Page images
PDF
EPUB

Establishment, it is impossible that support. Let them recollect how they can receive either adequate or long the Tories stood, after they gratuitous information on that mo. adopted this shuffling and timid mentous subject; if he is convinced course of policy; and consider well, that the land is the great fountain of whether there are not to be seen public wealth, and that whatever symptoms, and that, too, of an unerr. cripples or paralyses its owners or ing kind, of the downfall of the cultivators, to just the same extent party which lived on agitation, and, stops up the supplies of wealth by by the course they are now conwhich the whole nation is main- strained to adopt, daily irritate the tained; if he is of opinion, that Re- agitators, without conciliating the form, necessary or desirable as he Conservatives, or making them formay have esteemed it, when it was get the dreadful peril to which they first introduced, or still esteems it, have exposed every interest of sohas gone far enough in favour of the ciety. Let them lay this truth to popular branch of our mixed Consti- their inmost hearts, that things can. tution, and that to go farther would not go long on as they have done be to overthrow the balance alto for two years past; that the Governgether, and leave us only the name ment must become either decidedly of a monarchy, without either its Revolutionary, or decidedly Conser dignity, its stability, or its protecting vative; and that the dubious parti. influence; then he will give his core coloured flag of mere Reform will dial support to the Conservative soon be seen at no masthead. Let candidate on every occasion, and them recollect, that gratitude is unendeavour by so doing to prove that known to public bodies of all parties he really desired Reform, and not of men for any length of time; that Revolution; and was desirous of en- the old cry of the Reform candidate larging the basis on which the repre- has already become stale ; that the sentation was rested, precisely in point now is, not what candidates or order that it might be more adequate members have done in time past, to withstand the storm with which but what they will do in time to the institutions of society were ob- come; and that an election between viously menaced. By so doing, he the two parties must now be made is not acting in opposition to his by every political man, because the former principles and professions; Destructives everywhere require he is, on the contrary, giving them pledges from their representatives their just and fair application, and to support measures which at once only preventing them from being trench upon many of the vital intetrained to those calamitous pur- rests of society. If tbey are disposes with which the enemies of posed to support Revolution, we Reformevercharged their opponents, have nothing to say to them; the but which none held in such utter sooner they announce such projects detestation as its sincere and en- the better: it is always well to know lightened friends.

who are your enemies before an Let the timid and selfish, the nu- encounter begins, and better an open merous class who look to politics as foe than a false friend. But if they they would to their own separate are inclined merely to go along with estate or profession, consider well the current, to support the popular also, which class it is now most for candidate, because he belongs to their private interest to support. the stronger or ruling party, let They may readily see that the Whigs them look well to the signs of the cannot much longer stand; that a times, before they make their ulteGovernment cannot continue for rior election, and consider whether years to go on reeling to and fro as the decided Revolutionists, or decithe present, leaning first on the one ded Conservatives, are likely to party, and then on the other, and obtain the ultimate ascendency in almost weekly snatched from de- this country. struction only by the patriotic devo- For the same reason, the material tion of its political antagonists, and thing now to look to in the choice afraid of risking a contest even in of candidates to fill up occasional the quarters where it so recently vacancies in the House of Commons, received only the most enthusiastic is not either oratorical celebrity, or

[ocr errors]

