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fogs, the very breath of ocean, creep up at times into the quiet streets and envelope everything. The terrific storms that lash the coast; the kelp and spars, and sometimes the bodies of drowned men, tossed on shore by the scornful waves ; the shipyards, the wharves, and the tawny fleet of fishing-smacks yearly fitted out at Rivermouth—these things, and a hundred other, stir the

fancy and fill the brain of every healthy boy with dreams of adventure. He learns to swim almost as soon as he can walk; he draws in with his mother's milk the art of handling an oar ; he is born a sailor, whatever he may turn out to be afterwards.

To own the whole or a portion of a rowboat is his earliest ambition. No wonder that

I, born to this life, and coming back to it with freshest sympathies, should have caught the prevailing infection. No wonder I longed to buy a part of the trim little sail-boat Dolphin, which chanced just then to be in the market. This was in the latter part of May.

Three shares, at five or six dollars each, I forget which, had already been taken by Phil Adams, Fred Langdon, and Binny Wallace. The fourth and remaining share hung fire. Unless a purchaser could be found for this, the bargain was to fall through.

I am afraid I required but slight urging to join in the scheme. I had four dollars and fifty cents on hand, and the treasurer advanced me the balance, receiving my silver pencil-case as ample security. It was a proud moment when I stood on the wharf with my partners, inspecting the Dolphin, moored at the foot of a very slippery flight of steps. She was painted white with a green stripe outside, and on the stern a yellow dolphin, with its scarlet mouth wide open, stared with a surprised expression at its own reflection in the water. The boat was a great bargain.


I whirled my cap in the air, and ran to the stairs leading down from the wharf, when a hand was laid gently on my shoulder. I turned, and faced Captain Nutter. I never saw such an old sharp-eye as he was in those days.

I knew he wouldn't be angry with me for buying a row-boat; but I also knew that the little bowsprit suggesting a jib, and the tapering mast ready for its few square yards of canvas, were trifles not likely to meet his approval. . As far as rowing on the river, among the wharves, was concerned, the Captain had long since withdrawn his decided objections, having convinced himself, by going out with me several times, that I could manage a pair of sculls as well as anybody.

I was right in my surmises. He commanded me in the most emphatic terins never to go out in the Dolphin without leaving the mast in the boat-house. This curtailed my expected sport, but the pleasure of having a pull whenever I wanted remained. I never disobeyed the Captain's orders touching the sail, though I sometimes extended my row beyond the points he had indicated.

The river was dangerous for sail-boats. Squalls, without the slightest warning, were of frequent occurrence; scarcely a year passed that six or seven persons were not drowned under the very windows of the town, and these, oddly enough, were generally sea-captains,


who either did not understand the river, or lacked the skill to handle a small craft.

A knowledge of such disasters, one of which I wit. nessed, consoled me somewhat when I saw Phil Adams skimming over the water in a spanking breeze with every stitch of canvas set. There were few better yachtsmen than Phil Adams. He usually went sailing alone, for both Fred Langdon and Binny Wallace were under the same restrictions as I was.

Not long after the purchase of the boat, we planned an excursion to Sandpeep Island, the last of the islands in the harbour. We proposed to start early in the morning, and return with the tide in the moonlight. Our only difficulty was to obtain a whole day's exemption from school, the customary half-holiday not being long enough for our picnic. Somehow, we couldn't work it; but fortune arranged it for us. I may say here, that, whatever else I did, I never played truant in my life.

One afternoon the four owners of the Dolphin exchanged glances when Mr. Grimshaw announced from the desk that there would be no school the following day, he having just received intelligence of the death of his uncle in Boston. I was sincerely attached to Mr. Grimshaw, but I am afraid that the death of his uncle did not affect me as it ought to have done.





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1. How cheery are the mariners

Those lovers of the sea !
Their hearts are like its yesty waves,

As bounding and as free.
They whistle when the storm-bird wheels

In circles round the mast,
And sing when deep in foam the ship

Ploughs onward to the blast.

2. What care the mariners for gales ?

There's music in their roar,

When wide the berth along the lee

And leagues of room before.
Let billows toss to mountain heights,

Or sink to chasms low,
The vessel stout will ride it out

Nor reel beneath the blow.

3. With streamers down and canvas furled

The gallant hull will float
Securely as on inland lake

A silken, tasselled boat;
And sound asleep some mariners,

And some with watchful eyes,
Will fearless be of dangers dark

That roll along the skies.

4. God keep those cheery mariners,

And temper all the gales
That sweep against the rocky coast

To their storm-shattered sails;
And men on shore will bless the ship

That could so guided be,
Safe in the hollow of His hand
To brave the mighty sea!


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