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Phenomenon respecting snails. In a fine summer evening was discovered a large eluster of the common black snail, suspended froin the branch of a tree, which was about six feet from the ground, by a strong shining transparentlike thread, of the size of a common packthread. At the time they were observed, this thread was fully three feet in length; the snails were entwined in one another ; and, being then nearly dark, the precise number of them could not be ascertained; but it seemed there might be about five or six that were evidently working at the time, and we could see protruded from the under part of the cluster, a white substance, brighter than the thread above, which gradually lengthen ed. After standing for some time, and observing this operation, as well as the little light we had would permit, we went away for some time; and, on our return, it was evident the thread had been lengthened, as they were still in the same position, but nearer the ground. As it was now beginning to grow late, we left them; but in the morning no traces of the thread could be perceived. It was a large tree, with cavities in the trunk; and it seemed to me that the snails had taken that method of letting themselves down to the ground in the evening, that they might feed there through the night, and that they ascended the tree in the morning, to hide themselves through the day in their lurking holes ; but whether they re-ascended by their thread, and drew it up with them; or whether they crawled up the tree without it, I know not. There were evident trạces, though slight, of snails upon the trunk of the tree. It is evident that snails can ascend upon a tree ; but, perhaps, they have difficulty in descending. I never saw a snail in the act of descending, that I can recollect, though this may only have eluded remark.
Our knowledge of reptiles, and insects, is yet but inconsiderable; and, though these objects appear trifling to the bulk of mankind, yet many are the benefits that might be derived to man from a perfect acquaintance with this subject. The larvæ of insects afford a delicious repast to many animals; and, by what Dr Anderson states of the white lac in Bengal, (Bee vol. ix. p. 4, &c.) it would seem that some of these might be employed as food for man. At any rate, an exact knowledge of the insects that produce the eggs of various reptiles, which are highly destructive to man of the food they require, the times of nidification,--the duration of life in their different states, the circumstances that are favourable or noxious to them in their different stages, the animals which seek them for food, &c. might be of the utmost utility; as, by that knowledge, man might not only be able to free himself from the most noxious kinds; but even occasionally to convert these to profit, by employing them as food for other animals, of whose labours he could avail himself. This is therefore a wide field for useful investigation, which ambitious youth will do well to cultivate.
LIFE, A SONG.
For the Bee.
No more let us under it groan ;
The world, as it pleases, may frown,
The cautions of that sullen sot,
Incessantly ringle the ear, With, “O man! consider thy lot,
A title to hope and to fear."
We allow all this may be right,
Yet experience, who guides me along, Is fam’d for true judgement, and sight,
Besides an unprejudic’d tongue.
Experience o'er Care must prevail,
Whose maxims the weightiest we find; Though Care be for heaping his scale
With scruples far lighter than wind
The courtier affects the gay place,
The lover his pain would remove; The one is preferr'd by his grace,
The other succeeds in his love.
The courtier--what now? has resign'd;
(Mere whispers those wretches disgrace) And Chloe discovers her mind.
Was not of a par with her face.
Dull mortals, why seek ye for bliss ?
'Tis what ne'er will fall to your lot, Though the bottle, the purse, and the miss,
Pretend they the secret have got.
Since the game that we play is in jest,
At the cards no more anxious, I'll peepi For should trumps hold me out to the last;
Just nothing's the profit I reap.
THE SECRET BLABBED.
For the Bee.
For the Bee.
Of patient Job did speak;
His cask had sprung a leak.
Enrag'd, his wife did thus advisen
Job for a pattern chuse;
A tub of ale to lose.
For tbe Bee.
The pedant old surveys;
His stick across him lays.
The student felt his noddle bleed,
And mumbling, answer'd thus; My epigram is bad indeed,
But your acrostitk's worse.
NOTICES OF IMPROVEMENTS NOW GOING ON IN INDIA,
Continued from p. 192.
From Alexander Macleod esg. to Dr James Anderson.
I ACCEPT with great pleasure the commission
have favoured me with, to enquire respecting the bread fruit tree. The inclosed extract of a letter to Dr Mein will fhew you what steps I have taken to promote the inquiry. I shall also write to Coimbatore, on the subject, as it is said that the bread fruit tree grows in that district; but I did not see it in any part which I passed through in August last, and I went through very fine, and highly cultivated spots, near the hills, and returned through the center of the district. I am, &c. Dindigul, Feb. 5. 1792.
I have been favoured with a letter from Dr Anderson, in which he desires me to inform him if the bread fruit tree is to be found in or near this district. His letter is accompanied by copies of the two letters you wrote to him respecting the bread fruit tree near Tritchinopoly; but the description of it in your letters, though perfectly clear to me, will not I fear be sufficiently so for the natives, whom I Thall employ in searching for it.
" I therefore take the liberty of requesting that you will employ some person to make a coloured drawing of its fruit, blossom, and leaf, of the natural size, and forward it to me by the tappal, together with a measurement of the general height of the tree, by the help of which I shall probably be able to give Dr Anderson a satisfactory answer to his inquiries.'
From Dr James Anderson to Alex. Macleod esq. Dear Sir, I am truly sensible of your ready attention to my request of searching for the bread fruit tree, as the mode you have adopted will readily discover it.