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as coquettishly put on as any cloud of tarletan or crêpe in which the owner danced the night before, are running with bare feet into the surf under the heads of hackmen's horses, with screams and shouts of merry laughter. Their partners of the night before escort them into the waves as they did through the mazes of the cotillon.
Well! Honi soit qui mal y pense! We may adapt to this order of the Bath the motto of the Garter. We must leave to every nation its own customs. Camels and gnats are not all of the same size in every country. Let us be thankful only that the women that belong to us are not partakers in this "promiscuous” marine entertainment (against which no Knox has ever lifted up his thunderbolts); more especially since we have been ourselves accosted by Pennifeather, who wants to know if we “ain't goin' into the bath, and if we cannot find a house,—'cos”-and he touches our elbow with a wink, and applies his right eye to a cranny in the woodwork of a bathing-box_" there is a gal in here 'most ready to come out;” and he suggests that we can take possession of her wet door and treacherous chink so soon as her toilet is completely over. At twelve o'clock a red flag, hoisted at the end of the beach, warns women from the spot. The beach and bathing-houses are given up to bathers of the other sex; and until the dinner-hour (two o'clock) it may be considered unapproachable for ladies.
In the afternoon, when the tide serves, the beaches are covered with carriages. They are the Rotten-row of Transatlantic fashion, with almost every advantage in their favour, except liveries and coronets. Many of the carriages have four horses. Fast tandems are affected by “fast” youths driving “fast” girls in open buggies. These buggies look all wheels, and are very difficult, indeed, to turn. The horses are generally more remarkable for their 2' 40" gait than for external advantages. They belong to that breed which can go through the country so fast, “ that you'd think, stranger, you was goin' through a graveyard. You wouldn't have no idee that the stones you seen was milestones !”
The hotel season lasts from the middle of July to the 1st of September; after which, for ten months of the year, these vast establishments (each capable of receiving from a thousand to five hundred guests) are deserted and closed. During the season there is always an excess of from six to seven thousand persons over the indigenous population of the quaint, quiet town. On the 1st of September the boats and carriages are not enough to carry away the fashionable crowd. Greatly have their powers of endurance been taxed by ill-cooked food and scanty comforts during the continuance of the six weeks' “ season.” Engagements crowd upon each other. The ten-pin alleys, * bathing, matinées dansantes, morning visits, and charity fairs, occupy the morning hours until half-past two o'clock, which is the time for dinner; after this comes a public and very promiscuous promenade up and down the halls of the hotel, to the unheeded music of the best band in America. To this succeeds the evening drive, followed by a concert, ball, and petit souper carré at an eating-house kept by a Chevalier of the Emperor Faustin's Legion of Honour. Each lady must make at least four toilettes every day,
* A law in Rhode Island (adopted, we believe, by most of the New England States) forbids the introduction of nine pins; by the device of ten pins it is evaded.
elaborately (for she has to live under inspection), and this in a little whitewashed cell hardly big enough to accommodate the scanty wardrobe of a nun.
Leisure is a word of no meaning in the society of the Northern States, and had better be expunged at once from the dictionaries of Webster and Worcester. There is the same bustle, rush, and eagerness to go ahead in pleasure as in business. In both, engagements press upon you breathless, each treading on the heels of another. Americans have an expression which is in constant use among them. They talk of being “ driven,” to express that state in which they press on breathless through their days, and wearily drop down at night, without rest from the continual rush of occupation. “Driven" is a wise word (and Yankeeisms seldom fail to hit the bull's-eye of a thought); it conveys an idea of a state of life, whether of recreation or of business, when engagements hunt their victims, as the Camanches hunt buffalo upon a western prairie; the rushing, panting, struggling herd pressing one upon another in the race, until at last they blindly make one bound and disappear over the precipice. Less happy than the buffalo, perhaps, who break their necks, the American man (or woman) so pursued during the season at a watering-place, is at once upon his feet again, ready for another race, with business obligations to harry him.
The cottage residents of Newport, who remain long after the fashionable Hegira, bestow considerable compassion, and a good deal of disgust, on the inmates of these large hotels. "The Ocean House, with its colony, the Ocean Hall, is the most vast, and fast, and fashionable of these establishments. The following effusion, by a sufferer of an order very commonly to be found amongst its boarders, is said to have been found in the pocket of an over-coat, left unclaimed last summer when the season
GOSSIP FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BIG POND.
