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something else, and do not come out until the rain is over. The ants of the principal nest found out a wonderful expedient to keep out the rain : there was a small piece of a flat slate, which they laid over the hole of their nest in the day-time, when they foresaw it would rain, and almost every night. Above fifty of those little animals, especially the strongest, surrounded that piece of slate, and drew it equally in a wonderful order. They removed it in the morning ; and nothing could be more curious than to see those little animals about such a work. They had made the ground uneven about their nest, insomuch that the slate did not lie flat upon it, but left a free passage underneath. The ants of the two other nests did not so well succeed in keeping out the rain: they laid over their holes several pieces of old and dry plaster, one upon the other; but they were still troubled with the rain, and the next day they took a world of pains to repair the damage. IIence it is, that those insects are so frequently to be found under tiles, where they settle themselves to avoid the rain. Their nests are at all times covered with those tiles, without any encumbrance, and they lay out their corn and their dry earth in the sun about the tiles, as one may see every day. I took care to cover the two ants' nests that were troubled with the rain. As for the capital nest, there was no need of exercising my charity towards it. “M. de la Loubere says, in his relation of Siam, that in a certain part of that kingdom, which lies open to great inundations, all the ants make their settlements upon trees. No ants' nests are to be seen any where else. I need not insert here what that author says about those insects: you may see his relation. “Here follows a curious experiment, which I made upon the same ground, where I had three ants' nests. I undertook to make a fourth, and went about it in the following manner. In a corner of a kind of a terrace, at a considerable distance from the box, I found a hole swarming with ants, much larger than all those I had already seen; but they were not so well provided with corn, nor under so good a government. I made a hole in the box like that of an ant's nest, and laid, as it were, the foundations of a new city. Afterwards I got as many ants as I could out of the nest in the terrace, and put them into a bottle, to give them a new habitation in my box; and because I was afraid they would return to the terrace, I destroyed their old nest, pouring boiling water into the hole, to kill those ants that remained in it. In the next place, I filled the new hole with the ants that were in the bottle; but none of them would stay in it.— They went away in less than two hours; which made me believe that it was impossible to make a fourth settlement in my box. ‘Two or three days after, going accidentally over the terrace, I was much surprised to see the ants' nests which I had destroyed, very artfully repaired. I resolved then to destroy it entirely, and to settle those ants in my box. To succeed in my design, I put some gunpowder and brimstone into their hole, and sprung a mine, whereby the whole nest was overthrown; and then I carried as many ants as I could get,
into the place which I designed for them. It happened to be a very rainy day, and it rained all night; and therefore they remained in the new hole all that time. In the morning when the rain was over, most of them went away to repair their old habitation; but finding it impracticable by reason of the smell of the powder and brimstone, which kills them, they came back again, and settled in the place I had appointed for them. They quickly grew acquainted with their neighbours, and received from them all manner of assistance out of their holes. As for the inside of their nest, none but themselves were concerned in it, according to the inviolable laws established among those animals. “An ant never goes into any other nest but her own; and if she should venture to do it, she would be turned out, and severely punished. I have often taken an ant out of one nest, to put her into another; but she quickly came out, being war:nly pursued by two or three other ants. I tried the same experiment several times with the same ant; but at last the other ants grew impatient, and tore her to pieces. I have often frighted some ants with my fingers, and pursued them as far as another hole, stopping all the passages to prevent their going to their own nest. It was very natural for them to fly into the next hole. Many a man would not be so cautious, and would throw himself out of the windows, or into a well, if he were pursued by assassins. But the ants I am speaking of avoided going into any other hole but their own, and rather tried all other ways of making their escape. They never fied into another nest, but at the last extremity; and sometimes chose rather to be taken, as I have often experienced. It is therefore an inviolable custom among those insects, not to go into any other hole but