tiful. Going straight against the wind by of adversity itself into means of accomthe power of a machine is simply oppos- plishing his purposes. He knows that in ing one force by another, which, on one all apparently unfavorable situations there point, happens to be a little superior. are certain conditions which are not really The invention of the machine was ingen- unfavorable, and which, with a little ingeious, but the application of its force re- nuity, may become positively advantaquires only the simplest and commonest geous. There is nothing in poverty more intelligence, whilst the only lesson to be dreaded by timid and shallow people, than derived from it is, that you can overcome the fact that it cuts them off from fashopposition if you are the stronger at the ionable society, as if that very severance point where the contest takes place. The were not one of the most favorable cirsteam-engine is not stronger than the cumstances for those who have to work. wind, it is only stronger than the wind. Society has its value and its uses, but pressure on the hull of the vessel, which solitude, though generally disliked and is as nothing in comparison with the power even despised, offers its own austere adof the whole wind. And even if the envantages. In times like ours, when every gine were infinitely stronger than it is, man who does not spend a large income and really opposed the whole wind, the is liable to be considered unsuccessful, fact that a greater force can overcome a and even incapable, it may sound like smaller one has no moral beauty or sig. affectation to sing the praises of advernificance of any kind whatever. It is not sity, but as no competent judge of sailing morally more beautiful than the fact that thinks much of going before the wind, as the earth is bigger than the moon. But such a man takes far more interest in a now consider all that is involved in beat- ship and crew that are working to winding to windward. Suppose the case of a ward than he does in “white wings" man ignorant of sailing, placed on a ves. spread to a favoring gale, so I should say sel 100 heavy for him to propel it by mus- that a competent judge of human nature cular strength, and in the midst of a sea will always be more deeply interested in agitated by a steady breeze. He will a man whose life is occupied in making drift to leeward, a perfect example of that the most of difficult conditions than in helplessness which characterizes the unin-one whose existence is a succession of telligent creature, when he encounters the facilities. It may be truly said, further, great natural forces. He is drifting, let that as the sailor, who had no experience us suppose, from north to south, and he of anything but a fair wind, would be but knows that he is coming nearer and nearer a feeble mariner, so in the great educato a dreadful coast where he will certainly tion which life itself gives to us, we should be drowned, yet he is impotent to make have missed the most valuable teaching if the slightest progress northwards. Ex. we had never been compelled to beat actly in the same situation, an intelligent against the wind. Far be it from me to sailor, with a few square yards of canvas desire to imply, as is done too frequently, at his disposal, will go wherever be that rich men always go with a fair wind, pleases, even to the north, and he will do and poor men have to be constantly lackthis by converting his apparent enemy ing against a foul one.

There are many into his most serviceable friend. The other difficulties in life besides pecuniary play of wind and water is exactly the difficulties, and in one form or other the same in both cases, but the accomplished foul winds are generally provided for us sailor knows how to conform himself to by nature, who is too wise a mother to the conditions in such a manner as to spoil her children utterly. When the conciliate nature, and win from her that difficulties come, either in passing squalls assistance which his bodily weakness or steady opposition, it is time to exercise needs. The action of the steam-engine our seamanship, and so to contrive, if shows nothing so beautiful as this. In possible, that the opposing force shall be beating to windward the wind is not re made subservient to our own ends. It is sisted, it is employed, and the beauty of most certainly true that beating to wind. the process consists in the admirable in- ward is possible in the great affairs of genuity with which man converts opposi- life as well as in sailing, and thi is one of tion into aid whilst the opposing force the most encouraging analogies that be. continues. The analogies of beating to long to the sailor's art. The man who, windward in human life are numerous. in enforced solitude, makes use of the There are a hundred situations in which enlarged opportunities which solitude a stupid man can only drift, where an affords for self-improvement, is intellecintelligent one will turn the very elements tually beating to windward. The solitude



which would make a stupid person more delicate perception of the value of small stupid still, affords him the opportunity, advantages, and has always been in the which he seizes, for an intellectual ad. habit of making the most of them from

In morals the case is even more the days of his youth. striking, for a strong moral character must There is nothing in which this delicate form itself by beating to windward, that kind of sailing is of greater use than in is, by the discipline of going in the very the pursuit of health. One of my friends direction which requires the greatest self. is a young physician in Paris, ardently control, and those temptations which fond of his profession, and inclined to exwould shipwreck a weak will are the op- ceed the limits of prudence in his work. portunities for exercising a strong one. About three years since his own health The value of difficulty is so well known, broke down, and so completely that his that when it is absent we have to seek it. life was in danger from exhaustion. He The native language, from constant use, took his own case in hand with the same is too easy for us, so we learn Latin and closeness of attention that he was accusGreek.

