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From Cape Cod to Dixie and the Tropics.
by Milton Mackie
New York: G. P. Putnam. 1864
THERE is always a second summer in the American year. When the September gales have swept over the woods, and shaken the first leaves of autumn to the ground; when from the gardens the more delicate buds and fragrant blossoms have passed away; when the earlier fruits have ripened and been gathered; when evening begins sooner to draw the curtains of the day, and the sun's horses start later on their morning courses; when the pleasure parties of the season are breaking up, and words of farewell are being said, and over the most buoyant mind a certain pensiveness steals, and regrets fall upon it as from out the autumnal air, then the year, which had begun to withdraw its face, turns again with a parting smile, and kisses its hand to us. Then comes a succession of golden days, when the air is still, and the heavens, slightly veiled
with purple haze, are without a cloud. The autumnal flowers are arrayed in all their glory. The orchards yield, up their red-sided, gold-colored apples for the winter's store. The grapes are turned to purple. The latest pears melt upon the devouring lips, and the last drops of sweetness are being distilled into the yet unplucked peaches. Now the diligent housewife gathers from out the leaves, still green, the yellow, shining quince, and, correcting its tart juices with melted sugar, lays it by for winter tea drinkings. The farmer husks his corn, making the greensward shine with the long, broad line of glittering ears. He piles up, also, the yellow pumpkins, or hangs the squashes against the wail, by their necks. His boys bring home at night the cows from still green and thickly matted meadows, with udders wide distended. The poultry yards are full of cackling, and youthful attempts at chanticleering. Fleets of geese and ducks float down the brooks, or lie moored on the ponds ; and the half-grown turkey cocks gabble, and spread their tails over vast spaces of yard and pasture. This season is the mellowing of the year. In sunny European lands, and beneath sacred Oriental skies, the grapes are now trodden in the winepress ; and even in our own New Jersey, the bounty of nature runs to sweet cider. The earth has put forth her great productive power, and re-
joices as a woman after childbearing; the sun has done his year's work, and ripened all seeds and grains; there is food garnered, up for man and beast; and the great God seems to look down out of heaven upon what He hath wrought, and pronounce it good. It is a season to be enjoyed, as one does old wine. As we bring this out of the cellar on high festal occasions, to celebrate the rite matrimonial, or to honor the anniversary of a birthday, to greet the coming of long-absent friends, and freshen the memories which run far back to days of "auld lang syne;" so this brief second summer of the year should be filled up with unusual joys. Then make a holiday. Then telegraph to your best friend, to come with wife and. child. Let boys and girls be let loose from school, that they may go a-nutting. Let there be picnics in the glens and. on the hillsides. Climb the mountains. Coast the shores. 'Tis the hunter's moon, and you may follow the path of the buck and the doe, or hey on pointer or setter. You see the breaking of day as you go on your way to lie for wild fowl, which, when it is yet dark, fly overhead with whistling wings; while far off is heard the scream of the coming wild geese. Now let the reel hiss, as the line is cast from the rocks for tautog. It is the season, also, for bass fishing. Now let the lover of nature and mushrooms prevent the sun, and.
gather his breakfast with the dew on it. Let all men—all Yankees—eat pumpkin pie. The full moon favors husking by night; and he who finds brindled ears may kiss his partner, though he may no longer drink milk punch, for it is contrary to law. Now is "training " time ; and there will be cakes at the muster for old and young—and, surely, pop beer. Now pack into country wagons, three on a seat. At morning, wind the horn, and let the hounds bay. At night, draw the bow, dance, sing, and make merry, giving God thanks ; for this glorious second summer, called Indian, is given us but for seven days, or it may be ten. Then get quickly out of doors—be off—and caps in the air !
Happy harvest days ! and happily did I spend them, ankle deep in thy golden sands, Cape Cod !
