Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV >> Page 32

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 32 SOUTHWARD 110
hear broken speeches from their lips which show their memories
still busy with yesterday's feast, or their anticipations preparing
for that of the morrow. The steward and cook aboard-ship are
the first persons whose acquaintance they make. These they
bribe with shillings and civilities. You will scarcely open your
egos in the morning, ere you will see these hail fellows" with
toast and tankard in their clutches ; a bowl of coffee and a .crack-
er is the initial appetizer, with possibly a tass of brandy in the
purple beverage, as a lacer. Then you see them hanging about
the breakfast table, where they take care to plant themselves
in the near neighborhood of certain of the choicest dishes. All
their little arrangements are made before you get to the table,
and there will be a clever accumulation of good things about the
plates of these veterans, in the shape of roll and egg, etc., which
would seem destined to remind the proprietor, in: the language
of warning which was spoken daily (though with a far different
object) to the monarch of the Medes and Persians Remem-
ber, thou art mortal."
This is a fact which our veterans of the high seas never forget.
They carry within them a sufficient monitor which ever cries,
like the daughter of the horse-leech, Give ! Give !" They
have no qualms of conscience or of bowels ; and it seems to do
them rare good to behold the qualms of others. It would seem
that they rejoiced in these exhibitions, simply as they are, as-
sured by these, that the larder is destined to no premature in-
vasion on the part of the sufferers.
I have often looked upon this class of travellers not with
envy, Heaven forefend ! -- though it would have rejoiced me fre-
quently, at sea, to have possessed some of their immunities
that rare insensibility, for example, in the regions of diaphragm
And abdomen, which, if unexercised for appetite, might at least
suffer other sensibilities to be free for exercise.
But it has provoked my wonder, if not my admiration, that
inflexible stolidity of nature, which enables the mere mortal so
entirely to obtain the ascendency over the spiritual man. Our
gourmand sees no ocean waste around him follows no tumbling
billows with his eye watches not, with straining eagerness,
where the clouds and the waters descend and rise, as it were in
an embrace of passion. Sunrise only tells him of his coffee and