The Baldwin Library
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THEKIE YOUNG~- K&L)YIGK TOR .
HURRAH FOR NEW ENGLAND!
THE VIRGINIA BOY'S VACATION.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE BOY OF SPIRIT,
WHEN ARB WE HAPPIEST? ETC.
WM. CROSBY AND H. P. NICHOLS,
111 WASImoNGO SraMT.
Ertered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
Wa. COIsBY AND H. P. NICHOLs,
ir the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
STERBOTYPBD AND PRINTED BY
METCALF AND COMPANY,
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE
OUR MESSMATES .
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN
OLD JACK .
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA
DAVID'S GLIMPSE OF NOBILITY
HURRAH FOR NEW ENGLAND!
THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
FROM PIDGIE TO HIS COUSIN BENNIE.
Marblehead, July 1st, 1846.
Do you remember, my dear cousin, how
scornfully we used to look at little crooked
Massachusetts," as we called it, on the map,
while comparing the other States with good
old Virginia ? I do n't believe that we ever
even noticed such a town in it as Marblehead;
and yet here I am, in that very place; and
though I love our noble State as well as ever,
I am beginning to think that there are some
other places in the world fit to live in. I
do n't mean, though, that I have the smallest
inclination to take up my abode in this town,
but I should like to have you see it, for it is
2 THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
the funniest place you can imagine. The old,
queer-looking houses seem to be placed cor-
nerwise on the most crooked of streets, all
up hill and down, and winding around so that
I begin to think they have lost themselves and
will come to a stop, when out they start, from
behind some red or green house which they
had run around just for fun. Then there are
heaps, as we Southerners say, of droll little
children running about, some of them quite
nicely dressed, with no servant to take care of
them; and yesterday, on the rocks that look
out upon the ocean, I met a little boy who
could scarcely walk tottling along beside one
but little older, as independent and happy as if
he might not at any time fall and hit his little
white head against one of the sharp stones.
They say that some of our most distinguish-
ed Congressmen, and even our United States
Senators, have been brought up in this way,
and though I do n't see how these boys can
ever learn to be polished gentlemen when
they mix with all sorts of children, yet some
THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
of them are as intelligent as if they had done
nothing but read all their lives, and as brave as
their sailor fathers.
Yesterday a fishing-vessel came in, which
had been out for several months, and I spied a
little fellow clambering down a ladder, placed
up to one of the tall chimneys, as fast as. he
could go, and then, starting out the door like
lightning, he was by the water-side before the
boat touched the shore, and his mother was
not far behind him.
But how I am carried away by what is
around me I forget that you do n't even
know how I came to be here, and while I am
writing are perhaps wondering all the time if
I am not playing a trick upon you, after all,
and dating from some place where I never ex-
pect to be. But I am in real earnest, Bennie,
and will try and tell you, as soberly as I can,
how I happen to be here.
You remember, the day that Uncle Bob
brought the horse home for me to ride to
Benevenue, he said something about Master
4 THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
Clarendon's not being able to ride Charlie
much of late, so that I would find him rather
gay. When I got to the place, I found every
thing in confusion, and Dr. Medway talking
very earnestly with brother Clarendon, who
was looking quite thin, and not at all pleased.
I should think a voyage to Europe would
be quite as beneficial," he said, turning to the
Doctor, with his proudest air, as soon as he
had greeted me.
"No," replied Dr. Medway, smiling at his
displeased manner; you must have work,
Sir, hard work, and hard fare. It would do
you no more good to take a luxurious trip in a
steamer, than to remain quietly in your fash-
ionable lodgings at Baltimore. Your dyspep-
sia, Sir, can be best cured by your taking a
cruise in a Yankee fishing-smack, bound for
the Banks of Newfoundland."
Then I shall die," said Clarendon; and
I had almost as lief, as to be cooped up in a
dirty fishing-smack with vulgar sailors, half-
starved with their miserable fare."
THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
It will do you good in more ways than
one," observed Dr. Medway; and he gave
mother a significant look. 1" We poor Virgini-
ans think it impossible to exist except in a cer-
tain way; but you are a young man of sense,
in spite of your prejudices, and will be very
much benefited by a little more familiar inter-
course with your fellow-men."
As I stood by, listening to this conversa-
tion, I was not surprised at Clarendon's reluc-
tance to follow Dr. Medway's advice, but
much more astonished when, after arguing the
point half an hour longer, he called for Sukey,
his old mammy, you know, and told her
to have every thing in readiness for him to
leave the next day.
As soon as the Doctor was gone, Claren-
don began to see more plainly than ever the
disagreeabilities of the scheme to which he
had consented; but he was too proud to give
it up after his word had been pledged.
I wish I could find somebody to accom-
pany me on this horrid excursion," he ex-
6 THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
clainied. Miss Sukey! there 's no use
putting in my guitar-music. A pretty figure
I should cut, strumming away on that, upon the
dirty deck of a Down East schooner I can't
have the face to ask any friend to accompany
me. 0 ho it 's a desperate case "
All at once, as if a sudden idea had struck
him, while pacing the room impatiently, he
turned to me : What say you, Pidgie, to
spending the holidays on this fishing excur-
sion ? "
You may be sure that I was ready enough
to accept the proposal, for you know I have
always been crazy to go on the water, and like
seeing new places above every thing.
Indeed, and double indeed, brother, I
would rather go to the Banks with you, than
to see Queen Victoria herself. I '11 run and
ask 'ma directly if she can spare me, and if
she will, I wont even unpack my valise, but
shall be all ready to start in the morning."
So saying, I darted into ma'ss chamber,
and she declares that my eyes were almost
THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
dancing out of my head for joy, when I told
her of the proposal. At first she hesitated,
for it was a trial to her to part with me so
soon again; but you know Clarendon is the
pride of her heart, and for his sake she at last
gave her consent. Sister Nannie was grieved
at having both her brothers taken from her,
but she is little woman, and always ready to
make sacrifices for others; so she sat down
very quietly to looking over some of Claren-
don's clothes, and though a tear now and then
rolled down her cheek, she would look up
from her work with quite a pleasant smile.
Before I had time to realize what had taken
place, I was perched up in the carrriage with
Clarendon, and in five minutes more had taken
leave of every thing at home but Uncle Jack,
who was driving us to the cars, in which we
were to start for Baltimore.
You have heard so much of New York and
Boston, that I cannot, probably, tell you any
thing new about them, though, to be sure,
when there, I felt as if the half had not been
8 THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION.
told me. All the streets and houses look so
nice and comfortable in the New England
towns, that I cannot imagine where the poor
people live. At the hotel in New York, when
I rang the bell, such a nice-looking young gen-
tleman came to our door, that I thought he
was a fellow-boarder who had made a mistake
in the room. I asked him, very politely, if
he would have the kindness to tell me where
any servants were to be found, as they did not
answer the bell.
He stared at this request, and then answer-
ed, quite proudly, I wait on gentlemen,
my young friend; but we are all free men
I cannot get used to this new state of af-
fairs, and should be quite out of patience, hav-
ing to do so many things for myself, if broth-
er Clarendon did not keep me laughing all the
while with his perfect fits of despair. But
'he is calling to me to stop writing, for, since
here in Marblehead they wont let him have
any peace in sleeping till eleven o'clock, he
THE DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION. 9
insists on going to bed with the chickens, or
he shall die for want of rest.
Love to all, men, women, and children,
horses and dogs, from your affectionate cou-
sin, PIDGIE BEVERLEY.
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
TO BENNIE ALLERTON AT BELLISLE.
Marblehead, July 3d, 1846.
DEAR BENNIE, -Just now I heard a roll-
ing of small wheels, and then the barking of a
dog. Forgetting where I was, I thought of
you and Watch, and walked to the window
actually expecting to see you, with Watch in
his new harness, drawing the little wagon. I
only saw a strange boy, rolling a wheelbarrow
along, with a great Newfoundland dog at his
side, which I should have bought for you if I
could have sent it back to Virginia. But, af-
ter all, you would not have liked it as well as
Watch, and I am sure that I do n't know of a
fault he has, but chasing chickens and every
FIrTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 11
thing else on the road, besides barking all night
when the moon shines.
I always liked moonlight nights, but never
knew half how glorious they were till now.
Last evening, Clarendon said, it was too ridic-
ulous for him to be going to bed when it was
so beautiful; so he called to me to take a
stroll with him on a cliff, not far from the
house, which commands a magnificent pros-
pect of the sea. I snatched up my cap in
a moment, delighted at the proposition, and
ran along at his side, as I always have to do,
to keep up with his long, fast strides.
Even brother's melancholy countenance
grew animated as he gazed on the scene before
us. A bright sheet of water separated the
peak on which we were standing from another
rocky ledge, connected with the main land by
a narrow strip, called Marblehead Neck, that
looked like a wall inclosing the quiet bay.
