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Of the Generation of Animals.

THere remains now onjy one Thing more of the, ten Things in common to Animals, and that, is what relates to their Generation (a), and Confer-.


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(a) Spontaneous Generation, is a Doctrine so generally exploded, that I (ball not undertake the Disproof of it. It is soevident, that all Animals, yea, Vegetables too, owe their. Production to Parent-Animals and Vegetables; that I have often admir'd at the Sloath an<i Prejudices of the ancient Philosophers, in so easily taking upon Trust the Aristotelian, or rather, the /Egyptian Doctrine of equivocal Generation; that when they saw Flies, Frogs and Lice, for Instance, to be Male and Female, and accordingly to ingender, lay Eggs, &c they could ever imagine any of these Creatures should be spontaneously produe'd, especially in so romantick a Manner, as in the-Clouds; as they particularly thought Frogs were, and that they dropp'd down in Showers of Rain. For an Answer to this Cafe of Frogs, I shall refer to a Relation of my own, which my late most ingenious, and learned Friend, the great Mr. Ray, requested of me, and was pleas'd to publish in his last Edition of his Wisdom of God manifested, &c. p. 36J.

But some will yet assert the Raining of Frogs; among which the curious Dr. Plot is somewhat of this Opinion; telling us of Frogs found on the Leads of the Lord Aston's Gatehouse, at lixal in Staffordshire, which he thinks by some such Means came there; as also on the Bowling-Green, frequently after a Shower of Rain. Plot's Hist. Staff, c. 1. §. 47.

But we may take a Judgment of this, and an- Hundred such like Reports, to be met with in considerable Authors, from other the like Reports that have been better inquir'd into. In a Scarcity in Silesia, a mighty Rumour was spread of its raining Millet-Seed; but the Matter being inquir'd into, 'twa* found to be only the Seeds of the Ivy-leaved Speedwell, or small Henbit, growing in the Place in great Plenty. Eph. Germ. An. 3. obs. 40. So in the Archipelago, it was thought Ashes were rain'd, Ships being cover'd therewith at a hundred Leagues Distance; btft in all Probability, it was from an Eruption of Vesuvius, that then happen'd. About Warminster in Wilts, 'twas reported it rain'd wheat; but a curious Observer server, Mr. Cole, found it to be only Ivy-Berries, blown thither in a considerable Quantity by a Tempest. In the, Year 1696, at Cranstead near Wrotham in Kent, a Pasture-Field was over-spread with" little young Whitings, suppos'd to fall from the Clouds, in a'Tempest of Thunder and Rain; but doubtless they were brought thither with Waters from the Sea by the Tempest. See the before-commended Mr. Lowtk. Abridg. Philos. Trans. Vol. i. p. 143, 144.

Neither needeth it seem .strange, that Afties, Ivy-Berries, small Fifties, or young Frogs, (which yet may have some oiher Conveyance,) should be thus transported by tempestuous Winds, considering to what Distance, and in what Quantities the Sea:Waters were.carry'd by the Great-Storm, Nov. x6. 1703, of which an ingenious Friend sent me these Acco.unts from Lewes in Sussex, viz. That a Physician travelling soon aster the Storm, to Tisehurst, twenty Miles from the Sea, as he rode along pluck'd- some Tops of Hedges, and chewing them, found them Salt: That some Grapes hanging on the Vines at Lewes were so too. That Mr. Williamson Reclor os Ripe, found the Twigs in his Garden Salt the Monday after the Storm; and others objerv'd the fame a Week after. That the Grafs of the Downs about Lewes, was so Salt, that the Shies would not feed till Hunger cornsMd them: And that the Miller of Berwick, (three Miles from the Sea,) attempting with his Man to secure his Mill, were so wash'd with Ylaslies of Sea-Water, like the Breakings of Waves against the Rocks, that they were almost strangled therewith, and forced to give over their Attempt.

I call'd this Doctrine of equivocal Generation, an Ægyptian Doflrine; because probably it had its Rife in Æ.gyft} 16 salve the Hypothesis, of the Production of Men, and other Animals, out of the Earth, by the Help of the Sun's Heat. To prove which, the Ægypttans, (as Died. Sicul. faith,) product this Observation, That about Thebes, when the Earth is moistned by the Nile, by the Intense Heat os the Sun, an innumerable Number of Mice do spring out. From whence he infers, That all Kinds of Animals, might as well at first come likewise out of the Earth. And from these the learned Bishop Stillingfieet thinks other Writers, as Ovid, Mela, Pliny, &e. have, without examining its Truth, taken up the fame Hypothesis. V. Stillingfteet's Orig. Sacr. Part 1. Book I. Chap. r.

The before-commended Dr. Harris, from the Observations of Dr. Harvey, Sr. Malpighi, Dr. de Graaf, and Mr. Leewtnhoeck, infers three Things concerning Generation as highly probable. 1. That Animals are ex Animalculo. 1. Zhattht Animalcules are originally in semine Marium, & non in Fceminis. 3. That they can never come forward, or be formed into Animals of the respective Kind, without the Ova in Fœininis. His Proofs and Illustrations, see under the Word Gtneration, in his Lex. Techn. Vol. 2. ;•'' .*/ R 3 {b) A*

vation of their Species (£), by that Means. It would not be seemly to advance far in this admirable Work of God; neither (hall I at all insist upon that of Man for the fame Reason. And as for the Irrationals (<r), I stiall confine my self to these five Matters.

