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she soothed in his cares, and to whom she was tender in his ailments ; while to her boys she was an indulgent and caressing mother.
Recent biographies, novels, and pictorial histories have been apt to preach up
the doctrine that a man's real character is to be decided (for the best) from his home relations. Now to this practice it has been objected that no man who is not an utter brute keeps the least amiable side of his character for his own household. It is one of the commonest of all fallacies, we are admonished, to suppose that a man's personal and private relations are of necessity those which display his character in the truest light.“ His conduct towards, and opinions of, the world at large, are quite as much part of his character as his behaviour towards his wife and children; and if he is dishonest, brutal, ignorant, and treacherous in public, it is no defence to a charge of dishonesty, brutality, and treachery, to show that in private life he was honest, courteous, and upright.” A man, it is added,* must be estimated by his acts as well as by the impression which he leaves on the minds of his friends
I. A. Saxon. New York, 1865.
* See Saturday Review, vol. vii. p. 74.
A CRUISE AMONG THE ISLANDS OF LAKE ONTARIO.
By chase our long-lived fathers earn'd their food,
'Twas on a broiling day in July, rather less than ten thousand years ago, that a party embarked on a steamer up the Bay of Quinté, a subdivision of Lake Ontario, intending to carry out the maxims inculcated in the above lines. They had two open boats, each capable of holding four men and their baggage comfortably, and in addition a small skiff to carry tents and other superfluities, not the least important of which was the "cow," whose “udder” contained ten gallons of " Morton's proof”– an invaluable liquid, calculated to inebriate at forty yards' distance when the tap was turned, and commonly known by the name of the “Oath.”
The crew were six in number at starting, but received a reinforcement on the next day, six feet three in height, and robust in proportion. It was at once agreed to adopt sobriquets
, which are here subjoined. Should any one recognise the owners, let him hold his peace, or he'll come to grief hereafter uncommonly quick.
First and foremost was the “ Commodore," an ugly fellow with a heavy moustache of a brownish hue. He had charge of the expedition, and had made all the preliminary arrangements in the shape of boats and stores. His duty was to guide the fleet from island to island, and to promote jollity on all occasions.
Second came the “ Professor,” a solemn and weird individual of profound learning, whose business was to instruct the profanum vulgusalias the crew-in botany, entomology, &c., in which he signally failed, owing to the intense stupidity and frivolity of the articles he was required to furnish with information. He succeeded in one thing gloriously, and that was the administration of the “ Oath."
Next in order came the Boatswain, “ Long Tom,” the same six feet three youth heretofore alluded to, jolly, affectionate, violent, and always redolent of the “Oath.” His principal occupation was to inform the neighbourhood that “ he loved the merry, merry sunshine,” in a high tone of voice of a vigorous character.
Then came the two Huntsmen, stalwart youths, whose business was to provide the camp with game and fish, in doing which they distinguished themselves greatly. The elder of the two was called “ Jock.” He belonged to the Duke of Argyle's clan, and was one hundred and fiftyfourth cousin to his grace of scratching notoriety. The other was ycleped “Sir Harry," simply because nobody knew what else to call him. The “ Loblolly-boy" came next, and after him, last and not least, our
chief henchman, “ M'Loughlin," an old soldier, worth his weight in gold July-VOL. CXXXIV. NO. DXXXV.
for honesty, sobriety, civility, and intelligence. He received the honorary rank of Chief Engineer. It was omitted to insert that the “Loblollyboy" was subsequeutly baptised “Hater," from his affectionate disposition towards the fair sex, by whom, on frequent occasions during the cruise, he appeared to be peculiarly favoured.
Young Juan now was sixteen years of age,
Tall, handsome, slender but well knit; he seemed
And every body but his mother deemed
Him almost man. The steamer having got under way, the Commodore mustered the crew, and finding that strong symptoms of disaffection existed on account of the dryness of the atmosphere, he promptly caused the “ Oath” to be administered in tin cups, and found, to his satisfaction, that none refused it. Thereupon the crew subsided and returned to their allegiance.
Our destination was, firstly, a place called Fish Point, on Amherst Island, about sixteen miles up the Bay of Quinté. We duly arrived at . a wharf about a mile below the Point, where we disembarked, and having launched our boats and loaded them, started for the rendezvous, which was soon reached. Here began our camp life in earnest. Every one turned to with a will to pitch tents, light fires, unload boats, and generally to make things snug before nightfall. Six pairs of willing hands soon had all things in readiness, and all was serene.
The Point is one of the most charming localities for a pic-nic that can be imagined. It is fringed almost to its edge with lovely trees, and terminates in a pebbly beach, from the end of which black bass can be caught with ease. Wood and water are plentiful and excellent, and the air is soft and pure as a zephyr. On the evening in question, however, the aforesaid zephyr got entangled with a strong odour of supper and tobacco, which, all things considered, was more grateful to the sense of six hungry men.
Just as supper was ready, a friend arrived to whom an invitation had been sent to join us, and after a hearty meal we gathered around our camp-fire, filled our pipes, and sent the “ tin pots” Aying around, not forgetting old Phocylides' maxim. Doubtless it is well known, but it is impossible to have too much of a good thing, so here it is again, as it stands translated at the head of Kit North's “ Noctes Ambrosianæ :"
This is a distich by wise old Phocylides,
And a very good motto to stick to our Noctes. Anecdotes of fun, fish, fur, and feather, flew around in all directions ; the spirits of the crew were exuberant, and soug and jest were freely bandied about.
Among the least extraordinary, and therefore the most veracious of these romances, was one told by M'Loughlin of a boa-constrictor which he killed in the West Indies. Its length and breadth were given with that accuracy which always betokens truth, and the whole story could only be rivalled by some few of the celebrated Munchausen's. It was a real snake story, and, to be appreciated, should have been heard in the narrator's own style and lingo. The manner in which it was related was inimitable.
Well, mind yerself now, sir, and I'll tell ye a bit of a story that happened to meself onst on a time. Ye see, yer honor, I was in the West Ingies, and in the 88th at the same time. I was in Captain Leicester's company, and he used to take me along wid him shootin'. Well, we wint down to a place in Jamaiky, called Lord Grenada's, to shoot, and a mighty fine place it was entirely. Well, Lord Grenada was a nagur, and as black as the divvle, beggin' yer honor's pardon, but the government made him Lord Grenada bekase he coaxed the French fleet one time into a place they could get neither in nor out of, and thin he wint and tould of thim, the dirty nagur, and the English tuk the Frinch, and gave him a grand place and a title, and begorra, av you'd only call him “my lord,” but you'd see the Madary come on the table.
Well now, ye see, before this Lord Grenada had been losing a lot of sheep off his place, and he tuk it into his ould woolly pate that his sarvints was robbin' him. Musha! but he was as black as they wor, but no matther for that, he sint thim tattherin', horse, foot, and dragoons, and discharged a whole lot of them. But, begorra, the sheep wint as fast as before, and at last rumours kem that there was the divvle's own snake rampaging about the country and atin' the sheep. Well, one seen it and another seen it, and it was as sartin as the pipe's in my mouth but it was a snake was atin' the sheep. Then the lord was sorry for discharging his sarvints. (This was uttered with a ludicrous solemnity that set us all into convulsions of laughter.)
Well, the sheep kep going, and the lord hired three of the 88th, wid their firelocks, to kill the snake. But they wor wild divvles, and only laughed at him, and got drunk for three days, so he started them back to their barracks agin. The dickens a hair they cared for him or his snake as long as the liquor was to the fore, and they do say that the next child Lord Grenada had was wonderfully white about the gills. Musha ! but civilisation is a great invintion.
Well, the captain heerd of the snake, and by this and by that, nothin' would do him but he must have a crack at it somehow, so he takes me along wid him, and off we wint, and afther walkiog some miles we came to a place where there were three or four paths running in different directions round a bit of a hill, where they tould us the snake frequinted, and the captain tuk one path and I folly'd another, and as I was going along through the grass for a bit, may I niver ! av there wasn't the snake lying right across the track forninst me, and him fast asleep. Well, sir, at first I thought I'd die wid the fright, for he was three times as big round the body as meself. Well, the sweat rowled aff me like Niagara Falls.
* You must have come near drowning, M'Loughlin.")
Mind yerself now, sure I was as wake as wather. Howandiver, I gev him both barrels, and ran away like as if the divvle was floggin' me wid stinging-nettles, and the captain came powdherin' afther me like a fouryear-ould filly, and he axed me, “ What did I shoot at?" and I tould him, and says he, “ Come back wid me till we kill him.”
• Sorra bit o' me will go," says I. “ Didn't I see him raise right up on the end of his tail, wid his mouth as wide open as a sixty-fourpounder, and him roaring like a bull in spring. Sorra foot o' me will go,” says I.
Arrah, stay where you are, my good man,” says he ; " but I think ye made a mistake whin
listed in the 'Connaught Rangers.' And away he wint to find the slimy crayture, but, begorra, I wasn't going to let him go alone, so I folly'd afther, and whin we kem to where the snake was, sure enough he was thrashin' the grass wid his tail like forty farmers in August. "Mind yerself now, sir," says I to the captain. But the dickens a mind
I he minded, but just let fly his two barrels, and I fired two more, and the snake gev two great flirts of his tail in the air, and then down he kem as dead as thim pickles.
“ Well,” says the captain, “I think we've done a grand day's work, Mac, and Lord Grenada's lush will suffer for it, anyhow."
“It will, sir,” says I,“ av you get at it.”
“ That's like yer impidence,” says he, laughing; “but maybe you're not so far wrong: Let's
rate." Well, we tuk another look at the snake, and saw he was ready to be waked, and thin we wint up to Lord Grenada’s, and tould him what we'd done, and maybe the Madary didn't come out, and the finest Jamaiky rum I ever tasted, and maybe I didn't get as drunk as David's sow, and rowled around among thim
nagurs like a bunch of rushes in a gale of wind. And as for the captain, musha! but such a spree ye niver saw. Begorra, the last I remimber, he and Lord Grenada was swearin' everlasting frindship to ache other, and whin I woke in the morning they wor both snorin' under the table, but the captain had the nagur for a pillow!
Well thin, afther breakfast meself and a lot of other nagurs wiut down and hauled the snake up to the house, and he was one hundred and fifty feet long and eight feet round the body. Don't be laughin' there ; it's
word of it. And I stuffed him, and the captain sent him to Prince Albert for a Christmas-box, though what good there was in that sure meself doesn't know, only there he is in Windsor Castle to this day, and I'm expecting a pinsion for it every day this ten years. But the dickens a hair they care, and now the prince is dead and the captain too, or ye might ax either of thim. Worse luck, so mind yerself now. Have any of yer honors a little tibaky to spare ? Musha! but I wish Queen Victoria knew the rights of it, and I'd lay a trauneen I'd get the cross, anyways. 'Tisn't every day a man kills a snake that size.
To this we all agreed, and thus ended the veracious history of the boaconstrictor. The evening having waned, we drank M'Loughlin's health in a bumper, rolled ourselves in our blankets, and, lulled by the soft sighing of the southern wind through the trees, and the gentle ripple of the waves on the shore, slept soundly till daylight, when a most frightful row disturbed our peaceful slumbers. “Jock,” instigated by the devil, and a desire to kill fish, had screamed out an eldritch yell learnt in some outof-the-way place in Scotland, where thistles are plentiful, good manners scanty, and breeches still more so, and thus disturbed all hands. The Commodore, indignant at the idea of a fellow with no breeches com