site logo


Michelet {23} has told us how, as a printer's apprentice in a cellar, he

established amicable relations with a Spider. At a certain hour of the

day, a ray of sunlight would glint through the window of the gloomy

workshop and light up the little compositor's case. Then his

eight-legged neighbour would come down from her web and take her share of

the sunshine on the edge of the case. The boy did not interfere with

he welcomed the trusting visitor as a friend and as a pleasant

diversion from the long monotony. When we lack the society of our fellow-

men, we take refuge in that of animals, without always losing by the


I do not, thank God, suffer from the melancholy of a cellar: my solitude

is gay with light and verdure; I attend, whenever I please, the fields'

high festival, the Thrushes' concert, the Crickets' symphony; and yet my

friendly commerce with the Spider is marked by an even greater devotion

than the young typesetter's. I admit her to the intimacy of my study, I

make room for her among my books, I set her in the sun on my

window-ledge, I visit her assiduously at her home, in the country. The

object of our relations is not to create a means of escape from the petty

worries of life, pin-pricks whereof I have my share like other men, a

very large share, indeed; I propose to submit to the Spider a host of

questions whereto, at times, she condescends to reply.

To what fair problems does not the habit of frequenting her give rise! To

set them forth worthily, the marvellous art which the little printer was

to acquire were not too much. One needs the pen of a Michelet; and I

have but a rough, blunt pencil. Let us try, nevertheless: even when

poorly clad, truth is still beautiful.

I will therefore once more take up the story of the Spider's instinct, a

story of which the preceding chapters have given but a very rough idea.

Since I wrote those earlier essays, my field of observation has been

greatly extended. My notes have been enriched by new and most remarkable

facts. It is right that I should employ them for the purpose of a more

detailed biography.

The exigencies of order and clearness expose me, it is true, to

occasional repetitions. This is inevitable when one has to marshal in an

harmonious whole a thousand items culled from day to day, often

unexpectedly, and bearing no relation one to the other. The observer is

not master of his time; opportunity leads him and by unsuspected ways. A

certain question suggested by an earlier fact finds no reply until many

years after. Its scope, moreover, is amplified and completed with views

collected on the road. In a work, therefore, of this fragmentary

character, repetitions, necessary for the due co-ordination of ideas, are

inevitable. I shall be as sparing of them as I can.

Let us once more introduce our old friends the Epeira and the Lycosa, who

are the most important Spiders in my district. The Narbonne Lycosa, or

Black-bellied Tarantula, chooses her domicile in the waste, pebbly lands

beloved of the thyme. Her dwelling, a fortress rather than a villa, is a

burrow about nine inches deep and as wide as the neck of a claret-bottle.

The direction is perpendicular, in so far as obstacles, frequent in a

soil of this kind, permit. A bit of gravel can be extracted and hoisted

outside; but a flint is an immovable boulder which the Spider avoids by

giving a bend to her gallery. If more such are met with, the residence

becomes a winding cave, with stone vaults, with lobbies communicating by

means of sharp passages.

This lack of plan has no attendant drawbacks, so well does the owner,

from long habit, know every corner and storey of her mansion. If any

interesting buzz occur overhead, the Lycosa climbs up from her rugged

manor with the same speed as from a vertical shaft. Perhaps she even

finds the windings and turnings an advantage, when she has to drag into

her den a prey that happens to defend itself.

As a rule, the end of the burrow widens into a side-chamber, a lounge or

resting-place where the Spider meditates at length and is content to lead

a life of quiet when her belly is full.

A silk coating, but a scanty one, for the Lycosa has not the wealth of

silk possessed by the Weaving Spiders, lines the walls of the tube and

keeps the loose earth from falling. This plaster, which cements the

incohesive and smooths the rugged parts, is reserved more particularly

for the top of the gallery, near the mouth. Here, in the daytime, if

things be peaceful all around, the Lycosa stations herself, either to

enjoy the warmth of the sun, her great delight, or to lie in wait for

game. The threads of the silk lining afford a firm hold to the claws on

every side, whether the object be to sit motionless for hours, revelling

in the light and heat, or to pounce upon the passing prey.

Around the orifice of the burrow rises, to a greater or lesser height, a

circular parapet, formed of tiny pebbles, twigs and straps borrowed from

the dry leaves of the neighbouring grasses, all more or less dexterously

tied together and cemented with silk. This work of rustic architecture

is never missing, even though it be no more than a mere pad.

