Sidor som bilder

to the sellers of 100 per cent*. There is much trade carried on in the town both by camels from the interior, and by boats laden with rice, dates, tobacco, and other articles most in demand among the desert tribes.

In connexion with this town, and the immense extent and magnificence usually ascribed to the city of Babylon, Mr. Ainsworth makes the following observations::

The great question which has occupied historians in connexion with Babylon is, whether the account given of its size and magnificence by the ancient profane writers, in some cases supposed to have been eye-witnesses of its glory and splendour, are not exaggerated. There has been the customary abuse of the standard of measurement amongst classical authors, and the same difficulty of reconciliation left to the moderns †.

But in this question, a great elementary principle

has been hitherto entirely lost sight of. The cities of the earliest races of mankind were not, as in modern times, vast and crowded congregations of houses, built side by side in compact and extensive masses, but each dwelling had its garden, pasture, and tillage-lands surrounding it, the whole being enclosed by a wall. This fact at once reduces the wonder often evinced at the vast space occupied by many ancient cities of the East. In the centre of the vast enclosure, or in some conspicuous part, were the residences of the authorities, the chief of whom

was already called king; here also was the temple of their god, or the house of their captives, as at Babylon. There are abundant evidences that this was the fact in the two great cities of antiquity,Babylon and Nineveh; of the former it is stated by Curtius, that the intervals which separated the houses were sown and cultivated, to provide subsistence in case of siege.

A consideration of these circumstances does not, therefore, allow of any comparison between the population of a city of Assyria or Babylonia with the population of a modern city of equal extent. This is an element in all the pompous records of the past grandeur of Babel, which must not be lost sight of. And even in reference to its boasted magnificence, the poetical character of Eastern writings, and the remote periods to which they refer, must not be forgotten in the overwhelming interest of the subject. The greatest cities of Europe," it has been said, "give but a faint idea of the grandeur which all historians unanimously ascribe to the famous city of Babylon;" and this opinion has been echoed by every lover of hoary antiquity. Then came the fulfilment of its predicted destruction, and the glory of God appears to be enhanced in the eyes of man, by the magnitude of the object against which his anger was directed; but a knowledge of the real state and circumstances of the great Eastern mart of iniquity, would probably show that mercy predominated over punishment.

Some modern authorities have thought that they

It would be curious if, in the progress of commerce and civilization, the neighbourhood of Babylon should again become the scene of princely mercantile traffic; it is described in the Revelations as having once been (xviii. 12, 13), "The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and, scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, &c."

Herodotus gives the extent of the walls of Babylon at 120 stades on each side, or 480 stades in circumference; Diodorus 360 stades in circumference; Clitarchus, who accompanied Alexander, 365; Curtius states it at 368; and Strabo at 385 stades. The general approximation of these measurements would lead us to suppose that the same stade was used by the different reporters, and if this was the Greek Itinerary stade, we may estimate the circumference of the great city at twenty-five British miles,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

could trace on the plains of Hillah the extent of ancient Babylon; but their data are frequently few, and in reality deceptive. The lines drawn on maps are often only used to divide distant mounds of ruin. Accumulations of pottery and brickwork are met with occasionally over a great tract, but the connexion supposed between these and the corn-fields and gardens, within the common precincts of a wall, is gratuitous in the extreme. Imagine London and Paris to be levelled, and the inhabitant of some future city to visit their ruins, as those of then remote antiquity; if in the one instance Sèvres, Mont Rouge, and Vincennes, or in the other Greenwich, Stratford-le-Bow, Tottenham, Highgate, Hammersmith, Richmond, and Clapham, be taken in as boundaries, or identified respectively as the ruins of Paris and London, what a prodigious extent would those cities gain in the eyes of futurity!

Like other great cities in the East, the great Babel was, in the lapse of time, known by different names, and, ultimately, subdivided into various parts. been separated from the mother-city, if indeed it The first quarter of Babylon that appears to have was not originally distinct, was that on the west The word "Birs," as applied to this mound or ruin, side of the river, and contains the Birs Nimrood. cannot be satisfactorily explained in Arabic, as a derivative of that language; and it would appear, Chaldaic tongues have failed, as they are founded on that all attempts to deduce it from the Hebrew or a change of the radical letters.

