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hav'n't I taken the North-country cousin out of troubles of life! My aunt might be arrogant,
my cousin whimsical, the music-master might Mamma opined that I must hasten : two stamp his foot, and cry out at false o'clock was the hour for my arrival. I must time; the drawing teacher might declaim at ring at Mrs. Beech's door at that particular mo- my horrible perspective; Monsieur might ment. With what a palpitating heart I followed grimace at my miserable pronunciation-what my aunt, as she threaded the thronged pave was it all to me? My aunt might scold, and ment! I had not yet become sufficiently ac- my cousin frown ; I was far above them and quainted with the route to be trusted alone. My | their existence, dwelling in a golden dream, a confusion was at its climax as we ascended the higher sphere, a loftier, a more spiritual commusteps of the handsome portico. In sheer des. nion. How, in that year, my soul unfolded and peration I whispered : “Please, aunt, don't expanded! How rich, how glorious grew my ring ; let me go back with you!"
life! How thankful, how blessed I was! How “Hush, child! you are invited; it is an well I came to understand the words, “She honour; make yourself as agreeable as possible. I gave much, because she loved much”! I will send for you in the evening."
But the year was over-another New Year's The bell gave a sonorous clang, the door sun was high in the Heavens ; it glittered upon opened, I was in the hall.
the betrothal ring upon my finger; it also O Aunt Laura, you little knew what you were whitened the sails of the ship that was bearing doing! You sent me to spend the day with a my betrothed far from me! Yes, for years he relative; you turned the whole current of my would become a denizen of India's sultry clime. life!
Business required that, for a time, Calcutta The mingling of motherly tenderness and should be his home. The idea of separation had sisterly regard, that marked my cousin's recep. been sad, inexpressibly sad ; but I was young, tion, placed me at once at ease. Placing a low my education incompleto it was right, and chair by the fireside, she drew another beside must be borne. me, and commenced a familiar chat upon family The parting was over. I would be strong and affairs. The children whom I dreaded as so hopeful as Walter had bidden me. - There would many little ogres soon appeared ; a bright, be the letter back by the pilot; in time others pretty girl of eight, and a manly little fellow of would come. I would work, I would improve ten years. Contrary to expectation, they were -make myself worthy of him. Time wore unusually well behaved, doing all that they on, enlivened by a constant correspondence. could for my entertainment in the display of Walter did his work; I, mine. Three years their Christmas and New Year's gifts. Five passed; then the missive came to announce that o'clock struck; the hall door opened and Bbut at the close of another twelvemonth the wan. with a clap; there was the tread of a firm, mas- derer would return, to claim his promised bride. culine foot; a stout, pleasant-faced man entered, How the busy weeks flew by! What hours and and was introduced as Mr. Beech. A cordial days of joyful expectancy were mine, as I greeting followed, but nothing of the boisterous industriously stitched on the abundant and jollity cousin Laura had taught me to expect elegant trousseau my kind friends provided! Wondering whether her other prophecies would | At length everything was complete, excepting remain unfulfilled, I was led by my host to the the wedding-dress, whose silvery sheen was dining-room. A tall, slight young man, with hidden in my well-filled drawers. My lover a pale complexion, and dark, spiritual eyes, was on his homeward passage. One hundred turned from a window as we entered.
days had elapsed since the ship had sailed“ My husband's nephew Mr. Beech--Miss one hundred and ten - one hundred and Atherton,” said Cousin Charlotte, as she seated twenty-how eagerly the shipping news was herself at the table and pointed me to a chair. scanned in the morning and evening papers ! Mr. Beech began to carve. Mr Walter Beech | My beart began to beat irregularly; there were took the seat opposite mine. The assurance restless days and wakeful nights, nervous starts that I was wholly beneath that last-named gen- at every ring, flushes at every step. Still the tleman's notice set me completely at ease, and I days stole by-one hundred and thirty-one was enabled to get through the meal without hundred and fifty-one hundred and seventy. any of the unpleasant contretemps against which People came and went with serious faces and I had been so pathetically warned; but from subdued tones ; still the days and weeks wore the furtive glances I could not refrain from on, and thus the “Orient" passed into & stealing across to my vis-à-vis, I became con- missing, then a lost ship. Still there was hope scious that I was far from being an object of for the boats. I clung to that; I strove to be unconcern to the young gentleman; and a feel- hopeful and patient; I strove to weep or to ing, partly of triumph, partly a new, strange joy, pray-I could do neither. As weeks wore on stole' into my girlish "heart. That morning and hope becaine fainter and fainter, a dread dawned upon a free, careless child-heart: its apathy, which I vainly resisted, seized my whole evening closed upon the first anxious, troublous being; body and soul were alike torpid. Oh, bliss of opening womanhood.