When she reaches maturity and is once settled, the Lycosa becomes

eminently domesticated. I have been living in close communion with her

for the last three years. I have installed her in large earthen pans on

the window-sills of my study and I have her daily under my eyes. Well,

it is very rarely that I happen on her outside, a few inches from her

hole, back to which she bolts at the least alarm.

We may take it, then, that, when not in captivity, the Lycosa does not go

far afield to gather the wherewithal to build her parapet and that she

makes shift with what she finds upon her threshold. In these conditions,

the building-stones are soon exhausted and the masonry ceases for lack of


The wish came over me to see what dimensions the circular edifice would

assume, if the Spider were given an unlimited supply. With captives to

whom I myself act as purveyor the thing is easy enough. Were it only

with a view to helping whoso may one day care to continue these relations

with the big Spider of the waste-lands, let me describe how my subjects

are housed.

A good-sized earthenware pan, some nine inches deep, is filled with a

red, clayey earth, rich in pebbles, similar, in short, to that of the

places haunted by the Lycosa. Properly moistened into a paste, the

artificial soil is heaped, layer by layer, around a central reed, of a

bore equal to that of the animal's natural burrow. When the receptacle

is filled to the top, I withdraw the reed, which leaves a yawning,

perpendicular shaft. I thus obtain the abode which shall replace that of

the fields.

To find the hermit to inhabit it is merely the matter of a walk in the

neighbourhood. When removed from her own dwelling, which is turned topsy-

turvy by my trowel, and placed in possession of the den produced by my

art, the Lycosa at once disappears into that den. She does not come out

again, seeks nothing better elsewhere. A large wire-gauze cover rests on

the soil in the pan and prevents escape.

In any case, the watch, in this respect, makes no demands upon my

diligence. The prisoner is satisfied with her new abode and manifests no

regret for her natural burrow. There is no attempt at flight on her

part. Let me not omit to add that each pan must receive not more than

one inhabitant. The Lycosa is very intolerant. To her, a neighbour is

fair game, to be eaten without scruple when one has might on one's side.

Time was when, unaware of this fierce intolerance, which is more savage

still at breeding-time, I saw hideous orgies perpetrated in my

overstocked cages. I shall have occasion to describe those tragedies


Let us meanwhile consider the isolated Lycosae. They do not touch up the

dwelling which I have moulded for them with a bit of reed; at most, now

and again, perhaps with the object of forming a lounge or bedroom at the

bottom, they fling out a few loads of rubbish. But all, little by

little, build the kerb that is to edge the mouth.

I have given them plenty of first-rate materials, far superior to those

which they use when left to their own resources. These consist, first,

for the foundations, of little smooth stones, some of which are as large

as an almond. With this road-metal are mingled short strips of raphia,

or palm-fibre, flexible ribbons, easily bent. These stand for the

Spider's usual basket-work, consisting of slender stalks and dry blades

of grass. Lastly, by way of an unprecedented treasure, never yet

employed by a Lycosa, I place at my captives' disposal some thick threads

of wool, cut into inch lengths.

As I wish, at the same time, to find out whether my animals, with the

magnificent lenses of their eyes, are able to distinguish colours and

prefer one colour to another, I mix up bits of wool of different hues:

there are red, green, white and yellow pieces. If the Spider have any

preference, she can choose where she pleases.

The Lycosa always works at night, a regrettable circumstance, which does

not allow me to follow the worker's methods. I see the result; and that

is all. Were I to visit the building-yard by the light of a lantern, I

should be no wiser. The animal, which is very shy, would at once dive

into her lair; and I should have lost my sleep for nothing. Furthermore,

she is not a very diligent labourer; she likes to take her time. Two or

three bits of wool or raphia placed in position represent a whole night's

work. And to this slowness we must add long spells of utter idleness.

Two months pass; and the result of my liberality surpasses my

expectations. Possessing more windfalls than they know what to do with,

all picked up in their immediate neighbourhood, my Lycosae have built

themselves donjon-keeps the like of which their race has not yet known.

Around the orifice, on a slightly sloping bank, small, flat, smooth

stones have been laid to form a broken, flagged pavement. The larger

stones, which are Cyclopean blocks compared with the size of the animal

that has shifted them, are employed as abundantly as the others.

