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progress be not timely stopped. A person residing in the equinoctial regions, although not incited by curiosity, must be very fortu nate if the safety of his property do not com pel him to observe their habits.

"When they find their way," says Kirby, "into houses or warehouses, nothing less than metal or glass escapes their ravages.Their favorite food, however, is wood, and so infinite is the multitude of assailants, and such the excellence of their tools, that all the timber work of a spacious apartment is often destroyed by them in a night. Outwardly, every thing appears as if untouched; for these wary depredators, and this is what constitutes the greatest singularity of their his tory, carry on all their operations by sap or mine, destroying first the inside of solid substances, and scarcely ever attacking their outside, until first they have concealed it and their operations with a coat of clay."

An engineer having returned from surveying the couutry, left his trunk on a table; the next morning he found not only all his clothes destroyed by white ants or cutters, but his papers also, and the latter in such a manner, that there was not a bit left of an inch square. The black lead of his pencils was consumed, the clothes were not entirely cut to pieces and carried away, but appeared as if motheaten, there not being a piece as large as a shilling that was free from small holes; and it was farther remarkable, that some silver coin, which was in the trunk, had a number of black specks on it, caused by something so corrosive, that they could not be rubbed off, even with sand. "One night," says Kemper, "in a few hours they pierced one foot of the table, and having in that manner ascended, carried their arch across it, and then down, through the middle of the other foot, into the floor, as good luck would have it, without doing any damage to the papers left there."

The nests of these insects are usually termed hills by natives, as well as strangers, from their outward appearance, which, being more or less conical, generally much resemble the form of a sugar-loaf; they rise about ten or twelve feet in perpendicular height above the ordinary surface of the ground.

They continue quite bare till they reach the height of six or eight feet, but in time, the dead barren clay of which they are com posed becomes fertilized by the genial influence of the elements in these prolific climates; and in the second or third year, the hillock, if not overshaded by trees, becomes like the rest of the earth, almost covered with grass and other plants; and in the dry season, when the herbage is burnt up by the rays of the sun, it appears not unlike a very large hay-coCK. "But of all extraordinary things I observed," says Adamson, "nothing struck me more than certain eminences, which by their height and regularity, made me take them at a distance for an assemblage of negro huts, or a considerable village, and yet they are only the nests of certain insects."

Smeathman has drawn a comparison between these labors of the termes and the works of man, taking the termes' laborer at one-fourth of an inch long, and man at six feet high. When a termes has built one inch or four times its height, it is equivalent to twenty-four feet, or four times the height of a man. One inch of the termes' building being proportionate to twenty-four feet of human building, twelve inches, or one foot, of the former must be proportionate to twelve times twenty-four, or two hundred and eightyfeet, of the latter; consequently, when the white ant has built one foot, it has in point of labor, equalled the exertions of a man who has built two hundred and eighty-eight feet; but as the ant-hills are ten feet high, it is evident that human beings must produce a work of two thousand, eight hundred and eighty feet in height, to compete with the industry of their brother insect. The Great Pyramid is about one-fifth of this; and as the solid contents of the ant-hill are in the same proportion, they must equally surpass the solid contents of that ancient wonder of the world.

Every one of these hills consists of two distinct parts, the exterior and the interior.

The exterior consists of one shell formed in the manner of a dome, large and strong enough to enclose and shelter the interior from the vicissitudes of the weather, and the inhabitans from the attacks of natural or accidental enemies. It is, therefore, in every instance, much stronger than the interior of the building, which, being the habitable part, is divided, with a wonderful degree of regularity and contrivance, into an amazing number of apartments for the residence of the king and queen, and the nursing of their numerous progeny; or appropriated as magazines, to hold provisions.

These hills make their first appearance above ground by a little turret or two in the shape of sugar-loaves, rising a foot or more in height. Soon after, at some little distance, while the first turrets are increasing in height and size, the insects raise others, and so go on, increasing their number abd widening their bases, till the space occupied by their underground works becomes covered with a series of these elevations; the centre turret is always the highest; the intervals between the turrets are then filled up, and the whole collected, as it were, under one dome. These interior turrets seem to be intended chiefly as scaffolding for the dome; for they are, in a great part, removed when that has been erected.

