A. BURMESE ENCHANTMENT. 93
them, they undoubtedly get much worse ; and seizing their noses, do their best to avoid it.
I feel that your credulity has been considerably taxed in this Chapter. Of course, I myself believe all I have written, but I do not expect you to. Do you remember a few lines by Tom Moore :a
Good reader, if you e'er have seen,
When Phoebus hastens to his pillow, The mermaids, with their tresses green
Dancing upon the western billow : If you have seen all this, and more,
God bless me ! what a deal you've seen ! *****
But there are tragedies occurring in my house and garden which outdistance even the horror of hamadryads. There is a big brown and yellow hornet building little mud cells all over the house. One has a well advanced fortification in the binding of a favourite book on my table. This has led me to watch her closer with a view to reprisal. After laying the egg and building a cell, she catches caterpillars and walls them up along with the grub. They are alive, but numb ; and I have since read that they are stung in each joint of their bodies. They will remain thus in torment for weeks, and then be eaten alive slowly, starting from the tail end, when the grub wakes up.
Yesterday, a big fat caterpillar was crossing the path when a fly attacked it, pouncing on it at intervals like a hawk. Evidently he gave a shrewd nip eachYesterday, a big fat caterpillar was crossing the path when a fly attacked it, pouncing on it at intervals like a hawk. Evidently he gave a shrewd nip each