brought in twenty-four hours he would | front of them, but never hurting any one. fire at every native who came within range Then another large instalment of his goods of his house, which fortunately com- was brought, leaving little of importance, manded a great extent of native paths, as and ultimately he recovered almost every: well as the narrow strait between the thing. During the whole of this time he island and the mainland. He then made never hurt a single person or did any his preparations for a desperate defence damage to their property, but succeeded in case he was attacked, loaded some in getting back his own by impressing Orsini shells and mined the paths leading them with his, to them, superhuman to his house, so that with a long match he power. The result was that after eight could blow them up without exposing months' residence he parted from these himself. At the end of the twenty-four people on the best of terms. They all hours, nothing having been brought, he embraced him, and most of them shed commenced operations by exploding five tears, while their last words were : Mao dynamite cartridges, which made a roar ria rau! Maria riu ! " “ Return, Ma like that of a cannonade, the echoes ria! Return, Maria !' - that being his resounding for several seconds. He then second name, by which they had found it let off rockets in the direction of the na- most easy to call him. tive 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 be 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 thein to try to My plan succeeded persectly, and while pierce a strong piece of zinc with their thé 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 perbaps 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

The furthest village on the mainland wife. In her “ Courrier de Paris” she visited by D'Albertis was Epa, where he speaks of the effect it created at a fancy lived five days, and of which he gives a ball given by the Duchesse de Galliera, very pleasing account. It is about fifteen and at another fête at the house of Baronhundred feet above the sea, but a very ess James Rothschild. Mme. Thiers at short distance from the coast. The vil. the former wore a white satin domino lage is surrounded by a strong double covered over with Brussels lace. Mme. stockade, and the people appear to be Emile de Girardin, who was inclined to good specimens of the superior Mahori- chercher la petite bête, spoke some years Papuan race. By the aid of these people later of M. Thiers becoming minister for it would probably not have been difficult foreign affairs to enable his wife to make to penetrate to the mountains of the inte sure that when she invited the ambassa. rior, but our traveller was drawn away by dors to her soirées they would come. It the opportunity of exploring the Fly Riv- so happened that Mme. Thiers was more er, and has left the exploration of this free from worldliness of the kind Mme. grand mountain range with its rich nat. de Girardin ascribed to her than if she ural treasures for some future exploration were aspiring to perfect herself in saintlior some other explorer.

ness by humility and the renouncement ALFRED R. WALLACE. 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.

Mme. Thiers had the intellect of a

Parisienne of the faubourgs. A fantastic

Paris, December 13. pedigree is given in this morning's papers MME. THIERS was a year older than of the Matherons, her mother's family, Queen Victoria, and was married six who are represented as having come diFears and a half before her Majesty be- rect from Auvergne, and on very small came the wife of Prince Albert of Saxe savings started a retail silk-mercer's shop Coburg.Gotha. She left school to become in the Faubourg Montmartre. The truth the wife of M. Thiers, and as a bride is they had been in business there time was placed under the care of professors out of mind, were very rich, but satisfied of modern and ancient languages, of his to go on as their forefathers had done. tory, and of literature. If she had had | Mme. Thiers, however, had not the in

From The Pall Mall Gazette.

[ocr errors]

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 beroism 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, ber her. hatred of waste, her administrative capac- As Thiers rose at five, Mme. Thiers ity, which was erroneously confounded was also on foot at that hour to look after with parsimony, her heart dilated with him, and was too busy with household gladness when she felt the eyes of the cares to take a siesta. In the evening world were fixed with admiration upon sleep often overcame her between dinner M. Thiers. Mme. Thiers, when she and bedtime. The effect of her somno. was quite young, translated the works of lence was often ludicrous. She would Pliny: She said she liked Terence better begin a conversation with, say, M. Andræ than Labiche. It was she who translated also one of the tribe of old bachelor for M. Thiers the articles in English and friends — drop asleep in her armchair, German newspapers on his speeches, his and ten minutes later start up, and, withworks, or his actions — when they were out exactly knowing where she was, re. eulogistic. If they were the contrary she sume it with somebody else. I have heard put them in the fire and pretended they her thus talk on the same subject, and as were lost. The care of administrating if to the same person, to Louis Herbette, her household — which was always an Prince Orloff, Prince Hohenlohe, and the important one — left her no time after Duc de Broglie. Mme. Thiers, the night her mother's death for the study of liter. the blouse-blanche mob attacked her house ature. There were altogether six men- in 1870, faced it, and really cowed it. servants, three female attendants, and a Her courage always rose with danger. cook, and there were few houses in Paris She had great pluck, although I believe in which the virtue of hospitality was kept in her life she never quarrelled with relabrighter by exercise. A whole tribe of tive or friend. On the occasion of M. bachelor friends who had grown old round Thiers's funeral she defied M. Fourtou, M. Thiers were in the habit of dropping and won the admiration of Republican in to déjeuner and to dinner. Barthélemy France by the high tore which she took St. Hilaire, Mignet, Changarnier, Cousin, in communicating with the government. and Mérimée were guests en permanence. She was the sovereign of Paris the day Thiers constantly asked visitors who on which she preceded M. Thiers's corpse called on him between six in the morning in a gala carriage muffled up in crape and eight to return and chat with him at to Père Lachaise, and her popularity had one or the other repast. His table, with- not abated on the day of the first anniverout being luxurious, was an excellent one, sary mass. The line taken by Mme. and the set-out was handsome. After Thiers and the publication by her of M. déjeuner, if the weather was fine, he took Thiers's last political manifesto in a great his visitors into the garden, up and down measure ensured the defeat of the Elysée which he briskly walked. Mme. Thiers party. She could not resign herself to stood at a door-window. The moment the subsequent forgetfulness into which the temperature lowered she stepped out his "great memory” had fallen. In Belwith a loose and well-wadded coat, which fort, because he saved it from the Prusshe insisted throwing round his sians, she took to the very last a deep shoulders. Her manner with him at such interest. The poor of Belfort were the times was that of a careful and idolizing object of her particular solicitude, and a nurse, and his was that of a petulant quarter of an hour before she drew her child. She always addressed him as " M. last breath she begged – the mayor of Thiers,” and hé in replying called her that town having called — that he should “Mme. Thiers.” His tastes, whims, and be brought to her bedside. It was her convenience were studied by her. She wish to send a message to Belfort. But had a fresh complexion when seen from her weakness was too great to speak when home. At the Place St. George she be came. She took his hand in one of looked bilious, and she knew why but did hers and with the other pointed to a bust not mind. M. Thiers happened once to of M. Thiers. Doubtless she wanted to say that green reposed fatiguedi eyes. She express a patriotic sentiment and to contherefore had the curtains dyed that tint 'nect him with it. It is said that she has


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

bequeathed ber house for life to her sis. sung," the sins of the parents were, with ter, and on her death to the city of Paris, fearful retribution, literally visited on the to be converted into a Thiers Museum. 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 inter

esting tombs is on the western side. It From The Jewish World.

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 distin. wafts 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 ago - on only marking the resting-place of the the 19th 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 edu. of covering the graves to which they give cated in the Jewish faith and established such unearthly shapes. Everything be well in marriage.” The toinb 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 such important houses as the Laras and body-snatchers of a century ago. There Da Sylvas. Two more tombs connected with a fire to keep himself warm, a blun. with the history of the Disraelis are those derbuss ready primed at hand, and a bell of Jeoshua Basevi and David Abarbanel

summon assistance, he would keep Lindo. Basevi, who was in his time guard against the graveyard robbers. elected parnass of the synagogue, was On Friday nights he would be joined by Lord Beaconsfield's grandfather on his a Christian colleague, whose religious mother's side, the father of that Basevi scruples would not be violated by firing who seceded from the synagogue with the blunderbuss on the Jewish Sabbath. Isaac Disraeli; and Lindo was the genNot very far from the entrance is a mel- tleman who in 1805 performed on Lord ancholy square of ground, which formerly Beaconsfield himself the initiatory rite by was more strictly divided from the rest which he was admitted into that Abraof the cemetery, and bore the significant hamic covenant which he subsequently name of “Behind the Boards.”. Here the was led to abandon. But it is not only rigid Puritanism of our forefathers un. the Disraelis, amongst the families which ceremoniously huddled away the bodies have left the pale of Judaism, whose names of those who were of illegitimate birth. are to be read on the tombstones in this No stones, no mounds even were raised cemetery. There is the tomb of Sampson to mark the spots where they were laid to Gideon, the greatest financier of his day, rest, but "unwept, unhonored, and un- whose son was baptized and raised to the



From Nature.


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 If when a spider has been enticed to present descendant is Sir Massey Lopes, the edge of the web the fork is withdrawn the member for South Devon, and late a and then gradually brought near, the spicivil lord of the Admiralty. Still fresh der is aware of its presence and of its and legible is the last record of “ Isaac of direction, and reaches out as far as possiBenjamin Bernal,” the brother of Jacob ble in the direction of the fork; but if a Bernal, whose descendants are the Ber- sounding-fork is gradually brought near nal Osbornes, and whose family has be- a spider that has not been disturbed, but come allied with the ducal house of St. which is waiting as usual in the middle Albans. Also to be seen is the grave of of the web, then instead of reaching out Jacob Samuda, the first Jewislı civil en. towards the fork the spider instantly drops gineer, the inventor of the atmospheric — at the end of a thread of course. If boiler, and founder of the eminent firm of under these conditions the fork is made Samuda Brothers, a member of which to touch any part of the web, the spider recently represented the Tower Hamlets is aware of the fact and climbs the thread in the House of Commons.

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 THE INFLUENCE OF A TUNING-FORK ON to get back without doing considerable

damage to the web, generally gumming HAVING made some observations on together the sticky parallel threads in the garden spider which are I believe groups of three and four. new, I send a short account of them in

By means of a tuning-fork a spider the hope that they may be of interest to may be made to eat what it would otherthe readers of Nature.

wise avoid. I took a fly that had been Last autumn, while watching some spi- drowned in paraffin and put it into a spiders spinning their beautiful geometrical der's web and then attracted the spider webs, it occurred to me to try what effect by touching the fly with a fork. When a tuning-fork would have upon them. On the spider had come to the conclusion sounding an A fork and lightly touching that it was not suitable food and was with it any leaf or other support of the leaving it, I touched the fly again. This web or any portion of the web itself, I had the same effect as before, and as found that ihe spider, if at the centre of often as the spider began to leave the fly the web, rapidly slews round so as to face I again touched it, and by this means the direction of the fork, feeling with its compelled the spider to eat a large porfore feet along which radial thread the tion of the fly. vibration travels. Having become satis. The few house-spiders that I have fied on this point, it next darts along that found do not seem to appreciate the tunthread till it reaches either the fork itself ing-fork, but retreat into their idingor a junction of two or more threads, the places as when frightened; yet the supright one of which it instantly determines posed fondness of spiders for music must as before. If the fork is not removed surely have some connection with these when the spider has arrived it seems to observations, and when they come out have the same charm as any fly; for the to listen is it not that they cannot tell spider seizes it, embraces it, and runs which way to proceed ? about on the legs of the fork as aften as The few observations that I have made it is made to sound, never seeming to are necessarily imperfect, but I send learn by experience that other things may them, as they afford a method which buzz besides its natural food.

might lead a naturalist to notice habits If the spider is not at the centre of the otherwise difficult to observe, and so to web at the time that the fork is applied, arrive at conclusions which I in my ignoit cannot tell which way to go until it has rance of natural history must leave to been to the centre to ascertain wbich others. radial thread is vibrating, unless of

C. V. Boys. course it should happen to be on that

Physical Laboratory, South Kensington.

« VorigeDoorgaan »