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shed his baneful influences over Siasconset, and strait-coated Sectari. anism has never approached within sound of its breakers. The tinkling of a piano has never been heard within its borders, and the hissing of steam has never marred the hoarse melody of its waters. But the hilarious music of happy hearts is often heard there, and the gentle whispers of heart-subduing voices. And too often the thrilling cry of drowning wretches has been borne on the midnight blast ; for many noble ships have been wrecked upon its rips, without one soul being left to tell the story of their disaster. And the shore has not unfrequently been lined with costly goods, and lifeless bodies, while the vessel that once bore them has been entirely beaten to pieces and swallowed up in a night. And once the waters around were crimsoned with human blood, and the echoes of the solitary cliffs were awakened by sounds never heard there before; the clashing of swords, the reports of cannon, and the fierce cry of men engaged in mortal combat. It was near the close of the last war, when the privateer Neufchàtel, lying within a very short distance of the shore, was attacked by the boats of the Endymion frigate. Of one hundred and forty men, including the first lieutenant of the ship, that manned the barges, only fourteen returned alive.
But the chief glory of Siasconset, and what serves to embalm it in the memories of all those who visit it, is neither its solitary grandeur, its unique customs, nor the charms of its society, but its fish. To appreciate them, they must be eaten. To describe an elegant woman, a beautiful picture, or a fine landscape, would be an easy task; but to give a correct idea of a 'soused chowder,' would baffle the readiest pen,
or the warmest imagination. No doubt many lovers of good things would think it a lucky chance if they could sip a cup of young hyson with the moon's first cousin, his highness of china; or sup with an unbreeched Gaucho, in the Banda Oriental, off a Pampa bull roasted whole, and undivested of his hide and horns; or breakfast at Mackinac on a lake trout, which they had watched dying and broiling upon the hot embers in an Indian wigwam; or to dine at the Rocher de Cancale, on turbot à la créme; or they may have feasted in imagination with Didius Julianus, or with Varius Heliogabalus on shrimps and sausages, cooked according to the receipt of the latter emperor; or have partaken of one of the men-fed fish from the pond of Vedius Pollio, at a déjeunner à la fourchette ; or have eaten cow-heel in their dreams with Glaucus Lorrensis; I am persuaded that no one who has ever eaten fried tongues and sounds' at Siasconset, can ever long for any other dish, unless it be a codfish chowder, served up at the same place. Indeed, if one were called upon to decide between the two dishes, he would be placed in a most puzzling predicament; it would be like asking a mother which of her children she would be willing to give up. They pretend to make chowder in other parts of the Bay State ; and I have tasted a villanous compound, even on the sea-coast of New Hampshire and Maine, that was dignified by the name; but it was an insult to the noblest of the finny tribe to serve one of them up in such style. Every body has read, or heard, of the tragic end of the illustrious Vatel, who ran himself through the body with his sword, because the sea-fish that he expected to serve up for the dinner of his royal master did not arrive in season. And doubtless many thoughtless people have looked upon the too sensitive cook as a fool,
or at best as having fallen a sacrifice to a false principle of honor. But I could never look upon the martyrdom of the unfortunate Frenchman in such a light. Taking it for granted that the fish he expected was a cod, and that the dish he intended to make of it was chowder, I do not see that any other method of expressing his chagrin could have been adequate to the occasion. He certainly did right to fall upon his sword. But how melancholy to reflect, that while the heroic artist was breathing his last breath, whole cart loads of marée were arriving from every sea-port in France, whence he had ordered it for fear of disappointment. His feelings were no doubt well understood and appreciated by his royal master; for Madame Sévigné, in her letter to Madame Grignan, says he was much praised, and his courage was lauded as well as blamed.
There are other kinds of fish, beside cod, caught at Siasconset ; but the sojourners at that fascinating spot, like the emperor Geta, have their fish served up in alphabetical order; and it so happens that they never get beyond the third letter. It would literally be descending too far, to go below c. The chromatic scale of their culinary conceptions cannot go beyond cod. But the charmed circle of their appetite is by no means a narrow one. First comes chowder, then fried tongues and sounds, then fried cheeks, next corned cod, then boiled sounds, and lastly dried cod. Who would ever wish to leave such a round of enjoyment! What were the lampreys of Julius Cæsar, compared with the cod-fish of Siasconset !
