J. Fenimore Cooper

Part 4 out of 8

trap and the mendicant whine of a beggar. Fourteen were rejected for
deficiencies on this score, the captain remarking that most of them
"were the sa'ciest blackguards" he had ever fallen in with. When he
had, at length, found one who could mix a tumbler of grog, and
answer "Sir," to his liking, he proceeded to make experiments on
their abilities in carrying a soup-tureen over a slushed plank; in
wiping plates without a napkin, and without using their shirt-
sleeves; in snuffing candles with their fingers; in making a soft
bed with few materials besides boards; in mixing the various
compounds of burgoo, lobscouse, and dough, (which he affectedly
pronounced duff); in fattening pigs on beef-bones, and ducks on the
sweepings of the deck; in looking at molasses without licking his
lips; and in various other similar accomplishments, which he
maintained were as familiar to the children of Stunin'tun, as their
singing-books and the ten commandments. The nineteenth candidate, to
my uninstructed eyes, seemed perfect; but Noah rejected him for the
want of a quality that he declared was indispensable to the quiet of
the ship. It appeared that he was too bony about an essential part
of his anatomy, a peculiarity that was very dangerous to a captain,
as he himself was once so unfortunate as to put his great toe out of
joint, by kicking one of those ill-formed youngsters with
unpremeditated violence; a thing that was very apt to happen to a
man in a hurry. Luckily, No. twenty passed, and was immediately
promoted to the vacant berth. The very next day the ship put to sea,
in good condition, and with every prospect of a fortunate voyage.

I will here state that a general election occurred the week before
we sailed; and I ran down to Householder and got myself returned, in
order to protect the interests of those who had a natural right to
look up to me for that small favor.

We discharged the pilot when we had the Scilly Islands over the
taffrail, and Mr. Poke took command of the vessel in good earnest.
Coming down channel, he had done little more than rummage about in
the cabin, examine the lockers, and make his foot acquainted with
the anatomy of poor Bob, as the cabin-boy was called; who, judging
from the amount of the captain's practice, was admirably well suited
for his station, in the great requisite of a kickee. But, the last
hold of the land loosened by the departure of the pilot, our
navigator came forth in his true colors, and showed the stuff of
which he was really made. The first thing he did was to cause a pull
to be made on every halyard, bowline, and brace in the ship; he then
rattled off both mates, in order to show them (as he afterwards told
me in confidence) that he was captain of his own vessel; gave the
people to understand he did not like to speak twice on the same
subject and on the same occasion, which he said was a privilege he
very willingly left to Congressmen and women; and then he appeared
satisfied with himself and all around him.

A week after we had taken our departure, I ventured to ask Captain
Poke if it might not be well enough to take an observation, and to
resort to some means in order to know where the ship was. Noah
treated this idea with great disrespect. He could see no use in
wearing out quadrants without any necessity for it. Our course was
south, we knew, for we were bound to the south pole; all we had to
do was to keep America on the starboard, and Africa on the larboard
hand. To be sure, there was something to be said about the trades,
and a little allowance to be made for currents now and then; but he
and the ship would get to be better acquainted before a great while,
and then all would go on like clockwork. A few days after this
conversation, I was on deck just as day dawned, and to my surprise
Noah, who was in his berth, called out to the mate, through the
skylight, to let him know exactly how the land bore. No one had yet
seen any land; but at this summons we began to look about us, and
sure enough there was an island dimly visible on the eastern board!
Its position by compass was immediately communicated to the captain,
who seemed well satisfied with the result. Renewing his admonition
to the officer of the deck to take care and keep Africa on the
larboard hand, he turned over in his bed to resume his nap.

I afterwards understood from the mates, that we had made a very
capital fall upon the trades, and that we were getting on
wonderfully well, though it was quite as great a mystery to them as
it was to me, how the captain could know where the ship was; for he
had not touched his quadrant, except to wipe it with a silk
handkerchief, since we left England. About a fortnight after we had
passed the Cape de Verds, Noah came on deck in a great rage, and
began to storm at the mate and the man at the wheel for not keeping
the ship her course. To this the former answered with spirit, that
the only order he had received in a fortnight, was "to keep her
jogging south, allowing for variation," and that she was heading at
that moment according to orders. Hereupon, Noah gave Bob, who
happened to pass him just then, a smart application a posteriori,
and swore "that the compass was as big a fool as the mate; that the
ship was two points off her course; that south was hereaway, and not
thereaway; that he knew by the feel of the wind that it had no
northin' in it, and we had got it away on the quarter, whereas it
ought to be for'ard of the beam; that we were running for Rio
instead of Leaphigh, and that if we ever expected to get to the
latter country, we must haul up on a good taut bowline." The mate,
to my surprise, suddenly acquiesced, and immediately brought the
ship by the wind. He afterwards told me, in a half-whisper, that the
second mate having been sharpening some harpoons, had unwittingly
left them much too close to the binnacle; and that, in fact, the
magnet had been attracted by them, so as to deceive the man at the
wheel and himself, fully twenty degrees as to the real points of the
compass. I must say this little occurrence greatly encouraged me,
leaving no doubt about our eventual and safe arrival as far, at
least, as the boundary of ice which separates the human from the
monikin region. Profiting by this feeling of security, I now began
to revive the intercourse with the strangers, which had been
partially interrupted by the novel and disagreeable circumstances of
a sea life.

The Lady Chatterissa and her companion, as is much the case with
females at sea, rarely left the gynecee; but as we drew near the
equator, the philosopher and the young peer passed most of their
time on deck, or aloft. Dr. Reasono and I spent half of the mild
nights in discussing subjects connected with my future travels; and
as soon as we were well clear of the rain and the thunder and
lightning of the calm latitudes, Captain Poke, Robert, and myself
began to study the language of Leaphigh. The cabin-boy was included
in this arrangement, Noah intimating we should find it convenient to
take him on shore with us, since a wish to conceal my destination
had induced me to bring no servant along. Luckily for us, the
monikin ingenuity had greatly diminished the labor of the
acquisition. The whole language was spoken and written on a system
of decimals, which rendered it particularly easy, after the
elementary principles were once acquired. Thus, unlike most human
tongues, in which the rule usually forms the exception, no departure
from its laws was ever allowed, under the penalty of the pillory.
This provision, the captain protested, was the best rule of them
all, and saved a vast deal of trouble; for, as he knew by
experience, a man might be a perfect adept in the language of
Stunin'tun, and then be laughed at in New York for his pains. The
comprehensiveness of the tongue was also another great advantage;
though, like all other eminent advantages or excessive good, it was
the next-door neighbor to as great an evil. Thus, as my Lord
Chatterino obligingly explained, "we-witch-it-me-cum" means "Madam,
I love you from the crown of my head to the tip of my tail; and as I
love no other half as well, it would make me the happiest monikin on
earth, if you would consent to become my wife, that we might be
models of domestic propriety before all eyes, from this time
henceforth and forever." In short, it was the usual and most solemn
expression for asking in marriage; and, by the laws of the land, was
binding on the proposer until as formally declined by the other
party. But, unluckily, the word "we-switch-it-me-cum" means "Madam,
I love you from the crown of my head to the tip of my tail; and, if
I did not love another better, it would make me the happiest monikin
on earth, if you would consent to become my wife, that we might be
models of domestic propriety before all eyes, from this time
henceforth and forever." Now this distinction, subtle and
insignificant as it was to the eye and the ear, caused a vast deal
of heart-burning and disappointment among the young people of
Leaphigh. Several serious lawsuits had grown out of this cause, and
two great political parties had taken root in the unfortunate
mistake of a young monikin of quality, who happened to lisp, and who
used the fatal word indiscreetly. That feud, however, was now
happily appeased, having lasted only a century, but it would be
wise, as we were all three bachelors, to take note of the
distinction. Captain Poke said he thought, on the whole, he was
perfectly safe, as he was much accustomed to the use of the word
"switchel"; but he thought it might be very well to go before some
consul as soon as the ship anchored, and enter a formal protest of
our ignorance of all these niceties, lest some advantage should be
taken of us by the reptiles of lawyers; that he in particular was
not a bachelor, and that Miss Poke would be as furious as a
hurricane, if by accident, he should happen to forget himself. The
matter was deferred for future deliberation.

About this time, too, I had some more interesting communications
with Dr. Reasono, on the subject of the private histories of all the
party of which he was the principal member. It would seem that the
philosopher, though rich in learning, and the proprietor of one of
the best developed caudce in the entire monikin world, was poor in
the more vulgar attributes of monikin wealth. While he bestowed
freely, therefore, from the stores of his philosophy, and through
the medium of the academy of Leaphigh, on all his fellows, he was
obliged to seek an especial recipient for his surplus knowledge, in
the shape of a pupil, in order to provide for the small remains of
the animal that still lingered in his habits. Lord Chatterino, the
orphan heritor of one of the noblest and wealthiest, as well as one
of the most ancient houses of Leaphigh, had been put under his
instruction at a very tender age, as had my Lady Chatterissa under
that of Mrs. Lynx, with very much the same objects. This young and
accomplished pair had early distinguished each other, in monikin
society, for their unusual graces of person, general attainments,
mutual amiableness of disposition, harmony of thought, and soundness
of principles. Everything was propitious to the gentle flame which
was kindled in the vestal bosom of Chatterissa, and which was met by
a passion so ardent and so respectful, as that which glowed in the
heart of young No. 8 purple. The friends of the respective parties,
so soon as the budding sympathy between them was observed, in order
to prevent the blight of wishes so appropriate, had called in the
aid of the matrimonial surveyor-general of Leaphigh, an officer
especially appointed by the king in council, whose duty it is to
take cognizance of the proprieties of all engagements that are
likely to assume a character as grave and durable as that of
marriage. Dr. Reasono showed me the certificate issued from the
Marriage Department on this occasion, and which, in all his
wanderings, he had contrived to conceal within the lining of the
Spanish hat the Savoyards had compelled him to wear, and which he
still preserved as a document that was absolutely indispensable on
his return to Leaphigh; else he would never be permitted to travel
afoot in company with two young people of birth and of good estates,
who were of the different sexes. I translate the certificate, as
literally as the poverty of the English language will allow.

Extract from the Book of Fitness, Marriage Department, Leaphigh,
season of nuts, day of brightness.

Vol. 7243, p. 82.

Lord Chatterino: Domains; 126,952 3/4 acres of land; meadow, arable
and wood in just proportions.

Lady Chatterissa: Domains; 115,999 1/2 acres of land; mostly arable.

Decree, as of record; it is found that the lands of my Lady
Chatterissa possess in quality what they want in quantity.

Lord Chatterino: Birth; sixteen descents pure; one bastardy--four
descents pure--a suspicion--one descent pure--a certainty.

Lady Chatterissa: Birth; six descents pure--three bastardies--eleven
descents pure--a certainty--a suspicion--unknown.

Decree as of record; it is found that the advantage is on the side
of my Lord Chatterino, but the excellence of the estate on the other
side is believed to equalize the parties.

(Signed) No. 6 ermine. A true copy.

(Counter signed) No. 1,000,003 ink-color.

Ordered, that the parties make the Journey of Trial together, under
the charge of Socrates Reasono, Professor of Probabilities in the
University of Leaphigh, LL.D., F. U. D. G. E., and of Mrs. Vigilance
Lynx, licensed duenna.

