Louisa C. (Louisa Caroline) Tuthill.

I will be a gentleman : a book for boys online

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ing and roguery, rum-selling and so forth."

" I am sorry my country should be so badly
represented here," replied Frank, with an ex-
pression of face that denoted extreme mortifica-

" O, every country has its rogues. The
Frenchman is one, for instance, who would have
taken your watch for one tenth of its true value.
Will you have the kindness to tell me how you
happened to be a sailor, for that you were des-
tined for some other employment I am certain."

Frank then related his loss of health ; his
father's profession ; his advice with regard to
going to sea; and his recovery in consequence
The stranger had already heard his account of the


gale and wreck. He listened with much interest,
questioning Frank closely, and at the same time

It was some time before they reached the place
where Brandon was left; when they did so, he
was not there. Frank, much alarmed, raised the
huge old-fashioned knocker, and gave a thunder-
ing rap. Mr. Mudge himself appeared, and, see-
ing only Frank, said, hi a very harsh tone,
" What ! one of those young scoundrels again.
Begone, you scamp, and do n't darken my door

The stranger stepped forward. Though he
did not understand English, the threatening tone
was not to be misunderstood. The moment Mr.
Mudge perceived him, he bowed in the most obse-
quious manner, and said, in Portuguese, " I am
most happy to see you, Don Francesco Rebei-
ro ; most happy to see you. Do me the honor to
walk in."

u Much obliged to you, Mr. Mudge ; I only
came with this young gentleman in search of his
companion," coolly replied Don Francesco.

Brandon, exhausted by weakness and fatigue,
had fallen asleep upon the neighbouring door-step.
The noise awakened him and he came forward.


" The friend of whom I spoke, Joseph Bran-
don," said Frank.

"Your fellow-countrymen, Mr. Mudge," said
the Don.

" I do n't believe a word of it ; they are runa-
way English sailors. The very clothes they have
on are English," replied Mr. Mudge.

This only confirmed what Frank had said of
their being the gift of the English captain.

" Good evening, Mr. Mudge," said the gen-
tleman. " Come, my lads, we will see where
we can find a comfortable place for you to lodge,
and to-morrow find out what further can be
done for you."

Not far distant was a Portuguese inn, where
he left them for the night.

Joe made wry mouths at the accommodations,
which were neither the neatest nor most luxuri-
ous possible. Frank said their new friend was
truly a good Samaritan; and a hearty supper
and good night's repose brought Joe to the same



ACCORDING to promise, the Don appeared early
the next morning.

Refreshing sleep and a careful morning toilet
had wonderfully improved the appearance of both
the boys.

"I related your story to my wife," said the
Don to Frank, " and she is very anxious to see
you. She has been in the United States, and can
talk with you about your country."

The exterior of the house of Don Francesco
was plain, but the interior was tastefully and rich-
ly furnished.

They passed through several large splendidly
furnished apartments to a smaller room, in which
was a lady, with easy, lively manners, and a
very pleasing countenance. She received them


with great politeness, and asked Frank to have
the kindness to relate his own story and that of
his companion.

He did so, in a brief and simple manner, and
the Donna frequently dashed away the tears from
her eyes during the recital. When he had finish-
ed, she said to her husband, in Portuguese, " Every
word of this recital is true, I am sure. Trust to
my woman's instinct, this is a noble boy."

She then inquired if they had ever been in
Charleston, South Carolina. They had not.

"I once spent some months there, and re-
ceived the greatest possible kindness and hospi-
tality from entire strangers, and I am anxious
to return it, in some degree, to your countrymen."
Then, turning to her husband, she said, in Por-
tuguese, " We must try and do all we can to
make these boys comfortable while they remain
with us. Would it not be well to ask them to
stay with us. They can have their meals served
in their own rooms."

" Just as you say, dearest."

" Well, then, propose it to them."

" I really do not know how to invite them, the
younger one in particular, unless I do it as I
would to any gentleman."


" That would not answer. You can inquire if
they would like to remain with us, or would pre-
fer going to a hotel."

The Donna did so, and Frank replied, with
many thanks for their politeness, that of course
he left it for them to decide.

