Слике страница

a heavy silver-headed cane in her hand, and an immense French chapeau on her head!

“On Sunday, too, there is a display of equipage, not seen every day. The chapel being near half a mile from the village, some of the grandees ride to church:their carriages, to be sure, belong to the birth day of invention' especially the state coach of the late king, which, I presume, was once a tinker's wagon. Kaahumanu and Taumuorii always come in this; the young queens, usually, in one more modern and airy-of the kind called Dearborn in America. These vehicles are always drawn by twelve or fifteen natives; their horses hav. ing not yet been broken to the harness.

“Whether the nobility here have been told that those, who wish to be consi. dered most genteel, in America, do not go to church till after the services have commenced, or whether the newly introduced duties of the toilette occasion the delay, I cannot determine ; but, the most stately do not generally arrive at the chapel till some time during the first prayer, which, consequently, is disturbed by the rumbling of their chariot wheels the hooting of the rabble that hurry them along the plain-the bustle of alighting, and the parade of entering. You could not avoid smiling, were you to see with what dignity some of these saun. ter up the aisle. I speak without hyperbole, in saying that one queen dowager takes at least ten minutes to walk froin the door to her sofa in front of the pul. pit.

* * “The poverty of many of the people is such, that they seldom secure a taste of animal food, and live, almost exclusively, on taro and salt. A poor man of this description, by some means, obtained possession of a pig, when too small to make a meal for his family. He secreted it, at a distance from his house, and fed it till it had grown to a size sufficient to afford the desired repast. It was then killed, and put into an oven, with the same precaution of secrecy; but, when almost prepared for appetites, whetted, by long anticipation, to an exquisite keenness, a caterer of the royal household, unhappily, came near, and, at. tracted to the spot, by the savoury fumes of the baking pile, deliberately took a seat till the animal was cooked, and then bore off the promised banquet, without ceremony or apology!”

“ The king and highest chiefs have a singular mode of raising money, and one I presume entirely peculiar to themselves. It is by building a fine new house; and, on taking possession of it, to refuse an entrance to any one, without a present in cash proportionate to the rank and property, both of the giver and receiver. The tabu on the house of the king, at the time of our arrival, was of this nature. Many of the chiefs presented fifty, sixty, and eighty dollars; merchants, sea-captains, and foreign residents, twenty and thirty; and every servant of the household, even his pipe lighter, at least two dollars. The whole sum thus collected amounted to several thousand dollars. A few months ago the mother queen raised eight hundred dollars in the same manner.”

“The nobles of the land are so strongly marked by their external appearance, as at all times, to be easily distinguishable from the common people. They seem, indeed, in size and stature, to be almost a distinct race. They are all large in their frame, and often exceedingly corpulent; while the common people are scarce of the ordinary height of Europeans, and of a thin rather than of a full habit. Keopuolani, the mother of Riho-Riho, and Taumuarii, king of Tauai, are the only chiefs, arrived at years of maturity, I have yet seen, who do not weigh upwards of two hundred pounds. The governess of Tauai, the sister of Taumuarii, is said to weigh near four hundred ; Nahamana, one of the queens of Tamehameha, weighs two hundred and ninety-her sisters, Kabumanu and Kalakua, nearly the same ; and her brother Kuakini, governor of Hawaii—though little more than twenty-five years old-three hundred and twenty-five pounds. This immense bulk of person is supposed to arise from the care taken of them from their earliest infancy, and from the abundance and nutritious quality of their food, especially that of poe-a kind of paste made from the taro, an esculent root-a principal article of diet. They live on the fat of land and sea-and, free from all toil and oppression, their only care is, tu eat, and to drink, and to be merry.""


1.-- T'he Honey-bee ;-its Natural History, Physiology, and

Management, by EDWARD BEVAN, M. D. London: Baldwin,

Cradock & Jay, 1827. 2.- The Rural Economist's Assistant in the Management of

Bees, principally taken from the German writings of the Rev. J. L. CHRIST, First Minister of Krohnberg, and Member of the Royal Husbandic Society at Zelle : by DAVID SOUDER. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1807.