It was from Birs, or Bursif, that the produce of the The almost only remnant of Borsippa, probably the Birsean looms-the cloth of Birs-derived its name. places, one of which belonged to each Babylonian temple of a national worship performed in high city, and to each quarter of Babylon itself, still pre

serves its ancient name. Birs Nimrood has been

generally looked upon as the remnant of the great pile of Babel, but it will appear much more probable Borsippa, and one of the quarters of the Babylon of to have belonged to the city of Birs, Bursif, or


Marudi, in his Universal History, mentions Babil, the capital of Aferadun, and one of the "climates" of the earth, so named from the name proper to one of its towns. This town is situated on both banks of the canal, derived from the Frat in the province of Irak, one hour's journey from the city called Jisr Babil and the canal of Al Birs.

its name, and to have received that of Nil. The quarter of Babel itself appears to have changed The mounds of Babel and the Mujaleba are nearly surrounded by two canals which bear that name in the the Frat as flowing to the city of Nil, and giving off present day. Abulfeda described the main stream of the canal of Nil, after which it is called the Nahr Sirat. D'Anville also notices a town called Nilus, without having a definite idea of its position.

The square superficies of the mound of Babel is 49,000 feet; its elevation at the south-east corner, 64 feet. To the south of it is the Mujaleba, having a square superficies of 120,000 feet, and a height of only 28; beyond this again, the Amram ebn Ali, having an area of 104,000 feet, and an elevation of 23 feet. The Mujaleba has been read as if it were Makalbid, from Kalba, "the overturned, or overthrown," whereas a much nearer affinity exists to Mujaleba, plural of Jalib, the "home of the captives," and not improbably the residence of the Israelites who remained in Babylon. This version is favoured by the name of Heroot and Maroot also given to the mound by the natives, from a tradition that near the foot of

the ruin there is an invisible pit, where D'Herbelot relates that the rebellious people were hung with their heels upward, "until the day of judgment." The Kasr, or palace, is a mound of about 700 yards in length and breadth. Its moulded bricks, ornamented with inscriptions, and its glazed and coloured tiles, added to the sculptures that have been found there, speak of its importance, and have led to its being generally looked upon as the eastern and the largest of the palaces of the Babylonian monarch, renowned for its sloping gardens.

Between the Kasr and the Amram there is every probability the Euphrates once flowed, where the subaquatic tunnel of Semiramis may have existed, and where quays lined the banks at the time Alexander was carried over during his last illness.

The Amram ebn Ali (so called from a son of Ali,) has been more generally, and with probably a greater degree of plausibility, identified with the western palace. It is surrounded by ridges or mounds of ramparts which were the defence of this large space, and of all the establishments it contained,

The fourth quarter of Babel is marked in its central space by the mound of Al Heimar or Hámir, an isolated eminence once having a superficies of 16,000 feet, and an elevation of 44 feet, with a ruin on the summit eight feet high. Its modern name is derivable from the Arabic root hamará, "to be, or become red," denoting the red mass or ruin on the summit: Alhambra, one of the four wards of Grenada, was also so called from the red colour of the materials of its buildings.

DEPENDANCE OF MAN UPON HIS CREATOR. FOR the continuance of life a thousand provisions are made. If the vital actions of a man's frame were directed by his will, they are necessarily so minute and complicated, that they would immediately fall into confusion. He cannot draw a breath without the exercise of sensibilities as well ordered as those of the eye or ear. A tracery of nervous cords unites many organs in sympathy, of which, if one filament were broken, pain, and spasm, and suffocation, would ensue. The action of his heart, and the circulation of his blood, and all the vital functions, are governed through means and by laws which are not dependant on his will, and to which the powers of his mind are altogether inadequate. For, had they been under the influence of his will, a doubt, a moment's pause of irresolution, a forgetfulness of a single action at its appointed time, would have terminated his existence

Now when man sees that his vital operations could not be directed by reason, that they are constant, and far too important to be exposed to all the changes incident to his mind, and that they are given up to the direction of other sources of motion than the will, he acquires a full sense of his dependance. If man be fretful and wayward, and subject to inordinate passion, we perceive the benevolent design in withdrawing the vital motions from the influence of such capricious sources of action, so that they may neither be disturbed like his moral actions, nor lost in a moment of despair.