| why could I not also die? A year passed, a year of undimmed happiness Relatives and friends gathered around with -a happiness that ought to atone for much well-meant kindness and consolation. They subsequent misery. What cared I for the minor' talked of fate, of decrees, of justice; of love, faith, and resignation; of a change of heart, the strange. The slight, youthful figure has power of time, and the consolations of the developed into the broad-chested, stronggospel! It was as sound to the deaf and light limbed man; the pale, dreamy face has become to the blind. I tried to listen, to comprehend bronzed and firm. Yes, Doctor H., my resotried to be patient and grateful. I knew that lution is taken; you will always be a friend, a they meant well, but oh, if they would only let dear, a very dear friend, but that must be all. I me be at peace! Perfect stillness, perfect quiet am sorry to pain so good a man, but he must was the only boon my soul had strength to see that this decision is for his happiness. I also crave. My mother, my dear mother, she who dread the animadversions of friends. Those had also passed through the deep waters, alone nearest and dearest will not trouble me with understood me. My sister Ann was about to complaints ; my mother and sisters will combe married and accompany her husband on his prehend my motives. For Aunt Laura and the next voyage. Mother decided that I should go others, whose sum of life is comprehended in with them, as they so earnestly desired.
the one word expediency, I will nerve myself, “Would I go? Could I not assist my sister? try to show them that marriage need not be the She was much hurried in her preparations." sole object of a woman's life, and that there can
Mother had touched the right chord. I was be a good-natured, unwhimsical old maid. not naturally selfish. I rose from my couch; I | Ann's sweet tones are chiming forth a “Happy thrust aside every thought, and plunged into a New Year, dear Lucy!" Frank is tapping at whirlwind of activity. “Ann should take my | my door with a “Ho, for the Ballistas !" things-yes, no scruples; they were ready, January 2nd.- At eight o'clock yesterday time was pressing: when I needed such"-oh, morning we set out for the store-ship, at the the bitter, bitter grief that was crushed with the Midland Island, the designated rendezvous for words, “she could repay me!" It was useless the boats intending to join the Ballista expeto resist; for once everyone gave way; I had my dition. Ann came upon deck to wish us a will. I fastened the wedding-dress that should good voyage. Marsellas placed herself in her have been mine. I arranged the bridal-veil, favourite seat on the rail forward--a position twined the orange-blossoms in my sister's hair, which has gained for her the sobriquet of the and, with a kiss that made her start as if from "figure-head” from the sailors. Her gaudy contact with a corpse, I clasped the pearls-his cotton-gown flaunted gaily on the breeze, and gift, about her fair neck.
