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brought in twenty-four hours he would | front of them, but never hurting any one.
Then another large instalment of his goods
fire at every native who came within range of his house, which fortunately commanded a great extent of native paths, as well as the narrow strait between the island and the mainland. He then made his preparations for a desperate defence in case he was attacked, loaded some Orsini shells and mined the paths leading to his house, so that with a long match he could blow them up without exposing himself. At the end of the twenty-four hours, nothing having been brought, he commenced operations by exploding five dynamite cartridges, which made a roar like that of a cannonade, the echoes resounding for several seconds. He then let off rockets in the direction of the native houses, and illuminated his own As a fearless capturer of snakes Signor house with Bengal fire. All this caused d'Albertis rivals, if he does not surpass, terrible consternation; and the next morn- the celebrated Waterton; indeed he ing the chief arrived with five men, bring- seems to like them rather than otherwise. ing a considerable portion of the stolen At Yule Island the natives had found a goods, and trembling with fear to such an large snake under a tree, and all ran extent that some of them could not artic-away from it, crying out, and this is his ulate a word. He insisted however that account of what happened. the rest of the goods should be brought "At last I went to the natives and tried back; and the next day, to show that he to ascertain the cause of their conduct, was in earnest, fired at the chief himself, as and they made me understand why they he was passing at a distance of three hun- had fled. I then returned to see the dred yards, being careful not to hurt, but snake myself, which in fact I did, although only to frighten him. A canoe was also two-thirds of its length was hidden in a turned back by a bullet striking a rock hole in the earth. His size was such that close by it. The effect of this was seen I concluded he could not be poisonous, next morning in another visit from the and I at once grasped him by the tail. chief, with five complete suits of clothes, While dragging him out of his lair with axes, knives, beads, and other stolen arti- my two hands I was prepared to flatten cles. Much more, however, remained, his neck close to his head with one foot and D'Albertis took the opportunity of the moment he emerged, so that he should impressing them thoroughly with his not have the power of turning or moving. power. He first asked them to try to My plan succeeded perfectly, and while pierce a strong piece of zinc with their the snake's head was imprisoned under spears, which were blunted by the at- my foot I grasped his body with my tempt, while he riddled it through and hands, and, as though I had vanquished through with shot from his gun. He a terrible monster, turned towards the also sent bullets into the trunk of a small natives with an air of triumph. They, tree a hundred yards distant, showing struck with terror, had looked on at the that a man could not escape him. They scene from a safe distance. I must conhad been seated on a large stone near his fess that the snake offered little resisthouse, which he had mined. He now ance, although it writhed and twisted called them away, and having secretly itself round my arm, squeezing it so lighted the match, told them to look at tightly as to stop the circulation, and the stone. A tremendous explosion soon make my hand black. I remained howcame, and the stone disappeared. The ever in possession of its neck, and soon natives were too frightened to move, and secured it firmly to a long, thick stick I begged him to have pity on them, promis- had brought with me. I then gave the ing to restore everything. A great hole reptile to my men to carry home." This was seen where the stone had stood, while serpent was thirteen feet long, whereas some of its fragments were found a long the one Waterton caught single-handed way off. For twelve days more he kept was but ten feet, though it might have up a state of siege, turning back all trav- been equally powerful. This snake was ellers and many canoes by rifle-balls in | kept alive and became quite tame, and
when the natives saw D'Albertis kiss its | the ambition to shine as an authoress she head and let it coil round his legs they would have been a brilliant writer. Her howled with amazement and admiration. style was lively, very original, and yet Six weeks after the capture he writes: polished and well-bred. But there never "My snake continues to do well; it has perhaps yet lived a woman who, with so twice cast its skin, is well-behaved and many opportunities to dazzle and to play tame, and does not attempt to escape, a splendid part in the great world, cared even when I put it in the sun outside the less for the applause of human beings. house; and when I go to bring it in, it She was extremely beautiful in youth. comes to me of its own accord. It never The outlines of her face were pure, deliattempts to bite, even when I caress or cate, and regular in their proportions. tease it. While I am working I often Her shoulders to the end of her life were hold it on my knees, where it remains for finely shaped, and her feet and hands hours; sometimes it raises its head, and were celebrated for the perfection of their licks my face with its forked tongue. It form. In the ante-room of the groundis a true friend and companion to me. floor suite of rooms in the Place St. When the natives bother me it is useful George there is a bust by Marochetti in putting them to flight, for they are which represents Mme. Thiers as she much afraid of it; it is quite sufficient was when she first attended the balls of for me to let my snake loose to make Queen Marie Amélie. Old Orleanists them fly at full speed." He kept this who then knew her assure me that it was serpent for nearly six months, and lat- not a too flattering likeness. Mme. Emile terly another of the same species with it, de Girardin, when employed by the Guizot till at last both escaped, and he mourns Cabinet to write in the Presse, which that their loss as of dear friends, adding, "for ministry had subsidized to write against I loved them and they loved me, and we M. Thiers, paid her tribute of admiration had passed a long time together." to the rosebud loveliness of his young wife. In her "Courrier de Paris" she speaks of the effect it created at a fancy ball given by the Duchesse de Galliera, and at another fête at the house of Baroness James Rothschild. Mme. Thiers at the former wore a white satin domino covered over with Brussels lace. Mme. Emile de Girardin, who was inclined to chercher la petite bête, spoke some years later of M. Thiers becoming minister for foreign affairs to enable his wife to make sure that when she invited the ambassadors to her soirées they would come. so happened that Mme. Thiers was more free from worldliness of the kind Mme. de Girardin ascribed to her than if she were aspiring to perfect herself in saintliness by humility and the renouncement of earthly grandeur. She would not have gone to nearly so much trouble to receive graciously the highest member of the corps diplomatique as the most insignificant friend of M. Thiers.