When man thus perceives that in respect to all these vital operations he is more helpless than the infant, and that his boasted reason can neither give them order nor protection, is not his insensibility to the Giver of these secret endowments worse than ingratitude? In a rational creature, ignorance of his condition becomes a species of ingratitude: it dulls his sense of benefits, and hardens him into a temper of mind with which it is impossible to reason, and from which no improvement can be expected.-BELL.



WHAT different ideas are formed in different nations concerning the beauty of the human shape and countenance ! A fair complexion is a shocking deformity on the coast of Guinea; thick lips and a flat nose are a beauty. In some nations, long ears that hang down upon the shoulders, are the objects of universal admiration. In China, if a lady's foot is so large as to be fit to walk upon, she is regarded as a monster of ugliness. Some of the savage nations in North America tie four boards round the heads of their children, and thus squeeze them, while the bones are tender and gristly, into a form that is almost perfectly square. Europeans are astonished at the absurd barbarity of this practice, to which some missionaries have imputed the singular stupidity of those nations among whom it prevails; but when they condemn those savages, they do not reflect that the ladies in England had, till within these very few years, been endeavouring, for near a century past, to squeeze the beautiful roundness of their natural shapes into a square form of the same kind.-SMITH.

MANKIND have a great aversion to intellectual labour, but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.-JOHNSON.


THAT is not home, where day by day
I wear the busy hours away;
That is not home, where lonely night
Prepares me for the toils of light;
'Tis hope, and joy, and memory, give
A home in which the heart can live:
These walls no lingering hopes endear,
No fond remembrance chains me here.
Cheerless I heave the lonely sigh-
Eliza, canst thou tell me why?
'Tis where thou art, is home to me,
And home without thee cannot be.

There are who strangely love to roam,
And find in wildest haunts their home;
And some in halls of lordly state,
Who yet are homeless, desolate.
The sailor's home is on the main,
The warrior's, on the tented plain,
The maiden's, in her bower of rest,
The infant's, on his mother's breast;
But where thou art, is home to me,
And home without thee cannot be.
There is no home in halls of pride,
They are too high, and cold, and wide.
No home is by the wanderer found;
'Tis not in place; it hath no bound,
It is a circling atmosphere
Investing all the heart holds dear;
A law of strange attractive force,
That holds the feelings in their course.
It is a presence undefined,
O'er-shadowing the conscious mind,
Where love and duty sweetly blend
To consecrate the name of friend;
Where'er thou art, is home to me,

And home without thee cannot be.CONDER.

THOUGH We seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be of age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honours, then to retire. Spectator



No. III.


THERE is some reason to believe that King Alfred's crown was preserved in England until the time of the Commonwealth, for in the inventory of "that part of the Regalia which are now removed from Westminster to the Tower Jewel House," we find the following entry "King Alfred's crowne, of gould wyerworke, sett with slight stones, and two little bells, p. oz. 794, at 31. per ounce, 2487. 10s. Od." The purpose of such strange appendages as the bells is a matter not very easy to discover, and the conclusion of the inventory puts an end to all conjecture, for, after enumerating the various antique regalia, and reciting their value, we find the Vandal record: "All these, according to order of parliament, are broken and defaced."

The other crowns destroyed at this time are thus enumerated in the inventory :

The imperiall crowne of massy gold, weighing 71b. 6oz., valued at 1,110l. Os. Od.

The queen's crowne of massy gold, weighing 3lb. 100z., valued at 3381. 3s. 4d.

A small crowne found in an iron chest, formerly in the Lord Cottington's charge, [it was the crown of Edward the Sixth,] of the which the gold, 731. 16s. 8d.

And the diamonds, rubies, &c., 3551. 0s. Od.

Queen Edith's crowne, formerly thought to be of massy gould, but upon triall found to be of silver gilt, enriched with garnetts, foule pearle, saphires, and some odd stones, p. oz. 50, valued at 167. Os. Od.


The SCEPTRE ROYAL, which the sovereign bears in the right hand, is made of gold, and is two feet nine inches in length: it is richly adorned with precious stones, and the top rises into a fleur de lis of six leaves, three of which are erect and three pendent; out of this flower arises a mound formed of a large amethyst, garnished with precious stones, and upon the mound is a cross pattée of jewels, with a large diamond in the midst.

