« 前へ次へ »
TT has been said derisively, and said too we believe by a poet, that 1 man's eyes and reason were given him for a different purpose than to study flies. The good-natured Spectator,' sharing in the same spirit, speaks of microscopical observers as constituting in the main a body of patientless doctors, who for want of a better occupation gave themselves up to this and similar studies. There are,' says the writer of No. 21, 'innumerable retainers to physic who, for want of other patients, amuse themselves with the stifling of cats in an air-pump, cutting up dogs alive, or impaling of insects upon the point of needles for microscopic observations.' And Pope, in the following lines, appears to consider the inspection of mites as the most unworthy of employments for a being who had the face of heaven whereon to exercise his vision :
• Why has not man a microscopic eye ?
For this plain reason-man is not a fly.
It is very true that for man to be endowed with microscopic vision would be a curse instead of a blessing; but it is also true that he who desires to extend his knowledge of the Creator of the heavens may both usefully and profitably employ himself even in the inspection of a mite, and that he can draw from the minutest objects around him arguments of power and wisdom equalling those of the philosopher whose studies penetrate almost into the outer boundaries of the universe. It is certainly a remarkable fact in the history of natural science, that those studies which
No. 41. VOL. VI.