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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Water-witch; Or The Skimmer Of The Seas - Chapter 15
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The Water-witch; Or The Skimmer Of The Seas - Chapter 15 Post by :imported_n/a Category :Long Stories Author :James Fenimore Cooper Date :May 2012 Read :1161

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The Water-witch; Or The Skimmer Of The Seas - Chapter 15

Chapter XV

"God save you, Sir!"
"And you, Sir; you are welcome.
"Travel you, Sir, or are you at the furthest?"

Taming of the Shrew.


If the exterior of the brigantine was so graceful in form and so singular in arrangement, the interior was still more worthy of observation. There were two small cabins beneath the main-deck, one on each side of, and immediately adjoining, the limited space that was destined to receive her light but valuable cargoes. It was into one of these that Tiller had descended, like a man who freely entered into his own apartment; but partly above, and nearer to the stern, were a suite of little rooms that were fitted and furnished in a style altogether different. The equipments were those of a yacht, rather than those which might be supposed suited to the pleasures of even the most successful dealer in contraband.

The principal deck had been sunken several feet, commencing at the aftermost bulk-head of the cabins of the subordinate officers, in a manner to give the necessary height, without interfering with the line of the brigantine's shear. The arrangement was consequently not to be seen, by an observer who was not admitted into the vessel itself. A descent of a step or two, however, brought the visiters to the level of the cabin-floor and into an ante-room that was evidently fitted for the convenience of the domestics. A small silver hand-bell lay on a table, and Tiller rung it lightly, like one whose ordinary manner was restrained by respect. It was answered by the appearance of a boy, whose years could not exceed ten, and whose attire was so whimsical as to merit description.

The material of the dress of this young servitor of Neptune, was a light rose-colored silk, cut in a fashion to resemble the habits formerly worn by pages of the great. His body was belted by a band of gold, a collar of fine thread lace floated on his neck and shoulders, and even his feet were clad in a sort of buskins, that were ornamented with fringes of real lace and tassels of bullion. The form and features of the child were delicate, and his air as unlike as possible to the coarse and brusque manner of a vulgar ship-boy.

"Waste and prodigality!" muttered the Alderman, when this extraordinary little usher presented himself, in answer to the summons of Tiller. "This is the very wantonness of cheap goods and an unfettered commerce! There is enough of Mechlin, Patroon, on the shoulders of that urchin, to deck the stomacher of the Queen. 'Fore George, goods were cheap in the market, when the young scoundrel had his livery!"

The surprise was not confined, however, to the observant and frugal burgher. Ludlow and Van Staats of Kinderhook manifested equal amazement, though their wonder was exhibited in a less characteristic manner. The former turned short to demand the meaning of this masquerade, when he perceived that the hero of the India-shawl had disappeared. They were then alone with the fantastic page, and it became necessary to trust to his intelligence for directions how to proceed.

"Who art thou, child?--and who has sent thee hither?" demanded Ludlow. The boy raised a cap of the same rose-colored silk, and pointed to an image of a female, with a swarthy face and a malign smile, painted, with exceeding art, on its front.

"I serve the sea-green lady, with the others of the brigantine."

"And who is this lady of the color of shallow water, and whence come you, in particular?"

"This is her likeness--if you would speak with her, she stands on the cut-water, and rarely refuses an answer."

"'Tis odd that a form of wood should have the gift of speech!"

"Dost think her then of wood?" returned the child, looking timidly, and yet curiously, up into the face of Ludlow. "Others have said the same; but those who know best, deny it. She does not answer with a tongue, but the book has always something to say."

"Here is a grievous deception practised on the superstition of this boy! I have read the book, and can make but little of its meaning."

"Then read again. 'Tis by many reaches that the leeward vessel gains upon the wind. My master has bid me bring you in--"

"Hold--Thou hast both master and mistress?--You have told us of the latter, but we would know something of the former. Who is thy master?"

The boy smiled and looked aside, as if he hesitated to answer.

"Nay, refuse not to reply. I come with the authority of the Queen."

"He tells us that the sea-green lady is our Queen and that we have no other."

"Rashness and rebellion!" muttered Myndert: "but this foolhardiness will one day bring as pretty a brigantine as ever sailed in the narrow seas, to condemnation; and then will there be rumors abroad, and characters cracked, till every lover of gossip in the Americas shall be tired of defamation."