Perhaps I should have done better still to have gone in rough weather. The scene here, doubtless, is more characteristic when nature frowns, than when she smiles. For the Cape is decidedly tragic. Its great mood is when nature is angry, and all her elements are at war. When the east wind is rising out of the sea, and the pine woods begin to sigh for pain; when the ocean, fretted to madness by the gale, lashes the long sandy beaches, and breaks high over the rocks on the shore ; when the drift sand flies like snowflakes, and the whirlwinds, in their
rough play, bear it aloft in the air; when the rain, bursting the clouds, contends in its turn with. both winds and waves, and beats them down; when, in winter, the sharp sleet cuts the air, and the snow-blast shuts out the light of heaven, and night, setting in, adds the terrors of utter darkness to those of the storm, and the signal gun of the East India-man, drifting upon the leeshore—a few hours before so near the wished-for haven—is heard, faintly booming through the uproar of the elements, and vainly calling upon the wrecker, who sits idle by his blazing fireside, pitying the poor souls whose imaginary cries ring in his ears, but whom he cannot save from the jaws of the devouring waves. For no mortal arm can stay the implacable wrath of the Almighty when He bids the sea roar, and engulf in its depths the impious mariner and his ship. Then the traveller, on this long arm of sand vainly stretched, out to embrace the unwilling, untamable, ocean, and marry it in loving wedlock to the land, sees and feels what Cape Cod is. With awe he hears the sublime moaning of the long, flat beaches, and the more angry resounding of the coast, where it is bolder, and rocky. The north shore answers with its uproar to the uproar of the south. As, at sea, the wind whistles and sings in the cordage of the scudding ship to the deep bass of the roaring waves, so, here, the
howling of the winds among the branches of the oaks, and the loud lament of the pine woods, are added to the bellowing of the strands. How weak does man appear when tossed on these waves ! Yet how strong, when, in his snug cot on the shore, he sits reading by the unflickering candle, and heeds not either the outcries of nature or the wrath of God !
But, at the period of my visit, the stormy Cape was lying as calm and placid in the midst of the sea, as, in midsummer, rise the round tops of the Alleghanies in the untroubled southern heavens. The sun looked with warm, enamored beams upon the bosom of the earth; the winds lay reposing in the depths of the pine woods, scarcely breathing audibly ; and the tired waves slept on the shore. At evening, as the full, round moon rose from the Atlantic, it spread out a level, silvery carpet to the horizon, almost tempting the beholder to walk forth on the high sea; as, on solemn festal occasions, the gold-spangled tapestry invites the feet of the guests who go up into the lighted palaces of kings. And all night long, when at intervals I awoke out of my dreams, I heard, at the distance of a stone's throw, the innumerable ripples breaking on the sand, as if the uxorious old ocean were kissing, even in his sleep, the softly breathing lips of the shore. At midnight, I arose from my bed, and walked out into
the air, feeling an irrepressible curiosity to listen to the whispering of the night winds, and overhear the telling of their secret loves. I beheld, also, the dance of the waves, which were keeping up their revelry beneath the light of the moon, tripping it as gracefully as fairies on the greensward, and quickly dissolving in mutual embraces, like hearts in the joined breasts of lovers. How refreshing and wholesome was the salt in the air from the ocean! "There can no malignant spirit or goblin walk this strip of earth," said I, returning to my couch; "the air is too pure." And, indeed, it can scarcely be credited that a real, bona-fide ghost was ever seen on Cape Cod. There are Quakers here, but no witches. It is not possible.
But by day my eyes feasted, through all the hours, on the richly colored autumnal landscape. Here stretch, for miles beyond miles, the salt meadows of Barnstable, watered not by rains and dews only, but by the monthly flowing of the tides ; and these level tracts are now as tawny as the lion's skin. This, likewise, being the season when the pine trees shed their needles, the earth beneath them is no less tawny than the open marshes. And everywhere the sand of the shore is as yellow as the breast of a robin. In the warm rays of the sun it even shines like beaten gold, making the whole Cape gilt-edged.
