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suddenly fired at some object moving rapidly
along the topmost branch of a tree which
overhung the sluggish stream a short way in
advance. For a moment or two the success
of his aim seemed doubtful; then something
came tumbling through the intervening foliage,
and I guided the canoe beneath, lest the prey
should lie lost in the water. Our surprise was
not unmingled, I must confess, with vexation
at first, on finding that the strange character
of our game removed our morning's repast
as far off as ever. A huge spider and a
half-fledged bird lay in the bottom of our
canoethe one with disjointed limbs and
mutilated carcase; the other uninjured by
the shot, but nearly dead, though still faintly
palpitating. The remains of the spider
showed him larger than any I had previously
seensmaller, however, than one from
Brazil, before me while I writeand may have
measured some two-and-a-half inches in the
body, with limbs about twice that length.
He was rough and shaggy, with a thick covering
of hair or bristles; which, besides giving
him an additional appearance of strength,
considerably increased the fierceness of his aspect.
The hairs were in some parts fully an inch
long, of a dark brown colour, inclining to
black. His powerful jaws and sturdy arms
seemed never adapted for the death-struggle
of prey less noble than this small member of
the feathered race, for whom our succour had
unhappily arrived too late. The victim had
been snatched from the nest, whilst the
mother was probably assisting to collect a
morning's meal for her offspring. It had been
clutched by the neck immediately above the
shoulders: the marks of the murderer's
talons still remained; and, although no blood
had escaped from the wounds, they were much
inflamed and swollen.

The few greenish-brown feathers sparingly
scattered among the down in the wings, were
insufficient to furnish me with a clue towards
a knowledge of its species. That it was a
liumming-bird, however, or one of an allied
genus, seemed apparent from the length of its
bill. The king of the humming-birds, as the
Creoles call the topaz-throat (Trochilus pella
of naturalists), is the almost exclusive
frequenter of Marabella Creek, where the over-
spreading foliage here and there admitting
stray gleams of sunshine forms a cool and
shady, though sombre, retreat, peculiarly
adapted to his disposition; and I strongly
suspect that it was the nest of this species
which the spider had favoured with a visit.
After making a minute inspection of the two
bodies, we consigned them to a watery grave;
both of us convinced that, whatever the
detractors of Madame Merian may urge, that
lady was correct in assigning to the bush-
spider an ambition which often soars above
the insect and occasionally tempts him to
make a meal of some stray feathered denizen
of the forest. This conclusion, I may add,
was fully confirmed some few weeks after, by
my witnessing a still more interesting
rencontre between members of the several races.
"Eat the eater," is one of Nature's laws;
and, after preventing its accomplishment by
depriving the spider of his food, strict justice
would probably have balked us of ours.
Fortunately notone of the heartiest breakfasts
I ever made, and one of the tenderest
and most succulent of meat, was that very
morning. Well I remember exclaiming at
that time, " Hæc olim meminisse juvabit!—it
was my first dish of stewed monkey and yams.


SPEAKING without passion, we are bound to
state, in broad terms, that the founder of the
Diogenic philosophy was emphatically a
humbug. Some people might call him by a
harsher name; we content ourselves with the
popular vernacular. Formidable as he was
this unwashed dog-baptisedwith a kind
of savage grandeur, too, about his
independence and his fearlessness——still was he a
humbug; setting forth fancies for facts, and
judging all men by the measure of one.
Manifestly afflicted with a liver complaint,
his physical disorders wore the mask of
mental power, and a state of body that
required a course of calomel or a dose of
purifying powders, passed current in the world
for intellectual superiority; not a rare case
in times when madness was accounted potent
inspiration, and when the exhibition of
mesmeric phenomena formed the title of the
Pythoness to her mystic tripod.

Diogenes is not the only man whose
disturbed digestion has led multitudes, like an
ignis fatuus, into the bogs and marshes of falsehood.
Abundance of sects are about, which
their respective followers class under one
generic head of inspiration, but which have
sprung from the same hepatic inaction, or
epigastric inflammation, as that which made
the Cynic believe in the divinity of dirt, and
see in a tub the fittest temple to virtue. All
that narrows the sympathies all that makes
a man think better of himself than of his
"neighbours"—all that compresses the
illimitable mercy of God into a small talisman
which you and your followers alone possess
all that creates condemnationis of the
Diogenic Tub School; corrupt in the core,
and rotten in the rootfruit, leaves, and
flowers, the heritage of death.

A superstitious reverence for a bilious
condition of body, and an abhorrence of soap and
water, as savouring of idolatry or of luxury
according to the dress and nation of the Cynic
made up the fundamental ideas of his
school; and to this day they are the cabala of
one division of the sect. We confess not to
be able to see much beauty in either of these
conditions, and are rather proud than otherwise
of our state of disbelief; holding health
and cleanliness in high honour, and hoping