« EdellinenJatka »
Here it was with some difficulty, that we could get enough to satisfy our sharpened appetites, for nothing was served up to table but what was expressly ordered, and the next morning at breakfast we were perfectly tantalized by the powdered waiter, and one toast at a time, to serve half a dozen hungry stomachs.
Our friends at London procured us passports in a day or two; and, contrary to all advice, we took passage in a Gravesend boat, crowded almost to suffocation by a ragged rabble, for the sake of completing our voyage by water; and, to the great joy of our captain and his crew, to whom we had endeared ourselves by a liberal use of our sea stores, went aboard of the Dispatch again, at Wapping, winding our way through amazing crowds of ships, moored side by side, till there was but a narrow passage left be. tween them.
We have since taken lodgings in Union-court, Broad-street, where we have a pleasant dining room and bed chamber, and the family serve us with what we choose; so that we seem quite at home, and very much at our ease, after the fatigues and dangers of a winter voyage, which we promise ourselves never to risk again.
Postscript.-Having preserved a few notes of cross questions and silly answers, of which a sea life is uncommonly fertile, I cannot forbear attempting to amuse you with them in a postscript, though they seem inconsistent with the gravity of sober description.
First then of the first. When we were all recovering from the effects of the first storm, the cabin boy again shewing some disposition to nauseate, “Eh! you Jack,” says the captain! “If " you get sick again, I'll make you swallow the broad axe.”
Another time that the poor fellow was toppling on the main yard, “you Jack,” says he, “take care you don't go overboard, I'll heave a billet of wood at you, if you want to die soon."
But our poor steward was his chief butt, for he had never been to sea before, and was so astonished at every thing about him, that with the best disposition in the world, it seemed impossible for him to learn what was to be done.
“ It confuses me” he would say, “to see our steward move. He makes me think of an elephant. He's a week a turning round. I had a boy once that would skip round this cabin, like a cooper round a cask.”
One stormy day when he was coming down stairs, with a dish in each hand, the captain cries out, “ mind your weather helm boy! Take care and don't fetch way now.”-All in vain: Down comes the steward, and breaks all to smash.—“Aha!" says the captain, “ take care of the pieces. Did not I tell you never to fill both hands at once. Always keep one hand for the owners, and one for yourself.”
Another time; “ steward if you don't make fast that candlestick, I'll make you stand guard over it all night. You chouder-headed fellow, you can't stand yourself, no more than a scupper nail and you expect that to stand.”
When he'd come down into the cabin as if he did not know what to do next, “well Supple," the captain would say, “what part of the play are you acting now?”
After having called him till he was tired of a morning, when we collected to break fast, he would say dryly, “ did you hear how many times I called the steward before he waked this morning. Poor fellow! He gets no more sleep than one of the ground tier butts--He's in the cats' watch.”
When he would handle any thing a little sparingly, “Steward, are you afraid your hands won't last your life time.”—Ah! sir, he once replied, it's very easy to look on. If you had as much 10 do as I have, you'd not work any smarter than I do. “Well, well,” said the captain, “ that story's long enough."
When the men were slow reefing the sails, the captain would cry, “Don't freeze to the main yard!" Or if they pulled heavily at the ropes, “ I believe in my soul you han't got the frost out of you yet.”
To one great clumsy fellow, in particular, he would often call out, “pull, elephant, pull;" and when he had put him out of patience, by mistaking his orders, “go along you elephant (he was himself a small sized man) and set yourself on the end of the studding sail beam to keep it down." And the dolthead, never smoking the jest, would have attempted to bave done it,
had we not interfered. “You ought to be stripped, and have your joints greased,” says he, “at your age I'd ha' jump'd over the top gall’n yard.”
One of the passengers would often pester the mate about getting married. He was an Irishman born, a bachelor of five and thirty, and had followed the seas twenty years.
“ Hough!” he would say, “What should I do with a wife, that am never in port above a month at a time. No! no! I'll never be bothered with a wife. I'm botheration enough myself."
The captain told us he had a good deal of money in his hands, without the scrip of a pen to shew for it. And that he had persuaded him to bring some of it along for a venture. But “no, he said, he might as well have it as for the French to get it.”
