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disease is for which a spider in a glass of wine
has been prescribed as a remedy, and would not
recommend this dose in any circumstances; but
from personal experience I can recommend a
course of spiders as a cure for despondency, the
effect of over-work and worry. When men
delight not, nor women neither, spiders can lure
the misanthropical or misogynical soul out of
himself, and nerve him to fight on without
desertion the battle of his life, in spite of defeat,
disappointment, deceit, discouragement, disease,
despair, and all other dismals. I can well
believe that spiders have proved themselves to be
excellent prison visitors, although these octopod
philanthropists made their visits to cells and
dungeons in the pursuit of flies and not of fame.
Useful lessons and valuable inventions have been
derived from animals; and spiders are undoubtedly
models of perseverance. The ant, it is
true, does not store up grains for the winter,
sleeping instead of eating during the cold season,
but spiders do undoubtedly persevere in
combating difficulties, and one of them may well have
set the example which encouraged Robert the
Bruce to try again and again for victory after
many defeats. Indeed, perseverance, if a
human virtue, is in most animals an instinct, as if
they had been created to persevere:

In storm and in sunshine,
Whatever assail,
We'll onward and conquer,
And never say fail!

Spiders have not been studied so much as
many other less curious and interesting groups
of animals. An EnglishmanDr. Martin Lister
laid the foundation of the science of them in
his Tractatus de Araneis, published in 1678, but
his countrymen have not pursued the path which
he opened. He laid the foundation of the first
classification of species founded upon external
organisation and economy, which has been built
upon by all subsequent classifiers of spiders;
but until within the last thirty years, his
successors have not been his own countrymen.
"Genius," says M. Flourens, in a book just out,
"is a supreme degree of the power of thinking
correctly and laying hold of truth, and the man
of genius is the man who opens up the roads
which lead to truth." Such a man was Martin
Lister. His most distinguished followers have
been Swedes, Frenchmen, and Germans, Leuwenhock
and Treviranus, Walckenaer and Koch, and
I might mention many others. Mr. Blackwell's
work, the first part of which has just been
published by the Ray Society, is the first attempt
ever made to supply zoology with an account of
tha spiders indigenous to the British islands.
For the recent additions to our knowledge of
them we are indebted to no men more than to
Dr. Leach and Mr. Blackwell.

Spiders are less easily caught than might be
supposed, and when caught they are not nearly
so easily preserved as butterflies and beetles.
Hence there is only one known spider-hunter
for every hundred of known moth-hunters.
Scalewings and shieldwings (Lepidoptera and
Coleoptera), if less easily caught, can be arranged
and kept more easily and beautifully than spiders.
Butterflies, or batterflies, as they ought to be
calledfor the word describes the beating of
their wings in flyingare pursued at present by
at least fifteen hundred known and zealous
collectors, and the chase of them is every season
rewarded unceasingly by the discovery of new
species. Books to help collectors abound, and
a penny journal is published every week
proclaiming the success of the hunters, whilst a
yearly manual makes them known to each other.
Instructions have been published in many different
forms how to collect, rear, kill, pin, set,
and arrange Lepidoptera; and there is no lack
of suggestions where to look for, how to collect,
and how to prepare Coleoptera; but no helps of
the kind exist in regard to the Arachnida.
Arachne is the Greek word for a spider, and
although the terms entomology and entomologist
are familiar to him, the general reader has
rarely seen the words arachnology and
arachnologist. There are far more beetle than there
are spider hunters, although no one will pretend
that the shieldwings are so curious and interesting
as the spiders, to say nothing on the question
of beauty. The truth is, that the Arachnida are
neglected, like the Diptera and the Aptera,
because the study of them is more difficult than
the study of the Lepidoptera and Coleoptera.
Yet it would do many minds, now pinned down
through the thorax into boxes of butterflies and
beetles much good, were they to free themselves
from their confinement and roam in search of
less known and more wonderful forms of life.

For prizes await them. There are many new
species to be discovered, and there are not a
few problems and enigmas claimant for solution.
Spider-hunters may reasonably hope to discover
many rare and new species. " Although," says
Mr. Blackwell, " a large addition has recently
been made to our knowledge of the Arachnidea,
yet this subject is far from being exhausted, and
a wide field still remains to be explored by
succeeding arachnologists." The insect-hunters
are sufficiently numerous to supply six hundred
subscribers to their penny weekly newspaper
the Entomologist's Intelligencer and an army
of zealous collectors have been hunting for many
years, day and night, running with their nets in
the fields, and sugaring the trees in the woods,
yet new species are, it is said, caught and
recorded every month. Spiders having been a
hundred-fold less pursued than shieldwings and
scalewings, are therefore proportionally likely to
furnish a hundred-fold more prizes.

The accidental capture last September of a
specimen of Argyroneta aquatica has for the
present interested me most in the skater and
water spiders. With these, then, I shall begin
my arachnological studies.

Close observers of the surfaces of stagnant or
slow-flowing waters must have noticed tiny red
points skimming about upon them in all directions
very swiftly and deftly. These are water-
ticks (Hydrachna). If you examine them with
a lens you will see that they have eight legs.
They do not swim or run, they skate. The

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