The furthest village on the mainland visited by D'Albertis was Epa, where he lived five days, and of which he gives a very pleasing account. It is about fifteen hundred feet above the sea, but a very short distance from the coast. The vil lage is surrounded by a strong double stockade, and the people appear to be good specimens of the superior MahoriPapuan race. By the aid of these people it would probably not have been difficult to penetrate to the mountains of the interior, but our traveller was drawn away by the opportunity of exploring the Fly River, and has left the exploration of this grand mountain range with its rich nat ural treasures for some future exploration or some other explorer.
ALFRED R. WALLACE.
From The Pall Mall Gazette.
PARIS, December 13.
MME. THIERS was a year older than Queen Victoria, and was married six years and a half before her Majesty became the wife of Prince Albert of SaxeCoburg-Gotha, She left school to become the wife of M. Thiers, and as a bride was placed under the care of professors of modern and ancient languages, of his tory, and of literature. If she had had
Mme. Thiers had the intellect of a Parisienne of the faubourgs. A fantastic pedigree is given in this morning's papers of the Matherons, her mother's family, who are represented as having come direct from Auvergne, and on very small savings started a retail silk-mercer's shop in the Faubourg Montmartre. The truth is they had been in business there time out of mind, were very rich, but satisfied to go on as their forefathers had done. Mme. Thiers, however, had not the in
tellectual complexion of a bourgeoise de and the wainscotings covered over with Paris. In her perspicacity, directness, green satin, than which nothing is more bluntness, warmth of heart, and heroism trying to a lady's complexion. A number for she was brave as a lioness-she of the fair habituées of her salon, to be in was rather une femme du peuple. Glory | tune with the universal greenery there, she loved, display she hated; and while made a point of dressing in white whencompletely indifferent to what gossiping ever they went to pass the evening with people said of her plain clothing, her her. hatred of waste, her administrative capacity, which was erroneously confounded with parsimony, her heart dilated with gladness when she felt the eyes of the world were fixed with admiration upon M. Thiers. Mme. Thiers, when she was quite young, translated the works of Pliny. She said she liked Terence better than Labiche. It was she who translated for M. Thiers the articles in English and German newspapers on his speeches, his works, or his actions — when they were eulogistic. If they were the contrary she put them in the fire and pretended they were lost. The care of administrating her household - which was always an important one -left her no time after her mother's death for the study of literature. There were altogether six menservants, three female attendants, and a cook, and there were few houses in Paris in which the virtue of hospitality was kept brighter by exercise. A whole tribe of bachelor friends who had grown old round M. Thiers were in the habit of dropping in to déjeuner and to dinner. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, Mignet, Changarnier, Cousin, and Mérimée were guests en permanence. Thiers constantly asked visitors who called on him between six in the morning and eight to return and chat with him at one or the other repast. His table, without being luxurious, was an excellent one, and the set-out was handsome. After déjeuner, if the weather was fine, he took his visitors into the garden, up and down which he briskly walked. Mme. Thiers stood at a door-window. The moment the temperature lowered she stepped out with a loose and well-wadded coat, which she insisted on throwing round his shoulders. Her manner with him at such times was that of a careful and idolizing nurse, and his was that of a petulant child. She always addressed him as "M. Thiers," and he in replying called her "Mme. Thiers." His tastes, whims, and convenience were studied by her. She had a fresh complexion when seen from home. At the Place St. George she looked bilious, and she knew why but did not mind. M. Thiers happened once to say that green reposed fatigued eyes. She therefore had the curtains dyed that tint
As Thiers rose at five, Mme. Thiers was also on foot at that hour to look after him, and was too busy with household cares to take a siesta. In the evening sleep often overcame her between dinner and bedtime. The effect of her somnolence was often ludicrous. She would begin a conversation with, say, M. Andræ also one of the tribe of old bachelor friends drop asleep in her armchair, and ten minutes later start up, and, without exactly knowing where she was, resume it with somebody else. I have heard her thus talk on the same subject, and as if to the same person, to Louis Herbette, Prince Orloff, Prince Hohenlohe, and the Duc de Broglie. Mme. Thiers, the night the blouse-blanche mob attacked her house in 1870, faced it, and really cowed it. Her courage always rose with danger. She had great pluck, although I believe in her life she never quarrelled with relative or friend. On the occasion of M. Thiers's funeral she defied M. Fourtou, and won the admiration of Republican France by the high tone which she took in communicating with the government. She was the sovereign of Paris the day on which she preceded M. Thiers's corpse in a gala carriage muffled up in crape to Père Lachaise, and her popularity had not abated on the day of the first anniversary mass. The line taken by Mme. Thiers and the publication by her of M. Thiers's last political manifesto in a great measure ensured the defeat of the Elysée party. She could not resign herself to the subsequent forgetfulness into which his "great memory" had fallen. In Belfort, because he saved it from the Prussians, she took to the very last a deep interest. The poor of Belfort were the object of her particular solicitude, and a quarter of an hour before she drew her last breath she begged the mayor of that town having called-that he should be brought to her bedside. It was her wish to send a message to Belfort. But her weakness was too great to speak when he came. She took his hand in one of hers and with the other pointed to a bust of M. Thiers. Doubtless she wanted to express a patriotic sentiment and to connect him with it. It is said that she has
bequeathed her house for life to her sister, and on her death to the city of Paris, to be converted into a Thiers Museum.
From The Jewish World.
sung," the sins of the parents were, with fearful retribution, literally visited on the children. But let us away from this dread spot, where so much of the profligacy and intrigue of another age lies buried. One of the freshest-looking, but most interesting tombs is on the western side. It bears the simple inscription, “Sacred to A JEWISH CEMETERY. the Memory of Benjamin Disraeli," and THERE are burial grounds where, as after the usual dates tells us that the deTennyson beautifully says, "the stone- ceased was "an affectionate husband, cut epitaph remains after the vanished father, and friend." This Benjamin Disvoice and speaks to men." And what raeli was the grandfather of the late prime tales do they not tell us! Every name minister, the Viscount Hughenden, and we read in rugged and half-worn capitals the Earl of Beaconsfield, who until a few recalls some page of romantic history, months ago was the arbiter of the destisome career over which the archæologist nies of the greatest empire in the world. may linger with affectionate reverence; The affectionate reverence of the distinwafts legendary stories from the dim twi-guished grandson has recently penetrated light of the past, and recalls traditions into his ancestor's humble Jewish resting. which years may have buried amongst place, and the tomb has been repaired the lumber of our recollections. Such a and freshly painted. On the opposite cemetery is the old Sephardic Burial side is another tomb, half sunk in the Ground in the Mile End Road. Founded ground, which is also interesting, as not close upon a century and a half agoon only marking the resting-place of the the 17th Nisan, 5493, says an inscription mother-in-law of Benjamin Disraeli the on the southern wall the tombs may elder-the mother of his first wife - but there be inspected of many of the ances- also as containing necrographic evidence tors of families whose names are histori- with which to correct Lord Beaconsfield's cal in the Anglo-Jewish community. It own account of his family history. This is a bleak, damp, and dismal expanse of is the tomb of Abigail Mendes Furtado sward, this resting-place of our great of Portugal, who, according to the inscripold even down to the tufts of rusty matted tion, "after suffering the tortures of the grass, which seem, under their weight of Inquisition, fled for protection to England years, to be unequal even to the exertion with her children whom she eduof covering the graves to which they give cated in the Jewish faith and established such unearthly shapes. Everything be- well in marriage." The tomb of her tokens age, and on every side relics of daughter Rebecca, "wife of Benjamin past times may be seen. On the right Disraeli," is not far distant, and here we stands the tumble-down ruin of the watch are told that the family, as Lord Beaconstower in which a servant of the congrega-field himself says, was connected with tion held his nightly vigils against the body-snatchers of a century ago. There with a fire to keep himself warm, a blunderbuss ready primed at hand, and a bell to summon assistance, he would keep guard against the graveyard robbers. On Friday nights he would be joined by a Christian colleague, whose religious scruples would not be violated by firing the blunderbuss on the Jewish Sabbath. Not very far from the entrance is a melancholy square of ground, which formerly was more strictly divided from the rest of the cemetery, and bore the significant name of "Behind the Boards." Here the rigid Puritanism of our forefathers unceremoniously huddled away the bodies of those who were of illegitimate birth. No stones, no mounds even were raised to mark the spots where they were laid to rest, but "unwept, unhonored, and un