On this rockwork stands the donjon. It is an interlacing of raphia and

bits of wool, picked up at random, without distinction of shade. Red and

white, green and yellow are mixed without any attempt at order. The

Lycosa is indifferent to the joys of colour.

The ultimate result is a sort of muff, a couple of inches high. Bands of

silk, supplied by the spinnerets, unite the pieces, so that the whole

resembles a coarse fabric. Without being absolutely faultless, for there

are always awkward pieces on the outside, which the worker could not

handle, the gaudy building is not devoid of merit. The bird lining its

nest would do no better. Whoso sees the curious, many-coloured

productions in my pans takes them for an outcome of my industry,

contrived with a view to some experimental mischief; and his surprise is

great when I confess who the real author is. No one would ever believe

the Spider capable of constructing such a monument.

It goes without saying that, in a state of liberty, on our barren waste-

lands, the Lycosa does not indulge in such sumptuous architecture. I

have given the reason: she is too great a stay-at-home to go in search of

materials and she makes use of the limited resources which she finds

around her. Bits of earth, small chips of stone, a few twigs, a few

withered grasses: that is all, or nearly all. Wherefore the work is

generally quite modest and reduced to a parapet that hardly attracts


My captives teach us that, when materials are plentiful, especially

textile materials that remove all fears of landslip, the Lycosa delights

in tall turrets. She understands the art of donjon-building and puts it

into practice as often as she possesses the means.

This art is akin to another, from which it is apparently derived. If the

sun be fierce or if rain threaten, the Lycosa closes the entrance to her

dwelling with a silken trellis-work, wherein she embeds different

matters, often the remnants of victims which she has devoured. The

ancient Gael nailed the heads of his vanquished enemies to the door of

his hut. In the same way, the fierce Spider sticks the skulls of her

prey into the lid of her cave. These lumps look very well on the ogre's

roof; but we must be careful not to mistake them for warlike trophies.

The animal knows nothing of our barbarous bravado. Everything at the

threshold of the burrow is used indiscriminately: fragments of Locust,

vegetable remains and especially particles of earth. A Dragon-fly's head

baked by the sun is as good as a bit of gravel and no better.

And so, with silk and all sorts of tiny materials, the Lycosa builds a

lidded cap to the entrance of her home. I am not well acquainted with

the reasons that prompt her to barricade herself indoors, particularly as

the seclusion is only temporary and varies greatly in duration. I obtain

precise details from a tribe of Lycosae wherewith the enclosure, as will

be seen later, happens to be thronged in consequence of my investigations

into the dispersal of the family.

At the time of the tropical August heat, I see my Lycosae, now this

batch, now that, building, at the entrance to the burrow, a convex

ceiling, which is difficult to distinguish from the surrounding soil. Can

it be to protect themselves from the too-vivid light? This is doubtful;

for, a few days later, though the power of the sun remain the same, the

roof is broken open and the Spider reappears at her door, where she

revels in the torrid heat of the dog-days.

Later, when October comes, if it be rainy weather, she retires once more

under a roof, as though she were guarding herself against the damp. Let

us not be too positive of anything, however: often, when it is raining

hard, the Spider bursts her ceiling and leaves her house open to the


Perhaps the lid is only put on for serious domestic events, notably for

the laying. I do, in fact, perceive young Lycosae who shut themselves in

before they have attained the dignity of motherhood and who reappear,

some time later, with the bag containing the eggs hung to their stern.

The inference that they close the door with the object of securing

greater quiet while spinning the maternal cocoon would not be in keeping

with the unconcern displayed by the majority. I find some who lay their

eggs in an open burrow; I come upon some who weave their cocoon and cram

it with eggs in the open air, before they even own a residence. In

short, I do not succeed in fathoming the reasons that cause the burrow to

be closed, no matter what the weather, hot or cold, wet or dry.

The fact remains that the lid is broken and repaired repeatedly,

sometimes on the same day. In spite of the earthy casing, the silk woof

gives it the requisite pliancy to cleave when pushed by the anchorite and

to rip open without falling into ruins. Swept back to the circumference

of the mouth and increased by the wreckage of further ceilings, it

becomes a parapet, which the Lycosa raises by degrees in her long moments

of leisure. The bastion which surmounts the burrow, therefore, takes its

origin from the temporary lid. The turret derives from the split


What is the purpose of this turret? My pans will tell us that. An

enthusiastic votary of the chase, so long as she is not permanently

fixed, the Lycosa, once she has set up house, prefers to lie in ambush

and wait for the quarry. Every day, when the heat is greatest, I see my

captives come up slowly from under ground and lean upon the battlements

of their woolly castle-keep. They are then really magnificent in their

stately gravity. With their swelling belly contained within the

aperture, their head outside, their glassy eyes staring, their legs

gathered for a spring, for hours and hours they wait, motionless, bathing

voluptuously in the sun.

