Imágenes de páginas

forbore. But it's a glorious thing to reflect that we have an army at our disposal in this country, and a blessed reflection, that should we lose any old clothing in the wilderness, we can get Mr. Crawford to get that branch of the service to pick it up.

Tired at last of monotony, even in beautiful Sonoma, I packed up my carpet bag, and taking the two-mule stage, passed through pretty little “ Napa" again, and found myself, one evening, once more at Benicia. It had increased somewhat since I had left it. I observed several new clothes poles had been erected, and noticed a hand cart at the corner of a street, that I had never seen before. But I had little time for observation, for the “New World" came puffing up to the hulks as I arrived, and I hastily stepped on board. Here I met my ancient crony, and distinguished friend Le Baron Vieux, who was on his way from Sacramento to the metropolis. The Baron is a good fellow and a funny man. You have frequently laughed over his drolleries in the "True Delta,” and in his usually unimpeachably “good style,” he showed me about the boat, introduced me to the captain, pointed out the “ model artists” who were on board, and finally capped the climax of his polite attention by requesting me to take a drink. I didn't refuse, particularly—and we descended to the bar. And “what,” said the Baron with a pleasant and hospitable smile, “what, my dear fellow, will you drink?" I chose Bine and Witters,--the Baron himself drinking Bin and Gitters. We hob-a-nobbed, tossed off our

glasses, without winking, and, for an instant gazed at each other in gasping, unspeakable astonishment. “Turpentine and aqua fortis !” shuddered I. “ Friend !” said the Baron, in an awful voice, to the bar-keeper, " that drink is fifty cents; but I will with pleasure give you a dollar to tell us what it was we drank.” “We call it,” replied that imperturbable man, “Sherry Wine, but I don't know as I ever saw day one drink it before." Quoth the Baron, who by this time had partially recovered his circulation and the consequent flow of his ideas : " I think, my friend, you'll never see it drank before or behind, hereafter.” The New World is an excellent and, for California, an elegant boat. Her Captain (who don't know Wakeman ?) is a pleasant gentleman. Her accommodations are unequalled—but, and I say this expressly for the benefit of my brethren of the “ Dumfudgin Club,” never call for “wine and bitters” at her bar. Ascending to the cabin on the upper deck, I had the satisfaction of a formal presentation to Dr. Collyer and his interesting family. Sober, high-toned, moral and well-conducted citizens may sneer if they please; rowdies may visit, and with no other than the prurient ideas arising from their own obscene imaginations, may indorse the same opinions more forcibly by loud ejaculations and vulgar remarks; but I pretend to say that no right-minded man, with any thing like the commencement of a taste for the beautiful and artistic, can attend one of these “ Model Artist” exhibitions without feeling astonished, gratified, and, if an enthusiast, delighted. As our gallant boat, dashing the spray from her bow, bore us safely and rapidly onward through the lovely bay of San ،،

Pablo, the moon tipping with its silvery rays each curling wave around us, and shedding a flood of yellow light upon our upper deck, “I walked with Sappho." And “oh, beautiful being," said I, somewhat excited by the inspiring nature of the scene, and possibly, the least thought, by the turpentine I had imbibed, “ do you never feel, when in the pride of your matchless charms you stand before us, the living, breathing representation of the lovely, poetic, and ill-fated Sappho; do you never feel an inspiration of the moment, and, entering into the character, imagine yourself in mind, as in form, her beauteous illustration ? " “Well-yes," said she, with the slightest possible indication of a yawn, "I don't know but I do, but it's dreadful tearing on the legs!

Hem! a steamer's motion always made me feel unpleasantly, and the waves of San Pablo Bay ran high that evening. The Baron and I took more turpentine immediately. We landed in your metropolis shortly after, and succeeding in obtaining a man to carry my valise a couple of squares, for which service, being late, he charged me but thirtytwo dollars, I repaired to, and registered my name at, the St. Francis Hotel, which being deciphered with an almost imperceptible grin by my own and every other traveller's agreeable and gentlemanly friend, Campbell, I received the key of No. 12, and incontinently retired to rest. What I have seen in San Francisco I reserve for another occasion. I leave for San Diego this evening, from which place, I will take an early opportunity of addressing you. I regret that I cannot remain to be a participant in the coming celebration, but my

cousin Skewball, a resident of the city, who writes with a keen if not a “caustic pen," has promised to furnish you an elaborate account of the affair, which, if you print, I trust you will send me. Write me by the post orifice. Au reservoir.



" Facilis decensus Averni," which may be liberally, not literally translated, it is easy to go to San Francisco. Ames has gone; departed in the “Goliah.” During his absence, which I trust will not exceed two weeks, I am to remain in charge of the 'Herald,' the literary part thereof-I would beg to be understood—the responsible portion of the editoral duties falling upon my friend Johnny, who has, in the kindest manner, undertaken “the fighting department,” and to whom I hereby refer any pugnacious or bellicose individual who may take offence at the tone of any of my leaders. The public at large, therefore, will understand that I stand upon “ Josh

* [On the

of 33, the Editor of the San Diego Herald, a democratic organ, committed his paper to the hands of the writer of these Sketches to be published as usual, weekly, during the Editor's temporary absence in San Francisco. On his return, shortly after the fall election, he found the Herald still in regular order of publication, but owing to his having neglected to charge his proxy with the particular keeping of his political principles, or some other cause, the Herald, which had been an uncompromising ally of the Democracy, was now no less vehement and active on the other side.

« AnteriorContinuar »