To the youthful mind, natural history presents a delightful and exhaustless feast. In the history of the horse, the dog, and the cow, we feel a particular interest, created by familiarity and a sense of usefulness. There is something inspiring in the very air and bearings of a gallant steed, which, independently of his services, excite our admiration, and win our affections: but, in the faithfulness, love, and temper of the noble animal, we find increasing inducements to esteem and to cherish him. Every thing relative to him, has thus its sentimental value ; and, in his history, we fail not to feel continued and even progressive satisfaction. The savage lords of the forest enchain attention, and rivet curiosity, by other qualities. It is in the very nature of our race, to be attracted by beauty of form and colouring, to be captivated by graceful movements, and to delight in exhibitions of fleetness and dexterity ; but a more intense, though more fearful interest is created by the manifestations of superior strength, courage and ferocity.-Hence, in the presence of the lion, the steed stands unheeded; and when the tiger or hyæna is near, we dwell not on the less exciting qualities of our faithful dog.

As the intellectual faculties unfold themselves, we begin to enjoy the subject of natural history, on a higher ground, with feelings less absorbing, but with relish more continued, and in lessons more instructive. Mind, in insensible gradation, is secn to pervade the whole animal creation, from that glimmering of instinct which is dimly perceived in the polypus and the worm, to that still limited but strong intelligence, which illumines our race, and gives to it the mastery over the rest. The survey of such a series, cannot fail to throw new light on the difficult but important study of moral philosophy; which indeed owes much of its recent progress to the lights of analogy. In the nice adaptation of means to an end, in the care which has been taken to preserve each generation, and to continue the species, and in the numberless proofs of paternal regard for all his creatures, we find ever multiplying proofs of the existence, the wisdom, the power and the benevolence of the Great Giver of Good. There is, too, in this study, a useful les. son of humility and kindness. He who contemplates the wondrous effects of mere instinct, will scarcely boast of his own intelligence; and he who knows that there is not only understanding, but affection and sentiment, in even the meanest thing that lives, will be less disposed to sport with the feelings, or to wantonly disturb the enjoyments of the animals which have been given to him for his use.

In the curious history of the beaver, we learn the value of the united labour of many individuals, directed to a common end, and experience a particular pleasure in its perusal, because of both the rareness of such associated exertion, and its nearer relation to our own social state. Few general readers, even in well instructed classes of society, are aware, that, among insects, are found many societies approaching to a much closer resemblance to those of human institution, than is presented by the larger kinds of animals. In the societies of ants, bees, and wasps, we discover phenomena so curious and so wonderful, as to place, even in the shade, all that is related respecting any gregarious quadrupeds. In this minute and neglected class, are societies formed for almost every ordinary end of human communities. Some congregate to propagate the species, some for purposes of war and plunder, some for the accumulation and defence of property, and some for every purpose of attack and defence, of labour and hoarding, of protecting and instructing their offspring.

“Desire appears to stimulate them-love to allure them--fear to alarm them.” They construct a habitation and store up food in it. They acknowledge the distinctions of rank and power, and know the value of the subdivision of labour.— They make slaves of one another, and carry on war for that purpose. They even capture and imprison insects of different kinds, to enjoy the benefit of their labour, or to reap the fruits of their savoury secretions. Thus the ants of certain families, obey a sovereign, and acknowledge an hereditary lord. Some of them are of the class of labourers, whilst others are devoted to war: some collect the supplies for their curiously constructed granaries, whilst others execute the functions of careful and patient nurses: and finally, there are those, who are never in action, save on the field of battle, and who afterwards depend entirely on the labour of the slaves, taken in war; and perish of hunger, if abandoned by their prisoners, rather than make the slightest exertion to procure a subsistence for themselves.

Thus the societies of white ants or termites consist of five different descriptions of individuals — workers or larvæ-nymphs or pupæ-neuters or soldiers-males and females.”

The workers are the most active and useful members of the community, constructing their complex edifices, collecting provi.

consisting of and they alices on t!

sions, waiting on the female, conveying her eggs to the nurseries, and feeding the young.

The neuters, of large dimensions, and few in number, armed with tremendous forceps, are the soldiers and sentinels of the formicary.

