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its cocoon, or encloses itself in its hard chrysalis, which perhaps it suspends from a leaf or twig; or in seeing the dragon-fly creep up the stem of a water-plant, burst the hard integuments which have
Dragon-fly escaping from its Chrysalis : a, insect emerging; b, insect just emerged ; c, insect nearly ready to fly. covered his body, in the chrysalis or pupa state, and wait, as if impatient, till the rapid development of his splendid wings enables him to take flight in the air.
The insect vivarium being ready, perhaps it may be well for those who have not already much knowledge of entomology to begin with some of the common insects which are easily procured and fed. Thus they may observe the transformations, which are not less interesting in these than in the rarest species. The cabbage butterfly may readily be found in the garden as a caterpillar feeding upon cabbage leaves, and being provided with fresh leaves daily, its wants are supplied. By and by it encloses itself in a case, as a chrysalis, and comes forth a butterfly, ready to spread its wings in the sun, and to feed on the honey of flowers. There are two species of cabbage butterfly common in this country, a larger and a smaller, both nearly white. The caterpillars of the gooseberry may also be tried, of which there are several kinds, some the larvæ of lepidopterous insects, moths; but the most common kind is the larva of a species of sawfly. Much pleasure may be afterwards found in bringing home and rearing the larvæ, which are the pests of the farmer and gardener, as those which feed upon the leaves of the turnip and
other crops; and this study may become useful, for these are not yet sufficiently understood. And something new may always be found in the fields and woods. The attention requisite to provide supplies of food will give occasion for pleasant walks, tending to health of body and refreshment of mind, far more than walks undertaken for mere health's sake and without any other more special object. Let notes be kept of all observations, and it will almost certainly be found that something is noticed which others also will regard with interest, and which forms a small, yet not worthless addition to the science of natural history. Much yet remains to be observed ere the wonders of entomology are fully known.
If mulberry leaves can be obtained, the silkworm may be introduced into the vivarium ; and apart from the interest which it derives from its economical importance, the spinning of its cocoon may be watched with admiration and delight. But even little moths, such as in their larva state feed upon cloth, wool, leather, and similar substances may thus be studied, and all of them will be found interesting; and the more that their various peculiarities are observed, the more interesting will the study become.
The interest felt in the feeding and growth of the larvæ is, of course, small in comparison with that connected with transformations. There is first the formation of the chrysalis, and then the emergence from it. For a short time before its first transformation, the larva refuses food-a contrast to its former habits, for nothing can exceed the voraciousness of larvæ-and seems wholly occupied in seeking a suitable place of retirement in which to spend its chrysalis days. Some kinds suspend themselves from leaves, or from anything which offers itself; some bind leaves together by fine silken threads, and conceal themselves within ; some burrow in the ground. Every kind has its own peculiar habit, which is well worthy of notice. The emergence from the chrysalis is not less interesting, whether it be the hard angular chrysalis of the butterfly, the cocoon of some of the moths, or the curious case of the dragon-fly, the caddis-fly, or the ephemera.
The small insects called aphides, or plant-lice, are a good subject of study. A twig or portion of a plant covered with them may be placed in the vivarium, so that they are near the glass, and can easily be observed by the aid of a magnifying lens. Their slow awkward movements, their sucking proboscis, the strange projections from their back, which look like horns directed backwards, and the secretion of drops of honey-dew, will first arrest attention, and then their extremely rapid viviparous multiplication. In autumn, the observer may be fortunate enough to witness the production of the winged insects, the last generation of the year—the many previous ones being wingless-intended to perpetuate the race by eggs in the ordinary manner of insects.
Whatever insects may be placed in the vivarium should not only
be watched, but studied as much as possible. And the observer who feels a real interest in such study of the wonders of nature, and derives pleasure from it, will naturally seek to acquaint himself with all that has been observed before. Every one who keeps a vivarium should seek to know what the insects are which he places in it, and what is already known about them. The same remark, indeed, applies to the aquarium, and even to the fern-case or the flower-plot; an intelligent mind will seek to know something about the plant which is cultivated, were it only in what part of the world it is found wild. But as to animals, the desire is more strongly felt to know their nature and their habits. We can enjoy the beauty of the plant, although we know nothing of botany, but we necessarily become zoologists to a certain extent in studying the habits of animals. And every such study has a beneficial effect on the mind, enlarging, refining, and elevating. Let the name of every creature placed in the aquarium or insect vivarium be ascertained if possible, and the description of it in scientific books compared with the living specimen. Books, otherwise as dry as the Dictionary, will become interesting when thus used. Other books will be found delightful, because of the accounts which they contain of the habits of animals, and of all the wondrous facts of their natural history. He who keeps an aquarium or insect vivarium, and seeks to know all he can about its inmates, not only from personal observation, but from books, will find himself brought, as it were, into a new world, of which the wonders are never to be exhausted.
The insect vivarium is not costly at first, and to keep it up requires no expense whatever, but only the care and attention which are more than amply rewarded. Like the fern-case and the aquarium, it is equally suitable for persons in humble life, and for those in affluent circumstances. It gives the artisan a profitable occupation for his leisure hours, leading the dweller in the city occasionally to visit rural scenes in order to collect insects, or to find for them the food which they require, and thus contributes to his health as well as to his mental elevation. Nor is it less beneficial to those who have more leisure hours than they well know how to employ.
Much interesting information not only concerning the insect vivarium, but concerning insects themselves, may be found in a little volume (to which we are indebted for our frontispiece), entitled The Butterfly Vivarium, or Insect Home, by H. Noel Humphreys. London, William Lay, 1858.-For further study of entomology, such as the vivarium may be expected to lead to, we may recommend that well-known and standard book, Kirby and Spence's Entomology, a book as interesting as it is scientific, and (for lepidopterous insects viz., butterflies, moths, and hawk-moths), Westwood's Butterflies of Great Britain, with their Transformations.
HE dog has not inaptly been described as a gift of
companionship of his own species, becomes a deserter from their camp, and, enlisting himself as a humbler member of human society, is found a willing and loving servant, the companion and friend of his master. Unlearned in virtue or any of the ordinary actions which command popular approbation, the dog, from the prompting of his own feelings alone, practises the most perfect integrity. Uncalculating as regards his own comfort or convenience, he is found adhering to his master through all shades of fortune, even unto disgrace, penury, and want ; nor will any temptation make him abandon the fond and stricken object of his undying affection. A long course of domestication and peculiar treatment have, as is well known, divided the canine race into nearly a hundred varieties, all less or more distinct as respects size, appearance, and special qualities and dispositions ; yet no kind of cultivation has altered, nor can misusage obliterate, the leading features of the animal. The character of the dog for tractability, attachment,
general docility to his master's interest, and benevolence, remains the same. In all ages and countries, therefore, has this remarkable animal been cherished for his services; and these, in a rude state of society, are so essential to personal enjoyment, that the happiness of a future state of existence has been supposed to be incomplete without them,
'Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
The admirable quality of inflexible attachment has rendered dogs the familiar and esteemed companions of men of the highest attainments and rank. Emperors, prelates, statesmen, judges, men of all ranks and professions, and, it may be added, ladies of the highest fashion, have been gratified by their companionship. The late Lord Eldon had a small dog, Pincher, which he highly valued, and pensioned at his decease. Scott was immoderately fond of dogs-one in particular, a stag-hound, called Maida, being the constant companion of his rambles. Byron, likewise, if we may judge from the following lines, supposed to be inscribed on the monument of a Newfoundland dog, must have entertained a kindly feeling towards these animals :
"When some proud son of man returns to earth,