their own. They do not exercise hospitality; but they are very ready to help one another out of their holes. They put down their loads at the entrance of a neighbouring nest; and those that live in it carry them in. “They keep up a sort of trade among themselves; and it is not true that those insects are not for lending: I know the contrary. They lend their corn; they make exchanges; they are always ready to serve one another; and I can assure you, that more time and patience would have enabled me to observe a thousand things more curious and wonderful than what I have mentioned. For instance, how they lend and recover their loans; whether it be in the same quantity, or with usury; whether they pay the strangers that work for them, &c. I do not think it impossible to examine at those things: and it would be a great curiosity to know by what maxims they govern themselves. Perhaps such a knowledge might be of some use to us. “They are never attacked by any enemies in a body, as it is reported of bees. Their only fear proceeds from birds, which sometimes eat their corn when they lay it out in the sun; but they keep it under ground when they are afraid of thieves. It is said that some birds cat them ; but I never saw any instance of it. They are also infested by small worms; but they turn them out and kill them. I observed that they punish those ants which probably had been
wanting to their duty; nay, sometimes they killed them; which they did in the following manner: Three or four ants fell upon one, and pulled her several ways, until she was torn in pieces. Generally speaking, they live very quietly; from whence I infer that they have a very severe discipline among themselves, to keep so good an order; or that they are great lovers of peace if they have no occasion for any discipline. “Was there ever a greater union in any commonwealth 2 Every thing is common among them; which is not to be seen any where else. Bees, of which we are told so many wonderful things, have each of them a hole in their hives; their honey is their own; every bec minds her own concerns. The same may be said of all other animals. They frequently fight, to deprive one another of their portion. It is not so with ants: they have nothing of their own; a grain of corn which an ant carries home, is deposited in a common stock. It is not designed for her own use, but for the whole community; there is no distinction between a private and a common interest. An ant never works for herself, but for the society. - “Whatever misfortune happens to them, their care and industry find out a remedy for it; nothing discourages them. If you destroy their nests, they will be repaired in two days. Any body may easily see how difficult it is to drive them out of their habitations, without destroying the inhabitants; for as long as there are any left, they will maintain their ground. ‘I had almost forgot to tell you, sir, that mer. cury has hitherto proved a mortal poison for them; and that it is the most effectual way of destroying those insects. I can do something for them in this case: perhaps you will hear in a little time that I have reconciled them to mer. cury.' - [[3
These are the realms of unrelenting fate:
Dryden. I was yesterday pursuing the hint which I mentioned in my last paper, and comparing together the industry of man with that of other creatures; in which I could not but observe, that notwithstanding we are obliged by duty to keep ourselves in constant employ, after the same manner as inferior animals are prompted to it by instinct, we fall very short of them in this particular. We are here the more inexcusable, because there is a greater variety of busi. ness to which we may apply ourselves. Reason opens to us a large field of affairs, which other creatures are not capable of Beasts of prey, and I believe of all other kinds, in their natural
state of being, divide their time between action and rest. They are always at work, or asleep. In short their waking hours are wholly taken up in seeking after their food, or in consuming it. The human species only, to the great re. proach of our natures, are filled with complaints, that “the day hangs heavy on them,” that “they do not know what to do with themselves," that ‘they are at a loss how to pass away their time,' with many of the like shameful murmurs, which we often find in the mouths of those who are styled ‘reasonable beings.” How monstrous are such expressions among creatures who have the labours of the mind, as well as those of the body, to furnish them with proper employments: Who, besides the business of their proper callings and professions, can apply themselves to the duties of religion, to meditation, to the read. ing of useful books, to discourse ! In a word, who may exercise themselves in the unbounded pursuits of knowledge and virtue, and every hour of their lives make themselves wiser or better than they were before : After having been taken up for some time in this course of thought, I diverted myself with a book, according to my usual custom, in order to