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inches deep, a pane of glass forming the front, and divided in two by a partition, which is again crossed by two others, making six divisions in all, each having a door one inch in diameter, closed by a disc of copper which swings on a small screw; each division opens behind also, to remove the contents, the door there being the whole size of the division. A box with many partitions is also very useful for sending to a distance, allowing each insect to be kept by itself, preventing their injuring each other, which they would do if many were jumbled together. It is a very bad plan to let the native collectors pin the insects as they catch them, for it is sure to be ill done, and moreover, as little pain as possible should be inflicted.*
Any box will do to dry the insects in, provided it excludes light and ants, the former having a very injurious effect on colours, particularly of Lepidoptera, which lose much of their brilliancy even from common daylight, and the cases containing them should therefore be kept covered. The form of cabinet is a matter of taste, but I think none will be found better than the one contrived by Dr. Pearson, for the Museum of the Asiatic Society. When open, it shews four perpendicular rows of boxes; of these two rows are in the body of the cabinet, and one row in each of the doors, the latter being made deep enough to receive them; when shut, the boxes in the doors face the others, and thus light and dust are excluded, and the contents of the whole exhibited at once when required. The individual cases may be of any convenient size; my own are twenty-two inches by sixteen and three quarters, and half an inch deeper than the longest pin; the top half fits into the bottom by a rebate three-quarters of an inch broad,
• A word or two on the "cruelty" of which Entomologists are accused. If by that word is meant "infliction of pain," I must plead guilty, but who are the accusers? Surely not you, my good Sir, who boast of the forty brace of snipe, or the fifty ditto quail have fallen before you. Nor you, my dear Madam, who, since this day last year, hare delivered to the tender mercies of the cook, heaven only knows how many times 365 sheep, ducks, geese, fowls, &c. &c.—" Oh! but that was necessary"—ludeed! "we'll argue the point" some day, or if my accuser be of Wordsworth's " creed," That every flower Enjoys the air it breathes; then arc we equally guilty; for believe me, the fragrant'rose which Chloe received with >uch a smile and blush—did, when you plucked it,
Keel a pang as great
and the box opens at about half its depth; the sides are five-eighths of an inch thick, and the bottom a quarter of an inch, the former well varnished, and the latter painted, inside and outside; if made in dry weather no injury is to be feared —~' from damp. A single pane of glass is best on all ac2*- counts, and when let into the top, a slip of paper should be pasted over the edges of the box and glass, and a beading nailed or screwed on it. The bottom may be covered with cork, (which is good, but dear,) sola, or wax; the sola is prepared in sheets in Calcutta, and the paste used should always have some sulphate of copper dissolved in it; wax is excellent for the purpose, but (here) very dear. I have two boxes lined with it, and have not yet found any "uninvited" insects in them, while many have appeared in those with sola; the commonest wax is the best, as its strong smell may be in its favor, and it is cheapest. To line the box place it as level as possible, melt the wax, and pour it through a coarse cloth; it will, (if at a proper heat,) spread all over the box, which must be moved as required, if not quite horizontal: one-fourth of an inch is thickness sufficient, and all but large and heavy insects may safely be trusted in it, even with the boxes hung against the wall.
When an insect is caught, the first operation is to kill it, which, with all but Lepidoptera, may be performed by putting them in spirits of wine, or into a tin box placed in boiling water; large ones may be thrown at once into the water, which kills them instantly without injury, but this mode is for those only of strong make and dull colours, at least I have not ventured to adopt it with any but such. Butterflies and moths die on pressure of the thorax below the wings, taking care not to squeeze so hard as to burst it.