But on the uplands, the yellow runs into a russet, a richly tinted brown, and forms a background which is covered with a glory of autumnal tints, the purple of oaks and whortleberry bushes, the orange and scarlet of maples, the green of pines and cedars. There is color everywhere—on the fields and trees ; on the meadows and the shores; in the hollows and around the edges of pools. Not a bush but glows, not a stone but shines. The very particles of sand, if closely inspected, flash like diamonds by candlelight ; and, though held in your hand, seem almost as far off and as glittering as the stars in the blue twilight of the night. And these colors are all dashed together—a beautiful variety in unity—making a kaleidoscope in the eyes of every man. Still, it must be acknowledged that, as one proceeds farther upon the Cape, he notices a gradual falling off in the tone of nature's coloring, as old pictures in travelling down the course of time lose, during each century, more and more of their first blush and gorgeousness. The brilliancy of the reds and purples fades, and the browns grow duller. Even the fine gold of the pumpkins becomes tarnished; the color of animals runs to sorrel; and the habitations of man, partaking of the tendency of nature, show only the unpainted gray, or the stains of the original red and green, or the blank white of modern fashion,
which makes the pupils of the eye instinctively contract to look at it. There is evidently a deficiency of coloring materials on the great painter's easel; and, at last, whether the power of nature be diminished, or this part of her work be yet raw and unfinished, there remain only the green of the pines and the yellow of the sands, wherein is no harmony.
And yet there is a notable exception to this law of gradual fading. There is more red in the face of the Cape Codders, all the way down to Provincetown, than of any other people in the States. It is the old English red—blood-red. Though the skin be generally pretty thoroughly sunburnt, bronzed often by the glare from the salt water, yet the vermilion shines through, giving evidence of good blood and vigorous arteries. The race is, indeed, purely British. For the inhabitants are all direct descendants of the Puritans, or, at least, of early emigrants from Great Britain. There has been no mixture of races here. While the Cape has always been a fruitfu1 womb of men, sending her sons out into all the broad American earth, there has, on the contrary, been no reflex tide of immigration. The Cape, therefore, is al1 of one blood, of one face, of one speech, of one homogeneous heart. True, there are Indians still in Marshpee ; but, are they not also red men ? Their faces are, indeed, not a little smutted
by a dash of negro blood in them; but some, fortunately, still show the reddish glitter of the original copper. At least, they are not pale faced, but high colored, and come not without a degree of grace into the autumnal landscape.
And this red-facedness of the people is a great point in the description of Cape Cod. For, while the earth gradually loses its color and all its signs of vigor, as we travel toward the end of his path in the sands, we see that the lord of nature, on the contrary, remains ruddy and strong featured. Neither the weakness of the land, nor the extraordinary strength of the circumambient waters and winds has been able to produce degeneracy of the race of man. He has buffeted the waves, and overmastered them. He has sailed in the very eyes and teeth of the winds. He has fixed the floating sands, by planting them with beach grass ; has sown the pine trees in furrows ; has set oaks on the hilltops, that when the winds, rising in their might, threaten to tear him from the land, he may have something to hold on to ; has planted the barren shore with Indian corn, putting a dead "horse foot" in every hill; has grown potatoes from seaweed down to the very line of high-water mark; has turned the mud of flats to oysters ; has dried the cod from the great deep into codfish; and, finally, has manufactured the sea itself into salt.
Thus has man made himself master; and though, in struggling with the earth to till it, he has sometimes come upon his hip, like Jacob wrestling with the angel, and though he has often been pinched by the wind, and jammed against the leeward shore, yet, after all, he has fought the lifelong battle with the natural elements triumphantly, and still hangs out his flag of victory in the red of his face.
