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5. “We! indeed,” says some old hand in the business ; “I think
will find it will hold us and a dozen more loads like us.'
Impossible!” say some. - You 'll see,” said the initiated ; and as soon as you get out, you do see, and hear, too, what seems like a general breaking loose from the Tower of Babel, amid a perfect hailstorm of trunks, boxes, valises, carpet-bags, and every describable and indescribable form of what a Westerner calls "plunder.”
6. “ That's my trunk !” barks out a big, round man. “ That's my bandbox !” screams a heart-stricken old lady, in terror for her immaculate Sunday caps.
- Where's my little red box ?” “I had two carpet-bags and a—" "My trunk had a scarle- Halloo! where are you going with that portmanteau ?" “Husband! husband ! do see after the large basket and the little hair trunk - oh! and the baby's little chair !” “Go below - go below, for mercy's sake, my dear; ; I'll see to the baggage.
7. At last, the feminine part of creation, perceiving that, in this instance, they gain nothing by public speaking, are content to be led quietly under hatches, and amusing is the look of dismay which each new-comer gives to the confined quarters that present themselves. Those who were so ignorant of the power of compression as to suppose the boat scarce large enough to contain them and theirs, find, with dismay, a respectable colony of old ladies, babies, mothers, big baskets, and carpet-bags, already established.
8. “Mercy on us !” says one, after surveying the little room, about ten feet long and six high, “ where are we all to sleep to-night?” “0, me! what a sight of children !” says a young lady, in a despairing tone. “ Poh!” says an initiated traveller; “children ! scarce any here; let's see : one — the woman in the corner, two-that child with the bread and butter, three and then there's that other woman with two
– really, it's quite moderate for a canal-boat: however, we can't tell till they have all come.”
9. “All! for mercy's sake, you don't say there are any more coming !” exclaim two or three in a breath ; "they can't come; there is not room!” Notwithstanding the impressive utterance of this sentence, the contrary is immediately demonstrated by the appearance of a very corpulent elderly lady, with three well-grown daughters, who come down looking about them most complacently, entirely regardless of the unchristian looks of the company. What a mercy it is that fat people are always good-natured!
10. After this follows an indiscriminate raining down of all shapes, sizes, sexes, and ages
men, women, children, babies and nurses. The state of feeling becomes perfectly desperate. Darkness gathers on all faces. “We shall be smothered! we shall be crowded to death! we can't stay here!” are heard faintly from one and another; and yet, though the boat grows no wider, the walls no higher, they do live, and do bear it, in spite of repeated protestations to the contrary. Truly, as Sam Slick says, “there's a sight of wear in human natur'."
11. But, meanwhile, the children grow sleepy, and divers interesting little duets and trios arise from one part or another of the cabin. Hush, Johnny! be a good boy,” says a pale, nursing mamma, to a great, bristling, white-headed phenomenon, who is kicking very much at large in her lap.
12. “I won't be a good boy, neither,” responds Johnny, with interesting explicitness; "I want to go to bed, and S0-0-0-0!” and Johnny makes up a mouth as big as a tea-cup, and roars with good courage, and his mamma asks him “if he ever saw pa do so," and tells him that he is “mamma's dear, good little boy, and must not make a noise,” with various observations of the kind, which are so strikingly efficacious in such cases. Meanwhile, the domestic concert in other quarters proceeds with vigor.
Mamma, I'm tired !” bawls a child. " Where 's the baby's night-gown?” calls a nurse. Do take Peter
in your lap, and keep him still.” Pray, get out some biscuits to stop their mouths.” Meanwhile, sundry babies strike in
,” as the music-books have it, and execute various flourishes; the disconsolate mothers sigh, and look as if all was over with them; and the
appear extremely disgusted, and wonder 66 what business women have to be travelling round with babies !”
CHAPTER L XVI.
WIFE, CHILDREN, AND FRIENDS.
1. When the black-lettered list to the gods was presented,
(The list of what fate for each mortal intends,) At the long string of ills a kind goddess relented,
And slipped in three blessings — wife, children, and friends.
2. In vain surly Pluto maintained he was cheated,
For justice divine could not compass its ends ;
For earth becomes heaven with — wife, children, and friends.
3. If the stock of our bliss is in stranger hands vested,
The fund, ill secured, oft in bankruptcy ends;
When drawn on the firm of — wife, children, and friends.
4. Though valor still glows in his life's dying embers,
The death-wounded tar, who his colors defends, Drops a tear of regret as he dying remembers
How blessed was his home with — wife, children, and friends.
5. The soldier, whose deeds live immortal in story,
Whom duty to far distant latitudes sends, With transport would barter old ages of glory
For one happy day with — wife, children, and friends.
6. Though spice-breathing gales on his caravan hover,
Thongh for him Arabia's fragrance ascends,
The bower where he sat with - wife, children, and friends.
7. The day-spring of youth still unclouded by sorrow,
Alone on itself for enjoyment depends ; But drear is the twilight of age, if it borrow
No warmth from the smile of — wife, children, and friends.
8. Let the breath of renown ever freshen and nourish
The laurel which o'er the dead favorite bends ; O’er me wave the willow, and long may it flourish,
Bedewed with the tears of — wife, children, and friends.
9. Let us drink, for my song, growing graver
To subjects too solemn insensibly tends;
The glass which I fill to — wife, children, and friends.
THE YANKEE IN RUSSIA.
1. One day, a lad, apparently about nineteen, presented himself before our ambassador at St. Petersburg. He was a pure specimen of the genus Yankee; with sleeves too short for his bony arms, trowsers half way up to his knees, and hands playing with coppers and ten-penny nails in his pocket. He introduced himself by saying, “I've just come out here to trade, with a few Yankee notions, and I want to get sight of the emperor.”
2. Why do you wish to see him?
“I've brought him a present, all the way from America. . I respect him considerable, and I want to get at him, to give it to him with my own hands.”
3. Mr. Dallas smiled, as he answered, It is such a common thing, my lad, to make crowned heads a present, expecting something handsome in return, that I'm afraid the emperor will consider this only a Yankee trick. What have you brought ?
“ An acorn."
4. An acorn!- what under the sun induced you to bring the Emperor of Russia an acorn ?
Why, just before I sailed, mother and I went on to Washington to see about a pension; and when we were there, we thought we'd just step over to Mount Vernon. I picked up this acorn there ; and I thought to myself I'd bring it to the emperor.
Thinks, says I, he must have heard a considerable deal about our General Washington, and I expect he must admire our institutions. So now you see I've brought it, and I want to get at him.”
5. My lad, it's not an easy matter for a stranger to approach the emperor; and I am afraid he will take no notice of your present. You had better keep it.
“ I tell you I want to have a talk with him. I expect I can tell him a thing or two about America. I guess he'd like mighty well to hear about our rail-roads, and our free schools, and what a big swell our steamers cut. And when he hears how well our people are getting on, may be it will put him up to doing something. The long and the short on't is, I shan't be easy till I get a talk with the emperor; and I should like to see his wife and children. I want to see how such folks bring up a family."
6. Well, sir, since you are so determined upon it, I will do what I for
but you must expect to be disappointed. Though it will be rather an unusual proceeding, I would advise you to call on the vice-chancellor, and state your wishes; he may possibly assist you.
"Well, that 's all I want of you. I will call again, and let you know how I get on.”
7. In two or three days he again appeared, and said, “Well, I've seen the emperor, and had a talk with him. He's a real gentleman, I can tell you. When I gave him the acorn, he said he should set a great store by it; that there was no character in ancient or modern history he admired so much as he did our Washington. He said he'd plant it in