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THE FLYING DRAGON.
behold how vast is the sternum, affording gorgons, hydras, and chimeras a wide space to be occupied by the pedire," monsters with which credulous ig- culiar muscles which act upon
organs norance once peopled the foreign regions of flight; and, besides the clavicles, which of the earth, have vanished before the support the shoulders, and keep them duly light of science; and we smile at the names forward, observe the furculum, or merryand pictures of beings, which could not thought, strictly analogous to the clavicles have possibly existed, inasmuch as their in man, keeping the shoulders wide apart, component parts could not be associated by bearing the strain of the muscles, together, without a violation of the laws which tend to bring them together. Look of nature. Fear may give wings to the again at the short, firm, and almost immighty boa, but wings would not assist moveable back-bone; whence arise the his progress; neither, indeed, could they strong ribs, locked upon each other, and be possessed by him, and for the follow- uniting firmly with the edge of the stering reason—The plan upon which the ske
But the structure of the skeleton leton is built prevents it. In snakes, there in the snake is the opposite to all this; is no sternum or breast-bone; no clavicles short, slender ribs, and a back-bone com-no scapulæ,—and these are essential to posed of a multitude of distinct portions, the presence of true effective wings. Look, united by a ball and socket mode of artifor example, at the skeleton of a bird :'culation; such is the skeleton of the long
and tortuous serpent. The dragon | cannot, like them, raise itself into the air, of romance lives only in sickly and unna- its aerial progress being limited to a long, tural fables; the name, however, is still sweeping leap. In this respect, it is like retained in science, and applied to a the dying squirrels (sciuropterus) which group of most beautiful and harmless have a membrane extending along the little lizards, of one of which we give a sides, between the anterior and posterior figure at the head of the present number; extremities, so as to endow them with the it is the Draco radiatus.
power of taking long, skimming leaps, Among the strange and anomalous be- among their native woods, and of preciings, whose existence, at some distant pitating themselves with safety from the epoch of our earth, is proved by the re- highest branches, either to the ground or searches of geology, which have brought to a distant branch. to light their fossil remains, we find a The characters of the genus Draco, in flying lizard, to which Cuvier has given addition to the membranous wings, or the name of Pterodactylus, and which, as parachutes, are as follows :- - The body is the construction of its skeleton abundantly covered with minute scales; the tongue proves, was capable of skimming from is fleshy, and capable of very
power one point to another, or perhaps even of protrusion, contrary to what forms so of fitting on wide membranous wings. remarkable a feature in the chameleon. That these wings were membranous, Beneath the throat there hangs a penmay be readily concluded, from the cir- dulous fold of skin, forming a sort of cumstance of their being supported upon dew-lap of considerable extent; the tail long slender bones, very like what we is long and slender; the teeth in each jaw find in the wing of the bat; in short, they consist of four little incisors in front, and, acted as stretchers, when the wings were on each side, a sharp canine tooth, and expanded. These stretchers of the mem- twelve little triangular grinders, each brane were, indeed, veither more nor less having three projecting points, one at than the bones of the second finger of each angle of the surface. Three species each fore paw, lengthened out so enor- are known and described, all natives of mously, as to extend to more than double India ; in whose forests, amidst the covere the length of the rest of the body. The of leaves, to which they themselves bear neck was very long; the head large; no unapt resemblance, they find shelter and the jaws armed with pointed teeth ; and food.
M. the tail being very short. ance of such a creature sweeping through the air, (small as was its size,) would be
AN EPITAPH. almost terrific to the timid or ignorant, It was a beautiful morning, when I enwere it now a denizen of the earth: it tered the church-yard of a country town to has, however, passed away, a few fossil examine and admire the goodly structure relics being all that testify of its having before me, and to enjoy the lovely prosonce existed.
