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On Sunday morning, September 16, 1798, the Hamburg packe set sail from Yarmouth, and I, for the first time in my life, beheld my native land retiring from me. At the moment of its disappearance--in all the kirks, churches, chapels, and meetinghouses, in which the greater number, I hope, of my countrymen were at that time assembled, I will dare question whether there was one more ardent prayer offered up to heaven than that which I then preferred for my country. "Now, then" (said I to a gentleman who was standing near me), " we are out of our country." "Not yet, not yet!" he replied, and pointed to the sea; “This, too, is a Briton's country." This bon mot give a fillip to my spirits, I rose and looked round on my fellow-passengers, who were all on the deck. We were eighteen in number, videlicet, five Englishmen, an English lady, a French gentleman and his servant, an Hanoverian and his servant, a Prussian, a Swede, two Danes, and a Mulatto boy, a German tailor and his wife (the smallest couple I ever beheld), and a Jew. We were all on the deck; but, in a short time, I observed marks of dismay. The lady retired to the cabin in some confusion, and many of the faces round me assumed a very doleful and frog-colored appearance; and, within an hour, the number of those on deck was lessened by one half. I was giddy, but not sick, and the giddiness soon went away, but left a feverishness and want of appetite, which I attributed, in great measure, to the sava Mephitis of the bilge-water; and it was certainly not decreased by the
exportations from the cabin. However, I was well enough to join the able-bodied passengers, one of whom observed, not inaptly, that Momus might have discovered an easier way to see a man's inside than by placing a window in his breast. He needed only have taken a salt-water trip in a packet-boat.
I am inclined to believe that a packet is far superior to a stage. coach, as a means of making men open out to each other. In the latter, the uniformity of posture disposes to dozing, and the definitiveness of the period at which the company will separate, makes each individual think more of those to whom he is going, than of those with whom he is going. But, at sea, more curiosity is excited, if only on this account, that the pleasant or unpleasant qualities of your companions are of greater importance to you, from the uncertainty how long you may be obliged to house with them. Besides, if you are countrymen, that now begins to form a distinction and a bond of brotherhood; and, if of different countries, there are new incitements of conversation, more to ask and more to communicate. I found that I had interested the Danes in no common degree. I had crept into the boat on the deck and fallen asleep, but was awakened by one of them, about three o'clock in the afternoon, who told me that they had been seeking me in every hole and corner, and insisted that I should join their party and drink with them. He talked English with such fluency, as left me wholly unable to account for the singular and even ludicrous incorrectness with which he spoke it. I went, and found some excellent wines, and a dessert of grapes, with a pine-apple. The Danes had christened me Doctor Teology, and dressed as I was, all in black, with large shoes and black worsted stockings, I might certainly have passed very well for a Methodist missionary. However, I disclaimed my title. What, then, may you be? A man of fortune? No!-A merchant? No!-A merchant's traveller? No! A clerk? No!-un Philosophe, perhaps? It was at that time in my life in which of all possible names and characters I had the greatest disgust to that of " Philosophe." But I was weary of being questioned, and, rather than be nothing, or at the best only the abstract idea of a man, I submitted, by a bow, even to the aspersion implied in the word "un Philosophe."-The Dane then informed me, that all in the
present party were Philosophers likewise. Certes we were not of the Stoic school, for we drank and talked and sung, till we talked and sung all together; and then we rose and danced on the deck a set of dances, which, in one sense of the word at least, were very intelligibly and appropriately entitled reels. The passengers, who lay in the cabin below in all the agonies of seasickness, must have found our bacchanalian merriment
Harsh and of dissonant mood from their complaint.1
I thought so at the time; and (by way, I suppose, of supporting my newly-assumed philosophical character) I thought, too, how closely the greater number of our virtues are connected with the fear of death, and how little sympathy we bestow on pain, where there is no danger.
