Porticoes and pillars

John William Kaye, Doveton; or, the man of many impulse, Londres, Smith Elder & Co., 1837, p. 149-153.

But Larry heeded not this appealing gesture; his whole soul was in his sport; « Well, Mike, » said he, « if you don’t like baiting, I’ll do it for you willingly enough, » and as he said this he ran off to a little brook, which flowed into the river, and raising a large stone, he took a caddice from beneath it, and returned to Michael, with the animalcula in his hand.

“Now give me the hook,” said Lawrence.
“Stop; show me that animal: do you know what it is, Larry?”
“A caddice.”
“And you are going to destroy it?”
“I have destroyed, as you call it, thousands.”
“Have you ever seen a May-fly, Larry?”
“How can you ask? – next month, there will be millions!”
“Then let this creature live till then.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ah! I thought, Larry, that you knew nothing about the history of this caddice, or you would not be so anxious to destroy it.”
“I know that the fish take ‘em,” returned Lawrence; “and I know where they are always to be found.”
“You don’t know much, then,” said Michael playfully; -” but let us look at this creature together.”
“As you please, Mike;” and the brothers sat down upon the grass, side-by-side; – the master and the pupil.
“Now, dear Larry, look at this animal, or rather this lifeless-looking body, which seems like a bit of hollow reed stuck about with gravel and sand; – next month it will be full of life, skimming about the surface of the river; – next month, this clumsy, almost motionless mass, will flutter about as a light-winged May-fly.”
“Indeed! Mike; – but you know all these things, and I’m sure that you would not deceive me.”
“You would hardly think- would you, Larry, as you see it now, – that the creature in your hand is endowed with a very superior instinct; and that this rude mass of straw and gravel, bears as much evidence of design in its construction as does Sir Willoughby’s rand house, with all its porticoes and pillars?” –
“ Go on, Mike.”
“I have read, that this creature comes from the egg a naked white worm, and that, soon after it is born, it makes for itself a covering of fine silk, keeping only its head and its legs, which are in the forepart of the body, bare. But this case is not a sufficient protection, so the creature encrusts it all over with small shells and particles of sand, which form a compact gravelly mass, sufficient for all purposes of defence- a very citadel, in fact. Now, look, Larry, and admire the ingenuity of the creature you are about to destroy.”
“Go on, Mike; – to hear you talk is like reading out of a book.”
Michael smiled, and, pressing his brother’s hand, continued. – “But when the creature has constructed his castle in this manner, he finds that the weight of it is an encumbrance to him, and not being able to move about so readily as he could wish, he attaches some lighter substance, as a piece of wood, to his shell, or he enters into the hollow of a reed, or he rolls up a leaf into the shape of a little tube, and this light body serves to buoy him up, and enables him to move freely; and then he is just what you see him now, and next month he will be a May-fly.”
“I should never have thought that,” said Larry’ “how came you to know it, Mike?” and he looked quite astonished at the extent of his brother’s information.
“Why, Larry, I am partly indebted to you for the knowledge,” replied Michael; “for one day I picked up a caddice, when I was – not fishing with you, but – out with you, when fishing; and I looked at it, and I thought it a very wonderful thing; and I took it home with me, but I could not find its history in any of our books. – So I went next day to the Hall, and asked Mr. Euston’s permission to find it out in his encyclopaedia, which I had more than once consulted before; and I copied the whole article, and you shall read it when we get home, for I have not told you one-half of the wonderful properties of the caddice.”
“Well, Mike, I’ll be hanged, if I ever bait my hook with a caddice again.”
“ Thank you, Larry; you are a dear, kind brother. I told you, that I was quite sure you did not know its history, or you would not have stuck it on the book.”