmed)--were extolled as a specific against hydrophobia; and the
oil which is expressed from them is used in Sweden, with great success,
in the cure of rheumatism, by anointing the affected part.[195] Dr.
James thus enumerates the medicinal virtues of these insects: “The
Oil-beetle (_Scarabæus unctuosus_ of Schroder) is much of the nature of
Cantharides, forces urine and blood, and is of extraordinary efficacy
against the bite of a mad dog. Taken in powder, it cures the vari, or
wandering gout, as we are assured by Wierus. The liquor is, by some,
esteemed of efficacy in wounds; it is an ingredient also in plaisters
for the pestilential bubo and carbuncle, and in antidotes; an oil is
prepared by infusion of the living animals in common oil, which some
use instead of oil of Scorpions.”[196] In some parts of Spain, they are
mingled with the Cantharides, for the same purposes as these latter
insects. Farriers also employed, in some cases, oil in which these
insects had been macerated.[197]

Pliny tells us that Cato of Utica was one time reproached for selling
poison, because when disposing of a royal property by auction, he sold a
quantity of Cantharides, at the price of sixty thousand sesterces.[198]

The natives of Guiana and Jamaica make ear-rings and other ornaments of
the elytra, or wing-coverings, of the _Cantharis maxima_; the brilliant
metallic colors of which beetles, says Sloane, sparkle with an
extraordinary lustre, when worn by the Indians dancing in the sun.[199]

Zoroaster says, that “Cantharides” will not hurt the vines, if you
macerate some in oil, and apply it to the whetstone on which you are
going to set your pruning-knives.[200]

Cantharides are comparatively rare in Germany; yet we are told in the
German Ephemerides, says Brookes, that in June, 1667, there were found
about the town of Heldeshiem, such a great number of them, that they
covered all the willow-trees. Likewise that in May, 1685, when the sky
was serene and the weather mild, a great number of Cantharides were seen
to settle upon a privet-tree, and devour all the leaves; but they did
not meddle with the flowers. We are also told that the country people
expect the return of these insects every seven years. It is very
certain, adds Brookes, that such a number of these insects have been
together in the air, that they appeared like swarms of bees; and that
they have so disagreeable smell, that it may be perceived a great way
off, especially about sunset, though they are not seen at that time.
This bad smell is a guide for those who make it their business to catch


The larvæ of the _Tenebrio molitor_, commonly called Meal-worms, which
are found in carious wood, are bred by bird-fanciers, to feed
nightingales, and constitute the only bait by which these shy birds can
be taken: a fact the more curious when it is considered that the
nightingale, in a state of nature, can seldom or never see these larvæ.
They are also used to feed cameleons which are exhibited.[202]

Blapsidæ--Church-yard beetle, etc.

We learn from Linnæus that in Sweden the appearance of the Church-yard
beetle, _Blaps mortisaga_, produces the most violent alarm and
trepidation among the people, who, on account of its black hue and
strange aspect, regard it as the messenger of pestilence and death.
Hence is this insect called _mortisaga_--the prophesier of death.[203]

A common species in Egypt, the _Blaps sulcata_, is made into a
preparation which the Egyptian women eat with the view of acquiring what
they esteem a proper degree of plumpness! The beetle they broil and mash
up in clarified butter; then add honey, oil of sesame, and a variety of
aromatics and spices pounded together.[204] Fabricius reports that the
Turkish women also eat this insect, cooked with butter, to make them
fat. He also tells us that they use it in Egypt and the Levant, as a
remedy for pains and maladies in the ears, and against the bite of
scorpions.[205] Carsten Niebuhr also mentions this curious practice of
the women of Turkey, and adds, the women of Arabia likewise make use of
these insects for the same purpose, taking three of them, every morning
and evening, fried in butter.[206]

The Blatta mentioned by Pliny is evidently, from his description, the
Church-yard beetle, _Blaps mortisaga_, instead of the insect we now
call by that name--the Cockroach: and may very properly be here
introduced. “There is kind of fattinesse,” says this author in the words
of his translator, Philemon Holland, “to bee found in the Flie or insect
called Blatta, when the head is plucked off, which, if it be punned and
mixed with Oile of Roses, is (as they say) wonderful good for the ears:
but the wooll wherein this medicine is enwrapped, and which is put into
the ears, must not long tarrie there, but within a little while drawne
forth againe; for the said fat will very soone get life and prove a grub
or little worme. Some writers there be who affirme, that two or three of
these flies called Blattæ sodden in oile, make a soveraigne medicine to
cure the eares, and if they be stamped and spread upon a linen rag and
so applied, they will heale the eares, if they be hurt by any bruise or
contusion: Certes this is but a nastie and ill-favoured vermine, howbeit
in regard of the manifold and admirable properties which naturally it
hath, as also of the industrie of our auncestours in searching out the
nature of it, I am moved to write thereof at large and to the full in
this place. For they have described many kinds of them. In the first
place, some of them be soft and tender, which being sodden in oile, they
have proved by experience to be of great efficacie in fetching off
werts, if they be annointed therewith. A second sort there is, which
they call Mylœcon, because ordinarily it haunteth about mils and
bake-houses, and there breedeth: these by the report of _Musa_ and
_Picton_, two famous Physicians, being bruised (after their heads were
gone) and applied to a bodie infected with the leprosie, cured the same
persitely. They of a third kind, besides that they bee otherwise
ill-favoured ynough, carrie a loathsome and odious smell with them: they
are sharp rumped and pin buttockt also; howbeit, being incorporat with
the oile of pitch called Pisselæon, they have healed those ulcers which
were thought _nunquam sana_, and incurable. Also within one and twenty
daies after this plastre laid too, it hath been knowne to cure the
swelling wens called the King’s evil: the botches or biles named Pani,
wounds, contusions, bruises, morimals, scabs, and fellons: but then
their feet and wings were plucked off and cast away. I make no doubt or
question, but that some of us are so daintie and fine-eared, that our
stomacke riseth at the hearing onely of such medicines: and yet I assure
you, Diodorus, a renowned Physician, reporteth, that he has given these
foure flies inwardly with rozin and honey, for the jaundise, and to
those that were so streight-winded that they could not draw their breath
but sitting upright. See what libertie and power over us have these
Physicians, who to practise and trie conclusions upon our bodies, may
exhibit unto their patients, what they list, be it never so homely, so
it goe under the name of a medicine.”[207]

The following extraordinary case of insects introduced into the human
stomach, which is of rare occurrence, has been completely authenticated,
both by medical men and competent naturalists. It was first published by
Dr. Pickells, of Cork, in the Dublin Transactions.[208]

Mary Riordan, aged 28, had been much affected by the death of her
mother, and at one of her many visits to the grave seems to have
partially lost her senses, having been found lying there on the morning
of a winter’s day, and having been exposed to heavy rain during the
night. It appears that when she was about fifteen, two popular Catholic
priests had died, and she was told by some old woman, that if she would
drink daily, for a certain time, a quantity of water, mixed with clay
taken from their graves, she would be forever secure from disease and
sin. So following this absurd and disgusting prescription, she took from
time to time large quantities of the draught; and, some time afterward,
being affected with a burning pain in the stomach (_cardialgia_), she
began to eat large pieces of chalk, which she sometimes also mixed with
water and drank. In all these draughts, it is most probable, she
swallowed the eggs of the enormous progenies of apterous, dipterous, and
coleopterous insects, which she for several years continued to throw up
alive and moving. Dr. Pickells asserts that altogether he himself saw
nearly 2000 of these larvæ, and that there were many he did not see,
for, to avoid publicity, she herself destroyed a great number, and many,
too, escaped immediately by running into holes in the floor. Of this
incredible number, the greatest proportion were larvæ of the Church-yard
beetle, _Blaps mortisaga_, and of a dipterous insect, an _Ascarides_;
and two were specimens of the Meal-worm--the larvæ of the
Darkling--_Tenebrio molitor_. It may be interesting to learn that, by
means of turpentine in large doses, this unfortunate woman was at length
entirely rid of her pests.[209]


At Rio Janeiro, the brilliant Diamond-beetle, _Eutimis nobilis_, is in
great request for brooches for gentlemen, and ten piasters are often
paid for a single specimen. In this city many owners send their slaves
out to catch insects, so that now the rarest and most brilliant species
are to be had at a comparatively trifling sum. Each of these slaves,
when he has attained to some adroitness in this operation, may, on a
fine day, catch in the vicinity of the city as many as five or six
hundred beetles. So this trade is considered there very lucrative, since
six milresis (four rix dollars, or about fourteen shillings) are paid
for the hundred. For these splendid insects there is a general demand;
and their wing-cases are now sought for the purpose of adorning the
ladies of Europe--a fashion, it is said, which threatens the entire
extinction of this beautiful tribe.[210]

Messrs. Kidder and Fletcher tell us that in Brazil “a commerce is
carried on in artificial flowers made from beetles’ wings, fish-scales,
sea-shells, and feathers, which attract the attention of every visitor.
These are made,” they continue, “by the _mulheres_ (women) of almost
every class, and thus they obtain not only pin-money, but some amass
wealth in the traffic.”[211] Among the beetles referred to by these
gentlemen may be placed no doubt the _Eutimis nobilis_.

Among the largest of the species of this family is the Palm-weevil,
_Calandra palmarum_, which is of an uniform black color, and measures
more than two inches in length. Its larva, called the _Grou-grou_,[212]
or Cabbage-tree worm, which is very large, white, of an oval shape,
resides in the tenderest part of the smaller palm-trees, and is
considered, fried or broiled, as one of the greatest dainties in the
West Indies. “The tree,” says Madame Merian, “grows to the height of a
man, and is cut off when it begins to be tender, is cooked like a
cauliflower, and tastes better than an artichoke. In the middle of these
trees live innumerable quantities of worms, which at first are as small
as a maggot in a nut, but afterward grow to a very large size, and feed
on the marrow of the tree. These worms are laid on the coals to roast,
and are considered as a highly agreeable food.”[213] Capt. Stedman tells
us these larvæ are a delicious treat to many people, and that they are
regularly sold at Paramaribo. He mentions, too, the manner of dressing
them, which is by frying them in a pan with a very little butter and
salt, or spitting them on a wooden skewer; and, that thus prepared, in
taste they partake of all the spices of India--mace, cinnamon, cloves,
nutmegs, etc.[214] This gentleman also says he once found concealed near
the trunk of an old tree a “case-bottle filled with excellent butter,”
which the rangers told him the natives made by melting and clarifying
the fat of this larva.[215] Dr. Winterbottom states this grub is served
up at all the luxurious tables of West Indian epicures, particularly of
the French, as the greatest dainty of the western world.[216]

Dobrizhoffer doubtless refers to the larva of the _Calandra palmarum_,
when he says: “The Spaniards of Santiago in Tucuman, when they go
seeking honey in the woods, cleave certain palm-trees upon their way,
and on their return find large grubs in the wounded trees, which they
fry as a delicious food.”[217] The same is said of the Guaraunos of the
Orinoco--“that they find these grubs in great numbers in the palms,
which they cut down for the sake of their juice. After all has been
drawn out that will flow, these grubs breed in the incisions, and the
trunk produces, as it were, a second crop.”[218]

The Creoles of the Island of Barbados, says Schomburgk, consider the
Grou-grou worm a great delicacy when roasted, and say it resembles in
taste the marrow of beef-bones.[219]

Antonio de Ulloa, in his _Noticias Americanas_, says this grub has the
singular property of producing milk in women.[220] The Argentina, the
historic poem of Brazil, adds an assertion which is more certainly
fabulous, viz., that they first become butterflies, and then mice.[221]

They have a similar dainty in Java in the larva of some large beetle,
which the natives call _Moutouke_.--“A thick, white maggot which lives
in wood, and so eats it away, that the backs of chairs, and feet of
drawers, although apparently sound, are frequently rotten within, and
fall into dust when it is least expected. This creature may sometimes be
heard at work. It is as big as a silk-worm, and very white, ... a mere
lump of fat. Thirty are roasted together threaded on a little stick, and
are delicate eating.”[222]

Ælian speaks of an Indian king, who, for a dessert, instead of fruit set
before his Grecian guests a roasted worm taken from a plant, probably
the larva of the _Calandra palmarum_, a native of Persia and Mesopotamia
as well as of the West Indies, which he says the Indians esteemed very
delicious--a character that was confirmed by some of the Greeks who
tasted it.[223]

The trunk of the grass-tree, or black-boy, _Xanthorea arborea_, when
beginning to decay, furnishes large quantities of marrow-like grubs,
which are considered a delicacy by the aborigines of Western Australia.
They have a fragrant, aromatic flavor, and form a favorite food among
the natives, either raw or roasted. They call them _Bardi_. They are
also found in the wattle-tree, or mimosa. The presence of these grubs in
the _Xanthorea_ is thus ascertained: if the top of one of these trees is
observed to be dead, and it contain any bardi, a few sharp kicks given
to it with the foot will cause it to crack and shake, when it is pushed
over and the grubs taken out, by breaking the tree to pieces with a
hammer. The bardi of the Xanthorea are small, and found together in
great numbers; those of the wattle are cream-colored, as long and thick
as a man’s finger, and are found singly.[224]

Dr. Livingstone states that in the valley of Quango, S. Africa, the
natives dig large white larvæ out of the damp soil adjacent to their
streams, and use them as a relish to their vegetable diet.[225]

In the latter part of the eighteenth century, there was published at
Florence, by Prof. Gergi, the history of a remarkable insect which he
names _Curculio anti-odontalgicus_. This insect, as he assures us, not
only in the name he has given it, but also in an account of the many
cures effected by it, is endowed with the singular property of curing
the toothache. He tells us, that if fourteen or fifteen of the larvæ be
rubbed between the thumb and fore-finger, till the fluid is absorbed,
and if a carious aching tooth be but touched with the thumb or finger
thus prepared, the pain will be removed; a finger thus prepared, he says
in conclusion, will, unless it be used for tooth-touching, retain its
virtue for a year! This remarkable insect is only found on a nondescript
plant, the _Carduus spinosis-simus_.[226]

It is said, also by Prof. Gergi, that the Tuscan peasants have long been
acquainted with several insects which furnish a charm for the toothache,
as the _Curculio jæcac_, _C. Bacchus_, and _Carabus chrysocephalus_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The curious facts contained in the following quotation, from Chambers’
Book of Days, were among the first that led me to attempt the present
compilation. The scientific name of the insect here mentioned is, in the
opinion of Prof. Gill and other scientists, a misprint for _Rhynchitus
auratus_, and, following this decision, I have here placed it under the
_Curculionidæ_.--“A lawsuit between the inhabitants of the Commune of
St. Julien and a coleopterous insect, now known to naturalists as the
_Eynchitus aureus_, lasted for more than forty-two years. At length the
inhabitants proposed to compromise the matter by giving up, in
perpetuity, to the insects, a fertile part of the district for their
sole use and benefit. Of course the advocate of the animals demurred to
the proposition, but the court, overruling the demurrer, appointed
assessors to survey the land, and, it proving to be well wooded and
watered, and every way suitable for the insects, ordered the conveyance
to be engrossed in due form and executed. The unfortunate people then
thought they had got rid of a trouble imposed upon them by their
litigious fathers and grandfathers; but they were sadly mistaken. It was
discovered that there had formerly been a mine or quarry of an ochreous
earth, used as a pigment, in the land conveyed to the insects, and
though the quarry had long since been worked out and exhausted, some one
possessed an ancient right of way to it, which if exercised would be
greatly to the annoyance of the new proprietors. Consequently the
contract was vitiated, and the whole process commenced _de novo_. How or
when it ended, the mutilation of the recording documents prevents us
from knowing; but it is certain that the proceedings commenced in the
year 1445, and that they had not concluded in 1487. So what with the
insects, the lawyers, and the church, the poor inhabitants must have
been pretty well fleeced. During the whole period of a process,
religious processions and other expensive ceremonies that had to be well
paid for, were strictly enjoined. Besides, no district could commence a
process of this kind unless all its arrears of tithes were paid up; and
this circumstance gave rise to the well-known French legal maxim--‘The
first step toward getting rid of locusts is the payment of tithes?’ an
adage that in all probability was susceptible of more meanings than


Moufet says: “The Cerambyx, knowing that his legs are weak, twists his
horns about the branch of a tree, and so he hangs at ease.... They
thrust upon us some German fables, as many as say it flies only, and
when it is weary it falls to the earth and presently dies. Those that
are slaves to tales, render this reason for it: Terambus, a satyrist,
did not abstain from quipping of the Muses, whereupon they transformed
him into a beetle called Cerambyx, and that deservedly, to endure a
double punishment, for he hath legs weak that he goes lame, and like a
thief he hangs on a tree. Antonius Libealis, lib. i. of his
Metamorphosis, relates the matter in these words: The Muses in anger
transformed Terambus because he reproached them, and he was made a
Cerambyx that feeds on wood,” etc.[228]

A large species of longicorn beetles, the _Acanthocinus ædilis_, is the
well-known _Timerman_ of Sweden and Lapland; an insect which the natives
of these countries regard with a kind of superstitious veneration. Its
presence is thought to be the presage of good fortune, and it is as
carefully protected and cherished as storks are by the peasantry of the
Low Countries.[229]

It has been found that the common cinnamon-colored Musk-beetle,
_Cerambyx moschatus_, when dried and reduced to powder, and made use of
as a vesicatory, in the manner of the officinal Cantharides, produces a
similar effect, and in as short a space of time.[230]

The _Prionus damicornis_ is a native of many parts of America and the
West Indies, where its larva, a grub about three and a half inches in
length, and of the thickness of the little finger, is in great request
as an article of food, being considered by epicures as one of the
greatest delicacies of the New World. We are informed by authors of the
highest respectability, that some people of fortune in the West Indies
keep negroes for the sole purpose of going into the woods in quest of
these admired larvæ, who scoop them out of the trees in which they
reside. Dr. Browne, in his History of Jamaica, informs us that they are
chiefly found in the plum and silk-cotton trees (_Bombax_). They are
commonly called by the name of _Macauco_, or _Macokkos_. The mode of
dressing them is first to open and wash them, and then carefully broil
them over a charcoal fire.[231] Sir Hans Sloane tells us the Indians of
Jamaica boil them in their soups, pottages, olios, and pepper-pots, and
account them of delicious flavor, much like, but preferable to, marrow;
and the negroes of this island roast them slightly at the fire, and eat
them with bread.[232]

A similar larva is dressed at Mauritius under the name of _Moutac_,
which the whites as well as the negroes eat greedily.[233] According to
Linnæus, the larva of the _Prionus cervicornis_ is held in equal
estimation; and that of the _Acanthocinus tribulus_ when roasted forms
an article of food in Africa.[234]

The _Cossus_ of Pliny belonged most probably to this tribe, or to the

       *       *       *       *       *

Wanley knew a nun in the monastery of St. Clare, who at the sight of a
beetle was affected in the following strange manner. It happened that
some young girls, knowing her disposition, threw a beetle into her
bosom, which when she perceived, she immediately fell into a swoon,
deprived of all sense, and remained four hours in cold sweats. She did
not regain her strength for many days after, but continued trembling and

Galerucidæ--Turnip-fly, etc.

The striped Turnip-beetle, _Haltica nemorum_, commonly called the
_Turnip-fly_, _Turnip-flea_, _Earth-flea-beetle_, _Black-jack_, etc., is
a well known species from the ravages the perfect insect commits upon
the turnip. In Devonshire, England, in the year 1786, the loss caused by
these insects alone was valued at £100,000 sterling. And in the spring
of 1837, the vines in the neighborhood of Montpellier were attacked to
so great an extent by another species, _Haltica oleracea_, in the
perfect state, that fears were entertained for the plants, and religious
processions were instituted for the purpose of exorcising the

Anatolius says that if the seeds of radishes, turnips, and other
esculents be sown in the hide of a tortoise, the plants when grown will
not be eaten by the fly, nor hurt by noxious animals or birds.[237]
Paladius has also related the method of drying the seeds in the hide of
this animal,[238] and of sowing them.[239]




The vulgar opinion that the Ear-wig, _Forficula auricularia_, seeks to
introduce itself into the ear of human beings, and causes much injury to
that organ, is very ancient, but not founded on fact, for they are
perfectly harmless. To this opinion the names of this insect in almost
all European languages point: as in English, _Ear-wig_ (from Anglo-Saxon
_eare_, the ear, and _wigga_, a worm; hence, also, our word _wiggle_),
in French, _Perce-oreille_, and in the German, _Ohrwurm_. But, according
to some writers, these names arose from the shape of the wing when
expanded, which then resembles the human ear; and _ear-wig_ might easily
be a corruption of ear-_wing_.

Swift, in the following lines, introduces an “Ear-wig (probably a
_Curculio_) in a plum,” as though in allusion to some superstition:

    Doll never flies to cut her lace,
    Or throw cold water in her face,
    Because she heard a sudden drum,
    Or found an ear-wig in a plum.

“Oil of Ear-wigs,” says Dr. James, “is good to strengthen the nerves
under convulsive motions, by rubbing it on the temples, wrists, and
nostrils. These insects, being dried, pulverized, and mixed with the
urine of a hare, are esteemed to be good for deafness, being introduced
into the ear.”[240]

In August, 1755, in the parishes adjacent to Stroud, it is said there
were such quantities of Ear-wigs, that they destroyed not only the
fruits and flowers, but the cabbages, though of full growth. The houses,
especially the old wooden buildings, were swarming with them: the cracks
and crevices surprisingly full, so that they dropped out oftentimes in
such multitudes as to literally cover the floor. Linen, of which they
are fond, was likewise full, as was the furniture; and it was with
caution any provisions could be eaten, for the cupboards and safes
flocked with these little pests.[241]




Sloane tells us the Indians of Jamaica drink the ashes of Cockroaches in
physic: bruise and mix them with sugar and apply them to ulcers and
cancers to suppurate; and are said also to give them to kill worms in
children.[242] Dr. James, quoting Dioscorides, Lib. II. cap. 38,
remarks: “The inside of the Blatta (_B. foetida_, Monf. 138), which is
found in bake-houses, bruised or boiled in oil, and dropped into the
ears, eases the pains thereof.”[243] It is most probable the insect now
called Blatta is not at all meant by either of the above gentlemen. The
Blatta of Dioscorides is quite likely the Blatta of Pliny, which has
been with good reason conjectured to be the modern _Blaps
mortisaga_--the common Church-yard beetle.

In England, the hedge-hog, _Erinaceus Europæus_, from its fondness for
insects and its nocturnal habits, is often kept domesticated in kitchens
to destroy the Cockroaches with which they are infested; and the
housekeepers of Jamaica, as we are informed by Sir Hans Sloane, for the
same reasons and purpose, keep large spiders in their houses.[244] A
species of monkey, _Simia jacchus_, and a species of lemur, _L.
tardigradus_, are also made use of for destroying these insects,
especially on board ships.[245] Mr. Neill, in the Magazine of Natural
History, in his account of the above-mentioned species of monkey, says:
“By chance we observed it devouring a large Cockroach, which it had
caught running along the deck of the vessel; and, from this time to
nearly the end of the voyage, a space of four or five weeks, it fed
almost exclusively on these insects, and contributed most effectually to
rid the vessel of them. It frequently ate a score of the largest kind,
which are from two to two and a half inches long, and a very great
number of the smaller ones, three or four times in the course of the
day. It was quite amusing to see it at its meal. When he had got hold of
one of the largest Cockroaches, he held it in his fore-paws, and then
invariably nipped the head off first; he then pulled out the viscera and
cast them aside, and devoured the rest of the body, rejecting the dry
elytra and wings, and also the legs of the insect, which are covered
with short stiff bristles. The small Cockroaches he ate without such
fastidious nicety.”[246]

The common Cockroach, or Black-beetle, as it is sometimes vulgarly
called, the _Blatta orientalis_, is said originally to be a native of
India, and introduced here, as well as in every other part of the
civilized globe, through the medium of commerce. In England, another
species, said to be a native of America, _Blatta Americana_, larger than
the last, is now also becoming very common, especially in seaport towns
where merchandise is stored.[247]

An old Swede, Luen Laock, one of the first Swedish clergymen that came
to Pennsylvania, told the traveler Kalm, that in his younger days, he
had once been very much frightened by a Cockroach, which crept into his
ear while he was asleep. Waking suddenly, he jumped out of bed, which
caused the insect, most probably out of fear, to strive with all its
strength to get deeper into his skull, producing such excruciating pain
that he imagined his head was bursting, and he almost fell senseless to
the floor. Hastening, however, to the well, he drew a bucket of water,
and threw some in his ear. The Roach then finding itself in danger of
being drowned, quickly pushed out backward, and as quickly delivered the
poor Swede from his pain and fears.[248]

The proverbial expression “Sound as a Roach” is supposed to have been
derived from familiarity with the legend and attributes of the Saint
Roche,--the esteemed saint of all afflicted with the plague, a disease
of common occurrence in England when the streets were narrow, and
without sewers, houses without boarded floors, and our ancestors without
linen. They believed that the miraculous St. Roche could make them as
“sound” as himself.[249]

A quite common superstitious practice, in order to rid a house of
Cockroaches, is in vogue in our country at the present time. It is no
other than to address these pests a written letter containing the
following words, or to this effect: “O, Roaches, you have troubled me
long enough, go now and trouble my neighbors.” This letter must be put
where they most swarm, after sealing and going through with the other
customary forms of letter writing. It is well, too, to write legibly and
punctuate according to rule.

Another receipt for driving away Cockroaches is as follows: Close in an
envelope several of these insects, and drop it in the street unseen, and
the remaining Roaches will all go to the finder of the parcel.

It is also said that if a looking-glass be held before Roaches, they
will be so frightened as to leave the premises.

A firm, which has been established in London for seven years, and which
manufactures exclusively poison known to the trade as the “Phosphor
Paste for the Destruction of Black-beetles, Cockroaches, rats, mice,”
etc., has given to Mr. Mayhew the following information:

“We have now sold this vermin poison for seven years, but we have never
had an application for our composition from any street-seller. We have
seen, a year or two since, a man about London who used to sell
beetle-wafers; but as we knew that kind of article to be entirely
useless, we were not surprised to find that he did not succeed in making
a living. We have not heard of him for some time, and have no doubt he
is dead, or has taken up some other line of employment.

“It is a strange fact, perhaps; but we do not know anything, or scarcely
anything, as to the kind of people and tradesmen who purchase our
poison--to speak the truth, we do not like to make too many inquiries of
our customers. Sometimes, when they have used more than their customary
quantity, we have asked, casually, how it was and to what kind of
business people they disposed of it, and we have always met with an
evasive sort of answer. You see tradesmen don’t like to divulge too
much; for it must be a poor kind of profession or calling that there are
no secrets in; and, again, they fancy we want to know what description
of trades use the most of our composition, so that we might supply them
direct from ourselves. From this cause we have made a rule not to
inquire curiously into the matters of our customers. We are quite
content to dispose of the quantity we do, for we employ six travelers to
call on chemists and oilmen for the town trade, and four for the

“The other day an elderly lady from High Street, Camden Town, called
upon us: she stated that she was overrun with black beetles, and wished
to buy some of our paste from ourselves, for she said she always found
things better if you purchased them of the maker, as you were sure to
get them stronger, and by that means avoided the adulteration of the
shopkeepers. But as we have said we would not supply a single box to any
one, not wishing to give our agents any cause for complaint, we were
obliged to refuse to sell to the old lady.

“We don’t care to say how many boxes we sell in the year; but we can
tell you, sir, that we sell more for beetle poisoning in the summer than
in the winter, as a matter of course. When we find that a particular
district uses almost an equal quantity all the year round, we make sure
that that is a rat district; for where there is not the heat of summer
to breed beetles, it must follow that the people wish to get rid of

“Brixton, Hackney, Ball’s Pond, and Lower Road, Islington, are the
places that use most of our paste, those districts lying low, and being
consequently damp. Camden Town, though it is in a high situation, is
very much infested with beetles; it is a clayey soil, you understand,
which retains moisture, and will not allow it to filter through like
gravel. This is why in some very low districts, where the houses are
built on gravel, we sell scarcely any of our paste.

“As the farmers say, a good fruit year is a good fly year; so we say, a
good dull, wet summer, is a good beetle summer; and this has been a very
fertile year, and we only hope it will be as good next year.

“We don’t believe in rat-destroyers; they profess to kill with weasels
and a lot of things, and sometimes even say they can charm them away.
Captains of vessels, when they arrive in the docks, will employ these
people; and, as we say, they generally use our composition, but as long
as their vessels are cleared of the vermin, they don’t care to know how
it is done. A man who drives about in a cart, and does a great business
in this way, we have reason to believe uses a great quantity of our
Phosphor Paste. He comes from somewhere down the East-end or Whitechapel

“Our prices are too high for the street-sellers. Your street-seller can
only afford to sell an article made by a person in but a very little
better position than himself. Even our small boxes cost at the trade
price two shillings a dozen, and when sold will only produce three
shillings; so you can imagine the profit is not enough for the itinerant

“Bakers don’t use much of our paste, for they seem to think it no use to
destroy the vermin--beetles and bakers’ shops generally go

If a black beetle enters your room, or flies against you, severe illness
and perhaps death will soon follow. I have never heard this superstition
but in Maryland.

Mantidæ--Soothsayers, etc.

We now come to a very extraordinary family of insects, the _Mantidæ_.
“Imagination itself,” as Dr. Shaw well observes, “can hardly conceive
shapes more strange than those exhibited by some particular
species.”[251] “They are called _Mantes_; that is, fortune-tellers,”
says Mouffet, “either because by their coming (for they first of all
appear) they do show the spring to be at hand, as Anacreon, the poet,
sang; or else they foretell death and famine, as Cælias, the scholiast
of Theocritus, writes; or, lastly, because it always holds up its
fore-feet, like hands, praying, as it were, after the manner of their
divines, who in that gesture did pour out their supplications to their
gods. So divine a creature is this esteemed, that if a childe aske the
way to such a place, she will stretch out one of her feet and show him
the right way, and seldome or never misse. As she resembleth those
diviners in the elevation of her hands, so also in likeness of motion,
for they do not sport themselves as others do, nor leap, nor play, but
walking softly she returns her modesty, and showes forth a kind of
mature gravity.”[252]

The name _Mantis_ is of Greek origin, and signifies diviner. In one of
the Idylls of Theocritus, however, it is employed to designate a thin,
young girl, with slender and elongated arms. _Præmacram ac pertenuem
puellam μαντιν. Corpore prælongo, pedibus etiam prælongis, locustæ

These insects, _Mantis oratoria_, _religiosa_, etc., in consequence of
their having, as Mouffet says, their fore-feet extended as if they were
praying, are called in France, _Devin_, and _Prega-diou_ or
_Prêche-dieu_; and with us, _Praying-insects_, _Soothsayers_, and
_Diviners_. They are also often called from their singular shape

The Mantis was observed by the Greeks in soothsaying;[253] and the
Hindoos displayed the same reverential consideration of its movements
and flight.[254]

But, in modern times, the superstition respecting the sanctity of the
Mantis begins in Southern Europe, and is found in almost every other
quarter of the globe, at least wherever a characteristic species of the
insect is found.

In the southern provinces of France, where the Mantis is very abundant,
both the characters of praying and pointing out the lost way, as above
mentioned by Mouffet, are still ascribed to it by the peasantry, as is
evidenced by the above mentioned names they know them by. And here, as
wherever else this superstition obtains, it is considered a great crime
to injure the Mantis, and as, at least, a very culpable neglect not to
place it out of the way of any danger to which it seems exposed.

The Turks and other Moslems have been much impressed by the actions of
the common Mantis, the _religiosa_,[255] which greatly resemble some of
their own attitudes of prayer. They readily recognize intelligence and
pious intentions in its actions, and accordingly treat it with respect
and attention, not indeed as in itself an object of reverence or
superstition, but as a fellow-worshiper of God, whom they believe that
all creatures praise, with more or less consciousness and

But it is in Africa, and especially in Southern Africa, that the Mantis
(here the _Mantis causta_)[257] receives its highest honors. The
attention of the travelers and missionaries in that quarter was
necessarily much drawn to the kind of religious veneration paid to an
insect, and from their accounts, though very contradictory, some curious
information may be collected.

The authority of Peter Kolben, an early German traveler to the Cape of
Good Hope, is as follows: That the Hottentots regard as a good deity an
insect of the “beetle-kind” peculiar to their country. This “beetle-god”
is described by him to be “about the size of a child’s little finger,
the back green, the belly speckled white and red, with two wings and two
horns.” He also assures us that whenever the Hottentots meet this
insect, they pay it the highest honor and veneration; and that if it
visits a kraal they assemble about it as if a divinity had descended
among them; and even kill a sheep or two as a thank-offering, and esteem
it an omen of the greatest happiness and prosperity. They believe, also,
its appearance expiates all their guilt; and if the insect lights upon
one of them, such person is looked upon as a saint, be it man or woman,
and ever after treated with uncommon respect. The kraal then kills the
fattest ox for a thank-offering; and the caul, powdered with _bukhu_,
and twisted like a rope, is put on, like a collar, about the neck, and
there must remain till it rots off.[258]

Kolben, in another place, describes the Mantis under the name of the
_Gold-beetle_, saying that its head and wings are of a gold color, the
back green, etc., as above.[259]

Mr. Kolben, again speaking of this singular reverence, remarks that the
Hottentots will run every hazard to secure the safety of this fortunate
insect, and are cautious to the last degree of giving it the slightest
annoyance, and relates the following anecdote:

“A German, who had a country-seat about six miles from the fort, having
given leave to some Hottentots to turn their cattle for awhile upon his
land there, they removed to the place with their _kraal_. A son of this
German, a brisk young fellow, was amusing himself in the kraal, when the
deified insect appeared. The Hottentots, upon sight, ran tumultuously to
adore it; while the young fellow tried to catch it, in order to see the
effect such capture would produce among them. But how great was the
general cry and agony when they saw it in his hands! They stared with
distraction in their eyes at him, and at one another. ‘See, see, see,’
said they. ‘Ah! what is he going to do? Will he kill it? will he kill
it?’ Every limb of them shaking through apprehensions for its fate.
‘Why,’ said the young fellow, who very well understood them, ‘do you
make such a hideous noise? and why such agonies for this paltry animal?’
‘Ah! sir,’ they replied, with the utmost concern, ‘’tis a divinity. ’Tis
come from heaven; ’tis come on a good design. Ah! do not hurt it--do not
offend it. We are the most miserable wretches upon earth if you do. This
ground will be under a curse, and the crime will never be forgiven.’
This was not enough for the young German. He had a mind to carry the
experiment a little farther. He seemed not, therefore, to be moved with
their petitions and remonstrances; but made as if he intended to maim or
destroy it. On this appearance of cruelty they started, and ran to and
again like people frantic; asked him, where and what his conscience was?
and how he durst think of perpetrating a crime, which would bring upon
his head all the curses and thunders of heaven. But this not prevailing,
they fell all prostrate on the ground before the young fellow, and with
streaming eyes and the loudest cries, besought him to spare the
creature and give it its liberty. The young German now yielded, and,
having let the insect fly, the Hottentots jumped and capered and shouted
in all the transports of joy; and, running after the animal, rendered it
the customary divine honors. But the creature settled upon none of them,
and there was not one sainted upon this occasion.”[260]

Afterward, Mr. Kolben, discoursing with these Hottentots, took occasion
to ask them concerning the utmost limit they carried the belief of the
sanctity and avenging spirit of this insect, when they declared to him,
that if the German had killed it, all their cattle would certainly have
been destroyed by wild beasts, and they themselves, every man, woman,
and child of them, brought to a miserable end. That they believed the
kraal to be of evil destiny where this insect is rarely seen. Mr. Kolben
asserts that they would sooner give up their lives than renounce the
slightest item of their belief.[261]

Dr. Sparrman, a Swedish traveler into the country of the Hottentots and
Caffres between the years 1772 and 1779, in speaking of the Mantis,
called in his time the “Hottentot’s God,” denies the above statement of
Mr. Kolben, and says the Hottentots are so far from worshiping it, that
they several times caught some of them, and gave them to him to put
needles through them, by way of preserving them, in the same manner as
he did with the other insects. But there is, he adds, a diminutive
species of this insect, which some think would be a crime, as well as
very dangerous, to do any harm to, but that it was only a superstitious
notion, and not any kind of religious worship.[262]

Dr. Thunberg, who traveled in South Africa about the same time as Dr.
Sparrman, corroborates the latter’s statement, and says he could see no
reason for the supposition that the Hottentots worshiped the Mantis,
but, he adds, it certainly was held in some degree of esteem, so that
they would not willingly hurt, and deemed that person a creature
fortunate on which it settled, though without paying it any sort of

Dr. Vanderkemp, in his account of Caffraria, after describing the
Mantis, says that the natives call it _oumtoanizoulou_, the _Child of
Heaven_, and adds that “the Hottentots regard it as almost a deity, and
offer their prayers to it, begging that it may not destroy them.”[264]

Mr. Kirchener, speaking of the same people, says they reverence a little
insect, known by the name of the _Creeping Leaf_, a sight of which they
conceive indicates something fortunate, and to kill it they suppose will
bring a curse upon the perpetrator.[265]

Mr. Evan Evans, a missionary to the Cape of Good Hope, gives an account
of a conversation which he had with the Hottentot driver of his wagon,
which seems to make out the claims of the Mantis to be the God of the
Hottentots--as it is even yet called. The driver directed his attention
to “a small insect,” which he called by its above-mentioned familiar
name, and alluded to the notions he had in former times connected with
it. “I asked him, ‘Did you ever worship this insect then?’ He answered,
‘Oh, yes! a thousand times; always before I came to Bethelsdorf.
Whenever I saw this little creature, I would fall down on my knees
before him and pray.’ ‘What did you pray to him for?’ ‘I asked him to
give me a good master, and plenty of thick milk and flesh.’ ‘Did you
pray for nothing else?’ ‘No, sir; I did not then know that I wanted
anything else.... Whenever I used to see this animal (holding the insect
still in his hand) I used sometimes to fall down immediately before it;
but if it was in the wagon-road, or in a foot-path, I used to push it up
as gently as I could, to place it behind a bush, for fear a wagon should
crush it, or some men or beasts would put it to death. If a Hottentot,
by some accident, killed or injured this creature, he was sure to be
unlucky all his lifetime, and could never shoot an elephant or a buffalo

Niuhoff, in his account of his travels in Java in 1643, tells us “the
Javanese set two of these little creatures (Mantes) a fighting together,
and lay money on both sides, as we do at a cock-match.”[267] Among the
Chinese also this quarrelsome property in the genus Mantis is turned
into an entertainment. They are so fond of gaming and witnessing fights
between animals that, as says Mr. Barrow in his Travels, “they have
even extended their inquiries after fighting animals into the insect
tribe, and have discovered a species of Gryllus or Locust that will
attack each other with such ferocity as seldom to quit their hold
without bringing away at the same time a limb of their antagonist. These
little creatures are fed and kept apart in bamboo cages, and the custom
of making them devour each other is so common that, during the summer
months, scarcely a boy is to be seen without his cage of
grasshoppers.”[268] The boys in Washington City, who call the Mantis the
“Rear-horse,” are also fond of this amusement.

Among the legends of St. Francis Xavier, the following is found. Seeing
a Mantis moving along in its solemn way, holding up its two fore-legs,
as in the act of devotion, the Saint desired it to sing the praises of
God, whereupon the insect caroled forth a fine canticle.[269]

The _Mantis religiosa_ of America is said to make a most interesting pet
when tamed, which can be done in a very short time and with but little
pains. Professor Glover, of the Maryland Agricultural College, tells me
he once knew a lady in Washington who kept a Mantis on her window which
soon grew so tame as to take readily a fly or other small insect out of
her hand. But Mrs. Taylor, in her Orthopterian Defense, has given us the
particulars in full of a Mantis which she had petted. She speaks of it
under the name of “Queen Bess,” and in her most interesting style, as

“Queen Bess, of famous memory, would alight on my shoulder and take all
her food from me half a dozen times a day. When she omitted her visit I
knew she had been hunting on her own account. All night long she would
keep watch and guard under the mosquito-net. The silk (the thread with
which the insect was bound) was fastened to the post of the bed; and woe
betide an unfortunate mosquito who fancied for his supper a drop of
claret. It was the drollest, the most laughter-moving sensation, to feel
one of these trumpeters saluting your nose or forehead, and hear Queen
Bess approaching with those long claws, creeping slowly, softly, nearer
and nearer; to feel the fine prick of the lancet setting in for a
tipple; then you would suppose a dozen fine needles had been suddenly
drawn across the part; then, _presto!_ Bess’s strong, saber-like claws
had the jolly trumpeter tucked into her capacious jaws before you could
open your eyes to ascertain the state of affairs.

“These creatures very seldom fly far,” continues Mrs. Taylor, “but walk
in a most stately and dignified manner. Queen Bess could not bear to be
overlooked or slighted(!); and as sure as she saw me bending over the
magnifier with an insect, and I thought she was ten yards off, the
insect would be incontinently snapped out of my fingers. Many a valuable
specimen disappeared in this way. I learned to put her at these times in
the sounding-board of an Æolian harp, which was generally placed in the
window. Her majesty liked music of this kind amazingly; as the vibration
was _felt_ though not heard. I presume she fancied she was serenaded by
the singing leaves of the forest. I knew she would have remained there
spell-bound until driven forth by hunger, if I did not remove her when I
was not afraid of her company.

“As I have begun my ‘experiences,’” continues the same writer, “I will
go through with them and confess that I was obliged from circumstances
to attach more than accident to her prophetic capacity--her
fortune-telling. I have not a grain of superstition to contend against
in other matters, having so much reverence for the Creator of all things
that I certainly have no fear of anything earthly or spiritually
conveyed to the senses. But I was taught by the saddest teacher,
Experience, that whenever Queen Bess’s refusal went unheeded I was the
sufferer. The first time I ever tried it was to determine a vacillating
presentiment I felt about trying a new horse whose reputation was far
from good. I placed Queen Bess before me, held up my finger:

“‘Attention! Queen Bess, would you advise me to try that horse?’

“She was standing on her hind legs, her antennæ erect, wings wide
spread. I repeated the question. Antennæ fell; wings folded; and down
she went, gradually, until her head and long thorax were buried beneath
her front legs. I took her advice, and did not venture. Two days later
the horse threw his rider and killed him.

“Here was the turning-point. Was I to allow such folly to master me? If
French girls do take a Mantis at the junction of three roads, and ask
her on which their lover will come, and watch the insect turning and
examining each road with her weird sibyl head,[270]--if French girls
commit such follies, should I, a staid American woman, follow their
example--putting my faith in the caprices of an insect? Pshaw! I was
above such folly. So the next time Queen Bess was consulted a more
decided refusal was given; but I disregarded her warning, and most
sorely did I repent it. Again she would approve, by standing more erect,
if possible, spreading and closing her wings; then all was sunshine with
me. So it went for many months. Many others have had the same
experience, if they will confess it honestly. I learned to obey the
hidden head more carefully than any other, I am sorry to say; and I
never, in one single instance, knew her to refuse her opinion; and I
never knew it to be wrong in whatever way she announced it.”

This same superstitious woman says that boys and girls try their future
expectations by making a mimic chariot, ballasting it with small
pebbles, shot, or any such like thing, and harnessing the Mantis in with
silk. Upon being freighted she rises immediately, as if to try the
weight; if too heavy she will not fly. Lighten the chariot, and she will
soar away to a tree or a field; then her owner is to be a lucky boy. If
she will not go at all, or only a short distance, and soon come down,
misfortune is to be his doom.[271]

Other superstitions among us, with respect to the Mantis are as follows:

When the Mantis (Rear-horse) kneels, it sees an angel in the way, or
hears the rustle of its wings. When it alights on your hand, you are
about to make the acquaintance of a distinguished person; if it alights
on your head, a great honor will shortly be conferred upon you. If it
injures you in any way, which it does but seldom, you will lose a valued
friend by calumny. Never kill a Mantis, as it bears charms against evil.

From the great resemblance of many species of Mantis to the leaves of
the trees upon which they feed, some travelers, who have observed them,
have declared that they saw the leaves of trees become living creatures,
and take flight. Madame Merian informs us of a similar opinion among
the Indians of Surinam, who believed these insects grew like leaves upon
the trees, and when they were mature, loosened themselves and crawled,
or flew away.

We find also in the works of Piso an account of insects becoming plants.
Speaking of the Mantis, that author says: “Those little animals change
into a green and tender plant, which is of two hands breadth. The feet
are fixed into the ground first; from these, when necessary humidity is
attracted, roots grow out, and strike into the ground; thus they change
by degrees, and in a short time become a perfect plant. Sometimes only
the lower part takes the nature and form of a plant, while the upper
part remains as before, living and movable; after some time the animal
is gradually converted into a plant. In this Nature seems to operate in
a circle, by a continual retrograde motion.”[272]

There may be, however, much truth in this remarkable metamorphosis; for,
that an insect may strike root into the earth, and, from the
co-operation of heat and moisture, congenial to vegetation, produce a
plant of the cryptogamic kind, cannot be disputed. Westwood states that
he has seen a species of _Clavaria_, both of the undivided and branched
kinds, which had sprung from insects, and were four times larger than
the insects themselves. In truth, it cannot then be denied that Piso may
not have seen a plant of a proportionate magnitude which had likewise
grown out of a Mantis. The pupæ of bees, wasps, and cicadas, have been
known to become the nidus of a plant, to throw up stems from the front
part of the head, and change in every respect into a vegetable, and
still retain the shell and exterior appearance of the parent insect at
the root. Specimens of these vegetated animals are frequently brought
from the West Indies. Mr. Drury had a beetle in the perfect state, from
every part of which small stalks and fibers sprouted forth; they were
entirely different from the tufts of hair that are observed in a few
Coleopterous insects, such as the _Buprestis fascicularius_ of the Cape
of Good Hope, and were certainly a vegetable production.[273] Mr.
Atwood, in his account of Dominica, describes a “vegetable fly” as
follows: “It is of the appearance and size of a small Cock-chafer, and
buries itself in the ground, where it dies; and from its body springs up
a small plant, resembling a young coffee tree, only that its leaves are
smaller. The plant is often overlooked, from the supposition people have
of its being no other than a coffee plant, but on examining it properly,
the difference is easily distinguished.... The head, body, and feet of
the insect appearing at the foot as perfect as when alive.”[274]

Dr. Colin, of Philadelphia, has mentioned, also, on the authority of a
missionary, a “vegetable fly,” similar to the last mentioned, on the
Ohio River.[275]

The inhabitants of the Sechell Islands raise the _Mantis siccifolia_, or
Dry-leaf Mantis, as an object of commerce and natural history.


In the Island of Barbados, the natives look upon the creaking chirp of a
species of Cricket, to which Hughes has given the name of the
_Ash-colored_ or _Sickly Cricket_, when heard in the house, as an omen
of death to some one of the family.[277]

In England, also, is the Cricket’s chirp sometimes looked upon as
prognosticating death. “When Blonzelind expired,” Gay, in his Pastoral
Dirge, says,

    And shrilling Crickets in the chimney cry’d.[278]

So also in Reed’s Old Plays is the Cricket’s cry ominous of death:

    And the strange Cricket i’ th’ oven sings and hops.

The same superstition is found in the following line from the Œdipus of
Dryden and Lee:

    Owels, ravens, Crickets, seem the watch of death.

Gaule mentions, among other vain observations and superstitious
ominations thereupon, “the Cricket’s chirping behind the chimney stack,
or creeping on the foot-pace.”[279]

Dr. Nathaniel Horne, after saying that “by the flying and crying of
ravens over their houses, especially in the dusk of evening, and when
one is sick, they conclude death,” adds, “the same they conclude of a
Cricket crying in a house where there was wont to be none.”[280]

“Some sort of people,” says Mr. Ramsay, in his Elminthologia, “at every
turn, upon every accident, how are they therewith terrified! If but a
Cricket unusually appear, or they hear but the clicking of a
Death-watch, as they call it, they, or some one else in the family,
shall die!”[281]

Gilbert White, the accurate naturalist of Selborne, speaking of
Crickets, says: “They are the house-wife’s barometer, foretelling her
when it will rain; and are prognostics sometimes, she thinks, of ill or
good luck, of the death of a near relation, or the approach of an absent
lover. By being the constant companions of her solitary hours, they
naturally become the objects of her superstition.”[282]

The voice of the Cricket, says the Spectator, has struck more terror
than the roaring of a lion.

Mrs. Bray also notices that the Cricket’s chirp in England, which in
almost all other countries, and in that too in some families, as will be
shown hereafter, is considered a cheerful and a welcome note, the
harbinger of joy,--is deemed by the peasantry ominous of sorrow and

“In Dumfries-shire,” says Sir William Jardine, “it is a common
superstition that if Crickets forsake a house which they have long
inhabited, some evil will befall the family; generally the death of some
member is portended. In like manner the presence or return of this
cheerful little insect is lucky, and portends some good to the

Melton also says,--“17. That it is a sign of death to some in that
house where Crickets have been many years, if on a sudden they forsake
the chimney.”[285]

The departure of Crickets from a hearth where they have been heard, is,
at the present time, in England, considered an omen of misfortune.[286]

From the above statements of Mr. White, Mrs. Bray, and Sir William
Jardine, we learn that in England the Cricket’s chirp is not always
ominous of evil, but sometimes also of good luck, of joy, and of the
approach of an absent lover.

A correspondent of the “Notes and Queries” mentions the Cricket’s cry as
foreboding good luck.[287] So also a writer for “The Mirror,” remarking,
it is singular that the House-cricket should by some persons be
considered an unlucky, by others a lucky, inmate of the mansion. Those
who hold the latter opinion, he adds, consider the destruction of these
insects the means of bringing misfortunes on their habitations.[288]
Grose thus expresses this last superstition: Persons killing these
insects (including the Lady-bird, before mentioned) will infallibly,
within the course of the year, break a bone, or meet with some other
dreadful misfortune.[289]

That the belief that the appearance of Crickets in a house is a good
omen, and prognosticates cheerfulness and plenty, is pretty generally
entertained in England, may be inferred also from the manner in which it
has been embodied by Cowper, in his address to a Cricket

    Chirping on his kitchen hearth.

His words are:

    Whereso’er be thine abode,
    Always harbinger of good.

And again in that admirable little tale of Charles Dickens, entitled
“The Cricket on the Hearth,” this good and happy superstition is
embodied. “It’s sure to bring us good fortune, John! It always has been
so. To have a Cricket on the hearth is the luckiest thing in the world,”
says its heroine.

All these superstitions are more or less entertained in America,
brought here by the English themselves, and retained by their
descendants. That the Cricket is the “harbinger of good,” it gives me
pleasure to say, is the most common.

Another superstition obtaining in this country, and particularly in
Maryland and Virginia, is that Crickets are old folks and ought not
therefore to be destroyed. This probably arose from Crickets being found
about the kitchen hearth where the old folks were accustomed to sit.

Milton chose for his contemplative pleasures a spot where Crickets

    Where glowing embers through the room
    Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,
    Far from all resort of mirth,
    Save the Cricket on the hearth.[290]

The learned Scaliger is said to have been particularly delighted with
the chirping of these animals, and was accustomed to keep them in a box
for his amusement in his study.[291]

Mrs. Taylor, the writer of a very interesting series of papers on
insects for Harper’s Magazine, relates that in her travels through
Wales, she obtained several House-crickets in the old Castle of
Caernarvon. These she carried with her, in her journeyings to and fro
over the Kingdom, for several years, and at last brought them to this
country, where they were liberated in the snuggest corner of a Southern
hearth. Again a wanderer for many years, she went back to the old house
to see how her chirping friends were coming on, but, alas! she was told
by the then residents, with the utmost calmness, “they had had great
difficulty in _scalding_ them out, and they hoped there was not one left
on the premises!”[292]

In certain countries of Africa, Crickets are reported to constitute an
article of commerce. Some persons rear them, feed them in a kind of iron
oven, and sell them to the natives, who are very fond of their music,
thinking it induces sleep.[293] De Pauw finds some traces of the
Egyptian worship of the Scarabæus in this fondness for the music of the
“holy Crickets,” as he calls them, of Madagascar! By the rearing of
which insects, he tells us, the Africans make a living, and the rich
would think themselves at enmity with heaven, if they did not preserve
whole swarms in ovens constructed expressly for that purpose.[294]

The youth of Germany, Jaeger says, are extremely fond of Field-crickets,
so much so, that there is scarcely a boy to be seen who has not several
small boxes made expressly for keeping these insects in. So much
delighted are they, too, with their music, that they carry these boxes
of Crickets into their bed-rooms at night, and are soothed to sleep with
their chirping lullaby.[295]

On the contrary, others, as has been before mentioned, think there is
something ominous and melancholy in the Cricket’s cry, and use every
endeavor to banish this insect from their houses. “Lidelius tells us,”
says Goldsmith, “of a woman who was very much incommoded by Crickets,
and tried, but in vain, every method of banishing them from her house.
She at last accidentally succeeded; for having one day invited several
guests to her house, where there was a wedding, in order to increase the
festivity of the entertainment, she procured drums and trumpets to
entertain them. The noise of these was so much greater than what the
little animals were accustomed to, that they instantly forsook their
situation, and were never heard in that mansion more.”[296] Like many
other noisy persons, Crickets like to hear nobody louder than

In the Island of Sumatra, Capt. Stuart tells me, a black Cricket is
looked upon with great respect, amounting almost to adoration. It is
deemed a grievous sin to kill it.

Baskets full of Field-crickets, Lopes de Gomara says, were found among
the provisions of the Indians of Jamaica when they were first

“The Criquet called Gryllus,” says Pliny in the words of Holland, “doth
mitigat catarrhs and all asperities offending the throat, if the same
bee rubbed therewith: also if a man doe but touch the amygdals or
almonds of the throat, with the hand wherewith he hath bruised or
crushed the said Criquet, it will appease the inflamation thereof.”[298]
Again, “The Cricket digged up and applied to the plase, earth and all
where it lay, is very good for the ears. Nigridius,” continues Pliny,
“attributeth many properties to this poore creature, and esteemeth it
not a little: but the Magicians much more by a faire deale: and why so?
Forsooth because it goeth, as it were, reculing backward, it pierceth
and boreth a hole into the ground, and never ceaseth all night long to
creake very shrill.

“The manner of hunting and catching them is this, They take a flie and
tie it above the middest at the end of a long haire of one’s head, and
so put the said flie into the mouth of the Cricquet’s hole; but first
they blow the dust away with their mouth, for fear lest the flie should
hide herself therein; the Cricket spies the sillie flie, seaseth upon
her presently and claspeth her round, and so they are both drawne foorth
together by the said haire.”[299]

At the present time, children in France practice the same method of
capturing Crickets for amusement; substituting, however, an ant for the
“sillie flie,” and a long straw for “the haire of one’s head.” Hence
comes the common proverb in France, _il est sot comme un grillon_. A
ruse for capturing the larva of the Cicindela, now commonly practiced by
entomologists, is founded on the same principle.

Pliny further says: “The Cricquets above rehearsed, either reduced into
a liniment, or else bound too, whole as they be, cureth the accident of
the lap of the eare, wounds, contusions, bruises,” etc.[300]

Dr. James, quoting Schroder and Dale, says: “The ashes of the Cricket
(_Gryllus domesticus_) exhibited, are said to be diuretic; the expressed
juice, dropped into the eyes, is a remedy for weakness of the sight, and
alleviates disorders of the tonsils, if rubbed on them.”[301]

The English name _Cricket_, the French _Cri-cri_, the Dutch _Krekel_,
and the Welsh _Cricell_ and _Cricella_, are evidently derived from the
_creak_-ing sounds of these insects.


Mr. Hughes, after describing an ash-colored Grasshopper (which may be
his ash-colored cricket before mentioned),[302] remarks that the
superstitious of the inhabitants of Barbados are very apprehensive of
some approaching illness to the family, whenever this insect flies into
their houses in the evening or in the night.[303]

Athenæus tells us the ancient Greeks used to eat the common Grasshopper
and the Monkey-grasshopper as provocatives of the appetite. Aristophanes

    How can you, in God’s name, like Grasshoppers,
    Catching them with a reed, and Cercopes?[304]

Turpin tells us there is a kind of brown Grasshopper in Siam, which the
natives consider a delicate food.[305]

“Fernandus Oniedus declareth furthermore,” says Peter Martyr in his
History of the West Indies, “that in a certain region called Zenu, lying
fourescore and tenne miles from Darrina Eastwarde, they exercise a
strange kinde of marchaundize: For in the houses of the inhabitantes
they found great chests and baskets, made of twigges and leaves of
certaine trees apt for that purpose, being all ful of Grasshoppers,
Grilles, Crabbes, Crefishes, Snails also, and Locustes, which destroie
the fields of corne, all well dried and salted. Being demanded why they
reserved such a multitude of these beastes: they answered, that they
kept them to be sowlde (sold) to the borderors, which dwell further
within the lande, and that for the exchange of these pretious birdes,
and salted fishes, they received of them certayne straunge thinges,
wherein partly they take pleasure, and partly use them for the
necessarie affaires.”[306]

In the account of the voyages of J. Huighen Linschoten, it is stated
that the inhabitants of Cumana eat “horse-leeches, bats, Grasshoppers,
spiders, bees, and raw, sodden, and roasted lice. They spare no living
creature whatsoever, but they eat it.”[307]

“Among the choice delicacies with which the California Digger Indians
regale themselves during the summer season,” says the Empire County
Argus, “is the Grasshopper roast. Having been an eye-witness to the
preparation and discussion of one of their feasts of Grasshoppers, we
can describe it truthfully. There are districts in California, as well
as portions of the plains between Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains,
that literally swarm with Grasshoppers, and in such astonishing numbers
that a man cannot put his foot to the ground, while walking there,
without crushing great numbers. To the Indian they are a delicacy, and
are caught and cooked in the following manner: A piece of ground is
sought where they most abound, in the center of which an excavation is
made, large and deep enough to prevent the insect from hopping out when
once in. The entire party of Diggers, old and young, male and female,
then surround as much of the adjoining grounds as they can, and each
with a green bough in hand, whipping and thrashing on every side,
gradually approach the center, driving the insects before them in
countless multitudes, till at last all, or nearly all, are secured in
the pit. In the mean time smaller excavations are made, answering the
purpose of ovens, in which fires are kindled and kept up till the
surrounding earth, for a short distance, becomes sufficiently heated,
together with a flat stone, large enough to cover the oven. The
Grasshoppers are now taken in coarse bags, and, after being thoroughly
soaked in salt water for a few moments, are emptied into the oven and
closed in. Ten or fifteen minutes suffice to roast them, when they are
taken out and eaten without further preparation, and with much apparent
relish, or, as is sometimes the case, reduced to powder and made into
soup. And having from curiosity tasted, not of the soup, but of the
roast, really, if one could divest himself of the idea of eating an
insect as we do an oyster or shrimp, without other preparation than
simple roasting, they would not be considered very bad eating, even by
more refined epicures than the Digger Indians.”[308]

An item dated Tuesday, Aug. 21st, 1742, in the Gentleman’s Magazine,
states: “Great damage has been done to the pastures in the country,
particularly about Bristol, by swarms of Grasshoppers; the like has
happened in Pennsylvania to a surprising degree.”[309]

A common species in Sweden, the _Decticus verrucivorus_, is employed by
the native peasants to bite the warts on their hands; the black fluid
which it emits from its mouth being supposed to possess the power of
making these excrescences vanish.[310] This black fluid, from whatever
Grasshoppers it may be emitted, is called by our boys “tobacco spit,”
which it much resembles; and they attribute to it also a wart-curing
quality. When they catch one, they hold it between the thumb and
fore-finger, and cry out,--

    Spit, spit tobacco spit,
    And then I’ll let you go.

The exuviæ of a Grasshopper called _Semmi_ or _Sebi_, Kempfer tells us,
are preserved for medicinal uses, and sold publicly in shops both in
Japan and China.[311]

Dr. James, quoting Dioscorides, says: “Grasshoppers (_Locusta Anglica
minor, vulgatissima_, Raii _Ins._ 60.) in a suffumigation relieve under
a dysury, especially such as is incident to the female sex. The Locusta
Africanus is a very good antidote against the poison of the

After describing the Grasshopper of Italy, Brookes says: “It is often an
amusement among the children of that country to catch this animal; and,
by tickling the belly with their finger, it will whistle as long as they
chuse to make it.”[313]

In France, Grasshoppers are called _Sauterelles_, Hoppers; and in
Germany, _Heupferde_, Hay-horses, because they generally feed on
grasses, and their head has something of the form of a horse’s head.

If Grasshoppers appear early in the summer in great numbers, they
foretell famine and drouth,--a superstition obtaining in Maryland.


Moufet says: “That Locusts should be generated of the carkasse of a mule
or asse (as Plutarch reports in the life of Cleonides) by putrefaction,
I cannot with philosophers determine; first, because it was permitted to
the Jewes to feed on them; secondly, because no man ever yet was an
eye-witness of such a putrid and ignoble generation of Locusts.”[314]

The first record of the ravages of the Locusts, which we find in
history, is the account in the Book of Exodus of the visitation to the
land of Egypt. “And the Locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and
rested in all the coasts of Egypt--very grievous were they.... For they
covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and
they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees
which the hail had left; and there remained not any green thing in the
trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of

It is to the Bible, too, we go to find the best account, for correctness
and sublimity, of the appearance and ravages of these terrific insects.
It is thus given by the prophet Joel: “A day of darkness and of
gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread
upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been
ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of
many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame
burneth; the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them
a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. Like the
noise of chariots[316] on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like
the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong
people set in battle array. Before their faces the people shall be much
pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty
men; they shall climb the wall like men of war, and they shall march
every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks; neither
shall one thrust another, they shall walk every one in his path; and
when they fall upon the sword they shall not be wounded. They shall run
to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb
up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The
earth shall quake before them, the heavens shall tremble; the sun[317]
and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.”
The usual way in which they are destroyed is also noticed by the
prophet. “I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will
drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face towards the
east sea, and his hinder part towards the utmost sea, and his stink
shall come up, because he hath done great things.”[318]

Paulus Orosius tells us that in the year of the world 3800, during the
consulship of M. Plautius Hypsæus, and M. Fulvius Flaccus, such infinite
myriads of Locusts were blown from the coast of Africa into the sea and
drowned, that being cast upon the shore in immense heaps they emitted a
stench greater than could have been produced by the carcasses of one
hundred thousand men. A general pestilence of all living creatures
followed. And so great was this plague in Numidia, where Micipsa was
king, that eighty thousand persons died; and on the sea-coast, near
Carthage and Utica, about two hundred thousand were reported to have
perished. Thirty thousand soldiers, appointed as the garrison of Africa,
and stationed in Utica, were among the number. So violent was the
destruction that the bodies of more than fifteen hundred of these
soldiers, from one gate of the city, were carried and buried in the same

St. Augustine also mentions a plague to have arisen in Africa from the
same cause, which destroyed no less than eight hundred thousand persons
(_octigenta hominum millia_) in the kingdom of Masanissa alone, and many
more in the territories bordering upon the sea.[320]

Blown from that quarter of the globe, Locusts have occasionally visited
both Italy and Spain. The former country was severely ravaged by myriads
of these desolating intruders, in the year 591. These were of a larger
size than common, as we are informed by Mouffet, who quotes an ancient
historian; and from their stench, when cast into the sea, arose a
pestilence which carried off near a million of men and cattle.[321]

In A.D. 677, Syria and Mesopotamia were overrun by Locusts.[322]

“About the year of our Lord 872,” we read in Wanley’s Wonders, “came
into France such an innumerable company of Locusts, that the number of
them darkened the very light of the sun; they were of extraordinary
bigness, had a sixfold order of wings, six feet, and two teeth, the
hardness whereof surpassed that of stone. These eat up every green thing
in all the fields of France. At last, by the force of the winds, they
were carried into the sea (the Baltic) and there drowned; after which,
by the agitation of the waves, the dead bodies of them were cast upon
the shores, and from the stench of them (together with the famine they
had made with their former devouring) there arose so great a plague,
that it is verily thought every third person in France died of it.”[323]
These Locusts devoured in France, on an average every day, one hundred
and forty acres; and their daily marches, or distances of flight, were
computed at twenty miles.[324]

In 1271, all the cornfields of Milan were destroyed; and in the year
1339, all those of Lombardy.[325] We read in Bateman’s Doome, that in
1476, “grasshoppers and the great rising of the river Isula did spoyle
al Poland.” A famine took place in the Venetian territory in 1478,
occasioned by these terrific scourges, in which thirty thousand persons
are reported to have perished. Mouffet mentions many other instances of
their devastations in Europe,--in France, Spain, Italy, and

A passage of Locusts in France, in 1613, entirely cut up, even to the
very roots, more than fifteen thousand acres of corn in the neighborhood
of Arles, and had even penetrated into the barns and granaries, when, as
it were by Providence, many hundreds of birds, especially starlings,
came to diminish their numbers. Notwithstanding this, nothing could be
more astonishing than their multiplication, for the fecundity of the
Locust is very remarkable. Upon an order issued by government, for the
collection of their eggs, more than three thousand measures were
collected, from each of which, it was calculated, would have issued
nearly two millions of young ones.[327] In 1650, they entered Russia, in
immense divisions, in three different places; thence passed over into
Poland and Lithuania, where the air was darkened by their numbers. In
many parts they lay dead to the depth of four feet. Sometimes they
covered the surface of the earth like a dark cloud, loaded the trees,
and the destruction which they produced exceeded all calculation.[328]
In 1645, immense swarms visited the islands of Formosa and Tayowan, and
caused such a famine that eight thousand persons died of hunger.[329]

“In 1649,” says Sir Hans Sloane, “the Locusts destroyed all the products
of the island of Teneriffe. They came from the coast of Barbary, the
wind being a Levant thence. They flew as far as they could, then one
alighted in the sea, and another on it, so that one after another they
made a heap as big as the greatest ship above water, and were esteemed
almost as many under. Those above water, next day, after the sun’s
refreshing them, took flight again, and came in clouds to the island,
whence the inhabitants had perceived them in the air, and had gathered
all the soldiers of the island and of Laguna together, being 7 or 8000
men, who laying aside their arms, some took bags, some spades, and
having notice by their scouts from the hills when they alighted, they
went straight thither, made trenches, and brought their bags full, and
covered them with mould.... After two months fruitless management of
them in this manner, the ecclesiastics took them in hand by penances,
etc. But all would not do: the Locusts staid their four months; cattle
eat them and died, and so did several men, and others stuck out in
botches. The other Canary islands were so troubled, also, that they were
forced to bury their provisions. They were troubled forty years before
with the like calamity.”[330]

Barbot, after mentioning a famine that happened in North Guinea in
1681, which destroyed many thousands of the inhabitants of the
Continent, and forced many to sell themselves for slaves, to only get
sustenance, says these fearful famines are also some years occasioned by
the dreadful swarms of Locusts, which come from the eastward and spread
over the whole country in such prodigious multitudes, that they darken
the very air, passing over head like mighty clouds. They leave nothing
that is green wheresoever they come, either on the ground or trees, and
fly so swiftly from place to place, that whole provinces are devastated
in a very short time. Barbot adds, terrific storms of hail, wind, and
such like judgments from Heaven, are nothing to compare to this, which
when it happens, there is no question to be made but that multitudes of
the natives must starve, having no neighboring countries to supply them
with corn, because those round about them are no better husbands than
themselves, and are no less liable to the same calamities.[331]

Of a swarm, which in the year 1693 covered four square miles of ground,
a German author has made the following estimate. Observing that, when he
trod on the ground, at least three were crushed, and that in a square
German measure, less than an English foot, ten were destroyed; and after
determining the number of these square measures in the four miles, he
concluded that ninety-two billions, one hundred and sixty millions of
Locusts were congregated on the surface. This is altogether a very
moderate calculation, for not only is their number more compact in
breadth, but they are often piled knee-high on the earth.[332]

In 1724, Dr. Shaw was a witness of the devastations of these insects in
Barbary. He has given us a description of their habits.[333] For four
successive years, from 1744 to 1747, Locusts ravaged the southern
provinces of Spain and Portugal.[334] In a letter from Transylvania,
dated August 22d, 1747, a graphic description is given of two vast
columns that overswept that country. “They form,” says the writer, “a
close compact column about fifteen yards deep, in breadth about four
musket-shot, and in length about four leagues; they move with such
force, or rather precipitation, that the air trembles to such a degree
as to shake the leaves upon the trees, and they darkened the sky in such
a manner, that when they passed over us I could not see my people at
twenty feet distance.”[335] This flight was four hours in passing over
the Red Tower. The guards here attempted to stop them, by firing cannon
at them; and where, indeed, the balls and shot swept through the swarm,
they gave way and divided; but, having filled up their ranks in a
moment, they proceeded on their journey.[336] In an item dated
Hermanstadt, July 24, 1748, it is stated that on the day before, a
hussar, coming from the plague committee, saw such a host of these
insects near Szanda, that they covered the country for a mile round, and
were so thick, that he was obliged to dismount from his horse, and halt
for three hours, until the inhabitants of the district, coming with all
sorts of instruments, beat about and forced with loud cries these pests
to quit the spot.[337] In another item, dated Warsaw, August 15, 1748,
it is stated that a certain prince sent out soldiers against the
Locusts, who fired upon them not only with small arms, but with cannons.
They succeeded in dividing the Locusts, but unluckily with the noise
frightened away the storks and cranes which daily consume many of these
insects.[338] Some stragglers from these swarms which so desolated
Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, Hungary, and Poland, in the years
1747 and ’48, made their way into England, where they caused some
alarm.[339] During this grand invasion of Europe, they even crossed the
Baltic, and visited Sweden in 1749. Charles the Twelfth, in Bessarabia,
imagined himself, it is said, assailed by a hurricane, mingled with
tremendous hail, when a cloud of these insects suddenly falling, and
covering both men and horses, arrested his entire army in its

During the devastations committed by the Locusts in Spain in 1754, ’55,
’56, and ’57, a body of them entered the church of Almaden, and
devoured the silk garments that adorned the images of the saints, not
sparing even the varnish on the altars.[341]

In 1750 and ’53 Poland was again devastated by Locusts.[342] In June,
1772, there were several swarms of “large black flies of the Locust
kind,” that did incredible damage to the fruits of the earth, seen in
England. Salt water, it is said, was found effectual in destroying

From 1778 to 1780 the empire of Morocco was terribly devastated by
Locusts: every green thing was eaten up, not even the bitter bark of the
orange and pomegranate escaping--a most dreadful famine ensued. The poor
wandered over the country, in search of a wretched subsistence from the
roots of plants. They picked, from the dung of camels, the undigested
grains of barley, and devoured them with eagerness. Vast numbers
perished, and the streets and roads were strewed with the unburied
carcasses. On this sad occasion, fathers sold their children, and
husbands their wives. When they visit a country, says Mr. Jackson, from
whom we have gathered the above facts, speaking of the same empire, it
behooves every one to lay in provision for a famine, for they stay from
three to seven years. When they have devoured all other vegetables, they
attack the trees, consuming first the leaves and then the bark.[344]

To prevent the fatal consequences which would have resulted from a
passage of Locusts in 1780 near Bontzhida, in Transylvania, fifteen
hundred persons were ordered each to gather a sack full of the insects,
part of which were crushed, part burned, and part interred.
Notwithstanding this, very little diminution was remarked in their
numbers, so astonishing was their multiplication, until very cold and
sharp weather had come on. In the following spring there were millions
of eggs disinterred and destroyed by the people, who were levied “en
masse” for the operation; but notwithstanding all this, many places of
tolerable extent were still to be found, in which the soil was covered
with young Locusts, so that not a single spot was left naked. These
were finally, however, swept into ditches, the opposite sides of which
were provided with cloths tightly stretched, and crushed.[345]

When the provincial governors of Spain are informed in the spring that
Locusts have been seen, they collect the soldiers and peasants, divide
them into companies and surround the district. Every man is furnished
with a long broom, with which he strikes the ground, and thus drives the
young Locusts toward a common center, where a vast excavation, with a
quantity of brushwood, is prepared for their reception, and where the
flame destroys them. Three thousand men were thus employed, in 1780, for
three weeks, at Zamora; and it was reckoned that the quantity collected
exceeded 10,000 bushels.[346] In 1783, 400 bushels more were collected
and destroyed in the same way.[347]

Mr. Barrow informs us that in South Africa, in 1784 and 1797, two
thousand square miles were literally covered by Locusts, which, being
carried into the sea by a northwest wind, formed, for fifty miles along
shore, a bank three or four feet high; and when the wind was in the
opposite point, the horrible odor which they exhaled was perceptible a
hundred and fifty miles off.[348]

The immense column of Locusts which ravaged all the Mahratta territory,
and was thought to have come from Arabia, extended, Mr. Kirby’s friend
told him, five hundred miles, and was so dense as thoroughly to hide the
sun, and prevent any object from casting a shadow. This horde was not
composed of the migratory Locust, but of a red species, which imparted a
sanguine color to the trees on which they settled.[349]

Mr. Forbes describes a flight of Locusts which he saw soon after his
arrival at Baroche in 1779. It was more than a mile in length, and half
as much in breadth, and appeared, as the sun was in the meridian, like a
black cloud at a distance. As it approached, its density obscured the
solar rays, causing a gloom like that of an eclipse, over the gardens,
and causing a noise like the rushing of a torrent. They were almost an
hour in passing a given point.[350]

In another place, this traveler states that, in one considerable tract
near the confines of the Brodera district, he witnessed a mournful
scene, occasioned by a scourge of Locusts. They had, some time before he
came, alighted in that part of the country, and left behind them, he
says, “an awful contrast to the general beauty of that earthly
paradise.” The sad description of Hosea, he adds, was literally
realized: “That which the palmer-worm hath left, hath the caterpillar
eaten. They have laid waste the vine, and barked the fig-tree; they have
made it clean bare, and the branches thereof are made white: the
pomegranate-tree, the palm-tree also, and the apple-tree, even all the
trees of the field are withered. Howl, O ye husbandmen! for the wheat
and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. How do
the beasts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have
no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate!”[351]

On the 16th of May, 1800, Buchanan met with in Mysore a flight of
Locusts which extended in length about three miles. He compares the
noise they made to the sound of a cataract.[352] This swarm was very
destructive to the young crops of jola.[353]

In 1811, at Smyrna, at right angles to a flight of Locusts, a man rode
forty miles before he got rid of the moving column. This immense flight
continued for three days and nights, apparently without intermission. It
was computed that the lowest number of Locusts in this swarm must have
exceeded 168,608,563,200,200! Captain Beaufort determined that the
Locusts of this flight, which he himself saw, if framed into a heap,
would have exceeded in magnitude more than a thousand and thirty times
the largest pyramid of Egypt; or if put on the ground close together, in
a band of a mile and an eighth in width, would have encircled the globe!
This immense swarm caused such a famine in the district of Marwar, that
the natives fled for subsistence in a living torrent into Guzerat and
Bombay; and out of every hundred of these Marwarees, Captain Carnac
estimates, ninety-nine died that year! Near the town of Baroda, these
poor people perished at the rate of five hundred a day; and at
Ahmedabad, a large city of two hundred thousand inhabitants, one hundred
thousand died from this awful visitation![354]

In 1816, Captain Riley met with a flight of Locusts in the north of
Africa, which extended in length about eight miles, and in breadth
three. He tells us, also, he was informed that several years before he
came to Mogadore, nearly all the Locusts in the empire, which at that
time were very numerous, and had laid waste the country, were carried
off in one night, and drowned in the Atlantic Ocean: that their dead
carcasses a few days afterward were driven by winds and currents on
shore, all along the western coast, extending from near Cape Spartel to
beyond Mogadore, forming in many places immense piles on the beach: that
the stench arising from their remains was intolerable, and was supposed
to have produced the plague which broke out about that time in various
parts of the Moorish dominions.[355] Before this plague in 1799, Mr.
Jackson tells us, from Mogadore to Tangier the face of the earth was
covered by them, and relates the following singular incident which
occurred at El Araiche: The whole region from the confines of the Sahara
was ravaged by the Locusts; but on the other side of the river El Kos
not one of them was to be seen, though there was nothing to prevent
their flying over it. Till then they had proceeded northward; but upon
arriving at its banks they turned to the east, so that all the country
north of El Araiche was full of pulse, fruits and grain, exhibiting a
most striking contrast to the desolation of the adjoining district. At
length they were all carried by a violent hurricane into the Western
Ocean; the shore, as in former instances, was covered by their
carcasses, and a pestilence (confirming the statement, and verifying the
supposition of Captain Riley) was caused by the horrid stench which they
emitted: but when this evil ceased, their devastations were followed by
a most abundant crop.[356]

In 1825 the Russian empire was overrun to a very alarming extent by
young Locusts. About Kiew, as far as the eye could reach, they lay piled
up one upon another to the height of two feet. Through the government of
Ekatharinoslaw and Cherson to the Black Sea, a distance of about 400
miles, they covered the ground so thickly that a horse could not walk
fast through them. The sight of such an immense number, says an
eye-witness, Mr. Jaeger, of the most destructive and rapacious insects,
justly occasioned a melancholy foreboding of famine and pestilence, in
case they should invade the cultivated and populous countries of Russia
and Poland. It was at this juncture, however, that the Emperor Alexander
sent his army of thirty thousand soldiers to destroy them. These forming
a line of several hundred miles, and advancing toward the south,
attacked them with shovels, and collected them, as far as possible, in
sacks and burned them. This is the largest army of soldiers sent against
Locusts we have any record of.[357]

In 1824, Locusts made their appearance at the Glen-Lynden Colony in
South Africa, being the first time they had been seen there since 1808.
In 1825, they continued to advance from the north; in 1826, the corn
crops at Glen-Lynden were totally destroyed by them; and in 1827, 1828,
and 1829, they extended their ravages through the whole of the northern
and southern districts of the colony. In 1830, they again

The following graphic description of the swarm that visited Glen-Lynden
in 1825 is from the pen of Mr. Pringle. He says: “In returning to
Glen-Lynden, we passed through a flying swarm, which had exactly the
appearance, as it approached, of a vast snow-cloud hanging on the slope
of a mountain from which the snow was falling in very large flakes. When
we got into the midst of them, the air all around and above was darkened
as by a thick cloud; and the rushing sound of the wings of the millions
of these insects was as loud as the dash of a mill-wheel.... The column
that we thus passed through was, as nearly as I could calculate, about
half a mile in breadth, and from two to three miles in length.”[359]

In 1835, a plague of Locusts made their appearance in China, in the
neighborhood of Quangse, and in the western departments of Quangtung.
The military and people were ordered out to exterminate them, as they
had done two years before. A more rational mode, however, was adopted by
the authorities, of offering a bounty of twelve or fifteen cash per
catty of the insects. They were gathered so fast for this price, that it
was immediately lowered to five or six cash per catty. A strike
followed, and the Locusts were left in quiet to do as much damage as
they could.[360]

Nieuhoff tells us, Locusts in the East Indies are so destructive that
the inhabitants are oftentimes obliged to change their habitations, for
want of sustenance. He adds that this has frequently happened in China
and the Island of Tojowac.[361]

In 1828-9, in the provinces lying between the Black and Caspian Seas,
Locusts appeared in such vast numbers as were never seen in that country

In 1839, Kaffraria was again visited by Locusts, which, together with
the war at that time, caused so great a famine that many persons
perished for want of subsistence.[363] Again in 1849-50, this country
was visited by this dreadful scourge. The whole country, says the Rev.
Francis Fleming, was covered with them; and when they arose, the cloud
was so dense that this gentleman was obliged to dismount, and wait till
they passed over.[364]

Mr. Jules Remy says, that at his arrival at Salt Lake, he observed upon
the shore, on the top of the salt, a deposit of a foot deep which was
entirely composed of dead Locusts--_Œdipoda corallipes_. These insects,
driven by a high wind in prodigiously thick clouds, had been drowned in
the lake, after having, during the course of the summer (of 1855),
destroyed the rising crops, and even the prairie grass. A famine ensued;
but the Mormons, continues Mr. Remy, only saw in this scourge a fresh
proof of the truth of their religion, because it had happened, as among
the Israelites, in the seventh year after their settlement in the

According to Lieutenant Warren, whose graphic description is here
borrowed, these devastating insects of our great western plains are
“nearly the same as the Locusts of Egypt; and no one,” continues this
officer, “who has not traveled on the prairie, and seen for himself, can
appreciate the magnitude of the swarms. Often they fill the air for many
miles in extent, so that an inexperienced eye can scarcely distinguish
their appearance from that of a shower of rain or the smoke of a prairie
fire. The height of their flight may be somewhat appreciated, as Mr.
Evans saw them above his head, as far as their size would render them
visible, while standing on the top of a peak of the Rocky Mountains 8500
feet above the plain, and an elevation of 14,500 above that of the sea,
in the region where the snow lies all the year. To a person standing in
one of the swarms as they pass over and around him, the air becomes
sensibly darkened, and the sound produced by their wings resembles that
of the passage of a train of cars on a railroad, when standing two or
three hundred yards from the track. The Mormon settlements have suffered
more from the ravages of these insects than probably all other causes
combined. They destroyed nearly all the vegetables cultivated last year
at Fort Randall, and extended their ravages east as far as Iowa.”[366]

The Mormons, in their simple and picturesque descriptions, say that
these insects (“Crickets”--_Œdipoda corallipes_, Haldemars) are the
produce of “a cross between the Spider and the Buffalo.”[367]

In Egypt, in 1843, the popular idea was that the hordes of Locusts,
which were then ravaging the land, were sent by the comet observed about
that time for twelve days in the southwest.[368]

Pliny, in the words of his translator, Holland, says: “Many a time have
the Locusts been knowne to take their flight out of Affricke, and with
whole armies to infest Italie: many a time have the people of Rome,
fearing a great famine and scarcity toward, beene forced to have
recourse unto Sybil’s bookes for remedie, and to avert the ire of the
gods. In the Cyrenaick region within Barbarie, ordained it is by law,
every three years to wage warre against them, and so to conquer them....
Yea, and a grievous punishment lieth upon him that is negligent in this
behalf, as if hee were a traitour to his prince and countrey. Moreover,
within the Island Lemnos there is a certaine proportion and measure set
down, how many and what quantity every man shall kill; and they are to
exhibit unto the magistrate a just and true account thereof, and namely,
to shew what measure full of dead Locusts. And for this purpose they
make much of Iaies, Dawes, and Choughs, whom they do honour highly,
because they doe flie opposite against the Locusts, and so destroy them.
Moreover in Syria, they are forced to levie a warlike power of men
against them, and to make ridance by that means.”[369]

Democritus says, if a cloud of Locusts is coming forward, let all
persons remain quiet within doors, and they will pass over the place;
but if they suddenly arrive before they are observed, they will hurt
nothing, if you boil bitter lupines, or wild cucumbers, in brine, and
sprinkle it, for they will immediately die. They will likewise pass over
the subjacent spot, continues Democritus, if you catch some bats and tie
them on the high trees of the place; and if you take and burn some of
the Locusts, they are rendered torpid from the smell, and some indeed
die, and some drooping their wings, await their pursuers, and they are
destroyed by the sun. You will drive away Locusts, continues this same
writer, if you prepare some liquor for them, and dig trenches, and
besprinkle them with the liquor; for if you come there afterward, you
will find them oppressed with sleep; but how you are to destroy them is
to be your concern. A Locust will touch nothing, he concludes, if you
pound absinthium, or a leek, or centaury with water, and sprinkle

Didymus says, to preserve vines from that species of Locusts called by
the ancients _Bruchus_, set three grains of mustard around the stem of
the vine at the root; for these being thus set, have the power of
destroying the Bruchus.[371]

Nieuhoff tells us that when a swarm of Locusts is seen in China, the
inhabitants, to prevent their alighting, “march to and again the fields
with their colors flying, shouting and hallooing all the while; never
leaving them till they are driven into the sea, or some river, where
they fall down and are drowned.”[372]

Volney says, that when the Locusts first make their appearance on the
frontiers of Syria, the inhabitants strive to drive them off by raising
large clouds of smoke; and if, as it too frequently happens, their herbs
and wet straw fail them, they dig trenches, in which they bury them in
great numbers. The most efficacious destroyers of these insects are,
however, he adds, the south and southeasterly winds, and the bird called
the Samarmar.[373]

Capt. Riley tells us, it is said at Mogadore, and believed by the Moors,
Christians, and Jews, that the Bereberies inhabiting the Atlas Mountains
have the power to destroy every flight of Locusts that comes from the
south, and from the east, and thus ward off this scourge from all the
countries north and west of this stupendous ridge, merely by building
large fires on the parts of the mountains over which the Locusts are
known always to pass, and in the season when they are likely to appear,
which is at a definite period, within a certain number of days in almost
every year. The Atlas being high, and the peaks covered with snow, these
insects become chilled in passing over them, when, seeing the fires,
they are attracted by the glare, and plunge into the flame. What degree
of credit ought to be attached to this opinion, Capt. Riley says he does
not know, but is certain that the Moorish Sultan used to pay a
considerable sum of money yearly to certain inhabitants of the sides of
the Atlas, in order to keep the Locusts out of his dominions. He also
adds, the Moors and Jews affirmed to him, that during the time in which
the Sultan paid the said yearly stipend punctually, not a Locust was to
be seen in his dominions; but that when the Emperor refused to pay the
stipulated sum, because no Locusts troubled his country, and thinking he
had been imposed upon, that the very same year the Locusts again made
their appearance, and have continued to lay waste the country ever

An impostor, who is believed to have been a French adventurer, at one
time, it is said, endeavored to persuade the people of Morocco that he
could destroy all the Locusts by a chemical process.[375]

The superstitious Tartars of the Crimea, in order to rid their country
of its most destructive enemy, the Locusts, at one time sent over to
Asia Minor, whence these insects had come, to procure Dervises to drive
them away by their incantations, etc. These divines prayed around the
mosques, and, as a charm, ordered water to be hung out on the minarets,
which, with the prayers, were meant to entice a species of blackbird to
come in multitudes and devour the Locusts! The water thus hung out is
said to be still preserved in the mosques. On this occasion, the
Dervises collected eighty thousand rubles, the poorest shepherd giving
half a ruble.[376]

We read in “Purchas’s Pilgrims,” of Locusts being exorcised and
excommunicated, so that they immediately flew away![377] From this
interesting collection the following is clipped: “In the yeere 1603, at
Fremona, great misery happened by Grasse-hoppers, from which Paez freed
the Catholikes, by Letanies and sprinkling the Fields with Holy-water;
when as the Fields of Heretikes, seuered only by a Ditch, were spoyled
by them. Yea, a Heretike vsing this sacred sprinkling, preserued his
corne, which, to a Catholike neglecting in one Field, was lost, and
preserued in another by that couiured aspersion (so neere of kinne are
these Locusts to the Deuill, which is said to hate Holy-water).”[378]

In the south of Europe rewards are offered for the collection both of
the Locusts and their eggs; and at Marseilles, it is on record that, in
the year 1613, 20,000 francs were paid for this purpose. In 1825, the
same city paid a sum of 6200 francs for destroying these pests to
agriculture.[379] We read in the eighty-first volume of the Gentleman’s
Magazine, that most of the Agricultural Societies of Italy have offered
premiums for the best method of destroying Locusts: that in many
districts several thousand persons are employed in searching for the
eggs; that in four days the inhabitants of the district of Ofanto
collected at one time 80,000 sacks full, which were thrown into the

The noise Locusts make when engaged in the work of destruction has been
compared to the sound of a flame of fire driven by the wind, and the
effect of their bite to that of fire.[381] Volney says: “The noise they
make, in browsing on the trees and herbage, may be heard at a great
distance, and resembles that of an army foraging in secret.” His
following sentence may also be introduced here: “The Tartars themselves
are a less destructive enemy than these little animals.”[382] Robbins
compares their noise to that of small pigs when eating corn.[383] The
noise produced by their flight and approach, the poet Southey has
strikingly described:

    Onward they came a dark continuous cloud
    Of congregated myriads numberless,
    The rushing of whose wings was as the sound
    Of a broad river headlong in its course
    Plunged from a mountain summit, or the roar
    Of a wild ocean in the autumn storm,
    Shattering its billows on a shore of rocks![384]

Another comparison may be introduced here, to give some idea of the
infinite numbers of these insects. Dr. Clarke compares a cloud of them
to a flight of snow when the flakes are carried obliquely by the wind.
They covered his carriage and horses, and the Tartars assert that people
are sometimes suffocated by them. The whole face of nature might have
been described as covered with a living veil. They consisted of two
species--_Locusta tartarica_ and _L. migratoria_; the first is almost
twice the size of the second, and, because it precedes it, is called by
the Tartars the herald or messenger.[385]

In the Account of the admirable Voyage of Domingo Gonsales, the little
Spaniard, to the World of the Moon, by Help of several Gansa’s, or large
Geese, we find the following: “One accident more befel me worth mention,
that during my stay, I say, I saw a kind of a reddish cloud coming
toward me, and continually approaching nearer, which, at last, I
perceived, was nothing but a huge swarm of Locusts. He that reads the
discources of learned men concerning them (as John Leo, of Africa, and
others, who relate that they are seen for several days in the air before
they fall on the earth), and adds thereto this experience of mine, will
easily conclude that they can come from no other place than the globe of
the moon.”[386]

To accompany this piece of satire, the following suits well:

A Chinese author, quoted by Rev. Thomas Smith, observes, that Locusts
never appear in China but when great floods are followed by a very dry
season; and that it is his opinion that they are hatched by the sun from
the spawn of fish left by the waters on the ground![387]

So far the history of the Locust has been but a series of the greatest
calamities which human nature has suffered--famine, pestilence, and
death. No wonder that, in all ages and times, these insects have so
deeply impressed the imagination, that almost all people have looked on
them with superstitious horror. We have shown how that their
devastations have entered into the history of nations. Their effigies,
too, like those of other conquerors of the earth, have been perpetuated
in coins.

