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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesHomeward Bound; Or, The Chase: A Tale Of The Sea - Chapter 31
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Homeward Bound; Or, The Chase: A Tale Of The Sea - Chapter 31 Post by :jaydarby Category :Long Stories Author :James Fenimore Cooper Date :May 2012 Read :744

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Homeward Bound; Or, The Chase: A Tale Of The Sea - Chapter 31

Chapter XXXI

Let me alone:--dost thou use to write
Thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an
Honest, plain-dealing man?


At a later hour, the body of the deceased was consigned to the ocean with the forms that had been observed the previous night at the burial of the seaman. These two ceremonies were sad remembrancers of the scene the travellers had passed through; and, for many days, the melancholy that they naturally excited pervaded the ship. But, as no one connected by blood with any of the living had fallen, and it is not the disposition of men to mourn always, this feeling gradually subsided, and at the end of three weeks the deaths had lost most of their influence, or were recalled only at moments by those who thought it wise to dwell on such solemn subjects.

Captain Truck had regained his spirits; for, if he felt mortified at the extraordinary difficulties and dangers that had befallen his ship, he also felt proud of the manner in which he had extricated himself from them. As for the mates and crew, they had already returned to their ordinary habits of toil and fun, the accidents of life making but brief and superficial impressions on natures accustomed to vicissitudes and losses.

Mr. Dodge appeared to be nearly forgotten during the first week after the ship succeeded in effecting her escape; for he had the sagacity to keep himself in the background, in the hope that all connected with himself might be overlooked in the hurry and excitement of events. At the end of that period, however, he resumed his intrigues, and was soon actively engaged in endeavouring to get up a "public opinion," by means of which he proposed to himself to obtain some reputation for spirit and courage. With what success this deeply-laid scheme was likely to meet, as well as the more familiar condition of the cabins, may be gathered by a conversation that took place in the pantry, where Saunders and Toast were preparing the hot punch for the last of the Saturday nights that Captain Truck expected to be at sea. This discourse was held while the few who chose to join in jollification that peculiarly recalled the recollection of Mr. Monday, were slowly assembling round the great table at the urgent request of the master.

"Well, I must say, Mr. Toast," the steward commenced, as he kept stirring the punch, "that I am werry much rejoiced Captain Truck has resuscertated his old nature, and remembers the festivals and fasts, as is becoming the master of a liner. I can see no good reason because a ship is under jury-masts, that the passengers should forego their natural rest and diet. Mr. Monday made a good end, they say, and he had as handsome a burial as I ever laid eyes on at sea. I don't think his own friends could have interred him more efficaciously, or more piously, had he been on shore."

"It is something, Mr. Saunders, to be able to reflect beforehand on the respectable funeral that your friends have just given you. There is a great gratification to contemplate on such an ewent."

"You improve in language, Toast, that I will allow; but you sometimes get the words a little wrong. We suspect before a thing recurs, and reflect on it after it has ewentuated. You might have suspected the death of poor Mr. Monday after he was wounded, and reflected on it after he was interred in the water. I agree with you that it is consoling to know we have our funeral rights properly delineated. Talking of the battle, Mr. Toast, I shall take this occasion to express to you the high opinion I entertain of your own good conduct. I was a little afraid you might injure Captain Truck in the conflict; but, so far as I have ascertained, on close inwestigation, you hurt nobody. We coloured people have some prejudices against us, and I always rejoice when I meet with one who assists to put them down by his conduck."

"They say Mr. Dodge didn't do much harm, either," returned Toast. "For my part I saw nothing of him after I opened my eyes; though I don't think I ever stared about me so much in my life."

Saunders laid a finger on his nose, and shook his head significantly.

"You may speak to me with confidence and mistrust, Toast," he said, "for we are friends of the same colour, besides being officers in the same pantry. Has Mr. Dodge conwersed with you concerning the ewents of those two or three werry ewentful days?"

"He has insinevated considerable, Mr. Saunders; though I do not think Mr. Dodge is ever a werry free talker."

"Has he surgested the propriety of having an account of he whole affair made out by the people, and sustained by affidavits?"

"Well, sir, I imagine he has. At all ewents, he has been much on the forecastle lately, endeavouring to persuade the people that _they retook the ship, and that the passengers were so many encumbrancers in the affair."

