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heroes and heroines a wilder dance than ever; and yet all through it ran that same convincing air of honesty and earnestness that had marked his first work. He got the characters into the most extraordinary situations, put them through the most surprising performances, and made them talk the strangest talk! But the chapter cannot be described. It was symmetrically crazy; it was artistically absurd; and it had explanatory foot-notes that were fully as curious as the text. I remember one of the “situations,” and will offer it as an example of the whole. He altered the character of the brilliant lawyer, and made him a great-hearted, splendid fellow; gave him fame and riches, and set his age at thirty-three years. Then he made the blonde discover, through the help of the Rosicrucian and the melodramatic miscreant, that while the Duke loved her money ardently and wanted it, he secretly felt a sort of leaning toward the society-young-lady. Stung to the quick, she tore her affections from him and bestowed them with tenfold power upon the lawyer, who responded with consuming zeal.
But the parents would none of it. What they wanted in the family was a Duke ; and a Duke they were determined to have; though they confessed that next to the Duke the lawyer had their preference. Necessarily the blonde now went into a decline. The parents were alarmed. They pleaded with her to marry the Duke, but she steadfastly refused, and pined on. Then they laid a plan. They told her to wait a year and a day, and if at the end of that time she still felt that she could not marry the Duke, she might marry the lawyer with their full consent. The result was as they had foreseen: gladness came again, and the flush of returning health. Then the parents took the next step in their scheme. They had the family physician recommend a long sea voyage and much land travel for the thorough restoration of the blonde's strength; and they invited the Duke to be of the party. They judged that the Duke's constant presence and the lawyer's protracted absence would do the rest-for they did not invite the lawyer.
So they set sail in a steamer for America—and the third day out, when their sea-sickness called truce and permitted them to take their first meal at the public table, behold there sat the lawyer! The Duke and party made the best of an awkward
situation; the voyage progressed, and the vessel neared America. But, by-and-by, two hundred miles off New Bedford, the ship took fire; she burned to the water's edge ; of all her crew and passengers only thirty were saved. They floated about the sea half an afternoon and all night long. Among them were our friends. The lawyer, by superhuman exertions, had saved the blonde and her parents, swimming back and forth two hundred yards and bringing one each time (the girl first). The Duke had saved himself. In the morning two whale ships arrived on the scene and sent their boats. The weather was stormy and the embarkation was attended with much confusion and excitement. The lawyer did his duty like a man; helped his exhausted and insensible blonde, her parents, and some others, into a boat (the Duke helped himself in); then a child fell overboard at the other end of the raft, and the lawyer rushed thither and helped half a dozen people fish it out, under the stimulus of its mother's
Then he ran back-a few seconds too late--the blonde's boat was under way. So he had to take the other boat, and go to the other ship. The storm increased and drove the vessels out of sight of each other—drove them whither it would. When it calmed, at the end of three days, the blonde's ship was seven hundred miles north of Boston and the other about seven hundred south of that port. The blonde's captain was bound on a whaling cruise in the North Atlantic, and could not go back such a distance
a or make a port without orders; such being nautical law. The lawyer's captain was to cruise in the North Pacific, and he could not go back or make a port without orders. All the lawyer's money and baggage were in the blonde's boat and went to the blonde's ship-so his captain made him work his passage as a common sailor. When both ships had been cruising nearly a year, the one was off the coast of Greenland and the other in Behring's Strait. The blonde had long ago been well-nigh persuaded that her lawyer had been washed overboard and lost just before the whale ships reached the raft, and now, under the pleadings of her parents and the Duke, she was at last beginning to nerve herself for the doom of the covenant, and prepare for the hated marriage. But she would not yield a day before the date set. The weeks dragged on, the time narrowed, orders were given to deck the ship
for the wedding—a wedding at sea among icebergs and walruses. Five days more and all would be over. So the blonde reflected, with a sigh and a tear. Oh, where was her true love—and why, why did he not come and save her? At that moment he was lifting his harpoon to strike a whale in Behring's Strait, five thousand miles away, by the way of the Arctic Ocean, or twenty thousand by the way of the Horn—that was the reason. He struck, but not with perfect aim-his foot slipped and he fell in the whale's mouth and went down his throat. He was insensible five days. Then he came to himself and heard voices; daylight was streaming through a hole cut in the whale's roof. He climbed out and astonished the sailors who were hoisting blubber up a ship's side. nised the vessel, flew aboard, surprised the wedding party at the altar, and exclaimed :
“Stop the proceedings—I'm here! Come to my arms, my own!”
There were foot-notes to this extravagant piece of literature wherein the author endeavoured to show that the whole thing was within the possibilities; he said he got the incident of the whale travelling from Behring's Strait to the coast of Greenland, five thousand miles in five days, through the Arctic Ocean, from Charles Reade's “Love Me Little Love Me Long,” and considered that that established the fact that the thing could be done; and he instanced Jonah's adventure as proof that a man could live in a whale's belly, and added that if a preacher could stand it three days a lawyer could surely stand it five !
There was a fiercer storm than ever in the editorial sanctum now, and the stranger was peremptorily discharged, and his manuscript flung at his head. But he had already delayed things so much that there was not time for some one else to rewrite the chapter, and so the paper came out without any novel in it. It was but a feeble, struggling, stupid journal, and the absence of the novel probably shook public confidence ; at any rate, before the first side of the next issue went to press, the Weekly Occidental died as peacefully as an infant.
THE AGED PILOT MAN.
On the Erie Canal, it was,
All on a summer's day,
Far away to Albany.
From out the clouds at nou n that day
There came a dreadful storm, That piled the billows high about,
And filled us with alarm.
A man came rushing from a house,
Saying, “Snub up* your boat I pray! Snub up your boat, snub up,
alas! Snub up while yet you may."
Our captain cast one glance astern,
Then forward glanced he,
I never more shall see."
Said Dollinger the pilot man,
In noble words, but few“Fear not, but lean on Dollinger,
And he will fetch you through.”
The boat drove on, the frightened mules
Tore through the rain and wind, And bravely still in danger's post,
The whip-boy strode behind.
“Come 'board, come 'board,” the captain cried,
“Nor tempt so wild a storm;" But still the raging mules advanced,
And still the boy strode on.
* The customary canal technicality for “tie up."
Then said the captain to us all,
“Alas, 'tis plain to me, The greater danger is not there,
But here upon the sea.
So let us strive, while life remains,
To save all souls on board, And then if die at last we must,
. I cannot speak the word !"
Said Dollinger the pilot man,
Tow'ring above the crew, "Fear not, but trust in Dollinger,
And he will fetch you through.”
"Low bridge ! low bridge !" all heads went down,
The labouring bark sped on;
Hamlets, and fields of corn;
And chased along the shore,
Crying, "Alas, alas, the sheeted rain,
The wind, the tempest's roar! Alas, the gallant ship and crew,
Can nothing help them more ?"
And from our deck sad eyes looked out
Across the stormy scene :
The bending forests green,
The chickens sheltered under carts,
In lee of barn the cows,
The wild spray from our bows !