the smoke from her cigarette curled gracefully With a strange, delirious sensation, a strange, about the unique coiffure of her head. The icy clutch at my heart, I stood beside my sister mist that usually veils the morning in this reas she plighted her marriage-vows. They won- gion was slowly lifting; the sun came out over dered at my calmness, praised my fortitude and Pisco, bright and rosy, irradiating and per. resignation. O! Thou knowest, but thou meating the wide view-emphatically the “High also hadst pity and mercy! Like one in a trou. Seas." Since lying at the Chinchas I have bled nightmare, from which he vainly strives to been strongly impressed with the fitness of that arouse himself, I accompanied my sister phrase. A few boats were assembled at the on board-ship. Days passed, still no change; place of appointment when we arrived. Eng. but as we advanced over the waters, and the land and France drew alongside of Brother wide ocean began to reveal its majes y and its Jonathan ; Down-East shook hands with the mystery, those icy hands began to relax, that sunny South; gay salutations, bright faces, icy clutch to yield. At length tears, blessed and good wishes were on every hand. tears, came to my relief. Next arose a storm, The Chinchas are composed of a dull, red. an almost overwhelming tempest, and amid dish and whitish rock, and guano lies upon the bowling and screeching, the straining and the islands in high, smooth-rounded hills. snapping, the pitching and rolling, my be- These are bordered by huge, perpendicular, numbed soul shook off its shackles, and stood ochre-coloured cliffs, everywhere perforated by forth strong and clear, ready to bear and to do. dark caverns into which the sea rolls with a
Sunrise, January 1st.--I have been aroused deafening roar. These grottoes are the haunts from my tardy slumbers by the booming of of seals or sea-lions, and myriads of sea-birds. cannon; a national salute is being fired from The cliffs are literally swarming with feathered the three men-of-war. “God Save the Queen 1" | life; multitudes, which no man can number, are is wasted across the water from the band of soaring, sailing, and diving above, upon, and the “Tribune;" this is followed by “Hail, I around the islands and rocks, filling the air Columbia !” from the "John Adams ;" and the with their strange, wild, unearthly cries. French strike up “Partant pour la Syrie 1" 1 In a barn-like place on the North Island listen at my tiny window--the bull's-eye of my Señor Serrate holds his court. He is the princi. state-room-listen and recal the last night's, pal personage with whom the captains have to or rather this morning's vision, the dream that deal. A guard-ship is stationed at this island has come now the third time, at a crisis in my with a commandant and a few soldiers. These life, since the commencement of this voyage, soldiers are a great curiosity-funny little men, Again I see that now familiar phantom not over five feet higb, with narrow chests, dark craft, that dark, sea-worn ship. Again I see complexions, bigh cheeks, and Aztec noses, they the resolute captain and stalwart crew, and always remind one of boy-soldiers in a that dear familiar face--familiar, yet also country village, or the renowned Lilliputians of Gulliver. On this island is a cane hut, used as the hoarse cries of penguins and the bark a hospital, and some other shed-like buildings, of sea-lions. Black, huge, fearful-fitting fort. a grocery, cookery, carpenter-shop, &c., making ress for the domain of Eolus; yet, with their a sort of tatterdemalion village, inhabited by an garniture of shells and inosses, their fretwork of interpreter, physician, overseers, drivers, and rock and spray, gorgeous enough for the dwell. cholo-women.
ing of Amphitrite. The business of loading is mostly performed | We rowed along the face of the perpendicular by cholos; but the digging is done entirely by cliffs in vain search of a landing-place; thence coolies, and a more pitiable set of wretches than our pilot led us into an arch more than a hunthese latter are not, I trust, to be found in dred feet through, but so narrow that the men God's universe. Most of these deluded victims were obliged to ship their oars, and the force of are nearly naked; none have more then enough the waves were such that the boats were sucked rags to cover them. They are fed and housed in and out like mere toys. This passage efworse than the beasts. They have no Sundays, fected, we came to a narrow beach, covered with no holidays, no home, no wives, no children; huge pebbles, where, after much difficulty, as it nothing to mitigate their endless, hopeless toil. was necessary to take advantage of the adBefore them stretches the bright bay, with its vancing wave, we were enabled to land. The green shores and graceful fleet, inyriads of sail rocky platform scarcely gave standing-room to coming and going, and the sublime mountains the party, which began to clamber up the steep towering in the far distance.
ascent, while the stewards brought wood from Little wonder that almost every day more or the boats, and, having lighted a fire, began the less commit suicide by leaping from the cliffs. concoction of the chowder-one of the great These blue, upheaving waves, and glinting, features of the day. snowy surf must be so enticing to their sore and The utensils and cushions having been weary frames.
brought from the boats, dinner was served in Each coolie is required to dig and wheel five fine style. Rarely has old Oceanus witnessed tons of guano a day; their slender figures quiver such a feast. Chowder, turtle-soup-turtles under the weight of the loads. Little do our are so plentiful that they cease to be a luxury at farmers realize the trouble and labour, the the islands - cold beef, ham, tongue, pies, pudheart-sickness and sorrow with which this fer- dings, confectionary, fruit, tea, coffee, wine, ale, tilizer is procured for the enrichment of their and beer were in abundance. The sea-air quiet, fruitful fields. Truly, “in the sweat of induces a wonderful appetite; it is truly asour brow do we eat our bread.”
