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" We rather lean to the opinion of the efficacy
of attraction, sir ; nor do I see that your propo
sition would at all obviate your own objection."

" Then, sir, I will just explain myself. Let us
suppose there was a steamer with a hundred miles
of keel ; let us suppose the steam up, and the craft
with a broad offing ; let us suppose her helm lash'd
hard a-port, and she going at the rate of ten thou
sand knots the hour, without bringing up or short
ening sail for years at a time. Now, all this being
admitted, what would be her course ? Why, sir,
any child could tell you, she would keep turning
in a circle of some fifty or a hundred thousand
miles in circumference ; and such, it appears to me,
it is much more rational to suppose is the natur' of
the 'arth's traversing, than all this steering-small
among stars and attractions."

" There is truly something very plausible, Cap
tain Poke, in your suggestion ; and I propose that
you shall profit by the first occasion to lay your
opinions on the subject, more at large, before tne
Academy of Leaphigh."

"With all my heart, Doctor; for I hold that

knowledge, like good liquor, is given to be passed

round from one to another, and not to be gulped

in a corner by any particular individle. And

17



194 THE MOXIKINS.

now I'm throwing out hints of this natur', I will
just intimate another, that you may add to your
next demonstration, by way of what you call a
corollary : which is this, that is to say if all
you tell us about the bursting of the boiler and the
polar kick be true, then is the 'arth the first steam
boat that was ever invented, and the boastings of
the French, and the English, and the Spaniards,
and the Italians, on this point, are no more than
so much smoke."

" And of the Americans, too, Captain Poke,'
I ventured to observe.

" Why, Sir John, that is as it may happen. I
don't well see how Fulton could have stolen the
idee, seeing that he did not know the Doctor,
and most probably never heard of Leaphigh in his
life."

We all smiled, even to the amiable Chatterissa,
at the nicety of the navigator's distinctions; and
the philosopher's lecture, in its more didactic
form, being now virtually at an end, a long and de
sultory conversation took place, in which a multi
tude of ingenious questions were put by Captain
Poke and myself, and which were as cleverly an
swered by the Doctor and his friends.

At length, Dr. Reasono, who, philosopher as he
was, and much as he loved science, had not given
himself all this trouble, without a view to what
are called ulterior considerations, came out with
a frank expose of his wishes. Accident had appa
rently combined all the means for gratifying the
burning desire I betrayed to be let into further de
tails of the monikin polity, morals, philosophy, and
all the other great social interests of the part of
the world they inhabit. I was wealthy beyond
bounds, and the equipment of a proper vessel
would be an expenditure of no moment ; both the



THE MOfllKINS. 195

Doctor and Lord Chatterino were good practical
geographers, after they were once within the pa
rallel of 77 south, and Captain Poke, according to
his own account of himself, had passed half his life
in poking about among the sterile and uninhabited
islands of the frozen ocean. What was there to
prevent the most earnest wishes of all present
from being gratified? The Cautain was out of
employment, and no doubt would be glad to get
the command of a good tight sea-boat ; the
strangers pined for home, and it was my most
ardent wish to increase my stake in society, by
taking a further interest in monikins.

On this hint, T frankly made a proposal to the
old sealer, to undertake the task of restoring these
amiable and enlightened strangers to their own
fire-sides and families. The Captain soon began
to discover a little of his Stunin'tun propensity;
for, the more I pressed the matter on him, the
more readily he found objections. The several
motives he urged for declining the proposal, may
be succinctly given as follows :

It was true that he wanted employment, but
then he wanted to see Stunin'tun too ; he doubt
ed whether monkeys would make good sailors ; it
was no joke to run in among the ice, and it might
be still less of one to find our way back again ; he
had seen the bodies of dead seals and bears that
were frozen as hard as stone, and which might, for
any thing he knew, have lain in that state a hun
dred years, and, for his part, he should like to be
buried when he was good for nothing else ; how
did he know these monikins might not catch the
men, when they had once fairly got them in their
country, and strip them, and make them throw sum
merscts, as the Savoyards had compelled the Doc
tor, and even the Lady Chatterissa, to do ? he knew



