Gleanings From The Past #23


Ingenuity of A Spider

The following instance of ingenuity in a spider, which was witnessed by the writer of this article, will not be uninteresting:

A web was observed to be tightly stretched across a garden path, about five feet in breadth, the reticulated portion occupying the centre, and one of the principal threads to which this part was attached, had a vertical direction; upon examining in what manner this was fastened to the ground, it was found that the ingenious insect, instead of having permanently fixed it to the gravel path, had coiled it round a stone a little larger than its own body, and had raised this about a foot from the walk, where it was swinging in the air, giving the necessary degree of tension to the net-work of the web, but not affording a sufficient resistance to the wind to occasion its destruction.

Monthly Magazine, Vol. 4, July 1827

Strange Spiders

A remarkable occurrence happened once at the church of St. Kurtace in Paris. The sexton of that place remarked that a particular lamp went out before the rest, and that the oil was gone, but the wick remained; he, therefore, determined
to watch and see the reason of it; when he found that a very large spider came down the rope and drank the oil.

An equally singular occurrence happened at a church in Milan, in 1751. Mr. Morfand, of the academy of sciences, has given the following relation of it: — A great spider, which weighed two ounces, was observed drinking from one of the tamps, it was taken, and sent to the Emperor of Austria, and is now in the imperial museum at Vienna.

— J. Ferguson, The Nic-Nac, Vol. 1, January 25, 2823


A field preacher, who had been a printer, observed in his natal harangue, that “Youth might be compared to a comma, Manhood to a semicolon; Old Age to a colon; to which death puts a period.”

Kaleidoscope,  Vol. 3, November 12, 1822

Posted by

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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