« 上一頁繼續 »
body of mackerel from those we had previously been taking. They were large and lean, and had evidently just come into the Bay, perhaps from their spawning-grounds. However, by dressing them with great care, we managed to make them look pretty well, and those who get hold of them this winter may not notice any peculiarity in their taste, although we did.
Well, we had filled up everythingevery barrel, half-barrel, and tub, and were off for home about four in the afternoon. We hoisted our bunting and lay to, as is customary, that any vessel might run down and speak us, and send word to their owners or others at home. At supper we were congratulating our skipper on his good fortune, a full fare, and not a rope yarn parted, or a dollar's worth of damage done to the vessel during the cruise. As I was standing at the foot of the companionway in the after-cabin, filling my pipe, a shadow obscured the light, and, looking up, I saw, directly over my head, a jibboom moving somewhat rapidly towards the main-mast. I had just time to tumble on deck, when one of the vessels that was bearing down to speak us struck our boat, which was hanging at the stern, smashed in her side, broke the davits, and spilled the oars, oil clothes and various miscellaneous articles that were stowed away in her. Fortunately, the boat was new and very strong, or the damage to our hull might have been serious: as it was, after a few pointed remarks by our skipper, we got under weigh, taking our boat in on deck, and thanking our stars that it was no worse. On Sunday, September 7th, we passed through the Gut of Canso, with the wind S. W. and heavy, allowing us barely to lay our course, close hauled. On Wednesday, we were becalmed, and on Thursday we had a terrible blow from the southwest. We double-reefed our fore and mainsails, and staggered along, the sea running very high, and for six hours our leebow was oftener under than out of the water. About 4, P. M., the wind lulled, and heavy clouds came up from the west. It grew darker and darker, and we furled everything, expecting every moment the squall would burst upon us. Soon the rain began to fall, slowly at first, but, in a short time, it came down in torrents, yet all the time without a breath of wind. In about an
STAGGERING UNDER A SOU' WESTER.
hour, we felt a gentle air from the south, the heavy cloud lifted, the rain ceased, the sun shone brightly out, and, directly before us, every house and steeple tinged with the beauty of its setting rays, lay the city of Gloucester, not more than six miles distant. The breeze was fair and freshening. In a few minutes every sail was set, and before eight o'clock we were lying at our dock, and our cruise was done.
As I stood on the shore, watching her scudding away on her second trip, I could not but feel sad and lonely. had been my home for nearly ten weeks, the happiest of my life. Her crew, rough and boisterous as they often were, I could count among the most sincere and warm-hearted of my friends, and her skipper, from first to last, had treated me like a brother.
As for the personal results of my trip, they were briefly these. I had visited scenes, and places, and people, of which I had scarcely heard before. I had obtained some practical knowledge of the great "Fishery Question;" had gained health and strength, and fifteen pounds of solid flesh, and when I left Gloucester the owners handed me a checque for fifty dollars, as my share of the proceeds of the trip.
Verily, I can ask, as "Procter" did, one lovely morning in the Bay, when the fish were biting famously, and I had just got the "hang" of catching them, "Who wouldn't sell his farm and go a-fishing?"
HE Grand Hotel de New York," on the Lung'Arno, at Florence, attracts many American visitors. It is a very comfortable and pleasant albergo, and although it is quite as " grand" as its neighbor, the "Grande Bretagne." it is somewhat less expensive. The milords go to the Grande Bretagne, and fare sumptuously, I suppose, in a highly respectable manner; but mine host of the "New York" entertains, in addition to his American patrons, a goodly number of English people, among whom, when I was there, were gentlemen and ladies whose acquaintance I remember with pleasure.
I was sitting at the table, in the salle à manger, one morning, examining the concavity of my ultimate egg-shell, and deliberating on the programme of the day's wanderings, when there came in a gentleman and two ladies, who took.
JOHN BULL AT BREAKFAST.
seats at the table directly opposite me. The gentleman was an Englishman, as I saw at a glance. I cannot well describe to you the peculiarities of English dress. Punch has given you some notion of them, and you may imagine this "party" to have been a middleaged gentleman, with mutton-chop whiskers, and a florid countenance, and dressed à l'Anglaise. "Doudney Brothers" probably had the making of his gray suit. Barclay and Perkins" undoubtedly gave the Rubens tint to his complexion, and Prince Albert set him the style for his "stunning" studdin'-sails of whiskers. The two ladies, who sat on either side of-I'll call him Doudney," if I write this out for Putnam, as I've half a mind to!-were alike in only one respect-they, too, were English, sans any doute; but the one was short and stubby, the other was long and limby (Now don't ask me to describe their dress; you know I never can tell whether a woman wears chintz or calico, alpaca or bombazine; they didn't wear silk-of course not, in the morning-I know that much)! and one was plump Mrs. Doudney (he called her "my dear;" that's why I knew it; now don't interrupt me any more!), the other was meagre Miss Caley; if she hadn't been so kind to me, I should have called her scraggy. I learnt her name, and guessed at the kind of life Doudney was leading be
tween them, by the brief conversation to which I was made a listener before I rose from the table. Miss Caley was remarking, in a decided tone of voice, that they would walk to Fiesole that morning, and Mrs. D. was asserting that she positively couldn't do it, while Doudney listened to both of them in silence, but, with a side nudge to his wife, occasionally, as much as to say, stick to it! It's an up-hill walk of a couple of miles, Mrs. D.
They walked, as I learned afterwards.
As I left the hotel, and turned up the Arno, on my way to "The Uffizzi," I saw a baker's donkey coming over the bridge.
