Imágenes de páginas


“Looking over the bulwarks of the schooner, I saw one of these watchful monsters winding lazily back. wards and forwards like a long meteor; sometimes rising until his nose disturbed the surface, and a gushing sonnd like a deep breath rose through the breakers; at others resting motionless on the water, as if listening to our voices and thirsting for our blood. As we were watching the motions of this monster, Bruce, a lively little negro and my cook, suggested the possibility of destroying it. This was, briefly, to heat a fire-brick in the stove, wrap it up hastily in some old greasy cloth as a sort of disguise, and then to heave it overboard. This was the work of a few minutes, and the effect was triumphant. The monster followed after the hissing prey; we saw it dart at the brick like a flash of lightning, and gorge it instanter. The shark rose to the surface almost immediately, and his uneasy motions soon betrayed the success of the manoeuvre. His agonies became terrible: the waters appeared as if disturbed by a violent squall, and the spray was driven over the taffrail where we stood, while the gleaming body of the fish repeatedly burst through the dark waves, as if writhing with fierce and terrible convulsions. Sometimes, also, we thought we heard a shrill, bellowing cry, as if indicative of anguish and rage, rising through the gurgling waters. His fury was, however, soon exhausted; in a short time the sounds broke away into distance, and the agitation of the sea subsided. The shark had given himself up to the tides, as unable to struggle against the approach of death, and they were carrying his body unresistingly to the each."


conceited chameleon leisure acquiesce lizard

extended decision stretched surveyed

referred pronounce discoursed

Oft has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,

eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post:
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finished tour
Grown ten times perter than before;
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travelled fool your mouth will stop-
“Sir, if my judgment you'll allow-
I've seen-and sure I ought to know."
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.


Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and then of that;
Discoursed a while, 'mongst other matter,
Of the chameleon's form and nature.
A stranger animal,” cries one,
“ Sure never lived beneath the sun:
A lizard's body-lean and long-
A fish's head, & serpent's tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoined ;
And what a length of tail behind !
How slow its pace ! and then its hue-
Who ever saw so fine a blue?”

“Hold, there,” the other quick replies,
“ 'Tis green, I saw it with these eyes,
As late with open mouth it lay,
And warmed it in the sunny ray ;
Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed,
And saw it eat the air for food.”

“I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blne;
At leisure I the beast surveyed
Extended in the cooling shade."

'tis green, sir, I assure ye."
“Green !” cries the the other in a fury:
“Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes ?”
“'Twere no great loss,” the friend replies ;
“For if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them but of little use."
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows,
When luckily came by a third ;
To him the question they referred,
And begg'd he'd tell them, if he knew,

the thing was green or blue. “Sirs," cries the umpire, “ cease your pother; "

; The creature's neither one nor t'other. I caught the animal last night, And viewed it o'er by candle-light; I marked it well—'twas black as jet: You stare—but sirs, I've got it yet, And can produce it.” “Pray, sir, do; I'll lay my life the thing is blue." “ And I'll be sworn that, when you've seen The reptile, you'll pronounce him green.” “Well, then, at once to ease your doubt,"

Replies the man, “I'll turn him out:
And, when before your eyes I've set him,
If you don't find him black I'll eat him.”
He said; and full before their sight
Produced the beast, and lo !—'twas, white !
Both stared, the man looked wondrous wise.
“My children,” the chameleon cries
(Then first the creature found a tongue),

You all are right, and all are wrong:
When next you talk of what you view,
Think others see as well as you;
Nor wonder, if you

find that none Prefers your eyesight to his own."


Learn the spellings at the top of the page; and write sentences containing these words.



To the dark fens of the dismal swamp,

The hunted negro lay;
He saw the fire of the midnight camp,
And heard at times a horse's tramp

And a bloodhound's distant bay.
Where will-'o-the-wisps and glow-worms shine,

In bulrash and in brake,
Where waving mosses shroud the pine,
And the cedar grows, and the poisonous vine

Is spotted like the snake.
Where hardly a human foot could pass,

Or a human heart would dare;
On the quaking turf of the green morass
He crouched, in the rank and tangled grass,

Like a wild beast in his lair.
A poor old slave, infirm and lame;

Great scars deformed his face;
On his forehead he bore the brand of shame,
And the

rags that hid his mangled frame
Were the livery of disgrace.
All things above were bright and fair,

All things were glad and free;
Lithe squirrels darted here and there,
And the wild birds filled the echoing air

With songs of liberty !
On him alone was the doom of pain

From the morning of his birth;
On him alone the curse of Cain
Fell, like flail on the garnered grain,
And struck him to the earth.


« AnteriorContinuar »