The Cape Codder is hardy and vigorous, and may emphatically be said to be a self-made man—external nature having done so little for him. If the bone of this young country may be considered as yet somewhat in the gristle, it is not so with that of this Cape. Its bone is mature, and its muscle, also, is as hard as rope's end and bowline. Oft pelted by storms and riddled by gales ; now buried in snow banks, and never quite sure of his footing in the sands; now petrified by east winds fresh from Greenland and the ice islands, and then, in hot summer days, when there is not a breath of air to break the glazed surface of the surrounding ocean, baked as if he were an ostrich egg; obliged constantly to harass the surface of the earth, in order to extort from it even a niggardly increase ; and, finally, driven in despair to the wall of the sea, and in straits compelled to sound the depths of the ocean with line, hook, and sinker, and to vex its surface
with his keels, the Cape Cod man has to fight his way through existence as a gladiator his way out of the ring. Of course, the feebler children die early; but the grown man is all thews and sinews. His nerves are of whalebone, and his skin will keep out water like oakum.
But while this hardness of nature seems only to develop a superior hardness in the frame of man, all lower animals are ground down in the face against it. I saw but few of them anywhere, and these mostly stunted. Scarcely a dog yelped at me from one end of the Cape to the other ; for dogs do not thrive well on fish; and besides, the waves are there to do the barking. But one would suppose it a very paradise for cats ; yet, as there are no mice but water rats, so all the cats are catfish. And, accordingly, in all my lying awake to listen to the vespers which the waves on the beaches chanted through the livelong hours of the night, I heard not a single charivari. Sailors, too, are notoriously hard on horses; and drift sand, like Jordan, makes a hard road to travel. Shanghae fowls do not thrive well here Their tails do not grow, and they become so stupid as scarcely to how how to set one foot before the other; making awkward, uncertain movements, as if they were on stilts, or even walking on their own eggs. At the cattle show in the county town where I happened to
be present, the native breeds were all inferior. Whatever was big and. fat was foreign born, or, at least, of blood not strictly Capish. Such was their great Ayrshire bull—as huge a monster as the Trojan horse, or the whale which, in attempting to jump the Cape, landed himself, with all his tusks and blubber, high and dry on the sands. All the fat pigs were Lady Suffolks ; all the battering rams were Southdowns ; and all the hens that laid golden eggs were born Poles. In fact, the only native animals at all worth the showing were the men themselves. One in particular there was at the ploughing match, who reminded, me of that Triptolemus of Eleusis, to whom, first of mortals, Ceres taught the use of the plough. Cincinnatus himself could not have bent over the tails with broader shoulders, nor a nose more truly Roman. Between his legs and the length of his furrows there was a certain correspondence. When standing upright, he cast a shadow over half the scene, and dwarfed the oxen before him till they looked scarcely bigger than rats.
The inhabitants of this ridge of drift sand are remarkably thrifty. One sees nowhere indications of extreme destitution. But while most of the people are independent in their circumstances, there is not much wealth, and no show of it. The Grecian column will, indeed, follow the traveller all the way
down the Cape, though Greece may seem farther off than ever; nor can all the window blinds on the houses make the place appear in the least degree like Venice. Here he will see a Doric entablature pierced by five small windows, and there a court house in the form of an antique temple, but with its roof bristling with half a dozen stacks of tall Yankee chimneys. Yet this show of Grecian architecture, if it does not always indicate good taste, is a certain sign of thrift. The man who builds his house with a front like an Athenian temple, is sure to be a financially successful one, and, generally, a man who has earned his own money; for they who inherit fortunes, being often travelled men, or cultivated by some considerable amount of reading, know that the public edifices of the old Greeks do not suit the purpose of our modern housekeeping. Thus, every successful captain of a ship who comes home to build a house in the sands, must have Grecian pillars. He has got the money, and he will have a cottage front like the Parthenon. Nothing can stop him.