"And, are the people such _non composses as to believe him, Toast?"

"Why, sir, it is agreeable to humanity to think well of ourselves. I do not say that anybody actually _believes this; but, in my poor judgment, Mr. Saunders, there are men in the ship that would find it _pleasant to believe it, if they could."

"Werry true; for that is natural. Your hint, Toast, has enlightened my mind on a little obscurity that has lately prewailed over my conceptions. There are Johnson, and Briggs, and Hewson, three of the greatest skulks in the ship, the only men who prewaricated in the least, so much as by a cold look, in the fight; and these three men have told me that Mr. Dodge was the person who had the gun put on the box; and that he druv the Arabs upon the raft. Now, I say, no men with their eyes open could have made such a mistake, except they made it on purpose. Do you corroborate or contrawerse this statement, Toast?"

"I contrawerse it, sir; for in my poor judgment it was Mr. Blunt."

"I am glad we are of the same opinion. I shall say nothing till the proper moment arrives, and then I shall exhibit my sentiments, Mr. Toast, without recrimination or anxiety, for truth is truth."

"I am happy to observe that the ladies are quite relaxed from their melancholy, and that they now seem to enjoy themselves ostensibly."

Saunders threw a look of envy at his subordinate, whose progress in refinement really alarmed his own sense of superiority; but suppressing the jealous feeling, he replied with, dignity,

"The remark is quite just, Mr. Toast, and denotes penetration. I am always rejoiced when I perceive you elewating your thoughts to superior objects, for the honour of the colour."

"Mister Saunders," called out the captain from his seal in the arm-chair, at the head of the table.

"Captain Truck, sir."

"Let us taste your liquors."

This was the signal that the Saturday-night was about to commence, and the officers of the pantry presented their compounds in good earnest. On this occasion the ladies had quietly, but firmly declined being present, but the earnest appeals of the well-meaning captain had overcome the scruples of the gentlemen, all of whom, to avoid the appearance of disrespect to his wishes, had consented to appear.

"This is the last Saturday night, gentlemen, that I shall probably ever have the honour of passing in your good company," said Captain Truck, as he disposed of the pitchers and glasses before him, so that he had a perfect command of the appliances of the occasion, "and I feel it to be a gratification with which I would not willingly dispense. We are now to the westward of the Gulf, and, according to my observations and calculations, within a hundred miles of Sandy Hook, which, with this mild south-west wind, and our weatherly position, I hope to be able to show you some time about eight o'clock to-morrow morning. Quicker passages have been made certainly, but forty days, after all, is no great matter for the westerly run, considering that we have had a look at Africa, and are walking on crutches."

"We owe a great deal to the trades," observed Mr. Effingham; "which have treated us as kindly towards the end of the passage, as they seemed reluctant to join us in the commencement. It has been a momentous month, and I hope we shall all retain healthful recollections of it as long as we live."

"No one will retain as _grateful recollections of it as myself, gentlemen," resumed the captain. "You had no agency in getting us into the scrape, but the greatest possible agency in getting us out of it. Without the knowledge, prudence, and courage that you have all displayed, God knows what would have become of the poor Montauk, and from the bottom of my heart I thank you, each and all while I have the heartfelt satisfaction of seeing you around me, and of drinking to your future health, happiness and prosperity."

The passengers acknowledged their thanks in return, by bows, among which, that of Mr. Dodge was the most elaborate and conspicuous. The honest captain was too much touched, to observe this little piece of audacity, but, at that moment, he could have taken even Mr. Dodge in his arms and pressed him to his heart.

"Come, gentlemen," he continued; "let us fill and do honour to the night. God has us all in his holy keeping, and we drift about in the squalls of life, pretty much as he orders the wind to blow. 'Sweethearts and wives!' and, Mr. Effingham, we will not forget beautiful, spirited, sensible, and charming daughters."