I. Their natural Sagacity in chusing the fittest Places to reposite their Eggs and Young.

II. The fittest Times and Seasons they make use of for their Generation.

III. The due and stated Number os their Young.

IV. Their Diligence and earnest Concern in their Breeding up.

V. Their Faculty of Feeding them, and their Art and Sagacity exerted therein.

I. The natural Sagacity of irrational Animals, in chusing the fittest Places to reposite their Eggs and Young. Of this 1 have given larger Hints already than I needed to have done, when I spake of the Architecture (d) of Animals, intending then to have wholly pass'd by this Business of Generation: I shall therefore now only superadd a few other Instances, the more to illustrate this Matter..

It hath been already shewn, and will hereafter (e) farther appear, that the Places in which the several Species of Animals lay up their Eggs, and

(b) At eerie Naturd, fi fieri potuijfet, maxime optajset suum epificium ejse immortale: quod cum per materiam non liceret. (nam quod Hi ex came est compofitum, incorruptible ejse non potest) subfidium quod potuit ipsi ad immortalitatem est sacricata, sapientis cujufdam urbis conditoris exemplo, 8cc. Nam mitabilem quandam rationem irwenit, qutmodo in demortui animalis locum, novum aliud sufficiat. Galen, dc Usu Part. 1. 14.

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(c) Animantia Bruta Obstetricibus non indigent, in edendo Partu, cum indita. Naturt vi Umbilicus stipfum occludttt. 01. Rudbeck in Blasii Anat. Felis.

(d) Chap. 13.

(e) Book VIII. Chap. 6.

Young, Young, are the best for that Purpose; Waters (/) for one j Flesh for another j Holes in Wood (#)> Earth, or Stone (h), for others j and Nests for others j and we shall find, that so ardent is the Propensity of all Animals, even of the meanest Insects, to get a fit Place for the Propagation of their Young} that, as will hereafter appear, there is scarce any Thing that escapeth the Inquest of those little subtile Creatures. But besides all this, there are two or three Things more observable, which plainly argue the Instinct of some superior rational Being. As,

i. The compleat and neat Order which many Creatures observe in laying up their Seed, or Eggs, in proper Repositories: Of which I shall speak in another Place (/').


(/) The bphemeron, as it is an unusual and special Instance of the Btevity ot Life; so I take to be a wonderful Instance of the special Care and Providence of God, in the Conservation of the Species of that Animal. For, I. As an Animal, whose Life is determin'd in about five or six Houis Time, (viz.. from about six in the Evening, till about eleven a Clock at Night,) needs no Food; so neither doth the Ephemeron eat, after it is become a Fly. z. As to its Generation; in those five Hours of its Life, it performs that, and all other neces• sary Offices of Life: For in the Beginning of its Life, jt sheds its Coat; and that being done, and the poor little Animal thereby render'd light and ^gile, it spends the rest of its short Time in frisking over the Waters, and at the fame Time the Female droppeth her Egg on the Waters, and the Male his Sperm on them to impregnate them. These Eggs are spread about by the Waters; descend to the Bottom by then own Gravity; and are hatch'd by the Warmth of the Sun, into little Worms, which make themselves Cases in the Clay, jftd feed on the fame without any Need of parental Care. !■'<<• F.phem. vita, translated by Dr. Tyson from Swammerdam. 8fe also Book VIII. Chap. 6. Note (r).

(g) See Chap. 13. Note (c), and Eook VIII. Chap. 6.

(h) The Worms in Chap. n. Note (v), breed in the Hole they gnaw in Stone, as manifest from their Egtfs found therein.

(i) Sec Book VIII, Chap. 6. Note (q).

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2. The suitable Apparatus in every Creature's Body, for the laying-up its Eggs, Seed, or Young, in their proper Place. It would be as endless as needless to name all Particulars, and therefore an Instance or two of the Insect-Tribe may serve for a Specimen in this Place, till I come to other Particulars. Thus Insects, who have neither Feet adapted to scratch, nor Noses to dig, nor can make artificial Nests to lay up their Young; yet what abundant Amends is there made them, in the Power they have either to extend the Abdomen (/fe), and


(k) Many, if not most Flies, especially those of the Flejhp/y-kind, have a Faculty of extending their Uropygia, and thereby are enabled to thrust their Eggs into convenient Holes, and Receptacles for their Young, in Flesh,' and whatever else they Fly-blow. But none more remarkable than the Horse-Fly, called by Pcnnius, in Mouffet, (p. 6z.) S*»Ai«f(^, i. e. Curvicauda, and the Whame or Burrel-Fly, which is vexatious to Horses in Summer, not by stinging them, but only by their bombylious Noise, or tickling them in sticking their Nits, or Eggs on the Hair; which they do in a very dexterous Manner, by thrusting out their Uropygia, bending them up, and by geutle, flight Touches, sticking the Eggs to the Hair of the Legs, Shoulders, and Necks, commonly of Horses; so that Horses which go abroad, and are seldom dressed, a;e somewhat discoloured by the numerous Nits adhering to their Hair. .

Having mentioned so much of the Generation of this Insect, although it be a little out of the Way, I hope I shall be excused for taking Notice of the long-tailed Maggot, which is the Product of these Nits or Eggs, called by Dr. Plot, Eruca glabra, [or rather Eula Scabra, it should be] caudata aquatico-arborea, k being found by him in the Water of an hollow Tree, but I have found it in Ditches, Saw-Pits, Holes of Water in the High-way, and suchlike Places where the Waters are most still and foul. This Maggot 1 mention, as being a singular and remarkable Work of God, not so much for its being so utterly unlike as it is to its Parent JJ«e-likeFly, as for the wife Provision made for it by its long Tail; which is so joynted at certain Distances from the Body, as that it can be withdrawn, or sheathed, one Part within another, to what Length the Maggot pleaseth, so as to enable it . to

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