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النشر الإلكتروني
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HARK to the grasshopper among the grass:
His merry chirp doth tell of summer days.

THE chirp of the common grasshopper (gryllus) is heard occasionally by him who wanders forth at night, lingering and listening to her nameless sounds, when the rushing of some clear stream over its pebbly bed may be readily mistaken for a far-off torrent, and whispers of the wind in woods for the rising of a storm; then it is that every sound is heightened, and that the voice of the little chirpers makes vocal many a moon-lit


Grasshoppers begin their songs before sun-rise, chirping till the sun is high, and resuming them in the cool of evening; for this purpose they are provided with a kind of tympanum, or drum, so arranged as to allow of striking upon it with the right and left legs, and thus producing that pleasant sound which agreeably harmonizes with their solitary haunts.

Poets in all ages loved to speak concerning the larger species of nocturnal singers which are common to the south of Europe, and chirp incessantly during the summer months. Romantic tales are told with regard to their musical powers, and the ancient Greeks often kept them in cages for the sake of their song-a custom which still prevails among the Spanish ladies, who prefer them to birds. So attached were the Athenians to these insects, that people of distinction wore golden images of them in their hair, and regarded them with superstitious veneration as the happiest and most innocent of created beings. Grecian bard sung concerning them, from Homer Every and Hesiod, to Anacreon and Theocritus; they fabled that the joyous creatures, which hail the dawn of day, and chirp with grateful hearts when evening closes in, tasted no earthly food, but were sustained solely by the dew of heaven. Hence a poet of old times entreated the shepherds to spare this wood-side minstrel, the nightingale of nymphs and hamadryads, and to chase from their haunts the mischievous "thrush and blackbird." "Sweet prophet of the summer!" sung Anacreon, "the muses love thee. Phoebus himself loves thee, and has endowed thee with the powers of melody; old age does not wear thee; thou art wise, earth-born, musical, exempt from the agency of external causes, and without the vital fluid that flows in the veins of animals and birds-truly, thou art almost a divinity!"

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"Thy cheerful voice, in wood and vale,
Fills every heart with glee;

And Summer smiles in ev'ry dale,

While thus proclaim'd by thee."

have been the highest commendation of public To excel this joyous insect in singing seems to thought to suffer by a comparison with his musical performers; and the eloquence of Plato was not otic species is supposed to resemble the sound of powers. Even now, the gladsome chirp of an exharper; and so loud and spirit-stirring is the song a harp or lyre, and he is called, in consequence, a of a mile. A proportionate power of voice in a of a Brazilian cicada, as to be heard at the distance man of ordinary stature would enable him to shout from pole to pole.

curiously constructed, is yet a simple piece of The drum of the common grasshopper, however machinery when compared with that of the cicada. First, there is a pair of large plates, semi-oval, or covering the anterior portion of the body, and triangular, or forming the segment of a circle, fixed to the trunk and hind-legs. Beneath these is a hollow cavity; and next to its narrow opening lined with a beautiful membrane-in some speappears another cavity, divided into three parts, cies semi-opaque, in others transparent and reflecting all the colours of the rainbow. membrane is not, however, the real organ of This sound, but is supposed to modulate it; and within the middle portion is a horny plate, placed horizontally, forming the bottom of the cavity; and contiguous is another membrane, folded transof the creature acts, by stretching or relaxing it at versely, on which it is conjectured that the will pleasure. Yet still this apparatus, however curious, is insufficient to produce sound. Muscles united, but readily separated, and so admirably are next discovered, consisting of numerous fibres, arranged, that when Reaumur, having pulled one from its place, let it go again, the usual sound was emitted, though the creature had been long dead. Each group of muscles is terminated by a nearly circular sinewy plate, from which issue several little tendons, and these, forming a thread, pass through an aperture in a horny plate supporting the drum, and are attached to its under surface. The drum itself, the true organ of sound, consists of a crescent-shaped cavity, and its aperture is to the cicada what our larynx is to us. of muscles, therefore, being alternately and briskly The cluster drum; so that its convex surface, thus rendered relaxed and contracted, draw in and let out the let out, through a natural effort to recover its concave when pulled in, produces sounds, when convexity; and this, striking upon the mirror and other membranes, before escaping from under the plates already mentioned, is modulated and aug

Who has not read concerning the rival musicians Eunomus and Ariston, who were contending for a prize upon the harp? and how, when one, having broken a string, would have lost the day, had not a compassionate cicada flown to his aid, and gained for him the victor's crown? Hence one of these insects sitting upon a harp became emblem-mented by them. atic of the science of music; and the event was commemorated by a statue representing a Grecian youth playing upon his instrument, with a grasshopper perched upon it. Gems of remote antiquity in the gallery of Florence equally symbolize the musical powers of this curious insect; one of the finest represents a cicada singing on a lyre; another, as playing on a syrinx. And thus has an

is displayed in the admirable contrivance and What adorable wisdom, what consummate skill, complete structure of this wonderful apparatus! The Creator of all that lives and moves has placed in these insects an unparalleled organ for producing and emitting sounds, which, as Kirby and Spence have well observed, seems to resemble that which he has given to man and the larger animals

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A full-grown specimen of the Acrida Bingleii was also found at Goodwin's Croft, near Christchurch, in the same county, and given to the late Rev. W. Bingley-whence its name. He was singing merrily in a tuft of the vernal carex, and being carefully preserved, he soon became familiar, and uttered his pleasant voice at twilight when a candle was lighted in the room. This cheerful creature, in common with his brethren, whether grillida, cicada, or achete, inhabits sunny banks, and forms a nest in places facing westward, whence in due time he sallies forth with a glad-hearted progeny, to chirp through the summer months.

"The poetry of earth is never dead;

When all the birds are faint with the hot sun, And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; That is the grasshopper! He takes the lead In summer luxury; he has never done With his delights: for when tired out with fun, He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed. "The

(coccinella) with affection and some degree of reverence; and hard of heart must the youngster be who does not feel commiseration for a mother whose family is in the utmost peril. This kindly feeling ensures the sisterhood kind treatment and liberty; and the child who finds the crimson-coated insect on some dangerous place, carefully removes her to a shrub or wall, repeating the well-known couplet

"Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly away home,

Thy house is on fire, and children at home!"

In France, also, the race are deemed sacred to the Virgin, hence their cognomen of "Our Lady's sheep; and the care with which young shepherds remove them from off the path-way, when leading their flocks to pasture.

poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever;
And seems to one, in drowsiness half lost,
The grasshopper among some grassy hills."


Children in most countries regard the lady-birding

Few insects are, perhaps, more useful than the lady-bird. She is constantly employed in keeping down the redundancy of insect life, feeding eagerly on the rose-louse, the bane of gardeners, which adhere to the opening buds and leaves, and remain so closely wedged together as to give a strange extraneous aspect to the plant. A kind of honeydew is secreted by these pernicious aphides-that sweet clammy substance which naturalists formerly conjectured to be derived either from the atmosphere or leaves, but which the adhering aphis alone produces. Still more pernicious are the visitations of all aphides to hop-grounds; and it happens, not unfrequently, that such as gave an earnest of abundant increase, become suddenly dark and withered-looking. Vain are all attempts to save them; neither electric fluid, nor yet heavy rain avail to cleanse the plants. But wherever the hop-fly abounds, means are provided whereby to check the injuries they inflict. These voracious insects generally make their first appearance about the twelfth of May, occasionally two days earlier, but almost uniformly between the tenth and thirteenth; and it is not a little curious, that they usually appear on the same day in the four hop districts, viz., Kent, Sussex, Farnham, and Worcester:-yet not without an opponent, who presently arrives with ample powers to repress their aggressions; and wherever a branch abounds with aphis, lady-birds are seen in considerable numbers, as also a curious looking insect, resembling a lizard, which is in fact the caterpillar of the lady-bird. Ants, according to the animated description of Newman in his Letters of Rusticus, are there likewise, in quest of the honeydew which the aphis emits, but far from injuring the animals that yield such a pleasant food, they show them the greatest attention and kindness. Not so the lady-bird and its lizard-like companion; they both feed voraciously on the blights, and readily clear a leaf containing forty or more in the course of a single day. The former may be seen with her nose to the stem or leaf, after the fashion of a pointer, threading the mazes of the plant, and hunting out the pernicious insects, which she eagerly devours. Lady-birds are, therefore, highly valued by hopgrowers; and boys are frequently employed in hop-grounds to chase with loud cries and rattles all such insectivorous birds as would prey upon


The hop-fly has two other formidable enemies, which render important services to mankind. One is a green ungainly grub, without legs, and which having seized on an unfortunate aphis when pass(for the creature lies flat on the surface of the

leaf), immediately proceeds to suck out all its juices. This curious grub turns to a fly of many colours, which may be seen in summer under the branches of trees, and around flowers, and sometimes stationary in the air, as though asleep-yet still with all its wits about him, for if you attempt to catch him he darts off in a moment. The second is a ferocious looking creature, with six legs, and strong recurved jaws; merciless too, and boastful, for not content with feeding quietly on the aphides, he struts about with their skins on his back. This arrogant freebooter is, however, destined to a higher state of being. When his useful, though sanguinary career, is finished, he comes forth an elegant fly, adorned with four wings, all of which are divided into meshes like a fine net, and with two beautiful golden eyes.

on which he hangs suspended like a spider, swing-
ing backwards and forwards with the wind as per-
fectly unconcerned as if in his silken domicile.
When the time approaches for a new development
of life, each caterpillar fastens himself by his hind-
legs to a part of his web, and after remaining for
some time with his head downward, he turns into
a chrysalis. Dozens may be seen thus hanging
together in a line till the time appointed for their
emerging, when, at the end of June or beginning
of July, pretty little moths suddenly appear flying
about the hedge, having wings of a leaden-ground
colour with jet-black spots, though occasionally
invested in pure white. Last year, the hedges
about Farncomb swarmed with them, and on gates,
and under the coping of stone walls, and all such
places, you might have found the chrysalides
hanging by thousands.


Rusticus further speaks of a fourth enemy to the hop-fly, in a minute ichneumon, similar to A larger moth (Arctia chrysorrhea), with a that which is parasitic on the blight of the rose- yellow tail, and snow-white body and wings, is tree. The males are active, and skim rapidly also very destructive to white-thorn hedges. about, coursing over the surface of the leaves, moth is appropriately called the yellow-tail. and searching into every nook and corner; the other, similar in her habits to the little ermine females are less roving in their habits, and gene- moth, inhabits oak-trees, and sometimes in such rally occupy themselves in providing for the estab-numbers as to consume every leaf, and encase the lishment of their numerous families; they have twigs in a continuous web for some hundred indeed no particular inducement to wander acres. We owe to the ingenious entomologist abroad, for they are placed among myriads of above cited, the curious fact, that in the July of hop-flies, in the midst of luxuriant vegetation, 1831, the oak woods around Downton Castle, the and have no dwelling to construct, like the indus- residence of the celebrated horticulturist, Mr. trious ant or bee, nor yet stores of food to collect Knight, were as completely leafless as at Christfrom distant places. Thus pleasantly situated, mas. The season was somewhat late, and the they may be seen with their antennæ stretched moth was then in a chrysalis state, as the narrator out, and wings quivering with eagerness, pacing ascertained by climbing some of the trees, and leisurely among the defenceless herd; and no shaking down hundreds of them. Early in the sooner has each matron selected a victim by a spring, the caterpillars may be seen, when the sun slight touch of her antennæ, than, with equal is warm, suspended by their little threads from celerity, she deposits an egg on the under side of almost every part of an oak-tree, swinging to and the hop-fly, which gradually becomes developed, fro with the least breath of air, like pendulums, and forms a perfect insect, which necessarily de- each varying in time according to the length of stroys the foster-parent, and at length darts forth its thread, and occasionally giving itself a twist in the maturity of energies and instincts. like a slack-rope dancer, in the overflowing joy and gladness of its little heart. Each turns to a black chrysalis, and ten days after, to an exceedingly beautiful pea-green, bell-shaped little moth, (Tortrix viridanus.)


FLOWERS.-Water, weed, train, stake, and tie up wherever requisite; although you may have a goodly show of flowers, yet the least untidiness will spoil the appearance of the whole.

Who has not frequently observed the white-thorn hedges stripped of their leaves, and the twigs matted together like a web! This curious effect, according to the statement of the ingenious author of "The Letters of Rusticus," is occasioned by the caterpillar of a small moth, the Little Ermine Moth, which deposits her eggs on the twigs the year before. When the eggs are hatched into tiny caterpillars, the instinctive creatures feed for a few days on the pulpy portion of the leaves, and then wisely commence spinning nice silken spacious dwellings wherein to fix their abode. Conscious, it would seem, of the desirableness of having food at hand, they enclose two or three leaves, and when these are devoured they enlarge Pressed by limited space, and the urgency of their houses and collect fresh leaves, and thus the spring operations, I have, as yet, been unable they proceed till a considerable mass of web is to notice all of those plants which are termed par formed. These masses are often so abundant as excellence, Florists' flowers; I, therefore, now emto touch one another, and the whole hedge appears brace the opportunity allowed me by the less busy as if dead; its unwelcome visitors having de- month of July, to treat of those the brightest stroyed every green leaf. Rusticus relates also, jewels in the diadem of Flora. The taste for that having occasionally disturbed the occupant of Florists' flowers in England, is, with good reasons, one of these ingenious webs, forth has come a lit- generally supposed to have been brought over tle blueish-black caterpillar, with a row of jet-black from Flanders with our worsted manufactures, spots down his sides, as if to inquire the reason of during the religious persecutions of Philip II. of such an ungracious doing; but that, apparently Spain; and the cruelty of the Duke of Alva, in feeling his strength to be insufficient for any effec-1567, was the occasion of our receiving, through tive demonstration on his part, makes a virtue of the Flemish weavers, who sought an asylum in necessity, and philosophically retreats backward, this country, Gillyflowers, Carnations, and Prospinning at the same time a kind of rope-ladder, vence Roses. Many of those weavers settled in

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and about the city of Norwich, long celebrated for its flowers, and gardens. From Norwich the taste seems to have spread to other manufacturing localities-Spitalfields, Manchester, Bolton, &c. In Scotland, the taste for florists' flowers is supposed to have been introduced by the French Protestant weavers, who took refuge there from the impolitic bigotry of Louis XIV., and the persecutions following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Those refugees established themselves in a row of houses in the suburbs of Edinburgh, still known as Picardy-row, or place. The taste appears to have spread with the apprentices of these men, to Glasgow, Paisley, Dunfermline, and other places-for in Scotland, as in England, wherever hand-loom weaving is carried on, the operatives are found to possess a taste for, and occupy their leisure time in cultivating flowers.

Florists' flowers, are, generally speaking, those that have been improved in form, colour, or size, or in all these three combined. They are, in fact, nearly all the productions of art; having been raised, by high cultivation, from insignificant, beauty-less plants. Any-one who compares the wild Heart's-ease, and the cultivated Pansy-the wild and cultivated Tulip-the single and double Pink and Carnation, &c., must be struck by the very great difference between the same species in its natural, and artificial state; and, consequently, florists' flowers are one of the most impressive proofs of man's skill and ingenuity which the vegetable kingdom can exhibit. Florists' flowers are, also, those which sport, as it is technically termed by gardeners; or, in other words, those which produce new and distinct varieties when propagated by seed. For a long time, these universally admired varieties have been raised, and brought to perfection, principally by men in humble life. As before mentioned, the Spitalfields, Norwich, Manchester, and Paisley weavers, are famous for producing flowers of this description; M and even the rude Northumbrian miners on the banks of the coaley Tyne, cultivate their prize pansies, pinks, and auriculas, during the few hours of God's light, and fresh air, that their subterranean occupations permit them to enjoy. Of late years, however, florists' flowers have become more fashionable; a few in the higher ranks of life having followed the example of those humble floricultural pioneers, raising, and growing successfully many new and splendid varieties. Amongst amateurs there are certain rules laid down by which the merits, or demerits, of these plants are judged, and decided. Some designate these rules by the high-sounding term of "Canons of criticism,"-others, as "properties," "points," "criterions." I would be very glad, here, to describe the "properties" of each plant, but I am perfectly satisfied that it would be useless, though reading may assist to form a taste, yet nothing but the long experienced eye can make a con






AURICULAS to be grown to perfection, should be in pots; they are propagated by seeds and offsets; the former when new varieties are required, the latter for multiplying and continuing choice kinds. The best time for dividing the roots, and taking off offsets, or rooted slips, is when the plant has done flowering, and ripening its seed. Plant the divisions and offsets separately in small pots, and in a rich soil, Almost every choice

auricula grower has his own particular compost or soil; to grow them in; and I am enabled to say that a great deal of quackery, and belief in nostrums, generally enters into the composition. I consider it is not so much any peculiarity of soil, but care, attention, and perseverance, that grows fine auriculas. One-half thoroughly rotted dung, one-fourth turfy-loam, one-eighth peat, or heath-mould, and the rest rotted leaves and river sand; the whole, well mixed, frequently turned over, and exposed to the preceding winter's frost, is the compost generally used by auricula growers, and the finest I have ever seen were grown in it. At the time of taking away the offsets, and dividing the roots, the old plants should be repotted and then placed in the shade, or in the frame where they are to pass the winter. They must be protected during winter either in a cold frame, or other shelter. Wherever the pots are placed, boards, bricks, ashes, or similar materials, should be put beneath them to prevent worms from entering, or the hole at the bottom of the pot from being clogged with soil. In fine weather in early spring, the plants should be well exposed to light and air; and about February the soil on the surface of the pot should be removed to about the depth of an inch, and its place supplied with fresh, rich compost. Liquid manure should, about this time, be given once a week, and if, when the plants begin to show flower, more than one flower-stem arises, the weakest should be removed. If the umbel, or flower-head, seems to be too crowded with buds, a few of the smallest should be carefully snipped out of the bunch with a small sharp pair of scissors. When in full flower, the plants should be kept in the shade, which will prolong their bloom; and after they have done flowering, they should be again potted, and treated as before. Auricula seed should be sown from about the middle of February to the middle of March. Sow in pots about six inches in diameter, and six in depth, having secured a good drainage by filling them half full of cinders. Cover the seeds very lightly, and place the pots in front of a conservatory, the window of a room, or a cool frame. If you cannot command those conveniences, place the pots in a sheltered situation-where they can only have the morning sun

in the open air, covering them with a handglass. The seed and soil in which it is sown must always be kept moist, but not too wet. The best way to apply water is by means of a clothes-brush dipped in soft water, and then held in the left hand with the hair side uppermost; by briskly drawing the right hand over the wet hair, the water will fly off in a contrary direction, and in particles almost as fine as dew. This is the very best plan for watering any small and delicate seeds." If the surface of the soil in the seed-pots becomes mouldy or mossy, it should be carefully stirred all over with a pin to the depth of about the thickness of a shilling. In from three to five weeks the young plants will appear, you must then admit air gradually, by tilting up one side of the hand glass; and about May it can be removed altogether, and the seed-pots placed in the coolest and airiest spot in the garden; keeping the soil moist, at the same time protecting them from heavy rain. As soon as the young plants have acquired six leaves they must be transplanted into pots, or boxes, the plants about two inches apart; and when that they have grown so that their

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