tomed to bestow on others, and now he is There is another very pretty analogy, strong and well. I asked how such a which has the advantage of not being great change had been effected. “Sim. quite so obvious as the preceding, be- ply,” he answered,“ by incessant attention tween the management of a sailing vessel to all those little things that affect health, in light and variable breezes and the con- and that I used habitually to neglect." duct of life in a highly civilized community. Without appearing to live differently Every one who enjoys the game of life, and from other people, he is never forgetful is a skilful player, is incessantly on the now of those little aids to health which watch for those small opportunities which answer in hygienics to the lightest breath are surely missed by the incapable and of air in the sails of a vessel. He takes the careless. The skilful player values the the opportunities which present themsmallest advance in the direction of his selves, and though a physician in a great wishes, and when circumstances are not city, whose work includes hospital pracvery favorable, he watches for those that tice, cannot lead the healthy life of a counare somewhat favorable, and lays himself try squire, he may often choose between out so as to win from them the utmost what tends to health and the neglectful amount of furtherance. To such a man a drifting away from it. The difference besmall gain won by delicate skill gives a tween a pleasant degree of activity and satisfaction out of all proportion to its wearisome lassitude may often be due to positive value, but though each advantage some trifling matter or habit which a careso won may in itself be small, the aggre-less person is sure to overlook. I need gate results of such vigilance become in- hardly add that when health has been reportant as life advances. The yachts. covered by care in small things, the winner man who makes the most of light and of it has a satisfaction in the results of his variable breezes, is the model for all to own management unknown to those who follow who seek the best and most satis. deal more carelessly and coarsely with factory success. A high state of civiliza- themselves. The same satisfaction is attion produces more and more a condition tendant upon delicate attention to pecuniof things in which the delicate art of sail. ary affairs. The art of sailing in the direcing is likely to do more for a man than tion of pecuniary well-being, when circum. the rough courage and energy which tell stances are but slightly, and irregularly most effectively in simpler and ruder com- favorable, is as interesting as yachting, munities. Every one must have noticed a and very like it, wbilst its rewards are of class of men who seem to have neither more importance. For an intelligent percommanding talents nor any great practi- son, whose means are neither large nor cal force, and yet who get many of the certain, there is a constant satisfaction in good things of life as if they came to them making them yield the best result. I naturally. Such men often succeed in the think that of all the lessons to be derived professions, marry well, live comfortably, from the art of sailing, there is not one so and leave money behind them when they likely to be generally profitable as this, die. They do not seem to work particu- that we should imitate in the midst of larly bard, certainly not so hard as many changing and slightly favorable circumof ihe unsuccessful, their acquirements stances, the art and patience of the are not remarkable, and yet they steadily yachtsman in light and variable breezes. get on.

In such cases the explanation Another analogy between sailing and life generally is that the successful man has a | may be connected with the yachtsman's



power of increasing and diminishing his mentum, known only to students of nautisails. When there is scarcely a breath cal science. Ballast is the flywheel of a of wind he spreads an astonishing quantity sailing machine, a magazine for the stor. of canvas; as the wind increases in age of force. An excessively light sailing strength he reduces the number of his boat will not come round with any cersails; and finally, by reefing, he even di- tainty in tacking, and has often to be minishes the area of the few that still helped with an oar, but a well ballasted remain. I have not space to show the vessel will shoot ahead in stays — that is, saliacy of the false analogies which have when the sails are momentarily without often been connected with this part of the any impulsive effect because they cut the sailor's craft, but the following is a sound wind instead of receiving it - and whilst one. Observe what really takes place. the vessel is shooting ahead by the sheer As the strength of the wind diminishes force that is accumulated in her ballast more sail is added; as the wind increases, she is still quite obedient to the rudder, . canvas is taken in. The wind is not an and may be securely brought round enemy but a helper, and as the help de against the wind till the sails fill on the creases in energy a greater quantity of it other tack. There is a very fine analogy is sought for by extending the area which between this and the power of accumulat. receives it. In this case the art of the ing intellectual and inoral energy in a sailor is to regulate the belp that is given well-baliasted character. In all labor him by getting more when he has too there are times (often of some duration) little, and accepting less than what is cf. in which the impulsion from interest fered when the offer is in dangerous ex:

The accumulated force in ballast I need hardly observe that such a carries us well through the piece of uoinmoderating art as this is most valuable in teresting or disagreeable work, but if we the affairs of life. It has been exercised were without it, ihe mind would come to with consummate skill by the Italian a standstill or be driven back. Young statesmen of the present age. When people very seldom have much ballast of they wanted help they spread their sails this kind, and so they require rowers (in and received assistance, but they took the shape of masters) to get them over them in again when assistance seemed the situations in which the wind of inlikely to become dangerous to their inde terest gives no help. Men of weighty expendence. The unfortunate Poles never perience and powerful intellect have gencould get help enough, the wily Italians erally a fine momentum from their ballast, got exactly what they needed, the kbedive so that whether a piece of work is pleasant of Egypt has received rather more than he to them or not they go steadily through may consider quite desirable.