"It is a bold subject, that dares say this!" rejoined Ludlow, who heeded not the by-play of the Alderman; "Your master has a name?"

"We never hear it. When Neptune boards us, under the tropics, he always hails the 'Skimmer of the Seas,' and then they answer. The old God knows us well, for we pass his latitude oftener than other ships, they say."

"You are then a cruiser of some service, in the brigantine--no doubt you have trod many distant shores, belonging to so swift a craft."

"I!--I never was on the land!" returned the boy, thoughtfully. "It must be droll to be there; they say, one can hardly walk, it is so steady! I put a question to the sea-green lady before we came to this narrow inlet, to know when I was to go ashore."

"And she answered?"

"It was some time, first. Two watches were past before a word was to be seen; but at last I got the lines. I believe she mocked me, though I have never dared show it to my master, that he might say."

"Hast the words, here?--perhaps we might assist thee, as there are some among us who know most of the sea-paths."

The boy looked timidly and suspiciously around, and thrusting a hand hurriedly into a pocket, he drew forth two bits of paper, each of which contained a scrawl, and both of which had evidently been much thumbed and studied.

"Here," he said, in a voice that was suppressed nearly to a whisper. "This was on the first page. I was so frightened, lest the lady should be angry, that I did not look again till the next watch; and then," turning the leaf, "I found this."

Ludlow took the bit of paper first offered, and read, written in a child's hand, the following extract:


"I pray thee
Remember, I have done thee worthy service;
Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, serv'd
Without or grudge or grumblings."


"I thought that 'twas in mockery," continued the boy, when he saw by the eye of the young captain that he had read the quotation; 'for 'twas very like, though more prettily worded, than that which I had said, myself!"

"And that was the second answer?"

"This was found in the first morning-watch," the child returned, reading the second extract himself:


"Thou think'st
It much to tread the ooze of the salt deep,
And run upon the sharp wind of the north!"


"I never dared to ask again. But what matters that? They say, the ground is rough and difficult to walk on; that earthquakes shake it, and make holes to swallow cities; that men slay each other on the highways for money, and that the houses I see on the hills must always remain in the same spot. It must be very melancholy to live always in the same spot; but then it must be odd, never to feel a motion!"

"Except the occasional rocking of an earthquake. Thou art better afloat, child;--but thy master, this Skimmer of the Seas----"

"--Hist!" whispered the boy, raising a finger for silence. "He has come up into the great cabin. In a moment, we shall have his signal to enter."

"A few light touches on the strings of a guitar followed, and then a symphony was rapidly and beautifully executed, by one in the adjoining apartment.

"Alida, herself, is not more nimble-fingered," whispered the Alderman; "and I never heard the girl touch the Dutch lute, that cost a hundred Holland guilders, with a livelier movement!"

Ludlow signed for silence. A fine, manly voice, of great richness and depth, was soon heard, singing to an accompaniment on the same instrument. The air was grave, and altogether unusual for the social character of one who dwelt upon the ocean, being chiefly in recitative. The words, as near as might be distinguished, ran as follows:


My brigantine!
Just in thy mould, and beauteous in thy form,
Gentle in roll, and buoyant on the surge,
Light as the sea-fowl, rocking in the storm,
In breeze and gale, thy onward course we urge;
My Water-Queen!

Lady of mine!
More light and swift than thou, none thread the sea,
With surer keel, or steadier on its path;
We brave each waste of ocean-mystery,
And laugh to hear the howling tempest's wrath!
For we are thine!

My brigantine!
Trust to the mystic power that points thy way,
Trust to the eye that pierces from afar,
Trust the red meteors that around thee play,
And fearless trust the sea-green lady's star;
Thou bark divine!


"He often sings thus," whispered the boy, when the song was ended; "for they say, the sea-green lady loves music that tells of the ocean, and of her power.--Hark! he has bid me enter."

"He did but touch the strings of the guitar, again, boy."

"'Tis his signal, when the weather is fair. When we have the whistling of the wind, and the roar of the water, then he has a louder call."

Ludlow would have gladly listened longer; but the boy opened a door, and, pointing the way to those he conducted, he silently vanished himself, behind a curtain.

