Part 9 out of 10
ashamed to pray; and when he did bow down his spirit in this manner, it
was with the force, comprehensiveness, and energy of his character. He was
now moved by the feeble and common-place consolations that Mr. Monday
endeavoured to extract from his situation. He saw the peculiarly deluding
and cruel substitution of forms for the substance of piety that
distinguishes the policy of all established churches, though, unlike many
of his own countrymen, his mind was superior to those narrow exaggerations
that, on the other hand, too often convert innocence into sin, and puff up
the votary with the conceit of a sectarian and his self-righteousness.
"I will pray with you, Mr. Monday," he said, kneeling at the side of the
dying man's bed: "we will ask mercy of God together, and he may lessen
Mr. Monday made a sign of eager assent, and John Effingham prayed in a
voice that was distinctly audible to the other. The petition was short,
beautiful, and even lofty in language, without a particle of Scripture
jargon, or of the cant of professed devotees; but it was a fervent,
direct, comprehensive, and humble appeal to the Deity for mercy on the
being who now found himself in extremity. A child might have understood
it, while the heart of a man would have melted with its affecting and meek
sincerity. It is to be hoped that the Great Being, whose Spirit pervades
the universe, and whose clemency is commensurate with his power, also
admitted the force of the petition, for Mr. Monday smiled with pleasure
when John Effingham arose.
"Thank you, sir--a thousand thanks," muttered the dying man, pressing the
hand of the other. "This is better than all."
After this Mr. Monday was easier, and hours passed away in nearly a
continued silence. John Effingham was now convinced that his patient
slumbered, and he allowed himself to fall into a doze. It was after the
morning watch was called, that he was aroused by a movement in the berth.
Relieving his patient required nourishment, or some fluid to moisten his
lips, John Effingham offered both, but they were declined. Mr. Monday had
clasped his hands on his breast, with the fingers uppermost, as painters
and sculptors are apt to delineate them when they represent saints in the
act of addressing the Deity, and his lips moved, though the words were
whispered. John Effingham kneeled, and placed his ear so close as to catch
the sounds. His patient was uttering the simple but beautiful petition
transmitted by Christ himself to man, as the model of all prayer.
As soon as the other had done, John Effingham repeated the same prayer
fervently and aloud himself, and when he opened his eyes, after this
solemn homage to God, Mr. Monday was dead.
Let me alone:--dost thou use to write
Thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an
Honest, plain-dealing man?
At a later hour, the body of the deceased was consigned to the ocean with
the forms that had been observed the previous night at the burial of the
seaman. These two ceremonies were sad remembrancers of the scene the
travellers had passed through; and, for many days, the melancholy that
they naturally excited pervaded the ship. But, as no one connected by
blood with any of the living had fallen, and it is not the disposition of
men to mourn always, this feeling gradually subsided, and at the end of
three weeks the deaths had lost most of their influence, or were recalled
only at moments by those who thought it wise to dwell on such
Captain Truck had regained his spirits; for, if he felt mortified at the
extraordinary difficulties and dangers that had befallen his ship, he also
felt proud of the manner in which he had extricated himself from them. As
for the mates and crew, they had already returned to their ordinary habits
of toil and fun, the accidents of life making but brief and superficial
impressions on natures accustomed to vicissitudes and losses.
Mr. Dodge appeared to be nearly forgotten during the first week after the
ship succeeded in effecting her escape; for he had the sagacity to keep
himself in the background, in the hope that all connected with himself
might be overlooked in the hurry and excitement of events. At the end of
that period, however, he resumed his intrigues, and was soon actively
engaged in endeavouring to get up a "public opinion," by means of which he
proposed to himself to obtain some reputation for spirit and courage. With
what success this deeply-laid scheme was likely to meet, as well as the
more familiar condition of the cabins, may be gathered by a conversation
that took place in the pantry, where Saunders and Toast were preparing the
hot punch for the last of the Saturday nights that Captain Truck expected
to be at sea. This discourse was held while the few who chose to join in
jollification that peculiarly recalled the recollection of Mr. Monday,
were slowly assembling round the great table at the urgent request of
"Well, I must say, Mr. Toast," the steward commenced, as he kept stirring
the punch, "that I am werry much rejoiced Captain Truck has resuscertated
his old nature, and remembers the festivals and fasts, as is becoming the
master of a liner. I can see no good reason because a ship is under
jury-masts, that the passengers should forego their natural rest and diet.
Mr. Monday made a good end, they say, and he had as handsome a burial as I
ever laid eyes on at sea. I don't think his own friends could have
interred him more efficaciously, or more piously, had he been on shore."
"It is something, Mr. Saunders, to be able to reflect beforehand on the
respectable funeral that your friends have just given you. There is a
great gratification to contemplate on such an ewent."
"You improve in language, Toast, that I will allow; but you sometimes get
the words a little wrong. We suspect before a thing recurs, and reflect on
it after it has ewentuated. You might have suspected the death of poor Mr.
Monday after he was wounded, and reflected on it after he was interred in
the water. I agree with you that it is consoling to know we have our
funeral rights properly delineated. Talking of the battle, Mr. Toast, I
shall take this occasion to express to you the high opinion I entertain of
your own good conduct. I was a little afraid you might injure Captain
Truck in the conflict; but, so far as I have ascertained, on close
inwestigation, you hurt nobody. We coloured people have some prejudices
against us, and I always rejoice when I meet with one who assists to put
them down by his conduck."
"They say Mr. Dodge didn't do much harm, either," returned Toast. "For my
part I saw nothing of him after I opened my eyes; though I don't think I
ever stared about me so much in my life."
Saunders laid a finger on his nose, and shook his head significantly.
"You may speak to me with confidence and mistrust, Toast," he said, "for
we are friends of the same colour, besides being officers in the same
pantry. Has Mr. Dodge conwersed with you concerning the ewents of those
two or three werry ewentful days?"
"He has insinevated considerable, Mr. Saunders; though I do not think Mr.
Dodge is ever a werry free talker."
"Has he surgested the propriety of having an account of he whole affair
made out by the people, and sustained by affidavits?"
"Well, sir, I imagine he has. At all ewents, he has been much on the
forecastle lately, endeavouring to persuade the people that _they_ retook
the ship, and that the passengers were so many encumbrancers in
"And, are the people such _non composses_ as to believe him, Toast?"
"Why, sir, it is agreeable to humanity to think well of ourselves. I do
not say that anybody actually _believes_ this; but, in my poor judgment,
Mr. Saunders, there are men in the ship that would find it _pleasant_ to
believe it, if they could."
"Werry true; for that is natural. Your hint, Toast, has enlightened my
mind on a little obscurity that has lately prewailed over my conceptions.
There are Johnson, and Briggs, and Hewson, three of the greatest skulks in
the ship, the only men who prewaricated in the least, so much as by a cold
look, in the fight; and these three men have told me that Mr. Dodge was
the person who had the gun put on the box; and that he druv the Arabs upon
the raft. Now, I say, no men with their eyes open could have made such a
mistake, except they made it on purpose. Do you corroborate or contrawerse
this statement, Toast?"
"I contrawerse it, sir; for in my poor judgment it was Mr. Blunt."
"I am glad we are of the same opinion. I shall say nothing till the proper
moment arrives, and then I shall exhibit my sentiments, Mr. Toast, without
recrimination or anxiety, for truth is truth."
"I am happy to observe that the ladies are quite relaxed from their
melancholy, and that they now seem to enjoy themselves ostensibly."
Saunders threw a look of envy at his subordinate, whose progress in
refinement really alarmed his own sense of superiority; but suppressing
the jealous feeling, he replied with, dignity,
"The remark is quite just, Mr. Toast, and denotes penetration. I am always
rejoiced when I perceive you elewating your thoughts to superior objects,
for the honour of the colour."
"Mister Saunders," called out the captain from his seal in the arm-chair,
at the head of the table.
"Captain Truck, sir."
"Let us taste your liquors."
This was the signal that the Saturday-night was about to commence, and the
officers of the pantry presented their compounds in good earnest. On this
occasion the ladies had quietly, but firmly declined being present, but
the earnest appeals of the well-meaning captain had overcome the scruples
of the gentlemen, all of whom, to avoid the appearance of disrespect to
his wishes, had consented to appear.
"This is the last Saturday night, gentlemen, that I shall probably ever
have the honour of passing in your good company," said Captain Truck, as
he disposed of the pitchers and glasses before him, so that he had a
perfect command of the appliances of the occasion, "and I feel it to be a
gratification with which I would not willingly dispense. We are now to
the westward of the Gulf, and, according to my observations and
calculations, within a hundred miles of Sandy Hook, which, with this mild
south-west wind, and our weatherly position, I hope to be able to show you
some time about eight o'clock to-morrow morning. Quicker passages have
been made certainly, but forty days, after all, is no great matter for the
westerly run, considering that we have had a look at Africa, and are
walking on crutches."
"We owe a great deal to the trades," observed Mr. Effingham; "which have
treated us as kindly towards the end of the passage, as they seemed
reluctant to join us in the commencement. It has been a momentous month,
and I hope we shall all retain healthful recollections of it as long as
"No one will retain as _grateful_ recollections of it as myself,
gentlemen," resumed the captain. "You had no agency in getting us into
the scrape, but the greatest possible agency in getting us out of it.
Without the knowledge, prudence, and courage that you have all displayed,
God knows what would have become of the poor Montauk, and from the bottom
of my heart I thank you, each and all while I have the heartfelt
satisfaction of seeing you around me, and of drinking to your future
health, happiness and prosperity."
The passengers acknowledged their thanks in return, by bows, among which,
that of Mr. Dodge was the most elaborate and conspicuous. The honest
captain was too much touched, to observe this little piece of audacity,
but, at that moment, he could have taken even Mr. Dodge in his arms and
pressed him to his heart.
"Come, gentlemen," he continued; "let us fill and do honour to the night.