We are the army of the great God, and we lay ninety-and-nine eggs; were
the hundredth put forth, the world would be ours--such is the speech the
Arabs put into the mouth of the Locust. And such is the feeling the
Arabs entertain of this insect, that they give it a remarkable pedigree,
and the following description of its person: It has the head of the
horse, the horns of the stag, the eye of the elephant, the neck of the
ox, the breast of the lion, the body of the scorpion, the hip of the
camel, the legs of the stork, the wings of the eagle, and the tail of
the dragon.[388]

The Mohammedans say, that after God had created man from clay, of that
which was left he made the Locust: and in utter despair, they look upon
this devastating scourge as a just chastisement from heaven for their or
their nation’s sins, or as directed by that fatality in which they all

The wings of some Locusts being spotted, were thought by many to be
leaves from the book of fate, in which letters announcing the destiny of
nations were to be read. Paul Jetzote, professor of Greek literature at
the Gymnasium of Stettin, wrote a work on the meaning of three of these
letters, which were, according to him, to be seen on the wings of those
Locusts which visited Silesia in 1712. These letters were B. E. S., and
formed the initials of the Latin words “Bella Erunt Sæva,” or “Babel Est
Solitudo;” also the German words, “Bedeutet Erschreckliche Schlacten,”
portending frightful battles, “Bedeutet und Erfreuliche Siege,”
portending happy victories. There are Greek and Hebrew sentences
likewise, in which, no doubt, the professor showed as much learning,
judgment, and spirit of prophecy as in those already quoted.[390]

A quite common belief in our own country is, that every Locust’s wing is
marked with either the letter W, portending War, or the letter P,
portending Peace.

Not content with the dreadful presence of this plague, the inhabitants
of most countries took that opportunity of adding to their present
misery by prognosticating future evils. The direction of their flight
pointed out the kingdom doomed to bow under the divine wrath. The color
of the insect designated the national uniform of such armies as were to
go forth and conquer.[391]

Aldrovandus states, on the authority of Cruntz, that Tamerlane’s army
being infested by Locusts, that chief looked on it as a warning from
God, and desisted from his designs on Jerusalem.[392]

Mouffet says: “If any credit may be given to Apomasaris, a man most
learned in the learning of the Indians, Persians, and Egyptians, to
dream of the coming of Locusts is a sign of an army coming against us,
and so much as they shall seem to hurt or not hurt us, so shall the

We now turn to the history of the Locust as an article of food--a
striking benefit directly derived from insects. For as they are the
greatest destroyers of food, so as some recompense they furnish a
considerable supply of it to numerous nations--as they cause, they are
frequently the means of preventing famines. They are recorded to have
done this from the remotest antiquity.

In the curious account given by Alexis of a poor Athenian family’s
provisions, mention of this insect is found:

    For our best and daintiest cheer,
    Through the bright half of the year,
    Is but acorns, onions, peas,
    Ochros, lupines, radishes,
    Vetches, wild pears nine and ten,
    With a Locust now and then.[394]

Diodorus Siculus, who lived about threescore years before our Saviour’s
birth, first, if I mistake not, described the Acridophagi, or
Locust-eaters, of Ethiopia. He says they are smaller than other men, of
lean and meager bodies, and exceeding black: that in the spring the
south winds rise high, and drive an infinite number of Locusts out of
the desert, of an extraordinary bigness, furnished with most dirty and
nasty colored wings; and these are plentiful food and provision for them
all their days. This historian has also given us an account of their
peculiar mode of catching these insects: In their country there is a
large and deep vale, extending far in length for many furlongs together:
all over this they lay heaps of wood and other combustible material, and
when the swarms of Locusts are driven thither by the force of the winds,
then some of the inhabitants go to one part of the valley, and some to
another, and set the grass and other combustible matter on fire, which
was before thrown among the piles; whereupon arises a great and
suffocating smoke, which so stifles the Locusts as they fly over the
vale, that they soon fall down dead to the ground. This destruction of
them, he continues, is continued for many days together, so that they
lie in great heaps; and the country being full of salt, they gather
these heaps together, and season them sufficiently with this salt, which
gives them an excellent relish, and preserves them a long time sweet,
so that they have food from these insects all the year round.

Diodorus concludes his history of this people, with an account of the
strange and wonderful death that comes to them at an early age, the
result of eating this kind of food: They are exceeding short-lived,
never living to be over forty; and when they grow old, winged lice breed
in their flesh, not only of divers sorts, but of horrid and ugly shapes;
that this plague begins first at the abdomen and breast, and in a short
time eats and consumes the whole body. (_Phthiriasis._)[395]

Strabo, most probably quoting from the above passage from Diodorus,
speaks of a nation bordering on that of the Struthophagi, or
Bird-eaters, whose food consisted entirely of Locusts, and who were
carried off by the same most horrible disease.[396]

Pliny remarks: “The people of the East countries make their food of
grasshoppers, even the very Parthians, who otherwise abound in

The Arabs, who are compelled at the present day to inhabit the desert of
Sahara, welcome the approach of Locusts as the means, oftentimes, of
saving them from famishing with hunger. Robbins tells us their manner of
preparing these insects for food is, by digging a deep hole in the
ground, building a fire at the bottom, and filling it with wood. Then,
after the earth is heated as hot as possible, and the coals and embers
taken out, they prepare to fill the cavity with the live Locusts,
confined in a bag holding about five bushels. Several hold the bag
perpendicularly over the hole with the mouth near the surface of the
ground, while others stand round with sticks. The bag is then opened,
and the Locusts shaken with great force into the hot pit, while the
surrounding persons immediately throw sand upon them to prevent their
flying off. The mouth of the hole is now completely covered with sand,
and another fire built upon the top of it. When the Locusts are
thoroughly roasted and become cool, they are picked out with the hand,
thrown upon tent-cloths, or blankets, and placed in the sun to dry.
During this process, which requires two or three days, they must be
watched with the utmost care, to prevent the live Locusts from devouring
them, if a flight should happen to be passing at the time. When
perfectly dry, they are pounded slightly, pressed into bags, or skins,
and are ready for transportation. To prepare them now for present
eating, they are pulverized in mortars, and mixed with water sufficient
to make a kind of dry pudding. They are, however, sometimes eaten singly
without pulverizing, after breaking off the head, wings, and legs. Mr.
Robbins considers them nourishing food.[398]

Locusts are sometimes boiled at Wadinoon for food for men and

The Arabs of Morocco, we learn from Mr. Jackson, esteem Locusts a great
delicacy; and, during the summer of 1799 and the spring of 1800, after
the plague had almost depopulated Barbary, dishes of them were served up
at the principal repasts. Their usual way of dressing these insects, was
to boil them in water half an hour, then sprinkle them with salt and
pepper, and fry them, adding a little vinegar. The body of the insect is
only eaten, and resembles, according to this gentleman, the taste of
prawns. For their stimulating qualities, the Moors prefer them to
pigeons. A person may eat a plateful of them containing two or three
hundred without any ill effects.[400] In another place, however, Mr.
Jackson says the poor people, when obliged to live altogether on this
kind of food, become meager and indolent.[401]

In Morocco, the price of provisions falls when the Locusts have entered
the neighborhood.[402]

The authority of Capt. Riley is, that Locusts are esteemed very good
food by the Moors, Arabs, and Jews of Barbary, who catch large numbers
of them in their season, and throw them, while alive and jumping, into a
pan of boiling argan oil, where they are allowed to remain, hissing and
frying, till their wings are burned off and their bodies sufficiently
cooked; they are then poured out and eaten. Riley says they resemble,
in consistence and flavor, the yolks of hard-boiled hens’ eggs.[403]

Capt. Beechey tells us he saw many asses, heavily laden with Locusts for
food, driven into the town of Mesurata, in Tripoli.[404]

Barth, in Central Africa, saw whole calabashes filled with roasted
Locusts, which, he says, occasionally form a considerable part of the
food of the natives, particularly if their grain has been destroyed by
this plague, as they can then enjoy not only the agreeable flavor of the
dish, but also take a pleasant revenge for the ravages of their

Adanson, after describing an immense swarm of Locusts that covered an
extent of several leagues which he saw, says the negroes of Gambia eat
these insects, and have different ways of dressing them--some pounding
and boiling them in milk, others only boiling them on coals.[406]

Dr. Sparrman says the Hottentots rejoice greatly upon the arrival of the
Locusts, although they never fail to destroy every particle of verdure
on the ground. But, continues the doctor, they make themselves ample
amends for this loss, for, seizing these marauding animals, they eat
them in such numbers as, in the space of a few days, to get visibly
fatter and in a better condition. The females are principally eaten,
especially when about to migrate, before they are able to fly, when
their wings are short and their bodies heavy and distended with eggs.
The soup prepared of these is of a brown coffee color, and, when cooled,
from the eggs has a fat and greasy appearance.[407]

Dr. Sparrman also relates a curious notion which the Hottentots about
the Visch River have with respect to the origin of the Locusts: that
they proceed from the good will of a great master-conjurer a long way to
the north, who, having removed the stone from the mouth of a certain
deep pit, lets loose these insects in order to furnish them with
food.[408] This is not unlike the account, given by the author of the
Apocalypse, of the origin of the symbolical Locusts, which are said to
ascend upon an angel’s opening the pit of the abyss.[409]

The Korannas and Bushmen of the Cape save the Locusts in large
quantities, and grind them between two stones into a kind of a meal,
which they mix with fat and grease, and bake in cakes. Upon this fare,
says Mr. Fleming, they live for months together, and chatter with the
greatest joy as soon as the Locusts are seen approaching.[410]

Locusts in Madagascar are greatly esteemed by the natives as food.[411]

The account of the missionary Moffat differs somewhat from and is much
more complete than Mr. Fleming’s and Dr. Sparrman’s. He says the natives
of S. Africa embrace every opportunity of gathering Locusts, which can
be done during the night. Whenever the cloud alights at a place not very
distant from a town, the inhabitants turn out with sacks, and often with
pack-oxen, gather loads, and return next day with millions. The Locusts
are then prepared for eating by simple boiling, or rather steaming, as
they are put into a large pot with a little water, and covered closely
up; after boiling for a short time, they are taken out and spread on
mats in the sun to dry, when they are winnowed, something like corn, to
clear them of their legs and wings; and, when perfectly dry, are put
into sacks, or laid upon the house floor in a heap. The natives eat them
whole, adding a little salt when they can obtain it, or pound them in a
wooden mortar; and, when they have reduced them to something like meal,
they mix them with a little water and make a cold stir-about.

When Locusts abound, the natives become quite fat, and would even reward
any old lady who would say that she had coaxed them to alight within
reach of the inhabitants.

Mr. Moffat thinks the Locust not bad food, and, when well fed, almost as
good as shrimps.[412]

The plan of gathering Locusts by night is occasionally attended with
danger. “It has happened that in gathering them people have been bitten
by venomous reptiles. On one occasion a woman had been traveling for
several miles with a large bundle of Locusts on her head, when a
serpent, which had been put into the sack with them, found its way out.
The woman, supposing it to be a thong dangling about her shoulders, laid
hold of it with her hand, and, feeling that it was alive, instantly
precipitated the bundle to the ground and fled.”[413]

Pringle, in his song of the wild Bushman, has the following lines:

    Yea, even the wasting Locust-swarm,
      Which mighty nations dread,
    To me nor terror brings nor harm;
      I make of them my bread.[414]

Flights of Locusts are considered so much of a blessing in South Africa,
that, as Dr. Livingstone states, the _rain_-doctors sometimes promised
to bring them by their incantations.[415]

Carsten Niebuhr says that all Arabians, whether living in their own
country or in Persia, Syria, and Africa, are accustomed to eat Locusts.
They distinguish several species of insect, to which they give
particular names. The red Locust, which is esteemed fatter and more
succulent than any other, and accordingly the greatest delicacy, they
call _Muken_; another is called _Dubbe_, but they abstain from it
because it has a tendency to produce diarrhœa. A light-colored Locust,
as well as the Muken, is eaten.

In Arabia, Locusts, when caught, are put in bags, or on strings, to be
dried; in Barbary, they are boiled, and then dried upon the roofs of the
houses. The Bedouins of Egypt roast them alive, and devour them with the
utmost voracity. Niebuhr says he saw no instance of unwholesomeness in
this article of food; but Mr. Forskal was told it had a tendency to
thicken the blood and bring on melancholy habits. The former gentleman
also says the Jews in Arabia are convinced that the fowls, of which the
Israelites ate so largely of in the desert, were only clouds of Locusts,
and laugh at our translators, who have supposed that they found quails
where quails never were.[416]

The wild Locusts upon which St. John fed have given rise to great
discussion--some authors asserting them to be the fruit of the
carob-tree, while others maintain they were the true Locusts, and refer
to the practice of the Arabs in Syria at the present day. “They who deny
insects to have been the food of this holy man,” says Hasselquist, “urge
that this insect is an unaccustomary and unnatural food; but they would
soon be convinced of the contrary, if they would travel hither, to
Egypt, Arabia, or Syria, and take a meal with the Arabs. Roasted Locusts
are at this time eaten by the Arabs, at the proper season, when they can
procure them; so that in all probability this dish has been used in the
time of St. John. Ancient customs are not here subject to many changes,
and the victuals of St. John are not believed unnatural here; and I was
assured by a judicious Greek priest that their church had never taken
the word in any other sense, and he even laughed at the idea of its
being a bird or a plant.”[417]

Mr. Forbes incidentally remarks that in Persia and Arabia, roasted
Locusts are sold in the markets, and eaten with rice and dates, and
sometimes flavored with salt and spices.[418]

The _Acridites lincola_ (_Gryllus Ægypticus_ of Linnæus) is the species
commonly sold for food in the markets of Bagdad.

In fact, Locusts have been eaten in Arabia from the remotest antiquity.
This is evinced by the sculptured slabs found by Layard at Kouyunjic;
for, among other attendants carrying fruit, flowers, and game, to a
banquet, are seen several bearing dried Locusts fastened on rods. And
being thus introduced in this bas-relief among the choicest delicacies,
it is most probable they were also highly prized by the Assyrians.
Layard has figured one of these Locust bearers, who upon the sculptured
slab is about four and a half feet in height.[419]

The Chinese regard the Locust, when deprived of the abdomen, and
properly cooked, as passable eating, but do not appear to hold the dish
in much estimation.[420]

Mr. Laurence Oliphant, in Tientsin, China, saw bushels of fried Locusts
hawked about in baskets by urchins in the streets. Locust-hunting, he
asserts, was a favorite and profitable occupation among the juvenile
part of the community. He thought the taste not unlike that of

Williams says: “The insect food (of the Chinese) is confined to Locusts
and Grasshoppers, Ground-grubs and Silk-worms; the latter are fried to a
crisp when cooked.”[422]

Dampier says in the Bashee (Philippine) Islands, Locusts are eaten as a
regular food. The natives catch them in small nets, when they come to
devour their potato-vines, and parch them over the fire in an earthen
pan. When thus prepared the legs and wings fall off, and the heads and
backs, which before were brownish, turn red like boiled shrimps. Dampier
once ate of this dish, and says he liked it well enough. When their
bodies were full they were moist to the palate, but their heads cracked
in his teeth.[423]

Ovalle states that in the pampas of Chili, bread is made of Locusts and
of Mosquitos.[424]

According to Mr. Jules Remy, our Western Indians eat in great quantities
what are generally there called _Crickets_, the _Œdipoda

In the southern parts of France, M. Latrielle informs us, the children
are very fond of the fleshy thighs of Locusts.[426]

The Arabs believe the Locusts have a government among themselves similar
to that of the bees and ants; and when “Sultan Jeraad,” King of the
Locusts, rises, the whole mass follow him, and not a solitary straggler
is left behind to witness the devastation. Mr. Jackson himself evidently
believed this from the manner he has narrated it.[427] An Arab once
asserted to this gentleman, that he himself had seen the great “Sultan
Jeraad,” and described his lordship as being larger and more beautifully
colored than the ordinary Locust.[428]

Capt. Riley also mentions that each flight of Locusts is said to have a
king which directs its movements with great regularity.[429]

The Chinese believe the same, and affirm that this leader is the
largest individual of the whole swarm.[430]

Benjamin Bullifant, in his observations on the Natural History of New
England, says: “The Locusts have a kind of regimental discipline, and as
it were commanders, which show greater and more splendid wings than the
common ones, and arise first when pursued by fowls, or the feet of a
traveler, as I have often seriously remarked.”[431]

The truth, however, is found in the Bible. They have no king.[432]

The Saharawans, or Arabs of the desert, “whose hands are against every
man,”[433] and who rejoice in the evil that befalls other nations, when
they behold the clouds of Locusts proceeding toward the north are filled
with the greatest gladness, anticipating a general mortality, which they
call _El-khere_, the good, or the benediction; for, when Barbary is thus
laid waste, they emerge from their arid recesses in the desert and pitch
their tents in the desolated plains.[434]

Pausanias tells us, that in the temple of Parthenon there was a brazen
statue of Apollo, by the hand of Phidias, which was called Parnopius,
out of gratitude for that god having once banished from that country the
Locusts, which greatly injured the land. The same author asserts that he
himself has known the Locusts to have been thrice destroyed by Apollo in
the Mountain Lipylus, once exterminating them by a violent wind; at
another time by vehement heat; and the third time by unexpected

At a time when there were great swarms of Locusts in China, as we learn
from Navarette, the Emperor went out into his gardens, and taking up
some of these insects in his hands, thus spoke to them: The people
maintain themselves on wheat, rice, etc., you come to devour and destroy
it, without leaving anything behind; it were better you should devour my
bowels than the food of my subjects. Having concluded his speech, the
monarch was about to put them in a fair way of “devouring his bowels” by
swallowing them, when some that stood by telling him they were
venomous, he nobly answered, “I value not my life when it is for the
good of my subjects and people to lose it,” and immediately swallowed
the insects. History tells us the Locusts that very moment took wing,
and went off without doing any more damage; but whether or not the
heroic Emperor recovered leaves us in ignorance.[436]

Mr. J. M. Jones gives the following ludicrous account of the capture of
a Locust in the Bermudas. While walking one hot day in the vicinity of
the barracks at St. George’s, with his lamented friend, the late Col.
Oakly (56th Regt.), on the lookout for insects, a very fine specimen of
the Locust sprung up before them. The former chased it for a while
unavailingly, but determined not to be balked of his prey; the colonel
then joined in the pursuit, and after a sharp and hot chase, bagged his
game right before a sentry-box; the sentry, as in duty bound, standing
with arms presented, in the presence of a field officer, who was,
however, in a rather undignified position to receive the salute. They
had gained their prize, however, and had a hearty laugh, in which we
fancy the sentry could scarcely help joining.[437]

Capt. Drayson, in his South African Sporting, tells the following
anecdote: A South African, riding through a flock of Locusts, was struck
in the eye by one of them, and, though blinded momentarily in the
injured eye, he still kept the other on the insect, which sought to
escape by diving among the crowd on the ground. So, dismounting, he
captured it, passed a large pin through its body, and thrust it in his
waistcoat pocket; and whenever the damaged eye smarted, he pulled it out
again, and stuck the pin through it in a fresh place.[438]

Darwin tells us that when the “Beagle” was to windward of the Cape de
Verd Islands, and when the nearest point of land, not directly opposed
to the trade-wind, was Cape Blanco on the coast of Africa, 370 miles
distant, a large Grasshopper--_Acrydium_--flew on board![439] But Sir
Hans Sloane mentions a much more remarkable flight in his History of
Jamaica; for when the Assistance frigate was about 300 leagues to
windward of Barbados, he says a Locust alighted on the forecastle among
the sailors![440]

Several species of Locusts are beautifully marked; these were sought
after by young Jewish children as playthings.[441]

The eggs of the _Chargol_ Locust, _Truxalis nasuta_?, the Jewish women
used to carry in their ears to preserve them from the earache.[442]

The word _Locust_, Latin _Locusta_, is derived by the old etymologists
from _locus_, a place, and _ustus_, burned,--“quod tactu multa _urit_
morsu vero omnia erodat.” True Locusts are the _Acridium_, or
_Criquets_, of Geoffroy, and the _Gryllus_ of Fabricius. The
Migratory-locust, _Locusta migratoria_, a rather small insect, is the
most celebrated species of the family. To it almost all the devastations
before mentioned have been attributed. It is most probable, however,
many species have been confounded under the same name.

In Spain, as we are told by Osbeck, the people of fashion keep a species
of Locust--called there _Gryllo_--in cages--_grillaria_,--for the sake
of its song.[443] De Pauw says that, like Canary birds, they were kept
in cages to sing during the celebration of mass.[444]

The song of a Spanish Gryllo on one occasion, if we may credit the
historian, was the means of saving a vessel from shipwreck. The incident
evinces the perilous situation of Cabeza de Vara, in his voyage toward
Brazil, and is related by Dr. Southey in his history of that country as

“When they had crossed the Line, the state of the water was inquired
into, and it was found, that of a hundred casks there remained but
three, to supply four hundred men and thirty horses. Upon this, the
Adelantado gave orders to make for the nearest land. Three days they
stood toward it. A soldier, who had set out in ill health, had brought a
Gryllo, or ground cricket, with him from Cadiz, thinking to be amused by
the insect’s voice; but it had been silent the whole way, to his no
little disappointment. Now, on the fourth morning, the Gryllo began to
sing its shrill rattle, scenting, as it was immediately supposed, the
land. Such was the miserable watch which had been kept, that upon
looking out at the warning, they perceived high rocks within bowshot;
against which, had it not been for the insect, they must inevitably have
been lost. They had just time to drop anchor. From hence they coasted
along, the Gryllo singing every night, as if it had been on shore, till
they reached the Island of St. Catalina.”[445]

To account for the singular sound produced by the _Platyphyllon
concavum_, which much resembles the expression _Katy did_, so much so
that the insect is now called the Katy-did,--a curious legend is told in
this country, and particularly in Virginia and Maryland. Mrs. A. L.
Ruter Dufour has kindly embodied it in the following verses for me:

    Two maiden sisters loved a gallant youth,
      Once in the far-off days of olden time:
    With all of woman’s fervency and truth;--
      So runs a very ancient rustic rhyme.

    Blanche, chaste and beauteous as a Fairy-queen,
      Brave Oscar’s heart a willing captive led;
    Lovely in soul as was her form and mien,
      While guileless love its light around her shed.

    A Juno was the proud and regal Kate,--
      Her love thus scorn’d, her beauty thus defied,
    Like Juno’s turn’d her love to vengeful hate:--
      Mysteriously the gallant Oscar died.

    Bereft of reason, faithful Blanche soon lay;--
      The mystery of this fearful fate none knew,
    Save proud, revengeful Kate, who would not say
      It was her hand had dared the deed to do.

    Justice and pity then to Jove appealed,
      That the dark secret be no longer hid;
    Young Oscar’s spirit he at once concealed,
      That cries, each summer night, _Kate_, _Katy-did_!

    ROSE HILL, D. C., June 24, 1864.

If a Katy-did enters your house, an unlooked-for visitor will speedily
come. If it sings there, some of your family will be noted for fine
musical powers. These superstitions obtain in Maryland.




The Termites or White-ants (which are _ants_ only by a misnomer) are
found in both the Indies, in Africa, and in South America, where they do
vast damage, in consequence of their eating and perforating wooden
buildings, utensils, furniture, and indeed all kinds of household stuff,
which are utterly destroyed by them if not timely prevented. They are
found also in Europe, and, about thirty years ago, from the extent of
their ravages in the West of France, and particularly at Rochelle,
caused considerable alarm.[446]

There is a story commonly told, if not commonly credited throughout
India, of the Termites demolishing a chest of dollars at Bencoolen,
which is in a great degree cleared up by the following anecdote
introduced by Mr. Forbes in his Memoirs: A gentleman having charge of a
chest of money, unfortunately placed it on the floor in a damp
situation; and, as a matter of course in that climate, the box was
speedily attacked by the Termites, which had their burrow just under the
place the treasure stood. Soon annihilating the bottom, these devouring
insects were not any more ceremonious in respect to the bags containing
the specie; which, being thus let loose, fell piece by piece gradually
into the hollows in the Termites’ burrow. When the cash was demanded,
and not to be found, all were greatly amazed at the wonderful powers,
both of teeth and stomachs, of the little marauders, which were supposed
to have consumed the silver and gold as well as the wood. But, after
some years, however, the house requiring repair, the whole sum was found
several feet deep in the earth; and, thanks, the Termites were rescued
from that obloquy which the supposed power of feasting on precious
metals had cast on their whole race.[447]

Kempfer, during his stay at a Dutch fort on the coast of Malabar, one
morning discovered some peculiar marks like arches upon his table, about
the size of his little finger. Suspecting they were the work of
Termites, he made an accurate examination, and, much to his surprise,
found not only what he expected to be true, but that these voracious
insects had pierced a passage of that thickness up one leg of the table,
then across the table, and so down again through the middle of another
leg into the floor! What made it the more wonderful was that it had all
been done in the few hours that intervened between his retiring to rest
and his rising.[448]

Mr. Forbes, on surveying a room which had been locked up during an
absence of a few weeks, observed a number of advanced works in various
directions toward some prints and drawings in English frames; the
glasses appeared to be uncommonly dull, and the frames covered with
dust. “On attempting,” says he, “to wipe it off, I was astonished to
find the glasses fixed on the wall, not suspended in frames as I left
them, but completely surrounded by an incrustation cemented by the
White-ants, who had actually eaten up the deal frames and back-boards,
and the greater part of the paper, and left the glasses upheld by the
incrustation, or covered way, which they had formed during their

It is even asserted, says Kirby and Spence, that the superb residence of
the Governor-general at Calcutta, which cost the East India Company such
immense sums, is now going rapidly to decay in consequence of the
attacks of these insects. But not content with the dominions they have
acquired, and the cities they have laid low on Terra Firma, encouraged
by success, the White-ants have also aimed at the sovereignty of the
ocean, and once had the hardihood to attack even a British ship of the
line--the Albion; and, in spite of the efforts of her commander and his
valiant crew, having boarded they got possession of her, and handled
her so roughly, that when brought into port, being no longer fit for
service, she was obliged to be broken up.[450]

Lutfullah, in his Autobiography, relates the following: “I returned the
couch kindly sent to me by a friend, with my thanks, and made my bed on
the ground, placing my new desk of Morocco leather at the head to serve
as a pillow, and went to bed. In the morning, when roused by the bugle,
I found my bed strewed with damp dust, my skin excoriated in some parts,
and my back irritated in others. I called my servant, who was saddling
my horse. ‘Mahdilli,’ said I angrily, ‘you have been throwing dust all
over my bed and self, in shaking the trappings of the horse near my bed
in the tent.’--‘No, sir, I have done no such thing,’ was his reply. When
I took up my cloak it fell to pieces in my hand; the blanket was in the
same state, and the bottom of my desk, with some valuable papers, were
destroyed. ‘What misfortune is this?’ cried I to Mahdilli, who
immediately brought a burning stick to examine the cause, and coolly
observed, ‘It is the White-ants, sir, and no misfortune, but a piece of
bad luck, sir.’ Poor man! in all mishaps, I always found him attaching
blame to destiny, and never to his own or my imprudence.”[451]

The Caffres, as we are informed by Mr. Latrobe, when first permitted to
settle at Guadenthal, before they could build ovens, according to the
custom of their country, availed themselves of the Ant-hills found in
that neighborhood; for, having destroyed the inhabitants by fire and
smoke, they scooped them out hollow, leaving a crust of a few inches in
thickness, and used them for baking, putting in three loaves at a

Mr. Southey says that in Brazil the Spaniards hollow out the nests of
the Termites, and use them for ovens.[453] The authority of Messrs.
Kidder and Fletcher is, that in Brazil, “the Termites’ dwelling is
sometimes overturned by the slaves, the hollow scooped wider, and is
then used as a bake-oven to parch Indian-corn.”[454]

Mr. Latrobe also tells us that the clay of which these Ant-hills are
formed, is so well prepared by the industrious Termites, _Termes
bellicosus_, that it is used for the floors of rooms in South Africa
both by the Hottentots and farmers.[455]

Mr. Southey states that in Brazil “the Spaniards pulverize the nests of
the Termites, and with the powder form a flooring for their houses,
which becomes as hard as stone, and on which it is said no fleas or
other insects will harbor.”[456] The early Spanish settlers built the
walls of their houses of the same earth; and some of which, which were
erected in the seventeenth century, are said to be still in

Ant-hills, or rather the Termites which inhabit them, have also been
used as an instrument of perhaps the most infernal torture the ingenuity
of man has ever invented. For, in South Africa, at one time, the
wretched victim, whether prisoner of war or offending subject, having
been smeared with some oily substance, was partially interred in one of
these heaps, and, if not first roasted to death by the burning sun, was
literally devoured alive by the myriads of insects which have their
habitation there. It has been asserted that even some Englishmen have
met this dreadful fate.[458]

At Unyamwezi, in the lake regions of Central Africa, the natives chew
the clay of Ant-hills as a substitute when their tobacco fails. They
call this clay “sweet earth.” It is said the Arabs have also tried it
without other effects than nausea.[459]

The goldsmiths of Ceylon employ the powdered clay of Ant-hills in
preference to all other substances in the preparation of crucibles and
moulds for their fine castings, for so delicate is the trituration to
which the Termites subject this material;[460] and Knox says, “the
people use this finer clay to make their earthen gods of, it is so pure
and fine.”[461]

Termites, as an article of food, are eaten by the inhabitants of many
countries. Mr. Kœnig, in his essay on the history of these insects, read
before the Society of Naturalists of Berlin, tells us, that to catch
the Termites before their emigration, the natives of the East Indies
make two holes in the nest, one to windward, and the other to leeward;
at the latter aperture, they place a pot, rubbed with aromatic herbs. On
the windward side they make a fire, the smoke of which drives these
insects into the pots. By this method they take a great quantity, of
which they make, with flour, a variety of pastry, which they sell to the
poorer people. This author adds, that in the season in which this
aliment is abundant, the abuse of it produces an epidemic colic and
dysentery, which carries off the patient in two or three hours.[462]

The Africans, says Mr. Smeatham, are less ingenious in catching and
preparing them. They content themselves in collecting those which fall
into the water at the time of emigration. They skim them off the surface
with calabashes, filling large caldrons with them, then grill them in
iron pots, over a gentle fire, stirring them as coffee is stirred. They
thus eat them by handfuls, without sauce, or any other preparation, and
find them delicious. This gentleman has several times eaten them cooked
in this manner, and thinks them delicate, nourishing, and wholesome,
being sweeter than the grub of the palm-tree weevil (_Calandra
palmarum_), and resembling in taste sugared cream or sweet almond

The Hottentots, Dr. Sparrman informs us, eat them greedily boiled and
raw, and soon grow fat and plump upon this food.[464]

An idea may be formed of this dish by what once occurred to Dr.
Livingstone on the banks of the Zouga, in South Africa. The Bayeiye
chief Palani visiting this traveler while eating, he gave him a piece of
bread and preserved apricots; and as the chief seemed to relish it much,
he asked him if he had any food equal to that in his country. “Ah!” said
the chief, “did you ever taste White-ants?” As the doctor never had, he
replied, “Well, if you had, you never could have desired to eat anything

In the lake regions of Central Africa, says Burton, man revenges
himself upon the White-ant, and satisfies his craving for animal food,
which in those regions oftentimes becomes a principle of action,--a
passion,--by boiling the largest and fattest species, and eating them as
a relish with his insipid porridge.[466]

Buchanan says the Termes, or White-ant, is a common article of food
among one of the Hindoo tribes; Mr. Forbes says, of the low castes in
Mysore, and the Carnatic.[467] Captain Green relates that, in the ceded
districts of India, the natives place the branches of trees over the
nests, and then by means of smoke drive out the insects; which
attempting to fly, their wings are broken off by the mere touch of the

The female Termite, in particular, is supposed by the Hindoos to be
endowed with highly nutritive properties, and, we are told by Mr.
Broughton, was carefully sought after and preserved for the use of the
debilitated Surjee Rao, Prime-minister of Scindia, chief of the

The Hottentots not only eat the Termites in their perfect state, but
also, when their corn is consumed and they are reduced to the necessity,
in their pupa. These pupæ, which they call “rice,” on account of their
resemblance to that grain, they usually wash, and cook with a small
quantity of water. Prepared in this way they are said to be palatable;
and if the people find a place where they can obtain them in abundance,
they soon become fat upon them, even when previously much reduced by
hunger. A large nest will sometimes yield a bushel of pupæ.[470]

Termite queens in the East Indies are given alive to old men for
strengthening the back.[471]


The name of Ephemeridæ has been given to the insects, so called, in
consequence of the short duration of their lives, when they have
acquired their final form. There are some of them which never see the
sun; they are born after it is set, and die before it reappears on the

These insects, indifferently called also Day-flies and May-flies,
usually make their appearance in the districts watered by the Seine and
the Marne, in the month of August; and in such countless myriads, that
the fishermen of these rivers believe they are showered down from
heaven, and accordingly call the living cloud of them _manna_--manna for
fish, not men. Reaumur once saw them descend in this region so fast,
that the step on which he stood by the river’s bank was covered by a
layer four inches thick in a few minutes. He compares their falling to
that of snow with the largest flakes.[472]

Scopoli assures us that such swarms are produced every season in the
neighborhood of some particular spots in the Duchy of Carniola, that the
countrymen think they obtain but a small portion, unless every farmer
can carry off about twenty cartloads of them into his fields for the
purpose of a manure.[473]


On account of the long and slender body, peculiar to the insects of this
family, they are with us sometimes called _Devil’s Darning-needles_, but
more commonly _Dragon-flies_. In Scotland they are known by the name of
_Flying Adders_, for the same reason. The English, from an erroneous
belief that they sting horses, call them _Horse-stingers_. In France,
from their light and airy motions, and brilliant, variegated dress, they
are called _Demoiselles_; and in Germany, for the same reason, and that
they hover over, and lived during their first stages in, water,
_Wasser-jungfern_--Virgins of the Water. Another German name for them is
_Florfliegen_--Gauze-flies, in allusion to their net-like wings. Our
boys also call them _Snake-feeders_ and _Snake-doctors_, in the belief
that they wait upon snakes in the capacity of feeders and doctors; and
so firm are they in this belief, that frequently I have been laughed at
for asserting the contrary to them. The belief probably arose from the
manner in which the Dragon-fly sometimes falls a prey to the snakes.
Hovering over ponds, they are fond of alighting on little sticks and
twigs just out of the water, and mistaking the heads of snakes, which
probably swam there for the purpose, for such twigs, they are instantly
caught by the snakes.

On the 30th and 31st of May, 1839, immense cloud-like swarms of
Dragon-flies passed in rapid succession over the German town of Weimar
and its neighborhood. They were the _Libellula depressa_, a species
which, in general, is rather scarce in that part of Germany. The general
direction of this migration was from south by west to north by east. The
insects were in a vigorous state, and some of the flocks flew as high as
150 feet above the level of the River Ilm.

At Gottingen on June the 1st, at Eisenach on May the 30th and 31st of
the same year, swarms of the same species were seen flying from east to
west; and at Calais, June 14th, similar clouds, though of a different
species, were noticed on their way toward the Netherlands. At Halle,
also, on May 30th, a short time before a thunder-storm, swarms of the
Dragon-fly, _L. quadrimaculata_, were seen by Dr. Buhle, flying very
rapidly from south to north. The _L. quadrimaculata_ is not generally
found in the neighborhood of Halle.

This wonderful migration, for it is a phenomenon of rare occurrence,
extended from the 51st to the 52d degree of latitude, and was observed
within 27° 40′ and 30° east of Ferro. But the instance of Calais renders
it probable that it extended over a great part of Europe.

Another migration of Dragon-flies was observed at Weimar on the 28th of
June, 1816. The insects, in this instance, belonged also to the _L.
depressa_. They were taken then, as were they also in 1839, for locusts
by the common people, and looked upon as the harbingers of famine and

In these migrations they followed the direction of the rivers, with the
currents. They did not, however, always keep close by them, since they
must spread over wide districts in order to subsist.

To account for the great multiplication of these insects, in the year
1839, is by no means difficult. From the beginning to the 21st of May
(in the latter part of which month, it will be remembered, they
appeared), the weather had been exceedingly rainy; rivers and lakes
overflowed their banks and inundated immense areas of low grounds,
whereby myriads of the _larvæ_ and _pupæ_ (which live entirely in water)
of the _Libellulæ_, which, under other circumstances, would have
remained in deep water, and become the prey of their many enemies, fish,
etc., were brought into shallow water, and hot weather following, from
May 21st to May 29th, converted these shallows and swamps into true
hotbeds for them. Their development into perfect insects was thus
rendered rapid, so that, somewhat earlier than usual, they appeared, and
in far greater, their undiminished, numbers; and, being very voracious
in their appetite, as well in the imago as the pupa state, they were
obliged to migrate immediately to satisfy it.[474]

Mr. Gosse observed in Jamaica, Oct. 8th, 1845, a swarm of Dragon-flies
in the air, about twenty feet from the level of the ground. They floated
and danced about, over the stream of water that runs through
Blue-fields, much in the manner of gnats, which they resembled also in
their immense numbers.[475] And Rev. T. J. Bowen, on one occasion, in
descending the Ogun River (in the Yoruba country, Africa), met millions
of Dragon-flies, about one-fourth of an inch in length, making their way
up the country by following the course of the stream.[476]

It is commonly said among us, that if a Dragon-fly be killed, there will
soon be a death in the family of the killer.


When children meet with the funnel-shaped pitfalls of the larva of the
Ant-lion, _Myrmeleon formicales_, they are wont to put their heads close
to the ground and softly sing _ooloo-ooloo-ooloo_, till the larva,
mistaking the sound for that of a fly escaping his trap, throws up a
shower of sand to bring its supposed victim down again.

Ant-lions are held in great esteem in many sections of our country, so
much so that they are not suffered to be in any way injured.




In a work called “_Ephemerides des curieux de la nature_,” is an
observation apparently relative to this family of insects, which, if
true, would be very extraordinary indeed. It is there said, that in the
town of Czierck and its environs, there were seen in 1679 some unknown
winged insects which, with their stings, mortally wounded both men and
beasts. They fell abruptly upon men without provocation, and attached
themselves to the naked parts of the body: the sting was immediately
followed by a hard tumor, and if care was not taken of the wound within
the first three hours, by hastily extracting the poison from it, the
patient died in a few days after. These insects killed five and thirty
men in this diocese, and a great number of oxen and horses. Toward the
end of September, the winds brought some of them into a small town on
the confines of Silesia and Poland; but they were so feeble on account
of the cold, that they did but little mischief there. Eight days after,
they all disappeared. These animals have all of them four wings, six
feet, and carry under the belly a long sting provided with a sheath,
which opens and separates in two. They make a very sharp noise in
attacking men. Some of them are ornamented with yellow circles (_Sirex
gigas_, or _S. fusicornis_? M. Latreille), and others are similar to
them in all respects, but they have the back altogether black, and their
stings are more venomous (_S. spectrum_ or _juvencus_?). The author of
these observations gives an extended description of the species with the
yellow circles, which he accompanies with figures, in which the
character of _Sirex_ may be clearly distinguished.[477]


In the spring of 1694, some Galls hung down like chains upon the oaks in
Germany, and the common people, who had never observed them before,
imagined them to be magical knots.[478]

A very old and common superstition is, that every oak-apple contains
either a maggot, a fly, or a spider: the first foretelling famine, the
second war, and the third, the spider, pestilence. Matthiolus gravely
affirms this conceit to be true;[479] and the learned Sir Thomas Browne,
in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, has thought it worth his while, with much
gravity, to explode it. He, however, while combating one popular error,
falls himself into another, for want of that philosophical knowledge of
insects which later times have succeeded in obtaining. We pass this by,
and hurry to his conclusion: “We confess the opinion may hold some
verity in analogy, or emblematical phancy; for pestilence is properly
signified by the spider, whereof some kinds are of a very venomous
nature: famine by maggots, which destroy the fruits of the earth; and
war not improperly by the fly, if we rest in the phancy of Homer, who
compares the valiant Grecian unto a fly. Some verity it may also have in
itself, as truly declaring the corruptive constitution in the present
sap and nutrimental juice of the tree; and may consequently discover the
disposition of the year according to the plenty or kinds of those
productions; for if the putrefying juices of bodies bring forth plenty
of flies and maggots, they give forth testimony of common corruption,
and declare that the elements are full of the seeds of putrefaction, as
the great number of caterpillars, gnats, and ordinary insects do also
declare. If they run into spiders, they give signs of higher
putrefaction, as plenty of vipers and scorpions are confessed to do; the
putrefying materials producing animals of higher mischief according to
the advance and higher strain of corruption.”[480]

Moufet says: “In oak acorns and spongy apples sometimes worms breed,
and astrologers presage that year to be likely to produce a great famine
and dearth.... It is strange that Ringelbergius writes, _lib. de
experiment_, that these worms may be fed to be as big as a serpent, with
sheep’s milk; yet Cardanus confirms the same, and shewes the way to feed
them, _Lib. de rer. varietat_.”[481]

There is a very curious operation performed at the present day in the
Levant with one of these Gall-flies, which is termed _caprification_.
The object of it is to hasten the maturity of figs; and the species
employed for that purpose is the _Cynips ficus caricæ_, or _Cynips
psenes_ of Linnæus; it consists in placing on a fig-tree, which does not
produce flowers or early figs, some of these last strung together with a
thread. The insects which issue from them, full of fecundating dust,
introduce themselves through the eye into the interior of the second
figs, fecundate by this means all the grains, and provoke the ripening
of the fruit.

This operation, of which some authors have spoken with admiration,
appeared to Hasselquist and Olivier, both competent observers, who have
been on the spot, to be of no advantage whatsoever in fertilizing the
fig;[482] and scientific men of the present day generally hold that it
cannot be of any utility, for each fig contains some small flowers
toward the eye, capable of fecundating all the female flowers in the
interior, and moreover this fruit will grow, ripen, and become excellent
to eat even when the grains are not fecundated.[483]

A curious kind of gall, produced on the rose-trees by the _Cynips rosæ_,
which is known by the name of _Bedeguar_, has been placed among the
remedies which may be successfully employed against diarrhœa and
dysentery, and useful in cases of scurvy, stone, and worms.[484]

The galls of commerce, commonly called _Nut-galls_, are found on the
_Quercus infectoria_, a species of oak growing in the Levant, and are
produced by the _Cynips Gallæ tinctorum_. When gathered before the
insects quit them, the nut-galls contain more astringent matter, and are
then known as Black, Blue, or Green-galls. When the insects have
escaped, they are less astringent, and are called White-galls. They are
of great importance in the arts, being very extensively used in dyeing
and in the manufacture of ink and leather. They are the most powerful of
all the vegetable astringents, and are sometimes used, both internally
and externally, with great effect in medicine. Those imported from Syria
are the most esteemed, and, of these, those found in the neighborhood of
Moussoul are considered the best.[485]

The gall of the field cirsium formerly enjoyed a very great reputation,
for it was considered, when carried simply in the pocket, as a sovereign
remedy against hemorrhages. It, no doubt, owed this virtue to its
resemblance to the principal sign of this disease, the swelling of the

The galls of the ground-ivy, produced by the _Cynips glecome_, have been
eaten as food in France; they have an agreeable taste, and to a high
degree the odor of the plant which bears them. Reaumur, however, is
doubtful whether they will ever rank with good fruits.[487]

The galls of the sage (_Salvia pomifera_, _S. triloba_, and _S.
officinalis_), which are very juicy, like apples, and crowned with
rudiments of leaves resembling the calyx of that fruit, are gathered
every year, as an article of food, by the inhabitants of the Island of
Crete. This is the statement of Poumefort. Olivier confirms it, and
adds: They are esteemed in the Levant for their aromatic and acid
flavor, especially when prepared with honey and sugar, and form a
considerable article of commerce from Scio to Constantinople, where they
are regularly exposed in the market.[488]

The celebrated “Dead Sea Fruits,” often called _Poma insana_, or
Mad-apples, _Mala Sodomitica_, etc., which have given rise to great
controversy among Oriental scholars and Biblical commentators, are
produced by the _Cynips insana_ on the low oaks (_Quercus infectoria_)
growing on the borders of the Dead Sea.[489]


Herodotus, who wrote in the fifth century before the birth of Christ,
tells the following fabulous story without the slightest trace of
diffidence or disbelief: There are other Indians bordering on the City
of Caspatyrus and the country of Pactyica, settled northward of the
other Indians, whose mode of life resembles that of the Bactrians. They
are the most warlike of the Indians, and these are they who are sent to
procure the gold; for near this part is a desert by reason of the sand.
In this desert then, and in the sand, there are Ants in size somewhat
less indeed than dogs, but larger than foxes. Some of them are in the
possession of the King of the Persians, which were taken there. These
Ants, forming their habitations under ground, heap up the sand as the
Ants in Greece do, and in the same manner; and they are very like them
in shape. The sand that is heaped up is mixed with gold. The Indians,
therefore, go to the desert to get this sand, each man having three
camels, on either side a male one harnessed to draw by the side, and a
female in the middle; this last the man mounts himself, having taken
care to yoke one that has been separated from her young as recently as
possible; for camels are not inferior to horses in swiftness, and are
much better able to carry burdens.... The Indians then, adopting such a
plan and such a method of harnessing, set out for the gold, having
before calculated the time, so as to be engaged in their plunder during
the hottest part of the day, for during the heat the Ants hide
themselves under ground.... When the Indians arrive at the spot, having
sacks with them, they fill these with the sand, and return with all
possible expedition; for the Ants, as the Persians say, immediately
discovering them by the smell, pursue them, and they are equaled in
swiftness by no other animal, so that if the Indians did not get the
start of them while the Ants were assembling, not a man of them could be
saved. Now the male camels (for they are inferior in speed to the
females) slacken their pace, dragging on, not both equally; but the
females, mindful of the young they have left, do not slacken their pace.
Thus the Indians, as the Persians say, obtain the greatest part of their

Concerning these remarkable Ants, Strabo and Arrian have preserved the
statement of Megasthenes, who traveled in India about two centuries
later than the time of Herodotus. As given by Strabo, who is somewhat
more particular in his story than Arrian, it is as follows: Megasthenes,
speaking of the Myrmeces (or Ants), says, among the Derdæ, a populous
nation of the Indians, living toward the East and among the mountains,
there was a mountain plain of about 3000 stadia in circumference; that
below this plain were mines containing gold, which the Myrmeces, in size
not less than foxes, dig up. They are excessively fleet, and subsist on
what they catch. In winter they dig holes and pile up the earth in
heaps, like moles, at the mouths of the openings. The gold dust which
they obtain requires little preparation by fire. The neighboring people
go after it by stealth with beasts of burden; for if it is done openly,
the Myrmeces fight furiously, pursuing those that run away, and, if they
seize them, kill them and the beasts. In order to prevent discovery,
they place in various parts pieces of the flesh of wild beasts, and when
the Myrmeces are dispersed in various directions, they take away the
gold dust, and, not being acquainted with the mode of smelting it,
dispose of it in its rude state at any price to merchants.[491]

Nearchus says he has himself seen several of the skins of these Ants,
which were as large as the skins of leopards. They were brought by the
Macedonian soldiers into Alexander’s camp.[492]

Pliny, as a matter of course, believed this marvelous story, and has
inserted it in brief in his compilation of natural history. He adds,
too, that in his time there were suspended in the temple of Hercules, at
Erythræ, this Ant’s horns, which were looked upon as quite miraculous
for their size. He also informs us it was of the color of a cat.[493]

Strabo and Arrian, from the manner in which they refer to the statements
of Megasthenes and Nearchus, no doubt disbelieved them;[494] not so,
however, Pomponius Mela.[495]

M. de Veltheim thinks this animal, which, as Pliny says, “has the color
of a cat, and is in size as large as an Egyptian wolf,” is nothing more
than, and really is, the _Canis corsac_, the small fox of India, and
that by some mistake it was represented by travelers as an ant. It is
not improbable, Cuvier says, that some quadruped, in making holes in the
ground, may have occasionally thrown up some grains of the precious
metal. Another interpretation of this story has also been suggested. We
find some remarks of Mr. Wilson, in the _Transactions of the Asiatic
Society_, on the Mahabharata, a Sanscrit poem, that various tribes on
the mountains Meru and Mandara (supposed to lie between Hindostan and
Thibet) used to sell grains of gold, which they called _paippilaka_, or
_Ant-gold_, which, they said, was thrown up by Ants, in Sanscrit called
_pippilaka_. In traveling westward, this story (in itself, no doubt,
untrue) may very probably have been magnified to its present

The laborious life and foresight of the Ant have been celebrated
throughout all antiquity, and from the wise Solomon down to the amiable
La Fontaine, the sluggard has been referred to this insect to “learn her
ways and be wise.”[497] The Arabians held the wisdom of these animals in
such estimation, that they used to place one of them in the hands of a
newly-born infant, repeating these words: “May the boy turn out clever
and skillful.”[498] But their wisdom is magnified by all, and in the
panegyrics of their providence we always find the following curious
notion. Plutarch, in his Land and Water Creatures Compared, thus
mentions it: “But that which surpasseth all other prudence, policy, and
wit, is their (the Ants’) caution and prevention which they use, that
their wheat and other corn may not spurt and grow. For this is certain,
that dry it cannot continue alwayes, nor sound and uncorrupt, but in
time will wax soft, resolve into a milky juice, when it turneth and
beginneth to swell and chit; for fear, therefore, that it become not a
generative seed, and so by growing, loose the nature and property of
food for their nourishment, _they gnaw that end thereof or head where it
is wont to spurt and bud forth_.”[499]

The ancients, observing the Ants carry their pupæ, which in shape,
size, and color very much resemble a grain of corn, and the ends of
which they sometimes pull open to let out the inclosed insect, no doubt
mistook the one for the other, and this action for depriving the grain
of the embryo of the plant.

Some modern writers, as Addison[500] and Pluche,[501] it is curious to
observe, have fallen into this ancient error; so ancient, in fact, it is
that some have supposed the Hebrew name of the Ant to be derived from
it.[502] Among the poets, Prior asks:

                      Tell me, why the _Ant_
    In _summer’s plenty thinks of winter’s want_?
    By constant journey _careful to prepare
    Her stores_, and _bringing home the corny ear_,
    By what instruction _does she bite the grain_?
    Lest, hid in earth, and taking root again,
    It might elude the foresight of her care.[503]

Thus Watts, also:

    They don’t wear their time out in sleeping or play;
    But _gather up corn_ in a sunshiny day,
        And _for winter they lay up their stores_:
    They manage their work in such regular forms,
    One would think they _foresaw_ all the frosts and the storms,
        And so _brought their food within doors_.[504]

And Smart:

    The _sage, industrious Ant_, the _wisest insect_,
    And _best economist_ of all the field:
    For when as yet the favorable sun
    Gives to the genial earth th’ enlivening ray,
    ----All her subterranean avenues,
    And storm-proof cells, with management most meet,
    And unexampled housewif’ry, she frames;
    Then to the field she hies, and _on her back
    Burden immense! brings home the cumbrous corn_:
    Then, many a weary step, and many a strain,
    And many a grievous groan subdued, at length
    Up the huge hill she hardly heaves it home;
    Nor rests she here her providence, but _nips
    With subtle tooth the grain_, lest from _her garner_,
    In mischievous fertility, it steal,
    And back to daylight vegetate its way.[505]

Milton also entertained this erroneous opinion:

                      First crept
    The _parsimonious Emmet, provident
    Of future_, in small room large heart inclos’d;
    Pattern of just equality perhaps
    Hereafter, join’d in her popular tribes
    Of commonalty.[506]

And also Dr. Johnson:

    Turn on the _prudent Ant_ thy heedless eyes,
    Observe her labors, sluggard! and be wise.
    No stern command, no monitory voice,
    Prescribes her duties or directs her choice;
    Yet _timely provident_ she hastes away,
    To snatch the blessings of a plenteous day;
    When fruitful Summer loads the teeming plain,
    _She crops the harvest, and she stores the grain_.[507]

There is an old Eastern proverb, that “what the Ant _collects_ in a year
the monks eat up in a night,” which seems to be founded on the
supposition that the Ants provide themselves with stores of food.
Juvenal, also, observes, in his Sixth Satire, that “after the example of
the Ant, some have learned to _provide_ against cold and hunger.”[508]

“Since, therefore,” says Moufet, “(to winde up all in a few words) they
(the Ants) are so exemplary for their great piety, prudence, justice,
valour, temperance, modesty, charity, friendship, frugality,
perseverance, industry and art; it is no wonder that Plato, in Phædone,
hath determined, that they who without the help of philosophy have lead
a civill life by custom or from their own diligence, they had their
souls from Ants, and when they die they are turned to Ants again. To
this may be added the fable of the Myrmidons, who being a people of
Ægina, applied themselves to diligent labour in tilling the ground,
continual digging, hard toiling, and constant sparing, joyned with
virtue, and they grew thereby so rich, that they passed the common
condition and ingenuity of men, and Theogonis knew not how to compare
them better than to Pismires, that they were originally descended from
them, or were transformed into them, and as Strabo reports they were
therefore called Myrmidons. The Greeks relate the history otherwise than
other men do; namely, that Jupiter was changed into a Pismire, and so
deflowered Eurymedusa, the mother of the Graces, as if he could no
otherwise deceive the best woman, then in the shape of the best
creature. Hence ever after was he called Pismire Jupiter, or, Jupiter,
King of Pismires....

“They do better, in my opinion, who observe the Pismire, and grow rich
by following his manners in labor, industry, rest, and study. We read of
Midas that he was the richest King of all the West, and when he was a
boy, the Pismires carryed grains of wheat into his mouth while he slept,
and so foreshowed without doubt that he should be endowed with the
Pismire’s prudence, and should by his labour and frugality, gain so much
riches, that he should be called the Golden boy of fortune, and the
Darling of prosperity. _Ælianus._ And when the Ants did devour and eat
up the live serpent of Tiberius Cæsar, which he so dearly loved, did
they not thereby give him sufficient warning that he should take heed to
himself for fear of the multitude, by whom he was afterwards cruelly
murthered? _Suetonius._”[509]

Of the wars and battles of the Ants, now so familiar from the writings
of Huber and others, one of the oldest records is that given by Æneas
Sylvius, who afterward became Pope Pius II., of an engagement contested
with obstinacy by a great and a small species, on the trunk of a
pear-tree. “This action,” he states, “was fought in the pontificate of
Eugenius the Fourth, in the presence of Nicholas Pistoriensis, an
eminent lawyer, who related the whole history of the battle with the
greatest fidelity.” Another engagement of the same description is
recorded by Olaus Magnus, as having happened previous to the expulsion
of Christiern the Second, of Sweden, and the smallest species, having
been victorious, are said to have buried the bodies of their own
soldiers that had been killed, while they left those of their
adversaries a prey to the birds.[510]

Alexander Ross, in his Appendix to the Arcana Microcosmi, p. 219, tells
us: “That the cruel battels between the Venetians and Insubrians, and
that also between the Liegeois and the Burgundians, in which about
thirty thousand men were slain, were presignified by a great combat
between two swarms of Emmets (Ants).”[511]

Ants were used in divination by the Greeks, and generally foretold
good.[512] They were also considered an attribute of Ceres.[513]

The following extract is from an English North-Country chap-book,
entitled the Royal Dream Book: “To dream of Ants or Bees denotes that
you will live in a great town or city, or in a large family, and that
you will be industrious, happy, well married, and have a large
family.”[514] The Ant and the Bee are common figures to express these

I heard a mother once say to her child, “Never destroy Ants, for they
are fairies, and will so bewitch our cows that they will give no milk.”
This superstition prevails in particular about Washington and in

Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, in an interesting article on the Ants of India,
remarks that she has often witnessed the Hindoos, male and female,
depositing small portions of sugar near Ants’ nests as acts of charity
to commence the day with.

With the natives of India, this lady also tells us, it is a common
opinion that wherever the Red-ants colonize, prosperity attends the
owner of that house.[515]

We read in Purchas’s _Pilgrims_, that “the natives of Cambaia and
Malabar will go out of the path if they light on an Ant-hill, lest they
might happily treade on some of them.”[516]

Other insects, as will be noticed in the course of this volume, are
looked upon by these people with the same respect.

Moufet says: “In Isthmus the priests sacrificed Pismires to the sun,
either because they thought the sun the most beautiful, and therefore
they would offer unto him the most beautiful creature, or the most wise,
as seeing all things, and therefore they offered unto him the wisest

In the twenty-seventh chapter of the Koran, which was revealed at Mecca,
and entitled the Ant, we find, among other strange things, an odd story
of the Ant, which has therefore given name to the chapter. It is as
follows: “And his armies were gathered together unto Solomon, consisting
of genii, and men, and birds; and they were led in distant bands, until
they came to the valley of Ants.[518] And an Ant, seeing the hosts
approaching, said, O Ants, enter ye into your habitations, lest Solomon
and his army tread you under foot, and perceive it not. And Solomon
smiled, laughing at her words, and said, O Lord, excite me that I may be
thankful for thy favour, wherewith thou hast favoured me, and my
parents; and that I may do that which is right, and well pleasing unto
thee: and introduce me, through thy mercy, into paradise, among my
servants, the righteous.”[519]

Thevenot mentions “Solomon’s Ant” among the “Beasts that shall enter
into Paradise” in the belief of the Turks, and gives the following
reason: “Solomon was the greatest king that ever was, for all creatures
obey’d him, and brought him presents, amongst others, an Ant brought him
a Locust, which it had dragged along by main force: Solomon, perceiving
that the Ant had brought a thing bigger than itself, accepted the
present, and preferred it before all other creatures.”[520]

Plutarch, speaking of the Ant, says: “Aratus in his prognostics setteth
this down for a rain toward, when they bring forth their seeds and
grains (pupæ), and lay them abroad to take the air:

    ‘When Ants make haste with all their eggs aload,
    Forth of their holes to carry them abroad.’”[521]

In the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times, it is also asserted that
“when Ants walk the thickest, and more than in vsuall numbers, meeting
together confusedly, it is a manifest signe of raine.”[522]

It is related of the celebrated Timour, that being once forced to take
shelter from his enemies in a ruined building, he sat alone many hours;
and, desirous of diverting his mind from his hopeless condition, at
length fixed his observation upon an Ant which was carrying a grain of
corn (probably a pupa) larger than itself, up a high wall. Numbering the
efforts it made to accomplish this object, he found that the grain fell
sixty-nine times to the ground; but the seventieth time it reached the
top of the wall. “This sight,” said Timour, “gave me courage at the
moment, and I have never forgotten the lesson it conveyed.”[523]

Plutarch, in his comparison between land and water creatures, narrates
the following anecdote: “Gleanthus the Philosopher, although he
maintaineth not that beasts have any use of reason, made report
nevertheless that he was present at the sight of such a spectacle and
occurrent as this. There were (quoth he) a number of Ants which went
toward another Ant’s hole, that was not their own, carrying with them
the corpse of a dead Ant; out of which hole, there came certain other
Ants to meet them on the way (as it were) to parl with them, and within
a while returned back and went down again; after this they came forth a
second, yea a third time, and retired accordingly until in the end they
brought up from beneath (as it were a ransom for the dead body) a grub
or little worm; which the others received and took upon their shoulders,
and after they had delivered in exchange the aforesaid corpse, departed

Of the ingenuity of the Ant in removing obstacles, the following
anecdote is a very appropriate illustration: A gentleman of Cambridge
one day observed an Ant dragging along what, with respect to the
creature’s size, might be denominated a log of wood. Others were
severally employed, each in its own way. Presently the Ant in question
came to an ascent, where the weight of the wood seemed for a while to
overpower him: he did not remain long perplexed with it; for three or
four others, observing his dilemma, came behind and pushed it up. As
soon, however, as he got it on level ground, they left it to his care,
and went to their own work. The piece he was drawing happened to be
considerably thicker at one end than the other. This soon threw the poor
fellow into a fresh difficulty; he unluckily dragged it between two bits
of wood. After several fruitless efforts, finding it would not go
through, he adopted the only mode that even a man in similar
circumstances would have taken: he came behind it, pulled it back again,
and turned it on its edge; when, running again to the other end, it
passed through without the slightest difficulty.[525]

Franklin was much inclined to believe Ants could communicate their
thoughts or desires to one another, and confirmed his opinion by several
experiments. Observing that when an Ant finds some sugar, it runs
immediately under ground to its hole, where, having stayed a little
while, a whole army comes out, unites and marches to the place where the
sugar is, and carry it off by pieces; and that if an Ant meets with a
dead fly, which it cannot carry alone, it immediately hastens home, and
soon after some more come out, creep to the fly, and carry it away;
observing this, he put a little earthen pot, containing some treacle,
into a closet, into which a number of Ants collected, and devoured the
treacle very quickly. He then shook them out, and tied the pot with a
thin string to a nail which he had fastened in the ceiling, so that it
hung down by the string. A single Ant by chance remained in the pot, and
when it had gorged itself upon the treacle, and wanted to get off, it
was under great concern to find a way, and kept running about the bottom
of the pot, but in vain. At last it found, after many attempts, the way
to the ceiling, by going along the string. After it was come there, it
ran to the wall, and thence to the ground. It had scarcely been away
half an hour, when a great swarm of Ants came out, got up to the
ceiling, and crept along the string into the pot, and began to eat
again. This they continued till the treacle was all eaten; in the mean
time one swarm running down the string, and the other up.[526]

It has been suggested, that in such instances as the preceding, the Ants
may have been led by the scent or trace of treacle likely to be left by
the solitary prisoner; and the following case, related by Bradley, is
quoted to favor the opinion: “A nest of Ants in a nobleman’s garden
discovered a closet, many yards within the house, in which conserves
were kept, which they constantly attended till the nest was destroyed.
Some, in their rambles, must have first discovered this depot of sweets,
and informed the rest of it. It is remarkable that they always went to
it by the same track, scarcely varying an inch from it, though they had
to pass through two apartments; nor could the sweeping and cleaning of
the rooms discomfit them, or cause them to pursue a different

Dionisio Carli, of Piacenza, a missionary in Congo, lying sick at that
place, was awakened one night by his monkey leaping on his head, and
almost at the same time by his Blacks crying out, much to his surprise,
“Out! Out! Father!” Thoroughly awake now, Carli asked them what was the
matter? “The Ants,” they cried, “are broke out, and there is no time to
be lost!” Not being able to stir, he bid them carry him into the garden,
which they did, four of them lifting him upon his straw bed; and yet
though very quick about it, the Ants had already commenced crawling up
his legs. After shaking them off their master, the Blacks took straw and
fired it on the floor of four rooms, where these insects by this time
were over half a foot thick. The pests being thus destroyed, Carli was
conveyed back to his chamber, where he found the stench so great from
the burnt bodies, that he was forced, he says, to hold his _monkey_
close to his nose!

These Ants, Carli relates, ate up every living object within their
reach; and of one cow, which was accidentally left over night in the
stable through which they passed, nothing but the bones were found the
next morning.[528] We need not wonder at this, if we believe what Bosman
has said of the Black-ants of Guinea, which were so surprisingly
rapacious that no animal could stand before them. He relates an
instance where they reduced for him one of his live sheep in one night
to a perfect skeleton, and that so nicely that it surpassed the skill of
the best anatomists.[529] Du Chaillu says the elephant and gorilla fly
before the attack of the Bashikouay-ants, and the black men run for
their lives. Many a time has he himself, he says, been awakened out of a
sleep, and obliged to rush out of his hut and into the water to save his
life![530] The Driver-ants[531] of Western Africa, _A. nomma arcens_,
have been known to kill the _Python natalensis_, the largest serpent of
that part of the world.[532]

Col. St. Clair, after a visit by a species of small Red-ants, makes
mention of the following instance, among others, of their singular
destructiveness: “I next discovered that a little pet deer, which I had
purchased from a negro, was extremely ill. I could not discover the
cause of its malady, until, placing it on its legs, I observed that it
would not let one foot touch the ground, and, on examining it, I found,
to my grief, that the Red-ants had absolutely eaten a hole into the
bone. The poor little animal pined all that day and died in the

Capt. Stedman relates that the Fire-ants of Surinam caused a whole
company of soldiers to start and jump about as if scalded with boiling
water; and its nests were so numerous that it was not easy to avoid
them.[534] And Knox, in his account of Ceylon, mentions a black Ant,
called by the natives _Coddia_ or _Kaddiya_,[535] which, he says, “bites
desperately, as bad as if a man were burnt by a coal of fire; but they
are of a noble nature, and will not begin unless you disturb them.” The
reason the Singhalese assign for the horrible pain occasioned by their
bite is curious, and is thus related by Knox: “Formerly these Ants went
to ask a wife of the _Noya_, a venomous and noble kind of snake;[536]
and because they had such a high spirit to dare to offer to be related
to such a generous creature, they had this virtue bestowed upon them,
that they should sting after this manner. And if they had obtained a
wife of the Noya, they should have had the privilege to sting full as
bad as he.”[537] Capt. Stedman has a story of a large Ant that stripped
the trees of their leaves, to feed, as was supposed by the natives of
Surinam, a blind serpent under ground,[538] which is somewhat akin to
this: as is also another, related to Kirby and Spence by a friend, of a
species of Mantis, taken in one of the Indian islands, which, according
to the received opinion among the natives, was the parent of all their
serpents.[539] But, the reverse: Among the harmless snakes of Mexico is
a beautiful one about a foot in length, and of the thickness of the
little finger, which appears to take pleasure in the society of Ants,
insomuch that it will accompany these insects upon their expeditions,
and return with them to their usual nest. From this peculiarity it is
called by the Spaniards and Mexicans the “Mother of the Ants.”[540]

When in Africa, Du Chaillu was told by the natives that criminals in
former times were exposed to the path of the Bashikouay-ants, as the
most cruel way of putting them to death.[541] This dreadful manner of
torturing was at one time also practiced by the Singhalese, and I have
heard that several British soldiers have thus met their fate. The
Termites have been referred to before as having been employed for a
similar purpose.

To check the ravages of the Coffee-bug, _Lecanium coffea_, Walker, which
for several years was devastating some of the plantations of Ceylon, the
experiment was made of introducing the Red-ants, _Formica smaragdina_,
Fab., which feed greedily on the Coccus.[542] But the remedy threatened
to be attended with some inconvenience, for, says Tennent, the Malabar
coolies, with bare and oiled skins, were so frequently and fiercely
assaulted by the Ants as to endanger their stay on the estates.

The pupæ or cocoons of the Ants, during the day, are placed near the
surface of the Ant-hills to obtain heat, which is indispensable to the
growth of the inclosed insects. This is taken advantage of in Europe to
collect the cocoons in large quantities as food for nightingales and
larks. The cocoons of a species of Wood-ant, _Formica rufa_, are the
only kind chosen. In most of the towns of Germany, one or more
individuals make a living during summer by this business alone. “In
1832,” says a contributor to the Penny Encyclopedia, “we visited an old
woman at Dottendorf, near Bern, who had collected for fourteen years.
She went to the woods in the morning, and collected in a bag the
surfaces of a number of Ant-hills where the cocoons were deposited,
taking Ants and all home to her cottage, near which she had a small
tiled shed covering a circular area, hollowed out in the center, with a
trench full of water around it. After covering the hollow in the center
with leafy boughs of walnut or hazel, she strewed the contents of her
bag on the level part of the area within the trench, when the Nurse-ants
immediately seized the cocoons, and carried them into a hollow under the
boughs. The cocoons were thus brought into one place, and after being
from time to time removed, and black ones separated by a boy who spread
them out on a table, and swept off what were bad with a strong feather,
they were ready for market, being sold for about 4_d._ or 6_d._ a quart.
Considerable quantities of these cocoons are dried for winter food of
birds, and are sold in the shops.”[543]

Ants not only furnish food to man for his birds, but also food for
himself, in both the pupa and imago states. Nicoli Conti, who traveled
in India in the early part of the fifteenth century, says the Siamese
eat a species of Red-ant, of the size of a small crab, which they
consider a great delicacy seasoned with pepper.[544] At the present day,
the pupæ of a species of Ants are a costly luxury with these people.
They are not much larger than grains of sand, and are sent to table
curried, or rolled in green leaves, mingled with shreds or very fine
slices of fat pork.[545] And in the province of Michuacan, Mexico, is a
singular species of Ant, which carries on its abdomen “a little bagful
of a sweet substance, of which the children are very fond: the Mexicans
suppose this to be a kind of honey collected by the insect; but
Clavigero thinks it rather its eggs.”[546]

Piso, De Laet, Marcgrave, and other writers mention their being an
article of food in different parts of South America. Piso speaks of
yellow Ants called _Cupia_ inhabiting Brazil, the abdomen of which many
used for food, as well as a large species under the name of
_Tama-joura_: “Alia præterea datur grandis species _Tama-ioura_ dicta
digiti articulum adæquans. Quarum etiam clunes dessicantur et friguntur
pro bono alimento.”[547] Says De Laet: “Denique formicæ hic visuntur
grandissimæ, quas indigenæ vulgo comedunt; et in foris venales
habent.”[548] And again: “Formicis vescebantur, easquæ studiose ad
victum educabant.”[549] Lucas Fernandes Piedrahita, in his Historia
General de las Conquistas del Nuevo Regno de Granada, states that cakes
of Cazave and Ants were eaten in that country: “Al tiempo de tostarlas
para este efecto, dan el mismo olor que los quesillos, que se labran
para comer asados.”[550] Herrera says, the natives of New Granada made
their main food of Ants, which they kept and reared in their yards.[551]
Sloane confirms this, and says they are publicly sold in the
markets.[552] Abbeville de Noromba tells us these great Ants are
fricasseed.[553] Schomburgk, in his journey to the sources of the
Essequibo, one evening saw all the boys of a village out shouting and
chasing with sticks and palm leaves a large species of winged Ant, which
they collected in great numbers in their calabashes for food. When
roasted or boiled, he says, the natives considered these insects a great
delicacy.[554] Humboldt informs us that Ants are eaten by the
Marivatanos and Margueritares, mixed with resin for sauce.[555]

Mr. Consett, in his Travels in Sweden, makes mention of a young Swede
who ate live Ants with the greatest relish imaginable.[556] This author
states also, that in some parts of Sweden Ants are distilled along with
rye, to give a flavor to the inferior kinds of brandy.[557]

The inhabitants of the Tonga Group have a superstitious belief that when
their kings, and matabooles, or inferior chiefs, die, they are wafted to
Bulotu--“the island of the blessed,” but the spirits of the lower class
remain in the world, and feed on Ants and lizards.[558]

Ants also furnish us with an acid, called by the chemists _Formic_,
which is said to answer the same purposes as the acetous acid. It is
obtained in two modes: 1st. By distillation; the insects are introduced
into a glass retort, distilled by a gentle heat, and the acid is found
in the recipient. 2d. By the process called lixiviation; the Ants are
washed in cold water, spread out upon a linen cloth, and boiling water
poured over them, which becomes charged with the acid part.[559]

Formic acid is shed so sensibly by the wood Ant, _Formica rufa_, when an
Ant-hill is stirred, that it can occasion an inflammation. If a living
frog, it is asserted, be fixed upon an Ant-hill which is deranged, the
animal will die in less than five minutes, even without having been
bitten by the Ants.[560]

We read in Purchas’s Pilgrims that the large Ant of the West Indies is
“so poysonfull that herewith the Indians infect their arrowes so
remedilesse, that not foure of an hundred which are wounded

The medicinal virtues of the Ant are as follows: “Ants, _Formica minor_
of Schroder, heat and dry, and incite to venery; their acid smell
mightily refreshes the vital spirits. They are said to cure the Flora,
Lepra, and Lentigo. The eggs (pupæ) are effectual against deafness, and
correct the hairiness of the cheeks of children being rubbed thereon.”

The Horse-ant, _Formica major_, Schrod., “provokes to venery, and the
oil thereof, by infusion, is good for the gout and palsy.”[562]

Sloane tells us the Spaniards in the West Indies have a very highly
valued medicated earth called “Makimaki,” which he thinks is made of the
nests of Ants.[563]

There is a species of Ant in Cayenne, _Formica bispinosa_, which
collects from the bombax and silk-cotton trees a sort of lint which the
natives value much as a styptic in cases of hemorrhage.[564]

The magicians, as mentioned by Pliny, recommended that the parings of
all the finger-nails should be thrown at the entrance of Ant-holes, and
the first Ant to be taken which should attempt to draw one into the
hole; for if this, they asserted, be attached to the neck of a patient,
he will experience a speedy cure.[565]

The two following remarkable cures effected by Ants of themselves are
worthy of being noticed: Schuman, a missionary among the negroes of
Surinam, relates in one of his letters, that after a most dangerous
attack of the acclimating fever, his body was covered with boils and
painful sores. He lay in his cot as helpless as a child, and had no one
to administer any relief or food but a poor old negro woman, who
sometimes was obliged to follow the rest to the plantations in the
woods. One morning while she was absent, after spending a most restless
and painful night, he observed at sunrise an immense host of Ants
entering through the roof, and spread themselves over the inside of his
chamber; and expecting little else than that they would make a meal of
him, he commended his soul to God, and hoped thus to be released from
all suffering. They presently covered his bed, and entering his sores
caused him the most tormenting pain. However, they soon quitted him, and
continued their march, and from that time he gradually recovered his

The second is a case of stiffness in the knee effectually cured: In
1798, Mrs. Jane Crabley, aged 56 years, began to complain of a most
torturing pain, and considerable enlargement of the knee-pan, which she
described as, and which her neighbors believed to be, a smart paroxysm
of gout. Early in February, 1799, the inflammation and pain entirely
ceased, but the swelling continued, and rather increased. The joint of
the knee, from disuse, became perfectly stiff, and, owing to the
particular form and size of her breasts, no relief could be gained by
the use of crutches. However, toward the end of May, the Ants became so
strangely troublesome to her, that she was sometimes obliged to avail
herself of the help of travelers to assist her in changing her station.
Still, however, they followed her, and seemed entirely attracted by her
now useless knee. She was at first considerably annoyed by these little
torments, but, in a few days, became not only reconciled to their
intrusion, but was desirous of having her chair placed where she
imagined them most to abound, even giving them freer access to her knee
by turning down her stocking; for, she said, “the cold numbness she
suffered just around the patella was eased and relieved by their bite;
and that it was even pleasurable;” and, strange to say, these insects
bit her nowhere else. The skin at first was pale and sallow, but began
now to assume a lively red color; a clear and subtile liquid oozed from
every puncture the Ants had left; the swelling and stiffness of the
joint gradually abated; and, on the 25th of July, she walked home with
the help of a stick, and before winter perfectly recovered the use of
her limb.[567]

Says Plutarch, as translated by Holland: “The bear finding herself upon
fulness given to loth and distaste for food, she goes to find out Ants’
nests, where she sits her down, lilling out her tongue, which is glib
and soft with a kind of sweet and slimy humour, until it be full of Ants
and their egges, then draweth it she in again, swalloweth them down, and
thereby cureth her lothing stomack.”[568]

Also, in the Treasurie of Avncient and Moderne Times, we find: “The
Bear, being poysoned by the Hearbe named _Mandragoras_, or _Mandrake_,
doth purge his bodie by the eating of Ants or Pismires.”[569]

M. Huber, initiated in the mysteries of the life of these insects, and
whose observations can be most relied on, has made us acquainted with
two of their maladies: one is a species of vertigo, occasioned, as he
thinks, by a too great heat of the sun, and which transforms them for
two or three minutes into a sort of bacchantes; the other malady, much
more severe, causes them to lose the faculty of directing themselves in
a right line. These Ants turn in a very narrow circle, and always in the
same direction. A virgin female, inclosed in a sand-box, and attacked by
this mania, made a thousand turns by the hour, describing a circle of
about an inch in diameter; it continued this operation for seven days,
and even during the night.[570]

Immense swarms of winged Ants are occasionally met with, and some have
been recorded of such prodigious density and magnitude as to darken the
air like a thick cloud, and to cover the ground or water for a
considerable extent where they settled. We find in the memoirs of the
Berlin Academy a description of a remarkable swarm, observed by M.
Gleditch, which from afar produced an effect somewhat similar to that of
an Aurora Borealis, when, from the edge of the cloud, shoot forth by
jets many columns of flame and vapor, many rays like lightning, but
without its brilliancy. Columns of Ants were coming and going here and
there, but always rising upward, with inconceivable rapidity. They
appeared to raise themselves above the clouds, to thicken there, and
become more and more obscure. Other columns followed the preceding,
raised themselves in like manner, shooting forth many times with equal
swiftness, or mounting one after the other. Each column resembled a very
slender net-work, and exhibited a tremulous, undulating, and serpentine
motion. It was composed of an innumerable multitude of little winged
insects, altogether black, which were continually ascending and
descending in an irregular manner.[571] A similar kind of Ants is spoken
of by Mr. Accolutte, a clergyman of Breslau, which resembled columns of
smoke, and which fell on the churches and tops of the houses, where they
could be gathered by handfuls. In the German _Ephemerides_, Dr. Chas.
Rayger gives an account of a large swarm which crossed over the town of
Posen, and was directing its course toward the Danube. The whole town
was strewed with Ants, so that it was impossible to walk without
crushing thirty or forty at every step. And more recently, Mr. Dorthes,
in the _Journal de Physique_ for 1790, relates the appearance of a
similar phenomenon at Montpellier. The shoals moved about in different
directions, having a singular intestine motion in each column, and also
a general motion of rotation. About sunset all fell to the ground, and,
on examining them, they were found to belong to the _Formica nigra_ of

“In September, 1814,” says Dr. Bromley, surgeon of the Clorinde, in a
letter to Mr. MacLeay, “being on the deck of the hulk to the Clorinde
(then in the river Medway), my attention was drawn to the water by the
first lieutenant observing there was something black floating down the
tide. On looking with a glass, I discovered they were insects. The boat
was sent, and brought a bucketful of them on board; they proved to be a
large species of Ant, and extended from the upper part of Salt-pan Reach
out toward the Great Nore, a distance of five or six miles. The column
appeared to be in breadth eight or ten feet, and in height about six
inches, which I suppose must have been from their resting one upon
another.”[573] Purchas seems to have witnessed a similar phenomenon on
shore. “Other sorts of Ants,” says he, “there are many, of which some
become winged, and fill the air with swarms, which sometimes happens in
England. On Bartholomew, 1613, I was in the island of Foulness, on our
Essex shore, where were such clouds of these flying pismires, that we
could nowhere flee from them, but they filled our clothes; yea, the
floors of some houses where they fell were in a manner covered with a
black carpet of creeping Ants, which they say drown themselves about
that time of the year in the sea.”[574]

When Colonel Sir Augustus Frazer, of the British horse-artillery, was
surveying, on the 6th of October, 1813, the scene of the battle of the
Pyrenees from the summit of the mountain called Pena de Aya, or Les
Quartres Couronnes, he and his friends were enveloped by a swarm of
Ants, so numerous as entirely to intercept their view, so that they
were obliged to remove to another station in order to get rid of

“Not long since,” says Josselyn in his Voyage to New England, London,
1674, “winged Ants were poured down upon the Lands out of the clouds in
a storm betwixt _Blackpoint_ and _Saco_, where the passenger might have
walkt up to the Ancles in them.”[576]

Wingless Ants, in swarms or armies, also migrate at particular seasons;
but for what purpose is not clear, except to obtain better forage. In
Guiana, Mr. Waterton says he has met with a colony of a species of small
Ant marching in order, each having in its mouth a leaf; and the army
extended three miles in length, and was six feet broad.[577]

It is recorded by Oviedo and Herrera, that the whole island of
Hispaniola was almost abandoned in consequence of the Sugar-Ant,
_Formica omnivora_ of Linnæus, which, in 1518 and the two succeeding
years, overran in such countless myriads that island, devouring all
vegetation, and causing a famine which nearly depopulated the Spanish
colony. A tradition, says Schomburgk, prevails in Jamaica that the town
of Sevilla Nueva, which was founded by Esquivel in the beginning of the
sixteenth century, was entirely deserted for a similar reason. Herrera
relates that, in order to get rid of this fearful scourge in Hispaniola,
the priests caused great processions and vows to be made in honor of
their patron saint, St. Saturnin, and that the day of this saint was
celebrated with great solemnities, and the Ants in consequence began to
disappear. How this saint was chosen, we read in Purchas’s Pilgrims:
“This miserie (caused by the Ants) so perplexed the _Spaniards_, that
they sought as strange a remedie as was the disease, which was to chuse
some Saint for their Patron against the Antes. _Alexander Giraldine_,
the Bishop, having sung a solemne and Pontifical Masse, after the
consecration and Eleuation of the Sacrament, and devout prayers made by
him and the people, opened a Booke in which was a Catalogue of the
Saints, by lot to chuse some he or she Saint, whom God should please to
appoint their Advocate against the Calamitie. And the Lot fell vpon
Saint _Saturnine_, whose Feast is on the nine and twentieth of
Nouember; after which the Ant damage became more tolerable, and by
little and little diminished, by God’s mercie and intercession of that

These devouring Ants showed themselves about the year 1760 in Barbados,
and caused such devastations that, in the words of Dr. Coke, “it was
deliberated whether that island, formerly so flourishing, should not be
deserted.” In 1763, Martinique was visited by these devastating hordes;
and about the year 1770 they made their appearance in the island of
Granada. Barbados, Granada, and Martinique suffered more than any other
islands from this plague. Granada especially was reduced to a state of
the most deplorable desolation; for, it is said, their numbers there
were so immense that they covered the roads for many miles together; and
so crowded were they in many places that the impressions made by the
feet of horses, which traveled over them, would remain visible but for a
moment or two, for they were almost instantly filled up by the
surrounding swarms. Mr. Schomburgk assures us that calves, pigs, and
chickens, when in a helpless state, were attacked by such large numbers
of these Ants that they perished, and were soon reduced to skeletons
when not timely assisted. It is asserted by Dr. Coke that the greatest
precaution was requisite to prevent their attacks on men who were
afflicted with sores, on women who were confined, and on children that
were unable to assist themselves. Mr. Castle, from his own observation,
states that even burning coals laid in their way, were extinguished by
the amazing numbers which rushed upon them.

