“Why so, madam?”
“Where are the top boots to come from?”
THE PIONEERS—EXCURSION TO COROMANDEL—HINDOO FANCIES—A CAGED HUNTER—LOUIS XI. AND CARDINAL BALUE—A FURLONG OF NEWS—CARNAGE—THE BARONET AND HIS SEVENTEEN TIGERS—FIFTY-FOUR FEET OF CELEBRITY—STERNE’S WINDOW—PROMENADE OF THE CONSCIENCES—EMULATION AND VANITY.
When a country is released from the presence of an enemy that annoyed and harassed them, the people feel as if a weight had been taken off their shoulders; so the inhabitants of New Switzerland had breathed more freely since the capture of the chimpanzee.
The works at Falcon’s Nest were completed, and the two families had taken possession of their aerial dwellings, where they were perched like a pair of rookeries within call of each other.
The confined air of towns has a tendency to plunge men into lethargy and indolence, and to precipitate the decadence of a constitution in which the seeds of disease have been sown; whilst, on the other hand, the pure air of the country braces the nerves, excites a healthy action in the system, and invigorates a shattered frame; so it was with Mr. Wolston—under the benign influences of the genial climate and the refreshing sea breeze, he gradually, but steadily, recovered health and strength.
A larger breadth of land had been cleared and fitted for receiving grain, which it was susceptible of reproducing a hundred-fold. Such is the sublime contract God has made with man, that, in exchange for his labor and skill, a single grain of wheat will produce seven or eight stalks, each bearing an ear containing fifty grains; a single grain has been known to yield twenty-eight ears, and Pliny states that Nero received a grain bearing the enormous number of three hundred and sixty ears. Strange that such a singular instance of fecundity should present itself during the domination of a man, or rather monster, who dared to wish that the Roman people had only one head, so that he might cut it off at a single blow!
Willis and the Wolstons were as yet ignorant of the extent and limits of the colony; there were two inclosed and cultivated sections, named respectively Waldeck and Prospect Hill, which they had not yet inspected. With a view to enable them to form a more accurate conception of the boundaries of the territory they inhabited, a grand excursion was decided upon that would enable them leisurely to investigate every nook and cranny of the settlement.
The storehouse was accordingly overhauled, and the ladies called in to prepare viands for the journey; they were likewise invited to furnish a supply of certain enchanted travelling bags, in which the gentlemen were often astonished to find, during their distant expeditions, a thousand and one useful things that they would never have dreamt of bringing with them of their own accord.