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in both the Indies. The late Sir Thomas La Forey, who was tome' what of an epicure, was extremely fond of it when properly cooked.' • The larva?, also, of the larger species of Cerambucidce are accounted very great delicacies in many countries; and the Cossus of Pliny, which he tells us the Roman epicures fattened with flour, most probably belonged to this tribe. The grub of Cerambyx da>icarnh, which is the thickness of a man's finger, is eaten at Surinam, in America, and in the West Indies, both by whites and blacks who empty, wash, and roast them, and find them delicious. No insects are more numerous in this island than the caterpillars of Lepidoptera: if these couid be used in aid of the stock of food in times of scarcity, it might subserve the double purpose of ridding us of a nuisance, and relieving the public pressure. If however we were to take to eating caterpillars, I should, for my own part, be of the mind of the red-breasts, and eat only the naked ones. The white ants (Termes) afford an abundance of food to some of the African nations. The Hottentots eat them, boiled and raw, and soon get into good condition upon this food. Mr. Smeatman says the Africans bring large kettles of them to their habitations, and parch them in iron pots over a gentle fire, stirring them about as is done in roasting coffee. In that state they eat them by handfuls as we do comfits. He has eaten them, and thought them delicate, nourishing, and wholesome, and resembling in taste sugared cream or white almond paste. The female ant, in particular, is supposed by the Hindoos to be endowed with highly nutritive properties, and was carefully sought after, and preserved for the use of the debilitated Surjee Rao, prime minister of Scindia, chief of the Mahrattas. Ants, I speak from experience, have no unpleasant flavour; they are very agreeably acid, and the taste of the trunk and abdomen is different. Mr. Consett states, that in some parts of Sweden, ants are distilled along with the rye, to give a flavour to the inferior kinds of brandy. Spiders form an article in Sparrman's Boshies-man's dainties; 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, and which they roast over the fire; if you could rise above vulgar prejudices, you would in all probability find them a most delicious morsel. If you require precedents, Reaumur tells us of a young lady who never saw a spider that she did not take and crack upon the spot. Anna Maria Schurman, another female, used to eat them like nuts, which she affirmed they much resembled in taste. Lalande, the celebrated French astronomer, was equally fond of these delicacies. The German, immortalized by Rbsel, used to spread them upon his bread like butter. These edible aptera are all sufficiently disgusting; but we feel our nausea quite turned into horror when we read in Humboldt, that he has seen the Indian children drag out of the earth centipedes 18 inches long, and more than half an inch broad, and devour them.'—pp. 293, 29*, and 298— SOS.
Custom, doubtless, will reconcile us to the use of food from which, at first, we recoil with disgust. A shrimp has as forbidding a physiognomy as a loeust. After all, however, there is a natural antipathy against the race of reptiles, which few but savages are able to overcome: and in countries sufficiently rich to produce corn, and to pasture cattle, the inhabitants will not readily be persuaded of the expediency of feasting upon beetles and caterpillars.
Less ambiguous' benefits,derived from insects,' are pointed out in some highly interesting matter, upon those which are used in the Materia Medica; such as the Cantharides, and one or two other species of Lytta, of so incalculable importance, as ocsi- catories; those which supply valuable products in the arts, as the Cynips, which produces the gall-nut; the Coccus Cacti L. which furnishes that beautiful dye Cochineal;—wax, the well known secretion* of the common hive-bee, and silk, which is procured, not only from the cocoons of the silk-worm, (Phalxna bombyxj but also from those spun by the larvse of many other moths. With respect to the latter, without which courts would, lose half their external splendour and luxury, and would be deprived of its richest appendages, though long since thousands of the Chinese peasantry were clothed with this material, we are playfully reminded, that it was once ' so scarce in this country, 'that James the First, while king of Scotland, was forced to 'beg of the Earl of Mar, the loan of a pair of silk stockings,
• to appear before the English ambassador, enforcing his request 'with the cogent appeal: "For ye would not, sure, that * your King should appear as a scrub before strangers /" p. 325.