Notwithstanding the myriads that were destroyed by fire, water, poison,
and other means, the devastations continued to such an alarming extent,
that in 1776 the government of Martinique offered a reward of a million
of their currency for a remedy against this plague; and the legislature
of Granada offered £20,000 for the same object; but all attempts proved
ineffectual until the hurricane in 1780 effected what human power had
been unable to accomplish.

In 1814, the Ants again made their appearance in the island of Barbados,
doing considerable injury; but happily they did not continue long.[579]

Malouet, in visiting the forests of Guiana, of which he has spoken in
his travels into that part of the globe, perceived in the midst of a
level savanna, as far as the eye could reach, a hillock which he would
have attributed to the hand of man, if M. de Prefontaine, who
accompanied him, had not informed him that, in spite of its gigantic
construction, it was the work of black Ants of the largest species (most
probably of the genus _Ponera_). He proposed to conduct him, not to the
Ant-hill, where both of them would infallibly have been devoured, but to
the road of the workers. M. Malouet did not approach within more than
forty paces of the habitation of these insects. It had the form of a
pyramid truncated at one-third of its height, and he estimated that its
elevation might be about fifteen or twenty feet, on a basis of from
thirty to forty. M. de Prefontaine told him that the cultivators were
obliged to abandon a new establishment, when they had the misfortune to
meet with one of these fortresses, unless they had sufficient strength
to form a regular siege. This even occurred to M. de Prefontaine himself
on his first encampment at Kourva. He was desirous of forming a second a
little farther on, and perceived upon the soil a mound of earth similar
to that which we have just described. He caused a circular trench to be
hollowed, which he filled with a great quantity of dry wood, and, after
having set fire to it in every point of its circumference, he attacked
the Ant-hill with a train of artillery. Thus every issue was closed to
the hostile army, which, to escape from the invasion of the flames and
the shaking and plowing of the ground by the cannon-balls, was obliged
to traverse, in its retreat, a trench filled with fire, where it was
entirely cut off.[580]

The Portuguese found such prodigious numbers of Ants upon their first
landing at Brazil, that they called them Rey de Brazil, King of Brazil,
a name which they now there bear.[581]

Mr. Southey states, on the authority of Manoel Felix, that the Red-ants
devoured the cloths of the altar in the Convent of S. Antonio, or S.
Luiz (Maranham, Brazil), and also brought up into the church pieces of
shrouds from the graves; whereupon the friars prosecuted them according
to due form of ecclesiastical law. What the sentence was in this case,
we are unable to learn. A similar case, however, the historian informs
us, had occurred in the Franciscan Convent at Avignon, where the Ants
did so much mischief that a suit was instituted against them, and they
were excommunicated, and ordered by the friars, in pursuance of their
sentence, to remove within three days to a place assigned them in the
center of the earth. The Canonical account gravely adds, that the Ants
obeyed, and carried away all their young, and all their stores.[582]

Annius writes, that an ancient city situate near the Volscian Lake, and
called Contenebra, was in times past overthrown by Ants, and that the
place was thereupon commonly called to his day, “the camp of the

Ctesias makes mention “of a horse-pismire (_i.e._ the bigger kind of
them in hollow trees) which was fed by the Magi, till hee grew to such a
vast bulke as to devour two pound of flesh a daye.”[584]

Martial has written the following beautiful epigram on an Ant inclosed
in amber: “While an Ant was wandering under the shade of the tree of
Phaeton, a drop of amber enveloped the tiny insect; thus she, who in
life was disregarded, became precious by death.

    “A drop of amber from the weeping plant,
    Fell unexpected and embalmed an Ant;
    The little insect we so much contemn
    Is, from a worthless Ant, become a gem.”[585]

It has been said, remarks Mr. Southey, and regarded as a vulgar error,
that Ants cannot pass over a line of chalk: the fact, however, is
certain. Mr. Coleridge tried the experiment at Malta, he continues, and
immediately discovered the cause: The formic acid is so powerful, that
it acts upon the chalk, and the legs of the insect are burnt by the
instantaneous effervescence![586]

Paxamus says, that if you take some Ants and burn them, you will drive
away the others, as experience has taught us. Ants also, he continues,
will not touch a vessel with honey, although the vessel may happen to be
without its cover, if you wrap it in white wool, or if you scatter white
earth or ruddle round it. If a person, continues Paxamus, takes a grain
of wheat carried by an Ant with the thumb of his left hand, and lays it
in a skin of Phœnician dye, and ties it round the head of his wife, it
will prove to be the cause of abortion in a state of gestation.[587]

Pliny says the proper remedy for the venom of the _Solipuga_ or
_Solpuga_ Ant, and for that of all kinds of Ants, is a bat’s heart.[588]

Callicrates used to make Ants, and other such little creatures, out of
ivory, with so much skill and ingenuity that other men could not discern
the counterfeits from the originals even with the help of glasses.[589]

Vespidæ--Wasps, Hornets.

Concerning the generation of the Wasp, Topsel and Moufet have the
following: “Isidore affirms that Wasps come out of the putrefied
carkasses of asses, although he may be mistaken, for all agree that the
Scarabees are procreated from them: rather am I of opinion with Pliny,
1. ii. c. 20, and the Greek authors, that they are sprung from the dead
bodies of horses, for the horse is a valiant and warlike creature, hence
is that verse frequently and commonly used among the Greeks:

    Wasps come from horses, Bees from bulls are bred.

And indeed their more than ordinary swiftnesse and their eagernesse in
fight, are sufficient arguments that they can take their original from
no other creature (much less from an asse, hart, or oxe) since that
Nature never granted to any creatures else, to excel both in swiftness
and valour. And surely that I may give another sense of that proverb of

    Hail the daughters of the wing-footed steed:

this would I suppose fit to be spoken in way of jest and scorn to
scolding women, which do imitate the hastiness and froward disposition
of the Wasp. Other sorts of them are produced out of the putrid corps of
the Crocodiles, if Horus and the Ægyptians be to be believed, for which
reason when they mean a Wasp, they set it forth by an horse or
crocodile. Nicander gives them the name _lukosnoadon_, because they
sometimes come from the dead carkasses of wolves. Bellenacensis and
Vicentius say, that Wasps come out of the putrefaction of an old deer’s
head, flying sometimes out of the eyes, sometimes out of the
nostrils.... There are those also that affirm that Wasps are begotten of
the earth and rottenness of some kind of fruits, as Albertus and the
Arabick scholiast.”

Of the Hornet, likewise, these writers tell the following fabulous
stories: “The Latins call the Hornets _Crabrones_, perchance from the
village Crabra in the countrey of Tusculum (where there are great store
of them), or from the word _Caballus_, _i.e._ a horse, who is said to be
their father. According to that of Ovid, _Met._ 15:

    The warlike horse if buried under ground,
    Shortly a brood of Hornets will be found.

Albertus calls it a yellow Bee. Cardanus will needs have them to arise
from the dead mule. Plutarch, in the life of Cleomedes, saith they come
out of horse flesh, as the Bees do out of the oxe his paunch. Virgil
saith they are produced of the asse.... I conceive that those are
produced of the harder flesh of the horse, and the Wasps of the more
tender flesh.”[590]

The Hornet (but whether or not it was the common species, _Vespa
crabro_, Linn., is uncertain), we learn from Scriptures was employed by
Providence to drive out the impious inhabitants of Canaan, and subdue
them under the hand of the Israelites.--“And I sent the Hornet before
you, which drave them out before you, even the two kings of the

In the second volume of Lieutenant Holman’s Travels, the following
anecdote is related: “Eight miles from Grandie----, the muleteers
suddenly called out ‘Marambundas! Marambundas!’ which indicated the
approach of Wasps. In a moment all the animals, whether loaded or
otherwise, lay down on their backs, kicking most violently; while the
blacks, and all persons not already attacked, ran away in different
directions, all being careful, by a wide sweep, to avoid the swarms of
tormentors that came forward like a cloud. I never witnessed a panic so
sudden and complete, and really believe that the bursting of a
water-spout could hardly have produced more commotion. However, it must
be confessed that the alarm was not without good reason, for so severe
is the torture inflicted by these pigmy assailants, that the bravest
travelers are not ashamed to fly, the instant they perceive the host
approaching, which is of common occurrence on the Campos.”[592]

Dr. Fairfax, in the Philosophical Transactions, mentions a lady, who had
such a horror of Wasps, that during the season in which they abound in
houses, she always confined herself to her apartment.[593]

Dr. James tells us: “The combs (of the Hornet) are recommended in a
drench for that disorder in horses, which Vigetius, L. 2, c. 23, calls
scrofula, meaning, I believe, what we call the strangles.”[594]

Hornets’-nest is smoked under horses’ noses for distemper, cold in the
head, and such like diseases. It is also given to horses in their feed
for thick-windedness.

The nests of Hornets are gathered by the country people to clean

Topsel, in his History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents, has the
following prognostications of the weather from the appearances of
Hornets: “They serve instead of good almanacks to countrey people, to
foretel tempests and change of weather, as hail, rain, and snow: for if
they flie about in greater numbers, and be oftner seen about any place,
then usually they are wont, it is a signe of heat and fair weather the
next day. But if about twilight they are observed to enter often their
nests, as though they would hide themselves, you must the next day
expect rain, winde, or some stormy, troublesome or boysterous season:
whereupon Avienus hath these verses:

    So if the buzzing troups of Hornets hoarse to flie,
    In spacious air ’bout Autumn’s end you see,
    When Virgil star the evening lamp espie,
    Then from the sea some stormy tempest sure shall be.”[595]

“In the year 190, before the birth of Christ,” say Moufet and Topsel,
“as Julius witnesseth, an infinite multitude of Wasps flew into the
market at Capua, and sate in the temple of Mars, they were with great
diligence taken and burnt solemnly, yet they did foreshew the coming of
the enemy and the burning of the city.”[596]

The first Wasp seen in the season should always be killed. By so doing,
you secure to yourself good luck and freedom from enemies throughout the
year.[597] This is an English superstition, and it prevails in parts of
America. We have one, also, directly opposed to it, namely, that the
first Wasp seen in the season should not be killed if you wish to secure
to yourself good luck. Many of our people, too, will kill a Wasp at no
time, for, if killed, they say, it will bring upon them bad luck.

If a Wasp stings you, our superstitious think that your foes will get
the advantage of you.

If the first Wasp seen in the season be seen in your house, it is a sign
that you will form an unpleasant acquaintance. If the first Bee seen in
the season be seen in your house, it is a sign you will form a pleasant
and useful acquaintance. This arose doubtless from the apparent
uselessness of the former, and worth of the latter insect.

Wasps building in a house foretell the coming to want of the family
occupying it. Likewise arose from the unthriftiness of this insect.

If Hornets build high, the winter will be dry and mild; if low, cold and
stormy. This is firmly believed in Virginia; and the idea seems to be,
that if the nest is built high it will be more exposed to the wind than
if built low.

That a person may not be stung by Wasps, Paxamus says: “Let the person
be rubbed with the juice of wild-mallow, and he will not be stung.”[598]

The Creoles of Mauritius eat the larvæ of Wasps, which they roast in the
combs. In taking the nests, they drive off the Wasps by means of a
burning rag fastened to the end of a stick. The combs are sold at the
bazaar of Port Louis.[599]

The following story, of the cunning of the fox in killing the Wasps to
obtain their combs, is told by Ælian: “The fox (a subtile creature) is
said to prey upon the Wasp in this manner: he puts his tail into the
Wasps’ nest so long till it be all covered with Wasps, which he espying,
pulls it out and beats them against the next stone or tree he meets
withall till they be all dead, this being done again and again till all
the Wasps be destroyed, he sets upon their combs and devours them.”[600]

The Chinese Herbal contains a singular notion, prevalent also in India,
concerning the generation of the Sphex, or solitary Wasp. When the
female lays her eggs in the clayey nidus she makes in houses, she
incloses the dead body of a caterpillar in it for the subsistence of the
worms when they are hatched. Those who observed her entombing the
caterpillar did not look for the eggs, and immediately concluded that
the Sphex took the worm for the progeny, and say, that as she plastered
up the hole of the nest, she hummed a constant song over it, saying,
“_Class with me! class with me!_”--and the transformation gradually took
place, and was perfected in its silent grave by the next spring, when a
winged Wasp emerged, to continue its posterity the coming autumn in the
same mysterious way.[601]


Concerning the piety of Bees, we find the following legends:

“A certaine simple woman having some stals of Bees which yeelded not
vnto her hir desired profit, but did consume and die of the murraine;
made her mone to another woman more simple than hir selfe: who gave her
councel to get a consecrated host or round Godamighty and put it among
them. According to whose advice she went to the priest to receive the
host; which when she had done, she kept it in hir month, and being come
home againe she tooke it out and put it into one of hir hives. Wherevpon
the murraine ceased, and the honey abounded. The woman therefore lifting
vp the hive at the due time to take out the honie, sawe there (most
strange to be seene) a chapel built by the Bees with an altar in it, the
wals adorned by marvelous skil of architecture with windowes
conveniently set in their places: also a dore and a steeple with bels.
And the host being laid vpon the altar, the Bees making a sweet noise
flew round about it.”[602]

Mr. Hawker’s legend is to this effect: A Cornish woman, one summer,
finding her Bees refused to leave their “cloistered home” and had
“ceased to play around the cottage flowers,” concealed a portion of the
Holy Eucharist which she obtained at church:

    She bore it to her distant home,
      She laid it by the hive
    To lure the wanderers forth to roam,
      That so her store might thrive;--
    ’Twas a wild wish, a thought unblest,
    Some evil legend of the west.

    But lo! at morning-tide a sign
      For wondering eyes to trace,
    They found above that Bread, a shrine
      Rear’d by the harmless race!
    They brought their walls from bud and flower,
    They built bright roof and beamy tower!

    Was it a dream? or did they hear
      Float from those golden cells
    A sound, as of a psaltery near,
      Or soft and silvery bells?
    A low sweet psalm, that grieved within
    In mournful memory of the sin![603]

The following passage, from Howell’s _Parley of Beasts_, furnishes a
similar legend of the piety of Bees. Bee speaks:

“Know, sir, that we have also a religion as well as you, and so exact a
government among us here; our hummings you speak of are as so many hymns
to the Great God of Nature; and there is a miraculous example in
_Cæsarius Cisterniensis_, of some of the Holy Eucharist being let fall
in a meadow by a priest, as he was returning from visiting a sick body;
a swarm of Bees hard-by took It up, and in a solemn kind of procession
carried It to their hive, and their erected an altar of the purest wax
for it, where it was found in that form, and untouched.”[604]

Butler, quoting Thomas Bozius, tells us the following:

“Certaine theeves (thieves) having stolen the silver boxe wherein the
wafer-Gods vse to lie, and finding one of them there being loath,
belike, that he should lie abroad all night, did not cast him away, but
laid him under a hive: whom the Bees acknowledging advanced to a high
roome in the hive, and there insteade of his silver boxe made him
another of the whitest wax: and when they had so done, in worshippe of
him, and set howres they sang most sweetly beyond all measure about it:
yea the owner of them took them at it at midnight with a light and al.
Wherewith the bishop being made acquainted, came thither with many
others: and lifting vp the hive he sawe there neere the top a most fine
boxe, wherein the host was laid, and the quires of Bees singing about
it, and keeping watch in the night, as monkes do in their cloisters. The
bishop therefore taking the host, carried it with the greater honour
into the church: whether many resorting were cured of innumerable

Another legend, from the School of the Eucharist, is as follows:

“A peasant swayed by a covetous mind, being communicated on Easter-Day,
received the Host in his mouth, and afterwards laid it among his bees,
believing that all the Bees of the neighborhood would come thither to
work their wax and honey. This covetous, impious wretch was not wholly
disappointed of his hopes; for all his neighbors’ Bees came indeed to
his hives, but not to make honey, but to render there the honours due to
the Creator. The issue of their arrival was that they melodiously sang
to Him songs of praise as they were able; after that they built a little
church with their wax from the foundations to the roof, divided into
three rooms, sustained by pillars, with their bases and chapiters. They
had there also an Altar, upon which they had laid the precious Body of
our Lord, and flew round about it, continuing their musick. The peasant
... coming nigh that hive where he had put the H. Sacrament, the Bees
issued out furiously by troops, and surrounding him on all sides,
revenged the irreverence done to their Creator, and stung him so
severely that they left him in a sad case. This punishment made this
miserable wretch come to himself, who, acknowledging his error, went to
find out the parish priest to confess his fault to him....” etc.[606]

We quote also another from the School of the Eucharist:

“A certain peasant of Auvergne, a province in France, perceiving that
his Bees were likely to die, to prevent this misfortune, was advised,
after he had received the communion, to reserve the Host, and to blow it
into one of the hives. As he tried to do it, the Host fell on the
ground. Behold now a wonder! On a sudden all the Bees came forth out of
their hives, and ranging themselves in good order, lifted the Host from
the ground, and carrying it in upon their wings, placed it among the
combes. After this the man went out about his business, and at his
return found that this advice had succeeded ill, for all his Bees were

We will close this series of legends with one from the Lives of the

“When a thief by night had stolen St. Medard’s Bees, they, in their
master’s quarrel, leaving their hive, set upon the malefactor, and
eagerly pursuing him which way soever he ran, would not cease stinging
of him until they had made him (whether he would or no) to go back again
to their master’s house; and there, falling prostrate at his feet,
submissly to cry him mercy for the crime committed. Which being done, so
soon as the Saint extended unto him the hand of benediction, the Bees,
like obedient servants, did forthwith stay from persecuting him, and
evidently yielded themselves to the ancient possession and custody of
their master.”[608]

By the Greeks, Bees were accounted an omen of future eloquence;[609] the
soothsayers of the Romans, however, deemed them always of evil
augury.[610] They afforded also to the Romans presages of public
interest, “clustering, as they do, like a bunch of grapes, upon houses
or temples; presages, in fact, that are often accounted for by great
events.”[611] The instances of happy omens afforded by swarms of Bees
are the following:

“It is said of Pindar,” we read in Pausanias’ History of Greece, “that
when he was a young man, as he was going to Thespia, being wearied with
the heat, as it was noon, and in the height of summer, he fell asleep at
a small distance from the public road; and that Bees, as he was asleep,
flew to him and wrought their honey on his lips. This circumstance first
induced Pindar to compose verses.”[612]

A similar incident is mentioned in the life of Plato:

“Whilst _Plato_ was yet an infant carried in the arms of his mother
_Perictione, Aristo_ his father went to _Hymettus_ (a mountain in
_Attica_ eminent for abundance of Bees and Honey) to sacrifice to the
Muses or Nymphs, taking his Wife and Child along with him; as they were
busied in the Divine Rites, she laid the Child in a Thicket of Myrtles
hard by; to whom, as he slept (_in cunis dormienti_) came a Swarm of
Bees, Artists of Hymettian Honey, flying and buzzing about him, and (as
it is reported) made a Honeycomb in his mouth. This was taken for a
presage of the singular sweetness of his discourse; his future Eloquence
foreseen in his infancy.”[613]

From Butler’s Lives of the Saints we have the following:

“The birth of St. Ambrose happened about the year 340 B.C., and whilst
the child lay asleep in one of the courts of his father’s palace, a
swarm of Bees flew about his cradle, and some of them even crept in and
out at his mouth, which was open; and at last mounted up into the air so
high, that they quite vanished out of sight. This,” concludes the
Reverend Alban, “was esteemed a presage of future greatness and

Another instance is mentioned in the Feminine Monarchie, printed at
Oxford in 1634, p. 22.

“When _Ludovicus Vives_ was sent by Cardinal Wolsey to Oxford, there to
be a public professor of Rhetoric, being placed in the College of Bees,
he was welcomed thither by a swarm of Bees; which sweet creatures, to
signifie the incomparable sweetnesse of his eloquence, settled
themselves over his head, under the leads of his study, where they have
continued to this day.... How sweetly did all things then accord, when
in this neat μουσαῖον newly consecrated to the Muses, the Muses’
sweetest favorite was thus honoured by the Muses’ birds.”[615]

Moufet, in his Theater of Insects, and Topsel, in almost the same words
in his History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents, gives the following
list of remarkable omens drawn from Bees:

“Whereas the most high God did create all other creatures for our use;
so especially the Bees, not only that as mistresses they might hold
forth to us a patern of politick and œconomic vertues, and inform our
understanding; but that they might be able as extraordinary foretellers,
to foreshew the success and event of things to come; for in the years
90, 98, 113, 208, before the birth of Christ, when as mighty huge swarms
of Bees did settle in the chief market-place, and in the beast-market
upon private citizens’ houses, and on the temple of Mars, there were at
that time stratagems of enemies against Rome, wherewith the whole state
was like to be surprised and destroyed. In the reign of Severus, the
Bees made combes in his military ensigns, and especially in the camp of
Niger. Divers wars upon this ensued between both the parties of Severus
and Niger, and battels of doubtful event, while at length the Severian
faction prevailed. The statues also of Antonius Pius placed here and
there all over Hetruria, were all covered with swarms of Bees; and after
that settled in the camp of Cassius; what great commotions after
followed Julius Capitolinus relates in his history. At what time also,
through the treachery of the Germans in Germany, there was a mighty
slaughter and overthrow of the Romans. P. Fabius, and Q. Elius being
consuls in the camp of Drusus in the tent of Hostilius Rutilus, a swarm
of Bees is reported to have sate so thick, that they covered the rope
and the spear that held up the tent. M. Lepidus, and Munat. Plancus
being consuls, as also in the consulship of L. Paulus, and C. Metellus,
swarms of Bees flying to Rome (as the augurs very well conjectured) did
foretell the near approach of the enemy. Pompey likewise making war
against Cæsar, when he had called his allies together, he set his army
in order as he went out of Dyrrachium, Bees met him and sate so thick
upon his ensigns that they could not be seen what they were. Philistus
and Ælian relate, that while Dionysius the tyrant did in vain spur his
horse that stuck in the mire, and there at length left him, the horse
quitting himself by his own strength, did follow after his master the
same way he went with a swarm of Bees sticking on his mane; intimating
by that prodigy that tyrannical government which Dionysius affected over
the Galeotæ. In the Helvetian History we read, that in the year 1385,
when Leopoldus of Austria began to march towards Sempachum with his
army, a swarm of Bees flew to the town and there sate upon the tyles;
whereby the common people rightly foretold that some forain force was
marching towards them. So Virgil, in 7 Æneid:

    The Bees flew buzzing through the liquid air:
      And pitcht upon the top o’ th’ laurel tree;
    When the Soothsayers saw this sight full rare,
      They did foretell th’ approach of th’ enemie.

That which Herodotus, Pausanias, Dio Cassius, Plutarch, Julius Cæsar,
Julius Capitolinus, and other historians with greater observation then
reason have confirmed. Saon Acrephniensis, when he could by no means
finde the oracle Trophonius; Pausanias in his œticks saith he was lead
thither by a swarm of Bees. Moreover, Plutarch, Pausanias, Ælian, Alex.
Alexandrinus, Theocritus and Textor are authors that Jupiter Melitæus,
Hiero of Syracuse, Plato, Pindar, Apius Comatus, Xenophon, and last of
all Ambrose, when their nurses were absent, had honey dropt into their
mouths by Bees, and so were preserved.”[616]

In East Norfolk, England, if Bees swarm on rotten wood, it is considered
portentous of a death in the family.[617] This superstition is as old at
least as the time of Gay, for, among the signs that foreshadowed the
death of Blonzelind, it is mentioned:

    Swarmed on a rotten stick the Bees I spy’d
    Which erst I saw when Goody Dobson dy’d.[618]

In Ireland, the mere swarming of Bees is looked upon as prognosticating
a death in the family of the owner.

In parts of England it is believed, that if a swarm of Bees come to a
house, and are not claimed by their owner, there will be a death in the
family that hives them.[619]

It is a very ancient superstition that Bees, by their acute sense of
smell, quickly detect an unchaste woman, and strive to make her infamy
known by stinging her immediately. In a pastoral of Theocritus, the
shepherd in a pleasant mood tells Venus to go away to Anchises to be
well stung by Bees for her lewd behavior.

    Now go thy way to Ida mount--
      Go to Anchises now,
    Where mighty oaks, where banks along
      Of square Cypirus grow,
    Where hives and hollow trunks of trees,
      With honey sweet abound,
    Where all the place with humming noise
      Of busie Bees resound.

Incontinence in men, as well as unchastity in women, was thought to be
punished by these little insects. Thus in the lines of Pindarus:

    Thou painful Bee, thou pretty creature,
    Who honey-combs six angled, as the be,
    With feet doest frame, false Phœcus and impure,
    With sting has prickt for his lewd villany.[620]

Pliny says: “Certain it is, that if a menstruous woman do no more but
touch a Bee-hive, all the Bees will be gone and never more come to it

In Western Pennsylvania, it is believed that Bees will invariably sting
red-haired persons as soon as they approach the hives.

It is a common opinion that Bees in rough and boisterous weather, and
particularly in a violent storm, carry a stone in their legs, in order
to preserve themselves by its weight against the power of the wind. Its
antiquity is also great, for in the writings of Plutarch we find an
instance of this remarkable wisdom. “The Bees of Candi,” says this
philosopher, “being about to double a point or cape lying into the sea,
which is much exposed to the winds, they ballase (ballast) themselves
with small grit or petty stones, for to be able to endure the weather,
and not be carried away against their wills with the winds through their
lightness otherwise.”[622]

Virgil, too, about a century earlier, mentions this curious notion in
the following lines:

    And as when empty barks on billows float,
    With sandy ballast sailors trim the boat;
    So Bees bear gravel stones, whose poising weight
    Steers through the whistling winds their steady flight.[623]

Swammerdam, who has noticed this belief of the ancients, makes the
following remarks: “But this, as Clutius justly observes, has not been
hitherto remarked by any Bee-keeper, nor indeed have I myself ever seen
it. Yet I should think that there may be some truth in this matter, and
probably a certain observation, which I shall presently mention, has
given rise to the story. There is a species of wild Bees not unlike the
smallest kind of the Humble-Bee, which, as they are accustomed to build
their nests near stone walls, and construct their habitations of stone
and clay, sometimes carry such large stones that it is scarcely credible
by what means so tender insects can sustain so great a load, and that
even flying while they are obliged also to support their own body.
Their nest by this means is often so heavy as to weigh one or two

It was the general opinion of antiquity that Bees were produced from the
putrid bodies of cattle. Varro says they are called Βουγόναι by the
Greeks, because they arise from petrified bullocks. In another place he
mentions their rising from these putrid animals, and quotes the
authority of Archelaus, who says Bees proceed from bullocks, and wasps
from horses.[625] Virgil, however, is much more satisfactory, for he
gives us the recipe in all its details for producing these insects:

    First, in a place, by nature close, they build
    A narrow flooring, gutter’d, wall’d, and til’d.
    In this, four windows are contriv’d, that strike
    To the four winds oppos’d, their beams oblique.
    A steer of two years old they take, whose head
    Now first with burnished horns begins to spread:
    They stop his nostrils, while he strives in vain
    To breathe free air, and struggles with his pain.
    Knock’d down, he dies: his bowels bruis’d within,
    Betray no wound on his unbroken skin.
    Extended thus, in his obscene abode,
    They leave the beast; but first sweet flowers are strow’d
    Beneath his body, broken boughs and thyme,
    And pleasing Cassia, just renew’d in prime.
    This must be done, ere spring makes equal day,
    When western winds on curling waters play;
    Ere painted meads produce their flowery crops,
    Or swallows twitter on the chimney tops.
    The tainted blood, in this close prison pent,
    Begins to boil, and thro’ the bones ferment.
    Then wond’rous to behold, new creatures rise,
    A moving mass at first, and short of thighs;
    Till shooting out with legs, and imp’d with wings,
    The grubs proceed to Bees with pointed stings:
    And more and more affecting air, they try
    Their tender pinions and begin to fly.[626]

This absurd notion was also promulgated by the great English chronicler,
Hollingshed; for, says this author, “Hornets, waspes, Bees, and such
like, whereof we have great store, and of which an opinion is
conceived, that the first doo breed of the corruption of dead horses,
the second of pears and apples corrupted, and the last of kine and oxen;
which may be true, especiallie the first and latter in some parts of the
beast, and not their whole substances, as also in the second, sith we
never have waspes but when our fruit beginneth to wax ripe.”[627]

To conclude the history of this belief, the following remarks of the
learned Swammerdam will not be inappropriate. He says: “It is probable
that the not rightly understanding Samson’s adventure of the Lion, gave
rise to the popular opinion of Bees springing from dead Lions, Oxen, and
Horses; and this opinion may have been considerably strengthened, and
indeed in a manner confirmed, by the great number of Worms that are
often found during the summer months in the carcasses of such animals,
especially as these Worms somewhat resemble those produced from the eggs
of Bees. However ridiculous this opinion must appear, many great men
have not been ashamed to adopt and defend it. The industrious Goedaert
has ventured to ascribe the origin of Bees to certain dunghill Worms,
and the learned de Mei joins with him in this opinion; though neither of
them had any observation to ground their belief upon, but that of the
external resemblance between the Bee and a certain kind of Fly produced
from these Worms.”[628]

The opinion that stolen Bees will not thrive, but pine away and die, is
almost universal.[629] It is, too, of reverend antiquity, for Pliny
mentions it: “It is a common received opinion, that Rue will grow the
better if it be filched out of another man’s garden; and it is as
ordinarie a saying that stolen Bees will thrive worst.”[630]

In South Northamptonshire, England, there is a superstition that Bees
will not thrive in a quarrelsome family.[631] It might be well to
promulgate this and the next preceding superstition. This prevails among

In Hampshire, England, it is a common saying that Bees are idle or
unfortunate at their work whenever there are wars. A very curious
observer and fancier says that this has been the case from the time of
the movements in France, Prussia, and Hungary, up to the present

In Bishopsbourne, England, there prevails the singular superstition of
informing the Bees of any great public event that takes place, else they
will not thrive so well.[633]

In Monmouthshire, England, the peasantry entertain so great a veneration
for their Bees, that, says Bucke, some years since, they were accustomed
to go to their hives on Christmas eve at twelve o’clock, in order to
listen to their humming; which elicited, as they believed, a much more
agreeable music than at any other period; since, at that time, they
celebrated, in the best manner they could, the morning of Christ’s

Sampson, in his Statistical Survey of the County of Londonderry, 1802,
p. 436, says that there “Bees must not be given away, but sold;
otherwise neither the giver nor the taker will have _luck_.”[635]

A clergyman in Devonshire, England, informs us that when any Devonian
makes a purchase of Bees, the payment is never made in money, but in
things (corn, for instance) to the value of the sum agreed upon; and the
Bees are never removed but on a Good Friday.[636] In western
Pennsylvania, it is thought by some of the old farmers that the vender
of the Bees must be away from home when the hive is taken away, else the
Bees will not thrive.

Another superstition is that if a swarm of Bees be met with in an open
field away from any house, it is useless to hive them, for they will
never do a bit of good.

In many parts of England, a popular opinion is that when Bees remove or
go away from their hives, the owner of them will die soon after.[637]

It is commonly believed among us that if Bees come to a house, it
forebodes good luck and prosperity; and, on the contrary, if they go
away, bad luck.

A North German custom and superstition is, that if the master of the
house dies, a person must go to the Beehive, knock, and repeat these
words: “The master is dead, the master is dead,” else the Bees will fly
away.[638] This superstition prevails also in England, Lithuania, and in

[Some years since, observes a correspondent of the Athenæum, quoted by
Brande, a gentleman at a dinner table happened to mention that he was
surprised, on the death of a relative, by his servant inquiring “whether
his master would inform the Bees of the event, or whether _he_ should do
so.” On asking the meaning of so strange a question, the servant assured
him that Bees ought always to be informed of a death in a family, or
they would resent the neglect by deserting the hive. This gentleman
resides in the Isle of Ely, and the anecdote was told in Suffolk; and
one of the party present, a few days afterward, took the opportunity of
testing the prevalence of this strange notion by inquiring of a cottager
who had lately lost a relative, and happened to complain of the loss of
her Bees, “whether she had told them all she ought to do?” She
immediately replied, “Oh, yes; when my aunt died I told every skep
(_i.e._ hive) myself, and put them....

“Into mourning.” I have since ascertained the existence of the same
superstition in Cornwall, Devonshire (where I have seen black crape put
round the hive, or on a small black stick by its side), and Yorkshire.
It probably exists in every part of the kingdom.... The mode of
communicating is by whispering the fact to each hive separately.... In
Oxford I was told that if a man and wife quarreled, the Bees would leave

“In some parts of Suffolk,” says Bucke, “the peasants believe, when any
member of their family dies, that, unless the Bees are put in mourning
by placing a piece of black cloth, cotton or silk, on the top of the
hives, the Bees will either die or fly away.

“In Lithuania, when the master or mistress dies, one of the first duties
performed is that of giving notice to the Bees, by rattling the keys of
the house at the doors of their hives. Unless this be done, the
Lithuanians imagine the cattle will die; the Bees themselves perish,
and the trees wither.”[641]

At Bradfield, if Bees are not invited to funerals, it is believed they
will die.[642]

In the Living Librarie, Englished by John Molle, 1621, p. 283, we read:
“Who would beleeve without superstition (if experience did not make it
credible), that most commonly all the Bees die in their hives, if the
master or mistress of the house chance to die, except the hives be
presently removed into some other place? And yet I know this hath hapned
to folke no way stained with superstition.”[643]

A similar superstition is, that Beehives belonging to deceased persons
should be turned over the moment when the corpse is taken out of the
house.[644] No consequence is given for the non-performance of this

The following item is clipped from the Argus, a London newspaper,
printed Sept. 13, 1790: “A superstitious custom prevails at every
funeral in Devonshire, of turning round the Bee-hives that belonged to
the deceased, if he had any, and that at the moment the corpse is
carrying out of the house. At a funeral some time since, at Columpton,
of a rich old farmer, a laughable circumstance of this sort occurred:
for, just as the corpse was placed in the hearse, and the horsemen, to a
large number, were drawn in order for the procession of the funeral, a
person called out, ‘Turn the Bees,’ when a servant who had no knowledge
of such a custom, instead of turning the hives about, lifted them up,
and then laid them down on their sides. The Bees, thus hastily invaded,
instantly attacked and fastened on the horses and their riders. It was
in vain they galloped off, the Bees as precipitately followed, and left
their stings as marks of indignation. A general confusion took place,
attended with loss of hats, wigs, etc., and the corpse during the
conflict was left unattended; nor was it till after a considerable time
that the funeral attendants could be rallied, in order to proceed to the
interment of their deceased friend.”[645]

After the death of a member of a family, it has frequently been
asserted that the Bees sometimes take their loss so much to heart as to
alight upon the coffin whenever it is exposed. A clergyman told
Langstroth, that he attended a funeral, where, as soon as the coffin was
brought from the house, the Bees gathered upon it so as to excite much
alarm. Some years after this occurrence, being engaged in varnishing a
table, the Bees alighted upon it in such numbers as to convince the
reverend gentleman that love of varnish, rather than sorrow or respect
for the dead, was the occasion of their conduct at the funeral.[646]

The following is an extract from a _Tour through Brittany_, published in
the Cambrian _Quarterly Magazine_, vol. ii. p. 215: “If there are Bees
kept at the house where a marriage feast is celebrated, care is always
taken to dress up their hives in red, which is done by placing upon them
pieces of scarlet cloth, or one of some such bright color; the Bretons
imagining that the Bees would forsake their dwellings if they were not
made to participate in the rejoicings of their owners: in like manner
they are all put into mourning when a death occurs in a family.”[647]

In the Magazine of Natural History we find the following instance of
singing psalms to Bees to make them thrive: “When in Bedfordshire
lately, we were informed of an old man who sang a psalm last year in
front of some hives which were not doing well, but which, he said, would
thrive in consequence of that ceremony. Our informant could not state
whether this was a local or individual superstition.”[648]

It is commonly said that if you sing to your Bees before they swarm, it
will prevent their leaving your premises when they do swarm.

Peter Rotharmel, a western Pennsylvanian, had a singular notion that no
man could have at one time a hundred hives of Bees. He declared he had
often as many as ninety-nine, but could never add another to them.[649]
I have since learned that this is not an individual superstition, but
one that pretty generally prevails.

The Apiarians of Bedfordshire, England, have a custom of, as they call
it, ringing their swarms with the door-key and the frying-pan; and if a
swarm settles on another’s premises, it is irrecoverable by the owner,
unless he can prove the ringing, but it becomes the property of that
person upon whose premises it settles.[650]

The practice of beating pans, and making a great noise to induce a swarm
of Bees to settle, is, at least, as old as the time of Virgil. He thus
mentions it:

    But when thou seest a swarming cloud arise,
    That sweeps aloft, and darkens all the skies:
    The motions of their hasty flight attend;
    And know to floods, or woods, their airy march they bend.
    Then melfoil beat, and honey-suckles pound,
    With these alluring savors strew the ground,
    And mix with tinkling brass the cymbal’s drowning sound.[651]

But concerning this practice, Langstroth says: “It is probably not a
whit more efficacious than the hideous noises of some savage tribes,
who, imagining that the sun, in an eclipse, has been swallowed by an
enormous dragon, resort to such means to compel his snakeship to
disgorge their favorite luminary.”[652]

Dr. Toner, the author of that very interesting little work, “Maternal
Instinct or Love,” informs me that when a boy he witnessed a mode of
alluring a swarm of Bees to settle, performed by a German man and his
wife, which struck him at the time as being remarkable, and which was as
follows: Having first put some pig-manure upon the hive into which they
wished the Bees to go, they ran to and fro under the swarm, singing a
monotonous German hymn; and this they continued till the Bees were
settled and hived.

Another strange mode of alluring Bees into a new hive is practiced near
Gloucester, England, but only when all the usual ways of preparing hives
fail; it is this: When a swarm is to be hived, instead of moistening the
inside of the hive with honey, or sugar and water, the Bee-master throws
into it, inverted, about a pint of beans, which he causes a sow to
devour, and immediately then, it is said, will the Bees take to it.[653]

Pliny, as follows, incidentally mentions another curious mode of
preparing the hives to best suit the Bees: “Touching Baulme, which the
Greeks call Melittis or Melissophyllon: if Bee-hives be rubbed all over
and besmeared with the juice thereof, the Bees will never go away; for
there is not a flower whereof they be more desirous and faine than of

Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, p. 168, tells us of another
strange practice in the hiving of Bees. He says: “The Cornish, to this
day, invoke the spirit of Browny, when their Bees swarm; and they think
that their crying Browny, Browny, will prevent them from returning into
the former hive, and make them pitch and form a new colony.”[655]

The Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, of Wyoming, Pa., has devised an amusing plan,
by which he says he can, at all times, prevent a swarm of Bees from
leaving his premises. Before his stocks swarm, he collects a number of
dead Bees, and, stringing them with a needle and thread, as worms are
strung for catching eels, makes of them a ball about the size of an egg,
leaving a few strands loose. By carrying--fastened to a pole--this
“_Bee-bob_” about his Apiary, when the Bees are swarming, or by placing
it in some central position, he invariably secures every swarm.[656]

The barbarous practice of killing Bees for their honey, not yet entirely
abolished, did not exist in the time of Aristotle, Varro, Columella, and
Pliny. The old cultivators took only what their Bees could spare,
killing no stocks except such as were feeble or diseased. The following
epitaph, taken from a German work, might well be placed over every pit
of these brimstoned insects:

    BY ITS

To the epitaph also may be appended Thomson’s verses:

    Ah, see, where robbed and murdered in that pit,
    Lies the still heaving hive! at evening snatched,
    Beneath the cloud of guilt-concealing night,
    And fixed o’er sulphur! while, not dreaming ill,
    The happy people, in their waxen cells,
    Sat tending public cares.
    Sudden, the dark, oppressive steam ascends,
    And, used to milder scents, the tender race,
    By thousands, tumble from their honied dome
    Into a gulf of blue sulphureous flame![657]

It is considered very cruel in Africa, as Campbell observes, to kill
Bees in order to obtain their honey, especially as from flowers being
there at all seasons, and most in winter, they can live comfortably all
the year round. A Hottentot, who was accustomed to kill the Bees, was
often reasoned with by the humane to give up so cruel a practice, yet he
persisted in it till a circumstance occurred which determined him to
relinquish it. He had a water-mill for grinding his corn, which went
very slowly, from the smallness of the stream which turned it;
consequently the flour dropped very gently. For some time much less than
usual came into the sack, the cause of which he could not discover. At
length he found that a great part of his flour, as it was ground, was
carried off by the Bees to their hives: on examining this, he found it
contained only his flour, and no honey. This robbery made him resolve to
destroy no more Bees when their honey was taken, considering their
conduct in robbing him of his property as a just punishment to him for
his cruelty. The gentleman who related this story, Mr. Campbell says,
was a witness to the Bees robbing the mill.[658]

An old English proverb, relative to the swarming of Bees, is,--

    A swarm of Bees in May,
    Is worth a load of hay;
    A swarm of Bees in June,
    Is worth a silver spoon;
    A swarm of Bees in July,
    Is not worth a fly.[659]

In Tusser’s Five Hundred Points of Husbandry, under the month of May,
are these lines:

    Take heed to thy Bees, that are ready to swarme,
    The losse thereof now is a crown’s worth of harme.

On which is the following observation in Tusser Redivivus, 1744, p. 62:
“The tinkling after them with a warming-pan, frying-pan, kettle, is of
good use to let the neighbors know you have a swarm in the air, which
you claim wherever it lights; but I believe of very little purpose to
the reclaiming of the Bees, who are thought to delight in no noise but
their own.”

Ill fortune attends the killing of Bees,--a common saying. This,
doubtless, arose from the thrift and usefulness of these insects.

That swarms of Bees, or fields, houses, stalls of cattle, or workshops,
may not be affected by enchantment, Leontinus says: “Dig in the hoof of
the right side of a sable ass under the threshold of the door, and pour
on some liquid pitchy resin, salt, Heracleotic origanum, cardamonium,
cumin, some fine bread, squills, a chaplet of white or of crimson wool,
the chaste tree, vervain, sulphur, pitchy torches; and lay on some
amaranthus every month, and lay on the mould; and, having scattered
seeds of different kinds, let them remain.”[660]

To cure the stings of Bees, we have the following remedies: “Rue,” says
Pliny, “is an hearbe as medicinable as the best ... and is available
against the stings of Bees, Hornets, and Wasps, and against the poison
of the Cantharides and Salamanders.[661]

“Yea, and it is an excellent thing for them that be stung, to take the
very Bees in drinke; for it is an approved cure.[662]

“Baulme is a most present remedy not only against their stings, but also
of Wespes, Spiders, and Scorpions.[663]

“The Laurell, both leafe, barke, and berrie, is by nature hot; and
applied as a liniment, be singular good for the pricke or sting of
Wasps, Hornets, and Bees.[664]

“For the sting of Bees, Wasps, and Hornets, the Howlat (owlet) is
counted a soveraigne thing, by a certaine antipathie in nature.[665]

“Moreover, as many as have about them the bill of a Woodspeck
(Woodpecker) when they come to take honey out of the hive, shall not be
stung by Bees.”[666]

It is said that if a man suffers himself to be stung by Bees, he will
find that the poison will produce less and less effect upon his system,
till, finally, like Mithridates of old, he will appear to almost thrive
upon poison itself. When Langstroth first became interested in Bees,
according to his statement, a sting was quite a formidable thing, the
pain being often intense, and the wound swelling so as sometimes to
obstruct his sight. But, at length, however, the pain was usually
slight, and, if the sting was quickly extracted, no unpleasant
consequences ensued, even if no remedies were used. Huish speaks of
seeing the bald head of Bonner, a celebrated practical Apiarian, covered
with stings, which seemed to produce upon him no unpleasant effects. The
Rev. Mr. Kleine advises beginners to suffer themselves to be stung
frequently, assuring them that, in two seasons, their systems will
become accustomed to the poison. An old English Apiarian advises a
person who has been stung, to catch as speedily as possible another
Bee, and make it sting on the same spot.[667]

It is generally believed among our boys that if the part stung by a Bee
be rubbed with the leaves of three different plants at the same time,
the pain will be relieved.

Willsford, in his Nature’s Secrets, p. 134, says: “Bees, in fair
weather, not wandering far from their hives, presage the approach of
some stormy weather.... Wasps, Hornets, and Gnats, biting more eagerly
than they used to do, is a sign of rainy weather.”[668]

The prognostication drawn from a flight of Bees, in which there is
doubtless much truth, appears from the following lines to have been
known to Virgil:

                    Nor dare they stay,
    When rain is promised, or a stormy day:
    But near the city walls their watering take,
    Nor forage far, but short excursions make.[669]

Bees were employed as the symbol of Epeses; they are common also on
coins of Elyrus, Julis, and Præsus.[670]

One of the most remarkable facts in the history of Bees is that passage
in the Bible[671] about the swarm of these insects and honey in the
carcass of the lion slain by Samson. Some look upon it as a paradox,
others as altogether incredible; but it admits of easy explanation. The
lion had been dead some little time before the Bees had taken up their
abode in the carcass, for it is expressly stated that “after a time,”
Samson returned and saw the Bees and honey in the carcass, so that “if,”
as Oedman has well observed, “any one here represents to himself a
corrupt and putrid carcass, the occurrence ceases to have any true
similitude, for it is well known in these countries, at certain seasons
of the year, the heat will in twenty-four hours so completely dry up the
moisture of dead animals, and that without their undergoing
decomposition, that their bodies long remain, like mummies, unaltered,
and entirely free from offensive odor.” To the foregoing quotation we
may add that very probably the larvæ of flies, ants, and other insects,
which at the time when Bees swarm, are to be found in great numbers,
would help to consume the carcass, and leave perhaps in a short time
little else than a skeleton.[672]

An instance of Bees tenanting a dead body is found in the following
passage from the writings of Herodotus: “Now the Amathusians, having cut
off the head of Onesilus, because he had besieged them, took it to
Amatheus, and suspended it over the gates; and when the head was
suspended, and had become hollow, a swarm of Bees entered it, and filled
it with honey-comb. When this happened, the Amathusians consulted the
oracle respecting it, and an answer was given them, ‘that they should
take down the head and bury it, and sacrifice annually to Onesilus, as
to a hero; and if they did so, it would turn out better for them.’ The
Amathusians did accordingly, and continued to do so until my time.”[673]

Another singular instance is mentioned by Napier in his Excursions on
the shores of the Mediterranean: “Among this pretty collection of
natural curiosities (in the cemetery of Algesiras), one in particular
attracted our attention; this was the contents of a small uncovered
coffin in which lay a child, the cavity of the chest exposed and
tenanted by an industrious colony of Bees. The comb was rapidly
progressing, and I suppose, according to the adage of the poet, they
were adding sweets to the sweet, if not perfume to the violet.”[674]

Butler, in his Feminine Monarchie, narrates the following curious story:
“_Paulus Jovius_ affirmeth that in _Muscovia_, there are found in the
woods & wildernesses great lakes of honey, which the Bees have forsaken,
in the hollow truncks of marvelous huge trees. In so much that hony &
waxe are the most certaine commodities of that countrie. Where, by that
occasion, he setteth down the storie reported by _Demetrius_ a
_Muscovite_ ambassador sent to Rome. A neighbor of mine (saith he)
searching in the woods for hony slipt downe into a great hollow tree,
and there sunk into a lake of hony vp to his brest: where when he had
stucke faste two daies calling and crying out in vaine for helpe,
because no bodie in the meane while came nigh that solitarie place; at
length when he was out of all hope of life, hee was strangely delivered
by the means of a great beare: which coming thither about the same
businesse that he did, and smelling the hony stirred with his striving,
clambered vp to the top of the tree, & thence began to let himselfe
downe backward into it. The man bethinking himself, and knowing the
worst was but death, which in that place he was sure of, beclipt the
beare fast with both his hands aboit the loines, and withall made an
outcry as lowd as he could. The beare being thus sodainely affrighted,
what with the handling, & what with the noise, made vp againe withal
speed possible: the man held, & the beare pulled, vntil with main force
he had drawne _Dun out of the mire_: & then being let go, away he trots
_more afeard than hurt_, leaving the smeered swaine in a joyful

By the Chinese writers, the composition of the characters for the Bee,
Ant, and Mosquito, respectively, denote the awl insect, the _righteous_
insect, and the _lettered_ insect; referring thereby to the sting of the
first, the orderly marching and subordination of the second, and the
letter-like markings on the wings of the last.[676]

In May, 1653, the remains of Childeric, King of the Franks, who died
A.D. 481, and was buried at Tournay, were discovered; and among the
medals, coins, and books, which were found in his tomb, were also found
above three hundred figures of, as Chiflet says, Bees, all of gold. Some
of these figures were toads, crescents, lilies, spear-heads, and such
like, but Chiflet, after much labor and research, was fully convinced
they were Bees; and, more than that, determines them to be the source
whence the _Fleur de lis_ in the Arms of France were afterward derived.
Montfaucon, however, did not hesitate to say they were nothing more than
ornaments of the horse-furniture.[677]

Napoleon I. and II. are said to have had their imperial robes
embroidered with golden Bees, as claiming official descent from Carolus
Magnus, who is said to have worn them on his coat of arms.[678]

On a Continental forty-five dollar bill, issued on the 14th of January,
1779, is represented an Apiary in which two Beehives are visible, and
Bees are seen swarming about. The motto is “Sic floret Respublica--Thus
flourishes the Republic.” It conveys the simple lesson that by industry
and frugality the Republic would prosper.[679]

Bees in the heroic ages it appears were not confined in hives; for,
whenever Homer describes them, it is either where they are streaming
forth from a rock,[680] or settling in bands and clusters on the spring
flowers. Hesiod, however, soon after makes mention of a hive where he is
uncourteously comparing women to drones:

    As when within their well-roof’d hives the Bees
    Maintain the mischief-working drones at ease,
    Their task pursuing till the golden sun
    Down to the western wave his course hath run,
    Filling their shining combs, while snug within
    Their fragrant cells, the drones, with idle din
    As princes revel o’er their unpaid bowls,
    On others’ labors cheer their worthless souls.[681]

It may be surprising to many to know that Bees were not originally
natives of this country. But such is the case; the first planters never
saw any. The English first introduced them into Boston, and in 1670,
they were carried over the Alleghany Mountains by a hurricane.[682]
Since that time, it has been remarked they betray an invariable tendency
for migrating southward.[683]

Bees for a long time were known to our Indians by the name of “English
Flies;”[684] and they consider them, says Irving, as the harbinger of
the white man, as the buffalo is of the red man, and say that in
proportion as the Bee advances, the Indian and the buffalo retire.[685]

Longfellow, in his Song of Hiawatha, in describing the advent of the
European to the New World, makes his Indian warrior say of the Bee and
the white clover:

    Wheresoe’er they move, before them
    Swarms the stinging fly, the Ahmo,
    Swarms the Bee, the honey-maker;
    Wheresoe’er they tread, beneath them
    Springs a flower unknown among us,
    Springs the White Man’s Foot in blossom.

Many Apiarians contend that newly-settled countries are most favorable
to the Bee; and an old German adage runs thus:

    Bells’ ding dong,
    And choral song,
    Deter the bee
    From industry:

    But hoot of owl,
    And “wolf’s long howl”
    Incite to moil
    And steady toil.[686]

Hector St. John, in his Letters, gives the following curious account of
the method which he employed in discovering Bees in our woods in early
times: Provided with a blanket, some provisions, wax, vermilion, honey,
and a small pocket compass, he proceeded to such woods as were at a
considerable distance from the settlements. Then examining if they
abounded with large trees, he kindled a small fire on some flat stones,
close by which putting some wax, and, on another stone near by, dropping
distinct drops of honey, which he encircled with the vermilion. He then
retired to carefully watch if any Bees appeared. The smell of the burnt
wax, if there were any Bees in the neighborhood, would unavoidably
attract them; and, finding the honey, would necessarily become tinged
with the vermilion, in attempting to get at it. Next, fixing his
compass, he found out the direction of the hives by the flight of the
loaded Bees, which is invariably straight when they are returning home.
Then timing with his watch the absence of the Bee till it would come
back for a second load, and recognizing it by the vermilion, he could
generally guess pretty closely to the distance traversed by it in the
given time. Knowing then the direction and the probable distance, he
seldom failed in going directly to the right tree. In this way he
sometimes found as many as eleven swarms in one season.[687]

The shepherds of the Alps, as we learn from Sausure quoted in the Insect
Miscellanies, as soon as the snows are melted on the sides of the
mountains, transfer their flocks from the valleys below to the fresh
pasture revived by the summer sun, in the natural parterres and patches
of meadow-land formed at the foot of crumbling rocks, and sheltered by
them from mountain storms; and so difficult sometimes is this transfer
to be accomplished, that the sheep have to be slung by means of ropes
from one cliff to another before they can be stationed on the little
grass-plot above.[688] A similar artificial migration (if we may use the
term), continues the author of the Miscellanies, is effected in some
countries by the proprietors of Beehives, who remove them from one
district to another, that they may find abundance of flowers, and by
this means prolong the summer. Sometimes this transfer is performed by
persons forming an ambulatory establishment, like that of a gipsy horde,
and encamping wherever flowers are found plentiful. Bee-caravans of this
kind are reported to be not uncommon in some districts of Germany;[689]
and in parts of Greece,[690] Italy, and France,[691] the transportation
of Bees was practiced from very early times. But a more singular
practice in such transportation was to set the Beehives afloat in a
canal or river, and we are informed that, in France, one Bee-barge was
built of capacity enough for from sixty to one hundred hives, and by
floating gently down the river, the Bees had an opportunity of gathering
honey from the flowers along the banks.[692]

An instance of Bees being kept in this singular manner is found in the
following quotation from the London Times, 1830: “As a small vessel was
proceeding up the Channel from the coast of Cornwall, and running near
the land, some of the sailors observed a swarm of Bees on an island;
they steered for it, landed, and took the Bees on board; succeeded in
hiving them immediately, and proceeded on their voyage; as they sailed
along shore, the Bees constantly flew from the vessel to the land, to
collect honey, and returned again to their moving hive; and this was
continued all the way up the Channel.”[693]

In Lower Egypt, observes M. Maillet in his Description of Egypt, where
the blossoming of flowers is about six weeks later than in the upper
districts, the practice of transporting Beehives is much followed. The
hives are collected from different villages along the banks, each being
marked and numbered by individual proprietors, to prevent future
mistakes. They are then arranged in pyramidal piles upon the boats
prepared to receive them, which, floating gradually down the river, and
stopping at certain stages of their passage, remain there a longer or a
shorter time, according to the produce afforded by the surrounding
country within two or three leagues. In this manner the Bee-boats sail
for three months; the Bees, having culled the honey of the
orange-flowers in the Said, and of the Arabian jasmine and other flowers
in the more northern parts, are brought back to the places whence they
had been carried. This procures for the Egyptians delicious honey and
abundance of wax. The proprietors in return pay the boatmen a recompense
proportioned to the number of hives which have been thus carried about
from one extremity of Egypt to the other.[694] The celebrated traveler
Niebuhr saw upon the Nile, between Cairo and Damietta, a convoy of 4000
hives in their transit from Upper Egypt to the coast of the Delta.[695]

In the Bienenzeitung for 1854, p. 83, appears the following statements:
“Mr. Kaden, of Mayence, thinks that the range of the Bee’s flight does
not usually extend more than three miles in all directions. Several
years ago, a vessel, laden with sugar, anchored off Mayence, and was
soon visited by the Bees of the neighborhood, which continued to pass to
and from the vessel from dawn to dark. One morning, when the Bees were
in full flight, the vessel sailed up the river. For a short time, the
Bees continued to fly as numerously as before; but gradually the number
diminished, and, in course of half an hour, all had ceased to follow the
vessel, which had, meanwhile, sailed more than four miles.”[696]

Aristomachus of Soli, says Pliny, made Bees his exclusive study for a
period of fifty-eight years; and Philiocus, the Thracian, surnamed
Agrius--“Wildman”--passed his life in desert spots tending swarms of

Schomburgk says he saw, in his journey to the sources of the Takutu, an
Indian, who was the conjuror or piaiman of his tribe, merely approach a
nest of the wild Wampang-bees (_Wampisiana camniba_), and knocking with
his fingers against it, drive out all the Bees without a single one
injuring him. The piaiman, Schomburgk remarks, drew his fingers under
the pits of his arms before he knocked against the hive.[698]

Brue, in his first voyage to Siratic, in Africa, met with what he called
a “phenomenon” in a person entitling himself the “King of the Bees.” His
majesty accordingly came to the boat of the traveler entirely covered
with these insects, and followed by thousands, over which he appeared to
exercise the most absolute authority. These Bees were never known to
injure either himself or those whom he took under his protection.[699]

Mr. Wildman, the most celebrated Bee-tamer, frequently asserted that
armed with his friendly Bees he was defensible against the fiercest
mastiffs; and, it is said, he actually did, at Salisbury, encounter
three yard-dogs one after the other. The conditions of the engagement
were, that he should have notice of the dog being set at him.
Accordingly the first mastiff was set loose; and as he approached the
man, two Bees were detached, which immediately stung him, the one on the
nose, the other on the flank; upon receiving the wounds, the dog retired
very much daunted. After this, the second dog entered the lists, and was
foiled with the same expedition as the first. The third dog was at last
brought against the champion, but the animal observing the ill success
of his brethren, would not attempt to sustain a combat; so, in a
cowardly manner, he retired with his tail between his legs.

Many other remarkable anecdotes are told of this gentleman, illustrating
his wonderful control over Bees. He could also, indeed, tame wasps and
hornets, with almost the same ease as he could Bees, and an instance is
mentioned of his hiving a nest of hornets which hung at the top of the
inside of a high barn. He, however, was stung twice in this undertaking.

Mr. Wildman frequently exhibited himself with his head and face almost
covered with Bees, and with such a swarm of them hanging down from his
chin as to resemble a venerable beard. In this extraordinary dress he
was once brought through the City of London sitting in a chair. Before
Earl Spencer, Mr. Wildman also made many wonderful performances.[700]

Says Dr. Evans:

    Such was the spell, which round a Wildman’s arm
    Twined in dark wreaths the fascinated swarm,
    Bright o’er his breast the glittering legions led,
    Or with a living garland bound his head.
    His dexterous hand, with firm but hurtless hold,
    Could seize the chief, known by her scales of gold,
    Prune, ’mid the wondering throng, her filmy wing,
    Or o’er her folds the silken fetter fling.[701]

“Long experience has taught me,” says Mr. Wildman himself, “that as soon
as I turn up a hive, and give some taps on the sides and bottom, the
queen immediately appears. Being accustomed to see her, I readily
perceive her at the first glance; and long practice has enabled me to
seize her instantly, with a tenderness that does not in the least
endanger her person. Being possessed of her, I can, without exciting any
resentment, slip her into my other hand, and returning the hive to its
place, hold her, till the Bees, missing her, are all on the wing and in
the utmost confusion.” It was then, by placing the queen in view, he
could make them light wherever he pleased, from their great attachment
to her, and sometimes using a word of command to mystify the spectators,
he would cause them to settle on his head, and to hang to his chin like
a beard, from which he would order them to his hand, or to an adjacent
window. But, however easy such feats may appear in theory, Mr. Wildman
cautions (probably with a view to deter rivals) those who are
inexperienced not to put themselves in danger of attempting to imitate
him. A liberated Roman slave, C. F. Cnesinus, being accused before the
tribunals of witchcraft, because his crops were more abundant than
those of his neighbors, produced as his witnesses some superior
implements of husbandry, and well fed oxen, and pointing to them said:
“These, Romans! are my instruments of witchcraft; but I cannot show you
my toil, my perseverance, and my anxious cares.” “So,” says Wildman,
“may I say, These, Britons! are my instruments of witchcraft; but I
cannot show you my hours of attention to this subject, my anxiety and
care for these useful insects; nor can I communicate to you my
experience acquired during a course of years.”[702]

Butler mentions two instances where the stings of Bees have been fatal
to “cattaile”:

“A horse,” he informs us, “in the heate of the day looking over a hedge,
on the other side whereof was a staule of Bees, while hee stood nodding
with his head, as his manner is, because of the flies, the Bees fell
vpon him and killed him. Likewise I heard of a teeme that stretching
against a hedge overthrew a staule on the other side, and so two of the
horses were stung to death.”[703]

Mungo Park and his party were twice seriously attacked by large swarms
of Bees. The first attack is mentioned in the account of his first
journey; the second in the account of his second. The latter singular
accident befell them in 1805, and is thus narrated in his journal: The
coffle had halted at a creek, and the asses had just been unloaded, when
some of his guide Isaaca’s people, being in search of honey,
unfortunately disturbed a large swarm of Bees near their resting-place.
The Bees came out in immense numbers, and attacked men and beasts at the
same time. Luckily, most of the asses were loose, and galloped up the
valley; but the horses and people were very much stung, and obliged to
scamper off in all directions. The fire which had been kindled for
cooking, being deserted, spread, and set fire to the bamboos, and the
baggage had like to have been burned. In fact, for half an hour the Bees
seemed to have completely put an end to the journey. In the evening when
they became less troublesome, and the cattle could be collected, it was
found that many of them were very much stung, and swollen about the
head. Three asses were missing; one died in the course of the evening,
and one next morning, and they were forced to leave one behind the next
day. Altogether six were lost, besides which, the guide lost his horse,
and many of the people were much stung about the face and hands.[704]

But in the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times, we find the
following: “Anthenor, writing of the Isle of Crete (with whom also
ioyneth Ælianus) saith, that a great multitude of Bees chased al the
dwellers out of a City, and vsed their Houses instead of Hives.”[705]

Montaigne mentions the following singular assistance rendered by Bees to
the inhabitants of Tamly: The Portuguese having besieged the City of
Tamly, in the territory of Xiatine, the inhabitants of the place brought
a great many hives, of which there are great plenty in that place, upon
the wall; and with fire drove the Bees so furiously upon the enemy that
they gave over the enterprise, not being able to stand their attacks and
endure their stings: and so the citizens, by this new sort of relief,
gained liberty and the victory with so wonderful a fortune, that at the
return of their defenders from the battle they found they had not lost
so much as one.[706]

Lesser tells us that in 1525, during the confusion occasioned by a time
of war, a mob assembling in Hohnstein (in Thuringia) attempted to
plunder the house of the minister of Elende; who having spoken to them
with no effect, as a last resort ordered his domestics to bring his
Beehives, and throw them in the midst of the furious mob. The desired
effect was instantaneous, for the mob dispersed immediately.[707]

Bees have also been employed as an article of food. Knox tells us that
the natives of Ceylon, when they meet with a swarm of Bees hanging on a
tree, hold burning torches under them to make them drop; and so catch
and carry them home, where they boil and eat them, in their estimation,
as excellent food.[708]

Peter Martyr, speaking of the Caribbean Islands, says: “The
Inhabitantes willingly eate the young Bees, rawe, roasted, and sometimes

Bancroft tells us that when the negroes of Guiana are stung by Bees,
they in revenge eat as many as they can catch.[710]

The following account of the Bee-eater of Selborne, England, is by the
Reverend, and very accurate naturalist, Gilbert White: “We had in this
village,” says he, “more than twenty years ago (about 1765), an idiot
boy, whom I well remember, who, from a child, showed a strong propensity
to Bees: they were his food, his amusement, his sole object; and as
people of this cast have seldom more than one point in view, so this lad
exerted all his few faculties on this one pursuit. In the winter he
dozed away his time, within his father’s house, by the fireside, in a
kind of torpid state, seldom departing from the chimney corner; but in
the summer he was all alert, and in quest of his game in the fields and
on sunny banks. Honey-bees, Humble-bees, and Wasps were his prey,
wherever he found them: he had no apprehensions from their stings, but
would seize _nudis manibus_, and at once disarm them of their weapons,
and search their bodies for the sake of their honey-bags. Sometimes he
would fill his bosom between his shirt and his skin with a number of
these captives; and sometimes would confine them in bottles. He was a
very _Merops apiaster_, or Bee-bird, and very injurious to men that kept
Bees; for he would slide into their Bee-gardens, and, sitting down
before the stools, would rap with his finger on the hives, and so take
the Bees as they came out. He has been known to overturn hives for the
sake of honey, of which he was passionately fond. Where metheglin was
making, he would linger round the tubs and vessels, begging a draught of
what he called _Bee-wine_. As he ran about he used to make a humming
noise with his lips, resembling the buzzing of Bees. This lad was lean
and sallow, and of a cadaverous complexion; and, except in his favorite
pursuit, in which he was wonderfully adroit, discovered no manner of

There is a peculiar substance formed by a species of Bee in the Orinoco
country, which, says Captain Stedman, the roosting tribes burn
incessantly in their habitations, and which effectually protects them
from all winged insects. They call it _Comejou_; Gumilla says it is
neither earth nor wax.[712]

Concerning the medicinal virtues of Bees, Dr. James says: “Their salts
are very volatile, and highly exalted; for this reason, when dry’d,
powder’d, and taken internally, they are diuretic and diaphoretic. If
this powder is mixed in unguents, with which the head is anointed, it is
said to cure the Alopecia, and to contribute to the growth of hair upon
bald places.”[713]

Another, an old writer, says: “If Bees, when dead, are dried to powder,
and given to either man or beast, this medicine will often give
immediate ease in the most excruciating pain, and remove a stoppage in
the body when all other means have failed.” A tea made by pouring
boiling water upon Bees has recently been prescribed, by high medical
authority, for violent strangury; while the poison of the Bee, under the
name of _apis_, is a great homœopathic remedy.[714]

Concerning wax, Dr. James says: “All wax is heating, mollifying, and
moderately incarning. It is mixed in sorbile liquors as a remedy for
dysentery; and ten bits, of the size of a grain of millet, swallowed,
prevent the curdling of milk in the breast of nurses.”[715]

[If we might credit the history of former times, says Jamieson, in his
Scottish Dictionary, sub. _Walx_, iv. 642-3, there must have been a
considerable demand for this article (wax) for the purpose of
witchcraft. It was generally found necessary, it would seem, as the
medium of inflicting pain on the bodies of men.

“To some others at these times he teacheth, how to make _pictures of
waxe_ or clay, that by the wasting thereof, the persons that they beare
the name of, may be continually melted or dried away by continuall
sickenesse.” K. James’s Dæmonologie, B. II. c. 5.

In order to cause acute pain in the patient, pins, we are told, were
stuck in that part of the body of the image, in which they wished the
person to suffer.

The same plan was adopted for inspiring another with the ardor of love.

    Then mould her form of fairest _wax_,
      With adder’s eyes and feet of horn;
    Place this small scroll within its breast,
      Which I, your friend, have hither borne.

    Then make a blaze of alder wood,
      Before your fire make this to stand;
    And the last night of every moon
      The bonny May’s at your command.

                _Hogg’s Mountain Bard_, p. 35.

Then it follows:

    With fire and steel to urge her weel,
      See that you neither stint nor spare;
    For if the cock be heard to crow,
      The charm will vanish into air.

The wounds given to the image were supposed to be productive of similar
_stounds_ of love in the tender heart of the maiden whom it represented.

    A female form, of melting _wax_,
      Mess John surveyed with steady eye,
    Which ever an anon he _pierced_,
      And forced the lady loud to cry.--P. 84.

The same horrid rites were observed on the continent. For Grilland (de
Sortilegiis) says: Quidam solent apponere _imaginem cerae_ juxta ignem
ardentem, completis sacrificiis, de quibus supra, & adhibere quasdam
preces nefarias, & turpia verba, ut quemadmodum imago illa igne
consumitur & liquescit, eodem modo cor mulieris amoris calore talis viri
feruenter ardeat, etc. Malleus Malefic. T. H., p. 232.

It cannot be doubted that these rites have been transmitted from
heathenism. Theocritus mentions them as practiced by the Greeks in his
time. For he introduces Samoetha as using similar enchantments, partly
for punishing, and partly for regaining her faithless lover.

    But strew the _salt_, and say in angry tones,
    “I scatter Delphid’s, perjured Delphid’s bones.”
    --First Delphid injured me, he raised my flame,
    And now I burn this bough in Delphid’s name;
    As this doth blaze, and break away in fume,
    How soon it takes, let Delphid’s flesh consume,
    Iynx, restore my false, my perjured swain,
    And force him back into my arms again.--
    As this devoted _wax_ melts o’er the fire,
    Let Mindian Delphy melt in warm desire!

                            _Idylliums_, p. 12, 13.

Samoetha burns the bough in the name of her false lover, and terms the
wax _devoted_. With this the more modern ritual of witchcraft
corresponded. The name of the person, represented by the image, was
invoked. For according to the narrative given concerning the witches of
Pollock-shaws, having bound the image on a spit, they “turned it before
the fire,--saying, as they turned it, _Sir George Maxwell, Sir George
Maxwell_; and that this was expressed by all of them.” Glanvil’s
Sadducismus, p. 391.

According to Grilland, the image was baptized in the name of Beelzebub.
Malleus, ut. sup., p. 229.

There is nothing analogous to the Grecian rite, mentioned by Theocritus,
of strewing _salt_. For Grilland asserts that, in the festivals of the
witches, salt was never presented. Ibid., p. 215. It was perhaps
excluded from their infernal rites as having been so much used as a
sacred symbol.]

The following are among the twenty-eight “singular vertues” attributed
by Butler to Honey: “... It breedeth good blood, it prolongeth old age
... yea the bodies of the dead being embalmed with honey have been
thereby preserved from putrefaction. And _Athenæus_ doth witness it to
be as effectual for the living, writing out of Lycus, that the Cyrneans,
or inhabitants of Corsica, were therefore long-lived, because they did
dailie vse to feed on honey, whereof they had abundance: and no
marvaile: seeing it is so soveraigne a thing, and so many waies
available for man’s health, as well being outwardly as inwardly applied.
It is drunke against the bite of a serpent or mad dogs: and it is good
for them having eaten mushrooms, or drunke popy, etc.”[716]

In the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times,[717] there are two
chapters devoted to the “Vertues of Honey.”

There is a story, that a man once came to Mohammed, and told him that
his brother was afflicted with a violent pain in his belly; upon which
the prophet bade him give him some honey. The fellow took his advice;
but soon after coming again, told him that the medicine had done his
brother no manner of service: Mohammed answered, “Go and give him more
honey, for God speaks truth, and thy brother’s belly lies.” And the dose
being repeated, the man, by God’s mercy, was immediately cured.[718]

In the sixteenth chapter of the Koran, Mohammed has likewise mentioned
honey as a medicine for men.[719]

Athenæus tells us that Democritus, the philosopher of Abdera, after he
had determined to rid himself of life on account of his extreme old age,
and when he had begun to diminish his food day by day, when the day of
the Thesmophonian festival came round, and the women of his household
besought him not to die during the festival, in order that they might
not be debarred from their share of the festivities, was persuaded and
ordered a vessel full of honey to be set near him: and in this way he
lived many days with no other support than honey; and then some days
after, when the honey had been taken away, he died. But Democritus,
Athenæus adds, had always been fond of honey; and he once answered a
man, who had asked him how he could live in the enjoyment of the best
health, that he might do so if he constantly moistened his inward parts
with honey and his outward man with oil. Bread and honey was the chief
food of the Pythagoreans, according to the statement of Aristoxenus, who
says that those who ate this for breakfast were free from disease all
their lives.[720]

“The gall of a vulture,” says Moufet, quoting Galen, in Euporist,
“mingled with the juice of horehound (twice as much in weight as the
gall is) and two parts of honey cures the suffusion of the eyes.
Otherwise he mingles one part of the gall of the sea-tortoise, and four
times as much honey, and anoints the eyes with it. Serenus prescribes
such a receipt to cause one to be quick-sighted:

    Mingle Hyblæan honey with the gall
    Of Goats, ’tis good to make one see withall.”[721]

We are told in the German Ephemerides, that a young country girl, having
eaten a great deal of honey, became so inebriated with it, that she
slept the whole day, and talked foolishly the day following.[722]

Bevan, in his work on the Honey-Bee, mentions the following instances of
a curious use to which propolis is sometimes put by the Bees: A snail,
says he, having crept into one of Mr. Reaumur’s hives early in the
morning, after crawling about for some time, adhered, by means of its
own slime, to one of the glass panes. The Bees, having discovered the
snail, surrounded it, and formed a border of propolis round the verge of
its shell, and fastened it so securely to the glass that it became

    Forever closed the impenetrable door;
    It naught avails that in its torpid veins
    Year after year, life’s loitering spark remains.


Maraldi, another eminent Apiarian, states that a snail without a shell
having entered one of his hives, the Bees, as soon as they observed it,
stung it to death; after which, being unable to dislodge it, they
covered it all over with an impervious coat of propolis.

    For soon in fearless ire, their wonder lost,
    Spring fiercely from the comb the indignant host,
    Lay the pierced monster breathless on the ground,
    And clap in joy their victor pinions round:
    While all in vain concurrent numbers strive
    To heave the slime-girt giant from the hive--
    Sure not alone by force instinctive swayed,
    But blest with reason’s soul-directing aid,
    Alike in man or bee, they haste to pour,
    Thick, hard’ning as it falls, the flaky shower;
    Embalmed in shroud of glue the mummy lies,
    No worms invade, no foul miasmas rise.


Xenophon tells us that all the soldiers, who ate of the honey-combs,
found in the villages on the mountains of the Colchians, lost their
senses, and were seized with such violent vomiting and purging, that
none of them were able to stand upon their legs: that those who ate but
little, were like men very drunk, and those who ate much, like madmen,
and some like dying persons. In this condition, this writer adds, great
numbers lay upon the ground, as if there had been a defeat, and a
general sorrow prevailed. The next day, they all recovered their senses,
about the same hour they were seized; and, on the third and fourth days,
they got up as if they had taken physic.[724]

Pliny accounts for this accident by saying there is found in that
country a kind of honey, called from its effects, Thænomenon, that is,
that those who eat it are seized with madness. He adds, that the common
opinion is that this honey is gathered from the flowers of a plant
called _Rhododendros_, which is very common in those parts. Tournefort
thinks the modern _Laurocerasus_ is the Rhododendros of Pliny, from the
fact that the people of that country, at the present day, believe the
honey that is gathered from its flowers will produce the effects
described by Xenophon.[725]

The missionary Moffat in South Africa found some poisonous honey, which
he unknowingly ate, but with no serious consequences. It was several
days, however, before he got rid of a most unpleasant sensation in his
head and throat. The plant from which the honey had been gathered was an

“In Podolia,” says the chronicler Hollingshed, “which is now subject to
the King of Poland, their hives (of Bees) and combes are so abundant,
that huge bores, overturning and falling into them, are drowned in the
honie, before they can recover & find the meanes to come out.”[727]

Honey was offered up to the Sun by the ancient Peruvians.[728]

Dr. Sparrman has described a Hottentot dance, which he calls the
Bee-dance. It is in imitation of a swarm of Bees; every performer as he
jumps around making a buzzing noise.[729]

“To have a Bee in one’s bonnet” is a Scottish proverbial phrase about
equivalent to the English, “To have a maggot in one’s head”--to be
hair-brained. Kelly gives this with an additional word: “There’s a Bee
in your bonnet-_case_.” In Scotland, too, it is said of a confused or
stupefied man, that his “head is in the Bees.”[730] These proverbial
expressions were also in vogue in England.[731]

The following beautiful epigram, on a Bee inclosed in amber, is from the
pen of Martial: “The Bee is inclosed, and shines preserved, in a tear of
the sisters of Phaëton, so that it seems enshrined in its own nectar. It
has obtained a worthy reward for its great toils; we may suppose that
the Bee itself would have desired such a death.

    The Bee inclosed, and through the amber shown,
    Seems buried in the juice that was her own.
    So honor’d was a life in labor spent:
    Such might she wish to have her monument.”[732]

The Septuagint has the following eulogium on the Bee in Prov. vi. 8,
which is not found in the Hebrew Scriptures: “Go to the Bee, and learn
how diligent she is, and what a noble work she produces, whose labors
kings and private men use for their health; she is desired and honored
by all, and though weak in strength, yet since she values wisdom, she

In Spain Bees are in great estimation; and this is evinced by the
ancient proverb:

    Abeja y oveja,
    Y piedra que traveja,
    Y pendola trans oreja,
    Y parte en la Igreja,
    Desea a su hija, la vieja----

The best wishes of a Spanish mother to her son are, Bees, sheep,
millstones, a pen behind the ear, and a place in the church.[734]

The following anecdote in the history of the Humble-bee (_Bombus_) is
from the account of Josselyn of his voyages to New England, printed in
1674: “Near upon twenty years since there lived an old planter near
_Blackpoint_, who on a Sunshine day about one of the clock lying upon a
green bank not far from his house, charged his Son, a lad of 12 years of
age, to awaken him when he had slept two hours; the old man falls
asleep, and lying upon his back gaped with his mouth wide open enough
for a Hawke to ---- into it; after a little while the lad sitting by
spied a Humble-bee creeping out of his Father’s mouth, which taking wing
flew quite out of sight, the hour as the lad guest being come to awaken
his Father, he jagged him and called aloud Father, Father, it is two
o’clock, but all would not rouse him, at last he sees the Humble-bee
returning, who lighted upon the sleeper’s lip and walked down as the lad
conceived into his belly, and presently he awaked.”[735]

The following, on the different species of Humble-bees, is one of the
popular rhymes of Scotland:

    The todler-tyke has a very gude byke,
      And sae has the gairy Bee;
    But weel’s me on the little red-doup,
      The best o’ a’ the three.[736]

When the Archbishop of St. Andrews was cruelly murdered in 1679, “upon
the opening of his tobacco box a living humming bee flew out,” which was
explained to be a familiar or devil. A Scottish woman declared that a
child was poisoned by its grandmother, who, together with herself, were
“in the shape of bume-bees,” that the former carried the poison “in her
cleugh, wings, and mouth.” A great Bee constantly resorted to another
after receiving the Satanic mark, and rested on it.[737]

An anecdote is related by M. Reaumur respecting the thimble-shaped nest,
formed of leaves, of the Carpenter-bee (_Apis centuncularis_?), which is
a striking instance of the ridiculous superstition which prevails among
the uneducated, and which even sometimes has no slight influence on
those of better understandings. “In the beginning of July, 1736, the
learned Abbé Nollet, then at Paris, was surprised by a visit from an
auditor of the chamber of accounts, whose estate lay at a distant
village on the borders of the Seine, a few leagues from Rouen. This
gentleman came accompanied, among other domestics, by a gardener, whose
face had an air of much concern. He had come to Paris in consequence of
having found in his master’s ground many rows of leaves, unaccountably
disposed in a mystical manner, and which he could not but believe were
there placed by witchcraft, for the secret destruction of his lord and
family. He had, after recovering from his first consternation, shown
them to the curate of the parish, who was inclined to be of a similar
opinion, and advised him without delay to take a journey to Paris, and
make his lord acquainted with the circumstance. This gentleman, though
not quite so much alarmed as the honest gardener, could not feel himself
at perfect ease, and therefore thought it advisable to consult his
surgeon upon the business, who, though a man eminent in his profession,
declared himself utterly unacquainted with the nature of what was shown
him, but took the liberty of advising that the Abbé Nollet, as a
philosopher, should be consulted, whose well-known researches in natural
knowledge might perhaps enable him to elucidate the matter. It was in
consequence of this advice that the Abbé received the visit above
mentioned, and had the satisfaction of relieving all parties from their
embarrassment, by showing them several nests formed on a similar plan by
other insects, and assuring them that those in their possession were the
work of insects also.”[738]

In an English paper, the Observer, of July 25, 1813, there is an account
of a “swarm of Bees resting themselves on the inside of a lady’s
parasol.” They were hived without any serious injury to the lady.

In the Annual Register, 1767, p. 117, there was published by M. Lippi,
Licentiate in Physic of the army of Paris, an account of a petrified
Beehive, discovered on the mountains of Siout, in Upper Egypt. Broken
open it disclosed the larvæ of Bees in the cells, hard and solid, and
Bees themselves dried up like mummies. Honey was also found in the
cells![739] The account is curious, but not entitled to much credit.

In the Liverpool Advertiser, and Times, of Nov. 24, 1817, there is a
lengthy account of three Bees being found in a state of animation in a
huge solid rock from the Western Point Quarry. Scientific attention was
attracted, and as appears from the above-mentioned papers of Dec. 5,
1817, the mystery was cleared up by discovering in the rock “a sand
hole” through which the insects had made their way.[740]




The lepidopterous insects in general, soon after they emerge from the
pupa state, and commonly during their first flight, discharge some drops
of a red-colored fluid, more or less intense in different species,
which, in some instances, where their numbers have been considerable,
have produced the appearance of a “shower of blood,” as this natural
phenomenon is commonly called.

Showers of blood have been recorded by historians and poets as
preternatural--have been considered in the light of prodigies, and
regarded where they have happened as fearful prognostics of impending

There are two passages in Homer, which, however poetical, are applicable
to a rain of this kind; and among the prodigies which took place after
the death of the great dictator, Ovid particularly mentions a shower of

    Sæpe faces visæ mediis ardere sub astris,
    Sæpe inter nimbos guttæ cecidere cruentæ.

    With threatening signs the lowering skies were fill’d,
    And sanguine drops from murky clouds distilled.

Among the numerous prodigies reported by Livy to have happened in the
year 214 B.C., it is instanced that, at Mantua, a stagnating piece of
water, caused by the overflowing of the River Mincius, appeared as of
blood; and, in the cattle-market at Rome, a shower of blood fell in the
Istrian Street. After mentioning several other remarkable phenomena that
happened during that year, Livy concludes by saying that these prodigies
were expiated, conformably to the answers of the Aruspices, by victims
of the greater kinds, and supplication was ordered to be performed to
all the deities who had shrines at Rome.[741] Again it is stated by
Livy, that many alarming prodigies were seen at Rome in the year 181
B.C., and others reported from abroad; among which was a shower of
blood, which fell in the courts of the temples of Vulcan and Concord.
After mentioning that the image of Juno Sospita shed tears, and that a
pestilence broke out in the country, this writer adds, that these
prodigies, and the mortality which prevailed, alarmed the Senate so
much, that they ordered the consuls to sacrifice to such gods as their
judgment should direct, victims of the larger kinds, and that the
Decemvirs should consult their books. Pursuant to their direction, a
supplication for one day was proclaimed to be performed at every shrine
at Rome; and they advised, besides, and the Senate voted, and the consul
proclaimed, that there should be a supplication and public worship for
three days throughout all Italy.[742] In the year 169 B.C., Livy also
mentions that a shower of blood fell in the middle of the day. The
Decemvirs were again called upon to consult their books, and again were
sacrifices offered to the deities.[743] The account, also, of Livy, of
the bloody sweat, on some of the statues of the gods, must be referred
to the same phenomenon; as the predilection of those ages to marvel,
says Thomas Brown, and the want of accurate investigation in the cases
recorded, as well as the rare occurrence of these atmospherical
depositions in our own times, inclines us to include them among the
blood-red drops deposited by insects.[744]

In Stow’s Annales of England, we have two accounts of showers of blood;
and from an edition printed in London in 1592, we make our quotations:
“Rivallus, sonne of Cunedagius, succeeded his father, in whose time (in
the year 766 B.C.) it rained bloud 3 dayes: after which tempest ensued a
great multitude of venemous flies, which slew much people, and then a
great mortalitie throughout this lande, caused almost desolation of the
same.”[745] The second account is as follows: “In the time of Brithricus
(A.D. 786) it rayned blood, which falling on men’s clothes, appeared
like crosses.”[746]

Hollingshed, Graften, and Fabyan have also recorded these instances in
their respective chronicles of England.[747]

A remarkable instance of bloody rain is introduced into the very
interesting Icelandic ghost story of Thorgunna. It appears that in the
year of our Lord 1009, a woman called Thorgunna came from the Hebrides
to Iceland, where she stayed at the house of Thorodd: and during the hay
season, a shower of blood fell, but only, singularly, on that portion of
the hay she had not piled up as her share, which so appalled her that
she betook herself to her bed, and soon afterward died. She left, to
finish the story, a remarkable will, which, from not being executed, was
the cause of several violent deaths, the appearance of ghosts, and,
finally, a legal action of ejectment against the ghosts, which, it need
hardly be said, drove them effectually away.[748]

In 1017, a shower of blood fell in Aquitaine;[749] and Sleidan relates
that in the year 1553 a vast multitude of Butterflies swarmed through a
great part of Germany, and sprinkled plants, leaves, buildings, clothes,
and men with bloody drops, as if it had rained blood.[750] We learn also
from Bateman’s Doome, that these “drops of bloude upon hearbes and
trees,” in 1553, were deemed among the forewarnings of the deaths of
Charles and Philip, dukes of Brunswick.[751]

In Frankfort, in the year 1296, among other prodigies, some spots of
blood led to a massacre of the Jews, in which ten thousand of these
unhappy descendants of Abraham lost their lives.[752]

In the beginning of July, 1608, an extensive shower of blood took place
at Aix, in France, which threw the people of that place into the utmost
consternation, and, which is a much more important fact, led to the
first satisfactory and philosophical explanation of this phenomenon, but
too late, alas! to save the Jews of Frankfort. This explanation was
given by M. Peiresc, a celebrated philosopher of that place, and is thus
referred to by his biographer, Gassendi: “Nothing in the whole year 1608
did more please him than that he observed and philosophized about, the
_bloody rain_, which was commonly reported to have fallen about the
beginning of July; great drops thereof were plainly to be seen, both in
the city itself, upon the walls of the church-yard of the church, which
is near the city wall, and upon the city walls themselves; also upon the
walls of villages, hamlets, and towns, for some miles round about; for
in the first place, he went himself to see those wherewith the stones
were colored, and did what he could to come to speak with those
husbandmen, who, beyond Lambesk, were reported to have been affrighted
at the falling of said rain, that they left their work, and ran as fast
as their legs could carry them into the adjacent houses. Whereupon, he
found that it was a fable that was reported, touching those husbandmen.
Nor was he pleased that naturalists should refer this kind of rain to
vapours drawn up out of red earth aloft in the air, which congealing
afterwards into liquor, fall down in this form; because such vapours as
are drawne aloft by heat, ascend without color, as we may know by the
alone example of red roses, out of which the vapours that arise by heat
are congealed into transparent water. He was less pleased with the
common people, and some divines, who judged that it was the work of the
devils and witches who had killed innocent young children; for this he
counted a mere conjecture, possibly also injurious to the goodness and
providence of God.

