« AnteriorContinua »
in the case of a sulky dog of a breed be- gether; nor did the dog return to the tween the red Irish setter and something call of his master, who, after whistling to larger, but less patrician, upon whom the him for a short time, proceeded on his thirst for blood tell at uncertain intervals, way and drove home without him. Earimpelling him then to devastate the very ly next morning the cur made his appearsheepfolds of which in his capacity as ance, glutted and gory, and looking the watch-dog he might have been consider- very picture of dissipation. Struck by ed as ex officio the guardian. This vile his appearance, they took the back track malefactor had been ordered for execu- on his trail, which led them to a hollow tion, and the noose was already coiled in the bush, where the snow was much for bis caitiff' neck, when a neighbor of trampled and draggled with blood, and his master's - a great raiser of sheep - in and around which every one of the begged for him a reprieve, kindly volun- nine deer lay dead, pulled down and teering the use of a truculent, but valua- throttled by one miserable cur, who had ble ram belonging to him, for the pur- the mastery over them, because he could pose of illustrating the homeopathic theo- run on the surface of the snow, through ry above alluded to. At nightfall the ram which they sunk. The dog's master — at was brought and turned into a paddock, whose shanty I once stayed when on a where he was left fettered to the dog fishing-excursion—was much mortified at with a couple of yards of chain. At the the occurrence, as the deer-hunting seadawn of morning the ram's master ap- son was past, and he was one of Nature's proached confidently the arena of disci
sportsmen, a game-keeper by instinct. pline, secure of a result triumphant for I have but one more anecdote of a his theory. But theory was a delusion
dog, for the present; and that is one for in this instance ; for the red dog Tanner the truth of which I distinctly decline sat there alone and surfeited with mutton, to vouch. It was imparted to me by - though there was a good deal of the a calker, who owned a woolly French ram still left.
poodle, which remarkable animal, he inIt is wonderful what an amount of formed me, used to swim out regularly crime can be committed, even by a small once a week, - on Saturday evenings, I dog, when, like the Chourineur of Eu- think he said, — with a large wisp of tow gene Sue, he is under the glamour of in his mouth, upon the ascension of his blood. Of this there came to my knowl- fleas into which place of refuge, he would edge a well-authenticated instance, one "let it slide" down the current and swim for the truth of which I can vouch. A back tranquilly to the shore, there to settler in a remote bush-district had been slumber away another week in comparato the nearest village, which was many tive comfort.* miles from his clearing. It was in March, Having thus calked my Dog-Talk and the surface of the snow which was bark, in fact — with this very tough bit quite two feet deep-- was frozen to a of yarn, I now trustfully commit it to the hard crust, as he travelled homewards mercies of the “ Atlantic.” in his cutter, accompanied by a currish dog, not nearly so large as an average
* The calker's dog had probably never read
Olaus Magnus, though that worthy Archbishpointer. About nightfall, and when some
op wrote something very like dog-Latin; but, two miles from home, a herd of nine deer
as dwellers on the margin of the “ Atlantic," crossed his track, struggling away into we have too great a respect for a prelate who the woods with uncertain plunges, as the
believed in the kraaken and the sea-serpent, treacherous crust gave way beneath them
not to refer our valued Cynophilist to the at every bound. While they were yet
Thirty-Ninth Chapter of the Eighteenth Book
De Gentibus Septentrionalibus, where he will in sight, the dog gave chase, and they find the same story told of the fox. — Eils. Atall disappeared into the dark forest to- lantic.
Your thought may recur with mine
To a certain place in the city,
If not, why, the more's the pity !
Did you notice the delicate way
Whereby, with the trencher and cup,
In a counter laid blank side up?
Now,—not to pervert the intent
Of a courtesy gentle and rare,
With disparaging things to compare,
By the token your messenger brings,
Did such services never suggest
Of the world, and the flesh, and — the rest ?
Command whatsoever you will,
To pamper your folly or pride;
The counter is laid beside,
Silently, — seemingly fair,
Till an angel the disk shall turn,
On her vision shall burst and burn !
A TRIP TO CUBA.
over the body. They seem to be objects
of tender solicitude to those who carry A not and dusty journey of some six them; they are nursed and fondled like hours brought us to Matanzas at high children, and at intervals are visited all
Our companions were Cubans, round by a negro, who fills his mouth Spaniards, Americans, and game-chick- with water, and squirts it into their eyes ens, that travel extensively in these parts, and under their feathers. They are cusometimes in little baskets, with openings riously plucked on the back and about for the head and tail, sometimes in the the tail, where only the long tail-feathers hands of their owners, secured only by a are allowed to grow. Their tameness in string fastened to one foot and passed the hands of their masters is quite remarkable; they suffer themselves to be think that Polonius lies unburied in evturned and held in any direction. But ery house, and that you nose him as when set down, at any stage of the jour- you pass the door and window-gratings. ney, they stamp their little feet, stretch With this exclamation and remembrance, their necks, crow, and look about them you lower yourself into one of Mr. Enfor the other cock with most belligerent sor's rocking-chairs,— twelve of which, eyes. As we have said that the negro with a rickety table and a piano, four of the North is an ideal negro, so we crimson tidies and six white ones, form must say that the game-cock of Cuba the furniture of the Ensor drawing-room, is an ideal chicken, a fowl that is too
head on your hand, good to be killed, - clever enough to close your eyes, and wish for a comfortfight for people who are too indolent able room with a bed in it. A tolerand perhaps too cowardly to fight for able room you shall have; but for a bed, themselves,-in short, the gladiator of only a cot-bedstead with a sacking botthe tropics.
