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own eating, with a little bread and garden stuff, which you will give me. Then I will be content with a house somewhat better than the common ones; and your barber shall be my valet; so I shall give very little trouble.
. Mr. B. And pray, Sir, what inducement can we have for doing all this for you?
P. Why, Sir, you will have the credit of having one gentleman at least in your colony.
Mr. B. Ha, ha, ha! A facetious gentleman truly! Well, Sir, when we are ambitious of such a distinction, we will send for
THE TRAVELLED ANT.
THERE was a garden enclosed with high brick walls, and laid out somewhat in the old fashion. Under the walls were wide beds planted with flowers, garden stuff, and fruit trees. Next to them was a broad gravel walk running round the garden ; and the middle was laid out in grass plots, and beds of flowers and shrubs, with a fishpond in the centre.
Near the root of one of the wall fruit trees, a numerous colony of ants was established, which had extended its subterraneous works over great part of the bed in its neighbourhood. One day, two of the inhabitants meeting in a gallery under ground, fell into the following conversation. Ha! my friend (said the first), is it you? I am glad to see you. Where have you been this long time? All your acquaintance have been in pain about you,
lest some accident should have befallen you.
. Why (replied the other), I am indeed a sort of stranger, for you must know I am but just returned from a long journey.
A journey! whither, pray, and on what account?
A tour of mere curiosity. I had long felt dissatisfied with knowing so little about this world of ours; so, at length I took a resolution to explore it. And I may now boast that I have gone round its utmost extremities, and that no considerable part of it has escaped my researches.
Wonderful! What a traveller you have been, and what sights you must have seen!
Why, yes--I have seen more than
most ants, to be sure ; but it has been at the expense of so much toil and danger, that I know not whether it was worth the pains.
Would you oblige me with some account of your adventures ?
Willingly. I set out, then, early one sunshiny morning; and, after crossing our territory and the line of plantation by which it is bordered, I came upon a wide open plain, where as far as the eye could reach, not a single green thing was to be descried, but the hard soil was every where covered with huge stones, which made travelling equally painful to the eye and the feet. As I was toiling onwards, I heard a rumbling noise behind me, which became louder and louder. I looked back, and with the utmost horror beheld a prodigious rolling mountain approaching me so fast that it was impossible to get out of the way. I threw myself flat on the ground
behind a stone, and lay expecting nothing but present death. The mountain soon passed over me, and I continued (I know not how long) in a state of insensibility. When I recovered, I began to stretch my limbs one by one, and to my surprise found myself not in the least injured! but the stone beside me was almost buried in the earth by the crash!
What an escape!
A wonderful one, indeed. I journeyed on over the desert, and at length came to the end of it, and entered upon a wide green tract consisting chiefly of tall, narrow, pointed leaves, which grew so thick and entangled, that it was with the greatest difficulty I could make my way between them; and I should continually have lost my road, had I not taken care to keep the sun in view before me. When I had got near the middle of this region, I was