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Until it folds its weary wing
Once more within the hand divine,
My spirit turns to thiné !
Child of the sea, the mountain stream,
From its dark caverns, hurries on,
By evening's star, and noon-tide's sun
O'er-wearied, in the waiting sea,
So turns my soul to Thee !
Oh thou who bid'st the torrent flow,
Who lendest wings unto the wind
Oh, whither shall I go to find
Is there no holy wing for me,
Of highest heaven for Thee !
Oh, would I were as free to rise,
As leaves on autumn's whirlwind borne
Or sound, or ray, or star of morn,
Or aught which soars unchecked and free,
Myself in finding Thee !
Mex without stirrups look fine, ride bold, tire soon : men without discretion cut dash, but knock up all in a crack.'
CORPORAL BUNTING. I have said the president's fresh brought me my suspension-bill; and with it, I should add, came abundant food for excitement. I had tired of college, and my readings had began to lose some of their interest. I was summoned to the president's study. I had so long been suffered to do as I pleased, without interruption, that I was in hopes no fault save idleness could be registered against me. But I had been watched by my evil genius, the tutor,
He had seen me in the city at evening, when I excused myself from morning's exercise, under the plea of sickness. He 'pumped' the family where I roomed; and when I thought myself most safe, I was in the midst of danger.
Well, Conworth,' said the good old president, 'I am sorry to inform you, that the government deem it expedient that you should spend a few months in the country. We hope this early lesson will be salutary. You have by no means attended to your studies with proper diligence. We received you, at first, though not properly fitted, at the request your tutor; but you seem unwilling or una. ble to exert yourself to receive the benefits of college instruction;
ahem! and (the kind old man seemed unwilling to pass sentence) —'a ahem! You are, in short, suspended for six months to B —, under the care of the Rev. Mr. P
I took the paper, with a sorrowful face, although delighted at heart; for I had heard B — spoken of as a delightful place. I was hurrying off' to hire a gig, and ride round to my father's through the suburbs, ' for,' thought I, “I may as well take a ride as I go, and be in time for dinner, too.' And, to show the frivolity of my character still more, I was quite pleased, to think I should get a good dinner that day, and a glass of wine. In short, I received this event as a god-send, because it was something novel.
I was just stepping into the chaise to depart, amid the regrets of some, the sympathies of others, and the good wishes of all my fel. low-students, or rather fellow-idlers, when a carriage drove swiftly up to the place, and out jumped my father! The president had written him in the morning, so that he received the letter about the time I got my bill of suspension. He was all consternation. He thought me irrevocably lost. He was as one demented. He asked me to accompany him to my room. The students drew off, in awe and conscience-strickenness, and we were left alone. He looked me full in the face for a few moments, and tears started in his
He brushed them hastily away, and gave vent to the agony of his feelings in a torrent of abuse.
I considered myself ill-treated. I did not see then, as I now see, how he felt. I did not look at his heart as I now do. I took him literally. I told him ‘I was ready to seek my own fortune. I could take care of myself. He might discard me, if he chose ; there were ways enough to get a support. I braved him. He was overcome. His sufferings were too much for words. He was in despair. He saw all his hopes cut off, his family disgraced, and me, his eldest son, an outcast from society.
Come, Sir!' — and we walked down stairs. As we reached the bottom, a herd of people had collected. The news of my suspension had reached the stable-keepers, etc. They flocked in for pay. Bills to an enormous amount were presented. They were paid instantly. Not an objection was made — not a word uttered. After all was settled, my father, who had put on a stern demeanor, got
into the carriage, and bade me follow, with the air of an emperor. I was thrown into insignificance by the stateliness of his grief. He did not deign to utter a word to me; and I slunk back into the troublous ruminations of my own conscience.
At last it seemed an age to me we arrived at home. A good dinner and a glass of wine seemed to restore in some measure the equanimity of my father. I was watching the workings of his countenance. I drank pretty freely myself, for a boy under sentence, and was vastly polite to my mother. Always thinking of excitement, no sooner did I find my nerves pretty well braced, than, leaving my mother's side, I walked to my father, and stooping down, whispered in his ear: 'Can I have the horses this afternoon ?' We had a guest or two, by some chance, that day. My father forgot himself, and thundered out, as if crazed by the magnitude of the request, No, Sir!" I was suddenly brought to my senses, from the imprudent for
wardness of a fool. I slunk away to my room, and buried my face in my pillow, till I fell asleep. When I awoke, I began to suspect that my father knew me better than I thought he did.
