« EelmineJätka »
In memory of
Age 22 years.
DURING the three or four years my brother lived at Neath he contributed a considerable number of verses and enigmas to the local newspapers, while some of his old notebooks contain many others in an unfinished state. While on the Amazon he wrote several more, and I will here give a few samples of these, which may perhaps be thought worth preserving, and as a memento of a young life prematurely closed in a distant land. He was a great admirer of Hood and of Longfellow, and several of his little poems are reflections of their writings, while the enigmas were inspired by those of William Mackworth Praed.
The only two likenesses of my brother we possess are copied here. The first is from a pencil sketch by an old friend of the family (Miss Townsend), taken at Hoddesdon when he was about eight years old, which was always considered a striking likeness. The other is a copy of a black silhouette taken before he came out to the Amazon in 1849, when he was just twenty years old.
My lamented friend Dr. Spruce kindly sent me two letters he received from my brother in the interval between our parting at Santarem and his return to Para, and as they are VOL. I. 289
probably the last he ever wrote I give them here (omitting one or two personal matters) in order to show his usual good spirits and random style of writing.
“Barra, March 15, 1850. “DEAR SIR,
“A lodge is gained at last. Here we are in a Barra!
Here we work with Net and Trigger
By the famous river Nigger,' on whose midnight waters never is heard the hum of the sanguinary carapaná,' where sleep, which knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,' hath no intruder. By-the-by, talking of sleep reminds me of redés.? All the redés in Barra possess a title. Why? Because they are Barra-nets. This you may think far-fetched. Well ! I will own 'tis rather distant; perhaps you would like one a little nearer? Good. As we left Obydos, remarking the woody declivity on our right, the following sublime comparative similitude burst forth spontaneously. Why is this hill like a dead body running? Because, says I—but no! you must really try to guess it ; however, I will enclose the answer to refer to in case of failure. [See p. 291.]
“ With best wishes for your health and success, and kind remembrances to Mr. King and Santarem friends.
"I remain, yours respectfully
“Serpa, December 29, 1850. “DEAR SIR,
“I have just returned from a month's excursion among the lakes and byways of the mighty Amazon, and whilst reposing my weary limbs amid the luxurious folds of a redé, drinking a fragrant cup of the sober beverage, and
i Carapaná is the native name of the mosquito. ? Redé or net, the local game for “hammock,"