God has us all in his holy keeping, and we drift about in the squalls of
life, pretty much as he orders the wind to blow. 'Sweethearts and wives!'
and, Mr. Effingham, we will not forget beautiful, spirited, sensible, and
After this piece of nautical gallantry, the glass began to circulate. The
captain. Sir George Templemore--as the false baronet was still called in
the cabin, and believed to be by all but those who belonged to the
_coterie_ of Eve--and Mr. Dodge, indulged freely, though the first was too
careful of the reputation of his ship, to forget that he was on the
American coast in November. The others partook more sparingly, though even
they submitted in a slight degree to the influence of good cheer, and for
the first time since their escape, the laugh was heard in the cabin as was
wont before to be the case. An hour of such indulgence produced again some
of the freedom and ease which mark the associations of a ship, after the
ice is fairly broken, and even Mr. Dodge began to be tolerated. This
person, notwithstanding his conduct on the occasion of the battle, had
contrived to maintain his ground with the spurious baronet, by dint of
assiduity and flattery, while the others had rather felt pity than
aversion, on account of his abject cowardice. The gentlemen did not
mention his desertion at the critical moment, (though Mr. Dodge never
forgave those who witnessed it,) for they looked upon his conduct as the
result of a natural and unconquerable infirmity, that rendered him as much
the subject of compassion as of reproach. Encouraged by this forbearance,
and mistaking its motives, he had begun to hope his absence had not been
detected in the confusion of the fight, and he had even carried his
audacity so far, as to make an attempt to persuade Mr. Sharp that he had
actually been one of those who went in the launch of the Dane, to bring
down the other boat and raft to the reef, after the ship had been
recaptured. It is true, in this attempt, he had met with a cold repulse,
but it was so gentlemanlike and distant, that he had still hopes of
succeeding in persuading the other to believe what he affirmed; by way of
doing which, he endeavoured all he could to believe it himself. So much
confusion existed in his own faculties during the fray, that Mr. Dodge was
fain to fancy others also might not have been able to distinguish things
Under the influence of these feelings, Captain Truck, when the glass had
circulated a little freely, called on the Editor of the Active Inquirer,
to favour the company with some more extracts from his journal. Little
persuasion was necessary, and Mr. Dodge went into his state-room to bring
forth the valuable records of his observations and opinions, with a
conviction that all was forgotten, and that he was once more about to
resume his proper place in the social relations of the ship. As for the
four gentlemen who had been over the ground the other pretended to
describe, they prepared to listen, as men of the world would be apt to
listen to the superficial and valueless comments of a tyro, though not
without some expectations of amusement.
"I propose that we shift the scene to London," said Captain Truck, "in
order that a plain seaman, like myself, may judge of the merits of the
writer--which, I make no doubt, are very great; though I cannot now swear
to it with as free a conscience as I could wish."
"If I knew the pleasure of the majority," returned Mr. Dodge, dropping the
journal, and looking about him inquiringly, "I would cheerfully comply
with it; for I think the majority should always rule. Paris, or London, or
the Rhine, are the same to me; I have seen them all, and am just, as well
qualified to describe the one as to describe the other."
"No one doubts it, my dear sir; but I am not as well qualified to
understand one of your descriptions as I am to understand another.
Perhaps, evon you, sir, may express yourself more readily, and have better
understood what was said to you, in English, than in a foreign tongue."
"As for that, I do not think the value of my remarks is lessened by the
one circumstance, or enhanced by the other, sir. I make it a rule always
to be right, if possible; and that, I fancy, is as much as the natives of
the countries themselves can very well effect. You have only to decide,
gentlemen, whether it shall be England, or France, or the Continent."
"I confess an inclination to the _Continent_," said John Effingham; "for
one could scarcely wish to limit a comprehensiveness like that of Mr.
Dodge's to an island, or even to France."
"I see how it is," exclaimed the captain; "we must put the traveller
through all his paces, and have a little of both; so Mr. Dodge will have
the kindness to touch on all things in heaven and earth, London and Paris
On this hint the journalist turned over a few pages carelessly, and then
"'Reached _Bruxelles_ (Mr. Dodge pronounced this word Brucksills) at seven
in the evening, and put up at the best house in the place, called the
Silver Lamb, which is quite near the celebrated town-house, and, of course
in the very centre of the _beau_ quarter. As we did not leave until after
breakfast next morning, the reader may expect a description of this
ancient capital. It lies altogether on a bit of low, level land-----'"
"Nay, Mr. Dodge," interrupted the _soi-disant_ Sir George, "I think _that_
most be an error. I have been at Brussels, and I declare, now, it struck
me as lying a good deal on the side of a very steep hill!"
"All a mistake, sir, I do assure you. There is no more hill at
_Brucksills_ than on the deck of this ship. You have been in too great a
hurry, my dear Sir George; that is the way with most travellers; they do
not give themselves time to note particulars. You English especially, my
dear Sir George, are a little apt to be precipitate; and I dare say, you
travelled post, with four horses, a mode of getting on by which a man may
very well transfer a hill, in his imagination, from one town to another. I
travelled chiefly in a _voitury_, which afforded leisure for remarks."
Here Mr. Dodge laughed; for he felt that he had got the best of it.
"I think you are bound to submit, _Sir George Templemore"_ said John
Effingham, with an emphasis on the name that raised a smile among his
friends; "Brussels certainly lies on a flat; and the hill you saw has,
doubtless, been brought up with you from Holland in your haste. Mr. Dodge
enjoyed a great advantage in his mode of travelling; for, by entering a
town in the evening, and quitting it only in the morning, he had the whole
night to look about him."
"That was just my mode of proceeding, Mr. John Effingham; I made it a rule
to pass an entire night in every large town I came to."
"A circumstance that will give a double value to your opinions with our
countrymen, Mr. Dodge, since they very seldom give themselves half that
leisure when once in motion. I trust you have not passed over the
institutions of Belgium, sir; and most particularly the state of society
in the capital, of which you saw so much?"
"By no means; here are my remarks on these subjects:
"--'Belgium, or _The Belges_, as the country is now called, is one of the
upstart kingdoms that have arisen in our times; and which, from signs that
cannot be mistaken, is fated soon to be overturned by the glorious
principles of freedom. The people are ground down, as usual, by the
oppression of hard task-masters, and bloody-minded priests. The monarch,
who is a bigoted Catholic of the House of Saxony, being the son of the
king of that country, and a presumptive heir to the throne of Great
Britain, in right of his first wife, devoting all his thoughts to miracles
and saints. The nobles form a class by themselves, indulging in all sorts
of vices.'--I beg pardon, Sir George, but the truth must be told in our
country, or one had better never speak.--'All sorts of vices, and
otherwise betraying the monstrous tendencies of the system.'"
"Pray, Mr. Dodge," interrupted John Effingham, "have you said nothing as
to the manner in which the inhabitants relieve the eternal _ennui_ of
always walking on a level surface?"
"I am afraid not, sir. My attention was chiefly given to the institutions,
and to the state of society, although I can readily imagine they must get
to be heartily tired of a dead flat"
"Why, sir, they have contrived to run a street up and down the roof of
the cathedral; and up and down this street they trot all hours of
Mr. Dodge looked distrustful; but John Effingham maintained his gravity.
After a pause the former continued:--
"'The usages of _Brucksills_ are a mixture of Low Dutch and High Dutch
habits, as is the language. The king being a Polander, and a grandson of
Augustus, king of Poland, is anxious to introduce the customs of the
Russians into his court; while his amiable young queen, who was born in
New Jersey when her illustrious father kept the school at Haddonfield,
early imbibed those notions of republicanism which so eminently
distinguish his Grace the Honourable Louis Philippe Orleans, the present
King of the French.'"
"Nay, Mr. Dodge," said Mr. Sharp, "you will have all the historians ready
to cut your throat with envy!"
"Why, sir, I feel it a duty not to throw away the great opportunities I
have enjoyed; and America is a country in which an editor may never hope
to mystify his readers. We deal with them in facts, Mr. Sharp; and
although this may not be your English practice, we think that truth is
powerful and will prevail. To continue,--'The kingdom of _the Belges_ is
about as large as the north-east corner of Connecticut, including one town
in Rhode Island; and the whole population may be about equal to that of
_our_ tribe of Creek Indians, who dwell in the wilder parts of _our_ state
"This particularity is very convincing," observed Paul, "and then it has
the merit, too, of coming from an eye-witness"
"I will now, gentlemen, return with you to Paris, where I stayed all of
three weeks, and of the society of which my knowledge of the language
will, of course, enable me to give a still more valuable account."
"You mean to publish these hints, I trust, sir?" inquired the captain.
"I shall probably collect them, and enlarge them in the way of a book; but
they have already been laid before the American public in the columns of
the Active Inquirer, I can assure you, gentlemen, that my colleagues of
the press have spoken quite favourably of the letters as they appeared.
Perhaps you would like to hear some of their opinions?"
Hereupon Mr. Dodge opened a pocket-book, out of which he took six or eight
slips of printed paper, that had been preserved with care, though
obviously well thumbed. Opening one, he read as follows:
"'Our friend Dodge, of the Active Inquirer, is instructing his readers,
and edifying mankind in general, with some very excellent and pungent
remarks on the state of Europe, which part of the world he is now
exploring with some such enterprise and perseverance as Columbus
discovered when he entered on the unknown waste of the Atlantic. His
opinions meet with our unqualified approbation, being sound, American, and
discriminating. We fancy these Europeans will begin to think in time that
Jonathan has some pretty shrewd notions concerning themselves, the
critturs!' This was extracted from the People's Advocate, a journal edited
with great ability, by Peleg Pond, esquire, a thorough-going republican,
and a profound observer of mankind."
"In his own parish in particular," quaintly added John Effingham. "Pray,
sir, have you any more of these critical _morceaux_?"
"At least a dozen," beginning to read again.--"Steadfast Dodge, esquire,
the editor of the Active Inquirer, is now travelling in Europe, and is
illuminating the public mind at home by letters that are Johnsonian in
style, Chesterfieldian in taste and in knowledge of the world, with the
redeeming qualities of nationality, and republicanism, and truth. We
rejoice to perceive by these valuable contributions to American
literature, that Steadfast Dodge, esquire, finds no reason to envy the
inhabitants of the Old World any of their boasted civilization; but that,
on the contrary, he is impressed with the superiority of our condition
over all countries, every post that he progresses. America has produced
but few men like Dodge; and even Walter Scott might not be ashamed to own
some of his descriptions. We hope he may long continue to travel.'"
"_Voitury_" added John Effingham gravely. "You perceive, gentlemen, how
modestly these editors set forth their intimacy with the traveller--'our
friend Dodge, of the Active Inquirer,' and 'Steadfast Dodge, esquire!'--a
mode of expression that speaks volumes for their own taste, and their
profound deference for their readers!"
"We always speak of each other in this manner, Mr. John Effingham--that is
our _esprit du corps_."
"And I should think that there would be an _esprit de corps_ in the public
to resist it," observed Paul Blunt.
The distinction was lost on Mr. Dodge, who turned over to one of his most
elaborate strictures on the state of society in France, with all the
self-complacency of besotted ignorance and provincial superciliousness.
Searching out a place to his mind, this profound observer of men and
manners, who had studied a foreign people, whose language when spoken was
gibberish to him, by travelling five days in a public coach, and living
four weeks in taverns and eating-houses, besides visiting three theatres,
in which he did not understand a single word that was uttered, proceeded
to lay before his auditors the results of his observations.