“In the mean while an accident happened, out of which he conceived he
had collected the true cause thereof. For, some months before, he shut
up in a box a certain palmer-worm which he had found, rare for its
bigness and form; which, when he had forgotten, he heard a buzzing in
the box, and when he opened it, found the palmer-worm, having cast its
coat, to be turned into a beautiful Butterfly, which presently flew
away, leaving in the bottom of the box a red drop as broad as an
ordinary sous or shilling; and because this happened about the beginning
of the same month, and about the same time an incredible multitude of
Butterflies were observed flying in the air, he was therefore of opinion
that such kind of Butterflies resting on the walls had there shed such
like drops, and of the same bigness. Whereupon, he went the second time,
and found, by experience, that those drops were not to be found on the
house-tops, nor upon the round sides of the stones which stuck out, as
it would have happened, if blood had fallen from the sky, but rather
where the stones were somewhat hollowed, and in holes, where such small
creatures might shroud and nestle themselves. Moreover, the walls which
were so spotted, were not in the middle of towns, but they were such as
bordered upon the fields, nor were they on the highest parts, but only
so moderately high as Butterflies are commonly wont to fly.

“Thus, therefore, he interpreted that which Gregory of Tours relates,
touching a bloody rain seen at Paris in divers places, in the days of
Childebert, and on a certain house in the territory of Seulis; also that
which is storied, touching raining of blood about the end of June, in
the days of King Robert; so that the blood which fell upon flesh,
garments, or stones could not be washed out, but that which fell on wood
might; for it was the same season of Butterflies, and experience hath
taught us, that no water will wash these spots out of the stones, while
they are fresh and new. When he had said these and such like things to
various, a great company of auditors being present, it was agreed that
they should go together and search out the matter, and as they went up
and down, here and there, through the fields, they found many drops upon
stones and rocks; but they were only on the hollow and under parts of
the stones, but not upon those which lay most open to the skies.”[753]

This memorable shower of blood was produced by the _Vanessa urticæ_, or
_V. polychloros_, most probably, since these species of Butterflies are
said to have been uncommonly plentiful at the time when, and in the
particular district where, the phenomenon was observed.[754][755]

Nicoll, in his Diary, p. 8, informs us that on the 28th of May, 1650,
“there rained blood the space of three miles in the Earl of Buccleuch’s
bounds (Scotland), near the English border, which was verefied in
presence of the Committee of State.”[756]

We learn from Fountainhall that on Sunday, May 1st, 1687, a young woman
of noted piety, Janet Fraser by name, the daughter of a weaver in the
parish of Closeburn, Dumfriesshire, went out to the fields with a young
female companion, and sat down to read the Bible not far from her
father’s house. Feeling thirsty, she went to the river-side (the Nith)
to get a drink, leaving her Bible open at the place where she had been
reading, which presented the verses of the 34th chapter of Isaiah,
beginning--“My sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come
down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment,” etc. On
returning, she found a patch of something like blood covering this very
text. In great surprise, she carried the book home, where a young man
tasted the substance with his tongue, and found it of a saltless or
insipid flavor. On the two succeeding Sundays, while the same girl was
reading the Bible in the open air, similar blotches of matter, like
blood, fell upon the leaves. She did not perceive it in the act of
falling till it was about an inch from the book. “It is not blood,” our
informant adds, “for it is as tough as glue, and will not be scraped
off by a knife, as blood will; but it is so like blood, as none can
discern any difference by the colour.”[757]

On Tuesday, Oct. 9th, 1764, “a kind of rain of a red color, resembling
blood, fell in many parts of the Duchy of Cleves, which caused great
consternation. M. Bouman sent a bottle of it to Dr. Schutte, to know if
it contained anything pernicious to health. Something of the like kind
fell also at Rhenen, in the Province of Utrecht.”[758]

Dr. Schutte, to whom was submitted a bottle of this red rain, gave it as
his opinion that it was caused by particles of red matter, which had
been raised into the atmosphere by a strong wind, and that it was in no
way hurtful to mankind or beasts![759]

In 1819, a red shower fell in Carniola, which, being analyzed, says
Bucke, was found to be impregnated with silex, alumine, and oxide of
iron. Red rain fell also at Dixmude, in Flanders, November 2d, 1829; and
on the following day at Schenevingen, the acid obtained from which was
chloric acid, and the metal cobalt.[760]

In the year 1780, Rombeag noticed a shower of blood that had excited
universal attention, and which he could satisfactorily show to be
produced by the flying forth and casting of bees, as the phenomenon in
the place around the beehives themselves was remarkably striking. From
this fact it is evident that the appearance is attributable to other
insects as well as the lepidoptera.[761]

Bloody rain has also been attributed, with much apparent reason, to
other causes still, as the following accounts from reliable authorities

In 1848, Dr. Eckhard, of Berlin, when attending a case of cholera, found
potatoes and bread within the house spotted with a red coloring matter,
which, being forwarded to Ehrenberg, was found by him to be due to the
presence of an animalcule, to which he gave the name of the _Monas
prodigiosa_. It was found that other pieces of bread could be inoculated
with this matter.[762]

Swammerdam relates that, one morning in 1670, great excitement was
created in the Hague by a report that the lakes and ditches about Leyden
were turned to blood. Florence Schuyl, the celebrated professor of
physic in the University of Leyden, went down to the canals, and taking
home a quantity of this blood-colored matter examined it with a
microscope, and found that the water was water still, and had not at all
changed its color; but that it was full of small red animals, all alive
and very nimble in their motions, the color and prodigious numbers of
which gave a reddish tinge to the whole body of the water in which they
lived. The animals which thus color the water of lakes and ponds are the
_Pulices arborescentes_ of Swammerdam, or the water fleas with branched
horns. These creatures are of a reddish yellow or flame color. They live
about the sides of ditches, under weeds, and among the mud; and are
therefore the less visible, except at a certain time, which is in the
month of June. It is at this time these little animals leave their
recesses to float about the water, and meet for the propagation of their
species; and by this means they become visible in the color which they
give to the water. The color in question is visible, more or less, in
one part or other of almost all standing waters at this season; and it
is always at the same season that the bloody waters have alarmed the

The prodigy, mentioned by Livy, of a stagnating piece of water at Mantua
appearing as of blood, was no doubt owing to the appearance of great
numbers of the _Pulices arborescentes_ in it.[764]

Concerning the origin of bloody rain, Swammerdam entertained the same
idea as Peiresc; but he does not appear to have verified it from his
own observation. He makes the following remarks: “Is it not possible
that such red drops might issue from insects, at the time they come
fresh from the nymphs, which distil a bloody fluid? This seems to happen
especially when such insects are more than ordinarily multiplied in any
particular year, as we often experience in the butterflies, flies,
gnats, and others.”[765]

Dust is commonly attributed as the cause of this phenomenon, but will
satisfactorily explain only a few instances. A writer for Chambers’
Journal, in an article on showers of red dust, bloody rain, etc., says:
“In October, 1846, a fearful and furious hurricane visited Lyon, and the
district between that city and Grenoble, during which occurred a fall of
blood-rain. A number of drops were caught and preserved, and when the
moisture was evaporated, there was seen the same kind of dust (as fell
in showers in Genoa in 1846) of a yellowish brown or red color. When
placed under the microscope, it exhibited a great proportion of fresh
water and marine formations. Phytolytharia were numerous, as also
‘neatly-lobed vegetable scales;’ which, as Ehrenberg observes, is
sufficient to disprove the assertion that the substance is found in the
atmosphere itself, and is not of European origin. For the first time, a
living organism was met with, the ‘_Eunota amphyoxis_, with its ovaries
green, and therefore capable of life.’ Here was a solution of the
mystery: the dust, mingling with the drops of water falling from the
clouds, produced the red rain. Its appearance is that of reddened water,
and it cannot be called blood-like without exaggeration.”[766]

To conclude the history of bloody rain, the following is most
appropriate: In 1841, some negroes, in Wilson County, Tennessee,
reported that it had rained blood in the tobacco field where they had
been at work; that near noon there was a rattling noise like rain or
hail, and drops of blood, as they supposed, fell from a red cloud that
was flying over. Prof. Troost, of Nashville, was called upon to explain
the phenomenon; and, after citing many instances of red rain, red snow,
and so called showers of blood, he concluded his learned article with
this opinion: “A wind might have taken up part of an animal, which was
in a state of decomposition, and have brought it in contact with an
electric cloud, in which it was kept in a state of partial fluidity or
viscosity. In this case, the cloud which was seen by the negroes, as the
state in which the materials were, is accounted for.”

Prof. Troost published this profound solution in the forty-first volume
of Silliman’s Journal; but in the forty-fourth of the same magazine a
much more satisfactory one is given, for it is there stated “that the
whole affair was a hoax devised by the negroes, who pretended to have
seen the shower for the sake of practicing on the credulity of their
masters. They had scattered the decaying flesh of a dead hog over the
tobacco leaves.”[767]

Another phenomenon to be particularly noticed in the history of the
Butterflies, is their appearance at certain times in countless numbers
migrating from place to place. H. Kapp, a writer in the _Naturforsch_,
observed on a calm sunny day a prodigious flight of the
Cabbage-Butterfly, _Pontia brassicæ_, which passed from northeast to
southwest, and lasted two hours.[768] Kalm, the Swedish traveler, saw
these last insects midway in the British Channel.[769] Lindley tells us
that in Brazil, in the beginning of March, 1803, for many days
successively there was an immense flight of white and yellow
Butterflies, probably of the same tribe as the _Pontia brassicæ_. They
were observed never to settle, but proceeded in a direction from
northwest to southeast. No buildings seemed to stop them from steadily
pursuing their course; which being to the ocean, at only a small
distance, they must all have inevitably perished. It is to be remarked
that at this time no other kind of Butterfly was to be seen, though the
country usually abounds in such a variety.[770]

A somewhat similar migration of Butterflies was observed in Switzerland
on the 8th or 10th of June, 1828. The facts are as follows: Madame de
Meuron Wolff and her family, established during the summer in the
district of Grandson, Canton de Vaud, perceived with surprise an
immense flight of Butterflies traversing the garden with great rapidity.
They were all of the species called _Belle Dame_ by the French, and by
the English the Painted Lady (_Vanessa cardui_, Stephens). They were all
flying close together in the same direction, from south to north, and
were so little afraid when any one approached, that they turned not to
the right or to the left. The flight continued for two hours without
interruption, and the column was about ten or fifteen feet broad. They
did not stop to alight on flowers; but flew onward, low and equally.
This fact is the more singular, when it is considered that the larvæ of
the _Vanessa cardui_ are not gregarious, but are solitary from the
moment they are hatched; nor are the Butterflies themselves usually
found together in numbers. Professor Bonelli, of Turin, however,
observed a similar flight of the same species of Butterflies in the end
of March preceding their appearance at Grandson, when it may be presumed
they had just emerged from the pupa state. Their flight, as at Grandson,
was from south to north, and their numbers were so immense, that at
night the flowers were literally covered with them. As the spring
advanced, their numbers diminished; but even in June a few still
continued. A similar flight of Butterflies is recorded about the end of
the last century by M. Loche, in the Memoirs of the Turin Academy.
During the whole season, these Butterflies, as well as their larvæ, were
very abundant, and more beautiful than usual.[771]

Pallas once saw such vast flights of the orange-tipped Butterfly,
_Pontia cardamines_, in the vicinity of Winofka, that he at first
mistook them for flakes of snow.[772] At Barbados, some days previous to
the hurricane in 1780, the trees and shrubs were entirely covered with a
species of Butterfly of the most beautiful colors, so as to screen from
the sight the branches, and even the trunks of the trees. In the
afternoon before the gale came on, and when it was quite still, they all
suddenly disappeared. The gale came on soon after.[773] Darwin tells us
that several times, when the “Beagle” had been some miles off the mouth
of the Plata, and at other times when off the shores of Northern
Patagonia, the air was filled with insects: that one evening, when the
ship was about ten miles from the Bay of San Blas, vast numbers of
Butterflies, in bands or flocks of countless myriads, extended as far as
the eye could range. The seamen cried out “It was raining Butterflies,”
and such in fact, continues Darwin, was the appearance. Several species
were in this flock, but they were chiefly of a kind very similar to, but
not identical with, the common English _Colias edusa_. Some moths and
hymenopterous insects accompanied the Butterflies; and a fine beetle
(_Calosoma_) flew on board.[774] Captain Adams mentions an extraordinary
flight of small Butterflies, with spotted wings, which took place at
Annamaboo, on the Guinea coast, after a tornado. The wind veered to the
northward, and blew fresh from the land, with thick mist, which brought
off from the shore so many of these insects, that for one hour the
atmosphere was so filled with them as to represent a snow-storm driving
past the vessel at a rapid rate, which was lying at anchor about two
miles from the shore.[775]

Mr. Charles J. Anderson encountered, in South-western Africa, for two
consecutive days, such immense myriads of lemon-colored Butterflies that
the sound caused by their wings was such as to resemble “the distant
murmuring of waves on the sea-shore.” They always passed in the same
direction as the wind blew, and, as numbers were constantly alighting on
the flowers, their appearance at such times was not unlike “the falling
of leaves before a gentle autumnal breeze.”[776]

In Bermuda, October 10, 1847, the Butterfly, _Terias lisa_ of Boisduval,
suddenly appeared in great abundance, hundreds being seen in every
direction. Previous to that occasion, Mr. Hurdis, the observer of this
flight, had never met with this Butterfly. In the course of a few days,
they had all disappeared.[777]

In Ceylon, in the months of April and May, migrations of Butterflies
(mostly the _Callidryas hilariæ_, _C. alcmeone_, and _C. pyranthe_, with
straggling individuals of the genus _Euplœa_, _E. coras_, and _E.
prothoe_) are quite frequent. Their passage is generally in a
northeasterly direction. The flights of these delicate insects appear to
the eye of a white or pale yellow hue, and apparently to extend miles in
breadth, and of such prodigious length as to occupy hours, and even
days, in their uninterrupted passage. A friend of Tennent, traveling
from Kandy to Kornegalle, drove for _nine miles_ through such a cloud of
white Butterflies, which was passing _across_ the road by which he went.
Whence these immense numbers of Butterflies come no one knows, and
whither going no one can tell. But the natives have a superstitious
belief that their flight is ultimately directed to Adam’s Peak, and that
their pilgrimage ends on reaching that sacred mountain.[778]

Moufet says: “Wert thou as strong as Milo or Hercules, and wert fenced
or guarded about with an host of giants for force and valour, remember
that such an army was put to the worst by an army of Butterflies flying
in troops in the air, in the year 1104, and they hid the light of the
sun like a cloud. Licosthenes relates, that on the third day of August,
1543, that no hearb was left by reason of their multitudes, and they had
devoured all the sweet dew and natural moisture, and they had burned up
the very grasse that was consumed with their dry dung.”[779]

The most beautiful as well as pleasing emblem among the Egyptians was
exhibited under the character of Psyche--the Soul. This was originally
no other than a Butterfly: but it afterwards was represented as a lovely
female child with the beautiful wings of that insect. The Butterfly,
after its first and second stages as an egg and larva, lies for a season
in a manner dead; and is inclosed in a sort of coffin. In this state it
remains a shorter or longer period; but at last bursting its bonds, it
comes out with new life, and in the most beautiful attire. The Egyptians
thought this a very proper picture of the soul of man, and of the
immortality, to which it aspired. But they made it more particularly an
emblem of Osiris; who having been confined in an oak or coffin, and in a
state of death, at last quitted his prison, and enjoyed a renewal of
life.[780] This symbol passed over to the Greeks and Romans, who also
considered the Butterfly as the symbol of Zephyr.[781]

Among the coats of arms of several of our most celebrated tribes of
Indians, Baron Lahontan mentions one, that of the “Illinese,” which bore
a beech-leaf with a Butterfly argent.[782]

The sight of a trio of Butterflies is considered an omen of death.[783]
An English superstition.

If a Butterfly enters a house, a death is sure to follow shortly in the
family occupying it; if it enters through the window, the death will be
that of an infant or very young person. As far as I know this
superstition is peculiar to Maryland.

If a Butterfly alights upon your head, it foretells good news from a
distance. This superstition obtains in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The first Butterfly seen in the summer brings good luck to him who
catches it. This notion prevails in New York.

In Western Pennsylvania, it is believed that if the chrysalides of
Butterflies be found suspended mostly on the under sides of rails,
limbs, etc., as it were to protect them from rain, that there will soon
be much rain, or, as it is termed, a “rainy spell”; but, on the
contrary, if they are found on twigs and slender branches, that the
weather will be dry and clear.

Du Halde and Grosier tell us that the Butterflies of the mountain of
Lo-few-shan, in the province of Quang-tong, China, are so much esteemed
for their size and beauty, that they are sent to court, where they
become a part of certain ornaments in the palaces. The wings of these
Butterflies are very large, and their colors surprisingly diversified
and lively.[784] Dionysius Kao, a native of China, also remarks, in his
Geographical Description of that Empire, that the Butterflies of
Quang-tong are generally sent to the emperor, as they form a part of the
furniture of the imperial cabinets.[785]

Osbeck says the Chinese put up insects in boxes made of coarse wood,
without covering, and lined with paper, which they carry round to sell;
each box bringing half a piastre. Of the Butterflies, which were the
principal insects thus sold, he enumerates twenty-one species.[786]

The Chinese children make Butterflies of paper, with which “they play
after night by sending them, like kites, into the air.”[787]

We learn from Captain Stedman, that even in the forests of Guiana, some
people make Butterfly-catching their business, and obtain much money by
it. They collect and arrange them in paper boxes, and send them off to
the different cabinets of Europe.[788]

Butterflies are now extensively worn by French and American ladies on
their head-dresses.

From the relations of Sir Anthony Shirley, quoted in Burton’s Anatomy of
Melancholy,[789] we learn that the kings of Persia were wont to hawk
after Butterflies with sparrows and stares, or starlings, trained for
the purpose; and we are also told that M. de Luisnes (afterward Prime
Minister of France), in the nonage of Louis XIII., gained much upon him
by making hawks catch little birds, and by making some of those little
birds again catch Butterflies.[790]

In the Zoological Journal, No. 13, it is recorded that at a meeting of
the Linnæan Society, March 11, 1832, Mr. Stevens exhibited a remarkable
freak of nature in a specimen of _Vanessa urtica_, which possessed five
wings, the additional one being formed by a second, but smaller, hinder
wing on one side.[791]

J. A. de Mandelsloe, who made a voyage to the East Indies in 1639, tells
us that not far from the Fort of Ternate grows a certain shrub, called
by the Indians _Catopa_, from which falls a leaf, which, by degrees, is
supposed to be metamorphosed into a Butterfly.[792]

De Pauw tells us that, not long before his time, the French peasants
entertained a kind of worship for the chrysalis of the caterpillar found
on the great nettle (the pupa of _Vanessa cardui_?), because they
fancied that it revealed evident traces of Divinity; and quotes M. Des
Landes in saying that the curates had even ornamented the altars with
these pupæ.[793]

The Butterfly (Ang. Sax. _Buttor-fleoge_, or _Buter-flege_) is so named
from the common yellow species, or from its appearing in the butter
season. Its German names are _Schmetterling_, from _schmetten_, cream;
and _Molkendieb_, the Whey-thief. The association with milk in its three
forms, in butter, cream, and whey, is remarkable.

The African Bushmen eat the caterpillars of Butterflies; and the Natives
of New Holland eat the caterpillars of a species of Moth, and also a
kind of Butterfly, which they call _Bugong_, which congregates in
certain districts, at particular seasons, in countless myriads. On these
occasions the native blacks assemble from far and near to collect them;
and after removing the wings and down by stirring them on the ground,
previously heated by a large fire, winnowing them, eat the bodies, or
store them up for use, by pounding and smoking them. The bodies of these
Butterflies abound in oil, and taste like nuts. When first eaten, they
produce violent vomitings and other debilitating effects; but these go
off after a few days, and the natives then thrive and fatten exceedingly
on this diet, for which they have to contend with a black crow, which is
also attracted by the Butterflies, and which they dispatch with their
clubs and use also as food.

Another practice in Australia is to follow up the flight of the
Butterflies, and to light fires at nightfall beneath the trees in which
they have settled. The smoke brings the insects down, when their bodies
are collected and pounded together into a sort of fleshy loaf.[794]

Bennet tells us the larva of a Lepidopterous insect (the _Bugong_?)
that destroys the green-wattle (_Acacia decurrens_) is much sought
after, and considered a delicacy, by the blacks of Australia. These
people eat also the pink grubs found in the wattle-trees, either
roasted or uncooked. Europeans, who have tasted of this dish, say it
is not disagreeable.[795]

Swammerdam, treating of the metamorphoses of larvæ into pupæ and thence
into perfect insects, makes the following curious comparison: “The
worms, after the manner of the brides in Holland, shut themselves up for
a time, as it were to prepare, and render themselves more amiable, when
they are to meet the other sex in the field of Hymen.”[796]


To the superstitious imaginations of the Europeans, the conspicuous
markings on the back of a large evening moth, the _Sphinx Atropos_,
represent the human skull, with the thigh-bones crossed beneath; hence
is it called the _Death’s-head Moth_, the _Death’s-head Phantom_, the
_Wandering Death-bird_, etc. Its cry,[797] which closely resembles the
noise caused by the creaking of cork, or the plaintive squeaking of a
mouse, certainly more than enough to frighten the ignorant and
superstitious, is considered the voice of anguish, the moaning of a
child, the signal of grief; and it is regarded “not as the creation of a
benevolent being, but as the device of evil spirits”--spirits, enemies
to man, conceived and fabricated in the dark; and the very shining of
its eyes is supposed to represent the fiery element whence it is thought
to have proceeded. Flying into their apartments in the evening, it at
times extinguishes the light, foretelling war, pestilence, famine, and
death to man. The sudden appearance of these insects, we are informed by
Latrielle, during a season while the people were suffering from an
epidemic disease, tended much to confirm the notions of the
superstitious in that district, and the disease was attributed by them
entirely to their visitation.[798] Jaeger says, at a very recent day,
that this large Moth first attracted his “attention during the
prevalence of a severe and fatal epidemic, and of course nothing more
was necessary than its appearance at such a time to induce an ignorant
people to believe it the veritable prophet and forerunner of death. A
curate in Bretagne, France,” continues this author, “made a most
horrible and fear-exciting description of this animal, describing the
very loud and dreadful sound which it emitted as a sort of lamentation
for the awful calamity which was coming on the earth.”[799] Reaumur
informs us that all the members of a female convent in France were
thrown into the greatest consternation at the appearance of one of these
insects, which happened to fly in during the evening at one of the
windows of the dormitory.[800]

In the Isle of France, the natives believe that the dust (scales) cast
from the wings of the Death’s-head Moth, in flying through an apartment,
is productive of blindness to the visual organs on which it falls.[801]

There is a quaint superstition in England that the Death’s-head Moth has
been very common in Whitehall ever since the martyrdom of Charles

Illustrative of the tough texture of the skin with which many soft larvæ
are provided for protection, the following may be instanced: Bonnet
squeezed under water the caterpillar of the privet Hawk-moth, _Sphinx
ligustris_, till it was as flat and empty as the finger of a glove, yet
within an hour it became plump and lively as if nothing had

The name Sphinx is applied to this genus of insects from a fancied
resemblance between the attitude assumed by the larvæ of several of the
larger species, when disturbed, and that of the Egyptian Sphinx.

Bombicidæ--Silk-worm Moths.

The notices of the cultivation of the mulberry and the rearing of
Silk-worms, found in Chinese works, have been industriously collected
and published by M. Julien, by order of the French government. From his
work it appears that credible notices of the culture of the tree and the
manufacture of silk are found as far back as B.C. 780; and in referring
its invention to the Empress Siling, or Yuenfi, wife of the Emperor
Hwangti, B.C. 2602 (Du Halde says 2698), the Chinese have shown their
belief of its still higher antiquity. The Shi King contains this

    The legitimate wife of Hwangti, named Siling Shi,
        began to rear Silk-worms:
    At this period Hwangti invented the art of making clothing.

Du Halde says this invention raised the Empress to the rank of a
divinity, under the title of Spirit of the Silk-worm, and of the

The Book of Rites contains a notice of the festival held in honor of
this art, which corresponds to that of plowing by the emperor. “In the
last month of spring, the young empress purified herself and offered
sacrifice to the goddess of Silk-worms. She went into the eastern fields
and collected mulberry-leaves. She forbade noble dames and the ladies of
statesmen adorning themselves, and excused her attendants from their
sewing and embroidery, in order that they might give all their care to
the rearing of Silk-worms.”[805]

The manufacture of silk has been known in India from time immemorial,
it being mentioned in the oldest Sanscrit books.[806] It is the opinion
of modern writers, however, that the culture of the Silk-worm passed
from China into India, thence through Persia, and then, after the lapse
of several centuries, into Europe. But long before this, wrought silk
had been introduced into Greece from Persia. This was effected by the
army of Alexander the Great, about the year 323 before Christ.

The Greeks fabled silk to have first been woven in the Island of Cos by
Pamphila, the daughter of Plateos.[807] Of its true origin they were, in
a great measure, ignorant, but seem to have been positive that it was
the work of an insect. Pausanias thus describes the animal and its
culture: “But the thread, from which the Ceres (an Ethiopian race) make
garments, is not produced from a tree, but is procured by the following
method: A worm is found in their country which the Greeks call _Seer_,
but the Ceres themselves, by a different name. This worm is twice as
large as a beetle, and, in other respects, resembles spiders which weave
under trees. It has, likewise, eight feet as well as the spider. The
Ceres rear these insects in houses adapted for this purpose both to
summer and winter. What these insects produce is a slender thread, which
is rolled round their feet. They feed them for four years on oatmeal;
and on the fifth (for they do not live beyond five years) they give them
a green reed to feed on: for this is the sweetest of all food to this
insect. It feeds, therefore, on this till it bursts through fullness,
and dies: after which, they draw from its bowels a great quantity of

Aristotle seems to have had a much clearer idea of the origin of silk,
for he says it was unwound from the _pupa_ (he does not expressly say
the _pupa_, but this we must suppose) of a large horned
caterpillar.[809] The _larva_ he means could not, however, be the common
Silk-worm, since it is rather small and without horns.

Pliny, who, most probably, obtained the most of his ideas from Pausanias
and Aristotle, was of opinion that silk was the produce of a worm which
built clay-nests and collected wax. At first these worms, he says,
assume the appearance of small butterflies with naked bodies, but soon
after, being unable to endure the cold, they throw out bristly hairs,
which assume quite a thick coat against the winter, by rubbing off the
down that covers the leaves, by the aid of the roughness of their feet.
This they compress into balls by carding it with their claws, and then
draw it out and hang it between the branches of the trees, making it
fine by combing it out, as it were: last of all, they take and roll it
round their body, thus forming a nest in which they are enveloped. It is
in this state that they are taken; after which they are placed in
earthen vessels in a warm place, and fed upon bran. A peculiar sort of
down soon shoots forth upon the body, on being clothed with which they
are sent to work upon another task.[810]

The first kinds of silk dresses worn by the Roman ladies were from the
Island of Cos, and, as Pliny says, were known by the name of _Coæ
vestes_.[811] These dresses, of which Pliny says in such high praise,
“that while they cover a woman, they at the same time reveal her
charms,” were indeed so fine as to be transparent, and were sometimes
dyed purple, and enriched with stripes of gold. They had their name from
the early reputation which Cos acquired by its manufacture of silk. But
silk was a very scarce article among the Romans for many ages, and so
highly prized as to be valued at its weight in gold. Vospicius informs
us that the Emperor Aurelian, who died A.D. 125, refused his empress a
robe of silk, which she earnestly solicited, merely on account of its
dearness. Galen, who lived about A.D. 173, speaks of the rarity of silk,
being nowhere then but at Rome, and there only among the rich.
Heliogabalus is said to have been the first Roman that wore a garment
entirely of silk.

We learn from Tacitus, that early in the reign of Tiberius, about A.D.
17, the Senate enacted “that men should not defile themselves by wearing
garments of silk.”[812] Pliny says, however, that in his time men had
become so degenerate as to not even feel ashamed to wear garments of
this material.[813]

The mode of producing and manufacturing silk was not known to Europe
until long after the Christian era, being first learned about the year
555 by two Persian monks, who, under the encouragement of the Emperor
Justinian, procured in India the eggs of the Silk-worm Moth, with which,
concealing them in hollow canes, they hastened to Constantinople. They
also brought with them instructions for hatching the eggs, rearing and
feeding the worms, and drawing, spinning, and working the silk.[814]

From Constantinople, the culture of the Silk-worm spread over Greece, so
that in less than five centuries that portion of this country, hitherto
called the Peloponnesus, changed its denomination into that of Morea,
from the immense plantations of the _Morus alba_, or white
mulberry.[815] Large manufactories were set up at Athens, Thebes, and
Corinth. The Venetians, soon after this, commencing a commerce with the
Grecians, supplied all the western parts of Europe with silks for many
centuries. Several kinds of modern silk manufactures, such as damasks,
velvets, satins, etc., were as yet unknown.

About the year 1130, Roger II., King of Sicily, having conquered the
Peloponnesus, transported the Silk-worms and such as cultivated them to
Palermo and to Calabria. Such was the success of the speculation in
Calabria, that it is doubtful whether, even at the present moment, it
does not produce more silk than the whole of the rest of Italy.[816]

By degrees the rest of Italy, as well as Spain, learned from the
Sicilians and Calabrians the management of Silk-worms and the working of
silk; and at length, during the wars of Charles VIII., in 1499, the
French acquired it, by right of neighborhood, and soon large plantations
of the mulberry were raised in Provence. Henry I. is reported to have
been the first French king who wore silk stockings. The invention,
however, originally came from Spain, whence silk stockings were brought
over to England to Henry VIII. and Edward VI.

It is stated, that at the celebration of the marriage between Margaret,
daughter of Henry III., and Alexander III. of Scotland, in the year
1251, a most extravagant display of magnificence was made by one
thousand English knights appearing in suits of silk. It appears also by
the 33d of Henry VI., cap. 5, that there was a company of silk-women in
England as early as the year 1455; but these were probably employed
rather in embroidering and making small haberdasheries, than in the
broad manufacture, which was not introduced till the year 1620.

Sir Thomas Gresham, in a letter to Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth’s great
minister, dated Antwerp, April 30th, 1560, says: “I have written into
Spain for silk hose both for you and my lady, your wife, to whom, it may
please you, I may be remembered.” These silk hose, of a black color,
were accordingly soon after sent by Gresham to Cecil.[817]

Hose were, in England, up to the time of Henry VIII., made out of
ordinary cloth: the King’s own were formed of yard-wide taffata. It was
only by chance that he might obtain a pair of silk hose from Spain. His
son, Edward VI., received as a present from Sir Thomas Gresham--Stow
speaks of it as a great present--“a pair of long Spanish silk
stockings.” For some years longer, silk stockings continued to be a
great rarity. “In the second year of Queen Elizabeth,” says Stow, “her
silk-woman, Mistress Montague, presented her Majesty with a pair of
black knit-silk stockings for a New-Year’s gift; the which, after a few
days’ wearing, pleased her Highness so well, that she sent for Mistress
Montague, and asked her where she had them, and if she could help her to
any more; who answered, saying, ‘I made them very carefully, of purpose
only for your Majesty, and, seeing these please you so well, I will
presently set more in hand.’ ‘Do so,’ quoth the Queen, ‘for indeed I
like silk stockings so well, because they are pleasant, fine, and
delicate, that henceforth I will wear no more cloth stockings.’ And
from that time to her death the Queen never wore cloth hose, but only
silk stockings.”[818]

James I., while King of Scotland, is said to have once written to the
Earl of Mar, one of his friends, to borrow a pair of silk stockings, in
order to appear with becoming dignity before the English Ambassador;
concluding his letter with these words: “For ye would not, sure, that
your King should appear like a scrub before strangers.” This shows the
great rarity of silk articles at that period in Scotland.

In 1629, the manufacture of silk was become so considerable in London,
that the silk throwsters of the city and parts adjacent were
incorporated; and in 1661, this company employed above forty thousand
persons. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, contributed in
a great degree to promote the manufacture of this article; and the
invention of the silk-throwing machine at Derby, in 1719, added so much
to the reputation of English manufactures, that even in Italy, according
to Keysler, the English silks bore a higher price than the Italian.[819]

Rev. Stephen Olin tells us that the Mohammedans of Arabia will not allow
strangers to look into their cocooneries, on account of their
superstitious fear of the evil eye, of the influence of which the
Silk-worms are thought to be peculiarly susceptible.[820]

The silk of the nests of the social caterpillar of the _Bombyx Madrona_,
was an object of commerce in Mexico in the time of Montecusuma; and the
ancient Mexicans pasted together the interior layers, which may be
written upon without preparation, to form a white, glossy pasteboard.
Handkerchiefs are still manufactured of it in the Intendency of

A complete nest of these Silk-worms, called in Brazil _sustillo_, was
sent by the Academy of Sciences and Natural History to the King of
Spain. The naturalist, Don Antonio Pineda, sent also a piece of this
natural silk paper, measuring a yard and a half, of an elliptical shape,
which, however, is peculiar to them all.[822]

The Chinese fix on rings with threads the females of two species of
wild _Bombyx_, whose caterpillars produce silk, and place these insects
on a tree, or on some body situated in the open air, to allow the males,
guided by their scent, to visit them.[823]

“The manner of the Chinese is,” we read in Purchas’s Pilgrims, “in the
Spring time to revive the Silke-worms (that lye dead all the Winter) by
laying them in the warme sunne, and (to hasten their quickening, that
they may sooner goe to worke) to put them into bagges, and so hang them
under their childrens armes.”[824]

In China, the pupæ of the Silk-worms after the silk is wound off, and
the larvæ of a species of Sphinx-moth, furnish articles for the table,
and are considered delicacies.[825] The natives of Madagascar, who eat
all kinds of insects, consider also Silk-worms a great luxury.[826]

Aldrovandus states that the German soldiers sometimes fry and eat

Dr. James says: “Silk-worms dried, and reduced to a powder, are, by
some, applied to the crown of the head for removing vertigos and
convulsions. The silk, and case or coat, are of a due temperament
between heat and cold, and corroborate and recruit the vital, natural,
and animal spirits.”[828] The cocoons are also the basis of Goddard’s
_Drops_, and enter into several other compositions, such as the
_Confectio de Hyacintho_, when made in the best manner.[829]

With respect to the coloring of silk, we find in “Tseën Tse Wan,” or
thousand character classic, a work that has been a school-book in China
for the last 1200 years, that an ancient sage by the name of Mih, seeing
the white silk colored, wept on account of its original purity being

Some of the eggs of a wild species of Silk-worm being sent overland from
China to Paris, proved a source of considerable anxiety to different
parties who received them during the transit, the instructions on the
box, instead of simply stating that it contained the eggs of the _wild_
Silk-worm Moth, was couched in the following manner by the French savant
who forwarded them: “Must be kept far from the engines; this box
contains _savage_ worms.”[831]

About twenty-five years ago, during a mania for rearing Silk-worms, to
meet the demand for the eggs of these insects, fish-spawn was
distributed throughout the country. The humbug was quite as successful
as it was curious.

It has been said that the search after the “Golden Fleece” may be
ascribed to the desire to obtain silk.[832]

As a protection against rifle-balls, the Chinese, who were engaged in
the rebellion of 1853, state that they wore dresses thickly padded with
floss silk; they said that while the ball had a twist in it, revolving
in its course, it caught up the silk and fastened itself in the garment.
One man declared that he took out six so caught, in one day, after a
severe fight. They said the dress was of more use within a hundred yards
than at long range, when the ball had lost its revolving motion.[833]

Vaucanson, the inventor of the famous “automaton duck,” to revenge
himself upon the silk-weavers of Lyons, who had stoned him because he
attempted to simplify the ordinary loom, is said to have invented a loom
on which a donkey worked silken cloth.[834]

The following curious Welsh epigram on the Silk-worm is composed
entirely of vowels, and can be recited without closing or moving lips or

            O’i wiw wy i ê â, a’i weuaw
            O’i wyau y weua;
            E’ weua ei wî aia’,
            A’i weuau yw ieuau iâ.

    I perish by my art; dig mine own grave;
    I spin the thread of life; my death I weave.[835]

Arctiidæ--Wooly-bear Moths.

In 1783, the larvæ of the Moth, _Arctia chrysorrhœa_, were so
destructive in the neighborhood of London that subscriptions were opened
to employ the poor in cutting off and collecting the webs; and it is
asserted that not less than eighty bushels were collected and burnt in
one day in the parish of Clapham. And even in some places prayers were
offered up in the churches to avert the calamities of which they were
supposed by the ignorant to be the forerunner.[836]

If a caterpillar spins its cocoon in a house, it foretells its
desolation by death; if in your clothes, it warns you you will wear a
shroud before the year is out. This superstition obtains in the Middle
States, Virginia, and Maryland.

If Moths, flying in a candle, put it out, it forebodes a calamity
amounting to almost death. This superstition is pretty general.

Why Moths fly in a candle: Kempfer tells us, there is found in Japan an
insect, which, by reason of its incomparable beauty, is kept by the
Japanese ladies among the curiosities of their toilets. He calls it a
Night-fly, and describes it as being “about a finger long, slender,
round-bodied, with four wings, two of which are transparent and hid
under a pair of others, which are shining as it were polished, and most
curiously adorned with blue and golden lines and spots.” The following
little fable, which accounts so beautifully for the flying of Moths in a
candle, owes its origin to the unparalleled beauty of this insect, and
is well worthy of being preserved: The Japanese say that all other
Night-flies (Moths, etc.) fall in love with this particular one, who, to
get rid of their importunities, maliciously bids them, under the
pretense of trying their constancy, to go and bring to her fire. And the
blind lovers, scrupling not to obey her command, fly to the nearest fire
or candle, in which they never fail to burn themselves to death.[837]

The following verses, embodying the above fable (except in several minor
particulars) are from the pen of Mrs. A. L. Ruter Dufour:

    One summer night, says a legend old,
      A Moth a Firefly sought to woo:
    “Oh, wed me, I pray, thou bright star-child,
      To win thee there’s nothing I’d dare not do.”

    “If thou art sincere,” the Firefly cried,
      “Go--bring me a light that will equal my own;
    Not until then will I deign be thy bride;”--
      Undaunted the Moth heard her mocking tone.

    Afar he beheld a brilliant torch,
      Forward he dashed, on rapid wing,
    Into the light to bear it hence;--
      When he fell a scorched and blighted thing.--

    Still ever the Moths in hope to win,
      Unheeding the lesson, the gay Firefly,
    Dash, reckless, the dazzling torch within,
      And, vainly striving, fall and die!

                  WASHINGTON, D. C., June 24, 1864.

Moufet says: “Our North, as well as our West countrymen, call it (the
Moth, _Phalaina_) _Saule_, _i.e._ _Psychen, Animam_, the soul; because
some silly people in old time did fancy that the souls of the dead did
fly about in the night seeking light.”[838] “Pliny commends a goat’s
liver to drive them away, yet he shews not the means to use it.”[839]

One of the most highly prized curiosities in the collection of Horace
Walpole, was the silver bell with which the popes used to curse the
caterpillars. This bell was the work of Benvenuto Cellini, one of the
most extraordinary men of his extraordinary age, and the relievos on it
representing caterpillars, butterflies, and other insects, are said to
have been wonderfully executed.[840]

In Purchas’s Pilgrims, we read of worms being sprinkled with holy water
to kill them.[841]

Apuleius says, that if you take the caterpillars from another garden,
and boil them in water with anethum, and let them cool, and besprinkle
the herbs, you will destroy the existing caterpillars.[842]

Pliny says, that “if a woman having a catamenia strips herself naked,
and walks round a field of wheat, the caterpillars, worms, beetles, and
other vermin, will fall off the ears of the grain!” This important
discovery, according to Metrodurus of Scepsos, was first made in
Cappadocia; where, in consequence of such multitudes of “Cantharides”
being found to breed there, it was the practice for women to walk
through the middle of the fields with their garments tucked up above the
thighs.[843] Columella[844] has described this practice in verse, and
Ælian[845] also mentions it. Pliny says further that in other places,
again, it is the usage of women to go barefoot, with the hair disheveled
and the girdle loose: due precaution, however, he seriously observes,
must be taken that this is not done at sunrise, for if so the crop will
wither and dry up.[846] Apuleius,[847] Columella,[848] and
Palladius[849] relate the same story. Constantinus, likewise, whose
verses, as translated in Moufet’s Theater of Insects, are as follows:

    But if against this plague no art prevail,
    The Trojan arts will do’t, when others fail.
    A woman barefoot with her hair untied,
    And naked breasts must walk as if she cried,
    And after Venus’ sports she must surround
    Ten times, the garden beds and orchard ground.
    When she hath done, ’tis wonderful to see,
    The caterpillars fall off from the tree,
    As fast as drops of rain, when with a crook,
    For acorns or apples the tree is shook.[850]

This remarkable superstitious remedy for destroying caterpillars was
frequently practiced by the Indians of America. Schoolcraft, treating of
the peculiar superstitions connected with the menstrual lodge of these
people, says:

“This superstition does not alone exert a malign influence, or spell, on
the human species. Its ominous power, or charm, is equally effective on
the animate creation, at least on those species which are known to
depredate on their little fields and gardens. To cast a protective spell
around these, and secure the fields against vermin, insects, the
sciurus, and other species, as well as to protect the crops against
blight, the mother of the family chooses a suitable hour at night, when
the children are at rest and the sky is overcast, and having completely
divested herself of her garments, trails her _machecota_ behind her, and
performs the circuit of the little field.”[851]

The fat of bears, says Topsel, “some use superstitiously beaten with
oil, wherewith they anoynt their grape-sickles when they go to vintage,
perswading themselves that if nobody know thereof, their tender
vine-branches shall never be consumed by caterpillars. Others attribute
this to the vertue of bears’ blood.”[852]

Nicander used “a caterpillar to procure sleep: for so he writes; and
Hieremias Martius thus translates him:

    Stamp but with oyl those worms that eat the leaves,
      Whose backs are painted with a greenish hue,
    Anoint your body with ’t, and whilst that cleaves,
      You shall with gentle sleep bid cares adieu.”[853]

Of a caterpillar that feeds upon cabbage leaves, the _Eruca officinalis_
of Schroder, Dr. James says: “Bruised, or a powder of them, raise a
blister like cantharides, and take off the skin. Moufet says, they will
cause the teeth to fall out of their sockets, and Hippocrates writes,
that they are good for a Quinsey.”[854]

Psychidæ--Wood-carrying Moth, etc.

The larvæ of the Wood-carrying Moth (of the genus _Oiketicus_, or
_Eumeta_, Wlk.) of Ceylon, surround themselves with cases made of stems
of leaves, and thorns or pieces of twigs bound together by threads,
till the whole resembles a miniature Roman fasces; in fact, an African
species of these insects has obtained the name of “Lictor.” The Germans
have denominated the group _Sackträger_, and the Singhalese call them
Darra-kattea or “billets of fire-wood,” and regard the inmates, Tennent
says, as human beings, who, as a punishment for stealing wood in some
former state of existence, have been condemned to undergo a
metempsychosis under the form of these insects.[855]

Noctuidæ--Antler-moth, Cut-worm, etc.

The Antler-moth, _Noctua graminis_, Linn., has been particularly
observed in Sweden, Norway, Northern Germany, and even in Greenland,
where it does great mischief to grass-plots and meadows. It is recorded
to have done very great injury in the eastern mountains of Georgenthal,
as well as at Töplitz in Bohemia, where larvæ were in such large numbers
that in four days and a half 200 men found 23 bushels of them, or
4,500,000 in the 60 bushels of mould which they examined. In Germany it
seems to be confined to high and dry districts, and it never appears
there in wet meadows, but its devastations are sometimes most extensive,
as happened in the Hartz territory in 1816 and ’17, when whole hills
that in the evening were clad in the finest green, were brown and bare
the following morning; and such vast numbers of the caterpillars were
there that the ruts of the roads leading to the hills were full of them,
and the roads being covered with them were even rendered slippery and
dirty by their being crushed in some places.[856]

The notorious astrologer, William Lilly, alluding to the comet which
appeared in 1677, says: “All comets signify wars, terrors, and strange
events in the world;” and gives the following curious explanation of the
prophetic nature of these bodies: “The spirits, well knowing what
accidents shall come to pass, do form a star or comet, and give it what
figure or shape they please, and cause its motion through the air, that
people might behold it, and thence draw a signification of its events.”
Further, a comet appearing in the Taurus portends “mortality to the
greater part of cattle, as horses, oxen, cows, etc.,” and also
“prodigious shipwrecks, damage in fisheries, monstrous floods, and
destruction of fruit by caterpillars and other vermin.”[857]

Josselyn, in the account of his voyage to New England, printed in London
in 1674, has the following relation of an insect which is doubtless a
species of _Agrotis_, probably the _Agrotis telifera_: “There is also
(in New England) a dark dunnish Worm or Bug of the bigness of an
Oaten-straw, and an inch long, that in the Spring lye at the Root of
Corn and Garden plants all day, and in the night creep out and devour
them; these in some years destroy abundance of _Indian_ Corn and Garden
plants, and they have but one way to be rid of them, which the _English_
have learned of the Indians; And because it is somewhat strange, I shall
tell you how it is, they go out into a field or garden with a
Birchen-dish, and spudling the earth about the roots, for they lye not
deep, they gather their dish full which may contain a quart or three
pints, then they carrie the dish to the Sea-side when it is ebbing water
and set it a swimming, the water carrieth the dish into the Sea, and
within a day or two you go into your field you may look your eyes out
sooner than find any of them.”[858]

The Army-worm (larva of _Leucania unipunctata_ of Haworth), during this
our great rebellion, is thought, by many persons in Western
Pennsylvania, to prognosticate the success or defeat of our armies by
the direction it travels. If toward the North, the South will be
victorious; and if toward the South, the North will conquer. An old
gentleman, who believes that a frog’s foot drawn in chalk above the door
will keep away witches, tells me this worm invariably travels southward.

This larva was noticed but a few years before the war began, and then
appearing, as it were, in armies, it was called the Army-worm. The
superstitious omen from it has followed not preceded the name.

Lindenbrog, in his Codex Legum Antiquarum, cum Glossario, fol. Francof.
1613, mentions the following superstition: “The peasants, in many places
in Germany, at the feast of St. John, bind a rope around a stake drawn
from a hedge, and drive it hither and thither, till it catches fire.
This they carefully feed with stubble and dry wood heaped together, and
they spread the collected ashes over their potherbs, confiding in vain
superstition, that by this means they can drive away Canker-worms. They
therefore call this Nodfeur, q. _necessary fire_.”

These fires were condemned as sacrilegious, not as if it had been
thought that there was anything unlawful in kindling a fire in this
manner, but because it was kindled with a superstitious design. They
are, however, Du Cange says, still kindled in France, on the eve of St.
John’s day.[859]


The Measuring-worm, crawling on your clothes, is thought to foretell a
new suit; on your hands, a pair of gloves, etc.

Tineidæ--Clothes’-moth, Bee-moth, etc.

In Newton’s Journal of the Arts for December, 1827, there is the
following mention of a new kind of cloth fabricated by insects: The
larvæ of the Moth, _Tinea punctata_, or _T. padilla_, have been directed
by M. Habenstreet, of Munich, so as to work on a paper model suspended
from a ceiling of a room. To this model he can give any form and
dimensions, and he has thus been enabled to obtain square shawls, an air
balloon four feet high, and a woman’s complete robe, with the sleeves,
but without seams. One or two larvæ can weave a square inch of cloth. A
great number are, of course, employed, and their motions are interdicted
from the parts of the model not to be covered, by oiling them. The cloth
exceeds in fineness the lightest gauze, and has been worn as a robe
over her court dress by the Queen of Bavaria.[860]

Authors are of opinion that the ancients possessed some secret for
preserving garments from the Moth, _Tinia tapetzella_. We are told the
robes of Servius Tullius were found in perfect preservation at the death
of Sejanus, an interval of more than five hundred years. Pliny gives as
a precaution “to lay garments on a coffin;” others recommend
“cantharides hung up in a house, or wrapping them in a lion’s
skin”--“the poor little insects,” says Reaumur, “being probably placed
in bodily fear of this terrible animal.”[861]

Moufet says: “They that sell woollen clothes use to wrap up the skin of
a bird called the king’s-fisher among them, or else hang one in the
shop, as a thing by a secret antipathy that Moths cannot endure.”[862]

Among the various contrivances resorted to as a safeguard against the
Bee-moth, _Galleria cereana_, Fabricius, perhaps the most ingenious is
that, mentioned by Langstroth, of “governing the entrances of all the
hives by a long lever-like _hen-roost_, so that they may be regularly
closed by the crowing and cackling tribe when they go to bed at night,
and opened again when they fly from their perch to greet the merry

An intelligent man informed Langstroth that he paid ten dollars to a
“Bee-quack” professing to have an infallible secret for protecting Bees
against the Moth; and, after the quack had departed with his money,
learned that the secret consisted in “always keeping strong




The Cicadas, _C. plebeja_, Linn., called by the ancient Greeks, (by
whom, as well as by the Chinese, they were kept in cages for the sake of
their song,) _Tettix_, seem to have been the favorites of every Grecian
bard, from Homer and Hesiod to Anacreon and Theocritus. Supposed to be
perfectly harmless, and to live only upon dew, they were addressed by
the most endearing epithets, and were regarded as almost divine. Thus
sings the muse of Anacreon:

    Happy creature! what below
    Can more happy live than thou?
    Seated on thy leafy throne,
    Summer weaves thy verdant crown.
    Sipping o’er the pearly lawn,
    The fragrant nectar of the dawn,
    Little tales thou lov’st to sing,
    Tales of mirth--an insect king.
    Thine the treasures of the field,
    All thy own the seasons yield;
    Nature paints thee for the year,
    Songster to the shepherds dear;
    Innocent, of placid fame,
    What of man can boast the same?
    Thine the loudest voice of praise,
    Harbinger of fruitful days;
    Darling of the tuneful nine,
    Phœbus is thy sire divine;
    Phœbus to thy note has given
    Music from the spheres of heaven;
    Happy most as first of earth,
    All thy hours are peace and mirth;
    Cares nor pains to thee belong,
    Thou alone art ever young.
    Thine the pure immortal vein,
    Blood nor flesh thy life sustain;
    Rich in spirits--health thy feast,
    Thou art a demi-god at least.

But the old witticism, attributed to the incorrigible Rhodian
sensualist, Xenarchus, gives quite a different reason to account for the
supposed happiness of these insects:

    Happy the Cicadas’ lives,
    Since they all have voiceless wives![865]

Plutarch, reasoning upon that singular Pythagorean precept which forbid
the wife to admit swallows in the house, remarks: “Consider, and see
whether the swallow be not odious and impious ... because she feedeth
upon flesh, and, besides, killeth and devoureth especially grasshoppers
(Cicadas), which are sacred and musical.”[866]

The Athenians were so attached to the Cicadas, that their elders were
accustomed to fasten golden images of them in their hair. Thucidides
incidentally remarks that this custom ceased but a little before his
time. He adds, also, that the fashion prevailed, too, for a long time
with the elders of the Ionians, from their affinity to the

This singular form, for their ornamental combs, seems to have been
adopted originally from the predilection of the Athenians for whatever
bore any affinity to themselves, who boasted of being autochthones or
aboriginal. It is sung of the Athenians:

    Blithe race! whose mantles were bedeck’d
    With golden grasshoppers, in sign that they
    Had sprung, like those bright creatures, from the soil
    Whereon their endless generations dwelt.

Mr. Michell supposes the Athenians to have imitated in this instance
their prototypes, the Egyptians; for as they, he adds, wore their
favorite symbol, the Scarabæus, in this manner, so Attic pride set up a
rival in the head-dress thus introduced by Cecrops and his

From a very ancient writer,[869] we have similar ornaments ascribed to
the Samians. They also most probably derived this fashion from the early

It seems, from the following lines of Asius,[871] that Cicadas were also
worn as ornaments on dresses:

    Clad in magnificent robes, whose snow-white folds
    Reach’d to the ground of the extensive earth,
    And golden knobs on them like grasshoppers.

The sound of the Cicada and that of the harp were called by the Greeks
by one and the same name; and a Cicada sitting upon a harp was the usual
emblem of the science of music. This was accounted for by the following
very pleasing and elegant tale: Two rival musicians, Eunomis of Locris
and Aristo of Rhegium, when alternately playing upon the harp, the
former was so unfortunate as to break a string of his instrument, and by
which accident would certainly have lost the prize, when a Cicada,
flying to him and sitting upon his harp, supplied the place of the
broken string with its melodious voice, and so secured to him an easy
victory over his antagonist.[872]

To excel the Cicada in singing was the highest commendation of a singer,
and the music of Plato’s eloquence was only comparable to the voice of
this insect. Homer compared his good orators to the Cicadæ, “which, in
the woods, sitting on a tree, send forth a delicate voice.”[873] But
Virgil speaks of them as insects of a disagreeable and stridulous tone,
and accuses them of bursting the very shrubs with their noise,--

    Et cantu querulæ rumpent arbusta Cicadæ.[874]

Moufet says: “The Cicadæ, abounding in the end of spring, do foretel a
sickly year to come, not that they are the cause of putrefaction in
themselves, but only shew plenty of putrid matter to be, when there is
such store of them appear. Oftentimes their coming and singing doth
portend the happy state of things: so also says Theocritus. Niphus saith
that what year but few of them are to be seen, they presage dearness of
victuals, and scarcity of all things else....

“The Egyptians, by a Cicada painted, understood a priest and an holy
man; the latter makers of hieroglyphics sometimes will have them to
signifie musicians, sometimes pratlers or talkative companions, but very
fondly. How ever the matter be, the Cicada hath sung very well of
herself, in my judgement, in this following distich:

    Although I am an insect very small,
    Yet with great virtue am endow’d withall.”[875]

Sir G. Staunton, in his account of China, remarks: “The shops of
Hai-tien, in addition to necessaries, abounded in toys and trifles,
calculated to amuse the rich and idle of both sexes, even to cages
containing insects, such as the noisy Cicada, and a large species of the

S. Wells Williams tells us that the Chinese boys often capture the male
Cicada of their country, and tie a straw around the abdomen, so as to
irritate the sounding apparatus, and carry it through the streets in
this predicament, to the great annoyance of every one, for the
stridulous sound of this insect is of deafening loudness.[877]

When in Quincy, Illinois, in the summer of 1864, I was shown by a boy a
toy, which he called a “Locust,” with which he imitated the loud
rattling noise of the _Cicada septemdecim_ with great accuracy. It
consisted of a horse-hair tied to the end of a short stick, and looped
in a cap of stiff writing-paper placed over the hole of a spool. To make
the sound, then, the toy was whirled rapidly through the air, when the
stiff paper acted as a sounding-board to the vibrating hair.

At Surinam, Madame Merian tells us, the noise of the _Cicada tibicen_ is
still supposed to resemble the sound of a harp or lyre, and hence called
the _Lierman_--the harper.[878] Another species, in Ceylon, which makes
the forest re-echo with a long-sustained noise so curiously resembling
that of a cutler’s wheel, has acquired the highly appropriate name of
the _Knife-grinder_.[879]

It is said of our _Cicada septemdecim_, the so-called, but very
improperly, “Seventeen-year Locust,” that, when they first leave the
earth, when they are plump and full of juices, they have been made use
of in the manufacture of soap.

The larva of a Chinese species of Cicada, the _Flata limbata_, which
scarcely exceeds the domestic fly in size, forms a sort of grease, which
adheres to the branches of trees and hardens into wax. In autumn the
natives scrape this substance, which they call _Pela_, from off the
trees, melt, purify, and form it into cakes. It is white and glossy in
appearance, and, when mixed with oil, is used to make candles, and is
said to be superior to the common wax for use. The physicians employ it
in several diseases; and the Chinese, as we are informed by the Abbe
Grosier, when they are about to speak in public, or when any occasion is
likely to occur on which it may be necessary to have assurance and
resolution, eat an ounce of it to prevent swoonings or palpitations of
the heart.[880]

On the large cheese-like cakes of this wax, hanging in the grocers’ and
tallow-chandlers’ shops at Hankow, are often seen the inscription
written: “It mocks at the frost, and rivals the snow.” The price, in
1858, was forty dollars a picul, or about fifteen pence a pound.[881]

The Greeks, notwithstanding their veneration for the Cicada, made these
insects an article of food, and accounted them delicious. Aristotle
says, the larva, when it is grown in the earth, and become a
tettigometra (pupa), is the sweetest; when changed to the tettix, the
males at first have the best flavor, but after impregnation the females
are preferred, on account of their white ova.[882] Athenæus and
Aristophanes also mention their being eaten; and Ælian is extremely
angry with the men of his age that an animal sacred to the Muses should
be strung, sold, and greedily devoured.[883] The _Cicada septemdecim_,
Mr. Collinson in 1763 said, was eaten by the Indians of America, who
plucked off the wings and boiled them.[884]

Osbeck tells us that the _Cicada chinensis_, along with the _Buprestis
maxima_, and several species of Butterflies, is made an article of
commerce by the Chinese, being sold in their shops.[885]


The Lantern-fly, _Fulgora lanternaria_ of Linnæus, found in many parts
of South America, is supposed to emit a vivid light from the large hood,
or lantern, which projects from its body, and to be frequently
serviceable to benighted travelers; hence the specific name,
_lanternaria_. This story originated about a century and a half ago,
from the work of the celebrated Madame Merian, who lived several years
in Surinam. Her account contains the following anecdote: “The Indians
once brought me, before I knew that they shone by night, a number of
these Lantern-flies, which I shut up in a wooden box. In the night they
made such a noise that I awoke in a fright, and ordered a light to be
brought; not knowing whence the noise proceeded. As soon as we found
that it came from the box, we opened it; but were still much more
alarmed, and let it fall to the ground, in a fright at seeing a flame of
fire come out of it; and as so many animals as came out, so many flames
of fire appeared. When we found this to be the case, we recovered from
our fright, and again collected the insects, highly admiring their
splendid appearance.”[886]

Dr. Darwin, in a note to some lines relative to luminous insects, in his
poem, the Loves of the Plants, makes Madame Merian affirm that she drew
and finished her figure of the insect by its own light. This story is
without foundation.

The Indians of South America say and believe that the Lyerman, _Cicada
tibicen_, is changed into the Lantern-fly; and that the latter emits a
light similar to that of a lantern.[887]

This story of the Lantern-fly being luminous is the more remarkable
since the veracity of its author is unimpeached. She doubtless has
confounded it with the _Cucujus_, _Elater noctilucus_. Donovan, however,
states that the Chinese Lantern-fly, _Fulgora candelaria_, has an
illuminated appearance in the night.[888]

From the loud noise the Lantern-fly makes at night, which is said to be
somewhat between the grating of a razor-grinder and the clang of
cymbals, it is called by the Dutch, in Guiana, _Scare-sleep_.[889]
Ligon, in his History of Barbados, printed in 1673, probably refers to
this insect, when he says: “They lye all day in holes and hollow trees,
and as soon as the Sun is down they begin their tunes, which are neither
singing nor crying, but the shrillest voyces that ever I heard; nothing
can be so nearly resembled to it, as the mouths of a pack of small
beagles at a distance.” This author, however, thought this sound by no
means unpleasant. “So lively and chirping,” he continues, “the noise is,
as nothing can be more delightful to the ears, if there were not too
much of it, for the musick hath no intermission till morning, and then
all is husht.”[890]


The Aphides are remarkable for secreting a sweet, viscid fluid, known by
the name of Honey-dew, the origin of which has puzzled the world for
ages. Pliny says “it is either a certaine sweat of the skie, or some
unctuous gellie proceeding from the starres, or rather a liquid purged
from the aire when it purifyeth itself.”[891]

Amyntas, in his Stations of Asia, quoted by Athenæus, gives a curious
account of the manner of collecting this article, which was supposed to
be superior to the nectar of the Bee, in various parts of the East,
particularly in Syria. In some cases they gathered the leaves of trees,
chiefly of the linden and oak, for on these the dew was most abundantly
found,[892] and pressed them together. Others allowed it to drop from
the leaves and harden into globules, which, when desirous of using, they
broke, and, having poured water on them in wooden bowls, drank the
mixture. In the neighborhood of Mount Lebanon, Honey-dew was collected
plentifully several times in the year, being caught by spreading skins
under the trees, and shaking into them the liquid from the leaves. The
Dew was then poured into vessels, and stored away for future use. On
these occasions the peasants used to exclaim, “Zeus has been raining

In the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times, we read: “_Galen_ saith,
that there fell such great quantity of this Dew (in his time) in his
Countrey of _Pergamus_, that the Countrey people (greatly delighted
therein) gave thankes therefor to _Iupiter_. _Ælianus_ writeth also that
there fell such plenty thereof in _India_, in the Region which is called
_Prasia_, and so moistened the Grasse, that the Sheepe, Kine, and Goates
feeding thereon, yeelded Milke sweete like Hony, which was very pleasing
to drinke. And when they used that Milke in any disease, they needed not
to put any Hony therein, to the end it should not corrupt in the
stomacke: as it is appointed in Hecticke Feauers, Consumption,
Tisickes, and for others that are ulcered in the intestines, as is
confirmed by the Histories of _Portugall_.”[894]

The Aphides, like many other insects, sometimes migrate in clouds; and
among other instances on record of these migrations, Mr. White informs
us that about three o’clock in the afternoon of the first of August,
1785, the people of the village of Selborne were surprised by a shower
of Aphides which fell in those parts. Persons who walked in the street
at this time found themselves covered with them, and they settled in
such numbers in the gardens and on the hedges as to blacken every leaf.
Mr. White’s annuals were thus all discolored with them, and the stalks
of a bed of onions were quite coated over for six days afterward. These
swarms, he remarks, were then no doubt in a state of emigration, and
might have come from the great hop-plantations of Kent and Sussex, the
wind being all that day in the east. They were observed at the same time
in great clouds about Farnham, and all along the vale from Farnham to
Alton.[895] A similar emigration of these insects Mr. Kirby once
witnessed, to his great annoyance, when traveling later in the year in
the Isle of Ely. The air was so full of them, that they were incessantly
flying into his eyes and nostrils, and his clothes were covered by them;
and in 1814, in the autumn, the Aphides were so abundant for a few days
in the vicinity of Ipswich, as to be noticed with surprise by the most
incurious observers.[896] Neither Mr. White nor Mr. Kirby informs us
what particular species formed these immense flights, but it is most
probable they belonged to the Hop-fly, _Aphis humuli_.

Reaumur tells us that in the Levant, Persia, and China, they use the
galls of a particular species of _Aphis_ for dyeing silk crimson.[897]

In England, the mischief caused by the Hop-fly, _Aphis humuli_, in some
seasons, as in 1802, has brought the duty of hops down from £100,000 to

A quite common, though erroneous, belief in England is, that Aphides are
produced, or brought by, a northern or eastern wind. Thomson has fallen
into the error; he has also confounded the mischief of caterpillars with
that of the Aphis:

    For oft, engendered by the hazy north,
    Myriads on myriads insect armies warp,
    Keen in the poison’d breeze, and wasteful eat
    Through buds and bark into the blackened core
    Their eager way. A feeble race! Yet oft
    The sacred sons of vengeance, on whose course
    Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year.


The Kermes-dye, or scarlet, made from the _Coccus ilicis_ of Linnæus, an
insect found chiefly on a species of oak, the _Quercus ilex_, in the
Levant, France, Spain, and other parts of the world, was known in the
East in the earliest ages, even before the time of Moses, and was a
discovery of the Phœnicians in Palestine, who also first employed the
murex and buccinum for the purpose of dyeing.

_Tola_ or _Thola_ was the ancient Phœnician name for this insect and
dye, which was used by the Hebrews, and even by the Syrians; for it is
employed by the Syrian translator.[898] Among the Jews, after their
captivity, the Aramæan _zehori_ was more common. This dye was known also
to the Egyptians in the time of Moses; and it is most probable that the
color mentioned in Exodus[899] as one of the three which were prescribed
for the curtains of the tabernacle, and for the “holy garments” of
Aaron, and which the English translators have rendered by the word
_scarlet_ (not the color now so called, which was not known in James the
First’s reign when the Bible was translated), was no other than the
blood-red color dyed from the _Coccus ilicis_.

The Arabs received the name _Kermes_ or _Alkermes_ for the insect and
dye, from Armenia and Persia, where the insect was indigenous, and had
long been known; and that name banished the old name in the East, as the
name scarlet has in the West. For the first part of this assertion we
must believe the Arabs. The Kermes, however, were not indigenous to
Arabia, as the Arabs appear to have no name for them. To the Greeks this
dye was known under the name of _Coccus_, as appears from Dioscorides,
and other Greek writers.[900]

From the epithets _kermes_ and _coccus_, and that of _vermiculus_ or
_vermiculum_, given to the Kermes in the middle ages, when they were
ascertained to be insects, have sprung the Latin _coccineus_, the French
_carmesin_, _carmine_, _cramoisi_ and _vermeil_, the Italian _chermisi_,
_cremisino_, and _chermesino_, and our _crimson_ and _vermilion_.

The imperishable reds of the Brussels and other Flemish tapestries were
derived from the Kermes; and, in short, previous to the discovery of
cochineal, this was the material universally used for dyeing the most
brilliant red then known. At the present time the Kermes are only
gathered in Europe by the peasantry of the provinces in which they are
found, but they still continue to be employed as of old in a great part
of India and Persia.[901]

Brookes says the women gather the harvest of Kermes insects before
sunrise, tearing them off with their nails; and, for fear there should
be any loss from the hatching of the insects, they sprinkle them with
vinegar. They then lay them in the sun to dry, where they acquire a red

The scarlet grain of Poland, _Coccus polonicus_, found on the German
knot-grass or perennial knawel (_Scleranthus perennis_), was at one time
collected in large quantities in the Ukraine and other provinces of
Poland (here under the name of _Czerwiec_), and also in the great duchy
of Lithuania. But though much esteemed and still employed by the Turks
and Armenians for dyeing wool, silk, and hair, as well as for staining
the nails of women’s fingers, it is now rarely used in Europe except by
the Polish peasantry. A similar neglect has attended the Coccus found on
the roots of the Burnet (_Poterium sanguisorba_, Linn.), which was used,
particularly by the Moors, for dyeing wool and silk a rose color; and
the _Coccus uvæ-ursi_, which with alum affords a crimson dye.[903]

Cochineal, the _Coccus cacti_, is doubtless the most valuable product
for which the dyer is indebted to insects, and with the exception
perhaps of indigo, the most important of dyeing materials. It is found
on a kind of fig, called in Mexico, where the insect is produced in any
quantity, Nopal or Tuna, which generally has been supposed to be the
_Cactus cochinilifer_, but according to Humboldt is unquestionably a
distinct species, which bears fruit internally white.

Cochineal was discovered by the Spaniards, on their first arrival in
Mexico, about the year 1518; but who first remarked this valuable
production, and made it known in Europe, Mr. Beckman says, he has been
unable to discover. Some assert that the native Mexicans, before the
landing of Cortes, were acquainted with cochineal, which they employed
in painting their houses and dyeing their clothes; but others maintain
the contrary. Be that as it may, however, the Spanish ministry, as early
as the year 1523, as Herrera informs us, ordered Cortes to take measures
for multiplying this valuable commodity; and soon after it must have
begun to be quite an object of commerce, for Guicciardini, who died in
1589, mentions it among the articles procured then by the merchants of
Antwerp from Spain.

Professor Beckman, who has given the subject particular attention,
thinks that with the first cochineal, a true account of the manner in
which it was procured must have reached Europe, and become publicly
known. Acosta in 1530, and Herrera in 1601, as well as Hernandez and
others, gave so true and complete a description of it, that the
Europeans could entertain no doubt respecting its origin. The
information of these authors, however, continues this gentleman, was
either overlooked or considered as false, and disputes arose whether
cochineal was insects or worms, or the berries or seeds of certain
plants. The Spanish name _grana_, confounded with _granum_, may have
given rise to this contest.

Illustrative of this great difference of opinion, Mr. Beckman narrates
the following anecdote: “A Dutchman, named Melchior de Ruusscher,
affirmed in a society, from oral information he had received in Spain,
that cochineal was small animals. Another person, whose name he has not
made known, maintained the contrary with so much heat and violence, that
the dispute at length ended in a bet. Ruusscher charged a Spaniard, one
of his friends, who was going to Mexico, to procure for him in that
country authentic proofs of what he had asserted. These proofs, legally
confirmed in October, 1725, by the court of justice in the city of
Antiquera, in the valley of Oaxaca, arrived at Amsterdam in the autumn
of the year 1726. I have been informed that Ruusscher upon this got
possession of the sum betted, which amounted to the whole property of
the loser; but that, after keeping it a certain time, he again returned
it, deducting only the expenses he had been at in procuring the
evidence, and in causing it to be published. It formed a small octavo
volume, with the following title printed in red letters: _The History of
Cochineal proved by Authentic documents_. These proofs sent from
New-Spain are written in Dutch, French, and Spanish.”[904]

Among the important discoveries made by accident, the following in the
history of Cochineal may be instanced: “The well-known Cornelius
Drebbel, who was born at Alcmaar, and died at London in 1634, having
placed in his window an extract of Cochineal, made with boiling water,
for the purpose of filling a thermometer, some aqua-regia dropped into
it from a phial, broken by accident, which stood above it, and converted
the purple dye into a most beautiful dark red. After some conjectures
and experiments, he discovered that the tin by which the window frame
was divided into squares had been dissolved by the aqua-regia, and was
the cause of this change. He communicated his observation to Kuffelar,
an ingenious dyer at Leyden. The latter brought the discovery to
perfection, and employed it some years alone in his dye-house, which
gave rise to the name of Kuffelar’s color.”[905]

That innocent cosmetic, so much used by the ladies, and commonly known
by the French term Rouge, is no other than a preparation of

Kermes-berries, _Coccus ilicis_, and Cochineal, _C. cacti_, Geoffroy
says, “are esteemed to be greatly cordial and sudorific, being very full
of volatile salt. They are given also to prevent abortion from any
strain or hurt.”[907]

_Lac_ is the produce of an insect supposed by Amatus Lusitanus to be a
kind of ant, and by others a bee, but now ascertained to be a species
belonging to the Coccidæ--the _Coccus ficus_ or _C. lacca_. It is
collected from various trees in India, where it is found so abundantly,
that, were the consumption ten times greater than it is, it could be
readily supplied.

Lac is known in Europe by the different appellations of _stick-lac_,
when in its natural state, adhering to, and often completely
surrounding, for five or six inches, the twigs on which it is produced
by the insects contained in its cells; _seed-lac_, when broken into
small pieces, garbled, and the greater part of the coloring matter
extracted by water; when it appears in a granulated form; _lump-lac_,
when melted and made into cakes; and _shell-lac_, when strained and
formed into transparent laminæ.

Lac, in its different forms, is made use of in the manufacture of
varnishes, japanned ware, sealing-wax, beads, rings, arm-bracelets,
necklaces, water-proof hats, etc., etc. Mixed with fine sand it forms
grindstones; and added to lamp or ivory black, being first dissolved in
water with the addition of a little borax, it composes an ink not easily
acted upon by dampness or water. It has been applied also to a still
more important purpose, originally suggested by Dr. Roxburgh about the
year 1790--that of a substitute for Cochineal in dyeing scarlet.[908]
From this suggestion, under the direction of Dr. Bancroft, large
quantities of a substance termed _lac-lake_, consisting of the coloring
matter of stick-lac precipitated from an alkaline lixivium by alum, were
manufactured at Calcutta and sent to England, where at first the
consumption was so great, that, according to the statement of Dr.
Bancroft, in 1806, and the two following years, the sales of it at the
India House equaled in point of coloring matter half a million of
pounds’ weight of Cochineal. Soon after this, a new preparation of lac
color, under the name of _lac-dye_, was substituted for the lac-lake,
and with such advantage, that in a few months £14,000 were saved by the
East India Company in the purchase of scarlet cloths dyed with this
color and Cochineal conjointly, and without any inferiority in the color

The Coccidæ, although they furnish an invaluable dye and many articles
of commerce, are among the most hurtful of insects in gardens and
hot-houses. In 1843, the orange-trees of the Azores or Western Islands
were nearly entirely destroyed by the _Coccus Hesperidum_; and in Fayal,
an island which had usually exported twelve thousand chests of oranges
annually, not one was exported.[910]




“In the year 1503,” says Moufet, “Dr. Penny was called in great haste to
a little village, called Mortlake, near the Thames, to visit two noble
ladies (_duas nobiles_), who were much frightened by the appearance of
bug-bites (_ex cinicum vestigiis_), and were in fear of I know not what
contagion; but when the matter was known, and the insects caught, he
laughed them out of all fear.”[911]

This fact disproves the statement of Southall, that the _Cimex
lectularius_ was not known in England before 1670, and that of Linnæus,
and the generality of later writers, that this insect is not originally
a native of Europe, but was introduced into England after the great fire
of London in 1666, having been brought in timber from America.

The original English names of the _C. lectularius_, were _Chinche_,
_Wall-louse_, and _Punaise_ (from the French); and the term _Bug_, which
is a Celtic word, signifying a ghost or goblin, was applied to them
after the time of Ray,[912] most probably because they were considered
as “terrors of the night.”[913]

In the Nicholson’s Journal[914] there is mention of a man who, far from
disliking Bed-bugs, took them under his protecting care, and would never
suffer them to be disturbed, or his bedsteads removed, till in the end
they swarmed to an incredible degree, crawling up even the walls of his
drawing-room; and after his death millions were found in his bed and
chamber furniture.

Gemelli, in 1695, visited the Banian hospital at Surat, and says that
what amazed him most, though he went there for that express purpose, was
to see “a poor wretch, naked, bound down hands and feet, to feed the
Bugs or Punaises, brought out of their stinking holes for that

Mr. Forbes, speaking of this remarkable institution for animals, says:
“At my visit, the hospital contained horses, mules, oxen, sheep, goats,
monkeys, poultry, pigeons, and a variety of birds. The most
extraordinary ward was that appropriated to rats and mice, Bugs, and
other noxious vermin. The overseers of the hospital frequently hire
beggars from the streets, for a stipulated sum, to pass a night among
the Fleas, Lice, and Bugs, on the express condition of suffering them to
enjoy their feast without molestation.”[916]

Navarette says that a species of Bugs (most probably a _Cimex_), which
swarm in some parts of China, are a source of great amusement to the
natives; for they take particular delight in killing them with their
fingers, and then clapping them to their noses.[917]

Democritus says that the feet of a hare, or of a stag, hung round the
feet of the bed at the bottom of the couch, does not suffer Bugs to
breed; but, in traveling, Didymus adds, if you fill a vessel with cold
water and set it under the bed, they will not touch you when you are

A superstition prevails among us that beds, in order to rid them
effectually of Bugs, must be cleaned during the dark of the moon.

The medicinal virtues of the Cimex are given by Pliny (doubtless quoting
Dioscorides, ii. 36) as follows: “The Bug is said to be a neutralizer of
the venom of serpents, asps in particular, and to be a preservative
against all kinds of poisons. As a proof of this, they tell us that the
sting of an asp is never fatal to poultry, if they have eaten Bugs that
day; and that, if such is the case, their flesh is remarkably
beneficial to persons who have been stung by serpents. Of the various
recipes given in reference to these insects, the least revolting are the
application of them externally to the wound, with the blood of a
tortoise; the employment of them as a fumigation to make leeches loose
their hold; and the administering of them to animals in drink when a
leech has been accidentally swallowed. Some persons, however, go so far
as to crush Bugs with salt and woman’s milk, and anoint the eyes with
the mixture; in combination, too, with honey and oil of roses, they use
them as an injection for the ears. Field-bugs, again, and those found
upon the mallow (perhaps the _Cimex pratensis_ is meant here; neither
this nor the _Cimex juniperinus_, the _C. brassicæ_, or the _Lygæus
hyoscami_, has the offensive smell of the _C. lectularius_) are burnt,
and the ashes mixed with oil of roses as an injection for the ears.

“As to the other remedial virtues attributed to Bugs for the cure of
vomiting, quartan fevers, and other diseases, although we find
recommendations given to swallow them in an egg, some wax, or in a
bean,[919] I look upon them as utterly unfounded, and not worthy of
further notice. They are employed, however, for the treatment of
lethargy, and with some fair reason, as they successfully neutralize the
narcotic effects of the poison of the asp; for this purpose seven of
them are administered in a cyathus of water; but in the case of
children, only four. In cases, too, of strangury they have been injected
into the urinary channel.[920] So true it is that nature, that universal
parent, has engendered nothing without some powerful reason or other. In
addition to these particulars, a couple of Bugs, it is said, attached to
the left arm in some wool that has been stolen from the shepherds, will
effectually cure nocturnal fevers; while those recurrent in the daytime
may be treated with equal success by inclosing the Bugs in a piece of
russet-colored cloth.”[921]

Guettard, a French commentator on Pliny, recommends Bugs to be taken
internally for hysteria; and Dr. James says “the smell of them relieves
under hysterical suffocations!”[922]

At the present time the Bed-bug is sometimes given by the country people
of Ohio as a cure for the fever and ague.

Moufet says: “The verses of Quintus Serenus show that they are good for
tertian agues:

    Shame not to drink three Wall-lice mixt with wine,
      And garlick bruised together at noon-day.
    Moreover a bruised Wall-louse with an egg, repine
      Not for to take, ’tis loathsome, yet full good I say.

“Gesner in his writings confirms this experiment, having made trial of
it among the common and meaner sort of people in the country. The
ancients gave seven to those that were taken with a lethargy, in a cup
of water, and four to children. Pliny and Serenus consent to this in
these verses:

    Some men prescribe seven Wall-lice for to drink,
    Mingled with water, and one cup they think
    Is better than with drowsy death to sink.”[923]

Anatolius says that if an ox, or other quadruped, swallows a leech in
drinking, having pounded some Bugs, let the animal smell them, and he
immediately throws up the leech.[924]

Mr. Mayhew, in his work on the London poor and their labor, has an
interesting chapter devoted to the Destroyers of Vermin, from which we
have taken the liberty of quoting pretty largely in the course of this
work. His statements can be relied on, and we give them as nearly in his
own words as possible. Concerning Bugs and Fleas, and the trade carried
on in the manufacture and vending of poisons to destroy these pests, we
learn from him: The vending of bug-poison in the London streets is
seldom followed as a regular source of living. He has met with persons
who remembered to have seen men selling packets of vermin poison; but to
find out the venders themselves was next to an impossibility. The men
seem to take merely to the business as a living when all other sources
have failed. All, however, agree in acknowledging that there is such a
street trade; but that the living it affords is so precarious that few
men stop at it longer than two or three weeks.

The most eminent firm, perhaps, of the bug-destroyers in London now is
that of Messrs. Tiffin and Son. They have pursued their calling in the
streets, but now rejoice in the title of “Bug-Destroyers to Her Majesty
and the Royal Family.”

Mr. Tiffin, the senior party in this house, kindly obliged Mr. Mayhew
with the following statement. It may be as well to say that Mr. Tiffin
appears to have paid much attention to the subject of Bugs, and has
studied with much earnestness the natural history of this vermin. He

“We can trace our business back as far as 1695, when one of our
ancestors first turned his attention to the destruction of bugs. He was
a lady’s stay-maker--men used to make them in those days, though, as far
back as that is concerned, it was a man that made my mother’s dresses.
This ancestor found some bugs in his house--a young colony of them, that
had introduced themselves without his permission, and he didn’t like
their company, so he tried to turn them out of doors again, I have heard
it said, in various ways. It is in history, and it has been handed down
in my own family as well, that bugs were first introduced into England,
after the fire in London, in the timber that was brought for the
rebuilding of the city, thirty years after the fire, and it was about
that time that my ancestor first discovered the colony of bugs in his
house. I can’t say whether he studied the subject of bug-destroying, or
whether he found out his stuff by accident, but he certainly _did_
invent a compound which completely destroyed the bugs, and, having been
so successful in his own house, he named it to some of his customers who
were similarly plagued, and that was the commencement of the present
connection, which has continued up to this time.

“At the time of the illumination for the Peace, I thought I must have
something over my shop, that would be both suitable for the event and to
my business; so I had a transparency done, and stretched on a big frame,
and lit up by gas, on which was written


“Our business was formerly carried on in the Strand, where both my
father and myself were born; in fact, I may say I was born to the bug

“I remember my father as well as possible; indeed, I worked with him for
ten or eleven years. He used, when I was a boy, to go out to his work
killing bugs at his customers’ houses with a sword by his side and a
cocked-hat and bag-wig on his head--in fact, dressed up like a regular
dandy. I remember my grandmother, too, when she was in the business,
going to the different houses, and seating herself in a chair, and
telling the men what they were to do, to clean the furniture and wash
the woodwork.

“I have customers in our books for whom our house has worked these 150
years; that is, my father and self have worked for them and their
fathers. We do the work by contract, examining the house every year.
It’s a precaution to keep the place comfortable. You see, servants are
apt to bring bugs in their boxes; and, though there may be only two or
three bugs perhaps hidden in the woodwork and the clothes, yet they soon
breed if let alone.

“We generally go in the spring, before the bugs lay their eggs; or, if
that time passes, it ought to be done before June, before their eggs are
hatched, though it’s never too late to get rid of a nuisance.

“I mostly find the bugs in the bedsteads. But, if they are left
unmolested, they get numerous and climb to the tops of the rooms, and
about the corners of the ceilings. They colonize anywhere they can,
though they’re very high-minded and prefer lofty places. Where iron
bedsteads are used, the bugs are more in the _rooms_, and that’s why
such things are bad. They don’t keep a bug away from a person sleeping.
Bugs’ll come if they’re thirty yards off.

“I knew a case of a bug who used to come every night about thirty or
forty feet--it was an immense large room--from the corner of the room
to visit an old lady. There was only one bug, and he’d been there for a
long time. I was sent for to find him out. It took me a long time to
catch him. In that instance I had to examine every part of the room, and
when I got him I gave him an extra nip to serve him out. The reason why
I was so bothered was, the bug had hidden itself near the window, the
last place I should have thought of looking for him, for a bug never, by
choice, faces the light; but when I came to inquire about it, I found
that this old lady never rose till three o’clock in the day, and the
window-curtains were always drawn, so that there was no light like.

“Lord! yes, I am often sent for to catch a single bug. I’ve had to go
many, many miles--even 100 or 200--into the country, and perhaps only
catch half a dozen bugs after all; but then that’s all that are there,
so it answers our employer’s purpose as well as if they were swarming.

“I work for the upper classes only; that is, for carriage-company and
such like approaching it, you know. I have noblemen’s names, the first
in England, on my books.

“My work is more method; and I may call it a scientific treating of the
bugs rather than wholesale murder. We don’t care about the thousands,
it’s the last bug we look for, whilst your carpenters and upholsterers
leave as many behind them, perhaps, as they manage to catch.