He seemed to enjoy himself best when the wind blew hardest. Once when he had been roused out of bed with a severe head-ach to take his watch one dismal night, my B- compassionately inquired how his head-ach was. “Why, Ma'am," says he, “I believe the wind has blowed it all away." But it soon returned again, and she was continually sending him one thing or other to take; till he sent the steward back with a flat refusal,“ he did not want to be plagued with any of them things."
His judgment of the weather, arising from long and close observation, was actually astonishing. He seemed to foresee the changes of the wind by intuition, and could tell how long they would continue. “Well, mate,” I would say, “how long will this wind hold?” So many hours. “What sort of weather shall we have to-morrow?” So, and 80. “Will the wind blow any har, der?" No, sir! we've got the strength of the wind.
CORRESPONDENCE.-FOR THE PORT FOLIO. PERMIT, Mr. Editor, one of your correspondents to express the gratification he has felt in attending the Theatre during the nights of Mr. Payne's engagements. I had reason, particularly, to admire the wonderful facility and adroitness by which self
was lost in the character personated. In other actors, I have seen an occasional recurrence of this conception, when some favourite passage was to be spoken. When this was done, they were no longer the characters they acted, until another brilliant speech was to be made, when they seemed to assume the disguise solely for that purpose. Such conduct breaks that continuity of sensation, so requisite to make us feel the whole force of the author's sentiments, and prompts our memories to hover round mutilated passages only. The person speaking, does not preserve his identity by his words and actions, it is his habiliments only that designate the character he acts. That integrity of conception, that enables him to bear the character throughout, Mr. Payne possesses.in a very eminent degree. When he is silent, an “expression of eye, or of countenance, fills up the chasm,” and he appears to wait with impatience for the time, when he shall give his thoughts utterance again. By this happy accommodation, the most unimportant passage in the speaker's discourse, partakes of character and identity; and the author's sentiments, are literally embodied. The audience are thus gradually prepared for that burst of frenzied laughter, with which they hear the death of Hermione.
“ I thank you, Gods! I never could expect
We are likewise prepared to see the same character, when driven to insanity, exclaim, while wrapping his head with his mantle
“ Look! where they come!
A shoal of furies, how they swarm about!”
“ Aut Agamemnonius scenis agitatus Orestes,
This continuity of character, so happily preserved, enables the actor to make the sentiments of his author the thermometer of his looks, language and actions. The passion and interest be
fore excited and preserved, as the catastrophe deepens, allows still additional energy, without overstepping the boundaries of nature; whereas when the actor flags, all our sympathies collapse, and even proper stress laid upon passages distinguished for their energy, appears in that state of exhaustion, like cold and unmeaning rant; for we cannot conceive what should make him so suddenly rouse and relax from his efforts. An actor, who knows his business, never will forget the necessity of exciting our sympathies in the first place, or of preserving the impression so excited, by reiterated efforts afterwards. Notwithstanding, Dr. Johnson asserted of David Garrick, that “if he did really believe himself to be Richard the Third, he ought to be hanged every time he performed the play;" unless a portion of this credulity does reside in the bosom of an actor, he does not do his author complete justice. It is hypercriticism to argue philosophically on the greater or less degree of pliancy inherited by the pas. sions; it is something constitutional; something inherent in nature; something too subtle to be grasped by the cold and frostbitten fingers of metaphysic inquiry. Dr. Johnson was no judge of such matters, and his own tragedy of Irene, is proof positive, and recorded, that nature did not design him for such a critic. The Dr. pronounces such credulity impossible; but Mr. Payne has convinced me that such a thing is possible-nay, that such sentiments are for the time epidemic. “ Deserves to be hanged!” Is there no medium between a glow and impression of character received for a particular occasion, and which expires with it, and that deliberate and murderous villainy that could perpetrate such enormities afterwards?
Philosophers assume to themselves more credit by far, than they are entitled to, by pushing every principle of this sort in extremes, and claiming to themselves all the glories of a victory, without having endured the hazard of a battle. Opinions of this sort do well enough for paradoxes, if they are deserving that dig. nity; but they are in sober truth entitled to no more. They go to the destruction of all the pains as well as pleasures of fictitious sympathy; and a man would be interdicted from shedding a tear on reading a tale of fanciful distress. I have, sir, thrown out these few hints in justification of that line of acting that Mr, Payne has adopted.
I. R. VOL. VII.