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glass when she ought to have been minding her busi- nation it was found that no marks of the pins were to ness like an honest woman.
be seen ; and as to the cookies, the old black woman But this old hag was as ugly as sin, and the little of the kitchen declared she saw an invisible hand, just baker never in his whole life could find it in his heart as one of the children lost his commodity. to be generous to an ugly woman, old or young.
“ Den I am pewitched, sure enough !" cried Boomptie, “In my country they always give thirteen to the in despair ; for he had too mueh of “ demonology and dozen,” screamed the ugly old woman in the leather witchcraft” in the family not to know when he saw spectacles.
them, just as well as he did his own face in the Collect. “ And where de duyvel is your gountry ?" asked
On the second day of the year, the 'prentice boys all Boomptie.
returned to their business, and Boomptie once more “ It is nobody's business," screeched the old woman. solaced himself with the baking of the staff of life. “ But will you give me another cake, once for all ?"
The reader must know that is the custom of bakers to “ Not if it would save me and all my chineration knead a great batch at a time, in a mighty bread-tray from peing pewitched and pedemonologized time out of into which they throw two or three little apprenticemind,” cried he in a great passion.
boys to paddle about, like ducks in a mill-pond, whereby What put it into his head to talk in this way
I don't it was speedily amalgamated, and set to rising in due know;
but he might better have held his tongue. The time. When the little caitiffs began their gambols in old woman gave him three stivers for his cakes, and this matter, they one and all stuck fast in the dough, went away, grumbling something about “ living to as though it had been so much pitch, and to the utter repent it," which Boss Boomptie didn't understand or dismay of honest Boomptie, behold, the whole batch care a fig about. He was chock full of Dutch courage, rose up in a mighty mass, and the boys sticking fast on and defied all the ugly old women in christendom. He the top of it !” put his three stivers in the till and shut up his shop, " Der dapperhéed updragon!" exclaimed little determined to enjoy the rest of the night without fur- Boomptie, as he witnessed this catastrophe; “ de ther molestation.
duyvel ish into de yeast dis time, I tink." While he was sitting smoking his pipe, and now and
The bread continued to rise till it lifted the roof off then sipping his beverage, all at once he heard a ter- the bake-house, with the little 'prentice boys on the top rible jingling of money in his shop, whereupon he and the bread-tray following after. Boss Boomptie thought some local caitiff was busy with his little till. and his wife watched this wonderful rising of the bread Accordingly, priming himself with another reinforce- in dismay, and in proof of the poor woman being beinent of Dutch courage, he took a pine knot, for he was witched, it was afterwards recollected that she uttered too economical to burn candles at that late hour, and not a single word on this extraordinary occcasion. The proceeded to investigate. His money was all safe, and bread rose and rose, until it finally disappeared, boys the till appeared not to have been disturbed.
and all, behind the Jersey hills. If such things had Duyvel,” quoth the little baker man, " I pelieve been known at that time, it would have been taken for a mine vrouw and I have bote cot a zinging in our heads." balloon: as it was, the people of Bergen and Com
He had hardly turned his back when the same jingling munipaw thought it was a waterspout. began again, so much to the surprise of Boss Boomptie Little Boss Boomptie was quite disconsolate at the that had it not been for his invincible Dutch courage, loss of his bread and his 'prentice-boys, whom he exhe would, as it were, have been a littie frightened. pected never to see again. However, he was a stirring But he was not in the least; and again went and un- body, and set himself to work to prepare another batch, locked the till, when what was his astonishment to see seeing his customers must be supplied in spite of the three diabolical stivers, received from the old wo- “ witchcraft or demonology.” To guard against such man, dancing and kicking up a dust among the coppers another rebellious rising, he determined to go through and wampum, with wonderful agility!
