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game which might otherwise have supplied them with food. There was no resource left them but faith and prayer. They therefore earnestly committed themselves to the care, and besought the kind intervention of their heavenly Father. For some time he tried their faith, and seemed, by delaying his answer, not to hear their prayers.
After several days of distress and solicitude, they retired to rest one night without any prospect of speedy deliverance. The next morning they arose, and found immense herds of wild deer surrounding their enclosures, as though driven in for their especial benefit. How they came there none could tell. It was conjectured, that either the severity of the season had compelled them to seek the cultivated districts, and that hunger had made them fearless of the presence of man; or else that, terrified by the incessant skirmishing of the troops who were maneuvering in the neighbourhood, they had sought out this quiet valley as a retreat from the cannonade. But whatever was the cause which drove them there, they supplied the starving settlers with food sufficient for their need ; and the parties delivered recognised, with adoring gratitude, the
hand of Him who has said, “ All the beasts of the forest are mine."
Jeremy Taylor has somewhere said, that " a fly with God's message could choke a king ;' and a little insignificant beetle is known to have saved the life of a distinguished French naturalist. * During the ferment of the great French Revolution, Latreille, for that was the naturalist's name, had been thrown into prison, and afterwards conveyed to one of the great general depôts at the city of Bordeaux. The physician of the prison was one day struck by the attentive manner in which one of the captives was contemplating some object on the wall, and asked what it was that so engaged his notice. Latreille, for it was he, replied, “It is a very rare insect.” The physician had a young friend in Bordeaux who was fond of the study of insects, and who was forming at the time a collection. Knowing that this individual would highly prize a rare specimen, he asked for the insect, and obtained it. The physician's friend desired to see the imprisoned entomologist, and became interested in his
* This incident is extracted from an interesting volume, entitled, Gleanings of Sacred Philosophy,” published by Thomas Nelson.
favour. He was delighted to meet with one who had written on his favourite subject, and, assisted by others, he prevailed on the authorities of his native city to release Latreille.
He was accordingly liberated. Shortly after, his fellow-captives were shipped as convicts for Cayenne, but the ship which contained them foundered in the Bay of Biscay, and every one on board perished. How obscure the means God frequently employs, and, to us short-sighted mortals, how often apparently insignificant are the instruments he uses, to work his wondrously incomprehensible will ! This beetle did as truly, under God, save the life of Latreille, as did the ark of Noah the remnant of the world, or as does the raft or mast the shipwrecked mariner. Latreille never forgot his little insect deliverer. When he was an old man, and had his pupils around him, no mark of his favour was so appreciated by them as a specimen of this blue, red-shouldered beetle bestowed on them as a gift from him. After Latreille's release, his favourite study of entomology was most assiduously pursued, and that well-directed industry which God so frequently rewards, did in time give him a name and a distinguished place among scientific men. In
1806 and 1807, he published an admirable work on the characters of insects, which speedily raised him to the foremost ranks of natural historians; and it is in this work, entitled, “ Genera Crustaceorum et Insectorum,” that his little deliverer is first mentioned. Under the genus necrobia, he gives as an illustration the species called necrobia ruficollis, and at the end of its descriptive marks adds, "an insect very dear to me, for in those disastrous times when France groaned tremulously under the weight of endless calamities, by the kind intervention of Bory de St. Vincent and D’Argelas, but principally the latter, this little animal was the miraculous cause of my liberty and safety."
We have already referred to the marvellous escape which Mr. Gobat experienced in the den of a hyæna, but on another occasion in his eventful career, this animal was made the providential instrument of his deliverance from a violent death. While labouring among the wild tribes of the Druses, a messenger from one of their chiefs, whose influence it was important to secure, sent a message entreating Mr. Gobat to visit him. The latter, however, was unable to do so, in consequence of his labouring at the
time under indisposition. A second messenger repeated the invitation, but still, contrary to Mr. Gobat's expectation, circumstances arose to prevent himn complying with the chief's wishes. A third messenger, however, at last prevailed on him to set out, by the assurance that if he went at once he might spend the night with the chief, and be ready to return in the morning, so as to join a ship about to sail for Malta, and in which Mr. Gobat was anxious to embark. On their journey, the guides lost themselves in the dark and lonely mountain paths which led to the chief's dwelling. Having at last, with some difficulty, regained their route, they suddenly saw by the light of the moon, for night had come on, that a hyæna had laid itself down across the path exactly in their way. The natives took up some stones and threw them at it, in order to frighten it. The animal sprang up and ran straight along the path over which the party was to travel. This apparently accidental circumstance decided them. A superstition is prevalent among the Druses, that “ the way a hyæna goes is an unlucky one." The natives refused, accordingly, to go further, and Mr. Gobat was obliged to retrace his steps in order to embark for Malta,