"'The state of female society in France is truly awful,' he resumed, 'the
French Revolution, as is universally known, having left neither decorum,
modesty, nor beauty in the nation. I walk nightly in the galleries of the
Palais Royal, where I locate myself, and get every opportunity of
observing the peculiarities of ladies of the first taste and fashion in
the metropolis of Europe. There is one duchess in particular, whose grace
and _embonpoint_ have, I confess, attracted my admiration. This lady, as
my _lacquais de_ _place_ informs me, is sometimes termed _la mère du
peuple_, from her popularity and affability. The young ladies of France,
judging from the specimens I have seen here--which must be of the highest
class in the capital, as the spot is under the windows of one of the royal
palaces--are by no means observable for that quiet reserve and modest
diffidence that distinguish the fair among our own young countrywomen; but
it must be admitted they are remarkable for the manner in which, they walk
alone, in my judgment a most masculine and unbecoming practice. Woman was
not made to live alone, and I shall contend that she was not made to walk
alone. At the same time, I confess here is a certain charm in the manner
in which these ladies place a hand in each pocket of their aprons, and
balance their bodies, as they move like duchesses through the galleries.
If I might humbly suggest, the American fair might do worse than imitate
this Parisian step; for, as a traveller I feel it a duty to exhibit any
superior quality that other nations possess. I would also remark on the
general suavity of manners that the ladies of quality' (this word Mr Dodge
pronounced _qua-a-lity_,) 'observe in their promenades in and about this
genteel quarter of Paris.'"
"The French ladies ought to be much flattered with this notice of them,"
cried the captain, filling Mr. Dodge's glass. "In the name of truth and
penetration, sir, proceed."
"'I have lately been invited to attend a ball in one of the first families
of France, which resides in the Rue St. Jaques, or the St. James' of
Paris. The company was select, and composed of many of the first persons
in the kingdom of _des Français_. The best possible manners were to be
seen here, and the dancing was remarkable for its grace and beauty. The
air with which the ladies turned their heads on one side, and inclined
their bodies in advancing and retiring, was in the first style of the
court of Terpsichore. They were all of the very first families of France.
I heard one excuse herself for going away so early, as _Madame la
Duchesse_ expected her; and another observed that she was to leave town in
the morning with _Madame la Vicomtesse_. The gentlemen, with few
exceptions, were in fancy dresses, appearing in coats, some of sky-blue,
some green, some scarlet, and some navy-blue, as fancy dictated, and all
more or less laced on the seams much in the manner as was the case with
the Honourable the King the morning I saw him leave for _Nully_. This
entertainment was altogether the best conducted of any I ever attended,
the gentlemen being condescending, and without the least pride, and the
ladies all grace.'"
"Graces would be more expressive, if you will excuse my suggesting a word,
sir," observed John Effingham, as the other paused to take breath.
"'I have observed that the people in most monarchies are abject and
low-minded in their deportment. Thus the men take off their hats when they
enter churches, although the minister be not present; and even the boys
take off their hats when they enter private houses. This is commencing
servility young. I have even seen men kneeling on the cold pavements of
the churches in the most abject manner, and otherwise betraying the
feeling naturally created by slavish institutions."
"Lord help 'em!" exclaimed the captain, "if they begin so young, what a
bowing and kneeling set of blackguards they will get to be in time."
"It is to be presumed that Mr. Dodge has pointed out the consequences in
the instance of the abject old men mentioned, who probably commenced their
servility by entering houses with their hats off," said John Effingham.
"Just so, sir," rejoined the editor. "I throw in these little popular
traits because I think they show the differences between nations."
"From which I infer," said Mr. Sharp, "that in your part of America boys
do not take off their hats when they enter houses, nor men kneel in
"Certainly not, sir. Our people get their ideas of manliness early; and as
for kneeling in churches, we have some superstitious-sects--I do not
mention them; but, on the whole, no nation can treat the house of God more
rationally than we do in America."
"That I will vouch for," rejoined John Effingham; "for the last time I was
at home I attended a concert in one of them, where an _artiste_ of
singular nasal merit favoured the company with that admirable piece of
conjoined sentiment and music entitled 'Four-and-twenty fiddlers all in
"I'll engage for it," cried Mr. Dodge, swelling with national pride; "and
felt all the time as independent and easy as if he was in a tavern. Oh!
superstition is quite extinct in _Ameriky!_ But I have a few remarks on
the church in my notes upon England: perhaps you would like to hear them?"
"Let me entreat you to read them," said the true Sir George Templemore, a
"Now, I protest against any liberality," added the false Sir George,
shaking his finger.
Mr. Dodge disregarded both; but, turning to the place, he read aloud with
his usual self-complacency and unction.
"'To-day, I attended public worship in St.---church, Minories. The
congregation was composed of many of the first people of England, among
whom were present Sir Solomon Snore, formerly HIGH sheriff of London, a
gentleman of the first consideration in the empire, and the celebrated Mr.
Shilling, of the firm of Pound, Shilling, and Pence. There was certainly a
fine air of polite life in the congregation, but a little too much
idolatry. Sir Solomon and Mr. Shilling were both received with
distinction, which was very proper, when we remember their elevated rank;
but the genuflexions and chaunting met with my very unqualified
"Sir Solomon and the other personage you mention were a little _pursy_,
perhaps," observed Mr. Sharp, "which destroyed their grace."
"I disapprove of all kneeling, on general principles, sir. If we kneel to
one, we shall get to kneel to another, and no one can tell where it will
end. 'The exclusive manner in which the congregation were seated in pews,
with sides so high that it was difficult to see your nearest neighbour;
and these pews' (Mr. Dodge pronounced this word _poohs_,) 'have often
curtains that completely enclose their owners, a system of selfishness
that would not be long tolerated in _Ameriky_.'"
"Do individuals own their pews in America?" inquired Mr. Sharp.
"Often," returned John Effingham; always, "except in those particular
portions of the country where it is deemed invidious, and contrary to the
public rights, to be better off than one's neighbour, by owning any thing
that all the community has not a better claim to than its proprietor."
"And canot the owner of a pew curtain it, with a view to withdrawn into it
himself at public worship?"
"America and England are the antipodes of each other in all these things.
I dare say, now, that you have come among us with an idea that our liberty
is so very licentious, that a man may read a newspaper by himself?"
"I confess, certainly, to that much," returned Mr. Sharp, smiling.
"We shall teach him better than this, Mr. Dodge, before we let him
depart. No, sir, you have very contracted ideas of liberty, I perceive.
With us every thing is settled by majorities. We eat when the majority
eats; drink, when the majority drinks; sleep, when the majority sleeps;
pray, when the majority prays. So far from burying ourselves in deep wells
of pews, with curtains round their edges, we have raised the floors,
amphitheatre fashion, so that every body can see every body; have taken
away the sides of the pews, which we have converted into free and equal
seats, and have cut down the side of the pulpit so that we can look at the
clergyman; but I understand there is actually a project on foot to put the
congregation into the pulpit, and the parson into the aisle, by way of
letting the latter see that he is no better than he should be. This would
be a capital arrangement, Mr. Dodge, for the 'Four-and-twenty fiddlers all
in a row.'"
The editor of the Active Inquirer was a little distrustful of John
Effingham, and he was not sorry to continue his extracts, although he was
obliged to bring himself still further under the fire of his assailant.
"'This morning,' Mr. Dodge resumed, I stepped into the coffee-room of the
'Shovel and Tongs,' public-house, to read the morning paper, and, taking a
seat by the side of a gentleman who was reading the 'Times,' and drawing
to me the leaves of the journal, so that it would be more convenient to
peruse, the man insolently and arrogantly demanded of me, 'What the devil
I meant?' This intolerance in the English character is owing to the
narrowness of the institutions, under which men come to fancy liberty
applies to persons instead of majorities.'"
"You perceive, Mr. Sharp," said John Effingham, "how much more able a
stranger is to point out the defects of national character than a native.
I dare say that in indulging your individuality, hitherto, you have
imagined you were enjoying liberty."
"I fear I have committed some such weakness--but Mr. Dodge will have the
goodness to proceed."
The editor complied as follows:--"'Nothing has surprised me more than the
grovelling propensities of the English on the subject of names. Thus this
very inn, which in America would be styled the 'Eagle Tavern,' or the
'Oriental or Occidental Hotel,' or the 'Anglo-Saxon Democratical
Coffee-house,' or some other equally noble or dignified appellation, is
called the 'Shovel and Tongs.' One tavern, which might very appropriately
be termed 'The Saloon of Peace,' is very vulgarly called 'Dolly's
All the gentlemen, not excepting Mr. Sharp, murmured their disgust at so
coarse a taste. But most of the party began now to tire of this pretending
ignorance and provincial vulgarity, and, one by one, most of them soon
after left the table. Captain Truck, however, sent for Mr. Leach, and
these two worthies, with Mr. Dodge and the spurious baronet, sat an hour
longer, when all retired to their berths.
I'll meet thee at Philippi.
Happy is the man who arrives on the coast of New York, with the wind at
the southward, in the month of November. There are two particular
conditions of the weather, in which the stranger receives the most
unfavourable impressions of the climate that has been much and unjustly
abused, but which two particular conditions warrant all the evil that has
been said of it. One is a sweltering day in summer, and the other an
autumnal day, in which the dry north wind scarce seems to leave any marrow
in the bones.
The passengers of the Montauk escaped both these evils, and now approached
the coast with a bland south-west breeze, and a soft sky. The ship had been
busy in the night, and when the party assembled on deck in the morning,
Captain Truck told them, that in an hour they should have a sight of the
long-desired western continent. As the packet was inning in at the rate
of nine knots, under topmast and top-gallant studding-sails, being to
windward of her port, this was a promise that the gallant vessel seemed
likely enough to redeem.
"Toast!" called out the captain, who had dropped into his old habits as
naturally as if nothing had occurred, "bring me a coal; and you, master
steward, look well to the breakfast this morning. If the wind stands six
hours longer, I shall have the grief of parting with this good company,
and you the grief of knowing you will never set another meal before them.
These are moments to awaken sentiment, and yet I never knew an officer of
the pantry that did not begin to grin as he drew near his port."
"It is usually a cheerful moment with every one, I believe, Captain
Truck," said Eve, "and most of all, should it be one of heartfelt
gratitude with us."
"Ay, ay, my dear young lady; and yet I fancy Mr. Saunders will explain it
rather differently. Has no one sung out 'land,' yet, from aloft, Mr.
Leach? The sands of New Jersey ought to be visible before this."
"We have seen the haze of the land since daylight, but not land itself."