the process down in the cellar, and turn his bread-tray Haggins Van Swoschagin !” exclaimed he, sorely upside down. The bread, instead of rising, began to perplexed, “ de old duyvel has cot into dat old sinner's sink into the earth so fast, that Boss Boomptie had just stivers, I tink.” He had a great mind to throw them time to jump off before it entirely disappeared in the away, but he thought it a pity to waste so much money: ground, which opened and shut just like a snuff-box. so he kept them locked up all night, enjoining them to Myt de stamme van dam!" exclaimed he, out of good behaviour, with a design to spend them next day breath." my pread rises downwards dis time, I tink, in another jollification. But the next day they were My customers must go without to-day.” gone, and so was the broomstick with which it was the By and by his customers came for hot rolls and mufcustom to sweep out the shop every morning. Some fins ; but some of them had gone up, and some down, of the neighbours coming home late the night before, on as little Boss Boomptie related after the manner just being informed of the “ abduction" of the broomstick, described. What is very remarkable, nobody believed deposed and said, that they had seen an old woman, him; and doubtless if there had been any rival baker riding through the air upon just such another, right in New-Amsterdam, the boss would have lost all his over the top of the bake-house; whereat Boss Boomptie customers. Among those that called on this occasion, putting these odds and ends together, did tremble in was the ugly old woman with the sharp eyes, nose, chin, his heart, and he wished to himself that he had given voice, and leather spectacles. the ugly old woman thirteen to the dozen.
“I want a dozen new-year cookies !" screamed she Nothing particular came to pass the next day, except as before. that now and then the little Boompties complained of “ De geude Schiyver Torgouldigit beest!" muttered having pins stuck in their backs, and that their cookies he, as he counted out the twelve cakes, were snatched away by some one unknown. On exami. “ I want one more !” screamed sbe.
“ Den you may co to de duyvel and kit it, I say,
for Rot anoder shall you have here, I tell you."
So the old woman took her twelve cakes, and went out, grumbling as before, All the time she staid, Boomptie's old dog, who followed him wherever he went, growled and whined, as it were to himself, and seemed mightily relieved when she went away. That very night, as the little baker was going to see one of his old neighbors at the Maiden's Valley, then a little way out of town, walking, as he always did, with his hands behind him, every now and then he felt something as cold as death against them, which he could never account for, seeing that there was not a soul with him but his old dog.
Moreover Mrs. Boomptie, having bought half a pound of tea at a grocery-store, and put it into her pocket, did feel a twitching and jerking of the paper of tea in her pocket every step she went. The faster she ran, the quicker and stronger was the twitching and jerking, so that when the good woman got home she was nigh fainting away.
On her recovery she took conrage, and pulled the tea out of her pocket, and laid it on the table, when, behold, it began to move by fits and starts, jumped off the table, hopped out of doors, all alone by itself, and jigged away to the place from whence it came. The grocer brought it back again, but Madame Boomptie looked upon the whole as a judgment for her extravagance, in laying out so much money for tea, and refused to receive it again. The grocer assured her that the strange capers of the bundle were owing to his having forgot to cut the twine with which he had tied it; but the good woman looked upon this as an ingenious subterfuge, and would take nothing but her money.
When the husband and wife came to compare notes, they both agreed they were certainly bewitched. Had there been any doubt of the matter, subsequent events would soon have put it to rest.
That very night Mrs. Boomptie was taken after a strange way. Sometimes she would laugh about nothing, and then she would cry about nothing : then she would set to work and talk about nothing for a whole hour without stopping, in a language that nobody could understand ; and then all at once her tongue would cleave to the roof of her mouth so that it was impossible to force it away.
When this fit was over, she would get up and dance double-trouble, till she tired herself out, when she fell asleep, and waked up quite rational. It was particularly noticed, that when she talked fastest and loudest, her lips remained perfectly closed, and without motion, or her mouth wide open, so that the words seemed to come from down her throat. Her principal talk was railing against Dominie Laidlie the good pastor of Garden-street church, whence every body concluded she was possessed by a devil. Sometimes she got hold of a pen, and though she had never learned to write, would scratch and scrawl certain mysterious and diabolical figures, that nobody could understand, and every body said must mean something.