tonishing how voracious one becomes at the The market-boat having arrived from Pisco, | Chinchas ! and the fresh mackerel brought for the chow- Due justice having been done the viands, and der, our messieurs de cuisine declared themselves due praise awarded our purveyors, the gentlein readiness. The French band struck up “God men lighted their cigars and took their fowlingSave the Queen," and the flotilla began to move pieces, and the ladies scattered over the rocks under the commodore of the fleet, an honour | in search of shells and mosses, seasoning the assigned to the senior captain. It was a stir- ramble, or rather scramble, with a discussion of ring spectacle, those two dozen boats, gay with the last evening's festivities. Mrs. White, ay flags and the bright ribbons of the ladies, while fait in such lore, discoursed eloquently upon the naval uniforms of the officers formed a lace and jewels, silk and satin, Mrs. Black, the pleasing contrast to the blue shirts, white trow- heroine of the hoopless skirts and unstarched sers, and wide tarpaulins of the marines, and muslin, tartly interrupted her hy a diatribe on the spruce Sunday attire of the tars of the mer. the extravagance displayed by her sister nereids: chantmen, all of whom bent to their oars with “Little wonder there was such a call for a cheerfulness and zeal befitting the occasion. Seamen's Homes,' and 'Sailor's Soug Har.
The Ballistas, to which our New Year's bours,' with so much needless, useless expenparty were bound, are a group of islands lying diture on the part of the wives and daughters of to the southward, and of a similar formation to seafaring men.” the Chinchas. A pull of eight miles brought Pretty Mrs. — pouted, and twirled her us to this ocean fastness, this mighty citadel of cherry ribbons; the English belle looked proud the sea. Would that I could describe the disdain ; the Maryland lady thought that, as scene, a scene which pen and pencil must ever the féte was given by the officers for prove wholly inadequate to depict.
our pleasure, we were in duty bound to render Nature here asserts her supremacy; man is ourselves as agreeable as possible. Mrs. Black compelled to confess his weakness, his insig- turned a cold shoulder to her opponents, mut. nificance. Huge, unscalable bastions ; lofty, ) tering something about pride that apes hu. precipitous steeps; high, dark, dripping ledges, mility. pierced with cavern above cavern; immense in- Tired of the clatter of my companions, I approachable recesses, into which the winds and strolled over to the windward end of the island, the waves, the surf and the spray rush and and sat down upon the edge of a cliff more than roar, whirl and eddy, thunder and dasb. Mys-three hundred feet above the water. Beneath terious grottoes, that must ever remain veiled to yawned a stupendous cave, into which the sea mortal ken, from which issue the wild notes of thundered and roared. Opposite was another myriads on myriads of sea-birds, mingled with 'cayern, with a still higher arch, into which the sea rolled with terrific violence, and a heavy,, majestic, and the great sea-monarch, in his angry roar. Far below stretched a narrow, dolphin-drawn car; a merry carnival of the white sand beach, upon which lay scattered water-gods, a high festival of the sea. I was the bones of sea-fowl, and the skeletons drawn down to present realities by the hurried of a couple of sea-lions. In the little tones of Frank and Doctor H. basins along the edge of the rocks, the tiny “I must come with them; they had dismariners, familiarly known as the “Portuguese covered a most wonderful, a most magnificent men-of-war,” were reefing and unreefing their cave. It could not be entered by a boat, the mimic sails; the white sand glittered in the surf was too high, but if I would trust myself sunlight, wbich reflected in the showers of spray to them they would bear me over the rocks.” that fell in jewelled cascades upon the grey Scarcely understanding where I was going, I rocks.