The two Danes were brothers. The one was a man with a clear white complexion, white hair, and white eyebrows; looked silly, and nothing that he uttered gave the lie to his looks. The other, whom, by way of eminence, I have called the Dane, had likewise white hair, but was much shorter than his brother, with slender limbs, and a very thin face slightly pock-fretten. This man convinced me of the justice of an old remark, that many a faithful portrait in our novels and farces has been rashly censured for an outrageous caricature, or, perhaps, nonentity. I had retired to my station in the boat-he came and seated himself by my side, and appeared not a little tipsy. He commenced the conversation in the most magnific style, and, as a sort of pioneering to his own vanity, he flattered me with such grossness! The parasites of the old comedy were modest in the comparison. His language and accentuation were so exceedingly singular, that I determined, for once in my life, to take notes of a conversation. Here it follows, somewhat abridged, indeed, but in all other respects as accurately as my memory permitted.
THE DANE. Vat imagination! vat language! vat vast sci
' [Milton's Samson Agonistes. I., 661. S. C.]
ence and vat eyes! vat a milk-vite forehead! O my heafen vy, you're a Got!
You do me too much honor, Sir.
THE DANE. O me! if you should dink I is flattering you!— No, no, no! I haf ten tousand a year-yes, ten tousand a year— yes, ten tousand pound a year! Vell-and vhat is dhat? a mere trifle! I 'ouldn't gif my sincere heart for ten times dhe money. Yes, you're a Got! I a mere man! But, my dear friend! dhink of me, as a man! Is, is-I mean ask you now, my dear friend-is I not very eloquent? Is I not speak English very fine?
ANSW. Most admirably! Believe me, Sir! I have seldom heard even a native talk so fluently.
THE DANE. (Squeezing my hand with great vehemence.) My dear friend! vat an affection and fidelity ve have for each odher! But tell me, do tell me,-Is I not, now and den, speak some fault? Is I not in some wrong?
ANSW. Why, Sir! perhaps it might be observed by nice critics in the English language, that you occasionally use the word "Is" instead of "am." In our best companies we gene. rally say I am, and not I is or I'se. Excuse me, Sir! it is a
THE DANE. O!-is, is, am, am, am. Yes, yes I know, I know.
ANSW. I am, thou art, he is, we are, ye are, they are.
THE DANE. Yes, yes-I know, I know—Am, am, am, is dhe præsens, and is is dhe perfectum-yes, yes-and are is dhe plusquam perfectum.
ANSW. And art, Sir! is
THE DANE. My dear friend! it is dhe plusquam perfectum, no, no-dhat is a great lie; are is dhe plusquam perfectum—and art is dhe plusquam plue-perfectum―(then, swinging my hand to and fro, and cocking his little bright hazle eyes at me, that danced with vanity and wine)-You see, my dear friend! that I too have some lehrning.
ANSW. Learning, Sir? Who dares suspect it? Who can listen to you for a minute, who can even look at you, without perceiving the extent of it?
THE DANE. My dear friend!—(then with a would-be humble look, and in a tone of voice as if he was reasoning) I could not talk so of præsens and imperfectum, and futurum and plusquamplue-perfectum, and all dhat, my dear friend! without some lehrning?
ANSW. Sir! a man like you cannot talk on any subject without discovering the depth of his information.
THE DANE. Dhe grammatic Greek, my friend; ha! ha! ha! (laughing, and swinging my hand to and fro-then with a sudden transition to great solemnity) Now I will tell you, my dear friend! Dhere did happen about me vat de whole historia of Denmark record no instance about nobody else. Dhe bishop did ask me all dhe questions about all dhe religion in dhe Latin grammar.
ANSW. The grammar, Sir? The language, I presumeTHE DANE. (A little offended.) Grammar is language, and language is grammar
ANSW. Ten thousand pardons!
THE DANE. Vell, and I was only fourteen years
ANSW. Only fourteen years old?
THE DANE. No more. I vas fourteen years old-and he asked me all questions, religion and philosophy, and all in dhe Latin language-and I answered him all every one, my dear friend! all in dhe Latin language.
ANSW. A prodigy! an absolute prodigy!
THE DANE. No, no, no! he was a bishop, a great superintendent.
ANSW. Yes! a bishop.
THE DANE. A bishop-not a mere predicant, not a prediger
ANSW. My dear Sir! we have misunderstood each other. 1 said that your answering in Latin at so early an age was a prodigy, that is, a thing that is wonderful; that does not often happen.
THE DANE. Often! Dhere is not von instance recorded in dhe whole historia of Denmark.
ANSW. And since then, Sir-?
THE DANE. I was sent ofer to dhe Vest Indies-to our Island, and