Page images
PDF
EPUB

porters (footmen were in the country) stood at their respective doors. Some would exclaim, Mercy on me! that is

my

master's voice;” and “that is mine's,” another would say.

It was now dusk. We travelled three and thirty times round the square, by which time he became exhausted, and had, apparently, nothing farther to say either pro or con. My head was becoming giddy with the continual circularity of our course; and my little horse, as if ashamed of this incomprehensible tramping, made a dead halt. Hereupon I again felt the hand of my customer in my pocket. It was to deposit therein another sovereign. He then discharged me in due form, and as becomingly as any christian, begging at the same that I would direct him the nearest road to Richmond.

Before I could answer, or even wonder at such a question, at such a time of day, and after such a route, I was shaken, as if by the arm of a giant; and a voice came screaming into my ear like the rushing of a mighty cataract, “ Ahoy, Finnarty, a fare-a long fare; you have been in the Land of Nod for the last half hour. So I had. But

guess
what
my

fare was; Mr. - the tipsy silversmith, with a beauteous silver tea vase, in a blue bag, and Mr. the mimic, promising a sovereign each, if I drove them expeditiously to Richmond Hill.

A.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A PASSING GLANCE.

She sat within a summer room,

And seemed retired from human sight;
And o'er her face of healthful bloom

Passed smiles like morning light.
And when her settling features sought

The usual pensive grace they wore,
There lived in them as happy thought

As in the smiles before.
“ 'Tis thine," I cried, “ the bliss to know,

One happy, unpolluted breast-
Thy breast as pure as mountain snow

On which the sunbeams rest.”
And I did bless her as I went,

That in me she did strongly stir,
With air and features eloquent,

Some thoughts of some like her.
Such youthful Shakspeare's bride might be,

And Milton's mother, calmly fair,
The infant poet on her knee,

Of amplest fame the unconscious heir,
Such Lady Russell, ere she stood

Before the dread, determined few,
Who thirsted for the only blood

To which her heart's affection drew.

All graees of the form and face

That nature can to woman give
All inward and exterior grace

Did in my spirit live.
Of Mary did I think, who gave

The Great, the Just, to mortals birth-
To Christ, who came the lost to save,

And walked in glory through the earth.
Of woman's love, and woman's tears

The anxious, watchful, tender, true;
The spirit unsubdued by years,

The love that death can scarce subdue.
With tenderest tears my eyes were wet,

As through my heart that current ran ;
And for a space did I forget

The strength and dignity of man.

W.

EXTRACTS FROM A LADY'S LOG-BOOK.

[A Lady's Log-book will interest the general reader by its novelty, but to the

many friends of the admired writer, this will have great personal effect.] Speaking of the sea after twenty-four hours experience, I am: inclined to speak of it with high delight; but my practice cannot be very discriminating, since the greater portion of the twenty-four hours has been spent at anchor. Very smooth, pleasant voyaging this; no sickness, no rolling, no disagreeable of any kind; as the man, when he lay at the foot of the hill he had to mount, said' Oh, that this were working !"-so I say, oh, that this were sailing. However, such lazy motion is not likely to continue. To-morrow, to adopt the phraseology of Francis Moore, we may probably “expect sickness more or less," and couches may probably rob the dinner-table of passengers and appetites. However, come it may, as come it will, I am inclined to promise myself much. positive pleasure from our long sojourn on the waters. There is a novelty in all the ship arrangements, a contrivance, that interests me no little, and that, to speak truth, have done more to rob departure from England of melancholy, than any considerations of a more exalted nature. William Howitt says in his Book of the Seasons-" Thanks be to God for mountains !” I am more than ever inclined to say, “ Thanks be to God for trifles!” They are sources of pleasure, and may be made sources, of benefit ; often, by turning an annoyance into an amusement. Thus, our cabin, though one of the two best in the ship, for convenience, light, air, and size, has a rather ludicrous drawback: a good portion of some eighty dozen of poultry, ducks, geese, fowls, pigeons, &c. &c. have their local habitation in pens over our heads; and all day, and almost all night, they peck, crow, quack, gabble and quarrel according to their several natures. The sound of their beaks resembles a shower of hail; they are of necessity cramped for room, and, like children, are always crying out for food. They disturb one grievously, but they amuse; and when, at daybreak, their cries are joined by the low of our three cows, the grunt of some of our twenty pigs, and the bleating of a few of our sixty sheep, I am transported to a farm-yard.

I believe the true log of the day, would be simply, “ All sick.” However, there are degrees of sickness as of stature, and I only attained to pretty decided uneasiness. Lying down cured me; something too might be effected by the conversation of a character so original, and so native to seas and ships, that she deserves a place in one of Mr. Cooper's nautical novels. She is my voyaging attendant, and, having in a similar capacity made seventeen voyages to and from India, five of them in this vessel, may be said to have no home but the water. Monsieur Forbin was deeply offended by meeting a lady's maid with a pink parasol at the foot of one of the pyramids of Egypt-the real sady's inaid, with or without the pink parasol, is far more inappropriate on shipboard. But my treasure of the deep belongs not to this species. Staid, straight, Scotch, and respectable, her heart and accent full of the Tweed, and her talk of all quarters of the world. Something of a merchant too, trading at all the touching points, and, from a collection of red morocco bibles to stores of ribbons and pins, having articles for barter from England to the poles. Add to this, a memory that is a perfect Newgate Calendar for Scotland, with such sea habitudes, that from the poop to the galley, she is at home, is never tired, never out of temper, and never without a history appropriate or inappropriate to the book, matter, or conversation in hand. I have called her Sea Kitty-and here at least she will never lose the name. On land she is like many others—on the ocean she is like nothing but herself: in her eyes, the sea, like the king, can do no wrong, and next to the ocean, the captain :-her temporary master and mistress, whilst faithfully served, and duly had in honor in all matters touching their world, the land, are somewhat regarded as children in whatever touches her's the ocean: she is a nautical Leatherstocking

