Obrazy na stronie


“GOD bless, the man who first invented sleep !"

So , I And bless him, also, that he didn't keep

His great discovery to himself; or try To make it—as the lucky fellow mightA close monopoly by “patent right!"

Yes—bless the man who first invented sleep

(I really can't avoid the iteration); But blast the man with curses loud and deep,

Whate'er the rascal's name, or age, or station, Who first invented, and went round advising, That artificial cut-off-Early Rising!

“Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed,"

Observes some solemn sentimental owl Maxims like these are very cheaply said ;

But, ere you make yourself a fool or fowl, Pray just inquire about their rise-and fall, And whether larks have any beds at all !

The “ time for honest folks to be abed,"

Is in the morning, if I reason right;
And he, who cannot keep his precious head

Upon his pillow till it's fairly light,
And so enjoy his forty morning-winks,
Is up-to knavery; or else—he drinks !

Thomson, who sung about the “Seasons,” said,

It was a glorious thing to rise in season;
But then he said it-lying-in his bed

At ten o'clock A. M.—the very reason
He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is,
His preaching wasn't sanctioned by his practice.

'Tis, doubtless, well to be sometimes awake

Awake to duty, and awake to truthBut when, alas! a nice review we take

Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth, The hours, that leave the slightest cause to weep, Are those we passed in childhood, or—asleep !

'Tis beautiful to leave the world a while

For the soft visions of the gentle night;
And free, at last, from mortal care or guile,

To live, as only in the angels' sight,
In sleep's sweet realm so cosily shut in,
Where, at the worst, we only dream of sin !

So, let us sleep, and give the maker praise ;

I like the lad who, when his father thought To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase

Of vagrant worm by early songster caught, Cried, "Served him right !--it's not at all surprisingThe worm was punished, sir, for early rising !"


THE staunch old ship “Good Cheer" often sat, and, leaning over, watched

lies at her wharf. She has come in the play of the phosphorescent water of from a long and tedious voyage, during the tropics. There is the quarter-deck which she has met with unusual buffet- hand-rail, scratched from one end to the ings, and she now seems resting from other with tallies of unnumbered

games toil and danger, and recruiting her en- of cribbage. And there, up aloft, is the ergies for another adventurous tour of mizzen-top, where I so often sat, and the world. As some old gentleman, read, or played, or mused, or watched when wearied with his long tramp the horizon, in the vain hope of being through crooked, crowded, and dusty the first to signalize myself by discoverstreets, rejoices to reach his home, and ing a strange sail. And now, moved by there, in order to enjoy his leisure to a passing whim, I leap over the quarthe utmost, unbuttons his coat and vest, ter-rail, cling to the shrouds, and begin stretches out his legs, and rests his ach- to ascend. It is harder work than it ing head against the wall, so does it used to be. Either I have grown more seem to me that the ship “Good Cheer” portly and less elastic in my limbs, or has determined to make the most of a else it is the fault of my long-skirted few short weeks of inactivity, and has coat and high-heeled boots, which, inthereto placed herself in negligent atti- deed, are not well adapted for climbing. tude and attire: stripping off her sails, But I resolutely persevere, rise from folding up her bowsprit and studding- ratlin to ratlin, swing myself clumsail booms, loosening her rigging, open- sily over, and at length seat myself ing her hatches, as though for breath, once more upon the mizzen-top as of and throwing out upon the wharf the old, with my right hand grasping the heavy cargo which for months has held shrouds, and my feet hanging over the her head pressed down into the waves. edge.

It is a pleasant sight to see the old ship again, even under the negligent air of easy contentment. She is far from Would


like to know, Tom, what being in trim order, to be sure; nor I thought of when seated up there? I does she appear to the same advantage thought, at first, of you, and how that it as when, once upon a time, I was wont might have been a good thing for you to watch the spray fly to either side, as if you could have been there with me. she dipped into the brine, or, leaning I fancied that, as we recalled the past, against the bulwarks, gazed upon the some bright spot might have glowed in graceful swell of the distended sails, en- your encrusted heart, and made you, at joying, all the while, the pleasant roll- least for a little while, something like ing motion.