"Then, like old Columbus, the flowered doublet is mine--land, ho!"
The mates and the people laughed, and looking ahead, they nodded to each
other, and the word "land" passed from mouth to mouth, with the
indifference with which mariners first see it in short passages. Not so
with the rest. They crowded together, and endeavoured to catch a glimpse
of the coveted shore, though, with the exception of Paul, neither could
"We must call on you for assistance," said Eve, who now seldom addressed
the handsome young seaman without a flush on her own beautiful face; "for
we are all so luberly that none of us can see that which we so
"Have the kindness to look over the stock of that anchor," said Paul, glad
of an excuse to place himself nearer to Eve; and you will discover an
object on the water."
"I do," said Eve, "but is it not a vessel?"
"It is; but a little to the right of that vessel, do you not perceive a
hazy object at some elevation above the sea?"
"The cloud, you mean--a dim, ill-defined, dark body of vapour?"
"So it may seem to you, but to me it appears to be the land. That is the
bluff-like termination of the celebrated high lands of Navesink. By
watching it for half an hour you will perceive its form and surface grow
gradually more distinct."
Eve eagerly pointed out the place to Mademoiselle Vielville and her
father, and from that moment, for near an hour, most of the passengers
kept it steadily in view. As Paul had said, the blue of this hazy object
deepened; then its base became connected with the water, and it ceased to
resemble a cloud at all. In twenty more minutes, the faces and angles of
the hills became visible, and trees started out of their sides. In the end
a pair of twin lights were seen perched on the summit.
But the Montauk edged away from these highlands, and shaped her course
towards a long low spit of sand, that lay several miles to the northward
of them. In this direction, fifty small sail were gathering into, or
diverging from, the pass, their high, gaunt-looking canvas resembling so
many church towers on the plains of Lombardy. These were coasters,
steering towards their several havens. Two or three outward-bound ships
were among them, holding their way in the direction of China, the Pacific
Ocean, or Europe.
About nine, the Montauk met a large ship standing on bowline, with every
thing set that would draw, and heaping the water under her bows. A few
minutes after, Captain Truck, whose attention had been much diverted from
the surrounding objects by the care of his ship, came near the group of
passengers, and once more entered into conversation.
"Here we are, my dear young lady," he cried, "within five leagues of Sandy
Hook, which lies hereaway, under our lee bow; as pretty a position as
heart could wish. The lank, hungry-looking schooner in-shore of us, is a
new vessel, and, as soon as she is done with the brig near her we shall
have her in chase, when there will be a good opportunity to get rid of all
our spare lies. This little fellow to leeward, who is clawing up towards
us, is the pilot; after whose arrival, my functions cease, and I shall
have little to do but to rattle off Saunders and Toast, and to feed
"And who is this gentleman ahead of us, with his main-topsail to the mast,
his courses in the brails, and his helm a-lee?" asked Paul.
"Some chap who has forgotten his knee-buckles, and has been obliged to
send a boat up to town to hunt for them," coolly rejoined the captain,
while he sought the focus of the glass, and levelled it at the vessel in
question. The look was long and steady, and twice Captain Truck lowered
the instrument to wipe the moisture from his own eye. At length, he called
out, to the amazement of every body,
"Stand by to in all studding-sails, and to ware to the eastward. Be
lively, men, be lively! The eternal Foam, as I am a miserable sinner!"
Paul laid a hand on the arm of Captain Truck, and stopped him, as the
other was about to spring towards the forecastle, with a view to aid and
encourage his people.
"You forget that we have neither spars nor sails suited to a chase," said
the young man. "If we haul off to sea-ward on any tack we can try, the
corvette will be too much for us now, and excuse me if I say that a
different course will be advisable."
The captain had learned to respect the opinion of Paul, and he took the
"What choice remains, but to run down into the very jaws of the lion," he
asked, "or to wear round, and stand to the eastward?"
"We have two alternatives. We may pass unnoticed, the ship being so much
altered; or we may haul up on the tack we are on, and get into
"He draws as little as this ship, sir, and would follow. There is no port
short of Egg Harbour, and into that I should be bashful about entering
with a vessel of this size; whereas, by running to the eastward, and
doubling Montauk, which would owe us shelter on account of our name, I
might get into the Sound, or New London, at need, and then claim the
sweepstakes, as having won the race."
"This would be impossible, Captain Truck, allow me to say. Dead before the
wind, we cannot escape, for the land would fetch us up in a couple of
hours; to enter by Sandy Hook, if known, is impossible, on account of the
corvette, and, in a chase of a hundred and twenty miles, we should be
certain to be overtaken."
"I fear you are right, my dear sir, I fear you are right. The
studding-sails are now in, and. I will haul up for the highlands, and
anchor under them, should it be necessary. We can then give this fellow
Vattel in large quantities, for I hardly think he will venture to seize us
while we have an anchor fast to good American ground."
"How near dare you stand to the shore?"
"Within a mile ahead of us; but to enter the Hook, the bar must be crossed
a league or two off."
"The latter is unlucky; but, by all means, get the vessel in with the
land; so near as to leave no doubt as to our being in American waters."
"We'll try him, sir, we'll try him. After having escaped the Arabs, the
deuce is in it, if we cannot weather upon John Bull! I beg your pardon,
Mr. Sharp; but this is a question that must be settled by some of the
niceties of the great authorities."
The yards were now braced forward, and the ship was brought to the wind,
so as to head in a little to the northward of the bathing-houses at Long
Branch. But for this sudden change of course, the Montauk would have run
down dead upon the corvette, and possibly might have passed her
undetected, owing to the change made in her appearance by the spars of the
Dane. So long as she continued "bows on," standing towards them, not a
soul on board the Foam suspected her real character, though, now that she
acted so strangely, and offered her broadside to view, the truth became
known in an instant. The main-yard of the corvette was swung, and her
sails were filled on the same course as that on which the packet was
steering. The two vessels were about ten miles from the land, the Foam a
little ahead, but fully a league to leeward. The latter, however, soon
tacked and stood in-shore. This brought the vessels nearly abreast of each
other, the corvette a mile or more, dead to leeward, and distant now some
six miles from the coast. The great superiority of the corvette's sailing
was soon apparent to all on board both vessels, for she apparently went
two feet to the packet's one.
The history of this meeting, so unexpected to Captain Truck, was very
simple. When the gale had abated, the corvette, which had received no
damage, hauled up along the African coast, keeping as near as possible to
the supposed track of the packet, and failing to fall in with her chase,
she had filled away for New York. On making the Hook she took a pilot, and
inquired if the Montauk had arrived. From the pilot she learned that the
vessel of which she was in quest had not yet made its appearance, and she
sent an officer up to the town to communicate with the British Consul. On
the return of this officer, the corvette stood away from the land, and
commenced cruising in the offing. For a week she had now been thus
occupied, it being her practice to run close in, in the morning, and to
remain hovering about the bar until near night, when she made sail for an
offing. When first seen from the Montauk, she had been lying-to, to take
in stores sent from the town, and to communicate with a news-boat.
The passengers of the Montauk had just finished their breakfast, when the
mate reported that the ship was fast shoaling her water, and that it would
be necessary to alter the course in a few minutes, or to anchor. On
repairing to the deck, Captain Truck and his companions perceived the land
less than a mile ahead of them, and the corvette about half that distance
to the leeward, and nearly abeam.
"That is a bold fellow," exclaimed the captain, "or he has got a Sandy
Hook pilot on board him."
"Most probably the latter," said Paul: "he would scarcely be here on this
duty, and neglect so simple a precaution."
"I think this would satisfy Mr. Vattel, sir," returned Captain Truck, as
the man in the chains sung out, 'and a half hree!' "Hard up with the helm,
and lay the yards square, Mr. Leach."
"Now we shall soon know the virtue of Vattel," said John Effingham, "as
ten minutes will suffice to raise the question very fairly."
The Foam put her helm down, and tacked beautifully to the south-east. As
soon as the Montauk, which vessel was now running along shore, keeping in
about four fathoms water, the sea being as smooth as a pond, was abeam,
the corvette wore round, and began to close with her chase, keeping on her
eastern, or outer board.
"Were we an enemy, and a match for that sloop," said Paul, "this smooth
water and yard-arm attitude would make quick work."
"Her captain is in the gangway, taking our measure," observed Mr. Truck:
"here is the glass; I wish you to examine his face, and tell me if you
think him a man with whom the law of nations will avail anything. See the
anchor clear, Mr. Leach, for I'm determined to bring up all standing, if
the gentleman intends to renew the old tricks of John Bull on our coast.
What do you make of him, Mr. Blunt?"
Paul did not answer, but laying down the glass, he paced the deck rapidly
with the manner of one much disturbed. All observed this sudden change,
though no one presumed to comment on it. In the mean time the sloop-of-war
came up fast, and in a few minutes her larboard fore-yard-arm was within
twenty feet of the starboard main-yard-arm of the Montauk, the two vessels
running on parallel lines. The corvette now hauled up her fore-course, and
let her top-gallant sails settle on the caps, though a dead silence
reigned in her.
"Give me the trumpet," said Captain Truck, stepping to the rail; "the
gentleman is about to give us a piece of his mind."
The English captain, who was easily known by his two epaulettes, also held
a trumpet; but neither of the two commanders used his instrument, the
distance being sufficiently near for the natural voice,
"I believe, sir," commenced the man-of-war's-man, "that I have the
pleasure to see Captain Truck, of the Montauk, London packet?"
"Ay, ay; I'll warrant you he has my name alongside of John Doe and
Richard Roe," muttered Mr. Truck, "spell as carefully as it could be in a
primer.--I am Captain Truck, and this is the Montauk. May I ask the name
of your vessel, and your own, sir?"
"This is his Britannic Majesty's ship, the Foam, Captain Ducie."
"The Honourable Captain Ducie!" exclaimed Mr. Sharp. "I thought I
recognised the voice: I know him intimately well."
"Will he stand Vattel?" anxiously demanded Mr. Truck.
"Nay, as for that, I must refer you to himself."
"You appear to have suffered in the gale," resumed Captain Ducie, whose
smile was very visible, as he thus addressed them like an old
acquaintance. "We fared better ourselves, for I believe we did not part a
"The ship pitched every stick out of her," returned Captain Truck, "and
has given us the trouble of a new outfit."
"In which you appear to have succeeded admirably. Your spars and sails are
a size or two too small; but every thing stands like a church."
"Ay, ay, now we have got on our new clothes, we are not ashamed to be
"May I ask if you have been in port to do all this?"
"No, sir; picked them up along-shore."
The Honourable Captain Ducie thought he was quizzed, and his manner became
a little more cold, though it still retained its gentlemanlike tone.
