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You are fond of poetry; so am I. What think you of those rhymes? as Pope said to his father, or his father to Pope. Does memory serve? Well, I like the sea, and I like the land; but I do not like a ploughed field to walk through after a heavy fall of snow when 'tis nearly thawed; neither do I relish the sea when we get what the sailors call a ground swell-ground swell, is it? yes, memory serves, (vide Bond Street, last page, or the tail end on it.)
'I am like the jolly tars-I like bumbo and flip,
But I do not like knocking about—'
That's my creed-that my idea-and may a worse-but if you like to just step down into my nutshell,—and I am a man of rank, being the ‘kernel,'—I will give you a whiff of the primest Cavendish you ever distended your cheek with. But as time is growing late, and the eightbell hath tolled, I will not press upon you any longer for the present; but, mark this! and it's a plain, untanned hairy bacco-pouch. Just mark it, and if you like the plain unadulterated herb within, it is your earnest welcome; and during the long voyage and pilgrimage before us, it is your own fault if we smoke not the calumet of peace."
All this was spoken, sung, and said, with a volubility that defies our pen, and with a gaiety that seemed but ill to suit the party to whom it was addressed. Be that as it may, the speaker, upon the conclusion of his last sentence, gave a flourish of his old-fashioned German pipe, and descended to his berth with the rapidity of one well used to a seafaring life.
Whilst our voluble friend is below, let us take a transient view of what is passing upon the deck of the "Ocean Queen."
Upon the forecastle are to be seen numbers of the emigrants who have as yet escaped the agonies of sea-sickness: some engaged in deep and abstruse speculations as to the time which is to elapse before they make the first land, viz. the Cape of Good Hope; and others, indifferent, or apparently so, are indulging with the ease, satisfaction, and nearly the attitude of a Turk, the "fragrant weed." The seamen for the most part have already performed their duties of the day, and are mixing, as if forgetful of the day that has passed, with the gaiety and thoughtlessness peculiar to their race. How often does the hoarse, but hearty laugh, resound from their quarter as brother Jack in his humour
detects some awkwardness in the lubbers with whom he has so recently become acquainted! and how puzzling it is to them, and how delightful is their ignorance to him, as they marvellingly behold with what facility and confidence he can mount aloft, and how deeply learned he is in the knowledge of each individual rope that appears to hang in such tangled confusion! Jack is now in his peculiar sphere; he can please to spin them yarns of amazing quality, both as regards their length and interest; and when he condescends (for to all intents and purposes it is with him extreme matter of condescension) to actually remove his quid to the opposite position, and when the romantic moon just deigns to smile upon Jack during the spinning of that same yarn, then is the perfection of nautical life. No man need wish to hear any other tale of danger, of war, of courage, and the expeditions against the nativesno! the stranger, when he is permitted to rest for an hour upon that sacred spot the forecastle, and when the ghost story-but I must not anticipate that, there slumbereth one now that may fitter deal with so awful an event.
Well, from that "Boothia Felix," the "forrard," as our lively friend maintains, there is a kind of "no-man's ground," to those precincts, where the chief and his clan are seen to walk. Often ere now has the noblest form, the most undaunted heart, paced over the poop of the "Ocean Queen;" but never was there a more beautiful favourite of nature than was seen to step lightly over its broad and whitened surface, to behold the round moon this evening throwing her broad and trickling flood of light over the bosom of the half-slumbering waters.
"Fit couch of repose for a pilgrim like thee!
"Thy messenger! to render up the tale
Of what we are!---ALASTOR.
ONCE more let us gaze upon the dark blue sea.
Once more may we
turn over the waters the longing eye of anxiety, of thrilling suspense; now may we find time to become upon more familiar terms with those who are destined to be our fellow-travellers; and now it behoves us the more especially to observe "peace and good-will to all men."
As a life at sea (in spite of all that has been said to the contrary) is the most monotonous, irksome, and unsatisfactory, to the mere passenger, that can be passed, as it generally, if not always, is to him, from its sameness of sky and water-its unpleasant and unremitting, as well as unnatural motion, a period of absolute purgatory,-we must enforce the social law with double rigour, in order that man upon this most pressing occasion may render unto his fellow every assistance that he possesses to shorten by friendship and kindness the tedium of the voyage, and to show there yet exists in the human bosom the unextinguished spark of benevolence, which requires but a slight exertion to brighten into a glorious, a heart-warming flame. Let us, now we are fairly upon the "waste of waters," forthwith, and, sans cérémonie, see who is upon deck. At a glance we discover that it is denselypeopled. That horror of all horrors, the "qualm," hath left but few suffering under its tyrannical rod; the rosy cheeks of the stern North are again visible, and the glorious sun is smiling upon what has so recently been a scene of everything dismal and wretched.