party zeal, but habits of business, forced, against their declared resoluand acquaintance with the practical tion, upon the new constituency of wants and situation of the electors. Edinburgh, and the metropolis of Ask the electors of Edinburgh or Scotland converted into a decent reLeith how they are satisfied with tiring place, like Gatton or Old Satheir representatives, who are un- rum, for Whig placemen and beaten questionably men of celebrity and Attorneys-General. The audacity talent, and you will find that dissa- and effrontery of this actually ex. tisfaction is general, and complaints ceeds belief. Can the metropolis of in almost every mouth. The rapid Scotland not find a fit representative change in Perthshire must convince among the numerous wealthy and even the most incredulous, that the able men, who, we are told, support cry of Reform will no longer do; and the present Ministers in that counthat it is in vain to attempt to bolo try? Where are the Whig lawyers, ster up ineffective or unbusinesslike the soi-disant illuminati of the age? members or candidates, by an appeal Where the clique of the Edinburgh to their doctrines or language three Review, who have been praising years ago. The great thing to which themselves and each other with the electors should now look, who wish most laudable zeal and exemplary to resist the ulterior progress of activity for thirty years ? Sir John Revolution, is integrity and resolu. Campbell was actually proposed and tion of private character, habits of rejected, at a great meeting of Edinactivity and business, acquaintance burgh electors, and a deputation in with the local interests of the consti- consequence sent up to offer the seat tuency they are called upon to re- to Sir John Hobhouse: but in the inpresent, and the possession of such terim, unknown to them, Sir John a stake in the country as forms the Campbell is fixed on by Governbest security against acquiescence ment; it is convenient for Ministers in those anarchical measures by to have the Attorney-General in the which all the possessors of property, House, and therefore the Edinburgh of whatever party, are equally threat- electors must retract their opposiened.

tion, convert their groans into plaudThe insolence and inconsistency its, their bisses into smiles, and bow of the Whigs in consequence of their to the beck of Earl Grey, as if they Reform triumph is really astonish- were a rotten borough, to be rolled ing. They seem absolutely to think over to a purchaser with the titlethat their servile or ignorant partisans deeds of an estate. Whether the in the country will swallow any thing. electors of Edinburgh will submit to Not content with trying to thrust a such degradation, we know not; we Lord of the Treasury, without an prophesy nothing of a Reform conacre of land in the country, down stituency in any great town; but we the throats of the Perthshire elec., have the greatest hopes that they will tors; untaught by the signal defeat resent the insult; and of this we are they sustained in the attempt, they well assured, that if they do not, the are now disposing of Edinburgh as a spirit of independence is extinct in close seat, and endeavouring to Edinburgh, and the capital of Scotmake a Treasury borough of a city land, as the largest rotten borough in containing 140,000 inhabitants. Sir the island, should be put down at John Campbell, rejected by the new the head of the first column of scheconstituency at Dudley, is to be dule A in the next Reform Bill.

THE CRUISE OF THE MIDGE.

CHAP. IV.

"Once more upon the waters. Yet once more,
And the waves bound beneath me as a steed
That kuows his rider."

Childe Harold.

We bowled along for half-an-hour, Here little Binnacle struck in keeping a bright look-out for the “Why, Lennox, what are you botherfrigate, but we could see nothing of ing about; did I not desire you to her.

call Mr De Walden ?” “ I say, Sprawl, had not we better “ You did, sir, but he is not beheave-to, till daylight? You see we low, unless he be in the cabin.” can make nothing out as to her “Well, did you ask the captain's whereabouts; mind we do not run steward if he was there or not ?" past her in the night.".

“ No, sir.” Indeed, Brail, I think we had “ Ask him now, then, and tell him better - so heave-to at once, will to say to Mr De Walden that he is ye.”

wanted.” The word was passed; and after “ I'll tell you what,”-at this mohaving given little Binnacle his in- ment struck in old Davie,-“ I am structions to call me, the instant deucedly done up, so tip me the casethey made out the frigate, or the bottle again, and I will make anweather assumed a threatening as- other tumbler of grog, and then pect, Sprawl and I went below to turn in till daylight for even if secure a couple of hours' sleep, we make the frigate out, what use troubled though they might be, be is there in”. fore day broke. We had just com- “ Hush,” said I, “what is that ?” menced on our salt junk, and ha- There was a buz on deck, and a ving each of us filled a glass of grog, rattling up the ladder of the people I was in the very act of hobbing and from below, and

we could hear a ' nobbing with my illustrious ally, voice say, « Mr De Walden! he is

when we heard some one call down not in the berth below,"_another the after-hatchway. I instantly re- responded, " The captain's steward cognised the voice of Corporal Len- says he is not in the cabin,"_" Is Mr

De Walden forward there, boat“I say, Dogvane, do rouse out swain ? "_"No," sung out a gruff Mr De Walden-I know he is regu- voice, sounding low, and mollified larly done up, but it is his watch, by distance," no Mr De Walden and unless he is on deck at muster, here." he will be sure to catch it, and i “ Is Mr De Walden aft there?" should be sorry that he did." continued little Binnacle, who had