“The bite of the bug is very curious. They bite all persons the same
(?); but the difference of effect lies in the constitutions of the
parties. I’ve never noticed that a different kind of skin makes any
difference in being bitten. Whether the skin is moist or dry, it don’t
matter. Wherever bugs are, the person sleeping in the bed is sure to be
fed on, whether they are marked or not; and as a proof, when nobody has
slept in the bed for some time, the bugs become quite flat; and, on the
contrary, when the bed is always occupied, they are round as a

“The flat bug is more ravenous, though even he will allow you time to go
to sleep before he begins with you; or at least till he thinks you ought
to be asleep. When they find all quiet, not even a light in the room
will prevent their biting; but they are seldom or never found under the
bedclothes. They like a clear ground to get off, and generally bite
round the edges of the nightcap or the nightdress. When they are found
_in_ the bed, it’s because the parties have been tossing about, and
have curled the sheets round the bugs.

“The finest and fattest bugs I ever saw were those I found in a black
man’s bed. He was the favorite servant of an Indian general. He didn’t
want his bed done by me; he didn’t want it touched. His bed was full of
’em, no beehive was ever fuller. The walls and all were the same, there
wasn’t a patch that was not crammed with them. He must have taken them
all over the house wherever he went.

“I’ve known persons to be laid up for months through bug-bites. There
was a very handsome fair young lady I knew once, and she was much bitten
about the arms, and neck, and face, so that her eyes were so swelled up
she couldn’t see. The spots rose up like blisters, the same as if stung
with a nettle, only on a very large scale. The bites were very much
inflamed, and after a time they had the appearance of boils.

“Some people fancy, and it is historically recorded, that the bug smells
because it has no vent; but this is fabulous, for they _have_ a vent. It
is not the human blood neither that makes them smell, because a young
bug who has never touched a drop will smell. They breathe, I believe,
through their sides; but I can’t answer for that, though it’s not
through the head. They haven’t got a mouth, but they insert into the
skin the point of a tube, which is quite as fine as a hair, through
which they draw up the blood. I have many a time put a bug on the back
of my hand, to see how they bite; though I never felt the bite but once,
and then I suppose the bug had pitched upon a very tender part, for it
was a sharp prick, something like that of a leech-bite.

“I once had a case of lice-killing, for my process will answer as well
for them as for bugs, though it’s a thing I never should follow by
choice. Lice seem to harbor pretty much the same as bugs do. I find them
in the furniture. It was a nurse that brought them into the house,
though she was as nice and clean a looking woman as ever I saw. I should
almost imagine the lice must have been in her, for they say there is a
disease of that kind; and if the tics breed in sheep, why should not
lice breed in us? for we’re but live matter, too. I didn’t like myself
at all for two or three days after that lice-killing job, I can assure
you; it’s the only case of the kind I ever had, and I can promise you it
shall be the last.

“I was once at work on the Princess Charlotte’s own bedstead. I was in
the room, and she asked me if I had found anything, and I told her no;
but just at that minute I _did_ happen to catch one, and upon that she
sprang up on the bed, and put her head on my shoulder, to look at it.
She had been tormented by the creature, because I was ordered to come
directly, and that was the only one I found. When the Princess saw it,
she said, ‘Oh, the nasty thing! That’s what tormented me last night;
don’t let him escape.’ I think he looked all the better for having
tasted royal blood.

“I also profess to kill beetles, though you never can destroy them so
effectually as you can bugs; for, you see, beetles run from one house to
another, and you can never perfectly get rid of them; you can only keep
them under. Beetles will scrape their way and make their road round a
fire-place, but how they go from one house to another I can’t say, but
they _do_.

“I never had patience enough to try and kill Fleas by my process; it
would be too much of a chivey to please me.

“I never heard of any but one man who seriously went to work selling
bug-poison in the streets. I was told by some persons that he was
selling a first-rate thing, and I spent several days to find him out.
But, after all, his secret proved to be nothing at all. It was
train-oil, linseed and hempseed, crushed up all together, and the bugs
were to eat it till they burst.

“After all, secrets for bug-poisons ain’t worth much, for all depends
upon the application of them. For instance, it is often the case that I
am sent for to find out one bug in a room large enough for a school.
I’ve discovered it when the creature had been three or four months
there, as I could tell by his having changed his jacket so often, for
bugs shed their skins, you know. No, there was no reason that he should
have bred; it might have been a single gentleman or an old maid.

“A married couple of bugs will lay from forty to fifty eggs at one
laying. The eggs are oval, and are each as large as the thirty-second
part of an inch; and when together are in the shape of a caraway comfit,
and of a bluish-white color. They’ll lay this quantity of eggs three
times in a season. The young ones are hatched direct from the egg, and,
like young partridges, will often carry the broken eggs about with
them, clinging to their back. They get their fore-quarters out, and then
they run about before the other legs are completely cleared.

“As soon as the bugs are born they are of a cream color, and will take
to blood directly; indeed, if they don’t get it in two or three days,
they die; but after one feed they will live a considerable time without
a second meal. I have known old bugs to be frozen over in a
horse-pond--when the furniture had been thrown in the water--and there
they have remained for a good three weeks; still, after they have got a
little bit warm in the sun’s rays, they have returned to life again.

“I myself kept bugs for five years and a half without food, and a
housekeeper at Lord H----’s informed me that an old bedstead that I was
then moving from a store-room was taken down forty-five years ago, and
had not been used since, but the bugs in it were still numerous, though
as thin as living skeletons. They couldn’t have lived upon the sap of
the wood, it being worm-eaten and dry as a bone. A bug will live for a
number of years, and we find that when bugs are put away in old
furniture without food, they don’t increase in number; so that,
according to my belief, the bugs I just mentioned must have existed
forty-five years: besides, they were large ones, and very dark colored,
which is another proof of age.

“It is a dangerous thing for bugs when they are shedding their skins,
which they do about four times in the course of a year; when they throw
off their hard shell and have a soft coat, so that the least touch will
kill them; whereas at other times they will take a strong pressure. I
have plenty of bug-skins, which I keep by me as curiosities, of all
sizes and colors, and sometimes I have found the young bugs collected
inside the old ones’ skins for warmth, as if they had put on their
father’s great-coat. There are white bugs--albinoes you may call
’em--freaks of nature like.”[925]


Humboldt mentions that he saw insects’ eggs sold in the markets of
Mexico, which were collected on the surface of lakes. Under the name of
_Axayacat_, these eggs, or those of some other species of fly, deposited
on rush mats, are sold as a caviare in Mexico. Rev. Thomas Smith, who
makes the same statement, also says the Mexicans likewise eat the flies
themselves, ground and made up with saltpetre. Something similar to
these eggs, found in the pools of the desert of Fezzan, serves the Arabs
for food, having the taste of caviare.

In the Bulletin de la Société Impériale Zoologique d’Acclimation, M.
Guerin Méneville has published a paper on a sort of bread which the
Mexicans make of the eggs of three species of heteropterous insects.

According to M. Craveri, by whom some of the Mexican bread, and of the
insects yielding it, were brought to Europe, these insects and their
eggs are very common in the fresh waters of the lagunes of Mexico. The
natives cultivate, in the lagune of Chalco, a sort of carex called
touté, on which the insects readily deposit their eggs. Numerous bundles
of these plants are made, which are taken to a lagune, the Texcuco,
where they float in great numbers in the water. The insects soon come
and deposit their eggs on the plants, and in about a month the bundles
are removed from the water, dried, and then beaten over a large cloth to
separate the myriad of eggs with which the insects have covered them.
These eggs are then cleaned and sifted, put into sacks like flour, and
sold to the people for making a sort of cake or biscuit called “hautlé,”
which forms a tolerably good food, but has a fishy taste, and is
slightly acid. The bundles of carex are replaced in the lake, and afford
a fresh supply of eggs, which process may be repeated for an indefinite
number of times.

It appears that these insects have been used from an early period, for
Thomas Gage, a religionist, who sailed to Mexico in 1625, says, in
speaking of articles sold in the markets, that they had cakes made of a
sort of scum collected from the lakes of Mexico, and that this was also
sold in other towns.

Brantz Mayer, in his Mexico as it was and as it is, 1844, says: “On the
lake of Texcuco I saw men occupied in collecting the eggs of flies from
the surface of plants, and cloths arranged in long rows as places of
resort for the insects. These eggs, called _agayacath_, formed a
favorite food of the Indians long before the conquest; and when made
into cakes, resemble the roe of fish, having a similar taste and
appearance. After the use of frogs in France, and birds’-nests in China,
I think these eggs may be considered a delicacy, and I found that they
are not rejected from the tables of the fashionable inhabitants of the

The more recent observations of MM. Saussure, Sallé, Virlet d’Aoust,
etc. have confirmed the facts already stated, at least in the most
essential particulars.

“The insects which principally produce this animal farinha of Mexico,”
says a writer in the Journal de Pharmacie, “are two species of the genus
_Corixa_ of Geoffroy, hemipterous (heteropterous) insects of the family
of water-bugs. One of the species has been described by M. Guerin
Méneville as new, and has been named by him _Corixa femorata_: the
other, identified in 1831 by Thomas Say as one of those sold in the
market at Mexico, bears the name of _Corixa mercenaria_. The eggs of
these two species are attached in innumerable quantities to the
triangular leaves of the carex forming the bundles which are deposited
in the waters. They are of an oval form with a protuberance at one end
and a pedicle at the other extremity, by means of which they are fixed
to a small round disk, which the mother cements to the leaf. Among these
eggs, which are grouped closely together, there are found others, which
are larger, of a long and cylindrical form, and which are fixed to the
same leaves. These belong to another larger insect, a species of
_Notonecta_, which M. Guerin Méneville has named _Notonecta

It appears from M. Virlet d’Aoust, that in October the lakes of Chalco
and Texcuco, which border on the City of Mexico, are haunted by millions
of “small flies,” which, after dancing in the air, plunge down into the
water, to the depth of several feet, and deposit their eggs at the

“The eggs of these insects are called hautle (haoutle) by the Mexican
Indians, who collect them in great numbers, and with whom they appear to
be a favorite article of food. They are prepared in various ways, but
usually made into cakes, which are eaten with a sauce flavored with

Rev. Thomas Smith enumerates the following insects as eaten by the
ancient Mexicans: The _Atelepitz_, “a marsh beetle, resembling in shape
and size the flying beetles, having four (?) feet, and covered with a
hard shell.” The _Atopinan_, “a marsh grasshopper of a dark color and
great size, being no less than six inches long and two broad.”(!) The
_Ahuihuitla_, “a worm which inhabits the Mexican lakes, four inches
long, and of the thickness of a goose quill, of a tawny color on the
upper part of the body, and white upon the under part; it stings with
its tail, which is hard and poisonous.” And the _Ocuiliztac_, “a black
marsh worm, which becomes white on being roasted.”[927]




Concerning the generation of Gnats, Moufet says: “Countrey people
suppose them, and that not improbably, to be procreated from some
corrupt moisture of the earth.”[929]

A battle of Gnats (probably an appearance of Ephemera) is recorded in
Stow’s Chronicles of England, p. 509, to have been fought in the reign
of King Richard II.: “A fighting among Gnats at the King’s maner of
_Shine_, where they were so thicke gathered, that the aire was darkened
with them: they fought and made a great battaile. Two partes of them
being slayne, fel downe to the grounde; the thirde parte hauing got the
victorie, flew away, no man knew whither. The number of the deade was
such that they might be swept uppe with besomes, and bushels filled
weyth them.”[930]

In the year 1736 the Gnats, _Culex pipiens_, were so numerous in
England, that, as it is recorded, vast columns of them were seen to rise
in the air from the steeple of the cathedral at Salisbury, which, at a
little distance resembling columns of smoke, occasioned many people to
think the edifice was on fire.[931] At Sagan, in Silesia, in July, 1812,
a similar occurrence gave rise in like manner to an alarm that the
church was on fire.[932] In May of the following year at Norwich, at
about six o’clock in the evening, the inhabitants of that city were
alarmed by the appearance of smoke issuing from the upper window of the
spire of the cathedral, for which at the time no satisfactory account
could be given, but which was most probably produced by the same
cause.[933] And in the year 1766, in the month of August, they appeared
in such incredible numbers at Oxford as to resemble a black cloud,
darkening the air and almost intercepting the rays of the sun. Mr. John
Swinton mentions, that in the evening of the 20th, about half an hour
before sunset, he was in the garden of Wadham College, when he saw six
columns of these insects ascending from the tops of six boughs of an
apple-tree, two in a perpendicular, three in an oblique direction, and
one in a pyramidal form, to the height of fifty or sixty feet. Their
bite was so envenomed, that it was attended by violent and alarming
inflammation; and one when killed usually contained as much blood as
would cover three or four square inches of wall.[934] A similar column,
of two or three feet in diameter and about twenty feet in height, was
seen at eight o’clock in the evening of Sunday, July 14th, 1833, in
Kensington Gardens. The upper portion of the column being curved to the
east, the whole resembled the letter J inverted. The Gnats in every part
of the column were in the liveliest motion.[935] The author of the
“Faerie Queene” seems to have witnessed the like curious phenomenon,
which furnished him with the following beautiful simile:

    As when a swarme of gnats at eventide
    Out of the fennes of Allan doe arise,
    Their murmuring small trumpets sownden wide,
    Whiles in the air their clust’ring army flies,
    That as a cloud doth seem to dim the skies;
    Ne man nor beast may rest or take repast,
    For their sharp wounds and noyous injuries,
    Till the fierce northern wind with blust’ring blast
    Doth blow them quite away, and in the ocean cast.

Ligon, in his History of Barbados, makes the following curious
observation relative to a species of insects which he calls “Flyes,” but
which are more probably Gnats or Mosquitoes: “There is not only a race
of all these kinds, that go in a generation, but upon new occasions, new
kinds; as, after a great downfall of rain, when the ground has been
extremely moistened, and softened with the water, I have walk’d out upon
a dry walk (which I made my self) in an evening, and there came about me
an army of such Flyes, as I had never seen before, nor after; and they
rose, as I conceived, out of the earth: They were as big bodied as Bees,
but far larger wings, harm they did us none, but only lighted on us;
their colour between ash-colour and purple.”[936]

If Gnats swarm in the summer in globular masses, it is supposed to
prognosticate a storm. Moufet says: “If Gnats near sunset do play up and
down in open air, they presage heat; if in the shade, warm and milde
showers; but if they altogether sting those that passe by them, then
expect cold weather and very much rain.... If any one would finde water
either in a hill or valley, let him observe (saith Paxanus in Geoponika)
the sun rising, and where the Gnats whirle round in form of an obelisk,
underneath there is water to be found. Yea, if Apomasaris deceive us
not, dreams of Gnats do foretell news of war or a disease, and that so
much the more dangerous as it shall be apprehended to approach the more
principall parts of the body.”[937]

“On the 14th of December, 1830, at Oremburg, snow fell accompanied by a
multitude of small black Gnats, whose motions were similar to those of a
flea.” This singular phenomenon was described at the session of the
Academy of St. Petersburg, held February 21st, 1831.[938]

The pertinacity of the _Culicidæ_ frequently renders them a most
formidable pest. Humboldt tells us “that between the little harbor of
Higuerote and the mouth of the Rio Unare, the wretched inhabitants are
accustomed to stretch themselves on the ground, and pass the night
buried in the sand three or four inches deep, exposing only the head,
which they cover with a handkerchief.”[939] As another proof of the
terrible state to which man is sometimes reduced by Mosquitoes, Captain
Stedman relates that in one of his dreadful marches, the clouds of them
were such, that the soldiers dug holes with their bayonets in the earth,
into which they thrust their heads, stopping the entry and covering
their necks with their hammocks, while they lay with their bellies on
the ground: to sleep in any other position was absolutely impossible. He
himself, by a negro’s advice, climbed to the top of the highest tree he
could find, and there slung his hammock among the boughs, and slept
exalted nearly a hundred feet above his companions, “whom,” says he, “I
could not see for the myriads of mosquitoes below me, nor even hear,
from the incessant buzzing of these troublesome insects.”[940]

“The Gnats in America,” says Moufet, “do so plash and cut, that they
will pierce through very thick clothing; so that it is excellent sport
to behold how ridiculously the barbarous people, when they are bitten,
will skip and frisk, and slap with their hands their thighs, buttocks,
shoulders, arms, and sides, even as a carter doth his horses.”[941]
Isaac Weld tells us that “these insects were so powerful and
bloodthirsty that they actually pierced through General Washington’s
boots.”[942] They probably crept within the boots, but the story is not
incredible if we believe Moufet. This naturalist says: “In Italy, near
the Po, great store and very great ones are to be seen, terrible for
biting, and venomous, piercing through a thrice-doubled stocking, and
boots likewise (_morsu crudeles et venenati, triplices caligas, imo
ocreas, item perforantes_), sometimes leaving behind them impoysoned,
hard, blue tumours, sometimes painful bladders, sometimes itching
pimples, such as Hippocrates hath observed in his Epidemics, in the body
of one Cyrus, a fuller, being frantic.”[943]

The poet Spenser, in his View of Ireland, says the Irish “goe all naked
except a mantle, which is a fit house for an outlaw--a meet bed for a
rebel--and an apt cloak for a thiefe. It coucheth him strongly against
the Gnats, which, in that country, doe more to annoy the naked rebels,
and doe more sharply wound them, than all their enemies’ swords and
speares, which can seldom come nigh them.”

Stewart says that the negroes of Jamaica, who cannot afford
mosquito-nets, get into a mechanical habit of driving away these
troublesome nocturnal visitors, that even when apparently wrapt in
profound sleep, there is a continual movement of the hands.[944]

Herodotus says: “The means devised by the Egyptians to avoid the Gnats,
which swarm in prodigious numbers, are these: Those who reside at some
elevation above the marshes, avail themselves of towers which they
ascend to sleep; for the Gnats, to avoid the winds, do not fly high.
While those who dwell on the very margins of the marshes, instead of
towers, practise another contrivance. Every man possesses a net, which,
during the day, he employs in catching fish, and which at night he uses
as his bed-chamber, where he places it over his couch, and so sleeps
within it. For if any one,” he concludes, “sleeps wrapped in a cloak or
cloth, the Gnats will bite him through it; but they never attempt to
penetrate the net.”[945] With regard to the conclusion of Herodotus,
that nets with meshes will effectually exclude Gnats, Tennent says he
has “been satisfied by painful experience that (if the theory be not
altogether fallacious) at least the modern mosquitoes of Ceylon are
uninfluenced by the same considerations which restrained those of the
Nile under the successors of Cambyses.”[946]

Jackson complains that after a fifty-miles journey in Africa, the Gnats
would not suffer him to rest, and that his hands and face appeared, from
their bites, as if he was infected with the small-pox in its worst
stage.[947] Dr. Clarke relates that in the neighborhood of the Crimea,
the Russian soldiers are obliged to sleep in sacks to defend themselves
from the mosquitoes; and even this, he adds, is not a sufficient
security, for several of them die in consequence of mortification
produced by these furious blood-suckers.[948]

When we consider these circumstances, it is not incredible that the army
of Julian the Apostate should be so fiercely attacked by these insects
as to be driven back; or that the inhabitants of various cities, as
Mouffet has collected from different authors,[949] should, by an
extraordinary multiplication of this plague, have been compelled to
desert them. Also the latter part of the following story, related by
Theodoret, seems entitled to belief: When Sapor, King of Persia, says
this historian, was besieging the Roman City of Nisibis in the year 360,
James, Bishop of that city, ascended one of the towers, and “prayed that
Flies and Gnats might be sent against the Persian hosts, that so they
might learn from these small insects the great power of Him who
protected the Romans.” Scarcely had the Bishop concluded his prayer,
continues Theodoret, when swarms of Flies and Gnats appeared like
clouds, so that the trunks of the elephants were filled with them, as
also were the ears and nostrils of the horses and of the other beasts of
burden; and that, not being able to get rid of these insects, the
elephants and horses threw their riders, broke the ranks, left the army,
and fled away with the utmost speed; and this, he concludes, compelled
the Persians to raise the siege.[950]

“As the Cossacks of the Black Sea are no agriculturists,” says Jaeger,
“but derive their subsistence from their numerous herds of horses, oxen,
sheep, goats, and hogs, they suffer immensely, at times, from the
ravages of the mosquitoes. Although they are fortunately not seen every
year, these blood-suckers may be considered a real Egyptian plague among
the herds of these Cossacks; for they soon transform the most delightful
plains into a mournful, solitary desert, killing all the beasts, and
completely stripping the fields of every animated creature. One thousand
of these insatiate tormentors enter the nostrils, ears, eyes, and mouth
of the cattle, who shortly after die in convulsions, or from secondary
inflammation, or from absolute suffocation. In the small town of
Elizabethpol alone, during the month of June, thirty horses, forty
foals, seventy oxen, ninety calves, a hundred and fifty hogs, and four
hundred sheep were killed by these flies.”[951]

Ammianus Marcellinus, in his Roman History, treating of the wild beasts
in Mesopotamia, gives us the following curious zoological theory on the
destruction of lions by mosquitoes:

“The lions wander in countless droves among the beds of rushes on the
banks of the rivers of Mesopotamia, and in the jungles, and lie quiet
all the winter, which is very mild in that country. But when the warm
weather returns, as these regions are exposed to great heat, they are
forced out by the vapours, and by the size of the Gnats, with swarms of
which every part of that country is filled. And these winged insects
attack the eyes, as being both moist and sparkling, sitting on and
biting the eyelids; the lions, unable to bear the torture, are either
drowned in the rivers, to which they flee for refuge, or else, by
frequent scratchings, tear their eyes out themselves with their claws,
and then become mad. And if this did not happen, the whole of the East
would be overrun with beasts of this kind.”[952]

I have never heard of mosquitoes being turned to any good account save
in California; and there, it seems, according to Rev. Walter Colton,
they are sometimes made the ministers of justice. A rogue had stolen a
bag of gold from a digger in the mines, and hid it. Neither threats nor
persuasions could induce him to reveal the place of its concealment. He
was at last sentenced to a hundred lashes, and then informed that he
would be let off with thirty, provided he would tell what he had done
with the gold; but he refused. The thirty lashes were administered, but
he was still stubborn as a mule. He was then stripped naked, and tied to
a tree. The mosquitoes with their long bills went at him, and in less
than three hours he was covered with blood. Writhing and trembling from
head to foot with exquisite torture, he exclaimed, “Untie me, untie me,
and I will tell where it is.” “Tell first,” was the reply. So he told
where it might be found. Then some of the party with wisps kept off the
still hungry mosquitoes, while others went where the culprit directed,
and recovered the bag of gold. He was then untied, washed with cold
water, and helped to his clothes, while he muttered, as if talking to
himself, “I couldn’t stand that anyhow.”[953]

The largest kind of mosquito in the valley of the lower Mississippi is
called the “Gallinipper.” It is peculiarly described, by the boatmen, to
be as large as a goose, and that it flies about at night with a brickbat
under its wings with which it sharpens its “sting.”

They tell a good story to show the superiority of the Gallinipper, over
the ordinary Mosquito, in this wise. Some fellow made a bet that, for a
certain length of time, he could stand the stings of the mosquitoes
inflicted upon his bare back while he lay on his face. He stripped
himself for the ordeal, and was bearing it manfully, when some
mischievous spectator threw a live coal of fire on him. He winced, and,
looking up by way of protest, exclaimed, “I bar (debar) the

The Culicidæ, say Kirby and Spence, like other conquerors who have been
the torment of the human race, have attained to fame, and have given
their names to bays, towns, and even to considerable territories; and
instance Mosquito Bay in St. Christopher’s; Mosquito, a town in the
Island of Cuba; and the Mosquito Shore of Central America.[954]

Democritus says: “Horse-hair, stretched through the door, and through
the middle of the house, destroys Gnats.”[955]

St. Macarius, Alban Butler says, was a confectioner of Alexandria, who,
in the flower of his age, spent upwards of sixty years in the deserts in
labor, penance, and contemplation. “Our Saint,” continues Butler,
“happened one day to inadvertently kill a Gnat that was biting him in
his cell; reflecting that he had lost the opportunity of suffering that
mortification, he hastened from the cell for the marshes of Scete, which
abound with great flies, whose stings pierce even wild boars. There he
continued six months, exposed to those ravaging insects; and to such a
degree was his whole body disfigured by them with sores and swellings,
that when he returned he was only to be known by his voice.”[956]

In the old English translation of the Bible, the observation of our
Saviour to the Pharisees, “Ye blind guides, which strain _at_ a Gnat,
and swallow a camel,” is rendered “which strain _out_ a Gnat,” and
Bishop Pearce observes that this is conformable to the sense of the
passage. An allusion is made to the custom which prevailed in Oriental
countries of passing their wine and other liquors through a strainer,
that no Gnats or flies might get into the cup. In the Fragments to
Calmet, we are informed that there is a modern Arabic proverb to this
effect, “He swallowed an elephant, but was strangled by a fly.”[957]


The larvæ of a species of Agaric-Gnat (_Mycetophila_) live in society,
and emigrate in files in a very soldier-like manner. First goes one,
next follow two, then three, etc., so as to exhibit a singular
serpentine appearance. The common people of Germany call this file
_heerwurm_, and, it is said, view them with great dread, regarding them
as ominous of war.[958]

Maupertuis, in describing his ascent to Mount Pulinga, in Lapland, says:
“They had to fell a whole wood of large trees, and the Flies (most
probably _Tipulidæ_) attack’d ’em with that fury, that the very
soldiers, tho’ harden’d to the greatest fatigues, were obliged to rap up
their faces, or cover them with tar. These insects poison’d their
victuals, for no sooner was a dish serv’d, but it was quite covered with
them.”[959] Maupertuis, in another place, says: “These Flies make
Lapland less tolerable in the summer than the cold does in the
winter.”[960] The severity with which the Tipulidæ torment the
Laplanders is attested also by Acerby,[961] Linnæus,[962] De Geer,[963]
and Reaumur.[964]


Among the instances recorded of Flies appearing in immense numbers, the
following are the most remarkable:

“When the Creole frigate was lying in the outer roads of Buenos Ayres,
in 1819, at a distance of six miles from the land, her decks and rigging
were suddenly covered with thousands of Flies and grains of sand. The
sides of the vessel had just received a fresh coat of paint, to which
the insects adhered in such numbers as to spot and disfigure the vessel,
and to render it necessary partially to renew the paint. Capt. W. H.
Smyth was obliged to repaint his vessel, the Adventure, in the
Mediterranean, from the same cause. He was on his way from Malta to
Tripoli, when a southern wind blowing from the coast of Africa, then one
hundred miles distant, drove such myriads of Flies upon the fresh paint
that not the smallest point was left unoccupied by the insects.”[965]

“In May, 1699, at Kerton,” records Mrs. Thoresby, p. 15, “in
Lincolnshire, the sky seemed to darken north-westward at a little
distance from the town, as though it had been a shower of hailstones or
snow; but when it came near the town, it appeared to be a prodigious
swarm of Flies, which went with such a force toward the south-east that
persons were forced to turn their backs of them.”[966]

On the morning of the 17th of September, 1831, a small dipterous insect,
belonging to Meigen’s genus _Chlorops_, and nearly allied to, if not
identical with, his _C. læta_, appeared suddenly, and in such immense
quantities, in one of the upper rooms of the Provost’s Lodge, in King’s
College, Cambridge, that the greater part of the ceiling toward the
window of the room was so thickly covered as not to be visible. They
entered by a window looking due north, while the wind was blowing
steadily N. N. W. So it appears they came from the direction of the
River Cam, or rather came with its current.[967]

In the summer of 1834, which season was remarkable in England for its
swarms and shoals of insects, the air was constantly filled, says a
writer in The Mirror, with millions of small delicate Flies, and the sea
in many places, particularly on the Norfolk coasts, was perfectly
blackened by the amazing shoals. The length of these masses was not
determined; but they were, it is asserted, at least a league broad. It
is said the oldest fishermen of those seas never remembered having seen
or heard of such a phenomenon.[968]

Capt. Dampier calls the natives of New Holland the “poor winking people
of New Holland,” and concludes his description of them with the
following observations: “Their eyelids are always half closed, to keep
the Flies out of their eyes, they being so troublesome here that no
fanning will keep them from coming to one’s face; and without the
assistance of both hands to keep them off they will creep into one’s
nostrils, and mouth, too, if the lips are not shut very close. So that
from their infancy, being thus annoyed with these insects, they do never
open their eyes as other people, and therefore they cannot see far,
unless they hold up their heads, as if they were looking at something
over them.”[969]

In a house at Zaffraan-craal, Dr. Sparrman suffered so much from the
common House-fly, _Musca domestica_, which, in the south of Africa,
frequently appears in such prodigious numbers as to cover almost
entirely the walls and ceilings, that, as he asserts, it was impossible
for him to keep within doors for any length of time. To get rid of these
troublesome pests, the natives resort to a very ingenious contrivance.
It is thus related by the above-mentioned traveler: “Bunches of herbs
are hung up all over the ceiling, on which the Flies settle in great
numbers; a person then takes a linen net or bag, of a considerable
depth, fixed to a long handle, and, inclosing in it every bunch, shakes
it about, so that the Flies fall down to the bottom of the bag: when,
after several applications of it in this manner, they are killed by a
pint or a quart at a time, by dipping the bag into scalding hot

Rhasis, Avicen, and Albertus say: “Bury the tail of a wolf in the house,
and the Flies will not come into it.”[971]

Berytius says: “Flies will never rest on dumb animals if they are
rubbed with the fat of a lion.”[972]

Pliny says: “At Rome yee shall not have a Flie or dog that will enter
into the chappell of Hercules standing in the beast market.”[973]

Plutarch, in the Eighth Book of his Symposiaques, learnedly discourses
upon the tamableness of the Fly. His opinion is that it cannot be

Moufet, in his Theater of Insects, says: “Many ways doth nature also by
Flies play with the fancies of men in dreams, if we may credit
Apomasaris in his Apotelesms. For the Indians, Persians, and Ægyptians
do teach, that if Flies appear to us in our sleep, it doth signifie an
herauld at arms, or an approaching disease. If a general of an army, or
a chief commander, dream that at such or such a place he should see a
great company of Flies, in that very place, wherever it shall be, there
he shall be in anguish and grief for his soldiers that are slain, his
army routed, and the victory lost. If a mean or ordinary man dream the
like, he shall fall into a violent fever, which likely may cost him his
life. If a man dream in his sleep that Flies went into his mouth or
nostrils, he is to expect with great sorrow and grief imminent
destruction from his enemies.”[975]

In an English North country chap-book, entitled the Royal Dream-book, we
find: “To dream of Flies or other vermin, denotes enemies of all

“When we see,” says Hollingshed, “a great number of Flies in a yeare, we
naturallie iudge it like to be a great plague.”[977]

Among the deep-sea fishermen of Greenock (Scotland), there is a most
comical idea that if a Fly falls into a glass from which any one has
been drinking, or is about to drink, it is considered a sure omen of
good luck to the drinker, and is always noticed as such by the
company.[978] Has this any connection with our saying of “taking a
glass with a _fly_ in it?”

If Flies die in great numbers in a house, it is believed by the common
people to be a sure sign of death to some one in the family occupying
it; if throughout the country, an omen of general pestilence. It is
positively asserted that Flies always die before the breaking out of the
cholera, and believed that they die of this disease.

Moufet, in his Theater of Insects, says: “When the Flies bite harder
than ordinary, making at the face and eyes of men, they foretell rain or
wet weather, from whence Politian hath it:

    Thirsty for blood the Fly returns,
    And with his sting the skin he burns.

Perhaps before rain they are most hungry, and therefore, to asswage
their hunger, do more diligently seek after their food. This also is to
be observed, that a little before a showre or a storme comes, the Flies
descend from the upper region of the air to the lowest, and do fly, as
it were, on the very surface of the earth. Moreover, if you see them
very busie about sweet-meats or unguents, you may know that it will
presently be a showre. But if they be in all places many and numerous,
and shall so continue long (if Alexander Benedict and Johannes
Damascenus say true), they foretell a plague or pestilence, because so
many of them could not be bred of a little putrefaction of the
air.”[979] Elsewhere Moufet states: “Neither are Flies begotten of dung
only, but of any other filthy matter putrefied by heat in the summer
time, and after the same way spoken of before, as Grapaldus and
Lonicerus have very well noted.”[980]

Willsford, in his Nature’s Secrets, p. 135, says: “Flies in the spring
or summer season, if they grow busier or blinder than at other times, or
that they are observed to shroud themselves in warm places, expect then
quickly to follow either hail, cold storms of rain, or very much wet
weather; and if these little creatures are noted early in autumn to
repair into their winter quarters, it presages frosty mornings, cold
storms, with the approach of hoary winter. Atomes of Flies swarming
together, and sporting themselves in the sunbeams, is a good omen of
fair weather.”[981]

In Gayton’s Pleasant Notes upon Don Quixot, 1654, p. 99, speaking of
Sancho Panza’s having converted a cassock into a wallet, our pleasant
annotator observes: “It was serviceable, after this greasie use, for
nothing but to preach at a carnivale or Shrove Tuesday, and to tosse
Pancakes in after the exercise; or else, if it could have been
conveighed thither, nothing more proper for a man that preaches the
Cook’s sermon at Oxford, when that plump society rides upon their
governour’s horses to fetch in the Enemie, the Flie.” That there was
such a custom at Oxford, let Peshall, in his history of that city, be a
voucher, who, speaking of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, p. 280, says: “To
this Hospital cooks from Oxford flocked, bringing in on Whitsun-week the
Fly.” Aubrey saw this ceremony performed in 1642. He adds: “On
Michaelmas-day, they rode thither again to carry the Fly away.”[982]

Plutarch, in his disquisition on the Art of Discerning a Flatterer from
a Friend, makes the following curious comparison: “The Gad-Flie (as they
say) which useth to plague bulles and oxen, setteth about their eares,
and so doth the tick deal by dogges: after the same manner, flatterers
take hold of ambitious mens eares, and possesse them with praises; and
being once set fast there, hardly are they to be removed and chased

Plautus twice compares envious and inquisitive persons to Flies.[984]

In a narrative of unheard-of Popish cruelties toward Protestants beyond
Seas, printed in 1680, we find the insinuating detectives of the Spanish
Inquisition under the name of Flies.[985]

Flies are mentioned somewhere in Lyndwood as the emblem of unclean

Flies were driven away when a woman was in labor, for fear she should
bring forth a daughter.[987]

Flies are found represented in the pottery of the ancient

Flies (_Cuspi_) were sacrificed to the Sun by the ancient

“To let a Flee (Fly) stick i’ the wa’” is, in Scotland, not to speak on
some particular topic, to pass it over without remark.[990]

“Certes, a strange thing it is of these Flies,” says Pliny, “which are
taken to be as senselesse and witlesse creatures, yea, and of as little
capacity and understanding as any other whatsoever: and yet at the
solemne games and plaies holden every fifth yeare at Olympia, no sooner
is the bull sacrificed there to the Idoll or god of the Flies called
Myiodes, but a man shall see (a wonderful thing to tell) infinit
thousand of flies depart out of that territorie by flights, as it were
thick clouds.”[991]

This Myiodes or Maagrus, the “Fly-catcher,” was the name of a hero,
invoked at Aliphera, at the festivals of Athena, as the protector
against Flies. It was also a surname of Hercules.

The following rendering of the second verse of the first chapter of the
Second Book of Kings, by Josephus, contains an allusion to the worship
of Baalzebub under the form of a Fly: “Now it happened that _Ahaziah_,
as he was coming down from the top of his house, fell down from it, and
in his sickness sent to the _Fly_ (Baalzebub), which was the god of
_Ekron_, for that was this god’s name, to enquire about his

With reference to this worship, we read in Purchas’s Pilgrims: “At
Accaron was worshipped _Baalzebub_, that is, the Lord of the Flies,
either of contempt of his idolatrie, so called; or rather of the
multitude of Flies, which attended the multitude of his sacrifices, when
from the sacrifices at the Temple of Jerusalem, as some say, they were
wholly free: or for that hee was their Larder-god (as the Roman
_Hercules_) to drive away flies: or for that from a forme of a Flie, in
which he was worshipped.... But for Beelzebub, he was their _Æsculapius_
or Physicke god, as appeareth by Ahaziah who sent to consult with him in
his sickness. And perhaps from this cause the blaspheming Pharisies,
rather applyed the name of this then any other Idoll to our blessed
Saviour (Math. x. 25) whom they saw indeed to performe miraculous cures,
which superstition had conceived of _Baalzebub_: and if any thing were
done by that Idoll, it could by no other cause bee effected but by the
Devill, as tending (like the popish miracles) to the confirmation of

This god of the Flies was so called, thinks Whiston, as was Jove among
the Greeks, from his supposed power over Flies, in driving them away
from the flesh of their sacrifices, which otherwise would have been very
troublesome to them.[994]

It has been conjectured that the Fly, under which Baalzebub was
represented, was the Tumble-bug, _Scarabæus pilluarius_; in which
case, says Dr. Smith, Baalzebub and Beelzebub might be used

“Urspergensis saith that the Devil did very frequently appear in the
form of a Fly; whence it was that some of the heathens called their
familiar spirit _Musca_ or Fly: perchance alluding to that of Plautus:

    Hic pol musca est, mi pater,
    Sive profanum, sive publicum, nil clam illum haberi potest:
    Quin adsit ibi illico, et rem omnem tenet.--

This man, O my father, is a Fly, nothing can be concealed from him, be
it secret or publick, he is presently there, and knowes all the

Loke, the deceiver of the gods, is fabled in the Northern Mythology, to
have metamorphosed himself into a Fly: and demons, in the shape of
Flies, were kept imprisoned by the Finlanders, to be let loose on men
and beasts.[997]

In Scotland, a tutelary Fly, believed immortal, presided over a fountain
in the county of Banff: and here also a large blue Fly, resting on the
bark of trees, was distinguished as a witch.[998]

Among the games and plays of the ancient Greeks was the Χαλκη Μυῖα, or
Brazen Fly:--a variety of blind-man’s-buff, in which a boy having his
eyes bound with a fillet, went groping round, calling out, “I am seeking
the Brazen Fly.” His companions replied, “You may seek, but you will not
find it”--at the same time striking him with cords made of the inner
bark of the papyros; and thus they proceeded till one of them was

This is most probably an allusion to some species of Fly of a bronze
color which is most difficult to catch, as, for instance, the little fly
found in summer beneath arbors, apparently standing motionless in the

Petrus Ramus tells us of an iron Fly, made by Regiomontanus, a famous
mathematician of Nuremberg, which, at a feast, to which he had invited
his familiar friends, flew forth from his hand, and taking a round,
returned to his hand again, to the great astonishment of the beholders.
Du Bartas thus expresses this:

    Once as this artist, more with mirth than meat,
    Feasted some friends whom he esteemed great,
    Forth from his hand an iron Fly flew out;
    Which having flown a perfect round-about,
    With weary wings return’d unto her master:
    And as judicious on his arm he plac’d her.
    O! wit divine, that in the narrow womb
    Of a small fly, could find sufficient room
    For all those springs, wheels, counterpoise and chains,
    Which stood instead of life, and blood, and veins![1000]

We find also in a work bearing the title “Apologie pour les Grands
Homines Accusés de Magie,” that “Jean de Montroyal presented to the
Emperor Charles V. an iron Fly, which made a solemn circuit round its
inventor’s head, and then reposed from its fatigue on his
arm.”--Probably the same automaton, since Regiomontanus and Montroyal
are the same.

Such a Fly as the above is rather extraordinary, yet I have something
better to tell--still about a Fly.

Gervais, Chancellor to the Emperor Otho III., in his book entitled “Otia
Imperatoris,” informs us that “the sage Virgilius, Bishop of Naples,
made a brass Fly, which he placed on one of the city gates, and that
this mechanical Fly, trained like a shepherd’s dog, prevented any other
fly entering Naples; so much so, that during eight years the meat
exposed for sale in the market was never once tainted!”[1001]

“Varro affirmeth,” says Pliny, “that the heads of Flies applied fresh to
the bald place, is a convenient medicine for the said infirmity and
defect. Some use in this case the bloud of flies: others mingle their
ashes with the ashes of paper used in old time, or els of nuts; with
this proportion, that there be a third part only of the ashes of flies
to the rest, and herewith for ten days together rubb the bare places
where the hair is gone. Some there be againe, who temper and incorporat
togither the said ashes of Flies with the juice of colewort and
brest-milke: others take nothing thereto but honey.”[1002]

Mucianus, who was thrice consul, carried about him a living Fly, says
Pliny, wrapped in a piece of white linen, and strongly asserted that to
the use of this expedient he owed his preservation from

Ferdinand Mendez Pinto says: “In our travels with the ambassador of the
King of Bramaa to the Calaminham, we saw in a grot men of a sect of one
of their Saints, named Angemacur: these lived in deep holes, made in the
mider of the rock, according to the rule of their wretched order, eating
nothing but Flies, Ants, Scorpions, and Spiders, with the juice of a
certain herb, much like to sorrel.”[1004]

Says Moufet, in his Theater of Insects: “Plutarch, in his Artaxerxes,
relates that it was a law amongst a certain people, that whosoever
should be so bold as to laugh at and deride their lawes and
constitutions of state, was bound for twenty daies together in an open
chest naked, all besmeared with honey and milk, and so became a prey to
the Flies and Bees, afterward when the days were expired he was put into
a woman’s habit and thrown headlong down a mountain.... Of which kinde
of punishment also Suidas makes mention in his Epicurus. There was
likewise for greater offenders, a punishment of Boats, so called. For
that he that was convict of high treason, was clapt between two boats,
with his head, hands, and feet hanging out: for his drink he had milk
and honey powred down his throat, with which also his head and hands
were sprinkled, then being set against the sun, he drew to him abundance
of stinging Flies, and within being full of their worms, he putrefied by
little and little, and so died. Which kinde of examples of severity as
the ancients shewed to the guilty and criminous offenders; so on the
other side the Spaniards in the Indies, used to drive numbers of the
innocents out of their houses, as the custome is among them, naked, all
bedawbed with honey, and expose them in open air to the biting of most
cruel Flies.”[1005]

Mr. Henry Mayhew, in that part of his interesting work on London Labor
and London Poor devoted to the London Street-folk, has given us the
narratives of several “Catch-’em-Alive” sellers--a set of poor boys who
sell prepared papers for the purpose of catching Flies. He discovered,
as he relates, a colony of these “Catch-’em-alive” boys residing in
Pheasant-court, Gray’s-inn-lane. They were playing at “pitch-and-toss”
in the middle of the paved yard, and all were very willing to give him
their statements; indeed, the only difficulty he had was in making his
choice among the youths.

“Please, sir,” said one with teeth ribbed like celery, to him, “I’ve
been at it longer than him.”

“Please, sir, he ain’t been out this year with the papers,” said
another, who was hiding a handful of buttons behind his back.

“He’s been at shoe-blacking, sir; I’m the only reg’lar fly-boy,” shouted
a third, eating a piece of bread as dirty as London snow.

A big lad with a dirty face, and hair like hemp, was the first of the
“catch-’em-alive” boys who gave him his account of his trade. He was a
swarthy featured boy, with a broad nose like a negro’s, and on his
temple was a big half-healed scar, which he accounted for by saying that
“he had been runned over” by a cab, though, judging from the blackness
of one eye, it seemed to Mr. Mayhew to have been the result of some
street fight. He said:

“I’m an Irish boy, and nearly turned sixteen, and I’ve been silling
fly-papers for between eight and nine year. I must have begun to sill
them when they first come out. Another boy first tould me of them, and
he’d been silling them about three weeks before me. He used to buy them
of a party as lives in a back-room near Drury-lane, what buys paper and
makes the catch ’em alive for himself. When they first come out they
used to charge sixpence a dozen for ’em, but now they’ve got ’em to
twopence ha’penny. When I first took to silling ’em, there was a tidy
lot of boys at the business, but not so many as now, for all the boys
seem at it. In our court alone I should think there was about twenty
boys silling the things.

“At first, when there was a good time, we used to buy three or four
gross together, but now we don’t no more than half a gross. As we go
along the streets we call out different cries. Some of us says,
‘Fly-papers, fly-papers, ketch ’em all alive.’ Others make a kind of
song of it, singing out, ‘Fly-paper, ketch ’em all alive, the nasty
flies, tormenting the baby’s eyes. Who’d be fly-blow’d, by all the nasty
blue-bottles, beetles, and flies?’ People likes to buy of a boy as sings
out well, ’cos it makes ’em laugh.

“I don’t think I sell so many in town as I do in the borders of the
country, about Highbury, Croydon, and Brentford. I’ve got some regular
customers in town about the City-prison and the Caledonian-road; and
after I’ve served them and the town custom begins to fall off, then I
goes to the country. We goes two of us together, and we takes about
three gross. We keep on silling before us all the way, and we comes back
the same road. Last year we sould very well in Croydon, and it was the
best place for gitting the best price for them; they’d give a penny a
piece for ’em there, for they didn’t know nothing about them. I went off
one day at ten o’clock and didn’t come home till two in the morning. I
sould eighteen dozen out in that d’rection the other day, and got rid of
them before I had got half-way. But flies are very scarce at Croydon
this year, and we haven’t done so well. There ain’t half as many flies
this summer as last.

“Some people says the papers draws more flies than they ketches, and
that when one gets in, there’s twenty others will come to see him. It’s
according to the weather as the flies is about. If we have a fine day it
fetches them out, but a cold day kills more than our papers.

“We sills the most papers to little cook-shops and sweet-meat shops. We
don’t sill so many at private houses. The public-houses is pretty good
customers, ’cos the beer draws the flies. I sould nine dozen at one
house--a school--at Highgate, the other day. I sould ’em two for
three-ha’ pence. That was a good hit, but then t’other days we loses. If
we can make a ha’penny each we thinks we does well.

“Those that sills their papers at three a-penny buys them at St.
Giles’s, and pays only three ha’pence a dozen for them, but they ain’t
half as big and good as those we pays tuppence-ha’penny a dozen for.

“Barnet is a good place for fly-papers; there’s a good lot of flies down
there. There used to be a man at Barnet as made ’em, but I can’t say if
he do now. There’s another at Brentford, so it ain’t much good going
that way.

“In cold weather the papers keep pretty well, and will last for months
with just a little warming at the fire; for they tears on opening when
they are dry. You see we always carry them with the stickey sides
doubled up together like a sheet of writing-paper. In hot weather, if
you keep them folded up, they lasts very well; but if you opens them,
they dry up. It’s easy opening them in hot weather, for they comes apart
as easy as peeling a horrange. We generally carries the papers in a
bundle on our arm, and we ties a paper as is loaded with flies round our
cap, just to show the people the way to ketch ’em. We get a loaded paper
given to us at a shop.

“When the papers come out first, we use to do very well with fly-papers;
but now it’s hard work to make our own money for ’em. Some days we used
to make six shillings a day regular. But then we usen’t to go out every
day, but take a rest at home. If we do well one day, then we might stop
idle another day, resting. You see, we had to do our twenty or thirty
miles silling them to get that money, and then the next day we was

“The silling of papers is gradual falling off. I could go out and sill
twenty dozen wonst where I couldn’t sill one now. I think I does a very
grand day’s work if I yearns a shilling. Perhaps some days I may lose by
them. You see, if it’s a very hot day, the papers gets dusty; and
besides, the stuff gets melted and oozes out; though that don’t do much
harm, ’cos we gets a bit of whitening and rubs ’em over. Four years ago
we might make ten shillings a day at the papers, but now, taking from
one end of the fly-season to the other, which is about three months, I
think we makes about one shilling a day out of papers, though even that
ain’t quite certain. I never goes out without getting rid of mine,
somehow or another, but then I am obleeged to walk quick and look about

“When it’s a bad time for silling the papers, such as a wet, could day,
then most of the fly-paper boys goes out with brushes, cleaning boots.
Most of the boys is now out hopping. They goes reg’lar every year after
the season is give over for flies.

“The stuff as they puts on the paper is made out of boiled oil and
turpentine and resin. It’s seldom as a fly lives more than five minutes
after it gets on the paper, and then it’s as dead as a house. The
blue-bottles is tougher, but they don’t last long, though they keeps on
fizzing as if they was trying to make a hole in the paper. The stuff is
only p’isonous for flies, though I never heard of anybody as ever eat a

A second lad, in conclusion, said: “There’s lots of boys going selling
‘ketch-’em-alive oh’s’ from Golden-lane, and White-chapel and the
Borough. There’s lots, too, comes out of Gray’s-inn-lane and St.
Giles’s. Near every boy who has nothing to do goes out with fly-papers.
Perhaps it ain’t that the flies is falled off that we don’t sill so many
papers now, but because there’s so many boys at it.”

A third, of the lot the most intelligent and gentle in his demeanor,
though the smallest in stature, said:

“I’ve been longer at it than the last boy, though I’m only getting on
for thirteen, and he’s older than I’m; ’cos I’m little and he’s big,
getting a man. But I can sell them quite as well as he can, and
sometimes better, for I can holler out just as loud, and I’ve got
reg’lar places to go to. I was a very little fellow when I first went
out with them, but I could sell them pretty well then, sometimes three
or four dozen a day. I’ve got one place, in a stable, where I can sell a
dozen at a time to country people.

“I calls out in the streets, and I goes into the shops, too, and calls
out, ‘Ketch ’em alive, ketch ’em alive; ketch all the nasty
black-beetles, blue-bottles, and flies; ketch ’em from teasing the
baby’s eyes.’ That’s what most of us boys cries out. Some boys who is
stupid only says, ‘Ketch ’em alive,’ but people don’t buy so well from

“Up in St. Giles’s there is a lot of fly-boys, but they’re a bad set,
and will fling mud at gentlemen, and some prigs the gentlemen’s pockets.
Sometimes, if I sell more than a big boy, he’ll get mad and hit me.
He’ll tell me to give him a halfpenny and he won’t touch me, and that if
I don’t he’ll kill me. Some of the boys takes an open fly-paper, and
makes me look another way, and then they sticks the ketch-’em-alive on
my face. The stuff won’t come off without soap and hot water, and it
goes black, and looks like mud. One day a boy had a broken fly-paper,
and I was taking a drink of water, and he come behind me and slapped it
up in my face. A gentleman as saw him give him a crack with a stick and
me twopence. It takes your breath away, until a man comes and takes it
off. It all sticked to my hair, and I couldn’t rack (comb) right for
some time....

“I don’t like going along with other boys, they take your customers
away; for perhaps they’ll sell ’em at three a penny to ’em, and spoil
the customers for you. I won’t go with the big boy you saw, ’cos he’s
such a blackgeyard; when he’s in the country he’ll go up to a lady and
say, ‘Want a fly-paper, marm?’ and if she says ‘No,’ he’ll perhaps job
his head in her face--butt at her like.

“When there’s no flies, and the ketch-’em-alive is out, then I goes
tumbling. I can turn a cat’enwheel over on one hand. I’m going to-morrow
to the country, harvesting and hopping--for, as we says, ‘Go out
hopping, come in jumping.’ We start at three o’clock to-morrow, and we
shall get about twelve o’clock at night at Dead Man’s Barn. It was left
for poor people to sleep in, and a man was buried there in a corner. The
man had got six farms of hops; and if his son hadn’t buried him there,
he wouldn’t have had none of the riches.

“The greatest number of fly-papers I’ve sold in a day is about eight
dozen. I never sells no more than that; I wish I could. People won’t buy
’em now. When I’m at it I makes, taking one day with another, about ten
shillings a week. You see, if I sold eight dozen, I’d make four
shillings. I sell ’em at a penny each, at two for three-ha’pence, and
three for twopence. When they gets stale I sells ’em for three a penny.
I always begin by asking a penny each, and perhaps they’ll say, ‘Give me
two for three ha’pence?’ I’ll say, ‘Can’t, ma’am,’ and then they pulls
out a purse full of money and gives a penny.

“The police is very kind to us, and don’t interfere with us. If they see
another boy hitting us they’ll take off their belts and hit ’em.
Sometimes I’ve sold a ketch-’em-alive to a policeman; he’ll fold it up
and put it into his pocket to take home with him. Perhaps he’s got a
kid, and the flies teazes its eyes.

“Some ladies like to buy fly-cages better than ketch-em-alive’s, because
sometimes when they’re putting ’em up they falls in their faces, and
then they screams.”

The history of the manufacture of Fly-papers was thus given to Mr.
Mayhew by a manufacturer, whom he found in a small attic-room near
Drury-lane: “The first man as was the inventor of these fly-papers kept
a barber’s shop in St. Andrew-street, Seven Dials, of the name of
Greenwood or Greenfinch, I forget which. I expect he diskivered it by
accident, using varnish and stuff, for stale varnish has nearly the same
effect as our composition. He made ’em and sold ’em at first at
threepence and fourpence a piece. Then it got down to a penny. He sold
the receipt to some other parties, and then it got out through their
having to employ men to help ’em. I worked for a party as made ’em, and
then I set to work making ’em for myself, and afterwards hawking them.
They was a greater novelty then than they are now, and sold pretty well.
Then men in the streets, who had nothing to do, used to ask me where I
bought ’em, and then I used to give ’em my own address, and they’d come
and find me.”[1006]


The larvæ of Bots, _Œstris ovis_, found in the heads of sheep and goats,
have been prescribed, and that, from the tripod of Delphos, as a remedy
for the epilepsy. We are told so on the authority of Alexander Trailien;
but whether Democritus, who consulted the oracle, was cured by this
remedy, does not appear; the story shows, however, that the ancients
were aware that these maggots made their way even into the brain of
living animals.[1007] The oracle answered Democritus as follows:

    Take a tame goat that hath the greatest head,
    Or else a wilde goat in the field that’s bred,
    And in his forehead a great worm you’l finde,
    This cures all diseases of that kinde.[1008]

The common saying that a whimsical person is _maggoty_, or has got
_maggots in his head_, perhaps arose from the freaks the sheep have been
observed to exhibit when infested by their Bots.[1009]

The following “charme for the Bots[1010] in a horse” is found in Scots’
Discovery of Witchcraft, printed in 1651: “You must both say and do thus
upon the diseased horse three days together, before the sun rising: _In
nomine pa†tris & fi†lii & Spiritus†sancti, Exorcize te vermen per Deum
pa†trem & fi†lium & Spiritum†sanctum_: that is, In the name of God the
father, the sonne, and the Holy Ghost, I conjure thee O worm by God, the
Father, the sonne, and the Holy Ghost; that thou neither eate nor drink
the flesh, blood, or bones of this horse; and that thou hereby maiest be
made as patient as Job, and as good as S. John Baptist, when he baptized
Christ in Jordan, _In nomine pa†tris & fi†lii et spiritus†sancti_. And
then say three _Pater nosters_, and three _Aves_, in the right eare of
the horse, to the glory of the holy trinity. Do†minus fili†us spirit†us

There is a popular error in England respecting the _Œstrus
(Gasterophilus) equi (hæmorrhoidalis)_, which Shakspeare has followed,
and which has been judiciously explained by Mr. Clark. Shakspeare makes
the carrier at Rochester observe: “Peas and oats are as dank here as a
dog, and that’s the next way to give _poor jades the bots_.”[1012]

The larvæ of this insect, says Mr. Clark, are mostly known among the
country people by the name of _wormals_, _wormuls_, _warbles_, or, more
properly, _Bots_. And our ancestors erroneously imagined that poverty or
improper food engendered them in horses. The truth, however, seems to
be, that when the animal is kept without food the Bots are also, and are
then, without doubt, most troublesome; whence it was very naturally
supposed that poverty or bad food was the parent of them.[1013]

A cow with its hide perforated by Warbles, in England, was said to be
elf-shot: the holes being made by the arrows of the little malignant
fairies. In the Northern Antiquities, p. 404, we find the following:

“If at such a time you were to look through an elf-bore in wood, where a
thorter knot has been taken out, or through the hole made by an
elf-arrow (which has probably been made by a Warble) in the skin of a
beast that has been elf-shot, you may see the elf-bull naiging (butting)
with the strongest bull or ox in the herd; but you will never see with
that eye again.”

In the Scottish history of the trials of witches, we find the following:
Alexander Smaill offended Jonet Cock, who threatened him, “deare sail
yow rewe it! and within half ane howre therafter, going to the
pleugh,--befoir he had gone one about, their came ane great Wasp or Bee,
so that the foir horses did runne away with the pleugh, and wer liklie
to have killed themselves, and the said Alexander and the boy that was
with him, narrowlie escaped with their lyves.”[1014] Possibly the
incident is not exaggerated, as a single Œstrus will turn the oxen of a
whole herd, and render them furious.

       *       *       *       *       *

Spencer, in his Travels in Circassia, speaks of a poisonous Fly, known
in Hungary under the name of the Golubaeser-fly, which is singularly
destructive to cattle. The Hungarian peasants, to account for the
severity of the bite of this insect, tell us that in the caverns, near
the Castle of Golubaes, the renowned champion, St. George, killed the
dragon, and that its decomposed remains have continued to generate these
insects down to the present day. So firmly did they believe this, that
they closed up the mouths of the caverns with stone walls.[1015]




The name _Pulex_, given to the Flea by the Romans, is stated by Isodorus
to have been derived from _pulvis_, dust, _quasi pulveris filius_. Our
English name _Flea_, and the German _Flock_, are evidently deduced from
the quick motions of this insect.

As to the origin of Fleas, Moufet had a similar notion to that contained
in the word Pulex, if we adopt the etymology of Isodorus, for he says
they are produced from the dust, especially when moistened with urine,
the smallest ones springing from putrid matter. Scaliger relates that
they are produced from the moistened humors among the hairs of
dogs.[1016] Conformable to the curious notion of Moufet, Shakspeare

    _2 Car._ I think this be the most villainous house in all London
    road for fleas: I am stung like a tench.

    _1 Car._ Like a tench? by the mass, there is ne’er a king in
    Christendom could be better bit than I have been since the first

    _2 Car._ Why, they will allow us ne’er a jorden, and then we leak in
    your chimney; and your _chamber-ley breeds fleas_ like a

“Martyr, the author of the Decads of Navigation, writes, that in
Perienna, a countrey of the Indies, the drops of sweat that fall from
their slaves’ bodies will presently turn to Fleas.”[1018]

Ewlin, in his book of Travels in Turkey, has recorded a singular
tradition of the history of the Flea and its confraternity, as preserved
among a sect of Kurds, who dwelt in his time at the foot of Mount
Sindshar. “When Noah’s Ark,” says the legend, “sprung a leak by
striking against a rock in the vicinity of Mount Sindshar, and Noah
despaired altogether of safety, the serpent promised to help him out of
his mishap if he would engage to feed him upon human flesh after the
deluge had subsided. Noah pledged himself to do so; and the serpent
coiling himself up, drove his body into the fracture and stopped the
leak. When the pluvious element was appeased, and all were making their
way out of the ark, the serpent insisted upon the fulfillment of the
pledge he had received; but Noah, by Gabriel’s advice, committed the
pledge to the flames, and scattering its ashes in the air, there arose
out of them Fleas, Flies, Lice, Bugs, and all such sort of vermin as
prey upon human blood, and after this fashion was Noah’s pledge

The Sandwich Islanders have the following tradition in regard to the
introduction of Fleas into their country: Many years ago a woman from
Waimea went out to a ship to see her lover, and as she was about to
return, he gave her a bottle, saying that there was very little valuable
property (_waiwai_) contained in it, but that she must not open it, on
any account, until she reached the shore. As soon as she gained the
beach, she eagerly uncorked the bottle to examine her treasure, but
nothing was to be discovered,--the Fleas hopped out, and “they have gone
on hopping and biting ever since.”[1020]

Our pigmy tormentor, _Pulex irritans_, in the opinion of some, seems to
have been regarded as an agreeable rather than a repulsive object. “Dear
Miss,” said a lively old lady to a friend of Kirby and Spence (who had
the misfortune to be confined to her bed by a broken limb, and was
complaining that the Fleas tormented her), “don’t you like _Fleas_?
Well, I think they are the prettiest little merry things in the
world.--I never saw a dull Flea in all my life.”[1021] Dr. Townson, as
mentioned by the above writers, from the encomium which he bestows upon
these vigilant little vaulters, as supplying the place of an alarum and
driving us from the bed of sloth, should seem to have regarded them with
the same happy feelings.[1022]

When Ray and Willughby were traveling, they found “at Venice and
Augsburg Fleas for sale, and at a small price too, decorated with steel
or silver collars around their necks, of which Willughby purchased one.
When they are kept in a box amongst wool or cloth, in a warm place, and
fed once a day, they will live a long time. When they begin to suck they
erect themselves almost perpendicularly, thrusting their sucker, which
originates in the middle of the forehead, into the skin. The itching is
not felt immediately, but a little afterwards. As soon as they are full
of blood, they begin to void a portion of it, and thus, if permitted,
they will continue for many hours sucking and voiding. After the first
itching no uneasiness is subsequently felt. Willughby’s Flea lived for
three months by sucking in this manner the blood of his hand; it was at
length killed by the cold of winter.”[1023]

We read in Purchas’s Pilgrims that a city of the Miantines is said to
have been dispeopled by Fleas;[1024] and Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, who
found these insects more tormenting than all the other plagues of the
Missouri country, say they sometimes here compel even the natives to
shift their quarters.[1025]

Dr. Clarke was informed by an Arab Sheikh that “the king of the Fleas
held his court at Tiberias.”[1026]

To prevent Fleas from breeding, Pliny gives the following curious
recipe: “Since I have made mention of the cuckow,” says this writer,
“there comes into my mind a strange and miraculous matter that the said
magicians report of this bird; namely, that if a man, the first time
that he heareth her to sing, presently stay his right foot in the very
place where it was when he heard her, and withal mark out the point and
just proportion of the said foot upon the ground as it stood, and then
digg up the earth under it within the said compasse, look what chamber
or roume of the house is strewed with the said mould, there will no
Fleas bread there.”[1027]

Thomas Hill, in his Naturall and Artificiall Conclusions, printed 1650,
quotes this passage from Pliny, calling it “A very easie and merry
conceit to keep off fleas from your beds or chambers.”[1028]

The Hungarian shepherds grease their linen with hogs’ lard, and thus
render themselves so disgusting even to the Fleas and Lice, as to put
them effectually to flight.[1029]

There is still shown in the Arsenal at Stockholm a diminutive piece of
ordnance, four or five inches in length, with which, report says, on the
authority of Linnæus, the celebrated Queen Christiana used to cannonade

But, seriously, if you wish for an effectual remedy, that prescribed by
old Tusser, in his Points of Goode Husbandry, in the following lines,
will answer your purpose:

    While wormwood hath seed, get a handfull or twaine,
    To save against March, to make flea to refraine:
    Where chamber is sweeped and wormwood is strown,
    No flea for his life dare abide to be known.

The inhabitants of Dalecarlia place the skins of hares in their
apartments, in which the Fleas willingly take refuge, so that they are
easily destroyed by the immersion of the skin in scalding water.[1031]

Pamphilius among others gives the following remedies against Fleas: If a
person, he says, sets a dish in the middle of the house, and draws a
line around it with an iron sword (it will be better if the sword has
done execution), and if he sprinkles the rest of the house, excepting
the place circumscribed, with an irrigation of staphisagria, or of
powdered leaves of the bay-tree, they having been boiled in brine or in
sea-water, he will bring all the Fleas together into the dish. A jar
also being set in the ground with its edge even with the pavement, and
smeared with bulls’ fat, will attract all the Fleas, even those that are
in the wardrobe. If you enter a place where there are Fleas, express the
usual exclamation of distress, and they will not touch you. Make a small
trench under a bed, and pour goats’ blood into it, and it will bring all
the Fleas together, and it will allure those from your clothing. Fleas
may be removed also, concludes this writer, from the most villous and
from the thickest pieces of tapestry, whither, they betake themselves
when full, if goats’ blood is set in a vessel or in a cork.[1032]

Moufet says: “A Gloeworm, set in the middle of the house, drives away

On the subject of destroying Fleas, the following pleasant piece of
satire, by Poor Humphrey, will be read with a smile: “A notable
projector became notable by one project only, which was a certain
specific for the killing of fleas, and it was in form of a powder, and
sold in papers, with plain directions for use, as followeth: The flea
was to be held conveniently between the thumb and finger of the left
hand; and to the end of the trunk or proboscis, which protrudeth in the
flea, somewhat as the elephant’s doth, a very small quantity of the
powder was to be put from between the thumb and finger of the right
hand. And the deviser undertook, if any flea to whom his powder was so
administered should prove to have afterwards bitten a purchaser who used
it, then that purchaser should have another paper of the said powder
gratis. And it chanced that the first paper thereof was bought idly, as
it were, by an old woman, and she, without meaning to injure the
inventor, or his remedy, but, of her mere harmlessness, did innocently
ask him, whether, when she had caught the flea, and after she had got
it, as before described, if she should kill it with her nail it would
not be as well. Whereupon the ingenious inventor was so astonished by
the question, that, not knowing what to answer on the sudden occasion,
he said with truth to this effect, that without doubt her way would do,
too. And according to the belief of Poor Humphrey, there is not as yet
any device more certain or better for destroying a flea, when thou hast
captured him, than the ancient manner of the old woman’s, or instead
thereof, the drowning of him in fair water, if thou hast it by thee at
the time.”[1034]

The old English hunters report that foxes are full of Fleas, and they
tell the following queer story how they get rid of them: “The fox,” say
they, as recorded by Mouffet, “gathers some handfuls of wool from
thorns and briars, and wrapping it up, he holds it fast in his mouth,
then goes by degrees into a cold river, and dipping himself close by
little and little, when he finds that all the Fleas are crept so high as
his head for fear of drowning, and so for shelter crept into the wool,
he barks and spits out the wool, full of Fleas, and so very froliquely
being delivered from their molestation, he swims to land.”[1035]

Ramsay thus alludes to this story:

    Then sure the lasses, and ilk gaping coof,
    Wad rin about him, and had out their loof.
    _M._ As fast as fleas skip to the tale of woo,
    Whilk slee Tod Lowrie (the fox) hads without his mow,
    When he to drown them, and his hips to cool,
    In summer days slides backward in a pool.[1036]

Preceding this story, Mouffet makes the following observations: “The
lesser, leaner, and younger they are, the sharper they bite, the fat
ones being more inclined to tickle and play; and then are not the least
plague, especially when in greater numbers, since they molest men that
are sleeping, and trouble wearied and sick persons; from whom they
escape by skipping; for as soon as they find they are arraigned to die,
and feel the finger coming, on a sudden they are gone, and leap here and
there, and so escape the danger; but so soon as day breaks, they forsake
the bed. They then creep into the rough blankets, or hide themselves in
rushes and dust, lying in ambush for pigeons, hens, and other birds,
also for men and dogs, moles and mice, and vex such as passe by.”[1037]

It is frequently affirmed that asses are never troubled with Fleas or
other vermin; and, among the superstitious, it is said that it is all
owing to the riding of Christ upon one of these animals.[1038]

Willsford, in his Nature’s Secrets, printed 1658, p. 130, says: “The
little sable beast (called a _Flea_), if much thirsting after blood, it
argues rain.”[1039]

It is related that the Devil, teasing St. Domingo in the shape of a
Flea, skipped upon his book, when the saint fixed him as a mark where
he left off, and continued to use him so through the volume.[1040]

Fleas infesting beds were attributed to the envy of the Devil.[1041]

Giles Fletcher says that Iwan Yasilowich sent to the City of Moscow to
provide for him a measure full of Fleas for a medicine. They answered
that it was impossible, and if they could get them, yet they could not
measure them because of their leaping out. Upon which he set a mulct
upon the city of seven thousand rubles.[1042]

We read in Purchas’s Pilgrims that the Jews were not permitted to burn
Fleas in the flame of their lamps on Sabbath evenings.[1043]

The muscular power of the Flea is so great that it can leap to the
distance of two hundred times its own length, which will appear the more
surprising when we consider that a man, were he endowed with equal
strength and agility, would be able to leap between three and four
hundred yards. Aristophanes, in his usual licentious way, ridicules the
great Socrates for his pretended experiments on this great muscular

    _Disciple._ That were not lawful to reveal to strangers.

    _Strepsiades._ Speak boldly then as to a fellow-student;
    For therefore am I come.

    _Disc._                  Then I will speak;
    But set it down among our mysteries.
    It is a question put to Chærophon
    By our great master Socrates to answer,
    How many of his own lengths at a spring
    A Flea can hop; for one by chance had skipp’d
    Straight from the brow of Chærophon to th’ head
    Of Socrates.

    _Streps._    And how did then the sage
    Contrive to measure this?

    _Disc._                   Most dext’rously.
    He dipp’d the insect’s feet in melted wax,
    Which hard’ning into slippers as it cool’d,
    By these computed he the question’d space.

    _Streps._ O Jupiter, what subtilty of thought![1044]

The witty Butler has also commemorated the same circumstance in his
justly celebrated poem of Hudibras:

    How many scores a Flea will jump
    Of his own length, from head to rump;
    Which Socrates and Chærophon
    In vain assay’d so long agon.

As illustrative of the strength of the Flea, the following facts may
also be given: We read in a note to Purchas’s Pilgrims that “one Marke
Scaliot, in London, made a lock and key and chain of forty-three links,
all which a Flea did draw, and weighed but a grain and a half.”[1045]
Mouffet, who also records this fact, says he had heard of another Flea
that was harnessed to a golden chariot, which it drew with the greatest
ease.[1046] Bingley tells us that Mr. Boverick, an ingenious watchmaker
in the Strand, exhibited some years ago a little ivory chaise with four
wheels, and all its proper apparatus, and the figure of a man sitting on
the box, all of which were drawn by a single Flea. The same mechanic
afterward constructed a minute landau, which opened and shut by springs,
with the figures of six horses harnessed to it, and of a coachman on the
box, a dog between his legs, four persons inside, two footmen behind it,
and a postillion riding on one of the fore horses, which were all easily
dragged along by a single Flea. He likewise had a chain of brass, about
two inches long, containing two hundred links, with a hook at one end
and a padlock and key at the other, which a Flea drew nimbly
along.[1047] At a fair of Charlton, in Kent, 1830, a man exhibited three
Fleas harnessed to a carriage in form of an omnibus, at least fifty
times their own bulk, which they pulled along with great ease; another
pair drew a chariot, and a single Flea a brass cannon. The exhibitor
showed the whole first through a magnifying glass, and then to the naked
eye; so that all were satisfied there was no deception.[1048] Latrielle
also mentions a Flea of a moderate size, which dragged a silver cannon,
mounted on wheels, that was twenty-four times its own weight, and which
being charged with gunpowder was fired off without the Flea appearing in
the least alarmed.[1049]

It is recorded in Purchas’s Pilgrims that an Egyptian artisan received a
garment of cloth of gold for binding a Flea in a chain.[1050]

The Flea is twice mentioned in the Bible, and in both cases David, in
speaking to Saul, applies it to himself as a term of humility.[1051]

A Prussian poet, quoted by Jaeger,[1052] gives us the song of a young
Flea who had emigrated to this country from Prussia, and thus expresses
his dissatisfaction to his sweetheart:

    Kennst de nunmehr das Land, we Dorngestripp und Disteln blüh’n,
    Im frost’gen Wald nur eckelhafte Tannenzapfen glüh’n,
    Der Schierling tief, und hoch der Sumach steht,
    Ein rauher Wind vom schwarzen Himmel weht;
    Kennst du es wohl? O lass uns eilig zieh’n,
    Und schnell zurück in unsre Hiemath flieh’n!

An English prose translation of which is: “Know’st thou now this
country, where only briars and thistles bloom; where ugly fur-nuts only
glow in the icy forest; where down in the vale the fetid hemlock grows,
and on the hills the poisonous sumach; where heavy winds blow from black
clouds over desolate lands? Dost thou not know of this country? Oh,
then, let us fly in haste and return to our own fatherland!”

“To send one away with a Flea in his ear,” is a very old English phrase,
meaning to dismiss one with a rebuke.[1053] “Flea-luggit” is the
Scottish--to be unsettled or confused.[1054]

There is a collection of poems called “La Puce des grands jours de
Poitiers”--the Flea of the carnival of Poitiers. The poems were begun by
the learned Pasquier, who edited the collection, upon a Flea which was
found one morning in the bosom of the famous Catherine des Roches.[1055]

During the winter of 1762, at Norwich, England, after a chilling storm
of snow and wind that had destroyed many lives, myriads of Fleas were
found skipping about on the snow.[1056]

To the Pulicidæ belongs also a native of the West Indies and South
America, the _Pulex penetrans_, variously named in the countries where
it is found, Chigoe, Jigger, Nigua, Tungua, and Pique. According to
Stedman, this “is a kind of small sand-flea, which gets in between the
skin and the flesh without being felt, and generally under the nails of
the toes, where, while it feeds, it keeps growing till it becomes of the
size of a pea, causing no further pain than a disagreeable itching. In
process of time, its operation appears in the form of a small bladder,
in which are deposited thousands of eggs, or nits, and which, if it
breaks, produce so many young Chigoes, which, in course of time, create
running ulcers, often of very dangerous consequence to the patient; so
much so, indeed, that I knew a soldier the soles of whose feet were
obliged to be cut away before he could recover; and some men have lost
their limbs by amputation--nay, even their lives--by having neglected in
time to root out these abominable vermin. The moment, therefore, that a
redness and itching more than usual are perceived, it is time to extract
the Chigoe that occasions them. This is done with a sharp-pointed
needle, taking care not to occasion unnecessary pain, and to prevent the
Chigoe from breaking in the wound. Tobacco ashes are put into the
orifice, by which in a little time the sore is perfectly healed.”[1057]
The female slaves are generally employed to extract these pests, which
they do with uncommon dexterity. Old Ligon tells us he had ten Chigoes
taken out of his feet in a morning “by the most unfortunate
Yarico,”[1058] whose tragical story is now so celebrated in prose and
verse. Mr. Southey says that many of the first settlers of Brazil,
before they knew the remedy to extract the Chigoes, lost their feet in
the most dreadful manner.[1059]

Walton, in his Present State of the Spanish Colonies, tells us of a
Capuchin friar, who carried away with him a colony of Chigoes in his
foot as a present to the Scientific Colleges in Europe; but,
unfortunately for himself and for science, the length of the voyage
produced mortification in his leg, that it became necessary to cut it
off to save the zealous missionary’s life, and the leg, with all its
inhabitants, were tumbled together into the sea.[1060]

Humboldt observes “that the whites born in the torrid zone walk barefoot
with impunity in the same apartment where a European, recently landed,
is exposed to the attack of this animal. The _Nigua_, therefore,
distinguishes what the most delicate chemical analysis could not
distinguish, the cellular membrane and blood of an European from those
of a Creole white.”[1061]




At Hurdenburg, in Sweden, Mr. Hurst tells us the mode of choosing a
burgomaster is this: The persons eligible sit around, with their beards
upon a table; a Louse is then put in the middle of the table, and the
one, in whose beard this insect first takes cover, is the magistrate for
the ensuing year.[1062]

Respecting the revenue of Montecusuma, which consisted of the natural
products of the country, and what was produced by the industry of his
subjects, we find the following story in Torquemada: “During the abode
of Montecusuma among the Spaniards, in the palace of his father, Alonzo
de Ojeda one day espied in a certain apartment of the building a number
of small bags tied up. He imagined at first that they were filled with
gold dust, but on opening one of them, what was his astonishment to find
it quite full of Lice? Ojeda, greatly surprised at the discovery he had
made, immediately communicated what he had seen to Cortes, who then
asked Marina and Anguilar for some explanation. They informed him that
the Mexicans had such a sense of their duty to pay tribute to their
monarch, that the poorest and meanest of the inhabitants, if they
possessed nothing better to present to their king, daily cleaned their
persons, and saved all the Lice they caught, and that when they had a
good store of these, they laid them in bags at the feet of their
monarch.” Torquemada further remarks, that his reader might think these
bags were filled with small worms (gasanillos), and not with Lice; but
appeals to Alonzo de Ojeda, and another of Cortes’ soldiers, named
Alonzo de Mata, who were eye-witnesses of the fact.[1063]

Oviedo pretends to have observed that Lice, at the elevation of the
tropics, abandon the Spanish sailors that are going to the Indies, and
attack them again at the same point on their return. The same is
reported in Purchas’s Pilgrims.[1064] One of the supplementary writers
to Cuvier’s History of Insects says: “This is an observation that has
need of being corroborated by more certain testimonies than we are yet
in possession of. But, if true, there would be nothing in the fact very
surprising. A degree of considerable heat, and a more abundant
perspiration, might prove unfavorable to the propagation of the
_Pediculi corporis_. As their skin is more tender, the influence of the
air might prove detrimental to them in those burning climates.”[1065]

We read in Purchas’s Pilgrims, that “if Lice doe much annoy the natives
of Cambaia and Malabar, they call to them certain Religious and holy
men, after their account: and these Observants y will take upon them all
those Lice which the other can find, and put them on their head, there
to nourish them. But yet for all this lousie scruple, they stick not to
coozenage by falese weights, measures, and coyne, nor at usury and

In a side-note to this curious passage, we find: “The like lousie trick
is reported in the Legend of S. _Francis_, and in the life of Ignatius,
of one of the Jesuitical pillars, by Moffæus.”

Steedman says of the Caffres, that “except an occasional plunge in a
river, they never wash themselves, and consequently their bodies are
covered with vermin. On a fine day their karosses are spread out in the
sun, and as their tormentors creep forth they are doomed to destruction.
It often happens that one Caffir performs for another the kind office of
collecting these insects, in which case he preserves the entomological
specimens, carefully delivering them to the person to whom they
originally appertained, supposing, according to their theory, that as
they derived their support from the blood of the man from whom they were
taken, should they be killed by another, the blood of his neighbor would
be in his possession, thus placing in his hands the power of some
superhuman influence.”[1067]

Kolben says the Hottentots eat the largest of the Lice with which they
swarm; and that if asked how they can devour such detestable vermin,
they plead the law of retaliation, and urge that it is no shame to eat
those who would eat them--“They suck our blood, and we devour ’em in

We are assured in Purchas’s Pilgrims, that Lice and “long wormes” were
sold for food in Mexico.[1069] From this ancient collection of Travels,
we learn that when the Indians of the Province of Cuena are infected
with Lice, “they dresse and cleanse one another; and they that exercise
this, are for the most part women, who eate all that they take, and have
herein (eating?) such dexterity by reason of their exercise, that our
own men cannot lightly attaine thereunto.”[1070]

The Budini, a people of Scythia, commonly feed upon Lice and other
vermin bred upon their bodies.[1071]

Mr. Wafer, in his description of the Isthmus of America, says: “The
natives have Lice in their Heads, which they feel out with their
Fingers, and eat as they catch them.”[1072] Dobrizhoffer also mentions
that Lice are eaten by the Indian women of South America.[1073]

The disgusting practice of eating these vermin is not confined to the
Hottentots, the Negroes of Western Africa, the Simiæ, and the American
Indians, for it has been observed to prevail among the beggars of Spain
and Portugal.[1074]

Schroder, in his History of Animals that are useful in Physic, says:
“Lice are swallowed by country people against the jaundice.”[1075] As a
specific against this disease, Beaumont and Fletcher thus allude to

    Die of the jaundice, yet have the cure about you: lice, large lice,
    begot of your own dust and the heat of the brick kilns.[1076]

Lice were also made use of in cases of Atrophy, and Dioscorides says
they were employed in suppressions of urine, being introduced into the
canal of the urethra.[1077]

In the Gentleman’s Magazine for 1746, there is a curious letter on “a
certain _creature_, of rare and extraordinary qualities”--a Louse,
containing many humorous observations on this “_lover_ of the human
race,” and concluding with some queries as to its origin and
pedigree. “Was it,” the writer asks, “created within the six days
assigned by _Moses_ for the formation of all things? If so, where was
its habitation? We can hardly suppose that it was quartered on _Adam_
or his lady, the neatest, nicest pair (if we believe _John Milton_)
that ever joyned hands. And yet, as it disdained to graze the fields,
or lick the dust for sustenance, where else could it have had its

In a modern account of Scotland, written by an English gentleman, and
printed in the year 1670, we find the following: “In that interval
between Adam and Moses, when the Scottish Chronicle commences, the
country was then baptized (and most think with the sign of the cross) by
the venerable name of Scotland, from Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh,
King of Egypt. Hence came the rise and name of these present
inhabitants, as their Chronicle informs us, and is not to be doubted of,
from divers considerable circumstances; the plagues of Egypt being
entailed upon them, that of Lice (being a judgment unrepealed) is an
ample testimony, these loving animals accompanied them from Egypt, and
remain with them to this day, never forsaking them (but as rats leave a
house) till they tumble into their graves.”[1079]

Linnæus, seemingly very anxious to become an apologist for the Lice,
gravely observes that they probably preserve children who are troubled
with them, from a variety of complaints to which they would be

As an attempt toward discovering the intention of Providence in
permitting the frequency of these tormenting animals, the following
lines of Serenus may be given:

    See nature, kindly provident ordain
    Her gentle stimulants to harmless pain;
    Lest Man, the slave of rest, should waste away
    In torpid slumber life’s important day!

Of the horrible disease, Phthiriasis, occasioned by myriads of Lice,
_Pediculi_, and sometimes by Mites, _Acari_, and _Larvæ_ in general, I
shall but mention that the inhuman Pheretrina, Antiochus Epiphanes, the
Dictator Sylla, the two Herods, the Emperor Maximin, and Philip the
Second were among the number carried off by it.

Quintus Serenus speaks thus of the death of Sylla:

    Great Sylla too the fatal scourge hath known;
    Slain by a host far mightier than his own.

According to Pliny, Nits are destroyed by using dog’s fat, eating
serpents cooked like eels, or else taking their sloughs in drink.[1081]

In Leyden’s Notes to Complaynt of Scotland are recorded the following
few rhymes of the Gyre-carlin--the bug-bear of King James V.

    The Mouse, the Louse, and Little Rede,
    Were a’ to mak’ a gruel in a lead.

The two first associates desire Little Rede to go to the door, to “see
what he could see.” He declares that he saw the gyre-carlin coming,

    With spade, and shool, and trowel,
    To lick up a’ the gruel.

Upon which the party disperse:

    The Louse to the claith,
      And the Mouse to the wa’,
    Little Rede behind the door,
      And licket up a’.[1082]




The white spot on the back of a certain species of Wood-tic (_Acarus_)
is said to be the spot where the pin went through the body when Noah
pinned it in the Ark to keep it from troubling him.


A superstition obtains among our cow-boys that if a cow be lost, its
whereabouts may be learned by inquiring of the Daddy-Long-legs
(Phalangium), which points out the direction of the lost animal with one
of its fore legs.

In England, the Phalangium has been christened the Harvest-man, from a
superstitious belief that if it be killed there will be a bad


Concerning the generation of the Scorpion, Topsel, in his History of
Four-footed Beasts and Serpents, printed in 1658, treats as follows:

“Now, then, it followeth that we inquire about the manner of their
(Scorpions’) breed or generation, which I find to be double, as divers
authors have observed, one way is by putrefaction, and the other by
laying of egges, and both these ways are consonant to nature, for
Lacinius writeth that some creatures are generated only by propagation
of seed--such are men, vipers, whales, and the palm-tree; some again
only by putrefaction, as mice, Scorpions, Emmets, Spiders, purslain,
which, first of all, were produced by putrefaction, and since their
generation are conserved by the seed and egges of their own kinde. Now,
therefore, we will first of all speak of the generation of Scorpions by
putrefaction, and afterward by propagation.

“Pliny saith[1085] that when Sea-crabs dye, and their bodies are dried
upon the earth, when the sun entereth into Cancer and Scorpius, out of
the putrefaction thereof ariseth a Scorpion; and so out of the putrefied
body of the crefish burned arise Scorpions, which caused Ovid thus to

    Concava littoreo si demas brachia cancro,
    Cætera supponas terræ, de parte sepulta
    Scorpius exibit, caudaque minabitur unca.

And again:

    Obrutus exemptis cancer tellure lacertis,
    Scorpius exiguo tempore factus erit.

In English thus:

    If that the arms you take from Sea-crab-fish,
    And put the rest in earth till all consumed be,
    Out of the buried part a Scorpion will arise,
    With hooked tayl doth threaten for to hurt thee.

“And therefore it is reported by Ælianus that about Estamenus, in India,
there are abundance of Scorpions generated only by corrupt rain-water
standing in that place. Also out of the Basalisk beaten into pieces and
so putrefied are Scorpions engendered. And when as one had planted the
herb basilica on a wall, in the room or place thereof he found two
Scorpions. And some say that if a man chaw in his mouth fasting this
herb basill before he wash, and afterward lay the same abroad uncovered
where no sun cometh at it for the space of seven nights, taking it in
all the daytime, he shall at length finde it transmuted into a Scorpion,
with a tayl of seven knots.[1086]

“Hollerius,[1087] to take away all scruple of this thing, writeth that
in Italy in his dayes there was a man that had a Scorpion bred in his
brain by continuall smelling to this herb basill; and Gesner, by
relation of an apothecary in France, writeth likewise a story of a young
maid who, by smelling to basill, fell into an exceeding headache,
whereof she died without cure, and after death, being opened, there were
found little Scorpions in her brain.

“Aristotle remembreth an herb which he calleth sissimbria, out of which
putrefied Scorpions are engendered, as he writeth. And we have shewed
already, in the history of the Crocodile, that out of the Crocodile’s
egges do many times come Scorpions, which at their first egression do
kill their dam that hatched them, which caused Archelaus, which wrote
epigrams of wonders unto Ptolemæus, to sing of Scorpions in this manner:

    In vos dissolvit morte, et redigit crocodilum
    Natura extinctum, Scorpii omnipotens.

