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shines brightly between heavy clusters of uniquely shaped clouds; the moonlit areas stand out from the fringes, while a twilight magician seems to keep the dark areas out of sight. Only a breeze passes through, and the nearest acacia trees close their leaves to sleep and lie quietly beside the dark foliage of the mango tree, jackfruit and ethereal jambeiro; or then the wind falls suddenly and the cashew tree leaves are dry; the grumixameiras and pitangueiras, laden with flowers, drop a fragrant snow; the majestic palm trees spread their fans above the quiet rooftops, which they overshadow, as a friendly and benign symbol of nature's consideration; the cicadas, the crickets create the rasping squeak together continually, and all, with their monotony, plunge the night into gentle melancholy.

Almost imperceptible, however, a stream murmurs down the hill, and the Macuco (1) calls for help, his voice almost human in the distance. In the course of time other embalmy breezes blow, and the flowers of the night alternate with their neighbors, shedding almost dizzying fragrances; now they are those of the paulinias arbor, now those of the neighboring orange grove, now those of the thicket of eupatorias, now as if by improvisation one finds the bunch of palm trees (2), which unbutton their flowers, and thus keep up the flow and ebb of fragrances. While the tranquil world of plants, illuminated here and there by thousands of fireflies like a swarm of flying stars, with their balsamic exhalations glorified the night, and the horizon shone unceasingly with the calm lights, elevating the soul in joyful admiration that the stars in the sky shone above the earth and the sea, awakening the notion of wonders of the highest nature. In the enjoyment of the magic of such nights the newly arrived European is flooded with memories, longing for his country until the rich tropical nature becomes for him a second country.

One can enjoy in Rio de Janeiro the charm of those nights without fear, not like in Guinea, for example, where one soon becomes ill with exposure to the mist or the wind that comes suddenly; however, it is advisable here not to be out of the house at sunset, when the atmosphere suddenly cools and the mist falls. Dawn seems, moreover, to be less harmful to the body than the afternoon, because the return of the sun soon causes the perspiration to resume.

(I) Perdix guyanensis.
(2) In many palm trees, we have noticed that the bunch of flowers, at the beginning of their bloom, burst the shell that protects them, and the surrounding area is all but permeated with fragrances.