Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

stage. At

stead of eating, avoid the fresh leaves, and run brush-wood, where the tops are very bushy, this over them as fast as they can ; and you will ob- will of course put the bottoms at a distance from serve them wandering about on the sides or rim each other. But these vacancies you must fill up of the basket. You will also know it by looking at with little twigs, for the purpose above menthem on the side opposite to the light, as you will tioned; to wit, that the worms may every where then find them to be transparent, like a new laid find branches to crawl on. egg, and of the color of the silk, which is also When you put up the brush-wood betwixt two much the same with that of a new laid egg. baskets, that is, when there is one basket placed When they are nearly ripe their bellies begin to over the head of another, as is always the case grow transparent first of all; but they are never on the stage, you have only to cut the branches thoroughly ripe till their heads are transparent of an equal length with one another, but about also. You must not be too hasty in putting up eight or nine inches longer than the distance the brush-wood on the baskets on the stage for the betwixt the two baskets; then, resting the bottom worms to mount. This ought not to be done till part upon the undermost, you bend the top in a you observe a good many of your worins offering curve downwards, either entirely to one side or to mount, because the brush-wood keeps the to both, as the bushyness of the brush-wood will worms too close and warm, and exposes them to allow of it. The ranges are made across the the danger of that disorder which the French breadth of the basket, at the distance of about call the touff, which is very fatal to the worms, eighteen or twenty inches from each other, so and which does not seize them till they are just that you may easily put in your hand from one ready to mount. When they are perfectly full, side to the other, to enable you to clean the inand ready to mount, they are rendered feeble by tervals from time to time from the litter, as you too great heat, and the silk fairly chokes them, shall find it necessary, which ought to be done so that a great deal of fresh air becomes more at least once in twenty-four hours after the bushes particularly necessary for them at this time than are put up, and even twice if you can find time at any other. For this reason it is even thought for it. The bushes are placed in such manner advisable not to put up your brush-wood until as to form with their heads little arches betwixt you have seen a cocoon fairly made upon the each row of the branches. By placing the bushes

any rate you can have some of your as above, they stand erect and firm, because they large baskets (of which you should have an ample . press equally upon the undermost as well as on provision) ready dressed with brush-wood, into the upper basket. which you can from time to time, as you observe When the worms are mounted on the brushthem, put such of your worms as you find are wood, care must be taken not to suffer anybody fully ripe for mounting. Besides, when you see to disturb them by handling or touching the a whole parcel ready to mount, you have only to brush-wood; because, when they begin to work, take the basket which contains them out of its their first operation is to fix so many threads of place, and put up one of those which are already silk to different parts of the branches, which dressed with the brush-wood, by which means threads are to serve to support and hold up their you can put your worms directly into the little cocoons in their proper poise. If any one of cabins prepared for them, which will reuder these silk threads is broken, by handling the your work much easier than it would be other- branches, the worm finds, when he comes to wise, and make it less hurrying. The basket work in the cocoon, that by the loss of that thus emptied of the worms should be instantly thread the cocoon has lost its poise, by which dressed with brush-wood, to be in readiness for means, as it does not remain steady, he cannot the next parcel that shall be ready for mounting. work with advantage, so as to tinish his cocoon Not a minute is to be lost when the worms are properly. Disappointed by this means of confully ripe, so that a number of these additional tinuing his work, he pierces the cocoon, quits it prepared baskets are of the utmost consequence altogether, and throws out his silk at random at this time.