Behind us lay the town, with its strange, wild
confusion of roofs and spires, and to the south
we could descry Nahant and Boston, with
12 FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
Cape Cod stretching out beyond them, along
the horizon. My eyes, however, did not rest
on the land, but turned to the broad ocean,
which lay beyond the light-house, that stood
up like a spectre in the moonlight, and I
thought I could spy here and there a sail
among the many which I had seen that after-
noon scattered over the waves.
Clarendon sat down on one of the rocks,
and his love of the beautiful overcame, at that
moment, his dislike to praising any thing in
which he has no personal interest. This is
magnificent," he said, and commenced repeat-
ing with enthusiasm Byron's address to the
Roll on, thou dark blue ocean! roll," &c.
At the sound of his fine, manly voice, a boy
about my age started up from a rock near him,
and listened to the lines with the most pro-
found attention. When they were concluded,
he remarked with a modest yet independent
air, -" That certainly is very fine, Sir; but
we have poets of our own that can match it."
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 13
Clarendon at first frowned at what he
deemed the height of impertinence; but as he
looked on the boy's broad, open forehead, and
frank, sweet mouth, in which the white teeth
glittered as he spoke, his haughty manner van-
ished, and he replied quite civilly,--" So you
know something about poetry, my little lad."
To be sure, Sir," replied David Cobb,
for such I afterwards found to be his name.
" How could a boy be two years at the Boston
High School and not know something about
it? But I knew Drake's Address to the
Flag, and Pierpont's Pilgrim Fathers, and
Percival's New England, when I was not more
than ten years old."
Percival's New England said Clar-
endon, quite contemptuously. "Pray, what
could a poet say about such a puny subject as
this Yankee land of yours ? "
Do you not know that poem ? asked
David ; and we could see, by the moonlight,
that there was something very like indigna-
tion at such ignorance in his fine dark eyes.
14 FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
" Hear it, then, and see if you do not call it
If you could only have seen him, Bennie,
as he stood on the cliff, with his rough, sailor-
like hat in hand, and the breeze lifting his dark
hair from his broad forehead, while, looking
with absolute fondness on the scene around
him, he repeated, -
"Hail to the land whereon we tread,
Olr fondest boast!
The sepulchre of mighty dead,
The truest hearts that ever bled,
Who sleep on glory's brightest bed,
A fearless host;
No slave is here ; our unchained feet
Walk freely, as the waves that beat
"Our fathers crossed the ocean's wave
To seek this shore;
They left behind the coward slave
To welter in his living grave ;
With hearts unbent, and spirits brave,
They sternly bore
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 15
Such toils as meaner souls had quelled;
But souls like these such toils impelled
"Hail to the morn when first they stood
On Bunker's height,
And, fearless, stemmed the invading flood,
And wrote our dearest rights in blood,
And mowed in ranks the hireling brood,
In desperate fight!
O, 't was a proud, exulting day,
For e'en our fallen fortunes lay
"There is no other land like thee,
No dearer shore;
Thou art the shelter of the free;
The home, the port, of liberty
Thou hast been, and shall for ever be,
Till time is o'er.
Ere I forget to think upon
My land, shall mother curse the son
"Thou art the firm, unshaken rock
On which we rest;
16 FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
And, rising from thy hardy stock,
Thy sons the tyrant's power shall mock,
And slavery's galling chains unlock,
And free the oppressed;
All who the wreath of freedom twine
Beneath the shadow of their vine
"We love thy rude and rocky shore,
And here we stand.
Let foreign navies hasten o'er,
And on our heads their fury pour,
And peal their cannon's loudest roar,
And storm our land;
They still shall find our lives are given
To die for home, and leant on heaven
Did you think that a real Yankee could be
so proud of living out of Virginia ? I am
sure those we have seen appear to be half
ashamed of their country, and to be sure it
is not as good as ours ; but I could not help
liking this boy's warm, honest love of his na-
tive soil. Even Clarendon admired it, and,
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 17
when he had done repeating his favorite lines,
handed him a silver dollar, saying, --" There !
buy yourself a book of just such poetry, if you
choose, and if you can find any in praise of
the Old Dominion, read it for my sake."
I knew that brother meant to do a gracious
thing; but still there was something about
David's appearance which would have made
me afraid to give him money, and I was not
surprised at the indignant flush which rose to
his cheek, or the scornful way in which he
threw the poor dollar over the rock into the
I am Captain Cobb's son, Sir," he said
very proudly, "and must tell you, that, though
a New England boy is not ashamed of earning
money in any honest way, he never takes it as
a gift from strangers. I should have pocketed
your silver with great pleasure if I had sold
you its worth in fish, or taken you out in the
skiff for a day's excursion; but my mother
would scorn me if I had taken alms like a
18 FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
I never saw Clarendon more confused than
he was at this speech; yet he has so much
pride himself, that he could not help liking the
boy's honest love of independence. His cu-
riosity was so much excited, that he prolonged
the conversation, and discovered that David
was the son of the captain of the Go-Ahead,
the very schooner in which we are to sail
to-morrow for Newfoundland. It will be the
fourth of July, and the sailors were at first
averse to going out upon that day, but con-
cluded to celebrate it on shore in the morning,
and depart in the afternoon. David is going
to accompany his father on the trip, having
studied a little too hard at school, and it being
the custom here to intersperse study with sea-
sons of labor.
You see," he said, that I am rigged al-
ready sailor-fashion "; and he pointed to his
wide trousers, round jacket, and tarpaulin.
"0 brother! can 't I have just such
clothes ? I asked. They would be so
comfortable, and I should have no fears of
hurting them, as I should these I have on."
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 19
You got yours for economy, did you not,
boy ?" said brother to David.
"Not altogether, Sir. They are the only
ones proper for fishing. Of course, if you
are going to work, you will get some of the
same kind; for that finery of yours would be
very much out of place."
Finery! Could you have heard David's
tone of contempt, and seen his glance at
brother's last Paris suit, you would have
laughed as I did.
I think Clarendon is getting more patient
already; for a few weeks since nothing could
have saved a boy from a flogging that had
dared to give him such a glance ; but his good-
sense is getting uppermost. Well, Master
David," he said, good-humoredly, since
you do n't like our clothes, you must come
to-morrow to our lodgings, and show Pidgie
and myself where to get such beautiful ones
This morning, before we had half done
breakfast, I heard a bright, pleasant voice
20 FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
asking of our host, in a free and easy way, -
" Captain Peck, is there considerable of a
pretending chap here who 's going out fishing
in our craft to-day ? When the salt water has
washed some of his airs out of him he '11 be
good for something; and his brother aint so
You should have seen Clarendon taking as
much of a glance at himself in the little wood-
en-framed looking-glass, opposite the break-
fast-table, as the size of it would allow, when
he heard this qualified compliment.
A pretty way, that, of speaking of Clar-
endon Beverley! he exclaimed, almost
fiercely. 1" These Yankees have no respect
for any thing on earth, but their own boorish
"But he is only a little boy, about thir-
teen or fourteen, brother," I said, coaxingly;
" and that 's his way of praising." For I did
not want to lose our new acquaintance. He
can show us where to get our clothes, just as
well as if he had better manners."
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 21
The scene at the little shop where we went
for our new clothes was comical, even to me,
though I am used to brother's ways; so I
could not wonder that some sailors at the door
"I would like some coarse jackets and
trousers for this lad and myself," he said.
" Of course, we do not need any different
That shirt of yours," said the shopman,
pointing to the ribbon binding of a fine silk
shirt, which had slipped below brother's beau-
tiful linen wristband, would be terribly un-
comfortable when it was wringing wet, and
soon spoiled by sailor's washing. Nobody of
any sense would think of going to sea in such
things as those."
Poor Clarendon the thought of those red-
flannel shirts was near killing him; for they
were just like those our negroes wear, and' so
were the duck trousers. When, at last, he
was persuaded to have them sent home, and
put them on for trial, they did seem most lu-
22 FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE.
dicrously unsuitable. I never saw him, how-
ever, look so handsome in my life; for his
tarpaulin is mighty becoming to his pale, dark
face, and those jet moustaches of his, when he
has not time to tend them and keep every hair
in place, will be quite fierce. He looked as
solemn when he got his sea-rig on, as if he
was about preaching a sermon.
0, that reminds me that I have not told
you of our visit to old Father Taylor's church
in Boston! His text was, He that com-
eth unto me shall never thirst." And every
word of the sermon was just suited to the plain
tars whom he was addressing. He baptized
some children more touchingly than any one I
ever saw. Their mother was the widow of a
sailor, who had been lost on a late cruise, and
sat beside the altar alone with two little boys,
the youngest an infant in her arms. As the
old father took it from her and kissed it, a tear
of sympathy with the bereaved parent actually
fell from his kind eye, on the little, round
cheek; and I shall never forget the manner in
FITTING OUT FOR THE CRUISE. 23
which, after the rite was performed, he re-
placed it in her arms, saying, Go back to
your mother's bosom, and may you never be
a thorn there."
