The Garden Spiders: My Neighbour - Jean Henri Fabre* - The Life Of The Spider (File, MP3)
The Life of the Spider Jean-Henri FABRE ( - ), translated by Alexander TEIXEIRA DE MATTOS ( - ) Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre was a French entomologist and author. The Life of the Spider () by Jean-Henri Fabre, translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos The Garden Spiders: My Neighbour. ↑ The Processionaries are Moth-caterpillars that feed on various leaves and march in file, laying a silken trail as they go. Jan 28, · Jean-Henri Fabre (Author) › Visit Amazon's Jean-Henri Fabre Page. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. MP3 CD $ 1 New from $19 It was a fascinating read by a man who was clearly a great observer of spiders, their life cycle, webs, eggs etc. /5(16).
He hastened to commit to memory the vocables, and idioms and phrases of all kinds," and in this curious fashion he learned the language. This was his only method of learn- ing languages. It is the process which he re- commended to his brother, who was commencing Latin : " Take Virgil, a dictionary, and a grammar, and translate from Latin into French for ever and for ever ; to make a good version you need only common sense and very little grammatical know- ledge or other pedantic accessories.
Latin, for you, is the old inscription ; the root of the word alone is legible : the veil of an unknown language hides the value of the termination : you have only the half of the words ; but you have common sense too, and you will make use of it. The salary of the school teacher, in the yeardid not exceed 28 a year, and this un- grateful calling barely fed him, save on " chick- peas and a little wine.
What is more to the point, the teachers had no pension to hope for. A little later, when they began to entertain a vague hope of deliverance, the retiring pension which was held up to their gaze, in the distant future, was at first no more than forty francs, and they had to await the advent of Duruy, the great minister and liberator, before primary instruction was in some degree raised from this ignominious level of abasement.
It was a melancholy place, this college, " where life had something cloistral about it : each master occupied two cells, for, in considera- tion of a modest payment, the majority were lodged in the establishment, and ate in com- mon at the principal's table. We can readily imagine, with the aid of the striking picture which Fabre has drawn for us, what life was in these surroundings, and what the teaching was : " Between four high walls I see the court, a sort of bear-pit where the scholars quarrelled for the space beneath the boughs of a plane-tree ; all around opened the class-rooms, oozing with damp and melancholy, like so many wild beasts' cages, deficient in light and air Evoking the memory of their humble colleague of Carpentras, may they feel the true greatness of his example : a noble and a glorious example, of which they may well be proud.
And what pupils! For the joy of teaching, and of continually learning by teaching others, made everything endurable. Not only did he teach them to read, write, and cipher, which then included almost the entire programme of primary education ; he endeavoured also to place his own knowledge at their service, as he himself acquired it.
Now nothing but physical and mathe- matical science would allow him to entertain the hope of " making an opening " in the world of secondary schoolmasters. He accordingly began to study physics, quite alone, " with an impossible laboratory, experimenting after his own fashion " ; and it was by teaching them to his pupils that he learned first of all chemistry, inexpensively per- forming little elementary experiments before them, " with pipe -bowls for crucibles and aniseed flasks for retorts," and finally algebra, of which he knew not a word before he gave his first lesson.
A very disappointing career, no doubt, and far from lucrative, but " one of the noblest ; one of those best fitted for a noble spirit, and a lover of the good. The intelligence awakes ; the will holds the reins of it ; the outer world disappears, the ear no longer hears, the eye no longer sees, the body no longer exists ; the mind schools itself, recollects itself ; it is finding knowledge, and its insight increases.
Then the hours pass quickly, quickly ; time has no measure. Now it is evening. What a day, great God! But hosts of truths are grouped in the memory ; the difficulties which checked you yesterday have fused in the fire of reflection ; volumes have been devoured, and you are con- tent with your day.
Moreover, one knows thoroughly only what one learns oneself ; and I advise you earnestly, as far as possible, to have recourse to no aid other than reflection, above all for the sciences. A book of science is an enigma to be deciphered ; if some one gives you the key of the enigma nothing appears more simple and more natural than the explanation, but if a second enigma presents itself you will be as unskilful as you were with the first.
The self-esteem which will not allow one's true character to be seen is a powerful aid to the will. Do not forget the method of Jules Janin, running from house to house in Paris for a few wretched lessons in Latin : ' Unable to get anything out of my stupid pupils, with the besotted son of the mar- quis I was simultaneously pupil and professor : I explained the ancient authors to myself, and so, in a few months, I went through an excellent course of rhetoric.
The doings of the mason bee, which he encountered for the first time, aroused his interest to such a pitch that, being no longer able to constrain his curiosity, he bought at the cost of what privations! Blanchard's Natural History of the Articulata, then a classic work, which he was to re-read a hundred times, and which he still retains, giving it the first place in his modest library, in memory of his early joys and emotions. The rocks also arrested and captivated his attention : and already the first volumes were corpulent of what was eventually to become his gigantic herbiary.