The visiters, more particularly the young commander of the Coquette, found new subjects of admiration and wonder, on entering the main cabin of the brigantine. The apartment, considering the size of the vessel, was spacious and high. It received light from a couple of windows in the stern, and it was evident that two smaller rooms, one on each of the quarters, shared with it in this advantage. The space between these state-rooms, as they are called in nautical language, necessarily formed a deep alcove, which might be separated from the outer portion of the cabin, by a curtain of crimson damask, that now hung in festoons from a beam fashioned into a gilded cornice. A luxuriously-looking pile of cushions, covered with red morocco, lay along the transom, in the manner of an eastern divan; and against the bulk-head of each state-room, stood an agrippina of mahogany, that was lined with the same material. Neat and tasteful cases for books were suspended, here and there; and the guitar which had so lately been used, lay on a small table of some precious wood, that occupied the centre of the alcove. There were also other implements, like those which occupy the leisure of a cultivated but perhaps an effeminate rather than a vigorous mind, scattered around, some evidently long neglected, and others appearing to have been more recently in favor.

The outer portion of the cabin was furnished in a similar style, though it contained many more of the articles that ordinarily belong to domestic economy. It had its agrippina, its piles of cushions, its chairs of beautiful wood, its cases for books, and its neglected instruments, intermixed with fixtures of a more solid and permanent appearance, which were arranged to meet the violent motion that was often unavoidable in so small a bark. There was a slight hanging of crimson damask around the whole apartment; and, here and there, a small mirror was let into the bulk-heads and ceilings. All the other parts were of a rich mahogany, relieved by panels of rose-wood, that gave an appearance of exquisite finish to the cabin. The floor was covered with a mat of the finest texture, and of a fragrance that announced both its freshness, and the fact that the grass had been the growth of a warm and luxuriant climate. The place, as was indeed the whole vessel, so far as the keen eye of Ludlow could detect, was entirely destitute of arms, not even a pistol, or a sword, being suspended in those places where weapons of that description are usually seen, in all vessels employed either in war or in a trade that might oblige those who sail them to deal in violence.

In the centre of the alcove stood the youthful-looking and extraordinary person who, in so unceremonious a manner, had visited la Cour des Fees the preceding night. His dress was much the same, in fashion and material, as when last seen; still, it had been changed; for on the breast of the silken frock was painted an image of the sea-green lady, done with exquisite skill, and in a manner to preserve the whole of the wild and unearthly character of the expression. The wearer of this singular ornament leaned lightly against the little table, and as he bowed with entire self-possession to his guests, his face was lighted with a smile, that seemed to betray melancholy, no less than courtesy. At the same time he raised his cap, and stood in the rich jet-black locks with which Nature had so exuberantly shaded his forehead.

The manner of the visiters was less easy. The deep anxiety with which both Ludlow and the Patroon had undertaken to board the notorious smuggler had given place to an amazement and a curiosity that caused them nearly to forget their errand; while Alderman Van Beverout appeared shy and suspicious, manifestly thinking less of his niece, than of the consequences of so remarkable an interview. They all returned the salutation of their host, though each waited for him to speak.

"They tell me I have the pleasure to receive a commander of Queen Anne's service, the wealthy and honorable Patroon of Kinderhook, and a most worthy and respectable member of the city corporation, known as Alderman Van Beverout," commenced the individual who did the honors of the vessel on this occasion. "It is not often that my poor brigantine is thus favored, and, in the name of my mistress, I would express our thanks."

As he ceased speaking, he bowed again with ceremonious gravity, as if all were equally strangers to him; though the young men saw plainly that a smothered smile played about a mouth that even they could not refuse the praise of being of rare and extraordinary attraction.

"As we have but one mistress," said Ludlow, "it is our common duty to wish to do her pleasure."

"I understand you, Sir. It is scarce necessary to say, however, that the wife of George of Denmark has little authority here. Forbear, I pray you," he added quickly, observing that Ludlow was about to answer. "These interviews with the servants of that lady are riot unfrequent; and as I know other matters have sent you hither, we will imagine all said that a vigilant officer and a most loyal subject could utter, to an outlaw and a trifler with the regulations of the customs. That controversy must be settled between us under our canvas, and by virtue of our speed, or other professional qualities, at proper time and in a proper place. We will now touch on different matters."

"I think the gentleman is right, Patroon. When matters are ripe for the Exchequer, there is no use in worrying the lungs with summing up the testimony like a fee'd advocate. Twelve discreet men, who have bowels of compassion for the vicissitudes of trade, and who know how hard it is to earn, and how easy it is to spend, will deal with the subject better than all the idle talkers in the Provinces."