unbend my mind before I went to sleep. The book I made use of on this occasion was Lucian, where I amused my thoughts for about an hour among the dialogues of the dead, which in all probability produced the following dream. I was conveyed, methought, into the entrance of the infernal regions, where I saw Rhadamanthus, one of the judges of the dead, seated in his tribunal. On his left hand stood the keeper of Erebus, on his right the keeper of Elysium. I was told he sat upon women that day, there being several of the sex lately arrived who had not yet their mansions assigned them. I was surprised to hear him ask every one of them the same question, namely, ‘What they had been doing?” Upon this question being proposed to the whole assembly, they stared one upon another, as not knowing what to answer. He then interrogated each of them separately. “Madam,' says he to the first of them, ‘you have been upon the earth about fifty years: what have you been doing there all this while ” * Doing !” says she, ‘really I do not know what I have been doing : I desire I may have time given me to recollect.” After about half an hour's pause she told him, that she had been playing at crimp; upon which Rhadamanthus beckoned to the keeper on his left hand, to take her into custody. “And you, madam,' says the judge, ‘that look with such a soft and languishing air; I think you set out for this place in your nine-and-twentieth year; what have you been doing all this while !” “I had a great deal of business on my hands,’ says she, “being taken up the first twelve years of my life, in dressing a jointed baby, and all the remaining part of it in reading plays and romances.’ “Very well,’ says he, “you have employed your time to good purpose. Away with her " The next was a plain country-woman. “Well, mistress,’ says Rhadamanthus, ‘and what have you been doing " ' An't please your worship, says she, “I did not live quite forty years; and in that time brought my husband seven daughters, made him nine thousand cheeses, and left my eldest girl with him, to look after his house in my absence, and who, I may venture to say, is as pretty a housewife as any in the country." Rhadamanthus smiled at the simplicity of the good woman, and ordered the keeper of Elysium to take her into his care. “And you, fair lady,' says he, “what have you been doing these five-andthirty years ” “I have been doing no hurt, I as. sure you, sir,’ said she. ‘That is well,” said he: “but what good have you been doing?' The lady was in great confusion at this question, and not knowing what to answer, the two keepers leaped out to seize her at the same time; the one took her by the hand to convey her to Elysium, the other caught hold of her to carry her away to
Srebus. But Rhadamanthus observing an ingenuous modesty in her countenance and behaviour, bid them both let her loose, and set her aside for a re-examination when he was more at leisure. An old woman, of a proud and sour look, presented herself next at the bar, and be. ing asked, what she had been doing “Truly,’ says she, “I lived three-score and ten years in a very wicked world, and was so angry at the behaviour of a parcel of young flirts, that I passed most of my last years in condemning the follies of the times; I was every day blaming the silly conduct of people about me, in order to deter those I conversed with, from falling into the like errors and miscarriages.’ “Very well,' says Rhadamanthus, “but did you keep the same watchful eye over your own actions?" “Why, truly, says she, “I was so taken up with publishing the faults of others, that I had no time to consider my own.’ ‘Madam,' says Rhadamanthus, ‘be pleased to file off to the left, and make room for the venerable matron that stands behind you.' 'Old gentlewoman,’ says he, “I think you are four-score. You have heard the question, What have you been doing so long in the world !” “Ah, sir,’ says she, “I have been doing what I should not have done, but I had made a firm resolution to have changed my life, if I had not been snatched off by an untimely end.’ ‘Madam,' says he, “you will please to fol. low your leader;' and spying another of the same age, interrogated her in the same form. To which the matron replied, ‘I have been the wife of a husband who was as dear to me in his old age as in his youth. I have been a mother, and very happy in my children, whom I endeavoured to bring up in every thing that is good. My eldest son is blest by the poor, and beloved by every one that knows him. I lived within my own family, and left it much more wealthy than I found it.' Rhadamanthus, who knew the value of the old lady, smiled upon her in such a manner, that the keeper of Elysium, who knew his office, reached out his hand to her. He no sooner touched her but her wrinkles vanished, her eyes sparkled, her cheeks glowed with blushes, and she appeared in full bloom and beauty. A young woman observing that this officer, who conducted the happy to Elysium, was so great a beautifier, longed to be in his hands; so that pressing through the crowd, she was the next that appeared at the bar; and being asked what she had been doing the fiveand-twenty years that she had passed in the
world,' " I have endeavoured,’ says she, “ever since I came to years of discretion, to make myself lovely, and gain admirers. In order to it, I passed my time in bottling up May-dew, inventing white-washes, mixing colours, cutting out patches, consulting my glass, suiting my complexion, tearing off my tucker, sinking my stays Rhadamanthus, without hearing her out, gave the sign to take her off. Upon the approach of the keeper of Erebus her colour faded, her face was puckered up with wrinkles, and her whole person lost in deformity. I was then surprised with a distant sound of a whole troop of females that came forward, laughing, singing, and dancing. I was very desirous to know the reception they would meet with, and withal was very apprehensive that Rhadamanthus would spoil their mirth; but at their nearer approach the noise grew so very great that it awakened me. I lay some time, reflecting in myself on the oddness of this dream, and could not forbear asking my own heart, what I was doing I answered myself, that I was writing Guardians. If my readers make as good a use of this work as I design they should, I hope it will never be imputed to me as a work that is vain and unprofitable. I shall conclude this paper with recommending to them the same short self-examination. If every one of them frequently lays his hand upon his heart, and considers what he is doing, it will check him in all the idle, or what is worse, the vicious moments of life; lift up his mind when it is running on in a series of indifferent actions, and encourage him when he is engaged in those which are virtuous and landable. In a word, it will very much alleviate that guilt which the best of men have reason to acknowledge in their daily confessions, of leaving undone those things which they ought to have done, and of doing those things which they ought not to have done.’ |l jo
No. 159.] Saturday, September 12, 1713.
Prosens vel imo tollere de gradu
Whose force is strong, and quick to raise
The lowest to the highest place;
And turn proud triumphs to a funeral. Creech.
‘SIR,-Having read over your paper of Tuesday last, in which you recommend the pursuits of wisdom and knowledge to those of the fair sex, who have much time lying upon their hands, and among other motives make use of this, that several women, thus accomplished, have raised themselves by it to considerable posts of honour and fortune: I shall beg leave to give you an instance of this kind, which many now living can testify the truth of, and which I can assure you is matter of fact.
‘About twelve years ago, I was familiarly acquainted with a gentleman who was in a post that brought him a yearly revenue, sufficient to live very handsomely upon. He had a wife, and no child but a daughter, whom he bred up, as I thought, too high for one that could expect no other fortune than such a one as her father could raise out of the income of his place; which, as they managed, it was scarce sufficient for their ordinary expenses. Miss Betty had always the best sort of clothes, and was hardly allowed to keep company but with those above her rank; so that it was no wonder she grew proud and haughty towards those she looked upon as her inferiors. There lived by them a barber who had a daughter about Miss's age, that could speak French, had read several books at her leisure hours, and was a perfect mistress of her needle, and in all kinds of female manufacture. She was at the same time a pretty, modest, witty girl. She was hired to come to Miss an hour or two every day, to talk French with her, and teach her to work; but Miss always treated her with great contempt; and when Molly gave her any advice, rejected it with scorn. ‘About the same time several young fellows made their addresses to Miss Betty, who had indeed a great deal of wit and beauty, had thcy not been infected with so much vanity and self. conceit. Among the rest was a plain sober young man, who loved her almost to distraction. His passion was the common talk of the neighbourhood, who used to be often discoursing of Mr. T 's angel, for that was the name he always gave her in ordinary conversation. As his circumstances were very indifferent, he be. ing a younger brother, Mrs. Betty rejected him with disdain. Insomuch, that the young man, as is usual among those who are crosscd in love, put himself aboard the fleet, with a resolution to seek his fortune, and forget his mistress. This was very happy for him, for in a very few years, being concerned in several captures, he brought home with him an estate of about twelve thousand pounds. “Meanwhile days and years went on, Miss lived high, and learnt but little, most of her time being employed in reading plays and practising to dance, in which she arrived at great perfection. When of a sudden, at a change of ministry, her father lost his place, and was forced to leave London, where he could no longer live upon the foot he had formerly