The Journey of Trial is so peculiar to the monikin system, and it
might be so usefully introduced into our own, that it may be well to
explain it. Whenever it is found that a young couple are agreeable
(to use a peculiar anglicized anglicism), in all the more essential
requisites of matrimony, they are sent on the journey in question,
under the care of prudent and experienced mentors, with a view to
ascertain how far they may be able to support, in each other's
society, the ordinary vicissitudes of life. In the case of
candidates of the more vulgar classes, there are official overseers,
who usually drag them through a few mud-puddles, and then set them
to work at some hard labor that is especially profitable to the
public functionaries, who commonly get the greater part of their own
year's work done in this manner. But, as the moral provisions of all
laws are invented less for those who own 126,952 3/4 acres of land,
divided into meadow, arable and wood, in just proportions, than for
those whose virtues are more likely to yield to the fiery ordeal of
temptation, the rich and noble, after making a proper and useful
manifestation of their compliance with the usage, ordinarily retire
to their country seats, where they pass the period of probation as
agreeably as they can; taking care to cause to be inserted in the
Leaphigh gazette, however, occasional extracts from their letters
describing the pains and hardships they are compelled to endure for
the consolation and edification of those who have neither birth nor
country houses. In a good many instances the journey is actually
performed by proxy But the case of my Lord Chatterino and my Lady
Chatterissa formed an exception even to these exceptions. It was
thought by the authorities that the attachment of a pair so
illustrious offered a good occasion to distinguish the Leaphigh
impartiality; and on the well-known principle which induces us
sometimes to hang an earl in England, the young couple were
commanded actually to go forth with all useful eclat (secret orders
being given to their guardians to allow every possible indulgence,
at the same time), in order that the lieges might see and exult in
the sternness and integrity of their rulers.

Dr. Reasono had accordingly taken his departure from the capital for
the mountains, where he instructed his wards in a practical
commentary of the ups and downs of life, by exposing them on the
verges of precipices and in the delights of the most fertile valleys
(which, as he justly observed, was the greater danger of the two),
leading them over flinty paths, hungry and cold, in order to try
their tempers; and setting up establishments with the most awkward
peasants for servants, to ascertain the depth of Chatterissa's
philosophy; with a variety of similar ingenious devices, that will
readily suggest themselves to all who have any matrimonial
experience, whether they live in palaces or cottages. When this part
of the trial was successfully terminated (the result having shown
that the gentle Chatterissa was of proof, so far as mere temper was
concerned), the whole party were ordered off to the barrier of ice,
which divides the monikin from the human region, with a view to
ascertain whether the warmth of their attachment was of a nature
likely to resist the freezing collisions of the world. Here,
unfortunately, (for the truth must be said), an unlucky desire of
Dr. Reasono, who was already F. U. D. G. E., but who had a devouring
ambition to become also M. O. R. E., led him into the extreme
imprudence of pushing through an opening, where he had formerly
discovered an island, on an ancient expedition of the same sort; and
on which island he thought he saw a rock, that formed a stratum of
what he believed to be a portion of the forty thousand square miles
that were discomposed by the great eruption of the earth's boiler.
The philosopher foresaw a thousand interesting results that were
dependent on the ascertaining of this important fact; for all the
learning of Leaphigh having been exhausted, some five hundred years
before, in establishing the greatest distance to which any fragment
had been thrown on that memorable occasion, great attention had
latterly been given to the discovery of the least distance any
fragment had been hurled. Perhaps I ought to speak tenderly of the
consequences of a learned zeal, but it was entirely owing to this
indiscretion that the whole party fell into the hands of certain
mariners who were sealing on the northern shores of this very
island, (friends and neighbors, as it afterwards appeared, of
Captain Poke), who remorselessly seized upon the travellers, and
sold them to a homeward-bound India-man, which they afterwards fell
in with near the island of St. Helena--St. Helena! the tomb of him
who is a model to all posterity, for the moderation of his desires,
the simplicity of his character, a deep veneration for truth,
profound reverence for justice, unwavering faith, and a clear
appreciation of all the nobler virtues.

We came in sight of the island in question, just as Dr. Reasono
concluded his interesting narrative; and, turning to Captain Poke, I
solemnly asked that discerning and shrewd seaman,--

"If he did not think the future would fully avenge itself of the
past--if history would not do ample justice to the mighty dead--if
certain names would not be consigned to everlasting infamy for
chaining a hero to a rock; and whether HIS country, the land of
freemen, would ever have disgraced itself, by such an act of
barbarism and vengeance?"

The captain heard me very calmly; then deliberately helping himself
to some tobacco, he replied,--

"Harkee, Sir John. At Stunin'tun, when we catch a ferocious
critter', we always put it in a cage. I'm no great mathematician, as
I've often told you; if my dog bites me once, I kick him--twice, I
beat him--thrice, I chain him."

Alas! there are minds so unfortunately constituted, that they have
no sympathies with the sublime. All their tendencies are direct and
common-sense like. To such men, Napoleon appears little better than
one who lived among his fellows more in the character of a tiger
than in that of a man. They condemn him because he could not reduce
his own sense of the attributes of greatness to the level of their
home-bred morality. Among this number, it would now seem, was to be
classed Captain Noah Poke.

A wish to relate the manner in which Dr. Reasono and his companions
fell into human hands, has caused me to overlook one or two matters
of lighter moment, that should not, in justice to myself, however,
be entirely omitted.

When we had been at sea two days, a very agreeable surprise for the
monikin party was prepared and executed. I had caused a certain
number of jackets and trousers to be made of the skins of different
animals, such as dogs, cats, sheep, tigers, leopards, hogs, etc.,
etc., with the proper accompaniments of snouts, hoofs, and claws;
and, when the ladies came on deck, after breakfast, their eyes were
no longer offended by our rude innovations upon nature, but the
whole crew were flying about the rigging, like so many animals of
the different species named. Noah and myself appeared in the
characters of sea-lions, the former having intimated that he
understood the nature of that beast better than any other. Of
course, this delicate attention was properly appreciated, and
handsomely acknowledged.

I had taken the precaution to order imitation-skins to be made of
cotton, which were worn in the low latitudes; and, as we got near
the Falkland Islands, the real skins were resumed, with promptitude,
and I might add, with pleasure.

Noah had, at first, raised some strong objections to the scheme,
saying that he should not feel safe in a ship manned and officered
altogether by wild beasts; but, at last, he came to enjoy the thing
as a good joke, never failing to hail the men, not by their names as
formerly, but, as he expressed it himself, "by their natur's";
calling out "You cat, scratch this"; "You tiger, jump here"; "You
hog, out of that dirt"'; "You dog, scamper there"; "You horse, haul
away," and divers other similar conceits, that singularly tickled
his fancy. The men themselves took up the ball, which they kept
rolling, embellished with all sorts of nautical witticisms; their
surname--they had but one, viz. Smith--being entirely dropped for
the new appellations. Thus, the sounds of "Tom Dog," "Jack Cat,"
"Bill Tiger," "Sam Hog," and "Dick Horse," were flying about the
deck from morning to night.

Good humor is a great alleviator of bodily privation. From the time
the ship lost sight of Staten Land, we had heavy weather, with hard
gales from the southward and westward; and we had the utmost
difficulty in making our southing. Observations now became a very
difficult matter, the sun being invisible for a week at a time. The
marine instinct of Noah, at this crisis, was of the last importance
to all on board. He gave us the cheering assurance, however, from
time to time, that we were going south, although the mates declared
that they knew not where the ship was, or whither she was running;
neither sun, moon, nor star having now been seen for more than a

We had been in this state of anxiety and doubt for about a
fortnight, when Captain Poke suddenly appeared on deck, and called
for the cabin-boy, in his usual stentorian and no-denial voice, by
the name of "You Bob Ape"; for the duty of Robert requiring that he
should be much about the persons of the monikins, I had given him a
dress of apes' skins, as a garb that would be more congenial to
their tastes than that of a pig, or a weasel. Bob Ape was soon
forthcoming, and, as he approached his master, he quietly turned his
face from him, receiving, as a matter of course, three or four smart
admonitory hints, by way of letting him know that he was to be
active in the performance of the duty on which he was about to be
sent. On this occasion I made an odd discovery. Bob had profited by
the dimensions of his lower garment, which had been cut for a much
larger boy (one of those who had broken down in essaying the true
Doric of "Sir"), by stuffing it with an old union-jack-a sort of
"sarvice," as he afterwards told me, that saved him a good deal of
wear and tear of skin. To return to passing events, however; when
Robert had been duly kicked, he turned about manfully, and demanded
the captain's pleasure. He was told to bring the largest and fairest
pumpkin he could find, from the private stores of Mr. Poke, that
navigator never going to sea without a store of articles that he
termed "Stunin'tun food." The captain took the pumpkin between his
legs, and carefully peeled off the whole of its greenish-yellow
coat, leaving it a globe of a whitish color. He then asked for the
tar-bucket, and, with his fingers, traced various marks, which were
pretty accurate outlines of the different continents and the larger
islands of the world. The region near the south pole, however, he
left untouched; intimating that it contained certain sealing
islands, which he considered pretty much as the private property of
the Stunin'tunners.

"Now, Doctor," he said, pointing to the pumpkin, "there is the
'arth, and here is the tar-pot--just mark down the position of your
island of Leaphigh, if you please, according to the best accounts
your academy has of the matter. Make a dab here and there, if you
happen to know of any rocks and shoals. After that, you can lay down
the island where you were captured, giving a general idee of its
headlands and of the trending of the coast."

Dr. Reasono took a fid, and with its end he traced all the desired
objects with great readiness and skill. Noah examined the work, and
seemed satisfied that he had fallen into the hands of a monikin who
had very correct notions of bearings and distances, one, in short,
on whose local knowledge it might do to run even in the night. He
then projected the position of Stunnin'tun, an occupation in which
he took great delight, actually designing the meeting-house and the
principal tavern; after which, the chart was laid aside.



Captain Poke no longer deliberated about the course we were to
steer. With his pumpkin for a chart, his instinct for an
observation, and his nose for a compass, the sturdy sealer stood
boldly to the southward; or, at least, he ran dead before a stiff
gale, which, as he more than once affirmed, was as true a norther as
if bred and born in the Canadas.

After coursing over the billows at a tremendous rate for a day and a
night, the captain appeared on deck, with a face of unusual meaning,
and a mind loaded with its own reflections, as was proved by his
winking knowingly whenever he delivered himself of a sentiment; a
habit that he had most probably contracted, in early youth, at
Stunin'tun, for it seemed to be quite as inveterate as it was

"We shall soon know, Sir John," he observed, hitching the sea-lion
skin into symmetry, "whether it is sink or swim!"

"Pray explain yourself, Mr. Poke," cried I, in a little alarm. "If
anything serious is to happen, you are bound to give timely notice."

"Death is always untimely to some critturs, Sir John."

"Am I to understand, sir, that you mean to cast away the ship?"

"Not if I can help it, Sir John; but a craft that is foreordained to
be a wrack, will be a wrack, in spite of reefing and bracing. Look
ahead, you Dick Lion--ay, there you have it!"

There we had it, sure enough! I can only compare the scene which now
met my eyes, to a sudden view of the range of the Oberland Alps,
when the spectator is unexpectedly placed on the verge of the
precipice of the Weissenstein. There he would see before him a
boundless barrier of glittering ice, broken into the glorious and
fantastic forms of pinnacles, walls, and valleys; while here, we saw
all that was sublime in such a view heightened by the fearful action
of the boisterous ocean, which beat upon the impassable boundary in
ceaseless violence.

"Good God! Captain Poke," I exclaimed, the instant I caught a
glimpse of the formidable danger that menaced us, "you surely do not
mean to continue madly on, with such a warning of the consequences
in plain view?"

"What would you have, Sir John? Leaphigh lies on the t'other side of
these ice-islands!"

"But you need not run the ship against them--why not go round them?"

"Because they go round the 'arth, in this latitude. Now is the time
to speak, Sir John. If we are bound to Leaphigh, we have the choice
of three pretty desperate chances; to go through, to go under, or to
go over that there ice. If we are to put back, there is not a moment
to lose, for it may be even now questioned whether the ship would
claw off, as we are, with a sending sea, and this heavy norther."

I believe I would, at that moment, gladly have given up all my
social stakes to be well rid of the adventure. Still pride, that
substitute for so many virtues, the greatest and the most potent of
all hypocrites, forbade my betraying the desire to retreat. I
deliberated, while the ship flew; and when, at length, I turned to
the captain to suggest a doubt that might, at an earlier notice,
possibly have changed the whole aspect of affairs, he bluntly told
me it was too late. It was safer to proceed than to return, if
indeed, return were possible, in the present state of the winds and
waves. Making a merit of necessity, I braced my nerves to meet the
crisis, and remained a submissive, and, apparently, a calm spectator
of that which followed.

The Walrus (such was the name of our good ship) by this time was
under easy canvas, and yet, urged by the gale, she rolled down with
alarming velocity towards the boundary of foam where the congealed
and the still liquid element held their strife. The summits of the
frozen crags waved in their glittering glory in a way just to show
that they were afloat; and I remembered to have heard that, at
times, as their bases melted, entire mountains had been known to
roll over, engulfing all that lay beneath. To me it seemed but a
moment, before the ship was fairly overshadowed by these shining
cliffs, which, gently undulating, waved their frozen summits nearly
a thousand feet in air. I looked at Noah, in alarm, for it appeared
to me that he intentionally precipitated us to destruction. But,
just as I was about to remonstrate, he made a sign with his hand,
and the vessel was brought to the wind. Still retreat was
impossible; for the heave of the sea was too powerful, and the wind
too heavy, to leave us any hope of long keeping the Walrus from
drifting down upon the ragged peaks that bristled in icy glory to
leeward. Nor did Captain Poke himself seem to entertain any such
design; for, instead of hugging the gale, in order to haul off from
the danger, he had caused the yards to be laid perfectly square, and
we were now running, at a great rate, in a line nearly parallel with
the frozen coast, though gradually setting upon it.

"Keep full! Let her go through water, you Jim Tiger," said the old
sealer, whose professional ardor was fairly aroused. "Now, Sir John,
unluckily, we are on the wrong side of these ice mountains, for the
plain reason that Leaphigh lies to the south'ard of them. We must be
stirring, therefore, for no craft that was ever launched could keep
off these crags with such a gale driving home upon them, for more
than an hour or two. Our great concern, at present, is to look out
for a hole to run into."

"Why have you come so close to the danger, with your knowledge of
the consequences?"

"To own the truth, Sir John, natur' is natur', and I'm getting to be
a little near-sighted as I grow old; besides, I'm not so sartain
that the danger is the more dangerous, for taking a good, steady
look plump in its face."

Noah raised his hand, as much as to say he wished no answer, and
both of us were immediately occupied in gazing anxiously to leeward.
The ship was just opening a small cove in the ice, which might have
been a cable's length in depth, and a quarter of a mile across its
outer, or the widest part. Its form was regular, being that of a
semicircle; but, at its bottom, the ice, instead of forming a
continued barrier, like all the rest we had yet passed, was
separated by a narrow opening, that was bounded on each side by a
frowning precipice. The two bergs were evidently drawing nearer to
each other, but there was still a strait, or a watery gorge between
them, of some two hundred feet in width. As the ship plunged onward,
the pass was opened, and we caught a glimpse of the distant view to
leeward. It was merely a glimpse--the impatient Walrus allowing us
but a moment for examination--but it appeared sufficient for the
purposes of the old sealer. We were already across the mouth of the
cove, and within a cable's length of the ice again; for as we drew
near what may be called the little cape, we found ourselves once
more in closer proximity to the menacing mountain. It was a moment
when all depended on decision; and fortunately, our sealer, who was
so wary and procrastinating in a bargain, never had occasion to make
two drafts on his thoughts, in situations of emergency. As the ship
cleared the promontory on the eastern side of the cove, we again
opened a curvature of the ice, which gave a little more water to
leeward. Tacking was impossible, and the helm was put hard aweather.
The bow of the Walrus fell off, and as she rose on the next wave, I
thought its send would carry us helplessly down upon the berg. But
the good craft, obedient to her rudder, whirled round, as if
sensible herself of the danger, and, in less time than I had ever
before known her to wear, we felt the wind on the other quarter. Our
cats and dogs bestirred themselves, for there was no one there,
Captain Noah Poke excepted, whose heart did not beat quick and hard.
In much less time than usual, the yards were braced up on the other
tack, and the ship was ploughing heavily against the sea, with her
head to the westward. It is impossible to give one who has never
been in such a situation, a just idea of the feverish impatience,
the sinking and mounting of hope, as we watch the crablike movement
of a vessel that is clawing off a lee-shore, in a gale. In the
present case, it being well known that the sea was fathomless, we
had run so near the danger that not even the smallest of its horrors
was veiled from sight.

While the ship labored along, I saw the clouds fast shutting in to
windward, by the interposition of the promontory of ice--the certain
sign that our drift was rapid--and, as we drew nearer to the point,
breathing became labored and even audible. Here Noah took a chew of
tobacco, I presume on the principle of enjoying a last quid, should
the elements prove fatal; and then he went to the wheel in person.

"Let her go through the water," he said, easing the helm a little--
"let her jog ahead, or we shall lose command of her in this devil's-

The vessel felt the slight change, and drew faster through the
foaming brine, bringing us, with increasing velocity, nearer to the
dreaded point. As we came up to the promontory the water fell back
in spray on the decks, and there was an instant when it appeared as
if the wind was about to desert us. Happily the ship had drawn so
far ahead as to feel the good effects of a slight change of current
that was caused by the air rushing obliquely into the cove; and, as
Noah, by easing the helm still more, had anticipated this
alteration, which had been felt adversely but a moment before, while
struggling to the eastward of the promontory, we drew swiftly past
the icy cape, opening the cove handsomely, with the ship's head
falling off fast towards the gorge.

There was but a minute or two, for squaring the yards and obtaining
the proper position to windward of the narrow strait. Instead of
running down in a direct line for the latter, Captain Poke kept the
ship on such a course as to lay it well open, before her head was
pointed towards the passage. By this time, the two bergs had drawn
so near each other as actually to form an arch across its mouth; and
this, too, at a part so low as to render it questionable whether
there was sufficient elevation to permit the Walrus to pass beneath.
But retreat was impossible, the gale urging the ship furiously
onwards. The width of the passage was now but little more than a
hundred feet, and it actually required the nicest steerage to keep
our yard-arms clear of the opposite precipices, as the vessel
dashed, with foaming bows, into the gorge. The wind drew through the
opening with tremendous violence, fairly howling as if in delight at
discovering a passage by which it might continue its furious career.
We may have been aided by the sucking of the wind and the waves,
both of which were irresistibly drawn towards the pass, or it is
quite probable that the skill of Captain Poke did us good service on
this awful occasion; but, owing to the one or the other, or to the
two causes united, the Walrus shot into the gorge so accurately as
to avoid touching either of the lateral margins of the ice. We were
not so fortunate, however, with the loftier spars; for scarcely was
the vessel beneath the arch, when she lifted on a swell, and her
main-top-gallant-mast snapped off in the cap. The ice groaned and
cracked over our heads, and large fragments fell both ahead and
astern of us, several of them even tumbling upon our decks. One
large piece came down within an inch of the extremity of Dr.
Reasono's tail, just escaping the dire calamity of knocking out the
brains of that profound and philo-monikin philosopher. In another
instant the ship was through the pass, which completely closed, with
the crash of an earthquake, as soon as possible afterwards.

Still driven by the gale, we ran rapidly towards the south, along a
channel less than a quarter of a mile in width, the bergs evidently
closing on each side of us, and the ship, as if conscious of her
jeopardy, doing her utmost, with Captain Poke still at the wheel. In
a little more than an hour, the worst was over--the Walrus issuing
into an open basin of several leagues in extent, which was, however,
completely encircled by the frozen mountains. Here Noah took a look
at the pumpkin, after which he made no ceremony in plumply telling
Dr. Reasono that he had been greatly mistaken in laying down the
position of Captivity Island, as he himself had named the spot where
the amiable strangers had fallen into human hands. The philosopher
was a little tenacious of his opinion; but what is argument in the
face of facts? Here was the pumpkin, and there were the blue waters!
The captain now quite frankly declared that he had great doubts
whether there was any such place as Leaphigh at all; and as the ship
had a capital position for such an object, he bluntly, though
privately proposed to me, that we should throw all the monikins
overboard, project the entire polar basin on his chart as being
entirely free from islands, and then go a-sealing. I rejected the
propositions, firstly, as premature; secondly, as inhuman; thirdly,
as inhospitable; fourthly, as inconvenient; and lastly, as

There might have arisen a disagreeable controversy between us on
this point; for Mr. Poke had begun to warm, and to swear that one
good seal, of the true quality of fur, was worth a hundred monkeys;
when most happily the panther at the masthead cried out that two of
the largest mountains, to the southward of us, were separating, and
that he could discern a passage into another basin. Hereupon Captain
Poke concentrated his oaths, which he caused to explode like a bomb,
and instantly made sail again in the proper direction. By three
o'clock, P.M., we had run the gauntlet of the bergs a second time,
and were at least a degree nearer the pole, in the basin just
alluded to.

The mountains had now entirely disappeared in the southern board;
but the sea was covered, far as the eye could reach, with field-ice.
Noah stood on, without apprehension; for the water had been smooth
ever since we entered the first opening, the wind not having rake
enough to knock up a swell. When about a mile from the margin of the
frozen and seemingly interminable plain, the ship was brought to the
wind, and hove-to.

Ever since the vessel left the docks, there had been six sets of
spars of a form so singular, lying among the booms, that they had
often been the subject of conversation between the mates and myself,
neither of the former being able to tell their uses. These sticks
were of no great length, some fifteen feet at the most, of sound
English oak. Two or three pairs were alike, for they were in pairs,
each pair having one of the sides of a shape resembling different
parts of the ship's bottom, with the exception that they were
chiefly concave, while the bottom of a vessel is mainly convex. At
one extremity each pair was firmly connected by a short, massive,
iron link, of about two feet in length; and, at its opposite end, a
large eye-bolt was driven into each stick, where it was securely
forelocked. When the Walrus was stationary, we learned, for the
first time, the uses of these unusual preparations. A pair of the
timbers, which were of great solidity and strength, were dropped
over the stern, and, sinking beneath the keel, their upper
extremities were separated by means of lanyards turned into the eye-
bolts. The lanyards were then brought forward to the bilge of the
vessel, where, by the help of tackles, the timbers were rowsed up in
such a manner that the links came close to the false keel, and the
timbers themselves were laid snug against each side of the ship. As
great care had been taken, by means of marks on the vessel, as well
as in forming the skids themselves, the fit was perfect. No less
than five pairs were secured in and near the bilge, and as many more
were distributed forwards and aft, according to the shape of the
bottom. Fore-and-aft pieces, that reached from one skid to the
other, were then placed between those about the bilge of the ship,
each of them having a certain number of short ribs, extending
upwards and downwards. These fore-and-aft pieces were laid along the
waterline, their ends entering the skids by means of mortices and
tenons, where they were snugly bolted. The result of the entire
arrangement was, to give the vessel an exterior protection against
the field-ice, by means of a sort of network of timber, the whole of
which had been so accurately fitted in the dock, as to bear equally
on her frame. These preparations were not fairly completed before
ten o'clock on the following morning, when Noah stood directly for
an opening in the ice before us, which just about that time began to
be apparent.

