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and inflammation: and according to Mr. Jackson, there is one found in Morocco, and called there the Tendarainan, whose venom is of such a virulent nature, that persons bitten by it, survive but a few hours. This spider is about the size and colour of a hornet, and spins a web so fine as to be almost invisible. These are cer tainly exceptions ; but they are the only exceptions with which I am acquainted, to the general assertion that spiders are perfectly harmless.

HENRY.--That astonishing German lady, Anna Maria Schurman, used, it is said, to eat spiders like nuts; which she affirmed they much resembled in taste.

PAPA.-She was not alone in her propensity. Reaumur tells us of a young lady, who when she walked in her grounds, never saw one that she did not take and crack upon the spot; and the celebrated French astronomer, Lalande, was, we are informed, equally fond of these delicacies.

HENRY.I believe there is a large species in New Caledonia which are greedily devoured by the inhabi

tants.

PAPA.-Yes: we are told that they roast and eat them with great avidity. Spiders form too an important article in the list of the Boshies-man's dainties.

HENRY.-Well, I have no desire to partake of such daintios, for my part: I would much rather see them feasting themselves in the stable on the flies which annoy my horse.

PAPA.In the stable they are especially useful. I have charged the groom never on any account to destroy a cobweb there.

HENRY.Spiders can endure long abstinence, can they not?

PAPA.-Very long : with all their industry and cunning, they are sometimes obliged to fast for half a year

October is their gala month; and consequently the month during which they are most active and vigorous; for as flies and gnats are then losing their

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energies and sinking into a torpid state, they fall easy victims into the toils of their adversaries,

Spiders are remarkable for their instinctive ingenuity and skill. In my opinion they surpass even as the halfreasoning beaver" in the intelligence displayed in their operations. There are several which dig for themselves subterranean habitations, the entrance to which they close in a most artificial manner. One in particular, found in the southern part of France-one of the hunters that we were speaking of the other day, Anna-- digs for itself a shaft in the ground two or three feet deep; the sides of which it lines with a web to keep it from falling in, and actually secures the entrance by a door turning upon a hinge, and exactly fitted to the aperture. “ It does not indeed, like us, compose it of wood, but of several coats of dried earth, fastened together with silk. When finished, its outline is as perfectly circular as if traced with compasses ; the inferior surface is convex and smooth; the superior flat and rough, and so like the adjoining earth as not to be distinguishable from it. This door the ingenious artist fixes to the entrance of her gallery by a hinge of silk, which plays with the greatest freedom, and allows it to be opened and shut with ease; and, as if acquainted with the laws of gravity, she invariably fixes the hinge at the highest side of the opening, so that the door, when pushed up, shuts again by its own weight. She has not less sagaciously left a little edge or groove just within the entrance upon which the door closes, and to which it fits with such precision that it seems to make but one surface with it.” This door she also barricades with a web; and if an attempt be made from without to open it, she will endeavour to hold it fast by fixing her fore-feet in this web, and her hinder ones against the walls of the cell.

HENRY. It is a very curious and striking example of instinct: indeed it seems to amount almost to an exertion of reason.

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ANNA.-You mentioned the tarantula just now, papa; is it true that its bite is cured by music and dancing ?

PAPA.--O no, my dear. It is merely the vulgar story of the Italian peasantry, who are pleased to practise a trick on credulous travellers by making them believe it.

HENRY.-The scorpion appears to me the most dreadful creature in this class of animals.

PAPA.-It has deservedly been, in every age, an object of terror and abhorrence: indeed we can hardly think of one of those ferocious animals, nearly as large perhaps as a small lobster, advancing in its usual menacing attitude with expanded claws and its many jointed tail turned over its head, without a feeling of horror arising from its disgusting appearance and its well-known malignity.

HENRY. I do not know whether the bite of those in France and Italy is often attended with serious consequences.

