“Hum, hum!” he mused, with a look of disappointment, “gone to the sea side, I suppose.”
So he turned away, thinking he would call again later in the season; but he had not proceeded far before he conceived a brilliant idea. Perhaps there had been a suicide!—or a murder! He would go back and force the door. By way of doing so he obtained a large stone, and smashed in the roof. There had been no murder to justify such audacity, so he committed one.
The funeral was gorgeous. There were mute oysters with wands, drunken oysters with scarves and hat-bands, a sable hearse with hearth-dusters on it, a swindling undertaker’s bill, and all the accessories of a first-rate churchyard circus—everything necessary but the corpse. That had been disposed of by the monkey, and the undertaker meanly withheld the use of his own.
MORAL.—A lamb foaled in March makes the best pork when his horns have attained the length of an inch.
“Pray walk into my parlour,” said the
spider to the fly.
“That is not quite original,” the latter made reply.
“If that’s the way you plagiarize, your fame will be a fib—
But I’ll walk into your parlour, while I pitch into your crib.
But before I cross your threshold, sir, if I may make so free,
Pray let me introduce to you my friend, ‘the wicked flea.’”
“How do you?” says the spider, as his welcome he extends;
“‘How doth the busy little bee,’ and all our other friends?”
“Quite well, I think, and quite unchanged,” the flea said; “though I learn,
In certain quarters well informed, ’tis feared ‘the worm will turn.’”
“Humph!” said the fly; “I do not understand this talk—not I!”
“It is ‘classical allusion,’” said the spider to the fly.
A polar bear navigating the mid-sea upon the mortal part of a late lamented walrus, soliloquized, in substance, as follows:
“Such liberty of action as I am afflicted with is enough to embarrass any bear that ever bore. I can remain passive, and starve; or I can devour my ship, and drown. I am really unable to decide.”
So he sat down to think it over. He considered the question in all its aspects, until he grew quite thin; turned it over and over in his mind until he was too weak to sit up; meditated upon it with a constantly decreasing pulse, a rapidly failing respiration. But he could not make up his mind, and finally expired without having come to a decision.
It appears to me he might almost as well have chosen starvation, at a venture.
A sword-fish having penetrated seven or eight feet into the bottom of a ship, under the impression that he was quarrelling with a whale, was unable to draw out of the fight. The sailors annoyed him a good deal, by pounding with handspikes upon that portion of his horn inside; but he bore it as bravely as he could, putting the best possible face upon the matter, until he saw a shark swimming by, of whom he inquired the probable destination of the ship.