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About twelve years ago, a woman in Rossshire lived several years, without tasting any other kind of food, but pure water alone. The fact was thenticated in the most undeniable manner; and Sir John Lockhart Rofs assured me, that he visited her after the had been on that regimen several years, and found her complexion fresh and clear, her breasts plump, and her body far from being in that emaciated state he expected.
7th, I have often thought it was a matter of great difficulty to account for the manner in which fifhes in the sea
were sustained. The number of these is very great; probably much greater, -taking into the : account the whole depth of it, than the same extent of surface on land; yet few are the vegetables produced in the bottom of the sea ; and of these few, a very small portion of them are consumed by the animals which inhabit the ocean. We know, in short, not perhaps a dozen of animals that inhabit the ocean which feed upon vegetables of any sort. On what then do fishes live? the answer is ready ; on other filhes. And true it is, that most kinds of fifhes devour those that are smaller than themselves. But still the difficulty recurs. If large fish devour smaller, what do these smaller ones, down to the very smallest, live upon ! They must come at last to derive their nutriment either from vegetable or mineral substances. But I have already said, that the vegetable substances produced in the sea are few ; and these few are not consumed by animals, in a great degree. It would seem therefore undeniable, that some of the marine ani. inals must derive their sustenance from a sinilar source with that of vegetables.
8th, This doctrine seems to be peculiarly applicable to the herring. Herrings are known to come in shoals, and in so close and compact a body, as sometimes, for miles together, to admit of being lifted out of the water in buckets, nearly full of fish. The fish, when in this situation, are usually fat, and in the highest state of perfection ; but where those little fishes find food in such abundance as to keep them in such high health, if they do not, like the stalks of corn, draw sustenance from the element in which they live, it is impossible to conceive. They do not devour other fishes, as is common among the inhabitants of the water ; for all fishermen agree in saying that nothing is ever found in the stomach of a healthy herring, except a small quantity of slimy matter, more resembling mineral than animal sub. stances. This then seems to be one clear evidence of fila deriving their food entirely from water, as plants do on shore. Myriads of other sorts of fish, of smala ler size, may probably derive their food from the same source, which, in their turn, like vegetables, furnish subsistence to animals of a larger size.
From all these considerations, I think there is reason to believe, that there may be some animals, which, like vegetables, derive the whole of their subsistence from the mineral kindom: that the greatest part of them draw the principal part of their suba sistence from the vegetable and animal kingdoms; but that there are, perhaps, none which do not derive VOL. xi.
a part of their sustenance from the mineral kingdom.
Experiments, however, are here wanting to develope facts so fully as to remove all kind of doubt on this subject.
ON SILK WORMS.
LETTER FROM MISS HENRIETTA RHODES.
To the Editor of the Bee. Your mind seems to possess such a degree of liberality, as well as energy, that I make little doubt but that you have ascribed my silence to its right cause, and will readily extend that pardon to me, which I must believe I deserved before I dared so. licit it. To write a letter to you, without having any thing material to communicate, would have been an infringement upon that time, which is so valu. able to yourself and others; I, therefore, determined to wait until I received an account of the eventual success of a further experiment, which I had intreated a friend to make upon the lettuce, as food for the silk worm. As for myself, the removal to my new habitation occupied so much of my time and attention, that I was obliged to abandon the design of rearing any this summer. The friend I speak of is miss Croft of York, who very obligingly kept a few silk worms entirely upon lettuce leaves. She assured me they were equally as strong and healthy as any ihe had seen ; and that, when, by way of trial, she has dropped a mulberry leaf among the lettuces, they tasted of the former, but soon returned to their usual food. The silk collected from these, she sent to the Adelphi society in London.
I must now tell you, that she fitted up a small room with a stove, in which she constantly kept fire. I am sorry to add the disappointment which attended her manufactory, because her persevering ingenuity merited the highest success; but I imagine it arose from the extraordinary weather we have had ; for the rain has been so incessant that we have numbered but few dry days this summer.
She had so many silk worms that she found it impofsible to de., vise means to dry the mulberry leaves thoroughly, before they were given to them; and in consequence of their living perpetually upon damp food, they had an epidemic sicknefs, and many thousands of them died. I account for her lofs in this way, because I have always understood that a wet summer in Italy is productive of exactly the same effects. It could not be owing to cold, because her room was kept properly heated. What general Mordaunt has done with his manufactory, I have not yet heard ; but I must be a petitioner to him soon for eggs ; and if I gain any information from him, which I think you will like to know, I will immediately acquaint you with it.
You have treated the subject with so much judgement, that I am more than ever convinced of its practicability; but I must differ from you in the mode of constructing your bot bouse, from which light, I should think, ought not to be excluded. Ought we not to study the situation in which that creature is placed
by providence, whose culture we are solicitous. about? The silk worm seeks no shelter, and is a native of that climate where there is, in fact, hardly any night. If I am mistaken in this idea, I have al- . ways been so strongly prejudiced by it, that I have ever fancied those silk worms grew less rapidly that were farthest removed from the windows, and have therefore constantly kept moving the pans. I rather. think, too, that the silk worm owns no night; for I never could perceive that it slept in its worm state, un, lefs that inertness which is discoverable when it. parts with its skin, be called sleep. Did you ever remark the number of eyes the silk worm has ? There appears to ine to be many clusters of them Perhaps they may have been given it to enable it to endure the perpetual day, which may be necessary to the completion of its labour! If I could choose a situation for them, it should certainly be a southerly one.
Your idea of a moveable canvas frame, to be placed over the lettuce beds, is excellent, and I shall adopt it next year; the lettuces are, however, even in a dry season, full of moisture, especially those that have cabbaged, which are the sweetest and best.
from the large worm which Sir William Jones has discovered, I shall greatly thank you for a few of them; and certainly those might be sent to us at any time; for surely it would not be difficult to find a person on board of a fhip who would take care of a dozen ; and as many lettuces, planted in a little wooden box, might be kept growing against the time of their hatching
If ever you