It seemed to him that he would delight in his wealth still better could he share it with another. He employed his whole strength in breathing into the other's mind " that taste for the true and the beautiful " which possessed his own nature ; he wished to share with him those stores of learning " which he had for some years so painfully amassed " ; he would profit by the vacation to place them at his disposal ; they would work together " and the light would come.
Once more he reinforced his advice by that excellent counsel which was always his own lodestar : " Science, Frederic, knowledge is everything. You are too good a thinker not to say with me that no one can better employ his time than by acquiring fresh knowledge.
Work, then, when you have the opportunity But I will stop, for I feel my enthusiasm is going to my head, and my reasons are so good already that I have no need of still more triumphant reasons to convince you. This sport delighted him, " with the mirror darting its intermittent beams under the rays of the morn- ing sun amid the general scintillation of the dewdrops and crystals of hoarfrost hanging on every blade of grass.
Later, when he again took up his gun, it was still because of his love of life : it was to enable him to enumerate, inventory, and interrogate his new compatriots, his feathered fellow-citizens of Serignan ; to inform himself of their diet, to reveal the contents of their crops and gizzards. At one time he suddenly ceased to employ this distraction ; he seems to have sacrificed it easily, under the stress of present necessities and cruel anxieties as to his uncertain future.
He had lately married. On the 3oth October,he was wedded to a young girl of Carpentras, Marie Villard, and already a child was born. His parents, always unlucky, met nowhere with any success. By dint of many wanderings they had finally become stranded at Pierrelatte, the chief town of the canton of La Drome, sheltered by the great rock which has given the place its name ; and there again, of course, they kept a cafe, situated on the Place dArmes.
The whole family was now assembled in the same district, a few miles only one from another : but Henri was really its head. I know very well there is some reason for sulking ; but what matter? Give it up : forget everything ; do your best to put an end to all these petty and ugly estrangements.
You will do so, won't you? I count on it, for the happiness of all. With all this, he was ready to attempt the two examinations which were to decide his future. Very shortly, at Montpellier, he passed almost successively, at an interval of only a few months the examinations for both his baccalaureats ; and then the two licentiate examinations in mathe- matics and physical science. While he was ardently studying for these examinations, sorrow for the first time knocked at his door.
His first-born fell suddenly ill, and in a few days died. Ah, poor child, I shall always see you as you were during those last moments, turning those wide, wan- dering eyes toward heaven, seeking the way to your new country. With ,a heart full of tears, I shall often let my thoughts go straying after you ; but alas!
I shall see you no more : yet only a few days ago I was making the finest plans for you. I used to work for you only ; in my studies I thought only of you. Grow up, I used to say, arid I will pour into your mind all the knowledge which has cost me so dear, which I am hoarding little by little.
But reflection leads me to higher thoughts. I choke back the tears in my heart, and I con- gratulate him that Heaven has mercifully spared him this life of trials My poor child. I weep for you because we have lost you, but I rejoice because you are happy. You are happy, and this is not the mad hope of a father broken by sorrow ; no, your last glance told me so, too eloquently for me to doubt it. Oh, how beautiful you were in your mortal pallor ; the last sigh on your lips, your gaze upon heaven, and your soul ready to fly, into the bosom of God!
Your last day was the most beautiful! I am ashamed of the whole business, and I would gladly abandon my claim if I knew where to raise The Garden Spiders: My Neighbour - Jean Henri Fabre* - The Life Of The Spider (File, money. He has described the village cure and the country doctor.
But how we should have loved to encounter in his gallery, among so many living portraits, a picture of the university life of fifty years ago ; and above all a picture of the small schoolmaster of other days, living a life so narrow, so slavish, so pain- ful, and yet so full of worth, so imbued with the sense of duty, and withal so resigned ; a portrait for which Fabre might have served as model and prototype, and for which he himself has drawn an unforgettable sketch.
He awaited impatiently the news of his removal, very modestly limiting his ambitions to the hope of entering some lycee as professor of the sciences. His rector was not unnaturally astonished that a young man of such unusual worth, already twice a licentiate, should be so little appreciated by those in high places and allowed to stagnate so long in an inferior post, and one unworthy of him. In the end, however, after much patient wait- ing, he became indignant ; as always, he could see nothing ahead.
The chair of mathematics at Tournon escaped him. He " began to see clearly what life is, and how difficult it is to make one's mark amid all this army of schemers, beggars and imbeciles who besiege every vacant post, The Garden Spiders: My Neighbour - Jean Henri Fabre* - The Life Of The Spider (File. It was too much! His stay there was well calculated to impress him.
There the intense impressionability which the little peasant of Aveyron received at birth could only be con- firmed and increased. He felt that this superb and luxuriant nature was made for him, and that he was born for it ; to understand and in- terpret it.