it, as a ship meets wind and water. An In private life we constantly see similar other resemblance is that, as a heavily instances, especially in the things of the ballasted vessel is not so nimble in short mind. There may be too little mental movements as a light vessel, so a weighty assistance and there may be too much. mind gets less easily into motion than a The art is to get just enough of it by frivolous one, and does not stop so sudspreading our sails to catch it when re- denly. Ballast makes us rather slow to quired, whilst we take in reefs when there enter upon a task, but when we have once is a danger of being overpowered by it. begun it we go forward. Some men are overwhelmed by too much There is no analogy between the begin. learning, others have not enough; the ning of existence in the case of a ship really clever man is he who gets just that and the beginning of human existence. degree of impulsion from learning which A ship is not conceived and born, neither is most favorable to bis best activity. does it grow, but is made, wbich is quite

The analogy from ballast which refers different. There is, however, a very close simply to stability is obvious and com- analogy between the sinking of a ship and monly understood. A character is said to death, which is quite fainiliar to the popu. be without ballast when it has not a suffi- lar mind, as we see by the constant use of cient weight of knowledge and convictions the expression “ The patient is sinking,” to keep it steady: I need not dwell upon an expression invariably and immediately this; but there is another analogy con- understood to signify that the final plunge nected with ballast which seems to be of death itself is to be expected. The requite unknown, and yet which is at least sult, so far as this world is concerned, is equally valuable. Weight of ballast in a strikingly alike in both cases.

The ship vessel has two uses, one for stability, disappears, you may seek all over the known to most people, the other for mo- ocean and not find her; the man disap

[ocr errors]

From All The Year Round.


pears, you will never meet with him again | have a thorough explanation with Hilda ;
anywhere upon the whole earth. This and the slight obscurity that veiled their
may be one of the reasons why the spec- movements only made me more eager to
tacle of a noble vessel slowly sinking in find them.
mid-ocean is so fascinating. All who This obscurity was presently somewhat
have witnessed such a catastrophe tell us relieved by the return of the carriage
that their eyes were fixed involuntarily on which had taken them away, for the driver
the doomed ship till she was no more to reported that he had taken them to a place
be seen within the ring of the vast hori. about seven leagues from here, where our
zon, and only a swirl of water marked, for friends had hired another conveyance.
a moment, the spot where she vanished And so having no seven-league boots, we

ordered a carriage to be brought round, P. G. HAMERTON. secure of the first stage in our journey.

But before the carriage could be brought round a voiture appeared, driven at a splitting pace from the station, in which voiture there sat a little man in spectacles, with a short, black beard and vivacious features; though he hardly so

much sat either as stood, jumped, danced, IF fortune, as the saying goes, some gesticulated; everybody Aying about at times comes to people while they sleep, his word as if he were the commander of she is pretty sure to make off again with the port. At last, as if his mainspring out taking the trouble to wake them. had suddenly broken, he sank down upon Thus I felt it to be, anyhow, when on re- the cushions with a gesture of despair; turning to our hotel after our interview and then we saw for the first time that he with the magistrate, we found that, al- had a companion in the carriage, a very though the “Sea-Mew” had sailed the pretty woman in a pretty costume, arnight before, yet that Hilda and her father ranged with blue serge and blue and white had not gone with her, but had actually braid to represent approximately a seaslept in the same hotel for the night, and faring dress. And then before we quite had started this morning in a chaise and understood what was the matter, we were pair for parts unknown.

somewhat dragged into the business by a It was provoking to think that I had chain of eager boatmen and touts who exagain missed the opportunity of seeing claimed in a chorus of shouts and cries : Hilda, and of making myself known to “This way, monsieur le directeur, this her. It was provoking, too, to find that way ; behold those two messieurs there both Hilda and the squire had heard of who know all about your affair.” our little adventure of the night before, “But she has gone, she has sailed!” and bad remained to hear the result, drive repeated monsieur le directeur, folding ing away as soon as we had been released bis arms gloomily. " All is finished! My from arrest.

friend,” addressing the cab-driver , “ let Hilda had written one of her pithy little us return to Paris.” notes to Tom, congratulating him on get. “But no!” cried madame la directrice, ting out of his scrape, and bidding him rousing herself in turn. “ But no, Albeware of making friends with people of phonse, how absurd thou art. Return to whose antecedents he knew nothing. As Paris! And what shall I wear when I for her father and herself, they were about get back to Paris, when I am here comto visit an old friend of the squire's, who pletely equipped for the sea. Let us ad. was believed to be living in the neighbor- dress ourselves to these messieurs.” And hood. But as their route was uncertain she bestowed such an engaging smile there was no use in following them. Tom upon Tom Courtney that his susceptible and his friend had better rejoin the “Sea. heart was won in a moment. Mew” as soon as possible, and try and looking for the " • Sea-Mew,' keep out of mischief. There was some addressing us in excellent English, thing gravely sarcastic about the note vessel that belongs to the friend of my that sounded to me like an implied re: husband, the distinguished Meesta Chan. proach. Was it possible that Hilda had cellor.” after all recognized me, and had seen " And so are we,” replied Tom in his through the ihin disguise and half de. most dulcet accents. “We, too, belong spised ine for having assumed it? All the to the ó Sea-Mew,' and I hope we shall be more I was resolved to follow them, and I compagnons de voyage."

