Page images

got too much freight into her, that's all ; and she was loaded ruther bad, 'corden to my notion.”

“You're right, John,” said I. "Good. Ned, take out Julia Kleokatrinka and you'll float.”

“Take out all the women, Neddy, and thee can steer thy vessel with better success," advised our model of modesty, Oliver.

· No, no. Leave in the dancen gals,” cried Venus. “Gals never spiled a sailen party yet, I know it.”

“Well boys, make up your minds," said Ned," whether you want me to start or not.

You don't, to be sure,

deserve to have a single sentence more of that journey, and I declare to yon, I would not go on with the recital of my various and singular adventures upon the voyage, but that I want to tell you a short yarn about our minister for Africa, and a certain American gentleman, that is, one who called himself such, but who was most unworthy of the name,

,-a great man, in his own opinion, with whom I met at Gondar, the capital of Abyssinia."

“ Julius Cæsar!” pleaded I; Ned, where the devil are you travelling?"

“ Travelling? Where I actually went; down the Red Sea, through the Straits of Babelmandel, and so around, by Ceylon and the Straits of Malacca, to the Lanjan Empire, stopping on the road, now and then, to have a fight or a frolic.”

“ Prepare for grief, boys,” said I, in deep despondence, tumbling back upon the straw. “ You've got into a scrape by urging your last petition. He'll talk to the end of next week. Good night.”

• No, my sweet boy, you don't escape in that way,” replied Ned, pulling me up with a grip which I was fain to obey ; ' you have contributed more than any one else to fit out this

Vol. 1.-8


I can

expedition, and I swear you shall have your share of the proceeds.”

“ Don't trouble yourself about the returns now. I'll settle with you, as ship's husband and supercargo, when you get back. Good bye. A pleasant voyage to you.”

No, no. Come back; come back. A press-gang has got hold of you. You must go with me.”

“ Don't ship me, Ned; I'm not an able seaman. neither reef nor steer.”

• Make him steward's mate, Mr. Locus," said Dan with a malicious grin. “He can bile coffee, and mix liquor for you, when your throat gits hoarse callen to th' crew.”

“I'll do it, Dan. Cypress, you are hereby appointed steward's mate of the felucca · Shiras Suez.' Look to your duty. There is your pay in advance, and here-filling my champagne glass——is money to furnish supplies to Mecca.”

Resistance was in vain. I was duly installed. “Now, Ned, what do you want ?".

A very light duty, Cypress. Your ears, and occasional tongue. I know my course, but I forget the name of the man whom I want to glorify. What is it ?"

• How, in the name of all the Mahometan saints, should I know ?

Repeat me those lines of Anacreon which we used to sing and mumble in school, when we were making believe' study."

“How can that help you? Do you mean ‘Ocw deyelv.'” “ Yes; yes. That is it

• θελω λεγειν Ατρειδας

θελω δε Καδμον αδειν'I wish to sing of Cadmus. I want to tell you, boys, about

[ocr errors]

Mr. Agamemnon Hermanus Spinosus Cadmus. Did you ever know him, Cypress ?"

“O, perfectly well," replied I, thinking to bother Ned. “ He was a descendant of Longoboos, one of the sons of Atreus, whose name, by the by, I perceive, is omitted in Charles Anthon's last, otherwise unexceptionable, edition of Lempriere. He was a regularly born boy, nevertheless, and he possessed a decidedly more dignified disposition and deportment than his brothers Menelaus, and Agamemnon."

Many laws ? dn him,” cried Venus. • He was in favor of plenty of banks, and legislaten, I 'spose."

“Historians differ upon that point, Venus. He was a brave fellow, at all events. Lactantius records, in his de ira divina,' that Menelaus and Agamemnon, instead of being kings, were most distinct democrats ; men who had rather eat a plain republican bowl of bread and milk with an honest farmer, than to be clothed in scarlet and fine linen, and sit within the blessed sound of the divine action of royal grinders. The other youth, on the contrary, he says, was against universal suffrage, and in favor of the doctrine that no man can love his country, or feel an interest in her welfare, unless he has got plenty of money."

“Dn him! then, 'stead o’t’other fellow,” interposed the republican critic again.

