Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

to

another, especially when this is done by sea, you after which increase the heat to 14° of Reaumur's inust order them to be put into a boule, which thermometer, preserving that heat equal, night ought not to be filled more than half full, that and day, by means of a little fire in some corner the eggs may not lie too close together, which of the room at a distance froin the bed. In the might run the risk of heating them, and causing morning, when you get up, put a heater of one them to hatch. The bottle being but half full, kind or other; for example, a tin bottle with hot leaves sufficient room to the eggs to be tossed water, or a foot stove, into your bed betwixt the upside down, by the motion of the vessel, which sheets, and proportion that heat so as to equal keeps them cool and fresh, and hinders them the heat you give to the bed when you lie in it from heating. After putting the eggs into the yourself, keeping up the same heat, as nearly as bottle, let it be carefully corked; a cover of lea. you can, until you go to bed again yourself in ther put over the cork; and let that be sealed, the evening. Having kept them in this situation to prevent any danger of changing the eggs. for eight or nine days, you must then put your When corked and sealed, as above, put the bottle different divisions of eggs into little pieces of into a double case, or box of wood; not only old linen cloth, which must be washed thoroughly preserve

the

eggs from all damp from the sea clean for that purpose, as the least dirtiness in or other ways, but also to protect them from too the cloth would prove prejudicial to the eggs : much heat, which would cause them to hatch. each piece of cloth should be of the size of a If the bottle is too full, the eggs will lie too foot square; turn up the ends of the piece of close upon one another, and will in that case cloth, and tie them with a bit of thread as near hoat of themselves, and hatch, and consequently to the top or end as possible, by means of which in both cases must be lost.

the eggs will lie loose, and can be shook and The eggs that are duly impregnated by the turned from time to time, without untying the male butterfly are of a gray cindery color, which knot; replace these packets in the basket, and color they preserve till they are properly pre- cover them up as before, turning and shaking pared for hatching. The eggs which are not the seed in the packets three or four times a day, duly impregnated are readily to be distinguished that it may receive the heat equally. Ou putfrom this circumstance, namely, that after having ting the eggs into these packets, increase the been kept for some time they always continue heat to 141° of the thermometer, and keep to be of a yellow color; and I need scarcely up that heat night and day, as equally as posadd that all such eggs are good for nothing, and sible: for which purpose have a couple of therought therefore to be thrown away. There is no mometers in your room for your direction. Allier distinguishing betwixt good and bad eggs, but the eggs have remained in the little packets for by the change of color, after being kept for some three or four days, increase the heat 10 15°; and time as above mentioned. One ounce of eggs in four days more, if the weather seems settled will produce 40,000 worms; and so in propor- and very promising, increase the heat gradually tion for a larger or smaller quantity.

to 16°, visiting and turning the eggs from time The advancement of the season determines to time as before, the time of preparing your eggs for hatching, as When the eggs begin to turn white, and the you proceed to that as soon as you observe that mulberry trees are so far advanced as to be out there is a prospect of having a sufficient quantity of danger from cold winds or slight degrees of of food for your worms, by the advancement of frost, increase the heat gradually to 171°, or 18° the leaves of the mulberry. But, in order to be at most, to quicken the hatching of your eggs, properly prepared for this work, you must begin to make the worms come out as nearly at a month before the usual time of hatching; the same time as possible; but never increase first, to put your eggs in little divisions, froin the heat to more than 18°, because a greater half an ounce to an ounce, which you must place heat never fails to push the worms too fast, and upon a piece of clean white paper, upon plates, to render them red at their first coming out. for example; and put those plates containing When the worms are red at their first coming the eggs in a place a little warmer then where out, it is a sign the eggs have either been bad, or you had kept them during the winter; for ex ill kept over winter, or overheated; that is, too ample, if you have an alcove bed, place them much forced when laid to hatch. Worms of upon the shelf within the alcove. Let them re- this color are good for nothing, and are therefore main in that situation for the first five or six to be thrown away, to avoid the expense of days; after which you must prepare some little feeding them, since they will vever produce chip boxes, perfectly clean and neat, seven

