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And with summer friends—what of yellow, and green-fixed, revolving, them? But, then, there is the opera! and flashlights. One by one we
Return we to the scene on the passed them, and others came in Sound. It was July. But July on sight. There was no moon. The the Sound and July at the Centennial groups on deck thinned out by dewere wonderfully different. The air grees, and retired to their statewas cool enough to make me button rooms. up my linen duster over my coat as In the morning the shouting and I walked on deck. We had passed tramping on deck and the silence of Hell Gate an hour before-past Hal- the great engines told us that we lett's Point, where General Newton were at Newport. A hasty breakfast was still at work preparing for the and we were off by the boat train great blast-and were now in the for Boston. A marked change was wide waters of the Sound. The sun visible in the landscape. My eyes was sinking behind the western shore. had got accustomed to the broad, The clouds retained their vivid colors level fields around Philadelphia, the for a long time. From a central sea hardwood trees and luxuriant crops. of fire rose castles, minarets, and Here I recognized once more the broken arches of that rarest color of dark scrubby hills of the North; the the ruby which jewellers call “pig- twisted spruce and granite boulders; eon's blood." Miles away the clouds Indian corn scarcely two feet high toned down into purples and grays. in the fields; the grass everywhere Just above, where the sun had sunk, virident instead of withered and a lake of myrtle green receded into brown. space with spectral mountains on its Four hours in the “Hub," with farthest shore. “O hyacinthine its familiar streets, which seemed sea,” I said, “might I float on for more crooked than ever, and its ever amid scenes like these !” The “burnt district,''grand and new, and senses are more acute with the fall- then we found ourselves in Haymaring night. Nature sinks into sleep, ket Square at the Boston and Maine leaving man a solitary watcher. depot, checking our baggage through
Later; a thin scud was slowly to Halifax via the steamship Faldrifting over the Sound at a lower mouth from Portland. elevation than the stationary clouds. The day was fine and the four As the last rays were reflected from hours ride to Portland by rail was the horizon and reached the level of as pleasant as railroad travelling can the scud, they turned it into billows ever be, which is not saying a great of fire rolling in immense volumes deal. All the watering-places we under the dark clouds above. It passed along the coast of Maine was a tremendous conflagration of were full. At Wells Beach I caught the heavens. It was awe-inspiring, the first glimpse of the ocean, not and involuntarily one recalled the having seen it for two years. I imagery of that sublime hymn : sniffed at the breeze to catch the
well-remembered saline odor. The Dies iræ, dies illa!
long blue line of the horizon, with Teste David cum Sibylla.
the white sails painted against it,
renewed youthful emotions. The When the world in ashes shall burn away, As David witnessed and the Sibyls say."
sea is familiar, but never so friendly
as the sky. It is cold and enigmatI sat on deck until dark, watching ical. Its depths are azure like those the fading out of the last rays of color of the atmosphere, but they are into the Indian-ink tints of night. frightful, not full of peace. Yet it One by one the lights appeared in never ceases to attract us to watch the lighthouses along the shore—red, and wonder at its waves. They
have a rhythm which is like an echo a few moments the next afternoon at of eternity.
