Sidor som bilder

little stars; and the dark blue vault of heaven was full of glory. A dense crowd of anxious people stood on the Custom-house quay, close to which the Mersey lay; cast into shade as they were by that noble building, we had to strain sight to distinguish individual outline. The boiler was roaring with impatience, and the great chimney sent up such a column of grey steam, and black smoke, as darkened that part of the horizon to which it was carried in a long visible stream by the wind. It was about seven o'clock, when the rapidly moving objects on shore told me that our "engine was doing its duty. Away, in the deception of departure, they seemed to move, whilst it was I that left them behind. We had a strong blast in our teeth ; but we cannot judge on board a steam-packet how the wind blows, unless we see the sails set, for she moves at such a rate, that the breeze must neces sarily seem a-head, as she often outruns it. We had about fifty cabin passengers.

The steward, who is a very attentive Scotchman, assisted by several waiters, and a very pretty Scotch girl, as ladies' attendant, introduced tea and coffee before the packet sailed. I, who am a little curious, had


down to see the ladies. Some of them were really worth looking at; particularly an artillery officer's bride, for-by the excess of fondness they manifested towards each other, which the presence of strangers was not sufficient to restrain-I presume they were just married.

Her white long fingers were locked in his Mars-like hand, as she lay reclined on a sofa ; and, I suppose, every one that witnessed such luxuriance wished to be married. However, I thought of my own Emma, and said to myself, my sweet girl has more modesty and delicacy than to lie so. The tremulous peculiar motion given to a vessel by an engine soon affects landsmen. The cabin, which had been a scene of noisy laugh and conversation, suddenly became deserted. All the ladies retired to bed ; and many of the gentlemen were leaning their heads over the side of the flying vessel ; or, broken accents, urging the attentions of the steward and his mates.

As I am never sea sick, I enjoyed the whole ; below, I listened to the conversation; above, I marked the beauty of the scene, as the vessel marched on her white foaming track. The waving


column of smoke was trailing along the deep blue waves, and expanding into a mass of misty shadow, through which the lamps on each side of the Liffey formed a star-like long vista, in retiring perspective, till it ended in a far distant point. At length we left the light-houses behind us ; and I retired to my berth, strongly disposed to make myself as comfortable as possible.

My bed was No. 20; and just under me lay an American gentleman, I believe, who had held a noisy argument about the discovery of steam navigation ; claiming it as the peculiar right of the New World. However, some one contended that it had only been reduced to practice there ; and he quoted the Philosophical Transactions in support of his assumption, that steam navigation had been tried, as an experiment, on the river Thames long before it was known in America. This I leave to be determined by the curious. I turned in my bed, thought myself quite snug, dreamed of my own Emma, and about one o'clock turned again ; when, to my utter surprise and confusion, my cot fell down, and the American gentleman began to groan most fearfully. “Good God, Sir,"


said I, “are you hurt? This confounded bed has given way, and I am so completely jammed in, that I can move neither hand nor foot.”

66 Steward ! steward !” shouted he most boisterously, “ fly-assist that fat gentleman, who is crushing me to annihilation, to extricate himself. He has me completely under him-0 Lord ! I cannot move."

At last I got out, to my very high satisfaction. When the American saw me, he expressed his great astonishment :

Why, Sir," said he,“

you have the property of a cotton-screw.

I really took you for a man of at least seventeen stone-and I am now ashamed to think that such a genteellyshaped personage should have occasioned my stomach so much uneasiness.” I scarcely knew whether to be angry or pleased with his joke ; but as I had had the upper hand so long, I now knocked under, and suffered him to repose in peace. For the rest of the night I was obliged to lie on the floor; being unable, from the great motion given to the Mersey by a strong breeze, to occupy a sofa. However, I arose early, con,

vinced that patience is a virtue which, like small coin, is constantly required in life.

Upon going on deck next morning, I saw Captain Williams, the master of the Mersey, muffled in his cloak and fur cap. His fine seaman-like countenance, and weather-beaten complexion, told me that he had been all night at his post. He was gazing at the distant mountains of Wales, which purpled the horizon to the right; whilst, far a-head, bright morning was peeping over the blue round billows, sparkling, and playing, and curling towards us in white foam, as full of life

and joy.

There is always something to be learned from free communication with men: I scarcely recollect an individual I have ever addressed who was not able, in some way, to enlarge my information; therefore, I would strongly recommend to travellers never to shroud themselves in silence and pride, but, looking upon their fellow men, howsoever different in appearance and rank, as their brothers, either give or receive information by opening the portals of speech ; for, in one case, they

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