When the worms are entirely black, inches long, four inches broad, and four inches upon their first appearance, it is a sign of their high, and cover them on the inside with clean having been perfectly well managed, which gives white paper, into which put the different divi- great hopes of success. sions of your eggs, having a small box for each When the eggs first begin to take a white division, and place these boxes in a basket, upon color, put them into little chip boxes, and cover a stool or chair, at the foot of your bed, making each box with a piece of clean white paper, one of the mattresses of your bed go underneath pricked with many holes in it, to allow the the basket; and cover the basket on the top, first worms to come through, taking care to inspect with some cover of woollen cloth, which pin and shake the eggs from time to time in the boxclose over it, and above that place a bed cover es, that they may have equal access to the heat; above all, so as to keep in the heat commu- and, when the worms are ready to appear, put a nicated by the mattress to the eggs; in which few mulberry leaves upon the paper, to which situation let them remain for six days longer; the worms will readily attach themselves as they

Cocoons.

worms.

come out; and, by means of the leaves, you can feed to the worms, as early as you can; at four easily take out the worms as they appear, in order or five o'clock, but not later than the last. In to put them into different little boxes; and then that early state the three different meals should give them some of the tenderest leaves, cut into be given to the worms at the distance of six small pieces, to feed on, giving them at the rate hours from each other. When the worms are of three meals each day. As the leaves when coming out they are not to be left scarcely a very young will dry so much, even in an hour's moment, as they ought to be gathered from the time, if exposed to the open air, as to be unfit boxes as fast as they make their appearance ; for the use of the young worms, you must put and, as this work goes on in the night as well as them into a clean glazed pot; but take care to the day, it becomes a very hard task at that time. place them loose, that they may not press too much M. Marteloy, who always carefully attended to upon each other; cover the head of the pot with this particular himself, generally went to bed at a wet linen cloth, and place the pot in a vault or nine o'clock in the evening during this critical cellar (or, in case you have none, into the cool- period and rose again at midnight, which was est part of your house), by which means the quitting them as little as possible. But this leaves will keep fresh and good for two or three great attention at this time is only requisite in days together. Besides, you must take care to large operations ; for example a pound of eggs, have always in the house at a time a stock of or any quantity above it. leaves sufficient at least for three days' provision Before proceeding to the further treatment of for your worms, to secure you in food for them the worms newly hatched, it may be proper here during such length of time, in case of wet wea to give some description of the stage and baskets ther, as nothing is more pernicious to the worms necessary for the carrying on of this culture, as than giving them wet leaves for their food; for these ought to be in readiness some time before which reason be careful never to pull the leaves they are wanted. The stage ought to be erected when wet, either with rain or dew, except on in a large room, with windows on each side of absolute necessity; and in that case you must it, so as to be able to command a thorough air spread them out, and turn them from time to when necessary, the walls and floor of which time with a long wooden fork, that the leaves should be examined with the strictest attention, may be perfectly dry before you give them to the in order to fill up every little hole or crevice that

can give access either to rats or mice, as both It may here be added that it is the general these animals eagerly devour the silk-worms opinion, in France, that the leaves afford a more whenever they can find an opportunity for that wholesome food for the worms when they have purpose. In Languedoc and Quercy they make been gathered four or five hours, than fresh from the stage six feet, but more frequently only four the tree-and more particularly so if the trees feet and a half broad, so that a person, by going grew upon any soil other than sand or gravel, first to the one side and afterwards to the other, because the keeping them so long so far dimin- may be able with ease to reach over the whole ishes the over richness of the leaf. The persons breadth, both for the advantage of giving the employed in pulling the leaves must be careful leaves to the worms, and for clearing away their to have their hands clean, and free from every litter more easily. At every nine feet distance, strong offensive smell, such as that of garlick, in the length of the stage, they fix a post in the onions, or tobacco, &c.; and they ought to be floor of a height sufficient to support the roof, particularly attentive not to bruise the leaves in and to those posts they nail a piece of wood pulling them.

across the stage, which piece of wood serves to When the worms are first hatched, keep each support the baskets to be hereafter mentioned day's production separate by themselves, as it is which rest upon the cross-bars of wood at the of high consequence to have each parcel brought two ends ; so that these bars ought to be four up as equal as possible, that all the worms con- inches broad, which allows two inches for each tained in it may be in readiress to mount for basket to rest on, as the baskets join the one to making their cocoons at one and the same time, the other at the cross bars. The stage, being After setting apart separately the production of four feet and a half broad, takes two of these each of the first four days, what then remains of baskets to fill up its breadth.

