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provements might be made by each in his proper des partment. When a man is engaged, however eagerly, in a particular pursuit, ideas will sometimes dart into his mind, which though but slightly related to the present subject, may be striking in themselves, and may lead to important discoveries. Of these no immediate use can be made, because a wise man will never interrupt a regular train of thought in order to trace detached ideas through all their possible consequences. They must therefore be thrown aside till a time of more leisure, and if they be not committed to a safer repository than the retentive memory, they are not likely to be found when they shall be next: wanted.
Thus evident is the advantage which would result to every individual from the practice of committing such thoughts to writing ; but instead of recommending the general use of common place books, which when properly kept are indeed valuable companions, I could. wish that THE BEE were occasionally employed for this purpose. The man of science, the farmer, the marium facturer, or'the mechanic, who fhould send to your miscellany such plausible hints as at the time of their occurring to him he was not at leisure to pursue, might afterwards, hy means of your accurate indexes, find them as easily as if they had been reposited in his own manuscript. He would thus fully obey the professor's excellent directions for his own improvement, and would at the same time contribute to the improvements of others. By making his common place book public, he would render it more useful even to himself, than it could be if exposed to no eye but his own. To you, Sir, I need not say how
apt we all are to over-rate the importance of such hints as occur to ourselves, and in consequence to waste our time in barren pursuits. By adopting the method which I have ventured to recommend, this mis. chief would be in a great measure prevented, as the real value of our hints would be ascertained by judges less partial than the fond discoverers. I am, &c.
To the Editor of the Bee. HAVING in a former letter endeavoured to express my admiration of the good taste, hardibood, and critical abilities of your Old Correspondents, permit me now to say a few words to the Young Observer. He talks very plausibly, and, I doubt not, his observa.. tions are in general very just. But I am of opinion he has not paid due attention to the bees (see vol. vi. page 253, &c.) I would like to know how he learned that the bees fall into a torpid state in winter. From what he says of the hedge hog, &c. it appears he allows animals in a torpid state take no food. Bats and swallows, when found in a torpid state, are m-tionless and apparently without life. In a house its my neighbourhood, a bat, in its torpid state, in January fell down among fome clothes, and being taken ups and carefully laid up among some tow in a conveni. ent place, it continued in its torpid state, and without food near three months, and revived some time in April, and was then set at liberty. But the bees; I apprehend, are never in a torpid state in this sense. They cannot bear the winter's cold without a cover, and therefore are crowded together in their hives, and have little room to dance and play; but they hum I suppose, except in the night when they are asleep, and feed in the winter upon the provision stored up by their industry in summer. A hive, it is supposed, cannot be kept safely through winter, that does not weigh upwards of thirty-two pounds, of which the hive (scape) weighs but six pounds; and besides consuming this provision, they must be fed in the spring if the severe weather continues long. It is a common saying, in Forfarshire, and perhaps in other places, that the bees sing on Christmas morning; this, however, is probably no more than they do every morning. On last Christmas morning. I desired come to listen to the song
* The Editor is much obliged to the ingenious author for the above hints, which perfecily coincide with his own ideas. Should he find that his correspondents take the hint, he will appropriate a part of the Bee to that purpose, under the title of the miscellaneous repository, and take care to specify the particulars in the index as distinctly as possible. Still farther to forward this object, should he find it meet with the approbation of the public, he will publish at the end of every three years, a connected index of the preceding eigheen volumes, to be distribu:ed gratis to the purchasers of these volumes. This will tend to correct one of the greatest defects of a common place book, the dificulty of Anding a particular article when it is wanted,
of the bees ; and though there was a severe storm, they told they heard them hum very distinctly. To answer the Young Observer's queries concerning bees, therefore, would, I think, be building on the baseless fabric of a vision*.
YACKSTROTTE. * I should suspect that the doubt will be, whether the opinion of the Young Observer or 'Mr Yackstrotte, be the greatest vision. Many things ihat have been long generally admitted as facts, I know have been found to be false ;—perhaps the sleep of the bees, during cold weather in win
To the Editor of the Beč. IN your
Bee for 25th July last, I have read an answer to my essays by Misobrontes. I do not intend to give him a reply at this time, which does not arise from any dread of your correspondent, any disrespect for your readers, or any want of personal gratitude to yourself, for your long and patient insertion of
my trifles,-another reason is satisfactory. For some time past I have been engaged in collecting, enlarging, and reprinting some of these letters, with many additions, and several other essays which had never appeared before, and the whole will be advertised in a few days, in a large pamphlet, intituled, The political progress of Britain. Of this you shall have a copy, that if you judge any passages worth an extract, they may at your conveniency be taken.
For the literary property of the work is of no consequence to me, providing that I can disseminate my ideas, and convince my countrymen of the madness and stupidity of the war system. In this performance your friend will see so many additional, and, as I believe, unanswerable arguments, as may perhaps stagger him.
'I am sorry to see that Misobrontes has inadvertently quoted two or three passages as mine which are ter, may be one of these. But more accurate experiments than this adduced by: our correspondent, will be required to overturn this general opiaion. I will be glad to have this matter more fully elucidated by any of my readeis who have had, or who may have, opportunities of making experiments on this interesting subject. Perhaps those in Russia, and other northern continental countries, who find more profit in rearing bees than we do, will be able to ascertain this question in a more satisfactory man. Aer than can be done in Britain. From the manner in which Yackstrotte writes, it is very evident he is not deeply versant in the management of bees.
the fruits of his own inaccuracy. I employ this expression because I am unwilling, and unauthorised to charge him with any settled intention to deceive.
In my second letter, when speaking of James I. Į have said, “ had it been possible that the life of such “ a prince, and the tranquillity of this country, could * have been prolonged to the present day, it is be
yond the power of British vanity to conceive the “ accumulated progress of British opulence.” When this sentence is to be quoted by Misobrontes, he first mangles and interlines it, and then perverts it to a different meaning. I shall not take up your time by quoting him, as the paper is already in the hands of your readers.
Again, he charges me with saying that lord Chatham was the worst minister that ever any
nation was cursed with.” I never said or thought any such thing; to quote falsely is perhaps the worst infirmity that any author was ever cursed with. I said, and I adhere to my assertion, that“ with a more des structive minister, no nation was ever cursed.;" that is to say, that no minister.ever spent public money faster. But to call him the most prodigal of statesmen, or the worst of ministers, was a piece of folly reserved for Misobrontes.
Again, he accuses me with terming “Walpole the 66 best of ministers.” He is himself the first
person that ever said so. Laurencekirk,
TIMOTHY THUNDERPROOF *. Sept. 3. 1792.
* The Editor will admit a reply from Misobrontes if he desires it, if Short and written with moderation ; and here he hopes the altercation will end.