" Well, then, stay with us," said the Don, cor-

There is something wonderfully pleasing in
the earnest truthfulness of a well-bred boy.
Frank might have invented a falsehood, but he
could not at once have assumed the manners and
conversation of a gentleman. These were the
corroborative testimony, the strong circumstantial
evidence, to his statement.

Brandon, who did not understand French, was
astonished when he found that they were invited
to make their home in that elegant mansion.
He saw that Frank was everywhere received and
treated as he really deserved to be, under what-
ever disguise he might appear. He could not but
feel his own inferiority, and resolutely determin-
ed that he would endeavour to cultivate those
qualities which would render him worthy of love
and respect.



THE next morning, at breakfast, the Donna seem-
ed not quite at ease. Her treatment of the young
sailors was such as would have satisfied almost
any person in the world. She had fulfilled that
law of Christian benevolence to which a reward
is promised, " I was a stranger and ye took me
in," &c. Yet she was not satisfied with her-
self. She said to her husband, " No doubt we
shall even now be called romantic, and perhaps
imprudent, for taking these unfortunate ones into
our house ; but you know it is immaterial to us
what people say. We are rich, and have no re-
lations to share our wealth with us. I am not
satisfied with our reception of that amiable boy.
It seems quite uncivil not to invite our guests to
own table."


" They would look very droll at your table ; it
is quite impossible," said he.

" No, not impossible," replied his wife, " for
we can easily furnish them with suitable apparel,
and then, I am sure it would do no harm to any
one. I should like to have that contemptible Mr.
Mudge, who treated them so cruelly, see Frank
walking with me dressed as he has been accus-
tomed to be. As for the other lad I do not know
what he is, as he cannot speak French. He is
by no means equal, however, to his compan-

" Do as you like, my dear," said the Don. " I
believe you will be happier for having discharged
the debt of obligation to these Americans, which
you incurred long since to some of their fellow-

Don Francesco then handed her his purse, say-
big, " I hardly know in what way you can pro-
pose to them to purchase better clothing, but I
leave that to your womanly ingenuity."

This, to the Donna, was rather a difficult task.
She requested a servant to call the young gen-
tlemen into the drawing-room; and, in a very
delicate manner, asked to be allowed to be their
banker, until they could draw upon friends at


Joe's pride was really or apparently aroused,
and he said, " He could not think of receiving
pecuniary obligation " ; but Frank gratefully ac-
cepted the offer, knowing that his father would
remit the money at a future period. He advised
Joe not to pain his kind hostess by a refusal.

The truth was, Joseph had no idea of not ac-
cepting it, but he thought, very erroneously, that
it would be more polite to make a great ado
about it.

The purse was accepted, and the contents divid-
ed equally between them.

They soon started off to purchase an entire new
suit of clothes, and make such other additions to
their wardrobe as were needed.

They were so successful that they returned
before dinner, with the outer man completely

It was amusing to see tke difference of char-
acter exhibited in their dress. The flashy style
of Joe betrayed his lurking fondness for finery.
He had even purchased a large brooch of colored
glass, which, to say the least, looked like an
emerald, and was a veiy conspicuous ornament.
His coat was green, his vest yellow and red, and
his pantaloons blue; so that there was no want


of variety in colors. This, however, was only a
want of taste. Joseph was improving in charac-

Frank's dress was dark blue, with a white vest,
and as little expensive as he could possibly choose,
although he was morally certain that it would not
be many months before the money would be re-

At the dinner hour, an invitation was sent up
for the young gentlemen. They went down to
a sumptuous meal, such as they never had seen,
even at " the famous French dinner-party."

The kind Donna seemed pleased with the
change the boys had undergone. She said to her
husband, hi Portuguese, " I 'm delighted ; what
would old Mudge say, if he should see these
young gentlemen ? "

According to the old proverb, the person spoken
of was near. Mr. George W. Mudge was shown
into the dining-room. The Donna requested him
to take a seat at table. He bowed, and bowed
lower and lower each time, until his head almost
touched the carpet.

" You do me great honor, Don Francesco Re-
beiro," said he. " I should have been here ac-
cording to your invitation at an earlier hour, but


important business detained me. A vessel has
just arrived from the United States, and its cargo
is consigned to me."

" We are in no haste to part with our young
friends," said the Don, looking at Joseph and
Frank, " but this may be a pleasant opportunity
for them to return to their country."
" What ! are these young gentlemen Ameri-
cans ? You must introduce me to them."