Which may be Englished thus:

    To you by Scorpions death the omnipotent
    Ruines the crocodil in nature’s life extinct.”[1088]

The remarks referred to by Topsel in the last paragraph in his history
of the Crocodile are as follows:

“It is said by Philes that, after the egge is laid by the crocodile,
many times there is a cruel Stinging Scorpion which cometh out thereof,
and woundeth the crocodile that laid it.[1089]

“The Scorpion also and the crocodile are enemies one to the other, and
therefore when the Egyptians will describe the combat of two notable
enemies, they paint a crocodile and a Scorpion fighting together, for
ever one of them killeth another; but if they will decipher a speedy
overthrow to one’s enemy, then they picture a crocodile; if a slow and
slack victory, they picture a Scorpion.”[1090]

“Some maintain,” says Moufet, “that they (Scorpions) are not bred by
copulation, but by exceeding heat of the sun. Ælian, _lib. 6_, _de Anim.
cap. 22_, among whom Galen must first be blamed, who in his Book _de
fœt. form._ will not have nature, but chance to be the parent of
Scorpions, Flies, Spiders, Worms of all sorts, and he ascribes their
beginning to the uncertain constitutions of the heavens, place, matter,
heat, etc.”[1091]

Topsel further says: “The principall of all other subjects of their (the
Scorpions’) hatred are virgins and women, whom they do not only desire
to harm, but also when they have harmed are never perfectly recovered.

“The lion is by the Scorpion put to flight wheresoever he seeith it, for
he feareth it as the enemy of his life, and therefore writeth S.
Ambrose, _Exiguo Scorpionis aculeo exagitatur leo_, the lion is much
moved at the small sting of a Scorpion.”[1092]

Naude tells us that there is a species of Scorpions in Italy, which are
so domesticated as to be put between sheets to cool the beds during the
heat of summer.[1093] Pliny mentions that the Scorpions of Italy are

Among the curious things recorded by Pliny concerning the Scorpion, the
following have been selected: Some writers, he says, are of opinion that
the Scorpion devours its offspring, and that the one among the young
which is the most adroit avails itself of its sole mode of escape by
placing itself on the back of the mother, and thus finding a place where
it is in safety from the tail and the sting. The one that thus escapes,
they say, becomes the avenger of the rest, and at last, taking
advantage of its elevated position, puts its parent to death.[1095]

According to Pliny, those who carry the plant “tricoccum,” or, as it is
also called, “scorpiuron,”[1096] about their person are never stung by a
Scorpion, and it is said, he continues, that if a circle is traced on
the ground around a Scorpion with a sprig of this plant, the animal will
never move out of it, and that if a Scorpion is covered with it, or even
sprinkled with the water in which it has been steeped, it will die that

Attalus assures us, says Pliny, that if a person, the moment he sees a
Scorpion, says “Duo,”[1098] the reptile will stop short and forbear to

Concerning Scorpions, Diophanes, contemporary with Cæsar and Cicero, has
collected the following several opinions of the more ancient writers: If
you take a Scorpion, he says, and burn it, the others will betake
themselves to flight: and if a person carefully rubs his hands with the
juice of radish, he may without fear and danger take hold of Scorpions,
and of other reptiles: and radishes laid on Scorpions instantly destroy
them. You will also cure the bite of a Scorpion, by applying a silver
ring to the place. A suffumigation of sandarach[1100] with galbanum, or
goat’s fat, will drive away Scorpions and every other reptile. If a
person will also boil a Scorpion in oil, and will rub the place bit by a
Scorpion, he will stop the pain.[1101] But Apuleius says, that if a
person bit by a Scorpion sits on an ass, turned toward its tail, that
the ass suffers the pain, and that it is destroyed.[1102] Democritus
says that a person bit by a Scorpion, who instantly says to his ass, “A
Scorpion has bit me,” will suffer no pain, but it passes to the
ass.[1103] The newt has an antipathy to the Scorpion: if a person,
therefore, melts a newt in oil, and applies the oil to the person that
is bitten, he frees him from pain. The same author also says that the
root of a rose-tree being applied, cures persons bit by Scorpions.
Plutarch recommends to fasten small nuts to the feet of the bed, that
Scorpions may not approach it. Zoroaster says that lettuce-seed, being
drunk with wine, cures persons bit by Scorpions. Florentinus says, if
one applies the juice of the fig to the wound of a person just bitten,
that the poison will proceed no farther; or, if the person bit eat
squill, he will not be hurt, but he will say that the squill is pleasant
to his palate. Tarentinus also says that a person holding the herb
sideritis may take hold of Scorpions, and not be hurt by them.[1104]
Dioscorides, among many other remedies for the sting of the Scorpion,
prescribes “a fish called _Lacerta_, salted and cut in pieces; the
barbel fish cut in two; the flesh of a fish called _Smaris_; house-mice
cut asunder; horse or ass dung; the shell of an Indian small nut; ram’s
flesh burnt; mummie, four grains, with butter and cow’s milk; a broiled
Scorpion eaten; river-crabs raw and bruised, and drank with asses’ milk:
locusts broiled and eaten,” etc. Rabby Moyses prescribes pigeon’s dung
dried; Constantinus, hens’ dung, or the heart applied outwardly;
Anatolius, crows’ dung; Averrhois, the bezoar-stone; Monus, silver;
Silvaticus, from Serapis, pewter; and Orpheus, coral.

“Quintus Serenus writes thus, and adviseth:

    These are small things, but yet their wounds are great,
    And in pure bodies lurking do most harm,
    For when our senses inward do retreat,
    And men are fast asleep, they need some charm,
    The Spider and the cruel Scorpion
    Are wont to sting, witnesse great Orion,
    Slayn by a Scorpion, for poysons small
    Have mighty force, and therefore presently
    Lay on a Scorpion bruised, to recall
    The venome, or sea-water to apply
    Is held full good, such virtue is in brine,
    And ’tis approved to drink your fill of wine.

“And Macer writes of houseleek thus:

    Men say that houseleek hath so soveraign a might,
    Who carries but that, no Scorpion can him bite.”[1105]

The natives of South Africa, when bitten by a Scorpion, apply, as a
remedy, a living frog to the wound, into which animal it is supposed the
poison is transferred from the wound, and it dies; then they apply
another, which dies also: the third perhaps only becomes sickly, and the
fourth no way affected. When this is observed, the poison is considered
to be extracted, and the patient cured. Another method is to apply a
kidney, scarlet, or other bean, which swells; then apply another and
another, till the bean ceases to be affected, when they consider the
poison extracted.[1106]

There is a vast desert tract, says Pliny, on this side of the Ethiopian
Cynamolgi--the “dog-milkers”--the inhabitants of which were exterminated
by Scorpions and venomous ants.[1107]

Navarette tells us, in the account of his voyage to the Philippine
Islands, that there was there in practice a good and easy remedy against
the Scorpions which abound in that country. This was, when they went to
bed, to make a commemoration of St. George. He himself, he says, for
many years continued this devotion, and, “God be praised,” he adds, “the
Saint always delivered me both there and in other countries from those
and such like insects.” He confesses, however, they used another remedy
besides, which was to rub all about the beds with garlic.[1108]

Navarette[1109] and Barbot[1110] both tell us that a certain remedy
against the sting of a Scorpion, is to rub the wound with a child’s
private member. This, the latter adds, immediately takes away the pain,
and then the venom exhales. The moisture that comes from a hen’s mouth,
Barbot says, is also good for the same.

The Persians believe that Scorpions may be deprived of the power of
stinging, by means of a certain prayer which they make use of for that
purpose. The person who has the power of “binding the Scorpion,” as it
is called, turns his face toward the sign Scorpio, in the heavens, and
repeats this prayer; while every person present, at the conclusion of a
sentence, claps his hands. After this is done they think that they are
perfectly safe; nor, if they should chance to see any Scorpions during
that night, do they scruple to take hold of them, trusting to the
efficacy of this fancied all-powerful charm. “I have frequently seen,”
says Francklin, “the man in whose family I lived, repeat the
above-mentioned prayer, on being desired by his children to bind the
Scorpions; after which the whole family has gone quietly and contentedly
to bed, fully persuaded that they could receive no hurt by them.”[1111]

Bell says the Persians “have such a dread of these creatures, that, when
provoked by any person, they wish a Kashan Scorpion may sting

An old story is, that a Scorpion surrounded with live coals, finding no
method of escaping, grows desperate from its situation, and stings
itself to death. This, though considered a mere fable of antiquity, may
still have some truth, if we believe the following from the pen of
Ulloa: “We more than once,” says this traveler, “entertained ourselves
with an experiment of putting a Scorpion into a glass vessel, and
injecting a little smoke of tobacco, and immediately by stopping it
found that its aversion to this smell is such, that it falls into the
most furious agitations, till, giving itself several stings on the head,
it finds relief by destroying itself.”[1113] There is also told a story
in the East Indies, that “the Scorpion is sometimes so pestered with the
pismires, that he stings himself to death in the head with his tail, and
so becomes a prey to the pismires.”[1114]

The Scorpion was an emblem of the Egyptian goddess Selk; and she is
usually found represented with this animal bound upon her head.[1115]

Ælian mentions Scorpions of Coptos, which, though inflicting a deadly
sting, and dreaded by the people, so far respected the Egyptian goddess
Isis, who was particularly worshiped in that city, that women, in going
to express their grief before her, walked with bare feet, or lay upon
the ground, without receiving any injury from them.[1116]

The Ethiopians that dwell near the River Hydaspis commonly eat Scorpions
and serpents without the slightest harm, “which certainly proceeds from
no other thing than a secret and wonderful constitution of the body!”
says Mercurialis.[1117]

Lutfullah, the learned Mohammedan gentleman, in his Autobiography,
relates the following:

“On the morning of the 11th (April, 1839), I ordered my servant boy to
shake my bedding and put it in the sun for an hour or so, that the
moisture imbibed by the quilt might be dried. As soon as the quilt was
removed from its place, what did I behold but an immense Scorpion,
tapering towards its tail of nine vertebræ, armed with a sting at the
end, crawling with impunity at the edge of the carpet. I had never seen
such a large monster before. It was black in the body, with small
bristles all over, dark green in the tail, and red at the sting. This
hideous sight rendered me and the servant horror-struck. In the mean
time, an Afghan friend of mine, by name Ata Mohamed Khan Kakar, a
respectable resident of the town, honoured me with a visit, and, seeing
the reptile, observed, ‘Lutfullah, you are a lucky man, having made a
narrow escape this morning. This cursed worm is called Jerrara, and its
fatal sting puts a period to animal life in a moment; return, therefore,
your thanks to the Lord, all merciful, who gave you a new life in having
saved you from the mortal sting of this evil bed-companion of yours.’ ‘I
have no fear of the worm,’ replied I, ‘for it dare not sting me unless
it is written in the book of fate to be stung by it.’ Saying this, I
made the animal crawl into a small earthen vessel, and stopped the mouth
of it with clay; and then making a large fire, I put the vessel therein
for an hour or so, to turn the reptile into ashes, which, administered
in doses of half a grain to adults, are a specific remedy for violent
colicky pains.”[1118]

The ashes of burnt Scorpions, besides being good for colicky pains, as
Lutfullah says, were often prescribed by the ancient physicians for
stone in the bladder;[1119] and Topsel, quoting Kiranides, has the
following: “If a man take a vulgar Scorpion and drown the same in a
porringer of oyl in the wane of the moon, and therewithall afterward
anoynt the back from the shoulders to the hips, and also the head and
forehead, with the tips of the fingers and toes of one that is a
demoniack or a lunatick person, it is reported, that he shall ease and
cure him in short time. And the like is reported of the Scorpion’s sting
joyned with the top of basil wherein is seed, and with the heart of a
swallow, all included in a piece of harts skin.”[1120] The oil of
Scorpions, Brassavolus says, “drives out worms miraculously;” and oil of
Scorpions’ and vipers’ “tongues is a most excellent remedy against the
plague, as Crinitus testifies, i. 7.”[1121] Galen prescribes Scorpions
for jaundice, and Kiranides the same for the several kinds of ague.
“Plinius Secundus saith, that a quartan ague, as the magicians report,
will be cured in three daies by a Scorpion’s four last joynts of his
tail, together with the gristle of his ear, so wrapped up in a black
cloth, that the sick patient may neither perceive the Scorpion that is
applied, nor him that bound it on.... Samonicus commends Scorpions
against pains in the eyes, in these verses:

    If that some grievous pain perplex thy sight,
    Wool wet in oyl is good bound on all night.
    Carry about thee a live Scorpion’s eye,
    Ashes of coleworts if thou do apply,
    With bruised frankincense, goat’s milk, and wine,
    One night will prove this remedy divine.”[1122]

The following Asiatic fable of the Scorpion and the Tortoise is from the
Beharistan of Jamy: A Scorpion, armed with pernicious sting and filthy
poison, undertook a journey. Coming to the bank of a wide river, he
stopped in great perplexity, wanting height of leg to cross over, yet
very unwilling to return. A Tortoise, seeing his situation, and moved
with compassion, took him on his back, sprang into the river, and was
swimming toward the opposite shore, when he heard a noise on his shell
as of something striking him; he called out to know what it was; the
ungrateful Scorpion answered, “It is the motion of my sting only, I
know it cannot affect you, but it is a habit which I cannot relinquish.”
“Indeed,” replied the Tortoise, “then I cannot do better than free so
evil-minded a creature from his bad disposition, and secure the good
from his malevolence.” Saying which he dived under the water, and the
waves soon carried the Scorpion beyond the bourn of existence.

    When, in this banquet house of vice and strife,
    A knave oft strikes the various stings of fraud,
    ’Tis best the sea of death ingulf him soon,
    That he be freed from man, and man from him.[1123]

Topsel, in his History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents, has the
following in his chapter on the Scorpion:

“There is a common adage, _Cornix Scorpium_, a Raven to a Scorpion, and
it is used against them that perish by their own inventions: when they
set upon others, they meet with their matches, as a raven did when it
preyed upon a Scorpion, thus described by Alciatus, under his title
_Justa ultio_, just revenge, saying as followeth:

    Raptabat volucer captum pede corvus in auras
      Scorpion, audaci præmia parta gulæ.
    Ast ille infuso sensim per membra venemo,
      Raptorem in stygias compulit ultor aquas.
    O risu res digna! aliis qui fata parabat,
      Ipse periit, propriis succubuitque dolis.

Which may be Englished thus:

    The ravening crow for prey a Scorpion took
      Within her foot, and therewithal aloft did flie,
    But he empoysoned her by force and stinging stroke,
      So ravener in the Stygian Lake did die.
    O sportfull game! that he which other for bellyes sake did kill,
    By his own deceit should fall into death’s will.

“There be some learned writers, who have compared a Scorpion to an
epigram, or rather an epigram to a Scorpion, because as the sting of the
Scorpion lyeth in the tayl, so the force and vertue of an epigram is in
the conclusion, for _vel acriter salse mordeat, vel jucunde atque
dulciter delectet_, that is, either let it bite sharply at the end, or
else delight pleasingly.”[1124]

Araneidæ--True Spiders.

    A little head and body small,
    With slender feet and very tall,
    Belly great, and from thence come all
    The webs it spins.--MOUFET.[1125]

“Domitian sometime,” says Hollingshed incidentally in his Chronicles of
England, “and an other prince yet living, delited so much to see the
iollie combats betwixt a stout Flie and an old Spider.... Some parasites
also in the time of the aforesaid emperour (when they were disposed to
laugh at his follie, and yet would seem in appearance to gratifie his
fantasticall head with some shew of dutiful demenour) could devise to
set their lorde on worke, by letting a fresh flie privilie into his
chamber, which he foorthwith would egerlie have hunted (all other
businesse set apart) and never ceased till he had caught him in his
fingers: whereupon arose the proverbe ‘ne musca quidem,’ altered first
by Vitius Priscus, who being asked whether anie bodie was with Domitian,
answered ‘ne musca quidem,’ whereby he noted his follie. There are some
cockes combs here and there in England, learning it abroad as men
transregionate, which make account also of this pastime, as of a notable
matter, telling what a fight is seene betweene them, if either of them
be lustie and couragious in his kind. One also hath mad a booke of the
Spider and the Flie, wherein he dealeth so profoundlie, and beyond all
measure of skill, that neither he himself that made it, neither anie one
that readeth it can reach unto the meaning thereof.”[1126]

Chapelain, the author of Pucelle, was called by the academicians the
Knight of the Order of the Spider, because he was so avaricious, that
though he had an income of 13,000 livres, and more than 240,000 in ready
money, he wore an old coat so patched, pieced, and threadbare, that the
stitches exhibited no bad resemblance to the fibers produced by that
insect. Being one day present at a large party given by the great Condé,
a Spider of uncommon size fell from the ceiling upon the floor. The
company thought it could not have come from the roof, and all the
ladies at once agreed that it must have proceeded from Chapelain’s
wig;--the wig so celebrated by the well-known parody.[1127]

The often-told anecdote of the Scottish monarch, Robert Bruce, and the
cottage Spider, is thus related in Chambers’ Miscellany: While wandering
on the wild hills of Carrick, in order to escape the emissaries of
Edward, Robert the Bruce on one occasion passed the night under the
shelter of a poor deserted cottage. Throwing himself down on a heap of
straw, he lay upon his back, with his hands placed under his head,
unable to sleep, but gazing vacantly upward at the rafters of the hut,
disfigured with cobwebs. From thoughts long and dreary about the
hopelessness of the enterprise in which he was engaged, and the
misfortunes he had already encountered, he was roused to take interest
in the efforts of a poor industrious Spider, which had begun to ply its
vocation with the first gray light of morning. The object of the animal
was to swing itself, by its thread, from one rafter to another; but in
the attempt it repeatedly failed, each time vibrating back to the point
whence it had made the effort. Twelve times did the little creature try
to reach the desired spot, and as many times was it unsuccessful. Not
disheartened with its failure, it made the attempt once more, and, lo!
the rafter was gained. “The thirteenth time,” said Bruce, springing to
his feet; “I accept it as a lesson not to despond under difficulties,
and shall once more venture my life in the struggle for the independence
of my beloved country.” The result is well known.[1128]

It is related in the life of Mohammed, that when he and Abubeker were
fleeing for their lives before the Coreishites, they hid themselves for
three days in a cave, over the mouth of which a Spider spread its web,
and a pigeon laid two eggs there, the sight of which made the pursuers
not go in to search for them.[1129]

A similar story is told in the Lives of the Saints, of St. Felix of
Nola: “But the Saint,” says Butler, “in the mean time had slept a little
out of the way, and crept through a hole in a ruinous old wall, which
was instantly closed up by Spiders’ webs. His enemies, never imagining
anything could have lately passed where they saw so close a Spider’s
web, after a fruitless search elsewhere, returned in the evening without
their prey. Felix finding among the ruins, between two houses, an old
well half dry, hid himself in it for six months; and received during
that time wherewithal to subsist by means of a devout Christian

It is said of Heliogabalus, that, for the purpose of estimating the
magnitude of the City of Rome, he commanded a collection of Spiders to
be made.[1131]

Illustrative of the singularly pleasurable effect of music upon Spiders,
in the Historie de la Musique, et de ses Effets, we find the following

“Monsieur de ----, captain of the Regiment of Navarre, was confined six
months in prison for having spoken too freely of M. de Louvois, when he
begged leave of the governor to grant him permission to send for his
lute to soften his confinement. He was greatly astonished after four
days to see at the time of his playing the mice come out of their holes,
and the Spiders descend from their webs, who came and formed in a circle
round him to hear him with attention. This at first so much surprised
him, that he stood still without motion, when having ceased to play, all
those Spiders retired quietly into their lodgings; such an assembly made
the officer fall into reflections upon what the ancients had told of
Orpheus, Arion, and Amphion. He assured me he remained six days without
again playing, having with difficulty recovered from his astonishment,
not to mention a natural aversion he had for this sort of insects,
nevertheless he began afresh to give a concert to these animals, who
seemed to come every day in greater numbers, as if they had invited
others, so that in process of time he found a hundred of them about him.
In order to rid himself of them he desired one of the jailors to give
him a cat, which he sometimes shut up in a cage when he wished to have
this company and let her loose when he had a mind to dismiss them,
making it thus a kind of comedy that alleviated his imprisonment. I long
doubted the truth of this story, but it was confirmed to me six months
ago by M. P----, intendant of the duchy of V----, a man of merit and
probity, who played upon several instruments to the utmost excellence.
He told me that being at ----, he went into his chamber to refresh
himself after a walk, and took up a violin to amuse himself till supper
time, setting a light upon the table before him; he had not played a
quarter of an hour before he saw several spiders descend from the
ceiling, who came and ranged themselves round about the table to hear
him play, at which he was greatly surprised, but this did not interrupt
him, being willing to see the end of so singular an occurrence. They
remained on the table very attentively till somebody came to tell him
that supper was ready, when having ceased to play, he told me these
insects remounted to their webs, to which he would suffer no injury to
be done. It was a diversion with which he often entertained himself out
of curiosity.”[1132]

The Abbé Olivet has described an amusement of Pelisson during his
confinement in the Bastile for refusing to betray to the government
certain secrets intrusted to him by a friend who was a leading
politician at the court of Louis XIV., which consisted in feeding a
Spider, which he discovered forming its web across the only air-hole of
his cell. For some time he placed his flies at the edge of the window,
while a stupid Basque, his sole companion, played on a bagpipe. Little
by little the Spider used itself to distinguish the sound of the
instrument, and issued from its hole to run and catch its prey. Thus
calling it always by the same sound, and placing the flies at a still
greater distance, he succeeded, after several months, to drill the
Spider by regular exercise, so that at length it never failed appearing
at the first sound to seize on the fly provided for it, at the extremity
of the cell, and even on the knees of the prisoner.[1133]

At a ladies’ school at Kensington, England, an immense species of
Spider is said to be uncomfortably common; and that when the young
ladies sing their accustomed hymn or psalm before morning and evening
prayers, these Spiders make their appearance on the floor, or suspended
overhead from their webs in the ceiling, obviously attracted by the
“concord of sweet sounds.”[1134]

The following lines “to a Spider which inhabited a cell,” are from the
Anthologia Borealis et Australis:

    In this wild, groping, dark, and drearie cove,
      Of wife, of children, and of health bereft,
    I hailed thee, friendly Spider, who hadst wove
      Thy mazy net on yonder mouldering raft:
    Would that the cleanlie housemaid’s foot had left
      Thee tarrying here, nor took thy life away;
    For thou, from out this seare old ceiling’s cleft,
      Came down each morn to hede my plaintive lay;
    Joying like me to heare sweete musick play,
    Wherewith I’d fein beguile the dull, dark, lingering day.[1135]

“When the great and brilliant Lauzun was held in captivity, his only joy
and comfort was a friendly Spider: she came at his call; she took her
food from his finger, and well understood his word of command. In vain
did jailors and soldiers try to deceive his tiny companion; she would
not obey their voices, and refused the tempting bait from their hand.
Here, then, was not only an ear, but a keen power of distinction. The
despised little animal listened with sweet affection, and knew how to
discriminate between not unsimilar tones.”[1136]

Quatremer Disjonval, a Frenchman by birth, was an adjutant-general in
Holland, and took an active part on the side of the Dutch patriots when
they revolted against the Stadtholder. On the arrival of the Prussian
army under the Duke of Brunswick, he was immediately taken, tried, and,
having been condemned to twenty-five years’ imprisonment, was
incarcerated in a dungeon at Utrecht, where he remained eight years.
During this long confinement, by many curious observations upon his sole
companions, Spiders, he discovered that they were in the highest degree
sensitive of approaching changes in the atmosphere, and that their
retirement and reappearance, their weaving and general habits, were
intimately connected with the changes of the weather. In the reading of
these living barometers he became wonderfully accurate, so much so, that
he could prognosticate the approach of severe weather from ten to
fourteen days before it set in, which is proven by the following
remarkable fact, which led to his release: “When the troops of the
French republic overran Holland in the winter of 1794, and kept pushing
forward over the ice, a sudden and unexpected thaw, in the early part of
December, threatened the destruction of the whole army unless it was
instantly withdrawn. The French generals were thinking seriously of
accepting a sum offered by the Dutch, and withdrawing their troops, when
Disjonval, who hoped that the success of the republican army might lead
to his release, used every exertion, and at length succeeded in getting
a letter conveyed to the French general in 1795, in which he pledged
himself, from the peculiar actions of the Spiders, of whose movements he
was enabled to judge with perfect accuracy, that within fourteen days
there would commence a most severe frost, which would make the French
masters of all the rivers, and afford them sufficient time to complete
and make sure of the conquest they had commenced, before it should be
followed by a thaw. The commander of the French forces believed his
prognostication, and persevered. The cold weather, which Disjonval had
predicted, made its appearance in twelve days, and with such intensity,
that the ice over the rivers and canals became capable of bearing the
heaviest artillery. On the 28th of January, 1795, the French army
entered Utrecht in triumph; and Quatremer Disjonval, who had watched the
habits of his Spiders with so much intelligence and success, was, as a
reward for his ingenuity, released from prison.”[1137]

In Bartholomæus, De Proprietatibus Rerum (printed by Th. Berthelet, 27th
Henry VIII.), lib. xviii. fol. 314, speaking of Pliny, we read: “Also he
saythe, spynners (Spiders) ben tokens of divynation and of knowing what
wether shal fal, for oft by weders that shal fal, some spin and weve
higher or lower. Also he saythe, that multytude of spynners is token of
moche reyne.”[1138]

Willsford, in his Nature’s Secrets, p. 131, tells us: “Spiders creep out
of their holes and narrow receptacles against wind or rain; Minerva
having made them sensible of an approaching storm.”[1139]

Hone, in his Every Day Book, also mentions that from Spiders
prognostications as to the weather may be drawn; and gives the following
instructions to read this animal-barometer: “If the weather is likely to
become rainy, windy, or in other respects disagreeable, they fix the
terminating filaments, on which the whole web is suspended, unusually
short; and in this state they await the influence of a temperature which
is remarkably variable. On the contrary, if the terminating filaments
are uncommonly long, we may, in proportion to their length, conclude
that the weather will be serene, and continue so at least for ten or
twelve days. But if the Spiders be totally indolent, rain generally
succeeds; though, on the other hand, their activity during rain is the
most certain proof that it will be only of short duration, and followed
with fair and constant weather. According to further observations, the
Spiders regularly make some alterations in their webs or nets every
twenty-four hours; if these changes take place between the hours of six
and seven in the evening, they indicate a clear and pleasant

Pausanias tells us that after the slaughter at Chæronea, the Thebans
were obliged to place a guard within the walls of their city; but which,
however, after the death of Philip, and during the reign of Alexander,
they drove out. For this action, this historian continues, it was that
Divinity gave them tokens in the webs of Spiders of the destruction that
awaited them. For, during the battle at Leuctra, the Spiders in the
temple of Ceres Thesmophoros wove white webs about the doors; but when
Alexander and the Macedonians attacked their dominions, their webs were
found to be black.[1141]

It was thought by the Classical Ancients and the old English unlucky to
kill Spiders; and prognostications were made from their manner of
weaving their webs.[1142] It is still thought unlucky to injure these

Park has the following note in his copy of Bourne and Brande’s Popular
Antiquities, p. 93: “Small Spiders, termed _money-spinners_, are held by
many to prognosticate good luck, if they are not destroyed or injured,
or removed from the person on whom they are first observed.”

In Teviotdale, Scotland, “when Spiders creep on one’s clothes, it is
viewed as betokening good luck; and to destroy them is equivalent to
throwing stones at one’s own head.”[1143]

In Maryland, this superstition is thus expressed: If you kill a Spider
upon your clothing, you destroy the presents they are then weaving for

In the Secret Memoirs of Mr. Duncan Campbell, p. 60, in the chapter of
omens, we read that “others have thought themselves secure of receiving
money, if by chance a little Spider fell upon their clothes.”[1144]

“When a Spider is found upon your clothes, or about your person,” says a
writer in the Notes and Queries,[1145] “it signifies that you will
shortly receive some money. Old Fuller, who was a native of
Northamptonshire, thus quaintly moralizes this superstition: ‘When a
Spider is found upon your clothes, we used to say some money is coming
toward us. The moral is this: such who imitate the industry of that
contemptible creature may, by God’s blessing, weave themselves into
wealth and procure a plentiful estate.’”[1146]

A South Northamptonshire superstition of the present day is, that, in
order to propitiate money-spinners, they must be thrown over the left

It is most probable that Euclio, in Plautus’ Aulularia, would not
suffer the Spiders to be molested because they were considered to bring
good luck.

    _Staphyla._ Here in our house there’s nothing else for thieves to
    gain, so filled is it with emptiness and cobwebs.

    _Euclio._ You hag of hags, I choose those cobwebs to be watched for

A superstition prevails among us that if a Spider approaches, either by
crawling toward or descending from the ceiling to a person, it forebodes
good to such person; and, on the contrary, if the Spider runs hurriedly
away, it is an omen of bad luck. But if the Spider be a poisonous one,
or a Fly-catcher, and it approaches you, some evil is about to befall
you, which to avert you must cross your heart thrice.

If you kill a Spider crossing your path, you will have bad luck.

A Spider should not be killed in your house, but out of doors; if in the
house, our country people say you are “pulling down your house.”

If a Spider drops down from its web or from a tree directly in front of
a person, such person will see before night a dear friend.

A variety of this superstition is, that, if the Spider be white, it
foretells the acquaintance of a friend; and if black, an enemy.

In the Netherlands, a Spider seen in the morning forebodes good luck; in
the afternoon, bad luck.[1149]

There is a common saying at Winchester, England, that no Spider will
hang its web on the roof of Irish oak in the chapel or cloisters;[1150]
and the cicerone, who shows the cathedral church at St. David’s, points
out to the visitor that the choir is roofed with Irish oak, which does
not harbor Spiders, though cobwebs are plentifully seen in other parts
of the cathedral.[1151] This superstition (for it certainly is nothing
more)[1152] probably originated with the old story of St. Patrick’s
having exorcised and banished all kinds of vermin from Ireland.

The same virtue of repelling Spiders is attributed also to chestnut and
cedar wood;[1153] and the old roof at Turner’s Court, in
Gloucestershire, four miles from Bath, which is of chestnut, is said to
be perfectly free from cobwebs;[1154] hence also are the cloisters of
New College, and of Christ’s Church, in England, roofed with

A small Spider of a red color, called a Tainct in England, is accounted,
by the country people, a deadly poison to cows and horses; so when any
of their cattle die suddenly and swell up, to account for their deaths,
they say they have “licked a Tainct.” Browne thinks this is, most
probably, but a vulgar error.[1156]

It is a very ancient and curious belief that there exists a remarkable
enmity between the Spider and serpents,[1157] and more especially
between the Spider and the toad; and many curious stories are told of
the combats between these animals. The following, related by Erasmus,
which he asserts he had directly from one of the spectators, is probably
the most remarkable, and we insert it in the words of Dr. James: “A
person (a monk)[1158] lying along upon the floor of his chamber in the
summer-time to sleep in a supine posture, when a toad, creeping out of
some green rushes, brought just before in to adorn the chimney, gets
upon his face and with his feet sits across his lips. To force off the
toad, says the historian, would have been accounted death to the
sleeper; and to leave her there, very cruel and dangerous; so that upon
consultation, it was concluded to find out a Spider, which, together
with her web and the window she was fastened to, was brought carefully,
and so contrived as to be held perpendicularly to the man’s face; which
was no sooner done but the Spider, discovering his enemy, let himself
down and struck in his dart, afterward betaking himself up again to his
web: the toad swelled, but as yet kept his station. The second wound is
given quickly after by the Spider, upon which he swells yet more, but
remained alive still. The Spider, coming down again by his thread, gives
the third blow, and the toad, taking off his feet from over the man’s
mouth, fell off dead.”[1159]

The following cosmogony is found in the sacred writings of the Pundits
of India: A certain immense Spider was the origin, the first cause of
all things; which, drawing the matter from its own bowels, wove the web
of this universe, and disposed it with wonderful art; she, in the mean
time, sitting in the center of her work, feels and directs the motion of
every part, till at length, when she has pleased herself sufficiently in
ordering and contemplating this web, she draws all the threads she had
spun out again into herself; and, having absorbed them, the universal
nature of all creatures vanishes into nothing.[1160]

Among the Chululahs of our western coast, Capt. Stuart informs me there
is a vague superstition that the Spider is connected with the origin of
the world. To what extent this curious notion prevails, or anything more
concerning it, I have been unable to learn.

The natives of Guinea, says Bosman, believe that the first men were
created by the large black Spider, which is so common in their country,
and called in their jargon “Ananse;” nor is there any reasoning,
continues this traveler, a great number of them out of it.[1161] Barbot
also remarks that, in the belief of the Guinea negroes, the black Ananse
created the first man.[1162]

That the Spider should be connected with the origin of the world and man
in the several beliefs of the Hindoos, Chululahs, and negroes, races so
widely different and separated from one another, is a coincidence most

A large and hideous species of Spider, said to be only found in the
palace of Hampton Court, England, is known by the name of the
“Cardinals.” This name has been given them from a superstitious belief
that the spirits of Cardinal Wolsey and his retinue still haunt the
palace in their shape.[1163]

In running across the carpet in an evening, with the shade cast from
their large bodies by the light of the lamp or candle, these “Cardinals”
have been mistaken for mice, and have occasioned no little alarm to some
of the more nervous inhabitants of the palace.[1164]

The story of the gigantic Spider found in the Church of St. Eustace, at
Paris, in Chambers’ Miscellany, is related as follows: It is told that
the sexton of this church was surprised at very often discovering a
certain lamp extinguished in the morning, notwithstanding it had been
duly replenished with oil the preceding evening. Curious to learn the
cause of this mysterious circumstance, he kept watch several evenings,
and was at last gratified by the discovery. During the night he observed
a Spider, of enormous dimensions, come down the chain by which the lamp
was suspended, drink up the oil, and, when gorged to satiety, slowly
retrace its steps to a recess in the fretwork above. A similar Spider is
said to have been found, in 1751, in the cathedral church of Milan. It
was observed to feed also on oil. When killed, it weighed four pounds!
and was afterward sent to the imperial museum at Vienna.[1165]

The following remarkable anecdote is translated from the French: “M.
F---- de Saint Omer laid on the chimney-piece of his chamber, one
evening on going to bed, a small shirt-pin of gold, the head of which
represented a fly. Next day, M. F---- would have taken his pin from the
place where he had put it, but the trinket had disappeared. A
servant-maid, who had only been in M. F----’s service a few days, was
solely suspected of having carried off the pin, and sent away. But, at
length, M. F----’s sister, putting up some curtains, was very much
surprised to find the lost pin suspended from the ceiling in a Spider’s
web! And thus was the disappearance of the _bijou_ explained: A Spider,
deceived by the figure of the fly which the pin presented, had drawn it
into his web.”[1166]

In the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times, it is stated that
“Spiders do shun all such wals as run to ruine, or are like to be

A Spider hanging from a tree is said to have made both Turenne and
Gustavus Adolphus shudder![1168]

M. Zimmerman relates the following instance of antipathy to Spiders:
“Being one day in an English company,” says he, “consisting of persons
of distinction, the conversation happened to fall on antipathies. The
greater part of the company denied the reality of them, and treated them
as old women’s tales; but I told them that antipathy was a real disease.
Mr. William Matthew, son of the Governor of Barbados, was of my opinion,
and, as he added that he himself had an extreme antipathy to Spiders, he
was laughed at by the whole company. I showed them, however, that this
was a real impression of his mind, resulting from a mechanical effect.
Mr. John Murray, afterward Duke of Athol, took it into his head to make,
in Mr. Matthew’s presence, a Spider of black wax, to try whether this
antipathy would appear merely on the sight of the insect. He went out of
the room, therefore, and returned with a bit of black wax in his hand,
which he kept shut. Mr. Matthew, who in other respects was a sedate and
amiable man, imagining that his friend really held a Spider, immediately
drew his sword in a great fury, retired with precipitation to the wall,
leaned against it, as if to run him through, and sent forth horrible
cries. All the muscles of his face were swelled, his eye-balls rolled in
their sockets, and his whole body was as stiff as a post. We immediately
ran to him in great alarm, and took his sword from him, assuring him at
the same time that Mr. Murray had nothing in his hand but a bit of wax,
and that he himself might see it on the table where it was placed. He
remained some time in this spasmodic state, and I was really afraid of
the consequences. He, however, gradually recovered, and deplored the
dreadful passion into which he had been thrown, and from which he still
suffered. His pulse was exceedingly quick and full, and his whole body
was covered with a cold sweat. After taking a sedative, he was restored
to his former tranquillity, and his agitation was attended with no other
bad consequences.”[1169]

In Batavia, New York, on the evening of the 13th of September, 1834,
Hon. David E. Evans, agent of the Holland Land Company, discovered in
his wine-cellar a live striped snake, about nine inches in length,
suspended between two shelves, by the tail, by Spiders’ web. From the
shelves being two feet apart, and the position of the web, the witnesses
were of opinion the snake could not have fallen by accident into it, and
thus have become inextricably entangled, but that it had been actually
captured, and drawn up so that its head could not reach the shelf below
by about an inch, by Spiders, and of a species much smaller than the
common fly, three of which at night were seen feeding upon it, while it
was yet alive.

Hon. S. Cummings, first Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in his
county, and also Postmaster of Batavia, and Mr. D. Lyman Beecher have
described this phenomenon, and given the names of quite a number of
gentlemen who witnessed it, and will testify to the accuracy of their
accounts. Says Mr. Cummings: “Upon a critical examination through a
magnifying glass, the following curious facts appeared. The mouth of the
snake was fast tied up, by a great number of threads, wound around it so
tight that he could not run out his tongue. His tail was tied in a knot,
so as to leave a small loop, or ring, through which the cord was
fastened; and the end of the tail, above this loop, to the length of
something over half an inch, was lashed fast to the cord, to keep it
from slipping. As the snake hung, the length of the cord, from his tail
to the focus to which it was fastened, was about six inches; and a
little above the tail, there was observed a round ball, about the size
of a pea. Upon inspection, this appeared to be a green fly, around which
the cord had been wound as a windlass, with which the snake had been
hauled up; and a great number of threads were fastened to the cord
above, and to the rolling side of this ball to keep it from unwinding,
and letting the snake down. The cord, therefore, must have been extended
from the focus of this web to the shelf below where the snake was lying
when first captured; and being made fast to the loop in his tail, the
fly was carried and fastened about midway to the side of the cord. And
then by rolling this fly over and over, it wound the cord around it,
both from above and below, until the snake was raised to the proper
height, and then was fastened, as before mentioned.

“In this situation the suffering snake hung, alive, and furnished a
continued feast for several large Spiders, until Saturday forenoon, the
16th, when some persons, by playing with him, broke the web above the
focus, so as to let part of his body rest upon the shelf below. In this
situation he lingered, the Spiders taking no notice of him, until
Thursday, eight days after he was discovered, when some large ants were
found devouring his body.”[1170]

At a recent meeting of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia,
Mr. Lesley read the following extract from a letter written by Mr. E. A.
Spring, of Eagleswood, N. J.:

“I was over on the South Amboy shore with a friend, walking in a swampy
wood, where a dyke was made, some three feet wide, when we discovered in
the middle of this ditch a large black Spider making very queer motions
for a Spider, and, on examination, it proved that he had _caught a

“He was biting the fish, just on the forward side of the dorsal fin,
with a deadly gripe, and the poor fish was swimming round and round
slowly, or twisting its body as if in pain. The head of its black enemy
was sometimes almost pulled under water, but never entirely, for the
fish did not seem to have had enough strength, but moved its fins as if
exhausted, and often rested. At last it swam under a floating leaf at
the shore, and appeared to be trying, by going under that, to scrape off
the Spider, but without effect. They then got close to the bank, when
suddenly the long black legs of the Spider came up out of the water,
where they had possibly been embracing a fish (I have seen Spiders seize
flies with all their legs at once), reached out behind, and fastened
upon the irregularities of the side of the ditch. The Spider then
commenced tugging to get his prize up the bank. My friend stayed to
watch them, while I went to the nearest house for a wide-mouthed bottle.
During the six or eight minutes that I was away, the Spider had drawn
the fish entirely out of the water, when they had both fallen in again,
the bank being nearly perpendicular. There had been a great struggle;
and now, on my return, the fish was already hoisted head first more than
half his length out on the land. The fish was very much exhausted,
hardly making any movement, and the Spider had evidently gained the
victory, and was slowly and steadily tugging him up. He had not once
quitted his hold during the quarter to half an hour that we had watched
them. He held, with his head toward the fish’s tail, and pulled him up
at an angle of forty-five degrees by stepping backward.... The Spider
was three-fourths of an inch long, and weighed fourteen grains; the fish
was three and one-fourth inches long, and weighed sixty-six

The following interesting account of the rarely-witnessed phenomenon of
a shower of webs of the Gossamer-spider, _Aranea obtextrix_, is given us
by Mr. White: “On the 21st of September, 1741, being intent on field
diversions, I rose,” says this gentleman, “before daybreak; when I came
into the enclosures, I found the stubbles and clover grounds matted all
over with a thick coat of cobweb, in the meshes of which a copious and
heavy dew hung so plentifully, that the whole face of the country
seemed, as it were, covered with two or three setting-nets, drawn one
over another. When the dogs attempted to hunt, their eyes were so
blinded and hood-winked that they could not proceed, but were obliged to
lie down and scrape the incumbrances from their faces with their
fore-feet.... As the morning advanced, the sun became bright and warm,
and the day turned out one of the most lovely ones which no season but
the autumn produces; cloudless, calm, serene, and worthy of the south of
France itself.

“About nine an appearance very unusual began to demand our attention, a
shower of cobwebs falling from very elevated regions, and continuing,
without any interruption, till the close of the day. These webs were not
single filmy threads, floating in the air in all directions, but perfect
flakes of rags; some near an inch broad, and five or six long. On every
side, as the observer turned his eyes, might he behold a continual
succession of fresh flakes falling into his sight, and twinkling like

The Times of October 9th, 1826, records another shower of gossamer as
follows: “On Sunday, Oct. 1st, 1826, a phenomenon of rare occurrence in
the neighborhood of Liverpool was observed in that vicinage, and for
many miles distant, especially at Wigan. The fields and roads were
covered with a light filmy substance, which, by many persons, was
mistaken for cotton; although they might have been convinced of their
error, as staple cotton does not exceed a few inches in length, while
the filaments seen in such incredible quantities extended as many yards.
In walking in the fields the shoes were completely covered with it, and
its floating fibres came in contact with the face in all directions.
Every tree, lamp-post, or other projecting body had arrested a portion
of it. It profusely descended at Wigan like a sleet, and in such
quantities as to affect the appearance of the atmosphere. On examination
it was found to contain small flies, some of which were so diminutive as
to require a magnifying glass to render them perceptible. The substance
so abundant in quantity, was the gossamer of the garden, or field
Spider, often met with in fine weather in the country, and of which,
according to Buffon, it would take 663,552 Spiders to produce a single

“In the yeare that L. Paulus and C. Marcellus were Consuls,” says Pliny,
“it rained wool about the castle Carissa, neare to which a yeare after,
T. Annius Milo was slaine.”[1174] This rain of wool was doubtless a
shower of gossamer.

It was an old and strange notion that the gossamer webs were composed of
dew burned by the sun. Says Spenser:

    More subtle web Arachne cannot spin;
    Nor _the fine nets_, which oft we woven see,
    Of _scorched dew_, do not in th’ ayre more lightly flee.[1175]

Thomson also:

    How still the breeze! save what _the filmy threads_
    Of _dew evaporate_ brushes from the plain.[1176]

And Quarles:

    And now _autumnal dews_ were seen
    To _cobweb_ every green.[1177]

Likewise Blackmore:

    How part is spun in _silken threads_, and clings,
    Entangled in the grass, in _gluey strings_.[1178]

Henry More also mentions this old belief; but suspected, however, the
true origin and use of the filmy threads:

    As light and thin as _cobwebs_ that do fly
    In the blue air caused by th’ _autumnal sun_,
    That _boils the dew_, that on the earth doth lie;
    May seem this whitish rag then is the scum;
    Unless that wiser men mak’t the _field-spider’s loom_.[1179]

Jamieson, in his Scottish Dictionary, gives _sun-dew webs_ as a name
given in the South of Scotland to the gossamer.

The Swedes call a cobweb _dwaergsnaet_, from _dwaerg_, a species of
malevolent fairy or demon; very ingenious, and supposed often to assume
the appearance of a Spider, and to form these nets. The peasants of that
country say, _Jorden naetjar sig_, “the earth covers itself with a net,”
when the whole surface of the ground is covered with gossamer, which, it
is commonly believed, indicates the seedtime.[1180]

Voss, in a note on his Luise (iii. 17), says that the popular belief in
Germany is, that the gossamers are woven by the Dwarfs. Keightley thinks
the word gossamer is a corruption of _gorse_, or _goss samyt_, _i.e._
the _samyt_, or finely-woven silken web that lies on the _gorse_ or

A learned man and good natural philosopher, and one of the first Fellows
of the Royal Society, Robert Hooke, the author of _Micrographia_,
gravely remarked in his scientific disquisition on the gossamer, that it
“was not unlikely, but those great white clouds, that appear all the
summer time, may be of the same substance!!”[1182]

The following well-authenticated incident is told by Turner as having
occurred when he was a young practitioner: A certain young woman was
accustomed, when she went into the vault after night, to go
Spider-hunting, as she called it, setting fire to the webs of Spiders,
and burning the insects with the flame of the candle. It happened at
length, however, after this whimsey had been indulged a long time, one
of the persecuted Spiders sold its life much dearer than those hundreds
she had destroyed, and most effectually cured her of her idle cruel
practice; for, in the words of Dr. James, “lighting upon the melted
tallow of her candle, near the flame, and his legs becoming entangled
therein, so that he could not extricate himself, the flame or heat
coming on, he was made a sacrifice to his cruel persecutor, who,
delighting her eyes with the spectacle, still waiting for the flame to
take hold of him, he presently burst with a great crack, and threw his
liquor, some into her eyes, but mostly upon her lips; by means of which,
flinging away her candle, she cried out for help, as fancying herself
killed already with the poison.” In the night the woman’s lips swelled
excessively, and one of her eyes was much inflamed. Her gums and tongue
were also affected, and a continual vomiting attended. For several days
she suffered the greatest pain, but was finally cured by an old woman
with a preparation of plantain leaves and cobwebs applied to the eyes,
and taken inwardly two or three times a day.

Before this accident happened to her, this woman asserted that the smell
of the Spiders burning oftentimes so affected her head, that objects
about her seemed to turn round; she grew faint also with cold sweats,
and sometimes a light vomiting followed, yet so great was her delight in
tormenting these creatures, and driving them from their webs, that she
could not forbear, till she met with the above narrated accident.[1183]

A similar story is related by Nic. Nicholas of a man he saw at his hotel
in Florence, who, burning a large black Spider in the flame of a candle,
and staying for some time in the same room, from the fumes arising, grew
feeble, and fell into a fainting fit, suffering all night great
palpitation at the heart, and afterward a pulse so very low as to be
scarcely felt.[1184]

Several monks, in a monastery in Florence, are said to have died from
the effects of drinking wine from a vessel in which there was afterward
found a drowned Spider.[1185]

There are two animals to which the Italians give the name Tarantula: the
one is a species of Lizard, whose bite is reputed mortal, found about
Fondi, Cajeta, and Capua; the other is a large Spider, found in the
fields in several parts of Italy, and especially at Tarentum--hence the
name. “Such as are stung by this creature (the _Aranea Tarantula_),”
says Misson, “make a thousand different gestures in a moment; for they
weep, dance, tremble, laugh, grow pale, cry, swoon away, and, after a
few days of torment, expire, if they be not assisted in time. They find
some relief by sweating and antidotes, but _music_ is the great and
specific remedy. A learned gentleman of unquestionable credit told me at
Rome, that he had been twice a witness both of the disease and of the
cure. They are both attended with circumstances that seem very strange;
but the matter of fact is well attested, and undeniable.”[1186] Such is
the story generally told, believed, and unquestioned, that has found its
way into the works of many learned travelers and naturalists, but which
is without the slightest shadow of truth.

“I think I could produce,” continues the deluded Misson, “natural and
easy reasons to explain this effect of music; but without engaging
myself in a dissertation that would carry me too far, I shall content
myself with relating some other instances of the same kind: Every one
knows the efficacy of David’s harp to restore Saul to the use of his
reason. I remember Lewis Guyon, in his Lessons, has a story of a lady of
his acquaintance, who lived one hundred and six years without ever using
any other remedy than music; for which purpose she allowed a salary to a
certain musician, whom she called her physician; and I might add that I
was particularly acquainted with a gentleman, very much subject to the
gout, who infallibly received ease, and sometimes was wholly freed from
his pains by a loud noise. He used to make all his servants come into
his chamber, and beat with all their force upon the table and floor; and
the noise they made, in conjunction with the sound of the violin, was
his sovereign remedy.”[1187]

In the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times, printed in London, the
year 1619, we find the following: “_Alexander Alexandrinus_ proceedeth
farther, affirming that he beheld one wounded by this Spider, to dance
and leape about incessantly, and the Musitians (finding themselves
wearied) gave over playing: whereupon, the poore offended dancer, hauing
vtterly lost all his forces, fell downe on the ground, as if he had bene
dead. The Musitians no sooner began to playe againe, but hee returned to
himselfe, and mounting vp vpon his feet, danced againe as lustily as
formerly hee had done, and so continued dancing still, til hee found the
harme asswaged, and himselfe entirely recovered. Heereunto he addeth,
that when it hath happened, that a man hath not beene thorowly cured by
Musique in this manner; within some short while after, hearing the sound
of Instruments, hee hath recouered footing againe, and bene enforced to
hold on dancing, and never to ceasse, till his perfect and absolute
healing, which (questionlesse) is admirable in nature.”[1188]

Robert Boyle, in his Usefulness of Natural Philosophy, among other
stories of the power of music upon those bitten by Tarantulas, mentions
the following: “_Epiphanius Ferdinandus_ himself not only tells us of a
man of 94 years of age, and weak, that he could not go, unless supported
by his staff, who did, upon the hearing of musick after he was bitten,
immediately fall a dancing and capering like a kid; and affirms that
Tarantulas themselves may be brought to leap and dance at the sound of
lutes, small drums, bagpipes, fiddles, etc.; but challenges those, that
believe them not, to come and try, promising them an occular conviction:
and adds what is very memorable and pleasant, that not only men, in whom
much may be ascribed to fancy, but other animals being bitten, may
likewise, by musick, be reduced to leap or dance: for he saith, he saw a
Wasp, which being bitten by a Tarantula, whilst a lutanist chanced to be
by; the musician, playing upon his instrument gave them the sport of
seeing both the Wasp and Spider begin to dance: Annexing, that a bitten
Cock did the like.”[1189]

In an Italian nobleman’s palace, Skippon saw a fellow who was bitten by
a Tarantula; “he danced,” says this traveler, “very antickly, with naked
swords, to a tune played on an instrument.” The Italians say that if
the Spider be immediately killed, no such effects will appear; but as
long as it lives, the person bitten is subject to these paroxysms, and
when it dies he is free. Skippon says that usually they are the poorer
sort of people who say they are bitten, and they beg money while they
are in these dancing fits.[1190]

Bell was informed at Buzabbatt (in Persia) that the celebrated Kashan
Tarantula “neither stings nor bites, but drops its venom upon the skin,
which is of such a nature that it immediately penetrates into the body,
and causes dreadful symptoms; such as giddiness of the head, a violent
pain in the stomach, and a lethargic stupefaction. The remedy is the
application of the same animal when braised to the part affected, by
which the poison is extracted. They also make the patient,” continues
this traveler, “drink abundance of sweet milk, after which he is put in
a kind of tray, suspended by ropes fixed in the four corners; it is
turned round till the ropes are twisted hard together, and, when let go
at once, the untwining causes the basket to run round with a quick
motion, which forces the patient to vomit.”[1191]

Skippon was shown by Corvino, in his Museum at Rome, “a _Tarantula
Apula_, which he kept some time alive; and the poison of it, he said,
broke two glasses.”[1192]

In the Treasvrie of Avncient and Moderne Times, it is stated of “Harts,
that when they are bitten or stung by a venomous kinde of Spiders,
called _phalanges_; they heale themselves by eating _Creuisses_, though
others do hold, that it is by an Hearb growing in the water.”[1193]

Diodorus Siculus tells as that there border upon the country of the
Acridophagi a large tract of land, rich in fair pastures, but desert and
uninhabited; not that there were never any people there, but that
formerly, when it was inhabited, an immoderate rain fell, which bred a
vast host of Spiders and Scorpions: that these implacable enemies of the
country increased so, that though at first the whole nation attempted to
destroy them (for he who was bitten or stung by them, immediately fell
dead), so that, not knowing where to remain, or how to get food, they
were forced to fly to some other place for relief.[1194] Strabo has
inserted also this miraculous story in his Geography.[1195]

Mr. Nichols mentions Spiders as having been embroidered on the white
gowns of ladies in the time of Queen Elizabeth.[1196]

Sloane tells us the housekeepers of Jamaica keep large Spiders in their
houses to kill cockroaches.[1197]

Captain Dampier, after minutely describing in his quaint way the “teeth”
of a “sort of Spider, some near as big as a Man’s Fist,” which are found
in the West Indies, says: “These Teeth we often preserve. Some wear them
in their Tobacco-pouches to pick their Pipes. Others preserve them for
tooth-pickers, especially such as are troubled with the toothache; for
by report they will expell that Pain.”[1198] These teeth, which are of a
finely polished substance, extremely hard, and of a bright shining
black, are often, in the Bermudas, for these qualities set in silver or
gold and used also for tooth-picks.[1199]

Dr. Sparrman says that Spiders form an article of the Bushman’s
dainties;[1200] and Labillardiere tells us that the inhabitants of New
Caledonia seek for and eat with avidity large quantities of a Spider
nearly an inch long (which he calls _Aranea edulis_) and which they
roast over the fire.[1201] Spiders are also eaten by the American
Indians and Australians.[1202] Molien says: “The people of Maniana,
south of Gambia and Senegal, are cannibals. They eat Spiders, Beetles,
and old men.”[1203] In Siam, also, we learn from Turpin, the egg-bags of
Spiders are considered a delicate food. The bags of certain poisonous
species which make holes in the ground in the woods are preferred.[1204]

And Peter Martyr, in his History of the West Indies, makes the following
statement: “The Chiribichenses (Caribbeans) eate Spiders, Frogges, and
whatsoever woormes, and lice also without loathing, although in other
thinges they are so queasie stomaked, that if they see anything that
doth not like them, they presently cast upp whatsoever is in their

Reaumur tells us of a young lady who when she walked in her grounds
never saw a Spider that she did not take and eat upon the spot.[1206]
Another female, the celebrated Anna Maria Schurman, used to crack them
between her teeth like nuts, which she affirmed they much resembled in
taste, excusing her propensity by saying that she was born under the
sign Scorpio.[1207] “When Alexander reigned, it is reported that there
was a very beautiful strumpet in Alexandria, that fed alwayes from her
childhood on Spiders, and for that reason the king was admonished that
he should be very carefull not to embrace her, lest he should be
poysoned by venome that might evaporate from her by sweat. Albertus
Magnus also makes mention of a certain noble mayd of Collen, that was
fed with Spiders from her childhood. And we in England have a great lady
yet living, who will not leave off eating of them. And Phaerus, a
physician, did often eat them without any hurt at all.”[1208]

La Lande, the celebrated French astronomer, we are told by Disjonval,
ate as delicacies Spiders and Caterpillars. He boasted of this as a
philosophic trait of character, that he could raise himself above
dislikes and prejudices; and, to cure Madame Lepaute of a very annoying
fear of, and antipathy to Spiders, it is said he gradually habituated
her to look upon them, to touch, and finally to swallow them as readily
as he himself.[1209]

A German, immortalized by Rösel, used to eat Spiders by handfuls, and
spread them upon his bread like butter, observing that he found them
very useful, “_um sich auszulaxiren_.”[1210]

The satirist, Peter Pindar, records the same of Sir Joshua Banks:

    How early Genius shows itself at times,
    Thus Pope, the prince of poets, lisped in rhymes,
    And our Sir Joshua Banks, most strange to utter,
      To whom each cockroach-eater is a fool,
      Did, when a very little boy at school,
    Eat Spiders, spread upon his bread and butter.

Conradus, bishop of Constance, at the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper,
drank off a Spider that had fallen into his cup of wine, while he was
busied in the consecration of the elements; “yet did he not receive the
least hurt or damage thereby.”[1211]

We learn from Poggio, the Florentine, that Zisca, the great and
victorious reformer of Bohemia, was such an epicure, that he only asked
for, as his share of the plunder, what he was pleased to call “the
cobwebs, which hung from the roofs of the farmers’ houses.” It is said,
however, that this was but one of his witty circumlocutions to express
the hams, sausages, and pig-cheeks, for which Bohemia has always been

For the bite of all Spiders, according to Pliny, the best remedies are
“a cock’s brains, taken in oxycrate with a little pepper; five ants,
swallowed in drink; sheep’s dung applied in vinegar; and Spiders of any
kind, left to putrify in oil.”[1213] Another proper remedy, says this
writer, is, “to present before the eyes of a person stung another Spider
of the same description, a purpose for which they are preserved when
found dead. Their husks also,” he continues, “found in a dry state, are
beaten up and taken in drink for a similar purpose. The young of the
weasel, too, are possessed of a similar property.”[1214]

Among the remedies given by Pliny for diseases of eyes, is mentioned
“the cobweb of the common fly-Spider, that which lines its hole more
particularly. This,” he continues, “applied to the forehead across the
temples, in a compress of some kind or other, is said to be marvellously
useful for the cure of defluxions of the eyes; the web must be taken,
however, and applied by the hands of a boy who has not arrived at the
years of puberty; the boy, too, must not show himself to the patient for
three days, and during those three days neither of them must touch the
ground with his feet uncovered. The white Spider with very elongated,
thin legs, beaten up in old oil, forms an ointment which is used for the
cure of albugo. The Spider, too, whose web, of remarkable thickness, is
generally found adhering to the rafters of houses, applied in a piece of
cloth, is said to be curative of defluxions of the eyes.”[1215]

As a remedy for the ears, Pliny says: “The thick pulp of a Spider’s
body, mixed with oil of roses, is used for the ears; or else the pulp
applied by itself with saffron or in wool.”[1216]

For fractures of the cranium, Pliny says, cobwebs are applied, with oil
and vinegar; the application never coming away till a cure has been
effected. Cobwebs are good, too, he continues, for stopping the bleeding
of wounds made in shaving.[1217] They are still used for this purpose,
as also the fur from articles made of beaver.

In Ben Jonson’s Stable of News, Almanac says of old Penny boy (as a skit
upon his penuriousness), that he

    Sweeps down no cobwebs here,
    But sells ’em for cut fingers; and the Spiders,
    As creatures rear’d of dust, and cost him nothing,
    To fat old ladies’ monkies.[1218]

And Shakspeare, in his Midsummer-Night’s Dream, makes Bottom say to the
fairy Cobweb:

    “I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good master Cobweb. If I
    cut my finger, I shall make bold with you.”[1219]

Pills formed of Spiders’ webs are still considered an infallible cure
for the ague.[1220] Dr. Graham, in his Domestic Medicine, prescribes it
for ague and intermittent fever. And Spiders themselves, with their legs
pinched off, and then powdered with flour, so as to resemble a pill,
are also sometimes given for ague.[1221] Dr. Chapman, of Philadelphia,
states that in doses of five grains of Spiders’ web, repeated every
fourth or fifth hour, he has cured some obstinate intermittents,
suspended the paroxysms of hectic, overcome morbid vigilance from
excessive nervous mobility, and quieted irritation of the system from
various causes, and not less as connected with protracted coughs and
other chronic pectoral affections.[1222]

Mrs. Delany, in a letter dated March 1st, 1743-4, gives two infallible
recipes for ague.

1st. Pounded ginger, made into paste with brandy, spread on sheep’s
leather, and a plaister of it laid over the navel.

2d. A Spider put into a goose-quill, well sealed and secured, and hung
about the child’s neck as low as the pit of its stomach.

Upon this Lady Llanover notes: “Although the prescription of the Spider
in the quill will probably create amusement, considered as an old charm,
yet there is no doubt of the medicinal virtues of Spiders and their
webs, which have been long known to the Celtic inhabitants of Great
Britain and Ireland.”[1223]

The above mentioned Dr. Graham states that he has known of a Spider
having been sewed up in a rag and worn as a periapt round the neck to
charm away the ague.[1224]

In the Netherlands, it is thought good for an ague, to inclose a Spider
between the two halves of a nut-shell, and wear it about the neck.[1225]

“In the diary of Elias Ashmole, 11th April, 1681, is preserved the
following curious incident: ‘I took early in the morning a good dose of
elixir, and hung three Spiders about my neck, and they drove my ague
away. Deo gratias!’ Ashmole was a judicial astrologer, and the patron of
the renowned Mr. Lilly. Par nobile fratrum.”[1226]

“Among the approved Remedies of Sir Matthew Lister, I find,” says Dr.
James, “that the distilled water of black Spiders is an excellent cure
for wounds, and that this was one of the choice secrets of Sir Walter

“The Spider is said to avert the paroxisms of fevers, if it be applied
to the pulse of the wrist, or the temples; but it is peculiarly
recommended against a quartan, being enclosed in the shell of a

“The Spider, which some call the catcher, or wolf, being beaten into a
plaister, then sewed up in linen, and applied to the forehead and
temples, prevents the return of the tertian.... There is another kind of
Spider, which spins a white, fine, and thick web. One of this sort,
wrapped in leather, and hung about the arm, will, it is said, avert the
fit of a quartan. Boiled in oil of roses, and distilled into the ears,
it eases (says Dioscorides, ii. 68) pains in those parts....

“The country people have a tradition, that a small quantity of Spiders’
web, given about an hour before the fit of an ague, and repeated
immediately before it, is effectual in curing that troublesome, and
sometimes obstinate distemper.... The Indians about North Carolina have
great dependence on this remedy for ague, to which they are much

“Of the cod or bags of Spiders, M. Bon caused a sort of drops to be
made, in imitation of those of Goddard, because they contain a great
quantity of volatile salt.”[1228]

Moufet, in Theatrum Insectorum, has the following: “Also that knotty
whip of God, and mock of all physicians, the Gowt, which learned men say
can be cured by no remedy, findes help and cure by a Spider layed on, if
it be taken at that time when neither sun nor moon shine, and the hinder
legs pulled off, and put into a deer’s skin and bound to the pained
foot, and be left on it for some time. Also for the most part we finde
those people to be free from the gowt of hands or feet (which few
medicaments can doe), in whose houses the Spiders breed much, and doth
beautifie them with her tapestry and hangings.... Our chirurgeons cure
warts thus: They wrap a Spider’s ordinary web into the fashion of a
ball, and laying it on the wart, they set it on fire, and so let it burn
to ashes; by this means the wart is rooted out by the roots, and will
never grow again.... I cannot but repeat a history that I formerly heard
from our dear friend worthy to be believed, Bruerus. A lustfull nephew
of his, having spent his estate in rioting and brothel-houses, being
ready to undertake anything for money, to the hazzard of his life; when
he heard of a rich matron of London, that was troubled with a timpany,
and was forsaken of all physicians as past cure, he counterfeited
himself to be a physician in practice, giving forth that he would cure
her and all diseases. But as the custom is, he must have half in hand,
and the other half under her hand, to be payed when she was cured. Then
he gave her a Spider to drink, as supposing her past cure, promising to
make her well in three dayes, and so in a coach with four horses he
presently hastes out of town, lest there being a rumor of the death of
her (which he supposed to be very neer) he should be apprehended for
killing her. But the woman shortly after by the force of the venome was
cured, and the ignorant physician, who was the author of so great a
work, was not known. After some moneths this good man returns, not
knowing what had happened, and secretly enquiring concerning the state
of that woman, he heard she was recovered. Then he began to boast
openly, and to ask her how she had observed her diet, and he excused his
long absence, by reason of the sickenesse of a principal friend, and
that he was certain that no harm could proceed from so healthful
physick; also he asked confidently for the rest of his reward, and to be
given him freely.”[1229]

“A third kind of Spiders,” says Pliny, “also known as the ‘phalangium,’
is a Spider with a hairy body, and a head of enormous size. When opened,
there are found in it two small worms, they say: these, attached in a
piece of deer’s skin, before sunrise, to a woman’s body, will prevent
conception, according to what Cæcilius, in his Commentaries, says. This
property lasts, however, for a year only; and, indeed, it is the only
one of all the anti-conceptives that I feel myself at liberty to
mention, in favour of some women whose fecundity, quite teeming with
children (plena liberis), stands in need of some such respite.”[1230]

Mr. John Aubrey, in the chapter of his Miscellanies devoted to Magick,
gives the following: “To cure a Beast that is sprung, (that is) poisoned
(It mostly lights upon Sheep): Take the little red Spider, called a
tentbob (not so big as a great pin’s-head), the first you light upon in
the spring of the year, and rub it in the palm of your hand all to
pieces: and having so done, make water on it, and rub it in, and let it
dry; then come to the beast and make water in your hand, and throw it in
his mouth. It cures in a matter of an hour’s time. This rubbing serves
for a whole year, and it is no danger to the hand. The chiefest skill is
to know whether the beast be poisoned or no.”[1231] Mr. Aubrey had this
receipt from Mr. Pacy.

In the year 1709, M. Bon, of Montpellier, communicated to the Royal
Academy of that city a discovery which he had made of a new kind of
silk, from the very fine threads with which several species of Spiders
(probably the _Aranea diadema_ and others closely allied to it) inclose
their eggs; which threads were found to be much stronger than those
composing the Spider’s web. They were easily separated, carded, and
spun, and then afforded a much finer thread than that of the silk-worm,
but, according to Reaumur, inferior to this both in luster and strength.
They were also found capable of receiving all the different dyes with
equal facility. M. Bon carried his experiments so far as to obtain two
or three pairs of stockings and gloves of this silk, which were of an
elegant gray color, and were presented, as samples, to the Academy. As
the Spiders also were much more prolific, and much more hardy than
silk-worms, great expectations were formed of benefit of the discovery.
Reaumur accordingly took up and prosecuted the inquiry with zeal. He
computed that 663,522 Spiders would scarcely furnish a single pound of
silk; and conceived that it would be impossible to provide the
necessarily immense numbers with flies, their natural food. This
obstacle, however, was soon removed, by his finding that they would
subsist very well upon earth-worms chopped, and upon the soft ends or
roots of feathers. But a new obstacle arose from their unsocial
propensities, which proved insurmountable; for though at first they
seemed to feed quietly, and even work together, several of them at the
same web, yet they soon began to quarrel, and the strongest devoured the
weakest, so that of several hundred, placed together in a box, but three
or four remained alive after a few days; and nobody could propose to
keep and feed each separately. The silk was found to be naturally of
different colors; particularly white, yellow, gray, sky-blue, and
coffee-colored brown.[1232]

A Spider raiser in France, more recently, is said to have tamed eight
hundred Spiders, which he kept in a single apartment for their

De Azara states that in Paraguay a Spider forms a spherical cocoon for
its eggs, an inch in diameter, of a yellow silk, which the inhabitants
spin on account of the permanency of the color.[1234]

The ladies of Bermuda make use of the silk of the Silk-Spider, _Epeira
clavipes_, for sewing purposes.[1235]

The Spider-web fabric has been carried so nearly to transparency (in
Hindostan) that the Emperor Aurengzebe is said to have reproved his
daughter for the indelicacy of her costume, while she wore as many as
seven thicknesses of it.[1236]

Astronomers employ the strongest thread of Spiders, the one, namely,
that supports the web, for the divisions of the micrometer. By its
ductility this thread acquires about a fifth of its ordinary

Topsel, in his History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents, has the
following, which he calls an “old and common verse:

    Nos aper auditu præcellit, Aranea tactu,
    Vultur odoratu, lynx visu, simia gustu.

Which may be Englished thus:

    To hear, the boar, to touch, the Spider us excells,
    The lynx to see, the ape to taste, the vulture for the smells.”

“It is manifest,” says Moufet, “that Spiders are bred of some aereall
seeds putrefied, from filth and corruption, because that the newest
houses the first day they are whited will have both Spiders and cobwebs
in them.”[1239] This theory of generation from putrefaction was a
favorite one among the ancient writers; see the history of the Scorpion.


It may be new to many of our readers, who are familiar with the Elegy in
a Country Church-yard, to be told that its author was at the pains to
turn the characteristics of the Linnæan orders of insects into Latin
hexameters, the manuscript of which is still preserved in his
interleaved copy of the “Systema Naturæ.”[1240]

It is related by Boerhaave, in his Life of Swammerdam, that when the
Grand Duke of Tuscany was visiting with Mr. Thevenot the curiosities of
Holland, in 1668, he found nothing more worthy of his admiration than
the great naturalist’s account of the structure of caterpillars,--for
Swammerdam, by the skillful management of instruments of wonderful
delicacy and fineness, showed the duke in what manner the future
butterfly, with all its parts, lies neatly folded up in the caterpillar,
like a rose in the unexpanded bud. He was, indeed, so struck with this
and other wonders of the insect world, disclosed to him by the great
naturalist, that he made him the offer of twelve thousand florins to
induce him to reside at his court; but Swammerdam, from feelings of
independence, modestly declined to accept it, preferring to continue his
delightful studies at home.[1241]

There is an epitaph in the church of St. Hilary at Poictiers, beginning
“Vermibus hic ponor,” which the people interpreted to mean that a Saint
was buried there who undertook to cure children of the worms. Women,
accordingly used to scrape the tomb and administer the powder; but the
clergy, to prevent this absurdity (for Luther had arisen), erected a
barrier to keep them off. They soon began, however, to carry away for
the same purpose pieces of the wooden bars.[1242]

A diseased woman at Patton, drinking of the water in which the bones of
St. Milburge were washed, there came from her stomach “a filthie worme,
ugly and horrible to behold, having six feete, two hornes on his head,
and two on his tayle.” Brother Porter, in his Flowers of the Saints,
tells this, and adds that the “worme was shutt up in a hollow piece of
wood, and reserved afterward in the monasterie as a trophy and monument
of S. Milburg, untill, by the lascivious furie of him that destroyed all
goodness in England, that with other religious houses and monasteries,
went to ruin.” Hence the “filthie worme” was lost, and we have nothing
now instead but the Reformation.[1243]

Capt. Clarke, in his passage from Dublin to Chester, on the 2d of
September, 1733, met with a cloud “of flying insects of various sorts,”
which stuck about the rigging of the vessel in a surprising

De Geer, chamberlain to the King of Sweden, writes (iv. 63) that in
January, 1749, at Leufsta, in Sweden, and in three or four neighboring
parishes, the snow was covered with living worms and insects of various
kinds. The people assured him they fell with the snow, and he was shown
several that had dropped on people’s hats. He caused the snow to be
removed from places where these worms had been seen, and found several
which seemed to be on the surface of the snow which had fallen before,
and were covered by the succeeding. It was impossible that they could
have come there from under the ground, which was then frozen more than
three feet deep, and absolutely impervious to such insects. In 1750, he
again discovered vast quantities of insects on the snow, which covered a
large frozen lake some leagues from Stockholm. Preceding and
accompanying both these falls of insects were violent storms that had
torn up trees by the roots, and carried away to a great distance the
surrounding earth, and at the same time the insects which had taken up
their winter quarters in it.[1245] These insects were chiefly
_Brachyptera_ L., _Aphodii_, Spiders, caterpillars, and particularly the
larvæ of the _Telephorus fuscus_.[1246] Another shower of insects is
recorded to have fallen in Hungary, November 20, 1672;[1247] another,
also, in the newspapers of July 2d, 1810, to have fallen in France the
January preceding, accompanied by a shower of red snow.[1248]

In the Muses Threnodie, p. 213, we read that “many are the instances,
even to this day, of charms practised among the vulgar, especially among
the Highlands, attended with forms of prayer. In the Miscellaneous MS.,
written by Baillie Dundee, among several medicinal receipts I find an
exorcism against all kinds of worms in the body, in the name of the
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be repeated three mornings, as a certain

The Guahibo, Humboldt says, that “eats everything that exists above, and
everything under ground,” eats insects, and particularly scolopendras
and worms.[1250] The same traveler also says he has seen the Indian
children drag out of the earth centipedes eighteen inches long, and more
than half an inch broad, and devour them.[1251]

“The seventeene of March, 1586,” says John Stow in his Annales of
England, “a strange thing happened, the like whereof before hath not
beene heard of in our time. Master Dorington, of Spaldwicke, in the
countie of Huntington, esquier, one of his maiesties gentlemen
Pensioners, had a horse which died sodainly, and, being ripped to see
the cause of his death, there was found in the hole of the hart of the
same horse a strange worme, which lay on a round heape in a kall or skin
of the likeness of a toade, which, being taken out and spread abroad,
was in forme and fashion not easie to be described, the length of which
worme divided into many greines to the number of fiftie (spread from the
bodie like the branches of a tree), was from the snowte to the ende of
the longest greine, seventeene inches, having four issues in the
greines, from the which dropped foorth a red water; the body in bignes
round about was three inches and a halfe, the colour whereof was very
like a makerel. This monstrous worme, found in manner aforesaid,
crauling to have got away, was stabbed in with a dagger and died, which,
after being dried, was shewed to many honorable persons of the

Dr. Sparrman, in his journey to Paarl, an inland town at the Cape of
Good Hope, having filled his insect-box with fine specimens, was obliged
to put a “whole regiment of flies and other insects” round the brim of
his hat. Having entered the house of a rich old widow troubled with the
gout, for food, he was warned by his servant that if she should happen
to see the insects he would certainly be turned out of doors for a
conjuror (hexmeester). Accordingly he was very careful to keep his hat
always turned away from her, but all would not do--the old lady
discovered the “little beasts,” and to her greater astonishment that
they were run through their bodies with pins. An immediate explanation
was demanded; and had the doctor not been just then lamenting with the
widow for her deceased husband, and giving dissertations on the dropsy
and cough that carried off the poor man, the explanation he gave would
hardly have been sufficient to quell the rage of this superstitious boor
at the thought of there being a sorcerer in her house.[1253]

In several parts of Europe quite a trade is carried on in the way of
buying and selling rare insects, chiefly the rare Alpine butterflies and
moths. The instant the entomologist steps from his carriage, in the
celebrated valley of Chamouni, with net in hand, whence he is known to
be a papillionist, he is surrounded by half a dozen Savoyard boys, from
the age of fifteen down to eight, each with a large collecting-box full
of insects in his hands for sale, and with the scientist bargains for
the insects that are found only on the mountains, and which these hardy
chaps alone can obtain. There are again insect dealers on a larger
scale, who live there, and have many of these boys in their employ; one
of which wholesale merchants, Michel Bossonney, at Martigni in the
Vallais, in the year 1829, sold 7000 insects, mostly of rare and
beautiful species. Another dealer, on a perhaps still larger scale, is
M. Provost Duval, of Geneva, a highly respectable entomologist. In 1830,
he could supply upwards of 600 species of Lepidoptera, and as many
Coleoptera, of the Swiss Alps, the south of France, and Germany, at
prices varying from one to fifteen francs each, according to their

The advantage of this new traffic, both to the individuals engaged in it
and to science, is great. Now the _Sphinx (Deilephila) hippophaes_,
formerly sold at sixty francs each, and of which one of the first
discovered specimens was sold for two hundred francs, is so plentiful,
in consequence of the numbers collected and reared through their several
stages, by the peasants all along the course of the Arve, where the
plant, _Hippophae rhamöides_, on which the larvæ feed, and the imago
takes its specific name, grows in profusion, that a specimen costs but
three francs. A general taste also for the science, and an appreciation
for beauty, is spread by the more striking Alpine species, such as
_Parnassius apollo_ and _Calichroma alpina_, not only among the
travelers who buy them for their beauty, who before would hardly deign
to look upon an insect, but among the more ignorant Alpine collectors

Navarette, under the head of “Insects and Vermin,” speaks of an animal
which the Chinese call Jen Ting, or Wall-dragon, because it runs up and
down walls. It is also, says this traveler, called the Guard of the
Palace, and this for the following reason: The emperors were accustomed
to make an ointment of this insect, and some other ingredients, with
which they anointed their concubines’ wrists, as the mark of it
continued as long as they had not to do with man; but as soon as they
did so, it immediately vanished, by which their honesty or falsehood was
discovered. Hence it came that this insect was called the Guard of the
Court, or, of the court ladies. Navarette laments that all men have not
a knowledge of this wonderful ointment.[1255]

Navarette tells us he once caught (in China?) a small insect that was
injurious to poultry--“a very deformed insect, and of a strange
shape”--when, as soon as it was known, several women ran to him to beg
its _tail_. He gave it to them, and they told him it was of excellent
use when dried, and made into powder, “being a prodigious help to women
in labor, to forward their delivery, if they drank it in a little

The Irish have a large beetle of which strange tales are believed; they
term it the Coffin-cutter, and deem it in some way connected with the
grave and purgatory.[1257]

Turpin, in his History of Siam, says: “There is a very singular animal
in Siam ... bred in the dung of elephants. It is entirely black, its
wings are strong, and its head extremely curious: it is furnished on the
top with several points, in the form of a trunk, and a small horn in the
middle: it has four large feet, which raise it more than an inch from
the ground: its back seems to be one very hard entire shell. It flies to
the very top of the cocoa-trees, of which it eats the heart, and often
kills them, if a remedy is not applied. Children play with them, and
make them fight.”[1258]

General Count Déjeau, Aid-de-camp to Napoleon Bonaparte, was so anxious,
says Jaeger, in his Life of North American Insects, to increase the
number of specimens in his entomological cabinet, that he even availed
himself of his military campaigns for this purpose, and was continually
occupied in collecting insects and fastening them with pins on the
outside of his hat, which was always covered with them. The Emperor, as
well as the whole army, were accustomed to see General Déjeau’s head
thus singularly ornamented, even when in battle. But the departed
spirits of those murdered insects once had their revenge on him; for, in
the battle of Wagram, in 1809, and while he was at the side of Napoleon,
a shot from the enemy struck Déjeau’s head, and precipitated him
senseless from his horse. Soon, however, recovering from the shock, and
being asked by the Emperor if he was still alive, he answered, “I am not
dead; but, alas! my insects are all gone!” for his hat was literally
torn to pieces.[1259]

Professor Jaeger tells also the following anecdote of another passionate
naturalist: The celebrated Prince Paul of Würtemberg, whom Mr. Jaeger
met in 1829 at Port-au-Prince, being one day at the latter’s house, shed
tears of envy when he showed him the gigantic beetle Actæon, which, only
a short time before, had been presented to him by the Haytien Admiral
Banajotti, he having found it at the foot of a cocoa-nut tree on his

While traveling in Poland, Professor Jaeger visited the highly
accomplished Countess Ragowska, at her country residence, when she
exhibited her fine, scientifically-arranged collection of butterflies
and other insects, and told him that she had personally instructed her
children in botany, history, and geography by means of her entomological
cabinet--botany, from the plants on which the various larvæ feed;
history, from the names, as Menelaus, Berenice, etc., given as specific
names to the perfect insects; and geography, from the native countries
of the several specimens.[1261] From the scientific names of insects,
and the technical terms employed in their study, quite a knowledge of
Latin and Greek, and philology in general, might also be gained.

In R. Brookes’ “Natural History of Insects, with their properties and
uses in medicine,” we find the following statement: “There have been the
solid shells of a sort of Beetle brought to England, that were found on
the eastern coast of Africa, over against part of the Island of
Madagascar, which the natives hang to their necks, and make use of them
as whistles to call their cattle together.”[1262] What this “sort of
Beetle” is I have not been able yet to determine.

Mr. Fitch W. Taylor, chaplain to the squadron commanded by Commodore
Geo. C. Read, gives a translation of several Siamese books, and among
others the Siamese Dream-book. It was translated by Mrs. Davenport, and
the subject is thus introduced:

“In former times a great prophet and magician, who had much wisdom and
could foretell all future events, gave the following interpretation of
signs and dreams. Whosoever sees signs and visions, if he wishes to know
whether they forebode good or evil, whether happiness or misery, if he
dream of any animals, insects, birds, or fishes, and wishes to know the
interpretation, let him examine this book.”

Of these signs and dreams I make extract of those which refer to
insects, as follows:

“If a person be alone, and an insect or reptile fall before the face,
but the individual see it only without touching it, it denotes that some
heavenly being will bestow great blessings on him. If it fall to the
right side, it denotes that all his friends, wherever scattered abroad,
shall again meet him in peace. If it fall behind the person, it denotes
that he shall be slandered and maliciously talked of by his friends and
acquaintances. If in falling it strike the face, it denotes that the
individual will soon be married. If it strike the right arm, it denotes
that the individual’s wishes, whatever they are, shall be accomplished.
If it strike the left hand, it denotes that the individual will lose his
friends by death. If it strike the foot, it denotes that whatever
trouble the individual may have had, all shall vanish, and he shall
reach the summit of happiness. If, after touching the foot, it should
crawl upward toward the head, it denotes that the individual shall be
raised to high office by the rulers of his country. If it crawl to the
right side, it denotes that the person shall hear bad tidings of some
absent friend. If the insect or reptile fall without touching the body,
and immediately flee toward the northeast, it denotes deep but not
lasting trouble; if toward the northwest, it denotes that the person
shall receive numerous and valuable presents; if toward the southeast,
it denotes that he shall receive great riches, and afterwards go to a
distant land; or that he shall go to a distant land, and there amass
great wealth.

“If an animal, insect, bird, or reptile, cross the path of any one as he
walks along, the animal coming from the right, let him not proceed--some
calamity will surely happen to him in the way. If the animal come from
the left, let him proceed--good fortune shall surely happen to him. If
the animal proceed before him in the same road in which he intends to
travel, it denotes good fortune....

“I now beg to interpret the signs of the night. If at midnight an
individual hears the noises of animals in the house where he resides, I
will show him whether they indicate good or evil. If any insect cry
‘click, click, click,’ he will possess real treasures while he abides
there. If it cry ‘kek, kek,’ it is an evil omen both to that and the
neighboring houses. If it cry ‘chit, chit,’ it denotes that he shall
always feed upon the most sumptuous provisions. If it cry ‘keat, keat,’
in a loud, shrill voice, it denotes that his residence there shall be
attended with evil.

“I now beg to interpret with regard to the Spider. If a Spider on the
ceiling utter a low, tremulous moan, it denotes that the individual who
hears the noise shall either change his residence or that his goods
shall be stolen. If it utter the same voice on the outside of the house,
and afterward the Spider crawl to the head of the bed, it denotes
troublesome visitors and quarrels to the residents.”[1263]

Thevenot, in his Travels into the Levant, relates the following: “But I
cannot tell what to say of a Moorish Woman who lives in a corner close
by the quarter of France, and pulls worms out of Children’s Ears. When a
Child does nothing but cry, and that they know it is ill, they carry it
to that Woman, who, laying the Child on its side upon her knee,
scratches the ear of it, and then Worms, like those which breed in musty
weevily Flower, seem to fall out of the Child’s Ear; then, turning it on
the other side, she scratches the other Ear, out of which the like Worms
drop also; and in all there may come out ten or twelve, which she raps
up in a Linen-Rag, and gives them to those that brought the Child to
her, who keep them in that Rag at home in their House; and when she has
done so she gives them back the Child, which in reality cries no more.
She once told me that she performed this by means of some words that she
spake. There was a French Physician and a Naturalist there, who
attentively beheld this, and told me that he could not conceive how it
could be done; but that he knew very well that if a child had any of
these Worms in its head it would quickly die. In so much that the Moors
and other inhabitants of _Caire_ look upon this as a great Vertue, and
give her every time a great many _maidins_ (pieces of money). They say
that it is a secret which hath been long in the Family. There are
children every day carried to her, roaring and crying, and as many would
see the thing done, need only to follow them, provided they be not
Musulman Women who carry them, for then it would cost an _Avanie_; but
when they are Christian or Jewish Women, one may easily enter and give a
few _maidins_ to that Worm-drawer.”[1264]

This is most probably but a sleight-of-hand performance, since “worms,
like those which breed in musty weevily flower,” could easily be
obtained and concealed in her hand or sleeve; imagination would then
effect the cure, as probably it had done the disease.

Dr. Livingstone and his party, in traveling in South Africa, sometimes
suffered considerably from scarcity of meat, though not from absolute
want of food. And the natives, says this traveler, to show their
sympathy, gave the children, who suffered most, a large kind of
caterpillar, which they seemed to relish. He concluded these insects
could not be unwholesome, for the natives devoured them in large
quantities themselves.[1265]


  Abortion, Ant to cause, 170;
    from hurt, Cochineal to prevent, 262.

  Abraxas for curing diseases, 37-39.

  _Acanthocinus ædilis_, 73.
    _tribulus_, 74.

  _Acaridæ_, 321.

  _Acarus_, 320, 321.

  _Acheta domestica_, 92-97.

  _Achetidæ_, 92-97.

  Acid made from Ants, 161.

  _Acridites lincola_, 126.

  Acridophagi, account of the, 120.

  Adultery, insect to detect, 367.

