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of copper skillets and saucepans, brightened
the day before by hours of scouring, and now
bespeckled by a buzzing plague: may be,
with microscopic eye he is surveying some
furious combat at his feet, and thinking, with
mingled feelings of derision and contempt,
that his mighty foot would cover the battlefield
of thousands. Well had it been for the
poor fellow if " be vigilant " had been written
in fly-characters below his nose. Meanwhile,
the spider is advancing nearer and nearer;
you cannot see him move, so guarded are his
motions, but can perceive that the interval
which separates him from his victim is
gradually decreasing; he is now but a few inches
distant, perhaps four or fivehe prepares to
leap; the fly is chuckling at some atomic
Hector, dragged by the heels from the field
of slaughter by a valiant Achilleshe'll
smile no moreone spring, one pounce, and
he is clasped to a breast that knows neither
pity nor remorse.

These spiders are well-limbed for leaping,
and jump an enormous distance, considering
their size; to equal them, in fact, a full-grown
tiger would require to spring above fifty yards
at one bound, or a kangaroo, probably the
best jumper among quadrupeds, to increase
five-fold its huge hops of twenty feet. Some
of the hunting spiders conceal themselves
among the leaves and in the crannies of the
bark of trees; others again, with deeper craft,
lurk among the petals and in the calyxes of
flowers, where it is probable that many,
coloured by nature for the purpose, deceive
their prey by assuming the appearance of the
pistils and stamens. Mining-spiders, of the
genus mygale of naturalists, bore circular holes
in the ground, some two or even three feet in
depth, lining them with a thick silken cloth,
and securing themselves and young from
detection and intrusion by closing the entrance
with an ingenious trap-door, formed of
particles of earth, and not recognisable, when
closed, from the surrounding soiL

Another small web-weaving species of the
same genus, which Swainson observed in
Brazil, constructs a case of earth and silk,
with a spring-hinged lid, which it hangs in
the centre of its web, and to which it retreats
on the approach of danger. But of all the
spiders which either hunt their prey on the
ground, or in the branches of trees, or among
the leaves of flowers, or dig holes in the
ground, or weave delicate webs, not one
exceeds, in the singularity of its habits, the
interesting individual to which I have already
alluded. It was about the noon of a day
spent among the Aritaka Rapids, that, on
landing on one of the many small islands with
which the stream is thickly studded, I
detected this curious species pursuing his
avocations. Leaving my companions cooling
themselves beneath the shade, I had crossed
over to the opposite shore, which I found
shelving and rocky, and completely overrun by
a vigorous growth of succulent plants. A
bignonia, with clusters of snow-white flowers,
with large stamens of the brightest crimson,
diffusing around a most pleasing odour, had
scaled the branches of a tree hanging over the
water, and mingled its leaves with those of a
delicate parasite, which had, in turn, twisted
round its crooked stem, and whose small,
crumpled seedspartially covered by a
protecting envelopewere swinging by hundreds
in the breeze, at the end of long, thread-like
foot-stalks. The seeds were sticky with a
fragrant and sweet-tasted gum, and seemed to
be much frequented by the scores of flies that
were buzzing around. From a meal on those
latter I thought I had disturbed the birds,
which flew away on my arrival; but may be,
as we shall presently see, I was mistaken.
Wishing to examine them more closely, I was
on the point of plucking a few of the seeds,
when my hand was arrested at the sight of
one of them, suddenly endowed with a strange
sort of activitya pretty fly, intent on
nectareous sippings, had scarcely alighted, when
he was tightly clutched by no friendly
embrace; and the seed, no longer a torpid
vegetable, but full of life and vigour, and squeezing
poor Master Fly in two or three pairs of
sturdy arms, swung in the air below its former
position by three or four inches of silken line.
The struggle was a short one, for the bright
red seed, or, rather, spidera strong-limbed,
thickset, plump-bodied rascal he wassoon
quieted his victim, and then withdrew to his
roost to regale himself on the juicy carcase so
well earned by his ingenuity.

I proceed to explain by what means he was
enabled to maintain his assumed character;
not the less difficult because he has only to
"look it " to ensure successas we know by
many other actors, both on the stage and off.
Our spider, courteous reader, understands the
value of appearance as well as you or I: he
knows how the dashing cab brings patients;
how the shop well stocked with " dummies,"
and the rattling parcels' van, bring
customers; how the " enormous demand," and
the " cured a duke," win more victims; and
how a knowing look and wise shake of the
head may make a fool seem a learned man.
Yes, he knows all this, or, at any rate, he
knows what amounts to the same thingthat
appearances have very powerful effects all over
the world; for our spider is a wide-awake
untiring individual, though he may seem
asleep for two or three hours at a stretch;
nor a turnip-head either, though the greater
part of his time he may look like a
vegetable. Let us charitably hope that he has
never wanted a meal by lacking a respectable
appearance, like too many, I doubt, in
more sophisticated communities.

As I have already stated, the seed seemed
crumpled in one part; and this was caused by
a large and uneven black lump at the bottom;
though I am not sufficiently a botanist to
give its technical appellation, its nature will
be understood when I say that it corresponds