and as different from one another as the Feathers on the different Parts of the Bodies of
Birds are. In short, she becomes a very pretty Butterfly or Moth.
But it may be enquired how this tender Animal is able to force a Passage through its
three Coverings, viz. the Shell, the Silk, and the looser Web Just now described ; and
indeed its Provision and Forecast for this Purpose deserve our Attention and Admiration.
These Coverings are fashioned like a Pigeon's Egg, sharper at one End than the other ;
and towards this Extremity, the Worm, as if conscious here must be its Passage out, nei-
ther interweaves its Silk, nor applies its Glew, as in every Part-besides. Opposite to this
Point the Head is constantly placed in its Nympha State ; and as soon as its Formation in-
to a Butterfly is compleated, its Horns, Head and Feet extend themselves against this Part,
which not being cemented, gradually gives Way, and affords an Opening for its coming
This is their natural Course ; but as they constantly discharge from their Bodies, a large
Quantity of a reddish-brown Liquor, when they first appear in the Fly-State, which
stains and damages the Silk ; those that keep them either for Prosit or Amusement, usu-
ally prevent this, either by winding off their Silk before they are ready for this Change, or
if that cannot be done, by exposing them to the intense Heat of the Sun, or a Fire, for
some Hours, to kill them in their Cases : reserving only some few for Breed.
How to wind off Silk
THE Pods may easily be wound off, if after pulling away the loose outward Co-
vering, (which may be spun like Flax for ordinary Purposes) they be put into
warm Water; for that dissolves the Gum, and sets the Silk at liberty to be unravelled from
End to End ; and some Spirit of Wine added to the Water makes the Gum dissolve still
more readily. Ten or a Dozen Threads of as many Pods may be wound off together very
conveniently either in Skeens or Balls, till we come to the innermost Covering or Shell,
which is of a whiter Colour, much more gummy, and a Sort of Silk but of little Use or
Virtue. It is therefore commonly the Way to cut them open, and take out the included
Nymphæ, which being then naked should be laid on dry fresh Bran till they become But-
Some Ladies pull away the loose Silk, cut out the Nymphæ, and dye the Pods of all
Colours in great Variety of Shades, after which they compose with them most beautiful
Nosegays of artificial Flowers.
The Largeness of its Size distinguishes the Female even in its Nympba State ; but that
Distinction is still more evident after they appear as Flies. The Males are exceeding lively
and salacious, endeavouring continually, by their noify Flutterings and wanton Motions, to
raise Desire in the Females. The Coitus continues sometimes several Hours, during
which the Body of the Female may be observed to swell and enlarge : soon after she be-
gins to deposite her Eggs, and perhaps goes on to do so from time to time till she has laid
above five hundred.
As soon as they become Butterflies, 'tis best to put them in such Paper Dripping-Pans as
when they were Catterpillars, for they will rarely get over the Sides of the Paper, and it
is very convenient for them to stick their Eggs to. The Females are full of Eggs even in
the Nympba State, and will lay, though no Male comes near them ; but such Eggs
are unprolific. When first the Eggs are laid, their Colour is a Pale-Lemon ; but they
soon grow darker, and after a Week or two appear of a Lead-Colour. Those that con-
tinue yellow will never produce any thing.
Their Semen full of Animalcules
UPON gently squeezing the Tail of a Male-Fly for a little while, a small Drop of a
whitish brown Liquor will be squirted from it, which diluted with a little warm
Water, and examined by the Microscope, appears crowded with Animalcules, four times
as long as broad, with Backs thicker than their Bellies, like the Shape of a Trout
this must be done before the Male has been coupled with the Female, for nothing is to be
got from it afterwards.
Vid. L?uwenh, Art. Nat. Tom. I. P. II. p. 422.|
After the Females have done laying they grow languid and die in a Day or two, and the
Males do not long survive them. The Papers whereon the Eggs are laid may be solded up
and kept in any safe Place till the following Spring, when they will certainly be hatched,
sooner or later, according to the Warmth of the Season.