"We sha'nt go so fast for our armor," observed the cautious old
sealer; "but what we want in heels, we'll make up in bottom."

For the whole of that day we worked our devious course, by great
labor and at uncertain intervals, to the southward; and at night we
fastened the Walrus to a floe, in waiting for the return of light.
Just as the day dawned, however, I heard a tremendous grating sound
against the side of the vessel; and rushing on deck, I found that we
were completely caught between two immense fields, which seemed to
be attracted towards each other for no other apparent purpose than
to crush us. Here it was that the expedient of Captain Poke made
manifest its merits. Protected by the massive timbers and false
ribs, the bilge of the ship resisted the pressure; and as, under
such circumstances, something must yield, luckily nothing but the
attraction of gravitation was overcome. The skids, through their
inclination, acted as wedges, the links pressing against the keel;
and in the course of an hour the Walrus was gradually lifted out of
the water, maintaining her upright position, in consequence of the
powerful nip of the floes. No sooner was this experiment handsomely
effected, than Mr. Poke jumped upon the ice, and commenced an
examination of the ship's bottom.

"Here's a dry-dock for you, Sir John!" exclaimed the old sealer,
chuckling. "I'll have a patent for this, the moment I put foot ag'in
in Stunin'tun."

A feeling of security, to which I had been a stranger ever since we
entered the ice, was created by the composure of Noah, and by his
self-congratulation at what he called his project to get a look at
the Walrus's bottom. Notwithstanding all the fine declarations of
exultation and success, however, that he flourished among us who
were not mariners, I was much disposed to think that, like other men
of extraordinary genius, he had blundered on the grand result of his
"ice-screws," and that it was not foreseen and calculated. Let this
be as it may, however, all hands were soon on the floe, with brooms,
scrapers, hammers, and nails, and the opportunity of repairing and
cleaning was thoroughly improved.

For four-and-twenty hours the ship remained in the same attitude,
still as a church, and some of us began to entertain apprehensions
that she might be kept on her frozen blocks forever. The accident
had happened, according to the statements of Captain Poke, in lat.
78 degrees 13' 26"--although I never knew in what manner he
ascertained the important particular of our precise situation.
Thinking it might be well to get some more accurate ideas on this
subject, after so long and ticklish a run, I procured the quadrant
from Bob Ape, and brought it down upon the ice, where I made it a
point, as an especial favor, the weather being favorable and the
proper hour near, that our commander would correct his instinct by a
solar observation. Noah protested that your old seaman, especially
if a sealer and a Stunin'tunner, had no occasion for such geometry
operations, as he termed them; that it might be well enough, perhaps
necessary, for your counting-house, silk-gloved captains, who run
between New York and Liverpool, to be rubbing up their glasses and
polishing their sextants, for they hardly ever knew where they were,
except at such times; but as for himself, he had little need of
turning star-gazer at his time of life, and that as he had already
told me, he was getting to be near-sighted, and had some doubts
whether he could discern an object like the sun, that was known to
be so many thousands of millions of miles from the earth. These
scruples, however, were overcome by my cleaning the glasses,
preparing a barrel for him to stand on, that he might be at the
customary elevation above his horizon, and putting the instrument
into his hands, the mates standing near, ready to make the
calculations when he gave the sun's declination.

"We are drifting south'ard, I know," said Mr. Poke before he
commenced his sight--"I feel it in my bones. We are at this moment
in 79 degrees 36' 14."--having made a southerly drift of more than
eighty miles since yesterday noon. Now mind my words, and see what
the sun will say about it."

When the calculations were made, our latitude was found to be 79
degrees 35' 47". Noah was somewhat puzzled by the difference, for
which he could in no plausible way account, as the observation had
been unusually good and certain. But an opinionated and an ingenious
man is seldom at a loss to find a sufficient reason to establish his
own correctness, or to prove the mistakes of others.

"Ay, I see how it is," he said, after a little cogitation, "the sun
must be wrong--it should be no wonder if the sun did get a little
out of his track in these high, cold latitudes. Yes, yes; the sun
must be wrong."

I was too much delighted at being certain we were going on our
course to dispute the point, and the great luminary was abandoned to
the imputation of sometimes being in error. Dr. Reasono took
occasion to say, in my private ear, that there was a sect of
philosophers in Leaphigh, who had long distrusted the accuracy of
the planetary system, and who had even thrown out hints that the
earth, In its annual revolution, moved in a direction absolutely
contrary to that which nature had contemplated when she gave the
original polar impulse; but that, as regarded himself, he thought
very little of these opinions, as he had frequent occasion to
observe that there was a large class of monikins whose ideas always
went uphill.

For two more days and as many nights, we continued to drift with the
floes to the southward, or as near as might be, towards the haven of
our wishes. On the fourth morning, there was a suitable change in
the weather; both thermometer and barometer rose; the air became
more bland, and most of our cats and dogs, notwithstanding we were
still surrounded by the ice, began to cast their skins. Dr. Reasono
noted these signs, and stepping on the floe, he brought back with
him a considerable fragment of the frozen element. This was carried
to the camboose, where it was subjected to the action of fire,
which, within a given number of minutes, pretty much as a matter of
course, as I thought, caused it to melt. The whole process was
watched with an anxiety the most intense, by the whole of the
monikins, however; and when the result was announced, the amiable
and lovely Chatterissa clapped her pretty little pattes with joy,
and gave all the other natural indications of delight, which
characterize the emotions of that gentle sex of which she was so
bright an ornament. Dr. Reasono was not backwards in explaining the
cause of so much unusual exhilaration, for hitherto her manner had
been characterized by the well-bred and sophisticated restraint
which marks high training. The experiment had shown, by the
infallible and scientific tests of monikin chemistry, that we were
now within the influence of a steam-climate, and there could no
longer be any rational doubt of our eventual arrival in the polar

The result proved that the philosopher was right. About noon the
floes, which all that day had begun to assume what is termed a
"sloppy character," suddenly gave way, and the Walrus settled down
into her proper element, with great equanimity and propriety.
Captain Poke lost no time in unshipping the skids; and a smacking
breeze, that was well saturated with steam, springing up from the
westward, we made sail. Our course was due south, without regard to
the ice, which yielded before our bows like so much thick water, and
just as the sun set, we entered the open sea, rioting in the
luxuriance of its genial climate, in triumph.

Sail was carried on the ship all that night; and just as the day
dawned, we made the first mile-stone, a proof, not to be mistaken,
that we were now actually within the monikin region. Dr. Reasono had
the goodness to explain to us the history of these aquatic
phenomena. It would seem that when the earth exploded, its entire
crust, throughout the whole of this part of the world, was started
upwards in such a way as to give a very uniform depth to the sea,
which in no place exceeds four fathoms. It follows, as a
consequence, that no prevalence of northerly winds can force the
icebergs beyond 78 degrees of south latitude, as they invariably
ground on reaching the outer edge of the polar bank. The floes,
being thin, are melted of course; and thus, by this beneficent
prevention, the monikin world is kept entirely free from the very
danger to which a vulgar mind would be the most apt to believe it is
the most exposed.

A congress of nations had been held, about five centuries since,
which was called the Holy-philo-marine-safety-and-find-the-way
Alliance. At this congress the high contracting parties agreed to
name a commission to make provision, generally, for the secure
navigation of the seas. One of the expedients of this commission,
which, by the way, is said to have been composed of very illustrious
monikins, was to cause massive blocks of stone to be laid down, at
measured distances, throughout the whole of the basin, and in which
other stone uprights were secured. The necessary inscriptions were
graved on proper tablets, and as we approached the one already
named, I observed that it had the image of a monikin, carved also in
stone, with his tail extended in a right line, pointing, as Mr. Poke
assured me, S. and by W. half W. I had made sufficient progress in
the monikin language to read, as we glided past this watermark--"To
Leaphigh,--15 miles." One monikin mile, however, we were next told,
was equal to nine English statute miles; and, consequently, we were
not so near our port as was at first supposed. I expressed great
satisfaction at finding ourselves so fairly on the road, however,
and paid Dr. Reasono some well-merited compliments on the high state
of civilization to which his species had evidently arrived. The day
was not distant, I added, when it was reasonable to suppose, our own
seas would have floating restaurants and cafes, with suitable pot-
houses for the mariners; though I did not well see how we were to
provide a substitute for their own excellent organization of mile-
stones. The Doctor received my compliments with becoming modesty,
saying that he had no doubt mankind would do all that lay in their
power to have good eating and drinking-houses, whereever they could
be established; but as to the marine milestones, he agreed with me,
that there was little hope of their being planted, until the crust
of the earth should be driven upwards, so as to rise within four
fathoms of the surface of the water. On the other hand, Captain Poke
held this latter improvement very cheap. He affirmed it was no sign
of civilization at all, for, as a man became civilized, he had less
need of primers and finger-boards; and, as for Leaphigh, any
tolerable navigator could see it bore S. by W. half W. allowing for
variation, distant 135 English miles. To these objections I was
silent, for I had frequent occasion to observe that men very often
underrate any advantage of which they have come into the enjoyment
by a providential interposition.

Just as the sun was in the meridian, the cry of "land ahead" was
heard from aloft. The monikins were all smiles and gratitude; the
crew were excited by admiration and wonder; and as for myself, I was
literally ready to jump out of my skin, not only with delight, but,
in some measure also, from the exceeding warmth of the atmosphere.
Our cats and dogs began to uncase; Bob was obliged to unmask his
most exposed frontier, by removing the union-jack; and Noah himself
fairly appeared on deck in his shirt and night-cap. The amiable
strangers were too much occupied to be particular, and I slipped
into my state-room to change my toilet to a dress of thin silk, that
was painted to resemble the skin of a polar bear--a contradiction
between things that is much too common in our species ever to be
deemed out of fashion.

We neared the land with great rapidity, impelled by a steam-breeze,
and just as the sun sank in the horizon our anchor was let go, in
the outer harbor of the city of Aggregation.