tom,— further, nothing. Now, if you are Well, as we have said, we and they some folks that I know, you will be able arrived at our journey's end in the ex- to establish very comfortable repose on treme heat of the day; and having shown this slender foundation, Nature having our paper and demanded our trunks, we so amply furnished you that you are beat an instantaneous retreat before the
your own feather-bed, bolster, sofa-cushvictorious monarch of the skies, and lo! ion, and easy-chair, a moving mass of upthe Ensor House, dirty, bare, and com- holstery, wanting only a frame to be set fortless, was to us as a fortress and a down in and supported. But if you rock of defence.
should be one of Boston's normal skeleHere I would gladly pause, and, giving tons, pinched in every member with dysvent to my feelings, say how lovely I pepsia, and with the mark of the beast found Matanzas. But ever since Byron's neuralgia on your forehead, then your time, the author is always hearing the skin will have a weary time of it, holding public say, “ Don't be poetical,” etc., etc.; your bones, and you will be fain to enand in these days both writer and reader treat with tears the merciful mediation seem to have discovered that life is too of a mattress. short for long descriptions,--so that, when Now I know very well that those of the pen of a G. P. R. James, waiting for my readers who intend visiting Cuba will the inspirations of its master, has amused be much more interested in statistics of itself with sketching a greater or less ex- hotels than in any speculations, poetical tent of natural scenery, the rule of the or philosophical, with which I might be novel-reader is invariably, “ Skip land- glad to recompense their patience. Let scape, etc., to event on thirty-second me tell them, therefore, that the Ensor page.” Nevertheless, I will say that Ma- House is neither better nor worse than tanzas is lovely, - with the fair harbor other American hotels in Cuba. The on one hand and the fair hills on the rooms are not very bad, the attendance other, sitting like a mother between two not intolerable, the table almost combeautiful daughters, who looks from one mendable. The tripe, salt-fish, and planto the other and wonders which she loves tains were, methought, much as at other best. The air from the water is cool places. There were stews of meat, onand refreshing, the sky is clear and open, ions, sweet pippins, and ochra, which deand the country around seems to beckon serve notice. The early coffee was puncone to the green bosom of its shades. tual; the tea, for a wonder, black and “Oh, what a relief after Havana!” one hot. True, it was served on a bare pine says, drawing a full breath, and remem- table, with the accompaniment only of a bering with a shudder the sickening puffs bit of dry bread, - no butter, cake, nor from its stirring streets, which make you dulces. But Mr. Ensor has heard, no
doubt, that sweet things are unwhole- cup with thanks. A loud noise, as of some, and is determined, at whatever cost cracking of whips and of hurrahs, guides to his own feelings, to keep them out of you to the sugar-mill, where the crushing the way of his guests, who are, for the of the cane goes on in the jolliest fashion. time, his children. Then there is an The building is octagonal and open. Its excellent English servant called John, chief feature is a very large horizontal whom, though the fair Ensor did berate wheel, which turns the smaller ones that him, we must enumerate among the com- grind the cane. Upon this are mounted forts of the establishment. There is a six horses, driven by as many slaves, dark corner about volantes, which they male and female, whose exertions send are disposed to order for you at a very the wheel round with sufficient rapidity. unreasonable profit; but as there are This is really a novel and picturesque plenty of livery stables at hand, and sight. Each negro is armed with a short street volantes passing all the time, it will whip, and their attitudes, as they stand, be your own fault, if you pay six dollars well-balanced on the revolving wheel, where you ought to pay three.