[ocr errors]


6. We are " she said,

[ocr errors]




[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Madame bowed graciously, and hoped carriage for the seven leagues, and in so too, explaining the matter to her staying to breakfast at the hotel with our husband, who suddenly became radiant new friends. The director made a glori. again.

ous breakfast, talking all the while, in a Ha, ha !” cried the director, “ here is running commentary on the viands before our affair then well arranged. Messieurs, us; he sketched the natural history of I have left my bureau of public instruc- the lobster, showed us the connecting tion, at the earnest request of my very link between the shrimp and the spider, good friend Chancelleur, that I may make gave us a brief account of the process of your voyage entertaining, and also, let us making cream in Normandy, à propos of hope, a little instructive. Well, I have the sauce à la crème. Only as there were my programme perfectly arranged, and it thirty or forty more of his compatriots at was irritating to find it in danger of being table all talking and gesticulating at high rudely cut in two. But since you, mes pressure, with the incessant rattle of sieurs, are here to receive us, all is well, plates and dishes all mingling in one very well. We shall begin at once, hav. mighty roar, it happened that not all his ing breakfasted. Cherbourg need not instructive remarks reached our long detain us, its history is written in Madame la directrice too seemed to enjoy blue-books and the budget of the State. her breakfast. She had the satisfaction But we have a district close by, intensely of feeling that she was the best-looking interesting to all you English who are a and the best-dressed woman at the table. little akin to the Normans. You, per- The wife of the “port admiral,” as we haps," addressing Courtney, “ you per. dubbed the officer who had the most gold haps, are a little Norman. Your name, lace about his coat, grew pale with envy monsieur, which I did not distinctly and jealousy at the sight of her rival's catch ? Courtney!” triumphantly. “See, fresh' Parisian toilet; while the officers precisely what I said — Courtnez, short with one accord pronounced the nose, just as we have Courthose, or short comer as of all things the most “chic." pantalon."

And, by the way, the gallant officers them“ Mon cher,” remonstrated madame, selves were a puzzle and wonder to us frowning at him, "do not entertain our strangers. What were all these captains friends with these bétises."

and lieutenants doing, and the brisk and “ Bétises!”. cried the director, “it is smart seamen, too, who thronged the not bétise, it is philologie. You should, streets, while all the time there was not sar," again addressing Courtney,“ be of a a single ship in a condition to go to sea ? verri distingué fainily. Only the great But then that was explained by the pres. chiefs have the names according to the ence of naval barracks, where men physique. To be a de is nothin', and trained in seamanship without the disa. any one little seigneur is a de— but a greeable necessity of going afloat. An Courtnez, alı, that is grand !"

excellent notion this last, said the direc“ I'm very glad to hear it," said Tom, tor sympathetically, for he hated the sea laughing; but at the same time rubbing himself - except from the shore; while his nose as if to assure himself that this madame, on the contrary - The direcorgan was not unduly limited in dimen- tor ga a shrug expressive of the sacri. sions. “ And my friend here, Lamallam, fices he was making for the pleasures of what is he?"

his fair and amiable partner, and to ac" Ali, that I know nothing," rejoined complish his mission for his very good the director, shaking his head suspi- friend Chancellor. ciously; "that is not French, that is not All this would have been amusing English, that is not Dutch perhaps it is enough if I had not been so anxious to Hindostanee.

get sight of Hilda once more. But then, Tom Courtney gave me a nudge. as Courtney urged, of what use was it to

“Our friend is a conjuror," he inur- start on a vague, uncertain chase, when in mured.

the course of twenty-four hours or so we He seemed quite fascinated with the should be sure to meet on board the “Seadirector; we should have dubbed him Mew"? And in the mean time our diprofessor, but that is a title which does rector had us in his power. He was not not assume large proportions in France an exacting taskmaster; he allowed us any little boy's tutor is a professor. Well, plenty of opportunities for rest and reTom was so fascinated with the director, freshment, and for enjoying the society of jointly, perhaps, with the director's wise, his lively and charming wife. But in the that lie persisted in counter-ordering our mean tiine the programme must be car.


« VorigeDoorgaan »