The sceptre is a more ancient emblem of royal dignity than the crown itself. Homer makes it the only cognizance of the Grecian kings; and the historian Justin declares that the ancient kings of Rome used no other ensign of royalty. The Greek poets describe the gods as bearing sceptres to indicate their empire, and declares that an oath taken on the sceptre was the most solemn that could be sworn. In Jacob's remarkable prediction of the Messiah, we find the sceptre specifically mentioned as the emblem of regal power: "the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." Justin tells us that among the Romans the sceptre was originally a spear; but the sceptres described by Homer were simply long walking-staves, designed to show that the monarchs ruled by acknowledged right, and not by force. Le Gendre tells us that in the first race of the French kings the sceptre was a golden rod, almost always of the same height as the king who bore it, and crooked at one end, like a crosier or pastoral staff.

The queen-consort's sceptre in England is formed like the king's, but it is shorter.


In the inventory of the Regalia destroyed in the time of the Commonwealth, we find the following entries of sceptres :

Two sceptres, weighing 180z., 60%.

Two sceptres, one sett with pearles and stones, the upper end gould, the lower end silver. The other silvar gilt, with a dove, formerly thought gould, 657. 16s. 104d.


The sceptre is placed in the king's right hand, and in his left, during the ceremony of investiture, he takes the VIRGE, or rod, which is carried before him in the concluding procession. The distinction between the sceptre and the rod is that the former is surmounted by a cross, and the latter by a dove. This distinction is of very ancient date, and we find that it was observed in the ceremonial of the coronation of Richard the First. The virge of the English sovereign is of gold, richly adorned with precious stones; at the top is a globe and cross, surmounted with a dove enamelled white, and the globe is surrounded with a circle of rose diamonds.

The queen-consort's virge is made of ivory, garnished with gold, and surmounted by a dove enamelled white; it is rather more than a yard in length.


In the year 1814 another virge was found at the Jewel Office in the Tower, covered with dust, and hidden on a back-shelf. It was supposed to have been used at the coronation of William and Mary, when both the king and queen were invested with sovereign power.


ST. EDWARD'S STAFF, which is carried before the sovereign in the procession which precedes the coronation, is a staff or sceptre of gold, four feet eleven inches in length, having a foot of steel about four inches in length, with a mound and cross at the top; the ornaments are of gold, and the diameter of it is upwards of three-quarters of an inch.

The following is an account of the virges or rods destroyed, with the rest of the Regalia, in the time of the Commonwealth :

A long rodd of silver gilt, 1lb 5oz., 4l. 10s. 8d. One staff of black and white ivory, with a dove on the top, with binding and foote of gould, 47. 10s. od.

A large staff, with a dove on ye top, formerly thought to be all gould; but upon triall found to be the lower part wood within, and silver gilt without, weighing in all 27 ounces, valued at 357. Os. Od.

One small staff, with a floure de luce on the topp, tormerly thought to be all of gould, but upon triall found to be iron within and silver gilt without, 27. 10s. Od.

A dove of gould, sett with stones and pearles, p. oz. 83 ounces, in a box sett with studds of silver gilt, 267. Gs. Od. The ORB, Mound, or Globe, which is put into the sovereign's hand immediately before the crown is placed upon his head, and is borne in the left hand during the subsequent procession, is a ball of gold, of six inches diameter, encompassed with a band of the same, embellished with roses of diamonds, encircling other precious stones, and edged about with pearl. On the top is a very large amethyst, of a violet and purple colour, near an inch and a half in height, of an oval form, and being encom



passed with four silver wires, becomes the pedestal of a splendid cross of gold, of three inches and a quarter in height, and three inches in breadth, set very close with diamonds, having in the middle, a sapphire on one side, and an emerald on the other. It is also embellished with four large pearls in the angles of the cross, near the centre, and three more at the end of it. The whole height of the orb and cross is eleven inches. There is another globe among the crown jewels, which was made for the coronation of William and Mary, but it is not now used at the coronation of queens consort.

The orb or globe was assumed as a cognizance by the Emperor Augustus; it was sometimes called an apple, and sometimes a hill, but in all cases it was regarded as the symbol of universal dominion. The cross was added to the globe by Constantine, the first Christian emperor. Suidas, describing the statue of the Emperor Justinian, says, "In his left hand he held a globe in which a cross was fixed, which showed that by faith in the cross he was emperor of the earth. For the globe denotes the earth, which is of like form, and the cross denotes faith, because God

in the flesh was nailed to it."

