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own 126,952f 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 com
pelled 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 was command
ed 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 depar
ture from the capital for the mountains, where he
instructed his wards in a practical commentary o
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
empers; and setting up establishments with the



208 THE MOXIKINS.

most awkward peasants for servants, to ascertain
the depth of Chatterissa's philosophy ; with a vari
ety of similar ingenious devices, that will readily
suggest themselves to all who have any matrimo
nial experience, whether they live in palaces or
cottages. When this part of the trial was success-
ully terminated, (the result having shown that the
gentle Chatterissa was of proof, so far as mere tem
per was concerned,) the whole party was 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
43,000 square miles, that were discomposed by
the great eruption of the earth's boiler. The phi
losopher foresaw a thousand interesting results that
were dependent on the ascertaining of this impor
tant fact; for all the learning of Leaphigh having
been exhausted, some five hundred years before, in
establishing the greatest distance to which any frag
ment had been thrown on that memorable occasion,
great attention had latterly been given to the dis
covery of the least distance any fragment had been
hurled. Perhaps I ought to speak tenderly of the con
sequences 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



THE MONIKINS. 209

neighbouis, as it afterwards appeared, of Captain
Poke,) who remorselessly seized upon the travellers,
and sold them to a homeward-bound Indiaman,
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 vene
ration 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 de
liberately helping himself to some tobacco, he
replied :

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

Alas ! there are minds so unfortunately consti
tuted, that they have no sympathies with the sub
lime. 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
18*



210 THE MONIKINS.

level of their homebred 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 trowsers to be made of
the skins of different animals, such as dogs, cats,
sheep, tigers, leopards, hogs, &c. &c., 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 appre
ciated, 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 Falk
land Islands, the real skins were resumed, with
promptitude, and I might add, with pleasure.

Noah had, at first, raised some strong objec
tions 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 ex
pressed it himself, " by their natur's ;" calling out



'You cat, scatch 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 decks, from
morning to night.

Good humour 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 week.

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 nvter, he quietly turned his face from him,



212 THE MONIKINS.

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 gar-
ment, which had been cut for a much larger
boy, (one of those who had broken down in essay
ing 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 kick
ed, he turned about manfully, and demanded the
captain's pleasure. He was told to bring the largest
and the 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 colour. 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 pump
kin, " there is the 'arth, and nere 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



THE MONIKINS. 213

a general idee of its headlands and of the trending
of the coast."

Dr. Reasono took a fidd, 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 know-
edge it might do to run even in the night. He
then projected the position of Stunin'tun, an occu
pation in which he took great delight, actually
designing the meeting-house and the principal
tavern; after which, the chart was laid aside.



CHAPTER XIV.

How jo steer small How to run the gauntlet with a ehip
How to go clear A new-fashioned screw-dock, and certain
mile-stones.

CAPTAIN POKE no longer deliberated about the
course we were to steer. With his pumpkin fo
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 ne
.mivered himself of a sentiment; a habit that h*



214 THE MONIKINS,

had most probably contracted, in early youth, at
Stunin'tun, for it seemed to be quite as inveterate
as it was thorough-bred.

" 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 any thing serious is to happen,
you are bound to give timely notice."

"Death is always untimely to some crittur's, 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 fantas
tic 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 dan
ger 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 ?"



THE MONIKINS. 215

" Because tfiey go round the 'arth, in this lati-
.ude. Now is the time to speak, Sir John. If we
are bound to Leaphigh, we have the choice of
<,hree 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 blunt
ly 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, appa
rently, 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,
engulphing all that lay beneath. To me it seemed
but a moment, before the ship was fairly over
shadowed by these shining cliffs, which gently
undulating, waved their frozen summits nearlv a



216 THE MONIKINS.

thousand feet in air. I looked at Noah, in alarm
for it appeared to me, that he intentionally precipi
tated 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, him
self, 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 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 immedi
ately 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 semi
circle ; but, at its bottom, the ice, instead of form
ing 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 pre
cipice. 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 on
ward, 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-a-weather. 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 dan
ger, and, in less time than I had ever before known
her to ware, we felt the wind on the other quarter.
Our cats and dogs bestirred themselves for there
19



218 THE MONIK1NS.

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 impa
tience, the sinking and mounting of hope, as we
watch the crab-like 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 fathom
less, 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-pot !"

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 in
stant 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 -:



THE MONIKINS. 219

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 run
ning 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 toward
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 onward. 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 oppo
site precipices, as the vessel dashed, with foam
ing bows, into the gorge. The wind drew through
the opening with tremendous violence, fairly howl
ing, 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 be
neath the arch, wnen she lifted on a swell, and
t:r ma in- top-gallant-mast snapped off in the cap.



220 THE MOM KINS.

The ice groaned and cracked over our heaus
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 com
pletely 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 jeo
pardy, doing her utmost, with Captain Poke still at
the wheel. In 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. Rea-
sono that he had been greatly mistaken in laying
down the position of Captivity Island, as he him
self had named the spot where the amiable stran
gers 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 pump
kin, 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



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