followed my conductors down the steep deThe whole face of the cliff was brilliant clivity to the edge of the waves. Crossing their with mosses of the most beautiful dyes, scarlet, arms, as children play arm-chair, they bade me crimson, purple, and a variety of greens, among seat myself. Bewildered, almost stunned, I which were strewn myriads of bright-hued obeyed, and was borne over the slippery rocks. anellides, and the most delicately-tinted and The waves were so strong that the receding exquisitely-shaped mollusks. Underneath, in point was the only time when progress could be the crannies of the precipice, a couple of pen- | made. Waiting for the rushing current, then guins were sitting on their nests, and the air jumping to another foothold, there to wait for was literally alive with every species of sea- the next backward wave, we made our way bird, rending the air with loud, sharp cries, or into a vast cavern, a lofty, spacious chamber low, mournful wails. Beyond rose other cliffs, with groined and fretted roof. Wading and other caverns, with their fringes of feathery waist-deep in water, my gallants placed me
; around stretched the bright blue sea, ra- | upon the only standing-room in the cave, a diant in the sunshine, the great rolling waves sort of pulpit, that upreared its fantastic coglittering and sparkling as they rose and fell | lumns nearly in the centre. with that long, slow swell that seems the pulsa. Why is it that, in every great collection of tion of a universe. Blowing and swimming caves, there is always one compartment to shaabout among the weird grottoes were numberless dow forth the idea of worship? Has the great seals, and schools of sea-lions. I cannot con | Architect thus set his seal upon the sanctuary ceive of anything more horrible than these sea. mirroring it forth amongst the grandest of his lions. Huge monsters, with round, earless -works? Hand-in-hand, with hushed pulsations heads, enormous fangs, cat-like whiskers, and and suppressed breath, we three stood and great glaring eyes, half-fish half-beast; they gazed at the fairy-like, yet sublime and aweseem altogether unnatural. It is enough | inspiring scene. Above and around rose pillar to make one shudder as they spring up and architrave, arch, dome, niche, and pedestal. towards you, with their great eyes, fero From base to summit every inch of the jagged cious, yet agonized in expression, loud sobbing walls was crusted with marine life. Tritons, breathings, and melancholy wailing cries. Upstar-fish, harp-shells, ear-shells, and marine and down, in and out, voracious, hideous, ter snails of every variety, while from every fretted rible, perfect demons of the sea-if they had point and groined arch depended myriads of speech, what might they not utter, what secrets | volutes, and wing-shells of the most beautiful disclose, what treasures unfold ?
forms; adding still more of interest to the delicate Long I gazed at the new, the wonderful | tracery, amid which the exquisite “pelicanscene; wonderful and glorious, terrible yet foot” (strombus) was particularly conspicuous. sublime, gazed, and thought of the ages and How beautiful are all of God's works! How ages that this ocean-fortress has uplifted its much loveliness lies hidden from every eye battlements, in their grand solitude, to the war- except his own! The waves dashed in at the fare of the elements. Century after century opening with a roar that drowned all other have the waves beat their base, dashed up the sounds, and ever and anon one higher than the stupendous steeps, and thundered amidst the others completely closed the orifice, leaving us sounding caves. By sunlight, by starlight, in in a solemn twilight that rendered the scene the silvery sheen of the moon, while the still more impressive. earth has been upheaved from its founda It was impossible to note time in such a spot. tions, and all the powers of the universe shaken, / We were recalled to the outer world by our they have stood calm, fixed, inipregnable—a fear-stricken companions, who from our long type of the power, the majesty, the mystery, and absence had imagined the worst. After a vain the beauty of the Eternal ! I gazed, while attempt of a part of the party to enter into a imagination pictured long arrows of moonlight boat, which ended in their complete drenching, striking athwart the dripping rocks and spark- / we turned from the mysterious depths, and ling in the silvery surf, and mermaids coming joined the group upon the beach, who had from the shell-enamelled grottoes, to comb seated themselves to watch the penguins roll their tresses in the bright rays, or sport with over in the water. These penguins are espesister sirens of old Neptune's court. The gal. cially diverting. From the various islands they lant Asopus, the lovely Galatea, Tethys, with all select some for their own individual property, her attendant Oceanides ; Oceanus, hoary and I which they are permitted by the other birds to
hold in undisputed possession. They are from nation. Two years before, he and three others two to three feet high, with dark backs and had been picked up from one of the boats of the white breasts, and they range themselves on the wrecked “Orient,” by this whale ship, then on edges of cliffs, looking for all the world like so, her way to cruise in the Arctic seas. Then many children in white aprons. The Peruvian comes a mazy recollection of our progress for. cognomen of "munos" (baby-bird) is very ap- ward amid deafening cheers, while the band propriate. As the afternoon wore on, the sky plays “Hail to the Chief” and “Haste to the became fairly darkened with pelicans soaring in Wedding." It was hours afterwards, when I long lines and circles to and from the ocean. listened to the details of that sad story of death, Multitudes lighted on the rocks, far and near, suffering, and deliverance, that I began to rewhere they stood, as in solemn conclave, re. alize the actuality of what had occurred; even minding one of a company of greybeards set now I can scarcely realize that it is not all a tling the affairs of a nation; or, as one of our vision. Ann's matter-of-fact voice in the aftercaptains affirmed, a party of spirit-rappers rap- | cabin reassures me. ping out eternity. Doctor. H. was wicked Another surprise was in store. Amongst enough to compare them to a party of old yesterday's arrivals was a dear friend who acwomen gossiping over their tea.
