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and the rye, were not yet in ear; and such was the fecundity of the soil in Egypt, that a very short time would have sufficed for the leaves of the trees, and for the grass of the field to have been recruited. To complete therefore these evils, and to confound the stubborn prince and his magicians, it pleased God to send an host of locusts, to devour every leaf, and blade of grass, which had been left in the former devastation: and whatever was beginning to vegetate. It is hard to conceive, how widely the mischief extends, when a cloud of these insects come upon a country. Though it were a paradise before, it soon is rendered a desert. They devour to the very root and bark so that it is a long time before vegetation can be renewed. Scarcely any misfortune can so effectually damage a land, but that room will be left for them to add to the mischief. How dreadful their inroads at all times were, may be known from a variety of
deum sexto a satu mense, frumenta septimo, metuntur. 1. 18. c. 7. p. 106.
By the author of the Book of Wisdom, they are supposed to have killed by their bite—ους μεν γαρ ακρίδων και μυίων απέκτεινε δήγματα, και ουκ ευρεθη ίαμα ταις ψυχαίς αυτών.
authors, both ancient and modern and they describe them as being brought on upon a
country by one wind; and carried off by another and speak of their numbers as past all conception. The wind by which they are brought on, generally comes from a morassy country. They swarm greatly in Asia and Africa and the lower parts of Europe towards the south-east are by no means free from their invasions.
Instances concerning Locusts, and their
In respect to Europe Thevenot tells us, that the region upon the Boristhenes, and particularly, that inhabited by the Cossacs, is greatly infested with locusts, especially in a dry season. They come in vast clouds, which extend fifteen and sometimes eighteen miles : and are nine to twelve in breadth. The air, by their interposition, is rendered quite obscure; however bright the day may have been
Barbot, Vander Brock, Cada Mosta, Loyer, St Andre Brene, Nieuhoff, Bouvet, Lettres Edifiantes, Le Bruyn's Voyage to the Levant, p. 179, 280. Russel's Hist. of Alepo, p. 62.
* Relation des Cossaques.-See Voyages, vol. 1. p. 12.
before. In two hours they devour all the corn, wherever they settle: and oftentimes a famine ensues. At night, when they repose upon the earth, the ground is covered with them four inches deep, and more. And if a carriage goes over them, and they are mashed under foot, the smell of them is scarcely to be borne, especially when they are reduced to a state of putrefaction. They come from Circassia, Mingrelia, and Tartary: on which account the natives rejoice in a north or northeast wind; which carries them into the Black Sea, where they are intercepted and perish.
The Sieur de Beauplan has afforded us a similar account of this country (the Ukraine) and of the frequent inroads of these destructive animals.---' “ Next to the flies let us talk of the grasshoppers, or locusts: which are here so
numerous, that they put one in mind of the 66 Scourge of God sent upon Egypt, when he "punished Pharaoh. I have seen this plague "several years, one after another: particu66 larly in 1645, and 1646. These creatures "do not only come in legions; but in whole "clouds, five or six leagues in length generally come from Tartary, especially in
* Churchill's Collect. v. 1. p. 471, 472.
"a dry spring. For Tartary and the coun"tries east of it, such as Circassia, and Min
grelia, are seldom free from them. These "vermin being driven by an east wind, or a "south-east wind, come into the Ukraine, "where they do much mischief; eating up "all sorts of grain and grass: so that where"soever they come, in less than two hours "they crop all they find; which causes great "scarcity of provisions.-It is not easy to express their numbers; for all the air is full, " and darkened and I cannot better repre"sent their flight to you, than by comparing "it to the flakes of snow driven by the wind "in cloudy weather. And when they alight "to feed, the plains are all covered. They "make a murmuring noise as they eat and "in less than two hours they devour all close "to the ground. Then rising they suffer "themselves to be carried away by the wind. "When they fly, though the sun shines never
so bright, the air is no lighter, than when "most clouded. In June 1646, having staid in
a new town called Novogrod—I was asto"nished to see so vast a multitude: for it was "prodigious to behold them. They were "hatched here last spring: and being as yet
"scarcely able to fly, the ground was all co"vered: and the air so full of them that I "could not eat in my chamber without a "candle all the houses being full of them, 66 even the stables, barns, chambers, garrets, "cellars, &c. After they had consumed all "that grew in the country for a fortnight, and having gathered strength to fly, the wind "took them up, and carried them away to do as much mischief in another place. I have 66 seen at night, when they sit to rest them"selves, that the roads have been four inches "thick of them one upon another.--By "the wheels of our carts, and the feet of our "horses bruising these creatures, there came "from them a stink, which not only offend"ed the nose, but the brain. I was not able "to endure the stench; but was forced to "wash my nose with vinegar and to hold
an handkerchief dipped in it to my nostrils "perpetually. These vermin' increase "and multiply thus. They generate in Oc"tober and with their tails make an hole "in the ground: and having laid three hund"red eggs in it, and covered them with their "feet, die for they never live above six "months and an half. And though the rains