In each society, though consisting of thousands of individuals, there is but one male and one female, and they are of that privileged class, which knows no call to labour, and lives on the productive exertion of others. They are the parents of the race, de. voted to pleasure, receiving unasked for homage, and supplied with food, beyond their most extrávagant appetite. But, like their royal brother of China, they purchase pre-eminence by the loss of liberty ; for, immediately after their election, the workers enclose them in an apartment, with apertures too small for the escape of the large and stately king and his spouse, though yielding easy entrance to the civil and military subjects of the tribe. In this apartment, which is gradually enlarged by the workers, and which is steadily guarded by the sentinels, the queen acquires a size equal to that of twenty or thirty thousand workers. *

Wasps form themselves into societies, which consist of females, males, and workers. All but a few females, perish on the approach of winter. Each female, happy enough to survive the rigours of the season, becomes the founder of a colony, erects a habitation, deposits the eggs, and performs, for the first brood, all the duties of protector, provider, and nurse.

“ At length she receives the reward of her perseverance and labour ; and from being a solitary unconnected individual, is enabled to rival the queen of the beehive, in the number of her children and subjects, and in the edífices which they inbabit—the number of cells in a vespiary, sometimes amounting to more than sixteen-thousand, almost all of which, contain either an egg, a grub, or a pupa, and each cell serving for three generations in a year.”+ In time, other females are produced, and, with the original mother, assist the workers and males in the duties of the community. If, by any accident, she perish before other females appear, the neuters cease their labours, lose their instincts, and die.

While the workers are assisted by every member of the community in their habitation, none but they sally out in quest of food, which, on their return, they distribute with great impartiality.

Intermediate between the wasp and the honey-bee, the humblebee is placed ; for, unlike the wasp, it collects wax and honey, but does not construct cells of such matchless perfection as those of

* Our friend Dr. Say, a high entomological authority, confirms, after a patient examination, much that is written by Europeans respecting the habits of anty. One of our most respected friends, was an accidental witness of a very generd and very destructive battle among these militant insects.

$ Kirby and Spence:

the wasp and honey-bee. The humble-bees consist of large females, small females, males, and workers. The large females plant the colonies, and produce all the females and neuters, or workers, while the small females are the mothers solely of males or drones. Like the mother wasp, the female humble-bee is the sole surviver of the winter, and is therefore compelled to undergo all the labour of nursing and feeding the first brood of the spring. That brood consists chiefly of labourers, who, after they are matured, perform all out-door labour, though the males assist in repairing and extending the common habitation.

On a subject familiar to few general readers, this summary history of other gregarious insects seems necessary, as an introduction to that of the honey-bee. Without such a view, much that is to be stated, would appear incredible, though supported by numerous and unexceptionable witnesses. But when we find different persons, without concert, and at different periods, detecting analogical facts in various classes of insects, we feel less indisposed to admit such novel and startling assertions.

Although much has been said of the knowledge of bees, possessed by the ancients, it is certain, that until Maraldi, in 1712, invented glass hives, very little could be known of the in-door habits of these insect societies. What was stated by Aristotle, embellished by Virgil, repeated by Columella and Pliny, is but a tissue of erroneous conjecture. No sooner were glass hives invented, than the bee became the subject of patient and accurate investigation. Among the most prominent writers on bees, stands the great naturalist Reaumur, to whom «the genus Apis is under greater obligations than to any entomologist either of ancient or modern times.” By him, and his industrious contemporaries, it was ascertained, that a society of honey-bees is divided into three classes of individuals—females or queensmales or drones, and workers, called neuters. The queen was supposed to be the sole mother of the hive, the parent of queens, drones, and neuters.

At this period, a new interest in the subject was created by a singular discovery made by Schirach, secretary of the Apiarian Society in Upper Lusatia, and vicar of Little Bautzen. He announced that bees, when deprived of their queen, have the power of selecting one or more grubs of workers or neuters, and, by an enlargement of cells and a change of food, of converting thein into veritable females, having the authority, and performing the duties of queen-mothers of the hive. Such a declaration, so little in accordance with previous knowledge, was of course stoutly assailed by the ablest entomologists of the time; but the opinion of Schirach, founded on experiments often repeated, and by many persons, in various places, has been successfully sustained. At least, it is certain, that larvæ in the cells of

« ПретходнаНастави »