After this piece of nautical gallantry, the glass began to circulate. The captain. Sir George Templemore--as the false baronet was still called in the cabin, and believed to be by all but those who belonged to the _coterie of Eve--and Mr. Dodge, indulged freely, though the first was too careful of the reputation of his ship, to forget that he was on the American coast in November. The others partook more sparingly, though even they submitted in a slight degree to the influence of good cheer, and for the first time since their escape, the laugh was heard in the cabin as was wont before to be the case. An hour of such indulgence produced again some of the freedom and ease which mark the associations of a ship, after the ice is fairly broken, and even Mr. Dodge began to be tolerated. This person, notwithstanding his conduct on the occasion of the battle, had contrived to maintain his ground with the spurious baronet, by dint of assiduity and flattery, while the others had rather felt pity than aversion, on account of his abject cowardice. The gentlemen did not mention his desertion at the critical moment, (though Mr. Dodge never forgave those who witnessed it,) for they looked upon his conduct as the result of a natural and unconquerable infirmity, that rendered him as much the subject of compassion as of reproach. Encouraged by this forbearance, and mistaking its motives, he had begun to hope his absence had not been detected in the confusion of the fight, and he had even carried his audacity so far, as to make an attempt to persuade Mr. Sharp that he had actually been one of those who went in the launch of the Dane, to bring down the other boat and raft to the reef, after the ship had been recaptured. It is true, in this attempt, he had met with a cold repulse, but it was so gentlemanlike and distant, that he had still hopes of succeeding in persuading the other to believe what he affirmed; by way of doing which, he endeavoured all he could to believe it himself. So much confusion existed in his own faculties during the fray, that Mr. Dodge was fain to fancy others also might not have been able to distinguish things very accurately.

Under the influence of these feelings, Captain Truck, when the glass had circulated a little freely, called on the Editor of the Active Inquirer, to favour the company with some more extracts from his journal. Little persuasion was necessary, and Mr. Dodge went into his state-room to bring forth the valuable records of his observations and opinions, with a conviction that all was forgotten, and that he was once more about to resume his proper place in the social relations of the ship. As for the four gentlemen who had been over the ground the other pretended to describe, they prepared to listen, as men of the world would be apt to listen to the superficial and valueless comments of a tyro, though not without some expectations of amusement.

"I propose that we shift the scene to London," said Captain Truck, "in order that a plain seaman, like myself, may judge of the merits of the writer--which, I make no doubt, are very great; though I cannot now swear to it with as free a conscience as I could wish."

"If I knew the pleasure of the majority," returned Mr. Dodge, dropping the journal, and looking about him inquiringly, "I would cheerfully comply with it; for I think the majority should always rule. Paris, or London, or the Rhine, are the same to me; I have seen them all, and am just, as well qualified to describe the one as to describe the other."

"No one doubts it, my dear sir; but I am not as well qualified to understand one of your descriptions as I am to understand another. Perhaps, evon you, sir, may express yourself more readily, and have better understood what was said to you, in English, than in a foreign tongue."

"As for that, I do not think the value of my remarks is lessened by the one circumstance, or enhanced by the other, sir. I make it a rule always to be right, if possible; and that, I fancy, is as much as the natives of the countries themselves can very well effect. You have only to decide, gentlemen, whether it shall be England, or France, or the Continent."

"I confess an inclination to the _Continent_," said John Effingham; "for one could scarcely wish to limit a comprehensiveness like that of Mr. Dodge's to an island, or even to France."

"I see how it is," exclaimed the captain; "we must put the traveller through all his paces, and have a little of both; so Mr. Dodge will have the kindness to touch on all things in heaven and earth, London and Paris inclusive."

On this hint the journalist turned over a few pages carelessly, and then commenced:

"'Reached _Bruxelles (Mr. Dodge pronounced this word Brucksills) at seven in the evening, and put up at the best house in the place, called the Silver Lamb, which is quite near the celebrated town-house, and, of course in the very centre of the _beau quarter. As we did not leave until after breakfast next morning, the reader may expect a description of this ancient capital. It lies altogether on a bit of low, level land-----'"

"Nay, Mr. Dodge," interrupted the _soi-disant Sir George, "I think _that most be an error. I have been at Brussels, and I declare, now, it struck me as lying a good deal on the side of a very steep hill!"

"All a mistake, sir, I do assure you. There is no more hill at _Brucksills than on the deck of this ship. You have been in too great a hurry, my dear Sir George; that is the way with most travellers; they do not give themselves time to note particulars. You English especially, my dear Sir George, are a little apt to be precipitate; and I dare say, you travelled post, with four horses, a mode of getting on by which a man may very well transfer a hill, in his imagination, from one town to another. I travelled chiefly in a _voitury_, which afforded leisure for remarks."

