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solitariness and dirt. There was not even so much as a smell of sulphur on the spot where the spectre had appeared, nor were there any signs of wet, which, supposing the thing seen had been a real animal, would have been the case, had it come from the sea through one of the hawse-holes. The whole affair was involved in the most profound mystery. The honourable captain, therefore, came to the conclusion that nothing whatever had appeared, and that the whole was the creation of cowardice.
Hot with rage and agueish with cold, he retired to his cabin, vowing all manner of impossible vengeance, muttering about courtmartials, and solemnly protesting that Mr. Mitchell, the first lieutenant, should pay him for the cow that he had so wantonly shot.
Blank were the countenances of many the next morning. The first lieutenant was not, as usual, asked to breakfast. There was distrust and division in his Majesty's ship Nænia, and the Honourable the Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban had several severe contusions on his noble person, a bad cold, and no milk for breakfast ; an accumulation of evils that one of the aristocracy ought not to be obliged to bear. Though Mr. Mitchell did not breakfast with the captain, Jack Small, alias Small Jack, alias Mr. Littlejohn, did. The only attempt of the captain that morning at conversation was as follows. With a voice that croaked like a raven's at the point of death, evidence externe of an abominable sore-throat, the captain merely said to the reefer, pointing his fore-finger downwards as he did the day before, “ Milk ?" Mr. Littlejohn shook his head dolefully, and replied, “ No, sir."
My cow died last night,” said the afflicted commander with a pathos that would have wrung the heart of a stone statue—if it could have heard it.
“ If you please, sir,” said the steward, “Mr. Mitchell sends his compliments, and would be very glad to know what you would have done with the dead cow.”—“ My compliments to Mr. Mitchell and he may do whatever he likes with it. He shot it, and must pay me for it: let him eat it if he will."
The first lieutenant and the captain were, after this, not on speaking terms for three months. Several duels had very nearly been fought about the ghost; those who had not seen it, branding those who had with an imputation only a little short of cowardice ; those who had seen it, becoming for a few weeks very religious, and firmly resolving henceforward to get drunk only in pious company. The carcase of the cow was properly dressed and cut 'up, but few were found who would eat of it; the majority of the seamen thinking that the animal had been bewitched : the captain of course would take none of it unless Mr. Mitchell would permit him to pay him for it at so much per pound, as he pertinaciously pretended to consider it to be the property of the first lieutenant. Consequently, the animal was nearly shared between the midshipmen's berth and the mess of which Joseph Grummet, the captain of the waist, was an unworthy member.
The day following the death of the cow, Joseph Grummet was found loitering about the door of the young gentlemen's berth.
“ Any milk to-morrow, Joseph ?" said the caterer.-“ No, sir," with a most sensible shake of the head.
“ Oh!-the cow has given up the ghost !”—“ And somebody else too!” This simple expression seemed to have much relieved Joe's overcharged bosom: he turned his quid in his mouth with evident satisfaction, grinned, and was shortly after lost in the darkness forward.
There never yet was a ghost story that did not prove a very simple affair when the key to it was found. The captain of the Nænia never would believe that anything uncommon was ever seen at all. He was, however, as much in the wrong as those who believed that they had seen a ghost. The occurrence could not be forgotten, though it ceased to be talked of. Two years after the ship came to England, and was paid off
. Joseph Grummet bagged his notes and his sovereigns with much satisfaction ; but he did not jump like a fool into the first boat, and rush ashore to scatter his hard-earned wages among Jews, and people still worse: he stayed till the last man, and anxiously watched for the moment when the pennant should be hauled down. When he saw this fairly done, he asked leave to speak to the captain. He was ushered into the cabin, and he there saw many of the officers who were taking leave of their old commander.
“ Well, Grummet,” said the skipper, “what now ?"
“ Please your honour, you offered five guineas to anybody who would tell
who milked the cow." “ And so I will gladly," said the captain, pleasantly, “ if the same person will unravel the mystery of the ghost." And he turned a triumphant look upon the believers in spirits who stood around him.
“ I milked your cow, sir."
“ Ah! Joseph, Joseph! it was unkindly done. But with your hands ?"_“ We widened a pair of Mr. Littlejohn's kid-gloves, sir."
“I knew that little rascal was at the bottom or it! but there is honour in the midshipmen's berth still. What is the reason that they thus sought to deprive me of my property ?”—“ You wouldn't allow them to take any live stock on board that cruise, sir.”
“ So-so-wild justice, hey? But come to the ghost.”—“ Why, sir, I wanted to have the cow unwatched for a quarter of an hour every middle watch ; so I took the shark's head we had caught a day or two before, scraped off most of the Aesh, and whipped it in a bread-bag,-it shone brighter in the dark than stinking mackerel ;so I whips him out when I wants him, and wabbles his jaws about. I was safely stowed under the bowsprit from your shot; and when your honour walked in on one side of the manger, I walked, with my head under my arm, out of the other."
“ Well, Joseph, there are your five guineas : and, gentlemen,” said the Honourable the Captain Augustus Fitzroy Fitzalban, bowing to his officers, “ I wish you joy of your ghost !"
OLD AGE AND YOUTH.
BY THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY.
Old Age sits bent on his iron-grey steed ;
Youth rides erect on his courser black ; And little he thinks in his reckless speed
Old Age comes on, in the very same track. And on Youth
with his cheek like the rose, And his radiant eyes, and his raven hair ; And his laugh betrays how little he knows,
Of Age, and his sure companion Care.