As for little Boss Boomptie he was worse off than his wife. He was haunted by an invisible hand, which played him all sorts of scurvy tricks. Standing one morning at his counter, talking to one of the neighbours be received a great box on the ear, whereat being exceeding wroth, he returned it with such interest on the cheek of his neighbor, that he laid him flat on the floor. His friend hereupon took the law of him, and proved to
the satisfaction of the court that he had both hands in his breeches pockets at the time Boss Boomptie said he gave him the box on the ear.
The magistrate not being able to come at the truth of the matter, fined them each twenty-five guilders for the use of the do. minie.
A dried codfish was one day thrown at his head, and the next minute his walking-stick fell to beating him, though nobody seemed to have hold of it. A chair danced about the room, and at last lighted on the dinner-table, and began to eat with such good appetite, that had not the children snatched some of the dinner away, there would have been none left.
The old cow one night jumped over the moon, and a pewter dish ran fairly off with a horn spoon, which seized a cat by the tail, and away they all went together, as merry as crickets. Sometimes, when Boss Boomptie had money, or cakes, or perhaps a loaf of bread in his hand, instead of putting them in their proper places, he would throw them into the fire, in spite of his teeth, and then the in. visible hand would beat him with a bag of flour, till he was as white as a miller. As for keeping his accounts, that was out of the question ; whenever he sat himself down to write, his ink-horn was snatched away by the invisible hand, and by and by it would come tumbling down the chimney. Sometimes an old dish-cloth would be pinned to the skirt of his coat, and then a great diabolical laugh heard under the floor. At night he had a pretty time of it. His night-cap was torn off his head, his hair pulled out by handfuls, his face scratched and his ears pinched as with red hot pincers. If he went out in the yard at night, he was pelted with brickbats, sticks, stones, and and all sorts of filthy missives; and if he staid at home, the ashes were blown upon his supper ; and old shoes, instead of plates, were seen on the table. One of the frying-pans rang every night of itself for a whole hour, and a three-pronged fork stuck itself voluntarily into Boss Boomptie's back, without hurting him in the least, But what astonished the neighbours more than all, the little man, all at once, took to speak in a barbarous and unknown jargon, which was afterwards found out to be English.
These matters frightened some of the neighbours, and scandalized others, until at length poor Boomptie's shop was almost deserted. People were jealous of eating bis bread, for fear of being bewitched. Nay, more than one little urchin complained greviously of horrible, outof-the-way pains in the stomach, after eating two or three duzen of his new year cookies.
Things went on this way until Christmas-eve come round again, when Boss Boomptie was sitting behind his counter, which was wont to be thronged with customers on this occasion, but was now quite deserted. While thinking on his present miserable state and future prospects, all of a sudden the little ugly old woman, with a sharp nose, sharp chin, sharp eyes, sharp voice, and leather spectacles, again stood before him, leaning on her crooked black cane.
“ De Philistyner Onweetende !” exclaimed Boss Boomptie, “ what too you want now?”
“I want a dozen new-year cookies \" screamed the old creature.
The little man counted out twelve as before. “ I want one inore !" screamed she louder than ever.
“Opgeblazen tynelschildknap!" exclaimed the boss, in a rage; “ den want will pe your master."
She offered him three stivers, which he indignantly rejected, saying,
“I want none of your duyvel's stivers--begone, Verschvikt Huysvrouw!"
The old woman went away mumbling and grumbling as usual.
“ By Saint Johannes de Dooper," quoth, Boss Boomptie, “but she's a peauty !”
