"Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay."
Illustrations by Fortuné Méaulle for Alphabet des Insectes by Leon Becker
The scans come from the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
A previously-covered Cotsen exhibit says about the book:
Insects stand in for people in this highly fanciful French alphabet. In addition to weight-lifting or parading down the boulevard, they file into church, ice skate, duel, dance, sail, paint, serenade a lover or invite her to dance, and, of course, improve their minds reading.
Hetzel was one of the most important publishers of children’s books in late nineteenth-century France, whose publications were distinguished by their handsome gold-stamped cloth bindings and excellent illustrations.
You can see covers Meaulle (fr.wiki) did for Le Petit Journal here.
"I become attached to people I shouldn’t. I distance myself from the people who matter. I am bad with people. I am good at being alone. But I hate being lonely."
Cat sitting has snuggly benefits.