wherever he goes, by which means his silk is In preparing the little cabins for the worns wholly lost, as is the worm also, as he finds no you must make choice of such small brush-wood place to lodge in with propriety, in order to preas is bushy at the tops, as already mentioned ; pare for his last change of state, when he is to and, in arranging them, you must intermix the come out a butterfly. Some of the threads of tops of them with each other, which will render silk, which it has been already said the worm atthem thicker in the heads; but taking care always taches to the different branches, upon his first to leave little openings betwixt the twigs, so as beginning to work, are likewise sometimes broken the passage for the worms may not be stopped, by another worm working in his neighbourhood, which is attended with this advantage, that it af- which is attended with the fatal consequences fords a great many little places proper for the above mentioned, though this last is an accident worms to form their cocoons in. When the which happens but very seldom. Such of your heads of the brush-wood are too thin, the worms worms as you find loiter below, without mountfind theinselves at a loss to fix themselves, and ing, notwithstanding they are ripe, you must be spend a great deal of their strength in ranging careful from time to time to place upon the from branch to branch to find a proper place for brush-wood, which is ranged at the two ends them. In placing your brush-wood, you must and along the sides of the stage. There are order it so that the bottom parts of it shall stand always some of the worms which are lazy, or as close to one another as possible, that the have not strength enough to mount on the worms in groping about may every where find branches, which however are strong enough to bushes to cling io. In using many kinds of make good cocoons when they are placed where

they can make them without the fatigue of other worms, which are not ripe, they leave in mounting the brush-wood. Those which are so the basket, and give them their food in the usual unlucky as to tumble from the brush-wood manner, till they become ripe in their turns, should also be placed with the other weak when they are constantly gathered up from time worms, because the fall generally diminishes to time, and put into the cabins as they come to their strength greatly; and those which you then maturity. By this means you change them with place upon the brush-wood should be covered ease, and they are safe against being wet with over with a piece of paper, to which they attach that glutinous liquor above mentioned, which the threads of silk to keep their cocoons steady. from repeated experience has been found to You may also place some of the weak worms in have such pernicious and destructive consepapers, made up in the form of a cone or sugar- quences. loaf, in which they will make their cocoons ex In putting the ripe worms into the cabins, tremely well.

take care to place them first of all in the middle Great attention must also be paid to visit care of the cabins, that the middle may be well furfully from time to time all the different cabins, nished with worms before you place ary at the in order to remove immediately all diseased and sides. Should you begin first with the sides, or dead worms; because the last, if left, will pre- outward ends of the cabins, you will find it exsently stink, and occasion a bad smell in the tremely difficult to supply the middle of the room, which would particularly annoy the worms cabins with worms, without disturbing and even which are at work in making their cocoons in destroying some of those which are mounting on the same cabin; and the diseased ones would the sides, in reaching in with your hand towards infect the others which are sound.

the middle. When it is observed that a great proportion of The cocoons should be allowed to remain upon the worms of the same basket are ripe, and that the brush-wood for six or seven days after the they are wandering about in quest of the brush- last of the worms of that particular parcel are wood, the common practice has been to place the mounted. After the cocoons are taken down whole worms of that basket at once into the cabins they should be assorted according to their colors, for mounting. But this practice is attended with setting apart all the weak cocoons, and such as no small degree of inconvenience and danger, are double. Those of each color which have a because it is impossible to manage your worms shine upon their surface, and thence called satin such a manner that the contents of a whole. tiny, should also be put by themselves, as they basket shall all of them be ready to mount at the form the second sort of silk. The double cocoons same instant.

The consequence then is, that form the coarsest silk of the whole. All the foss, those which are ripe mount directly, and those or loose silk, which is round the outside of the which are not ripe remain in the cabins, and cocoons, must be carefully taken off; because must have food given to them till such time as the better the cocoons are cleared from that outer they are ready to mount in their turns, during silk the better they play in the basin, and of which time the litter must be changed frequently course the better the silk will wind off. to prevent corruption : but, what is worst of all, In clearing off the floss silk from the cocoons, the worins which are mounted on the brush- when taken down from the branches, it is cuswood, before beginning to shut themselves up tomary to make choice of those which are judged entirely in their cocoons, discharge a quantity of to be the best for seed, which are put aside by liquid matter, which falls upon the worms below themselves, and afterwards from the whole of in the cabins, and wets and dirties them prodigi- those to pick out in pairs such as are judged ously; and that glutinous liquor, drying and best for the purpose ; taking care in this last hardening upon their skins, prevents their per- choice to pick out an equal number of males and spiration, and deprives them of that pliancy and females, as far as one can judge of the different agility which are so requisite to enable them to sexes by the cocoons. In doing this care must mount, as well as to make their cocoons. The con- be taken to keep the cocoons of the same day's sequence often is that the worms thus wet with mounting always separate by themselves, that that glutinous liquor contract diseases and die, at the butterflies may pierce the cocoons at the the very instant they are ready to mount; and same time. If the good cocoons taken from the as these diseases are too often contagious, by the whole are all first mixed together, and from this worms bursting, the contagion is spread over the general heap the cocoons are afterwards picked rest, which become also infected, and so the out in pairs for breeding, the consequence will whole which remained in the cabins are often en- be that there will be set aside the cocoons of t.rely lost.