When dead they are to be cleaned, which in very many species is best done by raising the wing cases and wings, and removing the soft skin underneath; the whole of the entrails must be taken out, and the shell wiped with cotton; diluted arsenical soap is now to be applied with a camel hair brush, and some should be thrust into the thorax and head also if possible; close the wings and elytra, and through the right one insert a pin of fit size, bringing it out between the legs; about half an inch of the pin must be left above the insect for the convenience of holding it, and the whole length should be such as to keep the legs well clear of the bottom of the box, and allow a good hold in the lining. Those species in which the upper part of the body is exposed, must be opened below, either by a longitudinal cut, or removing a triangular piece; if the body be soft, the bristle or slip of bamboo put in it is to be wrapped with cotton to its size and shape, and the skin carefully placed over it; this is particularly necessary with the Orthoptera and Neuroptera, which, otherwise, lose very much of their natural appearance. The Coleoptera alone are pinned through the elytrum, all others through the middle of the thorax, and there are many of every order too minute to admit of being stuck either way. Dr. Pearson uses a strip of quill, one end being inserted between the rings of the abdomen, and through the other a pin is run; but as the quill is liable to curl and twist, I prefer using a ^^^^lo bristle or fine pin, which is placed in a piece of cork, and / by having the latter one inch long and quarter inch square, three or four small insects may be put side by side on one pin; I | I I a bottle cork will make several slips. The legs, wings, | . j and antennae, are to be placed in their natural position I I I I by pinning the in
sect to a loose piece of sola, brought conveniently near the body of the insect; the feet are fastened down by pins bent to a bayonet shape, or by slips of card pinned over them, which latter are also used to retain in a proper manner the wings of butterflies, &c. For Lepidoptera, the sola to which they are temporarily attached, should have a long hollow to receive the body, that the wings may lie quite flat; the upper pair in butterflies and some moths should be carried well forward to expose the whole of the lower ones, and may
be held so by fine them. In those moths wholly hidden by the would recommend that forwards, and the latter
pins stuck through whose under wings are upper in repose, I the former be drawn opened so much only to shew the body, as in the following sketch; this _J
method exhibits the natural form of the insect, as well as the under-wings, which are often very beautiful.
When the insect is pinned, and its limbs properly arranged, it is to be placed in the drying box till sufficiently rigid to allow of removal to the preserving cases. I do not advise sun-drying, as it often causes a shrivelled appearance, particularly with soft-bodied or delicate insects.
In the cabinet, they are to be kept as far from the lining as possible, and the feet should on no account be allowed to touch it.
Insects are sometimes preserved in spirits, but I have always found them liable to become mouldy when subsequently set up in boxes, which however may have been from the weakness of the spirits used; when the plan is adopted, I would advise their being cleaned out as elsewhere mentioned. Large insects with strong mandibles should not be put alive with others, as they will probably destroy their legs or antenna:.
Practice will suggest many minutiae which I omit. The directions given will, I am certain, be found useful to those who wish to commence a collection, but do not know how; it is rather tedious work at first, but facility is soon acquired, and as the number of specimens increase.', the labour is forgotten. A few boxes full have such a satisfactory appearance, that the pursuit will certainly be carried on with redoubled activity, and perhaps a taste for Natural History in general created, employing pleasantly time, which may otherwise pass but heavily.
Books on Entomology are expensive. I would recommend "Westwood's Text Book," as a cheap and useful work for a novice, and Boitard's "Manuel D'Entomologie," which is an excellent aid, as it gives a description of some thousand species, and contains an analytical table, by means of which the species to which any insect belongs, can be soon found.
Recipe for preparation of arsenical Soap.—As. S. Journ. Vol. iv. p. 462.
Take of Arsenic in powder, 2 lbs. White soap, 2 lbs. Salts of Tartar, 12 oz. Lime in powder, 4 oz. Camphor, 5 oz.
Cut the soap into thin slices, and melt it in a little water or spirit of wine over the fire; then add the salts of tartar and the lime. Take the mixture off the fire, and add the arsenic, taking care to mix it well by trituration in a mortar, or other convenient vessel; and when nearlr cold, mix in the camphor, previously reduced to powder by the help of spirit of wine. When thus made, keep the arsenical soap in a glazed earthen pot, or a wide-mouthed bottle, and when used, dilute it with water to the consistence of cream.
The principal materials for both the above preparations may be procured in every bazar in India.
A Vocabulary of the Kunawur Languages. By Captain Gerard, B, N. I.
The following vocabulary was found amongst some old papers in the Society's records, and it was deemed an act of justice to the memory of its highly talented and industrious author to publish it, as well as one of public and scientific utility.
For the ethnographical importance of the study of these various dialects, or languages, is now so well appreciated, and the materials collected are turned to so good an account, that it becomes a prominent duty to allow no collection of this kind, whether well or ill executed, to remain buried; and for us especially so, where it may relate to that highly curious subject of research, the aboriginal languages of the various parts of India, and their relations to the great parent stocks, towards which the patient labours of men like the lamented W. Humboldt,* are gradually tracing them. We quote with satisfaction in this department of Oriental research to the labours of Lieut. Leach, in the Pooshtoo Language; Lieut. Tickell on the Hos; Mr. Edgeworth on the Cashmiri; Dr. Campbell on the Moosmi and Limboos, and on the Mechi dialects; and to this on the Kemaaon languages, all of which have enriched our Journal within the last three years, and to the many which are preserved in its earlier volumes. We have now in hand in
• We refer here particularly to his splendid and laborious work " Ueber lie Kawi Sprache auf der Insel Java."