Standing where twelve brilliant burners had concentred all their rays, In a robe of truffled satin, garnie à la Mayonaise, Choux-fleurs that Martelle had furnished crowned her brow and decked her hair, And her corsage (made by Steadman) had been dressed à la Madère. Boosey told me that her father (Mint, of Lamb, Mint, Sauce, and Co.) Had eight hundred thousand dollars-might have more, he didn't know. Love took up the glass of hope, and turned it in his eager hands, Every vision lightly shaken ran itself in golden sands ; Love took up that book of music, where bank-notes alone are penned, And crescendo marks each movement, till a crash winds up the end. "Speculation” it was lettered, but the careless world don't see, How the “S” has been so blotted, that the word begins with "P.” Every morning at the alley, where the ten-pins rattle down, Did I meet her all that fortnight in an omelette-coloured gown, Every noon upon the beaches led her in a tunic red, 'Neath the heads of hackmen's horses, dripping from a "watery bed;" Every afternoon I met her, round by Bateman's dusty reach, Or in Pennifeather's coaches, creeping o'er the Second Beach ; Every evening in the ball-room whirled we spinning through the throng, Till the New York steamer's whistle ended off the cotillon. Oh! thou heartless Ann Eliza! Ann Eliza dear no more! Oh! you dreary, dreary beaches !-oh! you cold deserted shore ! Blacker than my pen can etch thee--falser than the notes you sung, Wherefore cut me dead last Monday, smiling as you passed along? Was it right of you to cut me? Having known me—was it fair Thus to pass your old acquaintance with that cursed conceited air? Weakness to be wroth with weakness! Woman's pleasure is man's pain. Nature cut them out for cutting—wherefore should a fool complain ? Belle! A ball-room flirt is justly named a bell with empty head, And a tongue that jangles duly when folks marry or are dead. Oh! to burst from belles and flirting! Will she mind it should she find I am married to another? Will she wish she'd changed her mind ? I will seek some girl more handsome: there are plenty about town. I will take some poorer woman, with a hundred thousand down. I will take her out to Paris, give her gowns and jewels rare, Till the envious Ann Eliza tears her bandeaux in despair. Shall I seek Professor Lawton ? Shall he teach me “ hearts to win" Through the columns of the Herald putting advertisements in ? What rash thing I'll do I know not, but farewell, thou Ocean Hall ! Not for me your band may jingle-not for me your fancy ball. There's another fog that's creeping from the marsh behind the bay, And the fog-bell in the harbour warns the steamer on her way. Let it fall on Ocean Hallon Ocean Hall or fast or slowHark! I hear the steam-boat's whistle-loud they call me, and I go.
We promised at the beginning of this gossip to give some account of the domestic life of a small family; but, to employ a phrase common among the newspaper
editors of America, all that we had to say upon that subject has been "crowded out by fashionable matter.” If we are permitted to have another chat with the English reader, we will endeavour to keep the current of our talk more nearly in its channel. We will tell him certain stories about "help,” American and Irish, a subject that forms a most important feature in the female conversation of the community. Home-life in America is seen to perfection in our Newport, after the season, where society is more varied in its elements than in the larger cities, and where no great overshadowing local influence prevents the growth of individual opinion, as is always the case in more exclusive towns.
A WINTER IN KERTCH.
I must, in the first place, apologise to my readers for having delayed so long in the fulfilment of my promise contained in the last paragraph of a paper called " A Week in Constantinople;” the only excuse I can offer is, that the blame does not rest with me, but absolutely with the clerk of the weather, whoever that much abused and long-suffering individual may be. Nine times have I already taken up my pen to jot down my experiences of a winter in the Crimea, nine times has a numbing stiffness in my fingers compelled me to drop it again, and seek a welcome refuge by the side of my stove. No doubt many persons will imitate the example of Professor Koch, and write learned treatises on the climate of the Crimea, but as far as myself and winter are concerned, I can aptly describe it in one short sentence: “When it don't rain it freezes, when it don't freeze it rains.” However, as we have now had two consecutive days of sunshine, and this 13th of April appears the turning-point of the year, I will venture to take up my narrative again, and proceed to describe in a rambling and desultory fashion our Winter in Kertch.
