« AnteriorContinuar »
dhere I had no more to do vid books. No! no! I put my genius anodher way—and I haf made ten tousand pound a year. Is not dhat ghenius, my dear friend ?-But vat is money ?-1 dhink the poorest man alive my equal. Yes, my dear friend! my little fortune is pleasant to my generous heart, because I can do good—no man with so little a fortune ever did so much generosity—no person—no man person, no woman person ever denies it. But we are all Got's children.
Here the Hanoverian interrupted him, and the other Dane, the Swede, and the Prussian joined us, together with a young Eng. lishman who spoke the German fluently, and interpreted to me many of the Prussian's jokes. The Prussian was a travelling merchant, turned of threescore, a hale man, tall, strong, and stout, full of stories, gesticulations, and buffoonery, with the soul as well as the look of the mountebank, who, while he is making you laugh, picks your pocket. Amid all his droll looks and droll gestures, there remained one look untouched by laughter; and that one look was the true face, the others were but its mask. The Hanoverian was a pale, fat, bloated young man, whose father had made a large fortune in London, as an army-contrac. tor. He seemed to emulate the manners of young Englishmen of fortune. He was a good-natured fellow, not without information or literature; but a most egregious coxcomb. He had been in the habit of attending the House of Commons, and had once spoken, as he informed me, with great applause in a debating society. For this he appeared to have qualified himself with laudable industry; for he was perfect in Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary, and with an accent, which forcibly reminded me of the Scotchman in Roderic Random, who professed to teach the English pronunciation, he was constantly deferring to my superior judgment, whether or no I had pronounced this or that word with propriety, or “the true delicacy.” When he spoke, though it were only half a dozen sentences, he always rose; for which I could detect no other motive, than his partiality to that elegant phrase so liberally introduced in the orations of our British legislators, “While I am on my legs.” The Swede, whom, for reasons that will soon appear, I shall distinguish by the name of . Nobility, was a strong-featured, scurvy-faced man, his complex.
ion resembling in color, a red hot poker beginning to cool. He appeared miserably dependent on the Dane; but was, however, incomparably the best informed and most rational of the party. Indeed his manners and conversation discovered him to be both a man of the world and a gentleman. The Jew was in the hold: the French gentleman was lying on the deck so ill, that I could observe nothing concerning him, except the affectionate attentions of his servant to him. The poor fellow was very sick himself, and every now and then ran to the side of the vessel, still keeping his eye on his master, but returned in a moment and seated himself again by him, now supporting his head, now wiping his forehead, and talking to him all the while in the most soothing tones. There had been a matrimonial squabble of a very ludicrous kind in the cabin, between the little German tailor and his little wife. He had secured two beds, one for himself and one for her. This had struck the little woman as a very cruel action ; she insisted upon their having but one, and assured the mate in the most pite. ous tones, that she was his lawful wife. The mate and the cabin boy decided in her favor, abused the little man for his want of tenderness with much humor, and hoisted him into the same compartment with his sea-sick wife. This quarrel was interesting to me, as it procured me a bed, which I otherwise should not have had.
In the evening, at seven o'clock, the sea rolled higher, and the Dane, by means of the greater agitation, eliminated enough of what he had been swallowing to make room for a great deal
His favorite potation was sugar and brandy, i. e. a very little warm water with a large quantity of brandy, sugar, and nutmeg His servant boy, a black-eyed Mulatto, had a good. natured round face, exactly the color of the skin of the walnutkernel. The Dane and I were again seated, tête-à-tête, in the ship’s boat. The conversation, which was now indeed rather an oration than a dialogue, became extravagant beyond all that I ever heard. He told me that he had made a large fortune in the island of Santa Cruz, and was now returning to Denmark to enjoy it.
He expatiated on the style in which he meant to live, and the great undertakings which he proposed to himself to commence, till, the brandy aiding his vanity, and his vanity and gar
rulity aiding the brandy, he talked like a madman—entieated me to accompany him to Denmark—there I should see his influ. ence with the government, and he would introduce me to the king, &c., &c. Thus he went on dreaming aloud, and then passing with a very lyrical transition to the subject of general politics, he declaimed, like a member of the Corresponding Society, about (not concerning) the Rights of Man, and assured me that, notwithstanding his fortune, he thought the poorest man alive his equal. “All are equal, my dear friend ! all are equall Ve are all Got's children. The poorest man haf the same rights with me. Jack! Jack! some more sugar and brandy. Dhere is that fellow now ! He is a Mulatto—but he is my equal.—That's right, Jack! (taking the sugar and brandy.) Flere you, Sir! shake hands with dhis gentleman! Shake hands with me, you dog! Dhere, dhere !We are all equal, my dear ‘riend! -Do I not speak like Socrates, and Plato, and Catohey were all philosophers, my dear philosophe ! all very great en Sand so was Homer and Virgil—but they were poets. i’es, yes! I know all about it !—But what can anybody say nore than this? We are all equal, all Got’s children. I haf en thousand a year, but I am no more dhan de meanest man alive. I haf no pride ; and yet, my dear friend ! I can say do! and it is done. Ha! ha! ha! my dear friend! Now dhere is dhat gentleman (pointing to Nobility) he is a Swedish baronyou shall see.