"Why, Master Corporal,” respond spoken. ed the quartermaster, “you might “No, sir, no.” have put yourself to the trouble of A sudden light flashed on me-I coming down yourself, and awaken- trembled, and a chill curdled the ing Mr De Walden, and so you blood at my heart, for I had not seen would have been under no obliga. him since we had hove the schooner tion to nobody--but I won't grudge on the reef. I ran on deck, but as the trouble, so I will do it for you." I ascended the ladder, “Poob,” said

“ Hillo," we immediately heard I to myself," all nonsense—why put old Dogvane sing out, “ on deck, myself into a flurry?” And as I steptbere."

ped off the ladder, little Binnacle “ What do you want?” replied called down the main-hatchwayCorporal Lennox.

" I say, De Walden - Henry “Oh, nothing, but Mr De Walden Henry De Walden-come on deck, is not here."

man-come on deck this is no time “ Never mind then, old fellow," for skylarking - Mr Brail is on said Lennox, "he is in the cabin, I deck.” suppose."

Several gruff voices replied from VOL. XXXV. NO, CCXXIII.

3 N

nox.

« No."

[ocr errors]

below," Mr De Walden is not here, the men. “Do you see any thing sir, "-" No Mr De Walden here." at the masthead?” said one to his

The buz increased—“ Is Mr De neighbour—"Do you see any thing?" Walden forward there?”

quoth another. No one saw any

thing but myself. “ Look there, “ Is he below ?”

Sprawl-there-by heaven what can No, sir, no-no Mr De Walden this mean-do you really see nothing here."

there?” The worthy fellow shaded Old Bloody Politeful, kind-hearted his eyes with his hand, and kept soul as he always was, had now also twisting and turning and rolling his turned out_“Why, Brail, what is all head about, as if it had been fixed this bother about "

on the ball and socket principle; " My dear Sprawl,” said I, greatly but the object that had fascinated excited, "young Dé Walden is no- me was invisible to bim. Gradu. where to be seen.”

ally the figure, without changing its “Nonsense,” rejoined he; “ why, position, thinned, and anon, like a he was standing close beside me the shred of dark vapour between us and whole time we were crossing the the heavens, the stars were seen bar, even up to the time when I was through it; but the outline of the fool enough to squir my old hat over form, to my distempered vision, was the masthead.”

still as distinct as ever. Presently, “ And so he was," chimed in however, it began to grow indistinct Pumpbolt.

and misty; and whatever it was, it “ Then beat to quarters,” said I gradually melted away and disap-"the gallant youngster never miss- peared. De Walden was nowhere ed muster yet-desire them to beat to be found. I looked back towards to quarters, Mr Marline.”

the dark estuary we had left. The “Ay, ay, sir," responded the mid- sky in the background was heavy, shipman. All hands turned out black, and surcharged, as if it bad promptly.

been one vast thundercloud, but the “ Men," said I, “ Mr De Walden is white line of breakers on the bar missing-have any of you seen continued distinctly visible, over him?"

which the heavenly moonlight rain. “No, sir,-none of us have seen bow still hovered, although gradually bim since the strange schooner fading, and even as I looked it ceased struck."

to be distinguishable. Asitdisappear. “ Have you overhauled the mid- ed and melted into the surrounding shipmen's berth, Mr Marline ?" blackness, even so vanished all hope " Yes, sir."

from my mind of young De Walden's “ The whole ship has been search- safety, and remembering the poor ed,” said little Binnacle, who bad boy's last words—“A good omen! just returned from below, “ cable- said I, “ Alas, alas, an eril one it hath tier, hold, and all. The boatswain been to thee, poor boy!" and carpenter have been all over “Call the watch, boatswain's mate," her. The gunner has even looked and without speaking a word more, into the magazine. Mr De Walden old Davie and I descended to the is not on board, sir.”

cabin again. “ Poo, there he is at the mast- " What saw you aloft, Benjie?" head there,” said I; for as I looked said Spraw). up I distinctly saw a dark figure I told him. standing on the long-yard, with one • I know it is all downright nonhand holding on by a backstay, sense- there was no one aloft, and while with the other it pointed up. I am persuaded it was all a deluwarde into the pure sky. I was in sion, still ”. a towering passion.