That night, and all the week after, the brickbats few about Knickerbocker Hall like hail, insomuch that Boss Boomptie marvelled where they all came from, until one morning, after a terrible shower of brickbats, he found, to his great grief and dismay, that his oven had disappeared; next went the top of his chimney : and when that was gone, these diabolical sinners began at the extreme point of the gable-end, and so went on picking at the two edges downwards, until they looked just like the teeth of a saw, as may be still seen by people curious enough to look at the building.
“ Gesprengkelde! Gespikkelde ! on Gepleckteeve !" cried Boss Boomptie,“ put it's too pad to have my prains peat out wid my own brickpats."
About the same time a sober respectable cat, that for years had done nothing but sit purring in the chimneycorner, all at once got the duyvel in her, and after scratching the poor man half to death, jumped out of the chimney and disappeared. A Whitehall boatman afterwards saw her in Butter-milk channel, with nothing but the tail left, swimming against the tide as easy as kiss your hand. Poor Mrs. Boomptie had no peace of her life, what with pinchings, stickings of needles, and talking without opening her mouth. But the climax of the malice of the demon which beset her was in at last tying up her tongue, so that she could not speak at all, but did nothing but sit crying and wringing her hands in the chimney-corner.
These carryings on brought round new-year's eve again, when Boss Boomptie thought he would have a frolic, “ in spite of the duyvel,” as he said, which saying was, somehow or other, afterwards applied to the creek at Kingsbridge. So he commanded his wife to prepare him a swingeing mug of hot spiced rum, to keep up his courage against theassaults of brickbats. But what was the dismay of the little man when he found that every time he put the beverage to his lips he received a great box on the ear, the mug was snatched away by the invisible hand, and every single drop drunk out of it before it came to Boss Boomptie's turn. Then, as if it was an excellent joke, he heard a most diabolical laugh down in the cellar.
is Saint Nicholas and Saint Johannes de Dooper !!! exclaimed the little man in despair. This was atttacking him in the very entrenchments of his heart. It was worse than the brickbats.
“ Saint Nciholas! Saint Nicholas! what will become of me—what sal Ich doon, mynheer ?”'
Scarcely had he uttered this pathetic appeal, when there was a sound of horses' hoofs in the chimney, and presently a little wagon drawn by a little, fat, gray Sopus poney, came trundling into the room, loaded with all sorts of knick-knacks. It was driven by a jolly, fat, little rogue of a fellow, with a round sparkling eye, and a mouth which would certainly have been laughing had it not been for a glorious Meerschaum pipe, which would have chanced to fall out in that case. The little rascal had on a three-cornered cocked hat,
decked with gold lace; a blue Dutch sort of a short pea-jacket, red waistcoat, breeks of the same color, yellow stockings, and honest thick-soled shoes, ornamented with a pair of skates. Altogether he was a queer figure—but there was something so irresistibly jolly and good-natured in his face, that Boss Boomptie knew him for the good Saint Nicholas as soon as he saw him.
Boven.” cried the good saint, pulling off his cocked hat, and making a low bow to Mrs. Boomptie, who sat tongue-tied in the chimney-corner.
" Wonderdadige Geboote !" said Boss Boomptie, speaking for his wife, which made the good woman very angry, that he should take the words out of her mouth.
“ You called on St. Nicholas. Here am I,” quoth the jolly little saint. “In one word--for I am a saint of few words, and have my hands full of business tunight -in one word tell me what you want." “I am pewitched,” quoth Boss Boomptie.
“ The duyvel is in me, my house, my wife, my new-year cookies, and my children. What shall I do?"
“ When you count a dozen, yon must count thirteen," answered the wagon-driver, at the same time cracking his whip, and clattering up the chimney, more like a little duyvel than a little saint.
“ Der dapperhéed updragon !" muttered Boss Boomptie. “ When you count a dozen, yon must count dirteen! Twerndertigduysend destroopergender! I never heard of such counting. By Saint Johannes de Dooper, but Saint Nicholas is a great blockhead !"