These delightful fish are taken with hook and line in boats, peculiarly constructed for riding on the breakers, about a mile from the shore. It requires great skill and address to land the boats safely on the beach; and it frequently happens that they are swamped in the attempt, and the fruits of a day's labor and peril are lost. But so accustomed are the fishermen to diving in the surf, that it rarely happens that one of them is drowned. In landing, as soon as the boat touches the shore, the crew leap out, and catching her by the gun• wales, drag her up high and dry out of the reach of the returning breaker. The fish are immediately thrown out upon the beach, when some bare-footed urchin, or bare-armed damsel, without question or hindrance, claps an eye and a hand upon the largest and finest looking one of the fare, and darts up the steep'bank with surprising alacrity. The fish is cleaned and thrust into the pot which has been hanging over the fire, with its pork and onions all in readiness, in an incredible short space of time ; and if you are a looker-on, you begin lo feel longings within you that would be wholly insupportable, were it not for the prospect of their speedy gratification. The keen bracing air ; the pure limpid water ; the exercise upon the beach; the simple joyousness of all around you; all tend to whet up the appetite to such a degree, that you feel that the coarsest food would be eaten with the liveliest zest imaginable; but when the additional stimulus of the aroma arising from a pot of chowder is given, your appetite becomes a phrenzy, and you seize a spoon and abandon your self to the gratification of your desires, with a recklessness and utter regardlessness of the whole world, and every thing it contains, except the tureen before you, which you can never feel at any other
place, nor upon any other occasion. When
leave Siasconset, it is with regret : it becomes petrified in your memory; and although you may have travelled the world over, you never forget that you have been there; and when you are asked whether you have or not, you promptly reply, yes,' and add that you mean to go there again.
BY H. T. TNCKERMAN, ESQ., AUTHOR OF THE ITALIAN SKETCH-BOOK.'
With what a calm and hopeful grace come forth
Now that the last breeze of another year
Revoke the ravishments of music born,
The charm that lured thee, as thou loitered far
What though the world is cold, so thou canst steal
Recall those moments whose concentrate span
Such are the mysteries that circle life!
Whether Leyden was constructed originally upon the site of the ancient Lugdunium Batavorum, or only near it, is a matter of dispute among the Hollanders. The present city, however, dates back its origin to the time of the invasion of the Normans, who plundered and destroyed Lugdunium and Forum Adriani, in consequence of which the inhabitants of these places removed their habitations to the shelter of the Burg, or ancient castle, which still towers above the city. This monument of other days consists of an artificial hill, or mound, of considerable height, whose summit is levelled, and enclosed within a lofty embattled wall, of great strength and thickness. To ascend this hill, which is now environed by houses at its base, but is uncovered from them up to the old walls, you enter a low building which is used as a tavern, and pass through into the garden behind it, where you find a flight of stone steps leading up to the castle. Ascending the glacis, you gain a perfect idea of the construction of the Burg itself, and enjoy a beautiful prospect over Leyden and the whole of the surrounding country. Most of the wall is evidently of comparatively modern work; but it is built precisely in the place and form of the old one, as appears from the fragments of the latter which still remain entire, and are distinguishable by the great size and irregular form of the bricks. It would seem that the Saxons, to whom the structure is ascribed, did not take pains to make their bricks all of the same size or shape; but left this in part to chance or caprice, adapting them together as they would unhammered stones. From this elevated position, you distinctly perceive the sand-hills of Katwyk, the Haarlem-meer, and a multitude of villages sprinkled over the populous region of the Rhynland. In Leyden itself the close wall of buildings prevents your seeing objects with so much discrimination as you otherwise would ; but among many buildings which strike the eye, you cannot fail to admire the steeples of the Stadhuis and of the Church of St. Pancras. Descending from the covered
way, I entered the area within the castle walls, which is now planted with a grove of trees, but formerly contained a kind of labyrinth. The large deep well of the castle still remains.
Around this fortress, in the progress of time, the city as we now see it was gradually built. It is traversed by the Rhine and four other small rivers, while many canals branch off into the streets, having stone bridges, to the number of about one hundred and fifty, to unite the opposite sides of the canals and rivers. A broad and deep canal surrounds the whole city as a fosse, within which are the ramparts, no longer bristling with cannon, or manned with armed citizens, but formed into beautiful wooded promenades, of the most picturesque appearance. Of the streets of Leyden, that called the Rapenburg is greatly celebrated, as well for its intrinsic beauty, as for the public disaster of which it was the scene in 1807. Previous