pect which stretched beyond its walls. In some respects, the little Draco re- While I sat upon the turf, viewing the sembles the Pterodactylus, having a mem- scene around, a row of family graves caught branous expansion attached to the sides, my attention, and I read on one of the mobut not connected to the limbs, which numental stones, an inscription to the meare perfectly free. This membrane, which mory of a young lady who died about the is a continuation of the skin, is supported beginning of the present century, “aged by six false ribs on each side; for these, eighteen years.” It was as follows: instead of turning down so as to encircle the body, are considerably elongated, and
“ Here innocence and virtue lie, whose
breath constitute the frame-work of this natural parachute. We call it a parachute, rather
Was snatch'd by early, not untimely than wings, because it is not moved as wings are, in order to strike the air, but
Hence did she go, just as she did begin is merely expanded, so as to enable the
Sorrow to know, before she knew to sin. little creature to take long, sweeping
Death, that does sin and sorrow thus leaps, from branch to branch, or tree to
prevent, tree; where, among the leaves, it searches
Is the next blessing to a life well spent." for its insect food. Hence, it cannot be I could not but consider the sentimen said to fly, as does the bat or the bird; it expressed in these lines as contrary to the
express declarations of the word of God, and thou shalt be saved.” This is the only and the sentiments which, in the liturgy way of salvation, faith in Him who died for and articles, at least, and I have reason to sinners, the Just for the unjust, that we believe from the pulpit also, are often heard might be brought near to God." In him within the neighbouring church. As I left alone is there forgiveness of sins, and all the church-yard, the idea came across me have sinned, and come short of the glory that I was mistaken in the age, that it must of God. The ministers of Christ tell us have been some infant's memorial, perhaps of this, they deliver their Master's message, a child of eighteen days. I returned, but they pray us, in Christ's stead, “ Be ye reread distinctly, “ Aged eighteen years.", conciled to God. For he hath made him How then, thought I, can this be reconciled to be sin (or a sin-offering) for us, who with Eccles. vii. 20, “ There is not a just knew no sin ; that we might be made the man on earth, that doeth good, and sinneth righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor. v. not;" or Ps. xiv. 2, 3, “They are all gone 20, 21. It is only when clothed in the rightaside, there is none that doeth good;" or eousness of Christ, that guilty, sinful man Gen. vi. 55, “ Every imagination of the can stand with acceptance before the judgthoughts of man's heart is evil;" viii. 21, ment-seat; being made partakers of that * The imagination of man's heart is evil righteousness, from his youth ;" Jer. xvii. 9, “ The heart Bold we shall stand in that great day, is deceitful above all things, and despe- And none aught to our charge shall lay. rately wicked;" Prov. xx. 9, “Who can Would that every parent and every insay, I have made my heart clean ?" James structor had these truths deeply impressed iii. 2, “In many things we offend all;" upon their minds. How anxious then 1 John i. 8, “ If we say that we have no would they be for the welfare of those comsin, we deceive ourselves.” Many, very mitted to their care! how earnest in their many other texts might be added.
endeavours to root out the plants of bitterUpon further consideration, the cause of ness ! how watchful against their first appearthis error became distinctly marked to my ance! and how earnest in their prayers for mind, and I could not but say to myself, the influences of the Holy Spirit upon the Does not this arise from the disbelief of the opening mind ! Never would they be called doctrine of original sin, from forgetting that to the bitter agony of watching by the dy“that which is born of the flesh is flesh,” John ing couch of a youthful charge, and heariii. 6; and “that we are by nature the chil- ing the last bitter shriek of agony, or the dren of wrath ?" Ephes. ii. 3. How much deeply-wounding reproach, that those whose mischief has arisen from this! The writer duty it was to instruct, had hid the things of that epitaph must have been ignorant of of peace from the sufferer's eyes ! But let the doctrines of our reformers, grounded on us not dwell on such a painful supposition, scripture truth, agreeably to which, they though, alas, too often it is realized. And spoke of original sin as “the fault and cor- let us be found watchful to impart that ruption of the nature of every descendant knowledge which makes wise to salvation, of Adam, whereby man is very far gone before the night of death makes it too late. from original righteousness, and is of his I know not the history of the individual own nature inclined to evil, so that the whose monumental inscription has called flesh lusteth always contrary to the Spirit, forth these remarks. I would readily beand therefore in every person born into the lieve her to have been all that affectionate world it deserveth God's wrath and damna- parents could desire; nay, I would believe tion.” Here the question is simplified ; there her to have been a child of God; still is no occasion to sit in judgment on the re-every true protestant must realize the title lative perfection of any party; there is no he glories in, and protest against the docneed to compare one frail mortal with an- trine her epitaph conveys; nay, if she other, and set up a standard of ideal worth, were herself renewed in heart, she would or comparative excellence. Referring to have been most anxious that no such dethis, there is no room left for fond parents claration should have been made respecting to deceive themselves, or to regard those as her; and if she were not of that number, cruel who would call their attention to the painful thought ! she knows its fallacy now. truth, or to accuse a kind adviser of dis- I have referred to the reformers of the paraging what is comparatively excellent English church, for their views of the and amiable. The danger is shown, and the scripture doctrine on this subject. Indeed remedy is not distant.