By the sunny side of the long-boat, which boat for security is stoutly
lashed amidships, we may remark a pensive youth, who, as he pursues his solitary march of five steps a turn and a return, keeps his eyes firmly rivetted upon the deck, as if he alone were the sole inhabitant of that crowded bark. He turns his dark eye neither to the right nor to the left, but silently, with his arms crossed behind him, does he perseveringly continue his diminutive walk; he is watched by a short chubby-faced individual, who sits smoking a long pipe upon a water-cask. Ah! the gentleman of the pipe can watch him with patience no longer, but, after a preparatory removal of the aforesaid pipe and a "hem!" he thus salutes the promenader :-" We are a-going along stylish, sir; we are just about slipping through-I suppose we are trotting out something to the tune of (the speaker peeps over the side)-something to the tune of Captain, how many knots ?
The Captain answers, "Somewhere about seven." The gentleman
resumes, "To the tune of seven, you hear. Well, I don't call that bad work," nodding his head with an air of satisfaction; "I call that anything but-" Here the voice of the walking gentleman, deep, sonorous, and distinctly articulated, was heard, "I wish it were nine.' "Ah! there you are," interrupted the smoker, "there you are," slapping his knee and looking inquisitively at the wisher; "you want all things not to be got at. If we had been going four, the first thing you would a' said would a' been, 'I wish we were going along seven!' Now we do go seven," looking over the side again-" Now, sir, we do go seven, and you I want to go nine. If we went nine, then clap on another ought, and let's go ninety at once; that's the way of the world— mortal man's never satisfied." And here the speaker was interrupted by a third party, who gravely uttered, "Your observation, most learned Theban, is remarkable for its learning, and the grace with which it was delivered: you recollect, Men would be angels, angels would be gods'-Pope-memory serves. May I solicit the favour of a little of your prime tobacco ? I found a curl or two of the fragrant herb in my nutshell, and I am proud that I arrived just in time to see you knock the ashes out of-doubtless your third pipe? Uncle Toby had just knocked the ashes out of his third pipe,'—that's classical, it's a certain dead proof that the ancients used the divine weed ;—' he knocked the ashes out of'-This is-(puff, puff,)-thank you, this is, vulgo, ele
gant bakky. Your observation, that man was never satis-But I forget my manners,-Sir, your fellow-traveller and most humble of all your slaves, Tobias Turkey, vulgarly yclept Toby Turkey,-you will generously excuse my card-it would not be worth your acceptance, for, if memory serves, it would certainly not turn up trump-I never held a trump card in my life. I have played many a game, and have genetrally found myself in the hedge, as the learned term it, and have never been able to get the odd trick;-never got the odd trick-no, never,memory serves-never. But may I be honoured, sir, with your name? I see you are a man of considerable kidney, and one doubtless who purposes accompanying the good ship 'Ocean Queen' even unto the final disembarkment."
"Sir, with you I am uncommon pleased; I was just a-wanting such a companion; the gentleman who has popped his head down the hatchway, he has been toddling about a-first a this un, and then a that un."
"To and fro, like Satan in Job," interrupted Mr. Turkey.
"Well, I can't say anything about Satan-in Job, did yer say?-inasmuch as I never talks of that gentleman behind his back; but I can just give yer my observations upon this score, and (stopping the tobacco down in his pipe-puff, puff,) fust and foremost, how do you like this here bacco ?" "It's tol lol," replied Mr. Turkey; "it's tol lol." "It's more than tol lol; look here, (patting the pork-cask, upon which he sat,) here's lots o' room. This bacco-but now ain't this excellent, to sit at our ease with the wind right aft driving us along so cosy to Aus-or Austral-is't?-asia!" "I assure you, my esteemed friend, Mr. Mr.-I beg pardon, I really have not yet had the pleasure of hearing from your own lips your-your-the worthy name of my good friend on my right." "Oh, my name-(puff, puff,)—I'm like you; I got no good cards in my pack,—there's none on 'em no great shakes ; howsomever, I've got in my pocket a letter I received (fumbling his pouch for it) by the very last Plymouth pack-packet: no, was it the packet? Well, really one has been knocking about the waters so long, one almost forgets; howsomever, here is the letter. Now (handing the letter with an air of dignified importance) read for yerself what it says on the outside,-let's hear what it says-can you sypher it ?-in