Indeed, Leeuwenhoek felt a strong curiosity for animalcules
that live in water, and to satisfy his quest for knowledge, he built and improved simple but brilliant microscopes (Stanier, 1951; Lechevalier & Solotorovsky, 1974).
Despite van Leeuwenhoek's observation in the mouth of an old man of "an unbelievably great company of living animalcules
," or bacteria, no connection had yet been made between them, or the other microorganisms he discovered, and human disease.
With each answer, researchers move closer to creating a new breed of animalcules
to swim the microrealm.
However, since the world abounds in the noblest fields of speculation, it is, methinks, the mark of a little genius to be wholly conversant among insects, reptiles, animalcules
, and those trifling rarities that furnish out the apartment of a virtuoso.
In vain do we aspire to assign limits to the works of creation in space, whether we examine the starry heavens, or that world of minute animalcules
which is revealed to us by the microscope.
But Emerson's revised argument is tricky: "Our planet," he writes, "before the age of written history, had its races of savages, like the generations of sour paste, or the animalcules
that wriggle and bite in a drop of putrid water.