When these hills have reached more than half their height, they furnish a convenient stand, where the wild bulls of the district may be seen to station themselves, while acting as sentinels and watching the rest of the herd reposing and ruminating below; they are sufficiently strong for this purpose.

To these remarks we may add, that our American ants are worthy of more attention than has yet been paid to them.


IMPROVEMENTS IN AGRICULTURE. Two or three books, republished in this country within three or four years, and extensively circulated, have turned many minds for the first time to scientific views of agricul ture. They have happily been written in such a familiar style as to be, at least in part, intelligible to common readers; and such is the interesting nature of the subject to which they are devoted, that they became interesting of course.

We cannot flatter ourselves into the belief that the public, or any very large portion of the readers of the various cheap editions of Liebig and Thompson which have been issued, are perfectly acquainted with all the chemical terms they contain. On the contrary, we have reason to apprehend that some of our best educated men are not familiar enough with the proximate principles of ve getables, the salts which most abound in common soils, or even the simplest elements of plants, to be able to give a clear account of many of the pages of those authors, in which they have read theories of the action of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, potassa, &c.

It is gratifying to know, however, that these books contain a great deal which may be understoood without a knowledge of chemistry, or even its most common terms. Fortunately it happens, that those portions of the works which are now of the greatest practical value, are precisely those of which we are now speaking; and we would urge every person to read at least such parts, passing over, if he chooses, what he thinks difficult of comprehension.

We learned from Liebig one thing which surprised us, respecting the ignorance in Germany on some parts of the very alphabet of this science. He devotes several pages to proving one of the plainest facts: viz., that plants are supplied with their charcoal by the atmosphere, and that it must be offered to the roots in the form in which they are able to absorb and digest it.

Nothing could be more evident to any reflecting person at all acquainted with chemistry and the growth of plants: yet these facts were evidently supposed by Liebig to be generally unknown.

The truth is, that the study is by no means a simple one. Before a person can appre

hend the leading principles of chemistry, so as to apply them to much practical use, he must employ his mind with vigor. There is one great difficulty in the case, because the principal causes, whose nature, operations and effects he is to learn, are invisible, or so changeable that appearances are often unlike, and indeed quite opposite to the truth. The mind is required to be constantly regarding things as being what they have been proved to be, often in direct opposition to their appearance for instance, wheat flour as chiefly consisting of charcoal, and marble as half formed of air.

The study of chemistry is admirably adapted to train the mind to the exercise of faith; and, when legitimately employed, will greatly promote the vigorous life of a spirtual man. It is our intention to introduce from time to time a few facts and suggestions on this subject, indicating simple experiments; and we hope to contribute, in this way, to the entertainment and benefit of some of our curious readers.

For the American Penny Magazine.
Instruction in Vocal Music by Force.

A curious experiment was made at Lyons, in France, in 1842 and 1843, which is of great value, as tending to show what may be effected by dry practice of musical exercises where present gratification is wholly left out of view, and permanent advancement made the single object.

One hundred and fifty soldiers, connected with the military gymnasium at Lyons, were put under the direction of Dr. Chevé, for an hour and a half each day, who undertook to teach four fifths of them, in one year, the theory of music-to read at sight any piece of music within the compass of their voices, one at a time, without any accompaniment, and to write any piece that should be sung to them.

The first lesson was on 1st. of Oct. 1842. The soldiers manifested great unwillingness to come under the direction of the "medicin fou," (crazy doctor,) as they called him; and in a month twelve protested that they would not sing at any rate. By July, 1943, the number had been reduced, by punishments, removals and changes, to fifty odd, and somewhat later, to 28, while it was found impossible to make any additions. Two commissioned officers were present at all the lessons, to en. force obedience.

Before proceeding to the results, we feel obliged to state our decided conviction, that the method of instruction' used, though superior to that in common use in the United States, was greatly inferior to the prevailing system in France.


An exhibition was held before the general and his staff, on the 25th of April, 1843. "It would be difficult," says Capt. D'Argy, "to paint the astonishment produced by this exhibition upon all who were present. truly surprising readiness with which these men sung at sight the most difficult intervals in both scales, the facility with which they read in every key, and in fine the accuracy and readiness with which all, without exception, recognized the various notes uttered by others, convinced the audience that these men were masters of intonation to a very high degree. All the pieces were sung with faultless accuracy, only two measures of each piece being beaten by the professor, to give them the movements." On the 1st of September, 1843, all could sing at sight any piece, provided the movements were not too quick.