To-day we may be said really to have commenced our voyage. Our pilot is gone, and the last faint trace of the Devonshire coast is melted into the sky; I watched it gradually disappear, rock, headland and cultivated hill, so that I should recognize particular fields by their shape--yet, contrary to all the declarations of poetry and fiction, the farewell look affected me singularly little. The truth is, that occasions for great emotion are rarely times of great emotion; we are slaves of passing events and necessities; and even against my will, the beauty and novelty of the scene charmed åway sadness. . Last night, the wind was fair for our purpose, (blowing us out of the Channel,) but it was rather rough, and the sea was splendid; the magnificent swelling of the waves, the dazzling foam of their curled heads running hither and thither—with the bright and quiet stars looking down from above all awoke wonder, how one could be a pilgrim of the waters, and ever yield to poor, vain, foolish thoughts! And yet, alas! both with one's self, and others, folly and vanity come to sea !-to sea, where one seems to have breath and being immediately in the presence of Deity!

An event occurred just as dinner was served, and, to the utter discomfiture of curls, all the ladies hastened on deck to see a steamer from Portugal hailed. We had not been long enough from land to regard it with much sentiment; added to which, the vessel was such an ugly common thing, with such a crewish looking crew, that I thought we did them too much honor by standing to have our curls blown out. Our captain wanted information of the two Dons, Pedro and Miguel; the master of the steamer cared for nothing but the bearing of the Scilly Islands. After a little mutual trumpeting, we separated ; certainly the steamer bore away at a gallant rate, but looking as ugly as possible, the picture of a fat woman with her arms a-kimbo, or of three single boats rolled into one. I dislike steam-boats: there is nothing calm in their speed, or dignified in their motion; on they go, splashing and dashing, the bullies of the water, or, when their smoke is visible-Beelzebub's frigates.

· We are in the Bay—and, if it is generally what it has been to us, in the much calumniated Bay of Biscay. The sea is quiet, and the wind so fair, that its continuance would blow us to Madeira in a week.

It seems magical : in five days we have traversed the space that this very ship and captain have been, beforetime, three weeks in accomplishing. Whilst other present propitious circumstances hold, except the want of newspapers, and a hall-door to walk out at, we have no need of land. I have just cut a pine; we have fresh fruit, bread, and vegetables every day. Wonderful is the 'ngenuity of man! More wonderful still the protecting kindness of Providence! Here are we floating in ease and security

this fathomless, and, to the eye, illimitable element. On deck, our band is playing all kinds of home tunes, and there comes a strange blending of the dashing of the waves, the boatswain's whistle, and I'd be a Butterfly, waltzes, and quadrilles—sounds of English towns and streets. With regard to the said band, music is music at sea, and it behoves one not to be finical, otherwise discontented recollections might arise of orchestras one has heard in days of yore. However, any music is at times valuable, because its mere noise brightens the spirits, sets people talking, and by the time we reach Bombay, our musicians may have learned to play in time. The orders transmitted to them in nautical phrase) are amusing—they are playing an ugly tune, or a pretty one badly-- Bid those fellows take a reef in"-or they suddenly

[ocr errors]

OVE

[ocr errors]

stop—“Ask those fellows why they have hove to," says the captain to the steward, a person grave as Sancho's in the island of Barrataria. These poor fellows (the musicians) occupy an anomalous position on board. They are to play morning, noon, and night, should we require them to do so; they play us to dress, and to meals; they play to keep the men in step when the anchor is weighed, and yet upon occasion they have to haul at the ropes and -as Wordsworth says,

Something between a hindrance and a help. If one of them fell into the sea, we should note them by their instruments, (fell overboard, the key bugle, &c.) for they seem musical abstractions.

go aloft,

HYMN TO THE SUN.

Giver of glowing light!
Though but a God of other days,

The king and sages of wiser ages,
Still live and gladden in thy genial rays.
Breathe out their sweets to meet thee in the skies.

King of the tuneful lyre!
Still poets' hymns to thee belong;

Though lips are cold whereon, of old,
Thy beams all turn'd to worshipping and song.

Lord of the dreadful bow !
None triumph now for Python's death,

But thou dost save from hungry grave
The life that hangs upon a summer breath.

Father of rosy day!
No more thy clouds of incense rise,

But waking flow’rs, at morning hours,
Breathe out their sweets to meet thee in the skies.

God of the Delphic fane!
No more thou hearest to hymns sublime,

But they will leave, on winds at eve,
A solemn echo to the end of time.

P.

WATERLOO.

I was travelling to Brussels. In my life, I have been no small wanderer over the face of the earth; and being constitutionally a gregarious animal, I love to make myself happy amongst the flock, in whatever fold it may be penned for the time being—whether in a stage-coach or a hotel, in a ball-room or by the fire-side. But, somehow, I have seldom been so cross, or so ill-disposed for companionship vith my fellow men, as on that same journey to

« PreviousContinue »