The Boy Captain: A Tale of Adventure by Land and Sea [1/43]
H M, pseud. [Henri Meyer]
Travel, Exploration, Hunting, Entomology, Collecting, Amateurism
Describes the journey of Mr and Mrs Weldon to New Zealand. Includes the character of Cousin Benedict who accompanied the Weldons on their voyage, but who 'spent his whole time' on natural history, specifically on all the classes of 'articulata'—'the insecta, the myriapoda, the arachnida, the crustacea, the cirrhopoda, and the anelides'. Notes his inability to distinguish various species of this class, adding that he 'was an amateur entomologist, and nothing more'. Proceeds to describe entomology as a 'wide science', but points out that Cousin Benedict 'was an entomologist only in the limited sense of the popular acceptation of the word'—'an observer and collector of insects'. Despite the fact that Benedict was only interested in the insecta, stresses that this class comprises ten orders in which there are tens of thousands of species. Proceeds to describe some of Benedict's scientific habits including the pins that he carried about his person 'in readiness for the capture of specimens', and his tendency to guard his specimen box. (14) The illustration shows Benedict in his study—a bearded, bespectacled character at his desk where he inspects one of his insects with a magnifying glass. On the wall behind him are displays of his insects, while on his desk sits a pin cushion.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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