We have looked at the exercises they used, and assure our readers that it is the driest kind of stuff, destitute of all melody, designed in short, not to give pleasure either to singer or hearer, but simply to teach the performer music..

And, we thought, while looking at it, how soon so tedious a course would be abandoned by our young acquaintances, unless they were constrained by some martial law, as efficient as that maintained in the barracks of Lyons. In learning to read words, it is not so: no one expects to derive any pleasure from any thing he shall read in the first 500 pages of his practice. When will our school children learn to read music, (i. e. to sing,) with a similar spirit of perseverance, and patient waiting for the natural maturity of the fruit of well applied labor?

The Variety and Abundance of Matter. When we first proposed the publication of the American Penny Magazine, it was with the conviction that abundant and various sources of information were offered to us, greatly or wholly neglected by other popular works in the United States. We had often expressed the opinion, that sufficient matter might easily be found, to occupy a large portion of its pages, which would be novel, interesting and instructive to the mass of our country men. Our duties as the editor of such a work have since led us to more extensive and minute inquiries and observations; and we are now quite lost in the accumulating matter of all kinds, which we find offered to us, and pressing on our attention. New works of many classes, with rare old books, and manuscripts which we had long ago laid by, form a stock which is daily increasing, by the kind labors of friends and approving strangers; so that we can assure our readers, that they need apprehend no dearth or scar

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For the American Penny Magazine:

I am three words composed of 11 letters,
My 1, 9, 10, 11, 9, 5, 7, 4, is an amphibious

My 10, 9, 3, 4, is a noted city of antiquity; My 7, 5, 8, 9, 10, is a river of Egypt, mentioned in the Scriptures.

My 4, 3, 2, 10, is a Turkish functionary;
My 10, 9, 6, 4, is a very fragrant flower;
My whole is a truth, which should be im-
pressed upon our minds, and incite us to duty.

Louisiana, comprising all the territory now belonging to the United States west of the Mississippi, was purchased of France in 1803; and Florida, of Spain, in 1819.

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TO OUR OLD SBUSCRIBERS.-The first volume of the American Penny Magazine is completed the second beginning February 7th. Those who began with No. 1 will have 52 numbers, of 16 pages each, containing nearly 200 illustrative engravings, and a variety of reading matter, derived from a great variety of sources, foreign and American, ancient and modern. Of their value our readers can judge. Many new and valuable sources of information are continually opening to us. The experiment which we have made, of furnishing American families with an illustrated weekly paper, devoted to useful information and sound principles, intellectual, moral and religious, at a lower price than any similar work, promises permanent success. Those who wish to receive the next volume will please to send the money, ($1) by the close of the term. Those who may wish to receive any or all of the back! numbers, will be promptly supplied. As they are stereotyped, we shall always be able to furnish complete sets.

TO OUR NEW SUBSCRIBERS.-Those who have subscribed for our second volume only, and been supplied with any of the last numbers of Vol. 1, without charge, are quested to circulate them among their friends. They will be entitled to all the numbers of the second volume.


TO ALL OUR SUBSCRIBERS.-If each will procure one new subscriber, it will be rendering an important service to a new publication, designed for extensive and lasting benefit.


With numerous Engravings.

Edited by Theodore Dwight, Jr.

Is published weekly, at the office of the New York Express, No. 112 Broadway, at 3 cents a number, (16 pages large octavo,) or, to subscribers receiving i by mail, and paying in advance, $1 a year.

6 sets for $5.

Back numbers can be supplied.

Postmasters are authorized to remit money.

Enclose a One Dollar Bill, without payment of pos tage, and the work will be sent for the year.

"The information contained in this work is worth more than silver."-N. Y. Observer.

"It should be in every family in the country."— N. Y. Baptist Recorder. The New York Methodist Advocate speaks of it in similar terms. Also many other papers. Editors of newspapers publishing this advertisement for 3 months, will be furnished with the work for one year.

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