Captain Peck, our host, and a worthy
man he is, who was himself a sailor till he was
washed overboard and lost his health, has
just come in to say that it is time for our
chest," as he calls brother's portmanteau, to
be on board; so I must say good by. My
next will probably be sent from some port, in-
to which we may run for a few hours.
FROM PIDGIE TO HIS COUSIN BENNIE.
Bay of Fundy, July 9th, 1846.
O BENNIE, how I wish you were here!
You used to enjoy so much skulling around
that little pond of Mr. Mason's in his flat
boat, what would you do to be bounding over
the water as we are now ? I am sitting Turk-
fashion on the deck-floor, leaning against the
mast, and, as you see, writing with a pencil,
being afraid to use my inkstand, lest some
stray wave should give it a capsize. There
comes one now, that has washed our floor
for us, and it needed it badly enough; nor
do I mind the wetting, for I am bare-footed
and my duck trousers always expect it. We
have been five days now upon the water, and
since we have thrown overboard the good
things that Clarendon laid in for the voyage,
and taken to sailor's fare, we have no more
of that horrid sea-sickness. Hard biscuit and
water are just as good as any thing else, if
you only get used to it, and the fish which we
caught this morning are delicious. We came
upon a fine shoal of them, and for several
hours had nothing to do but pull them in, one
after another, as fast as we could put our
hooks down. I got hold of a very big fel-
low, myself, but he was nearer drawing me
out of the schooner than I him into it, till
David Cobb came to the rescue, and gave
such a tug at the line, that he was soon floun-
dering about on the deck. I never knew
what an apt comparison like a fish out of
water is, till I saw him flapping round.
If you only knew David I am sure you
would like him. He is as different as can be
from our Virginia boys, and yet we are excel-
lent friends. I thought at first that he did
not know asy thing, when I found out that
he had never even heard the names of some
of our most distinguished families, and I sus-
pect he despised me in his heart because I
was so ignorant about the old Pilgrim Fathers.
We have many an argument about New
England and the Old Dominion, but keep
our tempers pretty well, and each of us finds
a great deal to boast of. There is one thing
I can say which really troubles him, for he
can't deny that it is a great honor to the State,
and that is, that General Washington was born
and brought up and died in Virginia. 0, how
he glories even that Washington was an Amer-
ican, and what would he not give if he could
claim him for his dear Massachusetts I used
to think that the Yankees were all cold-hearted
and never got excited about any thing ; but
David looks as if his soul was all on fire
when he speaks of the Father of his Country,
and he drinks in every word I can tell him
of Mount Vernon. He has made me tell
him over as much as three times all the stories
grandfather told us of the time when he be.
longed to Washington's military family, and
what he said to grandmother when they were
There goes Clarendon, staggering up and
down the deck from sea-sickness. He will
riot take enough of the sailor's fare to do him
any good, and the wry faces which he makes
over a few mouthfuls are pitiful. Before he
could get the sails shifted, I am sure the wind
would change, and though the crew try to
be polite, they can't help laughing to see what
an awkward hand he is at doing any thing.
There goes the Heave ho !" which sounds
so delightfully to me.
There is one man who has just come up
from below that interests me so much that I
can't help watching him all the time he 's in
sight. The first time I saw him was the day
we came on board. The schooner had drop-
ped down a mile or two, and Captain Peck,
our worthy host at Marblehead, came out in
a little boat to bring some of Clarendon's
clothes, which had been left by accident.
He is a clever fellow, for though Clarendon
was not half civil to him, he was always polite
in his way, and his frank, well-meaning civility
so won upon brother, that when they parted
he apologized for his rudeness, and told the
Captain that he had shown himself the most
of a gentleman of the two.
Beside brother's extra trappings, Captain
Peck brought a package of books, which
Captain Cobb looked at with surprise, and
asked, with an oath, who they were for.
O Bennie I should enjoy myself a great
deal more if two or three of the sailors did
not swear so dreadfully; but I hope when they
have read those books they will stop using
such wicked words; for what should they be
but Bibles, sent on board by the Seamen's
Let us throw them overboard," said
Brown Tom," a coarse, red-featured man,
who is more fond of grog than reading.
Pshaw Tom, do n't talk of treating a
lady's present in that way," exclaimed Captain
Peck, who, after his fashion, has a great re-
spect both for religion and womankind, and his
own wife in particular.
"' 0, if that 's the case," remarked a mel-
ancholy looking man, who had not before
spoken, let us stow them away somewhere;
for women always mean well, and perhaps it
would be better for us if we followed their
I thought he sighed as he said this, and I
wondered what made him so unhappy.
Well done for Moody Dick! he 's sail-
ing under new colors. Who would have
thought of his hoisting a petticoat for a flag ?"
said Blunt Harry, an old, fat seaman, who is
esteemed the wit of the crew.
"Not I," replied Brown Tom; but if the
giver of these books has a pretty face of her
own, they are worth keeping ; if not, I do n't
care for any of her lumber."
Well, that she has," said Captain Peck,
warmly; you '11 have to go round the world
again before you find a sweeter face than Miss
Louisa Colman's. She begged me to bring
them on board, and ask each sailor to accept
a copy for his own use."
"I 'll take one for myself, and thank ye,
too, for mine was left by mistake at the tav-
ern, there," observed Old Jack, a quiet man,
who had just come on deck. So saying, he
took up the largest of the Bibles with an air
of reverence, quite in contrast with his usual
bold, careless manner, adding, as he saw the
name of the donors on the fly-leaf, -" Bless
the Seamen's Friend Society and Miss Col-
man, too, if she 's like the rest of the dear
ladies who take such an interest in us poor
wanderers of the deep."
As the name of Miss Colman was men-
tioned, the face of Moody Dick met my eye,
and never did I see such powerful emotion
as his toil-worn features betrayed. His eyes,
which are of that pale blue peculiar to mar-
iners, were filled with tears, and, unable to
control his feelings, he turned suddenly round
towards the water ; but his distress was evident
from the agonized writhing of every limb and
The sailors, rough and coarse as they are,
had too much real feeling to remark upon this
surprising -change, and in a few moments it
seemed forgotten in the excitement of finally
setting sail. When I next saw him, Dick's
features were hard and stony as ever; but last
hight, when almost every one was asleep, I
saw him bring out the Bible of which he had
quietly taken possession, and I noticed that
he had sewed a coarse covering over it, and
held it as if it were made of gold.
When you and I, Bennie, used to kneel
down so regularly, and say our prayers every
night, I did not think that the same act would
ever require a stronger effort of moral courage
than any thing I have ever done. The first
night we were out, after reading a chapter, as
we always do at home, before getting into my
little berth, I knelt down, without even think-
ing that there was any body on board who
would not do the same thing. I was so taken
up with the duty I was performing, that I did
not notice if others were looking at me; for
if ever I felt the need of the protection of
God, it is now. The land is so full of things
that men have made, and they are so busy
all around you, that it does not seem half so
much as if it were God's own world as the
ocean, where every object, except the little
vessel, you are in, is of his creation. As I
looked up and saw all the universe he had
made, and round on the broad waters, and
thought how soon, with one wave, they could
sweep us out of existence, I felt the need
of prayer more than ever before, and I cannot
now imagine how those men could sleep, with-
out first asking God to take care of them.
I am afraid, though, that some of the sailors
do n't even believe that there is such a being,
and they say his awful name without any fear,
and ask him to curse each other every few
moments, as if they had never heard what
a dreadful thing it is to be under the displeas-
ure of the Almighty.
When I got up from my knees, I heard a
loud laugh from Blunt Harry," who called
out to Clarendon, -" Why do n't you rock
that baby to sleep, now he has said his pray-
ers, and then say your own and turn in ? "
Clarendon would have made some angry
reply, but he has found out that there is no
use in getting in a passion, for the men con-
sider him on a perfect level with themselves,
and will say what they choose to him.
Let the boy alone," interposed Moody
Dick. I only wish I could say my prayers
this night with the same childlike confidence."
No, do n't mind them, my fine fellow,"
said Old Jack, the same man who had spoken
so warmly of the Seamen's Friend Society,
and he gave me a rough tap on the shoulder,
which even my coarse shirt did not prevent
from stinging. They all envy you, for I
used to talk just as they do, and when at the
worst I would have changed places with any
body who had a fair chance of landing in
While this conversation was going on, Clar-
endon bit his lips with displeasure, and the
next day he told me that I might as well say
my prayers after I got into my berth. I was
surprised that my proud brother, who scorns
the idea of being influenced by the opinion
Sof any one, should want to have me ashamed
of worshipping God before those whom he
pretends to despise. Though I love him
dearly, 1 did not follow his advice, and when
the second night I did the same thing, no one
laughed at me.
The next day, David Cobb shook hands
heartily with me, and said I ought to have
been a Yankee boy ; for though he had not
been brought up to say his prayers himself,
if he had, there was not that man living who
should laugh him out of it. I shall try and
persuade David to do right himself, as well
as to approve it in others, for I remember
mother's saying,- Even a boy has his share
of influence, and it is a talent for which he
OUR MESSMATES. 35
I will tell you more about Old Jack and
Moody Dick when I next feel like writing.
