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wasp. Its legs are terminated by strong claws, not unlike those of the lobster; and their vast length, like spears, serves keep every assailant at a distance.

Not worse furnished for observation than for an attack or defence, it has several eyes, large, transparent, and covered with a horny substance, which, however, does not impede its vision. Besides this, it is furnished with a forceps above the mouth, which serves to kill or secure the prey already caught in its claws or its net.

Such are the implements of war with which the body is immediately furnished; but its net to entangle the enemy seems to be what it chiefly trusts to, and what it takes most pains to render as complete as possible. Nature has furnished the body of this little creature with a glutinous liquid, which, proceeding from the lower extremity of the body, it spins into a thread, coarser or finer as it chooses to contract its sphincter. In order to fix its threads when it begins to weave, it emits a small drop of its liquid against the wall, which hardening by degrees, serves to hold the thread very firmly. Then receding from the first point, as it recedes the thread lengthens; and when the spider has come to the place where the other end of the thread should be fixed, gathering up with its claws the thread, which would otherwise be too slack, it is stretched tightly, and fixed in the same manner to the wall as before.

In this manner it spins and fixes several threads parallel to each other, which, so to speak, serve as the warp to the intended web.

To form the woof, it spins in the same manner its thread, transversely fixing one end to the first thread that was spun, and which is always the strongest of the whole web, and the other to the wall. All these threads being newly spun, are glutinous, and therefore stick to each other, wherever they happen to touch; and in those parts of the web most exposed to be torn, our natural artist strengthens them, by doubling the thread sometimes sixfold.

Thus far, naturalists have gone in the description of


this animal: what follows is the result of my own observation upon that species of the insect called the house spider. I perceived, about four years ago, a large spider in one corner of my room, making its web, and though the maid frequently levelled her fatal broom against the labours of the little animal, I had the good fortune then to prevent its destruction, and I may say, it more than paid me by the entertainment it afforded.

In three days the web was with incredible diligence completed; nor could I avoid thinking that the insect seemed to exult in its new abode.

It frequently traversed it round, and examined the strength of every part of it, retired into its hole, and came out very frequently. The first enemy, however, it had to encounter, was another and a much larger spider, which having no web of its own, and having probably exhausted all its stock in former labours of this kind, came to invade the property of its neighbour. Soon, then, a terrible encounter ensued, in which the invader seemed to have the victory, and the laborious spider was obliged to take refuge in its hole. Upon this I perceived the victor using every art to draw the enemy from its stronghold. He seemed to go off, but quickly returned, and when he found all arts vain, began to demolish the new web without mercy. This brought on another battle, and, contrary to my expectations, the laborious spider became conqueror, and fairly killed his antagonist.

Now, then, in peaceable possession of what was justly its own, it waited three days with the utmost impatience, repairing the breaches of its web, and taking no sustenance that I could perceive. At last, however, a large blue fly fell into the snare, and struggled hard to get loose. The spider gave it leave to entangle itself as much as possible, but it seemed to be too strong for the cobweb. I must own I was greatly surprised when I saw the spider immediately sally out, and in less than a minute weave a net round its captive, by which the


motion of its wings was stopped, and when it was fairly hampered in this manner, it was seized and dragged into the hole.

In this manner it lived, in a precarious state, and nature seemed to have fitted it for such a life; for upon a single fly it subsisted for more than a week. I once put a wasp into the net, but when the spider came out in order to seize it as usual, upon perceiving what kind of an enemy it had to deal with, it instantly broke all the bands that held it fast, and contributed all that lay in its power to disengage so formidable an antagonist. When the wasp was at liberty, I expected the spider

I would have set about repairing the breaches that were made in its net; but those, it seems, were irreparable, wherefore the cobweb was now entirely forsaken, and a new one begun, which was completed in the usual time.

I had now a mind to try how many cobwebs a single spider could furnish; wherefore I destroyed this, and the insect set about another. When I destroyed the other also, its whole stock seemed entirely exhausted, and it could spin no more.

The arts it made use of to support itself, now deprived of its great means of subsistence, were indeed surprising. I have seen it roll up its legs like a ball, and lie motionless for hours together, but cautiously watching all the time; when a fly happened to approach sufficiently near, it would dart out all at once, and often seize its prey,

Of this life, however, it soon began to grow weary, and resolved to invade the possession of some other spider, since it could not make a web of its own. It formed an attack upon a neighbouring fortification, with great vigour, and at first was as vigorously repulsed. Not daunted, however, with one defeat, in this manner it continued to lay siege to another's web for three days, and at length, having killed the defendant, actually took possession. When smaller flies happen to fall into the snare, the spider does not sally out at once, but very patiently waits till it is sure of them; for upon his immediately approaching, the terror of his appearance might give the captive strength sufficient to get loose; the manner then is to wait patiently till, by ineffectual and impotent struggles, the captive has wasted all his strength, and then he becomes a certain and easy conquest.

The insect I am now describing lived three years; every year it changed its skin, and got a new set of legs. At first it dreaded my approach to its web; but at last it became so familiar as to take a fly out of my hand, and upon my touching any part of the web, would immediately leave its hole, prepared either for a defence or an attack,




"He's going the wrong way-straying from the true fold-going off the track," said old Deacon Green, shaking his head ominously, as he saw young Neff enter a church to hear an infidel preacher. understand it; he was taught his catechism and ten commandments as soon as he could speak; he knows the right way as well as our parson; I can't understand it."

Harry Neff had never seen a day since his earliest childhood that was not ushered in and closed with a family prayer. He had not partaken of a repast upon which the divine blessing was not invoked; the whole atmosphere of the old homestead was decidedly orthodox. Novels; plays, and Byronic poetry were all vetoed. Operas, theatres, and the like, most decidedly frowned upon; and no lighter literature was allowed upon the table than missionary reports and theological treatises,


Most of his father's guests being clergymen, Harry was early made acquainted with every crook and turn of orthodoxy. He had laid up inany a clerical conversation, and pondered it in his heart, when they imagined his thoughts were on anything but the subject in debate. At his father's request, they had each and all taken him by the button, for the purpose of long, private conversations—the old gentleman generally prefacing his request by the remark that his heart was as hard as a flint."

Harry listened to them all with respectful attention, manifesting no sign of impatience, no nervous shrinking from the probing process; and they left him, impressed with a sense of his mental superiority, but totally unable to affect his feelings in the remotest degree.

Such a pity, they all said, that he should be so impenetrable; such wonderful argumentative powers as he had; such felicity of expression; such an engaging exterior. Such a pity, that on all these brilliant natural gifts should not have been written “Holiness to the Lord.”

Yes, dear reader, it was a pity. Pity, when our pulpits are so often filled with those whose only recommendation for their office is a good heart and a black coat. It was a pity that graceful gesticulation, that rare felicity of expression, that keen perception of the beautiful, that ready tact and adaptation to circumstances and individuals, should not have been effective weapons in the gospel armoury. Pity that voice of music should not have been employed to chain the worldlings fastidious ear to listen to Calvary's story.

Yet it was a pity that glorious intellect had been laid at an unholy shrine; pity" he had strayed from the true fold.” How was it ?

Ah! the solution is simple. “ Line upon line, precept upo. precept," is well, but practice is better. Religion must not be all lip-service; the "fruits of love, meekness, gentleness, forbearance, long-suffering,” must follow. Harry was a keen observer. He had often

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