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THE YAGI SPIDER.
judgment about the matter. His eyes are always open and staring, and his tongue is always moving. He see something odd about your dress, something awkward in your manners, something ungrammatical in your speech, and you wonder what there is about you that he likes. He is worse than an accusing conscience, and in your loftiest tone you call him to order. "Pardon me for my criticisms," he says, for they are well-intentioned, and faithful are the wounds of a friend." What can you do but pardon him? Forgive your friends! If you find it hard to do this, O think how often they have forgiven you?
THE YAGI SPIDER.
SHORTLY after we had halted for our customary mid-day rest, Aboo called my attention to the nest of a trap-door spider. It was the size and shape of a round tin canister, such as coffee is carried in; and was firmly secured at the foot of a tree. Whether it was composed of web from the spider's body, or of any other substance, I cannot say; but it had the appearance of being constructed of light, coarse paper, such as grocers use for wrapping up their sugars. It was beautifully and neatly made, and was fastened to the tree by tape-like ligaments, seven on either side. Disturbed at the noise of our approach, the insect had shut down the door of the nest or trap, but in a few minutes it slowly and cautiously opened it again, showing in so doing only the ends of two large legs which might have belonged to a young crab. As I was anxious to witness what was going on, I tried to force up the trap, an operation that required so much exertion, that I broke it down, and an enormous, yet beautiful spider immediately ran out and tried to escape, and it would certainly have got off, so rapid were its movements, had not Aboo dexterously pinned it down with a piece of stick. The thorax was larger than a nutmeg, cream colour, with a dusky shade spread over it, and encircled with ring-shaped marks of a bluish grey. eight in number, were from five to six inches long, covered with stout hair, and surrounded with blue bands. . The stretch
of the creature, from tip to tip of its longest legs, was more than thirteen inches. Lizards are the principal food of this curious spider; but it will devour any small animal or insect that is unfortunate enough to get in its way. The nest is generally placed on the trunk of the tree close to the ground, but occasionally it is found five or six feet up the stem. The lizards, out of fatal curiosity or in search of a hiding-place, run to peep into the trap,
and are at once secured by the terrible legs, which are furnished with suckers, so that escape is impossible; for the spider would suffer its legs to be torn off rather than let go its hold.
Wandering yagis are common; but whether they have lost their nest, and are unable to construct another, or are too idle to put themselves to that exertion, is an open question. It is certain that they are much longer in the legs and smaller in the body than the householders, as well as fiercer, and more ready to make a prey of insignificant fry, all of which seems to point them out as halfstarved vagabonds.
The interior of the nest was beautifully soft and warm, and quite white; its diameter was two and a half inches. The door was affixed by means of three loose ligatures-flat, like those that held the nest to the tree-and in the door itself were two round holes in which the spider could insert its legs to open or close it. When raised the door would remain open of itself, so nicely was it balanced; but upon the slightest touch it immediately fell. Its action was without noise, not the faintest click being audible. Wanderings in New Guinea, by Captain J. A. Lawson.
WHEN I was on the great pyramid, I looked toward the valley of the Nile, and saw many square, brown fields of ripe wheat; many square, green fields of growing wheat; many square, black fields of ploughed land; many square, white fields of blossoming pomegranates. But all the fenceless and hedgeless fields were all a part of Egypt. The division between them went no deeper down than a furrow. Underneath that, this rich soil was a unit. And so, when I look across the world from any commanding height of scholarship, I find that all these evangelical sects differ from each other only by the depth of a furrow. They are one Egypt, only different squares.
Undoubtedly, however, there is a distinction between the green fat river-bottom of the Nile and the rustling sand of Sahara that lies at its side. There cannot be an overlooking of that distinction. Between belief and unbelief, between that style of thought which does and that which does not assert man's need of a physician not human, of a regeneration not arising wholly from his own sweet and crooked will, there must be a distinction in philosophy and so there must be in practice. I found that in Egypt all the distinction that I needed to notice was that between the bed of the Nile and the drifts of Sahara. I will not say where Sahara ends, or where the Nile valley begins. It is often a puzzling problem to draw
that line with justice. Now and then the valley encroaches on the desert; and now and then the desert on the valley. It is a ragged zigzag which separates green Egypt from brown Sahara, belief from unbelief. Nevertheless you do not doubt that there is a distinction between Sahara and the river-bottom. All men of bonesty and candour are glad to have that distinction pointed out. He whom we dare not name undertakes to point it out. He does so only by the fruitlessness on the one side, and the fat harvest on the other. Let the map. traced by His finger be ours. Lessing taught that the most useful religion will ultimately be considered the best. There are locusts in Egypt, and on the fat lands the locusts fall rather than on Sahara. Your fields are to be judged by there fruits. They are one. There is no distinction between these fat squares. They are all one soil; but we must adopt Lessing's test as to our merit-fruitfulness, and nothing short of that.-Joseph Cook.