"I wish much to see you in private, sir, on an affair of some magnitude,
and I greatly regret it was not in my power to speak you the night you
left Portsmouth. I am quite aware you are in your own waters, and I feel a
strong reluctance to retain your passengers when so near their port; but I
shall feel it as a particular favour if you will permit me to repair on
board for a few minutes."
"With all my heart," cried Captain Truck: "if you will give me room, I
will back my main-topsail, but I wish to lay my head off shore. This
gentleman understands Vattel, and we shall have no trouble with him. Keep
the anchor clear Mr. Leach, for 'fair words butter no parsnips.' Still,
he is a gentleman;--and, Saunders, put a bottle of the old Madeira on the
Captain Ducie now left the rigging in which he had stood, and the corvette
luffed off to the eastward, to give room to the packet, where she hove-to
with her fore-topsail aback. The Montauk followed, taking a position under
her lee. A quarter-boat was lowered, and in five minutes its oars were
tossed at the packet's lee-gangway, when the commander of the corvette
ascended the ship's side, followed by a middle-aged man in the dress of a
civilian, and a chubby-faced midshipman.
No one could mistake Captain Ducie for anything but a gentleman. He was
handsome, well-formed, and about five-and-twenty. The bow he made to Eve,
with whose beauty and air he seemed instantly struck, would have become a
drawing-room; but he was too much of an officer to permit any further
attention to escape him until he had paid his respects to, and received
the compliments of, Captain Truck. He then turned to the ladies and Mr.
Effingham, and repeated his salutations.
"I fear," he said, "my duty has made me the unwilling instrument of
prolonging your passage, for I believe few ladies love the ocean
sufficiently, easily to forgive those who lengthen its disagreeables."
"We are old travellers, and know how to allow for the obligations of
duty," Mr. Effingham civilly answered.
"That they do, sir," put in Captain Truck; "and it was never my good
fortune to have a more agreeable set of passengers. Mr. Effingham, the
Honourable Captain Ducie;--the Honourable Captain Ducie, Mr.
Effingham;--Mr. John Effingham, Mam'selle V.A.V." endeavouring always to
imitate Eve's pronunciation of the name;--"Mr. Dodge, the Honourable
Captain Ducie; the Honourable Captain Ducie, Mr. Dodge."
The Honourable Captain Ducie and all the others, the editor of the Active
Inquirer excepted, smiled slightly, though they respectively bowed and
curtseyed; but Mr. Dodge, who conceived himself entitled to be formally
introduced to every one he met, and to know all he saw, whether introduced
or not, stepped forward promptly, and shook Mr. Ducie very cordially
by the hand.
Captain Truck now turned in quest of some one else to introduce; Mr.
Sharp stood near the capstan, and Paul had retired as far aft as the
"I am happy to see you in the Montauk," added Captain Truck, insensibly
leading the other towards the capstan, "and am sorry I had not the
satisfaction of meeting you in England. The Honourable Captain Ducie, Mr.
Sharp, Mr. Sharp, the Honourable Captain--"
"George Templemore!" exclaimed the commander of the corvette, looking from
one to the other.
"Charles Ducie!" exclaimed the _soi-disant_ Mr. Sharp.
"Here then is an end of part of my hopes, and we have been on a wrong
scent the whole time."
"Perhaps not, Ducie: explain yourself."
"You must have perceived my endeavours to speak you, from the moment you
"To _speak_ us!" cried Captain Truck. "Yes, sir, we _did_ observe your
endeavours to _speak_ us."
"It was because I was given to understand that one _calling_ himself Sir
George Templemore, an impostor, however, had taken passage in this ship;
and here I find that we have been misled, by the real Sir George
Templemore's having chosen to come this way instead of coming by the
Liverpool ship. So much for your confounded fashionable caprices,
Templemore, which never lets you know in the morning whether you are to
shoot yourself or to get married before night."
"And is this gentleman Sir George Templemore?" pithily demanded Captain
"For that I can vouch, on the knowledge of my whole life."
"And we know this to be true, and have known it since the day we sailed,"
observed Mr. Effingham.
Captain Truck was accustomed to passengers under false names, but never
before had he been so completely mystified.
"And pray, sir," he inquired of the baronet, "are you a member of
"I have that honour."
"And Templemore Hall is your residence, and you have come out to look at
"I am the owner of Templemore Hall, and hope to look at the Canadas
before I return."
"And," turning to Captain Ducie, "you sailed in quest of another Sir
George Templemore--a false one?"
"That is a part of my errand," returned Captain Ducie, smiling.
"Nothing else?--you are certain, sir, that this is the whole of your
"I confess to another motive," rejoined the other, scarce knowing how to
take Captain Truck's question; "but this one will suffice for the
present, I hope."
"This business requires frankness. I mean nothing disrespectful; but I am
in American waters, and should be sorry, after all, to be obliged to throw
myself on Vattel."
"Let me act as mediator," interrupted Sir George Templemore. "Some one has
been a defaulter, Ducie; is it not so?"
"This is the simple truth; an unfortunate, but silly young man, of the
name of Sandon. He was intrusted with a large sum of the public money, and
has absconded with quite forty thousand pounds."
"And this person, you fancy, did me the honour to travel under my name?"
"Of that we are certain. Mr. Green here," motioning to the civilian,
"comes from the same office, and traced the delinquent, under your name,
some distance on the Portsmouth road. When we heard that a Sir George
Templemore had actually embarked in the Montauk, the admiral made no
scruple in sending me after the packet. This has been an unlucky mistake
for me, as it would have been a feather in the cap of so young a commander
to catch the rogue."
"You may choose your feather, sir," returned Captain Truck, "for you will
have a right to wear it. The unfortunate young man you seek is, out of
question, in this ship."
Captain Truck now explained that there was a person below who had been
known to him as Sir George Templemore, and who, doubtless, was the unhappy
delinquent sought. But Captain Ducie did not betray the attention or
satisfaction that one would have expected from this information, his eye
being riveted on Paul, who stood beneath the hurricane-house. When the
latter saw that he attracted attention he advanced slowly, even
reluctantly, upon the quarter-deck. The meeting between these two
gentlemen was embarrassed, though each maintained his self-possession.
"Mr. Powis, I believe?" said the officer bowing haughtily
"Captain Ducie, if I am not mistaken?" returned the other, lifting his hat
steadily, though his face became flushed.
The manner of the two, however, was but little noticed at the moment,
though all heard the words. Captain Truck drew a long "whe--e--e--w!" for
this was rather more than even he was accustomed to, in the way of
masquerades. His eye was on the two gentlemen as they walked aft together,
and alone, when he felt a touch upon his arm. It was the little hand of
Eve, between whom and the old seaman there existed a good deal of
trifling, blended with the most entire good-will. The young lady laughed
with her sweet eyes, shook her fair curls, and said mockingly,
"Mr. Sharp, Mr. Blunt; Mr. Blunt, Mr. Sharp!"
"And were you in the secret all this time, my dear young lady?"
"Every minute of it; from the buoys of Portsmouth to this very spot."
"I shall be obliged to introduce my passengers all over again!"
"Certainly; and I would recommend that each should show a certificate of
baptism, or a passport, before you announce his or her name."
"_You_ are, at least, the beautiful Miss Effingham, my dear young lady?"
"I'll not vouch for that, even," said Eve, blushing and laughing.
"That is Mr. John Effingham, I hope!"
"For that I _can_ vouch. There are not _two_ cousin Jacks on earth."
"I wish I knew what the other business of this gentleman is! He seems
amicably disposed, except as regards Mr. Blunt. They looked coldly and
suspiciously at each other."
Eve thought so too, and she lost all her desire for pleasantry. Just at
this moment Captain Ducie quitted his companion, both touching their hats
distantly, and returned to the group he had so unceremoniously left a few
"I believe, Captain Truck, you now know my errand," he said, "and can say
whether you will consent to my examining the person whom you have
"I know _one_ of your errands, sir; you spoke of having _two_."
"Both will find their completion in this ship, with your permission."
"Permission! That sounds well, at least, my dear young lady. Permit me to
inquire, Captain Ducie, has either of your errands the flavour of tobacco
The young man looked surprised, and he began to suspect another
"The question is so singular that it is not very intelligible."
"I wish to know, Captain Ducie, if you have anything to say to this ship
in the way of smuggling?"
"Certainly not. I am not a custom-house officer, sir, nor on the revenue
duty; and I had supposed this vessel a regular packet, whose interest is
too plain to enter into such a pursuit."
"You have supposed nothing but the truth, sir; though we cannot always
answer for the honesty or discretion of our people. A single pound of
tobacco might forfeit this noble ship; and, observing the perseverance
with which you have chased me, I was afraid all was not right with
"You have had a needless alarm then, for my two objects in coming to
America are completely answered by meeting with Mr. Powis and the Mr.
Sandon, who, I have been given to understand, is in his state-room below."
The party looked at each other, but nothing was said.
"Such being the facts, Captain Ducie, I beg to offer you every facility so
far as the hospitality of my ship is concerned."
"You will permit us to have an interview with Mr. Sandon?"
"Beyond a doubt. I see, sir, you have read Vattel, and understand the
rights of neutrals, or of independent nations. As this interview most
probably will be interesting, you may desire to have it held in private,
and a state-room will be too small for the purpose. My dear young lady,
will you have the complaisance to lend us your cabin for half an hour?"
Eve bowed assent, and Captain Truck then invited the two Englishmen below.
"My presence at this interview is of little moment," observed Captain
Ducie; "Mr. Green is master of the whole affair, and I have a matter of
importance to arrange with Mr. Powis. If one or two of you gentlemen will
have the kindess to be present, and witnesses of what passes between Mr.
Sandon and Mr. Green, it would be a great favour. Templemore, I may claim
this of you?"
"With all my heart, though it is an unpleasant office to see guilt
exposed. Should I presume too much by asking Mr. John Effingham to be of
"I was about to make the same request," put in the captain. "We shall then
be two Englishmen and two Yankees,--if Mr. John Effingham will allow me so
to style him?"
"Until we get within the Hook, Captain Truck, I am a Yankee; once _in_ the
country, I belong to the Middle States, if you will allow me the favour
The last speaker was stopped by a nudge from Captain Truck, who seized an
opportunity to whisper,
"Make no such distinction between outside and inside, I beg of you, my
dear sir. I hold that the ship is, at this identical moment, in the United
States of America in a positive sense, as well as by a legal fiction; and
I think Vattel will bear me out in it."
"Let it pass for that, then. I will be present at your interview with the
fugitive. If the case is not clear against him, he shall be protected."
