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from their consequences. This it is that makes us often part from our friends with more kindness than we feel in meeting them.
DOVER — Would be more agreeable were it not associated, in my mind, with lurching steam-packets and qualmy passengers. To
morrow I shall be exposed to a contact with both, which, though of short duration, is nevertheless anything but pleasurable. Misery, it is said, makes us acquainted with strange companions. A steam-packet, I am sure, does; for I have never entered one without beholding a most heterogeneous medley of people, the greater part with countenances indicative of sufferings, actual or prospective,
Heaven defend me from inn beds ! where, stretched on a mattrass harder than board, or sunk in a featherbed breathing not of Araby the blest, one is condemned to count the weary hours of night, praying for day to release one from such discomfort. I see the packet, that is to convey us to Calais, tossing and heaving near the pier—would that the voyage were over!
Calais, 27th. -What a passage! Old Neptune seemed in a passion at our leaving his favourite isle ; and assailed us with sundry waves, so judiciously applied, as to drench several of the pale voyagers, who in revenge returned the visits far more offensively. The sky was gloomy and portentous, and the sea of a dingy leaden green, except when broken by the waves, which came like warriors on white coursers, speeding over its dark surface.
The packet was full, to overflowing; the cabins crowded, and the deck thronged. As I marked the rosy cheeks and crisp curls of many of my fair countrywomen, and the closely buttoned coats and bluff countenances of the men, I was disposed to pity the misery that awaited them. Many of the ladies, and nearly all the males, declared that they never suffered from sea-sickness; but before we had more than half crossed the Channel, they had either disappeared, or were seen leaning over the ship's side intently gazing on the sea.
Various sounds of woe reached my ears, mingled with the hoarse voices of the sailors, and the loud wind that whistled through the sails — and the steward was continually demanded, in tones that betrayed the utter helplessness of those who uttered them. A new-married pair, proceeding to the Continent to spend the honey-moon, and who entered the packet all smiles and love, were amongst the first to yield to the fearful influence of the briny element. The bridegroom had been encouraging the bride, by asserting that he was so used to the sea that he heeded it not; an assurance that seemed very consolatory to her. He sat by her, and supported her waist with his encircling arm, until an ejaculation of “Take me to the cabin, Henry, oh! oh!” broke from the lady. He attempted to assist her to descend to the cabin ; but, alas! before he had moved three paces, he reeled, and crying “Steward, steward,” consigned his bride to the tender mercies of that useful person, who, basin in hand, escorted her below; while her liege lord eased his full breast over the vessel's side.
Husbands left their wives, and lovers their mistresses, when assailed by this disgusting malady. Self-self -alone seemed remembered ; but, in all this exhibition of our natural egotism, mothers, and mothers alone resisted—they, though half dead with sickness, could still think of their children, and forget their own sufferings to alleviate those of their offspring.
What a pitiable sight did the passengers present, when they rushed on deck to leave the ship! Pale faces, languid eyes, parched lips, uncurled locks, bulged bonnets, and rumpled caps, frills, and draperies, were to be seen at every side. The poor bride's smart pink bonnet was shorn of its brightness, and looked nearly as altered and faded as her cheeks ; which, half shaded by her straight dark locks, betrayed the sufferings she had endured. The bridegroom met her with a rueful countenance, declaring that, “ It was very odd, quite unaccountable, that he, who had crossed the sea so often, without being ill, should now have suffered so much !"
I thought she looked reproachfully at him, for having deserted her in this her first trial in wedded life. Ah ! fair lady, it will be well if you have not, hereafter, greater proofs of man's selfishness!
A sea voyage, however short its duration, is a most unfavourable medium for judging mankind; and they who wish to preserve the illusions of love, would do well to eschew this ordeal ; which, like the grave, separates those whom the wily archer has united. It is difficult for a man to believe in the divinity of a beautiful woman, after he has seen her heaving, like a Pythoness, with extended jaws, upturned eyes, and
But for a woman, who, conscious of her own helplessness, relies for succour on the man she loves, what can restore her confidence in his supposed strength and superiority, when she has beheld himoh! degradation of the manly character-overpowered by sickness in its most revolting shape; and heard him uttering sounds that betray at once the internal strife, and his consequent probable oblivion of her very existence !
Oh! the comfort of a French bed ! commend me to its soft and even mattrasses, its light curtains, and genial couvre pied of eider down.
Commend me, also, to a French cuisine, with its soup, sans pepper, its cutlets à la minute, and its poulet au jus, its café à la crême, and its dessert. But defend me from the slamming of French doors, and the shaking of French windows; and, above all, from pye-dishes as substitutes for washing-basins; and from the odours of cigars, with which the clothes of the waiters of all French inns are impregnated,
ROUEN, 28th.– To avoid the uninteresting, and often traversed route of Abbeville, we have taken that of Rouen ; and have been repaid, by passing through a much prettier country, and, above all, by seeing the cathedral.
This is, indeed, a noble pile, and inspires one with a respect for its founders. There is something highly imposing in the sight of such an edifice, with its towers and spire; and all the picturesque decoration of Gothic architecture with which it abounds. They surely must have truly worshipped the Deity, who
took such pains to build a temple for His homage: though persons are not wanting who declare, that such temples owe their foundation less to devotion than to superstition.
The church of St. Ouen is beautiful, and the gorgeous stained glass windows add to its rich effect. We do not sufficiently employ stained glass in our domestic decorations; it being generally objected to on the plea, that our sky is too obscure to admit of our exclusion of any portion of its light. Yet, if instead of staring without impediment at our leaden clouds, their rays
came to us in hues almost as beautiful as those of the prism, this advantage would be more than an equivalent for a slight diminution of their brilliancy.
At the Benedictine Abbey, they showed us a MS. missal, richly ornamented; the adornment of which is said to have employed a monk for thirty years. What a waste of time! yet he who could so pass thirty years, was not likely to make a more judicious use of it.
Nous avons changé tout cela. Who would now give thirty months to a work, unless he was assured of receiving a large remuneration for it, either in gold, or in immediate celebrity? Time is become more valuable; and men are proportionably less disposed to devote more than a limited, and well paid portion of it, to posterity. Posterity ? how few work for it, how few think of it, and how few live for it! Luckily for our generation, we have had a Wellington; and his fame will preserve our times from oblivion,
The Museum at Rouen contains some passable pic.