A SERMON may be obtained from intercourse with the very humblest mind. And there is a good illustration of this in Dr. Liefchild's interview with a poor lad he met among the mountains of Ireland-one eleven or twelve years of age,-poorly clad, no covering for his head, no shoes or stockings, but with a mild, cheerful countenance, and with a New Testament in his hand, keeping the gate of entrance to one of the richest and most magnificent views.
"Can you read?" said the doctor.
"To be sure I can."
"And do you understand what you read ?" "A little."
"Let us hear you," and I turned his attention to the third chapter of the Gospel of John, which he seemed readily to find, and said, "Now read;" he did so with a clear, unembarrassed voice, "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; the same came to Jesus by night and said unto Him, Rabbi.""
"What does this mean." 99 "It means Master.
We know Thou art a Teacher from God, for no man can do these miracles, that Thou doest, except
God be with him.' 999
"What is a miracle ?"
"It means," he promptly replied, "a great change. Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."" "And what is that kingdom?"
He paused, and with an expression of seriousness and devotion which I never shall forget, placing his hand upon his bosom, he said, "It is something here;" and then raising his eyes, he added, "and something up yonder."-Lamps, Pitchers, and Trumpets.
REPAIRING of mirrors is a process to which the art of Europeans and Americans has not yet arrived. As they make mirrors in Japan, however, the process of repairing is no more difficult than that of mending a stove. The Japanese mirror would seem to be only an improvement on that used by Helen of Troy--a metallic affair, burnished and polished. It is a bronze disc, composed of eighty parts of copper, fifteen of tin, and five of lead. It is cast in a mould composed of powdered stone and pulverised crucibles. The casting is polished by hand, as the Japanese alone can polish, and the last process is to rub the surface of the mirror with an amalgam composed of quicksilver, tin, and lead. And this is done. by hand and with a piece of wash leather, till the mirror has a bright, reflecting surface. This surface solves the problem of repairing some mirrors, since it can at any time be readily polished.
At every stage of the work the choicest materials are employed. The cheaper mirrors have sulphide of lead and antimony instead of tin in their composition.
A curious optical effect can be produced by some of these mirrors-probably the best finished." On the reverse, which is also polished, are words and figures in relief. By throwing in a bright sunlight the reflection of the mirror on a screen, these figures are seen to shine through the reflected surface of the mirror. The fact is noted by an English professor in the University of Tokio, R. W. Atkinson. He has been able to discover no satisfactory solution of the phenomenon, but it is certainly one worth investigation. The body of the mirror is absolutely opaque, and there must be some law of refraction, yet not fully discovered, to account for an appearance so singular.
THE OLD COUPLE.
IT stands in a sunny meadow,
The house so mossy and brown; With its cumbrous, old, stone chimneys, And the grey roof sloping down.
The trees fold their green arms around it,
The trees a century old; And the winds go chanting through them,
And the sunbeams drop their gold.
The cowslips spring in the marshes,
And the roses bloom on the hill; And beside the brook in the pastures
The herds go feeding at will.
The children have gone and left them,
That won her heart in her girlhood, That has soothed her in many a care,
And praises her now for the brightness Her old face used to wear.
She thinks again of her bridal—
How, dressed in her robe of white,
Oh! the morning is rosy as ever,
But it falls on a silvered head.
And the girlhood dreams, once vanished,
With the thrill of spring-time's
And looking forth from the window, She thinks how the trees have grown Since, clad in her bridal whiteness, She crossed the old door-stone.
Though dimmed her eye's bright azure,
They sat in peace in the sunshine,
Stole over the threshold stone.
He folded their hands together
He touched their eyelids with balm; And their last breath floated upward Like the close of a solemn psalm. Like a bridal pair they traversed The unseen, mystical road That leads to the beautiful city, "Whose builder and maker is God,"
Perhaps in that miracle country
They will give her lost youth back; And the flowers of a vanished springtime
Will bloom in the spirit's track.
One draught from the living waters
But the shapes that they left behind them,
The wrinkles and silver hair, Made holy to us by the kisses
The angel had printed there,
We will hide away 'neath the willows, When the day is low in the west; Where the sunbeams cannot find them,
Nor the winds disturb their rest.
And we'll suffer no tell-tale tombstone,
With its age and date, to rise O'er the two who are old no longer
In the Father's house in the skies.