He would lose himself in a delicious intoxication, amid the deep woodlands, the moun- tains rich with scented flowers, wandering through the maquis, the myrtle scrub, through jungles of lentisk and arbutus ; barely contain- ing his emotion when he passed beneath the great secular chestnut-trees of Bastelica, with their enormous trunks and leafy boughs, whose sombre majesty inspired in him a sort of melan- choly at once poetic and religious.
Before the CORSICA 45 sea, with its infinite distances, he lingered in ecstasy, listening to the song of the waves, and gathering the marvellous shells which the snow- white breakers left upon the beach, and whose unfamiliar forms filled him with delight. He was soon so accustomed to his new life in peaceful Ajaccio, whose surroundings, decked in eternal verdure, are so captivating and so beau- tiful, that in spite of a vague desire for change he now dreaded to leave it.
He never wearied of admiring and exalting the beautiful and majestic aspects of his new home. How he longed to share his enthusiasm with his father or his brother, as he rambled through the neigh- bouring Maquis! When, closing my eyes, I contemplate these results of the convulsion of the soil in my mind's eye, when I hear the screaming of the eagles, which go wheeling through the bottomless abysses, whose inky shadows the eye dares hardly plumb, vertigo seizes me, and I open my eyes to reassure myself by the reality.
He would set out of a morning, visit- ing the coves and creeks, roving along the beaches of this magnificent gulf, a lump of bread in his pocket, quenching his thirst with sea- water in default of fresh!
Already he meditated a conchology of Corsica, a colossal history of all the molluscs which live upon its soil or in its waters. He analysed, described, classed, and co-ordinated not only the marine species, but the terrestrial and freshwater shells also, extant or fossil.
He asked his brother to collect for him all the shells he could find in the marshes of Lapalud, in the brooks and ditches of the neighbourhood of Orange. In his enthusiasm he tried to convince him of the immense interest of these researches, which might perhaps seem ridiculous or futile to him ; but let him only think of geology ; the humblest shell picked up might throw a sudden light upon the formation of this or that stratum.
None are to be disdained : for men have considered, with reason, that they were honouring the memory of their eminent fellows by giving their names to the rarest and most beautiful. Witness the mag- nificent Helix dedicated to Raspail, which is found only in the caverns where the strawberry- tree grows amid the high mountains of Corsica.
The properties of a figure or a curve which he had newly discovered prevented his sleep for several nights. And this question The Garden Spiders: My Neighbour - Jean Henri Fabre* - The Life Of The Spider (File rise to another, " without which the sequence stops then and there ; number,' space, movement, and order form a single chain, the first link of which sets all the rest in motion. But Requien did at least enrich his memory by a prodigious quantity of names of plants with which he had not been acquainted.
Fabre found in Requien more especially a friend " proof against anything " ; and when the latter died almost suddenly at Bonifacio, Fabre was overwhelmed by the sad news. On that very day he had on the table before him a parcel of plants gathered for the dead botanist. Fabre owed CORSICA 53 to him, not his genius, to be sure, but the definite indication of the path he was finally to take, and from which he was never again to stray.
Moquin-Tandon, a brilliant writer and " an ingenious poet in his Montpellerian ll dialect," taught Fabre never to forget the value of style and the importance of form, even in the exposi- tion of a purely descriptive science such as botany. He did even more, by one day sud- denly showing Fabre, between the fruit and the cheese, " in a plate of water," the anatomy of the snail.
This was his first introduction to his true destiny before the final revelation of which I shall presently speak. Fabre understood then and there that he could do decidedly better than to stick to mathematics, though his whole career would feel the effects of that study.
In the meantime he obtained sick-leave, and returned to Provence after a terrible crossing which lasted no less than three days and two nights, on a sea so furious that he gave himself up for lost. IV AT AVIGNON THE resolute worker resumed his indefatigable labours with an ardour greater than ever, for now he was haunted by a noble ambition, that of becoming a teacher of the superior grade, and of " talking plants and animals " in a chair of the faculty. With this end in view he added to his two diplomas those of mathematics and physics a third certificate, that of natural sciences.
His success was triumphant. Already tenacious and fearless in affirming what he believed to be the truth, he astonished and bewildered the professors of Toulouse. Among the subjects touched upon by the examiners was the famous question of spon- taneous generation, which was then so vital, and which gave rise to so many impassioned dis- cussions.
The examiner, as it chanced, was one of the leading apostles of this doctrine. He decided the vexed question in his own way, on his own responsibility. A per- sonality already so striking was regarded with admiration ; a candidate so far out of the ordinary was welcomed with enthusiasm, and but for the insufficiency of the budget which so scantily met the needs of public in- struction his examination fees would have been returned.
