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glow-worm is quite a different insect; it is considerably larger and something like a caterpillar in shape, only that it is much flatter. HENRY.

I suppose it is not a caterpillar. PAPA.—No; it is a perfect insect, the female of a winged beetle of the Lampyris genus. Probably all the species of this genus, of which there are about sixty in different parts of the world, are more or less luminous; we are acquainted however with only this one in Great Britain.

MAMA.Our luminous insects are far inferior in splendour to those of the more southern and tropical countries. - Do you not remember, Anna, how beautifully Southey introduces them in his “Madoc," as affording the light by which Coatel rescued the British hero from the hands of the Mexican priests?

« She beckoned 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." PAPA.-He probably referred to the Elater Noctilucus, another species of beetle, which emits so strong a light, that the smallest print may be read by moving one of them along the lines. It is said, that in the West Indies, particularly in St. Domingo, where they are very common, the natives were formerly accustomed to employ these living lamps, which they called cucuij, in the evening, instead of candles, in performing their household occupations; and that in travelling, they used to tie one to each great toe.

HENRY.There is something very poetic in the icea of being so illuminated, however.

PAPA.--I believe it is a fact that these insects we.o so employed; at the present day they are used, we are told, in the Spanish colonies for purposes of decoration. “On certain festival days in the month of June, they are collected in great numbers, and tied 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.” But the brilliant nocturnal spectacle presented by these insects to the inhabitants of the countries where they abound, cannot be better described than in the language of our poet, who has related its first effect upon the British visitors of the New world.

« Sorrowing we beheld
The night come on; but soon did night display
More wonders than it veiled; inuumerous tribes
From the wood cover swarmed, and darkness made
Their beauties visible: one while they streamed
A bright blue radiance upon flowers that closed
Their gorgeous colours from the eye of day;
Now, motionless and dark, eluded search,
Self-shrouded; and anon, starring the sky,

Rose like a shower of fire." HENRY.--If their light is so vivid, the story, which Mouffet tells, is not incredible, who informs us that when Sir Thomas Cavendish and Sir Robert Dudley first landed in the West Indies, and saw in the evening an infinite number of moving lights in the woods, wbieh were merely fire flies, supposing it to be the Spaniards advancing upon them, they immediately retreated to their ships.

MAMA.-Did you ever read the story of Madame Merian's lantern-flies? The Indians had brought her several, which she, not then aware of their luminous properties, enclosed in a box and placed in her lodging

In the middie of the night, the confined insects made such a noise as to awaken her, and she opened the box, the inside of which, to her great astonishment, appeared all in a blaze; letting it fall in her fright, she was not less surprised to see each of the insects apparently on fire. Sie soon, however, guessed the cause of the phænomenon, and reinclosed her briliant guests in their place of confinement.

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PAPA.-I believe the lantern-flies are even brighter than the fire-flies.

HENRY-Are they also a species of beetlə?

PAPA.--No: they are a genus called fulgora, belonging to the order Hemiptera.

ANNA.--Ah, the order to which our little noisy musicians the cicadæ belong!

PAPA.-And some of them are very noisy too, I assure you. There are several species, but the fulgorá lanternaria of South America, and the fulgora candelaria of China' are the most conspicuous. Poth, as indeed is the case with the whole genus, have the material which produces the light inclosed in a transparent projection of the head; and we may readily imagine, as travellers assure us, that a tree, studded with myriads of these living lamps, some at rest and others in motion, must have an appearance transcendently grand.

ANNA.I suppose we have no luminous insects here but the glow-worm, and the centipede which I mistook for one.

PAPA.-—I do not suppose that we are confined to them alone : it is probable that many other insects are luminous which have never been suspected to be so. The mole cricket, for instance, has been seen to shine so brightly as to be mistaken for an ignis fatuus, or Jack o' lantern, as it is vulgarly called. Indeed it was an opinion maintained both by Ray and Willughby, and that I think on very reasonable grounds, that the man jority of these supposed meteors are no other than luminous insects: most of which have the power of concealing or exposing their light at pleasure.

Z. z.

42

GEOGRAPHICAL READINGS.

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

In the present rage for travelling, when they who cannot go to the North-west Passage can at least visit Paris, and when those who cannot even cross the Channel may devour voyages and travels, to their hearts' content, by the fire-side, it is unnecessary to speak in favour of an early acquaintance with Geography; and perhaps my young readers may think it equally unnecessary that they should be more fully instructed in this pleasing science. But let me beg to inform them it is not the bare knowledge of names of countries and places which constitutes Geography; it is equally necessary they should be acquainted with the peculiarities of the countries whose capital cities they can so glibly recite. Many a young lady, just fresh from a boarding school, would be puzzled to tell from whence comes the Gamboge which she uses; yet the same person would not be a little annoyed did any one venture to question her knowledge of the situation of Cambodia. It is trusted that the following Sketches may, by giving in a little space the local information, otherwise only to be found by diving through volumes of uninteresting, nay, even useless mat, ter, more fully instruct my young friends in the more interesting part of their geographical studies.

ENGLAND AND WALES. Our own country first claims our attention, and whether we consider its constitution, laws, religion, and commerce, we may be allowed to say, that it is certainly without a rival. Yet this Mistress of the Ocean, this dispenser of good to mankind is, in itself, only three hundred miles from north to south, and three hundred from east to west. Its climate is, as every hypochondriac can

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tell, very variable and very damp; yet surely when we consider its other manifold advantages, whether civil or religious, we cannot greatly praise the wisdom of those who run away from its atmosphere, in search of a better. And Charles II. says, (and he was a competent judge,) that in England one may oftener walk out in comfort than in any country in Europe. The face of the country is, generally speaking, hilly, except in Lincolnshire; and in Wales its scenery is mountainous and picturesque. Many rivers water the fertile plains, of which the chief are the Thames, a calm and placid current, worthy of the noble Metropolis it bears, and the Severn, very turbulent, and a true mountain river. Many are the Lakes of England, and though they cannot boast the extent of Huron and Ontario, inlaud seas, yet none will deny them the praise of picturesque beauty. Thougb the mountains and bills of our island must bow their heads before Mont Blanc and others, yet we are persuaded whoever bas visited Snowdon, Plinlimmon, Cader Idris, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, will find they cede to their rivals only in height, while the valleys of England can compete in beauty with any continental scene. All, at all acquainted with the mineral and vegetable produce of our country, will own that it does not yield to any in really useful productions. Coals, slates, lead, tin, copper, iron, steatite, fuller's earth, salt, and marble, all are found in great abundance in our island, while our beautiful forests and verdant scenery are particularly delightful to foreigners. True it is, that few are our native fruits, but the produce of our country either ripens in our gardens, or matures in our hot-houses, while the choicest plants of India yield their flowers to gratify our sight and smell. Our own flowers, too, though frequently despised by those who are not acquainted with them, will be found equal in beauty to many admired hot-house flowers, I need only mention the flowering rush, the Parnassian Grass, the tribe of Orchisis, or the beautiful Buck-bean of our rivers in proof of my assertion. If nature has

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