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their nurses have themselves partially digested and prepared for the better nutrition of their charges !
How carefully and tenderly they are washed, carried about, and caressed! They are, moreover, arranged in rows, according to their different age and size, and
a very comic picture they present when laid side by side on shelves constructed for the purpose. Even in the chrysalis state they are the objects of much care. Should the nest be disturbed, the nurses immediately seize their charges in their strong jaws, and rush away with them to a place of safety. Many people who have seen ants thus carrying their pupæ suppose them to be the insect's eggs; but, as we have shown, this is not the case. Should the nest have been inundated by a storm of rain, or have otherwise got wet, the chrysalids are brought out and laid in the sun to dry. When the time has arrived for them to emerge as perfect insects, the nurses give them every assistance by gnawing away the outside shell. After giving them a good cleaning, they set them on their legs, and send them into the world to do as they have been done by.
The statement that ants collect such large stores of corn that the disposal of them was discussed in Jewish law books will perhaps scarcely be credited. Yet such was the case, and very badly the industrious little store-keepers fared in the decision arrived at. The rights of the owners of the field where the store was found were discussed. The rights of the gleaners were discussed, and the decision was in favour of the gleaners. The real possessors, having no voice in the matter, were quite overlooked, and their claims to their laboriously-garnered stores disregarded.
Still more incredible appears the statement that ants not only reap, but that they actually sow seed with a view to gathering a harvest. Some observers declare that a kind of rice grass, of which ants are particularly fond, is cultivated by them ; the seeds being carefully stored during the winter, and sown in the spring
“ Wonders will never cease!” The more we investigate ant life, the more we are convinced of the truth of this old saying. What think you of these little insects acting as living honey-pots?
Ants are very fond of honey, and, as honey can only be obtained at a certain time of the year, some of these devoted creatures give themselves up to act as mere jars for the storing of this succulent food. When seen hanging, as they do, to the walls and roofs of the storechamber, they look very much like bunches of white currants. The food suppliers extract from a kind of gall-nut the sweet secretion, and with it fill their animated honey-pot. An exhausted worker can come and take a drink from this receptacle at any time, the honey ant being able to regurgitate the delicious store. Such intelligence and devotion as are displayed by these honey-ants is unexampled in the insect world. They are the objects of much care and attention on the part of the workers, as indeed they should be, being to all intents and purposes living sacrifices for the good of their kind.
“In these beings so minute, and, as it were,
Such nonenties, what wisdom is displayed,
WHICH IS MISTRESS, WHICH IS SLAVE?
SELF-INDULGENCE in a nation invariably leads to the degradation
of the race. The philosophy of ancient Greece could not prevent the inevitable consequences of voluptuous living. As long as the Romans carried on their martial exercises, and sacrificed the comfort of their bodies to the development of their limbs and the study of the art of war, they could always go forth to conquer ; but when they settled down, and gave themselves up to the indulgence of their appetites, the result was the loss of their possessions, the loss of their power, and the degradation of their race. Who can trace in the modern specimen of a Roman the soldier-like bearing, the
ce of form and movement, which is the result of well-directed muscular training, or the indomitable spirit which, flashing forth from the eye, and exhibited by the valour of the ancient Romans, subdued nations, and made them masters of the known world ?
As with great things, so with small. Some species of our friends, the ants, have so given themselves over to laziness and the indulgence of their bodies, by keeping slaves to wait on them, that they have lost even the power of feeding themselves.
This species pretend to a very warlike name, and are called the Amazon Ants. They certainly look, and are, very formidable when the time comes for them to make an invasion on the nests of the ashcoloured or negro ants, a race who seem by the laws of destiny to have nothing but slavery to look forward to.
At a certain time of the year the Amazons set themselves in warlike array, and march forth in a compact, well-drilled mass, numbering from 100 to