She lies now almost as the man you were when we two sailed lifeless as the dingy warehouses which together; for I do not believe that you line the shore. She floats in a pool of are yet entirely lost, Tom. It is true unhealthy-colored water, in which the that

you have changed—that you have sport of dolphins and albicores is become that idol of the world, a practiusurped by the rotation of a wretched cal, unimaginative, business man-that circle of cocoanut-husks, chips, and your delight is now in dingy countinghalf-decayed lemon-rinds. Men, in mis- houses and mouldy ledgers, and that erable little punts, bump up against her your conversation is always upon the sides, and she has no power to resent price of stocks and corner-lots. But I bethe familiarity. Hideous steam-tugs lieve that there may yet be a tender spot fly past, and snort defiance; but she is in your soul-a relic of your other life; helpless as to reply. And, if the truth and that there are glimpses of the outer must be told, her deck is very dirty. world which may yet have power to reBut, even in the midst of such discour- call you to yourself, if properly preaging influences, I can recognize here sented to you. Hard and unromantic and there a trait to awaken my old as your heart has been growing for the fondness, and fill me with pleasant as- last ten years, I do not believe, Tom, sociations of the past. Here, lashed that you could have stood upon the behind the wheel, is the old double-cask mizzen-top with me, and have heard me life-preserver, upon which I have so talk to you of past adventures, and have

looked with me down upon the deck Nevesink, with a few white dots at which once so pleasantly rolled beneath their feet, where cottages stood, and us, and not have thought of something two white lines above, for light-house besides the number of chests of tea and landmarks. And, as we gazed, the sun barrels of flour our good ship could touched the mountain brows, a flood of carry.

brightness streamed up from the west Well, you were not there, Tom, and for a few brief moments, and then sank so I will tell you what I recalled. You into dim twilight; the swift-faced night may not read this—you probably will came on and shut out the sight of our not. I believe that of late your only native shores, save where the glimmer reading has been the price-currents, and of light-houses began to mark their pointerest-tables, and that you affect to sition, and the blue of the sea changed despise all lighter influences. But it to blackness, while the waves seemed to may happen, by some strange chance, leap and hiss more madly, and with a that you are at some time placed where more sullen moan than before. There you must necessarily see these pages we stood-sad but excited-with a tim-in a car or stage, for instance where orous instant of dread throbbing in our you can get no stock-lists, can find no hearts, and an exulting gleam of courcommercial friends to talk with, and so age leaping to our eyes—with eyelids must either listen to me, or be idle. And moistened with regret at the fading if that time does come, Tom, remember away of that land which we might never that I write this for you, with pity for see again, and a secret joy swelling the your present fallen state, and a feeble soul at the thought of the wild and darhope that the only remaining tender ing life of excitement which our hopes spot in your heart may glow once more had so lavishly spread out before us. with something of its old native fire, And so the night closed in above us. and burn off the hard crust with which Tom, I am afraid that if we once the world will soon smother every spark again stood thus together, and saw of pleasant reminiscence forever. spread out before us the same rich

And I thought, first, of the time when glories of wave, and .shore, and sky, the brave little ship“Good Cheer” cast you would only complain of the cold, off from the shore and carried us out draw

your cloak more tightly about t you, upon the ocean, which, until that day, and go below. we had never seen. Shall I recall that And now recall a certain tropical picture, Tom?

We stood together at night, that even you long remembered. the stern. Around us, and, like our- The air was warm, the waves light, and selves, gazing towards our rapidly-dis- the wind feeble ; and our good ship was appearing home, were a number who slowly forging ahead, with a gentle, were to be our companions for many rocking, lullaby motion. From deck to a. month-some friends from our na- truck she was one pile of canvas, nartive place—a German, with long, red rowing gradually to the light sky-sail, beard, flat cap, and hooded traveling- which, with every swell, described its cloak -a Frenchman, short and with- little arch upon the heavens; while, at ered—a Scotchman, from the very the sides, the studding-sails projected bosom of the Tweed—and many others. far out, until, as a heavier roll than The ship, with her broad sails set square,