They make their the eggs to be hatched may be thrown away, as stage to consist of as many shelves as the height these later worms are always found to be weakly, will admit of, keeping at the distance of twenty few of them completing their cocoons; so that inches from each other. The lowest table or the attempt to rear them is always attended with shelf ought to be made six inches broader than an unnecessary waste of leaves, besides the the shelf immediately above it, that the lowest trouble they occasion to no purpose. When the may project three inches on each side farther worms are just come out, keep them in a heat than the one above it; and so on in proportion not exceeding 15°; and even ihen there is no with all the other tables or shelves ; the uses for occasion to cover them by putting on the heads making this difference of breadth in the difof the boxes, as it is better for the worms to ferent shelves shall be afterwards particularly have abundance of free air. But, if the weather explained. should happen to prove cold, you must in that It has been already observed that rats and case put on the heads of the boxes at night, or mice are extremely destructive to the silk-worms cover them with a double napkin, taking care, when they can get access to them; for which however, not to let it louch the worms, for fear reason every precaution should be used to proof hurting them; and take off the head of the tect them

inst such dangerous visitors. For box or napkin in the morning, when you give a this purpose, therefore, the following one is ge

nerally attended to:— They cover the foot of When the worms are in their first age you need each of the posts of wood which support the only clear away the litter once, because their orstage with a piece of strong smooth paper, which dure at that time dries as fast as they make it, is nailed to the wood with tacks, to the height of being in small quantity. When the litter is to a foot above the floor; by which means, when be taken away for the first time, you have only these vermin attempt to mount, their feet slide to turn the parcel upside down, and so pull off upon the paper, so that they can get no hold. A such a quantity of the litter as you find necoshoop of glass of the same height, made of a size sary, which is the most expeditious way of proper for the wood, might, perhaps, be found cleaning them at that time. In giving the leaves to answer the purpose better. The ant, or pis- to the young worms, you must make the leaves mire, is also a most dangerous enemy to the silke lie hollow upon them, to give air to the worms. worms; to guard them from which, the usual When put on too flat and close, they prevent practice, where there is any danger from these that free circulation of the air which is at all insects, is to put a quantity of hot lime round the times necessary for the health of these insects. foot of each of the posts which support the stage, During the whole of the first age, the leaves which fully answers for that purpose. Cats and of the young plants of the mulberry, in the seed poultry of all kinds are likewise destructive to bed and nursery, as being the tenderest, are the worms, and must therefore also be guarded greatly preferable to the leaves of older trees as against with care. When the worms are young, food for the young worms, for which reason it they are put into wicker baskets three feet long, becomes of importance to have always a sucand eighteen inches broad, the edges or sides of cession of young plants coming on yearly in your which are made from two to three inches high. nursery grounds. They make them of that size in order to be the When the silk-worms enter upon their sickmore portable.

ness, they abstain from that moment from all When the worms come to be placed upon the manner of food. As soon, therefore, as you obstage, they are put into baskets four feet and a serve some worms of a parcel begin to grow half long, and two feet three inches broad, and sick, in place of three give them only two meals the sides or edges of them are from two to three a day; when more of them sicken, confine them inches high, and of the thickness of about three to one meal only; and from the tiine you obserre quarters of an inch. The bottoms of the baskets most of them sick you must give them no more are made of plaited reeds, after being split in food, till the whole parcel, or at least the far order to make them lie flat. They are bound all greatest part of them, get over their sickness (by round with a slip of wood, a little more than an having cast off their old skin), that you may carry inch broad, and about a quarter of an inch thick, them all equally on, at least as nearly so as posto keep them together, which is nailed down, sible, which saves a vast deal of trouble in the and three cross bars of wood are nailed across management. the back of each basket to keep it firm.