human authority need not be appealed to, The advice of the apostle is applicable since “it is written;" but I will not close to all, “ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, these remarks without giving an apposite
INSECTS. No. XXXII.
quotation from one of the early fathers of the inner surface, as they afterwards do; church. Augustine says, “Who shall in- there is, therefore, a space between them; form me of the sin of my infancy? For and being moist, and corrugated into a none is clear from sin in thy sight, not vast number of folds, like those of a fan, even the infant, whose life is only one day. transversely as well as longitudinally, and Could it be right in me to solicit, with so minute as to be imperceptible to the tears, what it would be noxious to receive ? naked eye, the wings appear much thicker To express vehement indignation against than afterwards. Now, as soon as the my parents and betters, if they did not insect is disclosed, this fluid enters the comply with my will; and to endeavour, tubes, and being impelled into their though with feeble blows, to avenge myself minutest ramifications, necessarily ex
The imbecility of my infant pands their folds, and, as they gradually limbs was innocent, not so the spirit of the extend in length, the moist membranes infant; I have seen and observed an infant attached to them are also unfolded and full of envy, pale with anger, he looked at extended. In proportion as this takes his fellow-suckling with bitterness in his place, the expanding membranes apcountenance. Since I was conceived in proach each other; and, at last, being iniquity, and my mother nourished me in dried by the action of the atmosphere, sin, where, Lord, where, or when was I become one. To promote this action innocent ?"
A TRAVELLER. of the fluid, seems the object of the
agitations which the animal gives from time to time to its unexpanded wings.
That the injection of an aqueous fluid (Their Expansion.)
into these organs, actually takes place, has been fully proved by experiment. The wings of a butterfly have been clipped during their expansion, and then it has been seen, that the nervures were not only hollow, but that, however dry and empty they may afterwards be found, they contained at that time such a fluid.
The blood in the bec, Swammerdam says, when the wing is cut, “ appearing, by reason of the extreme smallness of the blood-vessels, under the form of little pellucid globules, which insensibly, and by
degrees, increase into considerable little a Twenty-plume moth. o Ditto magnifled. drops. The wings of the bee have like
In the last paper we alluded to the wise many pulmonary tubes; which, when rapid expansion and developement of the the nymph is casting its last skin, have wings of insects; we must now explain also, together with all the other parts, once more particularly the cause in operation. more to throw off their exuviæ or coverEvery wing consists of two membranes, ings. After this, when these tubes are more or less transparent, applied to each again distended by the freshly impelled other: the upper membrane being very air, and the air-vessels, which have prestrongly attached to a number of hollow viously been contracted, are inflated and vessels, miscalled nervures; and the lower distended with the same air, it follows, adhering more loosely, so as to be sepa- that the whole wing afterwards expands rable from them. These nervures origin- itself, and becomes thrice, nay, four times ate in the trunk; and, with the exception larger than it was before. This expansion of the marginal ones, keep diminishing of the wings, then, depends both on the gradually to their termination. The ves- impulsion of the air and of the blood; for, sels contained in the nervures consist of at the same time when the air is impelled a spiral thread, whence they appear to be into the wings, a considerable quantity of air-vessels, communicating with the tra- blood is likewise driven into the vessels cheæ or air-vessel in the trunk. The ex- of the wings.” pansion of the wing, at the will of the in- “ The female bees," he adds,“ do not, sect, arises from a subtle fluid which is as the common bees and the male, come introduced into these nervures.