Things were now soon arranged; it being decided that Mr. Green, who
belonged to one of the English offices, accompanied by the gentlemen just
named, should descend to the cabin of Miss Effingham, in order to receive
the delinquent; while Captain Ducie should have his interview with Paul
Powis in the state-room of the latter.
The first party went below immediately; but Captain Ducie remained on deck
a minute or two to give an order to the midshipman of his boat, who
immediately quitted the Montauk, and pulled to the corvette. During this
brief delay Paul approached the ladies, to whom he spoke with a forced
indifference, though it was not possible to avoid seeing his concern.
His servant, too, was observed watching his movements with great interest;
and when the two gentlemen went below in company, the man shrugged his
shoulders, and actually held up his hands, as one is wont to do at the
occurrence of any surprising or distressing circumstance.
Norfolk, for thee remains a heavy doom,
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce.
The history of the unfortunate young man, who, after escaping all the
hazards and adventures of the passage was now so unexpectedly overtaken as
he was about to reach what he fancied an asylum, was no more than one of
those common-place tissue of events that lead, through vanity and
weakness, to crime. His father had held an office under the British
government. Marrying late, and leaving a son and daughter just issuing
into life at the time of his decease, the situation he had himself filled
had been given to the first, out of respect to the unwearied toil of a
The young man was one of those who, without principles or high motives,
live only for vanity. Of prominent vices he had none, for there were no
salient points in his character on which to hang any quality of
sufficient boldness to encourage crime of that nature. Perhaps he owed his
ruin to the circumstance that he had a tolerable person, and was six feet
high, as much as to any one other thing. His father had been a short,
solid, square-built little man, whose ambition never towered above his
stature, and who, having entered fairly on the path of industry and
integrity early in life, had sedulously persevered in it to the end. Not
so with the son. He read so much about aristocratic stature, aristocratic
ears, aristocratic hands, aristocratic feet, and aristocratic air, that he
was delighted to find that in all these high qualities he was not easily
to be distinguished from most of the young men of rank he occasionally saw
riding in the parks, or met in the streets, and, though he very well knew
he was not a lord, he began to fancy it a happiness to be thought one by
strangers, for an hour or two in a week.
His passion for trifles and toys was inherent, and it had been increased
by reading two or three caricatures of fashionable men in the novels of
the day, until his happiness was chiefly centered in its indulgence. This
was an expensive foible; and its gratification ere long exhausted his
legitimate means. One or two trifling and undetected peculations favoured
his folly, until a large sum happening to lie at his sole mercy for a week
or two, he made such an inroad on it as compelled a flight. Having made up
his mind to quit England, he thought it would be as easy to escape with
forty thousand pounds as with the few hundreds he had already appropriated
to himself. This capital mistake was the cause of his destruction; for the
magnitude of the sum induced the government to take unusual steps to
recover it, and was the true cause of its having despatched the cruiser in
chase of the Montauk.
The Mr. Green who had been sent to identify the fugitive, was a cold,
methodical man, every way resembling the delinquent's father, whose
office-companion he had been, and in whose track of undeviating attention
to business and negative honesty he had faithfully followed. He felt the
peculation, or robbery, for it scarce deserved a milder term, to be a
reproach on the corps to which he belonged, besides leaving a stigma on
the name of one to whom he had himself looked up as to a model for his own
imitation and government. It will readily be supposed, therefore, that
this person was not prepared to meet the delinquent in a very
"Saunders," said Captain Truck in the stern tone with which he often
hailed a-top, and which implied that instant obedience was a condition of
his forbearance, "go to the state-room of the person who has _called_
himself Sir George Templemore--give him my compliments--be very
particular, Mr. Saunders--and say Captain Truck's compliments, and then
tell him I expect the honour of his company in this cabin--the _honour_ of
his company, remember, in this cabin. If that don't bring him out of his
state-room, I'll contrive something that shall."
The steward turned up the white of his eyes, shrugged his shoulders, and
proceeded forthwith on the errand. He found time, however, to stop in the
pantry, and to inform Toast that their suspicions were at least in
"This elucidates the circumstance of his having no attendant with him,
like other gentlemen on board, and a wariety of other incidents, that much
needed dewelopement. Mr. Blunt, I do collect from a few hints on deck,
turns out to be a Mr. Powis, a much genteeler name; and as they spoke to
some one in the ladies' cabin as 'Sir George,' I should not be overcome
with astonishment should Mr. Sharp actually eventuate as the real
There was time for no more, and Saunders proceeded to summon the
"This is the most unpleasant part of the duty of a packet-master between
England and America," continued Captain Truck, as soon as Saunders was out
of sight. "Scarce a ship sails that it has not some runaway or other,
either in the steerage or in the cabins, and we are often called on to aid
the civil authorities on both sides of the water."
"America seems to be a favourite country with our English rogues,"
observed the office-man, drily. "This is the third that has gone from our
own department within as many years."
"Your department appears to be fruitful of such characters, sir,"
returned Captain Truck, pretty much in the spirit in which the first
remark had been given.
Mr. Green was as thorough-going an Englishman as any of his class in the
island. Methodical, plodding, industrious, and regular in all his habits,
he was honest by rule, and had no leisure or inclination for any other
opinions than those which were obtained with the smallest effort. In
consequence of the limited sphere in which he dwelt, in a moral sense at
least, he was a mass of the prejudices that were most prevalent at the
period when he first obtained his notions. His hatred of France was
unconquerable, for he had early learned to consider her as the fast enemy
of England; and as to America, he deemed her to be the general asylum of
all the rogues of his own country--the possession of a people who had
rebelled against their king because the restraints of law were inherently
disagreeable to them. This opinion he had no more wish to proclaim than he
felt a desire to go up and down declaring that Satan was the father of
sin; but the fact in the one case was just as well established in his mind
as in the other. If he occasionally betrayed the existence of these
sentiments, it was as a man coughs; not because he particularly wishes to
cough, but because he cannot help it. Finding the subject so naturally
introduced, therefore, it is no wonder if some of his peculiar notions
escaped him in the short dialogue that followed.
"We have our share of bad men, I presume, sir," he rejoined to the thrust
of Captain Truck; "but the thing that has most attracted comment with us,
is the fact that they all go to America."
"And we receive our share of rogues, I presume, sir; and it is the subject
of animadversion with _us_ that they all come from England."
Mr. Green did not feel the force of this retort; but he wiped his
spectacles as he quietly composed his features into look of
"Some of your most considerable men in America, I believe, sir," he
continued, "have been Englishmen, who preferred a residence in the
colonies to a residence at home."
"I never heard of them," returned the captain; "will you have the goodness
to name just one?"
"Why, to begin, there was your Washington. I have often heard my father
say that he went to school with him in Warwickshire, and that he was
thought anything but very clever, too, while he lived in England."
"You perceive, then, that we made something of him when we got him over on
this side; for he turned out in the end to be a very decent and
respectable sort of person. Judging from the language of some of your
prints, sir, I should suppose that King William enjoyed the reputation of
being a respectable man in your country?"
Although startled to hear his sovereign spoken of in this irreverent
manner, Mr. Green answered promptly,----
"He is a king, sir, and comports himself as a king."
"And all the better, I dare say, for the thrashing he got when a
youngster, from the Vermont tailor."
Now Captain Truck quite as religiously believed in this vulgar tale
concerning the prince in question, as Mr. Green believed that Washington
had commenced his career as one no better than he should be, or as
implicitly as Mr. Steadfast Dodge gave credit to the ridiculous history of
the schoolmaster of Haddonfield; all three of the legends belonging to the
same high class of historical truths.
Sir George Templemore looked with surprise at John Effingham, who gravely
"Elegant extracts, sir, from the vulgar rumours of two great nations. We
deal largely in these legends, and you are not quite guiltless of them. I
dare say, now, if you would be frank, that you yourself have not always
been deaf to the reports against America."
"You surely do not imagine that I am so ignorant of the career of
"Of that I fully acquit you; nor do I exactly suppose that your present
monarch was flogged by a tailor in Vermont, or that Louis Phillipe kept
school in New Jersey. Our position in the world raises us beyond these
elegancies; but do you not fancy some hard things of America, more
especially concerning her disposition to harbour rogues, if they come with
The baronet laughed, but he coloured. He wished to be liberal, for he well
knew that liberality distinguishes the man of the world, and was an
indispensable requisite for a gentleman; but it is very hard for an
Englishman to manifest true liberality towards the _ci-devant_ colonies,
and this he felt in the whole of his moral system, notwithstanding every
effort to the contrary.
"I will confess that case of Stephenson made an unfavourable impression in
England," he said with some reluctance.
"You mean the absconding member of Parliament," returned John Effingham,
with emphasis on the four last words. "You cannot mean to reproach us with
his selection of a place of refuge; for he was picked up at sea by a
foreign ship that was accidentally bound to America."
"Certainly not with that circumstance, which, as you say, was purely an
accident. But was there not something extraordinary in his liberation
"Sir George Templemore, there are few Englishmen with whom I would dwell
an instant on this subject," said John Effingham gravely; "but you are one
of those who have taught me to respect you, and I feel a strong regret
whenever I trace any of these mistaken notions in a man of your really
generous disposition. A moment's reflection will show you that no
civilized society could exist with the disposition you hint at; and as for
the particular case you have mentioned, the man did not bring money of any
moment with him, and was liberated from arrest on a principle common to
all law, where law is stronger than political power, and which principle
we derive directly from Great Britain. Depend on it, so far from there
being a desire to receive rich rogues in America from other countries,
there is a growing indisposition to receive emigrants at all; for their
number is getting to be inconvenient to the native population."
"Why does not America pass reciprocal laws with us then, for the mutual
delivery of criminals."
"One insuperable objection to such a reciprocity arises from the nature of
our government, as a confederation, since there is no identity in our own
criminal jurisprudence: but a chief reason is the exceedingly artificial
condition of your society, which is the very opposite of our own, and
indisposes the American to visit trifling crimes with so heavy
punishments. The American, who has a voice in this matter, you will
remember, is not prepared to hang a half-starved wretch for a theft, or to
send a man to Botany Bay for poaching. The facility with which men obtain
a livelihood in America has hitherto converted most rogues into
comparatively honest men when they get there; though I think the day is
near, now your own police is so much improved, when we shall find it
necessary in self-defence to change our policy. The common language, as I
am told, induces many knaves, who now find England too hot to hold them,
to migrate to America."
"Captain Ducie is anxious to know whether Mr. Truck will quietly permit
this criminal to be transferred to the Foam."
