« 上一頁繼續 »
craving tradesman, whose wife and children, perhaps, are reduced to want by the credit which an officer's name created. Better, like the brave and proud Captain in Gil Blas, to live in a garret on onions, than to lose the cheering consciousness of upright independence by pampering extravagance with inconsistent luxuries."
The worthy James Davis and I parted soon after; and in the hope that these particulars may be useful to some of my readers, I have embodied them in this faithful narrative of real occurrences. Proud would it make me, and uprightly should I march to my grave, could any thing from my pen essentially serve the profession to which I belong; inspire the young soldier with principles of honour, with zeal for the service, with respect for himself, with every requisite that forms the perfect officer and the distinguished gentleman !
In the evening my friend Malony embarked on board the Mersey for Liverpool; but the continuation of his journey demands another Number.
LIEUT. JOHN MALONY.
I can't but say it is an awkward sight
To see one's native land receding through
Especially when life is rather new.
Six o'clock was the hour appointed for the Mersey to sail. True to the moment, I was on board. Previously I had admired her fine accommodations. She was a perfect picture. Her cabins are fitted up in the most tasteful and expensive manner-rich carpets-gold fringes-Ottoman couches -and mahogany furniture.
I took my station on the poop, or cabin deck, and gazed on the scene with interest. The gaslights of Dublin were spreading their clear blaze around, till, lost in the horizon, they twinkled like little stars; and the dark blue vault of heaven was full of glory. A dense crowd of anxious people stood on the Custom-house quay, close to which the Mersey lay; cast into shade as they were by that noble building, we had to strain sight to distinguish individual outline. The boiler was roaring with impatience, and the great chimney sent up such a column of grey steam, and black smoke, as darkened that part of the horizon to which it was carried in a long visible stream by the wind. It was about seven o'clock, when the rapidly moving objects on shore told me that our engine was doing its duty. Away, in the deception of departure, they seemed to move, whilst it was I that left them behind. We had a strong blast in our teeth ; but we cannot judge on board a steam-packet how the wind blows, unless we see the sails set, for she moves at such a rate, that the breeze must necessarily seem a-head, as she often outruns it. We had about fifty cabin passengers.
The steward, who is a very attentive Scotchman, assisted by several waiters, and a very pretty Scotch girl, as ladies' attendant, introduced tea and coffee before the packet sailed. I, who am a little curious, had
gone down to see the ladies. Some of them were really worth looking at; particularly an artillery officer's bride, for-by the excess of fondness they manifested towards each other, which the presence of strangers was not sufficient to restrain—I presume they were just married. Her white long fingers were locked in his Mars-like hand, as she lay reclined on a sofa ; and, I suppose, every one that witnessed such luxuriance wished to be married. However, I thought of my own Emma, and said to myself, my sweet girl has more modesty and delicacy than to lie so.
The tremulous peculiar motion given to a vessel by an engine soon affects landsmen. The cabin, which had been a scene of noisy laugh and conversation, suddenly became deserted. All the ladies retired to bed ; and many of the gentlemen were leaning their heads over the side of the flying vessel ; or, in broken accents, urging the attentions of the steward and his mates.
As I am never sea sick, I enjoyed the whole ; below, I listened to the conversation; above, I marked the beauty of the scene, as the vessel marched on her white foaming track. The waving