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THE SEXTON BEETLE.
en-to-moll-o-gist ex-hib'-it-ing com'-e-te-ry ef-fect'-ed
ap-pa'-rent-ly ar-rang'-ing fa-tigued' car'-ri-on Nor many years ago there lived in Germany a man who was extremely fond of studying the habits of animals ; so much so, that he devoted nearly all his time to the observation of insects, becoming what is termed by scientific men an
entomologist. He had from time to time placed in his garden the dead bodies of moles and mice, and finding that they always disappeared in a most mysterious manner, he determined to discover, if possible, the cause. Taking his stand near a dead mole, he beheld before long some beetles alight upon it. His interest was of course excited, and he watched them through the whole of their work, which ended in the burial of the dead body.
Not feeling satisfied with this, and wishing to watch their proceedings more carefully, he captured four of these insect grave-diggers and put them within a glass case half filled with earth, placing upon the surface of the same two dead frogs. In three days these were buried.
He was mnch interested in watching two of the beetles bury a dead bird. They began their operations by removing the earth from beneath. After some time the male drove off the female, and continued the work alone for five long hours, now lifting up the body, then turning and arranging it in its grave, and coming out from time to time to mount the carcass and tread it under foot. At length, apparently fatigued with hard work, he came forth, and resting his head upon the earth, sank into a slumber, not exhibiting the slightest motion for full an hour, when he again set to work. Next morning the bird was an inch and a half below the surface, and at evening it had sunk an inch lower. In another day the work was completed and the body covered.
He added other dead bodies from time to time, so that the four beetles deposited in graves within that narrow cemetery no less than twelve bodies in fifteen days.
These beetles lay their eggs upon the carcass they bury, so that the young grubs will have something to feed upon, when they are hatched. The burial is effected, no doubt, to protect the eggs from the attacks of birds and other insects. In this way innumerable carcasses which would pollute the atmosphere are removed, and made beneficial to the soil. This insect is called the 2 Sexton Beetle. It is also known as the Burying Beetle and the 3 Carrion Beetle.
entomologist, one versed in the science of entomology, which is that part of zoology which treats of insects. ? sexton, a gravedigger. 3 carrion, the dead and putrefying bodies or flesh of animals.
ATTEND, all ye who 'list to hear our noble England's praise :
It was about the lovely close of a warm summer's day,
8 post. With his white hair, unbonneted, the stout old sheriff comes, Behind him march the 'halberdiers, before him sound the
yeomen, round the market cross, make clear and ample
space, For there 10 behoves him to set up the standard of " her
grace : And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells, As slow
upon the labouring wind the royal "2 blazon swells. Look how the 13 lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown, And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay "lilies down ! So stalked he when he turned to flight, on the famed "5 Picard
field, 16 Bohemia’s plume, and " Genoa's bow, and Cæsar's eagle
shield : So glared he when, at Agincourt, in wrath he turned to
bay, And crushed and torn, beneath his claws, the princely
hunters lay. Ho ! strike the flagstaff deep, sir knight ! ho ! scatter flowers,
fair maids ! Ho, gunners ! fire a loud salute ! ho, gallants ! draw your
blades ! Thon, sun, shine on her joyously! ye breezes, waft her wide, Our glorious 18 semper eadem ! the banner of our pride!
The fresh'ning breeze of eve unfurled the banner's massy
foldThe parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of
gold : Night sunk upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea ; Such night in England ne'er had been, nor ne'er again shall be. From 19 Eddystone to 20 Berwick bounds, from 2 Lynn to
22 Milford Bay, That time of slumber was as bright, as busy as the day ; For swift to east, and swift to west, the warning radiance
spreadHigh on St. Michael's Mountit shone-it shone on Beachey
Head : Far o'er the deep the Spaniards saw, along each southern
shire, Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of
fire, The fisher left his skiff to rock on 24 Tamar’s glittering waves, The rugged miners poured to war, from 25 Mendip's sunless
caves ; O’er 28 Longleat's towers, o'er 27 Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery
herald flew, And roused the shepherds of Stonehenge-the rangers of
28 Beaulieu. Right sharp and quick the bells rang out all night from
Bristol town ; And, ere the day, three hundred horse had met on Clifton
The sentinel on 30 Whitehall gate looked forth into the night, And saw, o'erhanging si Richmond hill, that streak of blood
red light : The bugle's note, and cannon's roar, the death-like silence
broke, And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke ; At once, on all her stately gates, arose the answering fires ; At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires ;