Boekgegevens
Titel: First English reading book: Engelsch leesboek voor instituten, gymnasiën en hoogere burgerscholen: met Nederlandsche woordenlijst
Auteur: Herrig, Ludwig
Uitgave: Arnhem: J. Voltelen, 1869 *
Auteursrechten: Zie auteursrechten
Citeerinstructie: Bijzondere Collecties van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, UBM: IWO 513 H 21
URL: https://schoolmuseum.uba.uva.nl/bookid/LCSM_204683
Onderwerp: Taal- en letterkunde naar afzonderlijke talen: Engelse taalkunde
Trefwoord: Leesvaardigheid, Engels, Leermiddelen (vorm)
* jaar van uitgave niet op de gebruikelijke wijze verkregen, mogelijk betreft het een schatting
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•209
a wasp. Its legs are terminated by strong
claws, not unlike those of a lobster, and
their vast length, hke spears, serve to keep
every assailant at a distance.
Not worse furnished for observation than
for an attack or a defence, it has several
eyes, large, transparent, and covered with
a horny substance, which, however, does
not impede its vision. Besides this, it is
furnished with a forceps above the mouth,
which serves to kill or secure the prey al-
ready caught in its claws or its net.
Such are the implements of war with
which the body is immediately furnished:
but its net to entangle the enemy seems
Avhat it chiefly trusts to, and what it takes
most pains to render as complete as pos-
sible. Nature has furnished the body of
this little creature with a glutinous liquid,
which proceeding from the anus, it spins
into thread coarser or finer, as it chooses
to contract or dilate its sphincter. In or-
der to fix its thread when it begins to
weave, it emits a small drop of its liquid
against the wall, which, hardening by de-
grees, serves to hold the thread very firmly.
Then receding from the first point, as it
recedes the thread lengthens; and when
the spider has come to the place where
the other end of the thread should be fix-
ed, gathering up with his claws the thread
which would otherwise be too slack, it is
stretched tightly, and fixed in the same
manner to the wall as before.
In this manner it spins and fixes several
threads parallel to each other, which, so
to speak, serve as the warp to the intended
web. To form the woof, it spins in the
same manner its thread, transversely, fixing
one end to the first thread that was spun,
and which is always the strongest of the
whole web, and the other to the wall. All
these threads, being newly spun, are gluti-
nous, and therefore stick to each other
wherever they happen to touch, and in
those parts of tho web most exposed to be
torn, our natural artist strengthens them
by doubling the threads sometimes sixfold.
Thus far naturahsts have gone in the
description of this animal; what follows is
the result of my own observations upon
that species of the insect called a house-
spider. I perceived about four years ago,
a large spider in one corner of my room,
making its web, and though the maid fre-
quently levefled her fatal broom against
the labours of the little animal, I had the
good fortune then to prevent its destruc-
tion, and I may say, it more than paid me
by the entertainment it afforded.
In three days the web was with incre-
First Engl. Reading Book.
dible diligence completed; nor could 1 avoid
thinking that the insect seemed to exult in
its new abode. It frequently traversed it
round, examined the strength of every part
of it, retired into its hole, and came out
very frequently. The first enemy, however,
it had to encounter, was another and a
much larger spider, which, having no web
of its own, and having probably exhausted
all its stock in former labours of this kind,
came to invade the property of its neigh-
bour. Soon then a terrible encounter en-
sued, in which the invader seemed to have
the victory, and the laborious spider was
obhged to take refuge in its hole. Upon
this I perceived the victor using every art
to draw the enemy from his strong hold.
He seemed to go olf, but quickly returned,
and when he found all arts vain, began to
demolish the new web without mercy.
This brought on another battle, and, con-
trary to my expectations, the laborious
spider became conqueror, and fairly killed
his antagonist. '
Now then, in peaceable possession of
what was justly its own, it waited three
days with tho utmost impatience, repairing
the breaches of its web, and' taking no
sustenance that I could perceive. At last,
however, a large blue fly fell into the
snare, and struggled hard to get loose.
The spider gave it leave to entangle itself
as much as possible, but it seemed to be
too strong for the cobweb. 1 must own I
was greatly surprised when I saw the spi-
der immediately sally out, and in less than
a minute weave a new net round its cap-
tive, by which the motion of its wings was
stopped, and when jt was fairly hampered
in this manner, it was seized, and dragged
into the hole.
In this manner it lived in a precarious
state, and nature seemed to have fitted it
for such a life, for upon a single fly it
subsisted for more than a week. I once
put a wasp into the nest, but when the
spider came out in order to seize it as
usual, upon perceiving what kind of an
enemy it had to deal with, it instantly broke
all the bands that held it fast, and contri-
buted all that lay in its power to disengage
so formidable an antagonist. When the
wasp was at liberty I expected the spider
would have set about repairing the brea-
ches that were made in its net, but those
it seems were irreparable, wherefore the
cobweb was now entirely forsaken, and a
new one begun, which was completed in
the usual time.
I had now a mind to try how many cob-
webs a single spider could furnish, where-
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