When the silk-worm gets over his first age or It is proper to observe that care should be sickness, he is of a grayish color, and his little taken to place the stage in such a position as not trunk, or point of his head, is of a jet black color, to allow the sun to dart directly upon the worms, by which he is then distinguished. When he as they are not able to bear the heat of it in this gets over his second sickness that little trunk is manner when it is great. It will even kill them, of a brown color. When he gets over his third especially when they are young; and, if it should sickness his head is remarkably large, which is not go that length in a colder climate than the the distinguishing mark at that time. And, when south of France, it will, notwithstanding, have he gets over his fourth sickness, he is of a brownthe effect to torment them, and render them very ish-yellow, or deep buff color. unquiet, and prevent them from eating with their You must not clear away the litter from the usual appetite. If the sun darts upon them worms while they are about changing their skin, when they are large, you will see them fly from or what is called their sickness; but as soon as it as fast as they can, and seek for shelter in the they have got clear of their old skin then you are shade, even at the expense of the want of their to remove all litter, food. When young, they are not able to get out During the second age it is advisable still to of the way, and by that means are often killed continue to feed your worms with the leaves by it, as above mentioned.

from the young plants in your nursery, as these But to return to the treatment of the worms upon are still preferable to those of older trees for their being newly hatched : it is proper to ob- the worms at this time. You must now beserve that too many leaves should not be given gin to be attentive to clear away the litter from to them at one time, and that the leaves given time to time, so as to prevent all danger of its heatshould be spread very thin; because, if too ing, which proves highly injurious to the worms. thickly put on, a great number of the worms, as These insects are remarkably fond of cleanness, they are thren so small, will run the risk of being which besides helps to enliven them, and gives lost amongst the litter, from which they will not them a keen appetite for the first leaves which be able to disengage themselves; and you must are given to them always after cleaning. The be careful to cut the leaves small during the first litter is taken away in the following manner :ten or twelve days, where the number of your You scatter some fresh leaves upon one corner worms is such as to admit of your doing so : but, of the basket, to which the worms having attachif your quantity of worms is large, it would re ed themselves, which they will readily do, you quire too much work to cut the leaves for them, then take up the worms by means of the leaves so that in such case you must give them entire. and stalks they cling to, leaving the litter under

worms.

neath. Having thus taken up all the worms Being now arrived at the fourth age, the time from that corner, and placed them above those approaches when the worms will mount in order adjoining to them, you then clear away the litter to form their cocoons; and the person, therefore, from that corner, and carefully sweep together, who pursues the culture of silk, must now begin with a little broom of twigs or heath, all the re to prepare for that important period. One of fuse and excrement, which you must remove the first objects of his attention must be to proentirely before you replace the worms in their vide himself with a sufficient quantity of small station, and in the same manner you must pro- brush-wood, for making the cabins of the worms; ceed with the rest, till you have thoroughly and there is nothing more proper for this purcleaned the whole basket.

pose than heath or broom, when either of these During the third age make use of the leaves of can be obtained ; when neither heath nor broom such trees as have been planted out in the field, is to be had, any other kind of small brushbut reserve the leaves of your oldest trees for the wood will answer, preferring always such as is fourth age, as these last leaves are reckoned the bushy at the top, and whose twigs are of a sufbest for the worms when come to their maturity. ficient strength to support the weight of the Be attentive to cleaning away the litter as be