worms that have mounted the brush-wood upon Some few people, who are more attentive, and different days, which of course will have the efare sensible of the dangerous consequences of the fect that the butterflies will pierce the cocoons above method, follow a different practice. They unequally; that is, not on the same day, but at have the patience to pick out the worms, one by times distant from each other; so that there will one, from time to time as they observe them to be, not be an equal number of males and females ripe, which they then place in the cabins, and which produced at the same time, which must occasion never fail to mount immediately, when they are the loss of a great many of the butterflies, and properly chosen; that is, when the person who consequently the quantity of eggs or seed will gathers them is a proper judge of their real point fall short of what was intended; which shows of maturity, which discovers itself by their bo- the necessity of precision in keeping the cocoons dies, but more particularly their heads being of each day apart. When you happen to have perfectly transparent, as before mentioned. The more females than males you must employ the

400 eggs.

males of the preceding day a second time, that kept till the proper season in a drawer or closet you may not lose your supernumerary females. in a dry room, but not too hot. Every female But this is only to be done upon an urgent case butterfly is calculated to produce from 300 to of this kind ; because it is greatly preferable to

The reason for recommending the cause the males to serve only once if you can eggs to be taken off the cloth, about a month becalculate so as to have always an equal number fore the usual time of hatching, is this, that it can of both sexes for copulation. The double cocoons then be done without the smallest injury to the are to be distinguished by being much thicker eggs, which at that time are perfectly hard and than the others, generally broad, and not quite firm; but, if delayed till the time of hatching, the round.

case becomes greatly altered, because the eggs In taking the cocoons off the brush-wood pick gradually soften by the approach of the spring, them off carefully, especially if there are any so that they cannot then be taken from the cloth dead worms amongst them, which presently cor- without the evident risk of destroying a great rupt; because such of the cocoons as touch these part of them. dead worms are spoiled by them, as they contract Was it possible to wind off the silk from the by that touch a gluiness from the dead worins, other cocoons before the insect naturally pierces which hinders the silk from winding off properly them, that is the best time for doing it, because from the cocoon. The best manner to know the the silk at that time winds off with much greater good from the bad cocoons is to press them at ease than afterwards. But, as that is found to the two ends with your fingers. If they resist well be impossible, two methods have been pursued that pressure, and appear hard and firm betwixt to destroy the insect in the cocoon, that they your fingers, the cocoons are certainly good. may wind off the silk at leisure and with fuil Though they appear firm, upon pressing their convenience. The first method, which was folsides with your fingers, they may still not be en- lowed in France for that purpose, was to destroy tirely good, the pressure at the two ends being them by placing the cocoons in baskets in a of all others the best manner of knowing the baker's oven; but, if the oven happened to be a good ones.

little hotter than was proper, the silk was by that After the cocoons are taken down from the means scorched and often very much hurt by it. brush-wood, such of them as are intended for They therefore tried to kill the insect by the seed must, with the utmost care, be cleaned from steam of boiling water, which could not at all all the floss or loose sick which is about them; hurt the silk, and they succeeded; so that the which, if allowed to remain, would greatly hin- placing them in the oven is now wholly laid der the butterfly from getting out of his cell; aside. The killing of the insect by the steam of after which, with a needle and thread, you must boiling water is performed in the following manthread the cocoons by the middle, like a string ner :- They build a little furnace of brick of a of beads. But in doing this you must take care kind of oval form, the ground part of which is not to hurt the insect in the cocoon with the for holding the wood or charcoal which they use needle. You are only to pierce just as much of upon this occasion; and, to make the fire burn the skin of the cocoon as is sufficient to attach it properly, they have a little iron grate in the furto the thread, and this is done at the middle of nace, upon which they place the wood or charthe cocoon, to leave the two ends of it free, as coal; and over that, ai a little distance, they you cannot be certain at which of the ends the place a little copper cauldron, which they fill insect will pierce the cocoon. This being done, with water, and make it boil by means of the you hang up the cocoons against the wall of the fire underneath. Above this cauldron they have room by a nail, until such time as the butterflies another iron grate, upon which they place the