Upon these interesting topics we could dwell far beyond the limits which we must prescribe to ourselves. The ground is tempting, and we dare not venture too far among its inviting attractions. We cannot, however, quit this subject, without making one more extract. The' food of insects,' suggests the following well-written description of the exquisite contrivance for producing the web of the spider.
'The thread spun by spiders, is in substance similar to the silk of the silk worm and other caterpillars, but of a much finer quality. As in - them, it proceeds from reservoirs, into which it is secreted in the form of a viscid gum; but in the mode of its extrication, it is very dissimilar, issuing not from the month, but the hinder part of the abdomen. If you examine a spider you will find in this part four little teat-like protuberances or spinners. These are the machinery through which, by a process more singular than that of rope spinning, the thread is drawn. Each spinner is pierced like the plate of a wire*
—, ~j p, , . ... . .—,
• * Wax has been indubitably proved, (by the experiments of the indefatigable Huber,) to be a secretion from the body of the bee, and
sot an extract from plants.
Drawer with a multitude of holes, so numerous, and so exquisitely fine, that a space often not bigger than a pin's point includes above 1000. Through each of these holes proceeds a thread of inconceivable tenuity, which immediately after issuing from the orifice, unites with all the other threads from the same spinners into one. Hence from each spinner proceeds a compound thread ; and these 4 threads, at the distance of aboutone tenth part of an inch from the apex of the spinners, again unite, and form the thread we are accustomed to see.Thus a spider's thread is not, as we suppose, a single line, but a rope composed of at least 4000 strands. How astonishing! But to feel all the wonder of this fact, we must follow Leeuwenhoeck in one of his calculations on the subject. This renowned microscopic observer found, by an accurate estimation, that the threads of the minutest spiders, some of which are not larger than a grain of sand, are so fine that 4,000,000 of them would not exceed in thickness the hairs of Iiis'beard. Now we know that each of these threads is composed of above 4,000 still finer. It follows, therefore, that above 16,000,000,000 of the finest threads which issue from such spiders, are not together thicker than a human hair! Of such tenuity it is utterly beyond the power of the imagination to conceive; the very idea overwhelms our faculties, and humbles us under a sense of their imperfection. . . . You must not conceive that the toils of spiders are in every part of the world composed of such fragile materials. An author in the Philosophical Transactions asserts, that the spiders of Bermudas spin webs strong enough to ensnare a thrush. (Phil. Trans. 1668, p. 792.) And Sir G. Staunton informs us, that in the forests of Java, spiders webs are met with of so strong a texture, as to require a sharp cutting instrument to make way through them. pp. 399, 400, 416.'
Fronv these extracts our readers will be fully able to judge of the nature of this work, and of the manner of its execution. If we have succeeded in imparting to them but a hundredth part of that lively interest we experienced in its perusal, they will conceive no slight desire to become better acquainted with its contents. To the man of science it must be highly acceptable, as a philosophical treatise upon one of the most interesting departments of animated nature. At the same time, it is written in a style perfectly intelligible even to the elementary entomologist, and can scarcely fail to inspire him with ardour in the prosecution of the more dry, but necessary details of the science. We think it our duty particularly to recommend it as a book well calculated for the young; as eminently adapted to improve the mind, and to lead it from the view of his works, to contemplate the God of Nature. Many excellent religious reflections are interspersed throughout the work, it is pleasing, indeed, to observe, that one great design of its Authors lias been, to mark the power, wisdom, arid goodness of the Creator, in the exhibition of the wonderful works of his hands.
Some few faults we have observed, which we cannot suffer to pass by altogether unnoticed, but upon which we have Bo di*~ position to insist at any length. The objection to the study of Entomology, on the score of the cruelty necessarily implied in hunting after its 'untaxed and undisputed game,' is perhaps treated too much in the spirit of indifference. We have a decided objection, also, to the minute and disgusting details which are brought forward in pp. 87, 107, 138, 140, and in some other parts of the work. Another fault consists in occasionally introducing anecdotes which are not traced to sufficient authorities ; at least, which are founded upon evidence far inferior to that which is suited to the dignified character of a scientific work;—for instance, Bell's Weekly Messenger, and a Mail Coachman, are quoted with as much form as Latreille or Bonnet! In general, however, the authorities are of the most satisfactory kind, and have been traced with much patient investigation. The style is, for the most part, flowing and easy; occasionally it is inflated; and in some few instances tha manner is frivolous. These, however, are but spots of rare occurrence. We hope that many who peruse this article, will read the work, and judge for themselves; and we shall be much mistaken if they do not most cordially adopt the charitable criticism of the Roman poet,—' Ubi pluru nitent, non ego paucis of'fendar tnaculis.''