I do not know when I shall have a chance
to send a letter, but I shall try and have one
ready all the while. Give my love to all the
children, and do n't forget to remember me
to the servants, especially old Aunt Molly.
Your absent but loving cousin,
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
FROM PIDGIE TO BENNIE.
Banks of Newfoundland, July 15th, 1846.
I BEGIN to feel, dear Bennie, very much
as if I should like to hear from you, and
sometimes I am a little homesick, when I
think how pleasantly Bellisle is looking, and
how happy you all must be. Then what
would I not give for your pet bookcase with
its treasures, the nice Rollo books and Marco
Paul's adventures, and dear old Robinson
Crusoe I am tired, too, of looking at men,
and fairly long to see some one who will
remind me of mother, or my sweet sister
Nannie, or of the Queen of Flowers," you
know who I mean.
I suspect that brother Clarendon has some-
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
thing of the same feeling, for yesterday I saw
him take a miniature out of what I had always
thought before was a watch-case, and it was
such a pretty face that I do n't wonder that
he sighed when he looked at it.
But in spite of sighing and groaning, and
hard fare and hard work, Clarendon is getting
better very fast, and some of the sailors, who
at first laughed at his affectation, are beginning
to have a profound respect for him, and he in
his turn seems to look much more benevolent-
ly upon mankind in general, and to be able to
interest himself in the rough characters around
him. I think he cut the greatest figure wash-
ing out his red-flannel shirt yesterday, and
he laughed himself at the idea of some of his
fashionable friends catching a glimpse of him
while thus employed.
I do not like Captain Cobb much, though
he is very shrewd, and sometimes tells David
and me such funny stories ; but he seems to
have no principle, and has brought up David
38 TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
to think that if he can ever be a great man it
is no matter whether he is a good one.
Yesterday, David and I were having one
of our long talks, for we pass a great deal of
time in chatting when the weather is not favor-
able for fishing, and I think we shall soon
know pretty well the history of each other's
lives. He was telling me about the Latin
High School in Boston, and, from ihat he
says of it, I am sure if a boy do n't learn
there it must be his own fault.
One day we were discussing our favorite
characters in history, just as you and I used
to do at Bellisle, and David was very much
amused when I told him that those I most
admired were Aristides, St. Paul, and Gen-
eral Washington. His favorites are Alexander
the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Wash-
ington. So we agree about one of them,
but differ widely as to the other two. David
absolutely laughed when I mentioned St. Paul
with Aristides, and seemed to think that I
only named him because I had been taught
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
that it was right to do so. I asked if he had
ever read the life of Paul with attention, and
this question appeared to amuse him still more;
and then he told me he had been through the
Book of Acts in Sunday school, and had
learned several chapters in it by heart; but
for all that he had never thought of St. Paul
as a hero.
I asked him what made a hero, if it was
not courage in the time of danger.
Yes," he said, but it must be in action,
not in words."
I reminded him then of some of the Gre-
cian orators, who made themselves immortal
by their speeches, when their country was in
danger, and asked if their words were not
This question puzzled him a little, and he
was not willing to own that it was a similar
case, but I defied him to find a Greek or Ro-
man who had hazarded his life more freely for
the good of others than St. Paul. Then I turned
to the chapter containing Paul's speech before
40 TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
Agrippa, and asked him where he could match
its eloquence. Then I read over the account
of the sufferings of this brave Apostle, and
demanded of David whether any other man
could give a catalogue of so many and great
evils so manfully borne. Finally, we reviewed
the story of Paul's shipwreck at Melita, and
David was forced to avow that my hero showed
a calmness and self-possession in that hour of
danger which few mariners display.
If I only had had you to help me argue
the point, I should have made him own that
Paul was very far superior to Alexander the
You must not think, from what I say of
David, that New England boys are not as
piously brought up as the Virginians; for I
believe the generality of them are much bet-
ter instructed; but you know we have had pe-
culiar advantages, and David has been but
little at home with his mother, and his father
cannot teach him what he does not himself
know. David will be a good man one of
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
thqse days, and would be better now if he had
not the idea that there was something manly
in being wicked. I am so glad that I was not
brought up to think the same, for I begin to
see how true it is, that, the older we grow,
the more difficult it is for us to change our
There is poor Moody Dick I really be-
lieve he would like to be a better man. They
say that he is not more than twenty-five, but
I thought that he was over thirty, for his face
is wrinkled already, and there are gray hairs
around his temples.
Yesterday, David and I were talking about
our sisters. I told him all about Nannie, and
that I thought she was the prettiest girl in the
whole State of Virginia, and that was saying
a great deal for her.
He allowed that this might be true, but he
had a sister of his own who was a match for
her, and began describing her quite like a poet,
and then quoted some pretty lines from a
42 TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
piece addressed to a sister, by Mr. Everett,
The words seemed to touch Moody Dick,
who was pacing the deck near us, for he stop-
ped and listened to them with that same dis-
tressed expression of countenance which I had
noticed before, and when they were finished
he said, half unconsciously, A sister! I
have a sister. There is none like her."
Have you seen her lately ? I asked.
It must be hard to be so much away from
I have not seen her for many years ; but
what is that to you ?" he replied, almost
My question might have been injudicious,
and I immediately made an apology for it,
which appeased Dick. He walked up and
down the deck two or three times, as if
debating some point in his own mind, and
then, returning, said, in a very sad tone,-
My life has been a useless one, but I
wish to make what is left of some service to
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
others. You two boys are still young, and
may be saved from the errors into which I
have fallen. Come with me to the end of
the vessel, where there are no listeners, and
I will tell you the story of my life, and you
will then know better how to appreciate a
sister's love than you have ever done be-
You may imagine that we accepted this in-
vitation very readily, but just as I was seated
Clarendon called to me to come quickly to
him, for he was very ill; so I had to jump up
and run away.
I found that brother had only an attack of
pain in his chest, which proceeds from his dys-
pepsia; but it alarmed him very much, and
when it was over, I saw that Dick was read-
ing his Bible by the dim light of the only
lantern on board, and as I knew it would do
him good, I did not disturb him again that
night. I am really anxious to know more
about his sister, and why he staid away from
her so long.
44 TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN.
I do n't think that it would be pleasant to
go to sea for a business, on the whole. I
used to imagine that a sailor's life must be one
of the happiest in the world; but now I see it
has very great trials. I am so glad that the
people on land are beginning to feel an in-
terest in those on the water; for they sacrifice
much to procure for them the comforts and
luxuries of foreign lands.
I expect, Bennie, that you will be half
asleep before you have done reading this let-
ter, for I was a little homesick when I began
it, and that makes any one stupid. Brown
Tom saw that I looked, as he said, rather
watery," and, by way of cheering me, he told
me, if that black cloud in the northeast was
coming over us, I would have something
worse than home-sickness before night.
It does look rather like a squall, and I am
not ashamed to own that I should very much
prefer to be in my little snug chamber at
Bellisle, out of the reach of harm.
Tell Corty that I have taken a sketch of
TALK ABOUT GREAT MEN. 45
a schooner, that has kept near us for the last
twenty-four hours, which is just like the one
I am in; and when she sees it I hope, with a
little explanation, that she will know as much
about one as I do, though she has never seen
any kind of craft but a canal-boat, and I
do n't think they are worthy to be named
with any thing but Noah's ark. 0, how I
want to see you all I never will leave home
again. Remember me to every thing I love,
as your affectionate cousin,
FROM PIDGIE TO BENNIE.
Banks of Newfoundland, July 16th, 1846.
LITTLE did you think, dear Bennie, while
sleeping last night quietly at Bellisle, that your
poor cousin Pidgie was in danger of being
drowned. But so it was. The storm, of
which Brown Tom had warned me, came on
with tremendous force, and our poor little
schooner was tossed about like a feather on
the angry waves. I was so sick, however,
from the roughness of the sea, that I feared
little, and realized less, of our critical situation.
Clarendon says that Captain Cobb showed
himself a brave man, and David was more ac-
tive than the oldest of the sailors. As for
brother himself, he did wonders. Old Jack
told me this morning, that, when we came
on board, he thought Clarendon was such a
good-for-nothing that his life was scarcely
worth saving; but there was not a man on
board who showed more presence of mind and
energetic courage. He really looks better
this morning for his exertions.
Sick as I felt last night, there was one thing
struck me forcibly, and that was, that those who
had sworn the loudest, and appeared the bold-
est in wickedness since we started, were most
frightened, and prayed most heartily to that
Being whose existence they were before hard-
ly willing to acknowledge. I can give you
no better description of the scene than is found
in the Psalm, which is so often quoted by
those who are at sea ; for the ship did indeed
" reel to and fro like a drunken man."
Old Jack was perfectly composed. And
well he may be; for he says that he always
thinks in a storm that he may arrive shortly at
a better port than he otherwise could reach in
many years. He has been telling us this
morning how he came at this happy state of
mind, and several of the sailors were made se-
rious enough, by the perils of last night, to
listen patiently to his story, and perhaps you
may do the same.