« Come down,

“Oh, nonsense,” said Davie-*canMr De Walden-come down, sir not be--you are overfatigued, manwhat is the fun of all this-why, you will laugh at all this to-morrowyour absence has put the whole but poor young De Walden-he must ship in a fuss-we thought you had have fallen overboard when we drove fallen overboard.” The dark object the Don on the reef-God help us remained stock-still." What can what a melancholy report we sball the captaip seep" passed amongst have to make to Sir Oliver-but give

us some grog, Brail, and I will lie the dark sea pale and sickly, as a down on the locker till daylight.” lamp whose oil had failed. She look

I was bewildered-my mind from ed as if she would have dropped at my early youth was tinged with once into the ocean, and the feeble superstition, but, nevertheless, what wake she cast through the ascending could this have been? For four-and- fog was dull and cheerless. There, twenty hours, whatever I might have however, in the very centre of her drank, I had eaten little or nothing, half quenched radiance, lay the noble and I began to perceive that I la frigate, rolling heavily on the long boured under the oppressive effects sea, under her three topsails; now of such a recoil, as one experiences rising distinct and clear against the after having had the folly and au: horizon on the ridge of the dark dacity to get tipsy on unaided swell, and again sinking with the champagne, without having stowed liquid ridge until she disappeared, away a ground tier of wholesome as if the ever heaving waters had solid food ; besides, I now found swallowed her up. All overhead conthat the blow on my head, hard and tinued blue, and cold, and serene. thick as that might be, was begin- “ Mr Marline, bear up, and run ning to tell, for I was aware that my down to her.” pulse was feverish, and I had had " Ay, ay, sir." several attacks of giddiness during And the deadening splash and the evening. I puzzled myself for gushing sound of the felucca's counhalf-an-hour in vain, and after 1 ter, as it came surging down on the raised my head from my hand, by heaving swell

, was soon, but graduwhich time the lamp was flicker. ally, exchanged for the rushing of the ing in the socket, I saw my brother water and buzzing of the foam past lieutenant sound asleep, and worn us, of a vessel rapidly cleaving the out as I was, I soon forgot every billows. thing, and was as fast as he was. As we approached, all remained

I was called at about balf-an-hour quiet and still on board the frigate. before daylight.

We stood on-not a soul seemed to “ We see the commodore, sir, notice us-we crossed her sternabout two miles on the lee-beam,' still all silent, and at length we said Mr Marline, as he stuck his rounded to uuder her lee. We were head into the cabin.

so close that one might have chucked “Very well—I will be on deck pre- a biscuit into her gangway. sently-how is her head ?”

Are you waiting for a boat, Mr " South-west, sir-but the wind is Brail ?” at length said the officer of very light.”

the watch, the old gunner. He retired-and having rigged No, no," I replied, “I will be on with an expedition unknown to all board presently." mankind, barring a sailor or a mon- Sprawl was roused out, and in a key, I went on deck.

few seconds we were in our own It was now four in the morning, tiny skiff, and approaching the frithere were clouds in the sky, but gate. All continued dark and dismal, very little wind.

In the east, all as we looked up at her black hull, was clear-the morning star had al- and dark sails, and tall spars. She ready slipt her moorings, and was was rolling heavily, the masts and several degrees abore the horizon, spars groaning, and the bulkheads against which the rolling swell rose creaking and screaming, and the and sank with startling distinctness, topsails fluttering and grumbling, as black as ink, except where the until the noise, every now and glorious planet cast a tiny wake on then, ended in a sounding thump, it, and glittered in a small line of as if the old ship, in all her parts, silver light;-underneath, as a back- were giving audible indications of ground, the glow of the advancing her impatience of the tedious calm; sun gradually tinged the sky and while her canvass appeared to be as every shred of clouds with a crim. heavy as if a wetting shower bad just son flush.

poured down. We approached, and On the other hand, when we look as the man in the bow stuck his boated down to leeward, far in the steamy hook into the old lady's side to fend west, the declining moon hung over off, the sidesman handed us the man.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »