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inch long; but they are still quite harmless. By the end of June they become of their full size, which is almost three inches in length; and their legs, head, and extremities are red, the body being of a pale colour inclining to red. There are differences of colour and size in the different sorts of locusts ; but that which I am describing is the great destroying locust. They are exceedingly strong-indeed I am not sure that there is any creature in the world stronger in proportion to its size. They not only make very long journeys on the wing, but can leap to a great distance and with amazing force. When they accidentally spring against a person's face, the feeling is very similar to that which you have experienced when hit by a pellet from a pop-gun. When disturbed while upon the ground, I have even seen many locusts stun or even kill themselves outright by the force with which, in leaping away, they strike their heads against a wall. Their great strength, with their saw-like teeth and their immense numbers, render them one of the most terrible enemies which man has in any part of the world; for they eat the young corn and every green thing in the districts over which they march, or where they rest in their journeys.
Their ravages begin before they can fly, and are then indeed the worst. They then crawl along in battalions, in a straight front, devouring every leaf and bud as they go along, and not sparing even the bark of trees. The people then endeavour to rid the land of them by digging ditches across their path, into which large numbers of them fall and are destroyed. It is remarkable that the domestic fowls eat them before they are quite full grown, and when this is the case the yolk of the eggs which the hens lay, becomes of a dark reddish colour, something like that of the locust.
I dare say you have sometimes read of the flight of locusts; but nothing you ever read could give you a proper notion of it.
Henry. Then I suppose you have seen it, Sir ? · U. O. Oh, yes; very often. On one occasion, when I was sitting within doors between one and two o'clock in the afternoon, in the month of June, the light in my room became darkened down to a sort of twilight, and I heard a very unusual noise, which I can compare to nothing better than to the rush of a great wind. I ran out to see what was the matter, and I saw
overhead an immense cloud of locusts, exceeding, I think, all that it is possible for the mind of man to imagine of collected life. This cloud was in many places quite dark by its thickness, but in other places the insects were more dispersed, allowing the light to pass between them. They appeared to form a great army travelling under the direction of a leader--which was perhaps the truth. It was a long time, about an hour, I think, before they had passed. While they were passing, the people in the outskirts of the town made a terrible clamour by beating drums and by shouting, in order to deter them from alighting. This is done everywhere. Where they do alight, their ravages often occasion terrible famines among the people. Even when the main body passes on, many stragglers, which perhaps are tired, descend upon the ground and the house-tops, and do considerable damage to the trees, the corn, and the gardens. The poorer people collect large numbers of them, which they eat; they also dry and salt them and afterwards sell them in the bazaars as an article of food.
Frank. Did you ever eat them, sir?
J. Why, uncle, you seem to have eaten every thing!
U. O. Really, you are not much mistaken in that. Locusts taste something like stale shrimps ; and as the yellow locusts turn red when they are boiled, they have something of the same appearance. After this long account, you will be pleased to hear Henry read this passage about the locusts (pointing out the passage to Henry, to whom he gives the book), from a beautiful poem called “ Thalaba,” written by Dr. Southey. Now begin if you please, Henry. H. (Reuding.) “Onward they came, a dark continuous cloud
Of congregated myriads numberless,
Of a broad river, headlong in its course
Of the wild oceau in the autumn storm,
Their graves were ready in the wilderness.
««• Behold the mighty army !' Moath cried.
Blindly they move, impellid
By the blind elementa
And thin their spreading fanks
U. O. Now, stop there, and go on to the place where the Arabian maid, Oneiza, examines a locust which one of these birds let fall into her lap. H. (Continuing to read.)
“ The admiring girl survey'd
His gauzy under-wings,
She view'd his jet-orb'd eyes;
His glossy gorget bright,
His plumy pliant horns,
With lines mysterious vein'd.
*My father ? ' said the maid.”
Sir, I think I understand all that very well, except the four last lines.
U.O. I really do not very well understand them myself; but let us look into the notes at the end of the book, and see if Mr. Southey has anything to say about it himself. Yes, here is something from Norden. (Reads.) “ The locusts are remarkable for the hieroglyphic that they bear upon their forehead; their colour is green throughout the whole body, except a little yellow rim that