"When confronted to the twelve disinterested Daniels, I shall be fain to submit to their judgment," rejoined the other, still suffering the wilful smile to linger round his lips. "You, Sir, I think, are called Mr. Myndert Van Beverout.--To what fall in peltry, or what rise in markets, do I owe the honor of this visit?"

"It is said that some from this vessel were so bold as to land on my grounds, during the past night, without the knowledge and consent of their owner--you will observe the purport of our discourse, Mr. Van Staats, for it may yet come before the authorities--as I said, Sir, without their owner's knowledge, and that there were dealings in articles that are contraband of law, unless they enter the provinces purified and embellished by the air of the Queen's European dominions--God bless Her Majesty!"

"Amen.--That which quitteth the Water-Witch commonly comes purified by the air of many different regions. We are no laggards in movement, here; and the winds of Europe scarcely cease to blow upon our sails, before we scent the gales of America. But this is rather Exchequer matter, to be discussed before the twelve merciful burghers than entertainment for such a visit."

"I open with the facts, that there may be no errors. But in addition to so foul an imputation on the credit of a merchant, there has a great calamity befallen me and my household, during the past night. The daughter and heiress of old Etienne de Barberie has left her abode, and we have reason to think that she has been deluded so far as to come hither. Faith and correspondence! Master Seadrift; but I think this is exceeding the compass of even a trader in contraband! I can make allowances for some errors in an account; but women can be exported and imported without duty, and when and where one pleases, and therefore the less necessity for running them out of their old uncle's habitation, in so secret a manner."

"An undeniable position, and a feeling conclusion! I admit the demand to be made in all form, and I suppose these two gentlemen are to be considered as witnesses of its legality."

"We have come to aid a wronged and distressed relative and guardian, in searching for his misguided ward," Ludlow answered.

The free-trader turned his eyes on the Patroon, who signified his assent by a silent bow.

"'Tis well, gentlemen; I also admit the testimony. But though in common believed so worthy a subject for justice, I have hitherto had but little direct communication with the blind deity. Do the authorities usually give credit to these charges, without some evidence of their truth?"

"Is it denied?"

"You are still in possession of your senses, Captain Ludlow and may freely use them. But this is an artifice to divert pursuit. There are other vessels beside the brigantine, and a capricious fair may have sought a protector, even under a pennant of Queen Anne!"

"This is a truth that has been but too obvious to my mind, Mr. Van Beverout," observed the sententious Patroon. "It would have been well to have ascertained whether she we seek has not taken some less exceptionable course than this, before we hastily believe that your niece would so easily become the wife of a stranger."

"Has Mr. Van Staats any hidden meaning in his words, that he speaks ambiguously?" demanded Ludlow.

"A man, conscious of his good intentions, has little occasion to speak equivocally. I believe, with this reputed smuggler, that la belle Barberie would be more likely to fly with one she has long known, and whom I fear she has but too well esteemed, than with an utter stranger, over whose life there is cast a shade of so dark mystery."

"If the impression that the lady could yield her esteem with too little discretion, be any excuse for suspicions, then may I advise a search in the manor of Kinderhook!"

"Consent and joy! The girl need not have stolen to church to become the bride of Oloff Van Staats!" interrupted the Alderman. "She should have had my benediction on the match, and a fat gift to give it unction."

"These suspicions are but natural, between men bent on the same object," resumed the free-trader. "The officer of the Queen thinks a glance of the eye, from a wilful fair, means admiration of broad lands and rich meadows; and the lord of the manor distrusts the romance of warlike service, and the power of an imagination which roams the sea. Still may I ask, what is there here, to tempt a proud and courted beauty to forget station, sex, and friends?"

"Caprice and vanity! There is no answering for a woman's mind! Here we bring articles, at great risk and heavy charges, from the farther Indies, to please their fancies, and they change their modes easier than the beaver casts his coat. Their conceits sadly unsettle trade, and I know not why they may not cause a wilful girl to do any other act of folly."

"This reasoning seems conclusive with the uncle. Do the suitors assent to its justice?"

