"He had seen the loveliest parts of this world, and, when he had to, he could light-heartedly give it all up and rough it in this American West of ours, even as you and I!" Whereupon Dinky-Dunk argued that we ought to forgive an invalid his stridulous preaching about bravery and manliness and his over-emphasis of fortitude, since it was plainly based on an effort to react against a constitutional weakness for which he himself couldn't be blamed.
The marrowy organisms, with skins that shed water like the backs of ducks, with smooth surfaces neatly padded beneath, and velvet linings to their singing-pipes, are not so common among us as that other pattern of humanity with angular outlines and plane surfaces, and integuments, hair like the fibrous covering of a cocoa-nut in gloss and suppleness as well as color, and voices at once thin and strenuous, acidulous enough to produce effervescence with alkalis, and stridulous enough to sing duets with the katydids.
It was the Sphinx Atropos, the Death's Head Moth; and there, upon its breast, appallingly distinct, grinned the ghastly, gray human skull. Twice it circled rapidly round the vase, uttering strange, stridulous sounds, then floated up to the canopy overarching Felix's bed, and poised itself on the carved frame, waiting and flapping its wings, vulture-like.
As the air rushes past the glottis, which is still partially closed, a sound recalling the whoop of pertussis is heard. Often this recurs throughout all the burst of crying which follows, and each inspiration is accompanied by a shrill stridulous sound. With the re-establishment of respiration the cyanosis rapidly fades, to be succeeded in some cases by pallor and perspiration.
All that was spoken in that crowd she understood, and never a word escaped her, and what others saw she felt, only nearer and more terrible, because wrapped in the darkness outside her eyes that were blind. First there came a lull in the general clamour, and then a coarse, jarring, stridulous voice rose in the air. Naomi knew whose voice it was it was the voice of old Abraham Pigman, the usurer.
There were several grasshopper-warblers on the common, all, very curiously as it seemed to me, clustered at one spot, so that one could ramble over miles of ground without hearing their singular note; but on approaching the place they inhabited one gradually became conscious of a mysterious trilling buzz or whirr, low at first and growing louder and more stridulous, until the hidden singers were left behind, when by degrees it sank lower and lower again, and ceased to be audible at a distance of about one hundred yards from the points where it had sounded loudest.
Amid a shower of such words, springing from men's perverse blindness to the binding propriety of keeping all propositions as to what is the best way of living in respect of place, hours, companionship, strictly relative to each individual case, Rousseau stubbornly shook the dust of the city from off his feet, and sought new life away from the stridulous hum of men.
In passing through some parts where a good shower of rain has fallen, the stridulous piercing notes of the cicadae are perfectly deafening; a drab-colored cricket joins the chorus with a sharp sound, which has as little modulation as the drone of a Scottish bagpipe. I could not conceive how so small a thing could raise such a sound; it seemed to make the ground over it thrill.
The stars came out over a strange, silent, astonished, confounded, stupefied Ascalon that night. The wolf-howling of its revelry was stilled, the clamor of its obscene diversions was hushed. It was as if the sparkling tent of the heavens were a great bowl turned over the place, hushing its stridulous merriment, stifling its wild laughter and dry-throated feminine screams.
Conspicuous amidst these nocturnal moths is the richly-coloured Acherontia Satanas, one of the Singhalese representatives of our Death's-head moth, which utters a sharp and stridulous cry when seized. This sound has been conjectured to be produced by the friction of its thorax against the abdomen; Reaumur believed it to be caused by the rubbing of the palpi against the tongue.