It is always agreeable to arrive safe, at the end of a long,
fatiguing, and hazardous journey. But the pleasure is considerably
augmented when the visit is paid to a novel region, with a steam-
climate, and which is peopled by a new species. My own satisfaction,
too was coupled with the reflection that I had been of real service
to four very interesting and well-bred strangers, who had been cast,
by an adverse fortune, into the hands of humanity, and who owed to
me a boon far more precious than life itself--a restoration to their
natural and acquired rights, their proper stations in society, and
sacred liberty! The reader will judge, therefore, with what inward
self-congratulation I now received the acknowledgments of the whole
monikin party, and listened to their most solemn protestations ever
to consider, not only all they might jointly and severally possess
in the way of estates and dignities, at my entire disposal, but
their persons as my slaves. Of course, I made as light as possible
of any little service I might have done them, protesting in my turn,
that I looked upon the whole affair more in the light of a party of
pleasure than a tax, reminding them that I had not only obtained an
insight into a new philosophy, but that I was already, thanks to the
decimal system, a tolerable proficient in their ancient and learned
language. These civilities were scarcely well over, before we were
boarded by the boat of the port-captain.

The arrival of a human ship was an event likely to create excitement
in a monikin country; and as our approach had been witnessed for
several hours, preparations had been made to give us a proper
reception. The section of the academy to whom is committed the
custody of the "Science of Indications," was hastily assembled by
order of the king, who, by the way, never speaks except through the
mouth of his oldest male first cousin, who, by the fundamental laws
of the realm, is held responsible for all his official acts (in
private, the king is allowed almost as many privileges as any other
monikin), and who, as is due to him in simple justice, is permitted
to exercise, in a public point of view, the functions of the eyes,
ears, nose, conscience, and tail of the monarch. The savans were
active, and as they proceeded with method, and on well-established
principles, their report was quickly made. It contained, as we
afterwards understood, seven sheets of premises, eleven of argument,
sixteen of conjecture, and two lines of deduction. This heavy draft
on the monikin intellect was duly achieved by dividing the work into
as many parts as there were members of the section present, viz.,
forty. The substance of their labors was, to say that the vessel in
sight was a strange vessel; that it came to a strange country, on a
strange errand, being manned by strangers; and that its objects were
more likely to be peaceful than warlike, since the glasses of the
academy did not enable them to discover any means of annoyance, with
the exception of certain wild beasts, who appeared, however, to be
peaceably occupied in working the ship. All this was sententiously
expressed in the purest monikin language. The effect of the report
was, to cause all hostile preparations to be abandoned.

No sooner did the boat of the port-captain return to the shore with
the news that the strange ship had arrived with my Lord Chatterino,
my Lady Chatterissa and Dr. Reasono than there was a general burst
of joy along the strand. In a very short time the king--alias his
eldest first cousin of the male gender--ordered the usual
compliments to be paid to his distinguished subjects. A deputation
of young lords the hopes of Leaphigh came off to receive their
colleague; whilst a bevy of beautiful maidens of noble birth crowded
around the smiling and graceful Chatterissa, gladdening her heart
with their caressing manners and felicitations. The noble pair left
us in separate boats, each attended by an appropriate escort. We
overlooked the little neglect of forgetting to take leave of us, for
joy had quite set them both beside themselves. Next came a long
procession composed of high numbers, all of the "brown-study color."
These learned and dignified persons were a deputation from the
academy, which had sent forth no less than forty of its number to
receive Dr. Reasono. The meeting between these loving friends of
monikinity and of knowledge, was conducted on the most approved
principles of reason. Each section (there are forty in the academy
of Leaphigh) made an address, to all of which the Doctor returned
suitable replies, always using exactly the same sentiments, but
varying the subject by transpositions, as dictionaries are known to
be composed by the ingenious combinations of the twenty-six letters
of the alphabet. Dr. Reasono withdrew with his coadjutors, to my
surprise paying not a whit more attention to Captain Poke and
myself, than would be paid in any highly-civilized country of
Christendom, on a similar occasion, by a collection of the learned,
to the accidental presence of two monkeys. I thought this augured
badly, and began to feel as became Sir John Goldencalf, Bart., of
Householder Hall, in the kingdom of Great Britain, when my
sensations were nipped in the bud by the arrival of the officers of
registration and circulation. It was the duty of the latter to give
us the proper passports to enter into and to circulate within the
country, after the former had properly enregistered our numbers and
colors, in such a way as to bring us within the reach of taxation.
The officer of registration was very expeditious from long practice.
He decided, at once, that I formed a new class by myself; of which,
of course, I was No. 1. The captain and his two mates formed
another, Nos. 1, 2, and 3. Bob had a class also to himself, and the
honors of No. 1; and the crew formed a fresh class, being numbered
according to height, as the register deemed their merits to be
altogether physical. Next came the important point of color, on
which depended the quality of the class or caste, the numbers merely
indicating our respective stations in the particular divisions.
After a good deal of deliberation, and many interrogatories, I was
enregistered as No. 1, flesh-color. Noah as No. 1, sea-water color,
and his mates 2 and 3, accordingly. Bob as No. 1, smut-color, and
the crew as Nos. 1, 2, 3, etc., tar-color. The officer now called
upon an assistant to come forth with a sort of knitting-needle
heated red-hot, in order to affix the official stamp to each in
succession. Luckily for us all, Noah happened to be the first to
whom the agent of the stamp-office applied, to uncase and to prepare
for the operation. The result was one of those bursts of eloquent
and logical vituperation, and of remonstrating outcries, to which
any new personal exaction never failed to give birth in the sealer.
His discourse on this occasion might be divided into the several
following heads, all of which were very ingeniously embellished by
the usual expletives and imagery:--"He was not a beast to be branded
like a horse, nor a slave to be treated like a Congo nigger; he saw
no use in applying the marks to men, who were sufficiently
distinguished from monkeys already; Sir John had a handle before his
name, and if he liked it, he might carry his name behind his body,
by way of counterpoise, but for his part, he wanted no outriggers of
the sort, being satisfied with plain Noah Poke; he was a republican,
and it was anti-republican for a man to carry about with him graven
images; he thought it might be even flying in the face of the
Scriptures, or what was worse, turning his back on them; he said
that the Walrus had her name, in good legible characters on her
starn, and that might answer for both of them; he protested, d--n
his eyes, that he wouldn't be branded like a thief; he incontinently
wished the keeper of the privy seal to the d---l; he insisted there
was no use in the practice, unless one threw all aback, and went
starn foremost into society, a rudeness at which human natur'
revolted; he knew a man in Stunin'tun who had five names, and he
should like to know what they would do with him, if this practice
should come into fashion there; he had no objection to a little
paint, but no red-hot knitting-needle should make acquaintance with
his flesh, so long as he walked his quarter-deck."

The keeper of the seals listened to this remonstrance with singular
patience and decorum; a forbearance that was probably owing to his
not understanding a word that had been said. But there is a language
that is universal, and it is not less easy to comprehend when a man
is in a passion, than it is to comprehend any other irritated
animal. The officer of the registration department, on this hint,
politely inquired of me, if some part of his official duties were
not particularly disagreeable to No. 1, sea-water color. On my
admitting that the captain was reluctant to be branded, he merely
shrugged his shoulders, and observed that the exactions of the
public were seldom agreeable, but that duty was duty, that the stamp
act was peremptory, and not a foot of ours could touch Leaphigh
until we were all checked off in this manner, in exact conformity
with the registration. I was much puzzled what to do, by this
indomitable purpose to perform his duty in the officer; for, to own
the truth, my own cuticle had quite as much aversion to the
operation, as of Captain Poke himself. It was not the principle so
much as the novelty of its application which distressed me; for I
had travelled too much not to know that a stranger rarely enters a
civilized country without being more or less skinned, the merest
savages only permitting him to pass unscathed. It suddenly came to
my recollection that the monikins had left all the remains of their
particular stores on board, consisting of an ample supply of
delicious nuts. Sending for a bag of the best of them, I ordered it
to be put into the register's boat, informing him at the same time,
that I was conscious they were quite unworthy of him, but that I
hoped, such as they were, he would allow me to make an offering of
them to his wife. This attention was properly felt and received; and
a few minutes afterwards, a certificate in the following words was
put into my hands, viz.:

"Leaphigh, season of promise, day of performance: Whereas, certain
persons of the human species have lately presented themselves to be
enregistered, according to the statute 'for the promotion of order
and classification, and for the collection of contributions'; and
whereas, these persons are yet in the second class of the animal
probation, and are more subject to bodily impressions than the
higher, or monikin species: Now, know all monikins, etc., that they
are stamped in paint, and that only by their numbers; each class
among them being easily to be distinguished from the others, by
outward and indelible proofs.


"No. 8,020 office-color."

I was told that all we had to do now was to mark ourselves with
paint or tar, as we might choose, the latter being recommended for
the crew; taking no further trouble than to number ourselves; and
when we went ashore, if any of the gens-d'armes inquired why we had
not the legal impression on our persons, which quite possibly would
be the case, as the law was absolute in its requisitions, all we had
to do was to show the certificate; but if the certificate was not
sufficient, we were men of the world, and understood the nature of
things so well, that we did not require to be taught so simple a
proposition in philosophy, as that which says, "like causes produce
like effects"; and he presumed I could not have so far overrated his
merits, as to have sent the whole of my nuts into his boat. I avow
that I was not very sorry to hear the officer throw out these hints,
for they convinced me that my journey through Leaphigh would be
accompanied with less embarrassment than I had anticipated, since I
now plainly perceived that monikins act on principles that are not
very essentially different from those of the human race in general.

The complaisant register and the keeper of the privy seal took their
departure together, when we forthwith proceeded to number ourselves
in compliance with his advice. As the principle was already settled,
we had no difficulty with its application, Noah, Bob, myself, and
the largest of the seamen being all Nos. 1, and the rest ranking in
order. By this time it was night. The guard-boats began to appear on
the water, and we deferred disembarking until morning.

All hands were early afoot. It had been arranged that Captain Poke
and myself, attended by Bob, as a domestic, were to land, in order
to make a journey through the island, while the Walrus was to be
left in charge of the mates and the crew; the latter having
permission to go ashore, from time to time, as is the practice with
all seamen in port. There was a great deal of preliminary scrubbing
and shaving, before the whole party could appear on deck, properly
attired for the occasion. Mr. Poke wore a thin dress of linen,
admirably designed to make him look like a sea-lion; a conceit that
he said was not only agreeable to his feelings and habits, but which
had a cool and pleasant character that was altogether suited to a
steam-climate. For my own part, I agreed with the worthy sealer,
seeing but little difference between his going in this garb, and his
going quite naked. My dress was made, on a design of my own, after
the social-stake system; or, in other words, it was so arranged as
to take an interest in half of the animals of Exeter Change, to
which MENAGERIE the artist by whom it had been painted was sent
expressly, in order to consult nature. Bob wore the effigy, as his
master called it, of a turnspit.

The monikins were by far too polished to crowd about us when we
landed, with an impertinent and troublesome curiosity. So far from
this, we were permitted to approach the capital itself without let
or hindrance. As it is less my intention to describe physical things
than to dwell upon the philosophy and the other moral aspects of the
Leaphigh world, little more will be said of their houses, domestic
economy, and other improvements in the arts, than may be gathered
incidentally, as the narrative shall proceed. Let it suffice to say
on these heads, that the Leaphigh monikins, like men, consult, or
think they consult--which, so long as they know no better, amounts
to pretty much the same thing--their own convenience in all things,
the pocket alone excepted; and that they continue very laudably to
do as their fathers did before them, seldom making changes, unless
they may happen to possess the recommendation of being exotics;
when, indeed, they are sometimes adopted, probably on account of
their possessing the merit of having been proved suitable to another
state of things.

