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PUFF-BALLS AND TOADSTOOLS.   165

its host. Death is the certain result. Our house-flies come to grief in this way, and the pity is that more of them did not meet with a like fate. 'We may often see them on neglected window panes, dead or dying in the centre of a whitish cloud , this cloud is made of mildew threads. After filling the body of the fly they grow and flourish outside — a purely fungus growth from a mildew spore lodged in the in-sect. Caterpillars in various parts of the world are carried off in this way. In Australia one may see living caterpillars crawling with a stalk of fungus, more than an inch in height, growing from the head, and sure to kill. Of this fungus group, by some lines of relationship, are the microbes and bacilli that are the causes of diphtheria, consumption, fevers, cholera, and most other diseases of men and beasts. We literally have to contend with powers of the air, an invisible host of living cells that enter our lungs at every breath, flourish in our blood, colonize in our muscles and bones and teeth, and there multiply by growing and breaking in pieces. Without mouths they eat, without stomachs they digest, without organs of generation they multiply by myriads in a day. If it were not that some feed on other kinds we would fare worse than we do. To have lived


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