The Don did so, with great ceremony.

" Highly delighted to see you, fellow-country-
men ; charmed ; hope for a better acquaintance,"
exclaimed Mudge ; who, by the way, had quite
forgotten, at the moment, the poor sailor-boys.

"Fine looking young gentlemen," said the
Donna, in Portuguese.

" Beautiful ! " replied Mudge, " never saw
more elegant young men. Where do they be-
long ? "

" They will tell you."

" What part of the Union claims you, Sir,"
said Mr. Mudge to Brandon.

" Boston has that honor," replied Brandon.

" The cradle of liberty ! A worthy son of
New England. And you, my fine fellow ? "

"I was born in New York," replied Frank.


A sudden recollection seemed to come over
the mind of Mr. Mudge. He repelled the thought,
" No ; it cannot be that these are the two ship-
wreck'ed sailor-boys," said he to himself; then,
again addressing them, " I hope I shall have
the pleasure of seeing you at my house often
while you are at Fayal ; make it quite your

" Once is enough for me," said Joe, bluntly.

The suspicion, then, was correct.

" Don Francesco, it seems I have been labor-
ing under some great mistake. Your merry
young friends played a trick upon me by appear-
ing in the disguise of common sailors."

" No trick at all, Mr. Mudge ; they told you the
plain truth ; they were poor shipwrecked sailors,
far from their friends and country."

" Amazing ! " exclaimed Mr. Mudge, dropping
his knife and fork, and rolling up his little grey
eyes to the ceiling.

" Do not lose your appetite so soon," said the

Mr. Mudge partly , recovered himself, saying,
" You have too much to tempt it, Donna ; there is
no danger of that." But so great was his aston-
ishment and dismay that it was exceedingly diffi-
cult for the poor man to swallow.


The Don had invited Mr. JMudge to dine with
him, not alone to mortify him, but because he
thought he might make him useful to his young
countrymen, whether he were willing of not to
be obliging to them. He knew it was too much
for Mr. Mudge's own interest not to oblige him,
he therefore said, " Who is the captain of the
American vessel, and when does she sail for the
United States ? "

" Captain Harrison, brig Sea-gull ; sails in
about a week for New York."

Frank did not understand what had been said,
as it was in Portuguese, but at the name of New
York his heart bounded, the blood flushed his face,
and he unconsciously repeated, half aloud, " New
York ! New York ! "

" You are then extremely anxious to see your
native city ? " said the Donna.

" I am, indeed," replied Frank, " for I fear my
father may hear of the wreck of the Sally Ann,
and will mourn for me as dead. Being an only
son, the loss will be great to him."

" I am afraid you are imposed upon, Don
Francesco," said Mr. Mudge. "What if you
should find that these are really English runa-
ways ? "


" I shall say, that neither my wife nor myself
are capable of judging of character, and that you
are a man of infinite discernment," said the Don,
somewhat sarcastically. " But I am not troubled
about it. Ask Captain Harrison if he can take
two passengers, and what will be the passage-
money to New York."

" I will, Don, and moreover I shall ask him if
he -ever heard of such a person as Dr. Wood.
Are they to be cabin passengers ? "

" Certainly," replied the Don, who had no idea
of making a half-way business of the benevolent
task he had undertaken.




" HAVE you ever known much of the Azores ? "
inquired the Don of Frank.

" I have read very little about them," he re-
plied. " I know they lie about 800 miles from
Cape St. Vincent, and are supposed to have been
discovered and settled by the Portuguese. I have
seen volcanic specimens from these islands in the
mineralogical cabinet of Yale College, in Con-
necticut, and that is all the information that I
have about them."

" It was of their volcanic origin that I was
about to speak," continued the Don. " Some,
if not all of them, must have been formed by
earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. I wish the
American consul had not been absent from Fayal,
during your stay, as he would have accompanied


us on a little trip that I have projected for the
morrow. I am going to take you, if it is agree-
able, over to St. George. With a fair wind we
can go over in about five hours. There was a
tremendous eruption on that island in 1808, and
its present condition affords much that is interest-

Accordingly, the next morning, the Don and
Donna, with their young guests, embarked in a
small vessel for St. George. The sky was beau-
tifully clear and serene, but the Don said they
were subject to violent winds in that region, and
could never be sure of the continuance of such
delightful weather, even during a single day.