forth with their wings folded up, but exIn the pupa, the two membranes, com- panded and displayed, and in a state ready posing the wing, do not touch each other’s for flight. On this account, the all-wise
Author of nature has provided for them , exceed the sixth of an inch, expand to a more spacious mansion, in which they nearly three inches. In another case, the may expand their wings conveniently and cocoon is not bigger than a small pea, properly; so that, after they have burst while the body of the fly is nearly half an from their cells, they may be prepared for inch in length, and covers, when its wings swarming immediately, if there be a ne- and antennæ are expanded, a surface of an cessity for it, or if the young queen may inch square. be in a condition to drive out her royal mother, and take her place if there be oc
THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH. Jurine found, that every nervure contains a trachea or air-tube, which, pro
(Continued from page 42.) ceeding from the interior of the trunk, in
DOCTOR EDMUND HALLEY, celebrated a serpentine direction, follows all the as the first astronomer who successfully ramifications of the nervures, though it predicted the return of a comet (in the year does not fill it. Reaumur attributes the | 1759) which is now called after his name, expansion of the wings chiefly to an aque- and is the same which is expected to return ous Auid; yet, he suspects that the air, to its perihelion, and become visible to the on some occasions, contributes to it.
inhabitants of the earth in a few months, This tubular structure has an interesting was appointed the successor of Flamsteed; analogy in the case of birds. In them, but upon taking possession of the observathe lungs have several openings, commu- tory, he had to apply to the government to nicating with corresponding air-bags, or furnish him with instruments to make obsercells, which fill the whole cavity of the vations with, those which Flamsteed had body, from the neck downwards, and into used having been removed by his widow as which the air passes and re-passes in the the private property of her husband, he havprocess of breathing. Nor is this all; the ing in his lifetime defrayed the whole exvery bones of birds are hollowed out, with pense of their construction, and in part made the design of receiving air from the lungs, them himself, with the help of his assistant, from which air-pipes are conveyed to the Mr. Abraham Sharpe, with the exception most solid parts of the body, and even of a few which had been presented to him into the quills and plumelets of the fea- by his friend and patron, Sir Jonas Moore. thers, which are hollow or spongy for its After considerable delay, and the governreception.
ment failing in compelling Mrs. Flamsteed The expansion of the whole insect to restore at least those which had been the is, in some instances, very remarkable. donation of Sir Jonas, a sum of money was When, for example, the ant-lion is about granted for the construction of instruments, to change into a pupa, it constructs a and an iron-framed mural quadrant was cocoon of sand, which it lines with a made and erected in 1725 by Mr. Graham, beautiful tapestry of silk, the whole being the celebrated clock-maker of that time. A less than half an inch in diameter; the transit instrument, of rather singular conpupa itself, when rolled up, filling only a struction, was also fitted up; this and the space of about half this size. When it mural quadrant are still preserved at the has remained in the cocoon about three observatory as astronomical curiosities. weeks, it breaks through the envelope, Dr. Halley was born at Haggerstone, in and emerges to the outside, as the chry- the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, Ocsalides of the wood-birds make their way tober 29, 1656; he received his early eduto the exterior of a tree, to facilitate the cation at St. Paul's school, which he comexit of the perfect insect; with this dif- pleted at the university of Oxford. At the ference, that the creature, whose opera- early age of nineteen, he gave to the world tions we are now describing, makes use of the first of those useful observations and its mandibles, or jaws, to gnaw the co- discoveries, which he continued to make to coon. Having arrived at the outside, it the end of a very long life. In 1676, when only requires to expand its wings and its only twenty years of age, he proceeded, on body, to complete its transformation; but his own account, to the island of St. Helena, this process is very amazing; for though, for the purpose of making astronomical on emerging, the creature is not more observations in the southern hemisphere, than half an inch in length, it almost in- and in the short space of two years, he restantaneously stretches out to an inch and turned with a large catalogue of stars, a quarter; while its wings, which did not which were invisible to astronomers in