Before it was considered possible for a sea-
faring man to be perfectly temperate, Jack
took more than his share of grog; and, when
on shore, spent all his time in dissipation.
Luckily, he had no wife to be made miserable
by his errors, though perhaps a good woman
might have had an excellent influence on him.
As he had no home of his own, his time
when in port was spent at some miserable
tavern by the water-side, where he could meet
the crews of vessels from all quarters of the
world, and join with them in folly and vice.
Two years ago, he had returned from a
long voyage to the East Indies, and landed at
New York. One Sunday evening, when stag-
gering along by the docks and looking at the
different ships, trying to meet with some of his
old messmates, he noticed what seemed to
him a most curious-looking vessel, and called
out to a sailor near him, What in the
name of sense is that odd-looking craft, without
sail or steam, good for ?"
"Have you never before seen the floating
chapel ?" asked the trim-looking tar whom
he accosted. Come aboard, and you will
be never the worse. It 's a church, man !
Do n't stare your eyes out, but walk inside
and hear good plain doctrine."
No, no," replied Jack; "I can't be
pressed into that service. I am in no rig
either for going into such a concern; and,
besides, it 's ten long years since I have been
inside a church, and I should act so strangely
that they would throw me overboard. There's
never a word in the gabbling one hears at such
places that I can understand."
But this preaching is meant for sailors,"
continued Jack's new acquaintance, "and
there is nobody else there; so you will be
rigged as well as any of the congregation.
Come along! let 's board her right off."
Jack had a great deal of curiosity, and, after
a little more parley, consented to go into the
floating chapel. I wish I could repeat to you
the sermon which he heard there, with the
simple eloquence with which he delivered it
to us. The text was, The sea shall give
up its dead." The clergyman imagined the
millions who should rise, on this momentous
occasion, from the recesses of the vast ocean,
and as he pictured the probable characters of
many who should then come forth to judg
ment, and their unfitness to stand before that
holy tribunal, Jack felt as if he were describ-
ing some of his own friends whom he had seen
ingulfed by the waters. When thus sum-
moned, as they must be, before long, to ap-
pear, with the same tempers and dispositions
which they had displayed in life, would they
be found prepared for a heaven of purity ?
Then came a vivid picture of the perils of a
sailor's life, and the probability that its termi-
nation might be equally sudden. The sermon
closed with an earnest exhortation to each one
then present to live every moment in such a
state, that, if death should surprise them, they
might rise again to life eternal; and Jack, as
he listened to the concluding words, felt as if
the warning were the last which would ever
fall on his ears. He might have soon banished
the seriousness occasioned by this visit to the
chapel, among his jovial companions, had he
not met with a loss, which he now considers a
most providential occurrence.
On returning to his boarding-house, Jack
went to his room, and, on going to his chest,
found to his dismay that it had been opened
during his absence, and all that remained of his
wages for the last cruise stolen. He rushed
down to the landlord in great distress, but ob-
tained little satisfaction ; and there was some-
thing in his manner which made the poor sailor
think that he had known of the theft. Jack
left the house in despair, not knowing which
way to turn, when he met the same sailor who
had induced him to go to church, and who
now offered to show him a more comfortable
"' Do n't talk to me of lodging Jack ex-
claimed. "I have not a penny in the world,
and must ship myself in the first vessel that
Jack's companion, with seaman-like gen-
erosity, offered him half of all he owned in
the world, and was certain, that, if he would
go to the Sailor's Home, he would find friends
who would assist him in recovering his stolen
treasure. Jack allowed himself to be led by
his companion, and soon reached the comfort-
able building which had been erected by one
of those benevolent associations which are
an honor to the Northern cities.
The poor wanderer felt a greater sense of
comfort than he had experienced for years, as
he entered a pleasant little chamber in this
truly homelike abode. When he had made
the acquaintance of the kind-hearted landlady,
he found her willing to let him remain, even
after he had told her of his destitute condi-
tion ; and she promised that every effort should
be made to restore to him his hard earnings.
On going back to his snug quarters, after
this conversation, there was something like
thankfulness to the Giver of all good in Jack's
heart. By his bedside he found a Bible, a
volume which he had not seen since the one
his mother gave him was lost, five years before,
when he was wrecked upon the coast of Afri-
ca. He thought of the sermon which he had
heard that afternoon, and took up the book to
look for the text, -" The sea shall give up
its dead." The first words upon which his
eye fell were, For this my son was lost
and is found." The beautiful story of the
Prodigal Son, as he had heard it in childhood,
came full into his mind, and he remembered
how often he had read it at his mother's knee.
The tears rolled down his cheek, as, sitting
down beside the little pine table, he read again
that touching picture of God's love for his
wandering children ; and when he came to the
confession of the penitent son, it burst forth
from his own heart.
From that hour Jack has been a changed
man. Some of the benevolent persons in the
city of New York, who have the welfare of
mariners so much at heart, procured him a
new situation, favorable to his improvement in
character; and the next ship in which he
sailed was commanded by a pious captain, who
was a good friend to every man on board.
When he returned from this cruise, he felt too
old for another long voyage, and for the future
was going to try and content himself with be-
ing out for two or three months on expeditions
like that in which he is at present engaged.
Perhaps, dear Bennie, I have tired you by
repeating this long story, which cannot be as
interesting to you as it was to me from Jack's
own lips, in the morning after a night of such
excitement, with the sailors standing around,
listening attentively to every word of it. Even
brother Clarendon was touched by the earnest
exhortations to them with which the narrative
closed ; and it seems as if being out of socie-
ty had made him more serious than he ever
was before. He laughs at me now very often,
OLD JACK. 55
and says I was cut out for a Methodist preach-
er; but on Sunday he did not read any of the
novels he brought with him, and though that
does not seem a proof of much goodness, yet
in him it shows improvement. If he should
get his health, and become a pious man, what
a comfort he would be to 'ma; for she thinks
he is almost perfect now.
We have just "come to" in a fine shoal
of mackerel, so I must quit writing and go to
fishing; for David and I have a great strife
which will catch the most on the voyage.
Love, as usual, to every body, from yours,
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER.
FROM PIDGIE TO BENNIE.
Nowhere in particular, July 22d.
I was almost in despair, dear Bennie, of
ever getting a chance to send you the nice long
letters I had written. Though we had been
nearly three weeks from home, we had not
stopped at any port, or spoken a single vessel.
Yesterday evening, Clarendon was amusing
himself with a spy-glass which he brought with
him, and David and I were wondering whether
it could make something out of nothing, for
there was no land in sight, or any thing else to
spy at, that we could perceive. Brother's
eyes, however, were better than ours; for he
saw a speck in the distance, which he found to
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER. 57
be a vessel of large size, and he called the
captain to take a look at it. Captain Cobb
pronounced it forthwith, from its peculiar form
and the day of the month, to be one of the
British steamers, which had got a little to the
north, on its way to Halifax. He soon found
that his conjectures were right; and as she
appeared to be at rest, and the wind was fair,
we made towards her with all possible speed.
It is a marvel to me how such a great, un-
wieldy thing can float on the water, especially
as there is so much iron about it. After all, I
like our old fishing-smack better than being
within continual hearing of that monstrous en-
gine; and then the smell of smoke and' steam
would, I am sure, take away my appetite, so
that I could not even enjoy one of their splen-
But you have no idea, Bennie, what elegant
style every thing is in on board these steamers.
Two or three turns on the long, shining deck
would be quite a morning walk, and the im-
mense dining-room appears larger still, from
58 VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER.
the mirrors on every side. I had heard so
much of the state-rooms, that I expected more
than was reasonable; and when I saw them,
the idea of passing night after night in such lit-
tle closets was not agreeable. The pantry
presented a beautiful assortment of glass and
china; but every tumbler and cup had to be
fastened to the wall by hooks, or, in case of
rough weather, there would be fatal smashing.
The castors, too, looked so droll, suspended
over the table like hanging lamps !
The ladies appeared quite as much at home
in their delightful saloons as in the most luxu-
rious apartments in the city, and few Virginian
drawing-rooms could make such a display of
Wilton carpets, velvet lounges, and splendid
These steamers must be nice things for
women and children, for it cannot seem at all
as if they were at sea when the weather is
pleasant, and they are so used to spending
their time in reading and working that it does
not much matter where they are, if they keep
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER. 59
on with these occupations. I suppose these
ladies would have been miserable on such an
old schooner as ours, and some of the men,
too, who looked almost as effeminate. I think
Clarendon himself would very much prefer
one of these nice little state-rooms, where
he could make his toilet so comfortably, to his
straw-bed in the old Go-Ahead. I am sure a
dinner on board the steamer would be much
more to his taste than biscuit and water,
even with such nice fish as we caught this
morning for a relish. He pulled up a whole
barrel full of them himself, and that gave him
a most excellent appetite.