companied her father on his voyage hither. Evening approached, and it was declared time She and Ann have constituted themselves a to think of our return. The "paraca" had set committee of ways and means. Ann is sayo in; the ocean swell had been increasing for ing :some hours, and the surf now dashed with “ Laura must wear the dress that was bought tremendous force over the rocks, and surged for her bridal; you know she made me take it and thundered within the immense hollows. All when I was married; but I only wore it that aboard! Impromptu sails, in the shape of brief hour. The veil and pearls are in that table-cloths, were rigged to catch the afternoon box; we must send to Callao for white kids and breeze, and we went cheerily forward. The sun orange-blossoms." was slowly sinking, and as we passed the long “I had a box of white kids given me in gigantic line of volcanic crags and cliffs, the London; and as Lora and I wear the same size, lights and shades were indescribably splendid; I can supply the gloves,” replies our friend. rowing up the bay, the scene grew absolutely “Yes, dear Clara, our hands are alike, and enchanting. Amber and anethyst, topaz and the personal resemblance is such between us ruby, mingled with neutral greys and sombre that strangers often take us for sisters." Doctor black. Afar stretched the azure expanse, barred | H. was immediately struck with the likeness. by dancing streams of golden light, while around Dear friend, how wholly unselfish his congratuus appeared fantasticislands, with their wreaths of lations have been; would that Clara might sparkling foam, the stately fleet and other sails comfort him for his disappointment! Perhaps coming and going, the green outline of Pisco, she may ; but I have no faith in made matches, and above all, towering far toward the zenith, so I shall hold my peace. in their own clime, the sublime guardians of the A firm step is on the threshold, a brown face sea, the majestic Andes, their glaciered sides peeps in at the half-open door. roseate in the sunset.
“May I come in?” The surf around the north island was par- ! “No, I am coming out." A toil-hardened ticularly fine, where some of the detached rocks hand is out-stretched, and grasps the loose to the seaward are remarkable both in size and sheets. conformation. One of these rocks is singularly | “A journal! I may read this ?" picturesque, and always strikes the eye of a “Yes, no-some day.” The sunny but new comer.
thoughtful eyes look down into mine! for a It consists of two 'craggy arches crossing moment both search, each the other's soul with each other, and joined together at the apex so a serious, questioning glance. as to form a natural temple, with four equi- “ Laura, your Adonis has become a weatherdistant pillars. The summit of the alcove is battered old salt." usually tenanted by an assembly of pelicans, “I like him none the less." evidently in solemn conclave. Fully absorbed | “You don't? And you have changed; the by the grandeur and beauty of the scene, I little girl I left must be treasured among other scarcely heed our progress, or the bail that sweet memories of the past; Laura the woman is comes to us across the water. The boat's course quite a different being," is suddenly changed: there is a clamour of “Do you regret the change?" voices. Am I awake or dreaming? Before me “Far from it! The girl I left behind was vast and dark, rises the phantom ship of my my darling, my sweet little love; the Laura 1 vision-chat sea-worn whale ship. There is the find, is my companion, my help-meet, emphatistalwart captain, the hardy crew, and-yes, I cally my better half.” am not mistaken-over the side comes that Again there is a silence, while hand clasps dear, familiar face, older and bronzed, but still hand with that mute eloquence that speaks so the same, and in another moment I am in the much more than any lip utterance. I raise my arms of my long-lost , longmourned Walter. eyes to those that sink so deep within my
I have an indistinct idea of a rapid expla- own,