It was doubtless because he felt, obscurely, that his ideal future lay along other lines, and that he would have been taking a wrong turning. Despite all the solicitations which were addressed to him he would think of nothing but " his beloved studies in natural his- tory ", ; 2 he feared to lose precious time in preparing himself for a competitive examination ; " to compromise by such labour, which he felt would be fruitless," 3 the studies which he had already commenced, and the inquiries already carried out in Corsica.
He was busy with his first original labours, the theses which he was AT AVIGNON 57 preparing with a view to his doctorate in natural science, " which might one day open the doors of a faculty for him, far more easily than would a fellowship and its mathematics. He worked only to learn, not to attain and follow up a settled calling. What he hoped above all was to succeed in devoting all his leisure to those marvellous natural sciences in which he could vaguely foresee studies full of interest ; something animated and vital ; a thousand fascinating themes, and an atmosphere of poetry.
His genius, as yet invisible, was ripening in obscurity, but was ready, to come forth ; he lacked only the propitious circumstance which would allow him to unfold his wings. He was seeking them in vain when a volume by Leon Dufour, the famous entomologist, who then lived in the depths of the Landes, fell by chance into his hands, and lit the first spark of that beacon which was presently to decide the definite trend of his ideas.
It was this incident which then and there developed the germs already latent within him. Fabre offers yet another example of the part so often played by chance in the manifestations of talent. How many have suddenly felt the unexpected awakening of gifts which they did not suspect, as a result of some unusual circum- stance! Was it not simply as a result of having read a note by the Russian chemist Mitscherlich on the comparison of the specific characteristics of certain crystals that Pasteur so enthusiastically took up his researches into molecular asymmetry which were the starting-point of so many won- derful discoveries?
Again, we need only recall the case of Brother Huber, the celebrated observer of the bee, who, having out of simple curiosity undertaken to verify certain experiments of Reaumur's, was so completely and immediately fascinated by, the subject that it became the object of the rest of his life.
Again, we may ask what Claude Bernard would have been had he not met Magen'die? Similarly Lon Dufour's little work was to Fabre the road to Damascus, the electric impulse which decided his vocation. It dealt with a very singular fact concerning AT AVIGNON 59 the manners of one of the hymenoptera, a wasp, a Cerceris, in whose nest Dufour had found small coleoptera of the genus Buprestis, which, under all the appearances of death, retained intact for an incredible time their sumptuous costume, gleaming with gold, copper, and emerald, while the tissues remained perfectly fresh.
In a word, the victims of Cerceris, far from being desiccated or putrefied, were found in a state of integrity which was altogether paradoxical. Dufour merely believed that the Buprestes were dead, and he gave an attempted explana- tion of the phenomenon. Fabre, his curiosity and interest aroused, wished to observe the facts for himself ; and, to his great surprise, he discovered how incom- plete and insufficiently verified were the obser- vations of the man who was at that time known as " the patriarch of entomologists.
He divined that here were fresh pastures, a vast unexplored country to be opened up, an entire unimagined science to be founded, wonderful secrets to be discovered, magnificent problems to be solved, and he dreamed of consecrating himself unreservedly, of employing his whole life in the pursuit of this object ; that long life whose fruitful activity was to extend over nearly ninety years, and which was to be so " representative " by the dignity of the man, the probity of the expert, the genius of the observer, and the originality of the writer.
The year saw the first appearance, in the Annales des sciences naturelles, of the famous memoir which marked the beginning of his fame : the history, which might well be called marvel- lous and incredible, of the great Cerceris, a giant wasp and " the finest of the Hymenoptera which hunt for booty at the foot of Mont Ventoux.
From the 72 which he drew at Ajaccio, an overseas post, his salary was reduced, on his return to the mainland, to 64, and during the whole of his stay at Avignon he obtained neither promotion nor the smallest increase of pay, excepting a few additional profits which were unconnected with his habitual AT AVIGNON 61 duties.
When he left the university after twenty well-filled years, he left as he had entered, with the same title, rank, and salary of a mere assis- tant-professor. Yet all about him " everywhere and for every one, all was black indeed " : his family had in- creased and therewith his expenses ; there were now seven at table every day.
Very shortly his modest salary would no longer suffice ; he was obliged to supplement it by all sorts of hack- work classes, " repetitions," private lessons ; tasks which repelled him, for they absorbed all his available time ; they prevented him from giving himself up to his favourite studies, to his silent and solitary observations.
Neverthe- less, he acquitted himself of these duties patiently and conscientiously, for at heart he loved his profession, and was rather a fellow- disciple than a master to his pupils.
For this reason all those about him worked with praise- worthy assiduity ; even the worst elements, the black sheep, the " bad eggs " of other classes, with him were suddenly transformed and as attentive as the rest. Although he knew how to keep order, how to make himself respected, and could on occasion deal severely and speak sternly, so that very few dared to forg;et them- 62 FABRE, POET OF SCIENCE selves before him, he knew also how to be merry with his pupils, chatting with them familiarly, putting himself in their place, entering into their ideas, and making himself their rival.