" You know," said he, " they say that nc ser-
pents of any kind (through the influence of St.
Patrick) can live in Ireland. It is true that our
fertile islands give birth to no poisonous reptiles,
and it is generally believed that if they were
brought here, they would soon expire."

" I shall always think of Fayal as a little para-
dise," remarked Frank.

" Notwithstanding the one noxious animal that
you have found here, Mr. Mudge," said the

" He is of foreign growth," replied Frank, " and



it is a wonder how he can thrive among beings
so different."

By this time they had arrived at St. George.
After a ride of four miles, they came to the foot
of the crater ; its elevation is about 3,500 feet.

They mounted up its rough sides, and had, be-
sides the view of the crater, a fine prospect of the
sea, dotted with the other islands belonging to the

" The American consul, who was resident at
Fayal at the time of this eruption," said the Don,
" gave the best account of it that I have seen, in
a letter to a friend of mine, who then resided at
St. Michael's, one of the largest of the Azores.
It was as follows :

" ' On Sunday, the 1st of May, at one, P. M.,
walking in the balcony of my house at St. Anto-
nio, I heard noises like the report of'heavy can-
non at a distance, and concluded there was some
sea-engagement in the vicinity of the island. But
soon after, casting my eyes towards the island of
St. George, ten leagues distant, I perceived a
dense volume of smoke rising to an immense
height ; it was soon judged that a volcano had
burst out about the centre of that island, and this
was rendered certain when night came on, the
fire exhibiting an awful appearance.


" ' Being desirous of viewing this wonderful ex-
ertion of nature, I embarked, on the 3d of May,
accompanied by the British consul and ten other
gentlemen, for St. George's, and arrived at Vellas,
the principal town, at eleven, A. M.

" ' We found the poor inhabitants perfectly panic-
struck and wholly given up to religious ceremo-
nies and devotion ; and learned that the fire had
broken out in a ditch, in the midst of fertile pas-
tures, three leagues southeast of Vellas, and had
immediately formed a crater, in size about twenty-
four acres. It threw out small cinders and pum-
ice-stones. The fire of this large crater had
nearly subsided, but on the evening preceding
our arrival another small crater had opened, one
league north of the large one.

" ' After taking some refreshment, we visited the
second crater, the sulphurous smoke of which,
driven southerly, rendered an attempt to approach
the large one impracticable.

" ' When we came within a mile of the crater,
we found the earth rent in every direction, and,
as we approached nearer, some of the chasms
were six feet wide ; by leaping over some of these
chasms, and making windings to avoid the larger
ones, we at length arrived within two hundred



yards of the spot, and saw it distinctly, in the
middle of a pasture.

" ' The mouth of it was only about fifty yards
hi circumference ; the fire seemed struggling for
vent ; the force with which the pale blue flame
issued forth resembled a powerful-steam-engine,
multiplied a hundred-fold. The noise was deaf-
ening ; the earth where we stood had a tremulous
motion ; the whole island seemed convulsed ;
horrid bellowings were occasionally heard from
the bowels of the earth, and earthquakes were

" ' After remaining here about ten minutes, we
returned to town. The inhabitants had mostly
quitted their houses, and remained in the open air,
or under tents.

" 4 On the same day, (the 4th of May,) we re-
turned to Fayal, and on the 5th and the succeed-
ing days, from twelve to fifteen small volcanoes
broke out in the very fields we had traversed on
the 3d, from the chasms before described, and
threw out a quantity of lava, which travelled on
slowly towards Vellas. The fire of those small
craters subsided, and the lava ceased running,
about the llth of May, on which day the large
volcano, that had lain dormant for nine days,


burst forth again like a roaring lion, with horrid
belchings, distinctly heard at twelve leagues' dis-
tance ; throwing up prodigiously large stones and
an immense quantity of lava, illuminating at
night the whole island. This continued with tre-
mendous force until the 5th of June, exhibiting
the awful yet magnificent spectacle of a perfect
river of fire (distinctly seen from Fayal) run-
ning into the sea. In a few days after, it ceased

" l The lava inundated and swept away entirely
the town of Ursulina, and country-houses and
cottages adjacent, as well as the farm-houses
throughout its course. As usual, it gave timely
notice of its approach, and most of the inhabi-
tants fled ; some few, however, remaining in the
vicinity of it too long, endeavouring to save their
furniture and effects, were scalded by flashes of
steam, which, without injuring their clothes, took
off not only their skin but their flesh. About six-
ty persons were thus miserably scalded, some of
whom died on the spot or a few days after. Num-
bers of cattle shared the same fate.

