Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Prose

For the New-York Magazine.

Messrs. EDITORS,

AS I look upon your Repository to be one of those archives which will hand down to the generations to be, the discoveries, observations, and transactions of the present, I send you the following, perhaps very unimportant, fact; to be either remembered or not remembered as the chance may be.

About a month ago, one of my little people brought me a diminutive egg found in a hen's nest among others of the common size: it was not larger than that of a tame pigeon, but had a shell as hardy and in every respect similar to common hen's eggs. I broke it, and to my surprize found it contain, instead of a yolk, another little egg floating in a liquid resembling the white of common eggs, but rather thinner. It was about as large as a middle sized bullet -- was exceeding white -- and had a shell more hard and brittle than the eggs of small birds. Upon breaking it, I observed it full of a thin fluid, and in place of a yolk, a whitish opake substance that appeared likely to produce still another egg.

It is by no means uncommon to find in hen's nests very small eggs, especially in autumn, when they generally cease to lay: but whether they ever produce yolks, or, as in this instance, complete embryo eggs, I have neither heard or observed.
Nov. 16, 1791.         R.

[As thro' incredulity, circumstances so extraordinary as the foregoing may be too easily forgot,
it were to be wished that the observer was known, that the inquisitive and curious might satisfy themselves in every particular. The Naturalist will also lament, that the
whitish opake substance was only submitted to conjecture, and not so examined as to determined with certain whether it was really an egg complete, or only the yolk diseased. E.]

New-York Magazine; or, Literary Repository
Egg Within Egg
Vol. II No. XII; Dec 1791; p.706; by R


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