“His practice," I continued, not taking notice of the interruption, “ followed out his principles. He contrived to get appointed a Colonel in the militia, and then started to travel in foreign parts. He drove into Corinth a coach and six, with outriders, spending his money, all the way, with the profusion of a prince. Lais was at this time in the full blow of her glory. Cadmus bought off Alcibiades for a hundred thousand drachms, and set her up in the most magnificent


style. It was in reference to him that Diogenes, the Cynic, perpetrated that jealous snarl, non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum.'

“ Mr. Locus,” said Dan, “ I'm 'feard the steward's mate's taken command o' th’ship, and he's sarven out his darned Latin 'stead o' th' regler ship's allowance.”

Cypress, I've been thinking you might as well tell the story yourself. You seem to know all about it."

“No, no. I beg pardon, Ned. Go on, go on. I was only helping hoist sail, and throw off.”

“Well, boys, now stop this deviltry, and I'll start.. Where did I leave off, last night ?"

“You stopped when you got 'sleep in Julia Kle-cre-kle


“Kleokatrinka's lap,” finished I.
“ No, that was the Siberian puppy dog," said Ned.

“What's the odds what country the puppy belonged to ?” inquired Raynor, chuckling, and who knew that a fair hit was always welcome, come when, and come upon whom, it might.

“ It must have been yourself, Ned,” said I. - You like to take your comfort

αι γαλεαι μαλακως κρησδοντι καθευδεν'.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Theoc. In idyl. entit. “Syracusian ladies dressing to go to a blow out.”—Proverbiuin est quo utitur Proxinoe de ancilla Eunoe, Gorgonem alloquens. [Eunoe was doubtless an Irish damsel. Spelt, more correctly, “ You-know-her.”-Noah Webster.] Doctissimus Toupius sic optime reddit : the cat likes fish, but is afraid to wel her feet. " Quod salsum,” inquit, -—it was no joke for Ned, in this instance, and the translation is, in my opinion, absurd-et ad Eunoam referendum, hominem mollem, delicatulam, otio atque inertiæ deditam. [Epist. ad Warb. p. 33-plura vide in notas in Theoc ] Mihi quidem, Hercle, non fit verisimile. Ratione multo magis prædita Thomae Little explicatio videtur

" Turn to me, love, the morning rays

Are beaming o'er thy beauteous face :"

"Raynor," sung out Ned, getting a little vexed, “I wish you would fine that young gentlemen. What was the punishment we determined to inflict upon him the next time he quoted Heathen languages wrongly, or inappositely ?"

“A basket of Champagne. Shall I have to send one of the boys across to Islip, or Jim Smith's, to-morrow morn


“ Yes, either for him or me, for I make a complaint against him. Summon the Court of Dover, strait off. Crier! Peter ! call the Court !"

“It will take too long, Ned,” said I. “I'll leave it to Venus and Peter. They shall be the court with full powers. Each man state his case, and we'll be bound by their judgment."

“ Done," answered Ned. “ We'll waive the installation and ceremony of opening.-Gentlemen of the Court, we were talking of dogs ; and I say that to make a quotation about cats, and apply it to the more noble canine tribe, is supremely inappropriate, not to say highly ridiculous."

" That stands to reason,-seems to me,” said Venus.

[ocr errors]


Et, ut poetice illustrat scholiastes eximius Doctor Drake,

• The heart that riots in passion's dream

But feasts on his own decay,
As the snow wreath welcomes the sun's warm beam,
And smiles as it melts away.

[Fitzius Viridis Halleck comment.] These explications like us not,” say the Committee

on Greek mysteries” of the Historical Society, in their last semi-annual report, own, most experienced and judicious gentlemen, members component of our body, who are cognizant of the nature of cats, and likewise of the best places for taking comfort. The judgınent of your committee after much practice and comparison of notes, is, that the poet simply intended to say that cats love to sleep in pleasant places,' and that the most bucolical Syracusian had none other, covert or concealed phantasy.” [N. Y. Hist. Soc. mem Cur. 1832.]— De hac re dubito.” [Peter.] Judge ye.” [Excussoris diabolus.]

« PreviousContinue »