Abbildungen der Seite

ding; something of a wag, too, I suspect from the reply he made to a lady, who asked him, "Thomas, dost not thou regret to kill the poor little innocent lambs?" "Yes, I do, unless they're fat."


Entered the Gulph Stream.

I will now endeavour to give a more condensed portraiture of the every-day economy of human life, on board our packet.

At half-past seven, the steward's hand-bell proclaims that it is time to get up. At half-past eight, a repetition resounds through every hole and corner of the vessel, and we sit down to a breakfast, which like our host, unites all the excellencies of Scotia and of America, without their faults; after an elaborate execution of that meal, each, ad libitum, repairs upon deck, where "reading, writing, and arithmetic," astronomy, navigation, and other memorials of the march of intellect, amuse the passing hour and give time a shove.

At eleven, the steward returns to his tintinnabulary propensities, and those whose inclinations are in unison with want, find spread upon the damask, an

elegant déjeuné à la fourchette, consisting of a multiplicity of meats and of malts; the staple commodity of the meal, nevertheless, being a hot roasted potatoe.

This repast being over and ended, a return upon deck is unanimously voted-some perambulate its ample boundaries-others invoke spirits or cod fish from the vasty deep, whilst the inspiring pages of Shakspere and of Scott, bring home to the business and bosoms of the rest, the sublime, yet simple subtleties, of intuitive genius.

At four, the welcome sound is again heard, and we sit down to a dinner which Heliogabulus himself would have been delighted to honour, engulphed in wines, the product of every climate from China to the Pole, from the Islands in the Archipelago to the confines of Kentucky.

The dinner and the desert being duly discussed, the deck again receives its honoured guests; the chessmen re-appear in active or passive evolution, until lo! music is heard; Terpsichore puts all to the rout, and on "the light fantastic toe" reigns goddess of the


But time and tide wait for no man. The weather is not always propitious-the tempest is sometimes enacted, and Captain Maxwell shines out at once the Prospero and genius of the storm. The innocent Maria dignifies even Ariel, "delicate Ariel; " Paddy becomes Caliban, and Caliban becomes Paddy; a sailor, ad libitum, enacts Trinculo, and while Miss H., with unanimous acclamation, assumes the characteristics of Miranda, the present, the absent one, alas! appears but too plainly depicted on the complexion and countenance of the amiable County Guy.

Nevertheless, in sunshine and in storm, the steward still shakes his elbow; at seven the coffee and the tea smoke upon the board, and the shade of Dr. Johnson himself, revisiting the glimpses of the moon, ever and anon, flits through the cabin, snuffing up the fumes of the fascinating plant, in which his heart and his head equally delighted. (See his reply to Jonas Hanway, where he says) :

"The author confesses himself to be a hardened and shameless tea-drinker, who for upwards of twenty years has diluted his meals with only an infusion of that fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time

to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the morning."

After tea, conversation, cards, chess, are again introduced, calculations are made as to the length of time our voyage will consume, and bets are laid, and lotteries entered into, on the event, and a sovereign each subscribed for and in respect of, that interesting subject. Time flies upon eagle's wings, and little further is enacted in the edible line, except that occasionally you may hear a gentleman invoke the steward to give him a glass of negus, or of grog—

[ocr errors]

weak, you know what I mean;" while the ladies, in tones that add harmony to truth, bespeak each of them a biscuit, Captain M. ever and anon politely insinuating to Miss H. that a drop of the "dare cratur" would be no disagreeable diluant to the "rusky Farina," but she, resembling in nature, as in name, England's greatest queen, resists at once the blandishments of spirits and of sense, and sits

"In maiden meditation, toddy free."

Meanwhile, ten, eleven, twelve, are gathered to the tomb of all the Capulets, and each, ad libitum, be

takes himself to the regions of Morpheus, to dream of the delights of the past day, and of the duties of the next.

[ocr errors]

'And such is life at sea, so gliding on,

It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone."



A month to-day since we left Liverpool.

Writing in the cabin this morning, I heard a cry upon deck "passenger over-board, boat ahoy;" upon repairing thither, I found that a turkey, which the cook had been fattening for a fortnight, and had destined for this day's dinner, had flown over-board, and sat upon the face of the waters, like a pelican in the wilderness, in all the pride of philosophic calmness. The captain, at the earnest entreaty of the cook, had ordered out the long boat, but such a length of time elapsed before it could be lowered, during which the turkey had drifted a long way astern, that the captain, not thinking her worth the while, countermanded the boat. Poor turkey remained in sight a quarter of an hour, casting occasionally a

« ZurückWeiter »