cocoons, in a little open basket composed of When putting the cocoons upon the thread, in twigs, which is made pretty open between the order to prepare them for breeding, be at the pains twigs, to let the steam and heat of the boiling to place a male and female cocoon alternately water have the easier access to the cocoons. To upon the thread, that they may be near each this cauldron, and the grate above it for holding other for copulation when they come to pierce the basket with the cocoons, you have access by the cocoons; and, when the butterflies come out, a little door which opens above the entrance for you place them upon a piece of clean woollen the fire. The furnace is arched over the top cloth, that is perfectly smooth, having no nap or with bricks, that, when the door above mentioned pile upon it, which may be hung upon the back is shut, the steam may be retained within, which, of a chair. The male is easily to be distinguished in the space of eight minutes, is found effecfrom the female by his body being more slender, tually to kill the insects within the cocoons. and by fluttering his wings oftener and with a The basket is then taken out and put aside, to great deal more force than the female. The fe- let the cocoons dry, as, upon coming out of the male, after copulation, will proceed to lay her furnace, they will be all of them wet with the eggs upon the cloth, to which they will closely steam; and they then place another basket in adhere; and upon which you let the eggs remain the furnace with more cocoons, taking care so till about a month before the usual time for to keep up the fire as to have the water in the hatching, when they are to be taken from the cauldron always boiling. Charcoal is prefercloth, which is generally done by means of a thin able to wood for fuel, upon this occasion, because piece of copper coin, which in France passes for it has no smoke. The smoke of wood spoils a penny (un sol marque), and which is found the color of the silk, and diminishes its lustre. perfectly to answer the purpose. The cloth upon The smoke of pit coai would be still worse. which the eggs are laid is folded up lightly and Here it is proper to add that after the insects

come out.

coarse.

have been killed by the steam, as above men, hy •hat means are in rendiness to be thrown is. Lioned, care must be taken to suir about and to form the thread of silk which is to be wound move the cocoons regularly, at least once a day uff. This done she puts together the threads If this is neglected, the insects will corrupt, and of as many of the cocoons as she inclines, acbreed worms in the cocoons, which will destroy cording as she wants to make the thread fine or the silk. After the cocoons are taken out of the

These she joins together; and, after furnace, and dried a little, as before directed, having put the silk through one of the eyes of they should be wrapped up in a good thick two of the pieces of iron which are placed for woollen blanket, to keep in all the bot steam, conducting the thread to the reel, she fixes the and to prevent all access to the exterior air. silk thread to the reel; upon which another This is done with a view to stifle any of the in- woman, who attends to manage the reel, begins sects which may happen to be yet alive, and to turn it about with her hand, and keeps it in which, if immediately exposed too much to the motion by applying her foot to the foot-board, open air, might revive and recover their strength. and hy this means winds off the silk from the They are left covered up in that manner with the cocoons, which is done with great swiftness. blanket for five or six hours together; after which As soon as one or more of the cocoons are they are to be taken out of the basket, and spread exhausted, the woman who manages the cocoons ont upon a table, and are afterwards to be stirred in the cauldron, or basin, supplies their places and moved about regularly every day, as directed from time to time with others; taking care while above. And you then assort the cocoons accordo these are winding off to prepare others for keeping to their different colors, of which they have ing up a continual supply, and taking care also three sorts in France; namely, the white, the to observe that the silk winds off regularly from yellow, and those of a greenish color.