At first, Clarendon declared that he could
not go on board the steamer in his sailor rig-
ging; but he had no other with him, and at
length the desire to see what he called civ-
ilized people once more carried hni over.
You should have seen some pretty ladies, who
were sitting in the dining-room, stare at him.
That is a remarkably genteel-looking man
for one in his condition," remarked the oldest
60 VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER.
of the group. What kind of a vessel did
he come from ?"
I heard one of the gentlemen say, as it
approached us, that it was a Yankee fishing-
smack," observed her daughter.
He walks about as if he had been quite
used to elegance," observed a third, and
does not stare around like that plump little
fellow beside him, who is too fair to have been
long on the water."
You may be sure that the plump little fel-
low who stared about was your cousin Pid-
gie, for David never looks astonished at any
thing, and has so often visited all kinds of ves-
sels that he is quite at home in any of them.
He was able to explain all the machinery to
brother and myself, pointing out the improve-
ments which have been recently made in
steam navigation with a clearness that I never
could equal. I do n't believe, though, that
Clarendon heard a word of this explanation ;
for the remarks of the ladies in the dining-
room had reached his ear, and he was terribly
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER. 61
discomfited at being taken for a Down East
David really seems to have more independ-
ence than my proud brother, for he do n't
care what people take him for, so there is
nothing disgraceful about it, and verily be-
lieves that there is not a situation in the world
which he could not do honor to, or make
Captain Cobb did not go on board himself,
but deputed David to deliver a message to the
captain about some fish, and no man could
have discharged his commission with more
quiet indifference. You could see at a glance
that the son of the owner of the fishing-smack
Go-Ahead considered himself quite equal to
the captain of the royal steamer.
"Have you had good luck in fishing this
season, my fine fellow ?" said an English gen-
tleman to Clarendon, who was standing with
his back towards him.
I would have liked to have seen brother's face
at being thus addressed; for I knew that there
62 VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER.
was a pint, at least, of the best old Virginia
blood in his cheeks and forehead. The mo-
ment that he turned round, there was some-
thing in his air which showed the man of the
world his mistake.
I beg your pardon, Sir," he said quickly.
" Your dress made me mistake you for one of
the sailors; but I see from your complexion
that you have not been long on the sea."
Clarendon received the apology very gra-
ciously, and now became interested in con-
versing with the stranger. Before parting with
the acquaintance made thus unceremoniously,
they had exchanged names, -for cards they
had none at hand,- and the English gentle-
man partly promised to visit Clarendon Bever-
ley at his own plantation of Altamac, which
brother is to superintend on his return home.
There was a young Italian girl on board, as
nurse to one of the ladies, who reminded me
of a poor little fellow that recently died at
Boston. David told me abQut him, and said
that his face was the saddest that he ever saw.
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER. 63
He earned a scanty support in a strange land
by exhibiting two little white mice, which he
carried in a small wooden cage hung around his
neck. He offered to show them without ask-
ing for money, and when they ran up and
down his arms, and over his hands, he would
look upon them with the most mournful affec-
tion, as if they were the only friends he had
on earth. Every one who saw him longed to
know his history ; but he could speak but little
English, and shrank from the notice of stran-
gers. He was taken sick and carried to the
Massachusetts Hospital, where his gentleness
won him many friends. But they could not
stop the progress of his disease, or comfort his
poor, lonely heart. The night before he died,
no one near him could sleep for his piteous
moaning and sad cries, -" I am afraid to die;
I want my mother."
O Bennie if we had seen this poor little
fellow, so unprotected and sorrowful, with no
means of support but exhibiting those poor lit-
tle white mice, we should, I am sure, have
64 VISIT TO THE CUKARD STEAMER.
felt that we could not be too thankful for all
the comforts of our dear home. Yet, when I
heard this story, the contrast with my own fa-
vored lot did not at first make me happier;
for I began to realize how many miserable
beings there are in the world, whose suffering
we cannot relieve, and may never know. I
could not eat a mouthful that day, for thinking
of the melancholy little Italian boy. I wonder
if that was his sister on board the steamer!
How could his mother let him go so far away
from her ? Perhaps, though, she was starving
at home, and had heard of America as a land
I do n't think that I shall ever want to go
abroad myself; for they say that in foreign
countries one sees so many poor, miserable
children; and that would make me so unhap-
py that I should not enjoy any thing. I said so
to David; but he talks like a young philoso-
pher. He seems to have a way of keeping
himself from feeling badly about others, though
he has a very good heart, and, if he gave way
VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER. 65
to it, could make himself as unhappy about
others as I sometimes do. He says he could
enjoy looking at St. Peter's quite as much
If there were a few beggars around it. I was
sure, for my part, that I could take no pleas-
ure in looking at the most beautiful building, if
I saw any one who was suffering at the same
Clarendon laughed when he heard me make
this remark, and said that I was too chicken-
hearted for a boy, and ought to have been a
girl. He need not smile at me, for he feels
himself more quickly than the New-Englanders,
though, after they have weighed any case of
suffering in their own minds, they would do
quite as much to relieve it. I can never think
them cold-hearted, after visiting Boston and
seeing their hospitals and schools. While I
was there, there was a tremendous fire in the
neighbourhood, by which a great many poor
people lost their all. But the intelligence was
hardly received before thousands of dollars
were subscribed for their relief. They cer-
66 VISIT TO THE CUNARD STEAMER.
tainly have a great deal of real feeling and
generosity, and if they would only express a
little more of it in manner and words, every
body would allow them to be, what I know
they are, the kindest people in the world, al-
ways excepting the dear old Virginians. They
speak, act, think, and feel just as they ought
to do. You will perceive, from this last re-
mark, that I am not turning traitor to the Old
Dominion. We have been so successful in
our fishing that I hope ere long to see it once
more ; and, till then, shall remain affectionate-
ly yours, PIDGIE BEVERLEY.
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
FROM PIDGIE TO BENNIE.
Schooner Go-Ahead, August 1st, 1846.
You will think from my last letters, dear
Bennie, that I have lost all interest in Moody
Dick; and to be sure I did forget his story
in the excitement of our visit to the Cunard
The evening after that great event was so
pleasant, that David and I, who in general are
great sleepy-heads, had no desire to rest; per-
haps from having seen so much that was new
during the day. The sailors are too used to
such visits to think any thing about them ; and,
besides, they are a mighty independent set of
men, and care as little for the world as the
68 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
world for them. Clarendon sat on one end of
the schooner reading some English papers by
the moonlight, which was intensely bright,
while at the other end Brown Tom and some
of his friends were regaling themselves with a
smoke and a long yarn. I had not seen Dick
since morning to notice him, but could not
help observing him now, as he walked about
with the air of a man who is trying to free
himself from some melancholy thought. I did
not interrupt him, when he passed the place
where I was sitting with David, but two or
three times he halted as he came by us. My
Yankee friend was giving me a lively descrip-
tion of a clam-bake at Swampscot, in return for
a picture I had drawn of life on a plantation in
Virginia; but though it was most amusing, I
could not help pitying Dick. By and by
he stopped near us, and stood looking earnest-
ly at something which he had taken from his
bosom. A sudden wave struck the vessel,
which gave it a tilt, and in preserving his foot-
ing Dick dropped a small locket on the edge
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 69
of the deck, which David caught fast as it was
slipping into the water.
As he handed the trinket to its owner, I
could not help seeing that it held the miniature
of a lovely child, not more than four years old.
The hair was very light, and curled so sweetly,
that the eyes were like Lily Carrol's, only a
little sadder; but the mouth seemed as ready
to smile as hers always is. The face was
not at all like Dick's, but yet it reminded me
of what his might have been when a child.
0, how beautiful I exclaimed involun-
tarily, as David placed it in Dick's hand.
Do you think so ? he asked, earnestly.
" Look again at this merry face, and tell me
if it ever ought to have been saddened by sor-
But, you know, 'by the sorrow of the
countenance the heart is made better,' I re-
plied, wishing to soothe the grief which he ev-
idently felt, as he held the miniature for me to
look at it again.
Better!" repeated Dick, sternly. "There
70 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
could not be a better heart than my sweet sis-
ter Louisa always had. That picture gives
only a faint idea of her lovely face, for it rep-
resents its least pleasing expression, and she
had not then reached the height of her beauty.
Yet it is very like," he added, gazing sadly
upon it. "Even now I seem to hear those
rosy lips utter their first sweet lisp, -'Dear
No wonder that you loved her, if she was
even prettier than this'! I exclaimed ; "for
I could lay down my life for such a sister."
I did not love her," he answered, to our
great surprise. "You are astonished at the
confession ; but I am not sure that, affection-
ate as you boys both seem, you either of you
know what true love is. I was proud of Lou-
isa. When she was an infant I liked to hear
her praises ; and as she grew more and more
beautiful, and began to pour out the first woman
feelings of her guileless heart upon me, I re-
ceived them with gratitude, and really believed
she was, what I called her, my heart's treas-
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
Then why do you say that you did not
love her ? I inquired, hesitatingly.