But it is to be remembered that the fore directed, which, during the third age, should slender brush-wood is the best, that you may be be done at least four or five times; and take able to bend it which way you will. Strong brushcare to clear away, from time to time, all dead wood is not so pliable, and by that means not worms the moment you observe them; and to proper for the purpose. Having provided your throw aside also regularly all such worms as ap- brush-wood, it may be proper to prepare a parpear to be diseased, to prevent them from infect- cel of baskets, for «such of your worms as are ing the rest, which will happen if this article is soonest ready for mounting, in the manner pracnot pursued with the strictest attention. All the tised at Montauban, in Quercy, which is done as worms which you observe to grow of a yellow follows:-You take a round willow basket, color, and to have their skin shining, are strongly which you dress with brush-wood, putting the diseased, and must be immediately thrown away, wood round two-thirds of the basket, and leavfor fear of infecting the sound ones. These dis- ing the other third open for putting in the worms, eased worms sometimes void a yellow liquid at and to give an opportunity to clear away their the tail, and it often also bursts out at other litter. You then pull the ends of the wood toplaces of their bodies. These must always be gether at the top, so as not to press too closely attentively removed the moment they are observ- upon each other, and so tie them with a little ed; but it becomes more essentially necessary twine or pack-thread, to keep them in their before the worms enter into their third sickness, place; after which you put a paper cap, pretty because at this time they become most danger- large, upon the top of the wood, it having been ous, by voiding the yellow liquid above men found that the worms are fond of making their tioned, which is poisonous to the worms, and cocoons under a cover of this kind, as it affords exceedingly contagious; insomuch that every an opportunity of attaching some threads of silk worm, that happens to touch this liquid is sure to the paper, which enables them to fix their coto be infected with the same distemper, which coons the more firmly in their place. has hitherto been found to be incurable.

In putting up the cabins, on the stage, the two It has been remarked that it is improper to rows of brush-wood at the extremities of the change the worms during their sickness, because stage are made much thicker than the others, esit may occasion the loss of some of them. But pecially for six or eight inches above the shelf, it is necessary to add that, if the litter at that time to prevent the worms from getting out at the should prove to be in such quantity as evidently ends and falling over the stage. In putting up to run the risk of heating, before the worms can the other rows, you lay a little piece of wood, get quit of their old skins, which they generally or a reed, across the stage for each row ; and, in do not accomplish in less time than two days putting up the brush-wood, you make the first and a half, it is better to suffer the loss of a turn to the right hand, and the second to the few worms, by removing the litter at that time, left; and so alternately, keeping the reed in the than to run the risk of losing the whole parcel, middle, which binds all fast. which undoubtedly would happen if the litter In dressing the stage with the brush-wood it should be heated before the operation is over of is advisable to cover the pillars which support it, their changing their skins. This article of keep- and 10 cover likewise the top of the stage with ing the worms clean will appear to be of high brush-wood. In constructing the cabins great importance in the silk culture, when it is added care must be taken to put up the brush-wood in that it is commonly computed that the loss sus- such a manner as to allow a passage for the tained yearly in France, by the death of the worms between the different branches, which, worms during the times of their four different however, must not be too wide; and it is right sicknesses, by being smothered in the litter, by to make a great number of the points of the the great quantity of litter, leaves, and worms brush-wood touch the shelf, because it affords above them, and by the litter's happening to the greater opportunity to the worms to mount. grow damp, and to heat at these critical periods, Many people at Montauban put a number of is not less, upon an average, than between roses, or other sweet-smelling flowers, upon the 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 of livres annually, pillars which support the stage, and in other which is equal almost to a tenth part of the parts of the room, with a view to sweeten the air. whole yearly produce of silk in France, which But the best apparent means for this purpose is is computed at 30,000,000 of livres,

to take care to keep up a free circulation of fresla

air in the rooin, by keeping open all the windows, themselves; that is, all those that get over that and the doors also, if you find that to be ne disease for the first two days may be put into cessary.

