Having thus, amid a general titter, played very prettily with his interrupter, the lecturer went back to his picture of the past, the drying of the seas, the emergence of the sand-bank, the sluggish, viscous life which lay upon their margins, the overcrowded lagoons, the tendency of the sea creatures to take refuge upon the mud-flats, the abundance of food awaiting them, their consequent enormous growth.
"It is my friend Professor Challenger," and amid laughter he renewed his lecture as if this was a final explanation and no more need be said.
Whatever path the lecturer took amid the wilds of the past seemed invariably to lead him to some assertion as to extinct or prehistoric life which instantly brought the same bulls' bellow from the Professor.
He is "Heaven's Chief," "the Great Prince." The clash and clang of sword and trumpet calls are heard "amid
the grim clash of helms." War filled the greatest half of life.
Then into the forest little Annie went; and as she passed along the dim, cool paths, the wood-flowers smiled up in her face, gay squirrels peeped at her, as they swung amid the vines, and doves cooed softly as she wandered by; but none could answer her.
The night-wind rustled through the boughs, rocking the flowers to sleep; the wild birds sang their evening hymns, and all within the wood grew calm and still; paler and paler grew the purple light, lower and lower drooped little Annie's head, the tall ferns bent to shield her from the dew, the whispering pines sang a soft lullaby; and when the Autumn moon rose up, her silver light shone on the child, where, pillowed on green moss, she lay asleep amid the wood-flowers in the dim old forest.
In vain his knights stormed and raved against the thin line which barred their path: the sword of Aylward and the great axe of John gleamed in the forefront of the battle and huge jagged pieces of rock, hurled by the strong arms of the bowmen, crashed and hurtled amid their ranks.
Twice he stretched out his foot, and twice he failed to reach the point at which he aimed, but even as he swung himself for a third effort a stone from a sling buzzed like a wasp from amid the rocks and struck him full upon the side of his head.
And many people preferred to see them alive, breathing, moving, elbowing each other in flesh and blood, in this Flemish embassy, in this Episcopal court, under the cardinal's robe, under Coppenole's jerkin, than painted, decked out, talking in verse, and, so to speak, stuffed beneath the yellow amid white tunics in which Gringoire had so ridiculously clothed them.
This same representation which had been begun amid so unanimous an acclamation!
What more natural than that amid
so many roguish ayes and laughing lips he should become confused and, forgetting for the moment which particular pair of roguish ayes and laughing lips it is that he belongs to, go off making love to the wrong set.
Loftiest trucks were made for wildest winds, and this brain-truck of mine now sails amid