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what were my feelings when I stood on the poop of the ship, as her anchor was weighed, to the merry song of “ Homeward bound, boys." Reader, if you have not experienced this delightful sensation, which causes the heart to swell almost to suffocation, you probably recollect the joy of breaking up for the Christmas holidays; and, if so, again I need not tell you the delights of " Homeward Bound !”
The anchor was soon up, and the vessel glided among the shipping down to the first bar, at a short distance above which she re-anchored, to wait for the pilot, who would come on the following morning. On the next day, shortly before we sailed, down came Jimmy Appo to give us his cumshaws, which consisted of several large boxes of dates, lichis, preserved oranges, and ginger. After he had delivered his presents he shook hands with us and got into his boat, and rowing a few yards away from the ship, stood up and lighted several large bundles of crackers, whose long continued and loud noise testified the sincerity with which he chin-chinned us " bon voyage.”
Two days are spent at Macao, to settle all matters with the merchants to whom the ship was consigned, and early on the third morning we embark; the anchor is hove up, the white sails set, and away we go with a fine rattling breeze, and soon leave Macao, with its cloud-capped mountain behind us. One small island after another comes in sight, and before us is the Ladrone Group.
And now permit me to make one more remark before I take my final leave of China. Though a very great change has been commenced in China by the late war, this change will be long in working, and not without further struggles on her part to resist it. It is my opinion, although contrary to that of most people with whom I have conversed, there will be, ere long, another war with this extensive empire. The people do not like us, the emperor does not like us. China is humbled for a time, but she will recover her courage and seek for revenge ; for she knows not her own weakness, nor our strength. Those even who witnessed the destructive progress of the British up the Pearl river-who saw the mandarins compelled to ransom the provincial city by the payment of a large sum of money--still consider themselves invincible. The Chinamen do not know our power. They imagine that we have turned our whole force against them, and that we have nearly exhausted all our resources. The following extract from a manifesto published in 1842, by the inhabitants of the twenty-six districts of Tinghai, will show this: “ Besides, their little country has been already well nigh exhausted by the length of the contest; they have no resources to make up for losses, so that even without exterminating them, they must ere long die off of themselves. Lately there was a ship added to their number, but she is a French ship which the English have invited to assist them, by which we may see that their strength is at a low ebb, and their ability not equal to the task they have undertaken.” When, therefore, the Chinese conceive that they are able to cope with us, they will renew the struggle, and be again conquered.
But the peak of the Great Ladrone Island is a mere speck on the horizon, and the last point of the central sunny and flowery land fades from our view, and I conclude my et ceteras from Hong Kong, Macao, and the Canton river,-fully rewarded if the patient reader, who has condescended to accompany me thus far, has derived from these pages one tithe of the gratification I have experienced in writing them.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY.
BY ELIZA COOK.
Merry words, merry words, ye come bursting around,
Telling all that Affection can say ;
“Many happy returns of the day.”
And the bright eye more swift in its ray,
And drink, “ happy returns of the day.”
He hath little time longer to stay ;
“ Many happy returns of the day."
Though Misfortune is nigh, let the kind words float by,
And something of Hope will spring up,
And some nectar drops yet fill our cup.
Is recorded with eloquent bliss ;
That come round with the soul-pledging kiss.
When our natal-tide passes away,
“ Many happy returns of the day.”
There are moments when memory cruelly brings
The grim spectres of joy back again,
Till we quiver and bleed with the pain,
When our loudly-hailed birthday shall fall,
And that one was the dearest of all.
The dear form it hath wrested away,
“Many happy returns of the day ?”
There are moments when truth and devotion increase,
Till they burn in the crucible breast,
Of our smouldering feeling possessed,
When we welcome returns of the time,
The sweet bells in mortality's chime,
Let the natal-tide come when it may,
“ Many happy returns of the day.”
March.-TOL. LIX. NO. CCLS IS.
THE GENOES E MAS K.
A STORY OF ITALIAN LIFE.
THE VEIL AND THE MEETING.
If the reader had been in Genoa on a certain Sunday evening in the early part of June, 184, he would have found all the world of that beautiful city enjoying the promenade in the lovely gardens of the Acquasola. The spring had been unusually prolonged, the tramontana more bleak than usual, and the delicate inhabitants of the city of palaces had been deprived of their out-of-door amusements; but the Sunday in question showed clearly that the spring had brightened into summer, and old and young joyously resumed their accustomed pleasures. The Acquasola was thronged—a fine military band was sending forth bursts of inspiriting harmony—the leaves of the long avenues of laburnums were waving in the gentle breeze-naval and military officers in abundance were sporting their tasteful uniforms to the admiration of troops of fair girls, whose white muslin head-dresses and capes contrasted gaily with the dark hood of some sombre padre. Crowds of the ol hodlo were seated on chairs around the band, or lining the principal avenues. A few cavaliers were riding round the enclosures, and some half-dozen of carriages were drawn up to allow their fair occupants to enjoy some favourite air, or afford opportunity for a hasty conversation with some favoured gallant. The Teatro Diurno, a little theatre (or rather a very small stage fitted up in the open air, and surrounded by a very large enclosure), was filled by an applauding audience ; the cafés were supplying ices and lemonade to numerous applicants, and all appeared life, animation, and enjoyment.
While this exciting scene was at its height, considerable sensation was caused by the appearance, upon the promenade, of several young men, in a uniform different from and much plainer than those of the Sardinian services. “Chi sono questi ?" (who are they?) was buzzed about by many a fair lip, and it soon became known that they were officers of an English man-of-war, which had anchored that morning within the mole, having been sent by our government to do honour, at some approaching fètes, to a recent marriage in the royal family of Sardinia.
For some little time the English officers walked together, observing the costumes and appearance of the Genoese, but they soon separated; one or two retired with the English consul; others who had been long enough abroad to forget English customs, strolled into the Teatro Diurno, or formed a party for the “ Carlo Felice,” where a new opera was to be performed. The twilight soon darkened into evening, and the gardens became almost deserted. Of the English officers, one only remained, quietly walking up and down a secluded path, which afforded a fine view of the sea, of the vast amphitheatre formed by the
junction of the Alps and the Apennines, and of the beautiful villas picturesquely scattered among the hills, and shining brightly in the rays of the rising moon. He was absorbed in reverie, enjoying the placid beauty of the scene, pondering in a half-dreamy state over former scenes and recollections, and comparing past with present enjoyments—the pleasures of memory with those of imagination and hope.
Strolling along with feelings thus occupied, at a turn in the path he suddenly encountered a lady. Both were arrested for a moment by the unexpected meeting, but after a moment, the Englishman raised his cap, and the lady bowed and passed on, but not before their eyes had met, and those of the lady proved to have a deep lustrous beauty rarely observed.
For the sake of appearances, our countryman walked to the end of the path, but immediately turned, in the hope of seeing the signora again. He had observed that she was closely veiled by her mantilla, and followed by a respectable-looking servant; but on his turning, they were no longer visible. He was greatly disappointed, for the hour, the scene, and his previous train of thought had all been highly favourable to the influence of the softer impressions, and he felt that he had never before encountered such lustrous orbs as those of the fair incognita. But it is time that we should introduce our hero to our fair readers.
Charles Stafford was the son of a gentleman who, by lavish expenditure, had early run through a large estate, and Stafford had been, in consequence, obliged to enter the navy at an age later than is usual in the service, and when his own habits had led him to look forward to a less arduous career. This, while disadvantageous in some respects with regard to promotion, was, on the whole, beneficial, as his education had been prolonged, and he therefore entered the service much better informed than the majority of those of his own age, who had spent some years at sea. He was, at the time of our story, about three-andtwenty, not above the common height, without any remarkable personal advantages, slenderly, but still powerfully formed, and conveying in his air, manner, and conversation, that indescribable tone of refinement, which is seldom, if ever, seen in those who have not habitually enjoyed polished female society. His face, without being what is generally termed “ handsome," commanded interest at once, from the deep intellectual power conveyed in the expansive forehead, and the glance of his deep blue eye. Under a gay, frank, cordial manner, which, with a kindly disposition, made him generally popular on board, he concealed, perhaps unconsciously to himself, a profundity of passionate feeling and romantic aspirations, clouding and tinging the more practical ambition of a man of the world. It was only when he met with one of the other sex whom he felt understood him, that his hidden vein of character appeared.
The high standard of ideal perfection which Stafford had bodied forth in his reveries, had rendered his love hitherto of that lighter kind which suits the sailor. He loved, and he sailed away! Perhaps this did not render him less popular with the gentler sex; he had neither too much intellect to want heart, nor too much heart to want intellect or spirit; and men of this stamp are often preferred to those whose passion renders them the humble slaves of the fair empress, who naturally values more that which appears somewhat difficult of attainment. Continually in search of the creature of his imagination, he had failed to meet with any who excited more than a transient affection, and living with a sort of presentiment that his ideal would be realized in some unusual manner, he was peculiarly susceptible to impressions from unknown fair ones. Thus the single glance of the veiled lady, which in another would have passed scarcely noticed, in him was a source of vague undefinable hopes and fantastic castlebuilding, in which we must leave him for the present.
THE OPERATIEORY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.
The week following the commencement of our story, was passed in Genoa in a round of excitement and preparation. The court arrived from Turin, the king reviewed his ships and troops, held levees, and attended high mass in the cathedral. The governor gave soirées, and the doors of numerous palaces were open to the English officers, who in return gave an entertainment on board their vessel, which was most favourably received by the Genoese. Every day the ship was thronged by natives, curious to examine one of our floating castles, and Stafford, who spoke Italian fluently, spent a good deal of his time in conversation with the more intelligent among their visiters.
One morning he had been paying some little attention to an old count, who invited him to share his box at the opera that evening, which offer Stafford accepted, and after a stiff official dinner at the Government House, found himself at the Teatro Carlo Felice. The opera, which had commenced, was a new one by Ricci, and at the moment when Stafford entered the bos of the count, the prima donna and tenor were in the midst of a duet, which at once enchained his at. tention, and a silent bow was the only salutation exchanged between himself and his host. The theatre, as is the custom throughout Italy, was very badly lighted, the stage being the only illuminated part, so that the boxes were in deep obscurity, --so much so, that Stafford was perfectly unconscious of the presence of a lady in the box, who sat behind the curtain, which was partially drawn, rendering the corner next the stage quite dark.
Between the first and second acts he kept up a lively conversation with the count, on the effects of music on society, on the happiness of individuals, and thereby on the welfare of communities. The second act soon commenced, and the plot became interesting. The daughter of an old noble loved the son of one of her father's dependants; the love was returned; the mutual attachment discovered, and the youth banished the country of the lady's father. He pursues his fortune abroad, is valiant and successful, and returns, loaded with honours, to the land he had left a miserable dependant. The lady had cherished her early attachment, had rejected noble suitors, and had watched the career of the youth with pride and devotion, believing that his deeds were excited by his love for her. The youth probably indulged the