Obrazy na stronie

So now.

hothouse of D. E. Vil, Esqr.; but it brag; others to see the more reputable and wears its unhealthy look with a natural more fatal excitement of stock operations; air, which seems to say that even vegeta some have visions of a seat in the Legisble life in this country is in some myste- lature, mayhap even in Congress; some rious way dependent upon the action of think that they will enter fashionable torpid livers.

life; but hardly one of the haggard, ragged Among the motley fleet of boats, we throng has computed carefully the comnotice some which are evidently not oc fort which a judicious employment of cupied by Spaniards. What country can his little gold heap would insure him. have produced those very queer, uncom But here they come pell-mell. They have fortable looking customers” who fill half worked their way through the compact a-dozen small boats, and who throng that crowd of little boats to the side of our huge barge which slowly approaches us, steamer, which is to take them to New to that degree that it looks like a huge Orleans,—that in which they came being human hive upon the waters. Restless bound for New-York, -and now, with the and eager, they evidently undergo the te restless eagerness of Americans, they are dium of their slow passage with ill-re beginning to throng up the already overstrained impatience. Most of them are loaded passage way, which leads in a tall and spare; but save a few who have gently inclined plain up the vessel's side. evidently caught the yellow hue of every To the elaborate and circumlocutory Casthing around them, not one seems want tilian imprecations of the boatmen, they ing in energy or strength. Lean and reply with a directness and intensity haggard as they are, they could evidently which unmistakably declares their Anglosweep all the Spaniards around them Saxon lineage, and push as directly and from the face of the earth, and find it but intently forward. The struggling throng a moment's pastime. Look at their faces, upon the passage-way impedes their and you will see that they are thinking progress, and straightway, impatient

Yet what scarecrows they are! of the delay, which is not of the least With long beards and longer hair ; un real consequence to them, they begin to kempt, unwashed; with shirts Isabella clamber up the side of the steamer, color (Isabella was the name of a Span rifles and all, as if they were boarding ish queen who vowed to the Virgin that her in earnest; and having reached the she would not change her linen for a upper deck, and gained five minutes whole year, and kept her vow); their which they cannot use, they lean their boots of the same color; their trowsers rusty beards over the side, and take sustained by the attraction of adhesion or comfort in seeing their companions thrust by one very conspicuous suspender, and aside “the damned Spaniards," as they thrust knee deep into their boots; a dingy themselves have done. But let them red sash about each waist; their upper pass: we shall meet others just like them garment of any shape or no shape, sup in Havana ; and just such negroes, too, posing it to exist at all; and hats in speak as, covered only about the loins, their ing of which no one could by any possi- brawny figures reeking with sweat, and bility irritate Moliere's Dr. Pancrace by glistening in the sun, are toiling down the saying that they had “form;" every other passage-way under the weight of enorright hand garnished with a long rifle, mous trunks and boxes, which are borne each one of them looks like the genius of upon their heads, and which would crush famine bound upon a desperate expedi- the arch which protects any but an Afrition for the procurement of needful sup

can brain. plies. Whence come they? They came Into this tumultuous, heterogeneous last from yonder steamer which brought throng we plunge, and gradually descend them from Chagres whither they came to the boats. After a confused five minfrom California. These are the real utes, during which the only idea which “Californians” that you read about. The attains a distinct form in the mind is, that others that you meet sometimes in Broad Spanish boatmen and Californians were way, or see at Christy's or the Opera the chief cause of the dispersion at House, are a spurious article: these are Babel, we discover, among a score of the "only original, and all others are claimants, the boatman who first answered counterfeit” Californians. They are the the hail of our bed-making friend on men who go to the new el dorado from board the steamer, and are soon seated in the banks of the Mississippi. Mighty a most unromantic seeming bark, quite hunters they are; but unlike Nimrod, it like the jolly boat of a Communipaw may reasonably be feared, not always “be sloop, with the green extinguisher of an fore the Lord.” They have made what Italian Opera prompter over the stern. they call “their pile," and are returning, This last contrivance is as needful an apmost of them to scatter or to double it at pendage of an Havana boat as its oars.