all the cocoons she puts in play together. As When the insects are once killed, the sooner she is obliged to have her fingers almost every you wind off the silk from the cocoons the bet- other instant amongst the boiling water, in order ter; because it can then be done more easily to manage the cocoons properly, she has a basin than after they have been kept some time; upon of cold water at hand, into which she dips her which account they always wind off the silk as fingers alternately with the other, to prevent fast as they possibly can; and it is done in the scalding them. But, in spite of her best care, following manner :-—They build a little copper a woman who works any time at this managecauldron into a small furnace of brick, with a ment finds her fingers at last so affected, by the fire-place under it, as in the other furnace al- influence of the boiling water, that they are for ready described, exactly in the same manner as some time in such a state she has scarcely any feelwe do in Britain at the sides of our rivers, for ing with them: but this afterwards goes off graduthe washing of linen at our bleach fields; at the ally. Here it must be observed that, in forining end of which they have a large reel, which turns the brush before-mentioned, great care must be round with the hand, and by a foot-board, and taken to have the points of it exceedingly small; two or three little pieces of iron at proper dis- because, if the points are large and coarse, the tances, with eyes to them, by which to conduct silk will not take up fine from the cocoons, but the threads to the reel. · The cauldron above will rise off thick and clotty, which will prevent mentioned they fill with water, and keep it its winding off properly upon the reel. always boiling with a fire of wood or charcoal ; The winding off the silk is always performed the last, however, being preferable, on account in the open air, generally in some garden, to of its being free from smoke. They then put prevent any accident from the fire, and more from twenty to thirty cocoons at once into the particularly to prevent any bad effects from the boiling water, and with a small brush of little bad smell of the dead worms, which stink protwigs (of heath for example) they keep stirring digiously. For these reasons this work is not the cocoons about. The heat of the boiling suffered to be performed in any large town, but water dissolves the gum that is naturally about must always be done without the walls. When the the silk, upon which, as the cocoons are contin- day's work is over they make a fire of brush-wood, ually touched and tossed from side to side into which they throw all the dead insects, which amongst the water by the little brush, the ends are taken from the bottoms of the cocoons opened of the silk attach themselves to the brush. When with a pair of scissors for that purpose, and burn the woman who manages the brush perceives that them together, in order to prevent any bad conshe has got hold of the ends of the silk by it, sequences from their stench and smell. This is she takes hold of the silk thread with her hånd, done every night regularly before the work-peoputs aside the brush, and pulls the silk towards ple retire for the evening. As the manufacher, which disengages itself with ease from the turers of the silk, and merchants who want to sell cocoon; and this she continues to do till she has it, buy up large quantities of the cocoons, some of got away all the floss or outside silk of the these people will have from ten to twenty of these

When she observes she has come to little furnaces going at a time in the same garden, the fine silk, she breaks off and separates the and even sometimes more. As the whole of the coarse from it, which coarse silk she puts aside. silk cannot be entirely got off by the reel, what She then applies her brush again till she has got remains upon the dead insect is put aside with hold of the end of the fine silk, all of which she the coarse part of the silk, which is taken from sets apart, every fine thread by itself, by fixing the cocoons in the beginning, till you meet with it to a piece of wood kept near to the furnace the fine thread which is proper for the reel. The for that purpose, till she has arranged the whole, dimensions of the stove and basin niade use of at or at least the greatest part, in this manner, which Montauban, arii described above, are as follows:

cocoons.

Ileight of the stove from the ground, twenty cleans your basin of the sand, without your being two inches and a-quarter. Length of the stove put to the trouble and loss of time in changing twenty-nine inches and a-half. Breadth of the the water. stove twenty-four inches. Height of the iron bars Take care to keep up your fire under the basin for supporting the charcoal from the ground, in such a manner as to secure having the water for holding the fire, twelve inches and a quarter. always of the same degree of heat, and to throw Width of the door, or opening, at the bottom of in your addition of cold water by little and little the stove for taking out the ashes by, and for at a time, so as it may make as little odds as giving air to the fire, nine inches and a quarter. possible in the degree of heat. When you throw Width of the door, or opening, at which you put in too much cold water at a time, so as to alter in the charcoal for supporting the fire, seven the requisite degree of heat, the silk of the coinches and a half. Length of the oval copper coons which are in the basin at that time, loses basin, which is built in on the top of the stove, for its color, and grows perfectly pale; which silk, containing the hot water, in which the cocoons so rendered pale, it is said, will not take any dye are put when they wind off the silk, twenty properly, which by that means diminishes the inches and three-quarters. Width of that basin value of your silk. sixteen inches and a half. Depth of the basin In beating the cocoons in the basin, with the three inches and three-quarters. Breadth of the brush, you must carry your hand as lightly as rim of the basin one inch and a quarter.