If life was laborious under his ferula, it was also merry. The best proof of this is the fact that of all his colleagues at the lycee he was the only one who had no nickname, a rarity in scholastic annals. He did not therefore object to these lessons ; out while at Carpentras he was made much of and praised by the principal, was a general favourite, and had perfect liberty to follow his inspiration during his partly gratuitous classes, here the hours and the programme tied him down, which was precisely what he found insupportable.
Everything made things difficult for him here : his external self ; his character, ever so little shy and unsocial ; his temperament, which was made for solitude.
In the thick of this hierarchical society of university professors he remained independent ; he knew nothing of what was said or what was happening in the college, and his colleagues were always better informed than he. So I have seen no one ; I did not respond to the principal's invi- tation to make the official round of visits.
To pay court to people, to endeavour to make him- self pleasant, to grovel before a superior, were to him impossibilities. He could neither solicit, nor sail with the wind, nor force himself on others, nor even make use of his relations. However, when he went to Paris to take his doctor's degree in natural sciences, he did not forget Moquin-Tandon, who had formerly, in Corsica, revealed to him the nature of biology, and whom he himself had received and enter- tained in his humble home.
The ex -professor of Toulouse, who was now eminent in his speciality, occupied the chair of natural history in the faculty of medicine in Paris. What better occasion could he wish of introducing himself to a highly placed official? Fabre had formerly been his host ; he could recall the happy hours they had spent together ; he could explain his plans, and ask for the pro- fessor's assistance! Fate pointed to him as a protector. But if Fabre had been capable of climbing the professor's stairs with some such ambitious desires, he would quickly have been disabused.
Far from insisting, he was dis- heartened, perhaps a little humiliated, and hastened to take his leave. The theses which Fabre brought with him, and which, he had thought, ought to lead him' one day to a university professorship, did not, as a matter of fact, contain anything very essen- tially original.
He had been attracted, indeed fascinated, by all the singularities presented by the strange family of the orchids ; the asymmetry of their blossoms, the unusual structure of their pollen, and their innumerable seeds ; but as for the curious rounded and duplicated tubercles which many of them' bore at their base, what precisely were they?
The greatest botanists de Candolle, A. Fabre demonstrated in his thesis that these singular organs are in reality merely buds, true branches or shoots, modified and disguised, analogous to the metamorphosed tubercle of the potato. In the field of zoology his scalpel revealed the complicated structure of the reproductive organs of the Centipedes Millepedeshitherto so con- fused and misunderstood ; as also certain pecu- liarities of the development of these curious creatures, so interesting from the point of view of the zoological philosopher, 10 for he had become expert in handling not only the magnify- ing glass, which was always with him, but also the microscope, which discovers so many infinite wonders in the lowest creatures, yet which was not of particular service in any of the beautiful observations upon which his fame is built.
Returning to Avignon, in the possession of his new degree, he commenced an important task which took him nearly twenty. AT AVIGNON 67 Although he continued to undertake researches of limited interest and importance, although he persisted in dissecting plants, and, although he disliked it, in " disembowelling animals," the fact was that apart from Thursdays and Sundays it was scarcely possible for him to escape from his week's work ; hardly possible to snatch sufficient leisure to undertake the studies toward which he felt himself more particularly drawn.
Tied down by his duties, which held him bound to a dis- cipline that only left him brief moments, and by the forced hack-work imposed upon him by the necessity of earning his daily bread, he had scarcely any time for observation excepting vacations and holidays. Then he would hasten to Carpentras, happy to hold the key to the meadows, and wander across country and along the sunken lanes, col- lecting his beautiful insects, breathing the free air, the scent of the vines and olives, and gazing upon Mont Ventoux, close at hand, whose silver summit would now be hidden in the clouds and now would glitter in the rays of the sun.
Carpentras was not merely the country in which his wife's parents dwelt : it was, above all, a unique and privileged home for insects ; not on account ojf its flora, but" because of the soil, 68 FABRE, POET OF SCIENCE a kind of limestone mingled with sand and clay, a soft marl, in which the burrowing hymenop- tera could easily establish their burrows and their nests.
Certain of them, indeed, lived only there, or at least it would have been extremely diffi- cult to find them elsewhere ; such was the famous Cerceris ; such again, was the yellow-winged Sphex, that other wasp which so artistically stabs and paralyses the cricket, " the brown violinist of the clods.
This memoir marked the second stage of his scientific career, and followed, at an interval of two years, the magnificent observations on the Cerceris. These two studies, true masterpieces of science, already constituted two excellent titles' to fame, and would by themselves have sufficed to fill a naturalist's whole lifetime and to make his name illustrious. From that time forward he had no peer. First of these was the sandy plateau of the Angles, where every spring, in the sunlit pastures so -beloved of the sheep, the Scarabceus sacer, with his incurved feet and clumsy legs, com- mences to roll his everlasting pellet, " to the ancients the image of the world.