Should a tit-bit to her liking happen to pass, forthwith the watcher

darts from her tall tower, swift as an arrow from the bow. With a dagger-

thrust in the neck, she stabs the jugular of the Locust, Dragon-fly or

other prey whereof I am the purveyor; and she as quickly scales the

donjon and retires with her capture. The performance is a wonderful

exhibition of skill and speed.

Very seldom is a quarry missed, provided that it pass at a convenient

distance, within the range of the huntress' bound. But, if the prey be

at some distance, for instance on the wire of the cage, the Lycosa takes

no notice of it. Scorning to go in pursuit, she allows it to roam at

will. She never strikes except when sure of her stroke. She achieves

this by means of her tower. Hiding behind the wall, she sees the

stranger advancing, keeps her eyes on him and suddenly pounces when he

comes within reach. These abrupt tactics make the thing a certainty.

Though he were winged and swift of flight, the unwary one who approaches

the ambush is lost.

This presumes, it is true, an exemplary patience on the Lycosa's part;

for the burrow has naught that can serve to entice victims. At best, the

ledge provided by the turret may, at rare intervals, tempt some weary

wayfarer to use it as a resting-place. But, if the quarry do not come to-

day, it is sure to come to-morrow, the next day, or later, for the

Locusts hop innumerable in the waste-land, nor are they always able to

regulate their leaps. Some day or other, chance is bound to bring one of

them within the purlieus of the burrow. This is the moment to spring

upon the pilgrim from the ramparts. Until then, we maintain a stoical

vigilance. We shall dine when we can; but we shall end by dining.

The Lycosa, therefore, well aware of these lingering eventualities, waits

and is not unduly distressed by a prolonged abstinence. She has an

accommodating stomach, which is satisfied to be gorged to-day and to

remain empty afterwards for goodness knows how long. I have sometimes

neglected my catering-duties for weeks at a time; and my boarders have

been none the worse for it. After a more or less protracted fast, they

do not pine away, but are smitten with a wolf-like hunger. All these

ravenous eaters are alike: they guzzle to excess to-day, in anticipation

of to-morrow's dearth.

In her youth, before she has a burrow, the Lycosa earns her living in

another manner. Clad in grey like her elders, but without the

black-velvet apron which she receives on attaining the marriageable age,

she roams among the scrubby grass. This is true hunting. Should a

suitable quarry heave in sight, the Spider pursues it, drives it from its

shelters, follows it hot-foot. The fugitive gains the heights, makes as

though to fly away. He has not the time. With an upward leap, the

Lycosa grabs him before he can rise.

I am charmed with the agility wherewith my yearling boarders seize the

Flies which I provide for them. In vain does the Fly take refuge a

couple of inches up, on some blade of grass. With a sudden spring into

the air, the Spider pounces on the prey. No Cat is quicker in catching

her Mouse.

But these are the feats of youth not handicapped by obesity. Later, when

a heavy paunch, dilated with eggs and silk, has to be trailed along,

those gymnastic performances become impracticable. The Lycosa then digs

herself a settled abode, a hunting-box, and sits in her watch-tower, on

the look-out for game.

When and how is the burrow obtained wherein the Lycosa, once a vagrant,

now a stay-at-home, is to spend the remainder of her long life? We are

in autumn, the weather is already turning cool. This is how the Field

Cricket sets to work: as long as the days are fine and the nights not too

cold, the future chorister of spring rambles over the fallows, careless

of a local habitation. At critical moments, the cover of a dead leaf

provides him with a temporary shelter. In the end, the burrow, the

permanent dwelling, is dug as the inclement season draws nigh.

The Lycosa shares the Cricket's views: like him, she finds a thousand

pleasures in the vagabond life. With September comes the nuptial badge,

the black-velvet bib. The Spiders meet at night, by the soft moonlight:

they romp together, they eat the beloved shortly after the wedding; by

day, they scour the country, they track the game on the short-pile,

grassy carpet, they take their fill of the joys of the sun. That is much

better than solitary meditation at the bottom of a well. And so it is

not rare to see young mothers dragging their bag of eggs, or even already

carrying their family, and as yet without a home.