Without its shelter your boatman might upon low, cumbrous wheels, quite in the merely row you to the ferry of a famous style of those used in Boston. Upon one old fellow-craftsman of his, whose offices of these our trunks are placed ; and, refew willingly solicit. Our luggage is jecting the offers of half-a-dozen volantes, heaped up around us, and the swarthy we choose to walk to our hotel, eager to oarsman pulls away for the Custom see somewhat of this strange, quaint lookHouse. No Revenue officers boarded us ing place; for the view from the water to examine our trunks; and had they done showed us a city so unlike our notions of so we would have gained nothing, for what we were to see, so oriental in its boats are allowed to leave or to start from aspect, that the most torpid curiosity but two places in Havana. One is the could not fail to be stimulated. Custom-House wharf, the other is much Before we have well got into the street, farther up the harbor.' Arrived at the for- however, our attention is forcibly attractmer, our luggage is borne past two or three ed to a matter which in fact obtruded itother little sentinels, like those set over self upon us before we had set foot on us on shipboard, into a large stone-floored shore. We are led by the nose to conhall, open to the air through arches on sider it; our olfactories compel us to reone side. A solemn and sallow looking mark it. In truth, it may be well questioned gentleman with a pen in his hand, attend- by which sense Havana is first perceived. ed by two solemn and sallow gentlemen I am rather in favor of the prior claim of with pens in their hands, appears and the smell. The place is smelt before it is looks solemnly but very courteously into seen. The odor is peculiar, unlike any our trunks, and seeing that we are not other; penetrating and yet not pungent, smugglers and have no revolvers or bowie unpleasant and yet not very offensive at knives,--for no one is permitted to possess first. Nostrils of naturally acute perceparms in Cuba, without a license to do so, tions which have been cultivated into ex

- he says bueno;" and having also taken quisite powers of discrimination, declare our permits to land from the clerk of the that it is composite in its character ; and hotel who has secured us, he retires, and pretend to discern in it the odors of garwe are free of Havana the court lic, of cigar smoke, and of offal. In supyard are huge trucks, drawn by small port of this analysis, it must be admitted asses or puny horses ; the truck being that three-fourths of the Habaneros eat formed by one or two long heavy beams garlic three times a day, and cook it in

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the open air,-that every body in Havana which is through a lofty gate-way sursmokes all the time, save only when they mounted with the royal arms of Spain, eat and sleep, and that many go to bed surrounded with the ever present inscripwith a cigar in their mouths, and put in tion,“ Siempre feal isla de Cuba.The another before they rise, -and that the tree under which the temporary altar was only scavengers about the place are the said to have been raised by the discoverer, ill-looking turkey-buzzards, half-a-dozen was standing not many years since, but of which may be seen at any time wheel fell in one of the terrible hurricanes which ing sluggishly through the air. But are sometimes enliven the torpor of tropical not these sensitive, analytical people life. The chapel is opened to the public more nice than wise? Is it not better but once a year, and then with great to consider the odor of the place homo solemnity. geneous, and simply say that it smells of Not far from it, and partly hidden by Havana ?

the Intendencia or Treasury, which is In a minute or two, after walking also upon one side of the plaza standing at through what seems to us two narrow, right angles with the Palace and the Chapel, neglected lanes shut in by massive houses is De Soto's Fort, the first military work on each side, we emerge upon the street erected upon the island. It was built by which forms one side of the grand plaza, the discoverer of the Mississippi to protect upon which fronts the Palace of the Cap the few inhabitants of the place against the tain General. It is “grand”only on suffer buccaneers, when it was little more than ance ; for but another minute's walk brings a stopping place for the Spanish on their us to the chapel þuilt upon the spot homeward voyages from Mexico; the where, according to tradition, Columbus shelving shores on one side of its shelfirst heard Mass upon the island, and tered harbor affording them much needwhich is opposite one corner of the plaza. ed facilities to careen their slow sailThis is a very small Grecian building, ing and richly laden barks for the standing at the end of a court-yard about purpose of cleaning their bottoms, coverone hundred feet in depth, the entrance to ed with weeds and barnacles during their

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tedious cruises. The fort is a small, an through a Moorish gateway, opposite the tiquated structure. Its once yellow stones middle of the plaza. are turned green and gray by age, and are This plaza is laid out with some fornow surmounted with an additional story, mality; and is divided with walks diagoitself of no recent date, which is roofed in nally and at right angles. It is filled with to be used as barracks. It is approached gas lamps, which we see line all the streets.