Art. VI. The History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches and Meeting Houses, in London, Westminster, and Southwark; including the Lives of their Ministers, from the Rise of Nonconformity to the present Time. With an Appendix on the Origin, Progress, and Present State of Christianity in Britain. By Walter Wilson, of the Inner Temple. Four Volumes. With 26 Portraits, price 31.10s.
[Concluded from page 408.]
"Vf"R. Wilson has been evidently indefatigable in gleaning au-*-"-*• thentic and original materials for these volumes; and he is no less entitled to the praise of impartiality as a biographer. Many of the persons whose characters he has occasion to portray, exhibit, as might be expected, the marks of the turbulent times to which they belonged,; and some instances present themselves of individuals who, by the force of mere eccentricity, rose above the ordinary level of society, and attained a fugitive importance to which they had no substantial claims. The memoirs of these men are given with exemplary fidelity. One of the most singular personages whose lives are, in these volumes, for the first time made public, is Joseph Jacob, an Independent Minister, who was born about the year 1667. He is one of the last specimens that we should select of the Independents of that period, with a view to convey an idea of the style of their character. Indeed, he can be considered as belonging properly to Vol. V. N. S. Z z
no denomination. He was a sect in himself, an ecclesiastical Ishmael, whose hand was against every man, and every man's hand against him. For many years, however, he maintained an uncommon influence over his followers, and he had natural talents which, combined with his ardent zeal and undaunted courage, might have raised him, had they been wisely directed, to more amiable and permanent eminence. Mr. Wilson informs us, that
'His parents belonged to that denomination of people called Quakers, and trained him up in the same principles; but he appears to have renounced them pretty early in life. He was bred to the trade of a linen-draper, and followed that profession for some time'in Lpndon. At an early period, he seems to have discovered those singular traits of character, which distinguished him throughout life. He was warm in the cause of civil and religious liberty; and was an utter enemy to the designs and practices of those who were plotting the overthrow of our constitution, in the reign of King James the Second. At the Revolution, he discovered his zeal by mounting a horse, and going to meet King William in the West. The storm blowing over, and the affairs of the nation putting on a favourable aspect, Mr. Jacob began to profess himself a i rotestunt Dissenter, of the congregational persuasion; and being desirous of becoming a preacher, he, with a view to qualify himself for that profession, put himself under the tuition of the Rev. Robert Traile, a learned and eminent Divine, at that time, in the metropolis. Upon his first appearance in public, he manifested that he was no ordinary person, and soon gathered a numerous congregation.' p. 139.
About 1697, Mr. Jacob set up a weekly lecture at Mr. Gouge's Meeting-house, near the Three Cranes, Thames-street; but from this place he was dismissed, in consequence of his taking occasion to introduce at the lecture improper references to political affairs. Exasperated by this resolute proceeding on the Eart of the church, the lecturer concluded bis farewell sermon, y attempting literally to fulfil the direction given to the disciples, to shake off the dust of their feet as a testimony against those who rejected them.
lu the next year (1698) however, he found friends to build him a new Meeting-house, in Parish-Street, Soutiiwark, wherr he soon raised a numerous audience. Here he formed a church which he intended to keep singularly pure.
'He passed an order, obliging the whole of the congregation to stand during the time of singing. This, though by no means an uncommon thing in the present day, was then looked upon as a great novelty. In this reformed church all periwigs were discarded; th? men members wore whiskers upon their upper lips, in which Mr. Jacob set them an example; and an order passed for the regulation of the women's garb. The members of this church were not allowed