Here Mr. Dodge laughed; for he felt that he had got the best of it.

"I think you are bound to submit, _Sir George Templemore" said John Effingham, with an emphasis on the name that raised a smile among his friends; "Brussels certainly lies on a flat; and the hill you saw has, doubtless, been brought up with you from Holland in your haste. Mr. Dodge enjoyed a great advantage in his mode of travelling; for, by entering a town in the evening, and quitting it only in the morning, he had the whole night to look about him."

"That was just my mode of proceeding, Mr. John Effingham; I made it a rule to pass an entire night in every large town I came to."

"A circumstance that will give a double value to your opinions with our countrymen, Mr. Dodge, since they very seldom give themselves half that leisure when once in motion. I trust you have not passed over the institutions of Belgium, sir; and most particularly the state of society in the capital, of which you saw so much?"

"By no means; here are my remarks on these subjects:

"--'Belgium, or _The Belges_, as the country is now called, is one of the upstart kingdoms that have arisen in our times; and which, from signs that cannot be mistaken, is fated soon to be overturned by the glorious principles of freedom. The people are ground down, as usual, by the oppression of hard task-masters, and bloody-minded priests. The monarch, who is a bigoted Catholic of the House of Saxony, being the son of the king of that country, and a presumptive heir to the throne of Great Britain, in right of his first wife, devoting all his thoughts to miracles and saints. The nobles form a class by themselves, indulging in all sorts of vices.'--I beg pardon, Sir George, but the truth must be told in our country, or one had better never speak.--'All sorts of vices, and otherwise betraying the monstrous tendencies of the system.'"

"Pray, Mr. Dodge," interrupted John Effingham, "have you said nothing as to the manner in which the inhabitants relieve the eternal _ennui of always walking on a level surface?"

"I am afraid not, sir. My attention was chiefly given to the institutions, and to the state of society, although I can readily imagine they must get to be heartily tired of a dead flat"

"Why, sir, they have contrived to run a street up and down the roof of the cathedral; and up and down this street they trot all hours of the day."

Mr. Dodge looked distrustful; but John Effingham maintained his gravity. After a pause the former continued:--

"'The usages of _Brucksills are a mixture of Low Dutch and High Dutch habits, as is the language. The king being a Polander, and a grandson of Augustus, king of Poland, is anxious to introduce the customs of the Russians into his court; while his amiable young queen, who was born in New Jersey when her illustrious father kept the school at Haddonfield, early imbibed those notions of republicanism which so eminently distinguish his Grace the Honourable Louis Philippe Orleans, the present King of the French.'"

"Nay, Mr. Dodge," said Mr. Sharp, "you will have all the historians ready to cut your throat with envy!"

"Why, sir, I feel it a duty not to throw away the great opportunities I have enjoyed; and America is a country in which an editor may never hope to mystify his readers. We deal with them in facts, Mr. Sharp; and although this may not be your English practice, we think that truth is powerful and will prevail. To continue,--'The kingdom of _the Belges is about as large as the north-east corner of Connecticut, including one town in Rhode Island; and the whole population may be about equal to that of _our tribe of Creek Indians, who dwell in the wilder parts of _our state of Georgia.'"

"This particularity is very convincing," observed Paul, "and then it has the merit, too, of coming from an eye-witness"

"I will now, gentlemen, return with you to Paris, where I stayed all of three weeks, and of the society of which my knowledge of the language will, of course, enable me to give a still more valuable account."

"You mean to publish these hints, I trust, sir?" inquired the captain.

"I shall probably collect them, and enlarge them in the way of a book; but they have already been laid before the American public in the columns of the Active Inquirer, I can assure you, gentlemen, that my colleagues of the press have spoken quite favourably of the letters as they appeared. Perhaps you would like to hear some of their opinions?"

Hereupon Mr. Dodge opened a pocket-book, out of which he took six or eight slips of printed paper, that had been preserved with care, though obviously well thumbed. Opening one, he read as follows:

"'Our friend Dodge, of the Active Inquirer, is instructing his readers, and edifying mankind in general, with some very excellent and pungent remarks on the state of Europe, which part of the world he is now exploring with some such enterprise and perseverance as Columbus discovered when he entered on the unknown waste of the Atlantic. His opinions meet with our unqualified approbation, being sound, American, and discriminating. We fancy these Europeans will begin to think in time that Jonathan has some pretty shrewd notions concerning themselves, the critturs!' This was extracted from the People's Advocate, a journal edited with great ability, by Peleg Pond, esquire, a thorough-going republican, and a profound observer of mankind."

"In his own parish in particular," quaintly added John Effingham. "Pray, sir, have you any more of these critical _morceaux_?"

"At least a dozen," beginning to read again.--"Steadfast Dodge, esquire, the editor of the Active Inquirer, is now travelling in Europe, and is illuminating the public mind at home by letters that are Johnsonian in style, Chesterfieldian in taste and in knowledge of the world, with the redeeming qualities of nationality, and republicanism, and truth. We rejoice to perceive by these valuable contributions to American literature, that Steadfast Dodge, esquire, finds no reason to envy the inhabitants of the Old World any of their boasted civilization; but that, on the contrary, he is impressed with the superiority of our condition over all countries, every post that he progresses. America has produced but few men like Dodge; and even Walter Scott might not be ashamed to own some of his descriptions. We hope he may long continue to travel.'"

"_Voitury_" added John Effingham gravely. "You perceive, gentlemen, how modestly these editors set forth their intimacy with the traveller--'our friend Dodge, of the Active Inquirer,' and 'Steadfast Dodge, esquire!'--a mode of expression that speaks volumes for their own taste, and their profound deference for their readers!"

"We always speak of each other in this manner, Mr. John Effingham--that is our _esprit du corps_."

"And I should think that there would be an _esprit de corps in the public to resist it," observed Paul Blunt.

The distinction was lost on Mr. Dodge, who turned over to one of his most elaborate strictures on the state of society in France, with all the self-complacency of besotted ignorance and provincial superciliousness. Searching out a place to his mind, this profound observer of men and manners, who had studied a foreign people, whose language when spoken was gibberish to him, by travelling five days in a public coach, and living four weeks in taverns and eating-houses, besides visiting three theatres, in which he did not understand a single word that was uttered, proceeded to lay before his auditors the results of his observations.

"'The state of female society in France is truly awful,' he resumed, 'the French Revolution, as is universally known, having left neither decorum, modesty, nor beauty in the nation. I walk nightly in the galleries of the Palais Royal, where I locate myself, and get every opportunity of observing the peculiarities of ladies of the first taste and fashion in the metropolis of Europe. There is one duchess in particular, whose grace and _embonpoint have, I confess, attracted my admiration. This lady, as my _lacquais de _place informs me, is sometimes termed _la mere du peuple_, from her popularity and affability. The young ladies of France, judging from the specimens I have seen here--which must be of the highest class in the capital, as the spot is under the windows of one of the royal palaces--are by no means observable for that quiet reserve and modest diffidence that distinguish the fair among our own young countrywomen; but it must be admitted they are remarkable for the manner in which, they walk alone, in my judgment a most masculine and unbecoming practice. Woman was not made to live alone, and I shall contend that she was not made to walk alone. At the same time, I confess here is a certain charm in the manner in which these ladies place a hand in each pocket of their aprons, and balance their bodies, as they move like duchesses through the galleries. If I might humbly suggest, the American fair might do worse than imitate this Parisian step; for, as a traveller I feel it a duty to exhibit any superior quality that other nations possess. I would also remark on the general suavity of manners that the ladies of quality' (this word Mr Dodge pronounced _qua-a-lity_,) 'observe in their promenades in and about this genteel quarter of Paris.'"

"The French ladies ought to be much flattered with this notice of them," cried the captain, filling Mr. Dodge's glass. "In the name of truth and penetration, sir, proceed."

"'I have lately been invited to attend a ball in one of the first families of France, which resides in the Rue St. Jaques, or the St. James' of Paris. The company was select, and composed of many of the first persons in the kingdom of _des Francais_. The best possible manners were to be seen here, and the dancing was remarkable for its grace and beauty. The air with which the ladies turned their heads on one side, and inclined their bodies in advancing and retiring, was in the first style of the court of Terpsichore. They were all of the very first families of France. I heard one excuse herself for going away so early, as _Madame la Duchesse expected her; and another observed that she was to leave town in the morning with _Madame la Vicomtesse_. The gentlemen, with few exceptions, were in fancy dresses, appearing in coats, some of sky-blue, some green, some scarlet, and some navy-blue, as fancy dictated, and all more or less laced on the seams much in the manner as was the case with the Honourable the King the morning I saw him leave for _Nully_. This entertainment was altogether the best conducted of any I ever attended, the gentlemen being condescending, and without the least pride, and the ladies all grace.'"

"Graces would be more expressive, if you will excuse my suggesting a word, sir," observed John Effingham, as the other paused to take breath.

"'I have observed that the people in most monarchies are abject and low-minded in their deportment. Thus the men take off their hats when they enter churches, although the minister be not present; and even the boys take off their hats when they enter private houses. This is commencing servility young. I have even seen men kneeling on the cold pavements of the churches in the most abject manner, and otherwise betraying the feeling naturally created by slavish institutions."

"Lord help 'em!" exclaimed the captain, "if they begin so young, what a bowing and kneeling set of blackguards they will get to be in time."

"It is to be presumed that Mr. Dodge has pointed out the consequences in the instance of the abject old men mentioned, who probably commenced their servility by entering houses with their hats off," said John Effingham.

"Just so, sir," rejoined the editor. "I throw in these little popular traits because I think they show the differences between nations."

"From which I infer," said Mr. Sharp, "that in your part of America boys do not take off their hats when they enter houses, nor men kneel in churches?"

"Certainly not, sir. Our people get their ideas of manliness early; and as for kneeling in churches, we have some superstitious-sects--I do not mention them; but, on the whole, no nation can treat the house of God more rationally than we do in America."

"That I will vouch for," rejoined John Effingham; "for the last time I was at home I attended a concert in one of them, where an _artiste of singular nasal merit favoured the company with that admirable piece of conjoined sentiment and music entitled 'Four-and-twenty fiddlers all in a row!'"

"I'll engage for it," cried Mr. Dodge, swelling with national pride; "and felt all the time as independent and easy as if he was in a tavern. Oh! superstition is quite extinct in _Ameriky! But I have a few remarks on the church in my notes upon England: perhaps you would like to hear them?"

"Let me entreat you to read them," said the true Sir George Templemore, a little eagerly.

"Now, I protest against any liberality," added the false Sir George, shaking his finger.

Mr. Dodge disregarded both; but, turning to the place, he read aloud with his usual self-complacency and unction.

"'To-day, I attended public worship in St.---church, Minories. The congregation was composed of many of the first people of England, among whom were present Sir Solomon Snore, formerly HIGH sheriff of London, a gentleman of the first consideration in the empire, and the celebrated Mr. Shilling, of the firm of Pound, Shilling, and Pence. There was certainly a fine air of polite life in the congregation, but a little too much idolatry. Sir Solomon and Mr. Shilling were both received with distinction, which was very proper, when we remember their elevated rank; but the genuflexions and chaunting met with my very unqualified disapprobation.'"

"Sir Solomon and the other personage you mention were a little _pursy_, perhaps," observed Mr. Sharp, "which destroyed their grace."

"I disapprove of all kneeling, on general principles, sir. If we kneel to one, we shall get to kneel to another, and no one can tell where it will end. 'The exclusive manner in which the congregation were seated in pews, with sides so high that it was difficult to see your nearest neighbour; and these pews' (Mr. Dodge pronounced this word _poohs_,) 'have often curtains that completely enclose their owners, a system of selfishness that would not be long tolerated in _Ameriky_.'"

"Do individuals own their pews in America?" inquired Mr. Sharp.

"Often," returned John Effingham; always, "except in those particular portions of the country where it is deemed invidious, and contrary to the public rights, to be better off than one's neighbour, by owning any thing that all the community has not a better claim to than its proprietor."

"And canot the owner of a pew curtain it, with a view to withdrawn into it himself at public worship?"

"America and England are the antipodes of each other in all these things. I dare say, now, that you have come among us with an idea that our liberty is so very licentious, that a man may read a newspaper by himself?"

"I confess, certainly, to that much," returned Mr. Sharp, smiling.

"We shall teach him better than this, Mr. Dodge, before we let him depart. No, sir, you have very contracted ideas of liberty, I perceive. With us every thing is settled by majorities. We eat when the majority eats; drink, when the majority drinks; sleep, when the majority sleeps; pray, when the majority prays. So far from burying ourselves in deep wells of pews, with curtains round their edges, we have raised the floors, amphitheatre fashion, so that every body can see every body; have taken away the sides of the pews, which we have converted into free and equal seats, and have cut down the side of the pulpit so that we can look at the clergyman; but I understand there is actually a project on foot to put the congregation into the pulpit, and the parson into the aisle, by way of letting the latter see that he is no better than he should be. This would be a capital arrangement, Mr. Dodge, for the 'Four-and-twenty fiddlers all in a row.'"

The editor of the Active Inquirer was a little distrustful of John Effingham, and he was not sorry to continue his extracts, although he was obliged to bring himself still further under the fire of his assailant.

"'This morning,' Mr. Dodge resumed, I stepped into the coffee-room of the 'Shovel and Tongs,' public-house, to read the morning paper, and, taking a seat by the side of a gentleman who was reading the 'Times,' and drawing to me the leaves of the journal, so that it would be more convenient to peruse, the man insolently and arrogantly demanded of me, 'What the devil I meant?' This intolerance in the English character is owing to the narrowness of the institutions, under which men come to fancy liberty applies to persons instead of majorities.'"

"You perceive, Mr. Sharp," said John Effingham, "how much more able a stranger is to point out the defects of national character than a native. I dare say that in indulging your individuality, hitherto, you have imagined you were enjoying liberty."

"I fear I have committed some such weakness--but Mr. Dodge will have the goodness to proceed."

The editor complied as follows:--"'Nothing has surprised me more than the grovelling propensities of the English on the subject of names. Thus this very inn, which in America would be styled the 'Eagle Tavern,' or the 'Oriental or Occidental Hotel,' or the 'Anglo-Saxon Democratical Coffee-house,' or some other equally noble or dignified appellation, is called the 'Shovel and Tongs.' One tavern, which might very appropriately be termed 'The Saloon of Peace,' is very vulgarly called 'Dolly's Chop-house.'"

All the gentlemen, not excepting Mr. Sharp, murmured their disgust at so coarse a taste. But most of the party began now to tire of this pretending ignorance and provincial vulgarity, and, one by one, most of them soon after left the table. Captain Truck, however, sent for Mr. Leach, and these two worthies, with Mr. Dodge and the spurious baronet, sat an hour longer, when all retired to their berths.

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Brave And Bold; Or, The Fortunes Of Robert Rushton - Chapter 1. The Young Rivals Brave And Bold; Or, The Fortunes Of Robert Rushton - Chapter 1. The Young Rivals

Brave And Bold; Or, The Fortunes Of Robert Rushton - Chapter 1. The Young Rivals
CHAPTER I. THE YOUNG RIVALSThe main schoolroom in the Millville Academy was brilliantly lighted, and the various desks were occupied by boys and girls of different ages from ten to eighteen, all busily writing under the general direction of Professor George W. Granville, Instructor in Plain and Ornamental Penmanship. Professor Granville, as he styled himself, was a traveling teacher, and generally had two or three evening schools in progress in different places at the same time. He was really a very good penman, and in a course of twelve lessons, for which he charged the very moderate price of a dollar,

Homeward Bound; Or, The Chase: A Tale Of The Sea - Chapter 30 Homeward Bound; Or, The Chase: A Tale Of The Sea - Chapter 30

Homeward Bound; Or, The Chase: A Tale Of The Sea - Chapter 30
Chapter XXXWatchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? ISAIAH. The principal hurt of Mr. Monday was one of those wounds that usually produce death within eight-and-forty hours. He had borne the pain with resolution; and, as yet, had discovered no consciousness of the imminent danger that was so apparent to all around him. But a film had suddenly past from before his senses; and, a man of mere habits, prejudices, and animal enjoyments, he had awakened at the very termination of his brief existence to something like a consciousness of his true position in the moral world, as