He staggered along under the weight of his two panniers, one of which was heaped full of plump little round loaves, the other with long ones (about a yard long, and as large around as my arm; please don't interrupt me again!); and I immediately compared him to Doudney-the two baskets: the two ladies:: donkey: Doudney. Poor donkey! Poor Doudney!
For several mornings we happened to meet at breakfast, and at so early an hour that we were usually alone. Of course, it was not long before a slight acquaintance was made between us. Doudney began it with meteorological and slightly axiomatic remarks-as good as anything to begin with—and, from these thin table-talks, our amity expanded into strolls and smokes along the Arno, after breakfast and dinner. "Miss Caley disliked tobacco," and I must do Doudney the justice to say, that, when off duty, he was a good fellow, had opinions of his own, and expressed them well. One opinion_was, that he was disgusted with Italy, and wished himself back in old England.
“I'll own,” he said once, during the first of our acquaintance, "I'll own that I am not an amateur nor a connoisseur, nor even an admirer of pictures, and they are about all that is worth looking at here. As for scenery, give me Westmoreland; in fact, I'd rather live in London smoke all my days, than to endure this fagging about among dingy, dirty, old pictures, with not a bit of decent beef or mutton for dinner, and these thin wines in the place of good, hearty beer. But my wife was getting rather stout, and Miss Caley was dying, and all that, you know, to see the pictures; so they packed me up, and off we came. I don't know how much longer Mrs. D. will stand it, but for my part, I am heartily tired of all these galleries, and churches, and walks to Fiesole, and walks to San Miniato, and walks to the Cascine, and walks to-I'm sure I don't know where ! She won't ride-Miss Caley, I meanshe was brought up in the north of England, and can walk like a postman. Ah! well, we must submit to the ladies, you know; and there's only Rome to do now for I am bound I won't go to Naples; and then I'm back in Westmoreland, please God!" and my friend wiped off an
imaginary dew of perspiration from his brow.
Not long after this, I had told Doudney something of myself; we exchanged cards, and the next morning he gave me a formal introduction to the ladies, remarking particularly to Miss Caley, that I was an artist. Immediately, the eyes of that lady gave out a sparkle of interest in me. She said that she was pleased to make the acquaintance of any one who was fond of art; that she disliked to remain in the midst of such glories as surrounded us, with no one near her to whom she might express the feelings which crowded in her heart for utterance. 'My good brother-in-law," she added, sotto voce, has very little appreciation of art, and my sister does not share my own enthusiasm; so, as you see, I am entirely alone;" and she sighed. Of course, I expressed commiseration with the lady, and inade some sentimental remark, to the effect, that pleasures were doubled when shared with a sympathetic friend.
During our conversation, which took place while leaving the table, and lingering in the breakfast-room, Mr. and Mrs. Doudney were standing at some distance from us, and I could not help noticing that Doudney was indulging in an animated style of rhetoric, while Mrs. D. was endeavoring to restrain him from overt acts of jubilation. He frequently looked towards me with a beam in both eyes, and chuckled, and "washed his hands with invisible soap in imperceptible water."
The result of the acquaintance, which had thus briefly blossomed into full flower, between Miss Caley and me, was, that we planned an excursion for that morning, to visit the recently discovered fresco-portrait of Dante, in the Bargello. Mrs. D., on learning our intention, expressed her desire to remain in her room that morning, having letters to write; and Mr. D., to his seeming content, was not even asked to accompany us. As soon as the ladies left us- -Miss Caley, to assume her walking attire-Doudney clutched my arm, and exploded upon me with,
"My boy, I am uncommon glad to have made your acquaintance! I value your friendship most heartily, I assure you! You are an artist, and all that, and are fond of hunting up these 'old masters.' I suppose now I'm not blessed with what my sister calls an appro
oiation' of such things, and I confess, that I'm completely knocked up with convoying her around into all the dirty, dim, damp, old places in this blessed town, after paintings and frescos, and the-Lord-knows-what-all! You're just the man for her; just the man, sir! I
MISS CALEY ENTHRONED.
can see that she's hugely taken with you, already. And I don't mind telling you a little factjust a piece of information, you know-is she coming? She's worth about forty thousand pounds, my boy! All in her own name, my boy! and-here she comes!
"Take good care of her, Mr. R. A pleasant morning to you. Addoo!
I had no time then to think of the bait with which Doudney had tickled my nose, for Miss Caley was "under whistle," and was only waiting to take the pilot on board; so with an exchange of signals, with Doudney, whose face glowed with intense satisfaction, we were off.
Did I compare myself to a pilot? I soon discovered that I was rather the little boat towed astern. With a double reef in her skirts, she still carried sail enough to make
about six knots an hour, while I, who am not much of a sailor, was put to it to keep up. Gliding along through the narrow streets, steering dexterously past puddles and priests, dodging the dirt-carts. and soldiers, slipping between astonished couples of citizens, on she went.
with never a word, until we emerged in the clear space of the square of the Grand Duke, at which place I managed, by considerable exertion, to join her, in a state of perspiration and short-windedness. From thence to the Bargello, I managed to keep at her elbow, and we soon arrived at the door of the old prison.
Miss Caley's knowledge of Italian was limited to three words : "andate (go on), "dove" (where), and "quanto" (how much), and as my stock was much more extensive, I did the talking, which procured us admission to the interior. When within the room in which we found the fresco treasure, my friend showed symptoms of delight, as I prepared to make a sketch of the dim profile; she watched my progress with many expressions of interest and pleasure; she admired