Because years have convinced me," he
replied, that I was even then, what I have
ever since been, one mass of selfishness. I
never gave up a single wish for her pleasure,
or made one effort to add to her happiness.
Never say, my boys, that you love any one,
till you find your own will giving way to the
desire to please them, and that you can cheer-
fully renounce your most cherished plans for
As he said this, Bennie, I asked myself
whether it could be true that I did not even
love my mother, and tried to think whether I
had ever made the least sacrifice of my will to
her comfort. 0, how many acts recurred to
my mind of selfish imposition upon her yield-
ing gentleness I am afraid that we boys all
take the kindness of our parents too much as a
matter of course, and do not often enough
question ourselves whether we are making any
return for their love.
72 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
But I am getting to scribble away my own
thoughts quite too freely. Yet it is only a
year since I could think of no other com-
mencement to a letter than "I As this is com-
position day, I thought that I would write to
As Dick thus spake of his own want of
consideration for the feelings of his little sister,
he became exceedingly agitated and was una-
ble to proceed. Clarendon, who had finished
reading his papers, came to the side of the
boat where we were sitting, and told me that
he was going to turn in, and that it was quite
time for me to be asleep too. I was very re-
luctant to go, but when brother was out of
hearing, Dick said,- It is as well. I find
I have not self-command enough to go over
the sad story of my own folly. If you will
give me a pencil and some paper, to-morrow I
will write such portions of it as I think may
interest or be of service to you. Do not
criticize the expressions, for it is many years
since I have done any thing of the kind, and
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
the life I have led has about destroyed all
traces of my early education."
Of course, David and I were obliged to
accept this promise in lieu of the evening's
entertainment which we had expected, and
marched off to our berths.
The next day we came upon a fine shoal of
mackerel; so every one was busy, and it was
not till nearly a week afterwards that Dick
handed us two closely-written sheets of paper,
with a caution not to show them to any one
else. David and I read them with much in-
terest, and I copied them to send to you.
Here they are, and you must take care that I
have them safe on my return.
CONTINUATION OF DICK'S STORY.
It was not from pride that I was unable to
go on with the history of my own early years;
but I find that I had not the fortitude to bear
the sad recollection of my own selfishness and
ingratitude. My little sister's image rose be-
74 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
fore me with such sweetness and purity that I
could not utter another word.
I will pass over the years of my infantine
tyranny till, when at the age of fourteen, I
became possessed with a strong desire to be
sent to a public school. My father was sitting
in his large arm-chair, in the porch, after tea,
when I made this request, which, at first, he
refused to grant.
< I shall never be any thing but a baby,' I
exclaimed angrily, 'brought up with nobody
but a mere child, and that a girl, too, for my
playmate. Do send me where I can make a
man, and be a match for other boys of my
My old father looked very sadly at this
outbreak of passion, but did not reprove my
disrespectful tone. 'Where do you wish to
go ?' he asked, soothingly. 'Can you find
any one who will love you better than your
sweet little sister and I do ? She would be
very unhappy if I were to send her dear
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
"' And so,' I said, I must be tied to Miss
Louisa's apron-string all my life, for fear the
little baby will cry for me If my interest is
always to tend to her pleasure, I might as well
give up all hope of ever being any thing now.'
"At this moment, Louisa, who sat swinging
on the garden gate, fanning her fair cheek with
the little round hat which she had just been
trimming with roses, caught the sound of my
angry voice; and never did a cloud more
quickly obscure the sweet stgr of evening than
the shadow fell on her young face. She
dropped her hat beside her on the grass, and
the ever-ready tear rose to her dark hazel eye ;
but she dashed it away, knowing that I was al-
ways angry with her instead of myself when I
made her weep. She left her seat, and, com-
ing up the walk with a timid air, stole to my
father's side and whispered, -' do n't cross
Richard, father! If he wants to go away from
us, let him. He will be happier where there
are boys of his own age.'
And what will you do, my sweet pet ?'
76 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
asked my father, fondly, as he drew her to his
knee. 'Will you stay alone with your old
father, and try and comfort him.'
"'0, yes indeed she answered earnest-
ly, as she threw her arms around his neck and
kissed him. We shall get along so nicely
together, and be so happy when we have
pleasant letters from Dick, telling us how he is
improving in every thing.'
Hers was love ; for she cared nothing for
her own loneliness in comparison with the grat-
ification of my wishes.
So I left our quiet country home, with
all its holy influences, for the turmoil and
heartlessness of a large school, where I soon
became the ringleader in all sorts of mischief.
Before long, accounts of my evil doing reach-
ed my father ; but Louisa, incredulous of
evil, as the pure ever are, persuaded him that
her brother had been misunderstood, and not
treated with sufficient gentleness. His spirit
has been imprudently roused,' she said, and
that makes him perverse and forgetful of
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 77
his better self. But all will soon be well
By being more cunning in my wicked ex-
ploits, I contrived to hide them from my teach-
er, and consequently was allowed to remain at
school for several years, till considered ready
to enter college. During this time I had made
very short visits at home, and almost dreaded
the long vacation before entering the Sopho-
more class at Harvard University.
It is possible that m some respects I might
have improved in appearance during my resi-
dence at school; but evil tempers and evil
habits will leave their traces on the counte-
nance, and my excellent parent sighed as he
looked upon the hardened face of his only son.
Louisa, also, found something unpleasant in
the change, but said that no alteration would
have pleased her which made me differ from
the dear little brother with whom she had
passed so many happy hours. I could not
say the same of her; for, though my baby
sister had seemed perfect, the tall girl of fifteen,
78 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
who stood at the garden gate to welcome me,
was lovelier still. The responsibility of pre-
siding over her father's household and her
anxiety for me had infused a shade of thought-
fulness into her otherwise lively countenance,
which might have made it seem too full of care
for one so young, had not the sweeter Chris-
tian principle changed it to an expression of
S"When I told of my school follies at
home, Louisa would sometimes sigh; and then
I would be angry at what I named her dar-
ing to dictate to me.' But I never could
frighten her into approving what was wrong.
I was not happy in her society, for much of
my time of late years had been spent in a man
ner of which she could not fail to disapprove,
and her whole life was at variance with mine.
I do believe, now, in spite of her unwearied
affection, that it was a relief to her when the
vacation was over, and she had no longer the
annoying presence of her wicked, wayward
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 79
Sometimes Louisa would allude to the
way in which we had been educated, entirely
unconscious that I not only had given up all
religious observances, but even dared to make
them a matter of sport. I was half ashamed,
and quite as much provoked, when at parting
she handed me a book of'Private Devotions,'
with a mark, worked in her own hair, at a
prayer for absent friends.
You had better keep this book for your-
self, little Methodist,' I exclaimed, trying to
laugh off my vexation. 'Students have no
need of such text-books, I can tell you.'
"' But students need the protection of an
Almighty Creator,' she replied, seriously, and
their absent friends, also, are only safe under
his keeping. I always pray for you, my dear
brother, as our mother taught me to do; and
I had hoped that you had not given up the pe-
tition for your sister which you also used to
say at her knee.'
This remark brought before me the image
of our departed mother, as she looked the last
80 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
time I remembered to have seen her, seated
in an easy chair which she rivalled in whiteness,
so mild and calm, with the little curly head of
my baby-sister in her lap, while she dictated to
her the simple form of prayer, -' God bless
my dear brother '
As the stage-coach rolled away from my
father's door, I could not banish the vision
called up by Louisa's parting words, and I then
resolved to try and become what my mother
would have wished. Vain resolution Six
weeks saw me immersed in all the dissipation
that the city afforded, and in three months Is
had an empty purse, enfeebled health, and a
hardness of heart which would have taken
some men years to acquire.
To pay my honorable debts,' as I called
my gambling ones, I wrote to Louisa, request-
ing her to ask my father to send me a fresh
supply of money. She sent me a moderate
sum in a purse of her own knitting, which she
playfully observed, 'would not part with its
treasures unless they were to be worthily em-
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 81
The funds so easily obtained were soon
scattered to the winds, and I sent a repetition
of my former request to Louisa, couched in
the most affectionate language, adding many
words of endearment, without once thinking
of the meanness of thus employing her af-
fection to pander to my own selfish gratifi-
But I was mistaken in Louisa! While
she thought that she could benefit me, there
was no limit to her kindness; but her princi-
ples were too firm for weak indulgence. Sle
replied to my demand kindly, but decidedly.
Her conscience would not allow her to impose
on the generosity of our excellent parent, and
to take from him that which was necessary for
the comfort of his old age, for the sake of
indulging me in my vicious pursuits. She
begged me to give him an honest statement of
my affairs, and to assure him of my resolution
to renounce the follies in which I had become
thus entangled, cautioning me against endeav-
ouring to warp his judgment by expressions of
82 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
affection, while my whole conduct showed
such utter disregard of his happiness.
