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Having had, from my earliest youth, an insatiable desire of travelling and seeing foreign parts, an impetus which has acquired proportionable vigor with the elongation and dilation of my body, I gave vent some days ago to my inclination, and, in company with a friend, packed up my wardrobe, consisting of a few sundries, and departed with him. We descended to the water's edge, and prepared to take a solar observation, when we found that we had no quadrant, and that the luminary was invisible, on account of the clouds which covered all the face of the sky. But I have since discovered that the latitude and longitude are laid down on the map, which supersedes the necessity of mentioning them.
We embarked in an aquatic conveyance, called by the people of these parts a horse-boat. But I am inclined to think that this novelty is a mere sham, a trick upon travellers. There are a dozen sorry nags in this contrivance, which go round in a circular walk, with halters round their necks, and beams at the other extremity. How this orbicular movement can promote the rectilinear advancement of this mammoth boat, is to me a mystery. And as we were six hours in crossing the river, I suspect that they go and come with the tide ; and that the horses are a mere catchpenny, to bring their masters the trigesimo-secundal part of a dollar more on every head than the customary ferriage levied on passengers. However, the unbappy quadrupeds appeared to strain very severely, and in their hinder quarters very particularly ; indeed every sinew of the latter part seemed to be over-exerted, while the head, neck, and fore legs moved glibly enough, which is certainly a natural curiosity. I account for it in this way: as the horses are all in a string, and the hinder parts of each one immediately subjected to the inspection of his follower, these noble animals draw up their anteriors from pride, and contract their posteriors from decency. But I do not lay this down as an hypothesis which is defensible, until I hear from the Antiquarian Institute at Cork, to whom I have transmitted an account of this phenomenon, with my conjectures thereon.
The ship’s company consisted of nine Dutchmen, three of whom had their vrows and sundry of their progeny with them; also one leg of mutton, two breasts of veal, one cheese, and a pound of tea. One of the females, though apparently of a slender constitution, seemed
* This sketch purports to be the 'fragment of a classical, topographical, mineralogical, and botanical tour, to that renowned and ancient city, Wehawk, performed in the summer of 1817, by a member of the lostitute of Cork, Ireland : carefully printed from the original ms. It is a just and biting satire, and one of the most admirable productions of the lamented SANDS, who, as the reader is perhaps aware, was struck down by the insatiate archer,' while engaged in writing an article for the KNICKERBOCKER, a work he had near his heart, and to which he was to have been a constant contributor. It will doubtless be entirely new to nine in ten of our readers, and receive a hearty welcome from all. Originating in one or two of the earliest annuals, then of exceedingly narrow cirçulation, or embodied in a comparatively stagnant edition of his complete works, unwisely produced in a too expensive forin for general diffusion, several of Sands' choicest efforts are scarcely known beyond the limits of the city, or the shelves of his admiring friends. Eds. KNICKERBOCKER.
to have a pretty good appetite, for she consumed seventeen apples, two loaves of bread, and the cheese ; and would probably have proceeded to attack the spare-ribs and leg of mutton, if her husband, anticipating such a result, had not squatted himself down upon them; and being a man of some circumference, it would have been as difficult a task to have effected their liberation, as to get Enceladus out of Ætna.
Most of the company were smoking ; and I discovered the cause of the phlegmatic nature of the Dutch. They use such short pipes, that the smoke goes up their noses, and, as I had reason to believe, makes the whole tour of their bodies. They have some shrewdness, however. We observed that the cover of the cabin leaked, and they said it was owing to the cracks.
It was raining very fast when we went on board, but the blue hori. zon soon afterward appeared, and we expected to see a very fine rainbow; but we were disappointed, as we have since found that in these latitudes there are no rainbows observable at noonday - a curious fact, which I have also transmitted to the Cork Institute.
We landed at Hoboken at half-past two P. M., but did not tarry to make observations on that place. Its commerce, however, appears to be in a declining condition, as there were but three xebecs, caïques, or galliots, lying in the port, two of which were in ruins, and the third by no means seaworthy. Many causes might be assigned for this ; but we dropped a tear over this famous city, and wound our course round into the country, The road lay through tall hills, covered with ground grass, juniperi florentes of Linnæus, and the granito-rosso, and granito-grigio or bigio rocks, vertical strata of which intersected these mountains in every direction, and had a very picturesque effect. The road appeared to consist of gravel poundato. Specimens of all these I have sent to Ireland.
We journeyed at an easy pace, reflecting on the decline and fall of the Roman empire, a subject which the scenery naturally introduced. Our attention, however, was soon arrested by the singular conduct of a dog. He came up to us as if in despair, and we were afraid at first that he was afflicted with the hydromany; but we were soon convinced of our error in that respect. His path was a curvilinear zigzag; now retrograde, and now forward. We then conjectured that he was bewitched ; and gave credence to the superstitions of the inhabitants of these parts, who firmly believe in the doctrine, and nail horse-shoes over their barn doors, to prevent the foul fiend from exerting his potential malice upon their cattle. (One of these charms I examined, and sent a fac simile to the society aforesaid.] The dog looked in our faces very particularly, whined, hung his ears, and carried his tail between his legs, in token of submission. This is the first proffer of service which the canine species make : when they do fealty as an acknowledgment of being willing to become your dog, they curl the tail, and lay their front legs horizontally, bending the head and body gracefully back, which is as much as to say: "Je deriens vôtre chien. The dog kept us company ever after, running before, and looking back to let us know that he considered himself an avaunt courier, or else keeping by us.
Nothing particular occurred farther, until we came to Weehawk. I noticed, however, that the hogs (sues immundi of the ancients) are in these parts particularly stupid. “An instance which fell under our own observation, is very surprising. One of them had a yoke on his neck, to which was conjoined a stick parallel to the front of his bead, perpendicularly directed. This prevented his getting between the bars of the fence; but the stupid beast continued bruising his nose, without reflecting that, by laying on his side, he might with facility have insinuated himself into the delightful bed of clover which tantalized his inability to enjoy it.