The next morning my breakfast was brought to my room, and I was apprized that the chaise would be ready to conduct me out of town in the course of an hour. I inquired for my father, and requested to see him. He had gone out; he could not see me; I was to go with the servant.' A letter was banded to me, and with an aching heart, I broke the seal. It was from my father. The letter was kind in the extreme, but it painted in glowing colors the agony of his mind. I seemed to grow acquainted with my father. He was full as much an enthusiast as myself. Trade had buried up a fine character, but nature brought out the brilliant passages of his mind sometimes. Here is the letter :
My Son : You are pleased with your situation, I see, and am sorry for it. You afflict me still inore. Until you become a father yourself, you can never know the severity of my disappointments. Go, reform your idle habits : make your exile a season of reflection. I forgive you : try to forgive yourself.
* Thomas will go with you. Do not loiter by the way. Avoid your associates. It is they have ruined you. Enclosed is $100. Use it for necessaries and comforts, but be prudent. My hopes are weakened, but not destroyed. Adieu !
'YOUR AFFECTIONATE FATHER.' I wept over this letter for an hour. My father's goodness over came me. I knelt down, and solemnly, on my knees, vowed to reform all idle habits, and to be worthy of such a generous parent. I felt relieved, elevated, and strengthened, by this good resolution. I arose, washed my face, ran and kissed my mother, jumped into the chaise, and we were on our way to B
The ride took us all day. It rained, was cold, and every thing looked dreary. My romance hardly bore me out through this trial. If I had parted in anger from my friends - been kicked out of doors, and turned adrift to seek my own bread — my spirit would have risen to meet the emergency, and I should have viewed my case, with my then set of feelings, as one of tyranny and oppression. But now I had no such consolatory thoughts. I had done wrong - been generously forgiven — my pockets crammed with money; and I could not but view myself as a very bad and culpable young man. Chewing the cud of bitter reflections -- wet, hungry, disgusted with myself and the whole world — the servant set me down at the door of the good clergyman, at dusk. I had only time to remark that it was
a one-story, yellow house, without blinds or curtains, naked of shrubbery, and barn-like in its appearance.
A little short malignant-looking man came out to see what was the matter. The servant gave him a letter. He kept us standing in the rain while he read it, and then coldly invited me in. Thomas was dismissed without notice. I was shown into a room without fire. He did not even ask me if I had dined. I had not eaten since my slight morning's meal.
For the first time in my life, I felt supremely wretched. I felt to the quick that I was punished. By-and-by I was called from my cheerless, fireless, and almost windowless room, to tea. I looked around for somebody or something to love, but all was stiff, and
came to me.
formal, and cold. I ate a mouthful, and retired. At nine, I was summoned to prayers. It was a fervent nasal service. My keeper was a violent Hopkinsian. He prayed for me in language I could not comprehend, for it was a jargon of all the Bible terms heaped and strung together into a mass of confusion. But I understood enough to know that I was considered as the most abandoned wretch on earth. I was shocked. His style of addressing the Deity was so gross and familiar, that all my early impressions were outraged, and I was appalled at the idea of hearing God profaned. After prayers, not a word was uttered, except · You can take that light;' and I went to my room, wondering among what manner of people I was sent for reformation.
My bed was a crazy one — the furniture of my room shabby and time-worn. I had not even the luxury of a basin and towel. Every thing reminded me how miserable I was. Not a cheering thought
A long six months of solitude, vulgarity, profane prayers, and sanctimonious religion, were before me.
