The origin of bells may be dated from the time of Moses, [n the 28th chapter of Exodus, verses 33-35, "a golden bell " is mentioned as upon the hem of the robe of Aaron, in Drder that " his sound shall be heard when he goeth into the boly place before the Lord." Bells are also mentioned in the t4th chapter of Zechariah, verse 20, as being upon horses; md it is not improbable that Tubal Cain, the sixth in descent From Adam, " an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron," may have known something of the art of making ;hem. The early historians inform us that the Greek war dors had small bells concealed within their shields, and when the captains went their rounds of the camp at night, each soldier was required to ring his bell in order to show that he 5vas watchful at his post. Plutarch also mentions that nets, tvith small bells attached, were spread across the stream to prevent the inhabitants of Xanthus from escaping by swimming the river when the city was besieged. Church bells originated in Italy, being formed by degrees )ut of the cymbals and small tinkling bells used in the religious ceremonies of the East, as a means of honoring the ods. Pliny states that bells were invented long before his ime. They were called tintinnaJbula. Among Christians bhey were first employed toiall together religious congregations, for which purpose runners had been employed before. Although first introduced in the fourth century, it was not mtil the sixth century that they were suspended on the roof )f the church in a frame. The hours of the day were first )rdered to be struck by Pope Sebastian in 605, to announce :o the people the time for singing and praying. In England large bells were first introduced in churches ibout the seventh century, and it is suiposed that they gave 'ise to that feature of ecclesiastical architecture known as the Bell Tower. Bells were often baptized and christened with great pomp md ceremony, and in the middle ages were much used as a part of the ceremonial of the church. The Sanctus bell, which is a small bell still used by one of the attendants of the priests of Roman Catholic Churches just before the elevation of the Host, was formerly a larger bell hung in theoutr turret of the church, at the sound of which, all who heard bowed in adoration. The Ave Maria bell announced the hour for offering .a siipplicfition to the Virgin, and for beginning and ceasing Jabor. The Vesper bell was the call to evening prayer. The Passing bell was so named as being tolled when any one was passing from life, and it was ordered that all within hearing should pray for the soul of the dying. From this custom is doubtless derived that of tolling the church bells at funerals, and also that which is practiced in some localities of tolling, the bell immediately after a death, and indicating the age of the deceased by the number of the strokes. The ringing of the Curfew bell was introduced into England from France by William the Conqueror. It was called the couvre feu (cover fire) bell, and when rung at eight or nine o'clock in the evening it was expected that all fire and light would be extinguished. It is to be remembered that at that early period houses were mostly built of inflammable materials, and the law of the Conqueror, though arbitrary, was intended to prevent conflagrations. The custom was enforced for less than fifly years, but there are many localities in England where, even now, " the curfew tolls the knell of parting day." In olden times it was superstitiously believed that the ringing of bells would disperse evil spirits, check tempests, drive away infections and avert the lightnings. The most common of the old inscriptions upon the Latin bells were to this effect. The use of bells to sound alarms in the event of dangers from fire, flood, and the enemy dates from an early period. It is related that in the year 610, when Sens was besieged, the Bishop of Orleans ordered the bells' of St. Stephen to bo rung, and the sound so frightened the assailants that they abandoned the siege. When Macbeth shut himself in the forest of Dunsinnane, and it was announced to him that Birnam Wood was moving on the castle, he cried out in his desperation: Ring the alarum bell! Blow wind! Come wrack! At least we'll die with harness on our back. In later years, the use of bells has become so systematized as not only to sound the alarm of fire, but to indicate the locality of the danger, and there are several cities in the United States in which, by means of electricity, every fire bell may at once announce this fact. Perhaps the most perfect operation of this system is to be seen in the city of New York. ' The largest bell in the world is in Moscow—the City of Bells. It was cast by order of the Empress Anne, in 1653 ; is twenty-one feet four and a half inches in hight, twenty-two feet five and a half inches in diameter where the clapper strikes, and is believed to weigh from 360,000 to 440,000 lbs. Historians are in doubt whether this giant among bells was ever hung. Dr. Clark, who saw it about the year 1801, says, in his " Travels," " The Russians might as well have attempted to suspend a line-of-battle ship with all its stores and guns." Bayard Taylor, on the other hand, maintains that it was both hung and rung, " it being struck by the clapper," as Korb says in his diary, "fifty men pulling upon it, one half upon each side." In 1837, the Czar Nicholas caused it t be disinterred from its bed of sand, where it is supposed it was lodged during the conflagration of 1737, and placed it on the granite pedestal where it now rests. It was then consecrated as a chapel, the entrance to the interior being through a large fracture near the mouth, the cause of which is also a subject of controversy. It is recorded that at the casting of this bell nobles were present from all parts of Europe, who vied with each other in the value of the gold and silver plate, jewelry, and other votive offerings which they cast into th*e furnace. It is doubtless owing to this practice, which prevailed in olden times, that the existing notion is derived that ancient bells are of better material than the modern ones, on account of the silver in their composition. It may be added, however, that the idea is incorrect, since recent periments have shown that its introduction causes a positiTO deterioration of the resonant quality of bell metal. Whoever has been in Russia recalls as chief among his memories the sounds of the great bells which form a part of religious worship, and are regarded by the Russians with superstitious veneration. In Moscow alone there are five thousand, and when they unite on festive occasions in one mity chime, the effect especially at a distance, is said to be majestically grand. There is now suspended in the tower of St. Ivan, at Moscow, a bell which weighs 144,000 pounds, and the diameter oi which is thirteen feet. It is said that when it sounds, which is but once a year, " a deep, hollow murmur vibrates all over Moscow, like the fullest notes of a vast organ or the rolling of distant thunder." The bell of Notre Dame Cathedral at Paris, cast in 1680, weighs 30,000 pounds; that of St. Peter's at Rome, weighs 17,000 pounds ; that of Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal—the largest in America—29,000 pounds; and that of the Parliament House in London, 30,000 pounds. When it is remembered that the largest bells heard in our American cities rarely weigh more than three or four thousand pounds, some idea may be had of the v(Iume of tone which belongs to the monster bells above described. The Chinese have likewise produced bells of colossal size, one of which at Pekin weighs 120,000 pounds, but the tone of their bells is said to be discordant and " panny " like that of their gongs. Probably the most celebrated bell in this country is that 67 known as the " Liberty Bell/* which on the 4th July, 1776, announced the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was cfacked while being rung in honor of the visit of Henry Clay to Philadelphia, and since then has been on exhibition in that city, together with other revolutionary relics. The following inscription, taken from Leviticus xxv., 10, surrounds it near the top : " Proclaim liberty throughout the land, unto all the inhabitants thereof." Nor are our own well-known St. Michael's chimes unworthy of notice in this connection. These bells—eight in number —were imported .from England in 1764, at a cost of 581. On the evacuation of Charleston in 1782, Major Traille, of the Royal Artillery, took them down under the pretence that they were a military perquisite belonging to the commanding officer. The Vestry applied to Lieutenant-General Leslie to have them restored, on the ground that they were paid for by subscription, and private property was secure under the terms of the capitulation. No answer was returned. Sir Guy Carleton, at New York, however, anticipated the wish of the vestry, and ordered the bells to be restored. Meanwhile they had been shipped to England. The vestry then applied to the Secretary of War of Great Britain, but without success. They were sold ; and being purchased by a Mr. Rhineu, were generously reshipped by him to Charleston in 1783. They chimed their hallowed music thenceforward until 1863 or 1864, when, for prudential reasons, they were removed to Columbia, S. C., and deposited in the State House grounds. Here, they were partially destroyed in the great Sherman conflagration of February, 1865. After the war, they were sent again to Englandj and, strange as it may appear recast by the descendants of the original founders, and returned to this country. Once naore St. Michael's chimes are in their place, marking the footsteps of the hours, and linking us, by every tone, with the tenderest associations of the past. The Asparagus Beetle.—" Crioceris asparagi." There is scarcely a vegetable raised in our gardens that is not preyed upon by one or more grubs, caterpillars, or maggots, so that, when we eat it, we have positively no security that we are not mingling animal with vegetable food. Two distinct kinds of maggots, producing two distinct species of two-winged fly, burrow in the btllb of the onion. Scabby potatoes are inhabited by a more elongated maggot, producing a very different kind of two-winged fly, and also by several minute species of mites. Turnips, beets, carrots, and parsnips are each attacked by peculiar larvae. And as to the multifarious varieties of the cabbage, not only are they often gre-viously infested by the cabbage-plant louse—a species which has been introduced from Europe into this country —but also by an imported caterpillar producing a small moth, and by several indigenous caterpillars producing much larger moths, some of which caterpillars, when full-grown, are over one inch long. Up to about eight years ago asparagus formed a notablo exception to the above general rule. There was no grub, caterpillar, or maggot peculiar to America that would tiouch it, and although there are several such that have long been known in Europe, none of them had hitherto found their way into this country. About 1860, however, the asparagus beetle was accidentally introduced into Long Island, N. Y., from the other side of the Atlantic; and in a very few years it had increased and multiplied among the extensive asparagus plan tations in that locality, to such an extent as to occasion a dead loss of some fifty thousand dollars in a single county. In the year 1868 it had already crossed over from Long Island on to the adjoining main land ; and thence there can be little doubt that it will gradually overspread the whole country, working westward at the probable rate of some twenty miles a year. That our readers may recognizo at once this pernicious insect as soon as they see it, we annex figures of it in its various stages. The pertect beetle, a, is of a deep blue-black color, with the thorax brick-red, and some markings of very variable shape and size on the side of its wing-cases. The eggs, (&, and magnified at c) are generally attached to the leaves of the growing asparagus, and are of a blackish color. The larva {d and e, and magnified at /,) is of a dull ash color, with a black head and six black legs placed at the forward end of the body, the tail being used as a proleg irt walking, as with the larvae ot most of the allied beetles. The species passes the winter under loose bark and in other such sheltered situations, in the perfect or beetle state ; and in May, or soon after the season for cutting the asparagus for table use has commenced, it comes forth from its winter quarters and lays the first brood of eggs. These hatch out in about eight days, and by the middle of June the first brood of larvae is large enough to be noticed, eating the bark off" the more tender part of the young stems first, and in default of this consuming the tougher and harder bark off the main stalks. About the end of June they descend to the ground, and either going under the surface of the earth or hiding under any rubbish that may have accumulated there, form slight cocoons, and pass into the pupa state. From these pupae there bursts forth, the same season, a second brood of beetles which lays its egs as before; and produces about the middle of August a Second brood of larvae or grubs, whence in the same manner as before there comes forth, in September, the brood of beetles which is destined to pass the winter in the beetle state and reproduce the species in the following spring. Thus, as will be seen, the economy of this species is nearly the same as that of the three-lined leaf beetle, which preys so extensively on the potato plant in the Eastern States, except that our larva does not cover itself with its own dung, and instead of the asparagus beetle passing the winter under ground in the larva state, it passes the winter above ground in the perfect or beetle state. Entomologically, the two species are closely allied, belonging to different genera of the same small subgroup of the great group of leaf-feeding beetles {Phi/tophaga), and both are what are commonly called " double-brooded " insects : that is, there are two distinct broods every year, the one generated by the other. According to Dr. Fitch, who published an excellent account of the depredations of this insect on Long Island up to the year 1862, one asparagus grower there had three acres out of seven " almost ruined,-" and four others had asparagus beds so badly injured that they plowed them up. Throughout this entire region the general idea up to 1862 seems to have been, that if this beetle was not soon destroyed the asparagus would be ; for every year the insect appeared to spread further and further, extending already for a distance of at least forty miles along the northern side of Long Island, and every year it got to be more numerous and more destructive. Lime, salt, potash, and a variety of other such applications, had all been tried and found ineffectual as remedies; domestic fowls, which as Dr. Fitch ascertained, feed greedily upon the beetles, could scarcely be used in sufficient numbers to clear fields of ten and twenty acres in extent; and as to hand-picking twenty acre fields, especially where the insect is so small, that would be too discouraging an idea to be entertained for a mo-ment by any one. But in the year 1863 a deliverer appeared in the form of a small shining black parasitic fly, probably belonging either to the Ghalcis or to the Proctotmpes family. Whether this fly lays its eggs in the eggs of the asparagus beetle or in the larva of that insect, does not seem to be at present clearly ascertained ; but i f the accounts that we have received of it be correct, it must do either one or the other. In the former case the larva that hatches out from the parasitic egg will consume the egg ol the asparagus beetle and entirely prevent it from hatching ; in the latter case it will destroy the larva before it has time to pass into the perfect state. The result, in either event, will be equally destructive to the bug and beneficial to the gardener. Thus, as we are told, " although the asparagus beetle has not entirely ceased to trouble them upon Long Island since 1863, it yet has never since that Jear been of any very material damage there. But the diminution in the numbers of the asparagus beetle is probably due in part to artificial as well as to natural causes. The asparagus growers upon Long Island have introduced a method of fighting the insect, which is founded upon correct principles, and seems to be followed by very gratifying results. Early in the spring, when the beetle has made its appearance and is ready to lay its eggs, " they destroy," as we are informed, " all the plantfiuiponthe farm except the large plants for market, hoeing up all the young seedlings that, as is well known, start from the last year's seed every spring upon the beds." Thus the mother-beetle is forced to lay her eggs upon the large shoots from the old stools; and as these are cut and sent to market every few days, there are no eggs left to hatch out into larvae for the second brood of beetles. At first sight we might suppose that it would be possible, by carrying out the above system rigidly to its utmost extent, to extirpate the insect entirely. But unfortunately this cannot be done. Asparagus, according to Dr. Fitch, has run wild to a considerable extent upon Long Island, "and slender spindling stalks of it may be seen growing in all situations there, by the roadsides, in the fields, and in the woods. Thus the asparagus beetle has such an abundance of food everywhere presented to it, and the insect is already occupying such an extent of territory, that there seems to be no mode by which it is now possible for us to effect its extermination." To many persons, perhaps, such a crop as asparagus may seem of but very trifling importance, in a pecuniary point of view. But we have Iready seen upon how large a scale it is cultivated on Long Island, in the State of New York ; and a writer in the American Journal of Horticulture, vfho hails from New Jersey, remarks as follows: "We plant asparagus in great fields of ten to twenty acres. Well planted, it will cost a hundred dollars to set an acre; but it will continue productive for twenty years: and if properly cared for each acre will clear two hundred dollars annually. There are men all around me who have made small fortunes out of this single article." Tie American EntoTnoloqist,