196 THE MONIKINS.

he should break his neck the very first flap-jack ;
if he were ten years younger, perhaps he should
like the frolic ; he did not believe the right sort of
craft could be found in England, and, for his part,
he liked sailing under the stars and stripes; he
didn't know but he might go, if he had a crew
of Stunin'tunners; he always knew how to get
along with such people; he could scare one by
threatening to tell his marm how he behaved, and
bring another to reason by hinting that the gals
would shy him, if he was n't more accommodating ;
then there might be no such place as Leaphigh,
after all; or, if there was, he might never find
it; as for wearing a bison-skin under the equa
tor, it was quite out of the question, a human skin
being a heavy load to carry in the calm latitudes ;
and finally, that he didn't exactly see what he was
to get by it"

These objections were met, one by one, revers
ing the order in which they were made, and com
mencing with the last.

I offered a thousand pounds sterling as the re
ward. This proposal brought a gleam of satis
faction into Noah's eyes, though he shook his head,
as if he thought it very little. It was then sug
gested that there was no doubt we should discover
certain islands that were well stored with seals,
and that I would waive all claims as owner, and
that hereafter he might turn these discoveries to
his own private account. At this bait he nibbled,
and, at one time, I thought he was about to suffer
himself to be caught. But he remained obstinate.
After trying all our united rhetoric, and doubling
the amount of the pecuniary offer, Dr. Reasono
luckily bethought him of the universal engine of
human weakness, and the old sealer, who had
resisted money an influence of known efficacy



THE MONIK1NS. 197

at Stunin'tun ambition, the secret of new sealing
grounds, and all the ordinary inducements that
might be thought to have weight with men of his
class, was, in the end, hooked by his own vanity!
The philosopher cunningly expatiated on the plea
sure there would be in reading a paper before the
academy of Leaphigh, on the subject of the captain's
peculiar views touching the earth's annual revolu
tion, and of the virtue of sailing planets with their
helms lashed hard-a-port, when all the dogmatical
old navigator's scruples melted away like snow in
a thaw.



CHAPTER XIII.

A chapter of preparations Discrimination in character A
tight fit, and other conveniences, with some judgment.

I SHALL pass lightly over the events of the sue
ceeding month. During this time, the whole party
was transferred to England, a proper ship had been
bought and equipped, the family of strangers were
put in quiet possession of their cabins, and I had
made all my arrangements for being absent from
England for the next two years. The vessel was
a stout-built, comfortable ship of about three hun
dred tons burthen, and had been properly con
structed to encounter the dangers of the ice. Her
accommodations were suitably arranged to meet
all the exigencies of both monikin and human wants,
the apartments of the ladies being very properly
separated from those of the gentlemen, and other
wise rendered decorous and commodious. The
Lady Chatterissa very pleasantly called their pri
vate room the gynecee, which, as I afterwards ascer-
17*



198 THE MONIKIffS.

tained, was a term for the women's apartments,
jbtained from the Greek, the monikins being quite
as much addicted as we are ourselves, to showing
their acquirements by the introduction of words
from foreign tongues.

Noah showed great care in the selection of the
ship's company, the service being known to be
arduous, and the duties of a very responsible cha
racter. For this purpose, he made a journey ex
pressly to Liverpool, (the ship lying in the Greenland
Dock at London,) where he was fortunate enough
to engage five Yankees, as many Englishmen, two
Norwegians and a Swede, all of whom had been
accustomed to cruising as near the poles as ordi
nary men ever succeed in reaching. He was also
well suited in his cook and mates; but I observed
that he had great difficulty in finding a cabin-boy
to his mind. More than twenty applicants were
rejected, some for the want of one qualification, and
some for the want of another. As I was present
at several examinations of different candidates for
the office, I got a little insight into his manner of
ascertaining their respective merits.