possible, so as just to touch the cocoons slightly. Spring water or rain water, as being soft, If you beat too hard, the threads of silk, in place the only proper water to be used in the basin. of coming off singly, cling together in lumps, Draw-well water is altogether improper for this which, as it prevents its winding off, occasions purpose, because it is hard, and does not pro the loss of the silk, as it will then only answer perly dissolve the gum which is naturally upon as waste silk. When you take the fine threads the silk.

to throw them to that which is winding off, they The water in the basin must be wholly changed must not overlap your finger more than an inch; twice a day; it is filled in the morning before if too long, they will not join well, but hang setting to work, and the second time immediately down and occasion a lump, which causes the before the people go to dinner, as it requires thread to break, as it is then too large to pass some time to make it boil.

through the eye of the little iron conductor. When you first put the cocoons into the hot In winding off the silk you must be attentive water, if the silk rises thick upon the brush, it is to keep the thread wet, to make it slip along the a proof that the water is too hot. If you cannot more easily towards the reel. And, when the catch the threads of silk with the brush, it is a wheel has remained any time idle, you must also sign that the water is too cold.

wet all the thread betwixt the basin and two When the cocoons are in play, if they rise pieces of iron, which makes the thread run the often to the little iron conductors, it is a proof more easily. that the water is too hot. If the cocoons will Be attentive also from time to time to wet with not follow the thread, it is a sign that the water water the cord, and the little wooden wheel, is too cold. By attending to these observations, which moves the wooden regulator, in order to you can easily manage so as to give that degree make it act properly. If this is neglected, the of heat to the water that is proper for the co cord, by being dry, will not turn the regulator

as it ought, by which means the silk will be If there should happen to be any sand amongst placed unequally upon the reel, which may have the water in the basin, the heat makes it rise to this farther disadvantage, to cause the silk threads the surface, where it fixes itself upon the cocoons. upon the reel to cling and stick to each other, This is easily known, because, where there is any by having been brought into contact before the sand upon the cocoons, it makes the thread first threads have had time to dry. For that break, as if cut with a knife. For this reason wooden regulator is calculated to place the the utmost care must be taken to guard against threads in such a manner upon the wheel as to it, by cleaning the basin with the greatest atten make them touch one another only obliquely, tion. The fear of having sand is one of the rea and in as few places as possible at first, that the sons for changing the water of the basin at mid- silk as it comes from the cocoons may have the day, and even oftener, if found to be necessary time requisite to dry, before it comes to be fully When they find that there is a little sand, and in contact with that which follows. When the that they wish to avoid changing the water, on silk threads cling together, by being too soon account of the loss of time which that operation brought into contact, the silk is rendered good requires, as the water must be boiling before you for nothing. can go on with the winding; in this last case, The cocoons called satiny, from their resemthey cover the face of the brush all over with a blance to satin, require only that the

water should parcel of the coarse silk, which is laid aside, be moderately hot in the basin. The same deand then put the face of the brush into the water, gree of heat that is necessary for the fine cocoons making it reach the bottom of the basin, along would entirely spoil the others, by making the which you draw the brush gently, to catch hold silk come off thick, and what they call bourry. of the sand with the coarse silk, to which it will You find out the degree of heat necessary for immediately cling when it comes in contact with these, by examining with care in what manner it. You then drag the brush gently up the side the silk comes off from the first quantity of coof the basin, and thus bring out the sand along coons you put into the basin; and, if you find it with it. This operation, several times repeated, comes off thick, you must add cold water by

coons.

« ZurückWeiter »