done. Not many years after, I was told the poor gentleman was dead, and had left his widow and daughter in a very desolate condition, but I could not learn where to find them, though I made what inquiry I could; and I must own I immediately suspected their pride would not suffer them to be seen or relieved by any of their former acquaintance. I had left inquiring after them for some years, when I happened, not long ago, as I was asking at a house for a gentleman I had some business with, to be led into a parlour by a handsome young woman, who I presently fancied was that very daughter I had so long sought in vain. My suspicion increased, when I observed her to blush at the sight of me, and to avoid, as much as possible, looking upon, or speaking to me: “Madam,” said I, “are not you Mrs. such-a-one 7" At which words the tears ran down her cheeks, and she would fain have retired without giving
me an answer; but I stopped her, and being to wait a while for the gentleman I was to speak to, I resolved not to lose this opportunity of satisfying my curiosity. I could not well discern by her dress, which was genteel though not fine, whether she was the mistress of the house, or only a servant; but supposing her to be the first, “I am glad, madam,” said I, “after having long inquired after you, to have so happily met with you, and to find you mistress of so fine a place.” These words were like to have spoiled all, and threw her into such a disorder, that it was some time before she could recover herself; but as soon as she was able to speak, “Sir," said she, “you are mistaken; I am but a servant.” Her voice fell in these last words, and she burst again into tears. I was sorry to have occasioned in her so much grief and confusion, and said what I could to comfort her. “Alas, sir,” said she, “my condition is much better than I deserve, I have the kindest and best of women for my mistress. She is wife to the gentleman you come to speak withal. You know her very well, and have often seen her with me.” To make my story short, I found that my late friend's daughter was now a servant to the bar. ber's daughter, whom she had formerly treated so disdainfully. The gentleman at whose house I now was, fell in love with Moll, and being master of a great fortune, married her, and lives with her as happily, and as much to his satis. faction as he could desire. He treats her with all the friendship and respect possible, but not with more than her behaviour and good qualities deserve. And it was with a great deal of plensure I heard her maid dwell so long upon her commendation. She informed me, that after her father's death, her mother and she lived for a while together in great poverty. But her mother's spirit could not bear the thoughts of asking relief of any of her own, or her husband's acquaintance, so they retired from all their friends, until they were providentially discovered by this new-married woman, who heaped on them favours upon favours. Her mother died shortly after, who, while she lived, was better pleased to see her daughter a beg. gar, than a servant; but being freed by her death, she was taken into this gentlewoman's family, where she now lived, though much more like a friend or a companion, than like a scrvant.
“I went home full of this strange adventure; and about a week after chancing to be in com. pany with Mr. T. the rejected lover, whom I mentioned in the beginning of my letter, I told him the whole story of his angel, not question. ing but he would feel on this occasion, the usual pleasures of a resenting lover, when he hears that fortune has avenged him of the cruelty of his mistress. As I was recounting to him at large these several particulars, I observed that he covered his face with his hand, and that his breast heaved as though it would have bursted, which I took at first to have been a fit of laughter; but upon lifting up his head, I saw his eyes all red with weeping. He forced a smile at the end of my story, and we parted.
‘About a fortnight after, I received from him the following letter.
“DEAR SIR,--I am infinitely obliged to you for bringing me news of my angel. I have since married her, and think the low circumstances she was reduced to a piece of good luck to both of us, since it has quite removed that little pride and vanity, which was the only part of her character that I disliked, and given me an opportunity of showing her the constant and sincere affection which I professed to her in the time of her prosperity.” Yours, R. T.’
to find out who is the tulip in your last Thursday's paper ? Or can you imagine that three nests of ants is such a disguise, that the plainest reader cannot see three kingdoms through it? The blowing up of a neighbouring settlement, where there was a race of poor beggarly ants, under a worse form of government, is not so difficult to be explained as you imagine. Dunkirk is not yet demolished. Your ants are enemies to rain, are they ! old Birmingham : no
JT more of your ants, if you dont intend to stir up
No. 160.] Monday, September 14, 1713.
