Page images

calling to mind what had occurred; “but, Mary, he is a fine young man, and a goodhearted, clever fellow to boot; and when you do know him, you will like him very much." As I said this, I heard her father coming up stairs; he came in high good-humour with his interview with Captain Turnbull, called for his

pipe and pot, and was excessively fluent upon "human natur."


"The feast of reason and the flow of soul"-Stapleton, on human nature, proves the former; the Domine, in his melting mood, the latter-Sall's shoe particularly noted, and the true "reading made easy" of a mind at ease, by old Tom.

THE afternoon of the next day I heard a wellknown voice, which carolled forth, as Mary huddled up her books, and put them out of the way; for at that time I was, as usual, giving her a lesson.

And many strange sights I've seen,
And long I've been a rover,

And every where I've been,

But now the wars are over.

I've been across the line,

Where the sun will burn your nose off,
And I've been in northern climes,

Where the frost would bite your toes off.
Fal de ral, fal de ral, fal de ral de liddy."

"Heave a-head, Tom, and let me stump up at my leisure. It's like warping 'gainst wind and tide with me-and I gets up about as fast as lawyers go to heaven.”

I thought when Tom came up first, that he had been at unusual trouble in setting off his person, and certainly a better-looking, frank, open, merry countenance, was seldom to be seen. In person he was about an inch taller than I, athletic, and well formed. He made up to Mary, who, perceiving his impatience, and either to check him before me, or else from her usual feeling of coquetry, received him rather distantly, and went up to old Tom, with whom she shook hands warmly.

"Whew! what's in the wind now, Jacob ?

Why, we parted the best friends in the world,” said Tom, looking at Mary.

"Sheer off yourself, Tom," replied I laughing; "and you'll see that she'll come to again."

"Oh, oh! so the wind's in that quarter, is it ?" replied Tom; "with all my heart-I can show false colours as well as she can. But I say, Jacob, before I begin my manœuvres, tell me if you wish me to hoist the neutral flag— for I won't interfere with you."

"Here's my hand upon it, Tom, that the coast is clear, as far as I'm concerned; but take care-she's a clipper, and not unlikely to slip through your fingers, even when you have her under your lee, within hail."

"Let me alone, Jacob, for that."

"And more, Tom, when you're in possession of her, she will require a good man at the helm." "Then she's just the craft after my fancy. I hate your steady, slow-sailing craft, that will

steer themselves, almost; give me one that requires to be managed by a man and a seaman.'

[ocr errors]

“If well manned, she will do any thing, depend upon it, Tom, for she's as sound below as possible; and although she's down to her bearings on the puff of the moment, yet she'd not careen further."


Well, then, Jacob, all's right; and now you've told me what tack she's on, see if I don't shape a course to cut her off."


Well, Jacob, my good boy, so you've been under the water again; I thought you had enough of it when Fleming gave you such a twist; but, however, this time you went to sarve a friend, which was all right. My sarvice to you, Mr. Stapleton," continued old Tom,

as Stapleton made his appearance,

talking to Jacob about his last dive."

"I was

"Nothing but human natur," replied Stapleton.

« PreviousContinue »