are rather striking. They were liberal The first thing to be done at Matanzas of blows and of objurgations to the horses; is to drive out and see the Cumbre, a but all their cries and whipping produced hill in the neighborhood, and from it the scarcely a tenth of the labor so silently valley of the Yumori. The road is an performed by the invisible, noiseless slave improvement on those already describ- that works the steam-engine. From this ed,- the ruts being much deeper and the we wandered about the avenues, plantrocks much larger; the jolting is altogeth- ed with palms, cocoas, and manifold fruiter more complete and effective. Still, trees,- visited the sugar-fields, where you remember the doctrine that the vo- many slaves were cutting the canes and lante cannot upset, and this blind faith to piling them on enormous ox-carts, and which you cling carries you through tri- came at last to a great, open field, where umphantly. The Cumbre is lofty, the many head of cattle were quietly standview extensive, and the valley lovely, of ing. Our negro guide had not been very a soft, light green, like the early leaves
lavish or intelligible in his answers to and grass of spring, dotted everywhere our numerous questions. We asked him with the palms and their dark clusters. about these cattle. “ Dey cows," he reIt opens far, far down at your feet, and plied. We asked if they gave milk, and on your left you see the harbor quiet if butter was made on the plantation. and bright in the afternoon sun, with a IIe seemed quite puzzled and confused, cheering display of masts and pennons. and finally exclaimed,—“Dat cows no You would look and linger long, but that got none wife.” Coming nearer, we the light will wane, and you are on your found that the cows were draught oxway to Jenks his sugar-plantation, the en, employed in dragging the canes only one within convenient distance of and other produce of the plantation. the town. Here the people are obvious- Jenks his garden we found in good orly accustomed to receive visitors, and are der, and beautiful with many plants in decently, not superfluously, civil. The full blossom; but Jenks his house seemed major-domo hands you over to a negro dreary and desolate, with no books, a who speaks English, and who salutes you wretched print or so, dilapidated furniat once with, “ Good-bye, Sir!” The ture, and beds that looked like the very boiling here is conducted in one huge, essence of nightmare. Nothing suggestopen vat. A cup and saucer are brought ed domestic life or social enjoyment, or for you to taste the juice, which is dipped anything -; but as Jenks is perfectly out of the boiling vat for your service. It unknown to us, either by appearance or is very like balm-tea, unduly sweetened; reputation, we give only a guess in the and after a hot sip or so you return the dark, and would suggest, in case it may
displease him, that he should refurnish ed. In this status things remain until and repaint a little, and diffuse an air the music of the regiment is heard. With of cheerfulness over his solitary villa, re- a martial sound of trumpets it enters the membering that Americans have imagi- church, and fills the aisles, the officers nations, and that visitors will be very apt taking place within the chancel, and a to construct an unknown host from his
guard-of-honor of eight soldiers ranging surroundings.
on either side of the officiating priest. The second thing to be done in Ma- And now our devotions begin in good tanzas, if you arrive on Saturday, is to earnest; for, simultaneously with the reg. attend military mass at the Cathedral on iment, the jeunesse dorée of Matanzas bas Sunday morning. This commences at made its appearance, and has spread iteight o'clock; but the hour previous may self along the two long lines of demarbe advantageously employed in watching cation which separate the fair penitents the arrival and arrangement of the fe- from the rest of the congregation. The male aristocracy of Matanzas. These ladies now spread their flounces again, enter in groups of twos and threes, car- and their
eyes find other occupation than rying their prayer-books, and followed the dreary Latin of their missals. There by slaves of either sex, who bear the is, so to speak, a lively and refreshing prayer-carpet of their mistresses. The time between the youths of both sexes, ladies are wonderfully got up, consider- while the band plays its utmost, and ing the early hour; and their toilettes Evangel, Kyrie, and Credo are recited suggest that they may not have undress- to the music of Trovatore and Traviata. ed since the ball of the night before. All That child of four years old, dressed in that hoops, powder, and puffery can do white and gold flounces, and white satin for them has been done; they walk in silk boots with heels, handles her veil and attire, and their hair is what is technical- uses her eyes like mamma, eager for noly terined dressed. Some of them bring tice, and delighted with the gay music their children, bedizened like dolls, and and uniforms. The moment comes to mimicking mamma's gestures and genu- elevate the Host, thump goes the drum, flexion in a manner more provoking to the guard presents arms, and the solsadness than to satire. If the dressing diers, instead of kneeling, bend forward, is elaborate, the crossing is also. It does in a most uncomfortable manner. Anothnot consist of one simple cross, “in nom- er thump, and all that is over; the swords ine Patris,” etc.; they seem to make three are returned to their sheaths, and soon, or four crosses from forehead to chin, and the loud music coming to an end, the regconclude by kissing the thumb-nail, in iment marches out of church, very much honor of what we could not imagine. as it marched in, its devotional expeEntering the middle aisle, which is di- riences being known to Heaven alone. vided from the rest by a row of seats on Ladies and lovers look their last, the either side, they choose their position, tounces rise in pyramids, the prayerand motion to the dark attendant to carpets are rolled up, and, with a silkspread the carpet. Some of them evince en sweep and rush, Youth, Beauty, and considerable strategic skill in the selec- Fashion forsake the church, where Piety tion of their ground. All being now has hardly been, and go home to breakin readiness, they drop on their knees, fast. To that comfortable meal you alspread their flounces, cross themselves, so betake yourself, musing on the small open their books, and look about them. heads and villanous low foreheads of the Their attendants retire a little, spread a Spanish soldiery, and wondering how handkerchief on the ground, and modest- long it would take a handful of resoly kneel behind them, obviously expect- lute Yankees to knock them all into ing to be saved with the family. These But you are not a filibuster, you are neatly, sometimes handsomely dress- know.