The globe and cross were first introduced as ensigns of imperial authority in western Europe by Pope Benedict the Eighth, who gave them to the Emperor Henry the Second. The combined ornament was called, "The Imperial Apple," and at the coronation of the emperors of Germany, it was borne on the right hand of the emperor, by the Count Palatine of the Rhine.

2. CURTANA, or the pointless Sword of Mercy, is the principal in dignity of the three swords which are borne naked before the sovereign at the coronation. Mr. Arthur Taylor, in his "Glory of Regality," derives its name from that wielded by Ogier the Dane, in the romances of chivalry; however that may be, it is certain that a sword named Curtana, or Curtein, formed a part of the English Regalia from very ancient times, for Matthew Paris informs us that a sword of that name was carried at the coronation of Henry the Third, by the Earl of Chester. (A. D. 1236.) In the same way, a sword called Joyeuse, supposed to have belonged to the Emperor Charlemagne, was always displayed at the coronation


of the kings of France. sword, the length of the blade is about thirty-two Curtana is a broad bright inches, and the breadth almost two inches; the handle, which is covered with fine gold wire, is four inches long, and the pommel, an inch and threegilt: the length of the cross is eight inches nearly. quarters; which, with the cross, is plain and steel The scabbard belonging to it is covered with a rich brocaded cloth of tissue, and studded with gilt


3. The SWORD OF SPIRITUAL JUSTICE is pointed, but somewhat obtuse; the length of the blade is

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small]

Almost all the English kings from Edward the Confessor, have the globe in their left hand on their coins or seals, as shown in the above engraving and it seems also to have been frequently so placed when sovereigns lay in state after their decease.

Four SWORDS are used at the coronation of a British sovereign. 1. THE SWORD OF STATE, which is a large two-handed sword, having a splendid scabbard of crimson velvet, decorated with gold plates of the royal badges in the following order. At the point is the orb or mound, then the royal crest of a lion standing on an imperial crown; lower down are a portcullis, harp, thistle, fleur de lis, and rose; nearer the hilt the portcullis is repeated; next are the royal arms and supporters; and lastly, the harp, thistle, &c., over again. The handle and pommel of the sword are embossed with similar devices in silver gilt, and the cross is formed of the royal supporters, the lion and the unicorn, having a rose within a laurel between them on one side, and a fleur de lis similarly encircled on the other,


inches, the pommel an inch and three-quarters, and the cross seven inches and a half. The scabbard is in all respects similar to that of Curtana.

The sovereign's CORONATION RING, called by some of pure gold, with a large table ruby, of a violet ancient writers, "The wedding-ring of England," is colour, on which a plain cross, or cross of St. George, is beautifully enchased. The coronation ring of the

[blocks in formation]

queen consort is likewise gold, with a large table ruby set therein, and sixteen other small rubies set round about the ring; of which those next to the setting are the largest, the rest diminishing in proportion. Investiture by the ring, was the most ancient form of conferring dignity; it was by this ceremony that Pharaoh created Joseph his viceroy over Egypt; it was also a Persian custom, as we have already noticed, and we find many traces of it in the history of the Anglo-Saxons.

The legend of the Coronation Ring is not less singular than that of the Ampulla. It is said that King Edward the Confessor was met by an old man who asked him for alms, and the charitable monarch, being at the moment destitute of money, gave the suppliant his ring. Soon afterwards, two English pilgrims in Palestine having lost their way, were met at the ap. proach of night by this same old man, who led them into a certain magnificent city, which appears to have been the New Jerusalem, the present existence of which was a popular article of faith in the middle ages, The old man entertained them most hospitably, and gave them lodgings for the night. In the morning he informed them that he was St. John the Evangelist, of whom it was believed by many of the ancient fathers, that he was appointed to tarry on earth until the second coming of the Lord Jesus. St. John told the pilgrims, that it was to him in person that the Confessor had given the ring, and he sent it back by them to the king, with a promise that divine grace should encircle every British sovereign who was invested with this ring at the coronation. The sacred ring was long preserved at the shrine of St. Edward, and only brought out at the time of a coronation. It deserves to be remarked, that legends of the appearance of St. John continued to be told so late as the reign of Henry the Eighth; his last visitation was to the King of Scotland, James the Fourth: the appearance of the evangelist is thus described by Pitscottie, whose language we have slightly modernized.