such important houses as the Laras and Da Sylvas. Two more tombs connected with the history of the Disraelis are those of Jeoshua Basevi and David Abarbanel Lindo. Basevi, who was in his time. elected parnass of the synagogue, was Lord Beaconsfield's grandfather on his mother's side, the father of that Basevi who seceded from the synagogue with Isaac Disraeli; and Lindo was the gentleman who in 1805 performed on Lord Beaconsfield himself the initiatory rite by which he was admitted into that Abrahamic covenant which he subsequently was led to abandon. But it is not only the Disraelis, amongst the families which have left the pale of Judaism, whose names are to be read on the tombstones in this cemetery. There is the tomb of Sampson Gideon, the greatest financier of his day, whose son was baptized and raised to the
192 INFLUENCE OF A TUNING-FORK ON THE GARDEN SPIDER. peerage under the title of Baron Eardley. | particular thread or on a stretched supThere are Lopezes, who were evidently porting thread in contact with the fork. kinsmen of that Menasseh Lopez whose present descendant is Sir Massey Lopes, the member for South Devon, and late a civil lord of the Admiralty. Still fresh and legible is the last record of "Isaac of Benjamin Bernal," the brother of Jacob Bernal, whose descendants are the Bernal Osbornes, and whose family has become allied with the ducal house of St. Albans. Also to be seen is the grave of Jacob Samuda, the first Jewish civil engineer, the inventor of the atmospheric boiler, and founder of the eminent firm of Samuda Brothers, a member of which recently represented the Tower Hamlets in the House of Commons.
THE INFLUENCE OF A TUNING-FORK ON
THE GARDEN SPIDER.
HAVING made some observations on the garden spider which are I believe new, I send a short account of them in the hope that they may be of interest to the readers of Nature.
Last autumn, while watching some spiders spinning their beautiful geometrical webs, it occurred to me to try what effect a tuning-fork would have upon them. On sounding an A fork and lightly touching with it any leaf or other support of the web or any portion of the web itself, I found that the spider, if at the centre of the web, rapidly slews round so as to face the direction of the fork, feeling with its fore feet along which radial thread the vibration travels. Having become satisfied on this point, it next darts along that thread till it reaches either the fork itself or a junction of two or more threads, the right one of which it instantly determines as before. If the fork is not removed when the spider has arrived it seems to have the same charm as any fly; for the spider seizes it, embraces it, and runs about on the legs of the fork as aften as it is made to sound, never seeming to learn by experience that other things may buzz besides its natural food.
If the spider is not at the centre of the web at the time that the fork is applied, it cannot tell which way to go until it has been to the centre to ascertain which radial thread is vibrating, unless of course it should happen to be on that
If when a spider has been enticed to the edge of the web the fork is withdrawn and then gradually brought near, the spider is aware of its presence and of its direction, and reaches out as far as possible in the direction of the fork; but if a sounding-fork is gradually brought near a spider that has not been disturbed, but which is waiting as usual in the middle of the web, then instead of reaching out towards the fork the spider instantly drops at the end of a thread of course. If under these conditions the fork is made to touch any part of the web, the spider is aware of the fact and climbs the thread and reaches the fork with marvellous rapidity. The spider never leaves the centre of the web without a thread along which to travel back. If after enticing a spider out we cut this thread with a pair of scissors, the spider seems to be unable to get back without doing considerable damage to the web, generally gumming together the sticky parallel threads in groups of three and four.
By means of a tuning-fork a spider may be made to eat what it would otherwise avoid. I took a fly that had been drowned in paraffin and put it into a spider's web and then attracted the spider by touching the fly with a fork. When the spider had come to the conclusion that it was not suitable food and was leaving it, I touched the fly again. This had the same effect as before, and as often as the spider began to leave the fly I again touched it, and by this means compelled the spider to eat a large portion of the fly.
The few house-spiders that I have found do not seem to appreciate the tuning-fork, but retreat into their hidingplaces as when frightened; yet the supposed fondness of spiders for music must surely have some connection with these observations, and when they come out to listen is it not that they cannot tell which way to proceed?
The few observations that I have made are necessarily imperfect, but I send them, as they afford a method which might lead a naturalist to notice habits otherwise difficult to observe, and so to arrive at conclusions which I in my ignorance of natural history must leave to others.
C. V. Boys. Physical Laboratory, South Kensington.