Just as he uttered this blasphemy against the excellent Saint Nicholas, he saw through the pane of glass, in the door leading from the spare room to the shop, the little ugly old woman, with the sharp eyes, sharp nose, sharp chin, sharp voice, and leather spectacles, alighting from a broomstick at the street-door.
“ Dere is the duyvel's kint come again," quoth he, in one of his cross humours, which was aggravated by his getting just then a great box on the ear from the invisible hand. However, he went grumbling into the shop, for it was part of his religion never to.neglect a customer, let the occasion be what it might.
“I want a dozen new-year cookies,” screamed the old beauty, as usual, and as usual Boss Boomptie counted out twelve.
“I want another one,” screamed she still louder.
“ Ah hah!" thought Boss Boomptie, doubtless inspired by the jolly little caitiff, Saint Nicholas. « Ah hah! In opperhoofd en Bevelheffer—when you count twelf you must count dirteen.-Hah! hah! ho! ho ! ho!” And he counted out the thirteenth cookie like a brave fellow.
The old woman made him a low courtesy, and laughed till she might have shown her teeth, if she had any.
“ Friend Boomptie,” said she, in a voice exhibiting the perfection of a nicely modulated scream—" friend Boomptie, I love such generous little fellows as you, in my heart, I salute you,” and she advanced to kiss him. Boss Boomptie did not at all like the proposition ; but, doubtless, inspired by St. Nicholas, he submitted with indescribable grace.
At that moment, an explosion was heard inside the little glass pane, and the voice of Mrs. Boomptie crying out.
“ You false-hearted villain ! have I found out your tricks at last?"
6. De Philistyner Onweetende !" cried Boss Boomptie. “ She's come to her speech at last !"
“ The spell is broken !” screamed the old woman with the sharp eyes, nose, chin, and voice,“ The spell is broken, and henceforward a dozen is thirteen, and thirteen is a dozen ! There shall be thirteen new-year cookies to the dozen, as a type of the thirteen mighty states that are to arise out of the ruins of the governmeut of Faderland!”
Thereupon she took a new-year cake bearing the effigy of the blessed St. Nicholas, and caused Boss Boomptie to swear upon it, that for ever afterwards twelve should be thirteen and thirteen should be twelve. After which she mounted her broomstick and disappeared, just as the little old Datch clock struck twelve. From that time forward, the spell that hung over Knickerbocker Hall, was broken ; and ever since it has been illustrious for baking the most glorious new-year cookies in our country. Every thing became as before : the little 'prentice boys returned, mounted on the batch of bread, and their adventures, may, peradventure, be told some other time. Finally, from that day forward no baker of New-Amsterdam was ever bewitched at least by an ugly old woman, and a baker's dozen has always been counted as thirteen.
BY JOHN BOWRING, ESQ. LL.D.
Dewdrops upon the ground ;
Sea hath its gems below!
Pearls and corallines grow :
Heaven hath its gems above !
0, what spirits may rove,Gems of the soul-through scenes like these, Learning eternal mysteries !
was passed by the legislature, by which the discoverer of any practicable method of destroying them, so as to permit the cultivation of the sugar cane, as formerly, was entitled to twenty thousand pounds, to be paid from the public treasury of the island. Many were the candidates on this occasion, but very far were any of them from having any just claim; considerable sums of money were however granted, in consideration of the trouble and expense incurred in making the ex periments. The number of those ants were incredible. The roads have been seen covered with them for miles together; and so crowded were they in many places, that the prints of horses' feet would appear for a minute or two, until the spaces made by them were again filled up by the surrounding multitude of ants. All other species of ants, although numerous in their colonies, are nevertheless circumscribed and confined to a small spot in comparison with the vast spaces occupied by the sugar ants, we may say as
a mole hill is to a mountain ! Corrosive sublimate and arsenic, mixed with animal substance, were greedily devoured by them : myriads were indeed thus destroyed, and the more readily, as they were, by these applications, rendered so furious as to destroy each other! Yet it was found that these poisons could not be laid in sufficient quantities even to give the hundred thousandth part of them a taste.