But the thrift of Cape Cod is not of that kind which follows fawning. Here dwells evidently an independent race of men, and all living at arm's length of each other. Even in the towns the houses do not touch, but stand apart. Every one has its separate enclosure, with plot of greensward, orchard,
and garden patch. House and grounds form a distinct and independent establishment, leaning on no other for its support; and though, unfortunately, there are no plank roads in these sands, yet every front door is approached from the street by a plank pathway. Nor do these people generally occupy the whole of their houses. They have vacant apartments, though none to let. The front rooms are all furnished, and shut up. The family live in the kitchen. And they can afford to do so ; for the back part of the house is large enough to accommodate all the members, while the other half is kept as neat as wax, for tea drinkings, and the use of company. Hence, the stranger who goes stumbling through the unlighted streets at night, may fancy himself in a Turkish town, or an aoul of the Circassians. He can no more descry the light of a candle than if he were in the centre of Ethiopia. Accordingly, to stir much abroad after nightfall in these streets filled with painted wooden posts, is to set mantraps for one's self, and present the very sorest temptations to Providence. For, inevitably, at this corner you bark your shins ; at that, you break your neck. A Chinese lantern here would, not be an unmeaning joke. Still, every native, doubtless, knows the way to his habitation in the darkest night, as well as a bee to its cell in the hive.
And no Spaniard goes to bed earlier. He does his work by daylight, and economizes candles. All his habits are simple and natural. He dines on the stroke of noon. He takes his tea—rather weak—at the hour when the merchant in the city sits down to dinner; and he gets up in the morning just as the town snob is going to bed. His fare, too, is simple : at breakfast, fish ; at dinner, fish—fish fried, broiled, boiled, baked, and chowdered! Though, probably, there is not one housewife in ten that has not a pie, or a loaf of cake, stowed away somewhere. And you shall nowhere eat such delectable "apple slump;" nowhere such doughnuts, scarcely even in Connecticut; nowhere such baked clams, out of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. There is, also, a love of junketing and tea drinking, when neighbors come together in winter evenings, and when lassies assemble of an afternoon at a "quilting," making the bridal bedspread with innumerable stitches, and squares of white calico, upon each of which is written, in indelible ink, the name of the fair sempstress who presented it. On these occasions the number of hot biscuits and sweet cakes served up is almost incredible ; and, the next morning after one, I have seen with my own eyes a small Cape boy make a hearty breakfast of pound cake with plums in it.
After all, life on the Cape is more like holiday than one might suppose who had never been there. For the men, being mostly seafaring, they do their work in a11 parts of the world rather than at home. The Cape Codder is omnipresent. He casts his line wherever there are codfish. If there is a school of bass or mackerel on any coast, he is after them with his seine. He chases whales from the southern frozen zone to the northern ; and will, some day, throw his harpoons in the open sea at the pole. In all the steamers, liners, packets, he is captain and first mate. On the high seas, or the coast, there is no better man to handle a ship. You find him in all the crack clippers ; and if a fore-and-aft schooner runs her nose into any strange place, ten to one there is at her helm a Cape Guilder. He has also been in his day a fighting man. Some of our proudest frigates have been sailed by him. He was on the lakes in the last war with England? and threw up his cap there ; and as for privateering, it is that one among all the trades of which he is Jack that he likes best to turn his hand to. Though not much of a fist at marching on the land, the Cape Codder, nevertheless, was at Bunker Hill and Saratoga, besides having fought the French and Indians in the old wars, and shouldered arms at Quebec.
But when, having sailed all the seas, and roved
the world over, he comes back to his cot in the sands, the short season he spends at home is a holiday. Then give him a fast horse, and his good wife or sweetheart by his side. He must go to see all his cousins. Nor does any man have so many uncles and aunts, and kindred of various degrees. In fact, nearly all the inhabitants are first cousins, or call themselves such. Therefore, when the mariner comes home, there must necessarily be a good deal of shaking of hands and merry making. Everybody must tell him the news; and he, in return, must tell everybody of his adventures on sea and shore. He has probably seen the sea serpent—at least, a mermaid, a whale, the elephant in his own country, or the Grand Mogul. Undoubtedly, the longest yarns are spun on Cape Cod which are spun anywhere in this country. And be it observed, that the Cape Cod man, let him go to whatever part of the world he may, is sure to come back. His local tastes never die out; and where'er he roams, at every step away he drags a lengthening cable. If he run a packet between Boston and some other of our principal seaport cities, he does not remove his family to town ; but, the moment he gets on shore, hies away to the Cape. He does not like the air of great cities, and cannot really feel at home anywhere that there is not sand under his feet, or even a little of it running over his shoe quarters.
This disposition to keep holiday I could not but notice at the county cattle show. There was, indeed, not much to be seen or heard—only the farmer's old "Bright" and "Gelding," with his everlasting "gee-up " and "haw-tu ;" only a few pumpkins that might make the native mouth water a little to look at, a few cranberries as big as your thumb and dark as mahogany, which it is mischievously said the Cape girls stain their cheeks with; only a show of Mexican flint cornstalks a dozen feet high, just to show what the Cape sand could do ; a specimen or two of "quilting" and domestic stocking knitting; some curious attempts in worsted fine art, and even the beautiful vanity of cotton lace, and crocheting.
But, notwithstanding the little to be seen, everybody came to see it. They came three women in a gig, and whole families in carryalls with tops of painted canvas* There were farmers in homespun, Quakers in drab, sailors in tarpaulins, and retired captains in black broadcloth. Besides a few great ladies in silks, and bonnets worn falling in the neck, there were any number of good, plain, buxom housewives in their best bombazines and calicoes, most of them with bevies of daughters, all high rigged, in curls, in flounces, with petticoats trimmed with lace, and all their ribbons flying. I saw very pretty girls in swings; and very eager youths buying jack knives,
whips with whalebone in the handle, and razors warranted to shave, for twenty-five cents apiece. Every small child's mouth was running over with sugar candy, every man's with tobacco, and every good-looking woman's with smiles. All — men, women, and children—were most busily doing nothing ; staring, and seeing nothing; moving hither and thither, and going nowhere ; and all appeared to be excessively delighted. Whoever had no baker's gingerbread in his pockets, had peanuts in them; and if any father of a family had neglected to stuff his coat tails with buns for the children at home, be sure his better half had not forgotten to fill her "working bag" with lions and elephants in cake, and dogs and cats in sugar. Almost every one seemed to have bought something, and nobody looked as though he had been "sold." They that had got rattles were tickled, and so were they who had only straws. And when, finally, at the close of the day, the brass band came down the street, playing the old tune of "The girl I left behind me," I remember to have said to myself, that it was the happiest holiday I had seen since I was in Spain.
It is not strange that locomotive civilization should not yet have reached the end of the Cape ; and the only wonder is, that the railroad should have gone as far as it has before being effectually run into
the ground. At any rate, I reverted to the old, cast-off stage coach at a point on the Cape very nearly amidships. The day being as beautiful as the last rose of autumn, I was naturally tempted to take a seat on the coach box ; and, seeing no person present at all resembling a driver, I waived the ceremony of asking leave, and straightaway invited myself up. But as I sat there quietly looking at the different cut of the tails of the four horses, I was taken by sur-prise at seeing a small boy climb to the seat by my side, and gather up the reins, as if he were really going to drive the coach himself. I looked at the boy again, and thought, surely, he could not be turned of ten, though I afterward learned that he was twelve, being small for his age. And this boy, said I to myself, is evidently going to drive this coach-and-four to Orleans! I immediately took out my glass, and inspected him closely. Was he Phaeton ? If so, he would doubtless set the Cape on fire before getting to the first stopping place. An old whip he certainly was not. Was he a whip at all ? There he sat on the box, a boy apparently ten years of age, and his legs barely long enough to reach the footboard. By and by he encouraged his team up a hill with his voice, for whip he had not yet taken in hand ; but his chirrup had the clear, decided ring of a full-grown hostler. "Get along, Chandler Bob,"
said he, at length, addressing the nigh wheel horse ; "and you, Jaques," calling to the off leader. But I, meanwhile, had not said a word, and, in fact, had scarcely made up my mind what to say. "Eh, there, Lizzie! what are you doing ?" called out the young Jehu to the rather restless mare on the nigh lead. Still I said nothing; but, screwing my glass firmly into my right eye, looked, at intervals, sharply at the boy. Besides his thick buckskin gloves, there was nothing in his appearance in the least degree professional. He neither wore a pea jacket, nor was he in his shirt sleeves. His sing1e-breasted jacket, buttoned close in the neck, was a plain drab; and around his neck was a clean, modest turn-over collar, such as is commonly worn by boys of tender age. "Hunter! " he exclaimed, threateningly, and at the same time offering to strike the off wheeler "with the slack of his reins. Whereupon "Hunter" mended his pace, and I continued my observations. The boy's hat was a nice felt, and of a modest color corresponding with that of his dress. A bourgeois, well-to-do in the world, would not dress his son any better. And his looks were in keeping with his dress—his complexion being a healthy brown, almost an olive, but with no red in it, more like the bark of the rose than its flower. Being so young, his features, of course, were not yet very definitely chis-
elled, but showed, indistinctly, the outlines of a future manliness. Only his eye was already perfect —being a large dark gray, and thickly shaded by lung black lashes.
"Steady, Lizzie ! " he cried, for the mare, which was a little gay, was still inclined to fret occasionally.
And now, taking down my glass, I entered into conversation with the young expert—for such he was, beyond all question. The first inquiry one generally makes of boys of this age is, "What is your name ? " I used a little circumlocutory politeness, but managed to find out that the lad's name was James. The second question naturally is, "How old are you, my boy ? " And I also contrived to get this information from the little man without giving offence. Then, as James occasionally threw out his foot with a sideward motion, in making his appeals to "Hunter," I was curious to know the reason of it.
"Hunter," said he, "keeps an eye on me from behind his blinder, and whenever he sees this motion of the foot, he thinks I am going to kick him.''
"And how long may it be since you began to drive a coach ? "
"I go to school; but I have driven more or less since I was eight years old."
"But how could you drive a coach when you were only eight ? "
"My father began with lashing me on to the box, to prevent my falling off—for I couldn't then reach the footboard—and I drove so.''
By this time my interest in James had risen to a high point, and I afterward learned from others that this account of himself was strictly true. Should I ask him to take a cigar with me ? Plainly not. Here was a specimen of "Young America" whose patriotism evidently did not consist in smoking and chewing. He talked familiarly with his horses, but did not swear at them. There was nothing of the vulgar stage driver about the lad, no taking on of airs, no slang in his language, no brag. He had not even the usual frolic and roguery of his years. He did not crack his whip—using it only to threaten the little vagabonds who attempted to climb up on the rack behind ; and there was no laughing in his eyes, which indicated that he was going to tip the coach over. His face was that of one who had taken responsibility upon himself, and felt equal to it. It beamed with intelligence ; but the expression of it was firm, self-restraining, and even demure. The impending shadow of a coming man darkened in it the brightness of the schoolboy. I afterward learned that, for pluck, the little fellow had not his equal in all the country round. If, by chance, there was a horse in the stable that nobody dared drive, he
would beg his father to let him do it. And, long before leaving the coach box, I came distinctly to the conclusion that James—I never should have thought of calling him Jimmy—by the time he was twenty-one years of age, would be "up" for Congress. For surely the boy who, at twelve years, can drive a four-in-hand, with a mettlesome "Lizzie" among them, will, in the course of another ten, be competent to manage such an ass as the sovereign people.
So, hurrah for the Cape Cod boy, James! He took me into Orleans in good style, having made his time to a minute ; with "Lizzie" only a little frothy, but scarcely a wet hair on either "Chandler Bob" or "Hunter.''
I left the Cape not without a certain feeling of regret. Perhaps it was because of the termination of the Indian summer ; and I had to exclaim :
"Die schonen Tage in Aranjuez Sind nun zu Ende."