usual now and then swept along, they gayly broke her way through the white- dipped their corners carefully in the crested waves, which hissed madly water. Behind us, the vessel left a trail against her sides, and then fell behind, of fire, as she ploughed up the phosbaffled and frowning. At our right, far phorescent sea; and, in the distance, off, was a speck-our pilot-boat, already the rugged crags of the little isle Ferin search of another prize. At our left, nando de Noronha darkly broke the line a long, low steamer trailed her wreath of the horizon, and added to the enof smoke through the air. In advance, chantment of the scene. And, above and rapidly drawing near, was an in- all, the full moon rode the heavens, silward-bound bark, toilsomely beating vering the waves, gleaming upon the towards the land, and rolling up and light sails, brightening up the freshlydown in the yeasty sea-trough, until we scraped deck, and even, here and there, could even see the yellow planking of tinging with a mellow glow some juther deck. Behind, and slowly sinking ting peak of the old distant isle. Člad below the horizon, were the heights of in light garments, we sat upon the


spanker-boom, and bracing our backs drew nearer, it changed from blue to against its tightly-stretched sail, yielded brown, until palm-trees could be disourselves fully up to the romance of the tinguished girting the rounded mounhour. A group of passengers sat near tains, and villas nestling at their feet, us—among them the German and the and forts and shipping appeared, and, Frenchman. Three or four had music- at last, as we passed the wondrous al instruments—a flute, a guitar, and Sugar Loaf, we saw the city itself, that favorite of the seas, an accordion; crouching down amid the hills. And while there were others who rejoiced in

then think of that loveliest, most enrapwell-tuned voices. The group essayed turing scene of all—a picture which I a lively negro melody; but the strain, have often in my dreams seen sincethough sweet, did not, somehow, suc- when at night our anchor was dropped ceed, for the quickness of the air was in the bay, and we lay before the town. hardly in symphony with the more lei- There was no moon, and by the feeble surely dreaming of our souls. But glimmer of the stars we could but faintly suddenly from the accordion came the see the line of mountain-tops against first few plaintive notes of the German the sky. Two miles off was the city, Hymn. The player merely rattled a lit up as if for a festival.' Each side, few of the keys, as a forlorn experi- along the shore, were batteries, marked ment; but the effect was electric : at by three rows of eighteen, twenty, and once it was felt that a chord was twenty-two lights, set regularly within touched in every heart-at once all their port-holes. In advance of us lay voices and instruments joined in, and a frigate ; upon each side of us were the grand old tune swelled grander and barks, adventurously bound, like ourlouder, stretching over the unmeasured selves. The soft dip of oars was here waters in holy concord, and rising in and there heard, and the phosphoresreverential harmony to the heavens, cent sea was bright with the trails of while the old ship herself seemed to unnumbered fish, sporting under our catch the pirit of the thing, and to

We were all on deck-for who time her gentle rocking in unison. That could stay below? An awning had old tune, written to be sung through the

been stretched across to shield us from echoing arches of some time-honored the dew ; lanterns had been hung about cathedral, never yet was pealed forth the rigging, and we broke forth into with more heart-felt fervor than there, in song after song, the chorus of each of that waste of waters-God's own cathe- which was gayly taken up by ship after dral ; and, as the last strains died softly ship, until the whole harbor rang with away over the deep, there was moisture the melancholy complainings of “ Lucy in every eye, for, somehow, it led our Neal” and “ Mary Blane,” while the thoughts to the home we had left be- German attempted to roll forth a native

ode, but was silenced by the obstrepTom, I am afraid that now the chink erous laughter of us others, who could of gold and the rattle of crisp bank- not understand the language. And notes would bring more music to your suddenly our noise was hushed; for, ears than a seraph's song.

from our frigate, the band burst forth And recall that day before we en- with our national anthem. We had all tered Rio, and how we stood upon the heard and liked it at home, but it never quarter-deck and gazed upon the beet- sounded half as grandly as then, when ling crags of Cape Frio, worn and rug- listened to in a foreign country. And ged, and scarcely less distorted than as the last strains died away over the the surf which splashed thirty feet high water, there came a gentle tink-tinkle at the base! And how we sat

the here and there, echoed from one ship's mizzen-top in the evening, as, in sight bell to another, in every variety of tone, of the hospitable port, we forged slowly but all invested with the same musical up and down the coast, guided by the charm. It was the striking of eight light-house and the Southern Cross, and bells; and as I recalled this picture, awaiting the hour when, with the break Tom, upon the mizzen-top, I sat for of morn, would come the breeze which many minutes with closed eyes, and would waft us safely in. And how, mused upon it. when the morning-breeze had come, we Do you remember, Tom, how, that pressed the quarter-rail and joyfully night, we conjured up a scheme to leave watched the line of shore, as, while we our good old ship, and, in reckless ad


hind us.