PAPA.-I believe not; except to small animals : but those of warmer climates often produce very baneful effects. “The sting of certain kinds commor in South America causes fevers, numbness in various parts of the body, tumours in the tongue, and dinness of sight; which symptoms last from twenty-four to forty-eight hours. The only means of saving the lives of our sol diers who were stung by them in Egypt was amputation. One species is said to occasion madness; and the bite of the black scorpion, both of South America and of Ceylon, is frequently mortal.”

The wound they inflict is extremely painful. It is said you know of the symbolical locusts mentioned in the Revelation, that “ their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man:” a comparison whick gives us a dreadful idea of the sufferings they occasion.

It seems a kind provision of Providence that their ferocity is unrelentingly exerted towards their own species. They kill and devour their own young without

pity as soon as they are hatched, and are equally savage to their fellows when grown up.

ANNA.-I am glad we have none of them here, papa.

PAPA.We have reason for thankfulness, my dear, in our general freedom from noxious animals in this happy island. I believe there are very few, of any kind, that can render us material personal injuries; and there are none, that I know of, that can cause death. Z. Z.

GEOGRAPHICAL READINGS.

No. III.

IRELAND.

“ Il diviso del mondo, l'ultima Irlanda."

Gierusalemme Liberata, Cant. 1. « GREEN isle of the ocean," “ Emerald gem of the western wave"-such are the titles bestowed on Ireland by our ancient bardic writers, and justly does this beautiful island merit their praise. In length, it measures from north to south 280 miles, and in breadth, 160. Like its sister country, it is in some parts rocky and mountainous, in others fertile and level. Many rivers traverse its plains : amongst the principal are the Shannon, which may vie with our majestic Thames, the Blackwater and the Suire, the Barrow, the Boyne, famous for the battle fought on its banks, which gained William the crown of Ireland, the Liffy, the Bann, and the Dery. Canals, too, abound, as well as in England, and afford an easy carriage through the kingdom. The principal lakes are those of Killarney, whose romantic beauties are justly celebrated. They are divided into the Upper and Lower Lakes, and their banks are clothed with the scarlet-herried arbutus, while the wellwooded Islands, scattered on the bosom of the waters, add fresh beauty to this enchanting scene. Lakes Earn, Neagh, Foyle, Swilly, and Dery, are also much spoken

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of. The mountains are Mourne, and Iveah, the Wicklow Hills, and Mangerton, and Turk, near Lake Killarney. Like England, it has few cascades; but those of the Shannon, and the falls of the Dargle, near Lord Powerscourt's enchanting domain, are well able to vie in pieturesque beauty with any foreign falls. Its mineral riches are very great-iron, tin, lead, --nay, silver, and even gold-have been found; and the hopes of discovering a mine of the last mentioned metals, induced many to risk considerable sums. But a prospect better founded was opened in the year 1751, by the discovery of a very rich copper mine at Arklow, which still amply repays its owners for their expense. The lead mines of Ireland produce large quantities of silver. Many species of marble have been discovered in Ireland, but few of them appear to be of any use. The Wicklow pebbles, when polished, form very handsome necklaces, and pearls have been found in the Shannon and other rivers. But the most astonishing phænomenon connected with mineralogy in Ireland, is the Giant's Causeway. This wonderful basaltic structure, with which my readers are well acquainted, is supposed to extend under the sea, as far as the Isle of Staffa. It has often been aptly compared to the palace of some mighty being, and in gazing on it, one may every moment expect to see the portals unclose, and its dread inhabitant come forth to view the bold intruders. Another extraordinary feature in Ireland are the bogs, which, perhaps, whether we consider their extent, or their peculiar conformation, are unparalleled. Many have been drained, but the most bid fair to defy the efforts of man; yet even they yield something useful, as they are frequently used in the construction of the Irish cabin, and produce that well known fuel peat. Numberless conjectures have been formed as to the time and manner of their beginning, but nearly every one has failed, from the circumstance of their being equally applicable to every other.country, where no bogs

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