The Patroon of Kinderhook had stood gazing, long and earnestly, at the countenance of the extraordinary being who asked this question. A movement, which bespoke, equally, his conviction and his regret, escaped him, but he continued silent. Not so Ludlow. Of a more ardent temperament, though equally sensible of the temptation which had caused Alida to err, and as keenly alive to all the consequences to herself, as well as to others, there was something of professional rivalry, and of an official right to investigate, which still mingled with his feelings. He had found time to examine more closely the articles that the cabin contained, and when their singular host put his question, he pointed, with an ironical but mournful smile, to a footstool richly wrought in flowers of tints and shades so just as to seem natural.

"This is no work of a sail-maker's needle!" said the captain of the Coquette. "Other beauties have been induced to pass an idle hour in your gay residence, hardy mariner; but, sooner or later, judgment will overtake the light-heeled craft."

"On the wind, or off, she must some day lag, as we seamen have it! Captain Ludlow, I excuse some harshness of construction, that your language might imply; for it becomes a commissioned servant of the crown, to use freedom with one who, like the lawless companion of the princely Hal, is but too apt to propose to 'rob me the King's Exchequer.' But, Sir, this brigantine and her character are little known to you. We have no need of truant damsels, to let us into the mystery of the sex's taste; for a female spirit guides all our humors, and imparts something of her delicacy to all our acts, even though it be the fashion among burghers to call them lawless. See," throwing a curtain carelessly aside, and exhibiting, behind it, various articles of womanly employment, "here are the offspring of both pencil and needle. The sorceress," touching the image on his breast, "will not be entertained, without some deference to her sex."

"This affair must be arranged, I see, by a compromise," observed the Alderman. "By your leave, gentlemen, I will make proposals in private to this bold trader, who perhaps will listen to the offers I have to propose."

"Ah! This savors more of the spirit of trade than of that of the sea-goddess I serve," cried the other, causing his fingers to run lightly over the strings of the guitar. "Compromise and offers are sounds that become a burgher's lips. My tricksy spirit, commit these gentlemen to the care of bold Thomas Tiller, while I confer with the merchant. The character of Mr. Van Beverout, Captain Ludlow, will protect us both from the suspicion of any designs on the revenue!"

Laughing at his own allusion, the free-trader signed to the boy, who had appeared from behind a curtain, to show the disappointed suitors of la belle Barberie into another part of the vessel.

"Foul tongues and calumnies! Master Seadrift, this unlawful manner of playing round business, after accounts are settled and receipts passed, may lead to other loss besides that of character. The commander of the Coquette is not more than half satisfied of my ignorance of your misdoings in behalf of the customs, already; and these jokes are like so many punches into a smouldering fire, on a dark night. They only give light, and cause people to see the clearer:--though, Heaven knows, no man has less reason to dread an inquiry into his affairs than myself! I challenge the best accountant in the colonies to detect a false footing, or a doubtful entry, in any book I have, from the Memorandum to the Leger."

"The Proverbs are not more sententious, nor the Psalms half as poetical, as your library. But why this secret parley?--The brigantine has a swept hold."

"Swept! Brooms and Van Tromp! Thou hast swept the pavilion of my niece of its mistress, no less than my purse of its johannes. This is carrying a little innocent barter into a most forbidden commerce, and I hope the joke is to end, before the affair gets to be sweetening to the tea of the Province gossips. Such a tale would affect the autumn importation of sugars!"

"This is more vivid than clear. You have my laces and velvets; my brocades and satins are already in the hands of the Manhattan dames; and your furs and johannes are safe where no boarding officer from the Coquette--"

"Well, there is no need of speaking-trumpets, to tell a man what he knows already, to his cost! I should expect no less than bankruptcy from two or three such bargains, and you wish to add loss of character to loss of gold. Bulk-heads have ears in a ship, as well as walls in houses. I wish no more said of the trifling traffic that has been between us. If I lose a thousand florins by the operation, I shall know how to be resigned. Patience and afflictions! Have I not buried as full-fed and promising a gelding this morning, as ever paced a pavement, and has any man heard a complaint from my lips? I know how to meet losses, I hope; and so no more of an unhicky purchase."

"Truly, if it be not for trade, there is little in common between the mariners of the brigantine and Alderman Van Beverout."

"The greater the necessity thou shouldst end this silly joke, and restore his niece. I am not sure the affair can be at all settled with either of these hotheaded young men, though I should even offer to throw in a few thousands more, by way of make-weight. When female reputation gets a bad name in the market, 'tis harder to dispose of than falling stock; and your young lords of manors and commanders of cruisers have stomachs like usurers; no per centage will satisfy them; it must be all, or nothing! There was no such foolery in the days of thy worthy father! The honest trafficker brought his cutter into port, with as innocent a look as a mill-boat. We had our discourses on the qualities of his wares, when here was his price, and there was my gold. Odd or even! It was all a chance which had the best of the bargain. I was a thriving man in those days, Master Seadrift; but thy spirit seems the spirit of extortion itself!"

There was momentarily contempt on the lip of the handsome smuggler, but it disappeared in an expression of evident and painful sadness.

"Thou hast softened my heart, ere now, most liberal burgher," he answered, "by these allusions to my parent; and many is the doubloon that I have paid for his eulogies."

"I speak as disinterestedly as a parson preaches! What is a trifle of gold between friends? Yes, there was happiness in trade during the time of thy predecessor. He had a comely and a deceptive craft, that might be likened to an untrimmed racer. There was motion in it, at need, and yet it had the air of a leisurely Amsterdammer. I have known an Exchequer cruiser hail him, and ask the news of the famous free-trader, with as little suspicion as he have in speaking the Lord High Admiral! There were no fooleries in his time; no unseemly hussies stuck under his bowsprit, to put an honest man out of countenance; no high-fliers in sail and paint; no singing and luting--but all was rational and gainful barter. Then, he was a man to ballast his boat with something valuable. I have known him throw in fifty ankers of gin, without a farthing for freight, when a bargain has been struck for the finer articles--ay, and finish by landing them in England for a small premium, when the gift was made!"

"He deserves thy praise, grateful Alderman; but to what conclusion does this opening tend?"

"Well, if more gold must pass between us," continued the reluctant Myndert, "we shall not waste time in counting it; though, Heaven knows, Master Seadrift, thou hast already drained me dry. Losses have fallen heavy on me, of late. There is a gelding, dead, that fifty Holland ducats will not replace on the boom-key of Rotterdam, to say nothing of freight and charges, which come particularly heavy--"

"Speak to thy offer!" interrupted the other, who evidently wished to shorten the interview.

"Restore the girl, and take five-and-twenty thin pieces."

"Half-price for a Flemish gelding! La Belle would blush, with honest pride, did she know her value in the market!"

"Extortion and bowels of compassion! Let it be a hundred, and no further words between us."

"Harkee, Mr. Van Beverout; that I sometimes trespass on the Queen's earnings, is not to be denied and least of all to you; for I like neither this manner of ruling a nation by deputy, nor the principle which says that one bit of earth is to make laws for another. 'Tis not my humor, Sir, to wear an English cotton when my taste is for the Florentine; nor to swallow beer, when I more relish the delicate wines of Gascony Beyond this, thou knowest I do not trifle, even with fancied rights; and had I fifty of thy nieces, sacks of ducats should not purchase one!"

The Alderman stared, in a manner that might have induced a spectator to believe he was listening to an incomprehensible proposition. Still his companion spoke with a warmth that gave him no small reason to believe he uttered no more than he felt, and, inexplicable as it might prove, that he valued treasure less than feeling.

"Obstinacy and extravagance!" muttered Myndert; "what use can a troublesome girl be to one of thy habits? If thou hast deluded--"

"I have deluded none. The brigantine is not an Algerine, to ask and take ransom."

"Then let it submit to what I believe it is yet a stranger. If thou hast not enticed my niece away, by, Heaven knows, a most vain delusion! let the vessel be searched. This will make the minds of the young men tranquil, and keep the treaty open between us, and the value of the article fixed in the market."

"Freely:--but mark! If certain bales containing worthless furs of martens and beavers, with other articles of thy colony trade, should discover the character of my correspondents, I stand exonerated of all breach of faith."

"There is prudence in that.--Yes, there must be no impertinent eyes peeping into bales and packages. Well, I see, Master Seadrift, the impossibility of immediately coming to an understanding; and therefore I will quit thy vessel, for truly a merchant of reputation should have no unnecessary connexion with one so suspected."

The free-trader smiled, partly in scorn and yet much in sadness, and passed his fingers over the strings of the guitar.

"Show this worthy burgher to his friends, Zephyr," ne said; and, bowing to the Alderman, he dismissed him in a manner that betrayed a singular compound of feeling. One quick to discover the traces of human passion, might have fancied, that regret, and even sorrow, were powerfully blended with the natural or assumed recklessness of the smuggler's air and language.

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