one parcel, those of the next two days into anoIn forming the arches of the little cabins with ther parcel, and so on with the rest, that each the brush-wood there is always a little opening separate parcel may be carried on as equally as at the top of each pillar, occasioned by the curve possible. The most attentive care must also be or top of the circle. Take care to make this given to clear away the litter regularly every day; opening pretty wide, because it has been observ- and, if it can be done, it would be advisable to ed that the worms make choice of that opening, clear away the litter twice in the twenty-four by preference, to fix themselves in making of hours, especially during the four or five days their cocoons. In order to make this opening of immediately before mounting. If this cannot be the width it ought to be, the brush-wood should done, as it is often found to be difficult to get it not be altogether straight, but rather crooked or accomplished when the quantity of worms is bending. These openings are not only evidently large, you must, however, constantly make it a. the choice of the worms; but another advantage rule to clear away the litter regularly in such a also arises from them, namely, that your cabins manner as to prevent it at any time from inby this means contain a greater number of worms creasing so much in quantity as to make it run than it is possible for them to do when these the smallest risk of growing damp and heating, openings are too small, and consequently fewer which never fails to destroy the worms. cabins will answer your purpose. When the Many people, during the four or five days brush-wood is quite straight, it rust necessarily which precede mounting, which the French call occasion these openings to be made. The brush- the grande fraize, are in the custom of giving wood ought to be quite stripped of its leaves, from four to five meals a day to the worms, giving and perfectly dry.

a large quantity of leaves at each meal. But it If, in forming the cabins, you place the brush seems much more advisable to give them fewer wood quite upright, the worms when mounting leaves at a time, and, to repeat their meals oftener run a great risk of tumbling down; and those even to the number of eight or nine times in the worms which tumble down are for the most part twenty-four hours, according as you find them in destroyed by the fall. In order to avoid this appetite; by which means the leaves are more inconvenience, you must make the brush-wood quickly and thoroughly eaten up, without occawhich forms the sides of the arch slope a little, sioning so great an increase of the litter. . But, by which means you secure much firmer footing what is of still more consequence, the fresh leaves to the worms in mounting. Besides, when you so often repeated never fail to give a fresh edge. form the cabins, you must be at pains to cut off to their appetite; so that, in fact, in the space of all the very small slender shoots, which when twenty-four hours, the worms actually eat up a left to themselves, and not properly bound in much larger quantity of leaves than they could with one another, have not strength sufficient to have done by following the other practice of four carry the weight of one worm, far less of several; or five meals a day, as none of the fresh leaves and which, if left, must for that reason always are spoiled by their treading upon them. This occasion the loss of a good many worms, by their practice of course hastens the worms to their full tumbling down, as above mentioned.

maturity, and upon the whole saves a considerIn describing the stage, it was said to be pro- able quantity of leaves, because few or none of per to make the lowest shelf six inches broader them are lost amongst the litter, besides that the than the one above it, that the lowest may pro- operation is by this means sooner brought to a ject three inches on each side further than the conclusion, and the worms always kept in high one immediately over it; and to make the same health and appetite by it. Upon these occasions difference of breadth in all the other shelves let it be a fixed rule to feed them at night immeprogressively as you go up to the top of the diately before going to bed, and as early as you stage, which three inches of breadth in the dif- possibly can in the morning. ferent shelves is intended to receive the worms There is another particular to which it is prowhich may happen to fall from the shelf above. per to pay attention, and that is, that, the moAnd therefore these different projections must be ment a basket of worms is cleared from the litter, covered with brush-wood, when once your cabins the litter should be instantly carried out of the are well furnished with worms, as this will help room, and along with it all the dead worms you to break the fall of such worms as may happen to can find, in order to prevent, as far as you can, tumble down. And for the same reason it is any bad smell from taking place in the room, advisable, when once your cabins are well fur- which is always hurtful to the worms, nothing wished with worms, to put a little brush-wood in conducing more to their health than cleanness the bottom, and at the entrance of each cabin, as and preserving always good air in the room. it will be of service to such worms as fall from During the four or five days which precede the brush-wood above, and afford them a proper the mounting, the worms eat with the most vora convenience for making their cocoons in case cious appetite, and in that period consume au they should be so stunned with the fall as to incredible quantity of leaves ; so that the supplydisable them from mounting again on the ing them with fresh leaves, and the clearing away branches.

of the litter, become at this time a most laborious, But, to return to the treatment of the worms incessant, and fatiguing work for those who aiduring the fourih age : as soon as you find seve tend them. You will know when the worms are ral of your worms have got over their fourth sick- ripe by observing them with attention when you ness, you must pick them out and put them by give them fresh leaves. Those that are ripe, in

« ZurückWeiter »