In October, it is time to settle down. We then, in fact, find two sorts

of burrows, which differ in diameter. The larger, bottle-neck burrows

belong to the old matrons, who have owned their house for two years at

least. The smaller, of the width of a thick lead-pencil, contain the

young mothers, born that year. By dint of long and leisurely

alterations, the novice's earths will increase in depth as well as in

diameter and become roomy abodes, similar to those of the grandmothers.

In both, we find the owner and her family, the latter sometimes already

hatched and sometimes still enclosed in the satin wallet.

Seeing no digging-tools, such as the excavation of the dwelling seemed to

me to require, I wondered whether the Lycosa might not avail herself of

some chance gallery, the work of the Cicada or the Earth-worm. This

ready-made tunnel, thought I, must shorten the labours of the Spider, who

appears to be so badly off for tools; she would only have to enlarge it

and put it in order. I was wrong: the burrow is excavated, from start to

finish, by her unaided labour.

Then where are the digging-implements? We think of the legs, of the

claws. We think of them, but reflection tells us that tools such as

these would not do: they are too long and too difficult to wield in a

confined space. What is required is the miner's short-handled pick,

wherewith to drive hard, to insert, to lever and to extract; what is

required is the sharp point that enters the earth and crumbles it into

fragments. There remain the Lycosa's fangs, delicate weapons which we at

first hesitate to associate with such work, so illogical does it seem to

dig a pit with surgeon's scalpels.

The fangs are a pair of sharp, curved points, which, when at rest, crook

like a finger and take shelter between two strong pillars. The Cat

sheathes her claws under the velvet of the paw, to preserve their edge

and sharpness. In the same way, the Lycosa protects her poisoned daggers

by folding them within the case of two powerful columns, which come plumb

on the surface and contain the muscles that work them.

Well, this surgical outfit, intended for stabbing the jugular artery of

the prey, suddenly becomes a pick-axe and does rough navvy's work. To

witness the underground digging is impossible; but we can, at least, with

the exercise of a little patience, see the rubbish carted away. If I

watch my captives, without tiring, at a very early hour--for the work

takes place mostly at night and at long intervals--in the end I catch

them coming up with a load. Contrary to what I expected, the legs take

no part in the carting. It is the mouth that acts as the barrow. A tiny

ball of earth is held between the fangs and is supported by the palpi, or

feelers, which are little arms employed in the service of the

mouth-parts. The Lycosa descends cautiously from her turret, goes to

some distance to get rid of her burden and quickly dives down again to

bring up more.

We have seen enough: we know that the Lycosa's fangs, those lethal

weapons, are not afraid to bite into clay and gravel. They knead the

excavated rubbish into pellets, take up the mass of earth and carry it

outside. The rest follows naturally; it is the fangs that dig, delve and

extract. How finely-tempered they must be, not to be blunted by this

well-sinker's work and to do duty presently in the surgical operation of

stabbing the neck!

I have said that the repairs and extensions of the burrow are made at

long intervals. From time to time, the circular parapet receives

additions and becomes a little higher; less frequently still, the

dwelling is enlarged and deepened. As a rule, the mansion remains as it

was for a whole season. Towards the end of winter, in March more than at

any other period, the Lycosa seems to wish to give herself a little more

space. This is the moment to subject her to certain tests.

We know that the Field Cricket, when removed from his burrow and caged

under conditions that would allow him to dig himself a new home should

the fit seize him, prefers to tramp from one casual shelter to another,

or rather abandons every idea of creating a permanent residence. There

is a short season whereat the instinct for building a subterranean

gallery is imperatively aroused. When this season is past, the

excavating artist, if accidentally deprived of his abode, becomes a

wandering Bohemian, careless of a lodging. He has forgotten his talents

and he sleeps out.

That the bird, the nest-builder, should neglect its art when it has no

brood to care for is perfectly logical: it builds for its family, not for

itself. But what shall we say of the Cricket, who is exposed to a

thousand mishaps when away from home? The protection of a roof would be

of great use to him; and the giddy-pate does not give it a thought,

though he is very strong and more capable than ever of digging with his

powerful jaws.