These were the first words of severity
which I had ever heard from Louisa, and only'
her devotion to our father could have called
them forth. I was in a perfect rage at the
receipt of her letter, and determined to do
something which should make my sister repent
of her boldness.
That night my effects were all packed
up, excepting a few valuables, of which I dis-
posed at any price, to pay off my debts to my
reckless companions, and the next day saw me
on my way to New York.
When I arrived at that city, I wrote a
few lines to Louisa, but not a word to my
father. I remember them as plainly as if
they were now before me, for they haunted
me for years. These were the cruel words
with which I took leave of the sweetest of
human beings: -' Since you think, Miss
Louisa, that my father is too poor to support
me, I will no longer tax his kindness. I can
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 83
take care of myself, and be free from your re-
proaches. I am going to sea in the first ves-
sel that sails from this port. I care not where
it is bound, so that it bears me away from
those that once loved me, but who have new
cast me off from them for ever.'
The first ship which I could find was just
starting for a long whaling voyage ; and, care-
less of consequences, I entered it as a com-
mon sailor, little aware of the trials I was about
to endure. A fit of sea-sickness made me
soon repent of the rash step that I had taken;
but it was too late to return ; the vessel kept
mercilessly on its course, carrying me away
from my only true friends. The tyranny of
the coarse captain brought painfully to my
remembrance the indulgence I had always re-
ceived from my kind parent, whose only weak-
ness was the readiness with which he yielded
to my wishes.
At first I refused to have any thing to say
to my messmates, many of whom were moral-
ly better than myself; but I was naturally so-
84 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
cial, and, soon forgetting my refined education,
began to enjoy their conversation. I became
quite a hero among them, and led them into
mischief in every port at which we stopped.
Many of our pranks would have brought us
before the civil authority, had we not sailed
away before their authorship was ascertained.
"After an absence of three years I re-
turned to New York, with nothing in the world
which I could call my own but my sailor's
clothes and my last month's wages. As soon
as we were discharged I repaired to a low tav-
ern near the dock, with some of the most un-
worthy of the crew, determined that my family
should never hear of my arrival in the country.
On taking up a paper one day, I saw, to my
surprise, among the advertised letters one to
myself, which was speedily procured for me
by a messmate, as I was anxious not to be
seen in the more frequented part of the city.
The letter was from Louisa. I have it
still, but it is too sacred to meet any eyes but
my own. It contained all that Christian prin-
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 85
ciple and sisterly affection could dictate to
recall a wanderer home, and it went to my
heart. Inclosed was a large sum of money,
the fruit of her own labor during my absence ;
and she informed me that another letter con-
taining a similar inclosure was in the post-
office at Boston. After much inquiry, my
father had discovered the name of the ship in
which I had sailed, and the probable length of
its cruise, and therefore Louisa had expected
my return to one of these ports during the
summer, if I was still alive. Our dear parent,
she informed me, was ready to receive me with
open arms ; and, for herself, her affection had
undergone no change.
You will of course conclude that I did
not delay one moment, after the receipt of this
letter, returning to a home where such an an-
gelic being waited to receive me. It seems
impossible to me, now, that I could have done
otherwise. Yet so it was. Pride, my beset-
ting sin, made me inflict still deeper wounds
on that gentle heart.
86 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
I had determined, as soon as I could pro-
cure suitable clothing, to go directly to Char-
lottesville, for that was the name of our vil-
lage; and for this purpose I walked for the
first time toward the business quarter of the
city. As I was going up Broadway, in my
ragged sailor's dress, keeping close to the in-
side of the walk to escape observation, I saw a
pale, slender girl coming towards me, accom-
panied by two gentlemen, one of whom was a
fine-looking officer, in a naval uniform. The
lady was engaged in animated discourse, and,
by the pleasant countenance of the gentlemen,
very agreeable, for one laughed aloud, appar-
ently at some remark which had dropped from
In an instant I recognized my sister, and
was ready to fall on my knees before her; -but
then I remembered my own shabby appear-
ance, and deferred our meeting till I could ex-
ecute my present design, and make myself
As I passed I saw her face grow sad,
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 87
for she caught a glimpse of my dress, and
though the glance wasotoo hasty for her to rec-
ognise me, yet I doubt not that it brought her
poor brother to her mind, for I heard her sigh
As I went on my way, my mind was full
of bitterness. Whenever I had done wrong
myself, I always began to imagine that others
had injured me; and now I tried to persuade
myself that Louisa was indifferent to my wel-
fare, and had only sent me money for fear that
I should disgrace her by appearing again at
home. 'Proud girl!' I exclaimed, 'you
need not fear that such a miserable wretch will
claim your relationship, or disturb your enjoy-
ment of congenial society.'
When Satan can find entrance into the
soul for such wicked thoughts, they soon drive
out all better ones ; and, before I had reached
the tailor's shop to which I was going, I had
determined never to return home.
Without taking any notice of the letter I
had received from Louisa, I secured a berth
88 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
immediately in a vessel bound for the Pacific,
and for three years again deserted my native
About eighteen months after this ship
sailed, we fell in with a man-of-war, and I
went on board. The moment that I saw the
captain I recognized in him the officer whom I
had seen with my sister in New York. For
once the love of home was stronger than my
pride, and I asked anxiously if he could tell
me any thing of Miss Louisa Colman.
The instant that I made this inquiry, the
captain gave me a keen, scrutinizing glance,
and then replied quickly, -' You are the
brother Richard, I presume, of whose fate
Miss Colman has been so long uncertain ?'
"I was taken too much by surprise to deny
this fact, and Captain Hall continued, -- I
had the pleasure of becoming intimate in Dr.
Colman's family, and my wife is devotedly
attached to your sweet sister. Through her I
heard of your absence from home, and the
grief it had given to all who loved you. My
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 89
belonging to the navy seemed to give me an
interest in Miss Louisa's eyes, and shortly be-
fore I sailed, she implored me to make in-
quiry of every ship which came in my way,
to discover, if possible, whether you were still
among the living.'
I saw her in New York,' I remarked
very coldly, as the scene in Broadway recurred
to my mind;
moment, I perceived that she was in excellent
Miss Louisa Colman can never be long
unhappy,' he replied, sternly, 'while she
leans on Heaven and employs her whole time
in doing good to others. Misery is their lot
lone, who, to gratify their own selfish whims,
will trample on the happiness even of their
"I felt the reproof contained in these
words, but was too proud to show any emo-
tions even when Captain Hall gave me a de-
scription of the scene at home, after my first
departure became known. In her grief, Lou-
90 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
isa never forgot what was due to her father,
and the cheerfulness which she managed to
maintain, notwithstanding her affliction, was all
that supported his broken spirit. Captain
Hall then informed me that the old man's
health was failing, and his last letters from
America had spoken of his increased weak-
This information was a dreadful blow, but
it did not make me a better man. I tried to
drown sorrow in intoxication, and almost ob-
literated the remembrance of home, except-
ing when, in the silence of night, it would
come over me with irresistible power.
When, after the lapse of three years, I
once more approached my native land, I was.
much more unworthy of being recognized by
my friends than in returning from my previous
voyage. Still I proceeded directly to Char-
lottesville, and stopped at the old mansion,
which I had not seen for six long years. Alas!
it was tenanted by strangers. A new tomb-
stone was in the village grave-yard, and on one
MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA. 91
side of it the name of my father, and the
other bore my own. I asked the sexton, who
was just opening the church for an evening
lecture, when Richard Colman died." He re-
plied very readily, -' O, about a year since.
The old gentleman heard of the loss of the
vessel in which he sailed, and dropped away
himself very suddenly.'
I dared not inquire after Louisa, for I felt
that she must look upon me as the destroyer
of our father. I hastened to Boston, and had
determined on leaving the country for ever,
when, by accident, I had tidings of tny sweet
After the melancholy information I ob-
tained at Charlottesville, I had become a tem-
perance man, and took up my abode at the
Sailor's Home. While there, a poor man,
who had been ill for months, and finally was
obliged to have his leg amputated, spoke often
of the goodness of a young lady who had been
often to see him, and whom he considered al-
most an angel. My curiosity was excited, and
92 MOODY DICK'S SISTER LOUISA.
I inquired of the excellent landlady the name
of his friend, and was answered by a warm
tribute of praise to my own sister. I found
that she ,was living in the family of an aunt,
and was devoted to benevolent objects of all
kinds, but chiefly interested in schemes for
improving the temporal and spiritual condition
of seamen. O, my poor Louisa! I knew, at
that moment, that love for her miserable broth-
er's memory had dictated these exertions.
Yet even then I did not seek to see her.
SI will leave her in peace,' I said to myself,
'for she thinks I am dead, and it would be
better for her if I really were.' Still, now
that she was alone, I could not bear to go so
far from her again, and therefore made up my
mind to enter the fishing-service, that I might
not long be absent from the city.
You may remember the day that Captain
Peck brought the Bibles on board, which had
been left for distribution by a lady of Boston.
That lady was my sister, and I trust that the
bread which she thus cast upon the waters may