Ho! (calling to the Swede) get me, will you, a bottle of wine from the cabin. Swede.—Here, Jack !
and get your master a bottle of wine from the cabin. Dane. No, no, no! do you go now-you go yourself—you go now ! Swede. Hah! -Dane.
Go, I pray you. And the Swede went!!
After this the Dane commenced an harangue on religion, and mistaking me for un philosophe in the continental sense of the word, he talked of Deity in a declamatory style, very much re. sembling the devotional rants of that rude blunderer, Mr. Thomas Paine, in his Age of Reasoning, and whispered in my ear, what damned hypocrism all Jesus Christ's business was. that few men have less reason to charge themselves with indulg. ing in persiflage than myself. I should hate it, if it were only
I dare aver,
that it is a Frenchman's vice, and feel a pride in avoiding it, be. cause our own language is too honest to have a word to express it by. But in this instance the temptation had been too powerful, and I have placed it on the list of my offences. Pericles answered one of his dearest friends, who had solicited him on a case of life and death, to take an equivocal oath for his preserva. tion : Debeo amicis opitulari, sed usque ad deos. Friendship herself must place her last and boldest step on this side the altar. What Pericles would not do to save a friend's life, you may be assured I would not hazard merely to mill the chocolate-pot of a drunken fool's vanity till it frothed over. Assuming a serions look, I professed myself a believer, and sunk at once an hundred fathoms in his good graces. He retired to his cabin, and I wrapped myself up in my great coat, and looked at the water. A beautiful white cloud of foam at momently intervals coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and little stars of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it: and every now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam darted off from the vessel's side, each with its own small constellation, over the sea, and scoured out of sight like a Tartar troop over a wil. derness.
It was cold, the cabin was at open war with my olfactories, and I found reason to rejoice in my great coat, a weighty, highcaped, respectable rug, the collar of which turned over, and played the part of a night-cap very passably. In looking up at two or three bright stars, which oscillated with the motion of the sails, I fell asleep, but was awakened at one o'clock, Monday morning, by a shower of rain. I found myself compelled to go down into the cabin, where I slept very soundly, and awoke with a very good appetite at breakfast time, my nostrils, the most placable of all the senses, reconciled to, or indeed insensible of the mephites. Monday, Sept. 17th, I had a long conversation with the Swede,
, who spoke with the most poignant contempt of the Dane, whom he described as a fool, purse-mad; but he confirmed the boasts
· Translation. It behoves me to side with my friends, but only as far as the gods.
of the Dane respecting the largeness of his fortune, which he had acquired in the first instance as an advocate, and afterwards as a planter. From the Dane and from himself I collected that he was indeed a Swedish nobleman, who had squandered a fortune, i hat was never very large, and had made over his property to the Dane, on whom he was now utterly dependent. He seemed to suffer very little pain from the Dane's insolence. He was in a high degree humane and attentive to the English lady, who suffered most fearfully, and for whom he performed many little offices with a tenderness and delicacy which seemed to prove real goodness of heart. Indeed his general manners and conversation were not only pleasing, but even interesting; and I struggled to believe his insensibility respecting the Dane philosophical fortitude. For though the Dane was now quite sober, his character oozed out of him at every pore.
And after dinner, when he was again flushed with wine, every quarter of an hour or perhaps oftener, he would shout out to the Swede, “Ho! Nobility, go-do such a thing! Mr. Nobility !--tell the gentlemen such a story, and so forth ;” with an insolence which must have excited disgust and detestation, if his vulgar rants on the sacred rights of equality, joined to his wild havoc of general grammar, no less than of the English language, had not rendered it so irresistibly laughable.
At four o'clock I observed a wild duck swimming on the waves, a single solitary wild duck. It is not easy to conceive, how interesting a thing it looked in that round objectless desert of waters. I had associated such a feeling of immensity with the ocean, that I felt exceedingly disappointed, when I was out of sight of all land, at the narrowness and nearness as it were of the circle of the horizon. So little are images capable of satisfying, the obscure feelings connected with words. In the evening the sails were lowered, lest we should run foul of the land, which can be seen only at a small distance. And at four o'clock, on Tuesday morning, I was awakened by the cry of “land ! land !'' It was an ugly island rock at a distance on our left, called Hei. ligeland, well known to many passengers from Yarmouth to Hamburg, who have been obliged by stormy weather to pass weeks and weeks in weary captivity on it, stripped of all their