sea, they were as pale as ashes; and At Ocean Bluff and at Old Orchard I don't believe the color was washed Beach, several of our passengers left off. I had first observed them on the us to enjoy their summer holiday. deck of the steamer while we were At five o'clock we ran into the depot getting under way at Portland. They at Portland, having half an hour to were evidently girls irr humble life, spare for the Falmouth, which was but their manner was not vulgar. lying at the long wharf with all They were probably working-girls steam up, waiting for the noon trains returning to the Provinces. My atover the Boston and Maine and East- tention had been directed to the ern Railroads from Boston. The younger of the two by an exclamaFalmouth was a little disappoint- tion on her part, that if she “had ing after the Sound boats. But on the money for her ticket back again, her own merits she is a fine ship: she would not go." She was half 1300 tons burden, 900 horse-power, laughing, but equally inclined to a large and handsomely-upholstered cry. The elder laughed at her hesisaloon, and comfortable and well- tation. The younger said, “I'll not ventilated staterooms. Her com- stay there if I don't like it." Her mander, Captain Colby, is an expe- companion asked her where she would rienced and competent officer, the get the money to come back. She first of qualifications on this foggy said, with emphasis, “I will find a coast, and is attentive to the comfort way to get it if I want it.” The of his passengers. I feel bound to conversation was carried on unresay so much in praise of the Fal- strainedly, with that disregard of the mouth, as our run of thirty-one hours bystanders common among people in from wharf to wharf-the distance humble life. Presently two young between Portland and Halifax being men came on deck from the wharf three hundred and fifty miles-was to bid them good-by. They were one of the pleasantest salt-water trips working men, and apparently comin my recollection. I have never patriots of the girls. They sepabeen seasick since my first voyage rated into couples and sat down at a across the “big pond” in one of the little distance from each other on the Cunard mailers a good many years benches on deck. Only a few other ago, and I rather enjoy a little tum- passengers were present. Everything bling about and a pipe under the lee was in the bustle of departure. The guard at night. But the sea was calm younger one, sitting with her young as a clock, and the sky without a man, burst into tears. "See," said cloud. The Bay of Fundy for once the elder, "- (calling her by her forgot its rough ways and fogs. No- Christian name) is crying.” Thus body was seasick out of our one hun- noticed, she put on a braver air, dred and fifty passengers, except two laughed a little, and brushed away or three women who came on board her tears, her young man appearing with their minds made up to be sick, to encourage her. I hate to see a and who would have been so had young and handsome woman crying, they been floated unawares into a and so I turned away and went fordrydock.
ward. I afterwards saw them at the Among those victims to the nov- gangway bidding their two friends a elty of seagoing were two tall, large last farewell, the young men jumping but well-formed girls, the smaller of ashore as the planks were pulled on whom must have turned the scale at board. 160 pounds. At the wharf at Port- There was certainly nothing fashland they had cheeks as red as roses, ionable about this leavetaking. Nothbut when they appeared on deck for ing of that "repose" that stamps the caste of Lady Clara Vere de Vere. Philadelphia, Captain Colby told us. Men being vain and pervious to rid- What a crop of the gelid luxury the icule, prefer demonstrations of affec- poor sweltering souls at the Centention to be in private, even at the cost nial must have consumed during the of a cool parting. It is only the very season ! great-queens or empresses—or the The tones of sunset on the open very humble to whom a public em- sea in northern temperate latitudes brace is permitted, according to have more umber in them, are colder English or American standards. The and more subdued than in inland great middle classes dread nothing so waters. The distances appear greater. much as being ridiculous. A hand The horizon is boundless to the east, kept lingering in another, a quivering and has not the refracting and radiamouth, and eyes that would gaze for- ting powers of mountains or a coastever into other eyes—these are their line. A haze from the land precedes tokens of affection. Working-girls the setting sun and accompanies the are more independent of criticism. descent of the fiery orb into the They earn their own living, gene- west. The prismatic colors are fewer rally live alone, and have no friends in number and less brilliant. Reds to pinch each other and laugh at and yellows predominate. They them.
shade off into lead color. The deliIn the case of this Portland Ari- cate tints of emerald, pale orange, adne, who reversed the fable and left and violet are more vague, and disher Theseus behind her, other feel- appear quickly. But, to compensate ings were probably working besides for this atmospheric simplicity, the the regret of parting. She was afraid color of the water is more profound, of the sea and of the loneliness into and the mingling of sea and sky is which we were about sailing. Women inexhaustible in interest and beauty. are timid navigators. There is no The night was dark but starlit. record of a female Columbus. There The captain pointed out the lights have been Amazons. But the only on the Maine shore to the few pasposition the most strong-minded of sengers clustered on the foredeck. the sex never refers to with jealousy, Most of the men smoked a pipe or is a sailor's on the lookout at the cigar, and then turned in. The next masthead, nearing land on a winter's morning (Sunday) rose with an night, or hanging on to the bowsprit equally fair sky and smooth sea. We furling the jib in a howling gale in were crossing the Bay of Fundy and mid-ocean. This poor girl on the soon sighted Seal Island, at the exdeck of the Portland steamer, look- treme southern coast of Nova Scotia. ing at the wide, watery expanse be- It is a rocky and dangerous island, fore her, and feeling that she was and navigators generally give it a about to plunge into the unknown, wide berth. But it looked peaceful clung to her young man as a sort of enough covered with green on that cable that still held her to the shore. bright July Sunday morning. Some
The night was glorious, but cool cables' length from the shore, beenough for a thick overcoat. We tween us and it, and about three ran down the coast of Maine with miles off, we could see the waves the open sea on our right hand. The breaking over Seal Rock. Here the ship rose and fell with the long swell steamship Chase, from Portland for sliding under her bows, but hardly Halifax, was lost in a fog about three rolled a foot from side to side. A years ago, but fortunately all hands fleet of schooners, loaded with ice, saved. coming out of the Kennebec River, After breakfast the ladies got out crossed our bows two or three miles their new novels and magazines, sat ahead. They were all bound for down in the sun on deck with their shawls around them. We had no rocks in the bare sun, about three clergymen on board, and the captain miles off. Her masts were still standdid not pipe to prayers. The men ing, and the day was so bright we passengers gathered about the fore- could almost count her timbers. She castle deck, smoking and watching was wrecked about three years ago. the passing sails. About eleven She had been got off the rocks where o'clock the breeze freshened a little, she had first struck, by speculators and the captain set his square fore- belonging to Halifax ; but, the tide sail to gain half a knot if he could leaving her, she had again stuck fast in his reckoning. The sails flapped, before she was quite clear of the bellied out, shivered, and drew a ledges. She had then been stripped little. But the wind was almost dead and abandoned. She was coming aft, and the ship was steaming along from the eastward, and must have at a rate almost equal to its velocity; struck bows full on. Her empty so we did not gain much by this hull rolled in regular oscillations maneuvre. The sea was still smooth from side to side, but the sea was and the sky fair. The crisp waves peaceful enough about her now. sparkled in the sun. Far off the After dark the air got decidedly blue sky descended sheer into the cold. There was no mistaking the water. Suddenly we were all elec- fact, even in July, that we were on trified by a cry from the man at the the Nova Scotia coast. The night wheel, “There she spouts!" All was clear but dark; starlit, but no hands jumped from their seats and moon. There was no fog. It was rushed to the rail. Crossing our one of those nights when a ship bows, a quarter of a mile away, nears port with confidence, but keeps a whale had broken water and a good lookout. The Great Bear spouted. Presently he came to the glittered almost overhead, Orion surface again on our starboard quar- sparkled, but these and all the ter and spouted. A round, thin other stars and constellations seemed column of blue water rose in the air to shine out from fathomless deeps about eight or ten feet and then in the black vault around them. A feathered off into spray. Another dim line, a darker shade along the shout from the other side of the horizon, showed the land to an exdeck. Another whale had spouted perienced eye. The second mate on our port beam. We were in the and two seamen ran from the foremidst of a school of those huge dwell- castle at frequent intervals and hove ers of the deep. In a few minutes one the lead, then reported to the caprose a little distance astern, spouted, tain. "We'll sight Sambro light in flung his enormous head out of the an hour," he said. Sambro light is water, then dived, raising a tail-fin at the entrance of Halifax harbor; like the sail of a windmill, clear two hours would then bring us to the above the surface as he plunged wharf. It was then after nine o'clock. under. He was a monster, thirty A few men were on deck; we were or forty feet long.
all muffled in overcoats. The ship After this little excitement the trembled and swung through the day wore away quietly on deck and surrounding darkness. The stars in the saloon. Headlands after head- glinted overhead. All was silent, lands, deep bays, and rocky islands, and if there had been any wind we as the Falmouth sped swiftly along should have heard the breakers. We the Noya Scotia shore. Green were passing Mars Head light. On promontories came in sight, edged such a night, dark but starlit, no abreast of us, and then sank behind fog, but a little more wind, the fated us. Near Liverpool a gaunt skeleton Atlantic rushed to her doom on of a large ship swung on a ledge of that awful ledge. Over three hun
dred lives were lost. We peered out on high ground near the middle of in the gloom towards the light. It the island, one and three-quarter was about five miles distant. In miles from the shore and Cape Samimagination I could almost hear bro, and southwest four and a half again the shrieks and groans of that miles from Chebucto Head, the westmultitude of shipwrecked souls float- ern point of the entrance to Halifax ing out from the land. Captain harbor. It exhibits, at an elevation Colby, who was then on the “Car- of one hundred and fifteen feet above lotta," was coming in on the same high water, a fixed white light, visible night from Portland, just as we were in clear weather twenty-one miles. now. He afterwards took up some A Dobell's fog trumpet was placed of the survivors to Halifax. The south of the lighthouse a few years man at the lookout, it is said, saw ago, but it was not found to work or heard the sea breaking as the well, and the Canadian Department Atlantic steamed head foremost on of Marine and Fisheries returned for to the land, and shouted, “Break- a time to the rise of guns in foggy ers or ice ahead !" There was not weather. The Department is now much sea, and it was even then time putting up a new fog whistle, which to save the ship. But the officer on will soon be in operation, when the deck, who was afterwards lost, in- guns will be disused. stead of instantly ordering the en- We had now opened the light on gines to be reversed, ran forward, Chebucto Head. This is a revolving and, before he knew her danger or white light, attaining its greatest could retrieve his mistake, she was brilliancy once every minute. The on the rocks.
lighthouse is built on Chebucto Head, A lighthouse has since been built a precipitous cliff, of whitish granite, on Mars Head; but it is scarcely one hundred and six feet high. The needed. On the true course of the water is deep close to the bluff. As Atlantic, Sambro light ought to have we approach one of those powerful been in sight. All shipmasters agree revolving lights from sea on a dark on that. We had already sighted it night, drawing nearer and nearer to on board the Falmouth. It is the it, and closer to the land, with nothfinest light on the coast; a powerful ing to break the stillness all around fixed white light, at an elevation of except the sweep of the ship's padone hundred and fifteen feet above dles, the feeling produced is intense. high water, and can be seen twenty- We experience curiosity, mingled one miles on such a night.
with an expectancy which is almost Bravely and steadily the good ship awe. The night was calm, and we Falmouth flung the waves from her must have been within half a mile of bow as we neared Sambro. Soon we the land; but when the lantern illuwere abreast of the light. Here we minated the beetling cliff it seemed might consider our voyage ended. hardly more than a stone's throw disSambro light is the great objective tant. I watched the light gradually point of all ships making Halifax attaining greater brilliancy as the harbor at night. How many thou- full face of the lantern revolved tosands have gazed at it on dark and wards me. Brighter and brighter sullen nights from the deck of the Cu- grew the stream of light over the nard, or Allan, or Anchor, or Inman water between the lighthouse tower steamers arriving from Liverpool and and the ship. Still brighter! Then Queenstown, or the coastwise steam- while I slowly counted one, two, ers from New York, Boston, or Port- three, the full refulgence gleamed in land! The lighthouse is built on a long lane of silver over the dark Sambro Island. It is a white octago- rippling waves, alınost dazzling the nal tower, sixty feet high. It stands eyes when they were fixed on the