Solventur risu tabulae, tu missus abibis. Hor. Lib. 2. Sat, i. ver, ult, IMITATED. . My lords the judges laugh, and you're dismiss'd. Pope. FRow writing the history of lions, I lately went off to that of ants; but to my great surprise, I find that some of my good readers have taken this last to be a work of invention, which
was only a plain narrative of matter of fact.
They will several of them have it that my last Thursday and Friday's papers are full of concealed satire, and that I have attacked people in the shape of pismires, whom I durst not med. dle with in the shape of men. I must confess that I write with fear and trembling, ever since that ingenious person the Examiner, in his little pamphlet, which was to make way for one of his following papers, sound out treason in the word expect. But I shall for the future leave my friend to manage the controversy in a separate work, being unwilling to fill with disputes a paper which was undertaken purely out of good will to my countrymen. I must therefore declare that those jealousies and suspicions, which have been raised in some weak minds, by means of the two above-mentioned discourses concerning ants or pismires, are altogether groundless. There is not an emmet in all that whole narrative who is either whig or tory; and I could heartily wish, that the individuals of all parties among us, had the good of their country at heart, and endeavoured to advance it by the same spirit of frugality, justice, and mutual be. nevolence, as are visibly exercised by members of those little commonwealths. After this short preface, I shall lay before my reader a letter or two which occasioned it.
“MR. IronsinE,--I have laid a wager with a friend of mine about the pigeons that used to peck up the corn which belonged to the ants. I say that by these pigeons you meant the Pa. latines. He will needs have it that they were the Dutch. We both agree that the papers upon the strings which frighted them away were pamphlets, Examiners, and the like. We beg you will satisfy us in this particular, because the wager is very considerable, and you will much oblige two of your • DAILY READERS."
“Old IRow, Why so rusty 7 will you never leave your innuendoes Do you think it hard
a nest of hornets. WILL WASP.” * DEAR GUARDIAN,+Calling in yesterday at a coffee-house in the city, I saw a very short, corpulent, angry man reading your paper about the ants. J observed that he reddened and swelled over every sentence of it. After having perused it throughout, he laid it down upon the table, called the woman of the coffee-house to him, and asked her in a magisterial voice, if she knew what she did in taking in such papers! The woman was in such a confusion, that I thought it a piece of charity to interpose in her behalf, and asked him whether he had found any thing in it of dangerous import 2 “Sir,” said he, “it is a republican paper from one cnd to the other, and if the author had his deserts”—He here grew so exceeding choleric and fierce, that he could not proceed; till after having recovered himself, he laid his finger upon the following sentence, and read it with a very stern voice— “Though ants are very knowing, I do not take them to be conjurors: and therefore they could not guess that I had put some corn in that room. I perceived for several days that they were very much perplexed, and went a great way to fetch their provisions. I was not willing for some time to make them more easy: for I had a mind to know whether they would at last find out the treasure, and see it at a great distance, and whether smelling enabled them to know what is good for their nourishment.” Then throwing the paper upon the table—“Sir,” says he, “these things are not to be suffered—I would engage out of this sentence to draw up an indictment that”—He here lost his voice a second time in the extremity of his rage; and the whole company, who were all of them tories, bursting out. into a sudden laugh, he threw down his penny in great wrath, and retired with a most formidable frown. ‘This, sir, I thought fit to acquaint you with, that you may make what use of it you please. I only wish that you would sometimes diversify your papers with many other pieces of natural history, whether of insects or animals; this being a subject which the most common reader is capable of understanding, and which is very diverting in its nature; besides that, it highly redounds to the praise of that Being who has inspired the several parts of the sensitive world with such wonderful and different kinds of instinct as enable them to provide for themselves, and preserve their species in that state of existence wherein they are placed. There is no party concerned in speculations of this nature; which, instead of inflaming those unnatural heats that prevail among us, and take up most of our thoughts, may divert our minds to sub