"I do not think he will permit it at all without being overpowered, if the
request be urged in any manner as a right. In that case, he will very
properly think that the maintenance of his national character is of more
importance than the escape of a dozen rogues. _You_ may put a harsh
construction on his course; but _I_ shall think him right in resisting an
unjust and an illegal invasion of his rights. I had thought Captain Ducie,
however, more peaceably disposed from what has passed."
"Perhaps I have expressed myself too strongly. I know he would wish to
take back the criminal; but I scarce think that he meditates more than
persuasion. Ducie is a fine fellow, and every way a gentleman."
"He appears to have found an acquaintance in our young friend, Powis."
"The meeting between these two gentlemen has surprised me, for it can
scarcely be termed amicable: and yet it seems to occupy more of Ducie's
thoughts just now than the affair of the runaway."
Both now became silent and thoughtful, for John Effingham had too many
unpleasant suspicions to wish to speak, and the baronet was too generous
to suggest a doubt concerning one whom he felt to be his rival, and whom,
in truth, he had begun sincerely to respect, as well as to like. In the
mean time, a discussion, which had gradually been growing more dogged and
sullen on the part of Mr. Green and more biting and caustic on that of
Captain Truck, was suddenly terminated by the reluctant and tardy
appearance of Mr. Sandon.
Guilt, that powerful vindicator of the justice of Providence, as it proves
the existence of the inward monitor, conscience, was painfully impressed
on a countenance that, in general, expressed little beyond a vacant
vanity. Although of a tall and athletic person, his limbs trembled in a
way to refuse to support him, and when he saw the well-known face of Mr.
Green, the unhappy young man sank into a seat from a real inability to
stand. The other regarded him sternly through his spectacles, for more
than a minute.
"This is a melancholy picture, Henry Sandon!" he at length said. "I am, at
least, glad that you do not affect to brazen out your crime, but that you
show a proper sense of its enormity. What would your upright and
painstaking father have said, had he lived to see his only son in this
"He is dead!" returned the young man, hoarsely. "He is dead, and never can
know any thing about it."
The unhappy delinquent experienced a sense of frightful pleasure as he
uttered these words.
"It is true, he is dead; but there are others to suffer by your
misconduct. Your innocent sister is living, and feels all your disgrace."
"She will marry Jones, and forget it all. I gave her a thousand pounds,
and she is married before this."
"In that you are mistaken. She has returned the money, for she is, indeed,
John Sandon's daughter, and Mr. Jones refuses to marry the sister of
The delinquent was vain and unreflecting, rather than selfish, and he had
a natural attachment to his sister, the only other child of his parents.
The blow, therefore, fell on his conscience with double force, coming from
"Julia can compel him to marry her," said the startled brother; "he is
bound by a solemn engagement, and the law will protect her."
"No law can make a man marry against his will, and your poor unfortunate
sister is too tender of your feelings whatever you may havee been of hers,
to wish to give Mr. Jones an opportunity of defending himself by exposing
your crime. But this is wasting words, Mr. Sandon, for I am wanted in the
office, where I have left things in the hands of an inexperienced
substitute. Of course you are not prepared to defend an act, that your
conscience must tell you is inexcusable."
"I am afraid, Mr. Green, I have been a little thoughtless or, perhaps, it
would be better to say, unlucky."
Mr. Sandon had fallen into the general and delusive mistake of those who
err, in supposing himself unfortunate rather than criminal. With an
ingenuity, that, exercised in a better cause, would have made him a
respectable man, he had been endeavouring to excuse his crime to himself,
on various pleas of necessity, and he had even got at last to justify his
act, by fancying that some trifling wrong he had received, or which he
fancied he had received in the settlement of his own private account, in
some measure excused his fraud, although his own denied claim amounted
merely to the sum of twenty pounds, and that which he had taken was so
large. It was under the influence of such feelings that he made the answer
"A little thoughtless! unlucky! And is this the way Henry Sandon, that you
name a crime that might almost raise your upright father from his grave?
But I wilt speak no more of feelings that you do not seem to understand.
You confess to have taken forty thousand pounds of the public money, to
which you have no right or claim?"
"I certainly have in my hands some money, which I do not deny belongs to
"It is well; and here is my authority to receive it from you. Gentlemen,
will you have the kindness to see that my powers are regular and
John Effingham and others cast their eyes over the papers, which seemed to
be in rule, and they said as much.
"Now, sir," resumed Mr. Green, "in the first place, I demand the bills you
received in London for this money, and your regular endorsement in
The culprit appeared to have made up his mind to this demand, and, with
the same recklessness with which he had appropriated the money to his own
use, he was now ready to restore it, without proposing a condition for
his own safety The bills were in his pocket, and seating himself at a
table, he made the required endorsement, and handed them to Mr Green.
"Here are bills for thirty-eight thousand pounds," said that methodical
person, after he had examined the drafts, one by one, and counted their
amount; "and you are known to have taken forty thousand. I demand the
"Would you leave me in a strange country penniless?" exclaimed the
culprit, in a tone of reproach.
"Strange country! penniless!" repeated Mr. Green, looking over his
spectacles, first at Mr. Truck, and then at Mr. Sandon. "That to which you
have no claim must be restored, though it strip you to the skin. Every
pound you have belongs to the public, and to no one else."
"Your pardon, Mr. Green, and green enough you are, if you lay down that
doctrine," interrupted Captain Truck, "in which neither Vattel, nor the
revised statutes will bear you out. A passenger cannot remove his effects
from a ship, until his passage be first paid."
"That, sir, I dispute, in a question affecting the king's revenues. The
claims of government precede all others, and the money that has once
belonged to the crown, and which has not been regularly paid away by the
crown, is the crown's still."
"Crowns and coronations! Perhaps, Master Green, you think you are in
Somerset House at this present speaking?"
Now Mr. Green was so completely a star of a confined orbit, that his ideas
seldom described a tangent to their ordinary revolutions. He was so much
accustomed to hear of England ruling colonies, the East and the West,
Canada, the Cape, and New South Wales, that it was not an easy matter for
him to conceive himself to be without the influence of the British laws.
Had he quitted home with the intention to emigrate, or even to travel, it
is probable that his mind would have kept a more equal pace with his body,
but summoned in haste from his desk, and with the office spectacles on his
nose, it is not so much a matter of wonder that he hardly realized the
truths of his present situation. The man-of-war, in which everything was
His Majesty's, sustained this feeling, and it was too sudden a change to
expect such a man to abandon all his most cherished notions at a moment's
warning. The irreverent exclamation of Captain Truck shocked him, and he
did not fail to show as much by the disgust pictured in his countenance.
"I am in one of His Majesty's packets, sir, I presume, where, you will
permit me to say, a greater deference for the high ceremonies of the
kingdom ought to be found."
"This would make even old Joe Bunk laugh. You are in a New York liner,
sir, over which no majesty has any control, but their majesties John
Griswold and Co. Why, my good sir, the sea has unsettled your brain!"
Now, Mr. Green did know that the United States of America had obtained
their independence, but the whole proceeding was so mixed up with
rebellion, and a French alliance, in his mind, that he always doubted
whether the new republic had a legal existence at all, and he had been
heard to express his surprise that the twelve judges had not long since
decided this state of things to be unconstitutional, and overturned the
American government by _mandamus._ His disgust increased, accordingly, as
Captain Truck's irreverence manifested itself in stronger terms, and there
was great danger that the harmony, which had hitherto prevailed between
the parties, would be brought to a violent termination.
"The respect for the crown in a truly loyal subject, sir," Mr. Green
returned sharply, "is not to be unsettled by the sea; not in my case, at
least, whatever it might have been, in your own."
"My own! why, the devil, sir, do you take me for a _subject_?"
"A truant one, I fear, though you may have been born in London itself."
"Why, my dear sir," said Captain Truck, taking the other by a button, as
if he pitied his hallucination, "you don't breed such men in London. I
came from the river, which never had a subject in it, or any other
majesty, than that of the Saybrook Platform. I begin to understand you,
at last: you are one of those well-meaning men who fancy the earth but a
casing to the island of Great Britain. Well, I suppose it is more the
fault of your education than of your nature, and one must overlook the
mistake. May I ask what is your farther wish, in reference to this unhappy
"He must refund every pound of the public money that remains in his
"That is just, and I say yea."
"And all who have received from him any portion of this money, under
whatever pretences, must restore it to the crown."
"My good sir, you can have no notion of the quantity of champaigne and
other good things this unfortunate young man has consumed in this ship.
Although but a sham baronet, he has fared like a real lord; and you cannot
have the heart to exact from the owners the keeping of your rogues."
"Government makes no distinction, sir, and always claims its own."
"Nay, Mr. Green," interrupted Sir George Templemore, "I much question if
government would assert a right to money that a peculator or a defaulter
fairly spends, even in England; much less does it seem to me it can
pretend to the few pounds that Captain Truck has lawfully earned."
"The money has not been lawfully earned, sir. It is contrary to law to
assist a felon to quit the kingdom, and I am not certain there are no
penalties for that act alone; and as for the public money, it can never
legally quit the Treasury without the proper office forms."
"My dear Sir George," put in the captain, "leave me to settle this with
Mr. Green, who, no doubt, is authorized to give a receipt in full. What is
to be done with the delinquent, sir, now that you are in possession of
"Of course he will be carried back in the Foam, and, I mourn to be
compelled to say, that he must be left in the hands of the law."
"What, with or without my permission?"
Mr. Green stared, for his mind was precisely one of those which would
conceive it to be a high act of audacity in a _ci-devant_ colonist to
claim the rights of an old country, even did he really understand the
legality and completeness of the separation.
"He has committed forgery, sir, to conceal his peculation. It is an awful
crime; but they that commit it cannot hope to escape the consequences."
"Miserable impostor! is this true!" Captain Truck sternly demanded of the
"He calls an oversight forgery, sir," returned the latter huskily. "I have
done nothing to affect my life or liberty."
At this moment Captain Ducie, accompanied by Paul Powis, entered the
cabin, their faces flushed, and their manner to each other a little
disturbed, though it was formally courteous. At the same instant, Mr.
Dodge, who had been dying to be present at the secret conference, watched
his opportunity to slip in also.
"I am glad you have come, sir," said Mr. Green, "for here may be occasion
for the services of his Majesty's officers. Mr. Sandon has given up these
bills, but two thousand pounds remain unaccounted for, and I have traced
thirty-five, quite clearly, to the master of this ship, who has received
it in the way of passage-money."
"Yes, sir, the fact is as plain as the highlands of Navesink from the
deck," drily added Captain Truck.
"One thousand of this money has been returned by the defaulter's sister,"
observed Captain Ducie.
"Very true, sir; I had forgotten to give him credit for that."