We arrived at the Weehawk inn, and stimulated with punch and crackers. These last were great curiosities, as they appeared, from the taste and inscription upon them, to have been baked in the year 1741. They were probably brought over from Holland by the present burgomaster of Weehawk. The dog ate them, apparently with much satisfaction, by which we discovered that he was a country dog, as those belonging to the city are not partial to such food.
We again set out on our pilgrimage, in order to survey the environs of this extensive and populous town, and struck into a different road. We saw two heifers lying on the grass, who did not seem to know what to do with themselves. Here we reflected on the darkness of the middle ages, and the glorious consequences of the invention of printing.
We heard something singing, and concluded it was a bird, the 'aris rolucris' of Linnæus. We turned out of the road here to enjoy the prospect afforded by a romantic glen, with a brook in it, and cascades according. The dog washed his feet, and we reflected on the source of the Nile.
We discovered an island in this stream, covered with tansies, bullfrogs, and one straight tall walnut-tree. We shook the latter in hopes of procuring some fruit; but as none descended, I suppose it was not the season for them. The withered leaves which covered the ground, while the trees above were in all their verdure, naturally led our contemplations to a comparison between youth and age, life and death, prosperity and adversity.
We returned to Weehawk through a juniper wood, and remarked two particularities in the inhabitants; one is, that they use pockethandkerchiefs on no day of the week but the first, by any chance whatever. They are then, however, only worn for ornament — the wearer making a pretence of employing his clean and neatly-folded piece of muslin after he has performed the nasal emunction with lis fingers. This is unquestionably a much cleanlier practice than that of the Europeans and Neo-Eboracians.
The other singularity is, that they wear no gallouses, or suspenders. There is an antiquity before the door of the mansion, the date of which we were unable to ascertain. It is a gallows. Whenever any of the male inhabitants walked under this, we observed that they bowed gracefully, at the same time holding the waistband of their bracchæ with their left hand; and by this we discovered the origin of the custom already mentioned. Peter Stuyvesant is recorded, in the chronicle of KNICKERBOCKER, to have punished minor offences by tying a rope round the criminal's middle, and letting him swim in
vacuo on a high gallows. Doubtless this indignity was ill brooked by the generous souls of the Dutchmen; and their posterity have inherited their feelings, though they are ignorant of the cause which makes them, as it were, involuntarily perform the feat aforesaid, and forswear gallowses as a memorial of their stigma.
We were here witnesses of a very interesting scene, the last fisherman's adieus and departure. All the rest had left the river long since; and this man, whose personal appearance was by no means deficient in the grotesque and picturesque, was taking his leave of the scene, and of the companions of many a carousal and festivity. They showed much less sympathy than he did, however, and refused to take off his hands a basket of codfish, the savor whereof was not indeed very inviting. Prose is too cold for this scene ; I have therefore done it into verse.
The sun was sinking in his glory, Gape all thy wounds, and break thy rudder,
Behind the dark bluff's shaggy brow, And midway let them ruin meei ! His ruddy rays stream'd thro' its verdure, I go where ocean darkly rages,
And streak'd with fire the wave below. I go to ride the billowy wave; Lit by his sad and parting radiance Farewell! farewell! I must not linger, Was every tint of varying green ;
If I the ocean storms would brave.
If for ever, fare thee well!
The white sails o'er the water mov'd, Bear it on thy murmuring swell!
Fare thee well, thou fir-clad Weehawk! To bid adieu to scenes he loved.
Bend thy dark leaves in the gale;
Like sea-weeds wild dishevell'd spread; As they seem to bid farewell !
'Fare thee well, my host, who kindly
Still for me bid cheerers foam,
Driving on the deep I roam.
Thus spoke the latest FISHERMAN: Oh ! my heart is failing now -
To wend where tempests furious blow; As he rush'd from Wechawk's brow!
Then methought that by the river
Bless'd Saint Anthony had stood, 'Deserted now, too lovely river !
Calling to a second sermon The bare poles o'er thy waters stand, All the fishes of the flood ! And soon the winds and waves carcering, For the wave was hid, where swarming, Shall root them from the treacherous Wild with joy's delicious power, sand.
Big and little, porpoise, killie,
Tumbled on its top ihat hour!
But a thousand will return !
(Hiatus calde deflendus.)
Aloft on snow-clad mountains, on whose breast
This is the electric spark sent down from heaven,
Through some small crevices will always flow,
A SABBATH WITH THE SHAKERS.
BY H. GREELEY.
I KNOW that it is now too late in the world's history for description ; that for the narrator, this is a used-up planet. Men have scaled its precipices, dug into its bowels, fathomed its oceans, penetrated its caverns, traversed its deserts, threaded its wildernesses, and clambered over its icebergs, until the unknown has become a shadow ; a sickly seething of the poet's brain. They have hammered its rocks, gathered its pebbles, dug up its bones, and afflicted its cuticle, until they have proved to a demonstration (but how, I am sure I do n't know,) that the earth is a hundred thousand years old, and created by volcanoes; that Moses, with all his piety and potency, was a bit of a humbug, and that his deluge was, on the whole, rather a small affair. No wonder a world so old should be worn out; the real marvel is, that it should still be enabled to shufile along at the rate of - I forget how many thousand miles an hour. It is high time that we poor superficial observers should stand back, and let the philosophers come, who can say something worth listening to. For myself, however, before making my bow, I would crave a word with you, reader, concerning the Shakers, and their singular worship. You have been bored with the subject a dozen times already ; know it, and will discourse to you so tamely, in such harmony with