Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/534

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lin doorway, which was moistened for their delectation with sugar and water.

The time for my summer holidays arrived, and I started for the south, leaving Esau to look after the house.

The friendship I had struck up with spiders certainly increased the pleasure of my trip. I found my friends in numbers everywhere I went. They were on the shady side of dock-leaves. They floated in the air and settled on my hat, and were carried off by the next breath of breeze. I found their webs in profusion between the branches of a monkey-tree in the garden; and in the corn-fields myriads of these small creatures trapped flies that were almost microscopic. On the sandy slopes of the sea-shore, cobwebs were among the gorse-bushes. The diadem spiders in the rose-trees vied with each other in the regularity of their nets, and every barn was rich in arachnean architecture. I had heard of water-spiders, and I hunted for them assiduously in every pool and stream in the neighborhood, but with no success. I found no water-spiders, but I became the possessor of many inhabitants of the ponds.

Three weeks passed too quickly, and I had to return to my work and to Esau. Alas! what a lamentable sight met my eyes! Esau was dead, and her children were certainly fatter than when I left. I could arrive at but one conclusion. The dauntless adventuress who had gloried in murder and fratricide had become the victim of misplaced love. Those little wretches whom she had brought into the world, and cared for and nurtured, had turned upon her and slain her and sucked her life-blood. Ah, poor mother, thy antecedents might not have been good! Possibly thou mightest have dined off thy husband or thy paramour—certainly thou hast waged unnatural though valiant war against thy kind; still, that was no reason why thou shouldst have been sacrificed by thy offspring in the bloom of thy maturity.—Gentleman's Magazine.


WITH so many professors of the art of rejuvenation proclaiming their readiness to turn old faces into new ones, smooth out wrinkles, obliterate crow's-feet, and restore the hair to its original abundance and color, the putting of young heads upon old shoulders should be easy enough; but the proverbial impossibility of putting old heads upon young shoulders still seems to hold, although the feat has sometimes been accomplished by Nature herself. Sorrow, not Time, frosted the bright tresses of Mary Stuart and Marie-Antoinette; and theirs were not the only queenly heads that have been prematurely