"The remainder has probably been wasted in those silly trifles of which
you have told me the unhappy man was so fond, and for which he has
bartered respectability and peace of mind. As for the money paid this ship
for the passage, it has been fairly earned, nor do I know that government
has any power to reclaim it."
Mr. Green heard this opinion with still greater disgust than he had felt
towards the language of Captain Truck; nor could he very well prevent his
feelings escaping, him in words.
"We truly live in perilous times," he muttered, speaking more
particularly to John Effingham, out of respect to his appearance, "when
the scions of the nobility entertain notions so loose. We have vainly
fancied in England that the enormities of the French revolution were
neutralized by Billy Pitt; but, sir, we still live in perilous times, for
the disease has fairly reached the higher classes. I hear that designs are
seriously entertained against the wigs of the judges and bishops, and the
next thing will be the throne! All our venerable institutions are
"I should think the throne might indeed be in danger, sir," returned John
Effingham, gravely, "if it reposes on wigs."
"It is my duty, Captain Truck," continued Captain Ducie, who was a man so
very different from his associate that he scarcely seemed to belong to the
same species, "to request you will deliver to us the person of the
culprit, with his effects, when we can relieve you and your passengers
from the pain of witnessing any more of this unpleasant scene."
At the sound of the delivery of his person, all the danger of his
situation rushed forcibly before the imagination of the culprit. His face
flushed and became pale, and his legs refused to support him, though he
made a desperate effort to rise.
After an instant of silence, he turned to the commander of the corvette,
and, in piteous accents, appealed to him for mercy.
"I have been punished severely already," he continued, as his voice
returned, "for the savage Arabs robbed me of everything I had of any
value. These gentlemen know that they took my dressing-case, several other
curious and valuable articles for the toilet, and nearly all my clothes."
"This man is scarcely a responsible being," said John Effingham, "for a
childish vanity supplies the place of principles, self-respect, and duty.
With a sister scorned on account of his crimes, conviction beyond denial,
and a dread punishment staring him in the face, his thoughts still run
Captain Ducie gave a look of pity at the miserable young man, and, by his
countenance, it was plain to see that he felt no relish for his duty.
Still he felt himself bound to urge on Captain Truck a compliance with
his request. The master of the packet was a good deal divided by an
inherent dislike of seeming to yield anything to a British naval officer,
a class of men whom he learned in early life most heartily to dislike; his
kind feelings towards this particular specimen of the class; a reluctance
to give a man up to a probable death, or some other severe punishment; and
a distaste to being thought desirous of harbouring a rogue. In this
dilemma, therefore, he addressed himself to John Effingham for counsel.
"I should be pleased to hear your opinion, sir, on this matter," he said,
looking at the gentleman just named, "for I own myself to be in a
category. Ought we, or not, to deliver up the culprit?"
"_Fiat justitia ruat coelum_" answered John Effingham, who never fancied
any one could be ignorant of the meaning of these familiar words.
"That I believe indeed to be Vattel," said Captain Truck; "but exceptions
alter rules. This young man has some claims on us on account of his
conduct when in front of the Arabs."
"He fought for himself, sir, and has the merit of preferring liberty in a
ship to slavery in the desert."
"I think with Mr. John Effingham," observed Mr. Dodge, "and can see no
redeeming quality in his conduct on that occasion. He did what we all did,
or, as Mr. John Effingham has so pithily expressed it, he preferred
liberty in our company to being an Arab's slave."
"You will not deliver me up, Captain Truck!" exclaimed the delinquent.
"They will hang me, if once in their power. Oh I you will not have the
heart to let them hang me!"
Captain Truck was startled at this appeal, but he sternly reminded the
culprit that it was too late to remember the punishment, when the crime
"Never fear, Mr. Sandon," said the office-man with a sneer; "these
gentlemen will take you to New York, for the sake of the thousand pounds,
if they can. A rogue is pretty certain of a kind reception in America,
"Then, sir," exclaimed Captain Truck, "you had better go in with us."
"Mr Green, Mr. Green, this is indiscreet, to call it by no worse a term,"
interposed Captain Ducie, who, while he was not free from a good deal of
the prejudices of his companion, was infinitely better bred, and more in
the habit of commanding himself.
"Mr. John Effingham, you have heard this wanton insult," continued Captain
Truck, suppressing his wrath as well as he could: "in what mariner ought
it to be resented?"
"Command the offender to quit your ship instantly," said John Effingham
Captain Ducie started, and his face flushed; but disregarding him
altogether, Captain Truck walked deliberately up to Mr. Green, and ordered
him to go into the corvette's boat.
"I shall allow of neither parley nor delay," added the exasperated old
seaman, struggling to appear cool and dignified, though his vocation was
little for the latter. "Do me the favour, sir, to permit me to see you
into your boat, sir. Saunders, go on deck, and tell Mr. Leach to have the
side manned--with _three_ side boys, Saunders;--and now I ask it as the
greatest possible favour, that you will walk on deck with me, or--or--damn
me, but I'll drag you there, neck and heels!"
It was too much for Captain Truck to seem calm when he was in a towering
passion, and the outbreak at the close of this speech was accompanied by a
gesture with a hand which was open, it is true, but from which none of the
arts of his more polite days could erase the knobs and hue that had been
acquired in early life.
"This is strong language, sir, to use to a British officer, under the guns
of a British cruiser," exclaimed the commander of the corvette.
"And his was strong language to use to a man in his own country and in his
own ship. To you, Captain Ducie I have nothing to say, unless it be to say
you are welcome. But your companion has indulged in a coarse insult on my
country, and damn me if I submit to it, if I never see St. Catherine's
Docks again. I had too much of this when a young man, to wish to find it
repeated while an old one."
Captain Ducie bit his lip, and he looked exceedingly vexed. Although he
had himself blindly imbibed the notion that America would gladly receive
the devil himself if he came with a full pocket, he was shocked with the
coarseness that would throw such an innuendo into the very faces of the
people of the country. On the other hand, his pride as an officer was hurt
at the menace of Captain Truck, and all the former harmony of the scene
was threatened with a sudden termination. Captain Ducie had been struck
with the gentlemanlike appearance of both the Effinghams, to say nothing
of Eve, the instant his foot touched the deck of the Montauk, and he now
turned with a manner of reproach to John Effingham, and said,
"Surely, sir, _you_ cannot sustain Mr. Truck in his extraordinary
"You will pardon me if I say I do. The man has been permitted to remain
longer in the ship than I would have suffered."
"And, Mr. Powis, what is your opinion?"
"I fear," said Paul, smiling coldly, "that I should have knocked him down
on the spot."
"Templemore, are you, too, of this way of thinking?"
"I fear the speech of Mr. Green has been without sufficient thought. On
reflection he will recall it."
But Mr. Green would sooner part with life than part with a prejudice, and
he shook his head in the negative in a way to show that his mind was
"This is trifling," added Captain Truck. "Saunders, go on deck, and tell
Mr. Leach to send down through the skylight a single whip, that we may
whip this polite personage on deck; and, harkee, Saunders, let there be
another on the yard, that we may send him into his boat like an anker
"This is proceeding too far," said Captain Ducie. "Mr Green, you will
oblige me by retiring; there can be no suspicion cast on a vessel of war
for conceding a little to an unarmed ship."
"A vessel of war should not insult an unarmed ship, sir!" rejoined Captain
Captain Ducie again coloured; but as he had decided on his course, he had
the prudence to remain silent. In the mean time Mr. Green sullenly took
his hat and papers, and withdrew into the boat; though, on his return to
London he did not fail to give such a version of the affair as went
altogether to corroborate all his own, and his friends' previous notions
of America; and, what is equally singular, he religiously believed all he
had said on the occasion.
"What is now to be done with this unhappy man?" inquired Captain Ducie
when order was a little restored.
The misunderstanding was an unfortunate affair for the culprit. Captain
Truck felt a strong reluctance to deliver him up to justice after all they
had gone through together, but the gentlemanlike conduct of the English
commander, the consciousness of having triumphed in the late conflict, and
a deep regard for the law, united on the other hand to urge him to yield
the unfortunate and weak-minded offender to his own authorities.
"You do not claim a right to take him out of an American ship by violence,
if I understand you, Captain Ducie?"
"I do not. My instructions are merely to demand him."
"That is according to Vattel. By demand you mean, to request, to ask for
"I mean to request, to ask for him," returned the Englishman, smiling.
"Then take him, of God's name; and may your laws be more merciful to the
wretch than he has been to himself, or to his kin."
Mr. Sandon shrieked, and he threw himself abjectly on his knees between
the two captains, grasping the legs of both.
"Oh! hear me! hear me!" he exclaimed in a tone of anguish. "I have given
up the money, I will give it all up! all to the last shilling, if you will
let me go! You, Captain Truck, by whose side I have fought and toiled, you
will not have the heart to abandon me to these murderers!"
"It's d--d hard!" muttered the captain, actually wiping his eyes; "but it
is what you have drawn upon yourself, I fear. Get a good lawyer, my poor
fellow, as soon as you arrive; and it's an even chance, after all,
that you go free!"
"Miserable wretch!" said Mr. Dodge, confronting the still kneeling and
agonized delinquent, "Wretch! these are the penalties of guilt. You have
forged and stolen, acts that meet with my most unqualified disapprobation,
and you are unfit for respectable society.--I saw from the very first what
you truly were, and permitted myself to associate with you, merely to
detect and expose you, in order that you might not bring disgrace on our
beloved country. An impostor has no chance in America; and you are
fortunate in being taken back to your own hemisphere."
Mr. Dodge belonged to a tolerably numerous class, that is quaintly
described as being "law honest;" that is to say, he neither committed
murder nor petty larceny. When he was guilty of moral slander, he took
great care that it should not be legal slander; and, although his whole
life was a tissue of mean and baneful vices, he was quite innocent of all
those enormities that usually occupy the attention of a panel of twelve
men. This, in his eyes, raised him so far above less prudent sinners as to
give him a right to address his quondam associate as has been just
related. But the agony of the culprit was past receiving an increase from
this brutal attack; he merely motioned the coarse-minded sycophant and
demagogue away, and continued his appeals to the two captains for mercy.
At this moment Paul Powis stepped up to the editor, and in a low but firm
voice ordered him to quit the cabin.
"I will pray for you--be your slave--do all you ask, if you will not give
me up!" continued the culprit, fairly writhing in his agony. "Oh! Captain
Ducie, as an English nobleman, have mercy on me."
"I must transfer the duty to subordinates," said the English commander, a
tear actually standing in his eye. "Will you permit a party of armed
marines to take this unhappy being from your ship, sir."
"Perhaps this will be the best course, as he will yield only to a show of
force. I see no objection to this, Mr John Effingham?"