Among the first persons we met, on entering the great square of
Aggregation, as the capital of Leaphigh is called when rendered into
English, was my Lord Chatterino. He was gayly promenading with a
company of young nobles, who all seemed to be enjoying their youth,
health, rank, and privileges with infinite gusto. We met this party
in a way to render an escape from mutual recognition impossible. At
first I thought, from his averted eye, that it was the intention of
our late shipmate to consider our knowledge of each other as one of
those accidental acquaintances which, it is known, we all form at
watering-places, on journeys, or in the country, and which it is
ill-mannered to press upon others in town; or, as Captain Poke
afterwards expressed it, like the intimacy between an Englishman and
a Yankee, that has been formed in the house of the latter, on better
wine than is met with anywhere else, and which was never yet known
to withstand the influence of a British fog. "Why, Sir John," the
sealer added, "I once tuck (he meant to say TOOK, not TUCKED) a
countryman of yours under my wing, at Stunin'tun, during the last
war. He was a prisoner, as we make prisoners; that is, he went and
did pretty much as he pleased; and the fellow had the best of
everything--molasses that a spoon would stand up in, pork that would
do to slush down a topmast, and New England rum, that a king might
set down to, but could not get up from--well, what was the end on't?
Why, as sure as we are among these monkeys, the fellow BOOKED me.
Had I BOOKED but the half of what he guzzled, the amount, I do
believe, would have taken the transaction out of any justice's court
in the state. He said my molasses was meagre, the pork lean, and the
liquor infernal. There were truth and gratitude for you! He gave the
whul account, too, as a specimen of what he called American living!"

Hereupon I reminded my companion, that an Englishman did not like to
receive even favors on compulsion; that when he meets a stranger in
his own country, and is master of his own actions, no man
understands better what true hospitality is, as I hoped one day to
show him, at Householder Hall; as to his first remark, he ought to
remember that an Englishman considered America as no more than the
country, and that it would be ill-mannered to press an acquaintance
made there.

Noah, like most other men, was very reasonable on all subjects that
did not interfere with his prejudices or his opinions; and he very
readily admitted the general justice of my reply.

"It's pretty much as you say, Sir John," he continued; "in England
you may press men, but it won't do to press hospitality. Get a
volunteer in this way, and he is as good a fellow as heart can wish.
I shouldn't have cared so much about the chap's book, if he had said
nothin' ag'in the rum. Why, Sir John, when the English bombarded
Stunin'tun with eighteen pounders, I proposed to load our old twelve
with a gallon out of the very same cask, for I do think it would
have huv' the shot the best part of a mile!"

--But this digression is leading me from the narrative. My Lord
Chatterino turned his head a little on one side as we were passing,
and I was deliberating whether, under the circumstances, it would be
well-bred to remind him of our old acquaintance, when the question
was settled by the decision of Captain Poke, who placed himself in
such a position that it was no easy matter to get round him, through
him, or over him--or who laid himself what he called "athwart

"Good morning, my lord," said the straightforward seaman, who
generally went at a subject as he went at a seal. "A fine warm day;
and the smell of the land, after so long a passage, is quite
agreeable to the nose, whatever its ups and downs may be to the

The companions of the young peer looked amazed; and some of them, I
thought, notwithstanding gravity and earnestness are rather
characteristic of the monikin physiognomy, betrayed a slight
disposition to laugh. Not so with my Lord Chatterino himself.

He examined us a moment through a glass, and then seemed suddenly,
and on the whole, agreeably struck at seeing us.

"How, Goldencalf!" he cried in surprise, "you in Leaphigh! This is
indeed an unexpected satisfaction; for it will now be in my power to
prove some of the facts that I am telling my friends, by actual
observation. Here are two of the humans, gents, of whom I was but
this moment giving you some account--"

Observing a disposition to merriment in his associates, he
continued, looking exceedingly grave:--

"Restrain yourselves, gentlemen, I pray you. These are very worthy
people, I do assure you, in their own way, and are not at all to be
ridiculed. I scarcely know, even in our own marine, a better or a
bolder navigator than this honest seaman; and as for the one in the
parti-colored skin, I will take upon myself to say, that he is
really a person of some consideration in his own little circle. He
is, I believe, a member of par--par--par--am I right, Sir John?--a
member of--"

"Parliament, my lord--an M.P."

"Ay--I thought I had it--an M.P., or a member of Parliament, in his
own country, which, I dare say now, is some such thing among his
people, as a public proclaimer of those laws which come from his
majesty's eldest first cousin of the masculine gender, may be among
us. Some such thing--eh--now--eh--is it not, Sir John?"

"I dare say it is, my lord."

"All very true, Chatterino," put in one of the young monikins, with
a very long, elaborated tail, which he carried nearly perpendicular-
-"but what would be even a lawmaker--to say nothing of law-BREAKERS
like ourselves--among men! You should remember, my dear fellow, that
a mere title, or a profession, is not the criterion of true
greatness; but that the prodigy of a village may be a very common
monikin in town."

"Poh-poh"--interrupted Lord Chatterino, "thou art ever for refining,
Hightail--Sir John Goldencalf is a very respectable person in the
island of--a--a--a--what do you call that said island of yours,

"Great Britain, my lord."

"Ay, Great Breeches sure enough; yet, he is a respectable person--I
can take it upon myself to say, with confidence, a very respectable
person in Great Breeches. I dare say he owns no small portion of the
island himself. How much, now, Sir John, if the truth were told?"

"Only the estate and village of Householder, my lord, with a few
scattered manors here and there."

"Well, that is a very pretty thing, there can be no doubt--then you
have money at use?"

"And who is the debtor?" sneeringly inquired the jack-a-napes

"No other, my Lord Hightail, than the realm of Great Britain."

"Exquisite, that, egad! A noble's fortune in the custody of the
realm of a--Greek--a--"

"Great Breeches," interrupted my Lord Chatterino, who,
notwithstanding he swore he was excessively angry with his friend
for his obstinate incredulity, very evidently had to exercise some
forbearance to keep from joining in the general laugh. "It is a very
respectable country, I do protest; and I scarcely remember to have
tasted better gooseberries than they grow in that very island."

"What! have they really gardens, Chatterino?"

"Certainly--after a fashion--and houses, and public conveyances--and
even universities."

"You do not mean to say, certainly, that they have a system!"

"Why, as to system, I believe they are a little at sixes and sevens.
I really can't take it upon myself to say that they have a system."

"Oh, yes, my lord--of a certainty we have one--the social stake

"Ask the creature," whispered audibly the filthy coxcomb Hightail,
"if he himself, now, has any income."

"How is it, Sir John--have you an income?"

"Yes, my lord, of one hundred and twelve thousand sovereigns a

"Of what?--of what?" demanded two or three voices, with well-bred,
subdued eagerness.

"Of sovereigns--why that means kings!"

It would appear that the Leaphighers, while they obey only the
king's eldest first cousin of the masculine gender, perform all
their official acts in the name of the sovereign himself, for whose
person and character they pretty uniformly express the profoundest
veneration; just as we men express admiration for a virtue that we
never practise. My declaration, therefore, produced a strong
sensation, and I was soon required to explain myself. This I did, by
simply stating the truth.

"Oh, gold, yclept sovereigns!" exclaimed three or four, laughing
heartily. "Why then, your famous Great Breeches people, after all,
Chatterino, are so little advanced in civilization as to use gold!
Harkee, Signior--a--a--Boldercraft, have you no currency in

"I do not know, sir, that I rightly comprehend the question."

"Why, we poor barbarians, sir, who live as you see us, only in a
state of simplicity and nature,"--there was irony in every syllable
the impudent scoundrel uttered--"we poor wretches, or rather our
ancestors, made the discovery, that for the purposes of convenience,
having, as you perceive, no pockets, it might be well to convert all
our currency into 'promises.' Now, I would ask if you have any of
that coin?"

"Not as coin, sir, but as collateral to coin, we have plenty."

"He speaks of collaterals in currency, as if he were discussing a
pedigree! Are you really, Mynherr Shouldercalf, so little advanced
in your country, as not to know the immense advantages of a currency
of 'promises'?"

"As I do not understand exactly what the nature of this currency is,
sir, I cannot answer as readily as I could wish."

"Let us explain it to him; for, I vow, I am really curious to hear
his answer. Chatterino, do you, who have some knowledge of the
thing's habits, be our interpreter."

"The matter is thus, Sir John. About five hundred years ago, our
ancestors, having reached that pass in civilization when they came
to dispense with the use of pockets, began to find it necessary to
substitute a new currency for that of the metals, which it was
inconvenient to carry, of which they might be robbed, and which also
was liable to be counterfeited. The first expedient was to try a
lighter substitute. Laws were passed giving value to linen and
cotton, in the raw material; then compounded and manufactured; next,
written on, and reduced in bulk, until, having passed through the
several gradations of wrapping-paper, brown-paper, foolscap and
blotting-paper, and having set the plan fairly at work, and got
confidence thoroughly established, the system was perfected by a
coup de main,--'promises' in words were substituted for all other
coin. You see the advantage at a glance. A monikin can travel
without pockets or baggage, and still carry a million; the money
cannot be counterfeited, nor can it be stolen or burned."

"But, my lord, does it not depreciate the value of property?"

"Just the contrary;--an acre that formerly could be bought for one
promise, would now bring a thousand."

"This, certainly, is a great improvement, unless frequent failures--

"Not at all; there has not been a bankruptcy in Leaphigh since the
law was passed making promises a legal tender."

"I wonder no chancellor of the exchequer ever thought of this, at

"So much for your Great Breeches, Chatterino!" And then there was
another and a very general laugh. I never before felt so deep a
sense of national humility.

"As they have universities," cried another coxcomb, "perhaps this
person has attended one of them."

"Indeed, sir," I answered, "I am regularly graduated."

"It is not easy to see what he has done with his knowledge--for,
though my sight is none of the worst, I cannot trace the smallest
sign of a cauda about him."

"Ah!" Lord Chatterino good-naturedly exclaimed, "the inhabitants of
Great Breeches carry their brains in their heads."

"Their heads!"


"That's excellent, by his majesty's prerogative! Here's
civilization, with a vengeance!"

I now thought that the general ridicule would overwhelm me. Two or
three came closer, as if in pity or curiosity; and, at last, one
cried out that I actually wore clothes.

"Clothes--the wretch! Chatterino, do all your human friends wear

The young peer was obliged to confess the truth; and then there
arose such a clamor as may be fancied took place among the peacocks,
when they discovered the daw among them in masquerade. Human nature
could endure no more; and bowing to the company, I wished Lord
Chatterino, very hurriedly, good-morning, and proceeded towards the

"Don't forget to step into Chatterino House, Goldencalf, before you
sail," cried my late fellow-traveller, looking over his shoulder,
and nodding in quite a friendly way towards me.

"King!" exclaimed Captain Poke. "That blackguard ate a whole bread-
locker-full of nuts on our outward passage, and now he tells us to
step into his Chatterino House, before we sail!"

I endeavored to pacify the sealer, by an appeal to his philosophy.
It was true that men never forgot obligations, and were always
excessively anxious to repay them; but the monikins were an
exceedingly instructed species; they thought more of their minds
than of their bodies, as was plain by comparing the smallness of the
latter with the length and development of the seat of reason; and
one of his experience should know that good-breeding is decidedly an
arbitrary quality, and that we ought to respect its laws, however
opposed to our own previous practices.