My keeper seemed any thing else than a scholar; and the only alleviating thought was, that I could do as I pleased about study. This thought came to me, too, after all my solemn promises at home, over the letter of my father! I did not think I was inconsistent; so incapable was I, at that age, of reflection, or continued exertion of principles, which for the moment struck me with such force. Indeed, all my feelings were temporary, and I was without principle. I had no strong determination. I was the creature of the moment. Now love, now pleasure, now solitude, and romantic musing
each by turns would absorb me. My loves brought no permanent sorrow, if unsuccessful. I solaced myself with some new charmer. It has been so through my whole life. I never have despaired for more than an hour. Some bright hope would always break in to relieve the blackness of a cloudy despair, and I lived again as full of schemes of happiness as ever.
I went to bed that night in loathing of myself and the whole world. The rain poured down in torrents, and the winds shook the windows almost out of the frames. The old house rocked in the blast. I sank to sleep, overpowered by the excess of tears and sighs. In the morning, I was awakened by the sun pouring in at my windows. Elated by this cheerful omen, and refreshed by long and deep slumber, I got up in all the vigor of youth, and the pleasant sensations which affect a youth who is about to see something new.
Going out, I found the house was not far from a river. Vessels were at anchor in the stream, and the water had a saltish taste. I was delighted. I felt happy. I am not out of the world,' thought I. We were cheerful at breakfast, and by the time that meal was over, I had got to love the whole family, and could see a thousand beauties in the situation, I had never thought of before.
To one fond of a roving life, what a pleasure it is to look upon vessels ! — to go down upon the wharves of a great city, and gaze upon those old weather-beaten travellers! What associations crowd upon you! No wonder so many are fond of the sea.
When out upon the waters, in a fine ship, you can turn in any direction fancy may dictate, or profit may suggest. You are, as it were, in the
centre of nations. You are unfettered by laws; you are away from all the weakening ties of home and kindred - weakening, as it regards manly enterprise; you are your own master ; you may adopt any course of life you please.
The sight of vessels lying at anchor has always been to me the pleasantest of all sights. With the old storm-worn sailors, too, I feel a near sympathy, so much of whose lives is a constant change and variety. They always seem to me to live in continual excitement. Their lives are a romance; their profession chivalrous; their daring noble. You cannot help feeling a certain respect for them when on the sea, and in the discharge of their duty; though on the land, their ignorance of land habits, and the wild joy they evince, sometimes make them ridiculous and disgusting. Who ever saw a sailor do a mean thing? They are as bountiful as air. They give as long as they have, and when they have not, they are confiding enough in your good qualities to receive; for it takes either a very generous mind, or a very mean one, to receive an obligation with a good grace.
The place, beside, was not without interest. I found a village not far off, and a house or two that promised genteel inhabitants. I spent three months in this place very quietly — without any dereliction of conduct, except the total neglect of my studies. Every morning my conscience rebuked me, and I quieted its alarms, by promising to myself to begin to-morrow, or next Monday, at farthest. These resolutions for the moment settled the whole matter, and I felt elevated in virtue for resolving to do at some future period what I ought to have performed at the present.
However, I read through a small circulating library, consisting chiefly of voyages and travels. I here found Silliman's Journal in Europe, and read it twice. I was charmed with the style, and the interest he contrived to throw about even a ride in a stage-coach. This reading fixed in me a love of travel, I have never overcome. The intervals of reading were spent at the house of a gentleman, a bachelor, who lived upon the ruins of his paternal estate. a kind of Mowbray, having the most excellent private qualities, and the worst public ones.
He was the most dignified, hospitable, agreeable man in his own house, I ever knew; but abroad, he was insincere, cringing, if necessary, and subservient to the basest political ends. A hypocrite in his religious observances, he was of any religion that suited the present scheme. He never paid his debts, when he could avoid it, although to others he was generous to a fault. He was addicted to no vice, that I know of. He drank not at all, nor used tobacco, although he was constanly urging upon his guests the best wine, and the most expensive cigars. He loved me, I verily believe. His house, his horses, his guns and dogs, were always at my disposal. Though an old man, he treated me as an equal. He talked to me of every thing, and of some things which sent me long strides away from the natural abhorrence of boyhood to low vices.
This man would not have done me an injury, for his right hand; yet so ignorant was he of education, that by mistaken kindness, he did me the worst of injuries. He excited premature passion in my veins; he taught me to drink hard; he made my suspension a scene