The use of fire afforded a greater probability of success. When wood was burnt to the state of charcoal, without flame, and was then immediately taken from the fire, and laid in their way, they crowded to it in such astonishing numbers as soon to extinguish it, although by the destruction of thousands of them. Holes were therefore dug at proper distances apart, and and a fire made in each of them. Prodigious quantities perished in this way; for the places of those fires, when extinguished, appeared in the shape of mole-hills from the numbers of dead bodies of the ants heaped on them; nevertheless, the ants soon appeared again as numerous as ever.
This calamity, which resisted so long all the efforts of the planters, was at length remoyed by another ; which, however ruinous to the other islands in the WestIndies in other respects, was, to Grenada in particular, a very great blessing; namely the hurricane in 1780. without this, it is probable that the cultivation of the sugar-cave, in the most valuable parts of that island, must have in a great measure been thrown aside, at least for some time.
The devastations made by the various species of ants in this country are of great magnitude; but are nothing in comparison to the ravages made by those of warmer climates. I have seen large tracts of ground in the neighbourhood of London completely excavated by these insects, and particularly in Southgate wood; the whole of which is one vast colony of ants; their nests and subteraneous passages extending throughout the wood; the surface of the ground is so overrun with them, that you cannot stir a foot without treading on numbers.
In all the excursions the ants make, they have always some object in view; and they very seldom return to the nest either themselves bearing something, or carrying the news that something of use has been discovered, and in which joint assistance is necessary. If information is brought, for instance that a piece of sugar, or bread or any kind of fruit, has been discovered, even
OBSERVATIONS ON ANTS,
The injury done to the sugar plantations in the West Indies by the sugar-ant, whose size is little beyond that of the fiea, is really astonishing. It appears, from the West Indian journals, that this species of ant first made its appearance in Grenada, about seventy-eight years ago, on a sugar plantation at Petit Havre, a bay five or six miles from the town of St. George. From thence they contrived to extend themselves on all sides for several years, destroying in succession, every plantation between St. George and St. John's, a space of about twelve miles; and at the same time colonies of them began to be observed in other parts of the island. Al attempts of the planters to put a stop to the ravages of these insects having been found ineffectual, an act
in the highest story of a house, they range themselves many species are full an inch and a half long, as may in a line, and follow their leader to the spot; of this be seen in the cabinets at the British Museum. The the following is a remarkable instance, related by Dr. depredations of these are dreadful; sheep and other Franklin. Believing that these little creatures had large animals are frequenly attacked by them, and so some means of communicating their thoughts or desires expert are they in their operations, that in the course to one another, he tried several experiments with them, of a night the animals are completly dovoured, and all of which tended to confirin his opinion ; but one nothing left except their skeletons. M. Malouet, ia seemed more conclusive than the rest. He put a small his travels through the forests of Guina, saw, on a plain, carthen pot, containing some treacle, into a closet, into an ant's nest, from fifteen to twenty feet high, on a which a nuniber of ants got, devoured the treacle very basis of thirty or forty feet. The person who accomquietly. But, on observing this, he shook them out, panied him informed him they could not approach is and tied the pot with a thin string to a nail, which he without being devoured, the ants being numerous behad fastened into the ceiling ; so that it hung down by yond calculation, more than an inch in length, and it. A single ant, by chance, remained in the pot; this furnished with powerful jaws and stings. That when ant eat till it was satisfied; but when it wanted to get any new settlers, in clearing the country, met with these off it could not for some time find a way out.