He was a man, clad in a blue gown, and belted about him in a roll of linen cloth; a pair of buskins on his feet, to the great of his legs, with all other hose and clothes conform thereto; but he had nothing on his head save hair of a reddish yellow behind, and the same on his cheeks, which went down to his shoulders; but his forehead was bald and bare. He seemed to be a man about fifty-two years old, and he carried a great pikestaff in his hand.


The SPURS, called the great golden spurs, are elaborately wrought, both round the outer edge, and at the buckle and fastenings. They have no rowels, but end in an ornamented point, being of that kind which are denominated prick spurs. It is sufficiently notorious, that putting on the gilded spurs, was the ancient investiture of knighthood, just as the hacking them off was the legitimate form of degradation.

The ARMILLE, or bracelets, are of solid gold, and open by a hinge for the purpose of being placed upon the wrist. They are an inch and a half in breadth, and two inches in diameter, and are adorned with chasings of the rose, thistle, harp, and fleur de lis, emblematical of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France; the edges are also garnished with pearls, These ornaments are not now employed in the coronation, and we shall see in a subsequent chapter, that the service appropriated to the bracelets, has been by some strange blunder, transferred to the Armil, or Stole.

THE TURNIP-FLY, (Athalia centifolia.) THE following is a more detailed description of the little insect already noticed *. Mr. Yarrell has described the hymenopterous insect, shown in the engraving, as having proved equally injurious. The substance of the following account is extracted from his valuable paper in the Transactions of the Zoological Society of London. After noticing the beetle we have already described, he continues,― But the destroyer of a very large proportion of the turnip-crop, on the light and chalky soils of this country, during the last dry Summer, (1834,) is an insect of a different kind, and one that happily does not make its appearance in great numbers, except at wide intervals, and during those seasons that are remarkable for the almost total absence of rain. The first public notice I am acquainted with on the subject of this particular insect. and the extent of the injury it inflicts, is in the Transac tions of the Royal Society for 1783, in which W. Marshall, Esq., an agriculturist in Norfolk, details at some length the particulars of the appearance of the turnip-fly during 1782, In that year many thousands of acres were ploughed up, and the season was too far advanced to attempt the growth of a second crop.

It was observed (says Mr. Marshall,) in the canker-year above mentioned, that prior to the appearance of the caterpillars, great numbers of yellow flies were seen busy among the turnip-plants, and it was then suspected that the canker was the caterpillar state of the yellow-fly. Since that time it has been remarked, that cankers have regularly followed the appearance of these flies. From their more frequently appearing on the sea-coast, and from the vast quantities which have I believe been observed, at different times, on the beach washed up by the tide, it has been a received opinion among the farmers, that they are not natives of this country but come across the ocean, and observations this year greatly corroborate the idea, Fishermen upon the eastern coast declare, that they actually saw them alight in cloud-like flights; and from the testimony of many, it seems to be an indisputable fact, that they first make their appearance upon the eastern coast, and moreover, that, on their first being observed, they lie upon and near the cliffs, so thick and so languid, that they might be collected into heaps, lying, it is said, in some places two inches thick; from thence they proceeded into the country, and even at the distance of three or four miles from the coast they were seen in multitudes resembling a swarm of bees.

From whatever source these insects first reached this country, there is little doubt of their being at the present time naturalized.

Early in July, 1835, the yellow fly was again seen in abundance upon the young turnips, and it was recollected by some that this was the fly which prevailed also in the year 1818, and which was followed by the caterpillar, which they knew by the name of the blacks. Another observer said, It is of no use hoeing these turnips, for I perceive this year a fly which is the fore-runner of the nigger caterpillar.'

These predictions were soon verified. The female fly, by means of a delicately serrated instrument under the tail, is enabled to make a small aperture on the under-surface of the leaf of the turnip, in which she deposits a single egg, and each female produces and deposits in different places about twenty of these eggs. In eight or ten days the eggs are hatched, and the dark-coloured caterpillars crawl forth, and commence the work of destruction, by feeding voraciously on the soft part of the leaf of the turnip, leaving the fibres untouched; after a few days they cast their black skins, and then assume one of a more slaty or gray appearance; they still continue, however, to feed on the leaves, passing from one to another. The destruction is complete; a whole field, in a very short time, presenting only an assemblage of skeleton-like leaves, and this too even when the turnip has attained a considerable size. The See Saturday Magasine, Vol. VII., p. 181.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »