The series of articles on Entomology which have appeared in our columns, are complete in this number. They are designed, we believe to inspire a taste for the study of this beautiful and useful science, in the minds of a number of our younger leaders. It is not possible to enter extensively and minutely into this science in any newspaper, and indeed this is not the design of peiiodical literature. The object of a scientific periodical is like that of preacher, to bring forth things new and old out of the treasurj of knowledge, and to act the part of a laithtu. lonitor in spreading the truth abroad,tu i 'mine, instruct, lebuke, and encourage. The articles oi' Mr. Oiton, on Entomology, .it- written in such a clear and compact ny.'* that VPTY few words of more than two syllables aie ii.ni.ni in them—"much in little'1 has been the uutUoi lotto. cSience consists in a bytoitm".'* arrangement of mot?, and as the nutuitl sriences are all djvuUiled into one another, a knowledge of one is useful to an acquaintance with another. Tbe wild flora of a country affords a valuable indication of the nature of te soil ; lue rush tills the infellige.it lanriei tuafc good land isrenduied useless for want of proper draining; and tnus a knowledge of B.itany is useful to the farmer. It is the ume with En-tamology. it is more than a mtre pictuie catalogue of bettles and shilling flies, &wi'm Iv a knowledge of those insect" v.'iiiehs;re LMIUJI to be injurious to the grasses, irai.5S, and Duhs of our ft Ids and orchards. T.te iriiormation I of Lim 'PUS enabled him to t"sich. bis countrj-1 men how to destroy an inject (the Canthajis j Navalis) which had coft the Ssvedi-b. goveju-ment a vast amount by its ravages on the timber of one dock-yard only. Alter its rneta-morpbis, and the season when the fly laid its j eggs were known, all its ravages were .stopped by immersing the timber in Witter dining that period. Insects exercise a great influence tor good or evil over the condition of m.), and they are surely worthy of his aften-iive todsy '""w iSizfv of natural histor" ' as Alexander Wilson, the lirst American Or-ni*"!jo!o;"' a poet by nature—has said, " ena-btes us to derive irom objects that every-wi ere present themselves in our rural walks, not only amusement and instruction, but the highest incitements to piety and virtue." "Ii it had no other object," says Dr. Ruschenber-ger, U, S. N., 'than to familiarize man with the wonders of Creation, intelligent people must perceive in this a sufficient inducement to encourage its study." There is an "American Academy of Natural Sciences'' in Philadelphia, but we are convinced that thi fact is known to but a s nail minority of our people. The fault may be in the Soriuty; it at least makes little noise in the world, far less indeed than it j should do in justice to itself. It has a noble' library of 13 000 volumes, and a fine Museum containing 148,876 specimens of Natural History, ft was founded by kome noble and generous men, tuchas Thomas Say, Dr. Hare, William McClure (the p;oneer of American Geology, who gave $125000 towards building the Hall of the Academy, and made many donations to the funds and to the Library and Museum), and soms others. An institution of this kind S'IOI'M publish an annual or semiannual acriKiut of its proceedings—its light should not be hid under a bushel. We thus speak of it, because we believe it should exercise more influence for good among our people, in the cultivation of the sciences to which we have particularly alluded in this article.
This article was originally published with the title "The Natural Sciences" in Scientific American 8, 44, 352 (July 1853)