venturing, strike across that unexplored which wheeled, screaming, to and fro in country, to meet her again at her Paci- our track. fic port? We did not attempt it, to be That gale passed over before long, sure; for our hastily-formed resolution Tom, and the sunshine again appeared. soon died away, under the pleasant and When will your corroding heart feel a luxuriant attractions of the city life; little of its former sunshine ? and it is as well that we forbore, since Do you remember one day that we we would probably have never reached passed in Valparaiso ? Not in the city the other coast alive. But does it anger itself, however. We had wandered a you, Tom, to think that there was a mile or two off, on the northern side of time when you did not count the cost the bay, and the little white town had of everything ?

become indistinguishably confused in That was a wilder but not unpleasant the distance. We could only detect, at scene, when we passed through the the foot of the mountain, the long cusStraits of le Maire. We were muffled tom-house, the plaza, the cathedral, a to the ears in shaggy coats, with but- church or two, and, further up the hill, tons like plates; for it was very cold. the round-topped cemetery chapel. The The sun described a very low arch in rest had become blended into a stragthe heavens, far to the north, and gilded gling, undefined line, trailing, like a serthe waves, without deigning to shed any pent, along the water's edge. In front genial warmth upon them.

The sea

of us was the bay, with a few hundred was rough, and the vessel drove so un- vessels at anchor, at suitable distances, easily before the wind, that we were with their sails hanging loose, and their obliged to grasp the quarter-rail to national bunting now and then lazily maintain our footing. Upon one side puffing out from the gaffs, and then, as rose the coast of Terra del Fuego, a the passing breeze died away, słowly rounded mass of mountain-land, while, sinking back into a loose roll. There upon the other side, was Staten Land, a was an English frigate at one side, and pile of giant snow-capped pinnacles and she, alone, manifested life; for it was crags, like a crystallized, many-steepled Coronation Day, and her lines were city. The German stood, with one hand hung with flags, from truck to bowsprit, upon the rail, trying to copy the outlines while her ports were pealing forth a of the scenery; but, as the ship pro- broadside for a national salute. All gressed, new crags came into view, and other vessels were lifelessly basking in old ones assumed other positions, and the hot sun, which poured down its hot continually defeated his efforts, until a rays until the air was scarcely a degree gust of wind carried off his paper, and, less than oppressive. We were not as he loosened his hand from the rail to warm, however; for, in our walk, we tear his beard, he lost his balance, and had chanced upon a little cottage by the rolled upon the deck, uttering some bay-not comfortably built, perhaps, wonderful, jaw-breaking Dutch oaths. for it was of sun-dried brick, which So with the musical passenger, who had gaped open in various places, but, upon come, upon deck to breathe defiance the whole, rendered wonderfully picthrough his cornopean, and who was turesque, by thick vines, which trailed dashed from one side to the other, to over the roof, and formed an arbor in the imminent danger of his instrument. front, and were loaded down with rich, And while we shouted applause, the purple clusters. We sat in the shade gathering mists rolled down the broken of this arbor and ate our grapes, while, sides of Staten Land-an arch of clouds now and then, down a sloping road begathered towards the south, forming a tween us and the bay, came trains of vast semicircle of brightness, streaked mules with tinkling bells upon their with unearthly radiations—the sea and necks. And while we sat and eat, the the wind rose higher together in a devil's daughter of the establishment appeared chorus-the good ship labored more un

before us. She was a native Spanish easily—the clouds spread out apace, beauty_brown as a nut-well formedand descended, filling the air with drift- with beautifully-shaped bare feet, which ing snow—the sun was blotted out-the her short dress could not hide-and reland extinguished; and so we drove on joicing in a bright black eye, and pearly into the jaws of the great Southern teeth, and long, curling hair, which ocean, with no other company than the reached beyond her waist. She bore a white albatrosses and cape-pigeons. guitar, and, taking her place opposite

« PoprzedniaDalej »