"I dare say, friend Noah, you may have observed some material
difference in the usages of Paris, for instance, and those of

"That I have, Sir John, that I have; and altogether to the advantage
of Stunin'tun be they."

"We are all addicted to the weakness of believing our own customs
best; and it requires that we should travel much, before we are able
to decide on points so nice."

"And do you not call me a traveller! Haven't I been sixteen times a-
sealing, twice a-whaling, without counting my cruise overland, and
this last run to Leaphigh!"

"Ay, you have gone over much land and much water, Mr. Poke; but your
stay in any given place has been just long enough to find fault.
Usages must be worn, like a shoe, before one can judge of the fit."

It is possible Noah would have retorted, had not Mrs. Vigilance
Lynx, at that moment, come wriggling by, in a way to show she was
much satisfied with her safe return home. To own the truth, while
striving to find apologies for it, I had been a little contraire, as
the French term it, by the indifference of my Lord Chatterino,
which, in my secret heart, I was not slow in attributing to the
manner in which a peer of the realm of Leaphigh regarded, de haut en
bas, a mere baronet of Great Britain--or Great Breeches, as the
young noble so pertinaciously insisted on terming our illustrious
island. Now as Mrs. Vigilance was of "russet-color," a caste of an
inferior standing, I had little doubt that she would be as glad to
own an intimacy with Sir John Goldencalf of Householder Hall, as the
other might be willing to shuffle it off.

"Good-morrow, good Mrs. Vigilance," I said familiarly, endeavoring
to wriggle in a way that WOULD have shaken a tail, had it been my
good fortune to be the owner of one--"Good-morrow, good Mrs.
Vigilance--I'm glad to meet you again on shore."

I do not remember that Mrs. Vigilance, during the whole period of
our acquaintance, was particularly squeamish, or topping in her
deportment. On the contrary, she had rather made herself remarkable
for a modest and commendable reserve. But on the present occasion,
she disappointed all reasonable expectation, by shrinking on one
side, uttering a slight scream, and hurrying past as if she thought
we might bite her. Indeed, I can only compare her deportment to that
of a female of our own, who is so full of vanity as to fancy all
eyes on her, and who gives herself airs about a dog or a spider,
because she thinks they make her look so much the more interesting.
Conversation was quite out of the question; for the duenna hurried
on, bending her head downwards, as if heartily ashamed of an
involuntary weakness.

"Well, good madam," said Noah, whose stern eye followed her
movements until she was quite lost in the crowd, "you would have had
a sleepless v'yage, if I had foreimagined this! Sir John, these
people stare at us as if we were wild beasts!"

"I cannot say I am of your way of thinking, Captain Poke. To me they
seem to take no more notice of us, than we should take of two curs
in the streets of London."

"I begin now to understand what the parsons mean when they talk of
the lost condition of man. It's ra'ally awful to witness to what a
state of unfeelingness a people can be abandoned! Bob, get out of
the way, you grinning blackguard."

Hereupon Bob received a salutation which would have demolished his
stern-frame, had it not been for the unionjack. Just then I was glad
to see Dr. Reasono advancing towards us, surrounded by a group of
attentive listeners, all of whom, by their years, gravity, and
deportment, I made no question were savants. As he drew near, I
found he was discoursing of the marvels of his late voyage. When
within six feet of us the whole party stopped, the Doctor continuing
to descant with a very proper gesticulation, and in a way to show
that his subject was of infinite interest to his listeners.
Accidentally turning his eye in our direction, he caught a glimpse
of our figures, and making a few hurried apologies to those around
him, the excellent philosopher came eagerly forward, with both hands
extended. Here was a difference, indeed, between his treatment and
that of Lord Chatterino and the duenna! The salutation was warmly
returned; and the Doctor and myself stepped a little apart, as he
lost no time in informing me he wished to say a word in private.

"My dear Sir John," the philosopher began, "our arrival has been the
most happily-timed thing imaginable! All Leaphigh, by this time, is
filled with the subject; and you can scarcely conceive the
importance that is attached to the event. New sources of trade,
scientific discoveries, phenomena both moral and physical, and
results that it is thought may serve to raise the monikin
civilization still higher than ever! Fortunately, the academy holds
its most solemn meeting of the year this very day, and I have been
formally requested to give the assembly an outline of those events
which have lately passed before my eyes. The king's eldest first
cousin of the masculine gender is to attend openly; and it is even
conjectured, in a way to be quite authentic, that the king himself
will be present in his own royal person."

"How!" I exclaimed, "have you a mode, in Leaphigh, of rendering
conjectures certain?"

"Beyond a doubt, sir, or what would our civilization be worth? As to
the king's majesty, we always deal in the most direct ambiguities.
Now as respects many of our ceremonies, the sovereign is known
morally to be present, when he may be actually and physically eating
his dinner at the other extremity of the island; this important
illustration of the royal ubiquity is effected by means of a legal
fiction. On the other hand, the king often indulges his natural
propensities, such as curiosity, love of fun, or detestation of
ennui, by coming in person, when, by the court fiction, he is
thought to be seated on his throne, in his own royal palace. Oh! as
to all these little accomplishments and graces in the art of truths,
we are behind no people in the universe!"

"I beg pardon, Doctor--so his majesty is expected to be at the
academy this morning?"

"In a private box. Now this affair is of the last importance to me
as a savant, to you as a human being--for it will have a tendency to
raise your whole species in the monikin estimation--and, lastly, to
learning. It will be indispensably necessary that you should attend,
with as many of your companions as possible, more especially the
better specimens. I was coming down to the landing in the hope of
meeting you; and a messenger has gone off to the ship to require
that the people be sent ashore forthwith. You will have a tribune to
yourselves; and, really, I do not like to express beforehand what I
think concerning the degree of attention you will all receive; but
this much I think I can say--you will see."

"This proposition, Doctor, has taken me a little by surprise, and I
hardly know what answer to give."

"You cannot say no, Sir John; for should his majesty hear that you
have refused to come to a meeting at which he is to be present, it
would seriously, and, I might add, justly offend him, nor could I
answer for the consequences."

"Why, I was told that all the power was in the hands of his
majesty's eldest first cousin of the masculine gender; in which case
I thought I might snap my fingers at his majesty himself."

"Not in opinion, Sir John, which is one of the three estates of the
government. Ours is a government of three estates--viz., the law,
opinion, and practice. By law the king rules, by practice his cousin
rules, and by opinion the king again rules. Thus, is the strong
point of practice balanced by law and opinion. This it is that
constitutes the harmony and perfection of the system. No, it would
never do to offend his majesty."

Although I did not very well comprehend the Doctor's argument, yet,
as I had often found in human society, theories political, moral,
theological, and philosophical, that everybody had faith in, and
which nobody understood, I thought discussion useless, and gave up
the point by promising the Doctor to be at the academy in half an
hour, which was the time named for our appearance. Taking the
necessary directions to find the place, we separated; he to hasten
to make his preparations, and I to reach the tavern, in order to
deposit our baggage, that no decency might be overlooked on an
occasion so solemn.



We soon secured rooms, ordered dinner, brushed our clothes, and made
the other little arrangements that it was necessary to observe for
the credit of the species. Everything being ready, we left the inn,
and hurried towards the "Palais des Arts et des Sciences." We had
not got out of sight of the inn, however, before one of its garcons
was at our heels with a message from his mistress. He told us, in
very respectful tones, that his master was out, and that he had
taken with him the key of the strong-box; that there was not
actually money enough in the drawer to furnish an entertainment for
such great persons as ourselves, and she had taken the liberty to
send us a bill receipted, with a request that we would make a small
advance, rather than reduce her to the mortification of treating
such distinguished guests in an unworthy manner. The bill read as

No. 1 parti-color and friends,

To No. 82,763 grape-color. Dr.
To use of apartments, with meals and lights, as per
agreement, p.p. 300 per diem--one day, p.p. 300
By cash advanced, 50
Balance due, p.p. 250

"This seems all right," I observed to Noah; but I am, at this
moment, as penniless as the good woman herself. I really do not see
what we are to do, unless Bob sends her back his store of nuts--"

"Harkee, my nimble-go-hop," put in the seaman, "what is your

The waiter referred to the bill, as expressing his mistress's wants.

"What are these p. p. that I find noted in the bill--play or pay,

"Promises, of course, your honor."

"Oh! then you desire fifty promises, to provide our dinner."

"Nothing more, sir. With that sum you shall dine like noblemen--ay,
sir, like aldermen."

I was delighted to find that this worthy class of beings have the
same propensities in all countries.

"Here, take a hundred," answered Noah, snapping his fingers, "and
make no bones of it. And harkee, my worthy--lay out every farthing
of them in the fare. Let there be good cheer, and no one will
grumble at the bill. I am ready to buy the inn, and all it holds, at

The waiter departed well satisfied with these assurances, and
apparently in the anticipation of good vails for his own trouble.

We soon got into the current that was setting towards our place of
destination. On reaching the gate, we found that we were anxiously
expected; for there was an attendant in waiting, who instantly
conducted us to the seats that were provided for our special
reception. It is always agreeable to be among the privileged, and I
must own that we were all not a little flattered, on finding that an
elevated tribune had been prepared for us, in the centre of the
rotunda in which the academy held its sittings, so that we could
see, and be seen by, every individual of the crowded assembly. The
whole crew, even to the negro cook, had preceded us; an additional
compliment, that I did not fail to acknowledge by suitable
salutations to all the members present. After the first feelings of
pleasure and surprise were a little abated, I had leisure to look
about me and to survey the company.

The academicians occupied the whole of the body of the rotunda, the
space taken up by the erection of our temporary tribune alone
excepted, while there were sofas, chairs, tribunes, and benches
arranged for the spectators, in the outer circles, and along the
side-walls of the hall. As the edifice itself was very large, and
mind had so essentially reduced matter in the monikin species, there
could not have been less than fifty thousand tails present. Just
before the ceremonies commenced, Dr. Reasono approached our
tribbune, passing from one to another of the party, saying a
pleasant and encouraging word to each, in a way to create high
expectations in us all as to what was to follow. We were so very
evidently honored and distinguished, that I struggled hard to subdue
any unworthy feeling of pride, as unbecoming human meekness, and in
order to maintain a philosophical equanimity under the
manifestations of respect and gratitude that I knew were about to be
lavished upon even the meanest of our party. The Doctor was yet in
the midst of his pointed attentions, when the king's eldest first
cousin of the masculine gender entered, and the business of the
meeting immediately began. I profited by a short pause, however, to
say a few words to my companions. I told them that there would soon
be a serious demand on their modesty. We had performed a great and
generous exploit, and it did not become us to lessen its merit by
betraying a vainglorious self-esteem. I implored them all to take
pattern by me; promising, in the end, that their new friends would
trebly prize their hardihood, self-denial, and skill.

There was a new member of the academy of Latent Sympathies to be
received and installed. A long discourse was read by one of this
department of the monikin learning, which pointed out and enlarged
on the rare merits of the new academician. He was followed by the
latter; who in a very elaborate production, that consumed just
fifty-five minutes in the reading, tried all he could to persuade
the audience that the defunct was a loss to the world, that no
accident or application would ever repair, and that he himself was
precisely the worst person who could have been selected to be his
successor. I was a little surprised at the perfect coolness with
which the learned body listened to a reproach that was so very
distinctly and perseveringly thrown, as it were, into their very
teeth. But a more intimate acquaintance with monikin society
satisfied me, that any one might say just what he pleased, so long
as he allowed that every one else was an excellent fellow, and he
himself the poorest devil going. When the new member had
triumphantly established his position, and just as I thought the
colleagues were bound, in common honesty, to reconsider their vote,
he concluded, and took his seat among them with quite as much
assurance as the best philosopher of them all.