  Africa, Ants in, 156-7;
    Bees, 191, 200;
    Butterflies, 227, 231;
    Caterpillars, 372;
    Crickets, 95;
    Dragon-flies, 140;
    Flies, 288;
    Gnats, 282;
    Goliath-beetle, 46;
    Larvæ, 71;
    Lice, 317;
    Locusts, 101-130;
    Mantis, 84-88;
    Soap from beetle, 23;
    Spiders, 354;
    Termites, 132-137.

  Agaric-Gnat, 286.

  _Agestrata luconica_, 49.

  _Agrotis telifera_, 247.

  Ague, Bed-bugs as a remedy for, 67;
    Dung-beetle, 44;
    Oil of Scorpions, 330;
    Spiders, 357-360;
    Stag-beetle, 26.

  Albugo, Cobwebs remedy for, 357.

  Ali Gamooni, forger of Scarab-gems, 38, n.

  Alopecia, Bees remedy for, 206.

  Altars ornamented with Chrysalids, 231.

  Amber, Ant inclosed in, 169;
    Bee, 212.

  America, Bees in, 197;
    Crickets, 95;
    Fleas, 313;
    Gnats, 281;
    Lady-birds, 21;
    Lice, 318;
    Musk-beetle, 73;
    Spiders, 354.

  Amputation on account of Chigoes, 315.

  Animals becoming plants, 90-92;
    Egyptian worship of, theory on, 43, n.

  _Anobium pertinax_, 61.
    _striatum_, 61.
    _tesselatum_, 58-61.

  _Anopleura_, 316-320.

  Ant-hills, ovens made of, 134.

  Antipathy to Beetles, 74;
    Spiders, 344.

  Antler-moth, 246.

  _Ant-lions_, 141.

  _Ants_, 146-170, 196, 295, 322, 327, 356.

  Anus, prolapsed, Scarab remedy for, 44.

  _Aphaniptera_, 305-315.

  _Aphidæ_, 257-259.

  _Aphis humuli_, 258.

  _Apidæ_, 174-215.

  _Apis centuncularis_, 213.

  Apple-blossoms, May-bugs produced with, 47.

  Apocalypse, symbolical Locusts of the, 123.

  Apollo, Locusts destroyed by, 128.

  Aquitaine, bloody-rain in, 218.

  Arabia, beetle eaten by women of, 65;
    Silk-worms in, 239.

  _Arachnida_, 321-362.

  _Araneidæ_, 332-362.

  _Aranea diadema_, 361.

  _Aranea edulis_, 354.
    _obtextrix_, 347.
    _tarantula_, 351.

  _Arctiidæ_, 242-245.

  _Arctia chrysorrhœa_, 242.

  Armies routed by Mosquitoes, 282.

  Armpits, Silk-worms hatched under, 240.

  Arms, Bees on coat of, 196;
    Butterfly, 229.

  Army-worm, 247.

  Arrows tipped with poison of an Ant, 161.

  Artificial flowers, beetles upon, 23.

  Artillery employed against Ants, 168;
    Locusts, 106.

  _Ascarides_ in human stomach, 67.

  Asia, Honey-dew in, 257;
    Locusts, 103-130.

  Ass, dung of, for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    Fleas do not bite, 310;
    Hornets generated from carcass of, 171;
    Locusts, 101;
    Scarabs, 170;
    Scarab supposed to make its balls of the dung of, 28;
    Silk woven by an, 241;
    sting of Scorpions transferred to, 325;
    Wasps generated from carcass of, 170.

  Assyria, Egyptian Scarab-gems among ruins of, 39-41.

  Assyrians, Locusts eaten by the, 126.

  Astringent, Galls as an, 145.

  Astronomical subjects, Scarab connected with, 33, 37.

  _Ateuchus Ægyptorum_, 29.
    _sacer_, 29-43.

  Athenians, golden cicadas worn by, 251;
    Locusts eaten by, 120.

  Athens, so-called Flies at, 291, n.

  Atrophy, Lice remedy for, 319.

  Auks, snow colored red by, 220, n.

  Australia, Butterflies in, 231;
    Flies, 288;
    larvæ eaten in, 70.

  Automaton Flies, 294.

  Azores, _Coccidæ_ in, 264.

  Baalzebub worshiped under form of a Fly, 292.

  Back, Termite queens for strengthening the, 137.

  Baldness, Bees remedy for, 206;
    Flies, 295.

  Balm, antidote for poisons, 193;
    Bee-hives prepared with, 190.

  Banian Hospital for animals, 266.

  Banks, Sir Joshua, Spiders eaten by, 356.

  Barbados, Ants in, 167;
    Ash-colored Cricket, 92;
    Ash-colored Grasshopper, 98;
    Gnats, 279;
    Grou-grou worm, 70;
    Lantern-flies, 256.

  Barbary, Locusts in, 105-130.

  Barley, Glow-worms indicate ripeness of, 58.

  Bashikouay-ants, 157, 158.

  Basilidians, abraxas invented by the, 37.

  Basill, the herb, Scorpions generated from, 322.

  Basilisks, Scorpions generated from, 322.

  Battles of Ants, 151;
    Gnats, 278.

  Bats eaten in Cumana, 99;
    to drive away Locusts, 114.

  Beans for sting of Scorpions, 327.

  Bears, Ants eaten by, to purge, 163;
    fat and blood of, to kill Caterpillars, 245;
    man saved by a, 196.

  _Bed-bugs_, 265-274, 306.

  Bedeguar, 144.

  Beds, to rid of Bugs, 266;
    Scorpions to cool, 324.

  Bee-moth, 248.

  _Bees_, 174-215.

  Beggars hired as food for vermin, 266;
    Lice eaten by, 318.

  Bell, Caterpillars cursed with a, 243.

  Besiegers routed with Bees, 204;
    by Mosquitoes, 283.

  Beetle-headed, 49.

  Beetles, 17-75.

  Bermuda, Butterflies in, 227;
    Spiders, 354, 362.

  Berries, Cochineal supposed to be, 261.

  Bezoar-stone for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  Bible, Ant in the, 148;
    Bees, 184;
    Flea, 313;
    Gnat, 285;
    Locusts, 101, 128.

  Birds preserved to destroy Locusts, 114.

  Bishop Barnabee, Lady-bird so called, 19.

  Black-beetles, 78-82.

  Blacksmith-beetle, 55.

  _Blapsidæ_, 65-68.

  _Blaps mortisaga_, 65, 68, 78.

  _Blatta Americana_, 79.
    _fœtida_, 78.
    _orientalis_, 79.
    of the ancients, 78.

  _Blattidæ_, 78-82.

  Bleeding of wounds, cobwebs to arrest, 357.

  Blind as a beetle, 49.

  Blindness, Death’s-head Moth supposed to cause, 233.

  _Blister-flies_, 62-64.

  Blood, showers of, 216-225.

  Boars drowned in Honey, 211.

  Boils cured by Ants, 162.

  _Bombicidæ_, 234-241.

  _Bombus_, 213.

  _Bombyx Madroni_, 239.
    _mori_, 234.

  Books perforated by beetles, 61.

  _Bostrichidæ_, 61.

  _Bostrichus typographus_, 61.

  Botany, study of, from cabinet of insects, 369.

  _Bot-flies_, 302-304.

  Brain, Scorpion in a woman’s, 322.

  Brandy flavored with Ants, 161.

  Brides in Holland, pupæ compared to, 232.

  Briers, May-bug grubs changed into, 48.

  Brazen Fly, game so called, 294.

  Brazil, Ants in, 160, 168;
    Blister-flies, 63;
    Diamond-beetles, 68;
    Gold-beetles, 23;
    Termites, 134-5.

  Browny invoked in hiving Bees, 190.

  Bruce and the Spider, 333.

  Bubo, pestilential, Oil-beetles for, 63.

  Buenos Ayres, Flies in, 287.

  Buffalo, Locusts a cross between the and Spider, 113.

  Bug-bear, meaning of, 265.

  Bug-poison, vending of, in London, 268.

  Bull, fat of, in charm to destroy Fleas, 308.

  Bullocks, Bees generated from, 183.

  _Burn-cows_, 50-51.

  Burnie-bee, Lady-bird so called, 22.

  Burning Spiders for amusement, 350.

  _Buprestidæ_, 50-51.

  _Buprestis attenuata_, 50.
    _fascicularius_, 51.
    _maxima_, 50.
    _ocellata_, 50.
    _vittata_, 50.
    in Egypt, 29.
    of the ancients, 51.

  _Butterflies_, 216-232.

  Butter, Grou-grou worm made into, 69.

  Cabbage-tree worm, 68-70.

  _Cactus cochinilifer_, 261.

  Caffres make ovens of Ant-hills, 134.

  _Calandra palmarum_, 27, 68-70.

  _Calichroma alpina_, 367.

  California, Mosquitoes in, 284.

  _Callidryas alcmeone_, 227.
    _hilariæ_, 227.
    _pyranthe_, 227.

  Cameleons, Meal-worms as food for, 65.

  Camels employed in stealing gold from Ants, 146.

  Canaan subdued with Hornets, 171.

  Canary Islands, Locusts in, 104.

  Cancers, Cockroaches cure for, 78.

  Candle, why Moths fly in a, 242.

  Canker-worms, 248.

  _Canis corsac_ supposed to be the fabled gold-loving Ant
        of India, 148.

  Cannon employed against Fleas, 308.

  _Cantharidæ_, 62-64.

  _Cantharides_, 62-64, 193.

  Cantharidine, 63.

  _Cantharis vesicatoria_, 62-64.

  _Cantharis_ in head of mummy, 41.

  Cantharus of the ancients, 27.

  Caprification of figs, 144.

  Capua, burning of, foreshown by Ants, 173.

  _Carabidæ_, 23.

  Carbuncle, Oil-beetle remedy for, 63.

  _Carabus chrysocephalus_, 71.

  Carcasses, Bees tenanting, 194.

  Caravans, Bee-, 199.

  Carcinoma, Buprestis remedy for, 51.

  Cardinals, Spiders so called, 342.

  Carli and the Ants, 156.

  Carpenter-bee, 213.

  Carriages drawn by Fleas, 312.

  Caribbean Islands, Bees in, 204;
    Cucujus in, 53.

  Catamenia, women with, Caterpillars destroyed by, 244;
    Buprestis for, 51.

  Catarrh, Crickets remedy for, 96.

  Catch-’em-alive papers, sellers of, 296.

  Caterpillars, 158, n., 242-248.

  Cattle, Bees generated from carcasses of, 183;
    Daddy-Long-legs to find lost, 321;
    killed by Bees, 203;
    Mosquitoes, 283;
    sting of Sirex, 142;
    Spiders cure for poisoned, 360;
    warbles of, 303;
    whistle to call, made of beetle-shards, 369.

  Cats, Scarab-images with heads of, 36.

  Cayenne, Ants in, 162.

  Cedar, Spiders repelled by, 341.

  Centipedes as food, 365.

  _Cerambycidæ_, 72-74.

  _Cerambyx moschatus_, 73.

  Ceres, the Ant an attribute of, 152.

  _Cetoniidæ_, 49.

  Ceylon, Ants in, 158;
    Bees, 214;
    Black-ants, 157;
    British soldiers tortured with Ants, 158;
    _Buprestidæ_, 50;
    Butterflies, 227;
    Gnats, 282;
    _Oryctes rhinoceros_, 46;
    superstitions connected with insects, 46;
    Termites, 135;
    Wood-carrying Moth, 245.

  Chained Fleas, 312.

  Chalk, Ants cannot pass over a line of, 169.

  Chapelain, anecdote of, 332.

  Charity, sugar given to Ants as an act of, 152.

  Charles XII., army of, impeded by Locusts, 106.

  Charm for Bots in horses, 302.

  Chelonitis used in raising tempests, 45.

  Chemical process to destroy Locusts, 116.

  Chestnut, Spiders repelled by, 341.

  Chickens made to close Bee-hives against the Bee-moth, 249.

  Chigoes, 341.

  Chili, Gold-beetles in, 23.

  China, _Aphis_ for dyeing in, 258;
    Blister-flies in, 63;
    _Buprestidæ_, 50;
    Butterflies, 229;
    Cicadas, 253;
    _Copris molossus_, 44;
    Grasshoppers, 100;
    insect to discover unchastity, 367;
    to forward delivery, 368;
    Lantern-fly, 256;
    Locusts, 112-130;
    Mantis, 87;
    Silk-worms, 234-241;
    Smelling-bug, 266, 272;
    Solitary Wasp, 174.

  _Chlænius saponarius_, 23.

  _Chlorops læta_, 287.

  Cholera, Flies die before breaking out of, 290.

  Christiana, Queen, Fleas cannonaded by, 308.

  Chrysalids of Butterflies venerated, 230.

  _Chyrsomelidæ_, 23.

  Chululahs, Spider in cosmogony of the, 342.

  _Church-yard Beetles_, 65-68.

  _Cicada chinensis_, 255.
    _septemdecim_, 253.

  _Cicadidæ_, 250-255.

  Cicindela, larvæ of, how captured, 97.

  _Cimex brassicæ_, 267.
    _juniperinus_, 267.

  _Cimex lecturarius_, 265-274.
    _pratensis_, 267.

  _Cimicidæ_, 265-274.

  City abandoned on account of Ants, 169;
    depopulated by Bees, 204;
    of Myas dispeopled by Fleas, 307;
    of Nisibis, siege of, raised by Mosquitoes, 283;
    of Tamly saved with Bees, 204.

  Clay, Locusts made from, 118;
    of Ant-hills, uses of, 134.

  Clothes’-moth, 248.

  Clothes, suit of, foretold by Measuring-worm, 248.

  Clouds, Gossamer supposed to form, 349.

  Cobra-de-Capello and the Ants, 157.

  _Coccidæ_, 259-264.

  _Coccinella septempunctata_, 17-23.

  _Coccinellidæ_, 17-23.

  _Coccus cacti_, 260.
    _ficus_, 263.
    _Hesperidum_, 264.
    _ilicis_, 259.
    _lacca_, 263.
    _polonicus_, 260.
    _uvæ-ursi_, 260.

  Cochineal, 260, 317, n.

  Cock, brains of, for bite of Spider, 356.

  _Cock-chafers_, 47-49.

  _Cockroaches_, 78-82.

  Coffee-bug, 158.

  Coffin, Bees alighting on, 188;
    clothes laid on, to keep away Moths, 249.

  Coffin-cutter, the, of the Irish, 368.

  Coins, Bees on, 194;
    Scarab-gems supposed to be, 36.

  Cold in horses, Hornets’ nest for, 172.

  _Coleoptera_, 17-75.

  _Colias edusa_, 227.

  Colic, Lady-birds remedy for, 21;
    Scorpions, 329.

  Comet, Locusts sent by, 113;
    omens from, 246.

  Commerce, Crickets as an article of, 95;
    Mantis, 92.

  Communication between Ants, 155.

  Conception, Spiders to prevent, 360.

  Conjuror of Bees, 201.

  Conradus, Bishop, Spider drank in wine by, 356.

  Consumption, Honey-dew for, 257.

  Continental money, Bees on, 197.

  Convulsions, Silk-worms for, 240.

  Coprion of the ancients, 27.

  _Copris molossus_, 44.
    _sabæus_, 41.
    in Egypt, 29.

  Coral for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Corixa femorata_, 276.
    _mercenaria_, 276.

  Corn, Indian mode of destroying Caterpillars injurious to, 244;
    Stag-beetle supposed to injure, 25;
    stored by Ants, 148-150.

  Correspondence by means of Cucuji, 53.

  Cortes, army of, saved from attack by Cucuji, 53.

  Cosmogonies, Spiders in various, 342.

  _Cossus_ of the ancients, 27, 74.

  Counterfeiting Scarab-gems, 38, n.

  Country depopulated by Spiders and Scorpions, 353.

  Courtezans, Cantharides employed by, 62.

  _Corynetes violaceous_, 41.

  Cow, in names of Lady-bird, 17;
    killed by Ants, 156;
    bewitched by killing Ants, 152;
    Scarab figured with head of, 35.

  Crabley, Mrs. Jane, stiffness in knees of, cured by Ants, 162.

  Crabs for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Crane-flies_, 286.

  Cray-fish, Scorpions generated from, 322.

  Creator, Scarab sacred to, 30;
    symbol of, 29.

  Creoles not attacked by Chigoes, 315.

  Crete, Galls eaten in, 145.

  _Crickets_, 92-97.

  Crimea, Gnats in, 282;
    Locusts, 116.

  Criminals tortured with Ants, 158;
    Flies, 296;
    Mosquitoes, 284.

  Crimson, Galls for dyeing, 258;
    Cochineal, 259.

  Crocodile, Scorpions generated from carcass of, 323;
    Wasps, 171;
    Scorpions enemies to, 324;
    worship of, in Egypt, 43, n.

  Crow, dung of, for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  Cuckoo to prevent breeding of Fleas, 307.

  Cucujus, 51.

  _Culex pipiens_, 278.

  _Culicidæ_, 278-286.

  Cumana, Grasshoppers eaten in, 98.

  _Curculionidæ_, 68-72.

  _Curculio anti-odontalgicus_, 71.
    _Bacchus_, 71.
    _jæcac_, 71.
    in a plum, 76.

  Cut-worm, 246.

  _Cynipidæ_, 143-145.

  _Cynips ficus caricæ_, 144.
    _gallæ tinctorum_, 144.
    _glecome_, 144.
    _insana_, 145.
    _psenes_, 144.
    _rosæ_, 144.

  Daddy-Long-legs, 321.

  Dance, Hottentot Bee-, 211.

  Dank food, Bots generated from, 303.

  _Day-flies_, 138.

  Dead, Leather-beetles buried with the, 24;
    Scarab-images, 36.

  Dead Sea fruits, 145.

  Deafness, Ants remedy for, 161;
    Ear-wigs, 76.

  Death, Bees informed of a, 185-188;
    omens of, from Bees, 181, 185;
    Black-beetle, 82;
    Butterflies, 229;
    Caterpillars, 242;
    Church-yard beetle, 65;
    Crickets, 92-95;
    Death-watch, 58-61;
    Dragon-fly, 140;
    Glow-worm, 57;
    Hawk-moth, 232;
    Mantis, 83;
    Spiders, 340.

  Death’s-head Moth, 232.

  _Death-watch_, 58-61, 93.

  Debility, Termites remedy for, 137.

  _Decticus verrucivorus_, 100.

  Deer killed by Ants, 157;
    their antidote for poisons, 353;
    Wasps generated from the head of, 171.

  Dejeau, Genl. Count, anecdote of, 368.

  Democritis, fondness of, for Honey, 209.

  Denmark, Dung-beetle in, 28.

  _Dermestes elongatus_, 24, 41.
    _pollinctus_, 24, 41.
    _roei_, 24, 41.
    _vulpinus_, 24, 41.

  _Dermestidæ_, 24.

  Devil, Fleas attributed to the envy of the, 311;
    in the shape of a Flea, 310;
    Fly, 293.

  Dew, scorched, Gossamer supposed to be, 348.

  _Diamond-beetles_, 23, 68.

  Diaphoretic, Bees as, 206.

  Diarrhœa, Rose-gall for, 144.

  Digger Indians, Grasshoppers eaten by, 99.

  _Diptera_, 278-304.

  Disease, foretold by Gnats, 280.

  Disjonval and his Spiders, 336.

  Distemper in horses, Hornets’ nest for, 172.

  Diuretic, Bees as, 206.

  Dog, fat of, to destroy Nits, 320;
    Fleas generated from humors on, 305;
    foiled with Bees, 201;
    Scarab-images with heads of, 36.

  Domitian, anecdote of, 332.

  _Dragon-flies_, 138-140.

  Dragon of St. George, Flies generated from, 304.

  Dreams, signification of, of Ants and Bees, 152;
    Flies, 289;
    Locusts, 119;
    insects in general in Siam, 370.

  Dr. Ellison, Lady-bird so called, 20.

  Drink, Honey-dew as a, 257.

  Dropsy, Cantharides for, 63.

  Drouth foretold by Grasshoppers, 100.

  Du Chaillu runs from Ants to save his life, 157.

  Dufour, Mrs. A. L. R., verses by, 131, 243.

  _Dung-beetles_, 27-45.

  “Duo,” the pronouncing of, to prevent Scorpions stinging, 325.

  Dust, Fleas generated from, 305.

  Dwarfs, Gossamer woven by, 349.

  Dyeing, Cochineal used in, 260;
    Galls used in, 145.

  _Dynastes Goliathus_, 46, 47.
    _Hercules_, 45-47.

  _Dynastidæ_, 45-47.

  Dysentery, bedeguar for, 144.

  Dysury, Grasshoppers for, 100.

  Eagle, Beetle’s revenge upon, 45.

  Ear, Beetle in the, of Capt. Speke, 79, n.;
    Cockroach in the, of a Swede, 79;
    _Blatta_ of Pliny for diseases of the, 66;
    Bugs, 267;
    Cockroaches, 78;
    Crickets, 97;
    Spiders, 357;
    Stag-beetles, 26;
    worms extracted from children’s, 371.

  _Ear-wigs_, 76, 77.

  East Indies, Locusts in, 112, 113;
    Termites, 137.

  Egypt, Beetles eaten by the women in, 65;
    buried with the dead, 24;
    bloody-waters, 223, n.;
    _Buprestis_, 29;
    _Copris_, 29;
    Cicadas, 253;
    frontiers of, made known from inscriptions on Scarabæi, 35;
    Gnats in, 282;
    insects embalmed in, 41;
    Locusts in, 101, 113;
    Scarab worshiped, 29-42;
    Scorpions in, 328.

  Egyptian pottery, Flies on, 292;
    worship of animals, theory on, 43, n.

  _Elateridæ_, 51-55.

  _Elater noctilucus_, 51-55, 255.

  Elephant named _Lucas_, 24;
    put to flight by Ants, 157.

  Elf-shot, cattle said to be, 303.

  Elizabeth, Queen, silk stockings worn by, 238.

  Eloquence foretold by Bees, 178.

  Embalmed, _Buprestis_, 30;
    House-fly, 41;
    Scarab, 41.

  Embalming, Honey used for, 208.

  Embroidered, Spiders, on ladies’ dresses, 354.

  Emerald, Beetle engraven on, against witchcraft, 44.

  Emmets, 146-170.

  Emperor of China and the Locusts, 128.

  Enchantment, counter-charm for, 192.

  Encouragement taken from an Ant, 154;
    Spider, 333.

  Enemies represented by a Scorpion and a Crocodile fighting, 324;
    sign of, from dreams of Flies, 289.

  England, Aphides in, 258;
    Bed-bugs, 265, 299;
    beetles buried with the dead, 24;
    Bees, 181-184;
    bloody-rain, 217;
    _Buprestidæ_, 50;
    Caterpillars, 242;
    Crickets, 92-94;
    Death’s-head Moth, 233;
    Fleas, 314;
    Flies, 287;
    Gnats, 278;
    hedge-hogs kept to kill roaches, 78;
    Lady-birds in, 17-23;
    Locusts, 107;
    silk and silk-worms, 238;
    Spiders, 336;
    Stag-beetles, 25.

  Engravers, Scarab used by, to steady their sight, 44.

  Enormous prices paid for insects, 46, 64.

  Equator, Lice leave sailors when crossing, 317.

  _Epeira clavipes_, 362.

  _Ephemeridæ_, 138.

  Epigram compared to a Scorpion, 331;
    on an Ant, 169;
    Bee, 212;
    Silk-worm, 241.

  Epilepsy, larvæ of Bots for, 302.

  Epitaph, cure for worms, on account of an, 363.

  _Erinaceus Europæus_, 78.

  _Eruca officinalis_, 245.

  Esteem for Ant-lions, 141.

  Etruscans, Egyptian Scarab adopted by, 39.

  Etymology of Cricket, 97;
    Locust, 130;
    _Pulex_, 305.

  Eucharist, holy, respect of Bees for, 174-177.

  _Eumeta_, 245.

  _Eumolpus auratus_, 23.

  _Eunota amphyoxis_, 224.

  _Euplexoptera_, 67-77.

  _Euplœa coras_, 228.
    _prothoe_, 228.

  Europe, Antler-moth in, 246;
    Bee-caravans, 199;
    Deaths’-head moth, 233;
    Dragon-flies, 139;
    insect ornaments, 44;
    Locusts in, 102-130;
    Mantis, 83;
    Silk-worms, 235;
    Termites, 132-137;
    trade in insects, 366.

  _Eutimis nobilis_, 68.

  Evil eye, silk-worms susceptible to, 239.

  Exorcised, Ants, 169;
    Locusts, 116;
    Turnip-fly, 74.

  Eyes, cobwebs for defluxions of, 356;
    green Scarab for, 44;
    Honey in preparation for, 209;
    oil of Scorpions for, 330;
    Scarab for protuberating, 44.

  _Eynchitus aureus_, 71.

  Fairies, Ants supposed to be, 152;
    Gossamer spun by, 349.

  Famine foretold by Grasshoppers, 100;
    maggot, 143;
    Mantis, 83.

  Farriers, Cantharides employed by, 64.

  Fat, beetle eaten by women to become, 65.

  Fecundity, Scarab symbolical of, 33;
    eaten to cause, 33.

  Fever, Bugs medicine for, 367;
    Honey-dew, 257;
    Spiders, 357, 359;
    sign of, from dreams of Flies, 289.

  Fever, man dead from, Scarab symbol of, 33.

  Figs, caprification of, 144;
    for sting of scorpions, 326.

  Fighting, beetles kept for, 368;
    Mantis, 87.

  Fire, alarms of, occasioned by Gnats, 278.

  _Fire-flies_, 51-55.

  Fires occasioned by Stag-beetles, 25;
    Scorpion surrounded with, 328;
    to destroy Canker-worms, 248.

  Fish killed by a Spider, 346;
    Locusts hatched from spawn, 118;
    for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    spawn of, sold for eggs of silk-worms, 241.

  _Flata limbata_, 254.

  Flatterers compared to Flies, 291.

  _Fleas_, 266, 273, 135, 305-315.

  Fleur de lis, origin of, on arms of France, 196.

  _Flies_, 287-301, 306, 324.

  Flight, extent of the Bee’s, 200;
    Locust’s, 129.

  Floors made from clay of Ant-hills, 134.

  Flora, Ants’ remedy for, 161.

  Flour, Bees steal, from a mill, 191.

  Flying-bulls, 25.

  Food, Ants as, 159-161;
    Bees, 204;
    _Buprestis_, 51;
    Butterflies, 231;
    Caterpillars, 372;
    Cicadas, 254;
    Cossi, 27;
    _Copris molossus_, 44;
    Field-crickets, 96;
    Flies, 295;
    Galls, 145;
    Goliath-beetle, 46;
    Grasshoppers, 98, 99;
    Grou-grou worm, 69, 70;
    Honey, 208-211;
    Lice, 99, 317;
    Locusts, 98, 120-127;
    May-bug, 49;
    _Notonectidæ_, 275;
    _Oryctes rhinoceros_, 46;
    _Prionus damicornis_, 73;
    Scolopendras and Centipedes, 365;
    Scorpions, 329;
    Silk-worms, 240;
    Spiders, 354-356;
    Termites, 135-137.

  _Forficulidæ_, 76, 77.

  Forger of Scarab-gems, 38, n.

  Formic acid, 161.

  _Formica bispinosa_, 162.
    _major_, 161.
    _minor_, 161.
    _omnivora_, 166.
    _rufa_, 159.
    _smaragdina_, 157, 158.

  _Formicidæ_, 146-170.

  Fortune, good, presaged by _Acanthocinus ædilis_, 73.

  Fox, how it rids itself of Fleas, 309;
    how it kills Wasps for their combs, 174.

  Fractures, cobwebs for, 357.

  France, bloody-rain in, 218;
    Crickets, 97;
    _Cynips glecome_, 145;
    Death’s-head Moth, 233;
    Lady-bird, 17;
    Locusts, 103-130;
    Mantis, 83;
    shower of insects, 365;
    Termites in, 132.

  Frankfort, massacre of the Jews at, 218.

  Franklin and the Ants, 155.

  Freak of nature: five-winged Butterfly, 230.

  Frogs killed with hot charcoal, 55;
    foot in chalk, to keep away witches, 247;
    for sting of Scorpions, 327.

  Fruit, wasps generated from rotten, 171, 184.

  _Fulgora candelaria_, 256.
    _lanternaria_, 255.

  _Fulgoridæ_, 255-256.

  Funereal rites, Scarab connected with, 33, 36.

  Funerals, Bees invited to, 187.

  Gad-fly, 291.

  _Gallerucidæ_, 74.

  _Galleria cereana_, 249.

  _Gall-flies_, 143-145.

  Galls, 143-145.

  Gambaia, Lice in, 317.

  Garlic, to keep away Scorpions, 327.

  _Gasterophilus hæmorrhoidalis_, 302.

  Generation of Fleas, 305;
    Flies, 290;
    Gnats, 278;
    Scorpions, 321;
    Spiders, 362;
    Wasps, 171, 184.

  Geography, study of, from cabinet of insects, 369.

  _Geometridæ_, 248.

  _Geotrupes stercorarius_, 28, 44.

  Germany, Agaric-Gnat in, 286;
    Ants, 159;
    Blister-flies, 63;
    bloody-rain, 218;
    Butterflies, 225;
    Canker-worms, 248;
    Crickets, 96;
    Gall-flies, 143;
    Lady-bird, 17;
    Stag-beetle, 25;
    Typographer-beetle, 61.

  Ghosts, Glow-worms supposed to be, 56.

  Gilded-Dandy, 23.

  Gleanthus and the Ants, 154.

  _Glow-worms_, 55-58, 339.

  _Gnats_, 52, 194, 278-286.

  Goat, blood of, to destroy Fleas, 308;
    fat of, for sting of Scorpions, 325;
    gall of, in medicine, 210;
    liver of, to drive away Moths, 243;
    maggots in the brain of, 302.

  Gods, earthen, made of clay of Ant-hills, 135.

  _Gold-beetles_, 23.

  Golden-Bees in tomb of Childeric, 196.
    Fleece, search after the, 241.

  Gold obtained from Ants in India, 146.

  Goldsmiths, clay of Ant-hills used by, 135.

  Good foretold by Ants, 152.
    Friday, Bees removed on, 185.

  Goose-quill, Spider in, for Ague, 358.

  Gorilla put to rout by Ants, 157.

  Gossamer, 347.

  Gout, Ants remedy for, 162;
    Oil-beetles, 63;
    Spiders, 359.

  Granada, Ants in, 167.

  _Grasshoppers_, 98-100, 251.

  Gray, characteristics of Linnæan orders of insects,
        turned into hexameters by, 363.

  Greece, silk-worms in, 237.

  Greek, study of, from names of insects, 369.

  Greeks, Ants in divination by, 152;
    Bees, 178;
    _Buprestis_ as food by, 51;
    Egyptian Scarab adopted by, 39;
    estimation of, for Cicadas, 250;
    Grasshoppers eaten by, 98;
    knowledge of silk, 235;
    larvæ eaten by, 27;
    Mantis in soothsaying by, 83.

  Grou-grou worm, 68-70.

  _Gryllidæ_, 98-100.

  _Gryllotalpa vulgaris_, 57, n.

  _Gryllus Ægypticus_, 126.
    _domesticus_, 97.

  Guiana, Ants in, 168;
    Bees, 205;
    Black-ants, 156;
    _Cantharis maxima_, 64;
    Lantern-flies, 256.

  Guinea, Spiders in, 342.

  Gustavus Adolphus’ aversion for Spiders, 344.

  Gyre-carlin, Louse in rhyme of the, 320.

  Hæmorrhoids, Dung-beetle for, 44.

  Happiness of Cicadas, 251.

  Hair, Cicadas ornaments for the, 251;
    insects, 57;
    on children’s cheeks, Ants to remove, 161.

  _Haltica oleracea_, 74.
    _nemorum_, 74.

  Hampton Court, Spiders at, 342.

  Harvest, augury as to, from Dung-beetle, 28.

  _Harvest-flies_, 250-255.

  Harvest-man, 321.

  Hare, feet of, to drive away Bugs, 266;
    urine of, in a prescription, 76.

  Harp, Cicada emblem of, 252.

  Harts, their antidote for poison, 353.

  Hawking with Butterflies, 230.

  Hawk, Scarab figured with head of, 34.

  _Hawk-moths_, 232-234.

  Headache, Scarab on an emerald for, 45.

  Head-dresses, Butterflies on, 230.

  Heart, worm in the, of a horse, 365.

  Hedge-hog kept to kill Roaches, 78.

  _Heliocantharus_ of the ancients, 27.

  Heliogabalus estimates population of Rome
        from collection of Spiders, 334.

  Hemorrhages, Ants for, 162;
    Galls, 145.

  Hen, dung of, for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    moisture from mouth of, for same, 327.

  Hercules-beetle, 45-47.

  Hercules, god of the Flies, 292.

  _Heteroptera_, 265-277.

  Hieroglyphics, Cicadas as, 253;
    Scarab, 35, 37, 43, n.

  Hispaniola ravaged by Ants, 166.

  History, study of, from cabinet of insects, 369.

  Hiving Bees, curious practice at, 189.

  Hoax: bloody-rain in Tennessee, 224.

  Holy men, Lice nourished by, 317.

  Holy water, Caterpillars destroyed with, 243;
    Locusts, 116.

  _Homoptera_, 250-264.

  Honey, 208-211.

  Honey-dew, 257.

  Hops, Aphides and Lady-birds killed on, 21;
    injury to, from Hop-fly, 258.

  _Hornets_, 170-174, 194.

  Horns of Scarabæi in medicine, 26.

  Horse-hair, Gnats destroyed by, 285.

  Horse-leeches eaten in Cumana, 98.

  Horses, Bots in, 303;
    dung of, for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    diseases of, Hornets’ nest for, 172;
    in descriptions of Locusts, 118;
    Hornets generated from carcass of, 171, 184;
    Wasps, 170.

  Hottentots, Bee-dance of, 211;
    make floors of clay of Ant-hills, 135;
    origin of Locusts, 123;
    worship of Mantis, 84-88.

  House-fly, 41, 287-301.

  House-leek for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Humble-bees_, 213.

  Hundred hives of Bees, cannot have, 188.

  Hungary, Fleas in, 308;
    poisonous Fly, 303;
    shower of insects, 365.

  Hydrophobia, Oil-beetles for, 63.

  _Hymenoptera_, 142-215.

  Hymn, singing of, when hiving Bees, 190.

  Hysteria, Bed-bugs for, 267.

  Ibis in Egypt, 43, n.

  Iceland, bloody-rain in, 218.

  Ideographic, Scarab as an, 35.

  Ignatius, Lice nourished by, 317.

  Illness, omen of, from Black-beetle, 82;
    Grasshopper, 98.

  Incantations, Locusts destroyed by, 116.

  Incontinence detected by Bees, 181.

  India, Ants in, 152;
    Blister-flies, 63;
    _Buprestidæ_, 50;
    Dung-beetle, 29;
    fabled gold-loving Ants of, 146;
    Fire-flies in, 57;
    larva of beetle eaten in, 70;
    Mantis in, 83;
    Silk-worms, 235;
    Spiders, 342;
    Termites, 132-137.

  Indians, American, Butterfly totem of, 229;
    Caterpillars destroyed by, 244;
    Cicadas eaten, 254;
    Cut-worms destroyed, 247;
    Grasshoppers eaten, 99;
    name for Bees, 197.

  Ingenuity of Ants, 154.

  Ink, Galls in manufacture of, 145.

  Inquisitive persons compared to Flies, 291.

  Ireland, Bees in, 181;
    Coffin-cutter, 368;
    Gnats, 281;
    May-bugs, 48;
    Spiders, 358.

  Irish oak, Spiders repelled by, 340.

  Isis, respect of Scorpions for, 328;
    Scarab figured with the head of, 34.

  Italy, Blister-flies in, 63;
    Glow-worms, 57;
    Gnats, 281;
    Locusts, 102-130;
    Scorpions, 324;
    Silk-worms, 237.

  Ivory, Ants carved out of, 170.

  Jack-’o-lanterns, Glow-worms supposed to be, 57;
    Mole-crickets, 57.

  James I., anecdote of, 239.

  Jamaica, _Cantharis maxima_, in, 64;
    Cockroaches, 78;
    Crickets, 96;
    Dragon-flies, 140;
    frogs, 55;
    Gnats, 282.

  Japan, Grasshoppers in, 100;
    Moths and Night-flies, 242.

  Jaundice, _Blatta_ of Pliny for, 67;
    Lice, 319;
    Oil of Scorpions, 330.

  Java, larvæ of beetle eaten in, 70;
    Mantis in, 87.

  Jays preserved to kill Locusts, 114.

  Jerusalem saved by Locusts, 119.

  Jews, Locusts eaten by, 101;
    as playthings for children, 130;
    massacred on account of bloody-rain, 218;
    not permitted to burn Fleas, 311.

  Jiggers, 314.

  Julian the Apostate, army of, routed by Mosquitoes, 282.

  July, swarm of Bees in, 192.

  June, swarm of Bees in, 192.

  Jupiter in the form of an Ant, 151.

  Katy-did, 131.

  Kermes-dye, 259.

  Killing Bees for their Honey, 190.

  King Calowa, Lady-bird called, 20.

  King-fisher to keep away Clothes’-moth, 249.

  King of the Fleas, 307;
    Locusts, 127.

  King’s evil, _Blatta_ of Pliny for, 66.

  Knife-grinder, Hercules-beetle called the, 46.

  Koran, the Ant of the, 153.

  Kuffelar’s color, origin of, 262.

  Labor, Flies driven away from women in, 292;
    insect to relieve, 368.

  Lac, -dye, -lake, 262.

  _Lady-birds_, 17-23.

  La Lande, Spiders eaten by, 355.

  Lamp, Cucuji used as, 54.

  _Lampyridæ_, 55-58.

  _Lantern-flies_, 255-6.

  Laock, Cockroach in the ear of, 79.

  Lapland, _Acanthocinus ædilis_ in, 73;
    Crane-flies, 286.

  Lard, Fleas kept away with, 308.

  Latin, study of, from names of insects, 369.

  Lauzun and his pet Spider, 336.

  Law, Mosquitoes to execute the, 284.

  Lawsuit between Commune of St. Julien and an Insect, 71.

  _Leather-beetles_, 24.

  Leather, Galls in manufacture of, 145.

  Leaf becoming a Butterfly, 230.

  Leeches, Bed-bugs to remove or kill, 267.

  _Lecanium coffea_, 158.

  Legends connected with Bees, 174-180;
    Katy-did, 131.

  Lemurs kept to kill Roaches, 78.

  Lentigo, Ants remedy for, 161.

  Lepaute, Madame, Spiders eaten by, 355.

  _Lepidoptera_, 216-249.

  Leprosy, Ants for, 161;
    _Buprestis_, 51;
    Cantharides, 63;
    _Mylœcon_ of Pliny, 66.

  Lethargy, Bed-bugs for, 268.

  Letters on wings of Locusts, 119.

  Lettuce-seed for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Leucania unipunctata_, 247.

  Levant, Aphis for dyeing in, 258.

  _Libellula depressa_, 139.
    _quadrimaculata_, 139.

  _Libellulidæ_, 138-140.

  _Lice_, 266, 306, 308, 316-320.

  Lichen, _Buprestis_ for, 51;
    Cantharides, 63.

  Lierman, 254.

  Light from Cucuji, 51-3;
    perpetual, from Glow-worms, 56;
    of the Lantern-fly, 255.

  Linnæus and the genus _Pausus_, 23.

  Lion, Bees from carcass of, slain by Samson, 194;
    driven mad by Mosquitoes, 284;
    fat of, to drive away Flies, 289;
    put to flight by Scorpions, 324;
    Scarab-images with head of, 36;
    skin of, to destroy Clothes’-moth, 249.

  Lithuania, Bees in, 186.

  Lizard for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Locusta migratoria_, 101-131.
    _tartarica_, 117.

  _Locustidæ_, 101-131.

  _Locusts_, 101-131, 326.

  Loke in the form of a Fly, 294.

  London, vending of Bug-poison in, 268;
    Fly-papers, 296;
    Phosphor Paste for killing Roaches, etc., 80-82.

  Love divination, Lady-bird in, 19-20;
    Mantis, 89.

  Lover, approach of, foretold by Crickets, 93.

  _Lucanidæ_, 24-27.

  _Lucanus cervus_, 24-27.
    etymology of, 24.

  Luck, omens of, from Bees, 185;
    Crickets, 93-94;
    Spiders, 339.

  Lump-lac, 263.

  Lunacy, Scorpion for, 330.

  Lupines to drive away Locusts, 114.

  Lutfullah and the Scorpion, 329;
    Termites, 134.

  _Lygæus hyoscami_, 267.

  Madagascar, Silk-worms eaten in, 240.

  Mad-dogs, Honey for bite of, 208;
    Oil-beetles, 63.

  Magical knots, nests of Carpenter-bee supposed to be, 213.

  Magicians, Ants used by, 162;
    beetle, 45.

  Magistrate chosen by a Louse, 316.

  Malabar, Ants in, 152;
    Lice, 317;
    Termites, 133.

  Maladies of Ants, 164.

  _Mala Sodomitica_, 145.

  Man, first formed by a Spider, 342;
    Scarab figured with the head of, 34.

  Mandrake, bears poisoned with, how cured, 163.

  Manilla, Rose-chafers kept as pets in, 50.

  _Mantes_, 82-92, 157.

  _Mantidæ_, 82-92.

  _Mantis causta_, 84.
    _oratoria_, 82-92.
    _siccifolia_, 92.

  Manure, Day-flies used as, 138.

  Maryland, Black-beetle in, 82;
    Blacksmith-beetle, 55;
    Butterfly, 229;
    Caterpillars, 242;
    Crickets, 95;
    Glow-worm, 57;
    Grasshoppers, 100;
    Katy-did, 131.

  Marriage-feast, Bees invited to, 188.

  Mass, Locusts in celebration of, 130.

  Matchlocks, Cucuji mistaken for, 53, 54.

  Mauritius, Wasps eaten in, 174.

  _May-bugs_, 47-49.

  May, swarm of Bees in, 192.

  _Meal-worms_, 65.

  Measles, Lady-bird for the, 21.

  Measuring-worms, 248.

  Medicated earth from Ants’-nests, 162.

  Medicine, Ants in, 161-163;
    Bed-bugs, 266-268;
    Bees, 206;
    _Blaps sulcata_, 65;
    _Blatta_ of Pliny, 65-66;
    _Buprestidæ_, 51;
    Cantharides, 62-64;
    Caterpillars, 245;
    Cochineal, 262;
    Crickets, 97;
    Curculios, 71;
    Ear-wigs, 76;
    Fleas, 311;
    Flies, 295;
    Gall-flies, 145;
    Glow-worm, 57;
    Grasshoppers, 100;
    Honey, 208;
    Honey-dew, 257;
    Hornets’ nest, 172;
    Lady-bird, 21;
    Lice, 319;
    Locusts, 130;
    Musk-beetles, 73;
    Oil-beetles, 62;
    Scarabs, 44;
    Scorpions, 329;
    Silk-worms, 240;
    Spiders, 357-360;
    Stag-beetle, 26;
    Wax, 206, 254.

  Mediterranean, Flies in the, 287.

  _Meloe_, 63.

  _Melolontha vulgaris_, 42, 47.

  _Melolonthidæ_, 47-49.

  Men killed by sting of Sirex, 142.

  Menstruous women, Caterpillars destroyed by, 244;
    stung by Bees, 182.

  Mercury, Scarab emblematical of, 32.

  Merian, Madame, her account of the Lantern-fly, 255.

  Metempsychosis under form of insects, 246.

  Mexico, Ants in, 157, 159;
    Cochineal, 261;
    Cucujus, 53-54;
    Lice, 316, 318;
    silk from a _Bombyx_, 239;
    Water-boatmen, 275.

  Mice for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    generation of, 322.

  Micrometer, Spider’s web for divisions of, 362.

  Midas, riches of, foretold by Ants, 151.

  _Midas_ in head of mummy, 41.

  Migrations of Aphides, 258;
    Bees, 199;
    Butterflies, 225;
    Dragon-flies, 139-140;
    Lady-birds, 21.

  Milk, association of Butterflies with, 231.

  Millet, time to sow, indicated by Glow-worms, 58.

  Milton’s fondness for Crickets, 95.

  Mississippi, the Gallinipper of the, 285.

  Missouri, Fleas in, 307.

  _Mites_, 320-321.

  Mob dispersed with Bees, 204.

  Mocking-birds, Spiders fed to, 357.

  Mohammed, anecdote of, 209;
    life of, saved by Spiders, 333.

  Mole-cricket, 57.

  _Monas prodigiosa_, 222.

  Money-spinners, 339.

  Money eaten by Termites, 132.

  Monkeys kept to kill Roaches, 78;
    singular use of an, 156;
    Spiders fed to, 357.

  Monk, life of, saved by a Spider, 341;
    poisoned with a Spider, 351.

  Month, Scarab symbol of an Egyptian, 33.

  Moon, beds to be cleaned in dark of, 266;
    horns of Stag-beetles dedicated to, 26;
    Scarab symbol of, 31;
    subject to, 32;
    swarms of Locusts from, 118.

  Moorish ladies frightened by Glow-worms, 56.

  Morea, etymology of, 237.

  Mormons, Locusts among the, 112.

  Morocco, Locusts in, 107-130.

  _Morus alba_, 237.

  Moscow, mulct laid upon, for not catching Fleas, 311.

  _Mosquitoes_, 196, 278-286.

  Mourning, Bees put into, 186.

  Mule, Hornets generated from carcass of, 171;
    Locusts, 101.

  Mummy, insects in head of, 41;
    for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Musca domestica_, 287-301.

  _Musidæ_, 287-301.

  Mushrooms, Honey antidote for poisonous, 208.

  Music, effect of, on persons bitten by Tarantulas, 351;
    on Spiders, 334;
    of Cicadas, 252.

  Musicians, Cicadas symbols of, 253.

  _Musk-beetles_, 72-74.

  Mustard to destroy Locusts, 114.

  Myas dispeopled by Fleas, 307.

  _Mycetophila_, 286.

  Myiodes, the god of Flies, 292.

  _Mylabris cichorii_, 63.
    _pustulata_, 63.

  _Myrmeleonidæ_, 141.

  Myrmidons, the, 150.

  Narvaez prevented from attacking Cortes by Cucuji, 53.

  _Necrobia mumiarum_, 41.

  Negroes run for their lives from Ants, 157.

  Nerves, Oil of Ear-wigs for strengthening, 76.

  Netherlands, Lady-bird in, 20;
    Spiders, 340.

  Nets, Mosquitoes kept away with, 282.

  New England, Cut-worm in, 247;
    Humble-bees, 213.

  New Granada, Ants in, 160.

  Newt for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  New York, Butterflies in, 229.

  _Neuroptera_, 132-141.

  Night-fly of Japan, 242.

  Nightingales, pupæ of Ants food for, 159.

  Nile, Bee-hive barges on the, 200.

  Nits, 320.

  Noah and the origin of Vermin, 306;
    Wood-tic pinned by, 321.

  _Noctiluca terrestris_, 57.

  _Noctua graminis_, 246.

  _Noctuidæ_, 246-248.

  Noise made by flights of Locusts, 117.

  North Carolina, Spiders for ague in, 359.

  _Notonecta unifasciata_, 276.

  _Notonectidæ_, 275-277.

  Nun, antipathy of a, to a beetle, 74;
    frightened by a Hawk-moth, 233.

  Nut-galls of commerce, 144-145.

  Nut-shell, Spider in, for ague, 358.

  Nuts for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  Oak-balls, superstition connected with, 143.

  _Œdipoda corallipes_, 112.

  _Œstridæ_, 302-304.

  _Œstrus equi_, 302.
    _ovis_, 302.

  Ohio, Bed-bugs for ague in, 268.

  _Oiketicus_, 245.

  Oil-beetles, 63.

  Old folks, Crickets supposed to be, 95.

  Ophthalmia, Fly in linen for, 295.

  Orange-trees injured by _Coccidæ_, 264.

  Orators compared to Cicadas, 252.

  Ornaments, Blister-flies as, 64;
    Butterflies, 229;
    _Buprestidæ_, 50;
    Cicadas, 251;
    Cucujus, 54;
    Diamond-beetle, 68;
    Fire-flies, 57;
    _Geotrupes stercorarius_, 44;
    Glow-worms, 57;
    Gold-beetles, 23;
    Lady-bird, 21;
    Scarabs, 38;
    Spiders, 354.

  _Orthoptera_, 78-131.

  _Oryctes rhinoceros_, 46.

  Ovens, Ant-hills made into, 134;
    Crickets reared in, 96.

  Owlet antidote for sting of Bees, 193.

  Oxford, bringing in the Fly at, 291.

  Painted, Flies on vessels newly, 287.

  Palm-tree, generation of the, 322.

  Palm-weevil, 68-70.

  Palpitations, wax to prevent, 254.

  Palsy, Ants remedy for, 162.

  Pans, beating of, when Bees swarm, 189.

  Paper, manufacture of, from silk, 239.

  _Papilionidæ_, 216-232.

  Paradise, Solomon’s Ant in, 153.

  Paraguay, Spiders in, 362.

  Parasol, swarm of Bees on a lady’s, 214.

  Paris, Cucujus in, 53.

  Park, Mungo, attacked by Bees, 203.

  _Parnassius Apollo_, 367.

  Paroxysms, Spiders for, 358.

  Parthians, Locusts eaten by, 121.

  _Passalus cornutus_, 27.

  Paul, Prince, anecdote of, 369.

  _Pausidæ_, 23-24.

  Peace foretold by Locusts, 119.

  _Pediculidæ_, 316-320.

  _Pediculi corporis_, 317.

  _Pedipalpi_, 321-331.

  Peiresc’s solution of bloody-rain, 218.

  Pelisson and his pet Spider, 335.

  Pennsylvania, Bees in, 182, 188;
    Butterflies, 229.

  Persia, _Aphis_ in, 258;
    Scorpions, 328;
    Silk-worms, 235.

  Peruvians, Flies offered to the Sun by, 292.

  Pestilence foretold by Spiders, 143.

  Petrified Bee-hive, 214.

  Pets, beetles as, 50;
    Mantis, 88-90;
    Spiders, 235.

  Pewter for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  Phaerus, Spiders eaten by, 355.

  Phaeton’s sisters, origin of fable of, 91, n.

  _Phalangidæ_, 321.

  _Phalangium_, 321.

  Philology, study of, from names of insects, 369.

  Phonetic, Scarab as a, 35.

  Phosphor Paste for killing Roaches, etc.,
        manufacture and vending of, 80-82.

  Phthiriasis, 121, 320.

  Phthisic, Honey-dew for, 257.

  Physicians, Pliny’s invective against, 67.

  Piety of Bees, 174-177.

  Pigeon for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    Mohammed’s life saved by, 333.

  Pig-manure, Bee-hives prepared with, 189.

  _Pimelia spinulosa_, 41.

  Pindar, Bees induce, to write verses, 178.

  Pismires, 146-170.

  _Pithecius_, 41.

  Plague, oil of Scorpions for, 330;
    occasioned by Locusts, 101-118.

  _Plant-lice_, 257-259.

  Plants, animals becoming, 90-92.

  Plato, eloquence of, foretold by Bees, 178.

  _Platyphyllon concavum_, 131.

  Plenty foretold by Lady-bird, 18.

  Plum, Ear-wig in a, 76.

  Poems on a Flea, 313.

  Poison of Spiders, antidotes for, 356;
    from ants, 161.

  Poisonous Honey, 210.

  Poland, poisonous Sirex in, 142;
    scarlet grain of, 260;
    Locusts in, 103-130.

  _Poma insana_, 145.

  _Pontia brassicæ_, 225.
    _cardimines_, 226.

  Poor Humphrey’s satire on killing Fleas, 309.

  Popes, Caterpillars cursed by, 243.

  Poppy, Honey antidote for, 208.

  _Poterium sanguisorba_, 260.

  Prayers offered to destroy caterpillars, 242;
    to prevent stinging of Scorpions, 327.

  Praying-Mantis, 82-92.

  Priest, Cicada symbol of, 253.

  _Primæ viæ_, acidity in, Stag-beetle for, 26.

  _Prionus cervicornis_, 74.
    _coriarius_, 27.
    _damicornis_, 27, 73.

  Prognostications from Ants, 152;
    Army-worm, 243;
    Bees, 178;
    Butterflies, 229;
    Cicadas, 252;
    comets, 246;
    Crane-fly, 286;
    Crickets, 92;
    Daddy-Long-legs, 321;
    Death’s-head Moth, 232;
    Death-watch, 58;
    Dragon-fly, 140;
    Dung-beetle, 148;
    Fleas, 310;
    Flies, 289;
    Gall-flies, 143;
    Glow-worm, 57;
    Gnats, 280;
    Grasshoppers, 98;
    Hornets, 172;
    Katy-did, 131;
    Lady-bird, 18;
    Locusts, 119;
    Mantis, 82;
    May-bugs, 47;
    Moths, 242;
    Span-worms, 248;
    Spiders, 336-340;
    Wasps, 173.

  Propolis, curious uses of, by Bees, 210.

  Prosecution against Ants, 168.

  Prosperity foretold by Ants, 152.

  Proverbial phrases connected with Bees, 212.

  Psalms, singing of, to Bees, 188.

  Psyche, Butterfly symbol of, 228.

  _Psychidæ_, 245-246.

  Pthah, Scarab sacred to, 30;
    emblematical of, 32.

  Pthah Tore, Scarab emblematical of, 33.

  Pthah-Sokari-Osiris, Scarab emblem of, 33.

  _Ptinidæ_, 58-61.

  Public events, Bees informed of, 185.

  _Pulex irritans_, 305-314.
    _penetrans_, 314.

  _Pulicidæ_, 305-315.

  _Pulices arborescentes_, 223.

  Pupæ of Ants as food for birds, 159;
    of Termites eaten, 137.

  Purgatory, beetle connected with, 368.

  Putrefaction, generation from, 290, 322.

  _Pygolampis Italica_, 56.

  Pythagoreans, Honey eaten by, 209.

  _Python natalensis_ killed by Ants, 157.

  Quang-tong, Butterflies of, 229.

  Quarrel prognosticated by Blacksmith-beetle, 55.

  Quarrelsome family, Bees will not thrive for, 184.

  Quartan ague, Bed-bugs for, 267;
    Spiders, 359.

  _Quercus ilex_, 259.

  Quinsey, Caterpillars for, 245.

  Radish to destroy Scorpions, 325.

  Rain: see weather.

  Rain, bloody, 216-225.

  Rain-doctors, Locusts brought by, 125.

  Ram, flesh of, for sting of Scorpions, 326;
    Scarab figured with head of, 34.

  Ravages of the Antler-moth, 246;
    Ants, 166-169;
    _Coccus Hesperidum_, 264;
    _Dermestes vulpinus_, 24;
    Ear-wigs, 76;
    Gnats and Mosquitoes, 281-283;
    Grasshoppers, 100;
    Hop-fly, 258;
    larvæ of Woolly-bear Moths, 242;
    Locusts, 101-118;
    May-bugs, 48, 49;
    Scorpions, 327;
    Spiders, 353;
    Termites, 132-134;
    Turnip-fly, 74;
    Typographer-beetle, 61.

  Raven and the Scorpion, a fable, 331.

  Reason of Ants, 154.

  Red-haired persons stung by Bees, 182.

  Red snow, origin of, 220, n.

  Regeneration, Scarab symbol of, 33.

  Rewards offered for killing Ants, 167;
    Locusts, 116.

  Revenue of “Lice” of Montecusuma, 316.

  Rheumatism, Oil-beetle for, 63.

  _Rhynchitus auratus_, 71.

  Richards, _Buprestidæ_ called, 51.

  Rifle-balls, protection against, 241.

  Ringing swarms of Bees, 189.

  Rings, Scarab as signet in, 32, 39.

  Riordan, Mary, insects in stomach of, 67.

  Roach, sound as a, 79.

  Robin, veneration for the, 43, n.

  Rock, solid, living Bees in, 215.

  Romans, Bees in divination by, 215;
    _Cossi_ eaten, 27;
    Scarab emblem adopted by, 32;
    silks used, 236.

  Rome, Flies in, 289;
    showers of blood in, 216.

  _Rose-chafers_, 49.

  Rotharmel, Peter, 188.

  Rouge, Cochineal made into, 262.

  Rue, antidote for poisons, 193.

  Russia, Honey in, 195;
    Locusts, 104-130.

  Sabbath, Jews not permitted to burn Fleas on the, 311.

  Sacred-Scarab of the Egyptians, 29-44.

  St. Ambrose, eloquence of, foretold by Bees, 178.
    Domingo and the Flea, 310.
    Eustace, Spider at church of, 343.
    Felix, life of, saved by Spiders, 333.
    Francis, Lice nourished by, 317.
    George, Flies from the dragon killed by, 304;
      prayer to, to keep away Scorpions, 327.
    John, Locusts eaten by, 125.
      Hector, manner of discovering Bee-trees, 198.
      ’s day, fires to kill Canker-worms on, 248.
    Julien, lawsuit between Commune of, and an Insect, 71.
    Macarius, penance of, for killing a Gnat, 285.
    Milburge, cure effected by the water in which his bones
        were washed, 364.
    Roche and “Sound as a Roach,” 79.
    Saturnine, patron saint to destroy Ants, 166.
    Xavier and the Mantis, 88.

  Salt, use of, in witchcraft, 207.

  Salamander, antidote for poison of, 193.

  Samson, Bees from lion slain by, 184, 194.

  Sandwich Islands, Fleas in, 306.

  Sapor, army of, routed by Mosquitoes, 283.

  Scaliger, his fondness for Crickets, 95.

  Scandinavia, Dung-beetle in, 28-29;
    Lady-bird in, 17.

  _Scarabæidæ_, 27-45.

  _Scarabæus auratus_, 45.
    _cornutus_, 26.
    _nasicornis_, 45.
    _pilurarius_, 27-44, 293.
    _sacer_, 27-44.
    _unctuosus_, 63.

  Scarlet, history of dyeing, 259.

  Schurman, Anna Maria, Spiders eaten by, 355.
    cured of boils by Ants, 162.

  _Scleranthus perennis_, 260.

  Scolopendras as food, 365.

  _Scorpions_, 65, 100, 295, 321-331.

  Scotland, bloody-rain in, 221;
    Flies, 289;
    Humble-bees, 213;
    Lady-birds, 19-20;
    Lice, 319, 320.

  Scrofula in horses, combs of Hornets’ nest for, 172.

  Scurvy, Bedeguar for, 144.

  Scutcheons, Scarab on Egyptian royal, 35.

  Scythia, Lice in, 318.

  Sea-crabs, Scorpions generated from, 322.

  Sea-water for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  Seals, Scarab-gems as, 39.

  Sechell Islands, Dry-leaf Mantis in, 92.

  Seed-lac, 263.

  Seeds, Cochineal supposed to be, 261;
    sown in the hide of a tortoise, 75.

  Selborne, the Bee-eater of, 205.

  Selk, Scorpion emblem of, 328.

  Selling of Bees, notions concerning, 185.

  Septuagint, Bee eulogized in the, 212.

  Serpents and Ants, 157;
    enmity between Spiders and, 341;
    Honey for bite of, 208;
    a Mantis the parent of the, 157;
    of Tiberias Cæsar eaten by Ants, 151;
    to kill Nits, 320;
    worship of, in Egypt, 43, n.

  Seventeen-year Locust, 254.

  Sheep, artificial migration of, 198;
    dung of, for bite of Spider, 356;
    killed by Ants, 157;
    maggots in brain of, 302.

  _Shield-lice_, 259-264.

  Shell-lac, 263.

  Ships, monkeys kept on board, to kill Roaches, 78.

  Showers of blood, 216-225;
    of Gossamer, 347;
    insects with snow, 364.

  Siam, Ants in, 159;
    interpretation of signs and dreams of insects in, 370;
    beetle for fighting in, 368;
    Grasshoppers in, 98;
    Spiders, 354.

  Sideritis, the herb, for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  Singing to Bees, 188.

  Signs: see prognostications and superstitions.

  Silesia, poisonous Sirex in, 142.

  Silk of Silk-worms, 234-241, 248.
    Spiders, 361.

  _Silk-worm Moths_, 234-241.

  Silver for sting of Scorpions, 325, 326.

  Sins expiated by assisting Dung-beetles, 28.

  _Sirex fusicornis_, 142.
    _gigas_, 142.
    _juvencus_, 142.
    _spectrum_, 142.

  Skull, Bees make Honey in a, 195.

  Sleep, Caterpillar to procure, 245;
    chirping of Crickets to induce, 95-96.

  Sleight-of-hand, supposed performance of, 372.

  Sloth, Fleas to prevent, 306.

  Sluggard referred to the Ant, 148.

  Smoke to drive away Locusts, 115.

  Snails embalmed by Bees, 210;
    eaten in the West Indies, 98.

  Snake, living, hung by a Spider, 345;
    danger from, in collecting Locusts, 124;
    fed by Dragon-flies, 139.

  Snow, Fleas on the, 314;
    Gnats falling with, 280;
    insects in numbers on, 364;
    origin of red, 220, n.

  Soap, beetle made into, 23;
    Cicadas, 254.

  Socrates measures the jump of a Flea, 311.

  Solomon and the Ant, 148;
    Ant in Paradise, 153.

  Song, Locusts kept for sake of, 130;
    vessel saved by song of a Spanish Gryllo, 130.

  Son, Scarab emblematical of an only, 33.

  Soothsayers, 82-92.

  Soul, Butterfly symbol of, 228;
    Moths supposed to be, 243;
    of industrious from Ants, 150.

  Sound as a Roach, 79.

  South America, Ants in, 160;
    Goliath-beetle, 46;
    Grou-grou worm, 69;
    Hercules-beetle, 45-46;
    Termites, 132-137.

  Spain, Bees in, 212;
    Cantharides, 63;
    Locusts, 102-130;
    Silk-worms, 237.

  _Spanish-flies_, 62.

  Spanish Inquisition, detectives of, called Flies, 292.

  _Span-worms_, 248.

  Sparrman, Dr., anecdote of, 366.

  Spawn, fish, Locusts hatched from, 118;
    sold for eggs of Silk-worms, 241.

  Spectacles, Hornets’ nest to clean, 172.

  Speke, Capt., beetle in the ear of, 79, n.

  _Spiders_, 61, 99, 113, 193, 322, 324, 332-362, 370.

  Spirits, Ants and lizards eaten by, 161.

  Sphex, notion respecting, 174.

  _Sphingidæ_, 232-234.

  _Sphinx Atropos_, 232.
    _(Deilephila) hippophaes_, 367.
    _ligustris_, 233.

  _Spring-beetles_, 51-55.

  Spring, Scarab symbolical of, 33.

  Squill for sting of Scorpions, 326.

  _Stag-beetles_, 24-27.

  Stag, feet of, to drive away Bugs, 266.

  _Sternocera chrysis_, 50.
    _sternicornis_, 50.

  Stick-lac, 263.

  Stiffness in knees cured by Ants, 162.

  Sting of Bees, Hornets, etc., remedies for, 174, 193.

  Stockings, silk, 238.

  Stolen Bees will not thrive, 184.

  Stomach, insects introduced into the human, 67.

  Stone, Bedeguar for, 144;
    Glow-worm, 57;
    Scorpions, 329.

  Storm, prognostication of, from Gnats, 280.

  Strangles in horses, combs of Hornets for, 172.

  Strangury, Bed-bugs for, 267;
    Bees, 206.

  Strength of Dung-beetle, 28;
    Flea, 311;
    Stag-beetle, 25.

  Success foretold by Glow-worm, 57.

  Sudorific, Cochineal as a, 262.

  Sumatra, Cricket in, 96.

  Sun, Ants sacrificed to, 153;
    Flies, 292;
    Scarab sacred to, 30;
    the first worship of the, 36.

  Superstitions connected with Agaric-Gnat, 286;
    Ants, 151;
    _Acanthocinus ædilis_, 73;
    Army-worm, 247;
    Butterflies, 229;
    Caterpillars, 242;
    Cockroaches, 80-82;
    Crickets, 92-95;
    Death-watch, 58-61, 91;
    Death’s-head Moth, 232;
    Dragon-flies, 138, 140;
    Dung-beetle, 28;
    Ear-wig, 76;
    Flies, 290;
    Gall-flies, 143;
    Glow-worm, 57;
    Grasshoppers, 98, 100;
    Katy-did, 131;
    Lady-birds, 17-23;
    Locusts, 119;
    Mantis, 82-92;
    Silk-worms, 239;
    Stag-beetles, 25;
    Scorpions, 322-331;
    Spiders, 339;
    Wasps and Hornets, 173;
    Span-worms, 248.

  Surinam, Cicadas in, 254;
    Fire-ants, 157;
    Gnats, 280;
    Lantern-flies, 255.

  Surat, hospital at, for animals, 266.

  Swallow, heart of, for lunacy, 330;
    odious and impious, 251.

  Swammerdam, anecdote of, 363.

  Swarms of Ants, 164;
    Aphides, 258;
    Butterflies, 225;
    Cantharides, 64;
    Day-flies, 138;
    Dragon-flies, 139-140;
    Flies, 287;
    Gnats, 278;
    Lady-birds, 21;
    May-bugs, 48.

  Swarming of Bees, notions concerning, 185-190.

  Sweat, Fleas generated from, 305.

  Sweden, _Acanthocinus ædilis_ in, 73;
    Ants, 161;
    _Blaps mortisaga_, 65;
    Fleas, 308;
    Grasshoppers, 100;
    Lady-bird, 17;
    Lice, 316.

  Switzerland, Caterpillars in, 158, n.

  Swoonings, wax to prevent, 254.

  Sword, in charm to destroy Fleas, 308.

  Sybils resorted to, to drive away Locusts, 113.

  Syria, Galls from, 145;
    Locusts in, 103-130.

  Tamableness of the Fly, 289.

  Tarantula, 351.

  Taylor, Mrs., and her Crickets, 95;
    Mantis, 88-90.

  _Telephorus fuscus_, 364.

  Tempests raised by magicians, 45.

  Tendons, Stag-beetle for contractions of, 26.

  _Tenebrio molitor_, 65, 68.

  _Tenebrionidæ_, 65.

  Teneriffe, Locusts in Island of, 104.

  Tennessee, bloody-rain in, 224.

  Terambus transformed into the Cerambyx, 73.

  _Terias lisa_, 227.

  _Termes bellicosus_, 135.

  _Termites_, 132-137.

  _Termitidæ_, 132-137.

  Tertian ague, Bed-bugs for, 268;
    Spiders, 359.

  Tettix, 250.

  Thebes, Spiders in, 338.

  Thor, Dung-beetle sacred to, 28.

  Thread, sewing, Spider’s web used for, 362.

  Throat, Crickets for affections of, 96.

  Tiberias Cæsar, death of, foretold by Ants, 151.

  Tiffin and Son, Bug-destroyers in London, 268.

  Timour and the Ant, 154.

  Timpany, Spiders for, 360.

  _Tinea padilla_, 248.
    _punctata_, 248.
    _tapetzella_, 249.

  _Tineidæ_, 248, 249.

  _Tipulidæ_, 286.

  Toads, enmity between Spiders and, 341.

  Tobacco, clay of Ant-hills as substitute for, 135.

  Toothache, Curculios for, 71;
    Lady-bird, 21;
    tooth-picks of Spiders’ mandibles for, 354.

  Tooth-picks, mandibles of Spiders for, 354.

  Tortoise and the Scorpion, a fable, 330;
    Bugs administered in the blood of, 267;
    gall of, in medicine, 209;
    seeds sown in the hide of, 75.

  Torture, Ants as an instrument of, 158;
    Flies, 296;
    Mosquitoes, 284;
    Termites, 135.

  Tonga Group, Ants in, 161.

  Trade in insects, 229, 255, 307, 366.

  Transylvania, Locusts in, 105-126.

  Tumuli, Leather-beetles buried in, 24.

  Turenne’s aversion for Spiders, 344.

  Turkey, beetle eaten by women in, 65;
    Mantis in, 84.

  _Turnip-fly_, 74.

  _Typographer-beetles_, 61.

  Ulcers, _Blatta_ of Pliny for, 66;
    Cockroaches, 78;
    Honey-dew, 258.

  Unchastity, insect to discover, 367;
    punished by Bees, 181.

  Unclean thoughts, Flies emblem of, 292.

  United States, Ant-lions in, 141;
    Cicadas, 254;
    Spiders, 340;
    see Indians, American; New England; New York; Maryland; Ohio;
        Mississippi; Pennsylvania; North Carolina; Virginia.

  Urine, Fleas generated from, 305;
    forced with Cantharides, 63;
    Lice to suppress, 319;
    Stag-beetle, 26.

  _Uroceridæ_, 142.

  _Vanessa cardui_, 226, 230.
    _polychloros_, 220.
    _urticæ_, 220, 230.

  Vegetable-flies, 90-92.

  Venery, Ants to provoke to, 161.

  Veneration for _Acanthocinus ædilis_, 73;
    chrysalids of Butterflies, 308;
    Mantis, 83-88;
    Scarab, 28-44.

  Vermin, origin of, 305.

  Vertigo, silk-worms for, 240.

  Vesicatory, Cantharides as, 63;
    _Cerambyx moschatus_, 73.

  _Vespa crabro_, 171.

  _Vespidæ_, 170-174.

  Vessel attacked by Termites, 133;
    saved from being wrecked by song of a Spanish Gryllo, 130.

  Vienna, Lady-bird at, 17.

  Vines, to prevent “Cantharides” from injuring, 64.

  Vipers, generation of, 322.

  Virginia, Ants in, 152;
    Caterpillars, 242;
    Crickets, 95.

  Virgin Mary, Lady-bird dedicated to, 17, 18.

  Virgins, hatred of Scorpions for, 324.

  Virtues of Honey, 208.

  Vives, Ludovicus, eloquence of, foretold by Bees, 178.

  Voluptuary, Scarab emblematical of a, 33.

  Vomiting, Bugs for, 267.

  Vulture, gall of, in medicine, 219.

  Wall-lice, 265.

  War, omens of, from Agaric-Gnat, 286;
    Gall-fly, 143;
    Gnats, 280;
    Locusts, 119;
    Spiders, 338;
    waged against Locusts, 114;
    Bees idle during, 184.

  Warbles, 303.

  Wars of Ants, 151.

  Warrior, Scarab emblematical of, 32.

  Warts, Cobwebs to remove, 359;
    Grasshoppers, 100.

  Washington City, Mantis in, 88.

  Washington, General, Mosquitoes pierce boots of, 281.

  _Wasps_, 170-174, 194, 202.

  Water as a charm to destroy Locusts, 116;
    found from swarms of Gnats, 280.

  _Water-boatmen_, 275-277.

  Wax, Bees-, 206-208.
    _Pela_, 254.

  Way, lost, discovered by Mantis, 83.

  Weasel, young of, for bite of Spider, 356.

  Weather, prognostications as to, from Ants, 153;
    Bees, 182, 194;
    Butterflies, 229;
    Fleas, 310;
    Flies, 290;
    Hornets, 172;
    Spiders, 336;
    Lady-bird connected with fine, 17, 18.

  _Weevils_, 68-72.

  West Indies, Ants in, 162, 167;
    Cucujus, 51;
    Grasshoppers, 98;
    Grou-grou worm, 68-70;
    Musk-beetle, 73;
    Spiders, 354;
    saved from invasion by Cucuji, 53.

  Whales, generation of, 322.

  Wheat, prices of, connected with the ocean tides, 188, n.

  Whistles to call cattle, made of beetle-shards, 369.

  _White ants_, 132-137.

  White-clover, Indian name for, 197.

  Wildman, anecdotes of, 201.

  Wind, Aphides produced by a, 258.

  Winter, prognostication from May-bug as to, 47.

  Wisdom of the Ant exaggerated, 148-151.

  Witchcraft, beetle against, 44;
    Bot-fly in, 303;
    Humble-bees, 213;
    use of wax in, 206.

  Witches in the forms of Flies, 294.

  Wolf, tail of, to drive away Flies, 288;
    Wasps generated from carcass of, 171.

  Women, hatred of Scorpions for, 324.

  Wood-louse, Death-watch supposed to be, 61.

  Woodpecker to keep Bees from stinging, 193.

  Wood-carrying Moth, 245.

  Wood-tic, 321.

  Wool, rain of, 348;
    to drive away Ants, 170.

  _Woolly-bear Moths_, 242-245.

  World, Scarab symbolical of, 30.

  Worm in the heart of a horse, 365;
    from stomach of a woman, 364.

  Wormals, 303.

  Worms extracted from children’s ears, 371;
    intestinal, Bedeguar for, 144;
    charm, 365;
    Cockroaches, 78;
    oil of Scorpions, 330;
    powder of a tombstone, 363.

  Worm-wood to destroy Fleas, 308.

  Worship of the Mantis, 83-88;
    pupæ of Butterflies, 230;
    Scarab, 28-44;
    Egyptian, of animals, 43, n.

  Wounds, _Blatta_ of Pliny for, 66;
    Crickets, 97;
    Oil-beetles, 63;
    Spiders, 359.

  Zephyr, Butterfly symbol of, 229.

  Zisca, what he meant by “cobwebs,” 356.


[1] Thorpe’s Northern Mythol., ii. 104.

[2] Jamieson’s _Scot. Dict._ Another designation, in Sweden, is not so
honorable, for it is that of _Laettfaerdig kona_, the Wanton
Quean.--_Ibid._ The term Lady-bird, in England, has been also applied to
a prostitute.--Wright’s _Provinc. Dict._

[3] Jaeger, _Life of Amer. Ins._, p. 22.

[4] It is curious to notice the association of this insect with the cow
in the English and French names.

[5] Jamieson’s _Scot. Dict._

[6] Chambers’ _Pop. Rhymes_, 1841, p. 170-1.

[7] Thorpe’s _North. Mythol._, iii. 182.

[8] _Ibid._, ii. 104.

[9] _Ibid._, iii. 182.

[10] Thorpe’s _North. Mythol._, ii. 104.

[11] 4th Pastoral, 11. 83-8.

[12] It probably is induced to fly away by the warmth of the hand.

[13] _Notes and Queries_, i. 132.

[14] _Ibid._, i. 28, 55, 73.

[15] Jamieson supposes this word to be derived from the Teutonic
_Land-heer_, a petty prince.--_Scot. Dict._

[16] Jamieson’s _Scot. Dict._ Cf. Chambers’ _Pop. Rhymes_, 1841,
p. 170-1.

[17] Thorpe’s _North. Mythol._, iii. 328.

[18] Grose, _Antiq._ (_Prov. Gloss._) p. 121.

[19] Chambers’ _Pop. Rhymes_, 1841, p. 170.

[20] _Notes and Queries_, iv. 53.

[21] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[22] Kirby and Spence, _Introd._, ii. 9.

[23] Newell’s _Zool. of the Poets_, p. 48.

[24] _Life of Amer. Ins._, p. 21.

[25] A. 1, sc. iii.

[26] Quot. with preceding in Newell’s _Zool. of the Poets_, p. 50-2.

[27] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 317.

[28] Jaeger, _Life of Amer. Ins._, p. 61.

[29] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 316.

[30] Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 42.

[31] Gough’s _Sepul. Mon._, vol. i. p. xii.--These sepulchral tumuli, or
burrows, are of the remotest antiquity, and continued in use till the
twelfth century.--_Ibid._

[32] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._ ii. (2d S.) 261; and Pettig. _Hist. of
Mummies_, p. 53-5.

[33] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[34] Cuvier’s _Animal Kingd.--Ins._, i. 530.

[35] _The Mirror_, xix. 180; and _Saturday Mag._, xvi. 144.

[36] N. & Q., 2d S., ii. 83.

[37] Bradley, _Phil. Account_, p. 184.

[38] _N. Dict. d’Hist. Nat._, xxii. 81.

[39] _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, _Lond._, 1838, ii. 156.

[40] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 149. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1006.

[41] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 533.

[42] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 34. Holl. _Trans._, p. 326. K.

[43] James’ _Med. Dict._ Cf. Brookes’ _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 321.

[44] _Amoreux_, p. 154. Burmeister’s _Manl. of Entomol._, p. 561.
Keferot. _Uber den unmittelbaren Nutzen der Insekten_, Erfurt, 1829,
4to, p. 8-10. Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 303, note. Shaw’s _Zool._, vi.
28, note.

[45] _Nat. Hist._, xvii. 37.

[46] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 255, note.

[47] _Ins. Archit._, p. 252.

[48] Detharding _de Ins. Coleop. Danicis_, 9. Quot. by Kirb. and Sp.
_Introd._, i. 33.

[49] _Northern Mythol._, ii. 53.

[50] Bjornstj. _Theog. of Hindoos_, p. 108.

[51] Oliv. Col. I. 3, viii. 59. Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 452.

[52] Cuvier, _qua supra_.

[53] Donovan’s _Ins. of China_, p. 4.

[54] Cuvier, _qua supra_.

[55] De Pauw’s Sacred-beetle of the Egyptians was “the great golden
Scarabee, called by some the Cantharides.”--ii. 104.

[56] Wilkinson, _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 259.

[57] Val. _Hieroglyphica_, p. 93-5.

[58] _Ibid._

[59] Plut. _Of Isis and Osiris_, p. 220. The translation of this passage
as given by Philemon Holland is as follows: “The Fly called the Beetill
they (the Egyptians) reverence, because they observe in them I wot not
what little slender Images (like as in drops of water we see the
resemblance of the Sun) of the Divine power.... As for the Beetills,
they hold, that throughout all their kinds there is no female, but all
the males do blow or cast their seed into a certain globus or round
matter in the form of balls, which they drive from them and roll to and
fro contrariwise, like as the Sun, when he moveth himself from the West
to the East, seemeth to turn about the Heaven clean contrary.”--p. 1071,
ed. of 1657.

[60] Quot. by Montfaucon, _Antiq._, vol. ii., Part 2, p. 322.

[61] De Pauw tells us that the description of the Scarabæus as given by
Orus Apollo (Horapollo) is, that “it resembles the sparkling luster of
the eye of a cat in the dark.”(!)--ii. 104.

[62] Horap., i. 10.

[63] _Anct. Egypt._, i. (1st S.) 296.

[64] Horap., _Hierogl._, i. 10.

[65] _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 258.

[66] _Treasvrie_, B. 7. c. 14, p. 662. Printed 1613.

[67] Horap. _Hierog._, i. 10.

[68] Fosbroke, _Encycl. of Antiq._, i. 208.

[69] _Of Isis, &c._ Holl. _Transl._, p. 1051.

[70] Ælian, x. 15.

[71] Wilkinson, _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 257.

[72] _Of Isis, &c._, _qua supra_.

[73] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 256.

[74] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 256.

[75] _Ibid._

[76] Pettigrew, _Hist. of Mum._, p. 220.

[77] _Ibid._

[78] _Ibid._

[79] Travels, ii. 306 (?).

[80] Fosbroke, _Encycl. of Antiq._, i. 208.

[81] _Ibid._ Vide Pierius’ _Hieroglyph._, p. 76-80. Solis operum
similitudo; Mundus; Generatio; Vnigenitus; Deus in humano corpore; Vir,
paterve; Bellator strenuus; Sol; Luna; Mercurius; Febris lethalis a
sole; Virtus enervata deliciis.

[82] Fosbroke, _Encycl. of Antiq._, i. 208.

[83] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 257.

[84] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 257.

[85] De Pauw, ii. 104.

[86] Pettig. _Hist. of Mum._, p. 220.

[87] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 256.

[88] Montf. _Antiq._, ii. (Pt. II.) 322.

[89] _Ibid._, ii. (Pt. II.) 339.

[90] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 259, note.

[91] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 259, note.

[92] _Ibid._

[93] Bunsen, _Egypt’s Place_, i. 504, fig. 116; i. 508, fig. 169.

[94] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, i. (2d S.) 258, fig.

[95] Bunsen, _Ibid._, i. 572, fig. 12; i. 576, fig. 9; i. 582, fig. 3.

[96] Bunsen, _Ibid._, i. 617-632.

[97] Bunsen’s _Egypt’s Place_, iii. 142.

[98] _Ibid._

[99] Quot. by Montf. _Antiq._, ii. (Pt. II.) 323.

[100] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 257.

[101] Pettig. _Hist. of Mum._, p. 220.

[102] Maury’s _Indig. Races_, p. 156.

[103] Phind’s _Thebes_, p. 130.

[104] Donovan, _Ins. of China_, p. 3.

[105] Fosbroke, _Encyclop. of Antiq._, i. 208.

[106] _Ibid._

[107] Montf. _Antiq._, ii. (Pt. II.) 339.

[108] _Ibid._

[109] Montf. _Antiq._, ii. (Pt. II.) 339.

[110] _Ibid._

[111] Fosbroke, _Encycl. of Antiq._, i. 208.

[112] There is now at Thebes an arch-forger of Scarabæi--a certain Ali
Gamooni, whose endeavors, in the manufacture of these much-sought-after
relics, have been crowned with the greatest success. For the coarser
description of these, he has, as well as chance European purchasers, an
outlet in a native market; for they are bought from him to be carried up
the river into Nubia, where they are favorite amulets and ornaments, as
mothers greatly delight to patch one or two to the girdles by short
thongs, which constitute the only article of dress of their children.
Through this very medium, too, it sometimes happens that these spurious
Scarabæi come into the possession of unsophisticated travelers, who are
not likely to suspect their origin in that remote country, and under
such circumstances.

Scarabæi also of the more elegant and well-finished descriptions are not
beyond the range of this curious counterfeiter. These he makes of the
same material as the ancients themselves used,--a close-grained,
easily-cut limestone, which, after it is graven into shape and lettered,
receives a greenish glaze by being baked on a shovel with brass filings.

Ali, not content with closely imitating, has even aspired to the
creative; so antiquarians must be on their guard lest they waste their
time and learning on antiquities of a very modern date.--_Vide_ Rhind’s
Thebes, p. 253-5. Mr. Gliddon, in an incidental note, _Indig. Races_, p.
192, takes credit for having furnished this same Ali, some twenty-four
years ago (as it would appear), with broken penknives and other
appliances to aid his already-manifested talent, in the somewhat
fantastic hope of flooding the local market with such curiosities, and
so saving the monuments from being laid under contribution!

[113] Winkleman, _Art._ 2, c. 1.

[114] Paraph. from Fosbroke’s _Encycl. of Antiq._, i. 208.

[115] Of those deposited in the British Museum, Mr. Birch has made the
following report:

1. A Scarabæus having on the base _Ra-men-Chepr_, a prenomen of Thothmes
III. Beneath is a Scarab between two feathers, placed on the basket

2. A Scarabæus in dark steaschist, with the figure of the sphinx (the
sun), and an emblem between the fore paws of the monster. The sphinx
constantly appears on the Scarabæi of Thothmes III., and it is probably
to this monarch that the one here described belongs. (On many Scarabæi
in the British Museum, and on those figured by Klaproth from the Palin
Collection, in Leeman’s Monuments, and in the “Description de l’Egypt,”
Thothmes is represented as a sphinx treading foreign prisoners under
him.--_Layard._) After the Sphinx on this Scarab are the titles of the
king, “The sun-placer of creation,” of Thothmes III.

3. Small Scarabæus of white steaschist, with a brownish hue; reads
_Neter nefer nebta Ra-neb-ma_, “The good God, the Lord of the Earth, the
Sun, the Lord of truth, rising in all lands.” This is Amenophis III.,
one of the last kings of the XVIII. dynasty, who flourished about the
fifteenth century B.C.

4. Scarabæus in white steaschist, with an abridged form of the prenomen
of Thothmes III., _Ra-men-cheper at en Amen_, “The sun-placer of
creation, the type of Ammon.” This monarch was the greatest monarch of
the XVIII. dynasty, and conquered Naharaina and the Saenkar, besides
receiving tribute from Babel or Babylon and Assyria.

5. Scarabæus in pale white steaschist, with three emblems that cannot
well be explained. They are the sun’s disk, the ostrich feather, the
uræus, and the guitar nablium. They may mean “Truth the good goddess,”
or “lady,” or _ma-nefer_, “good and true.”

6. Scarabæus in the same substance, with a motto of doubtful meaning.

7. Scarabæus, with a hawk, and God holding the emblem of life, and the
words _ma nefer_, “good and true.” The meaning very doubtful.

8. A Scarabæus with a hawk-headed gryphon, emblem of _Menta-Ra_, or
Mars. Behind the monster is the goddess Sati, or Nuben. The hawk-headed
lion is one of the shapes into which the sun turns himself in the hours
of the day. It is a common emblem of the Aramæan religion.

9. Scarabæus with hawk-headed gryphon, having before in the uræus and
the _nabla_ or guitar, hieroglyphic of good. Above it are the
hieroglyphics “Lord of the earth.”

10. Small Scarabæus in dark steaschist, with a man in adoration to a
king or deity, wearing a crown of the upper country, and holding in the
left hand a lotus flower. Between this is the emblem of life.

11. Scarabæus, with the hawk-headed Scarabæus, emblem of _Ra-cheper_,
“the creator Sun,” flying with expanded wings, four in number, which do
not appear in Egyptian mythology till after the time of the Persians,
when the gods assume a more Pantheistic form. Such a representation of
the sun, for instance, is found in the Torso Borghese.

It will be observed, adds Layard, that most of the Egyptian relics
discovered in the Assyrian ruins are of the time of the XVIII. Egyptian
dynasty, or of the fifteenth century before Christ; a period when, as we
learn from Egyptian monuments, there was a close connection between
Assyria and Egypt.--Layard’s _Babylon and Nineveh_, p. 239-240.