The invariable practice was, first, to place a bot
tle of rum, and a pitcher of water, before the lad,
and to order him to try his hand at mixing a glass
of grog. Four applicants were incontinently rejected
for manifesting a natural inaptitude at hitting the
jiisle milieu, in this important part of the duty of a
cabin-boy. Most of the candidates, however, were
reasonably expert in the art ; and the captain soon
came to the next requisite, which was, to say "Sir,"
in a tone, as Noah expressed it, somewhere be
tween the snap of a steel-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



THE MONIKItfS. 199

'ength, 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,
lob-skous, and dough, (which he affectedly pro
nounced 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 he was too bony
about an essential part of his anatomy, a peculiarity
that was very dangerous to a captain, as he him
self was once so unfortunate as to put his great toe
out of joint, by kicking one of these ill-formed
youngsters with unpremeditated violence ; a thing
that was very apt to happen to a man in a hurry.
Luckily, number twenty passed, and was imme
diately promoted to the vacant birth. 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 com
mand of the vessel, in good earnest Coming down



200 THE MOMKI\S.

channe., 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 colours, 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 w r as a privilege
he very willingly left to congress-men 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 con
versation, I was on deck just as day dawned, and to
my surprise Noah, who was in his birth, called ou*



THE MONIKINS. 201

to the mate, through the sky-light, 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 in 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 poste
riori, 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 there
away ; 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 acqui-



202 THE MOMKINS.

esced, 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 tne 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
ihr, 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 par
tially 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 phi
losopher and the young peer passed most of their
time on deck, or aloft. Dr. Reasono and I spenv
half of the mild nights in discussing subjects con
nected 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 moni-
Kin ingenuity had greatly diminished the labor of
the acquisition. The whole language was spoken
and written on a system of decimals, which render '
ed it particularly easy, after the elementary princi
ples were once acquired. Thus, unlike most human
tongues, in which the rule usually forms the excep-



THE MONIKINS. 203

tion, 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 comprehensive
ness of the tongue was also another great advan
tage ; 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 obli
gingly explained, "we-wlch-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 for
ever." In short, it was the usual and the 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, unluck
ily, the word " we-switch-it-me-cum," means " Ma
dam, 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 for ever."
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



204 THE MOWIKINS.

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 sufficiently safe, as he was much
accustomed to the use of the word " sidle hel;" 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 an 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 pro
prietor 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 Leap-
high, 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 hia
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 accom
plished pair had early distinguished each other, in
monikin society, for their unusual graces of person,
general attainments, mutual amiableness of disposi-



THE MONIK1NS. 205

lion, harmony of thought, and soundness of princi
ples. Every thing 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 certifi
cate issued from the Marriage Department on this
occasion, and which, in all his wanderings, he had
contrived to conceal within the lining of the Span
ish hat the Savoyards had compelled him to wear,
and which he still preserved as a document that
was absolutely indispensable on his return to Leap-
high ; else he would never be permitted to travel a
foot 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 De
partment, Leaphigh, season of nuts, day of
brightness.

Vol. 7243, p. 82.

Lord Chatterino: Domains; 126,952f acres of
and ; meadow, arable and wood in just proportions.

Lady Chatterissa: Domains; 115,999^ acres of
,and ; mostly arable.

Decree, as of record ; it is found that the lands
18



206 THE MONIKINS.

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 cer
tainty a suspicion unknown.

Decree as of record ; it is found that the advan
tage 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 Kea-
sono, Professor of Probabilities in the University
of Leaphigh, L. L. D., F. U. D. G. K, and of Mrs.
Vigilance Lynx, licensed duenna.

The Journey of Trial is so peculiar to the moni-
kin 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 peculiarly anglicized angli-
cism), in all the more essential requisites of matri
mony, 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 vicissi
tudes of life. In the case of candidates of the more vul
gar 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 espe
cially 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 pro-



THE MONIKIJTS. 207

visions of all laws are invented less for those who



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