Instincts comparable with habits, but different in their origin -- Instincts graduated -- Aphides and ants -- Instincts variable -- Domestic instincts, their origin -- Natural instincts of the cuckoo, ostrich, and parasitic bees -- Slave-making ants -- Hive-bee, its cell-making instinct - - Difficulties on the theory of the Natural Selection of instincts -- Neuter or sterile insects -- Summary.
It can be clearly shown that the most wonderful instincts with which we are acquainted, namely, those of the hive-bee and of many ants, could not possibly have been thus acquired.
Science has recently discovered that the ant does not lay up anything for winter use.
The ant is strong, but we saw another strong thing, where we had not suspected the presence of much muscular power before.
"I know one, sure enough--the most charming one!" said one of the ants
. "But I am afraid we shall hardly succeed, for she is a queen!"
"They will not sting, but they may infest the victuals," said Miss Allan, and measures were taken at once to divert the ants from their course.
The noise grew suddenly more clamorous, for it was discovered that a long line of ants had found their way on to the table-cloth by a back entrance, and if success could be gauged by noise, Hewet had every reason to think his party a success.
Kirby and Spence tell us that the battles of ants
have long been celebrated and the date of them recorded, though they say that Huber is the only modern author who appears to have witnessed them.
(Ant. 1) The light-witted birds of the air, the beasts of the weald and the wood He traps with his woven snare, and the brood of the briny flood.
(Ant. 2) Passing the wildest flight thought are the cunning and skill, That guide man now to the light, but now to counsels of ill.
(Ant.) Queen infernal, and thou fell Watch-dog of the gates of hell, Who, as legends tell, dost glare, Gnarling in thy cavernous lair At all comers, let him go Scathless to the fields below.
(Ant. 1) Love can turn past pain to bliss, What seemed bitter now is sweet.
(Ant. 1) Ah friend, still loyal, constant still and kind, Thou carest for the blind.
(Ant. 2) My curse on him whoe'er unrived The waif's fell fetters and my life revived!
It would be difficult to explain why and whither ants
whose heap has been destroyed are hurrying: some from the heap dragging bits of rubbish, larvae, and corpses, others back to the heap, or why they jostle, overtake one another, and fight, and it would be equally difficult to explain what caused the Russians after the departure of the French to throng to the place that had formerly been Moscow.