What reason can we allege for this neglect? None, unless it be that the

season of strenuous burrowing is past. The instincts have a calendar of

their own. At the given hour, suddenly they awaken; as suddenly,

afterwards, they fall asleep. The ingenious become incompetent when the

prescribed period is ended.

On a subject of this kind, we can consult the Spider of the waste-lands.

I catch an old Lycosa in the fields and house her, that same day, under

wire, in a burrow where I have prepared a soil to her liking. If, by my

contrivances and with a bit of reed, I have previously moulded a burrow

roughly representing the one from which I took her, the Spider enters it

forthwith and seems pleased with her new residence. The product of my

art is accepted as her lawful property and undergoes hardly any

alterations. In course of time, a bastion is erected around the orifice;

the top of the gallery is cemented with silk; and that is all. In this

establishment of my building, the animal's behaviour remains what it

would be under natural conditions.

But place the Lycosa on the surface of the ground, without first shaping

a burrow. What will the homeless Spider do? Dig herself a dwelling, one

would think. She has the strength to do so; she is in the prime of life.

Besides, the soil is similar to that whence I ousted her and suits the

operation perfectly. We therefore expect to see the Spider settled

before long in a shaft of her own construction.

We are disappointed. Weeks pass and not an effort is made, not one.

Demoralized by the absence of an ambush, the Lycosa hardly vouchsafes a

glance at the game which I serve up. The Crickets pass within her reach

in vain; most often she scorns them. She slowly wastes away with fasting

and boredom. At length, she dies.

Take up your miner's trade again, poor fool! Make yourself a home, since

you know how to, and life will be sweet to you for many a long day yet:

the weather is fine and victuals plentiful. Dig, delve, go underground,

where safety lies. Like an idiot, you refrain; and you perish. Why?

Because the craft which you were wont to ply is forgotten; because the

days of patient digging are past and your poor brain is unable to work

back. To do a second time what has been done already is beyond your wit.

For all your meditative air, you cannot solve the problem of how to

reconstruct that which is vanished and gone.

Let us now see what we can do with younger Lycosae, who are at the

burrowing-stage. I dig out five or six at the end of February. They are

half the size of the old ones; their burrows are equal in diameter to my

little finger. Rubbish quite fresh-spread around the pit bears witness

to the recent date of the excavations.

Relegated to their wire cages, these young Lycosae behave differently

according as the soil placed at their disposal is or is not already

provided with a burrow made by me. A burrow is hardly the word: I give

them but the nucleus of a shaft, about an inch deep, to lure them on.

When in possession of this rudimentary lair, the Spider does not hesitate

to pursue the work which I have interrupted in the fields. At night, she

digs with a will. I can see this by the heap of rubbish flung aside. She

at last obtains a house to suit her, a house surmounted by the usual


The others, on the contrary, those Spiders for whom the thrust of my

pencil has not contrived an entrance-hall representing, to a certain

extent, the natural gallery whence I dislodged them, absolutely refuse to

work; and they die, notwithstanding the abundance of provisions.

The first pursue the season's task. They were digging when I caught

them; and, carried away by the enthusiasm of their activity, they go on

digging inside my cages. Taken in by my decoy-shaft, they deepen the

imprint of the pencil as though they were deepening their real vestibule.

They do not begin their labours over again; they continue them.

The second, not having this inducement, this semblance of a burrow

mistaken for their own work, forsake the idea of digging and allow

themselves to die, because they would have to travel back along the chain

of actions and to resume the pick-strokes of the start. To begin all

over again requires reflection, a quality wherewith they are not endowed.

To the insect--and we have seen this in many earlier cases--what is done

is done and cannot be taken up again. The hands of a watch do not move

backwards. The insect behaves in much the same way. Its activity urges

it in one direction, ever forwards, without allowing it to retrace its

steps, even when an accident makes this necessary.

What the Mason-bees and the others taught us erewhile the Lycosa now

confirms in her manner. Incapable of taking fresh pains to build herself

a second dwelling, when the first is done for, she will go on the tramp,

she will break into a neighbour's house, she will run the risk of being

eaten should she not prove the stronger, but she will never think of

making herself a home by starting afresh.

What a strange intellect is that of the animal, a mixture of mechanical

routine and subtle brain-power! Does it contain gleams that contrive,

wishes that pursue a definite object? Following in the wake of so many

others, the Lycosa warrants us in entertaining a doubt.