Page images
PDF
EPUB

66

er

plied ; ' Allah forbid, that through my neglect, a lady's meat should go unsalted.'

“ Then we all had a hearty laugh. I turned to Ali Gator, who was leaning against a pile of scarlet satin ottomans, while the rays of the setting sun fell full upon his beautifully embroidered waistcoat,"

Stop, Ned, stop," said I, looking around, and listening to the chorus of heavy breathings that had, for some time past, been swelling upon my ear. “Raynor---softly-Dan-loud

- Peter with vehemence-Smith-Oliver — Zoph:- -You have, by gad; you've put them all to sleep. I'm glad of it.It serves you right. Of what interest is it to these people to know what twaddle was talked at Julia Kleokatrinka's dinnertable? And what right have you to betray the privacies of a hospitable board, into which you may have been, perhaps unworthily, adopted. Shame! shame! It is a just judgment upon you."

It only shows their want of taste,” replied Ned, coolly.

Bring up your camels !" sung out Venus, as he turned over on his side in an uneasy dream about the last thing he heard before he went to sleep. “Bring up your camels !"

“ So I say,” I continued. “ Get out of the city, Ned, some how or other. If you can't do better, take a balloon. Let's wake the boys up, and then do you travel on. Bring up your camels! Bring up your camels !"

I roared this out so loud, as to bring every man upon his feet.

"I was asleep," said Raynor, looking as though he wanted to make an apology.

“Some pork will boil that way,” philosophized the Hicksite.

“I was dreaming of the my-grab-somethen-dancen-gals. What did you do with 'em, Mr. Locus," asked Venus, rubbing his eyes. “Were they pretty? I should like to try 'em on

[ocr errors]

the double-shuffle, heel-and-toe, a small touch. Go it! Hey!"

“I'm done,” said Ned, sulkily, crossing his arms.

No, no, not by some thousands of miles," cried I. “We've got to get to the Lanjan Empire yet."-I knew Ned wanted to spin it out.

" It's my 'pinion he'll never reach there to-night,” yawned Long John.

“ The wind don't seem to suit, no haaw. What's your sentiments, Peter ?" 66 I have

my doubts.”

[blocks in formation]

“If any man woulde blame me, eyther for takynge such a matter in hande, or els for writing it in the Englysh tongue, this answer I maye make hym, that what the best of the realine thinke it honeste for them to use, I, one of the meanest sorte, ought not to suppose it vile for me to write ; and though to have written it in an other tonge, had bene bɔth more pro. fitable for my study, and also more honest for my name, yet I can thinke my labor wel bestowed, yf wt a litle hynderaunce of my profyt and name, may come any fourtherance to the pleasure or commoditie of the gentlemen and yeomen of England, for whose sake I took this matter in hande.”

Roger Ascham.

Even thus, apologised the venerable preceptor of England's virgin queen, when he gave to “all gentlemen and yeomen of England, pleasaunte for theyr pastyme to rede, and profitable for theyr use to folow,” that precious birth of “ Toxophilus, the schole of shootinge conteyned in two bookes." Glorious old Roger! my master-my father-my friend—my patron saint! Thy pupil and worshipper is redeemed from the guilt of “idlenesse and levitie,” by the gracious authority of thy

[ocr errors]

precept and example. Roger, be with me! Rogere, ut mihi faveas, adjutorque sis, rogo, obsecro !

On the evening succeeding the night when Ned's travels met with the ignominious punctuation which has been set forth in the foregoing chapter, we were all assembled around the cheerful fire, relating our sports and various adventures of the day. Ned was in good humor with himself and every body else, for his sport had been eminently triumphant. Oliver and I had killed only some twenty coot, and a beach fox; while he and one of the boys brought in fifty-four brant, seven geese, five widgeons, three oldwives, a cormorant, and a while owl. Ned gave us a full account of his captivity and sufferings among the Pawnee Picks, and Daniel rehearsed, with much grace and unction, his yarns about pirates Halstead, Conklin, and Jones. Fatigue and sleep at last succeeded in making us yawn, and as I had engaged Bill Luff to go with me to “the middle ground” next morning, early, to lie in a battery, I proposed that we should “shut up shop,” and go to bed.

6 Won't the tide sarve for Mr. Locus to reach to the Lanjan Empire to-night ?". asked Long John of me, stretching out his immense isthmus of neck, and putting on a most ludicrously quizzical character of phiz. “I reckon 's high water naaw, and his ship can scratch over the bars, likely, 'bout this time."

“It's my 'pinion he rather smashed her last night,” said Dan; “I shouldn't be 'sprised if Mr. Cypress was to say he sce small piece o' th' wrack himself.”

“ Let him keel her up and get the water out o' her, and set her afloat agen." 66 It's no use.

She's got a smart hole into her, and she's pretty much water-logged, I sh'd say."

“ Let 'im take out some th' cargo, and she'll go. He'd only - No, no.

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.

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 you, 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

got hold of

me."

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

you.
You must go

with
“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. 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 Oew 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]
« PreviousContinue »