He narrated its actual life, the object of its task, and its comical and ex- hilarating performances. But such is the subtlety of these delicate and difficult researches that nearly forty years were required to complete the study of its habits and to solve the mystery of its cradle.
This again, for many reasons, was one of his favourite spots. There, " lying flat on the ground, his head in the shadow of some rabbit's burrow," or sheltered from the sun by a great umbrella, " while the blue-winged locusts frisked for joy," he would follow the rapid and sibilant flight of the elegant Bembex, carrying their daily ration of diptera to her larvae, at the bottom of her burrow, deep in the fine sand. He did not always go thither alone : some- times, on Sundays, he would take his pupils with him, to spend a morning in the fields, " at the ineffable festival of the awakening of life in the spring.
Among them he was " the eldest, their master, but still more their companion and friend ". Furnished with a notebook and all the tools of the naturalist lens, net, and little boxes of sawdust steeped in anaes- thetic for the capture of rare specimens they would wander " along the paths bordered with hawthorn and hyaebla, simple and childlike folk," probing the bushes, scratching up the sand, raising stones, running the net along hedge and meadow, with explosions of delight when they made some splendid capture or discovered some unrecorded marvel of the entomological world.
It was not only on the banks of the Rhone or the sandy plateau of Avignon that they sought adventure thus, " discussing things and other things," but as far as the slopes of Mont Ventoux, for which Fabre had always felt an inexplicable and invincible attraction, and whose ascent he accomplished more than twenty times, so that at last he knew all its secrets, all the gamut of its vegetation, the wealth of the varied flora which climb its flanks from base to summit, and which range " from the scarlet flowers of the pome- granate to the violet of Mont Cenis and the Alpine forget-me-not," l8 as well as the ante- diluvian fauna revealed amid its entrails, a vast ossuary rich in fossils.
Even his temper, ordinarily gentle and easy, would suddenly become hasty and violent, and would break out into terrible explosions when a sudden annoyance set him beside himself ; for instance, when he was the butt of some ill-natured trick, or when, in spite of the lucidity of his explanations, he felt that he had not been pro- perly understood.
Perhaps he inherited this from his mother, a rebellious, crotchety, somewhat fantastic person, by whose temper he himself had suffered. But the young people who surrounded him were far from being upset by these contrasts of temperament, in which they themselves saw nothing but natural annoyance, and the corollary, as it were, of his abounding vitality. The illustrious chemist had been striving to check AT AVIGNON 73 the plague that was devastating the silkworm nurseries, and as he knew nothing of the subject which he proposed to study, not even understand- ing the constitution of the cocoon or the evolution of the silkworm, he sought out Fabre in order to obtain from his store of entomological wisdom the elementary ideas which he would find indis- pensable.
Fabre has told us, in a moving page, 20 with what a total lack of comprehension of " poverty in a black coat " the great scientist gazed at his poor home. Preoccupied by another problem, that of the amelioration of wines by means of heat, Pasteur asked him point-blank him, the humble proletarian of the university caste, who drank only the cheapest wine of the country to show him his cellar.
Then, pointing with my finger, I showed him, in a corner of the kitchen, a chair with all the straw gone, and on this chair a two- gallon demijohn : ' There is my cave, monsieur!
It would seem, from what Fabre has said, that Pasteur treated him with a hauteur which was slightly disdainful. After this, we cannot be surprised if the naturalist was silent.
That is the question. To mend severed meshes, to replace broken threads, to adjust the new to the old, in short, to restore the original order by assembling the wreckage would be a far-reaching feat of prowess, a very fine proof of gleams of intelligence, capable of performing rational calculations.
Our menders excel in this class of work. They have as their guide their sense, which measures the holes, cuts the new piece to size and fits it into its proper place. Does the Spider possess the counterpart of this habit of clear thinking? People declare as much, without, apparently, looking into the matter very closely. They seem able to dispense with the conscientious observer's scruples, when inflating their bladder of theory.
They go straight ahead; and that is enough. As for ourselves, less greatly daring, we will first enquire; we will see by experiment if the Spider really knows how to repair her work. The Angular Epeira, that near neighbour who has already supplied me with so many documents, has just finished her web, at nine o'clock in the evening. All promises good hunting.
At the moment when, after completing the great spiral, the Epeira is about to eat the central cushion and settle down upon her resting-floor, I cut the web in two, diagonally, with a pair of sharp scissors.
The sagging of the spokes, deprived of their counter-agents, produces an empty space, wide enough for three fingers to pass through. The Spider retreats to her cable and looks on, without being greatly frightened. When I have done, she quietly returns. She takes her stand on one of the halves, at the spot which was the centre of the original orb; but, as her legs find no footing on one side, she soon realizes that the snare is defective.