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and but a short distance off is a fanciful style; but before these qualities impinge grotto.

themselves upon the attention, the fact Its embellishments are a little shrub that they are of all the lighter colors of bery, a few palm and cocoa trees, and the rainbow, brings a smile upon newa statue of one of those innumerable ly arrived Anglo-Saxon lips. The preFerdinands, with big noses and little vailing color is light yellow; but many are brains, who have ridden Spain down light green, some a bright blue, some the hill, the bottom of which she has orange color, some of two, and some of nearly reached. The Vice-Royal Pa all four of these tints. The first story lace extends all along one side of this of a house directly opposite the palace square. It is a building of no claims to was, in the summer of 1851, a bright architectural beauty. The upper story, salmon color, while the second was of a which alone is occupied by the Captain delicate Marie Louise blue ; now, the first General, projects far over the lower, and may be apple green, and the second, deep is sustained by pillars, making a broad, orange. These bright colors, reflecting colonnaded covered way in front. The the beams of a tropical sun, dazzle the ground floor is occupied by shops and eye accustomed to the sober tones of offices of various kinds. On each side of Northern architecture, and add another the principal entrance is a guard-room, quiver to the glowing air. We pass slowin which a dozen little soldiers may be ly along the narrow ways, hugging the found at any time; and across the covered wall for the sake of its shade, and wonway, from two pillars to the two side dering when we shall get through the posts of the door-way, two little sentinels lanes and into the streets; and never get are pacing day and night.

farther than the wonder. Havana has no The Intendencia is a large building street worthy of the name; save one, the of two stories, with a dark, heavy stone Calle della Reina, which stretches from arcade in front, and having upon one the Campo Marte, or Military Square, corner the square, balustraded, tower without the walls to the noble Paseo like addition which, when in the harbor, Tacon. The houses are separated by a we saw projecting above so many of the narrow, unpaved alley, which is sometimes larger houses of the city.

garnished with an elevated stone causeNothing strikes a stranger in the ap way or “side-walk," upon which two pearance of Havana more than the color

persons cannot, by the closest contrivance. of the buildings. They are universally stand abreast. Through these narrow massive in structure, and very oriental in ways the rolantes and long trucks dash

at a reckless pace, and turn the short long. Five or six rows of trees run corners in an unexpected and uncomfort through its entire length; between these, ably astonishing manner. In one of these, are carriage ways. Near one end of the which differs from most of the others Paseo is a fountain; about the middle through which we have passed, only in stands a small bronze statue of the babybeing somewhat less dirty, we stop before faced little queen whose name it bears. a huge portal, which is the entrance to These are all its monuments; in which it our hotel.

differs much from the Paseo Tacon, which All the houses are built round a court; is filled with sculptured fountains, statues but many of the finest are of but a sin and pillars. The Tacon theatre, a large gle story and of enormous height. The building of unpretending exterior, is upon drawing-room being always on the street, this Paseo, which also bounds the Campo and in these houses separated from the Marte on one side. The large prison entrance only by a grating, the volante, which we have already seen is at one end which stands always by the door, seems

of it. The Habanero's drive or walk to be in the room ; and in some cases, upon the Paseo, answers to the Englishwhere the grating is wanting, is actually man's in Hyde Park, the Frenchman's in so. The windows of these houses being the Bois de Boulogne, the Berliner's so directly on, and almost in the street, Unter den Linden, the Viennois upon that a passenger could thrust his arm the Prader,—and the American's ?through them to its full length,-it must Where is the pleasure ground, the breathbe remembered that they have no sashes— ing space for rich and poor, to which the they are protected by enormous gratings American goes for an hour's relaxation of thick iron bars, which bow outward. and refreshment ? We laugh at the Were it not for this, so narrow are the Spaniard, and think him slow; so slow ways, and so cumbrous the vehicles, that as to have fallen very far behind the trucks and volantes would be coming in age, because he cannot make railroads, at window as well as at door.

and does not launch clipper-ships, has The street, if it can be called a street, Frenchmen to build his light-houses and most occupied with these strange dwell manage them, chips with axes at bits of ings, is the Paseo Isabella II., of which yellow stone for twenty years, and turns we caught a glimpse when entering the his drawing-room into a carriage house. harbor. The Havanese Paseo is some But might not the haughty sadness of his thing between a pleasure ground and a face break into its grave and courteous street. That of Isabella II. is about four smile with equal reason, as he vainly asks hundred feet wide, and nearly a mile us for our substitute for his Paseo ?

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