[116] Layard’s _Babylon and Nineveh_, p. 157, 166.

[117] _Hist. of Mum._, 53-5; Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 261,

[118] Wilkin. _Anct. Egypt._, ii. (2d S.) 156.

[119] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxx. 11; Holland, ii. 395. K.

[120] _Phil. Trans. Abridg._, ii. 785; _Gent. Mag._, xix. 264-5.

[121] _Phil. Trans. Abridg._, ix. 11. Concerning the worship of animals
in general by the Egyptians, the following remarks in a note may not be
inappropriate, as they embrace the worship of the Scarabæus.

1. A class of animals, to which may be referred the cow, dog, sheep, and
ibis, were _at first_ naturally protected and respected out of gratitude
for the benefits derived from them. But in time, it is supposed, this
respect, by unthoughtful descendants believing too implicitly the
teachings of their fathers, was gradually enlarged to so great extent
that it became reverence, and at last, perhaps after centuries, worship.
For example, at A time, the ibis is respected on account of its
destroying noxious serpents; at B, reverenced; and at C, worshiped.

2. When at C time, the ibis is worshiped, suppose the masses have lost
the reason (which in the case of the Egyptians is an allowable
supposition, since it is an historical fact that but the initiated knew
the reasons for their manner of worship), and serpents are its food, is
it not plain then that if the food be taken away the sacred bird cannot
live? Hence at C time are serpents preserved and protected as food for
the ibis; and as this protecting care increases as above, till at D they
are reverenced, and at E worshiped. To this second class may be referred
the crocodile, which was preserved, etc. as food for the ichneumon, a
sacred animal of the first class.

3. Analogies between animals, and even plants, and certain sources of
goodness, or objects of wonder, as the sun, and motion of the stars,
were at A time, noticed; at B, respected or reverenced; and at C,
worshiped. Thus, among plants, became the onion sacred, from the
resemblance of the laminæ which compose it, in a transverse section, to
circles--to the orbits of the planets. And thus the Scarabæus from the
analogies between its movements and shape and the motions of the sun,
traced, as we have before remarked on the authority of several ancient
writers, became also an object of adoration.

4. A fourth reason may also be given, which follows as a consequence of
the latter. If such analogy, as, for example, that between the beetle
and the sun, had been observed in the time of picture and hieroglyphic
writing, to represent the sun, the beetle would have been taken. Now, it
is a well-authenticated fact, that these hieroglyphics in time became
sacred, and, if the beetle was found among them, it for this, if for no
other reason, would have been looked upon with the same veneration.

5. Good men, too, to preserve the lives of animals oftentimes wantonly
taken, introduce them into fables and poetry, and connect pleasing tales
with them. The “Babes in the Wood” have so fixed the respect for the
tameness of the robin, that it is even now deemed a sacrilege with our
boys to stone this bird. And may there not have been such good men, and
such tender stories, among the Egyptians, and the remembrance of whom
and which long lost by the lapse of time?

[122] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 33.

[123] _Ins. of China_, p. 6.

[124] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 6 (38).

[125] _Nat. Hist._, xxx. 11 (30). Holland, _Trans._, ii. 390.

[126] James’ _Med. Dict._

[127] Donovan’s _Ins. of China_, p. 6.

[128] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 160. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1012.

[129] Cuvier suggests that the _Scarabæus nasicornis_ of Linnæus, which
haunts dead bark, or the _S. auratus_, may be the insect here referred

[130] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 28 (34).

[131] Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 20. Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[132] St. Clair, _West Indies, etc._, i. 152.

[133] Simmond, _Curiosities of Food_, p. 295.

[134] _Ibid._

[135] Tennent, _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 407.

[136] Tennent, _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 407.

[137] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 152. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1009.

[138] De Geer, iv. 275-6. Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 33.

[139] _Hist. of Ins._ (Murray, 1830) ii. 296.

[140] _Chronicles_, iv. 326.--The water overflowing the low grounds
brought the beetles for air to the surface, whence they were swept away
by the current.

[141] _Phil. Trans. Abridg._, ii. 781-3.

[142] _Phil. Trans. Abridg._, ii. 782.

[143] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 25.

[144] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 179.

[145] Anderson’s _Recr. in Agric._, iii. 420.

[146] _Anim. Biog._, iii. 233.

[147] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[148] _Ibid._

[149] Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 88.

[150] Tennent, _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 405.

[151] Donovan, _Ins. of India_, p. 5.

[152] Donovan, _Ins. of China_, p. 13.

[153] Travels, i. 384.

[154] _Ibid._, i. 331.

[155] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 356.

[156] _Introd._, i. 156.

[157] Pliny, xxx. 4; Holland, ii. 377. E.

[158] _Med. Dict._

[159] _Ibid._

[160] Peruvians travel by the light of the _Cucujus Peruvianus_.--See
Kirby’s _Wond. Museum_, ii. 151.

[161] _Hist. of West Indies_, p. 274.

[162] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[163] Stedm. _Surinam_, i. 140.

[164] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 321.

[165] _Conq. of Mex._, i. 327.

[166] _Hist. of New Swed._, p. 162.

[167] _Theatr. Insect._, p. 112.

[168] _Hist. of Amer._, p. 378.

[169] Walton, _Pres. St. of Span. Col._, i. 128.

[170] Humboldt’s _Cuba_, p. 395.

[171] _Saturday Mag._, ix. 229.

[172] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 111. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 977.

[173] _Tour on the Continent_, 2d. Edit., iii. 85.

[174] Browne’s _Vulg. Err._, B. iii. c. 17. _Works_, ii. 531.

[175] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 317.

[176] _Tour on Continent_, iii. 85. 2d Edit.

[177] _Med. Dict._

[178] Harris’ _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 688.

[179] Harris, _Farm Insects_, p. 372.

[180] This insect has received its English names, of _Mole-cricket_ and
_Earth-crab_, from its burrowing like a mole, and some species of W.
Indian crabs; and, from its supposed jarring song at night, it is also
called _Eve-churr_, _Churr-worm_, and _Jarr-worm_.--_Ibid._

[181] Moufet, _Theatr. Ins._, p. 110. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p.

[182] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 382.

[183] Cf. _Works_, ii. 375.

[184] Johnson’s _Eng. Dict._

[185] 4th Past., 1. 101.

[186] In Kirby’s _Wonderful Museum_, ii. 309, there is an article on the
Death-watch, headed “A curious Description and Explanation of the
Death-watch, so commonly listened to with such dread.”

[187] Harper’s _Mag._, xxiii. 775.

[188] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 34. _Nat. Misc._, iii. 104.

[189] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 226-7.

[190] Horne’s _Introd. to Bibliog._, i. 311.

[191] Wilhelm’s _Recr. from Nat. Hist._, quot. by Latrielle, _Hist.
Nat._, ix. 194. Quot. by Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 213. Carpenter,
_Zool._, ii. 133.

[192] Brookes informs us that Dr. Greenfield, a practitioner in London,
was sent to Newgate, by the college, for having given Cantharides
inwardly. This happened in the year 1698; but he was soon after
released, by a superior authority, when he published a work upon the
good effects of these insects taken inwardly for strangury, and other
disorders of the kidneys and bladder. We are also told by Ambrose Parry,
that a courtezan, having invited a young man to supper, had seasoned
some of the dishes with the powder of Cantharides, which the very next
day produced such an effect, that he died with an evacuation of blood,
which the physicians were not able to stop. Many other instances might
be brought, continues Brookes, of persons that have been either killed,
or brought to death’s door, by a wanton use of these Flies, which had
been given them privately, with a design to cause love. Some go so far
as to affirm, that people have been thrown into a fever, only by
sleeping under trees on which were a great number of Cantharides; and
Mr. Boyle informs us, after authors worthy of credit, that some persons
have felt considerable pains about the neck of the bladder, only by
holding Cantharides in their hands.--_Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 50-1.

[193] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 30.

[194] _Asiatic Res._, v. 213.

[195] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[196] _Med. Dict._

[197] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 569.

[198] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 30.

[199] Sloane, _Hist. of Jamaica_, ii. 206.

[200] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 156.

[201] _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 49.

[202] Cuvier, _An. Kingd.--Ins._, i. 569.

[203] Linn. _Faun. Suec._, p. 822.

[204] Lane’s _Mod. Egypt._, i. 237, ii. 275.

[205] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, i. 568.

[206] Pinkerton’s _Voy. and Trav._, x. 190.

[207] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 6. Holl., p. 370.

[208] _Trans. of Assoc. Phys. in Ireland_, iv., vii., and v., p. 177,
8vo., Dublin, 1824-8.

[209] In Kirby’s _Wonderful Museum_, iv. 360, there are several
instances of living insects being found in the human stomach, quite as
extraordinary as the above.

[210] _The Mirror_, xxviii. 304.

[211] _Hist. of Brazil_, p. 346.

[212] Jamieson gives Grou-grou as a Scottish name for the
Corn-grub.--_Scot. Dict._, iii. 516.

[213] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 62. Cuvier, _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 80.

[214] Stedm. _Surinam_, ii. 23.

[215] _Ibid._, ii. 115.

[216] _Acct. of the Sierra Leone Africans_, i. 314, note.

[217] Travels, i. 410.

[218] _Gummila_, i. 9. See also Southey’s _Hist. of Brazil_, i. 110.

[219] _Hist. of Barbados_, p. 646.

[220] _Entretenimiento_, vi. § 11.

[221] Canto iii.

[222] _Sketches of Java_, 310.

[223] Ælian, _Hist._ L. xiv. c. 13.

[224] Simmond’s _Curiosities of Food_, p. 313.

[225] _Travels and Researches in S. Africa_, p. 389.

[226] _Monthly Mag._ ii. (Pt. II.) 792, for 1796.

[227] _Book of Days_, i.

[228] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 151. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1007.

[229] _The Mirror_, xxxiii. 202, note.

[230] Drury, Ins., i. 9 (Pref.). Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 73.

[231] Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 71-2. Merian, _Ins. Sur._, 24.

[232] _Hist. of Jamaica_, ii. 193-4.

[233] _St. Pierre_, _Voy._, 72.

[234] Smeatham, 32. Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 303.

[235] _Wonders_, i. 18.

[236] Curtis, _Farm Ins._, p. 22. Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[237] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 98.

[238] Probably the coriaceous tortoise, which is covered with a strong

[239] Paladius, B. i. c. 35.

[240] _Med. Dict._

[241] _Gent. Mag._, xxv. 376.--Some authors assert that Ear-wigs are not
in the least injurious to vegetation.

[242] _Hist. of Jam._, ii. 204.

[243] _Med. Dict._

[244] _Hist. of Jam._, ii. 204.

[245] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[246] Quot. by Samouffle, _Ent. Cab._, 1-3.

[247] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[248] Pinkerton’s _Voy. and Trav._, xiii. 108. A beetle, insinuating
itself in the ear of Captain Speke when in Central Africa, caused him
the greatest pain imaginable. It was six or seven months before all the
pieces of it were extracted.--_Blackwood’s Mag._, Sept. 1859. Barth’s
_Central Africa_, ii. 91, note.

[249] Hone’s _Every Day Book_, i. 1121.

[250] _London Labor and London Poor_, iii. 40-1.

[251] _Zool._, vi. 118.

[252] _Theat. Ins._, p. 983.

[253] Harwood, _Grec. Antiq._, p. 200.

[254] Chamb. _Journ._, xi. 362, 2d S.

[255] Carpenter’s _Zool._, ii. 142.

[256] _Penny Mag._, 1841, 2d S. p. 436.

[257] Cuvier, _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 190.

[258] _Present St. of the C. of Good Hope_, i. 99-100. Astley’s _Collec.
of Voy. and Trav._, iii. 366.

[259] Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, iii. 381.

[260] _Pres. St. of the C. of Good Hope_, i. 101-2.

[261] _Ibid._

[262] _Trav._, i. 150.

[263] _Ibid._, ii. 65.

[264] Quot. by _Penny Mag._, 1841, 2d S. p. 436.

[265] _Ibid._

[266] _Ibid._

[267] Churchill’s _Coll. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 23, and Pinkerton’s
_Voy. and Trav._, xiv. 720.

[268] _Trav. in China_, p. 159. Cf. Williams’ _Middle Kingdom_, i. 273.

[269] Ins. Arch., 63.

[270] This superstition I have found in no other place.

[271] Harper’s _New Monthly Mag._, xxiv. 491, 2.

[272] Donovan seems to think that Ovid’s account of the Transformation
of Phaeton’s Sisters into trees, had its origin in some such idea as
this.--_Insects of China_, p. 18, note. See also Chamb. _Journal_, xi.
367, 2d Ser.

[273] Donovan’s _Ins. of China_, p. 19.

[274] Smith’s _Nature and Art_, x. 240.

[275] _Amer. Phil. Trans._, vol. iii. _Introd._

[276] Cuvier, _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 173.

[277] _Nat. Hist. of Barbados_, p. 90.

[278] 4th Pastoral, line 102.

[279] _Mag-astromancers Posed and Puzzel’d_, p. 181.

[280] _Dæmonologia_, 1650, p. 59.

[281] _Elminth._, 8vo. Lond., 1668, p. 271.

[282] _Nat. Hist. of Selborne_, p. 255.

[283] _Tamar and Tavy_, i. 321.

[284] _The Mirror_, xix. 180.

[285] _Astrologaster_, p. 45.

[286] _Notes and Queries_, iii. 3.

[287] _Ibid._

[288] _The Mirror_, xix. 180.

[289] Grose, _Antiq. Prov. Gloss._, p. 121.

[290] _Il Penserosa._

[291] Mouffet, _Theat. Insect._, p. 136.

[292] Harper’s _Mag._, xxvi. 497.

[293] Mouff. _Theat. Ins._, p. 136.

[294] De Pauw, ii. 106.

[295] _Life of Amer. Ins._, p. 114.

[296] _Earth and Animat. Nat._, iv. 216.

[297] Sloane’s _Nat. Hist. of Jamaica_, ii. 204.

[298] _Nat. Hist._, xxx. 4. Holland, p. 378. H.

[299] _Ibid._, xxix. 6. Holland, p. 370. K.

[300] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 6. Holl., p. 371. A.

[301] _Med. Dict._

[302] The Grasshopper, however, according to Mr. Hughes’ description, is
twice as large as the cricket; it being two inches, the cricket but one
inch, in length.--P. 85 and 90.

[303] _Nat. Hist. of Barb._, p. 85.

[304] Athen. _Deipnos_, L. 4, c. 12. The Cercope, or Monkey-grasshopper,
was so called from having a long tail like a monkey, _cercops_.

[305] Pinkert. _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ix. 612.

[306] _Hist. of West Indies_, p. 121-2.

[307] Voy., ii. 239. Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 373.

[308] Quoted in Simmond’s _Curios. of Food_, p. 304.

[309] _Gent. Mag._, xii. 442.

[310] Good, _Study of Med._, iv. 515.

[311] Pinkerton’s _Voy. and Trav._, vii. 705.

[312] _Med. Dict._

[313] _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 67.

[314] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 120. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 984.

[315] Exod., chap. x.

[316] Of the symbolical Locusts in the Apocalypse it is said--“And the
sounds of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of many horses
running to battle.”--ix. 9.

[317] Cf. Ex. x. 15; Jer. xlvi. 23; Judg. vi. 5, viii. 12; Nah. iii. 15.

[318] Joel, ii. 2-10, 20.

[319] Oros., _Contra Pag._, l. 5, c. 2.

[320] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 217; Cuv. _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 206.

[321] Mouff., _Theat. Ins._, p. 123.

[322] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 137.

[323] _Wonders_, ii. 507.

[324] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 137.

[325] _Ibid._

[326] _Theatr. Insect._, p. 123.

[327] Cuvier, _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 212.

[328] Bingley, _Anim. Biog._, iii. 258.

[329] _Hist. of Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii. 188.

[330] _Nat. Hist. of Jam._, quot. in _Gent. Mag._, xviii. 362.

[331] Churchill’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, v. 33.

[332] _Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii. 188.

[333] _Ibid._, ii. 197.

[334] _Gent. Mag._, lxx. 989.

[335] _Phil. Trans._, vol. xlvi., and _Gent. Mag._, xvii. 435.

[336] _Ibid._

[337] _Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii. 190.

[338] _Ibid._, 191. Dr. Shaw says, Governors of particular provinces of
the East oftentimes command a certain number of the military to take the
field against armies of Locusts, with a train of artillery.--_Zool._,
vi. 131, note.

[339] _Phil. Trans._, vol. xlvi.

[340] Cuv. _An. King.--Ins._, ii. 211.

[341] Dillon’s _Trav. in Spain_, quot. in _Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii.

[342] _Gent. Mag._, xx. 382; xxiii. 387.

[343] _Ibid._, xlii. 293.

[344] Jackson’s _Trav. in Morocco_, p. 105. Cf. Lempriere, Pinkerton’s
_Col. of Voy. and Trav._, xv. 709.

[345] Cuv. _An. King.--Ins._, ii. 212.

[346] _Gent. Mag._, lxii. 543.

[347] _Ibid._, liii. 526, Pt. I.

[348] _Trav., etc._, 257.

[349] K. and S. _Introd._, i. 219.

[350] _Orient. Mem._, ii. 273.

[351] _Ibid._, iii. 338.

[352] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, viii. 595.

[353] _Ibid._, viii. 613.

[354] _Penny Mag._, 1843, p. 231.

[355] _Narrative_, p. 234, and p. 238.

[356] _Trav. in Morocco_, p. 105.

[357] Jaeg. _on Ins._, p. 103.

[358] Pringle’s _S. Africa_, p. 54. The Missionary Moffat has written
the history of the scourge of 1826.--_Miss. Lab._, p. 447-9.

[359] _Ibid._

[360] _Chinese Repository._

[361] Churchill’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 317.

[362] _Penny Mag._ 1843.

[363] Backhouse, p. 264.

[364] _Kaffraria_, p. 79.

[365] Remy & Brenchley’s _Voy. to G. Salt Lake City_, iv. 440, note;
Burton’s _City of the Saints_, p. 345.

[366] Quot. by Burton, _City of the Saints_, p. 86. Cf. Long’s _Exped._,
ii. 31.

[367] Remy and Brenchley’s _Voy. to G. S. Lake City_, i. 440, note;
Burton’s _City of the Saints_, p. 345.

[368] Lepsius, _Disc. in Egypt_, p. 50.

[369] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 29; Holland, Pt. I. p. 327, F-H.

[370] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 137-8.

[371] _Ibid._, 138.

[372] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, vii. 257.

[373] Volney’s _Trav._, i. 387.

[374] Riley’s _Narrative_, p. 236-7.

[375] Richardson’s _Sahara_, i. 338.

[376] _The Mirror_, xv. 429.

[377] _Pilgr._, ii. 1047.

[378] _Ibid._, ii. 1186.

[379] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[380] _Gent. Mag._, lxxxi. (Pt. II.) 273.

[381] Vide Bochart, _Hierozoic_, L. IV. c. 5, 474-5.

[382] Volney, _Trav._, i. 304.

[383] Robbins’ _Journal_, p. 228.

[384] Southey’s _Thalaba_, i. 171.

[385] Clarke’s _Travels_, i. 348.

[386] _Harleian Miscel._, ii. 523.

[387] _Nature and Art_, vi. 109.

[388] Bochart, _Hierozoic_, Pt. II. L. iv. c. 5, 475.--Much of this
description is quite oriental, but such is the general resemblance to
some of the animals mentioned, that in Italy it still bears the name of
“Cavalletta.” A German name for this Locust, as well as the Grasshopper
(before mentioned), is the “Hay-horse.” About the Locust’s neck, too,
the integuments have some resemblance to the trappings of a horse; some
species, however, have the appearance of being hooded. In the Bible,
Locusts are compared to horses.--Joel, ii. 4; Rev. ix. 7. Ray says,
“_Caput oblongum, equi instar prona spectans_.”

[389] Riley’s _Narrative_, p. 234.

[390] _Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii. 186.

[391] _Ibid._, 187.

[392] _Ibid._

[393] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 125. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 988.

[394] St. John’s _Man. and Cust. of Anct. Greeks_, iii. 95.

[395] Diod. Sic. _Hist._, L. III. c. 2. Booth’s Trans., 170-1.

[396] Strabo. _Geog._, L. XVI. c. 4, § 13.

[397] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 26. Holl. Pt. I. p. 325. E. Cf. Pliny, _Nat.
Hist._, xi. 29.

[398] Rob. _Journal_, p. 172.

[399] _Ibid._, p. 228.

[400] Jackson’s _Morocco_, p. 104.

[401] _Ibid._, p. 106.

[402] _Wand. and Adv. in S. Afr._, i. 137.

[403] Riley’s _Narrat._, p. 237.

[404] _Exped. to Africa_, p. 107.

[405] _Cent. Africa_, ii. 30.

[406] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, xvi. 634.

[407] _Travels to C. of Good Hope_, i. 263.

[408] _Ibid._

[409] _Revel._ ix. 2, 3.

[410] Fleming’s _Kaffraria_, p. 80.

[411] Holman’s _Travels_, p. 487.

[412] _Miss. Lab._, p. 448-9.

[413] Quot. in Anderson’s _L. Ngami_, p. 284.

[414] _Ibid._, p. 283.

[415] _Trav. and Res. in S. Africa_, p. 48.

[416] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, x. 189.

[417] Hasselq. _Trav._, p. 419.

[418] _Orient. Mem._, i. 46.

[419] Layard’s _Nin. and Bab._, p. 289.

[420] _Chinese Repository._

[421] _Lord Elgin’s Miss. to China and Japan_, p. 273.

[422] _Middle Kingdom_, ii. 50.

[423] _Voy._, i. 430. Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, xi. 49.

[424] _Ibid._, xiv. 128.

[425] Vol. ii. p. 525.

[426] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, ii. 205.

[427] Jackson’s _Morocco_, p. 103.

[428] _Ibid._, p. 106.

[429] _Narrative_, p. 235.

[430] _Chinese Repository._

[431] _Phil. Trans._ for 1698.

[432] _Prov._ xxx. 27.

[433] _Genes._ xvi. 12.

[434] Jackson’s _Travels in Morocco_, p. 105-6.

[435] _Hist. of Greece_, b. i. c. 24.

[436] _Hist. Acct. of China_, b. ii. c. 15, and Church _Col. of Voy. and
Trav._, i. 95.

[437] _Naturalist in Bermuda_, p. 112.

[438] _S. African Sport._, p. 220.

[439] Darwin’s _Res._, p. 159.

[440] _Hist. of Jam._, ii. 261.

[441] Smith’s _Bib. Dict._

[442] _Ibid._

[443] _Travels_, i. 71.

[444] _Egypt and China_, ii. 106.

[445] _Hist. of Brazil_, i. 105.

[446] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._ The species here referred to was
the _Termes lucifuga_.

[447] _Orient. Mem._, i. 363-4.

[448] Kempf. _Japan_, ii. 127; also Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and
Trav._, vii. 701.

[449] _Orient. Mem._, i. 362.

[450] _Introd._, i. 247.

[451] _Autobiog._, Lond., 1858, p. 222-3.

[452] _Latr. S. Africa_, p. 315.

[453] _Hist. of Brazil_, i. 319.

[454] Kid. and Fletch., _Brazil_, p. 443.

[455] _S. Africa_, p. 315.

[456] _Hist. of Brazil_, i. 319.

[457] Kidder and Fletcher, _Brazil_, p. 442.

[458] Barter’s _Dorp and Veld_, p. 81.

[459] Burton’s _Central Africa_, i. 202.

[460] Tennent, _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 412.

[461] Knox, _Ceylon_, Pt. I. ch. vi. p. 24.

[462] _Phil. Trans._, lxxi. 167-8, note.

[463] _Ibid._

[464] _Voy. to Cape of Good Hope_, i. 261; Cf. Alexander’s _Exped. into
Africa_, i. 52.

[465] _Trav. in S. Africa_, p. 501.

[466] Burton’s _Cent. Africa_, i. 202.

[467] Buchanan, i. 7; Forbes, _Orient. Mem._, i. 305.

[468] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 308, note.

[469] _Letters written in a Mahratta Camp in 1809._

[470] Backhouse, p. 584.

[471] _Phil. Trans._, lxxi. 167-8, note.

[472] _Memoirs_, vi. 485. Quot. by K. and S. _Introd._, i. 284. Cuv.
_An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 315. _Ins. Trans._, p. 373.

[473] Quot. by Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 250.

[474] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, iii. 516-8.

[475] Gosse’s _Jamaica_, p. 251.

[476] _Gram. and Dict. of the Yoruba Language._ Smithson. Public., p.

[477] Cuv. _An. King.--Ins._, ii. 404.

[478] They were produced by that species of Gall-fly, _Cynips_,
delineated by Reaumur in his _Hist. of Ins._, vol. iii. tabl. 40. _The
Mirror_, xxx. 234.

[479] K. and S. _Introd._, i. 33.

[480] Browne’s _Works_, ii. 376.

[481] _Theatr. Ins._, 252. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1085.

[482] Hasselquist’s _Travels_, p. 253.

[483] Cuv. _An. King.--Ins._, ii. 424.

[484] _Ibid._, p. 427.

[485] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._ Cf. Cuv.--_Ins._, ii. 428; K. and
S. _Introd._, i. 318. Medict. Virt. Cf. Geoffroy’s _Treatise on Subs.
used in Physic_, p. 369.

[486] Cuv. _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 428. Cf. Geoffroy’s _Subs. used in
Phys._, p. 369.

[487] Reaum. iii. 416. Cf. Cuv. _Ibid._ ii. 429. K. and S. _Introd._, i.

[488] Smith’s _Introd. to Bot._, p. 346. Olivier’s _Trav._, i. 139. Cf.

[489] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[490] Herod., B. 3, 102-5. Cary’s _Trans._, p. 214.

[491] Strabo, _Geog._, B. xv. c. 1, § 44. Hamilton’s _Trans._, iii. 101.
Cf. Arrian’s _Ind. Hist._, c. 15. Rooke’s _Trans._, ii. 211.

[492] _Ibid._

[493] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, B. xi. c. 31. Bost. and Riley’s _Trans._,
iii. 39.

[494] _Ubi supra_, and Strabo, B. xv. c. 1, § 37.

[495] Pomp., _Vita Apollon. Tyan._, B. vi. c. 1.

[496] Bostick and Riley’s _Trans. of Pliny_, iii. 39, note.

[497] Prov. vi. 6. Cf. Prov. xxx. 23.

[498] Smith’s _Bib. Dict._

[499] Holland’s _Trans._, p. 787.

[500] _Guardian_, No. 156-7.

[501] _Nat. Displ._, i. 128.

[502] _Namahl a Namal Circumcidit._--Browne’s _Pseud. Epid.--Works_, ii.

[503] _Poems: Solomon._

[504] _Hymns: The Emmet._

[505] _On the Omnis. of God._

[506] _Par. Lost_, B. vii. l. 484.

[507] _Saturday Mag._, xix. 190.

[508] Lawson’s _Bible Cyclop._, ii. 505.

[509] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 245-6. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1078.
Vide Pierius’ _Hieroglyph._, p. 73-6.

[510] Mouf. _Theatr. Ins._, p. 242.

[511] Quot. in Brande’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 224.

[512] Harwood’s Grec. _Antiq._, p. 200.

[513] Stosch. Cl., ii. 227-8. Fosbr. _Encycl. of Antiq._, ii. 738.

[514] Quot. in Brande’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 134.

[515] _The Mirror_, xxx. 216.

[516] _Pilgrims_, v. 542.

[517] _Theatr. Ins._, 246. Topsel’s _Hist of Beasts_, p. 1079.

[518] The valley seems to be so called from the great number of Ants
which are found there. Some place it in Syria, and others in Tayeb.--_Al
Beidawi, Jallalo’ddin._

[519] _The Koran_, p. 310. Translated by Geo. Sale.

[520] _Trav. in the Levant_, Pt. I. p. 41.

[521] _Land and Water Creatures Compared_, Holland, p. 787.

[522] B. 7, c. 16, p. 665; printed 1613.

[523] Strong’s _Nat. Hist._, iii. 163.

[524] Holland’s _Trans._, p. 787.

[525] Chamb. _Misc._, x. 17.

[526] Kalm in Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, xiii. 474.

[527] Chamb. _Misc._, x. 22.

[528] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, xvi. 174.

[529] _Guinea_, p. 276; Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 727.

[530] Du Chaillu, p. 312 and 108.

[531] Allied to the Stinger (_ota_) of Yoruba, and _Idzalco_, “the
fighter which makes one go.”--_T. J. Bowen._

[532] Livingstone’s _Travels_, p. 468.

[533] St. Clair’s _W. Indies_, i. 167-8.

[534] Stedm. _Surinam_, ii. 94.

[535] Of similar size and ferocity as the great Red-ant of Ceylon, the
_Dimiya_, _Formica smaragdina_.--Tennent, _N. H. of Ceyl._, p. 424.

[536] The Cobra de Capello, _Naja tripudians_, Merr.

[537] Knox, _Hist. Rel. of Ceylon_, Pt. I. ch. vi. p. 24.

[538] Stedm. _Surinam_, ii. 142.

[539] K. and S. _Introd._, i. 123.

[540] Smith’s _Nature and Art_, xii. 195. Clavigero supposes that all
the attachment which the snake shows to the Ant-hills proceeds from its
living on the Ants themselves.

[541] _Du Chaillu_, p. 312.

[542] The Swiss farmers, in order to rid their trees of caterpillars,
allure the Ants to climb the trees, where, being confined by a circle of
pitch round the holes, hunger soon causes them to attack the noxious

[543] _Penny Encycl._, _sub._ Ant.

[544] _Hakluyt Society_, ii. 13.

[545] _The Mirror_, xxxi. 342.

[546] Smith’s _Nature and Art_, xii. 197.

[547] _Hist. Nat._, i. 9, and v. 291. Cf. Sloane, _Hist. of Jam._, ii.

[548] _Amer. Utriusq. Desc._, p. 333.

[549] _Ibid._, p. 379.

[550] Southey’s _Com. Place Book_, 3d S. p. 346-7.

[551] Herrera, vi. 5, 6.

[552] _Hist. of Jam._, ii. 221.

[553] Quoted, _Ibid._

[554] _Journ. of Geog. Soc._, 1841, x. 175.

[555] Quot. by K. and S. _Introd._, i. 309.

[556] _Trav. in Swed._, p. 118, Lond. 1789, 4to.

[557] _Ibid._

[558] Jenkin’s _Voy. of U. S. Explor. Exped. Com. by Wilkes_, 8vo.
Auburn, 1852, p. 319.

[559] Cuv. _An. Kingd.--Insects_, ii. 489.

[560] _Ibid._

[561] _Pilgrims_, iii. 996.

[562] James’s _Med. Dict._

[563] _Hist. of Jam._, ii. 221.

[564] Brande’s _Encycl. of Sci. Lit., etc._

[565] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxviii. 7 (23).

[566] Southey’s _Com. Place Book_, 3d S. p. 419.

[567] _Gent. Mag._, Pt. II. lxxiii. 704-5, and Kirby’s _Wond. Museum_,
i. 353-5.

[568] _Land and Water Creatures Compared_, Holl. _Trans._, p. 793.

[569] B. 7, c. xv. p. 664. Printed 1613.

[570] Cuv. _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 472.

[571] _Mem. Berlin Acad._ for 1749.

[572] _Penny Encycl._, _sub._ Ant.

[573] K. and S. _Introd._, ii. 54.

[574] _Pilgrimage_, p. 1090.

[575] K. and S. _Intro._, ii. 54.

[576] Joss. _Voy._, p. 118.

[577] Baird’s _Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[578] Purchas’s _Pilgrims_, iii. 998.

[579] Schomburgk’s _Hist. of Barbados_, 640-3; and Coke’s _West Indies_,
ii. 313.

[580] Cuv. _An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 471.

[581] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, xiv. 716.

[582] Southey’s _Hist. of Brazil_, iii. 334, note.

[583] Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 507.

[584] Thom Browne’s _Works_, ii. 337, note.

[585] Martial, B. iv. 15.

[586] Southey, _Hist. of Brazil_, i. 645.

[587] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 148-9.

[588] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 29.

[589] Wanley’s _Wonders_, i. 378.

[590] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 40-50. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 921-7.
Vide Pierius’ _Hieroglyph._, p. 267-8; Pernicies summota; Pugnacitas;
Imperfecti mores civiles; Perturbator.

[591] _Josh._ xxiv. 12; _Deut._ vii. 20.

[592] Kirby’s _Bridgewater Treatise.--Saturday Mag._, ix. 239.

[593] _Phil. Trans._, i. 201.

[594] _Med. Dict._

[595] _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 660.

[596] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 49. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 657, 927.

[597] _Notes and Queries_, ii. 165.

[598] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 211.

[599] Backhouse’s _Mauritius_, p. 32.

[600] Moufet, _Theatr. Insect._, p. 47. Topsel’s _Hist. of Four-footed
Beasts and Serpents_, p. 925, 655.

[601] William’s _Middle Kingdom_; or _Chinese Empire_, i. 274.

[602] Thom. Bozius _de signis Eccles._, B. 14, c. iii. Quot. by Butler,
_Fem. Monarchie_, c. i. 48.

[603] Quot. in _Notes and Queries_, ix. 167.

[604] _Parley of Beasts_, p. 144. London, 1660.

[605] Bozius, _ubi supra_. Butler, _ubi supra_.

[606] Vicentius in _Spec. Moral._, B. 2, D. 21, p. 3. _N. and Q._, x.

[607] Pet. Cluniac, B. 1, c. i. _N. and Q._, x. 499.

[608] Quot. in _Notes and Queries_, x. 499.

[609] Harwood, _Grec. Antiq._, p. 200.

[610] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, ix. 18

[611] _Ibid._

[612] Paus. _Hist. of Greece_, B. ix. c. xxiii. 3.

[613] Stanley’s _Hist. of Philos._, Pt. V. c. ii. p. 157, Lond. 1701.
Cf. Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xi. 18.

Vide Pierius, _Hieroglyph._, p. 261-5. Populus regi suo obseques; Rex;
Regnum; Grata eloquentia; Poeticæ amœnitas; Futuri seculi beatitudo;
Dulcium appetitus; Diuturnæ valetudinis prosperitas; Meretrix; Exoticæ
disciplinæ; Prophetarum oracula, etc.

[614] _Lives of the Saints_, xii. 106.

[615] Quot. in _N. and Q._, x. 500. This story is not in the _Fem.
Monarchie_ of 1609, printed for Jos. Barnes.

[616] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 21-2. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts and Serpents_,
p. 645, 905.

[617] _N. and Q._, vi. 480.

[618] Gay’s _Pastorals_, v. 107-8.

[619] Chambers’ _Book of Days_, i. 752.

[620] Plutarch, _Nat. Quest._, 36. Holl. Trans., p. 831.

[621] _Nat. Hist._, xxviii. 7. Holl. Trans., p. 308.

[622] Plutarch, _Land and Water Creatures Compared_. Holl. Trans., p.

[623] _Georg._ iv. 283-7. Dryden’s Trans.

[624] Swam. _Hist. of Ins._, Pt. I. p. 226.

[625] Martin’s _Georg. of Virgil_, iv. 295, note.

[626] Dryden’s _Virgil, Georg._ iv. 417-442. Democritus, said to have
been contemporary with Socrates and Hippocrates, the learned Varro,
Columella, and Plorentinus, have severally given this same receipt. Vide
Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 199.

[627] Hollings. _Chron._, i. 384.

[628] Swam. _Hist. of Ins._, Pt. I. p. 228.

[629] _N. and Q._, ii. 356.

[630] _Nat. Hist._, xix. 7. Holl. _Trans._, p. 23. E.

[631] _N. and Q._, ii. 165. Chamb. _Bk. of Days_, i. 752.

[632] _N. & Q._, xii. 200.

[633] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, ii. 405.

[634] Bucke _on Nature_, i. 419.

[635] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, ii. 300.

[636] _Ibid._

[637] _Ibid._

[638] Thorpe’s _North. Mythol._, iii. 161.

[639] Vide _N. and Q._ in Devon, v. 148; Essex, v. 437; Lincolnshire,
iv. 270; Surrey, iv. 291; a Cornish superstition, too, xii. 38; in
Buckinghamshire, Sussex, Lithuania, and France, iv. 308.

[640] Brande’s _Pop. Antiq._, ii. 300.

[641] Bucke _on Nature_, i. 413, note.

[642] _N. and Q._, iv. 309.

[643] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, ii. 300.

[644] Fosbr. _Encycl. of Antiq._, ii. 738.

[645] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, ii. 300.

[646] Langstroth _on Honey-Bee_, p. 80.

[647] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, iii. 211, note.

[648] _Ibid._, i. 303. London, 1829.

[649] Peter Rotharmel had three specialties: Bees, Wheat, and Bonaparte.
Concerning Bees, he had many strange notions, but the above recorded is
the only one of which I have any positive information. Concerning wheat,
at one time in his life he purchased an almanac, which indicated, among
other things, the high and low tides, and, from studying this, he got it
into his head that the fluctuations in the price of wheat were
intimately connected with the rise and fall of the tides. So impressed
was he with this idea, that he ever afterward yearly bought that
particular almanac, and prophesied from it to his neighbors the probable
value of their coming crops of wheat. On Sunday, he would walk fifteen
and twenty miles through the country, to examine the different
wheat-fields, and to afford him a topic of conversation for the ensuing
week. But Napoleon was his principal study and his greatest mania. On
him he would talk for hours, on the slightest provocation. The history
of Bonaparte and his campaigns, which he only read, was an old German

[650] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, ii. 209.

[651] _Geog._, Dryden’s _Trans._, iv. 82-9.

[652] _On the Honey-Bee_, p. 113.

[653] _N. and Q._, 2d Ser., ix. 443.

[654] _Nat. Hist._, xxi. 20, Holl. _Trans._, p. 106. K.

[655] Quot. in Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 225.

[656] Langstroth _on the Honey-Bee_, p. 132.

[657] Quot. by Langstroth _on the Honey-Bee_, p. 231.

[658] Campbell’s _Travels in S. Africa_, p. 339.

[659] _Percy Soc. Public._, iv. 99.

[660] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 109-10.

[661] _Nat. Hist._, xx. 13. Holl., p. 56. M.

[662] _Ibid._, Holl., p. 95. A.

[663] _Ibid._, xxi. 20. Holl., p. 106. K.

[664] _Ibid._, xxiii. 18. Holl., p. 173. A.

[665] _Ibid._, xxix. 4. Holl., p. 361. D.

[666] _Ibid._, xxx. 16. Holl., p. 399. F.

[667] Langstroth _on the Honey-Bee_, p. 316, note.

[668] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 225.

[669] _Georg._, iv. 280-4; Dryden’s _Trans._

[670] Fosb. _Encycl. of Antiq._, ii. 738.

[671] _Judg._ xiv. 8.

[672] Cf. Swammerdam, _Hist. of Ins._, Pt. I. p. 227, and Smith’s _Dict.
of the Bible_.

[673] Herod., v. 114-5.

[674] _Excursions_, i. 127.

[675] _Fem. Monarchie_, c. vi. 49.

[676] Williams’ _Chinese Empire_, i. 275.

[677] Chiflet, 164-181; Montf. _Monarch. Franc._, i. 12; Gough’s _Sepul.
Mon._, vol. i. p. lxii.

[678] Cf. _N. & Q._, vii. 478, 553; viii. 30.

[679] Harper’s _New Monthly Mag._, xxvi. 441.

[680] _Il._ β. 87; μ. 67; _Odyss._, ν. 106.

[681] Hesiod, Theog., 594, seq.

[682] Bucke _on Nature_, ii. 75.

[683] Cf. Kalm, ii. 427; Schneider, Observ. sur Ulloa, ii. 198.

[684] _Ibid._

[685] _Tour in the Prairies_, ch. ix.

[686] Langstroth _on the Honey-Bee_, p. 236.

[687] _Letters._

[688] _Voyages dans les Alpes._ _Ins. Misc._, p. 262.

[689] Brookes mentions the Duchy of Juliers, a district of Westphalia,
Germany.--_Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 160.

[690] Columella says the Greeks were accustomed, every year, to remove
the hives from Achaia into Attica.--_Ibid._

[691] One person in particular, in the territory called Gatonois, has
been at the pains of removing his hives, after the harvest of Sainfoin,
into the plains of Beauce, where the melilot abounds, and thence into
Sologne, where it is well known the Bees may enjoy the advantage of
buckwheat, till toward the end of September, for so long that plant
retains its flowers.--_Ibid._

[692] _Ins. Misc._, p. 262.

[693] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, iii. 652.

[694] Wood’s _Zoog._, ii. 429.

[695] _Ins. Misc._, p. 263.

[696] Quot. by Langstroth--_On Honey-Bee_, p. 305, note.

[697] _Nat. Hist._, x. 9.

[698] _Journ. of Geog. Soc._, 1843, xiii. 40.

[699] Murray’s _Africa_, i. 168.

[700] Scot’s _Mag._, Nov. 1766. Chamb. _Journ._, 1st S. xi. 184.

[701] _The Bees._

[702] _Treatise on Bees_, 1769. _Ins. Misc._, p. 320-1.

[703] _Fem. Monarchie_, ch. i. 39.

[704] _Travels_, p. 178, Harper’s ed.

[705] B. VII. c. xvi. p. 667. Printed, 1613.

[706] Montaigne’s _Works_, p. 243.

[707] Lesser, ii. 171. K. & S. _Introd._, ii. 247.

[708] Knox, Pt. I. c. vi. p. 48.

[709] Martyr, p. 274.

[710] Banc. _Guiana_, p. 230.

[711] _Nat. Hist. of Selborne_, p. 293.

[712] _Trav._, i. 9.

[713] _Med. Dict._

[714] Langstroth _on Honey-Bee_, p. 315, note.

[715] _Med. Dict._

[716] _Fem. Monarchie_, c. x. 1.

[717] B. 3, c. xv. xvi. p. 274-9. See also extract from Works of Sir J.
More, London, 1707, given by Langstroth--_on the Honey-Bee_, p. 287,

[718] _The Koran_, p. 219, note, Sale’s.

[719] _Ibid._, p. 219.

[720] Athen. _Deipn._, B. 2, c. 26.

[721] Moufet, _Theatr. Ins._, p. 29. Topsel’s _Trans._, p. 911.

[722] Brooke’s _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 168.

[723] Quot. by Langstroth _on the Honey-Bee_, p. 78-9.

[724] _Anab._, B. 4.

[725] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxi. 13. Tournefort, _Letters_, 17.

[726] _Mission. Lab._, p. 121.

[727] Hollingsh. _Chron._, i. 384.

[728] Hawk’s _Peruvian Antiq._, p. 198.

[729] _Voyage to C. of G. Hope_, i. 255.

[730] Jamieson’s _Scot. Dict._

[731] Wright’s _Prov. Dict._

[732] _Epigrams_, B. iv. epigr. 32.

[733] Smith’s _Dict. of the Bible_.

[734] Osbeck’s _Travels_, i. 32-3.

[735] Josselyn’s _Voy._, p. 121.

[736] Chambers’ _Pop. Rhymes of Scot._, p. 292. Edit. of 1841, p. 172.

[737] Dalyell’s _Superst. of Scotland_, p. 563.

[738] Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 346-7. Wood’s _Zoog._, ii. 436-7.

[739] Kirby’s _Wonderful Museum_, v. 390-1, given at length.

[740] Kirby’s _Wond. Museum_, vi. 260-2, at length.

[741] Livy, B. 34, c. 10.

[742] _Ibid._, B. 40, c. 19.

[743] _Ibid._, B. 43, c. 13.

[744] Brown’s _Book of Butterflies_, i. 126.

[745] _Annales_, p. 15.

[746] _Ibid._

[747] Holling., i. 449. Graft., i. 37. Fabyan, p. 17.

[748] Howitt’s _North. Literat._, i. 187.

[749] Bucke _on Nature_, i. 277.

[750] Moufet, p. 107.

[751] Hone’s _Ev. Day Book_, p. 1127.

[752] Chambers’ _Domest. Annals of Scotland_, ii. 489.

[753] Gassendi’s _Life of Peireskius_, p. 123-5; and Reaumur, i. 638,

[754] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 206.

[755] The origin of red snow has likewise been a puzzle and query for
ages, and many theories have been advanced by philosophers and
naturalists to account for it. To those interested in the solution of
this phenomenon, the following extract from the _Mag. of Nat. Hist._,
vol. ii. p. 322, may be curious, if not satisfactory. Mr. Thomas
Nicholson, accompanied with two other gentlemen, made an excursion the
24th July, 1821, to Sowallick Point, near Bushman’s Island, in Prince
Regent’s Bay, in quest of meteoric iron. “The summit of the hill,” he
says, “forming the point, is covered with huge masses of granite, whilst
the side, which forms a gentle declivity to the bay, was covered with
crimson snow. It was evident, at first view, that this colour was
imparted to the snow by a substance lying on the surface. This substance
lay scattered here and there in small masses, bearing some resemblance
to powdered cochineal, surrounded by a lighter shade, which was produced
by the colouring matter being partly dissolved and diffused by the
deliquescent snow. During this examination our hats and upper garments
were observed to be daubed with a substance of a similar red colour, and
a moment’s reflection convinced us that this was the excrement of the
little Auk (_Uria alle_, Temmink), myriads of which were continually
flying over our heads, having their nests among the loose masses of
granite. A ready explanation of the origin of the red snow was now
presented to us, and not a doubt remained in the mind of any that this
was the correct one. The snow on the mountains of higher elevation than
the nests of these birds was perfectly white, and a ravine at a short
distance, which was filled with snow from top to bottom, but which
afforded no hiding-place for these birds to form their nests, presented
an appearance uniformly white.”

This testimony seems to be as clear and indisputable as the explanation
given by Peiresc of the ejecta of the Butterflies at Aix. But though it
will account, perhaps, for the red snow of the polar regions, it will
not explain that of the Alps, the Apennines, and the Pyrenees, which are
not, so far as is known, visited by the little Auk.--Vide _Ins.
Transf._, p. 352-5.

[756] Chamb. _Domes. Annals of Scotl._, ii. 199.

[757] Chamb. _Domes. Annals of Scotl._, ii. 447-8.

[758] _Gent. Mag._, xxxiv. 496.

[759] _Ibid._, xxxiv. 542.

[760] Bucke _on Nature_, i. 277.

[761] Brown’s _Bk. of Butterflies_, i. 129.

[762] Chamb. _Domes. Annals of Scotl._, ii. 448.

[763] Swam. _Hist. of Ins._, Pt. I. p. 40.

[764] Cf. the following verses from Ex. vii. 19: “And the LORD spake
unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand
upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and
upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may
become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of
Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.

“20. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up
the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river in the sight of
Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were
in the river were turned to blood.”

[765] Swam. _Hist. of Ins._, Pt. I. p. 40.

[766] Chamb. _Journ._, 2d S. xvii. 231.

[767] _Sil. Journ._, xli. 403-4, and xliv. 216.

[768] _Naturforsch_, xi. 94.

[769] _Travels_, i. 13.

[770] _Royal Milit. Chron._ for March, 1815, p. 452. K. and S.
_Introd._, ii. 11.

[771] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, i. 387, and _Mem. de la Soc. de Phys. et
d’Hist. Nat. de Genève_.

[772] _Penny Mag._, 1844, p. 3.

[773] _Gent. Mag._, liv. 744.

[774] _Researches_, ch. viii. p. 158.

[775] Brown’s _Bk. of Butterf._, p. 101.

[776] _Lake Ngami_, p. 267.

[777] _Naturalist in Bermuda_, p. 120.

[778] Tennent’s _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, ch. xii. p. 407.

[779] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 107. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 974.

[780] Bryant’s _Anct. Mythol._, ii. 386.

[781] Fosbroke, _Encycl. of Antiq._, ii. 738.

[782] _Travels._ He doubtless refers to an Indian _totem_.

[783] _N. and Q._, iii. 4.

[784] Du Halde, _China_, p. 21-2; Grosier’s _China_, i. 570; Williams’
_Mid. Kingd._, i. 273; Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, iv. 512.

[785] Harris’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 987.

[786] Osbeck, _Travels_, i. 331.

[787] _Ibid._, i. 324.

[788] Stedman, _Surinam_, i. 279. Cf. Bancroft, _Guiana_, p. 229.

[789] _Anat. of Melanch._, 1651, p. 268.

[790] _Life of Lord Herbert of Cherbury_, p. 134.

[791] _The Mirror_, xxv. 160.

[792] Harris’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, i. 790.

[793] _Egypt. and Chinese_, ii. 106.

[794] Simmond’s _Curios. of Food_, p. 312.

[795] _Gatherings of a Nat. in Austral._, p. 288.

[796] _Hist. of Ins._, p. 3.

[797] Reaumur considers this cry to be produced by the friction of the
palpi against the proboscis (_Memoires_, ii. 293). Huber, but without
mentioning the particulars, says he has ascertained that Reaumur was
quite mistaken (_On Bees_, p. 313, note). Schroeter ascribes the sound
to the rubbing of the tongue against the head; and Rösel to the friction
of the chest upon the abdomen. M. de Johet thinks it is produced by the
air being suddenly propelled against these scales by the action of the
wings. M. Lorry states that the sound arises from the air escaping
rapidly through peculiar cavities communicating with the spiracles, and
furnished with a fine tuft of hairs on the sides of the abdomen (Cuv.
_An. Kingd.--Ins._, ii. 678). Mr. E. L. Layard seems to be of the same
opinion (Tennent’s _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 427). But M. Passerini,
curator of the Museum of Nat. Hist. at Florence, has lately investigated
the subject more minutely. He traced the origin of the sound to the
interior of the head, in which he discovered a cavity at the passage
where muscles are placed for impelling and expelling the air. M. Dumeril
has since discovered a sort of membrane stretched over this cavity,
like, as he says, to the head of a drum. M. Duponchel has also confirmed
by experiment the opinions of Passerini and Dumeril, and confutes Lorry,
whose notion was generally adopted, by stating that the noise is
produced from the head when the body of the insect is removed (_Annales
des Sci. Nat._, Mars., 1828).

[798] Cf. _Penny Encycl._, _sub._ Sphinx, and _The Mirror_, xix. 212.

[799] _Hist. of Ins._, p. 191.

[800] Reaumur, ii. 289. Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 217.

[801] _Saturday Mag._, xix. 102.

[802] _Notes and Queries_, xii. 200.

[803] Bonnet, _Œvres_, ii. 124.

[804] _China_, p. 253. Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, iv. 138.

[805] Williams’ _Middle Kingdom_, ii. 121-2.

[806] Colebrook, _Asiat. Research._, v. 61.

[807] Aristotle, v. 17-9. Pliny, ix. 20.

[808] Paus. _Hist. of Greece_, B. 6, c. 26.

[809] Aristot. _Hist. An._, v. 19.

[810] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xi. 23.

[811] _Ibid._, xi. 22.

[812] Tacitus, _Ann._, B. 2, c. 33.

[813] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 22.

[814] Cf. Gibbon’s _Decl. and Fall of Rom. Em._, c. 40.

[815] Some authors, however, assert that the name was suggested by the
resemblance of the Morea to the shape of the mulberry-leaf, a less
plausible opinion by far than the former.

[816] Thuanus, in contradiction to most other writers, makes the
manufacture of silk to be introduced into Sicily two hundred years
later, by Robert the Wise, King of Sicily and Count of Provence.

[817] Burgon’s _Life of Sir Thomas Gresham_, 1839, i. 110, 302.

[818] Stow’s _Chronicle_, edit. 1631, p. 887.

[819] Keysler, _Trav._, i. 289.

[820] Olin, _Travels_.

[821] _Polit. Essay on N. Spain_, iii. 59.

[822] Skinner’s _Pres. State of Peru_, p. 346, note. Southey’s _Hist. of
Brazil_, iii. 644. Calancha’s _Augustine Hist. of Peru_, i. 66.

[823] Cuvier, _An. King.--Ins._, ii. 634.

[824] _Pilgrims_, iii. 442.

[825] Darwin, _Phytolog._, p. 364. Donovan’s _Ins. of China_, p. 6.

[826] Hollman, _Travels_, p. 473.

[827] Donovan’s _Ins. of China_, p. 6.

[828] _Med. Dict._

[829] Geoffroy, _Treat. on Subst. used in Physic_, p. 383.

[830] _Twelve Years in China_, p. 14.

[831] _Twelve Years in China_, p. 14.

[832] _Ibid._

[833] _Ibid._, p. 194.

[834] _Memoires of Robt. Houdin_, p. 161.

[835] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, vi. 9.

[836] Baird’s _Encycl. of Nat. Sci._ Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 229.

[837] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, vii. 705.

[838] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 88. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 958.

[839] Moufet, p. 108. Topsel, p. 975.

[840] _Monthly Mag._, 7 (Pt. I.) xxxix. 1799.

[841] _Pilgrims_, ii. 1034.

[842] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 99.

[843] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxviii. 7 (23).

[844] Col. B. x.

[845] Ælian, B. xi. c. 3.

[846] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxviii. 7 (23).

[847] Vide Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 99.

[848] Col. _In Hort._, v. 357.

[849] Pallad. B. i. c. 35.

[850] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 193. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1041 and

[851] _Hist. of Indians of U. S._, v. p. 70.

[852] _Hist, of Beasts_, p. 30.

[853] Moufet, _Theatr. Ins._, p. 194. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, pp.
670, 1041.

[854] _Med. Dict._

[855] Tennent, _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 431.

[856] Köllar’s _Treat. on Ins._, Lond. Trans., p. 105-36. Curtis’s _Farm
Insects_, p. 507.

[857] Lilly’s _Prophetical Merlin_, pub. in 1644.

[858] Josselyn’s _Voy._, p. 116.

[859] Jamieson’s _Scot. Dict._, ii. 144.

[860] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, i. 66.

[861] Harper’s _New Monthly Mag._, xxii. 41.

[862] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 274. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1100.

[863] _On the Honey-Bee_, p. 248.

[864] _Ibid._, p. 238, note.

[865] It is a philosophical fact that the female Cicadas are not capable
of making any noise--the above distich evinces its early discovery.

[866] _Symposiaques._ B. 8. Holl. _Trans._, p. 630.

[867] Thuc. B. 1, vi. (Bohn’s ed.).

[868] On Aristoph., _Vesp._ 230.

[869] Cited by Athen., 525.

[870] Cicada-combs are alluded to in Aristoph., Eq. 1331. Cf. also
Philostr. _Imag._, p. 837. Heracl. Pont., cited by Athen., p. 512.
Bloomfield’s _Thucid._, i. 14.

[871] Cited by Athen., p. 842 (Bohn’s ed.).

[872] Strabo, _Geog._ B. 6.

[873] _Iliad_, iii. 152. Buckley’s translation, p. 53.

[874] _Georg._ iii. 328. Cf. Bucol. ii. Sir J. E. Smith, Tour., iii. 95,
says also that the common Italian species makes a most disagreeable and
dull chirping. The Cicadas of Africa, it is said, may be heard half a
mile off; and the sound of one in a room will put a whole company to
silence. Thunberg asserts that those of Java utter a sound as shrill and
piercing as that of a trumpet. Captain Hancock informed Messrs. Kirby
and Spence that the Brazilian Cicadas sing as loud as to be heard at the
distance of a mile. _Introd._, ii. 400. The sound of our American
species, _C. septemdecim_, has been compared to the ringing of
horse-bells. The tettix of the Greeks, says Dr. Shaw, _Travels_, 2d
edit., p. 186, must have had quite a different voice, more soft surely
and more melodious; otherwise the fine orators of Homer, who are
compared to it, can be looked upon as no better than loud, loquacious

[875] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 134. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 994. Vide
Pierius’ _Hieroglyph._, p. 270-1. Initiatus sacris; Dicacitatis
castigatio; Vana garrulitas; Nobilitas generis; Musica.

[876] V. 2, c. 4, Donovan’s _Ins. of China_, p. 32.

[877] _Middle Kingd._

[878] _Surinam_, 49.

[879] Tennent, _Nat. Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 432.

[880] _Desc. of China_, i. 442.

[881] Oliphant’s _Lord Elgin’s Miss. to China_, p. 565.

[882] _Hist. An._, B. 5, c. 24, § 3, 4. Bohn’s edit.

[883] Cf. Bochart, _Hieroz._, ii. 491.

[884] _Phil. Trans._, 1763, n. 10.

[885] _Travels_, i. 331.

Baird says, but on what authority he does not state, that Cicadas are
frequently to be seen represented on the Egyptian monuments, and are
said to be emblems of the ministers of religion.--_Encycl. of Nat. Sci._

[886] _Insects of Surinam_, p. 49.

[887] Jaeger, _Life of N. A. Ins._, p. 73.

[888] _Ins. of China_, p. 30. That the Lantern-fly emits no light, see
_Dict. d’Hist. Nat._; M. Richards’ statement in _Encyclop._, art.
_Fulgora_; _Berlin Mag._, i. 153; Kirby and Spence, _Introd._, ii. 414,
note; Jaeger, _qua supra_.

[889] Stedman, _Surinam_, ii. 37.

[890] _Hist. of Barbados_, p. 65.

[891] Nat. Hist., xi. 12. Holl. _Trans._, i. 315. E.

[892] Theoph. _Hist. Plant._, iii. 7, 6. Cf. Hes. _Opp. et Dies_, 232,
seq. and Bacon, _Syl. Sylvarum_, 496.

[893] St. John’s _Anct. Greeks_, ii. 299.

[894] B. 3, c. xvi. p. 278. Printed 1613.

[895] _Nat. Hist. of Selborne_, p. 366.

[896] K. and S. _Introd._, ii. 9.

[897] Reaumur, iii. xxxi. Pref.

[898] Isaiah, ch. i. v. 18.

[899] Ex. ch. xxvi. xxviii. xxix.

[900] Diosc. iv. 48, p. 260. Pausan. B. x. p. 890.

[901] Beckman’s _Hist. of Inventions_, ii. 163-195. Bancroft _on Perm.
Colors_, i. 393-408.

[902] _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 77.

[903] Bancroft _on Permanent Colors_, i. 408-9.

[904] _Hist. of Inventions_, ii. 184.

[905] _Ibid._, 192.

[906] Shaw’s _Zool._, vi. 192.

[907] _Subst. used in Physic_, p. 370.

[908] _Phil. Trans._ for 1791.

[909] Bancroft _on Permanent Colors_, ii. 1-59.

[910] _Baird’s Cyclop. of Nat. Sci._

[911] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 270.

[912] Ray, _Hist. Ins._, 7.

[913] Hence the English word _Bug-bear_. In Matthew’s Bible, the passage
of the Psalms (xci. 5), “Thou shalt not be afraid of _the terror_ by
night,” is rendered, “Thou shalt not nede to be afraid of any _bugs_ by
night.” _Bug_ in this sense often occurs in Shakspeare. _Winter’s Tale_,
A. iii. Sc. 2, 3; _Henry VI._, A. v. Sc. 2; _Hamlet_, A. v. Sc. 2.

[914] _Journal_, xvii. 40.

[915] Churchill’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, iv. 190.

[916] _Oriental Memoirs_, i. 256.

[917] Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, iv. 513. Churchill’s _same_, i.

[918] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 160.

[919] Dr. James says: “Given to the number of seven, as food with beans,
they help those who are afflicted with a quartan ague, if they be eaten
before the accession of the fit.”--_Med. Dict._

[920] An excellent method, Ajasson remarks, of adding to the tortures of
the patient.

[921] Pliny, _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 17. Bostock and Riley’s _Trans._, v.

[922] _Med. Dict._

[923] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 270-1. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1098.

[924] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 157.

[925] _London Labor and the London Poor_, iii. 36-9.

[926] _Annals of Nat. Hist._ Simmond’s _Curiosities of Food_, p.

[927] _Nature and Art_, xii. 198.

[928] The numerous family of _Culicidæ_ are confounded under the common
names of Gnat and Mosquito; hence many mistakes will necessarily arise.

[929] _Theat. Ins._, p. 81. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 952.

[930] Quot. in N. & Q., ix. 303.

[931] _Phil. Trans._, lvii. 113; Bingley’s _Anim. Biog._, iv. 205.

[932] Germar’s _Mag. der Entomol._, i. 137.

[933] K. & S. _Introd._, i. 114.

[934] _Phil. Trans._, lvii. 112-3.

[935] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, vi. 545.

[936] _Hist. of Barbados_, p. 63.

[937] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 86. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 956.

[938] Silliman’s _Journal_, xxii. 375.

[939] _Personal Narrative_, E. T. v. 87. Humboldt has given a detailed
account of these insect plagues, by which it appears that among them
there are diurnal and crepuscular, as well as nocturnal species, or
genera: the Mosquitoes, signifying _little flies_ (_Simulia_), flying in
the day; the _Temporaneros_, flying during twilight; and the Zancudos,
meaning _long-legs_ (_Culices_), in the night.

[940] Stedm. _Surinam_, ii. 93.

[941] _Ins. Theatr._, p. 82.

[942] _Travels_, 8vo. edit. p. 205.

[943] _Ins. Theatr._, p. 81.

[944] _View of Jamaica_, p. 91.

[945] Herod. Taylor’s _Trans._, p. 141.

[946] Nat. _Hist. of Ceylon_, p. 435.

[947] Jackson’s _Morocco_, p. 57.

[948] _Travels_, i. 388.

[949] _Ins. Theatr._, p. 85.

[950] Theod. _Eccles. Hist._, B. ii. ch. xxx.

[951] _N. A. Ins._, p. 317.

[952] _Roman History_, B. xviii. c. 7, § 5.

[953] _Three Years in California_, p. 250.

[954] _Introd._, i. 119.

[955] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 150.

[956] _Lives of the Saints_, i. 50.

[957] Lawson’s _Bible Cyclop._, ii. 558, 3 v. 8vo.

[958] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, ii. 8.

[959] _Gent. Mag._, 1738, viii. 577.

[960] _Ibid._, xxiv. 274.

[961] _Travels_, ii. 5; 34-5; 51. Lond. 1802. 4to.

[962] _Lach. Lapp._, ii. 108. _Flor. Lapp._, 380.

[963] V. vi. p. 603-4.

[964] V. ix. p. 573.

[965] Lyell’s _Princ. of Geol._, p. 656.

[966] Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 1st S. p. 567.

[967] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, v. 302.

[968] _The Mirror_, xxvii. 68.

[969] Damp. _Voy._ O (vol. i.), 464.

[970] _Travels_, i. 211.

[971] Moufet’s _Theat. Ins._, p. 78.

[972] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 152.

[973] _Nat. Hist._, x. 29. Holland, p. 285. D.

[974] Holl. _Trans._, p. 631.

Vide Pierius’ _Hieroglyph._, p. 268-9. Importunitas ac impudentia;
Pertinacia; Res gesta cominus; Indocilitas; Cynici.

[975] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 70. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 945.

[976] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 134.

[977] _Chron. of Eng._, iii. 1002.

[978] _N. and Q._, xii. 488.

[979] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 70. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 944.

[980] _Ibid._, p. 55. Topsel, p. 933.

[981] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 191.

[982] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, i. 84.

[983] Holl. _Trans._, p. 76. There was one time a law at Athens, which a
good deal nonplussed these sponging gentlemen so appropriately called
Flies. “It was decreed that not more than thirty persons should meet at
a marriage feast; and a wealthy citizen, desirous of going as far as the
law would allow him, had invited the full complement. An honest Fly,
however, who respected no law that interfered with his stomach;
contrived to introduce himself, and took his station at the lower end of
the table. Presently the magistrate appointed for the purpose entered,
and espying his man at a glance, began counting the guests, commencing
on the other side and ending with the parasite. ‘Friend,’ said he, ‘you
must retire. I find there is one more than the law allows.’ ‘It is quite
a mistake, sir,’ replied the Fly, ‘as you will find if you will have the
goodness to count again, beginning _on this side_.’”--St. John’s _Man.
and Cust. of Anct. Grec._, ii. 172.

[984] Vide _Mercator_, A. ii. Sc. 4, and the _Young Carthag._, A. iii.
Sc. 3.

[985] _Harleian Miscel._, viii. 423.

[986] Fosbr. _Encycl. of Antiq._, ii. 738.

[987] _Ibid._

[988] Wilkinson’s _Anct. Egypt._, 2d S. ii. 126, 260.

[989] Hawk’s _Peruvian Antiq._, p. 197.

[990] Jamieson’s _Scottish Dict._

[991] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 6. Holl. _Trans._, p. 364. K.

[992] _Antiq. of the Jews_, B. ix. c. 2. Whiston’s _Trans._, p. 274.

[993] _Pilg._, v. 81. Fol. 1626.

[994] Whiston’s _Trans. of Josephus_, p. 274, note.

[995] _Dict. of Bible._

[996] Moufet, _Theatr. Ins._, p. 79. Topsel’s _Transl._, p. 951.

[997] Dalyell’s _Darker Superst. of Scotland_, p. 562. Edinbgh. 1834.

[998] _Ibid._

[999] _St. John’s Man. and Cust. of Anct. Grec._, i. 150.

[1000] Wanley’s _Wonders_, i. 377.

[1001] _Mem. of Robt. Houdin_, p. 156. Philad. 1859.

[1002] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 6. Holland’s _Trans._, p. 364. I.

[1003] _Ibid._, xxviii. 2 (5).

[1004] _Voy._, C. 56, p. 222. Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 373.

[1005] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 79. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 951.

[1006] _London Lab. and London Poor_, iii. 28-33.

[1007] Kirb. and Sp. _Introd._, i. 158.

[1008] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 284. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1107,

[1009] Kirby and Spence, _Introd._, i. 158.

[1010] _Gasterophilus equi._

[1011] Reg. Scot’s _Disc. of Witchcraft_, p. 179.

[1012] Henry IV., Pt. I. Act ii. Sc. 1.

[1013] Newell’s _Zool. of the Poets_, p. 29.

[1014] Dalyell’s _Superstitions of Scotland_, p. 564.

[1015] _Saturday Mag._, xviii. 153.

[1016] _Hist. of Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii. 313.

[1017] Henry IV. Pt. I., Act ii. Sc. 1.

[1018] Moufet, _Theatr. Ins._, p. 276. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p.

[1019] _Hist. of Ins._ (Murray, 1838), ii. 312.

[1020] Jenkin’s _Voy. of the U. S. Explor. Exped._, p. 385.

[1021] _Introd._, i. 100.

[1022] _Ibid._

[1023] Ray, _Hist. of Ins._, p. 8.

[1024] _Pilgr._, iii. 997.

Myas, a principal city of Ionia, was abandoned on account of
Fleas.--_Wanley’s Wonders_, ii. 507.

[1025] K. and S. _Introd._, i. 100.

[1026] _Travels_, vol. ii.

[1027] _Nat. Hist._, xxx. 10. Holl. _Trans._, p. 387.

[1028] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, ii. 198.

[1029] K. and S. _Introd._, i. 101.

[1030] _Lach. Lapp._, ii. 32, note.

[1031] _Hist. of Ins._, iii. 319, Murray, 1838.

[1032] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 155-6.

[1033] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 277. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts_, p. 1103.

[1034] _Hist. of Ins._, ii. 318. Murray, 1838.

[1035] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 102.

[1036] Ramsay’s _Poems_, ii. 143.

[1037] _Theatre of Insects_, p. 102.

[1038] Brookes’ _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 284.

[1039] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 204.

[1040] Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 2d S. p. 406.

[1041] Fosbr. _Encycl. of Antiq._, ii. 539.

[1042] Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 4th S. p. 470.

[1043] _Pilgr._, x. 192.

[1044] Aristoph. _Clouds_, A. i. Sc. 2.

[1045] _Pilg._, ii. 840, note.

[1046] _Ins. Theatr._, p. 275.

[1047] _Anim. Biog._, iii. 462.

The hand-bill, published by Mr. Boverick, in the Strand, in the year
1745, and another nearly of the same date, ran thus: “To be seen at MR.
BOVERICK’S, Watchmaker, at the DIAL, facing Old Round Court, near the
New Exchange, in the Strand, at One Shilling each person.” Then follows
a descriptive list of the articles to be seen, among which are mentioned
the above.--Kirby’s _Wonderful Museum_, i. 101.

[1048] _Ins. Misc._, p. 188.

[1049] _Nouv. Dict. d’Hist. Nat._, xxviii. 249.

[1050] _Pilg._, ii. 840.

[1051] 1 Saml. xxiv. 14; xxvi. 20.

[1052] _Hist. of Ins._, p. 310.

[1053] Wright’s _Provincial Dict._

[1054] Jamieson’s _Scottish Dict._

[1055] D’Israeli, _Curios, of Lit._, i. 339.

[1056] _Gent. Mag._, xxxii. 208.

[1057] Stedman’s _Surinam_.

[1058] _Hist. of Barbados_, p. 65.

[1059] _Hist. of Brazil_, i. 326.

[1060] Vol. i. p. 128.

[1061] _Pers. Narrative_, E. T. v. 101.

[1062] Bayle, iii. 484. Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 4th S. p. 439.

[1063] Bernal Diaz’ _Conquest of Mexico_, i. 394, note 54. This story,
no doubt, is founded on something like truth, and most probably these
bags were filled with the _Coccus cacti_, the Cochineal insect, then
unknown to the Spaniards, who might have easily mistaken them in a dried
state for Lice.

[1064] _Pilg._, iii. 975.

[1065] Cuv. _An. King.--Ins._, i. 163.

[1066] _Pilg._, v. 542.

[1067] _Wand. and Adv. in S. Africa_, i. 266.

[1068] Kolb. _Trav._, ii. 179. Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, iii.

[1069] _Pilg._, iii. 1133.

[1070] _Ibid._, iii. 975.

[1071] Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 373.

[1072] Dampier’s _Voy._, iii. 331. Lond. 1729.

[1073] Dobriz., ii. 396. Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 2d S. p. 527.

[1074] Cuvier, _An. Kingd.--Ins._, i. 163.

[1075] Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 4th S. p. 439.

[1076] _Thierry and Theod._, A. v. Sc. 1.

[1077] James’s _Med. Dict._

[1078] _Gent. Mag._, xvi. 534.

[1079] _Harleian Miscel._, vii. 435.

[1080] Shaw, _Zool._, vi. 454.

[1081] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 6 (75).

[1082] Chambers’ _Pop. Rhymes of Scotl._, p. 282-3. Edit. of 1841, p.

[1083] Properly the second _Class_ of the sub-kingdom _Articulata_.

[1084] Chambers’ _Book of Days_, i. 687.

[1085] _Nat. Hist._, xx. 12.

[1086] Cf. Pliny, x. 12; and Moufet’s _Theatr. Ins._, p. 205.

[1087] B. i. ch. 1.

[1088] _Hist. of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents_, p. 753.--Scorpions
are bred “from the carkass of the crocodile, as Antigonus affirms, _lib.
de mirab. hist. cong._ 24. For in Archelaus there is an epigram of a
certain Egyptian in these words:

    In vos dissolvit morte, et redigit crocodilum,
    Natura extinctum (Scorpioli) omniparens.

In English:

    The carkass of dead crocodiles is made the feed,
    By common nature, whence Scorpions breed.”

Moufet’s _Theatr. Ins._, p. 208. Topsel’s _Trans._, p. 1052.

[1089] _Qua supra_, p. 685.

[1090] _Qua supra_, p. 689.

[1091] _Ibid._, p. 207. Topsel’s _Trans._, p. 1051.

[1092] _Ibid._, p. 754.

[1093] Andrew’s _Anecdotes_, p. 427.

[1094] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 25. Pliny here probably alludes to the
Panorpis, or Scorpion-fly, the abdomen of which terminates in a forceps,
which resembles the tail of the Scorpion.

[1095] _Nat. Hist._, xi. 25.

[1096] “Scorpion’s tail.” Dioscorides gives this name to the
Helioscopium, or great Heliotropium.

[1097] _Nat. Hist._, xxii. 29.

[1098] “Two.”

[1099] _Nat. Hist._, xxviii. 5.

[1100] The red arsenic of the Greeks was called by this
name.--_Matthiol_, vi. 81.

[1101] This prescription is given at the present day in Italy and the

[1102] Zoroaster also mentions this. Vide Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 194.

[1103] Pliny relates the same story, _Nat. Hist._, xxviii. 10 (42); also
Zoroaster, _qua supra_.

[1104] Owen’s _Geoponika_, ii. 146-8.

[1105] Moufet’s _Theatr. Ins._, 210-215. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts and
Serpents_, p. 1053-7.

[1106] Campbell’s _Travels in S. Africa_, p. 325.

[1107] _Nat. Hist._, viii. 29 (43).

[1108] Churchill’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, i. 212.

[1109] _Ibid._

[1110] _Ibid._, v. 221.

[1111] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ix. 261.

[1112] _Ibid._, vii. 298.

[1113] _Ibid._, xiv. 348.

[1114] Churchill’s _Coll. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 316.

[1115] Wilkinson’s _Anct. Egypt._, v. 52, 254.

[1116] Ælian, xvi. 41, and xii. 38. Wilkinson’s _Anct. Egypt._, v. 254.

[1117] Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 459.

[1118] _Autobiog._, Lond. 1858, p. 304-5.

[1119] Prescribed by Galen, Pliny, Lanfrankus, etc.

[1120] _Hist. of Beasts and Serpents_, p. 757.

[1121] So also Manardus.--Moufet, p. 210. Topsel’s _Trans._, p. 1053.

[1122] _Ibid._

[1123] _Asiatic Miscellany_, ii. 451.

[1124] Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts and Serpents_, p. 755-6.

[1125] Topsel’s _Trans.--Hist. of Beasts and Serpents_, p. 1058.

[1126] _Chronicles_, i. 385.

[1127] Keddie’s _Cyclop. of Anecd._, p. 288.

[1128] _Chamb. Misc._, vol. xi. No. 100. Compare this story with that of
Timour and the Ant.

[1129] Ockley’s _Hist. of the Saracens_, i. 36.

[1130] _Lives of the Saints_, i. 177-8. Cf. Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 402.

[1131] Bucke _on Nature_, ii. 103.

[1132] _Hist. de la Mus._, i. 321. Hawkins’ _Hist. of Music_, iii. 117,

[1133] _Biogr. Univers._, tome xxxiii. See also Arvine’s _Anecdotes_, p.

To this account, in the Hist. of Insects printed by John Murray, 1830,
i. 269, is added: “The governor of the Bastile hearing that this
unfortunate prisoner had found a solace in the society of a Spider, paid
Pelisson a visit, desiring to see the manœuvres of the insect. The
Basque struck up his notes, the Spider instantly came to be fed by his
friend; but the moment it appeared on the floor of the cell, the
governor placed his foot on its body, and crushed it to death.”

[1134] _The Mirror_, xxvii. 69.

[1135] Hone’s _Ev. Day Book_, i. 334.

[1136] _Stray Leaves from the Book of Nature._

[1137] _Quart. Rev._ for Jan. 1844.

[1138] This passage from Pliny is thus translated by Bostock and Riley:
“Presages are also drawn from the Spider, for when a river is about to
swell, it will suspend its web higher than usual. In calm weather these
insects do not spin, but when it is cloudy they do, and hence it is,
that a great number of cobwebs is a sure sign of showery
weather.”--_Nat. Hist._, xi. 24 (28). _Trans._, iii. 28.

[1139] Brande’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 223.

[1140] _Ev. Day Bk._, i. 931. Quot. also in Chamb. _Journ._, 1st Ser.,
vi. 95.

[1141] Paus. _Hist. of Greece_, B. 9, c. 6.

[1142] Fosbr. _Encycl. of Antiq._

[1143] Jamieson’s _Scottish Dict._

[1144] Brande’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 223.

[1145] _N. and Q._, iii. 3.

[1146] _Worthies_, p. 58. Pt. II. Ed. 1662.

[1147] _N. and Q._, ii. 165.

[1148] _Aulul._, A. i. Sc. 3.

[1149] Thorpe’s _North. Antiq._, iii. 329.

[1150] _N. and Q._, 2d ed. iv. 298.

[1151] _Ibid._, iv. 377.

[1152] _Gent. Mag._, June, 1771, xli. 251.

[1153] _N. and Q._, 2d ed. iv. 523.

[1154] _Ibid._, iv. 421.

[1155] _Ibid._, iv. 298.

[1156] _Vulg. Err._, B. iii. c. 277. _Works_, ii. 527.

[1157] Pliny says the Spider, poised in its web, will throw itself upon
the head of a serpent as it lies stretched beneath the shade of the tree
where it has built, and with its bite pierce its brain; such is the
shock, he continues, that the creature will hiss from time to time, and
then, seized with vertigo, coil round and round, while it finds itself
unable to take to flight, or so much as to break the web of the Spider,
as it hangs suspended above; this scene, he concludes, only ends with
its death.--_Nat. Hist._, x. 95.

[1158] Browne’s _Works_, ii. 524, note.

[1159] _Med. Dict._, sub _Araneus_.

[1160] _Univers. Hist._, i. 48, also _Gent. Mag._, xli. 400.

[1161] _Trav._, p. 322, and Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 726.
Bosman says this “was the greatest piece of ignorance and stupidity he
observed in the negroes.”

[1162] Churchill’s _Col. of V. and T._, v. 222.

[1163] _N. and Q._, vii. 431.

[1164] Chamb. _Misc._, vol. xi. No. 100.

[1165] _Ibid._

[1166] _The Mirror_, xxvii. 69.

[1167] B. 7, c. xv. p. 665. Printed 1613.

[1168] Eliz. Cook’s _Journ._, vii. 378.

[1169] Wanley’s _Wonders_, i. 20.

[1170] Silliman’s _Journal_, xxvii. 307-10.

[1171] _Annual of Sci. Disc._, 1862, p. 335.

[1172] _Nat. Hist. of Selborne_, p. 285.

[1173] Hone’s _Ev. Day Bk._, p. 1332.

[1174] _Nat. Hist._, ii. 54. Holl. _Trans._, p. 27. F.

[1175] _Faerie Queene_, B. 2, c. xii. s. 77.

[1176] _Seasons: Summer_, 1. 1209.

[1177] _Emblems_, p. 375.

[1178] Blackmore, _Prince Arthur_.

[1179] Quot. in the _Athenæum_, v. 126.

[1180] Jamieson’s _Scot. Dict._, iv. 138.

[1181] Keightley’s _Fairy Mythol._, p. 514.

[1182] _Microgr._, p. 202. It has been objected, say Kirby and Spence,
to the excellent primitive writer, Clemens Romanus, that he believed the
absurd fable of the phœnix. But surely this may be allowed for in him,
who was no naturalist, when a scientific natural philosopher could
believe that the clouds are made of Spiders’ web!--_Introd._, ii. 331,

[1183] James’s _Med. Dict._

[1184] _Ibid._

[1185] James’s _Med. Dict._

[1186] Harris’s _Coll. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 586-7.

[1187] _Ibid._

[1188] _Treasvrie of Anct. and Mod. Times_, p. 393.

[1189] Boyle’s _Works_, ii. 181-2.

[1190] Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, vi. 607.

[1191] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, vii. 299.

[1192] Astley’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, vi. 656.

[1193] B. 7, c. 15, p. 664. Printed 1613.

[1194] Diod., B. 3, c. 2.

[1195] Strabo, B. 16, c. 6, § 13.

[1196] Fosbr. _Encyc. of Antiq._, ii. 738.

[1197] Sloane’s _Hist. of Jamaica_, ii. 195.

[1198] Damp. _Voy._ Camp., p. 64.

[1199] Harris’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ii. 242. Cf. Smith’s _Nature
and Art_, x. 257.

[1200] _Travels_, i. 201.

[1201] _Voyage à la recherche de la Perouse_, ii. 240. K. & S.
_Introd._, i. 311.

[1202] _New Amer. Cyclop._

[1203] _Trav. in Africa._ Bucke _on Nature_, ii. 297.

[1204] Pinkerton’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ix. 612.

[1205] _Hist. of West Indies_, p. 301.

[1206] Reaum., ii. 342. K. & S. _Introd._, i. 311.

[1207] _Phil. Trans._ Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 3d S. p. 731. Shaw,
_Nat. Misc._

[1208] Moufet, _Theatr. Ins._, p. 220. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts and
Serpents_, p. 789, 1067. Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 459.

[1209] _Biogr. Univers._, tome xxiii. p. 230, note.

[1210] Rösel, iv. 257. K. & S. _Introd._, i. 311.

[1211] Wanley’s _Wonders_, ii. 459.

[1212] Andrew’s _Anecd.,_ p. 37. App.

[1213] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 27. Bost. & Riley.

[1214] _Ibid._

[1215] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 38.

[1216] _Ibid._, xxix. 39.

[1217] _Ibid._, xxix. 36.

[1218] _Staple of News_, A. ii. Sc. 1, vol. v. p. 219. Lond. 1816. “A
Spider is usually given to monkeys, and is esteemed a sovereign remedy
for the disorders those animals are principally subject to.”--_James’s
Med. Dict._ Spiders are also fed to mocking-birds, not only as food, but
also as an aperient.

[1219] _Mid. Night’s Dream_, Act iii. Sc. 1.

[1220] Vide _Eventful Life of a Soldier_. Edinbg. 1852.

[1221] _N. and Q._, 2d ed. x. 138.

[1222] _Elements of Mat. Med. and Therap._, Philad. 1825.

[1223] Chamb. _Bk. of Days_, i. 732.

[1224] Grah. _Domest. Med._

[1225] Thorpe’s _North. Mythol._, iii. 329.

[1226] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 287.

[1227] James’s _Med. Dict._

[1228] Geoffroy’s _Substances used in Med._, p. 383.

[1229] Moufet, _Theatr. Insect._, p. 237. Topsel’s _Hist. of Beasts and
Serpents_, p. 1073.

[1230] _Nat. Hist._, xxix. 27.

[1231] _Miscellanies_, p. 138.

[1232] Vide _Hist. and Mem. de l’Acad. Royale des Sciences_, ann. 1710;
Dissert. by M. Bon, _Sur l’utilité de la soye des Arraignées_, 8vo.
Also, Bancroft _on Permanent Colors_, i. 101; and Shaw’s _Nat. Hist._,
vi. 481.

[1233] _New Amer. Cyclop._

[1234] _Voy. dans l’Amer. Merid._, i. 212. K. and S. _Introd._, i. 337.

[1235] _Naturalist in Bermuda_, p. 126.

[1236] _Atlantic Monthly_, June, 1858, p. 92.

[1237] _Nouv. Dict. d’Hist. Nat._, ii. 280. K. and S. _Introd._, i. 337,

[1238] _Hist. of Beasts and Serpents_, p. 778.

[1239] _Theatr. Ins._, p. 235. Topsel’s _Trans._, p. 1072.

[1240] _Ins. Archit._, p. 7.

[1241] Swammerdam, _Hist. of Ins._, p. 5.

[1242] Garasse, _Recherches des Recherches de M. Estiene Pasquier_, p.
357. Southey’s _Com. Place Bk._, 3d S. p. 282.

[1243] Hone’s _Ev. Day Bk._, i. 294.

[1244] _Gent. Mag._, iii. 492.

[1245] _Ibid._, xxiv. 293.

[1246] K. and S. _Introd._, ii. 415.

[1247] _Ephem. Nat. Curios._, 1673. 80.

[1248] K. and S. _Introd._, ii. 415, note.

[1249] Brand’s _Pop. Antiq._, iii. 273.

[1250] _Pers. Nar._, iv. 571.

[1251] _Ibid._, ii. 205.

[1252] _Ann. of Eng._, p. 1219.

[1253] _Voy. to C. of Good Hope_, i. 45.

[1254] _Mag. of Nat. Hist._, iv. 148-9.

[1255] _Hist. of China_, B. I. c. 18, and Churchill’s _Col. of Voy. and
Trav._, i. 39.

[1256] Churchill’s _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, i. 212.

[1257] _The Mirror_, xix. 180.

[1258] Pinkertons _Col. of Voy. and Trav._, ix. 632.

[1259] _Hist. of Ins._, p. 53-4.

[1260] _Ibid._

[1261] _Hist. of Ins._, p. 197.

[1262] _Nat. Hist. of Ins._, p. 35.

[1263] _Voy. round the World_, ii. 35-7.

[1264] Thevenot’s _Travels_, Pt. I. p. 249.

[1265] _Trav. and Res. in S. Africa_, p. 48.


Page 43, line 19 from the top, between the words “is it” and “plain”
insert the word “not.”

Page 71, line 29, for “_Carabus chrysocephaluo_” read “_Carabus

Page 131, line 12, for “Mrs. A. L. Ruyter Dufour” read “Mrs. A. L. Ruter

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes.

Punctuation has been standardised, and obvious typographical errors
have been repaired. Variations in hyphenation and obsolete or variant
spelling have all been preserved.

Footnote 276 does not have a marker in the original text, and has
been left unmarked.

The changes noted in the author's errata list have been applied
to the text.

The following changes have also been made:

Page 83, Prechê => Prêche

Page 98, Grasshopers => Grasshoppers

Page 171, Ægytians => Ægyptians

Page 225, vicosity => viscosity

Page 327, tranferred => transferred

Page 330, fankincense => frankincense

Page 239, trowsters => throwsters

Page 380, fondess => fondness

Page 389, Paplionidæ => Papilionidæ

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Curious Facts in the History of Insects; Including Spiders and Scorpions. - A Complete Collection of the Legends, Superstitions, - Beliefs, and Ominous Signs Connected with Insects; Together - With Their Uses in Medicine, Art, and as Food; and a Summary - of Their Remarkable Injuries and Appearances." ***

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