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Story of a Middy and an Aligator.
LLIGATORS, my young friends, are very fearful customers. When their mouth
it seems wide enough to swallow a sack of potatoes, and when
it comes to with a snap, it is no joke to the poor unfortunate who happens to be within its “nut-crackers," as the sailors term its hideous jaws. Many are the stories told of them; sometimes they will snooze on the banks of rivers, and you will see them by hundreds shoving up their brown noses, which look like bundles of wood, through the slimy waters, watching for anything that comes in their way, from a pig to a buffalo—for all is fish that comes to their net. At other times they will make short excursions on shore, and as their capacious jaws are very hungry and not over nice, and will swallow a great deal without any delicacy of palate, they often make ludicrous mistakes at what they snap up. On one occasion, when Port Essington, the northernmost settlement in Australia, was settled, the crew of H. M. Ship Fire
Fly, taking possession, lived for some time on shore, and at night slept in hammocks slung from the trees. A young middy taking up his quarters in the above mode near the beach, for the benefit of the sea-breeze, was surprised in the night by certain strange tuggings at his hammock, which awoke him out of his first sleep. Finding himself nearly rolling over, he held on, and looking down from his bed, saw a huge alligator pulling with all his might at his blanket, a portion of which hung down to the ground. The middy rose up for the purpose of firing at the monster, and as he did so the blanket gave way and the whole was immediately swallowed by the alligator, as a whet probably. A shot, however, well directed at the animal's eye, laid him low, and when he was dissected, the blanket was found whole and undigested in his stomach, with a sailor's monkey jacket, a fur cap, a silk handkerchief, and a valuable poodle dog, belonging to the first lieutenant. Therefore, my young friends, should any of you go to the South, keep clear of the alligators, for they are, as I said before, very apt to take you in and do for you, as do the Americans, who are like alligators in more senses than one.
Something about the City of Amsterdam.
such a variety of change at every step, so much of the grotesque, of the beautiful, of the odd and the interesting, that Holland and its exhibitions delighted me beyond
measure; while the honest character of the Dutch, their cleanliness, and their scrupulous adherence to the truth, charmed measmuch as their interesting country.
Holland is the country of shipping, of water, ofembankments, of sluices, and of pictures. Amsterdam, its principal City, is situated at the confluence of the river Amstel, with the arm of the Zuyder Zee, called the Y, or eye, which forms the port. It is built somewhat in the shape of a Crescent or of the letter D, the straight line forming the water and the curved line the land boundary. The walls are surrounded by a canal, and four great ones run through the city lined by houses, while various smaller canals intersect the town in various directions,