Thereupon, two threads are stretched across the breach, two threads, no more; the legs that lacked a foothold spread across them; and henceforth the Epeira moves no more, devoting her attention to the incidents of the chase.
When I saw those two threads laid, joining the edges of the rent, I began to hope that I was to witness a mending-process:. The reality did not answer to my expectation. The spinstress made no further endeavour all night. She hunted with her riven net, for what it was worth; for I found the web next morning in the same condition wherein I had left it on the night before.
There had been no mending of any kind. The two threads stretched across the breach even must not be taken for an attempt at repairing. Finding no foothold for her legs on one side, the Spider went to look into the state of things and, in so doing, crossed the rent. It was not a deliberate mending, but the mere result of an uneasy change of place. All that the Spider, seated in a central position, need do is to find the requisite support for her spread legs.
The two threads stretched from side to side of the cleft supply her with this, or nearly. My mischief did not go far enough. Let us devise something better. Next day, the web is renewed, after the old one has been swallowed. When the work is done and the Epeira seated motionless at her central post, I take a straw and, wielding it dexterously, so as to respect the resting-floor and the spokes, I pull and root up the spiral, which dangles in tatters.
With its snaring-threads ruined, the net is useless; no passing Moth would allow herself to be caught. Now what does the Epeira do in the face of this disaster? Nothing at all. Motionless on her resting-floor, which I have left intact, she awaits the capture of the game; she awaits it all night in vain on her impotent web. In the morning, I find the snare as I left it. Necessity, the mother of invention, has not prompted the Spider to make a slight repair in her ruined toils.
The silk-glands may be exhausted after the laying of the great spiral; and to repeat the same expenditure immediately is out of the question. I want a case wherein there could be no appeal to any such exhaustion. I obtain it, thanks to my assiduity. While I am watching the rolling of the spiral, a head of game rushes full tilt into the unfinished snare.
The Epeira interrupts her work, hurries to the giddy-pate, swathes him and takes her fill of him where he lies. During the struggle, a section of the web has torn under the weaver's very eyes. A great gap endangers the satisfactory working of the net. What will the spider do in the presence of this grievous rent? Now or never is the time to repair the broken threads: the accident has happened this very moment, between the animal's legs; it is certainly known and, moreover, the rope-works are in full swing.
This time there is no question of the exhaustion of the silk-warehouse. Well, under these conditions, so favorable to darning, the Epeira does no mending at all. The torn part remains as it is. The machine-shuttle in our looms does not revert to the MP3) fabric; even so with the Spider working at her web.
And this is no case of distraction, of individual carelessness; all the large spinstresses suffer from a similar incapacity for patching. The Banded Epeira and the Silky Epeira are noteworthy in this respect. The Angular Epeira remakes her web nearly every evening; the other two reconstruct theirs only very seldom and use them even when extremely dilapidated.
They go MP3) hunting with shapeless rags. Before they bring themselves to weave a new web, the old one has to be ruined beyond recognition. Well, I have often noted the state of one of these ruins and, the next morning, I have found it as it was, or even more dilapidated.
Never any repairs; never; never. I am sorry, because of the reputation which our hard-pressed theorists have given her, but the Spider is absolutely unable to mend her work. Other Spiders are unacquainted with wide-meshed nets and weave satins wherein the threads, crossing at random, form a continuous substance. Among this number is the House Spider Tegenaria domesticaLin.
In the corners of our rooms, she stretches wide webs fixed by angular extensions. The best-protected nook at one side contains the owner's secret apartment.
It is a silk tube, a gallery with a conical opening, whence the Spider, sheltered from the eye, watches events. The rest of the fabric, which exceeds our finest muslins in delicacy, is not, properly speaking, a hunting-implement: It is a platform whereon the Spider, attending to the affairs of her estate, goes her rounds, especially at night.
The real trap consists of a confusion of lines stretched above the web. Here are no viscous threads, but plain toils, rendered invisible by their very number. The snareling falls on the sheet-web. Tegenaria hastens up and bites him in the neck. Having said this, let us experiment a little. In the web of the House Spider, I make a round hole, two fingers wide. The hole remains yawning all day long; but next morning it is invariably closed.
Ball text. The Story of Painting by H. Work on each song about 4 weeks, reviewing as desired. The idea is to enjoy them, not turn them into drudgery. Study nutrition Keep fit: Learn and play a game kick ball, tennis, croquet, ping-pong, softball, etc. In Freedom's Cause by G. There is a dramatic audio abridgement for this book. We don't recommend doing an audio drama in place of a book, but if this book is such a stretch that even the audiobook is challenging and you're considering dropping it altogether, you might consider this option.
More information here. Note on Audiobooks: While links to audio books are added as a courtesy, Miss Mason's approach to grammar and composition is heavily dependent upon the children receiving an immense amount of visual exposure to the written word over many years, so parents should exercise extreme caution in how many audiobooks they use each year. Our brains just work differently when we see the words.
