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our horses restive and skittish; they tease our
cows into a fever, cutting off, at the fountainhead,
a proper supply of butter and cheese.
They prevent our sheep from fatting, and our
cold meat from keeping. They defile our
picture-frames, furniture, and paper hangings.
They worry nurses and hospital doctors to
death, by preventing sleep, converting patients
into living prey, and changing curable wounds
into incurable sores. Academies, learned
societies, and institutions, would be doing no
more than their duty if they offered prizes for
the discovery of effectual and practical modes
of destroying every fly that dares to enter any
dwelling-house, stable, or hospital. We can
quite understand the savage pleasure the
Emperor Domitian took in killing flies, although, as
an imperial hobby, he carried it a little too far.
The saying, " Who is with the Emperor?"
"Nobody; not even a fly," commemorates his skill
as a fly-killer.

But flies, in our favoured islands, give
comparatively trifling annoyance. In Spain, Italy,
and certain parts of France where the olive
grows, they constitute the greatest plague of
life. Not only do they bite and sting; they
buzz,, torment, and devour you alive. Your eyes,
mouth, ears, and nose, are filled with them.
They swarm and cluster about every sort of
eatable. They attack fruit, sugar, and milk,
by myriads and hundreds of myriads. Arthur
Young speaks of places where it was impossible
to take a meal without having a person in
attendance with nothing else to do but to drive away
the flies. He believed that, if he had a farm
there, he could annually manure four or five
acres with dead flies. You enter a dining-
room, to behold the tablecloth black, the ceiling
black, the sideboard, plates, dishes, and loaves,
all black. The waiter who introduces you,
gives a furious whisk with his napkin, and the
blackness, rising, forms a black cloud in the air.
He opens a window and redoubles his
onslaught, and a portion of the swarm streams out.
He closes the window complacently, and serves
your dinner; but every time he opens the door
the flood of flies streams in again, and long
before you have finished your repast every exiled
fly has returned, bringing with him some outdoor
companion to partake of the feast. The
infliction, perhaps, is not too severe on a people
who shoot nightingales and swallows; but it is
hard upon the innocent traveller, who has been
brought up to respect robin redbreasts.

The means of destroying flies are few. No
gun has been made for shooting flies, nor
will it pay to treat them like wolves and set
a price upon their heads. If you decoy them
to their death with treacherous sweets, you
attract more flies than you kill. To divert
the attention of flies from ripening wall-fruit,
beer and sugar in open-mouthed bottles is a
more tempting trap than mere sugar and water;
a spoonful of gin increases the efficacy. A simple
and effectual way of protecting apricots and
peaches from flies and wasps, is to wrap each
fruit separately, in coarse tow or wool. Arsenical
and other mineral mixtures expose you to the
risk of poisoning, if not yourself and friends, at
least your favourite cat.  Canvas or wire-work
blinds fitted to the open window make you feel
as if you were a joint in a meat-safe. Mosquito
curtains, adapted to the same, give an apartment
the air of a lying-in room or a private asylum.
Chloride of lime will send awy flies, and even mice;
but it ruins your pictures and your lungs.  Crushed
laurel-leaves, tobacco-smoke, and camphor,
impregnating an atmosphere, are as noxious to
man as they are to man's insect enemies.

We have all seen scare-crows. An ingenious
Florentine gentleman has communicated to the
world, a scare-fly. He hangs outside his window
a net with meshes large enough for three or four
flies to pass through; yet not a single fly dares
to venture past the net. Perhaps they take it
for the web of some gigantic spider. The
communicator heard that the monks of a
neighbouring convent had proved the efficacy of
this mode of protection. An artist residing in Rome
confirmed the fact, stating that, with the net
outside, he could leave his windows open, fearless
of injury from flies. To ensure success, light
must enter the room on one side only.

In the Memoirs of the Entomological Society,
Dr. Stanley gives the result of his own personal
experiments. He got made, nets of various
colours, whose meshes varied from three-quarters
of an inch to an inch in width. These nets
were stretched before the two windows of a
room especially infested by flies (principally
blue-bottles), which were attracted by clematis
and honeysuckle trained against the wall. To
keep out the flies, the windows had been always
shut, even during the hottest days of summer.
As soon as the nets were in their place, the
inconvenience disappeared; the air penetrated
freely; the flies kept outside: no fly presumed
to pass through the net. On opening a door
which led to an adjoining room, the flies
recovered their natural impudence, and immediately
passed the net. When driven out of the room,
they dashed against the upper panes of glass,
resolutely avoiding the net. Another very light
net was made, with meshes an inch and a quarter
wide; the thread was almost invisible, and in no
way hindered either the light or the view of
outside objects. A few wasps were all that
attempted to pass through the meshes.

Herodotus alludes to this mode of keeping off
insects. The Egyptians, he says, who inhabit
marsh land, make use of towers as a refuge from
the gnats. Ascending these, they sleep in peace;
for gnats, from the nature of their wings, are
unable to fly very high. " But the people who
live around the marshes have discovered another
mode of escaping persecution. Every man
possesses a net, with which he catches fish during
the day. At night, he hangs the same net round
his bed, slips under it, and sleeps undisturbed.
If he slept in a linen or woollen garment, the
gnats would bite through the cloth;
but they do not attempt to attack him through
the net." Herodotus does not mention whether