And, possibly, the unusually neat and pretty quarters in which I had spent the last night of my journey might have had something to do with it. The fact was, that, there being a press of company in the inn, some kind-hearted lady had surrendered the use of her apartment for the accommodation of a tired traveller. Taking note of this on my entrance, I
should have been strongly tempted to refuse taking advantage of such generous hospitality, and have contented myself with the use of three chairs, or a sofa, had it not been for the lateness of the hour; but, under the circumstances, nothing else could well be done than to put off my shoes as quickly as possible in such a sanctum—which I accordingly did, and gave them to the "boots." And when be had departed, the mortification of my gallantry at having taken possession of the room was so great, that I exclaimed:
"What a pretty pickle of codfish I am in now ! "
But I endeavored to persuade myself that the fair occupant was, at least, not a person of tender years ; and seeing a shoe case hanging against the wall, I asseverated that the shoes in it—of course, I did not presume to examine them — were certainly a foot long; and that the hoops which, doubtless, were standing up in the closet, instead of being, as they should be, no larger than strawberry baskets when they first come, had been taken from one of the biggest hogsheads that had ever drifted ashore on the Cape. These suppositions, to be sure, were very ungenerous, and would not have much helped to pacify my mind, had I not happened to notice a few
verses from a newspaper pinned on the wall, the concluding line of which ran as follows :
"As we journey through life, let us live by the way."
This seemed to hit my case pat. Yes, said I, this is the true philosophy of life. Especially, let a man on his travels live as he goes along, and sleep where he can, giving God thanks first, and next to woman. So, laying my head on the pillow, I likened myself to a Mungo Park, succored by the hand of woman in a strange land, where was none else to help him. I slept wel1. And the next morning, on opening my window toward the east, and seeing the dear Cape lying stretched out far into the sea, I gave to the sands my parting benediction—not forgetting the fair ones who inhabit them, but wishing them all sorts of good things, down even to plenty of cranberries wherewith to make their pretty red cheeks still redder.
Books are the windows through which the soul looks out. a house without books is like a room without windows.
No man has the right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is a wrong to his family. He cheats them.
Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. and the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.
A little library, growing larger every year, is an honorable part of a young man's history.
It is a man's duty to have books.
A Library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of life.—H. W. Beecher.
DIXIE AND THE TROPICS.
J. MILTON MACKIE,
AUTHOR OF "COSAS DE ESPANA, ETC.
" Toward the Sun!"
NEW YORK : G. P. PUTNAM, 441 BROADWAY.
I.—The Start............................................ 7
III.—The Virginia Springs......................... 20
IV.—Five Unprotected Ladies.................... 33
V.—The Warm Springs........................... 42
VI.—The White Sulphur.................................. 61
VII.—Through Virginia and Carolina............... 86
X.—A Georgia Railway.......................... 123
XI.—Down the Alabama........................... 131
XIII.—The Lower Mississippi.................... 152
XIV.—New Orleans................................ 156
XV.—Lake Pontchartrain.......................... 169
XVI.—Up the Mississippi............................ 172
XVII.—A Sugar Plantation.......................... 179
XVIII.—A Western Hotel............................ 189
XIX.—From New Orleans to Havana............ 209
XX.—A Havana Hotel................................. 219
XXI.—My First Volante.............................. 232
XXII.—Dolce Far Niente.......................... 237
XXIII.—The Paseo Tacon........................... 247
XXIV.—Church and Opera......................... 253
XXV.—Oranges and the Quays..................... 260
XXVI.—The Cerro....................................... 267
XXVIII.—A Cuban Steamer......................... 283
XXIX.—Fighting Cocks............................... 292
XXX.—A Matanzas Fonda......................... 297
XXXI.—The Cumbre................................... 303
XXXII.—A Cuban Railway.......................... 311
XXXIII.—Nassau—A Winter Newport......... 318
XXXIV.—Santa Cruz and its Freedmen.......... 349
XXXV.—St. Thomas.................................... 376
XXXVI.—The Bermudas.............................. 385
XXXVII.—Cape Cod.................................. 396