And Age plods on, in a quieter way,
Approaches him nearer, every day!
The other infirm, and wanting breath; If ever Youtu baffles Old Age, 'twill be
By rushing into the arms of Death! On his courser black, away Youth goes,
The prosing sage may rest at home ; He 'll laugh and quaff, for well he knows
That years must pass ere Age can come. And since too brief are the daylight hours
For those who would laugh their lives away ; With beaming lamps, and mimic flowers,
He'll teach the night to mock the day! Again he 'll laugh, again he'll feast,
His lagging foe he'll still deride, Until when he expects him least
Old Age and he stand side by side ! He then looks into his toilet-glass,
And sees Old Age reflected there ! He cries, “ Alas ! how quickly pass
Bright eyes, and bloom, and raven hair !" The lord of the courser black, must ride
On the iron-grey steed, sedate and slow! And thus to him who his power defied,
Old Age must come like a conquering foe. Had the prosing sage not preach'd in vain,
Had Youth not written his words on sand, Had he early paused, and given the rein
Of his courser black to a steadier hand : Oh! just as gay might his days have been,
Though mirth with graver thoughts might blend; And when at his side Old Age was seen,
He liad been hail'd as a timely friend.
AN EVENING OF VISITS.
I have had an odd pleasure in driving from one house to another on particular evenings, in order to produce as strong contrasts as my limited visiting list will afford. Having a fair opportunity a few nights since, in consequence of two or three invitations coming in for the evening on which several houses where I occasionally called were opened, I determined to make a night of it, in order to note the effect. As
Adid not know several of the people, I went alone, and you may possibly be amused with an account of my adventures : they shall be told.
In the first place I had to dress, in order to go to dinner at a house that I had never entered, and with a family of which I had never seen a soul. These are incidents which frequently come over a stranger, and, at first, were not a little awkward, but use hardens us to much greater misfortunes. At six, then, I stepped punctually into my coupé, and gave Charles the necessary number and street. I ought to tell you that the invitation had come a few days before, and, in a fit of curiosity, I had accepted it, and sent a card, without having the least idea who my host and hostess were, beyond their names. There was something piquant in this ignorance, and I had almost made up my mind to go in the same mysterious manner, leaving all to events, when happening in an idle moment to ask a lady of my acquaintance, and for whom I have a great respect, if she knew a Madame de -, to my surprise her answer was, “Most certainly-she is my cousin, and you are to dine there to-morrow.” I said no more, though this satisfied me that my hosts were people of some standing. While driving to their hotel, it struck me, under all the circumstances, it might be well to know more of them; and I stopped at the gate of a female friend who knows everybody, and who I was certain would receive me even at that unseasonable hour. I was admitted, explained my errand, and inquired if she knew a M. de
“Quelle question!” she exclaimed; “M. de est Chancelier de la France !” Absurd, and even awkward, as it might have proved but for this lucky thought, I should have dined with the French Lord High Chancellor without having the smallest suspicion who he was!
The hotel was a fine one, though the apartment was merely good; and the reception, service, and general style of the house were so simple, that neither would have awakened the least suspicion of the importance of my hosts. The party was small, and the dinner modest. I found the Chancelier a grave dignified man, a little curious on the subject of America; and his wife, apparently a woman of great good sense, and, I should think, of a good deal of attainment. Every thing went off in the
quietest manner possible, and I was sorry when it was time
From this dinner I drove to the hotel of the Marquis de Marbois, to pay a visit of digestion. M. de Marbois retires so early on account of his great age, that one is obliged to be punctual, or he will find the gate locked at nine. The company had got back into the drawing-room ; and as the last week's guests were mostly there, as well as those who had just left the table, there might have been thirty people present, all of whom were men, but two. One of the ladies was Madame de Souza, known in French literature as the writer of several clever novels of society. In the drawing-room were grouped in clusters the Grand Referendary, M. Cuvier, M. Daru, M. Villemain, M. de Plaisance, Mr. Brown, and many others of note. There seemed to be something in the wind, as the conversation was in low confidential whispers, attended by divers ominous shrugs. This could only be politics; and, watching an opportunity, I questioned an acquaintance. The fact was really so. The appointed hour had come, and the ministry of M. de Villèle was in the agony. The elections had not been favourable, and it was expedient to make an attempt to reach the old end by what is called a new combination. It is necessary to understand the general influence of political intrigues on certain cộteries of Paris, to appreciate the effect of this intelligence on a drawing-room filled like this, with men who had been actors in the principal events of France for forty years. The name of M. Cuvier was even mentioned as one of the new ministers. Comte Roy was also named as likely to be the new premier. I was told that this gentleman was one of the greatest landed proprietors of France, his estates being valued at four millions of dollars. The fact is curious, as showing, not on vulgar rumour, but from a respectable source, what is deemed a first-rate landed property in this country. It is certainly no merit, nor do I believe it is any very great advantage; but I think we might materially beat this, even in America. The company soon separated, and I retired.
From the Place de la Madeleine I drove to a house near the Carrousel, where I had been invited to step in, in the course of the evening. All the buildings that remain within the intended parallelogram, which will some day make this spot one of the finest squares in the world, have been bought by the government, or nearly so, with the intent to have them pulled down at a proper time; and the court bestows lodgings, ad interim, among them, on its favourites. Madame de was one of these favoured persons, and she occupies a small apartment in the third story of one of these houses.
The rooms were neat and well arranged, but small. Probably the largest does not exceed fifteen feet square. The approach to a Paris lodging is usually either very good or very bad. In the new