" ' The judge and principal inhabitants left the
island very early. The consternation and anxiety
were for some days so great arrfong the people,


that even their domestic concerns were abandon-
ed, and, amidst plenty, they were in danger of
starving. Supplies of ready -baked bread were
sent from hence to their relief, and large boats to
bring away the inhabitants who had lost their

" ' In short, the island, heretofore rich in cattle,
corn, and wine, is nearly ruined, and a scene of
greater desolation and distress has seldom been
witnessed in any country.'

"Thus far the American consul. You see,"
said the Don, " that this scene of desolation is now
partly relieved ; vines have sprung up over a part
that was at that time nearly desolate, but the
traces of the streams of lava we can still discern."

"The night is fast approaching, but, as the
moon is at the full, the sail of ten leagues to
Fayal will be delightful," said the Donna.

The wind blew a brisk breeze, and although
not fair, it wafted them in seven or eight hours
back to Fayal.



THE week previous to the sailing of the Sea-
gull was a very useful and interesting one to
Frank and Joseph. Their kind "host and hostess
enjoyed highly the gratification they were able to
afford their young guests.

Often, when looking at Frank, would the Don-
na say to herself, " Would that Heaven had grant-
ed me such a son ! "

Mr. Mudge, finding how much it was for his
interest to be obliging to the guests of Don
Francesco Rebeiro, bestirred himself to secure
their passage as cabin passengers, and one would
have thought that he was intensely anxious for
their welfare. This anxiety was doubtless much
increased by finding there was an eminent phy-
sician in New York by -the name of Dr. Wood.


He went so far as to invite the Don and Donna,
with Joseph and Frank, to " take tea " with him ;
and as they all were curious to see how he kept
bachelor's hall, the invitation was accepted.

The Portuguese servant, who had so efficiently
aided his master in the ejectment of Joseph from
his premises, was cook, waiter, valet, and cham-
ber-maid to the establishment. He answered the
knock at the door, on the arrival of the guests,
dressed hi a suit of green baize, turned up with
yellow flannel, a livery servant.

Every room in the house was used for the
storage of some lands of goods. Kegs, barrels,
boxes, hampers, champagne-baskets, demijohns,
bottles, were usually in dire confusion. Now,
they were covered with baizes and other cloths.

The parlour was fitted up with red, green, and
blue flannel, arranged according to the taste of
master and man. The table was garnished with
a variety of chirm and crockery, from three quar-
ters of the globe, pieces that never dreamed of
being related to each other.

At the head of the table sat the lean man,
pouring tea from a black teapot, that was of
Yankee* origin, and might have belonged to Mr.
Mudge's grandmother, pouring it into beautiful
Dresden china.


" How astonishing strange it was," exclaimed
Mr. Mudge, " that I should not have known that
these were young gentlemen, in any disguise.
It must have been my rascal of a servant, who
came to me with such a horrid story of two fierce
looking sailors, that I could not see exactly with
my own eyes. I, who have been so much in
gentlemen's company, surely ought to have
known one as quick as I know real Mocha

" I do not think, Sir, that it is strange," said
Frank, " for we were in a sad condition, and
must have looked badly."

" But Mr. Brandon who now looks so very
elegant it is most monstrous strange that I
should have treated him so unceremoniously,"
said Mr. Mudge.

" O, it is of no consequence," replied Joseph.
" I shall never mention it when I get home."

" I can't get over it, though. Don Francesco,
you must be a man of infinite discernment to
have seen through these youngsters."

" I was much aided by the discrimination of
my wife ; you know the ladies have a quicker
insight into character than we have," said the


" There you have the advantage over me. I
have never had time to pay my devours to the
ladies," said Mr. Mudge, with a piteous grimace.

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Online LibraryLouisa C. (Louisa Caroline) TuthillI will be a gentleman : a book for boys → online text (page 5 of 7)