Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

intend to enter, and by the light of the cocoa-nut oil lamp you must drive away the mosquitoes from your immediate neighborhood by whisking round your horse-tail switch; and, before proceeding farther, you must be sure you havo effectually driven the enemy back.

3. If you fail in this matter, your repose is effectually dashed for that night; for these provoking animals appear to know perfectly well what is going to happen, and assemble with the vigor and bravery of the flank companies appointed to head a storming party, ready in one instant to rush into the breach, careless alike of horses' tails and towels. Let it be supposed, however, that you have successfully beaten back the enemy. You next promptly form an opening, not a hair's breadth larger than your own person, into which you leap, like harlequin through a hoop, closing up, with all the speed of fear, the gap through which you have shot yourself into your sleeping quarters.

4. If all these arrangements have been well managed, you may amuse yourself for a while by scoffing at and triumphing over the clouds of baffled mosquitoes outside, who dash themselves against the meshes of the net, in vain attempts to enter your sanctum. If, however, for your sins, any one of their number has succeeded in entering the place along with yourself, he is not so silly as to betray his presence while you are flushed with victory, wide awake, and armed with the means of his destruction. Far from this, he allows you to chuckle over your fancied great doings, and to lie down with all the complacency and fallacious security of your conquest, and under the entire assurance of enjoying a tranquil night's rest. Alas, for such presumptuous hopes! Scarcely have you dropped gradually from these visions of the day to the yet more blessed visions of the night, and the last faint effort of your eyelids has been overcome by the gentle pressure of sleep, when, in deceitful slumber, you hear something like the sound of trumpets.

5. Straightway your imagination is kindled, and you fancy yourself in the midst of a fierce fight, and struggling, not against petty insects, but against armed men and thundering cannon. In the excitement of the mortal conflict of your dream, you awake, not displeased, mayhap, to find that you are safe and snug in bed. But in the next instant what is your dismay, when you are again saluted by the odious notes of a mosquito close to your ear! The perilous fight of the previous dream, in which your honor had become pledged, and your life at hazard, is all forgotten in the pressing reality of this waking calamity. You resolve to do or die, and not to sleep, or even attempt to sleep, till you have finally overcome the enemy.

6. Just as you have made this manly resolve, and in order to deceive the foe, have pretended to be fast asleep, the wary mosquito is again heard, circling over you at a distance, but gradually coming nearer and nearer in a spiral* descent, and at each turn gaining upon you one inch, till at length he almost touches your ear, and, as you suppose, is about to settle upon it. With a sudden jerk, and full of wrath, you bring up your hand, and give yourself such a box on the ear as would have staggered the best friend you have in the world, and might have crushed twenty thousand mosquitoes, had they been there congregated. Being convinced that you have now done for him, you lie down again.

7. In less than ten seconds, however, the very same felon", whom you fondly hoped you had executed, is again within hail of you, and you can almost fancy there is scorn in the tone of his abominable hum. You, of course, watch his motions still more intently than before, but only by the ear, for you can never see him. We will suppose that you fancy he is aiming at your left

hand; indeed, as you are almost sure of it, you wait till he has ceased his song, and then you give yourself another smack, which, I need not say, proves quite as fruitless as the first.

8. About this stage of the action you discover, to your horror, that you have been soundly bitten in one ear and in both heels, but when or how you cannot tell. These wounds, of course, put you into a fine rage, partly from the pain, and partly from the insidious manner in which they have been inflicted. Up you spring on your knees — not to pray, Heaven knows! — but to fight. You seize your horse's tail with spiteful rage, and after whisking it round and round, and cracking it in every corner of the bed, you feel pretty certain you must at last have demolished your friend.

9. In this unequal warfare you pass the livelong night, alternately scratching and cuffing yourself, fretting and fuming to no purpose, feverislı, angry, sleepy, provoked, and wounded in twenty different places. At last, just as the long-expected day begins to dawn, you drop off, quite exhausted, into an unsatisfactory, heavy slumber, during which your triumphant enemy banquets upon your carcass at his convenient leisure. As the sun is rising, you awaken only to discover the bloated and satiated monster clinging to the top of your bed — an easy, but useless and inglorious prey.

1 GÂUZE. A thin, transparent stuff of left when the regiment is drawn up silk or linen.

in line. One of them usually heads 2 FÖR'TRESS. A stronghold ; a forti- | a storming party. fied place.

| 4 SPI'RẠL. Winding or circular. 8 FLÅNK COM'PA-NỊEŞ. The companies 5 FÉL'ỌN. A criminal ; a culprit.

which are on the extreme right and 6 IN-SİD'I-OUS. Deceitful; sly

LXIX.- NEW ENGLAND.

PERCIVAL.
1. Hail to the land whereon we tread,

Our fondest boast!
The sepulchre' of mighty dead,
The truest hearts that ever bled,
Who sleep on glory's brightest bed,

A fearless host !
No slave is here; our unchained feet
Walk freely as the waves that beat

Our coast.

2. Our fathers crossed the ocean's wave

To seek this shore:
They left behind the coward slave
To welter? in his living grave:
With hearts unbent, and spirits brave,

They sternly bore .
Such toils as meaner souls had quelled ';
But souls like these such toils impelled

To soar.

3. Hail to the morn when first they stood

On Bunker's height,
And, fearless, stemmed the invading flood,
And wrote our dearest rights in blood,
And mowed in ranks the hireling 4 brood,

In desperate fight!
0, 'twas a proud, exulting day,
For even our fallen fortunes lay

In light.

4. There is no other land like thee,

No dearer shore;

Thou art the shelter of the free;
The home, the port of liberty,
Thou hast been and shalt ever be,

Till time is o'er.
Ere I forget to think upon
My land, shall mother curse the son

She bore.

5. Thou art the firm, unshaken rock,

On which we rest;
And, rising from thy hardy stock,
Thy sons the tyrant's frown shall mock,
And slavery's galling chains unlock,

And free the oppressed;
All who the wreath of freedom twine,
Beneath the shadow of their vine

Are blessed.

6. We love thy rude and rocky shore,

And here we stand
Let foreign navies hasten o'er
And on our heads their fury pour,
And peal their cannon's loudest roar,

And storm our land;
They still shall find our lives are given
To die for home; and leant on Heaven

Our hand.

I SĚP'UL-CHRE (-ker). A burial-place. 1 8 QUÉLLED. Subdued ; tamed. ; WEL'TER. Roll in, or as in water or 4 HÍRE'LỊNG. Serving for hiro; mes blood; wallow.

cenary.

« AnteriorContinuar »