After a short pause, and an abundance of felicitations on his
excellent and self-abasing discourse, the newly admitted member
again rose, and began to read an essay on some discoveries he had
made in the science of Latent Sympathies. According to his account
of the matter, every monikin possessed a fluid which was invisible,
like the animalcula which pervade nature, and which required only to
be brought into command, and to be reduced into more rigid laws, to
become the substitute for the senses of sight, touch, taste,
hearing, and smelling. This fluid was communicable; and had already
been so far rendered subject to the will, as to make it of service
in seeing in the dark, in smelling when the operator had a bad cold,
in tasting when the palate was down, and in touching by proxy. Ideas
had been transmitted, through its agency, sixty-two leagues in one
minute and a half. Two monikins, who were afflicted with diseased
tails, had during the last two years, been insulated and saturated,
and had then lost those embellishments, by operations; a quantity of
the fluid having been substituted in their places so happily, that
the patients fancied themselves more than ever conspicuous for the
length and finesse of their caudce. An experiment had also been
successfully tried on a member of the lower house of parliament,
who, being married to a monikina of unusual mind, had for a long
time been supplied with ideas from this source, although his partner
was compelled to remain at home, in order to superintend the
management of their estate, forty-two miles from town, during the
whole session. He particularly recommended to government the
promotion of this science, as it might be useful in obtaining
evidence for the purposes of justice, in detecting conspiracies, in
collecting the taxes, and selecting candidates for trusts of a
responsible nature. The suggestion was well received by the king's
cousin, more especially those parts that alluded to sedition and the

This essay was also perfectly well received by the savans, for I
afterwards found very little came amiss to the academy; and the
members named a committee forthwith, to examine into "the facts
concerning invisible and unknown fluids, their agency, importance,
and relations to monikin happiness."

We were next favored with a discussion on the different
significations of the word gorstchwzyb; which, rendered into
English, means "eh!" The celebrated philologist who treated the
subject, discovered amazing ingenuity in expatiating on its
ramifications and deductions. First he tried the letters by
transpositions, by which he triumphantly proved that it was derived
from all the languages of the ancients; the same process showed that
it possessed four thousand and two different significations; he next
reasoned most ably and comprehensively for ten minutes, backwards
and forwards, using no other word but this, applied in its various
senses; after which, he incontrovertibly established that this
important part of speech was so useful as to be useless, and he
concluded by a proposition, in which the academy coincided by
acclamation, that it should be forever and incontinently expunged
from the Leaphigh vocabulary. As the vote was carried by
acclamation, the king's cousin arose, and declared that the writer
who should so far offend against good taste, as hereafter to make
use of the condemned word, should have two inches cut off the
extremity of his tail. A shudder among the ladies, who, I afterwards
ascertained, loved to carry their caudae as high as our women like
to carry their heads, proved the severity of the decree.

An experienced and seemingly much respected member now arose to make
the following proposal. He said it was known that the monikin
species were fast approaching perfection; that the increase of mind
and the decrease of matter were so very apparent as to admit of no
denial; that, in his own case, he found his physical powers diminish
daily, while his mental acquired new distinctness and force; that he
could no longer see without spectacles, hear without a tube, or
taste without high seasoning; from all this he inferred that they
were drawing near to some important change, and he wished that
portion of the science of Latent Sympathies which was connected with
the unknown fluid just treated on, might be referred to a committee
on the whole, in order to make some provision for the wants of a
time when monikins should finally lose their senses. There was
nothing to say against a proposition so plausible, and it was
accepted nemine contradicente, with the exception of a few in the

There was now a good deal of whispering, much wagging of tails, and
other indications that the real business of the meeting was about to
be touched upon. All eyes were turned on Dr. Reasono, who, after a
suitable pause, entered a tribune prepared for solemn occasions, and
began his discourse.

The philosopher, who, having committed his essay to memory, spoke
extempore, commenced with a beautiful and most eloquent apostrophe
to learning, and to the enthusiasm which glows in the breasts of all
her real votaries, rendering them alike indifferent to their
personal ease, their temporal interests, danger, suffering, and
tribulations of the spirit. After this exordium, which was
pronounced to be unique for its simplicity and truth, he entered at
once on the history of his own recent adventures.

First alluding to the admirable character of that Leaphigh usage
which prescribes the Journey of Trial, our philosopher spoke of the
manner in which he had been selected to accompany my lord Chatterino
on an occasion so important to his future hopes. He dwelt on the
physical preparations, the previous study, and the moral machinery
that he had employed with his pupil, before they quitted town; all
of which, there is reason to think, were well fitted to their
objects, as he was constantly interrupted by murmurs of applause.
After some time spent in dilating on these points, I had, at length,
the satisfaction to find him, Mrs. Lynx, and their two wards, fairly
setting out on a journey which, as he very justly mentioned, proved
"to be pregnant with events of so much importance to knowledge in
general, to the happiness of the species, and to several highly
interesting branches of monikin science, in particular." I say the
satisfaction, for, to own the truth, I was eager to witness the
effect that would be made on the monikin sensibilities, when he came
to speak of my own discernment in detecting their real characters
beneath the contumely and disgrace in which it had been my good
fortune to find them, the promptitude with which I had stepped
forward to their relief, and the liberality and courage with which I
had furnished the means and encountered the risks that were
necessary to restore them to their native land. The anticipation of
this human triumph could not but diffuse a general satisfaction in
our own tribune--even the common mariners, as they recalled the
dangers through which they had passed, feeling a consciousness of
deserving, mingled with that soothing sentiment which is ever the
companion of a merited reward. As the philosopher drew nearer to the
time when it would be necessary to speak of us, I threw a look of
triumph at Lord Chatterino, which, however, failed of its intended
effect--the young peer continuing to whisper to his noble companions
with just is much self-importance and coolness as if he had not been
one of the rescued captives.

Dr. Reasono was justly celebrated, among his colleagues, for
ingenuity and eloquence. The excellent morals that he threw into
every possible opening of his subject, the beauty of the figures
with which they were illustrated, and the masculine tendencies of
his argument, gave general delight to the audience. The Journey of
Trial was made to appear, what it had been intended to be by the
fathers and sages of the Leaphigh institutions, a probation replete
with admonitions and instruction. The aged and experienced, who had
grown callous by time, could not conceal their exultation; the
mature and suffering looked grave and full of meditation; while the
young and sanguine fairly trembled, and for once, doubted. But, as
the philosopher led his party from precipice to precipice in safety,
as rocks were scaled and seductive valleys avoided, a common feeling
of security began to extend itself among the audience; and we all
followed him in his last experiment among the ice, with that sort of
blind confidence which the soldier comes, in time, to entertain in
the orders of a tried and victorious general.

The Doctor was graphic in his account of the manner in which he and
his wards plunged among these new trials. The lovely Chatterissa
(for all his travelling companions were present) bent aside her head
and blushed, as the philosopher alluded to the manner in which the
pure flame that glowed in her gentle bosom resisted the chill
influence of that cold region; and when he recited an ardent
declaration that my lord Chatterino had made on the centre of a
floe, and the kind and amorous answer of his mistress, I thought the
applause of the old academicians would have actually brought the
vaulted dome clattering about our ears.

At length he reached the point in the narrative where the amiable
wanderers fell in with the sealers, on that unknown island to which
chance and an adverse fortune had unhappily led them, in their
pilgrimage. I had taken measures secretly to instruct Mr. Poke and
the rest of my companions, as to the manner in which it became us to
demean ourselves, while the Doctor was acquainting the academy with
that first outrage committed by human cupidity, or the seizure of
himself and friends. We were to rise, in a body, and, turning our
faces a little on one side, veil our eyes in sign of shame. Less
than this, it struck me, could scarcely be done, without manifesting
an improper indifference to monikin rights; and more than this,
might have been identifying ourselves with the particular
individuals of the species who had perpetrated the wrong. But there
was no occasion to exhibit this delicate attention to our learned
hosts. The Doctor, with a refinement of feeling that did credit,
indeed, to monikin civilization, gave an ingenious turn to the whole
affair, which at once removed all cause of shame from our species;
and which, if it left reason for any to blush, by a noble act of
disinterestedness, threw the entire onus of the obligation on
himself. Instead of dwelling on the ruthless manner in which he and
his friends had been seized, the worthy Doctor very tranquilly
informed his listeners, that, finding himself, by hazard, brought in
contact with another species, and that the means of pushing
important discoveries were unexpectedly placed in his power;
conscious it had long been a desideratum with the savans to obtain a
nearer view and more correct notions of human society; believing he
had a discretion in the matter of his wards, and knowing that the
inhabitants of Leaplow, a republic which all disliked, were
seriously talking of sending out an expedition for this very
purpose, he had promptly decided to profit by events, to push
inquiry to the extent of his abilities, and to hazard all in the
cause of learning and truth, by at once engaging the vessel of the
sealers, and sailing, without dread of consequences, forthwith into
the very bosom of the world of man!

I have listened with awe to the thunder of the tropics--I have held
my breath as the artillery of a fleet vomited forth its fire, and
rent the air with sudden concussions--I have heard the roar of the
tumbling river of the Canadas, and I have stood aghast at the
crashing of a forest in a tornado;--but never before did I feel so
life-stirring, so thrilling an emotion of surprise, alarm, and
sympathy, as that which arose within me, at the burst of
commendation and delight with which this announcement of self-
devotion and enterprise was received by the audience. Tails waved,
pattes met each other in ecstasy, voice whistled to voice, and there
was one common cry of exultation, of rapture and of glorification,
at this proof, not of monikin, for that would have been frittering
away the triumph, but at this proof of Leaphigh courage.

During the clamor, I took an opportunity to express my satisfaction
at the handsome manner in which our friend the Doctor had passed
over an acknowledged human delinquency, and the ingenuity with which
he had turned the whole of the unhappy transaction to the glory of
Leaphigh. Noah answered that the philosopher had certainly shown a
knowledge of human natur', and he presumed of monikin natur', in the
matter; no one would now dispute his statement, since, as he knew by
experience, no one was so likely to be set down as a liar, as he who
endeavored to unsettle the good opinion that either a community or
an individual entertained of himself. This was the way at
Stunin'tun, and he believed this was pretty much the way at New
York, or he might say with the whole 'arth from pole to pole. As for
himself, however, he owned he should like to have a few minutes'
private conversation with the sealer in question, to hear his
account of the matter; he didn't know any owner in his part of the
world, who would bear a captain out, should be abandon a v'yage in
this way, on no better security than the promises of a monkey, and
of a monkey, too, who must, of necessity, be an utter stranger to

When the tumult of applause had a little abated, Dr. Reasono
proceeded with his narrative. He touched lightly on the
accommodations of the schooner, which he gave us reason to think
were altogether of a quality beneath the condition of her
passengers; and he added that, falling in with a larger and fairer
vessel, which was making a passage between Bombay and Great Britain,
he profited by the occasion, to exchange ships. This vessel touched
at the island of St. Helena, where, according to the Doctor's
account of the matter, he found means to pass the greater part of a


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