Cindy Rollins did a Circe Mason Jar podcast that included the role of audiobooks with difficult books. For children who have difficulty reading, one solution is to have them follow the audio version along in a written text. Librivox free audio is done by volunteers, and some are better than others. Heidi Nash has a list of some favorite Librivox readers.
Be aware that apps, including Librivox, that have clickable ads can open a browser and allow children unfiltered access to the internet, even when browsers have been disabled by the parent. There are options: either download mp3 files from Librivox and listen without the app, or only install the app on a parent-controlled device.
Librivox has a pay option to turn off ads. Students at this level in the PNEU schools made summaries of dates and events, referred to maps as they read their history, and made century charts. Instructions for making your own timelines and charts are included in these Parents' Review articles: Book of the Centuries ; Teaching Chronology ; The Correlation of Lessons. The Pursuit of God: This book is not long, but it is dense. You may wish to spread readings over the week. A week schedule that divides the book into four shorter readings each week is here.
Saints and Heroes: for church history, if you didn't use Trial and Triumph in Years ; all of book 1 and the first ten chapters of Vol 2 are covered this year. Don't get the one edited by Henry Steele Commager, as it's abridged. For planning purposes, there is a Table of Contents with dates for all 4 volumes of A History of the English Speaking Peoples, and a schedule to break down the week's chapter into 4 short daily readings for this year.
A History of England by Arnold-Forster, online at archive. There's also a schedule that breaks these down into four daily readings per week here.
The schedule does not include daily breakdowns for Churchill's Age of Revolution, which is not correlated with Arnold-Forster. The entire thing is here. A Relation or Journal of the beginning and proceedings of the English Plantation settled at Plymouth in New England by certain English Adventurers both Merchants and others is a pdf of journal entries of the original settlers.
Suggested schedule and these are linked to Project Gutenburg's full text; you may want to use Caleb Johnson's when possible - Wk ch. The Life of King Alfred: the text with weeks for this Basic lighter schedule marked for weeksis here. Another version, scheduled in Weeks for Year 7 Detailed is here.
However, if your student can manage it, Mark Twain's is recommended -- it's not difficult reading, but it is much longer. Mark Twain wrote, "I like Joan of Arc best of all my books, and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others; twelve years of preparation, and two years of writing. Whatever Happened to Penny Candy: There are currently seven editions of this book; if you have a later edition, you may need to make some minor adjustments in its scheduling.
Canadians: there is a Canadian supplement to this book. Ourselves: There is a modern English paraphrase of this book. You can read it online K Back. Most of these selections have been collected and divided into manageable paragraphs here. We suggest your students write their own paraphrase both as a help to understanding and to aid their own writing skills. Postage at lulu. If you purchase this book, we request that you purchase from the link provided, as other publishers' reprints of this book have used Kelly's hand-typed etext.
A Table of Contents to help with planning is here. Ivanhoe: Katie Barr has provided a Study Guide to go along with this book. Seamus Heaney's translation is available with graphics that illuminate the setting and objects mentioned in the text.
Mar 12, · Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre (–) was a French entomologist and author. An autodidact trained as a teacher, physicist, chemist and botanist, he is best known for his ground-breaking studies of insects. His works represent fifty years of observation, study and experiment/5(16). May 12, · The Life of the Spider - Kindle edition by Fabre, Jean-Henri, Teixeira de Mattos, Alexander. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Life of the headsfoottotanweato.geitridefrasmaronilabiccithege.cos: LibriVox recording of The Life of the Spider, by J. Henri Fabre. Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre (December 22, - October 11, ) was a French entomologist and author. He was born in St. Léons in Aveyron, France. Fabre was largely an autodidact, owing to the poverty of his family.
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Jan 15, · The Spider has a bad name: to most of us, she represents an odious, noxious animal, which every one hastens to crush under foot. Against this summary verdict the observer sets the beast's industry, its talent as a weaver, its wiliness in the chase, its Reviews: The Life of the Spider is a volume in Jean-Henri Fabre's Souvenirs Entomologiques, in which he shares fifty years of careful headsfoottotanweato.geitridefrasmaronilabiccithege.co re-acquaints us with the most everyday insects, inspiring a new interest, awareness and understanding in the reader. This volume concerns spiders.
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Kodi Archive and Support File Vintage Software APK Community Software MS-DOS CD-ROM Software CD-ROM Software Library. Console Living Room. Software Sites Software Capsules Compilation Tucows Software Library CD-ROM Images Shareware CD-ROMs ZX Spectrum DOOM Level CD. Full text of "THE INSECT WORLD OF J. HENRI FABRE - ENGLISH". Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet.
Apr 03, · The Life of the Spider Hardcover – April 3, by J. Henri Fabre (Author) out of 5 stars 17 ratingsReviews:
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