nests, they were obliged to abandon the spot, unless about the bottom of the pot, but in vain; at last it they could muster a sufficient force to lay regular seige found, after many aitempts, the way to the ceiling, by to the enemy: this was done by digging a trench at a going along the string. After it was come there, it distance from the nest and all round it: this trench is ran to the wall, and from thence to the ground. It filled with dry wood, to the whole of which they set had scarcely been away half an hour, when a great fire at the same time, hy lighting it at different parts ; swarm of ants came out, got up to the ceiling, and crept while the entrenchments are blazing, the edifce is fired along the string to the pot, and began to eat again. at hy cannon, and the ants being thus dispersed in passThis they continued doing till the treacle was all ing through the flames perish. eaten; in the mean time, one swarm running down the It is a well own fact, that some species of these string, and the other up it.
large ants will enter the dwellings of inhabitants in We are told that a very grateful acid (the formic such numbers, as to be capable of devouring the acid) is to be obtained from ants by distillation ; and whole of the inmates : when a circumstance of that we find instances recorded of persons being fond of eat- kind takes place, the dwelling is deserted, and left to ing them alive. As Mr Consett was walking with a the mercy of the invaders, and the proprietors are young gentleman in a wood near Gottenburgh, in obliged to form a temporary dwelling in a distant part. Sweden, he observed him sit down on an ant-hill, and, When the visitation ants have devoured every thing with a great degree of pleasure devour these insects, eatable within the house, they quit it, and the family first nipping off their heads and wings. Their flavonr, returns. Should the ants visit them in the night, they according to his account, was an acid, somewhat re- are obliged to quit, without having time to put on any sembling, though much more agreeable than that of a
covering. 1 emon. The late Mr. Tuther, a celebrated optician in Capt. Adams, in his remarks on the coast of Guinea, Holborn, assured that he had frequently eaten them in mentions that a cow was attacked by these insects, and order to allay his thirst when in the woods. There is a the whole carcase stripped to the bone in a single night. highly interesting work on the habits of the ants, by He also relates, that Mr Absons, the governor of the Huber, in which he describes their wars, buildings or English fort at Gewhi, in Dahony, was reduced to dearchitecture, their affection towards their companions ; bility by fever, so as to be incapable of calling for help, and, in fact, the general economy of these insects, when he was attacked by the ants while in bed, and which he narrates very fully, is really wonderful, par- which would have devoured him before morning ; but ticularly those of some species in slave making, which very fortunately, one of his domestics awoke, and, by is carried on to a great extent in the following manner. great exertions, saved him from their depredations. The war ants march out in large armies, and give battle The vast size of the nests constructed by these insects to a neighbouring city, composed of the working ants; in various parts of the globe is astonishing. Captain and having made a breach in the walls, rush in and Stedman has seen ant-hils, in Surinam, six feet high, carry off the egs and larva to their own nest, which they aud at least one hundred feet in circumference. The watch, nourish, and rear to maturity with the same sting from these ants caused a whole company of his care as they take of their own off their own offspring ; soldiers to start and jump about as if scalded with a id thus they become, in process of time, inmates in the boiling water, and the pain caused by their bite was same society with those who had originally kidnapped equally intolerable ! them, and towards whom, had they been brought up at But the most surprising of these insects are the ter. home, they would have cherished an instinctive and in- mites or white ants, whose history is given by Mr. veterate hatred. The office of these slaves is to take Smeatham, in a work published by him, and read at a care of the city when the war ants go ont again on their meeting of the Royal Society, February 15, 1781. It marauding adventures, to get a fresh supply of eggs appears their habitations are of an amasing magnitude ; and larva for future slaves ; and also to repair and for- that they frequently exceed twelve feet in height, and tify the city, and in times of peace to wait on their are so firmly cemented, as to bear the pressure of sevemasters, who do not work, but live as gentlemen sol- ral men at the same time. It often happens that, ders.
whilst a herd of wild cattle are quietly grazing below, We have reason to be thankful for the limited size of one of their body is stationed on them as a centinel, to these insects in our own country. In the warmer cli- give timely notice of approaching danger. The termates they are of a gigantic size compared with ours ; mites begin constructing their habitations by raising,