On the 10th of December I was landed at Fort Paul in charge of our department, being responsible for their safe-conduct as far as Kertch. The change was anything but agreeable ; it was nearly six, on a dark winter's night, ere we were all landed, and standing up to our knees in the loose washy mud, which represents the beach at Fort Paul. Add to this, that several portmanteaux were dropped through the holes in the rickety wharf, occasioning a considerable amount of bad language from their owners, and it may be easily conceived that our situation was not the most pleasant in the world. But this was only the beginning of misfortunes : officers, inen, and servants were huddled into one huge hut, and left there for the night, without food, water, or light. The last we were enabled to rectify by means of Clarke's candle-lamp-an invaluable companion on a campaign ; but the other two appeared insurmountable difficulties. At last, one of our officers took heart, and set out in search of
He returned in about an hour, one mass of mud from head to foot, but bearing triumphantly a gutta-percha bottle, holding about a gallon of the precious fluid. Eagerly did we produce our paniki alas! woeful was our disappointment. The water was half-warm and inexpressibly mawkish, and we found, on strict cross-examination, that it had been obtained from a condensing machine erected on the beach by her Majesty's steam-ship Niger. Supperless and quarrelsome we proceeded to rig up our camp-beds, and after many mistakes succeeded in rendering them sufficiently strong to lie down upon, and we gradually dropped off to sleep, with the pleasing consciousness that we should wake up in the morning with an astounding rheumatism ; and such was the case. Thus was spent our first night in the Crimea : the details may appear puerile, but still I fancy them valuable, as proving that a campaigning life is not all rosy-coloured ; for my own part, I can only say that I entertained some very mutinous ideas, and would have gladly resigned all prospective glory to be once more seated with our hospitable editor, doing justice to the excellent fare of the National Club. However, it was too late to
repine, and I was compelled, nolens volens, to accept the situation. My bed, I found, was not so downy as to induce me to oversleep myself, and by six the next morning I had all the luggage packed, and off we started for Kertch, which we reached by ten, after wading five miles through the stiffest and most uncompromising clay I ever saw in my
life. The first view of Kertch is certainly very fine: there is a species of stern dignity in the rugged, treeless hills, at the foot of which the town stretches out in an amphitheatrical form, and a pleasant contrast is occasioned by the white houses, with their cheery green and red roofs. On a nearer approach, this feeling gave way to one of profound pity—the reader must pardon me, but it was my first introduction to the amenities of war. In the palmy days of Kertch, the Fort Paul road was bounded on one side for nearly a mile by magnificent storehouses and factories. All these were now utterly and hopelessly ruined. Huge fissures in the walls showed the ruthless passage of a shell, while the absence of doors, windows, and every particle of wood revealed that even a more cruel foe had been at work, in the shape of the barbarous Turk. In truth, no words would be sufficiently strong to portray the desolation which reigned in Kertch on my first arrival. Everywhere might be traced the handiwork of an infidel and sanguinary band, who thought they were doing Allah good service by despoiling the Giaour; and blind to their own comfort, or that of their allies (Heaven save the mark !), their track was marked by wanton destruction, relentless ruffianism, and studied de bauchery. Let it not be supposed that I am exaggerating. I could an' I would tell tales which would freeze my reader's very marrow, of the truth of which I cannot entertain a doubt, but they are not suited for a magazine, the object of which is to amuse, and not disgust. The worst of it was that the French thought themselves in honour bound to follow in the footsteps of the Turks; and though not committing the same excesses, they entertained very indistinct notions of the laws of meum and tuum. Hence it was not surprising that the more respectable portion of the population should seek shelter in the interior, and leave their lares and penates to the tender mercies of Tartars and self-emancipated serfs, who sedulously completed the work of destruction by stealing and secreting everything which had by chance escaped the polite attention of the Turks.
On arriving at Kertch, I soon found the quarters allotted to the officers and men, and after a hard day's work retired to my own, which were excessively comfortable, and, strange to say, had nearly half the windows entire. By the sacrifice of a few copies of the Times, I succeeded in keeping at bay the wind, which was whistling more than sharply through the streets. After making myself as comfortable as I could, I proceeded to look for dinner, and found a good Samaritan in the shape of a restaurateur, who served you up what he called a dinner, moyennant, for the sum of fifteen francs. With this the first day of my campaigning ended, and I need not further allude to myself, except in so far as my narrative compels me to speak in the first person singular.
Kertch, when belonging to the Russians, must have been a singularly clean and pleasant town. It possesses excellent fountains, and had abundance of sewerage, until the French took it into their wise heads to break it up, in pursuit of hidden treasure. The town itself is built in a qua