For the next week intense activity prevailed, the men being strenuously subjected to the acclimatising process, while the horses and mules had to be carefully watched lest the deadly sleeping-sickness should make its appearance at the commencement of the operations and thus place the troops under severe disadvantages. The officers, too, were not spared.
"The negroes who came to North America had to undergo as complete a transition as ever fell to the lot of man, without the least chance to undergo an acclimatising process. They were brought from the hottest part of the earth to the region where the winter's cold is almost of arctic severity; from an exceedingly humid to a very dry air.
When a want could be supplied by obtaining from another country an animal bred to live with man and serve him, the long and difficult task of softening down the wild instincts of a beast taken from the forests or the hills and acclimatising its constitution to a domestic life was not likely to be attempted. But there have been a few recent additions to our list of domestic animals.
Fires are not the fashion in the public rooms probably because the only "public" besides ourselves consist of one or two enterprising sportsmen, who doubtless are acclimatising themselves to camp life amid the snows, and have implored the proprietor to save his fuel and keep the outer doors open.
M. Erlanger believed he could succeed in getting ten bankers to guarantee fifty thousand francs, thus placing a sum of five hundred thousand francs at M. Perrin's disposal. But the latter soon lost courage when he found that the gentlemen thus approached were willing to risk their money on a theatre for their own amusement, but not for the serious purpose of acclimatising my music in Paris.
Michel Ardan would have liked to take a certain number of animals of different sorts, not male and female of every species, as he did not see the necessity of acclimatising serpents, tigers, alligators, or any other noxious beasts in the moon. "No," said he to Barbicane, "but some useful animals, ox or cow, ass or horse, would look well in the landscape and be of great use."
"I see a girl I know over there," he said to his neighbour. "Excuse me, will you?" Then he got up and walked boldly over to the vacant chair. He was fast acclimatising to war conditions. He sat down on that empty chair and met the girl's eyes fairly. She was entirely at her ease and laughing merrily. "I've lost my bet," she said, "and Tommy's won."
Besides this, I should, of course, lose the opportunity of transplanting them to Mars, though I had more hope of acclimatising seedlings raised from the seed I carried with me than plants which had actually begun their life on the surface of the Earth.
Therefore do I attempt atonement for obvious neglect by the scarcely less laborious delight of acclimatising plants from distant tropical countries. A valued and disinterested friend sends seeds which I plant for the benefit of posterity. Who will eat of the fruit of the one durian which I have nurtured so carefully and fostered so fondly?